Before you even start reading this, your curiosity may have peaked just at the title of the post. So what's this 'dirty dirty' about Linus Kim? Well, the story starts from Alabama where he grew up in the 70's-80's. This guy probably loves barbeque more than anyone I know. We've been friends since 1997. Ok, that sounds so ancient. I've seen Linus through thick and thin, we drove each other crazy over the years, but maintained our strong friendship. I think it was our jjimjilbang moments that saved our friendship as it was the 'neutral zone', where we would pig out on Korean snacks and watch Korean dramas. A man of many talents, but one thing that stands out with the most gusto: his skills and knowledge about pork. He really does have a refined palate that you can't even be sneaky when you cook, because he'll call you out on all your secrets! haha.Read More
Jars of hwangari at Hahoe village.
Food tour in Andong. Start time 7am. 3.5 hours.
Actually it was more than just a food tour. More like 'Korean style oriental herb healing tour,' as it's actually titled. The tour was led by 'Big Farm', which is a creative hub for agriculture here in Korea, alongside Ongo Food communications. They teamed up to lead this tour for mostly foreigners in Korea who were interested in diving into the world of farming.
For this post, I think I'll just let the photos speak for themselves. I can confidently say... that this is the best sushi I have had in Korea! Recently, a friend introduced me to this sushi haven at the Shilla hotel-Ariake. We were fortunate to dine at the sushi bar, and the experience was just pure joy. A few things that I have never tried before-like the squid sashimi with yuzu zest-wow. I'm personally not a huge fan of squid, but the way Chef Song prepared it almost paper thin, with the texture so rich and buttery-I'm converted. I thought they marinated it in something profound, but soon found out that it was just the pure quality of the squid, haha. The toro & uni were exceptional, and I observed some techniques that were truly quite unique & refined at Ariake. Perhaps you can only see this kind of sophistication at hotels like the Shilla and of course Japan? Haha. Oh do I hope to visit again soon~Read More
So here's another cafe to put on your list if you're in Seoul. Coffee+flowers+desserts+brunch+Linus' southern smoked bbq pork!!!
The first Bloom & Goûté was off of the main Garosugil street for years-this is their new location which is one street over that recently opened this summer, still in Sinsa-dong. For those familiar with Garosugil/Sinsa-dong area, you will notice that there have been some major changes in the last few years. Quite different from when I lived there a few years ago. The local, artsy, boutique cafes are slowly disappearing, and the big brother is taking over the whole block! Ugh. However, the previous owners will not put their guard down...instead they seem to relocate their business near there for their loyal customers. Bloom & Goûté is just one of those cafes. Similar to their first location, they have a flower shop inside the cafe, as well as a good selection of desserts and coffee. I actually prefer their new location, as the interior is done well, and there is a huge improvement on their savory menu. Their savory menu only provides brunch, but the best part about it is that their croque monsieur & the eggs benedict has my good friend Linus' smoked pork! Ok, I checked this cafe out for this very reason. Never would have come up with southern style (Alabama that is) smoked pork with melted gruyere & parmesan cheese in a sandwich! You may have heard of Linus' famous smoked bbq in Seoul, doing pop-up's and catering events...I will be doing a follow up post about his goods.Read More
If you're in Seoul, you will quickly notice the number of Italian restaurants everywhere. Most western dining experience in Seoul includes pasta and pizza. Okay, I stopped asking myself why...the the first few months of my arrival, haha. Do Koreans really love their noodles and cheese or what? However, with this said not every place that serves Italian does it well. After being disappointed countless of times, I started making/eating Italian at home. Then you might find a few good restaurants ones here and there...Read More
You can achieve quality taste without msg in royal cuisine.
You may think that the quote above is pretty random or weird. The sad truth is, is that so many Korean restaurants (I will boldly say majority) in Korea, use a lot of msg. When I first moved here a few years ago, I struggled with indigestion for a year! Only to find that it was the Korean food that caused it. Not to say that there aren't restaurants who do it the proper way and leave msg out of the picture all together. During this course, after carefully learning how to marinate and season food without any additives, everything was quite clean and authentic! So you can achieve the quality taste at home by using natural ingredients to prepare amazing Korean dishes.Read More
Theme for day 4- '궁중상추쌈' or royal lettuce wraps.
