A quick note on all my South Korea related posts – while I was very picture happy throughout, I kept forgetting to note down names of places we ate. Where possible I’ll give a rough idea of the area each place is in, but these posts will definitely be more of a celebration of the food than any sort of tour guide or helpful information! Also I can’t read Korean so I had no idea what I was eating at least 60% of the time, but we’ll muddle through somehow!
While in Seoul, we were staying basically right outside Seoul station, so it was supremely handy for getting around. We arrived in the early evening after many many hours of traveling, keen to drop our stuff and do a spot of exploring before bed. We jumped on the subway and just went one stop, to Hoehyeon. We wandered through narrow streets lined with stalls, taking in the smells of street food and trying to decide what to eat.
After much pondering, we were lured into a tiny little place with big pictures of tempting noodles on the windows. It was pretty much a room, with a big counter lined with stools, that separated the kitchen from the rest of the room. There was a vending machine type contraption where we chose our food and got a little ticket printed out to take to the counter, where a one woman culinary machine busily produced the meals for us and the other customers all by herself.
None of us were sure what any of the food depicted on the vending buttons was, so we basically just pressed the tastiest looking ones and hoped for the best.
Michael and I both got these dumplings, which were amazing. Judging by the texture they had a veg filling of some description, and they were a welcome cooling break from my extremely spicy noodles! I’d ordered the above bowl, noodles topped with veg and lettuce. It came with a bowl of broth to pour over, so I did that and tucked in. It was really tasty with lovely fresh flavours, but as I started stirring up the noodles it released some of the spice that was lurking at the bottom. After a while my mouth was numb and my face was streaming, but I was reluctant to stop eating as the flavours were so good – it did eventually defeat me sadly.
Out of Jenn, Buskie and Michael’s picks, I had definite food envy over the dumpling soup! None of us did that well with the food as we were all a bit tired and jet-lagged, and I think we’d underestimated how filling it would be. It was so tasty though, and definitely made me excited to sample plenty more Korean food.
On our second evening, we headed into the Hongdae area after a long day of touring the DMZ. I was really excited for dinner this evening, as we were having Korean fried chicken which I’d been so looking forward to. When we first ordered, our waiter made it clear we were ordering too much, so we scaled it down – we definitely overshot a bit though.
I must admit that I ate far more than I should have – it was just so good. We got a mix of boneless and bone-in chicken, and it was all super crispy, spicy and delicious. Absolute perfection with some nice cold beer!