From a fried-chicken joint to a Michelin-star blow out, the Seoul-born founding father of three Korean London eating places picks her favorite locations to eat within the South Korean capital
Classic Korean barbecue at buzzing, 24/7 Saebyukjib
A Seoul establishment, the speciality right here is gomtang, a extremely nutritious beef bone soup (and an incredible hangover treatment) – which has been made the identical approach for the reason that restaurant opened within the 1930s. In reality gomtang is the one factor on the menu, though there are a number of variations. The beef stock is boiled for a very long time with radish, so it is stuffed with flavour – and is greatest loved with a aspect dish of radish kimchi. Hadongkwan has many loyal regulars and also you typically see three generations of household eating collectively there.
• 10-Four Myeong-dong 1-ga, Jung-gu, hadongkwan.com
I attempt to come to this no-frills restaurant every time I’m in Seoul. Budae-jjigae (aka military base stew) was invented after the Korean warfare when meals was scarce and Koreans needed to scrounge or smuggle the elements – primarily meat, sausage, spam, and baked beans – from US military bases, mixing them with native flavours gochujang (chilli paste) and kimchi to create an odd hybrid stew. A small portion is sufficient for 2, and the bigger dimension may be shared between 4 (£13-£23).
Although it started as an answer to post-war meals shortages, budae-jjigae is now a nostalgic favorite, considered as the last word consolation meals by the older era and fashionably retro by the younger. Increasingly, vacationers are additionally in search of out this easy eatery which has been serving its model of the stew, utilizing the identical recipe, for 45 years, and likewise incorporates a dish known as Johnson tang, which is budae-jjigae with out the kimchi.
It is within the Itaewon district, which pulls a variety of vacationers due to its focus of hip bars and eating places.
• 18 Itaewon-Ro 49-Gil, Hannam-Dong, Yongsan-Gu, no web site
This prestigious restaurant opened over three many years in the past – and its popularity is mirrored within the lengthy queues, particularly throughout summer season. Samgyetang (£15-£20) is the preferred dish in summer season – an entire hen filled with contemporary elements together with ginseng; it’s famend for being one of many healthiest dishes in Korea. To add extra flavour have it with insam-ju (ginseng liquor £7). Tosokchon is in Bukchon Hanok Village, the place conventional hanok homes have been preserved and guarded.
• 5 Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, tosokchon.com
The fried hen and draft beer at this unbiased bar in stylish Apgujeong is to not be missed. As nicely because the hen, I like to recommend the deep fried crispy pepper (£15), crammed with seasoned mince after which deep-fried in batter. Hanchu is subsequent to the buying mecca of Garosu-Gil, or “tree-lined street”, so makes an incredible post-shopping pitstop (it doesn’t open till 5pm).
• 68 Nonhyeon-Ro 175-Gil, Sinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu, no web site
Mingles is a contemporary, positive eating restaurant within the buzzy Cheongdam-dong district which has been awarded one Michelin star. It is a private favorite of mine, as they serve trendy Korean dishes that are true to conventional Korean tastes. The chef, Mingoo Kang, is a rising superstar in Korean delicacies (earlier stints at Nobu) so e-book as far upfront as you may – perhaps even earlier than you e-book your flights to Seoul. Lunch is £45-£50, dinner £100 (each excluding drinks and repair), however nicely value it in order for you one splash out meal.
• 757 Seolleung-ro, Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam-gu, restaurant-mingles.com
I head to this place each time I’m on the town for Korea’s well-known avenue meals – ddukbokki (rice muffins in spicy sauce). I additionally benefit from the squid, chili, prawn tempura and kingsize wang kimbab (Korean rice roll), odeng (fishcake) and soondae (Korean black pudding). It’s open from 6pm to 6am.
• Nonhyeon-dong, Gangnam-gu
I really like coming right here after just a few drinks late at night time. It’s open 24/7 and identified for its Korean desk barbecue however I all the time have the ddaro gukbab (soup made with beef stock, Chinese leafs and radishes) or yookwhei bibimbab, which is calmly seasoned uncooked beef on prime of “mixed rice” (below £10) with just a few extra drinks. Many younger folks head right here on Friday and Saturday night time after clubbing, so that you would possibly spot few Ok-pop celebrities, too.
• 6 Dosan-daero 101-gil, Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, on Facebook
At this restaurant, which is simply across the nook from my home, I order the dolsot jeongsik – rice cooked in a sizzling stone pot and laid out with soup and about 25 various kinds of aspect dish. This kind of eating is caled hansang, which interprets as “table full of food”. At the top of the meal, pour the surplus water into the stone pot and drink it. It’s £20 however value each penny.
• 585-13 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu
Wooraeoak is thought for its unimaginable naengmyeon (chilly buckwheat noodles), one other Korean dish that’s very fashionable in summer season, and normally accompanies a bulgogi (Korean barbecued beef). Wooraeoak is the longest working is likely one of the oldest Pyeongyang-style naengmyeon homes in Seoul, someplace yow will discover an genuine style of North Korea.
• 62-29, Changgyeonggung-ro, Jung-gu, web site in Korean
Food Court at Hyundai Department Store (COEX department)
The COEX is a large-scale business city of meeting halls, exhibition halls, the Korean City air terminal, Intercontinental Hotel and Hyundai Department Store. The meals court docket on the division retailer is a smooth, city-centre spot the place you’ll discover all the most recent Korean meals tendencies. I might advocate the ddukbokki spicy rice cake (below £7).
• 517, Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu
Linda Lee is the founding father of London eating places Koba, On the Bab and Mee Market