Monday, July 9, 2012

Recommendations?

I'm in Seoul until the end of the month, minus a side trip or two out of town. I have planned a long list of what's the same and what's different since I was last "home" (literally), which was three years ago (by far the longest I've been away from Korea since I was a teenager), but I'll do that another time.

In the meantime, I wouldn't mind some recommendations for places to eat, sip beverages, dance, read, or see cool stuff. So far I've been trying to fill my belly with food that is either impossible to find or prohibitively expensive in Honolulu and/or Orange County.

This has included decent samgyŏpsal (though, ironically, I wasn't a fan before), shrimp fried rice with jajang sauce (새우볶음밥) at a nice place not far from Yongsan-gu Ward Office, octopus pibimbap near the Dong-a Ilbo Building, etc. Nothing earth-shattering so far, and I'm on the lookout for some cheap shabu-shabu.

I may start poaching the restaurant suggestions at The Marmot's travelog, though probably not the mŏngmŏngtang.

Absent Yelp in Korea, any suggestions, recommendations, or inspirations? Online or off.

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10 comments:

  1. Two of my favorite restaurants in (or around) Seoul: 필경재 and 산당. Should be easy to search for them.

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    1. Can you narrow it down to a neighborhood (haven't searched yet, but I'm assuming that might make things easier).

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  2. You may already know of the place, but I always recommend Hadongkwan in Myeongdong. This place has been around for over 75 years and I had the fortunate opportunity of eating at its original location before they moved to their current location. For good down to Earth gomtang, this place can't be beat. Just be prepared for a noisy experience and dont mind rubbing shoulders with strangers as you share a table bench. It's easy to find as every taxi driver knows where it is.

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    1. I might be able to try that. I've been finding myself downtown a lot (which isn't all that surprising since I live on the southern edge of any map of Central Seoul and half Mu friends work in the area).

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  3. On Friday the 20th, drop by DGBD in Hongdae and check out what looks to be a great Crying Nut show (with bands The Moonshiners, Harry Big Button and more). Drop by the sound board and say HI... as I'd love to meet you in person.

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    1. That sounds interesting. I may be out of town on that particular day, but if I'm in Seoul I will check it out.

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  4. Maybe a little site called http://www.zenkimchi.com/dining could help.

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    1. Hmm... you know how I feel about bloggers using others' blogs to plug their own blogs...

      Plug away! :)

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  5. Yay, I noticed that 'pibimbap' spelling in lieu of the usual 'bibimbap'! It made me happy to see someone else acknowledging the clunky McCune-Reischauer rules I have to abide by.

    But of course, if that 'jajang' sauce is meant to be 짜장 sauce, strictly speaking that should be 'tchajang' (I believe allowance is made for 'established usage', so I guess the more intuitive 'jjajang' may be acceptable).

    Romanizing Korean is such a pain -- I wish they would pick one system and actually enforce it with fines and imprisonment. Just kidding. But I wish they would pick one system and actually enforce it.

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    1. The double consonants are an especially sticky wicket, but I was writing with the assumption that the Korean spelling had officially become 자장 instead if 짜장 but that it was still pronounced like a hard j instead of ch.

      And McCune-Reischauer rocks.

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