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There are a lot of awesome food in Korea and I’m glad that in this tour, we were able to try out quite a variety of food!
Directions: Jongno 5-ga Station (Line 1, Exit 8) or Euljiro 4-ga (Line 2/5, Exit 4)
This was our first official tour stop for the trip, if I exclude KTO’s headquarter =p
Gwangjang market is Korea’s first ever market which was built more than 100 years ago! It is a very big market, about the size of 8 football fields and about 5,000 stores.
Apart from food, this market also sells hanboks, accessories and fashion items.
Since they said that all expenses were paid, we were kindly given a 5,000W voucher to splurge! There were so many types of Korean street snacks that we were absolutely spoilt for choices!
This is the second food I ate in Korea = ODENG !! (The first was donuts at the airport in the morning)
Odeng was introduced to me by my friend’s Korean room mate last year and it is really delicious! Well, it is basically fishcake and you will be given soup along with the odeng. To add on to the flavour, you eat it with soy sauce and chilli. I always drink the soup which comes along with the Odeng. although I think sometimes it might just be MSG but it is still delicious anyway.
And of course, we had to eat the famous tteokbokki (Spicy Rice Cake)
No matter how much I try, I still can’t achieve the taste of the tteokbokki in Korea when I try to cook it at home.. I really wonder why. It’s always like their rice cakes are cooked at the most precise timing, making it soft and chewy and delicious!
We had lunch in a restaurant within the gwangjang market.
As usual, like all korean restaurants, we were given a lot a lot a lot a lot of side dishes and when I finally see Kimchi on the table, I know I’m in korea. Absolutely love (free flow) Kimchis!!!!
Apart from my all-time-favourite Kimchi and Tanghyun, this stewed egg which reminds me of chawanmushi.. is really delicious as well! We almost finished up everything~
Korean Pancakes – It was hard eating this dish because of the spring onion spam it had. I’m not exactly a fan of spring onions. The last time I ordered this dish, I spent a really long time to remove the spring onions =/ Besides the spring onion, it is a tasty dish which can be eaten with soya sauce and chili.
Next up was this platter of fried stuff called Jeon. It is a flour-based pancake mixed with all sorts of seafood and/or vegetables. This is a Jeon combo platter.
We were too full to be able to finish. What a waste.. but, we already snacked a lot of street snacks prior to lunch =p
Dinner was one of my favourite because it was.. MEAT =p
Sam-gyeop-sal (Grilled Pork Belly)
FYI: This is nichkhun’s favourite food according to WGM. LOL.
I’m sure most of you have already watched dramas and seen how people eat Samgyeopsal. Basically, we put the grilled meat on the vegetables, add in some chilli sauce and onins, wrap it up and the stuff it into your mouth!
Not forgetting the side dishes (awesome egg) and.. my free flow KIMCHI!!
After dinner, they brought us to a dessert place at Garosu-gil.
Garosu-gil (gil stands for road) is Gingko tree-lined street which runs from Sinsa Station (Line 3). It would be really pretty to see the neat lines of trees but what only visited it after it was dark so I didn’t take any photos.
We had Pak-bing-su (which I believe meant Red-Bean-Ice) at Deux Cremes.
It is a cosy little cafe and their pak-bing-su is delicious! The pak-bing-su I had the previous time at Paris Baguette was very fruity and this time round, it was milk flavoured!
Now you can see the sweet red bean paste which is hiding inside the pile of ice. Delicious~~ Especially the vanilla ice cream on top..
Next up on the menu was Sundubu Jjigae (Soft Tofu Stew)
Sundubu is unprocessed tofu which is made without undergoing the process of pressing it to remove the water and curdling it firmly. So basically, this dish is just tofu soup. You will have to add your desired amount of sauce for the flavour. Otherwise, it is very much bland.
Side Dishes which came along~ (Left)Korean Pancake or something like potato which tastes good with the sauce!