Day 3 & 4. I just have to say these past few days were a lot of fun. Not only were the things we had to make challenging, but the history portion of the class was quite interesting. For those who live in Korea (mainly speaking to ex-pats, foreingers) you may ask yourselves when eating Korean food why everything is pickled, marinated, and you don't see a whole of just 'fresh' veggies. Well, a bit of history that I learned. During the days when the King ruled the land, everyone had to produce items for 'the palace' or '궁'. However, since it took days to have the items delivered to the palace, you never found raw fish, fresh veggies, and even some fruits. Everything had to be dried and preserved before it entered the palace. Therefore once it entered the palace grounds, the chefs had to create dishes soley upon what they received. So when studying royal cuisine recipes, everything is marinated, fried, cooked all the way trough, etc. This explains a lot as to what we know of Korean cuisine today. However, the farmers & peasants ate the most fresh vegetables & fruits, and 'bibim bop' gave birth in that very comnumity (thus I hear they live for a long time). Interesting how this dish is one of the dishes that is most recoginized today when it comes to Korean cuisine!Read More
Alas, the Korean royal cuisine course that I have been waiting for has begun this week. I was hoping to do a daily post, however I think I'll update every few days (my friend Tom from tomeatsjencooks will so not forgive me for this!). Normally this course is offered in a span of 4 months, but for folks like me who is too impatient to endure the 4 months, we do a 2 week intensive 'crash' course instead, haha. So where exactly am I taking this course you may ask?Read More
This was my favorite afternoon tea spread-black sesame cookies with tea tags!
Concept is to just dunk in coffee/tea and eat!
Some of you may wonder what I do besides eating around town and blogging. I am currently serving as the Director of Catering for Kyotofu Seoul. Funny how I can't seem to escape this industry, haha. The days seems like yesterday when I had my own catering business back in Chicago. The tears and sweat from those days have followed me here. What can I say, event planning will always be a part of me!
Steamed pork 'bossam' 보쌈 론 빌라쥐
I am embarrassed to admit that the two plus years I have been in Seoul, I have yet to take Korean cooking classes. Although I have been cooking Korean for some time now, never really got around to learning the authentic Royal cuisine courses offered in Korea. Aside from the usual excuses like 'no time, no money, not sure where to go, blah blah blah' I have finally committed to signing up for classes this summer! I've got real hopes...Read More
The Back Kitchen Seoul...
Here's the story of two food lovers who met in Seoul through the wonderful world of blogs.
Wanna hear a nutty story behind our first pop up?
So it begins.
Joe McPherson from Zen Kimchi and I randomly discussed doing a pop up in a car ride back in March. We never shared a kitchen before, let alone run a 40 seat pop up! So we decided to make our lives more complicated and fun by setting the date on Seoul's first pop up. Yeah, we're nuts. So what the heck is a pop up you may ask? Well, you may have heard of supper clubs or underground restaurants. Similar concept, but you basically take over a space (preferrably a kitchen space in an existing restaurant), come up with a creative food menu, and feed folks who want to eat your food. Oh by the way, there is money involved. Either a set fee for the meal, or suggested donations. For our pop up, the suggested donation was 35,000 won/guest for a 5 course meal. Uhm, I think this was a steal! hahaha.Read More
We had our ghetto gourmet dinner 5 back in January, sorry for the late posting! For this dinner, it was my turn to cook. Let's just say, I think it took some time to get my gears going when I cooked this meal. However, all of our friends were so patient and helpful with making this dinner as smooth as it was! Sid Kim is our guest writer for this post. I met Sid over a few years ago, first when I made a guest appearance on his TBS food program 'Seoul of Asia' (back in the day when I was working for Edward Kwon). Then from what I remember, the next few times we met, it involved wine in social settings. Now we're food buddies. Sid is one of those guys where you just want to give him a big hug when you see him! Always a smile on his face, and for some reason if you're having a bad day, just chatting with him for a few minutes will make you feel better. He's like the big brother you want to have. Not to mention his food palette and knowledge is something else. Perhaps Eunji's amazing cooking has 'spoiled' his taste buds, hahaha.
A bit of info about Sid: He is the director and founder of Wise Education, an educational consulting company that prepares students for entry to prestigious U.S. schools. "I love to eat, travel, eat, write, eat, drive fast cars, eat, ride motorcycles, and eat."
