Brew 3.14

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Brew 3.14 or Brew Pie is the first restaurant venture of Seoul foodie extraordinaire Daniel Gray. The establishment has a rather clever name, brew is for the beer and pie for the pizzas. The place has been open for about 9 or 10 months now, and I have been meaning to pay a visit for a long time, however my reluctance to leave Itaewon-dong has always triumphed over my go-getter attitude.

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Finally I was in the area paying a visit to Bangsan Bakers Mart. Shopping for baked goods always leaves me rather peckish, so I thought it was about high time I checked out Daniels goodies.  The pub is cozy and compact, but we were welcomed as soon as we walked through the door. It has a real local feel about it and despite the fact there’s only seating for about 15, people cram themselves in regardless.

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The menu here is short and sweet, with them serving up a handful of pizzas, calzones and fried chicken. With their choice craft beers on tap (7,000 -8,000) it’s a very clever take on the traditional Korean Hof. Beer and chicken is where it’s at with the after work crowd and the modern twist will really appeal to the younger generation as foreign food trends become more popular.

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I think we know by now that I’m not much of a craft beer drinker, so I was thrilled they had a range of cocktails served in bags! I opted for the Blue Lemonade (8,000), made from real blue lemons!

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After a glance at the menu there  was one pizza that just spoke to me; the Chicken Bechamel (16,000), was calling my name. I’ll take a white pizza over a red one any day of the week especially with a thin crispy crust like this one. With sliced chicken and peppers it was a delight.

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We also couldn’t resist the Meat Calzone (8,000). Made with the same great dough as the pizza, the edges were crimped beautifully. Stuffed with cheese and tasty well seasoned ground meat. It was perfectly sized for one. I also adore the cute little stamp they have to brand them.

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With a nice pizza and good beer, it’s well worth stopping by if you are in the area and in need of refreshments.  All members of Seoul Eats facebook group get a 5% discount so be sure to mention it. Every little helps!

 

Brew 3.14 is located at 39, Donhwamun-ro 11na-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul. To get there take a subway to Jongro 3 ga(lines 1, 3, and 5) and come out exit 7. Take a right, then cross the street and take a left after about 100m. Follow that road along for about 50m or so until you reach Hase Bar and you will see it tucked away in a little alleyway to the right. You can call them on 070-4178-3014 or check out their facebook page for more details.

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Tomato Salad

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I’m keeping things nice and simple today, and not just because I am still suffering some ill effects from the weekend. A few nights ago I managed to get three kinds of different tomatoes for a mere 6,000 won. We are right in the midst of tomato season so they are all so cheap and plentiful. I’ve spend my summer practically living on salsa, panzanella, and gazpacho. Other than making some ketchup, I wondered what was left for me to do with the humble tomato. Korea’s rally upped its produce game in recent years and we are now getting a variety of different kinds. I didn’t want to overshadow these beauties by piling in everything and the kitchen sink. They are sweet and tasty all by themselves, so I wanted to get back to basics and eat them just with a few of the my home grown basil leaves from my terrace.

 

Ingredients

500g of tomatoes

A handful of basil leaves

A glug of olive oil

A small drizzle of balsamic vinegar

A pinch of salt

 

Directions

1. Chop your tomatoes into different sized pieces. I halved some and quartered or sliced others.

2. Drizzle with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle with salt. Be sparing with the vinegar as you don’t want to overpower the tomatoes.

3. Tear your basil leaves into pieces and toss with the tomatoes. Then enjoy your delicious fresh simple salad.

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Route 66

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With the raise of Itaewon lately it’s no surprise that restaurants are popping up like like there’s no tomorrow. Restaurants are here today and gone tomorrow. Last winter I reported about The Pizza Pub, but it has since changed hands and is now Route 66.

Instead of the self-service bar it’s back to the traditional kind. And I for one am thrilled. I am far too drunk and lazy to walk and get my own drinks. Table service is where it’s at. I  don’t want to realize I’ve lost the function of my legs until the end of the night! And trust me after a few their mega strong Long Island Iceteas (6,500), you will!

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The menu is pretty similar, they still have their amazing boneless wings (9,000) and a variety of pizzas (12,000 – 18,000).

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They have also put on the menu a range of huge and hearty sandwiches. We tried the Pittsburgh and the Chimichurri. Both were large and in charge, and filled to the brim with tasty meat and salad. The bread was exceptional, soft and chewy and very reminiscent of the bread they use at Casablanca. I plan to go back to try the Grilled Cheese BLT and the Meatball Sub!

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For the month of August their sandwiches are 1+1 on weekdays if you buy a drink. An amazing deal as you can can 2 different kinds, so be sure to go before next Friday. They also have the best pizza night ever on Wednesday, charging only 1,000 for a slice!

