When in Korea, do what the Koreans do! An old saying, huh? So when in Korea, I ate and drank like a local! So to speak, I never tried a Korean restaurant here in the Philippines. What I just stumbled upon with was tteokbokki or topokki at Café Tiala in Cebu some 2 years ago. So I was very lucky for having my very first try of real Korean food at Seoul last month! For what is more thrilling than having my first samgyeopsal and Soju (the most famous Korean alcoholic beverage) at a hole-in-the-wall-make-shift home resto in Seoul!
On our first night, we just followed our noses to find dinner around our neighborhood at Jongno-gu. Surprisingly, we did not have a hard time ‘coz we’re strategically located at a university belt so food was everywhere! It was actually gastronomically convenient for us and not to mention, the whole place smelled tasty barbecue! They say that Korean barbecue is the best barbecue ever so we decided to have it for dinner. But before that, Grakkie was so excited for street food so we dropped by a pojangmacha (wheeled street stall) for topokki and odeng. Will also be writing a story for this soon!
After having our appetizer, we headed down to another pojangmacha which is a tent bar this time but it is connected to a building unlike the other tent bars in Kdramas. Once I stepped inside, I felt like stepping into a different person having the urge to drink Soju! Well, that was just my travel goal – to get tipsy with Soju in Seoul! Haha! However, I did not get tipsy to be honest. Grakkie and I only shared a bottle of it ‘coz Crisma was not drinking. Grakkie actually wanted to order another bottle but I said no ‘coz we might get a hang over and will be missing our next day tour at Gyeongbokgung. Hehe… So, I only acted tipsy and here’s our vid of our fun, fun, fun first night in South Korea!
Samgyeopsal, a Korean barbecue is different from the other barbecues ‘coz it is unmarinated pork belly. Though unmarinated, the samgyeopsal in the video above was the best for me! It had a mild smoky flavor and not too greasy texture ‘coz it was grilled over traditional charcoal. Now this reminds me of the best street food in Bangkok me and my family had in 2016. Food is really tastier and at its best when cooked in natural fire!
Aside from the pork belly, we also ordered beef because they also always say that beef is good in Korea. It’s the Goblin’s favorite anyway! Hehe…. Now I am acting K-addict! Additionally, along with the meat were the side dishes like the world-renowned kimchi, pickled veggies, ssamjang (ssam is Korean for “wrap,” and jang means “paste”, a Korean spicy soybean paste), and lettuce to wrap the samgyeopsal with. Moreover, our order comes with a bowl of sizzling soup which was very helpful for us after hauling our luggage in the snow! Now if you haven’t got enough of Grakkie’s lettuce wrap tutorial in the previous vid, do click play below for a closer look at how to prepare samgyeopsal.
In contrast to my first samgyeopsal experience, meat is cooked over a stove in this vid and there’s a person in waiting to do the grilling for us. This time, we were inside a fancy resto at Myeongdong with high technology and better service. However, I felt more in love with the samgyeopsal at the tent bar than here. Though there were more side dishes here, the flavor of the meat was not that good as the coal-grilled one. Or maybe it was with the hands. Me and Grakkie did the grilling on our first so let’s just leave it at that. Haha! By the way, the bulgogi bibimbap was great here so hunt this place also when you get to visit Seoul! Thank you so much for the treat, Grak! 🙂
Names of the Restos:
Sorry we haven’t got any name ‘coz it’s in Korean but hopefully, the photos by the end of this post would help.
Total Cost of Whole Meal:
at the tent bar – 27,000 Won (P1,300)
at the high-tech resto – 42,000 Won (P2,100)
*Refill for side dishes is unlimited so ask politely.
*Don’t just get tipsy but get drank with Soju and don’t be afraid of having a hang over the next day!
Another country, another fooding experience! I had a fill of samgyeopsals in Seoul and I am more than happy for what is more authentic than having my first real Korean food in Korea! #tosomeats