What I eat in Seoul @ Food in Seoul, Korea (Part 2)

Hello guys! Warm welcome to Part 2 of my Seoul food series!
It's great to have you guys back with me on the second part of my food journey in Seoul. :)
If you're just joining me now, I recently posted Part 1 of my food blog, where I shared some amazing food that I had during my Dec 2022 trip in Seoul. 
If you missed it, you can check it out by clicking on the link at HERE.
I hope you had the chance to check it out and maybe even try some of the dishes if you travel to Seoul. 
Now, in Part 2, I'm very excited to continue my food journey through this vibrant city and showcase even more delicious food options.
Whether you are a foodie, or just looking some new dining options, I'm sure you will enjoy this journey with me
So, are you all ready? Let's buckle up and get ready for some mouth-watering food recommendations, fascinating stories, and breathtaking photos of Seoul. 
I will start the food journey today at GwangJang Market!

A visit to Gwangjang Market 광장시장 is an absolute must if you are traveling to Seoul.
This bustling market is one of the largest and most popular in Seoul, offering a diverse range of goods, and of course mouth-watering authentic Korean food options.
My Korean friend mentioned to me that this big market is a popular destination for good local food, which didn't come as a surprise to me as I noticed both tourists and locals indulging in the same delicious dishes over there.

As you wander through the market, you'll be greeted by a dizzying array of sights, sounds and smells. :)
From traditional Korean clothing and handicrafts to the freshest product and seafood, there's something for everyone at Gwangjang Market.
And, of course, the food is a major highlight here, where you can indulge in a wide variety of Korean street food and snacks such as bindaetteok, tteokbokki, kimbap etc. 

Our first stop at Gwangjang Market began at this little ajumma food store.
The ajumma welcomed us with a warm smile and a friendly greeting, which gave us a good feeling that this place served very good bibimbap. :)
As we looked around the store, we were impressed by the array of fresh vegetables display, making us drooling!

We ordered one bowl of vegan barley bibimbap 보리밥비빔밥 from ajumma.
Regret that I didn't take a good pic of the dish as my friend, Kay was eagerness to take the first bite, but I can assure you that it was a feast for the eyes and the taste buds.
The bibimbap has a colourful mix of fresh vegetables, including bean sprouts, carrots spinach and mushrooms, all arranged neatly on top of a bed of barley rice.
The barley rice was a pleasant surprise, as I had never tried it before, it added an unique nutty flavour and chewy texture to the dish, making it even more enjoyable compare to the normal rice.
I also amazed by the freshness and texture of the fresh vegetables, so flavorful and satisfying!
This vegan bibimbap was totally exceeded by our expectations, and I would highly recommend you to try this dish, especially if you are looking for a healthy and flavourful meal in Seoul. :)

I really love the anchovy soup in Korea, especially during the cold winter days, makes me feel warm and cozy.
We tried the popular Korean soup, Mandu-guk만두국, which features dumplings called "mandu" filled with minced meat, and served in a savory anchovy broth with egg strips, radish and seaweed.
It's the perfect dish for cold winter days to make the body feel warm and cozy, and we loved it so much that we even asked the ajumma to refill the soup for us. :)

Let's capture a moment with the lovely ajummas here, and take a selfie together! :)

You can find Bindaetteok빈대떡 almost everywhere inside the Gwangjang Market.
It is a pancake made from mung beans, which has a crispy texture on the outside and mashed-potato-like softness on the inside.
To fully enjoy the pancake, you must dip it in the soy vinegar side sauce to fully enjoy the flavours of the pancake. 
I think it's a good idea to share a large piece with others, because I find the pancake is big and quite greasy, but anyway, it's really well worth to try it when you're at Gwangjang market.

During my stroll around the market, I stumbled upon a food stall that mainly selling all kinds of ramyeon 라면.
Without a second thought, I took a seat and ordered a bowl for myself although the ajumma is so unfriendly.. #hehe
The price for a simple ramyeon is 3,500 won.

Whenever I'm in Korea, enjoying a bowl of hot ramyeon is the perfect way to warm up and feel satisfied.
Whether I'm exploring the city in the midst of winter or simply looking for a comforting meal, ramyeon always hits the spot.
With its rich broth and hearty noodles, it's a dish that never fails to satisfy. 真的超级喜欢韩国泡面.
Another thing is I always feel a sense of appreciation and happiness when someone cooks ramyeon for me.
It's a simple act of love that brings me great joy and satisfaction.  

