What I eat in Seoul @ Food in Seoul, Korea (Part 1)

Greetings! Welcome back to my travel blog where I document my trip to Seoul back in Dec 2022.
As I previously mentioned, I'm excited to share the various types of food I had during my stay in the city.
It took me some time to prepare this food post, as the photos were taken randomly and the information was scattered, requiring me to do some research once I returned home.
As you may already know, I traveled with my best friends, Stella and Kay; it was an amazing trip to have them both with me on this trip, as they both are true food enthusiasts. 
Three of us made it a priority to try as many different types of food as possible and truly immerse ourselves in the city's culinary culture.
As I was going through the photos, I realized that we had tried numerous types of foods during our 10-day trip, which I think it's well worth documenting and sharing with you all. :)
I will split the food post into 2 parts, because this would allow me to give more details of the food we had, and also make it easier for you guys to navigate and digest the information.
I hope my sharing gives an inspiration for anyone visiting Seoul or simply interested in Korean cuisine.
So, sit back, relax, and let's start discovering the delicious food in the amazing city of Seoul together.

Not very sure where to start this post, so let me start by sharing about an authentic Korean restaurant that was conveniently located right at the corner of the hotel we stayed during the trip.
If you are interested to know where we stay for our 10-day trip, do check out the post at HERE. :)

This small Korean restaurant turned out to be one of the best places we ate at.
Despite its small size, with only about 9 small tables, it has a warm and welcoming atmosphere that made us feel good.
The restaurant runs by ajummas who were friendly and served us free homemade Makgeolli (rice wine), adding to the overall positive experience.
In fact, we enjoyed the food so much that we went back a second time during our stay. 

It's soooo cold outside, we wanted something warm and comforting, so we ordered the Kongnamul gukbap 콩나물국밥, a delicious and savory soup made with soybean sprouts. 
When the soup was served, we could immediately feel the warmth radiating from the bowl, and the aroma of the flavourful broth was tantalizing. 
Three of us really like the taste of soup, so flavorful, rich and savory!
This pure bliss soup is not only good for cold weather to warm your body and soul, but it is also a "hangover soup" to make you feel more awake. :)

One of my favourite Korean dishes is Buchujeon 부추전, a savory pancake made with garlic chives.
I've always enjoyed Korean pancakes, but I've never been successful in making them at home, and have always ended up failing. :)
So, I always feel grateful to be able to enjoy good pancakes at a restaurant.
The pancakes at this restaurant have a crispy edge and a soft, light middle that will leave you wanting more. #trustme

I started to love bibimbap after trying it at this restaurant. 
Prior to that, I wasn't a big fans of this dish.
This is so delicious that it completely changed my opinion of bibimbap, makes me always crave for a bowl of bibimbap when I came back to Malaysia. :)

We also tried their Mandu 만두, which were steamed and served with a dipping sauce. 
The filling with minced meat and vegetables was juicy and flavourful, and the texture of the dumpling skin was just right.

We stumbled upon the Korean BBQ House RAON, on our first night in the Myeongdong area.
We decided to try this restaurant because it was crowded with locals, which made us think it should be good. :)
Though I read some negative reviews about the staffs on Tripadvisor after I returning home, I was pleased to find that the staffs we encountered were friendly and nice. 
During our visit, we were served with polite and attentive customer service that made us feel well take care of.
We were also pleased to find that the restaurant was also clean and well-maintained during our visit. 

We ordered their grilled beef galbi set menu, which include beef short ribs, Naengmyeon (korean icy cold noodles), Gyeran mari (Korean rolled omelette).
While I cannot said that the galbi-gui I had at Korean BBQ House RAON was the best, but we found it to be delicious and satisfying.
The marinated and grilled short ribs meat had such a tender and juicy texture that made it particularly enjoyable. 

Naengmyeon 냉면 is one of my favourite Korean food.
I had initially assumed that it would be difficult to find cold noodle dishes during the winter season as I know this noodle is more welcome in summer season.
I was overjoyed to come across the restaurant offered it, and it was really a delightful experience to enjoy this local delicacy during the colder months in Seoul.
The chewy and delicate texture of the thin noodles is irresistible to me.

Gyeran mari 계란말이 is another Korean side dish that I always enjoy.
The combination of the fluffy texture and rich flavour of Gyeran mari is particular appealing to me, especially when it's served with a delicious topping of brown sauce and mayonnaise, it's really so delicious!

It was a wonderful first night with my girls. :)

As mentioned in my previous blog post, our hotel was surrounded by various local cuisine restaurants.
The following day, we spent our time shopping and grabbed a quick bite at a random food stall at the mall.
So, after a long day of shopping, we indulged in a feast at a nearby restaurant close to our hotel.

