Si Wha Dam - Itaewon: Arrogant restaurant - Si Wha Dam
I've booked a dinner at this restaurant, requested a vegetarian meal for my friend and myself. The restaurant confirmed my booking and my meal request twice. When we turned up they said we didn't book and there's no food for us. No apology was offered. After I left Seoul, I emailed and complained, again, no apology (not even a reply).
I've experienced quite a few fine dining restaurants in different countries, Fat Duck in London, The Quay in Sydney, Attica in Melbourne, Caprice in Hong Kong, L'Arpege in Paris, just to name a few. I've even tried Pierre Gagnaire A Seoul. Never have I come across a fine restaurant who managed to lose my booking and be so arrogant.
I would go else where for a modern Korean fine dining experience.
- Food and Dining
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SI-WHA-DAM (Poetry-Pictures-Stories): Modern Korea Fine Dining
Absolutely delicious food, excellent presentation, served in a restaurant with lovely ambience and a great service! I have never tasted such special Korean food before! Pictures will follow since they cannot be uploaded from a cell phone. I was advised its website is under construction but you can still get an idea of the food presentation from the three pictures already there! ;-)
Favorite Dish: Each part of the smallest meal set on the menu that I chose (being a small eater) was absolutely delicious and presented in the most delightful manner that I HAD to take a picture of each dish! The desert was a heavenly combination of puffed rice seasoned with BOTH salt and sugar, with a mini sweet potato plus a parsley-enzyme drink which is simply delicious! :-)
- Food and Dining
Ediya coffee: Nice evening coffee!
Established in 2001 in Korea, today have more than 600 stores all around Korea and also in China.
We went to Ediya as it was one of the Jiseon's fav places and it was still opened at evening.
I ordered chocolate cold chip flatccino and Jiseon ordered sth else...
For my oppinion, in mostly all cafes pricec are similar. But choise may vary.
Prices from 2,500 Won to 4,200 Won in Ediya.
Korean love cafes and they even have a " coffee " song : 10 cm – 아메리카노 (Americano)
Korean BBQ restaurant: Authentic Korean restaurant
We lived near Namsangol Hanok village which was full of restaurants and cafes around. As it was my 21 Birthday, we decided to go the Korean BBQ restaurant. This type of restaurants is more expensive than usual Korean restaurant, but we loved this place!
Korean BBQ restaurant means that you will cook meat by yourself ( System: customers decide, how meat will be prepared, half-ready or ...)On every table you can find heat source with a ventilation pipe directly above the table.
We ordered :
1.Rice with fish eggs served in earthenware bowl. Cost - 5,000 Won.
2. Pork , 4 pieces. Cost - 16,000 Won.
3. A bottle of soju ;-) Cost - 3,000 Won.
They took a lot of side dishes and meat, so we started to cook it...
But of course we don't look like a local so weitress helped us .
It was a great experience as it was our first time in this type of restaurants.
I payed around 26 dollars for our dinner.
Overall experience - 5+
Gimgane: Cheap and tasty!
''Gimgane'' restaurant is located on a Myeongdong , busy shopping streets. We found a free table and ordered fish dumplings and beef bibimbap. In this restaurant you can take kimchi/ pickled radish and water as much as you want.
And for this meal I payed only bout 7 dollars!!! How is it possible?!
Food was so tasty that you can't ever imagine! But spicy of course ;-)
This is a great place to have a good and cheap lunch ! 100% recoomend!
''Coruscant'': Korean traditional desserts
While me and adorable Jiseon ( my Korean friend ) were walking arounf Insadong shopping street. she decided to show me her favourite cafe. Well, it's better to say that this is traditional Korean dessert cafe. In Korean this cafe name is 반짝반짝 빛나는. As Jiseon told me , the better translation is ''Coruscant ''.
As many other cafes and restaurants, this one was full and we were waiting for a free table. It took no more than 5 minutes. And ''Coruscant'' is located on a second floor.
I didn't tried any Korean desserts so she decided to order patbingsu and rice cakes:
Patbingsu or 팥빙수 in Korean . Made of ice shavings, sweetened red beans (azuki) and glutinous rice (tteok).
Cost is 8,000 Won
Rice cakes or 구운 인절미 in Korean. Served with honey and yujacheong ( made of yuja fruits).
Cost is 7,000 Won
Overall experience is 5+. This cafe have it's own charm and athmosphere. People were sitting next to us and just chatting while drinking Korean traditional tea. I don't have much photos as it was a little bit embarassing to made them as there were too much people around.
If you are planning to go to Insadong, you should also go to this amazing place!
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf: Bean-Leaf couple
Originally from USA but we found it in Seoul. This company was established in 1963 and now became a worldwide compnay with coffeshops all over the world.
It's funny that we don't have anything in Estonia. No Starbucks, no Costa, nothing....
As many other cafes it was full of people and prices were a little bit high but we stil loved this cafe.