Met this funny Korean guy at the ramyeon store who thought I was a Youtuber because he saw me continuously filming and taking pictures of the ramyeon. :)

We passed by the Netflix Knife-Cut Noodle Lady food stall at the market.
The food stall was packed with a long queue of people, which took me by a big surprise. 
So, I did some research and discovered that the Knife-Cut Noodle Lady had been featured on the Netflix series, Street Food; Asia.
Not sure if this is worth for the long queue. maybe you can comment below if you have tried the food there before. :)

Although we were already quite full from the several foods we had, when we stumbled upon another ajumma food stall selling Japchae, we couldn't resist and grabbed a seat for another round. 
Japchae 잡채 is one of my favourite Korean dishes even back home in Malaysia.
I even learned how to make it from Youtube and make my own Japchae at home. :)
This savory dish consists of stir-fried glass sweet potato noodles and vegetables, with a chewy, slightly slippery texture that is different from other regular noodles.
One of the reasons why I enjoy Japchae is because it contains a small amount of sesame oil (I love sesame), which gives a delicate hint of nuttiness to enhance the overall richness of the dish.

At the market, I noticed several food stalls selling  Dalkbal 닭발, a spicy chicken feet dish.
The feet were coated in a fiery red pepper sauce and had a slightly crunchy, chewy, and squishy texture due to the skin and tendons.
However, I think this spicy chicken feet doesn't taste great on its own, but maybe more enjoyable when paired it with some soju or makgeolli.
Although I love chicken feet back home, I wasn't particular fond of this version of Dalkbal, also I think this dish may not be suitable for those who don't enjoy "unique" or "strange" taste. :)

Odeng 오뎅 is another must try at the market.
Don't forget to ask for a glass of broth and eat with your Odeng. :)

Before we left Gwangjang Market, we noticed a long queue at the Bukkumi store, so we decided to buy one red bean Bukkumi 부꾸미to share.
Bukkumi is a pan-fried tteok made with glutinous rice flour; despite it was a bit oily for me, the overall taste was good with a hint of sweetness from the red beans. 

We also ordered one Korean barley tea, known as Boricha 보리차 to take away.
It's a cold beverage that made with brewing roasted barley with water, and it's a great option it you are looking for something light and flavourful to sip on.
It tastes both refreshing and delicious, especially after enjoy the heavy foods.

That concludes my food hunting adventure at Gwangjang Market.
I know there are still many more food options to explore at the market, and I hope to return soon to try even more delicious dishes!

After all the traditional Korean food hunt, now, let's return to our Seoul food adventure. 
On the fifth day, Kay and I decided to explore headed for shopping and sightseeing, while Stella stayed back at the hotel to tend to some works.
Since we were craving fried chicken and beer, we choose to dine at bb.q Chicken & Beer since the restaurant has a lively atmosphere.

The free flow white radish available at the counter is a great accompaniment to the fried chicken.
I wonder why the fried chicken in Malaysia can't have this kind of free radish service. :)

We ordered the mix chicken set, comes with the original fried chicken and the garlic fried chicken.
If you haven't try the Korean-style fried chicken before, then I suggest you to try at least one because they are completely different with the Malaysian version.
It has a juicy and crunchy texture, and the sauce that covered on the chicken provides a mix of sweet, sour and spicy flavours with every bite.
No wonder it has captured the hearts of many people (include me) around the world. :)

Korean chikin "fried chicken" 치킨 + maekju "beer" 맥주 = Chimaek 치맥, the perfect match!

On Christmas Eve, as we were at Hannam-dong for my Emis cap shopping in the late evening, we decided to have our Christmas Eve dinner in the area.
Kay suggested us trying Korean Chinese food at Byeokdol-Happy Food 벽돌 해피 푸드.
Despite the long queue during the busy dinner time, we waited for about half an hour for a table, convinced us that the food must be worth the wait. #hehe

The Chinese food we had at Byeokdol-Happy Food was absolutely satisfying and managed to quench our cravings.
Although I can't remember the specific names of each dish, we had a variety of dishes including fried tomato eggs, salad prawn, stir-fried kangkung and some spicy porks at Byeokdol-Happy Food.
The Kangkung dish was quite spicy, costing us about RM30 plus, which is equivalent to what we could get at least 3-4 plates of back in Malaysia.
But since Kay and Stella were missing Chinese food, we just indulged in what we wanted.
All in all, the food at Byeokdol-Happy Food did not disappoint and we were happy with our decision to dine there. 

