It’s official… I love korean food and it all started with the korean dramas. When we were assaulted by the flood of korean dramas, its food culture also slowly creeps up on us just like what the japanese drama/ shows did years back.
In my humble opinion, korean cuisine is robust; communal (in very big portions and meant for sharing); and accompany by the many side dishes (반찬, banchan) which we now find familiar in Singapore. The world famous Kimchi (김치) is served often, sometimes at every meal. Commonly used ingredients in korean cuisine include sesame oil, doenjang (된장, fermented bean paste), soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, pepper flakes and gochujang (고추장, fermented red chili paste).
My third time to Seoul, I brought along 2 friends to show them the korean cuisine I love. First stop after checking in into our hostel will have to be their beer place (before our dinner). In Korea, their bar or pub are shops with the “Hof” signs and there are tons of them around. One thing to note is that Korean like to drink with some food, snacks or fruits. This place we chose is an octopus place (알쌈 신 쭈꾸미) which has quite a few outlets in Seoul.
Once seated, the side dishes (반찬, banchan) are served (are self help) which I must say they are quite good. It is marinated eggplant and mushrooms which we took countless servings (until we are quite embarrassed about it)
We ordered their specialty stir-fried Octopus (낙지볶음) to go with our jug of beer (my apologies as I was busy drinking the beer, I forgot about taking a photo of it). The octopus is chewy and spicy and comes with cold noodle (for the extra carbo). As you can see, most of their food is mixed with a generous amount of red chili paste (gochujang) to give it a nice colour and spicy taste.
I actually preferred their spicy freshwater snails (달팽이). It is more like a salad as it is cold and mixed with lots of vegetables like cucumber, carrot, onion and sesame seeds. Spicy, crunchy and chewy that goes extremely well with the ice cold beer.
A nice place to have a beer (the beer is cheap when compare to Singapore, but then most places in the world serves cheaper beer) and catch up with friends (the place is packed!). They have english menu so it is a breeze to order.
Location: Hoehyeon-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, 34 (서울특별시 중구 회현동 34)