Life in Seoul

Adventures in Food (2)

With only ten days to go in Seoul, the pressure to eat to my heart’s content is ramping up. My friends and I are racing through our dining bucket lists, and thus I have another post devoted to one of the best parts of travelling: food!

To start, this past week some friends and I went to Common Ground Shopping Center by Konkuk University, a pop-up mall made from shipping containers that makes for a unique and cute home to a multitude of shops. There are endless food options in the area, and after some debate, we decided to eat lunch at a Thai restaurant called – in a rather straightforward manner – Eat Thai. The restaurant was really nice, with a trendy-feeling environment and beautifully patterned dishes holding our even more beautiful meals.

We ordered two different dishes between the four of us, Pad Thai and pineapple fried rice. The food was splendid; my Pad Thai was chock full of bean sprouts, veggies, nuts, and noodles, and had plenty of flavor. My friends were delighted by the pineapple and passion fruit adorning their plates, and to round everything off, the owner gave us little coconut candies when we left.

This Friday, a group of my friends and I went to a bar for dinner under the guidance of my friend’s Korean boyfriend (it is always helpful to have someone who knows where the good food is and how to order it showing you around). Bars in Korea are usually focused on food as much as drinks, with large sharing platters being mandatory orders. This place, although I do not recall its name, was hidden away in Sinchon and offered huge servings for low prices. My table ordered two platters of stir-fried pork (one spicy and one normal, for the weaklings) complete with rice balls, mushrooms, and green onion, which is served on a hot plate. Along with our meal came Korean tuna salad with crackers, “corn cheese,” which is, as expected, corn in a cheese sauce, a french fries and egg platter, and some spicy lettuce with some kind of jellied almond cake. It was a feast.

In the second picture you can see our drink selection for the night, lemon makeoli (rice wine), which you drink out of a small bowl. Makeoli is a traditional Korean alcohol that I’ve really grown to like once I branched out and tried a few flavors.

After we left the bar, we decided to go to Sulbing (Korean Dessert Cafe) and order some of their new, seasonal melon bingsu. This is my third foray into the world of bingsu, and I love it more every time. This variety is served in the shell of a honeydew melon with a perfect sphere of the fresh fruit topping the dessert like a dome. We took turns slicing the melon and mixing it in with the shaved ice, sweet milk, and cream cheese ice cream – it was heavenly, and a perfect end to the night when shared between four people.

Then, on Sunday afternoon, I tried jokbal, or pig’s feet, for the first time. We headed to Myth Jokbal in Hongdae, a famous restaurant that serves this delicacy along with a huge salad and other side dishes.

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The meat is piled high on a platter, with tender boneless pieces on top ready to be scooped up by your chopsticks. As you eat, you slowly work your way down to the big, on-the-bone pieces at the bottom, at which point you don provided plastic gloves and go to town. This meal is not for those who wish to look dainty, but it was honestly the juiciest meat I’ve ever eaten and the salad was fresh and delicious. I can’t recommend it enough!

Afterwards, the indulgence hit the four of us like a truck as we faced the need to return home and work through the final papers that are due far too soon. You can see the lack of motivation and jokbal-induced coma that Jenny and Soo Ah are entering.

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That’s all for now, folks, but the prospect of leaving so soon is quite sad and I’m sure I’ll be eating my feelings with all kinds of different foods in my remaining time here.

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