That goes to our Christmas eve dinner <3 <3 <3

On Christmas day, after finishing our breakfast, we decided to split up and explore on our own.
Stella choose to visit the Gyeongbokgung Palace, while Kay opted to rest at the hotel.
As for me, I headed to Insa-dong and Ikseon-dong to take a leisurely stroll and check out the various shops and cafes in the area.

My first stop was at Insa-dong.인사동.
I've heard of Insa-dong for a while, and finally I make it here on this trip.
I walked around the main road that sells traditional goods and also walked to the alleys on each side that full of traditional restaurants, teahouses and cafes.
There is a big gallery mall, named Ssamzigil 쌈지길, with quite a number of handicraft stores, souvenier shops, art galleries, restaurants and more to check out.
Every store is unique and distinct, making it perfect for window shopping and exploring local art galleries.

After strolling through Insa-dong, I decided to walk towards Ikseon-dong, a charming neighbourhood known for its trendy boutiques, cure cafes, and fantastic restaurants.
What makes Ikseon-dong unique is that the shops are housed in traditional Korean Habok houses, adding to the overall charm and ambience of the area.
Ikseon-dong has gained popularity in recent years, and it's a hipster place that many youngsters like to visit.
I have previously been to Ikseon-dong with my friend, Gail during my last trip in 2019, and I remember this place is being a hidden gem with fewer crowds and less opened shops compare to now.
So, upon my arrival, I was a little bit surprised to see how busy it had become; the streets were packed with people, especially couples, making me feel a bit lonely walking alone. :)
Nonetheless, I love the vibrant energy and atmosphere of Ikseon-dong, made me feel so young! :)

After a day of walking around, I returned to the Myeongdong area to grab some light food before meeting up with the two girls for our Christmas dinner. 
I had been wanting to eat Korean porridge since the day I arrived, and I finally got the chance to do so!
Korean porridge is a must-try dish if you are in Korea; the taste of the porridge is simply amazing and the texture of the porridge is very smooth and creamy (I always like soft porridge).
The porridge itself can be made with a variety of ingredients such as pumpkin, abalone, chicken, beef and each variations has it owns unique flavour, and often served with a variety of side dishes such as kimchi, pickled vegetables etc.
If you have never tried Korean porridge before, I highly recommend giving it a try. You won't disappointed!

I noticed that many authentic Korean food restaurants are usually quite small, just like this porridge shop, it can only accommodate up to 6 tables at most.
When I walked in, I felt a bit embarrassed to occupy a table all by myself as the restaurant was already full and busy.
But I was determined to try the porridge here, so I decided to go for it anyway. :)

To kick off the meal, I indulged myself with a round of soju accompanied by banchan.
My Korean friends were always surprised by my ability to finish a whole bottle of soju on my own, which is not very common for girls. #hehe
For myself, soju with banchan is a great start to the meal.

Here comes the beef porridge I ordered!
I couldn't wait to dig in when the steaming bowl of beef porridge was placed in front of me.
The rice grains were cooked to perfection, not too soft nor too hard, and the consistency of the porridge was just right, not too thick nor too watery.
Really a perfect comfort food to have at anytime! 好吃到不舍得吃完!

After a long day solo exploring, I finally reunited with Kay and Stella for our Christmas dinner at Myeongdong!
Since Stella missed out on our chicken feast in Hongdae earlier, she requested that we have another round of Korean fried chicken.
So I googled and found a popular chain called bhc chicken with over 1,000 stores across Korea.

The queue was very long when Kay and Stella first arrived at the restaurant.
But since we insisted to try the fried chicken there, so Kay took a number and queued up.
We waited for about 1 hour to get a table, and once we got finally seated, we realized that the reason for the long queue was the limited seating space inside the restaurant. 

We were directed to a table on the upstairs floor, and as I looked around, I noticed that the space was quite small and cramped.
Despite this, the restaurant and staff are pretty efficient in delivering our food.

On the left: Sunflower Fried Chicken, coated in a classic batter and double-fried in sunflower oil.
The coating of batter that spread evenly on the chicken makes the chicken has a very crunchy texture on the outside of the chicken, and the aroma and the crispiness of the skin was really so irresistible that it was hard to resist taking another bite.
On the right:: Machoking Chicken 맛초킹, uses crispy fried chicken and cooked with a flavourdul blend of chili, sesame, garlic and their special honey sauce to give a sticky and glazed texture to the skin. The combination of spicy, savory and sweet flavours creates a delicious and additive taste that makes it to me favourite. :)

If you haven't tried Korean fried chicken yet, don't hesitate to try it out, I am sure you won't regret it! ^^
The crispy outer layer with the juicy and tender meat inside will leave you craving for more and more!
Moreover, Korean fried chicken also comes in a variety of flavours and styles, ranging from classic fried chicken coated in a crispy batter to spicy and sweet variations like soy garlic, honey butter, or spicy chili.
Each flavours has its own distinct taste and texture that worth a try!

