This was kind of a spooky one. I drove by around noon this past Wednesday and noticed the place wasn't open. I went in and took a look. There was a hand written "thank you for the support" note. Kind of sad considering I first visited here back in 2001 and first posted on the place in 2005. Over the years they seemed to have changed hands not less than three times.
What really made it spooky was that an hour or so later, I had "FOY" Sage tweeting me, letting me know Do Re Mi House had closed down.
While I thought the quality of the food at Do Re Mi House had fluctuated over the years, they had always provided a reasonable lunch option. I'm sad to see them go.
Do Re Mi House 8199 Clairemont Mesa Blvd Ste M San Diego, CA 92111
Dede's Becoming "Facing East"......
Or Something like that. I went into this strip mall because I saw the Notice of Ownership Change posted for the former Convoy Noodle House. I was shocked to see that Dede's had closed.
While over the years; I thought the food at Dede's had really gone downhill....I'm more of a quality over quantity kind of guy; it was sad to see the windows papered over. then I also read Faye's post as well. It looks like this place will become a Chinese Restaurant named "Facing East"?
4647 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
Meanwhile Convoy Noodle House is Becoming "Submarine Crab":
Or at least that's what the sign says.....
Which is yet another, I think....crawfish chain from the OC?
4647 Convoy St San Diego, CA 92111
So 99 Ranch is really going into the old Haggen Site on Balboa:
In spite of what Eater San Diego said, I always had my doubts since it seems they would be competing with themselves. But on a recent (I really don't shop there enough these days) visit to 99 Ranch Market I saw this sign:
At least the SoCal stores. As of July first. They replaced my card with one that acts like the typical supermarket discount card, but also allows you to accumulate points. Not sure for what, but I guess I'll find out.
Also of note, I was told that Marukai in Hawaii will be using a different system....so we'll see what happens when I travel back "home".
Marukai Market 8151 Balboa Ave San Diego, CA 92111
It was interesting as the place always look empty from the street, but the parking lot was quite full on this day, as was the restaurant. The folks working here were really nice, in spite of basically running from table to table.
We placed our order and soon enough the panchan arrived right before the food we ordered.
On our previous two visits, we were thoroughly unimpressed with the panchan. This was totally different. Perhaps it was the fact that the cold dishes were nicely chilled, but I gotta say, the baechu (napa cabbage) kimchi had a bit of fermented flavor and the gobo (burbock root) glazed with a nice sweet soy based sauce was very good; earthy, salty, and slightly sweet. Those two items were the highlites.
Of course the Missus went with the Yukkwe Bib Bim Bap.....still served with the rice on the side.
I know the Missus was wishing for something like She had at Gogung in Insadong. But while the meat was sliced a bit too thick, it was nicely chilled, very fresh, with no off flavors. There was quite a pile of vegetables, which, when combined with the chojang made for a tasty dinner. I know as I got to finish off what the Missus couldn't.
Of course I ordered the Bi Bim Naengmyun, which looked different from what I'd had here before. The noodles were thinner and there was quite a bit of sauce/soup.
This might have been the best I've had at Buga. The noodles were perfectly elastic and stretchy; the sauce spicy-sweet-salty-savory...the Missus enjoyed the egg. A simple yet refreshing dish; perfect for a scotching day.
All finished with Sujoenggwa, the persimmon-cinnamon drink; still a bit too sweet for our taste, but throw in some ice cubes and it was just what the doctor ordered.
After having a couple of not so great meals here a few years ago, we were pleasantly pleased and surprised this time around. I guess Buga is back on our list.
Buga Korean Restaurant 5580 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. San Diego, CA 92117
So, what did you eat to beat the heat this past week?
I was quite surprised since I had just been there a few weeks before. I thought why not have some Mandu Guk, since in my opinion, that was the best item I'd had at Myung In. Strangely, it wasn't on the menu. Neither was any kind of mandu or dumplings! What the heck? ?I even asked and was told they are not currently making those dishes, but perhaps in the future?
Anyway, it's either a stir-fry, fried rice, or seafood soup.......
