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China & Southeast Asia Trip Report

[Seoul] Trip Report March 2011


Restaurants & Bars 19

[Seoul] Trip Report March 2011

RipCurl | Apr 13, 2011 04:41 AM

Hi all, first time posting though I've been reading the boards for a while.

Wanted to say thanks to those who gave recs for Seoul (in particular kosmose7 & schung - thanks guys!) & figured I'd post a couple of lines on our trip too. Thought it might help others since there isn't as much information out there on Seoul dining compared to some of the other Asian cities.

Disclaimer - it was our first trip to Seoul though we've eaten a bunch of Korean food elsewhere (US - LA / NYC / Chicago, Toronto, London, Tokyo & Singapore), so our frame of reference may be pretty different than Seoul natives.

What we tried & liked:

1) Elbon the Table (kosmose7's recommendation)
We got one of the daily set lunches & one of the tasting menu. The regular set lunch was nice if not too memorable.. but the tasting menu was good. Foie gras was nicely seared, paired with caramelized banana, orange compote & white truffle ice cream on the side. Lobster bisque was light but flavorful.

Only thing that I wasn't too hot on is how they serve the meat mains. Both the beef & lamb chop came on a hot stone, which ended up overcooking the meat somewhat. Flavored salts that come with the meat are fun, though I couldn't figure out what the green one (not the green tea one) was supposed to be.

2) Bong San Jib (schung's rec, went to the Samseong-dong outlet, not the Samgakchi one)
Loved the chadolbaegi there. Doenjang-jjigae (as they said, "just like mother's home made stew") is solid too. They only have 3 cuts of meat on the menu (iirc, 1 of the other 2 were tripe), we only tried the chadolbaegi cos we're all about the fatty meat. Went great with their special dip & also with sesame oil + salt. We messed up half of the first serving cos we didn't know the right grilling technique but the boss rescued us after that (got to be grilled rolled up like a cigar, so the fats permeate the meat rather than running off the grill). Pix below. A must-eat on our next trip to Seoul!

3) Bon Pi Yang / Byeokje Galbi
This is the soup-selling, cheaper affiliate of Byeokje Galbi. We had lunch at the Gangnam outlet in Coatel & thought the Hanwoo - both kalbi and sirloin - were better value than the more upscale Dogok-dong outlet we tried later in the trip. Good quality beef of course, and a very hearty meal for the price together with the spread of greens and the jjigaes we added. (pic attached) Though given a choice, have to admit we'd still prefer yakiniku in Tokyo anyday (missing the succulent - and great CP - wagyu at Shotaien Shiba-daimon!).

4) Heukdonga
No frills, specialise in black pork from Jeju apparently. They give you little bits of pork skin to start. Samgyeopsal was ok but the hanjeongsal (aka tontoro)... that's the real marbled stuff. Great value for money, it only cost us abt W35,000 (no alcohol) for two of us.

We also made it to Budnamujip (missed the kalbitang - sold out at 12pm - but had ) & a couple of other random places which I can add on if anyone is interested (more as places not to go).

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