Thanks Sid for sharing your story on this dinner!Read More
What is one's Korean American experience with Chinese food? For me (and I'm sure many others may share this experience) it was growing up with Korean/Chinese fusion: jjajangmyun (black bean paste noodles), jjampong (spicy seafood soup) and some form of sweet and sour pork amongst others. Then again, I think this is what's most popular in Korea as well, and many may actually think this is authentic Chinese!Read More
Just as Spring started to say 'hello', Eunice, Barbara and I went antiquing and enjoyed a nice Korean lunch spread in this quaint town in Gyeonggi-do province (northwest of Seoul). It was that one first warm day in March that welcomed us with sun! The photos here are these random boat houses that we spotted by chance, right behind the restaurant we ate at (sorry, can't remember).
Ahh, it was great to take a quick getaway from the city...Read More
Seoul in the City and Zen Kimchiwill host Korea’s first ever pop-up restaurant! Yes, Joe McPherson and I will be cooking up a storm! These (usually) secret temporary restaurants have been a popular trend from L.A. to London. Called “Back Kitchen Seoul,” this first endeavor will open for one night and one night only on April 21st from 6-10 p.m. The theme will be re-imagined Korean ingredients. There is no official charge for the family-style dinner, just a W30,000 suggested donation for ingredients, time and effort. Drinks are extra.
This is a good chance to try food you won’t find anywhere else in Seoul while meeting interesting folks. The pop-up will be at Café Gondry in Anguk-dong. You can get more information and RSVP at zenkimchi.com.
Hope to see you guys there!!!
I think this may be one of those posts that my friends have been waiting for. I have to admit that I was kind of holding back a little because I wanted to savor this pizzeria to my self. Ok, maybe with a few others. Although I did recommend this spot to other folks in media, food bloggers and close friends. It came to a point where if I don't share this place with my readers, it would just be unfair. Really.
I stumbled upon this pizzeria in Hannam-dong last fall, recommended by another chef. The moment I sat down I fell in love with the quaint interior, and my expectations slowly arose. As I thumbed through the menu, my hunger got stronger. Then, when I noticed that there were no English mistakes on the menu, I was sold! Hahaha. For those who live in Seoul, you will so understand. My first visit, I fell in love with their calzone and their prosciutto/rucola pizza. Their pizza reminds me of my favorite Neapolitan pizzeria in Chicago-Spacca Napoli. The thin, slightly burnt crispy crust with the utmost fresh ingredients. This is it guys. Seriously. You may just want to 'stop all pizza research' here!Read More
As strange as it sounds, even though I am currently residing in Seoul, I have not quite scoped out all the greatest Korean restaurants here yet. It seems like it's a continuous hunt, trial and error, or MSG overdose. Then when you do find one where you want to give your own Michelin star rating, I tend to 'hand pick' these favorites and tuck them away in my back pocket. Yeah, I am kind of revealing my bad tendencies, hahaha. However, from this point forward I decided to start unraveling those very places that deserve to be noted for. I would like to begin with Mugunghwa.Read More
For our first recipe series, I would love to introduce Ms. Boulette from Germany! A Korean/German currently residing in Germany, shares her passion for Korean food through her amazing blog here: miss boulette
We both met through our blogs, and it's quite a treat to know another fellow Korean who has a passion for food across the globe in Germany! She shares one of her favorite German recipes in this series with Seoul in the City.
But before we find out what this special recipe is all about, I thought it would be fun to share a little bit about her with all of you...
I would like to say a *BIG THANK YOU* to all my friends, families, & readers of Seoul in the City! I was blessed with fellow bloggers and friends visiting me in Seoul this past year...and many of whom I met for the first time here in Seoul! When some of Seoul in the City readers are in town, they will hit me up with an email, ask about good eats around this city...then followed by 'hey you free to meet up?'Read More
I would love to introduce my good friend Keeyeon Daniel Warren as our guest writer for this fourth 'Ghetto Gourmet' dinner. Keeyeon was one of the first people that I met when I came to Seoul a few years back. To be honest, I wasn't really impressed with him at first, hahaha. However, over time I have come to just love this guy! He's one of those 'the more you get to know him, you naturally grow more attached' kind of guys. I can honestly say he's like family to me here in Seoul. His witty sense of humor will always bring a smile no matter how bad my day can be. Him and his wife Youngwan are truly one of those amazing couples where together they make a great team. Keeyeon is currently a partner of Relevant Matter with Jonathan Carfield, and they both launched 'Korea Bites' last year. If you see a guy wearing plaid wool pants rolled up, fashionable glasses, carrying a mandarin puck bag with funky socks and moccasin like shoes on the streets of Seoul-that's him. Just give him a shout:)