I went with the japchae, which was fairly reasonable at $7.99 and strangely, at least for me, came with rice.
In terms of being straight-up food court food, it registered as decent. The soup was insipid and the baechu kimchi and takuan were obviously bought form the market. The rice was on the dry side. The japchae itself was okay, the chicken was dry and chewy, though the dish as a whole had a decent soy-sesame oil flavor. I really didn't appreciate all the inedible dried chilies on the dish, though.
Myung In Dumplings (in the Zion Market Food Court) 7655 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92111
A couple of weeks after returning from Seoul, I was wondering how Gala Chicken was doing. I decided to drop by and grab some chicken. I got the extra crispy, which is still priced at $7.99.
I was glad to see that unlike my previous two visits, that chicken hadn't been cut into during the cooking process. It did taste a bit off, sort of in a rancid oil kind of way, though the chicken was very moist. This time around, the coating was more like my first visit, really crumbly, than crisp like my second visit.
I can see the potential here and the guy working here is very nice, but the place just can't seem to get all the planets lined up. Though I don't get the grumbling from some folks I know about having to wait 15-20 minutes for the chicken. Hey, at least they are making it fresh and to order......
Gala Chicken 7655 Clairemont Mesa Blvd (Inside of Zion Market) San Diego, CA 92111
Our time in Seoul, and Korea, for that matter was coming to an end. The Missus and I discussed the possibilities for a last meal and we decided to give KFC (Korean Fried Chicken) another shot. This time at a place that was more highly recommended. I had a place on my list....which one of my coworkers called a "Hof"??? A Hof? Like "Hofbrau"? Well, she wasn't sure.....the term "hof" is used for various places that serve beer/drinks with food and to my relief had nothing to do with "The Hoff". So it was off to the "hof".
The shop was located in the Gyeongbokgung area, west of the Palace. The Gwanghwamun Gate of Gyeongbokgung looked especially striking on this clear evening.
Finding Mirak Chicken wasn't too difficult; especially with pocket wifi, called an "egg" in Korea, and a photo of the exterior.
Mirak Chicken's popularity is in part due to being shown on a very popular Korean Food Show named Tasty Road, which is how we found out about the place after having two people mention Mirak and the show to me.
The interior has a dark and kind of pub-like feel.
As is typical with these places, there's the all-you-can eat popcorn....which I found a bit odd. You obviously need a beverage of choice; we went with some Hite, which seemed a bit sweeter, but very light, and not as bitter as the versions here in the states. Perhaps it was being on holiday....... After ordering, some shredded cabbage dressed with a somewhat fruity mayo and the standard condiment of KFC, the water kimchi arrived.
Mirak is known for their Garlic Chicken, which of course had to order.
The chicken came with a ton of glazed whole garlic cloves, which of course I loved, but made me socially unpresentable for most of the evening. As with other glazed/sweet/spicy chicken of this type, the glaze was very sticky and way too sweet for me. They really had the batter and the cooking process down as the crust was thin and light, and the chicken very moist. It was just hard to get over the sweetness, for which I was thankful for the radish.
Hedging our bets, we also ordered the regular fried chicken which was quite good.
Crisp, light, and moist. But again, for some reason we both found the seasoning to be on the very mild side. They sure had the cooking process down though.
We were glad to have been able to try a couple of Korean Fried Chicken places.
Mirak Chicken (미락치킨) 17-1 Jahamun-ro Seoul, South Korea
After dinner, we decided to take a walk around the area. We hadn't been around this part of Seoul so this made for an interesting walk. We came across a shopping arcade and decided to do some exploring.
There were quite a few food stalls......
One stall was especially popular.
It made tteokbokki, not my favorite food item in the world, but this looked different. Bright red, stir fried in oil, so I had to try some.....
The was quite good....nice chew, a slight crunch, a good amount of spice, not very greasy.....I really liked it. It changed my opinion of tteokbokki.
