When I was in Seoul during the last week of March, this was my first meal in my friend’s Sinchon neighbourhood – haemul sundubu jjigae (seafood soft tofu stew). It was in a homey little family restaurant where your table is laden with refillable seaweed, eggs and banchan. The stew was served quickly - spicy, thick and bubbling-hot – whereupon I cracked 2 eggs in it for the crowning touch! ^^ My friend tells me the customers do not abuse these free refills. This honour system may be difficult to practice outside Korea >_< I’ve bookmarked the stew recipe to try out from Kimchimari and Korean Bapsang as I love spicy egg-y stews
Dinner was galbi jjim (steamed beef ribs) in Insadong for the first night. Despite being filled up with hotteok and poop bread not too long ago, we did a fair bit of justice to the succulent sweet ribs. Our very paleo meal came up to 17,500 Won (Singapore $21.08), which I thought was a good deal for 2 persons. Seoul Eats has a Top 10 galbi restaurant list, among them an all-you-can-eat galbi restaurant for only 9,900 Won (wow!)
Day 2′s lunch was in Myeongdong where we had bulgogi of beef and pork. While I usually love pork in all its glorious forms (as the mice in Babe sang “Pork is a nice sweet meat!”), beef was a clear winner in this little contest. But that didn’t stop us from finishing up most of both meats to fuel us up for the Korean skincare shopping marathon The price tag for this meat-lovers meal for two was 30,000 Won (Singapore $36.14), good value for this fantastic spread!
Hands heavy with Myeongdong shopping bags, we headed back to Sinchon for dakgalbi (stir-fried marinated chicken), a favourite with the university students. Our meal components were spiced chicken, veggies, ramyeon (instant noodles), tteok (rice cakes) and cheese . The staff came by every few minutes to stir the ingredients, when we munched on our banchan . After pouring in the cheese bits and removing the splatter guard, everything is left to simmer under the pan lid . Then, tah-dah! A magic fusion of spicy meaty cheesy goodness! . At 9,250 Won (Singapore $11.14) for the set, it’s easy on the wallet and filling for the stomach ^o^
Lunch for Day 3 was bulgogi again, cooked in a different sauce, at the price of 20,000 Won (Singapore $24.10). The restaurant overlooks the playground of the Saturday Hongdae Free Market. It was a nice place to enjoy a good meal and a long chat before heading down to check out the market. With all the feasting we’ve been doing in these 3 days, it was no surprise we didn’t seem to have much room left for dinner by this time – but I still managed to make room for Cup Chicken in Sinchon
There’s so much of Korean food I’ve yet to try, so these links are good reminders for further exploration:
- Korea Taste’s 20 Myeongdong Restaurants List I’m definitely game for gunsan ojingeo (cuttlefish bulgogi) here
- Zenkimchi’s 100 Korean Foods You Gotta Try Sannakji (semi-live baby octopus!) would definitely be a huge no-no for me; I want my food dead and non-moving!
- LadyIronChef’s 10 Things To Do In Seoul And 5 of these 10 things is to eat eat eat
Want a light bite as you explore Seoul? Then head on over for a treat at The Streets Of Seoul Are Paved With (Delicious!) Snacks
And after all that eating, burn it all off with a shop-a-thon at A Best Friend’s Guide To Shopping In Seoul!
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