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May 27th 2013
Published: June 15th 2013
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How Korean can we get? Had this as inflight meal, and then again as soon as we landed in Seoul!
The North kept issuing threats but the South Koreans are unfazed. Those threats have become so regular that life remains normal here despite the newspaper headlines. Shops and night markets remain open, karaoke bars still blaring, glasses clinking as soju (Korean vodka) bottles are emptied, and restaurants and food stalls a-steaming with their specialty dishes!


Totally wasted. Completely zonked out. We'd likely never do this again. That is, taking a midnight flight to arrive 4am in Seoul. Good thing Incheon Airport is so welcoming. We stayed, glued to our seats in the airport's Cafe Pascucci , sipping our fav black liquids to start our day. No luck. Our energy level hit rock bottom for lack of sleep. Took a taxi to take us to Nine Tree Hotel in Myeongdong, a good hour's drive away. Of course, we're too early to check in at 7am. Left our bags and went to Sunday Mass in nearby Myeongdong Cathedral. Just a 15 minute walk from the hotel..... Maybe less, if we weren't dragging our feet. There was a Food Bazaar within the church compound so we claimed our seats
More bibimbap in another restoMore bibimbap in another restoMore bibimbap in another resto

Now, you can say I have my favorites.
here and bought our breakfast. Our first taste of Korean food on this trip. Rice cakes, pancakes, bibimbap, some gelatinous stuff eaten with soju, grilled meats and squids. We shared the table with friendly Koreans who spoke not a single English word. Really, no words necessary. And we had a "great conversation"! Amazing how we never stopped feeding ourselves -- they all looked so yummy -- in this land of Psy. Psy who? Psy of the Gangnam Style fame. His photo is displayed on many store signages, along with young Korean men advertising skin creams and other vanity stuff. K Fashion. K-Pop. K-hairdo's --- all those top curls or bangs way over one's eyes. Really. So Korean. So cute-sy!


To eat, and to eat some more. If only we can eat lunch twice, and have 2 dinners! Soooooo many choices. It's a chore deciding WHAT , and then, WHERE to eat. Too many choices. And we just love Korean food.

For our first dinner, we searched for Yong Yang Center in Myeongdong area in Seoul. Yong Yang means "nutritional center" and they
Ginseng Chicken for ENERGYGinseng Chicken for ENERGYGinseng Chicken for ENERGY

Just what we need after a sleep-deprived midnight flight from UB Mongolia to Seoul.
serve only 2 dishes: Ginseng Chicken Soup and Roast Chicken.Yong Yang's Wild Ginseng Chicken Soup, locally known as samgyetang, has been around since the 1960s. There's chicken and rice in the soup , much like our arroz caldo. Then the roast chicken has crispy skin you'd likely think it's fried. Both served with 2 radish banchans. Yong Yang is right beside Uniqlo in the Myeong-dong area of Seoul -- right smack in the shopping area. Note: I overrate and the ginseng overload gave me a migraine.


It rained the day we visited Itaehwon. A bit of shopping, then comes feeding time. An alley behind the Hamilton Hotel and Mall is lined with so many eateries catering to expat tastes. Naturally, we weren't venturing off our Korean food mode and our search ended with BUSAN Galbi Resturant. We were not disappointed.

Galbi Tang is soupier and the beef bulgogi wasn't dry either. On this rainy afternoon, we're not complaining. I love how Koreans serve their food straight from the stove. Steaming hot soups, freshly grilled meats and
Galbi TangGalbi TangGalbi Tang

Our soupy beef ribs from BUSAN Galbi Resto behind Hamilton Hotel in Itaehwon.
just-fried pancakes! We also love the assortment of banchans or side dishes served with every meal. Now, this is very Korean indeed. Think Kimchi, spinach, bean sprouts, radishes, etc.

Back in Myeongdong, there are more dining choices. There's Yoogane near our Nine Tree Hotel (near Myeongdong Station, Exit 8) where we tried the Dak Galbi for dinner. Served by this Resto since the 1980's, this popular dish of marinated diced chicken is served with an assortment of seafood (there are other choices) from prawns to mussels and octopus! A generous dollop of chili pepper sauce, mixed with rice, and voila --- you've got Korea's version of the paella. But spicier!