While exploring the area, Stella suggested trying out this restaurant that mainly serves beef dishes. 
We ordered the Assorted Boiled Meat Slices 모듬수육, including various part of beef which are boiled until they were tender and flavourful and then served all together in one plate. 
It was a huge serving for the three of us, and we ended up taking the leftovers to have for breakfast the next day. 
Overall, I didn't particularly enjoy the Assorted Boiled Meat Slices as I found it was too much meat for my taste.
But if you've never tried this dish before, I think it's worth giving it a try with a small portion. :)

Though the meat set was huge, we also ordered the Ox Bone Soup 설렁탕 since we enjoy soup during the winter.
The ajumma was very nice and kept offering to add noodles to our soup, maybe that's why we can't finish the big portion of meat slices. #haha

On this trip to Seoul, I found myself visiting the local market more frequently than my previous trips.
During our visit to Hanuel Park on the third day, my friend, Gail suggested we check out the Mangwondong Worldcup Market, where we had a great time catching up after not seeing each other for 5 years. :)
If you happened to read my previous blog post about Seoul, you may have already been introduced to Gail, who was my Korean teacher during her stay in Malaysia many years ago.
Despite the passing of time and the distance between us, we have managed to stay in touch, and it's always a delight to see her whenever I am in Seoul. 
Gail is a dear friend, it's always a pleasure to spend time with her, and always very grateful for her company and her guidance during my visit.

While Mangwon Market may not be as large as Gwangjang Market or Namdaemun Market, it offers a great selection of fresh seafood, fruits, vegetables, meats, and other cooked food. 
In addition to the market, there are also many small shops and eateries that serve traditional Korean dishes.

If you are looking to see live and large octopuses, Korea is the place to go! ^^

Patjuk 팥죽 is one of the cooked food that can find at the market. 
It is a type of Korean porridge consisting of red beans and rice, and it is a popular dish to eat during the winter season in Korea. 
I bought a small one back to hotel, and I was surprised by its taste.
Given that it was a porridge, I had expected it to be salty, but it turned out to be sweet (slightly less taste that I expected) almost like a dessert to me.
For myself, I do not really enjoy this Patjuk. :)

Gail suggested us to try the local handmade noodle soup at one of the ajumma restaurant.
The restaurant is pretty small, and we had to wait for a while to get a table for four since it was already filled with many locals during lunch time. 

We ordered Kalguksu with sesame, Sujebi with and without sesame and Jjajangmyeon for our lunch.
Kalguksu 칼국수 is one of the most famous Korean noodle dish consisting of handmade, knife-cut wheat flour noodles served in a large bowl with broth and other ingredients.
Sujebi 수제비 is like the Mee Hoon Kueh in Malaysia. It's a traditional Korean soup made with hand-torn noodles. The thin and chewy bite-sized noodles are irregular in shape, roughly an inch-long, and torn directly from a dough ball by hand into the hot broth. 
Jjajangmyeon 짜장면 is a Chinese-Korean noodle dish topped with a thick black bean sauce made of chunjang, diced pork and vegetables. The noodle is thick, chewy and the black sauce is rich and flavourful with a slightly sweet and salty taste. I've never liked Jjajangmyeon the first time I tried it, but during my recent visits to Seoul and Busan, I found myself starting to appreciate this noodle.

The broth of both Kalguksu and Sujebi is very light, almost bland to my taste buds.
Gail explained that it's normal for the broth to have little flavour and that we should season it with salt and pepper according to our liking.
The serving size of the noodles was quite generous, and we all couldn't finish it all.
In terms of Kalguksu and Sujebi, I'm not particularly fond of them due to the strong taste of flour which I don't really enjoy. 
Additionally, I also find the noodles to be too thick comparison to the pan mee we have in Malaysia.
But apparently, both Kalguksu and Sujebi are a MUST try in Korea. :)

Had a good dinner with a long lost friend, Sang Hyuk oppa at one of the Samgyeopsal restaurant close to our hotel, the Travelodge Myeongdong Hotel.
He recommended this restaurant, Daeji 대지식당 to me as he had visited before and knew the quality of the food.
Well, I was not disappointed, the Samgyeopsal was one of the best I've had so far; although Sang Hyuk said that it was not the absolute best, I still thought it was excellent. 

I believe most of you know about Samgyeopsal 삼겹살, it is one of the popular Korean dish that must try in Korean cuisine. 
Sang Hyuk told me that...in fact, it is so beloved that they have even a designated "Samgyeopsal Day" on March 3rd for family and friends to enjoy this dish together.
The name "Samgyeonpsal" means "three-layered flesh" in Korean, which referring to the layers of meat an fat in the pork belly.
It consists of thick slices of pork meat, and often grilled at the table and served with various accompaniments such as lettuce, garlic, onions and ssamjang (a spicy dipping sauce)

Look at the pork belly, the meat is incredibly thick! 看上去就觉得好吃!
The restaurant provides unlimited quantities of water parsley and bean sprouts, which can be grilled together with the pork belly.
I actually also enjoy grilling kimchi on the pan too. 

