Korea

food reviews, Korea, Korea Day Trips, Life in Korea, New, Seoul Restaurant Reviews

Discover Incheon, South Korea


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When you think of South Korea, you almost certainly think of the country’s largest city: Seoul. However, just an hour away from central Seoul lies a bustling city called Incheon. Odds are, if you fly into Korea, you’ll find yourself arriving at Incheon International Airport. Incheon is home to roughly 3 million people, and is easily found on the Seoul subway system.

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food reviews, New, Seoul Restaurant Reviews

합정 미야비: Seoul’s most unique sushi?


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Watch the full review here!

Seeing as Korea is a peninsula, it isn’t difficult to find fresh seafood. Raw fish can be found at restaurants all over the country, as well as in large fish markets, small outdoor markets, grocery stores, and even convenience stores.

For this video, I traveled to the Hapjeong District of Seoul. This neighborhood has a hip vibe to it, and it well known for couples as it makes for a great date evening.

합정 미야비 -Hapjeong Miyavi is located on the second floor.

Visiting ‘Miyavi’ (합정 미야비) was a great experience. The restaurant is small, and located on the second floor. The restaurant only has a few tables, while the counter can seat six patrons. You’ll get a first-row seat to the sushi chef in action.

Speaking of the sushi chef, Choi InHo (최인호) has a decade working at one of the finest hotels in the country. Watching him meticulously slice the raw fish proves his knowledge, passion, and creativity for delivering a memorable product.

While the ambiance of the restaurant exudes a romantic feeling, the random pop music playing in the background seems out of place (hello, Justin Bieber!). If I had to change one thing about the experience – this would be it. Businesses in Asia love to blast up-beat music, so I shouldn’t have been surprised by this. However, it was super random.

We started our meal with a dish I had never heard of. Raw flatfish (광어) is plated on a sauce made from vegetables and truffle. More truffle is grated on top of the fish. It is then fused with oak smoke.

While this may sound like a gimmick, the result was actually the highlight of the meal. The fish was soft and tender. Faint traces of the oak could be picked up. The sauce was rich. I could have left after this, and been satisfied.

What followed next was an assortment of 13 different types of raw seafood. I was most familiar with the raw tuna and salmon. After eating raw tuna on dozens of occasions – I can confidently say this was like none other. It was the best bite of raw fish I have ever eaten. It melted in my mouth with a flavor unlike any other tuna I have tried.

13 different varieties of raw seafood, served with a dollop of wasabi.

The other 12 pieces of sashimi on the plate, while amazing, just could never live up to that tuna. This is one piece of fish you don’t want to kill with going overboard with the soy sauce and wasabi! Please us it sparingly!

Moving on, we tried the potato/cheese/fish egg concoction. This was topped with a slab of butter. It seemed like a true dichotomy from all the raw fish we had just eaten. However, it was so tasty! The outside was like a deep fried mashed potato, while the inside was gooey and melted cheese. This is the type of food you need a beer to companion it with!

We also tried their beef hot pot, as well as the sorbet. These were both impressive as well!

Overall, 합정 미야비 is serving up some great food at reasonable prices. There are other izakayas and restaurants serving up fish with lower prices, but the quality is on a totally different level.

If nothing else, I would stop by for the truffle flatfish ceviche, as it is worth going out of your way for!

Restaurant information:

Address: 31-7 World cup-ro 3-gil, Hapjeong-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul

Phone: 02-336-5572

food reviews, Seoul Restaurant Reviews

Top Five Foods to Eat to Beat the Summer Heat


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To see our full review of the top five foods to eat in the Summer in Korea, first watch this video!

 

Summers in Korea can be quite difficult to handle. As the temps soar, everyone does what they need to do to stay cool. This might include going to a public sauna for a public bath, blasting the air conditioner, or using a portable fan.

However, Koreans also use food to help them stay cool. Today we will look at five foods that help Koreans beat the summer heat.

 

  1. Ice Cream

While ice cream obviously isn’t unique to Korea, it has a special culture, unlike what we foreigners may be used to. Ice cream is consumed in all four seasons, and at any time of the day. It can be found in a multitude of varieties in convenience stores, served in a cafe, or, in this case, at an ‘Ice Cream ATM’.

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The ATM is outside of Baskin Robbin’s in Seoul. Users pay 3300 Korean Won (approx $3 USD). They can pay by cash or credit card. In just a few moments, a container of ice cream is delivered. A small spoon is included as well! It’s an amazing invention!

Baskin Robbin’s is located all around Korea. This ATM was located in Hannam Dong, Seoul.

