PEr FYI

October 29, 2017

Neurin Maeul Brewery & Pub, Seoul…fruit makgeolli madness paired with flavor-bursting food

I’ve read that makgeolli is a growing trend among the youth in Asia and I can see why. This fragrant milky goodness or “rice wine”, is sweet and smooth with a little tang and the right amount of carbonation to make it refreshing.

Neurin Maeul is an urban brew pub in Jongno Center One Building with an in-house brewery that you can examine through its plate-glass walls. A pub run by one of the country’s top brewers, you will find food and drinks for you to “enjoy slowly”.

The pan fried Korean style seafood pancake was incredible. It had a nice crisp all throughout. The seafood was anything but sparse and retained the perfect texture, without being overcooked or rubbery. Spicy seafood tteok-bok-ki with cheese is one of the hardest to spell Korean street foods but if you’re a tteokbokki fan the chewy rice cakes and fiery chili paste here are impossible to put down. The brewery’s pork plate marinated in house makgeolli was stunning. The meat was amazingly tender and seasoned perfectly. The assorted savory fishcake soup was refreshing, tasty and so comforting.

Needless to say, the main draw of Neurin Maeul is that it offers a wide range of makgeollis flavoured with fruits. You can get out of there nicely drunk and feeling very satiated with the good food. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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October 15, 2017

Hair Graphy, Seoul…ho-hum look

Filed under: Activities, hair salon, South Korea — Tags: , , , , — PEr @ 2:46 pm

I was in Seoul and was looking for good hair days ahead and selfie perfection. With so many celebrity-endorsed places, it can be tricky to figure out which ones are worth the (often extortionate) prices.

Hair graphy is a low-key salon with calm and a minimalist décor. The prices are reasonable. I do not have complaints about the hairstylist I was assigned, but was overall very underwhelmed with the end result and the service.

Finding a hairdresser you trust with your precious locks can be a bit of a nightmare. I left the salon with a ho-hum look. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 17, 2017

Dragon Hill Spa, Seoul…get naked with the locals

Sauna culture is common around the world — including the Japanese onsen and Turkish hammam — but the South Korean variety, a jjimjilbang, is an entire industry unto itself. These 24-hour spas are everywhere in Seoul – like starbucks.

You pay a flat fee for entrance and given a jjimjilbang uniform and a bracelet with your locker keys. But calling the jjimjilbang a bathhouse hardly begins to describe its attractions. Sure, you can take a bath and a sauna. You can sit in a steam room or in or around large, sex-segregated baths filled with extremely hot water. There are professional body scrubbers and masseurs. You can lie on a heated floor (a feature of traditional houses). You can also eat, sleep, date, watch television, read, play computer games.

For all kinds of good, clean fun. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 10, 2017

All Day Fresh Kitchen, Seoul… exceptional panoramas but food fairly forgettable

The view from All Day Fresh Kitchen is mesmerising. That’s if you get a window table, of course; diners within the restaurant’s interior will see little but open sky.

As for the menu, it’s  competent rather than exciting. I had the Han-U Sirloin Steak – sirloin steak, eggplant, baby carrot, garlic, sunchoke, shitake mushroom. I thought the food fairly forgettable; more safe than interesting

However, one caveat is that with terrific view, this place doesn’t offer tremendous value for money. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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August 13, 2017

Gooseul Hambak, Seoul….big on flavours.

Hambak steak is the Korean-style hamburger steak made from ground meat and served with rice or mashed potato rather than buns.

Gooseul Hambak’s original hambak is a tender and juicy steak patty bathed in rich flavoured sauce. Enhanced by a velvety yellow egg yolk and some side dishes, it makes a simple yet great meal. The price is reasonable and the service extremely quick.

Whether you are just in the area, and like me, need a bite to eat this place definitely should be on your go to list.  I dig it. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 30, 2017

Hanboknam, Seoul…looking like a local in Seoul

Filed under: Activities, South Korea — Tags: , , , — PEr @ 7:29 pm

Looking like a local in Seoul is surprisingly easy. One of the costumes that you want to try at least once when you visit South Korea is a hanbok. I don’t often write reviews about traditional dress-up/photo shoot but my experience with Hanboknam is worth sharing.

Wear a traditional Hanbok and get sophistically styled up for your exclusive photo shoot in the Seoul. They offer more than 300 different types and even help you with all the traditional accessories including a hat, bag, shoes and wigs. You can transform yourself into a emperor or princess. Get a few pictures in the studio or even on the rooftop. The more adventurous walk around the  alleys of Bukchon fabulously dressed in hanbok.

It’s a truly welcoming, worthwhile experience. And one, quite frankly, I’ll probably never forget. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 24, 2017

Korean Country Food, Seoul…Comfortable no frills atmosphere and large portions

This restaurant in Myeongdong is a good option when you want to eat authentic Korean food. The interior is simple but comfortable – the no-frills Korean atmosphere seems to exude authenticity. The service is curt and fast.

Boneless Jjimdak (boneless deep stir chicken with special medium sweet soy sauce). It was basically a stew of slowly cooked chicken thighs, potatoes, carrots, green onions, cabbage, all swimming in a delicately balanced rich soy and oyster sauce that was sweetened with rice syrup and brown sugar. Sweet.  Spicy.  Rich.  And HUGE! The three of us could not even finish a plate.

Prepare to leave stuffed. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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June 10, 2017

Gllfarm Eel Restaurant, Paju, Seoul…you have to eat here

Eel is referred to as the one of Korea’s healthiest foods. If you are daring and want to opt for eel, Paju is is a hedonistic eel paradise.

The scene here is serene with a Zen detachment. Everything is good… most of it is exceptional. The seductively grilled eel will be one of the plumpest and softest fish dishes to touch your lips, and is drenched in one of the tastiest and most addictive sauces you’ll ever want to lick clean off your plate. (Don’t though, that would be vile.)

I have always loved Japanese unagi, but Korean eel? That’s right, my friend, someone should have told me about this decades ago…This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 24, 2017

Loco Loco Seafood, Seoul…seafood lover’s paradise

The clue to what this casual Seoul restaurant serves is in its name – it’s all about the seafood. Diners in the know head to Loco Loco for its impressive seafood dishes.

Try the sliced raw octopus – octopus that’s served raw and sometimes still squirming. Rubbery, bland and wiggling in the mouth. There’s no denying it’s an interesting experience. For less adventurous eaters, the restaurant has plenty of other options. The Loco Loco steamed clam is also worth a try.

There’s plenty to enjoy here and all for reasonable prices that will keep you coming back for more raw octopus. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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May 13, 2017

Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market, Seoul…there’s a world of crustaceans in here

Whoever invented the fish market with attached restaurant was a genius. Because what better way to entice customers into consuming a highly perishable food than offering to cook it right then and there?

Here’s a fish market with the luscious lobster, springy calamari and plump shrimp I want on my lunch plate or dinner table tonight. This Seoul destination also functions as a eatery, complete with floor seating and table service on the upper level. What you’re buying here may or may not be, but it’s high quality and a worthy splurge.

The most remarkable part of the market is its expansive selection of whole fish as well as live seafood, including eels, crabs, lobsters and sea urchin. Browsing the colorful, enticing sea creatures is irreplaceable. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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