Being a Brit I take my fish and chips very seriously. It’s one of the foods I hanker after the most. For me there is nothing more thrilling than the car ride home with a hot paper package upon your lap scalding your legs while the smell of salt and vinegar fills the air. The wait to get home just makes ripping into those fish and chips even better.
More often than not fish and chips back home are usually a take out affair, unless you are by the sea, in which case you’ll most certainly visit one of the numerous fish and chip restaurants that line the coast. However elsewhere in the world it’s usually a sit down meal rather than take out dinner, and Korea is no exception. Second Ground opened up in Gyeongridan a few months ago, and I was definitely keen to give it a try, after the epic fail that was the fish and chip shop in HBC though, I didn’t have high hopes. I had a lunch meeting and figured that it was as good a time as any to give it a look. I was surprised at how big the place is, it’s set over three floors with a roof at the top. Despite the fact it was a gorgeous sunny day the roof was closed, but hopefully they will get it open soon because it’s prime lunch real estate, especially on the weekend. The interior is decorated in a nautical theme and all over are design nods to to British culture.
I was dining with a companion so we opted to share the platter (30,000) so we could have a try of everything. When it was presented I was quite impressed there was a huge amount on the plate, battered cod, John Dory, breaded shrimps, battered squid, and chips. The fish in particular was very good. The cod was in nice large pieces, (non sustainable so it would be great if they could use pollack instead). The beer batter was reasonably thick and very crispy. Not too far off what we would get at home. The John Dory came in thin goujon style strips covered in the same luxurious batter. There was real salt and malt vinegar and plenty of tartar sauce and fresh lemon, it’s these touches which really make the meal for me. The squid I found a touch on the rubbery side, but I’m not usually a fan. The shrimp were tasty and I appreciated the sweet chili sauce. Though it would be nice to see some mushy peas on the menu to complete the meal.
Sadly the chips, which are equally as important as the fish in my book, are frozen. We talked to the owner and he told us that they can’t find the right potatoes in the summer months, so can only offer hand cut chips in the winter. Which is probably the reason there aren’t more fish and chips in Korea. The fact that potatoes are so cheap and plentiful in England, is probably the reason so many people started serving it in the first place.
It was lunchtime and a business meeting so I decided to stick with a San Pellegrino (5,000), I didn’t want my dining companion to know that I’m a complete and utter raging alcoholic. But for those who do want to kick things off with a lunchtime drink, they have a decent selection of English beers, as well as the other ubiquitous choices, and bottles of Chandon sparkling wine for 70,000 which I thought was rather reasonable if you wanted to treat yourself.
Overall I was pretty happy with my fish and chips and I’d definitely go again, next time I’d go for a full fish and chips, and try and sit on the roof top, although they are also available for take out on Y-Not, so maybe I’ll save myself the 200 meter walk and get them delivered.
Second Ground is located at 600, Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-g, Seoul. To get there take a train to Noksapyeong station (line 6) and exit using the lift (elevator) next to the 7-11 to get out. Walk over the over pass bridge and take a left at the end. Walk straight down the road past Taco Chili Chili and Southside Parlour and take a right at the CU down the Street Churros ally. Second Ground is a little way down on the left. For more information you can call them on 070-8823-1315 or checkout their facebook page.