It has been a what-the-fuck month for me, thus explains my M.I.A. Nowadays I mostly stay put in my cozy room & ponder over life & death, while eating cheap gross food because I honestly stop giving a fuck about my once passion in life, eating good food. When I stop giving a fuck about food, it means I am in a serious shitstorm.
Anyhow, things have been picking up, slowly but steadily recently. And I attribute such progress with my thrilling experience with 1.2kg of beef last week. Ugh. So good. To be fair, I have eaten out a bit past month, but it’s mainly uninspiring chicken & pork & one or two visits to plain cafes (none worth writing about), only Dally So in Hongdae, however, can give me enough incentives to actually sit down & rave about it.
I love dakgalbi. My first proper meal in Korea was dakgalbi; it is my ultimate comfort food and something I never get tired of. So, naturally, when I came across a place offering dakgalbi with cheese, I was almost ecstatic. I miss cheese, people. I am well aware that Korea is no Europe, and real cheese in Korea is almost as expensive as gold. Desperate time calls for desperate measures, meaning that when I am in dire need of cheese, that white, synthetic, plastic-kind-of-but-not-too-gross cheese is not too bad. Mind you, I say NO NEIN NEE 아니 to that yellow cheese pathetically sitting on top of those semi-hamburgers and sandwiches. The white cheese, however, I can deal with on a not so regular basis.
Strangely enough, cheese dakgalbi proved to be more than satisfying a feast. And I don’t think it was just because I was desperate.
I have been in a state of perpetual hunger & poverty lately. I kid you not, what I have been eating as of recently mainly consist of tofu soup & more tofu soup. Although tofu is rich in protein, I still find my diet seriously in need of more of those organic compounds in their purer, better form (read: meat). So what do you do when you want meat but you have liquidity problem? Stick with (generous) friends, of course. I consider myself a lone wolf, but when my appetite calls, I suddenly become the richest man in the world surrounded by altruistic, big-hearted, noble and charitable souls.
Okay, long story short: I just had a terrific Korean BBQ meal for free. Guys, if you are reading this post: I am very grateful. My gratitude, though, does not necessarily compel me to treat you folks better.
Now let’s move on to the review.
It’s already mid-September, and writing about the ubiquitous ultimate Korean coping method against the perennial summer heat, i.e. patbingsu aka shaved ice with stuffs on top (which I had written a lot about) seems like a proper act of trolling. Well, I’m all for trolling, so here we go again.
Let’s chat for a bit. If you are a moderately long time resident in this fine city, you would notice that sometimes a food/drink chain would pop outta nowhere. All of a sudden, all over the city, you see that same chain store. Summer is the particular season for that kind of culinary outbreak. I could name a few names here, but let’s just stick to patbingsu. Last year we had 옥루몽–that traditional-looking chain resto with wooden decor serving traditional-styled patbingsu with humble red beans and tteok. 옥루몽 was seriously everywhere last summer. Everyone seemed to eat at 옥루몽. I mean, a touch of tradition amid all those fancy twisted patbingsu with strawberries and tiramisu seemed like a recipe for success at the time. Too bad, this summer, 옥루몽 is so last year (and it actually is). The new buzz of da city is the bigger, sleeker 설빙 (sulbing) http://sulbing.com
Hi, okay, I am back, I guess. Where have I been? Tanzania & Kenya, then back to Korea after a 30-hour flight (layover time included) amid the Ebola outbreak -.- Good thing is that I have now settled in at Yonsei dorm, bad thing is that I am just back from a 5 day trip to Cebu where, conveniently enough, a tropical storm hit the country and my plan to see things was wrecked. I love my life. The cherry on top is that my plane touched down in Korealand at 1am and I am now waiting for the first limousine bus back to my dorm which will depart at 5:30am. No I am not complaining I am just ranting.
Sarcasm aside, I am back, guys. I am in a shitty mood (those who follow my facebook will understand why), but I am also professional. I simply cannot let my mood defeat my purpose in life, i.e. eating good food & blogging about it.
That said, what is better to mark my comeback with a review of Korean BBQ?
Wow it’s been a really long time since I last wrote a food review. Even more so since I had a proper Korean BBQ meal. Feeling absolutely desperate for some nicely grilled marinated meat, last week I literally had to drag my friend to a BBQ restaurant that I’d been dying to try out for weeks.
화통 (Hoatong) is a newly opened BBQ restaurant in Anam that has quickly gained popularity due to their fantastic menu relatively different from that of other BBQ restaurants. Even if opening 화통 meant Alice’s Table (one of my favourite cafes in Anam which I almost did a write up but kept procrastinating) had to shut down, the sacrifice was worth it.
Junk/street food is probably one of the many traits about Korea that most of you Korea enthusiasts fall in love with. To say I was thrilled when my friend told me about Gwangjang market (광장 시장) and its street food diversity was a total understatement. Well it’s not like it is the only food market in Seoul, but it surely is the market of my food. As you already know the biggest players are rice cake (떡볶이), fish cake (어뎅) and fried food (튀김). My most favourite dish however is sundae, the one dish that has manged to gross lots of foreigners out, including me if I stare at the food long and hard enough.
It’s 5 hours to the 3rd of January 2014 and I still think it’s 2012. Time is strange. To anyone who’s reading this post I hope you’ve had a great NYE.
Remember the time when I wrote an ~article worth~ post about spending a marvelous autumn day at Nami Island and asked you to check out Chuncheon’s signature dishes for we couldn’t afford a proper meal due to our state of forever living on a tight budget? Well this time I’ve finally had my dream come true trying them myself at the very heart of where the dishes come from: Chuncheon. Of course we didn’t spend an entire day traveling to only eat a pan of marinated chicken, but what Chuncheon had in store for me was absolutely beyond my imagination.
I’m finally back to updating the blog now that I have some time to really stay in my room and have a little rest. The last two weeks was extremely hectic for me as I was totally invested both physically and mentally in the communication marketing project at school, to the point I had to suffer minor panic attacks which in hindsight were rather embarrassing. But yeah, I’m here for a really quick (but equally important) post before I disappear again for the finals!
Long story short, I had the best kalguksu in my entire life and a really good basket of mandu at 명동교자 (Myeong-dong-gyo-ja). At this point this blog is going to be a mandu specialised blog thanks to my talent of only eating mandu when I go out. Mandu has never been my first choice when ordering, but somehow it always ends up presenting itself on my table. Oh well, not that I’m complaining.
As much as I am a big fan of tea, Korean traditional tea had never really been on my must-try or favorite list. For sure I had tried few times before, but more often than not I’d found Korean tea rather bland and not exactly…tea. Unlike the usual tea made from leaves, in Korea they also make tea from wheat, dry seeds and various fruit herbs which until now, still sounds incredibly weird to me because those kinds of tea don’t have the distinctive flavors we find in this classic drink. Nevertheless the trip I made to Insadong a while ago definitely stirred something different in me and gave me a more positive viewpoint about Korean traditional tea.