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Jan 19, 2009 10:24 PM

Korea Food Journey: CNY Edition...

last minute family issues have me going to seoul instead of singapore over chinese new year. i will be there for the entire week eating, sampling, exploring, and recording.

i know seoul quite well, so i have a number of places already on my agenda, but if anyone has something very compelling to recommend, i would appreciate it immensely. as i LIVE TO EAT!

also, i promise to post a blog summarizing the restaurants i visited.

thx everyone.

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  1. btw, i will be going to the best places for the following dishes:

    1. jok bal (pigs foot sliced thinly)
    2. soon dubu jige (spicy tofu stew)
    3. duk bok ki (spicy rice cake stir fried in red pepper paste)
    4. soon dae gook (noodles in sausage casing in soup)
    5. sam gye tang (chicken stew with ginseng & other healthy chinese medicine)
    6. yang gopchang (grilled cow stomach & intestines)
    7. cha dol baegi (grilled thinly sliced brisket)
    8. naengmyun (cold buckwheat noodles in beef broth)
    9. daenjang jige (soybean paste stew)
    10. samgyubsal (grilled pork belly)
    11. seng galbi (unmarinated grilled beef ribs - marination was used to mask bad meat)
    12. deungshim (grilled ribeye)
    13. kimchi jige (kimchi stew)
    14. kal guksu (homemade noodle soup - need good kimchi!)

    thiats a start

    6 Replies
    1. re: schung

      schung, my favorite sam gye tang restaurant is Yeongyang Center in Myeongdong (it's been there since 1960). Take exit 6 at Myeongdong subway station (Line 4), walk a short distance along Myeongdong-daero till you come to an intersection (Pascucci cafe?), turn left & walk another 50 yards or so and you'll come to it (next to Levi's).

      They serve only 2 dishes - the sam gye tang and the whole fried chicken (tong dak) which are very, very good.

      P.S. - when I was there the last time, they also have stainless steel buckets on the tables for customers to spit the chicken bones into (!!)

      1. re: klyeoh

        hi klyeoh, went to a similar place by the blue house called To Sok Cho. i will provide details later when i write up the complete blog.

        its in an old korean style home. serves samgyetang both the regular and the black chicken. also, spit roasted chicken. this place is quite amazing. the soup is extremely thick and tasty. and the roast chicken has very little fat between the skin and the meat. i think the chickens must be free range.

      2. re: schung

        I would kill (ok, not really...) for some good soon dae gook... I love soon dae but haven't been able to find the soup version since the place I used to go to moved away from Lotte Dept in Myeongdong. If anyone knows of a place please let me know.

        1. re: Peech

          hi peech, i just posted a blog on my recent trip to Seoul. I found the best soon dae gook. amazing. a strok of luck, but details are in the blog.

        2. re: schung

          "14. kal guksu (homemade noodle soup - need good kimchi!"

          In Los Angeles is a place called Myung Dong Kyoja, which has about the best Kim Chee I've ever had (very garlicky, though), and they serve mostly soups and noodles. the Kal Guksu there is amazing, as are the Man Doo. My girlfriend, who grew up in Seoul, says that they are a branch of Myung Dong Seoul, which also is known for the best Kim Chee in Seoul. And the soups there are as good. So, I would definitely recommend that place.

          1. re: Hoc

            wow. thx for the recommendation hoc. will try and drop by. i am finding it difficult to eat more than 3-4 meals/day! haha.

            i also want to try and find this place for kalguksu in yoido which is hand cut noodles, thick and irregular. almost like su jeh bi. unlike most places, the soup base is chicken, with shredded chicken in it. and the soup is very thick as the flour used to make the noodles thickens the soup. and the kimchi is outstanding.

        3. a few more:

          15. al bab (mixed rice with fish eggs)
          16. ganjang gejang (soy sauce marinated raw crabs)
          17. ge al bab (rice with marinated raw crab roe)
          18. bulgogi (marinated beef)

          6 Replies
          1. re: schung

            Hey Schung
            Your post caught my eye as I'll have a 8 hour layover in Seoul at the beginning of February and would love to have one good meal while I'm there! Your list sounds amazing and I'm looking forward to reading your blog when your trip is over.
            In the meantime, do you have any recomendations for places (preferably near a dropoff point for one of the KAL airport limos) that serve the 'imperial banquet' that I've read about? It sounds ideal for a meal as it would be a good way to satisfy my korean food cravings in one shot :) It sounds like some of the best places specialize in just one or two dishes.. and it's a shame because due to lack of time, I just won't be able to hit more than one or two of them!

            1. re: bjdew

              try To Dam Gol in chungdamdong. close to the koex airport bus terminal. i will provide details later, but it is a traditional korean meal with a variety of foods and stews and side dishes. the bulgogi is unique in that it is cooked the old-fashioned way - placed between 2 metal screens and grilled over coals. and not in a hot pot style dish which captures the juices with the meat. the kimchi is also very good.

              not really that expensive either. about w22k for the full course meal.

              1. re: bjdew

                right next to the koex airport bus terminal in samsung-dong is the hyundai dept store. go to the basement floor to the food court there. it is excellent.

                for an imperial banquet, you can try hanwoori. personally, I rarely do these banquets.

              2. re: schung

                Hi schung:

                Impressive list. Look forward to your review; I have a feeling it would be the ultimate food guide in Seoul for Chowhounders.

                1. re: FourSeasons

                  I'm with FourSeasons, I'm heading to Seoul in late March and in the research stage now.

                  Also, thanks Klyeoh for the detailed directions. I'll give it a try when I'm there.

                  1. re: lost squirrel

                    i've been to several restaurants which will be difficult ot find. but i've picked up name cards with phone numbers so that you can have the hotel figure out the directions.