After returning home, I tried to find out the name of this place and learned that it is Tongin Market, which was originally set-up by the Japanese in 1941 during the occupation. I also learned that one of the most popular stalls in the market makes Gireum tteokbokki, basically a fried in oil version.......lines rarely lie, right?
Walking back was a pleasure.....we really enjoy Seoul at night.
Before heading back to the apartment, we decided to head on over to the Cheonggyecheon Stream area. A few nights earlier we'd come across the Seoul Lantern Festival. I'm guessing this night must be something special, because folks were really enjoying the sights.
The theme this year was an "Illuminated Tour of Seoul", which was very cool. We saw lanterns of many of the sights we'd seen during the previous days.
Under the bridge folks were gathered, putting together lanterns to be released in the stream.
People were having a great time. It was a nice way to end our stay in Seoul.
As we walked back to the apartment along the alleyway parallel to the main street. Apparently, the huge building we were staying at was built over the Pimatgol, parallel to the main street of Jongno. Because the lower class residents were required to bow down to the nobles everytime they came across them, this parallel alley; the "alley to avoid horses", was created. There's a couple of very nice stories to be found here.
And while there are quite a few anecdotes I haven't told about Seoul; like the Missus complaining about not seeing a branch of Cocohodo, when there was one on the other side of the building. Just like Japan, it seems like there was a story around every corner.
We dozed of easily on this evening. We'd be rising early, then heading off to the airport, via Seoul Station. Next stop; Sapporo!
I'd had K Cuisine on my list for a while, even when the place was "Gorilla Korean Fusion Restaurant".....really. The last time I was here, the place was still Korean Hometown Restaurant ages ago. So when an acquaintance said that the place made some really good mandu, spicy chicken wings, and haemul pajun, I had to check them out.
I'd just returned from Seoul and wanted some straightforward Korean food. So I decided to give K Cuisine a try. The shop was pretty quiet on both my visits, spaced about 5 months apart. The place has a mom-and-pop feel, real down home, unpretentious with the smell of sesame oil permeating the air.....
You do need at least a beer (perhaps more) with food like this, and I'm not a big makgeolli fan, so I had a Hite. Strange, but it tastes much more dry and bitter here in the states than Korea.
I'd ordered quite a bit of food, beyond appetizers, so I got some panchan.
Nothing amazing, and yes, those are pickled forcemeat sausage, much like hot dogs. While I'm a big fan of pickled sausages like utopenci, this was way too salty. The baechu kimchi was taken out of a plastic container....like you'd get at Zion or H Mart, but actually wasn't bad. So perhaps they do what we do......I let the kimchi ferment in a cool hallway for about a week after buying it.
The Fried Mandu ($6.99) wasn't bad.
Light and crisp, the wrappers weren't overly gummy like other versions. The filling was rather mild in flavor, but I thought this was a decent version.
I wanted something hearty so I went with the Gopchang Bokkeum ($16.99).
Basically a stir-fried small intestine dish, with perilla leaf, onions, and other veggies. This was surprisingly tame in flavor, at least it wasn't salty, nor was it very spicy. The intestine could have been cleaned better as it had a good bit of musty, dank flavored, "grey matter" in it. Quite a strong offal flavor. It actually smelled even stronger the next day when I took it out of the fridge.
I fully intended to return to K Cuisine, but somehow the place just slipped my mind. Five months later, I returned. I decided to order the other two items recommended to me, starting with the Haemul Pajun - the Seafood Pancake ($7.99).
In terms of texture, this was the best version I've had in a while; light and crisp. It was a bit short in the seafood department and perhaps in flavor, but the salty, soy-sesame oil-onion-scallion dipping sauce handled that. Not bad, I'd have this again.
I also went with the Spicy Fried Chicken Wings ($9.99).
After having versions of this in Seoul, I should have known that it would be more sweet and sticky than spicy. I really needed that pickled radish to revive my tastebuds. The batter was on the thicker side, but decently crisp, the chicken seems to have been fried a bit too long as the meat was dry. This was just too sweet. I think I'll need to return and try just the plain fried chicken wings one day.
