Can you believe it’s the last day of 2016? Where did the year go? I must say the last few weeks went by with flurry blurry speed.
I really wanted to do this post, a pictorial story on what I ate in Seoul, my trip just happened this winter in the middle of december so before my memories start getting fuzzy, I wanted to record some of the food highlights I had on my trip…
I was staying with a really good friend of mine btw who is Taiwanese and lives in central Myeondeong which is one of the busiest places in Seoul and shoppers paradise for women, you will find cosmetics, clothes, food and Namdaemun market which has really reasonably priced clothes & accessories for children, lucky me!
My first eat was the ubitiquitous kimbap, found at the food basement in the Shinsegae department store – which is I must say has some amazing food and produce in its basement supermarket.
The portion sizes are really generous so one plate can feed two if you aren’t that hungry! Was it similar to japanese sushi? Well, I really liked that the beef in the bulgogi kimbap was seasoned, it was sweet and salty and the vegetables in the roll was more than the amount of rice put in:)
There are many Shinsegae department stores in Seoul, the largest one is in the Gangnam district, if you happen to go, kimbap is the perfect anytime of the day snack!
Samgyeopsal (Pork belly)
If you are a K drama addict, you probably have seen pork belly grilled over charcoal in many of the dramas. My friend and host was so sure I would like it, I on the other hand was unsure and a little “worried” about the fat content.
Ooh look at the layers of fat!!!
I took this picture to show you the smoky environment and the local scene where the pork belly is the meat of choice! Notice it’s full of men:) Where are the women?
Before you get the pork belly served up you can get your sides, kimchi, vegetables and garlic from a nearby side dish (banchan buffet counter where you can have as much as your stomach can eat!)
The side dish buffet with different types of kimchi’s and some other vegetables you can use for grilling
And that was my grilled Samgyeopsal!!! The verdict – delicious!!! The fat became chewy, charred and textured there wasn’t any over whelming strong scent from the meat. I ate each piece wrapped like a popiah (meat inside, stuffed with vegetables and kimchi). I wouldn’t eat this everyday but let’s say it was a worthwhile indulgence that I would glady revel in again!
The lovely Peggy, my dear friend; and me with the fresh apron and some makgeolli (rice wine) in our hands, makgeolli is best drunk out of a bowl!
That’s the entrance of the restaurant, I couldn’t get the English address – so if you are next in Korea and you want Samgyeopsal, this place is highly recommended by local Koreans it’s in the less posh part of the Itaewon area. For the Korean address download it here.
Seolleongtang (beef bone broth)
This is my husband’s favourite dish, so of course we had to eat it! I wish there was more meat in the broth, having said that it was very comforting, nourishing and warming to eat on a cold winter’s day! I loved that the taste of meat was strong enough and the soup was a little sweet without being rich!
I included a photo of the dumplings we ate too, coz they were supersized!!! Very much like the watercress or spinach chinese dumplings these were half the size of my palm – talk about taking upsizing to another level!!
Seolleongtang places like these are open 24 hours btw, this branch was in Myeongdong. For more locations you could visit their website at www.kood.co.kr
The menu is very simple and pocket friendly, I liked that they had a kids set for 5000 won:)
Specialist beef Tenderloin (UZINGA)
Uzinga is a meat specialist restaurant that is well known for it’s Hanu (native korean) cuts of meat. Again, this resturant was picked by my lovely host who made a reservation a month in before we flew in. (That’s my hubby, he just had to pose for a picture, he’s really into his meats 🙂
This restaurant upped the bar on quality ban chan for sure, I think we refilled the plates 2 or 3 times…
The star of the show, about 500 g of marbled tenderloin cooked on a special copper coated grill. We were lucky our waiter, who cooked our meat for us, spoke very good English, he said copper cooks the meat faster as it gets hot more quickly.
The cooked piece of Hanu tenderloin, perfectly medium rare. It had everything a good piece of meat needs to be it had a meaty aroma with slightly charred taste and was tender, juicy, melt in your mouth good. I loved that it was not as rich or as fatty as Japanese wagyu.
If you aren’t already acquainted with Hanu, which is Korean native beef, it’s prized for being one of the world’s best beefs (most of it is kept in Korea itself and not exported). The meat is a premium cut of meat because of its high quality and desired chewiness. In Korea, not only is Hanu used in traditional dishes, and or popular holiday dishes, Korean’s also gift Hanu for special occasions and celebrations.
Hanu beef tenderloin pancake. A beef omelette with melt in your mouth meat!
We had another lot of Toploin which was a cross between a tenderloin and striploin, it was very similar except more flavourful and slightly more chewy.
The cooked toploin…
We finished our meal with Soybean paste porridge – I’ve made something similar to this however, their locally made (I think most likely artisanal beanpaste) was superior to a more commercial brand I manage to get from Singapore.
And their menu I wanted to show too, it’s really interesting as it’s all costed by weight.
Our total bill came up to approximately (USD$200 dollars, or $300 Singapore dollars. Which was very reasonable given the quality, ambience and service standards.
To book Uzinga – 02 5374234
Address: 1713-2 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu Seoul
And that puts an end to writing about travelling and eats this year, I really hope 2017 will be yet another year of new, better and maybe even more delicious eats!
Till then, here’s wishing all of you health, blessings and time with all your loved ones!!!