Food in Seoul was delicious. It makes me want to still be there, and I wish they’d open up certain chains in the UK so I can eat them all the time!
I should start with the most famous of Korean food: Korean BBQ. This was at once mouthwateringly delicious, bewildering, and hard work. We ordered 2 dishes; beef and mushrooms. We received about 12,000 dishes so it was interesting trying to work out what everything was, but we were pleasantly surprised – things like satay sauce, hot soup, cold soup – sounds weird but was delicious. It also involved constant attention – turning the meat over with tongs to ensure it was evenly cooked and didn’t burn. But overall both the experience and the food were a real treat!
Next up, the lesser known but totally Korean dish, Bimbimbap. My husband went to South Korea years ago and this is the only dish he remembers from that trip, so we had to try it. It is a bed of rice with various vegetables or meat on top, arranged in a colourful display. The dishes always include red, yellow, green and black colours, which you mix together. This was also really tasty but quite spicy and the host of the restaurant kept looking at me like he wanted me to finish eating and vacate the table for someone else – I’m such a slow eater, especially when it’s spicy!
South Korea also has many many coffee shops. Imagine a Starbucks-style coffee shop on every corner BUT they are Korean brands – such as Hollys Coffee, Ediya Coffee, Angel-in-us-Coffee, and our favourites, Tom n Toms and Paris Baguette. Paris Baguette sells a range of baked goods and I tried an interesting baked-good which I can only describe as a churro stuffed with sweet potato. Weird, but it worked! After that carb-fest, we got into the groove of going for the same thing; a chicken salad (lettuce, raisins, goats cheese, chicken, balsamic vinegar – sorry I’m going into to much detail – I’m salivating!) and a croque-monsieur made with cheese, ham and truffle. Yum!
Toms n Toms sells freshly made pretzels and our favourite was made with sweet potato and sour cream. Delicious!
Our other favourite food was Abiko Curry, which is a curry house we visited about 4 times. It was amazing, and we both decided on our favourite order which we stuck to – mine was chicken cutlet with aubergine curry sauce. The chicken cutlet was so light and crispy and the sauce was wonderful. I also really liked the sweet red pickles it came with.
We also had some good Asian food including affordable but good quality Sushi, Chicken Teriyaki, and Panda Express which we found in a food hall. We also made the obligatory visit to the wonderful Din Tai Fung which we have visited before in Singapore, Taipei and Shanghai.
We saw lots of international food, including a nice-looking make-your-own pizza place and a large expensive lobster restaurant, alongside fast-food, pizza etc. Normally we will avail ourselves of the international options at some point in the holiday but in Seoul we stuck with Asian food as it was so good! (although as mentioned above we did visit many coffee shops, and we also went to a lovely fresh salad bar).
Overall I was surprised and impressed by the range, quality and general yummyness of the food in Seoul.
next blog: Christmas Trips
previous blog: The DMZ, South Korea