So there you go. Two visits over 5 months....I took long enough. Nice folks working here. Things tend to take a bit of time, which I find rather nice in these type of places. it ain't fast food. K Cuisine is only open during dinner to the wee hours of the morning (I think like 1-2 am). So next time you want some makgeolli, or perhaps a Hite and a bite to eat, you might want to check this place out. I'll probably return to try the straight up fried chicken wings and maybe even some kimchi jigae sometime during the winter.
It was our last day in Seoul. Time had really flown by, but to be honest, the Missus was already looking forward to the next leg of our trip, which was Hokkaido. There were really only two more places the Missus wanted to visit. So we headed off, down Jong-Ro.....walking of course. Past Gwangjang Market ....
The massive multi-building complex is quite overwhelming; covering 10 blocks, comprised of 26 shopping malls. After walking around a bit....I was getting hungry so we decided to head up to the Food Court located on the 5th floor of the "New Wing".
And found a stand that was open and got something simple to eat.
Nothing amazing, but simple and it kept the both of us going. Pretty cheap at 5,000 KRW (about $4.25) too.
We then headed off back in the direction we had come. Jetlagged, we had miscalculated the day of the week when we arrived and found Gyeongbokgung Palace closed. We decided to put off a visit until our last day in Seoul.
We had made our way back here in record time as Gyeongbokgung wasn't open yet! Plus, we were pretty darn hungry....I guess that little breakfast/snack didn't hold up for very long. I had read severalposts about a iconic Kimchi Jigae shop down an alley nearby. So we found the area and I believe we found the alley....
There were no signs in older style Hanja that the Missus could read. Plus, all the businesses looked closed. I came across a kindly looking older gentleman and busted out one of few phrases I knew in Korean, "sillyehabnida" and showed him the name of the place, Gwanghwamun Jip. He smiled and walked us a few doors down......
The place did look closed so I used the other phrase I knew "gomabseubnida" and started walking away. He waved at me telling me to stop, opened the door, and one of the ladies running the place waved us in! Nice folks.
They were still prepping, cutting scallions and napa cabbage. They kindly sat us at one of the tables in this tiny hole-in-the-wall. The place looked like it was run by a group of "Ajumma", a good sign. We actually never even ordered.....what's to order since they basically serve two things here, right? A pot was taken off the blue bookshelf and placed on the gas burner on the table.
One of the women was hard at work at the stove near the window. And in a few minutes, everything else arrived.
You can see the other item that Gwanghwamun Jip specializes in, the tasty gyeran mari - a rolled omelet. Perfect for this morning. I loved the baechu kimchi here. It was nicely fermented the flavor complex and not overly salty as versions in the states. The Missus really enjoyed the simple fermented cabbage which reminds Her of the suan cai we make at home.
Meanwhile the pork kimchi jigae was bubbling away.
This was very hearty; even better as it kept bubbling away, eventually reducing to a thick and rich stew. Not too spicy, nor salty, nice savory flavors, this definitely has that "aaaah" factor. The pork was flavorful, though as expected rather tough.....it's there for the flavor.
It was a filling and satisfying meal. We love soulful, homey places like this. In a nutshell, Gwanghwamun Jip did not disappoint.
Gwanghwamun Jip 12, Saemunan-ro 5-gil Jongno-gu, Seoul
The meal left us warm and ready for our visit to Gyeongbokgung Palace.
As we approached the Gwanghwamun gate we noticed a bit of a commotion.
1. The first drumbeat signal sounds and the relieving guard unit mobilizes towards Gwanghwamun Gate. 2. The second drumbeat signal sounds and the relieving guard unit moves outside of Gwanghwamun Gate, and the chief of the relieving guard unit and the chief of the guard unit on duty perform an identification check. 3. The chief of the relieving guard unit orders his unit to take their positions at the gate and the relieved guard unit mobilizes to the inside of the gate. 4. The third drumbeat signal sounds and the chief of the relieved guard unit orders his unit to exit the vicinity."
It does go kind of long....the Chinese tourists got bored rather quickly and decided to leave.