 

Route 66 is located at 2F 131-3 Itaewon, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, 140-858. To get there take a train to Itaewon station (line 6) and come out of exit 3. Turn back on yourself and take a left at the crossroads. Walk straight past Taco Bell and look for the building 2 doors. The Pizza Pub is on the second floor. For more information you can call them on 02-790-6590 or check out their facebook page.

Homeplus

Last week I visited Homeplus for the first time in about a year and a half. Not because I haven’t wanted to (nothing puts a smile on face like a trip to the supermarket), but because I made it my New Years resolution to try and support more local small businesses rather than big corporations. Although being entirely honest, there isn’t one near where we live so I am sure my laziness rather than my social conscience has probably attributed to that. But last week I was having a bit of a crap day then discovered there was one on my way home from work, so I decided to pop in and do a spot of food shopping to cheer myself up.

From the moment I walked in I was amazed at the change. I’m a fruit and veg fanatic these days and drooled all over the new section. Ingredients which were hard to find before are now prevalent. 3,000 won for a dragon fruit or only 2,000 for a coconut or passion fruit. Even avocados are only 2,300 each now. I never thought I would see these kind of exotic ingredients at such low prices.

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Next I popped over to the meat selection. Homeplus stocks an amazing brand now called Mr Beaks which do all manner of proper flavoured sausages, steaks, and packed meat. They even have marinated fresh lamb chops!

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The dried goods selection has made an amazing transformation too. They now have all the spices of the world. I didn’t have a look at every single one, but they had an amazing selection, plenty of cumin, dill, and chives. Compared to three years ago when all they had was rosemary, parsley, and curry powder it’s a huge step up. I also noticed cloves in the reduced section, so it might be a good idea to get in early for the mulled wine.

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I was also a bit excited to see they have a giant pick and mix selection, until I found out that it’s not technically pick and mix. They have tiny prepacked sachets, though for only a few hundred won each, you could just get lots! They also have Haribo finally, although still no Tangfastics, but it’s only a matter of time!

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Probably the best section was the Tesco’s Finest Range. The change here was incredible. Gourmet ketchup, cherry compote, Tuscan olive oil, orzo pasta,  a variety of Swiss chocolate bars and much much more.

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And look at these little beauties I found in the freezer. At 8,000 each they aren’t cheap, but they are proper English Ice-creams. Made in the West Country where I am from, Madagascan vanilla, West Country Fudge, Coconut and Mango, Passionfruit and Jaffa Orange, and Stem Ginger. I got the jaffa orange and passionfruit sorbet which was scrumptious and well worth the price tag.

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They even had a couple of other proper British items lurking like Heinz baked beans and shortcake biscuits!

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Anyway here is what I ended up with, came to about 100,000 which isn’t cheap but I bought lots of luxury items so I think I did quite well overall.

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Parmesan, Emmental, Giant pot of yoghurt, 2 pineapples, 300g of quality chocolate, sorbet, steak, croissants, prosecco, blackcurrant jam, black beans, and cheese sticks to name a few. I couldn’t even imagine finding these items 5 years ago and now my shopping basket was filled with them. I am one happy although slightly poorer camper indeed!

The Homeplus I visited is the one located at Gubeundari station on line 5. This was decently sized Homeplus but not giant. So hopefully they should have some these items at your nearest one too, although stock will vary from store to store.

Aventino

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Every day in Itaewon another shop is lost and another restaurant or cafe pops up in it’s place. As a food blogger you think I would be thrilled about this as I literally never need to leave Itaewon again with all the new places that are opening. But sadly most of them are trying to cash in with new crowd of Koreans that are visiting our little neighbourhood. I’m a fan of quality rather quantity when it comes to restaurants but c’est la vie.

Luckily Aventino is a great addition to the neighbourhood. I have been craving gelato all summer long, so it was great to finally get some. Barely open a couple of weeks, they have a range of about 10 different flavours. Once I had revealed my food blogger status the owner insisted I tried them all. And of course I took him up on his offer, it would have been churlish not to.

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After the round of samples, my clear favourites were the Lemon and Hazelnut. I was with The Fat Boyfriend so we decided to get two scoops (5,000) but I didn’t really think that lemon and hazelnut matched, so we went for the lemon and grapefruit.

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The lemon flavour was incredible. More sorbet than gelato it reminded me of the granita you find in tiny cafes all over Italy. It had just the right balance of sourness. Sweet and zingy all at the same time, it really was perfection on the lemon dessert front. The Grapefruit sorbet was also very tasty. I’m not usually a fan of grapefruit as I find it too bitter, but since The Fat Boyfriend loves it, I decided to give it a go. It was darn tasty and complimented the lemon perfectly.