As I saw, it have many cafes in Seoul so it will be easy to find it ;-)
Hollys Cafe: Nice morning coffee
Hollys was just near our hotel so we visited it several times. As I read, hollys have more than 200 coffeshops in South Korea and also some in China and USA and Malaysia.
On their website you can see the menu in English as well.
We bought only coffee/tea and some sandwiches there, but it was 5+
There are interesting system in mostly all of the Korean cafes. When you make an order, they will give you a small alarm thing which triggers when your order is ready!
Coco Ichibanya: Curry House
Coco Ichibanya is a Japanese curry restaurant which we visited in Seoul. I really like this place because there is a great system.
- how much rice ( 200 g to 600 g)
- meat / seafood / vegeteranian
- spice level ( mild flavor to spicy level 10 )
And price was about 7,000 Won which I found not expensive.
Coco Ichibanya was full of people but we found a table for us. I recommend to visit this place. Maybe not in Korea, but in HK, Japan , Thailand or Hawaii...?! ;-)
Tom n Toms: Great coffee experience!
As I already wrote, you can find a cafes everywhere in Seoul. 'Tom n Tom' was our first :-)
Prices in this kind of cafes are a little bit high but quality of food and variety of drinks amazed us.
You can visit 'Tom n Tom's homepage and see the menu ;-)
You can choose as from hot as from cold drinks as well.
Cafes are almost always full of people. And I understand why! I wish we will have this kind of cafe in Tallinn!
Highly recommend 'Tom n Toms'.
Bubble Tree - Bubble Tea
Bubble Tree is the name of a small chain of bubble tea (or boba tea) shops in Seoul. I'm not sure I even knew what bubble tea was until recently... it is a flavored milk tea drink with small chewy tapioca balls that originated in Taiwan. Bubble Tree has a wide variety of flavors including fruits and tea. The price is reasonable, about 3,000 Won per drink, and it is a very tasty treat.
Bubble Tree is located in Itaewon, just east of the metro station.
Namdaemun Hotteok Food Cart, Noryangjin
There is a food cart at Noryangjin Station, not far from the massive fish market. Its name is Namdaemun Specialty Vegetables, Seafood & Hotteok (남대문 명물 해물 채소 호떡), or something similar. We stopped in just to get a piping hot hotteok.
Never had hotteok ? The taste and texture are similar to American funnel cakes or maybe pancakes, though hotteok are often stuffed with cinnamon, mung beans, or other sweet ingredients. The dough is similar to a Western confection, consisting of wheat flour, water, milk, sugar, and yeast.
Very tasty and inexpensive!
Restaurant at Norjangjin Fish Market
After picking up a nice, fresh fish at Noryangjin Fish Market, The fishmonger spotted one of his friends and handed him our sashimi. The guy walked us into a back alley and up the steps into a large, but crowded seafood restaurant called "외양녕." According to Google Translate, this means either "Goodbye Ocean" other "Other Yangnyeong." Either are possible: the ocean theme certainly would match the seafood restaurant, and Yangnyeong could refer to Grand Prince Yangnyeong, who lived during the Joseon Dynasty.
Anyway, we took our plate of sashimi to this restaurant, and they brought us a beer, some kimchi and a few other sides. We unwrapped the plastic wrap over our food, and we enjoyed a fresh, tasty, inexpensive meal. Our fish cost us just 20,000 Won, and the sides and beer at the restaurant was perhaps another 15,000 Won.
Noryangjin Fish Market - Yeungdeungpo
Korean fish markets are one of the truly great cultural experiences in Korea. Noryangjin Market is a huge warehouse with hundreds of seafood vendors. Each of them has tanks full of various live fish. When you go, wander until you see the fish you like. The vendor will pull if from the water, smack it on the head to kill it, then skin and slice it in front of you. Take your fresh fish to the back of the warehouse where there are dozens of restaurants waiting to prepare your dinner. Your total price, depending on what fish you order, will be 20,000-40,000 won.
The market is said to have 700 vendors, mostly selling to restaurants. This is known as one of the world's largest fish markets.
This market was featured on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel in 2008 or 2009.
Here is my video from Noryangjin Fish Market: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/vv/6fd4/
Itaewon's Food Vendor Alley
Itaewon's Food Vendor Alley is one of the more famous food vendor streets in Seoul, but it is not the best. First, the small restaurants are getting extremely run down and you have to wonder about the food quality. Second, the restaurants are tucked in among "houses of ill repute," and many of the customers seem to be patrons of these houses or old madams. Third, on a random evening, many of the restaurants might be closed. Additionally, the prices are really starting to rise here: a simple meal of mandu, chicken on a stick and a beer can easily run 20,000 Won, while it is only half this price in other parts of Seoul. Also, the restaurant owners are never as happy to see a Westerner here as they seem to be in other part of Seoul.
That said, there are still some good, traditional food options here like pig snout and Korean blood sausage, and you can still find some low prices if you keep your eye open.
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