 

2. Bingsu

Bingsu is like a more sophisticated version of a traditional snow cone. It has a base of finely shaved ice, and is topped with a variety of ingredients. I tried the ‘pineapple bingsu’ from a place called Tokyo Bingsu in Seoul. The shaved ice was topped with a pineapple mousse, pineapple bits, and pieces of waffle cone.

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The bingsu was light and refreshing. While sweet, it wasn’t overly sweet. It made the perfect mid-day snack without being too heavy.

In this video I visited Tokyo Bingsu (10 Noksapyeong-daero 46-gil, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul). The price of the pineapple bingsu was 11,000 KRW. Check out Tokyo Bingsu’s website here.

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Pineapple Bingsu from Tokyo Bingsu

 

3. Samgyetang

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Samgyetang is a chicken soup that is eaten in the summer. A whole young chicken is stuffed with rice, ginseng, and a jujube. The samgyetang is served boiling hot in a stone bowl. A variety of side dishes are included to enjoy with the soup.

Koreans often believe that it is best to beat heat with heat (fight fire with fire!). Therefore, they enjoy this boiling hot soup to refresh themselves on a hot summer day. They believe it gives them stamina to get through the hot days.

The restaurant in this vlog is called ChoonChu Samgyetang. The price for the meal was 14000 KRW. Location information: (삼계탕전문점 춘추 : 서울시 용산구 대사관로 52, 2층) ChoonChu Samgyetang: Seoul, Yongsan Gu, Daesagwan Ro 52, 2F.

ChoonChu Samgyetang has no official website.

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Menu for Choonchu Samgyetang

Men

 

4. Nangmyeon

Literally translate, nangmyeon means “cold noodles”. Nangmyeon is buckwheat noodles in a broth of yuksu, which is a bone broth. The noodles coming cold with ice floating in it. These noodles are topped with sesame seeds, gochujang (red pepper paste), half of a boiled egg, daikon radish, and cucumbers.

There are two varieties: mul and bibim. The only difference is that mul nangmyeon has broth, while bibim nangmyeon lacks the broth.

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Enjoying a refreshing bowl of nangmyeon

I recommend ordering mandu (steamed dumplings) to complete the meal.

The restaurant I ate at in this vlog was called DongA Nangmyeon. They have multiple locations all around Seoul.

This location (동아냉면) is located in Itaewon (265-576 Bogwang-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul). The basic price is 5000 KRW.

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Steamed mandu

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A refreshing bowl of mul nangmyeon

 

5. Watermelon

 

What can I say about watermelon that hasn’t been said before? It’s yummy, it’s refreshing, and it’s healthy. It is the perfect summer time treat!  Koreans love eating fresh watermelon in the summer. It is often eaten on picnics, and shared in the office with co-workers.

You’ll also find plenty of watermelon-flavored foods including juice, milk, ice cream, and shakes.

 

With all of these amazing foods, it might be hard to know what to eat first! One thing’s for sure, though. Summers in Korea are HOT, and you’ll definitely find yourself looking for any excuse to eat any of these foods to stay cool!

 

 

food reviews

I Tried the Starbuck’s Avocado Frappuccino – Exclusive to Korea!


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20180701_125917See my full review by watching this vlog!

Over the years, avocados have been a tricky thing to acquire in Korea. They were imported into the country, but the locals weren’t very familiar with them. Therefore, they were expensive, and often not great quality. This made for many sad foreigners who missed guacamole.

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The avocado frappuccino is a part of the summer promotions at South Korean Starbuck’s locations.

Things have changed, however. And these days avocados are plentiful in Korea. Buying avocado toast or guacamole isn’t impossible anymore.

Starbucks, as they tend to be good at, decided to jump on this avocado bandwagon by creating the ‘avocado blended’ aka – the avocado frappuccino.

avocado blended frappuccino in korea 2018
The avocado blended frappuccino comes in one size only (tall) and retails for 6900 KRW ($6.50 USD)

At first glance, this looks like a real avocado, pit and all! However, what you are actually consuming is a frozen yogurty base. They blend real avocado to give it that authentic taste and appearance. The ‘pit’ is actually a hollow ball of chocolate! The green color comes from, well, avocado.

The avocado blended frappuccino was initially released 3 years ago. However, due to popular demand, it has made a limited-time comeback.

The flavor is what you’d imagine: avocado, sugar, and yogurt. While I wouldn’t say I loved it, I would say that if avocado is your jam, you should check it out.

The avocado blended frappuccino comes in one size only (tall) and costs 6900 Korean Won ($6.50 USD).