An unnamed resto in Myeongdong. It was too good for a last meal we forgot the restaurant's name. Just a couple of blocks and a half from our Nine Tree Hotel, in an alley off ABC Mart. Grilled meats, more bibimbap, more pancakes, japchae or Korean glass noodles, more banchans. The gluttons are happy!

Additional photos below
Photos: 20, Displayed: 20


YOOGANE's Dak GalbiYOOGANE's Dak Galbi
YOOGANE's Dak Galbi

Dak Galbi is marinated diced chicken which can be combined with an assortment of seafoods as with this dish. Mussels, octopus, prawns + rice + chili pepper sauce.

No words necessary. Our new Korean friends gave us soju for drinks and pointed to this gelatinous dish as the best to go with the Korean wine.
Topped with EggTopped with Egg
Topped with Egg

Now, my bibimbap is ready to eat! Yum
Korean PizzaKorean Pizza
Korean Pizza

Onion Pancakes which Koreans love to call Korean Pizzas!
Street Foods at Every CornerStreet Foods at Every Corner
Street Foods at Every Corner

You won't grow hungry here!
Our BUSAN Galbi Lunch Our BUSAN Galbi Lunch
Our BUSAN Galbi Lunch

Behind Hamilton Hotel and Shopping Center.
Korean SausagesKorean Sausages
Korean Sausages

Wish I tried them!
Best dinner in MyeongdongBest dinner in Myeongdong
Best dinner in Myeongdong

Problem is I forgot the resto's name. But it's near our Nine Tree Hotel!

15th June 2013

How long where you there?
I lived in Korea a few times and you seem to know more about the food than I do...and you probably ate more:-)
17th June 2013

I'm sure you've seen them!
Just that you had more resolve to resist them. Me? I melt in front of food!
15th June 2013

food coma indeed!
This is one of the best ads for Seoul. It all looks and sounds so utterly delicious, but the ginseng chicken really caught my attention!
17th June 2013

Ginseng all the way!
Best way to recover one's energy they say. It worked with me but too much of it and you'd get a headache. Takes some getting used too.
15th June 2013

Food for the Soul
Another great feast from Travelblog's food reviewer!
17th June 2013

Food defines my travels.....
I love to eat and I'm sure you know it!
15th June 2013

Korean food is delicious!!... this blog brought me good memories of my stay there! :)
17th June 2013

Even back home in Manila, I'd always make trips to a fav Korean Resto near my place. But no ginseng chicken here.
15th June 2013

One day, maybe...
I've never been to Korea, nor have I tried their food (although I nearly did at a little restaurant on Lal Ghat in Udaipur, India just a couple of months ago!). Your descriptions and pictures make it look almost good enough to eat!!
17th June 2013

Try it, Mike!
Got to warn you that they're mostly spicy though. But gooooooodddddd.
15th June 2013

You definitely are a fantastic foody writer! Not much of a meat eater, I still was dying for the incredible treats you described! Salivating so much, I must leave to make some veggie soup--you've made me mighty hungry! Great blog! Incidentally, the Koreans I've met here in Peru assure me that they don't take seriously the nonsense that's more between North K and the US.
17th June 2013

Banchans for you!
And bibimbap. All veggies. Love it too!
17th June 2013

I'm hungry now...missing all of these >_<
17th June 2013

K Food rocks!
Can't say I miss them. I ate Korean as soon as I got back. Once each week :-)
17th June 2013

"if we can only eat lunch twice, and two dinners"
You should apply for a job with a culinary magazine taking photos of food for them. You are the expert! Seriously-- we want to travel with you again! We must go to Korea.
17th June 2013

I'm headed back in October!
I'm actually going back late October with family. The girls are coming home and the kids have a sem break. You coming?
18th June 2013

Skorea's food
yep.. great food.. great taste...great experience..
23rd September 2021

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