Empanadas have long been a favourite food of mine ever since I spend 3 months pretty much living off them whilst travelling in South America. Cheap and delicious they were sold everywhere and I had so much fun trying each country’s different version. I still yearn for them to this day. Occasionally I make my own at home, and even more occasionally I will stumble across a restaurant in Seoul selling them.
It was clearly in fate’s plans for TFB to stumble across new restaurant Da Korner so two star crossed lovers could once again reunited in holy gastronomy. Da Korner is located in the old Sugar Daddy location right next to McDonald’s. Apart from the somewhat dubiously spelled name it’s actually a pretty cute place. All faux grass and little wooden tables and tents. I’m sure it will be popular with the alfresco dining set. There is of course seating inside as well.
The menu is short and sweet with just four different empanadas, though since it’s a new place I don’t doubt they will add a couple more items. While the flavours of the empanadas didn’t look particularly traditional I figured I’d give em a shot anyway.
I decided to stick with the carne so ordered one Beef and Potato Empanada and one Beef and Tomato Empanada both (2,900). The owner suggested that I get the set (9,000) which included 2 epanadas, tortilla chips and three dips aside from the chimichurri. While I was tempted by the extra dips I was on a very strict budget and declined, but he ended up giving me a set anyway, which was very.kind of him.
After about 10 minutes my empanadas came out. The beef and potato was the first one I ate and it was scrumptious. I was at first surprised to see cheese in my beef empanadas but it added a nice texture and was quite nice and oozy. The beef and potato is nice and hearty and a similar flavour to a traditional pasty we get back in England. Good golden flaky pastry, and it was very well crimped, I was impressed that it was under three dollars considering it had beef, cheese and pastry, three of the most expensive ingredients in the city. The beef and tomato empanada was filled with a bolognese type filling and also cheese. Again this one was very tasty, not remotely traditional as far as I know but delicious so it gets the pass from me. It was kind of like a pastry covered ravioli.
Of the dips, the chimichurri was a highlight for me, nice and sharp with lots of lime and cilantro and was definitely the star dip of the day, the pico de gallo was also pretty damn good. The chips were just fried whole meal tortillas so nothing special, especially as I make these all the time at home, except for the fact I flavour mine. I was also shocked at the fact for another 3 dollars you only get three chips plus the tiny dips, it just doesn’t seem like it’s worth getting the set when you could have another empanada instead, although I’m sure the couple shirt sporting, set lovers will be going nuts over it.
Overall I was impressed with the empanadas, I’d go back for more of the beef and potato ones in a heart beat and if they could add my favourite pollo empanadas, some ham and cheese and some spinach ones they would really be on to something.
Da Korner islocated at 142-1 Itaewon-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon station (line 6) and come out of exit 4. walk straight for about 300 meters, Da Korner is just in the arcade next to McDonalds.