Sunday, January 31, 2010
Friday, January 29, 2010
Here's a Spam wannabe. "Curry Pam" and "Spicy Pam." Clearly Koreans love their Spam and Pam products.
Boxed individual servings of soju ... as if they really needed to give people more reason to carry around juice boxes of soju.
Thursday, January 28, 2010
There is a second entrance on the side of the building. There's a sign that reads that in 2006 the city of Seoul featured it as its preferred restaurants for visitors. I don't know if they are still featured or not, but it's still worth visiting in my opinion.
This is sliced, raw burdock that they dressed in a mild, creamy sauce with some slice almonds. Jung said that it tasted like something he'd eat at a Western fusion restaurant. I was kind of surprised to see it served like this at a traditional Korean restaurant too. The creamy sauce brought out the natural sweetness of the burdock, it was crunchy and delicious.
Here's a close up of the abalone. I thought abalone cooked like this would be tough and chewy, but this was sooo soft and tender, like cutting through a filet.
Wednesday, January 27, 2010
While we were looking at some old silverware from street vendors, Jung and I literally stumbled upon the Areumdaun Cha Bangmulgwan (Beautiful Tea Museum). According to the sign below, it's a museum, gallery, tea shop and cafe all in one. Sounded intriguing enough so we went in.
The museum is in a renovated hanok, an old, traditional Korean house.
The museum exhibits and sells over 200 different varieties of teas from Korea, China, Japan, Sri Lanka, India and Europe. They have a wide range of green, black, brown, herbal and flower teas. This is the tea shop, where you can buy different types of tea as well as tea sets. I loved this floating candle decoration in the center.
Visitors can enjoy sitting in the central garden, where they can view the rest of the albeit tiny museum while drinking some tea.
Here's the front cover of the menu. According to the front cover, they've been around since 1998. Why have I not known about this place till now???
We shared the Chinese Pu-erh tea, which is an after-fermented tea.
Here's how to get here: From Exit 6 of Anguk Station (Subway Line No. 3), walk about 40 meters to Insadong-daero (between Crown Bakery and GS 25 Convenience Store). Proceed about 400 meters, and turn right at the Golden Jewelry Store.
Beautiful Tea Museum
#193-1 Insadong Chonglo-gu
We saw an exhibit at the Seoul Arts Center in Seocho-gu and were debating what to eat for lunch. My mom mentioned that the galbi-tang or short rib soup at Budnamujip might be sold out already but that we should go check just in case. It was noon. How could it sell out already by noon, right? Apparently they stick a sign out front notifying people when it's been sold out. I failed to see said sign, so I made my mom park and we went inside to find blank stares when we asked if they still had galbi-tang. Oops. I guess you have to have a super early lunch or basically eat this for breakfast if you want to get a taste.
한우 (Hanwoo) or domestic Korean beef is way more expensive than imported beef from America or Australia and as far as anyone is concerned in Korea, Hanwoo is far superior. It's a lot more expensive too. In fact, restaurants are required to disclose whether their beef is domestic or imported beef. Budnamujip is one such place that serves a lot of Hanwoo beef. Since there is a lot of byproducts to be had from a Korean BBQ restaurant, they use it to make the galbi-tang broth and it is apparently very flavorful. I have not yet developed a palate to distinguish Hanwoo from imported beef, but my grandparents and family members claim that it's way tastier than imported beef. They try to force feed us Hanwoo whenever we're visiting.
We didn't get to eat the galbi-tang this time around, but just wanted to give it an honorable mention should you be visiting Seoul anytime soon. Another great thing is that they have several locations in Seoul and they have a website in English.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
It comes out boiling hot. You can hear it sizzling in the pot (and snippets of my mom asking for rice).
Sunday, January 24, 2010
My method to getting rid of galchi bones is to take out the row of short bones on either side of the fish first. Then you can eat the meat of the fish on top till you see the single backbone. You then peel off the backbone and are left with delicate morsels to eat with the spicy and savory sauce. Equally tasty is taking a chunk of the soft and sweet radish with some spicy sauce and mixing it with your white rice and eating it. It's euphoric people, euphoric.
The menu lists several other dishes but I've never paid attention to those and if you look around, everyone orders these two dishes and nothing else. The gyeran jjim and galchi jorim are what make this small restaurant famous. Jung wanted to try the go-deung-uh (mackerel) jorim but they were sold out for the day.