Little Cuba

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Seoul’s food landscape is forever changing and in the 6 years that I’ve lived here, the change has been remarkable. Over time the city has become more and more international and there are very few foods you can’t get these days. A few months ago, Seoul’s first Cuban restaurant was opened in Sinchon. The owner and chef is Cuban Augusto Cesar Calzadilla, and he kindly invited me to come and try his food. I’ve never been to Cuba or eaten any Cuban food before so my interest was instantly piqued. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but my first thought was that it would be similar to the food we ate while travelling in South America, and after a little research I found out they did some excellent Cuban sandwiches. So off we went to give it a try. Continue reading

Yule Log

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There’s nothing like a spot of baking to get you in the Christmas spirit. And this past weekend I really got to test out my skills. I was invited to an ‘intime soiree’ in honour of the festive season with the glitterati of the Seoul Expat scene. The Christmas roast was all taken care of so I thought I’d be traditional and contribute a dessert and some mulled wine. The most festive dessert I could think of was a good old yule log. I’ve never made one before, though I did do a Swiss roll back in my school days which turned out well so I figured I could handle it. For the sponge part I had a good search and found that most people were on the fence about whether to use flour or not. I decided I’d go with Nigella’s recipe which is a fatless and flourless sponge. It comes out more like a very cakey meringue and is ever so light which I thinks works well with the richness of the frosting. I decided to make a whipped Nutella ganache which was incredibly yummy. With my decorating skills I was rather chuffed indeed and the whole thing was devoured instantaneously. I will definitely be making this frosting again, as it’s just so rich and chocolatey. It would be great on cakes or cupcakes in place of butter-cream. Continue reading

Namaste

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I am always on the search for a good curry, and the other day one of my best friends and most reputable eating buddies told me that Namaste is his favourite Indian restaurant in Seoul. Since he is a man with impeccable taste, I decided to take his good advice and go pay it a visit. Located near Dongmyo station I’d usually decline going to a venue so far from my neighbourhood for reasons of laziness, but since it was on my way home from work I threw caution to the wind and decided to just go for it.

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Located on the second floor of a somewhat shabby looking building, it’s far nicer once you go inside, no linoleum floor and strip lighting for a start. Lush sequin fabrics line the walls, the tables are carved wooden affairs, and Hindu gods and golden trinkets adorn every surface as far as the eye can see. It’s actually a very nice setting indeed.

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While I flicked through the menu I started off with a Mango Lassi (4,000). It was a Monday and all, and my liver had taken quite a battering on the weekend. Pretty damn good indeed and a good way to kick things off.

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To start we of course got samosas (4,000) as no meal is complete without them. The thick pastry crust was filled with potatoes and vegetables. As good as the ones I’ve had anywhere else, but sadly ketchup came as one of the dipping sauces along with the spicy green one. I always order Raita (4,000) on the side but it never shows up until long after my fried appetizers have been devoured, perhaps I need to start calling ahead.

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We also got the Vegetable Pakaura (4,000), again cheap and tasty but I  would like better dipping sauces. If that could be arranged they would get a two thumbs up from me.

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You can’t beat a good Chicken Tikka (10,000) and this one was flawless. The meat was cooked  traditionally in the tandoori oven on a skewer. There were juicy nuggets of marinated chicken in the wonderfully tangy and flavourful tikka sauce. Pure bliss , I could easily have eaten this all by myself.

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We decided to get an array of curries to please all our tastes. In particular for me the stand out was Butter Chicken (10,000) which was beyond rich and creamy heavenly goodness. The Vegetable Korma (9,000) again was exceptional and a dish I would never usually try. It was very mild but the sauce was so mourish. We got a Lamb Vindaloo (11,000) which is The Fat Boyfriend’s favourite but personally I found a bit too spicy, but he assured me it was on par. We also got a Palak Paneer (9,000) which is usually one of my favourite curries, but compared to the others wasn’t even half as tasty, and I didn’t really care for it. Overall I was pretty damn happy though.

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You can’t have curry without naan, so we got a couple of orders of the Garlic Naan (2,500). The bread was very good but not quite as good as the ones at Taj Palace or Everest.

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As you can see we had quite feast between the three of us. The few leftovers we had, we got wrapped up to take home. Plus a couple other curries to take home for later by a person who shall remain nameless. Overall I was really happy with the meal, the curries were tasty and the prices are exceptionally cheap. Despite the fact it’s not as close to my house as one would like, I’ll still be paying them another visit soon.

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Namaste is located at 316-2 Sungin-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul. Take a train to Dongmyo Station (Lines 1,6) and come out exit 5. The restaurant is on the second floor of the building just to your left. For more information call them on 02-2232-2286.

Hidden Cellar

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A few weeks ago it was my lovely boyfriend’s 30th birthday. In celebration of him growing old, I decided to throw him a surprise party. Being in the foodie scene in Seoul I’ve made friends with lots of restaurant owners over the past few years and had a lot of options at my disposal for the location. At first I got a little carried away, and was thinking cocktails, canapes, and sequin gowns. However Niall is more of a pints, pies, and sitting around in his pants kind of a man. So I finally settled upon on the Hidden cellar in Haebangchon as the perfect location. Continue reading

Peppino

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Peppino is a new Italian restaurant located in Itaewon just across from The Wolfhound Pub, having had various bad experience with Italian food in Korea, it’s one of those cuisines that I just usually avoid, unless I’m eating at Il Gattino of course where I know the food is as authentic as it comes.

So when I was invited to Peppino by the owners to come and try the food I was skeptical to say the least, but a girl’s gotta eat so I took my best two chingus along with me to give it a go. Continue reading

European Christmas Market

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Woo hoo, there are only 22 more days left until Christmas!!! I’ve already got my tree up and I’m wearing my Christmas jumper to look as jolly as possible and to get myself in the Christmas spirit. Continue reading

Plant

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Plant has been on my to go list forever, and I mean forever, it’s just been put off until now. But when my lovely vegan friend Derek came for a visit I knew that now was the time. Plant is a vegan restaurant run by Mipa the writer and all round wonderful lady that runs the Aliens Day Out Blog. The restaurant is small and quaint, serving up 2 different meals everyday as well as vegan baked goods, smoothies, and coffees. All the meals are written up on the chalk board and change daily. Continue reading