Meanwhile, we enjoyed the entire ceremony. We've now seen Changing of the Guard ceremony's in Athens, Prague, and Malta.
Once the ceremony was over we could enter via the Gwanghwamun Gate.
Gyeongbokgung Palace was constructed in 1395, the first royal palace built by Joseon Dynasty which lasted over 500 years.
Our favorite spots on the palace grounds was the Geunjeongjeon, the Throne Hall.
Which held the throne of course.
And we also enjoyed the aesthetics of the Gyeonghoeru.
Walking back along Sejong-ro , we noticed this piece of concrete.
It's a piece of the Berlin Wall! I'm sure the symbolism must stir emotions in many people in Korea, a nation divided north and south, and technically still at war.
We headed back to our apartment, just a few blocks away....we'd done a bit of walking and the temperature was dropping, so it was time for a break. While walking back, we made plans for our last night in Seoul......
Kirk and Cathy are traveling, eating, doing important stuff, or maybe just resting today. So Ed (from Yuma) is posting about 3 meals (from San Diego).
I had to have some sushi. Just had to. Tina had memories of a good chirashi at Kokoro and its website said it would be open at lunchtime on Friday. And it was:
In addition to tables, Kokoro has an L shaped sushi bar that surrounds an elevated workstation and ingredient storage area, which I think helps executive chef Akio Ishito work more comfortably:
Although I don't remember it from before, the chirashi meal started off with a little lettuce and tomato salad:
The lettuces were very fresh, the tomato very ordinary, and the dressing seem to be based around rice wine vinegar, miso, and soy. Refreshing. Palate cleansing.
For soup, we were given the alternatives of miso or udon. So udon it was:
The noodles were perfectly cooked, toothsome and tender, but the soup overall was bland.
The chirashi looked beautiful:
Underneath the fish and friends, the sushi rice was faultless. The toppings presented a nice selection of sushi bar favorites, all good quality and offered good value at $19. We both liked the sizable slice of mackerel and the halibut (hirami), which was especially firm and fresh – in fact, much like the halibut crudo we would eat the next evening at the Wine Vault. We also liked the uni and shiso leaf pairing, and the surprisingly first-rate ebi, unusually meaty and flavorful. The hamachi also stood out. There were no bad tastes, though the slices of octopus and squid were exceeding thin. Overall, we enjoyed.
It had been a long time since Tina and I had been to any Korean restaurant. We weren’t looking for a smoke filled room or for cooking our own food, so we decided on Halmouny, where we’d always enjoyed our visits in the past:
We noticed they'd remodeled the interior, and we liked the changes – the place seemed cleaner, more modern, and more open:
A flagon of chilled water was brought to the table along with my beer:
A mysterious box on the table, when opened, contained stainless steel soup spoons and chopsticks – nice touch:
A funny thing happened. Tina and I started looking over the large menu, discussing things, and trying to figure out what we wanted. There were so many choices, and almost every one of them seemed inviting. Twice the friendly server came over and asked if we were ready, and we had to say no because we weren't. Then, when she came over the third time, we ordered two of the most standard dishes on the menu.
Soft tofu soup with vegetables:
And dolsit bibimbop:
I'm sure our server must have been laughing with her coworkers about the clueless gaijin taking so long to order such a simple basic meal.
But it was good. While the soup lacked a certain depth of flavor, it was certainly tasty, and the interplay between creamy tofu, spicy broth, and veggies and ‘shrooms was pleasant. The bibimbop was great comfort food. The simple meal was really what we wanted.
Though the ban chan was totally standard and uninspired, we enjoyed them. Here’s some items:
The dried radish was our favorite of those four. There was some baby bok choy and some other veggie that I can't remember, but our favorites were the regular kimchi:
and the wonderful dried tofu
For us, this dinner was, paradoxically, exotic comfort food.
