It’s a hot summer day in Seoul, and you opt to start a food trip. You go to a place calledoksarae-jokkake-seong, or “chair-side chair.” What you are served is an elaborate daikaku, a bowl of rich Japanese rice porridge with pickled ginger and onion, wasabi and ginger juice, and sweetened with ginger and shoyu sauce. You really feel like you’re experiencing an authentic Japanese experience. Sounds like something from a Japanese-themed restaurant, doesn’t it?
Hotels, restaurants, and cafes all over Seoul offer an amazing variety of food and drinks to their guests. Many hotels in the O-zone, near the swanky venues of Jamsil, Central Park, have delicious traditional Korean dishes prepared by the hotel’s own chefs. Many of the well-known restaurants in the O-zone also serve Chinese and continental foods. If you want to try something new and more unusual, you can ask a young Korean servant girl to suggest you some places to eat. She will probably lead you to an unadvertised and highly recommended hidden gem just a few blocks away.
If you are not very familiar with Seoul cuisine, you would be delighted to know that most restaurants here offer an English menu. Restaurants such as Jamsil, which boasts an English menu, also has an exclusive selection of wine and beer on tap. If you’ve never tried South Korean beer, try their Haeundae, which is dark and strong with hints of coffee and vanilla. The prices are quite reasonable, too.
Seoul’s cheapest hotels can be found in the O-zone, in the vicinity of Jamsil. In fact, you could easily mistake O-zone for a posh New York City restaurant. A lot of the O-zone’s hotels offer an extensive list of delicious dishes on their websites, but it is a good idea to try out their restaurants for yourself at least once before booking your next trip there. For example, one of the hottest is Phinnae, which is known for its dim sum. On weekdays, they offer a special afternoon tea, which pairs beautifully with their delicious dim sum dumplings.
If you are looking for a place where you can taste a wide variety of Korean delicacies, look no further than Dongju-do. The name may give a hint: this is the birthplace of Korean barbecue. You can choose from a variety of traditional and foreign dishes, and each has a distinct flavor that will surprise you. There are also many interesting restaurants that serve international fare such as pizza and French cuisine.
If you are interested in learning more about the history of Korean food, it might be a good idea to visit Haeundae in Busan. This place is absolutely packed with Asian ambience and a vibrant mood. On weekends, you will definitely want to take part in the various festivals that are celebrated here like the Korea-Italy Food Festival. In fact, the city is actually host to the worlds’ oldest Italian cinema the Busan International Film Festival. On top of all this, the Dong Ju-do, or the Food Center of Korea, is a fantastic place to learn about the cuisine. The organizers of the festival make every effort to feature Korean dishes from different regions, and you will never run out of places to sample different tastes and textures.
In order to experience authentic Korean cuisine, you should try out the Won-joo Restaurant. The restaurant was originally built in the year 1961, and it serves a unique take on traditional Korean food. Their trademark dish, beef with rice, is a masterpiece of beauty and tenderness. If you like your food sweet and salty, you will love the barbeque kebab at Won-joo. It has an exotic flavor and it is not to be missed by anyone.
Another famous South Korean restaurant is the Hae-joo. It is located in Mallipo Bay and is known for its fabulous seafood delicacies. The owner Cho Joo developed his own signature cuisine, which combines a variety of spices and vegetables, along with flavors from all over Korea. As you can see, there are many great food & wines restaurants in Seoul, and you are sure to find one that is perfect for you.