Oh ya! Don't forget to try their Sundubu jjigae 순두부찌개 too! It's really good!

At dinner, I asked for some soju and Sang Hyuk oppa recommended a low-sugar soju. Nicesss!!!

Following more than 2 decades of not seeing each other, we decided to go for a second round at a nearby drinking place.
It was truly wonderful to spend time together, relive old memories together with Sang Hyuk oppa on that night. 
We reminisced about our shared memories from years ago, recalling fond memories of spending time together at ELS when he was 21 and I was 18, it felt as though no time had passed since we were last met. :)

Sang Hyuk oppa ordered some drinking snacks to go with our soju and also beer bomb.
I had never tried drinking snacks in Korea before, so it was a new experience for me.
On the left: dried nogari 노가리It's a kind of dried fish that has a crispy and crunchy texture, pretty much similar to the fried anchovy we have in Malaysia, except that the size is much larger than that of an anchovy.
On the right: Jwipo 쥐포: It's a traditional Korean fish jerky made by pressing, seasoning, flattening and drying the fish. It has quite a tough and chewy texture, almost like a dense and dry piece of beef jerky. I personally find it challenging to chew because of its toughness. #hehe

Indeed, it's my first time going to the Korean drinking place, and it was a great experiencing to be able to immerse myself in the Korean drinking culture.
Thanks to Sang Hyuk oppa for spending his quality time with me and making my trip all the more enjoyable. of the place is perfect for groups of friends, and colleagues to gather, socialize, and unwind after a long day.

We went to one of the restaurant at Myeongdong area after a long day ski at Elysian Gangchon Ski Resort.
If you are interested to read about our ski experience in Seoul, you can read at HERE
I decided to have our dinner at this restaurant because I saw their menu offered Bossom and also Samgyetang, which saves me the hassle of searching for each dish I wanted to eat at different places. :)
Klomkak Bibimbab 꼬막비빔밥, is a rice dish made with a variety of side assorted vegetables, including seaweed, alfalfa, bean sprouts, carrots, and a central ingredient of ark-shell.
It's a bomb! 真的很好吃! This was my first time trying this particular bibimbab, and I absolutely loved it; the overall taste with the alfalfa was so refreshing and very yummy! 

I love Bossam 보쌈 and this is one of the dish that I highly recommend trying when in Korea. 
The dish is made by boiling pork in a flavourful brine until tender, and served thinly sliced.
Sometimes, I prefer this dish over the BBQ pork because I find the meat is much more tender and also healthier compared to the BBQ version.
However, the Bossam dish at this restaurant was quite underwhelming as the meat was quite rough and lacked flavour. 
Despite my love for Bossam and considering it is a must-try in Korea, the version at this restaurant did not live up to my expectations. :(

I believe many of you know about Samgeytang 삼계탕, a very well-known Korean dish that features a small chicken stuffed with rice, ginseng, garlic, and jujube, and served hot and steaming on the table. 
If you are a fan of Samgyetang, then a visit to Tosokchon Samgyetang is a must.
During my last trip to Seoul, I had the opportunity to dine at this restaurant, and it was definitely worth the wait.
The Samgyetang there was superb, with a rich and flavourful broth, the chicken was tender and moist, and the stuffing was delicious.
Really highly recommend this restaurant for anyone looking to try an excellent Samgyetang. :)

On our way to Eunpyeong Hanok Village, we stopped by YeonSeo Market, located at Eunpyeong-gu for breakfast. 
The market is like a maze with many alleys, selling different types of dry and wet ingredients, and at the center of the market, there are various of food stalls selling hot food. 

It was very cold out there, so we find a seat at one of the food stalls that sell Gimbap김밥, a Korean Seaweed Rice Rolls with variety of vegetables and Janchi guksu 잔치국수, a kind of Korean banquet noodles that made with wheat flour and cooked with light broth of anchovy. 
I really like the anchovy soup, the taste is not too overpowering but adds a depth of umami to the noodles is very satisfying, making it a comforting meal at anytime. 
It's also very nice to have this kind warm noodle soup on the super cold day. :)

While I was waiting for the taxi outside the market, I had a chance to enjoy one of my fav snacks, Eomuk 어묵.
It is a popular street food in Korea, often served on skewers or in paper cups with a spicy or savory dipping sauce. 
The fish cake I had at the market was chewy and flavourful, definitely a great way to end my visit to the YeonSeo Market.

YES! That's all for today's post.
I hope you enjoy reading about my food experiences during my trip to Seoul.
Anyway, I apologize if my food post has made you feel hungry and crave for Korean food. #hehe
If you'd like to see more of my travels, you can check out my IG story @mizhippo where I've highlighted my entire trip to Seoul.
Once again, thanks for reading, and don't forget to stay tuned for What I eat in Seoul Part 2! :)

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