For lunch on Saturday, we were looking Eastern Mediterranean, but La Miche Kabobgee is closed for lunch on Saturdays. We remembered seeing a large restaurant, Sufi, on Balboa not too far from Convoy that promised Mediterranean food. So that's where we went:
It is large, and at lunch, it serves a popular buffet:
Photographing the entire buffet was pretty much impossible as other customers were coming and going. Plus I was getting hungry, so this fuzzy shot shows just a small part of the available choices:
Tina's first plate looked like this:
She really liked the chicken and the fire roasted veggies (the big zucchini slice and the charred tomato half). She also enjoyed the garden salad with the feta dressing, and we both liked the Shirazi salad with chopped onion, cucumber, tomato, and parsley.
Here's my first plate:
For some reason, I chose three slices of sausages, which were okay, but not really unique or outstanding. The baba ghannouj was decent, and the hummus was creamy, but far from the best I've had in San Diego. The chicken wing was OK, the pickled beet excellent, and the beef kebab just okay. Tina and I both enjoyed the stewed zucchini.
At first, the breads were not ready, but soon we were able to get pita bread and Persian naan:
For me, the breads said a lot about Sufi. The pita bread was pitiful – cool, store-bought, and boring. The Persian bread, on the other hand, was warm, tasty, and probably homemade. But in some ways that is the essence of the restaurant. While it calls itself "Mediterranean," Sufi is really a Persian restaurant that serves some generic Lebanese food to broaden its customer base.
In fact, most of our favorites from the lunch were Persian, like this interesting pomegranate soup, a lentil soup with a distinct sour tang:
And the stews on my second plate:
I believe the one on the left is called fesenjoom, a chicken and pomegranate stew. On the right is ghormeh sabzi with a big chunk of tender beef covered in greens along with large dark red beans. The closest item is, I think, gheimeh, beef and yellow split peas. I have no idea about the green bean stew furthest away. In any case, these Persian stews were the most interesting items on the buffet, and I wished that I had focused on them right from the beginning.
Nonetheless, the buffet was interesting and we certainly got to eat all kinds of things we can't get out in the desert.
This little place is the "and more" in the title of the post. It's located right next to Sufi and looked promising, so Tina insisted we visit:
There was a bewildering array of Persian pastries:
So our late-night snack that evening consisted of these walnut or pistachio treats: We were expecting something like baklava, but these were different. The pastry was not fila and they were a little more savory and less sweet than baklava. Four years ago Cathy visited the same bakery and hinted that a post might be forthcoming. Hint hint.
Anyway, we enjoyed all three of these meals. None was spectacular, but each scratched an itch, and that's a good thing: too long in Yuma and I get awfully itchy.
There was steady drizzle as we headed back to Myeongdong.
We had begun to notice something about the crosswalk signals in Seoul.....they seemed to take an inordinately long time to change. Miss a walk signal and you're stuck cooling your heels. Which is probably why you'll see folks sprinting to make the walk signal....I mean like 80 year old grandma's hauling it to the crosswalk!
So why did we head back to that beast called Lotte Department Store?
Well, the night before I stopped by 7-11 and picked up a bottle of Hite. attached to that bottle was a sample of honey-butter almonds.....which the Missus loved. So of course we had to hunt them down. After looking in a couple of convenience stores we decided just to head to Lotte and check out the market in the basement. And whaddya know? Almonds. So it was mission accomplished.
We headed back to the apartment for a short siesta. During this time of the year, night falls like a hammer in Seoul...it gets dark by 430pm! We were also quite hungry. Seoul is famous for their "Food Alleys". Near the Jong-no 3ga station is an alley that specializes in Gul Bossam; pork and fresh oysters wrapped in lettuce or napa cabbage...... No need to ask me twice, I'm there!
The instructions were, find exit 15 of Jong-no 3ga station and walk 20 meters down the street, take your first left down the alley to your left, then take your first right. One of the shops, Samhae Jip was the one I read about the most. I had a photo of the storefront and the Missus could read the Chinese characters. It really wasn't that hard to find....you just looked for the line!
And all the pork simmering away......