As usual, we couldn’t finish the food.. the portion was simply too much!
But, the highlight of our lunch was the place itself! We were quickly gobbling up our food as we wanted to enjoy the beautiful scenery outside the restaurant.
(I don’t think this place is accessible on free & easy. Seems to cater to local crowd and tour groups)
The swing direction faces the beautiful lake~ I think I can just spend the whole afternoon sitting there enjoying the scenery. A pity we didn’t have that much time to spare (Downsides of joining a tour)
Autumn is here~~~
For Day 2’s dinner, we visited Slow Makgeolli Sool Pub which was a place owned by Baesangmyun Brewery.
What is Makgeolli?
Apart from being my favourite alcoholic beverage in Korea, it is simply put, rice wine.
It is made from yeast-fermented steamed rice, wheat, and corn. Historically, it is popular among the farmers because it can relieve both hunger and thirst! In modern times, this once traditional alcohol beverage has evolved and now it comes in many different flavours, apples/pears/mangos/ginseng/.. and the list goes on!
We visited the Baesangmyeon office in Seoul and had a short lesson on the history of makgeolli and how it is made. It’s kind of interesting to know about the steps and processes. After all it is my favourite drink =p
Actually, most koreans prefer Soju to Makgeolli as “Women are like Makgeolli, Good at the beginning but gives you a headache after that.” (Quoted from Nichkhun). This is very true as I have experienced it twice myself yet it still hasn’t stopped me from liking Makgeolli =p
After typing so much.. I realised I don’t have a picture of Makgeolli.
Anyway, you should never drink alcohol on an empty stomach. So people will usually order food to eat together with Makgeolli. ]
Spicy Seafood Stew? They had this shell-like ingredient which you can suck the meat out. It was something that I have never tried before.
Some chicken dish.
And of course, the highlight was Makgeolli and some other alcoholic drink which I do not have any pictures of.. I also made it a point not to drink too much as I wanted to go out at night =p
We had a very very very healthy dinner at Skinanniversary at Paju. We got to eat bibimbap the buffet style! Basically, you get to choose your own ingredients and put it in a bow and mix it the way you want it to be. I’m not a fan of vegetables and I thought that it would be a nightmare for me but it turned out quite well! I really love their seasoned seaweed with rice!
We had a rare chance to step into the Korean Air Headquarters and for lunch, we got to experience what the people there usually eat!
There are 2 different menus each day and you will be given or have to purchase a coupon. Then, you drop the coupon into a box, take a tray and then walk down the line and put the various side dishes onto your tray. Look at the number of side dishes!! My main course was Kimchi fried rice, as seen on the right.
To mark the last day of our trip.. we had beef for dinner! It was a traditional setting and we had to take off our shoes and sit on the floor~
Well, in korea, it isn’t a DIY thing when it comes to “steamboat” like this.. The staff will drop by your table often to help you check the fire, putting the ingredients into the pot and even telling you that it is ready to be eaten. *Thumbs up for the service*
They were giving us so so so so so much food that we actually had leftovers for BEEF! I know it was such a waste but I really couldn’t eat any more. Totally bloated! I really love the tanghyun that they added in as well and the soup was very tasty~
It was a perfect meal to end the trip with. TTTTTT_TTTTTT
There were other snacks which I bought along the way and I definitely recommend it!
TOFEE NUT FLAVOURED BANANA MILK!! It was so nice that I drank it thrice despite only spending 5 Days in Seoul. I even bought a 6-pack from Lotte Mart and shared it with my friends. If my luggage had space, I would have brought it home.. The after taste of each sip comes with a very delicious toffee nut which makes it so awesome.
And of course, what is a korea visit without a bite of baskin robbins? They had a double scoop promotion again! They were promoting their new flavour and you can only choose one of the flavours . I chose my second love, Green Tea. Heh. My first love is durian =p
That’s all for the food I ate in Korea! Stay tuned to my next entry on the non-touristy korean activities we had in Korea!