gustatory exploits · itchy feet cravings

Autumn in Seoul [part 4:hungry travelers]

If you want to embark on a gustatory adventure in Seoul, make sure your stomach is ready.

If there’s anything I looked forward to during our trip to Seoul it would have to be the food. I’ve been curious to see an accurate picture and taste of an authentic Korean meal. True, there are plenty of Korean restaurants available in Manila, but nothing compares to a genuine experience when you are right in the heart of Seoul’s bustling metropolis sampling street foods and going inside Korean restaurants dining like one of the locals.

I relish the fact that while we were here, Jen and I, were able to experience all-time Korean dining without having to splurge our money. We didn’t see the need to order food at a popular fast food chain. (Except maybe when we were at the airport and inside Lotte World Adventure park.)

Korean  cuisine is known for being spicy. Though I’m not comfortable eating food  that’s remotely spicy I made a pact that I will, I will at least, try my best to savor kimchi and other popular Korean dishes spicy or not while we are here. After all, a travel experience won’t be complete without going on a food trip.

It’s not difficult at all to find eating joints as most of them are just an arm’s length away. What is difficult is choosing the right resto and deciphering the menu, more so for someone like us who do not understand hangul  and could barely speak Korean. At least, while we are in our home country, I was already familiar with their bibimbap, bulgogi and kimchi.

At a restaurant in Jongno-gu, we tried the regular bibimbap which has slivers of beef in it, and Jen, since she doesn’t eat pork and beef, had a taste of the tuna bibimbap. The good part of eating Korean is tasting (banchan) side dishes that accompany our every meal.

tuna bibimbap

In Yeongdeongpo, I wolfed down fish pancakes we bought at a nearby food stall where Jen and I ate at a soju tent before we went to shop for boots. It’s so yummy!

Sighted this at a corner. Until now, I scold myself for not buying at least one so I would have known how it tasted.

I’m fascinated with the vegetables sold on the streets. Veggies are typical of a Korean meal.

I wouldn’t forget the night we were at Insadong. We celebrated my birthday eating a very hot mixed seafood noodles which we had a hard time finishing all up. We tried to temper the spiciness of the dish by eating more rice. I munched on the sweet-sour, cold radish sides served to us to soothe my puckering lips.

In Dongdaemum, before charging towards the night market, we entered a restaurant where we treated ourselves to a bowl of spicy tofu stew and beef brisket paired with fresh bean sprouts and kimchi.

After a rigorous walking tour at Gyeongbukgong Palace, we had a late lunch  of Korean dumplings in a soup–I think they call this manduguk.  Get to try seolleongtang, samgyetyang, jeon, gimbap, japchae, and guksu (noodles) also.

There’s so much food to explore in Korea. Sweet delicacies are also a must try. Buy some tteok (sweet rice cakes) to go with your soju (rice wine).

Cheers! 😀