I’m well aware that travelling to South Korea isn’t on everyone’s Bucket lists, nor is it considered a country to be incurious of. When we (Europeans and Westerners in general) think of venturing to land of oriental descent, China and Japan often spring to mind. If my Seoul Food (- did you see what I did there?) recommendations and references throughout my blog haven’t convinced you enough to explore Korea, then I have no idea what will encourage you. Nevertheless if you aren’t seeking to take a flight through the clouds anytime soon, I sure hope that you can unveil the locations of where you can discover some of these dishes where you reside. Word of warning: read this with a snack otherwise you will blame me for your abrupt hunger!
What’s better than unlimited Sushi with a set price of approximately £12 per person? Among basic favourites, Sushi Line provides unique flavour combinations of sushi hand prepared by highly skilled chef who you can see preparing the dishes as you select components for creating the mountain/s on your plate/s. Aside from Sushi and rolls there are plenty of European and Asian fusion salad starters to chose from including the usual lettuce based salads. My personal favourite was the imitation crab salad covered in plenty of a mayonnaise based dressing. Additionally there are a select few Japanese and Korean hot dishes provided via self-serve: e.g. Okonomiyaki, Tempura, seasonal stir-fried vegetables, miso soup, Udon and Tteokbokki. The names of each dish are provided in both English and Korean making it a suitable, affordable dinner out for tourists. Infact buffets are the best way to simultaneously try multiple dishes of a particular country or continent. For dessert there is soft serve ice-cream and fresh fruits, including Lychees.
Honestly it’s the savoury version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory. Even the attention to detail of the interior’s furniture seems fancier than the set price you pay. Costing around £15 pounds per head it could be considered as an expensive family friendly buffet, however with the diversity of the dishes I’d regard the price to be rather acceptable. Ashley Buffet more or less advertise themselves as a Western cuisine buffet: enticing Korean’s to indulge in foods which they generally consider to be associated with the ‘high life’ or at least engaging with other cultures. Alike Sushi buffet, there is an Island displaying an array of premade salads and fresh vegetables to form your own starters. Most special of all, in my opinion, we’re the pasta and rice dishes: “moreish”! Rose spaghetti, prawn cream pasta and other authentic plus modern Italian dishes. Various fried rices of Mexican and Hong Kong styles are at hand with the addition of the ingredients to make Korean Bibimbap (a rice, chilli paste and vegetables bowl). If pizza and French fries are more of your thing (or perhaps a fussy eater is attending the buffet with you), Ashley buffet has that too. I’d say the desserts are a tad more pleasing at Ashley Buffet than that compared to Sushi Line; more fruits, an espresso and Americano coffee machine, and a chocolate fountain with pieces of waffles and doughnuts for dipping. Of course they also have a soft serve ice-cream machine too.
This is a Japanese style curry restaurant franchise. It’s most popular branch being located in the shopping/tourism district of Myeongdong, Seoul. Upon initial arrival to Abiko the extensive menu can seem intimating, though through further inspection the menu is categorised into steps to create a curry according to your preferences (some pre-set dishes are available). Each dining table provides a order form coinciding with the numbered steps on the menu. For example you can chose the type of curry and rice, the spiciness level of the curry, add a cutlet, and have a free garnish of either chopped spring onions or dried garlic chips. As shown in the picture above, I selected a Spicy (level 2) mushroom curry rice with a chicken cutlet and spring onions. Side dishes of Korean radish kimchi, Japanese pickled ginger and miso soup are complimentary. If sushi or any form of raw fish isn’t the sort of Japanese cuisine that suits your taste palette, I’m confident that most people will fall in love with some variation of katsu curry just like that served at Abiko.
Monster pizza (delivery)
If you thought Dominos were the mouthwatering pizza topping combinations, or experts when it comes to takeaway pizzas then you haven’t even lived yet. Takeaway pizzas in Korea have unique flavour and ingredient combinations inspired by Italy, Germany, Korea and the USA. Have you ever has a spicy German sausage pizza with a cream cheese sauce base sauce, or sweet-potato stuffed crust bulgogi beef Chicago style pizza? Needless to say the combinations here are endless, and in some cases too adventurous. All I can says is if you have the opportunity to create your own pizza, head for a cheese with potato fries and bacon rashers collaboration.
An affordable tteokbokki franchise most well known for their variety of rice cake fillings. Tteokbokki is considered as a cheap ‘junk food’ fix. Tubes of rice cake (tteok) that can be filled with cheese is submerged in a spicy sauce made for Gochujang (korean chilli paste). Other popular ingredients added to tteokbokki include fish cake, boiled eggs, and mixed seafood. Best of all is the cutlets – crispy fried fish, meat and vegetables, stuffed chilli peppers and Mandu/Gyoza (dumplings) that can be dunked into the tteokbokki sauce. If you are quite fussy with food and aren’t ready for eating alot of seafood I recommend that you order their cheese melted tteokbokki which just contains the rice cake, cheese and sauce.
Don Don Jung: Mokdong, Seoul
If for whichever reason you aren’t able to visit Japan after or before coming to Korea, Seoul offer some authentic Japanese cuisine. Don Don Jung has a wide selection of meal sets: curries, hotpots, raw fish dishes, teriyaki, tempura, sushi, soups, stews and cutlets. Considering the price you get a generous amount of great quality food all with the comfort of a wooden structured seating booth.
Sulbing: Myeongdong, Seoul
This Bingsu (shaved ice) dessert Cafe is a franchise with several locations, although the one in Myeongdong (a large shopping destination for tourists and locals) is lovely to attend after a long day of walking around. They’re constantly adding new Bingsu to their menu based on seasonal fruits. Most of the desserts are designed for couples and friends to eat together.
Ho chicken (delivery)
If you are looking to try Korean delivery food, apps including Yogiyo are trustworthy plus you will be spoilt for choice. If the area in which you stay has a Ho chicken within close proximity to be able order from, you will be more that satisfied with your choice. Of course it seems strange to be eating fried chicken in Korea when it originates for the US, but Korea has many more fried chicken options that just spicy, bbq sauce covered and southern fried. I recommend soy sauce chicken, spring onion chicken and Yangnyeom chicken and snow chicken. Yangnyeom is the most preferred variation: A rich, sticky spicy red sauce with sesame seeds. Snow chicken or fries refers to the arlic chess powder which is sprinkled over them.
This was a guest post by Sapphire from Simplyemsblog.
Stay connected with Sapphire!