If you’re visiting Korea and want to experience the most Instagrammable drink since the Unicorn Frappuccino, you’d better hurry! This avocado blended frappuccino is only available for a few weeks, and at participating locations in South Korea.

avocado frappuccino in korea
The avocado blended frappuccino comes with a chocolate “pit” and a ring of syrup to make it look like a real avocado!

the avocado blended frappuccino in south korea
The avocado blended frappuccino is available exclusively at Starbuck’s in South Korea. 

 

the most instagrammable drink of 2018 - the avocado blended frappuccino
Beat the heat with the avocado blended frappuccino, available at participating Starbuck’s locations in South Korea.

For more information, or to use these images, please contact me. 

food reviews

The most creative burger joint in Seoul- Mil’s Burger


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WANT OUR FULL REVIEW? CLICK PLAY NOW! 

PS- I make weekly videos on Korean food, life and culture. Click here so you never miss a video!

Recently, I ran across a burger place on Instagram. I knew it was near my work place, and figured I should check it out. As much as I love eating local food while abroad, sometimes I just gotta have a little taste of home.

Mils Burger is a 2-story restaurant located near Samgakji Station. Conveniently, it is also located right by an entrance to the Yongsan Army base. The restaurant has an Army theme, which truly sets it apart from other theme restaurants. I sat on the second floor, which had an old-school bed, and various uniforms and other 1960’s memorabilia.

The restaurant serves different types of burgers and sandwiches, along with beer.

I opted for the Air Force burger, which had a fried chicken leg, lettuce, cheese, onion, and sauce. The sauce was sweet and spicy. The chicken was nice and juicy. My only complaint is that the sandwich had a bit too much sauce, which made it very difficult to eat. A little less sauce would have made the sandwich much better.

The owners of the restaurant are very nice and inviting. They also speak English (and have English menus).

mils burger seoul korea

Overall, if you’re looking for a cool place with good food to eat around Itaewon, you should head to Mils Burger in Yongsan Gu!

To reach Mils Burger, take the subway to Exit 11 of Samgakji Station. Walk straight 100 meters. It will be on your right side.

I

If you are going to the War Memorial of Korea, you should plan to stop by!

Address: 210-2 Hangang-daero, Yongsan Gu, Seoul, Korea 04353

 

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food reviews

Myeongdong’s best restaurant (Seoul)


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WANT OUR FULL REVIEW? CLICK PLAY NOW! 

PS- I make weekly videos on Korean food, life and culture. Click here so you never miss a video!

Recently, I visited ‘Sinseon Seollongtang’ (신선설농탕) in Seoul. Located in the heart of Myeongdong, you won’t be able to miss this shop due to the long lines that await patrons eager to enter this shop.

The restaurant has been serving seollongtang since 1981. For those who might not know. seollongtang is a milky-white soup that is made by boiling ox bones for many hours. The soup contains big pieces of meat and is topped with chopped green onions.

The restaurant allows customers to enjoy as much kimchi and pickled radish as they’d like. Beware, though, the kimchi packs a bit of heat!

The prices for the soup start at 8000KRW, which is very affordable for a meal.
Myeongdong has plenty of places for visitors to eat, including some of the best street food in the country. However, this soup is perfect on a cold winter day, or even just for a light lunch on a hot day.

I recommend trying to visit when it isn’t peak hours, as the line to enter can be quite long. The shop owners and servers do speak a bit of English, and the menus are in English as well.

For our full review, check out our YouTube video.

Sinseon Seollongtang:
신선설농탕
神仙雪濃湯

myeongdong seolongtang.jpg

Location: 56-1, Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul 04537, South Korea
Telephone: +82 2-777-4531
Directions: Myeongdong Station, exit 6. Walk about 300 meters.

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Visiting Seoul’s BEST Dog Cafe!


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WANT OUR FULL REVIEW? CLICK PLAY NOW!

PS- I make weekly videos on Korean food, life and culture. Click here so you never miss a video!

If you have ever been to Seoul, you’ll know that there is a coffee shop on almost every corner! In addition, coffee is sold in convenience stores in a variety of ways.

Seeing as there are about 2 bazillion cafes in the city, owners have to come up with new and interesting ways to gain customers. You might find yourself at a Charlie Brown cafe, a cafe with live sheep or raccoons, or even a poo cafe (yes, really)!

My favorite cafe to visit on the weekend is located in Itaewon. It is a dog-friendly cafe called 3239 Cafe. My pups and I love visiting the cafe. I find myself with a nice Americano (iced, thank you), while the doggo gets to play with his friends and run around.

This weekend we visited 3239 and documented our adventures. Check it out!

If you’re interested in visiting this great dog cafe in Itaewon, Seoul, you can find the address in the description box of the video!

3239 dog cafe in Seoul

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#seoul #dogcafe #3239 #itaewon #korea