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I also have to give big props to the Pistachio and the Stracciatella. When I was in Italy I  practically ate a gelato a day and am in love with tiramisu gelato. So if they can get that on  the menu I’ll be in heaven. They also have large to go containers so you can get a couple of pints to take home, which is just perfect for eating while you lie on the sofa and watch the new season of Project Runway.

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Aventino is located at 567 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong station (line 6) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight until you reach the under pass, go through and take the stairs on the right. Walk straight past Trevia and Taco Chili Chili, until you reach Aventino, it’s just on the left before the post office. You can call them on 02-792-0567 for more details.

Battered Sole

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Battered Sole has finally opened a second location here in Itaewon. But this time they are offering Gastro Pub fare, as opposed to their Sinchon location, which concentrates solely on fish and chips. With pub style food and their home-made cocktails, there was no stopping me from paying them a visit. Luckily they invited me to the launch party, although if they hadn’t I’m sure I would have been barging my way in regardless.

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The downstairs restaurant is a pretty decent sized minimalist pub style affair, all wood, chalk boards, and black leather. However it’s their roof top which is the real show stopper! With Seoul’s only real grass roof, you can spread a picnic blanket and gaze out over the city skyline and soak up those rays while enjoying a tipple or three.

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The current menu is short and sweet, offering a handful of choices while they hone their craft. But with daily specials it will only grow over time. I was very tempted by their special of Buffalo Duck Wings (10,000). With none of us ever having had duck wings before we were excited to try them. They were very meaty with a good flavoured buffalo sauce. Much bigger than chicken wings though, they will be a hit with dark meat fans everywhere.

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After sampling them at the opening, I couldn’t resist trying the Fish and Chips (14,000). The piece of lightly coated beer battered pollack, was very tasty. The fish was fresh and the batter was light and crisp, though personally I like my batter a little thicker. It went perfectly with the mushy peas. Served with their fabulous triple cooked chips which come with real malt vinegar. It was proper English fare. They also make their own ketchup and tartar sauce, both of which are insatiably scrumptious. I could eat this every day of the week.

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We also ordered the Duck Breast (14,000) . Cooked perfectly so it was just a little pink in the middle, while the skin was still crispy.  Full of flavour it was a lovely piece of meat, and not something you often see on menus in Korea. The mash was a little under seasoned but there was a jug of red wine reduction gravy which accompanied it which has just the right balance of sweet and saltiness and complimented the dish well. A very reasonable price for a meal like this.

 

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My friend ordered the Poached Salmon (14,000). Cooked sous vide at 52 degrees Celsius, he enjoyed it immensely. The egg was perfectly poached, and served with a good garlic hollandaise and wilted spinach. I can’t wait to try it smothered all over their Eggs Benedict when they get the brunch menu up and running.

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After our mains we didn’t have any rooms for dessert, but did partake in some cocktails of course.

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Excellently priced at only 4,500, these drinks are pretty darn good. The Dirty Lemonade and watermelon flavoured Pink Jaime are probably my favourites. Although I’ve already been enough times to make my own drink which is half and half of the above which I have called The Pink Gemmonade!

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I have pretty much tried all the cocktails at this point, and haven’t found one I don’t like yet. However they still need a little more work on their beer selection. The only cider they have available at the moment is Rock Creek Canadian cider. With all the amazing imports that are available at the moment they really need to get some good British ciders stocked, then it will be a proper British pub.

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Battered Sole is located at 2F, 9-4, Itaewon, 19-Gil, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon station (line 6) and come out of exit 1. walk straight, and take the first right after KFC. Walk to the end of the until you reach the road which runs parallel to the main road. Then turn left and walk to the very end of the alley way. Battered Sole is is a little alley way between Praha and HBC Galbi Jib.You can call them on 02-7496867 or check out their facebook page for more details.

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Nutrition Mission

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With it being Monday and all, I thought I would kick off the week with a nice healthy post, to inspire those who overindulged on the weekend (which of course includes me). Considering the name of my blog it may shock and surprise some of you that I have always been interested in eating healthily, although I haven’t always managed to do it in practice. I love junk food more than life itself sometimes, and you would have to pry the Chicken McNuggets out of my hands before I’d share them with you. However despite the abundance of chicken nuggets in my life, I have always been one to eat all my fruits and vegetables as well.