We really lucked out as all the other parties were large and we quickly snagged a small table for two. I was also quite lucky to not have to do endure the floor seating, which, if you've read some of my previous posts is a disaster waiting to happen. The possibility of me falling over and spilling hot soup on folks is not a pretty thought, though folks here were having no problem.
Lot's of folks seemed to be having a good time....and many had what we call the "Asian gene" thing going on! Half the fun was people watching. The three guys to our far left were just plain wasted....they were slapping each other....then feeding each other! On our table to our left, we noticed the girl there only eating panchan and lettuce, while her boyfriend/husband just plowed through the pork, something we had also noticed the night before.
The smells in the place were just intoxicating! All the standard sides and panchan arrived; bean paste, fermented baby shrimp, the raw garlic, a couple of chilies, ssamjang, kkandugi (radish kimchi), Sukju Namul.
The wrapping was done with either lettuce or napa cabbage. The Missus preferred the lettuce; I preferred the sturdy cabbage, which I thought kept everything together better and had MCPB - More Crunch Per Bite.
Soju is required for this type of eating....at least that's what we were told.
The Missus's favorite item was the gamjatang, the pork bone soup. It was fairly chilly and damp, so the Missus who loves Her bone soup had problem plowing through almost the entire pot! It was quite tasty. The Missus has also developed a taste for the perilla seeds.
This was a load of food for 20,000₩, about $18 US! This was for two people! I was kind of leery about the oysters, but while not great in flavor, it had a nice texture, and was fresh. The fresh radish kimchi was really good as well. The pork....well, as you can see.....it was moist, pretty tender, mild in flavor. And those fermented shrimp tasted really good!
The folks here were pretty friendly. And dinner was a bargain at 30,000₩, about $26 for food and drinks.
It might be hard finding this place....well not really if you follow the "exit 15 - take a left - take a right". It's worth the effort to check it out.
Samhae Jip - Gul Bossam Alley
We headed back out to Jong-ro. The rain had subsided and the temperature was going down.
As we watched the businessmen stagger down the side streets.....
It had started raining fairly hard as left Myeongdong. But we really weren't through eating. We went back to the apartment, had some tea, showered, and headed back out. This time the target was Gwangjang Market; established in 1905, I read that there were over 5000 shops in the market.
It is indeed quite a beast as we entered and immediately got lost....surrounded by textile shops.
After wandering around for quite a while....almost in a dazed state we found the area that sold food products and some of the "alleys".
Of course there are a ton of food stands.....
Serving every part of the animal.
And then there are the congregations of shops that specialize in specific dishes that have their own "food alleys"; gimbap alley and jeon (pancake alley), where you can watch mung beans being ground to make Bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes).
There was one alley I really wanted to visit. I love yukhoe, the Korean version of beef tartare, so I really wanted to try it during my visit to Seoul. We'd had Yukhoe Bibimbap at Gogung, but I really wanted to try it straight up. So we hunted down Yukhoe Alley, a small collection of shops specializing in the raw beef dish, and chose one that I had read about named "Brother's Raw Beef". The only way I found it was by the cow logo as all the signs were in Hangul.
No English spoken, but the gentleman running the place as well as the woman who served us were very friendly.
And really, all you need to do is put up one finger and say "Cass" and then raise that index finger again and say "yukhoe"......
And in case you wondered about how fresh the meat was; there were three women in the back of the restaurant prepping the beef.
The Missus recalls the beef-daikon soup that came with the raw beef was really tasty.....
But all I remember was how very good the Yukhoe was. Just enough Asian Pear to add crunch and some sweetness, some pine nuts adding another dimension of flavor, the egg yolk lending a richness to the whole dish.
A touch of sesame oil....that's all I really needed.
The beef, while lean was surprisingly tender. This was my favorite dish from our time Seoul.
Brother's Raw Beef (형제육회) - In Gwangjang Market 160-8 Jongno 4-ga (near exit 10 of the market) Seoul, South Korea
It was still raining when we left the market and headed back in the direction of our apartment. We took a short look around Tapgol Park.
As we were leaving, the Missus decided we needed to head back to Myeongdong.........