Eating & Drinking, Seoul
When someone pours sohju in your cup, raise/ touch the cup, say thank you and sip the wine. If you drink it all in one gulp, your host will be pleased.
it is considered rude if you do not finish the content.
In traditional Korean Restaurants, you will remove your shoes at the entrance. This means you must wear a decent pair of socks! Also, Koreans do not tie & untie their shoes each time they put them on/take them off. Instead, they tie them very loose so they can be slipped on and off. You would be wise to do the same... your Korean hosts won't want to wait for you to play around with your shoe strings -- they'll be halfway down the block before you finish.
Note the photo of a shoe rack in Songtan, Korea. My Korean host translated the sign above the rack to read, "please don't leave with nicer shoes than you had when you arrived."
There are three things all Koreans seem to love: eating, drinking, and hiking. They tend to eat constantly and not gain any weight. Finding an overweight Korean is like finding a skinny American. They just don't exist.
Koreans love to drink, especially soju (clear rice liquor). This is the national beverage of this country. Throw in maekju (beer), dong-dong ju (milky rice wine), and any other ju you can think of, and you'll have quite a mixture.
Finally, Korean love to hike. Recently I hiked Mt Surak (Suraksan) north of Seoul. There were so many people there, I had to wait in line for up to 10 minutes just to follow the path. Many Koreans go decked out in all kinds of gear such as fancy jackets, backpacks, aluminum alloy hiking sticks, etc.
While at Suraksan, I witnessed the Koreans combining all three of their passions at once. Take a look at the picture of Koreans eating and drinking during a break in their hike. It may be hard to see, but some of these groups have several empty bottles of soju.
Korea is world renown for its Ginseng products. They have used the ginseng roots for thousands of years to cure all sorts of ailments. It is said that the ginseng tea is good for the body and mind. Some say it boosts the energy and even prolongs ones life. I highly recommend you buy some and give it a try. The tea is delicious!
It's more polite to bow than to shake hands in Korea it seems. Well, given the recent SARS scare, it's more germ-friendly to nod than to pass your snot to an unsuspecting chap, right? Courtesy aside, there's no need to worry about this, there was never a single SARS case in Korea as this is a GARLIC-LOVING country. I don't think it's possible for these people to get SARS or for Dracula to go near them as they get loads of anti-oxidents everyday by eating kim-chi.
Now if you have not tasted this delightful pickle before, try it in Korea. Go for the cabbage as a starter. The rich, alchoholic and spicy taste of garlic and chilli will overwhelm your senses.
How do they pack in the punch? Well, traditionally, this pickle is fermented in earthern pots and buried in winter grounds.
Of course, there are now more advanced methods of making this pickle otherwise you'll have Korean treasure maps all over the place. Other than plain ol' cabbage, you can find kim-chied cockles, fish roe, cucumber and other exotic creatures you won't dream of eating. Try it, it just doesn't taste the same elsewhere.
I'm aware of differences in cultural values...just because dogs are a favorite pet shouldn't make them ineligible as a meal...how do Hindus view eating beef.
I'm not adverse to eating anything...although i won't eat rat or bat, can't see how that can be clean no matter how you prepare it! or monkey...too close a species, it ll
be borderline cannibalism!
Sorry don't have a picture of dog meat but it probably tastes like chicken!
Never serve drink to yourself!
In a Korean meal you have to wait until someone serves you the drink, then you have to serve the other one. As far as I know drinking alcohol, I´m not sure about non-alcoholic drinks.
Once both of you have full glasses you can say: Konbe! (Cheers) and drink.
There is a mixed drink called "bomb", it contains a small glass of Soju inside a bigger glass of beer. It´s extremly dangerous... one shoot! dangerous...
The most popular beer brand is OB Lager, pretty good!
Soju is a Korean alcoholic drink that is enjoyed with meals and with friends. I can best describe it as being somewhere between sake and vodka. It's usually served cold and goes great with spicy Korean food.
There is quite a bit of etiquette surrounding this traditional Korean drink. For example when offering a drink to a person older than you it is expected that you hold the bottle with both hands when pouring to show respect. You should never fill you own glass and when having your glass filled you should hold it with the right hand and place the left hand under it.
When drinking with the younger generation of Koreans the rules aren't as strict but it is nice to know some of them so you don't look like a complete heathen.
If you are invited to a Korean barbacue never say no. It´s my favourite Korean food. It´s amazing the number of plattes they put on the table. You grill the meat on the table. Usually there are two types: pork or beef.
How to eat it? Take a leaf with your left hand, put some meat inside, garlic and the red spicy sauce, envelop and eat it (one bite).
Kimchi is always present in a Korean table, it´s a very spicy cabbage. Koreans use to drink Soju, arghhhh! The first day is not a problem to drink this kind of liquor but after trying it deeply one time you´ll hate it!
Sometimes after having a dinner you are
taken to a karaoke by the locals.
Are you ready to enjoy Korean Food ~?!In addition to the bars and nightclubs located inside major hotels, there are many nightspots in Seoul.
The area around Hongik University is filled with unique cafes, bars, and clubs featuring live performances by underground artists. Likewise, Sinchon, around Yonsei University, assumes a whole new life at night when cafes, pubs and karaoke places are packed with college students and young office workers who are attracted by its cheaper prices.
Itaewon, a popular shopping destination among foreigners, has long been famous for the nighttime scene. There are many restaurants serving cuisine from different countries. Theme clubs here also cater to foreigners.
The area around Gangnam Station is always packed with people looking for a place for a drink after work. There are numerous pubs, cafes and karaoke rooms in the area.
Apgujeong-dong area features more posh entertainment. Night owls sporting the latest in fashion flock here to spend the evening at the area¡¯s cafes, restaurants, clubs and karaoke rooms.
The Sheraton Walker Hill Casino is the only casino in Seoul. The casino features Baccarat machines, Blackjack tables and 100 slot machines. There are also roulette and big wheel games.
For more information: http://www.visitseoul.net/english/
Bibimbap! When hearing a Korean flight attendant utter these words, I just couldn't process that this was a Korean word: it sounded more like a name of some guy from the Southern United States. Anyway, the flight attendant was giving us the choice of meals for that day and we kept saying, 'Sorry? What was that one again? Bee bee bob?' The flight attendant just shook her head like, 'Of course, bibimbap. Are you crazy? It's bibimbap!' We asked what it was but the communication after that was kind of difficult. We later learned that it is a big bowl of vegetables (carrots, greens, mushrooms) that are stirfried and then you add steamed rice and hot sauce to your taste. Not too complicated but it took us a while to figure out what exactly this bee bee bob stuff was. :)
Some other Korean Restaurants Use and LPG Powered Grill instead of Charcoal as to Do away with the smoke hence meats cook faster but still charcoal grilled and roasted meats are tastier!
Well they are creamy but about the same in other countries. Prices of Ice cream starts at 3,00 won per piece and is available everywhere!
Very Sweet and very cute, small bite sized thin korean pancakes that costs 250 won and is available everywhere!
Also Delicious! you can buy them at any convenience store and market stalls and is very sweet and tasty, it costs 200 won a piece.