 

Since turning 30 and getting engaged I have really started to be more interested in eating healthily. I have been trying to incorporate more healthy foods into my diet and cut out some of the junk  in preparation for my impending wedding, as I want to walk down the aisle rather than waddle! Although it’s not always easy I am trying to eat as well as I possibly can whilst still enjoying the foods I love, as there is no way I’m ever going to give up being a food blogger!  For the past 9 months I have been following a healthy eating ideology of  raw til 4pm , 5 times a week. I drink a green smoothie for breakfast every morning and then eat salad, fruit, and nuts for my lunch and snacks. Then I eat a normal dinner.  I still eat cake, pizza, chips and fried foods but not around the clock, just a couple of times a week rather than every day. It has not always been easy but my body feels great after making these changes.

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I have decided to share my progress with you because after 29 years of being overweight, I have finally reached a weight which is deemed “normal”. No longer am I slotted in to the plus size or obese category, although that still feels strange and I think I’ll always consider myself a Fat Girl at heart no matter what size I am. I look and feel so much better now, since changing my diet I have more energy than ever before. Although it’s a bit a cliché I’ve finally found a balance in my eating habits and a program which works for me. I have always found it easy enough to eat healthy during the day, but as soon as night comes around and I start watching TV, I can’t seem to stop stuffing my face. So eating raw and doing exercise in the morning keeps me motivated to make better choices later, and if I want to eat something more calorie laden later, I can knowing I have given my body all its nutrients early on. With amazing breakfasts and lunches like this, it’s really not that hard.

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After going it alone for a few months I had some great success, but was starting to get stuck in a bit of a rut when I met Jaime. She told me all about Nutrition Mission and was impressed with what I had achieved and invited me for a free consultation.  The programs that she offers are designed around you and through the use of Personalized Menu Plans and Body Analysis, she helps her clients achieve optimal health to prevent or manage various chronic diseases. You can get as much help as you need, which includes menu planning, personal shopping advice, and pantry reorganizing for those who have no idea where to start.

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One of the most popular programs she runs is her one month detox. A plan designed to clean and nourish our bodies with what they are most craving. No one is starving or missing out on meals, just eating clean food that will provide our bodies with what they need. If you are wanting to kick start a cleaner you, then this is a great way to get the support and information that you need. She made excellent suggestions about my current diet and told me where I could improve and how to get more variety into my meals to keep my body making positive changes.

As part of our consultation Jaime made me a delicious and healthy dinner. She introduced me to a new food and super grain millet, which is incredibly prevalent in Korea as well as being cheap. It’s also less controversial than quinoa which is getting a bit of a bad rep ethically these days. Due to its popularity it’s now too expensive for the South Americans, whose diet it’s a staple of, to buy. She formed this super grain into patties and flavoured them with nutritional yeast, which, due to iHerb, I have an abundance of. It’s a vegan miracle food as it gives food a cheesy flavour that it’s hard to find anywhere else. The result was these fab millet patties, which I have already recreated a couple of times. Check out the recipe here!

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As a Holistic nutritionist, she will help find out any illnesses or health problems you are having which could easily be related to what food you put in your body. I found out that I eat way to many acidic foods which is causing problems with my teeth and pituitary glands, and through the menu plan that she designed for me I now incorporate more alkaline foods into my diet. At first I was worried that she would tell me off for all the KFC I ate, but rather than concentrating on the negatives she told me what I was doing right and encouraged me to do more of that. She also taught me some great recipes like her strawberry chocolate pies, which are amazingly tasty and full of nutrition. Filled with ingredients that nourish the body, it’s no big deal if you eat the whole thing!

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Overall Jaime said that my diet wasn’t too bad,  I should just try and apply the 80/20 rule. None of us are perfect and we should enjoy what we love in moderation which is what I am trying to do now. I still eat a whole pizza sometimes, but I also have lots of days where I eat clean healthy food. This way I can have my cake, and eat healthily too.

To inspire you all and reward you for being such faithful readers, I have decided to post some of my before and after pictures. My weight has always yo-yoed but I think finally I’m on the right track, and with Jaime’s support and encouragement I have the tools to keep maintaining my weight at a healthy level. Below are some pictures of me at 25 and 30. I never thought in all my life I would look this great at 30. After spending my 20’s dieting non stop I had pretty much resigned myself to being overweight forever. So it doesn’t matter how old you are, if I can do it so can you.

 

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If you too want a nudge in the right direction, Nutrition Mission will be hosting a 14-Day Detox Program from September 27th to October 11th. This program will help you get the tools you need to incorporate a gentle, yet effective 14 day gentle cleansing program and detox your body. With the help of Holistic Nutritionist Jamie Melnychuk you can remove what’s holding you back and add everything your body needs for optimal energy, clarity and renewal. If you would like to find out more about Nutrition Mission, check out their website or facebook page.