Oh, before I forget, if you were wondering whether I had Tteokbokki 떡볶이 during my tip, the answer is definitely yes!
We came across a small shop selling various types of Korean street food, including Tteokbokki, Gimbap and Odeng, at one of the subway stations.
Without any hesitation, we rushed into the stall and squeezed ourselves into the tiny shop to indulge in the delicious treats!
Well, we also tried some other special street food while walking around the Myeongdong area, but due to the large crowds at the place, I weren't be able to take any good photos of the experiences. :(

Here comes the last night in Seoul.....
So, on my last night in Seoul, I arranged to meet up with Sang Hyuk oppa at Deoksugung Palace Stonewall Walkway 덕수궁 돌담길.
According to Sang Hyuk oppa, this place is very famous for Korean drama making.
When I searched online, I found out that many famous Korean dramas were firmed here such as Reborn Rich, Extraordinary Attorney Woo, Taxi Driver, Run On, My Love From Another Star, The Beauty Inside, The Goblin, Find Me In Your Memory, and more.
The Stonewall Walkaway is quite big to walk from the beginning to the end, so since we were hungry for dinner, we only walked a short distance and took some pictures.
Anyway, the walkway was beautiful, and it was exciting to imagine the scenes of the dramas that were shot there, however I suggest visiting this place during the day time for better photo opportunities, therefore, I am looking forward to return to this place again for more beautiful pictures to show you guys!
Nonetheless, I was happy to spend time with Sang Hyuk oppa and explore the place together. :)

Sang Hyuk oppa was insistent that I try the Jogaejeongol 조개전골, a popular hotpot dish in Korea that is especially enjoyed during the winter season.
After finding that the first restaurant we went to was fully booked, we walked from one restaurant to another until we found a spot.
I am not grateful that Sang Hyuk was persistent because this was my first time trying Jogaejeongol and it was absolutely delicious!
The hotpot is mainly made with clams and vegetables, and cookied in a spicy broth that has a perfect balance of flavour and heat.
In addition to the clams and vegetables, there are also other seafood dishes such as squids, prawns, and fish cakes that add more dept to the dish.
The combination of fresh seafood and spicy broth creates a harmonious blend of flavours that is hard to resist.
I can definitely see why this dish is a favourite during the winter season, as it warms you up from the inside out.
If you are in Korea during winter, promise me that you must try this dish!

The large seafood pot is also served with a side bowl of cheese for dipping the seafood in.
Additionally, you can also request some yellow noodles to eat with the seafood pot.
Honestly, quite a big portion for just the 2 of us. #lol

Of ya! Don't forget that there are some side dishes are served with Jogaejeongol too!
The oyster is super fresh! :)

After dinner, we made our way to a nearby drinking pocha. 
I enjoy this kind of intimate drinking spot in Seoul; it's not very crowded, yet offers a cozy atmosphere that allows you to unwind and relax with a bottle of soju.
Hope that we could have more and more this kind of pocha vibes in Malaysia. :)

In Korea, I noticed that the drinking culture always involves having some snacks or food to go with the alcohol, as they believe that drinking on an empty stomach is not ideal or healthy.
Therefore, regardless of how full we were, there had to be something on the table to snack on. 

Once again, thanks to Sang Hyuk oppa for taking me to explore so many hidden gems in Seoul.
His accompanied let me to discover many unique places that I would not have found on my own, really appreciate his effort and kindness during my trip.
To Sang Hyuk oppa; It was pleasure to spend time with you, create memories together in Seoul, and I look forward to continuing to stay in touch and maintaining our friendship for years to come! :)

Well, I think that's all for the last food post for my trip to Seoul.
The last photo that accompanying in this post was taken as I made my way to the Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP) on my own.
I had been looking forward to seeing the rose light display since the first day of my trip.
Even though the rose light was not visible during the day, I was still able to cross it off my itinerary! :)
Once again, I hope that you guys enjoyed reading this post as mush as I have enjoyed sharing my food journey in Seoul with you.
Feel free to share this post with your friends, aunties, uncles, sisters and brothers if they are traveling to Seoul! 감사합니다 :)
See you again in my next post! 안녕!

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