Last week I went to check out another hot and trendy neighbourhood, Sharosugil, which is located by Seoul National University. This neighbourhood is filled with independently owned bars, restaurants, and cafes. There are also a large variety of different cuisines available and despite the weather being over 36 degrees, we set off on our exploration with gusto. One of the first restaurants we came across was Sudamerica. Having travelled extensively in South America some years ago, I was instantly drawn to the place and couldn’t contain my glee when I found out that they served empanadas. Whilst we found many other good looking restaurants on our tour, Sudamerica held the greatest appeal for me so we decided to luncheon there.
The restaurant itself is a cheery bright yellow and festooned with maps and flags from all over the continent. The menu is a bit of a mishmash, featuring dishes from different countries in South America, which is probably which gives the place its name. The owners are Korean, but they lived in several countries in South America, and the chef is from Paraguay. They also told me most of their customers are South Americans or Spanish, which to me vouches for the food. Notable dishes include Empanadas, Chipa, Ceviche, and Frijoada among others.
It being an insatiably hot day we ordered a glass of Sangria (5,500) each. It was exactly what we needed and very tasty. The other notable thing was the price, quite the bargain, my only regret is not ordering a second glass. Also on the drinks menu are a selection of South American Beers, Cocktails and bottles of wine (19,000 – 40,000). And for soft drinks they have Mate and Terere available which should please a lot of people too.
There are three kinds of Empanads Carne, Choclo, and Jamon y Queso (4,000). We ordered the Carne (beef) and Jamon y Queso (ham and cheese). The first one we tried was the Carne, first of all I was impressed with the size, they were more than ample. The outer pastry was fried which is generally my preferred kind, not that there is anything wrong with the baked ones. The filling was also bang on, when I bit into it there was a loud and resounding Mmm. It was stuffed with ground beef, hardboiled egg, and onions in a sauce like gravy. The Ham and cheese was stuffed with proper chunks of salty ham encased in a thick gooey cheese, although I’m not sure which cheese it was and foolishly didn’t ask. I’m honestly hot much of a ham eater, so had to say I preferred the beef (so much I ordered more to take home). But if you like ham I have no doubt you would love these too. I’d also be interested to try the corn kind next time. I never pass up an opportunity to eat empanadas on the few occasions I’ve found them and these are by far the best I have tried in Korea, I’d go back for them alone, and make sure I brought plenty home with me.
As well as the empanadas we ordered the Frijoada (10,000) a meat and black bean stew. The meat changes daily and when we ate it it was chicken, though I suspect there was beef and chorizo in the stock as it had such a robust flavour. It was served with rice and fresh coriander. The stew was so tasty, even in the hot weather it was so comforting. A really big and filling meal for the price, that took me back to my backpacking days.
We were lucky enough to be given a service dish of Panqueques de Dulce de Leche (9,000). I love the thick Argentinian caramel so was very excited to try it in the crepes. Omg were these good, I thought they would be nice but the flavour truly danced upon the tongue. This was definite legit dulce de leche and wrapped in the pancakes it was just the right amount of sweetness and finished off the meal perfectly. One of the best desserts I have had in a long time, don’t miss it.
Overall I loved the meal, I honestly didn’t have high hopes so was really surprised by how tasty and authentic the food was. The prices are excellent too, it is surprising how little things cost once you get out of Itaewon. Though the owners did tell us their rent has gone up recently since the area became popular. However if you are looking for South American food which is seriously underrepresented in this city, go check it out, it’s a really great spot.
Sudamerica is located at 1604-1 Bongcheon-dong, Gwanak-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Seoul National University Station (line 2) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight and take the second left, then walk down the street. You will see Sudamerica on the right hand side a little way down. For more information you can call them on 070-4521-9421 or check out their Instagram page. They are open from 11:30am-1:00am.