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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June 17, 2017

No Idea Café Gastropub, Bangkok…. pub with something special on the menu

Pubs only used to care about serving up the perfect pint, but now a good number of them are creating gourmet menus that go above and beyond your basic pub grub.

No Idea Café presents modern and inventive takes on traditional European fare. There’s the tasting board – salami, parma ham, cheese, chorizo, caper berries, olives, baguette, roasted garlic aioli which is comforting and satisfying. The twice cooked pork belly – fennel apple slaw, braised red cabbage- worked surprisingly well. Although parts of the meat was a little tough and the dish would have benefited from a little balanced cooking. The atmosphere is casual and the beer flows fast. Naturally, as a gastropub, most of No Idea’s interesting drinks are alcoholic.

This is not a trendy spot. Rather, it’s inviting and unpretentious. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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September 24, 2016

Patty & Bun, London…it’s hard not to be seduced

A good burger is a thing of beauty, a satisfying, messy manifestation of all things umami.

The main event is the Ari Gold. From the first, slightly salty bite I was won over. Sloppy, sauce-dribbling-down-your-fingers-tasty, it’s the best burger I’ve ever had in London. The perfectly pink, almost blushing beef patty is unbelievably juicy, without being sloppy. The bun is soft enough not to put up a fight, but strong enough to the job of keeping it all together.The toppings of cheese, jammy caramelised onions, ketchup, just-crisp-enough smoky bacon and “P&B mayo” meld together happily.

The atmosphere couldn’t be more laid-back: tables are bare. And boy, those calories are worth it. This is the true truth as Isay it as it is…

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December 14, 2014

Lombardi’s, New York City…put it on your pizza bucket list

This pizza “shrine” is recognized as the first pizzeria in the United States, opened by Italian immigrant Gennaro Lombardi in 1897 and eventually received a license for his restaurant by the city of New York in 1905. Zagat rated it “the best pizza on the planet.

Brick walls, red-and-white checkered tablecloths, the nostalgic atmosphere exudes a feeling of old New York.   Service is efficient, quick, and friendly.

Their menu isn’t very extensive at all.

First, pizza or calzone?

If pizza, White Pizza or Margherita Pizza?

Size, Small or Large?

Any Extra toppings? $3 each for premium ones and $2 for regular ones.

Our masterpiece was a small 14 inch pizzas, sliced into 6 pieces. Half original margherita (the sauce was deeply flavoured, a rich and concentrated tomato sensation) with large chunks of fresh mozzarella, fresh crushed tomato sauce, topped with Romano and fresh basil, and half white pizza (no sauce), fresh mozza, ricotta, romano, fresh garlic, oregano, black pepper and fresh basil. The mozzarella were certainly fresh resulting in an almost greaseless slice. The premium toppings – pepperoni, sweet Italian sausage – were also top quality. We also had a couple of regular toppings – fresh wild mushrooms and sliced tomatoes. Put those cutleries away, this is NYC pizza, duh, you pick this sucker up, fold it and get busy. The crust was perfect from the oven, blackened bottom, slightly crunchy but just chewy enough.

One thing you should know about Lombardi’s is that it’s cash only.

The first pizzeria in America, and from my experience Lombardi’s isn’t technically the best slice on the planet, but good enough to make gluttony the order of the night. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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