Monday, January 25, 2010

Hans Brew House

Hans Brew House Seomeyon

Microbrewery and German style Hof

Hans Brauhaus is a large very popular German style hof in Seomyeon. Overall its quite good, and just as expensive as you'd expect. Most importantly, its an excellen place to watch Korean try and use knives and forks. Hours of entertainment right there.

They have a variety of sets, which seem to be quite good value. The "Substance Set" is quite substantial, and worth a shot if you don't mind having your dessert served first. Well, you only live once, right? The set does contain a few UFO (Unidentified Fried Objects) as well. To get the best dishes, however, you're better off ordering outside the sets, which will allow you to taste Hans's sausage. Which is what you came here for, isn't it?

Staff are friendly and service is quite fast, and
they'll even churn your icecream bread into a
ready-to-eat mess for you right at the table for you.

On the right is that substantial substance set I mentioned ealier. The mashed potatoes are actually not bad. And you can see the corn, a government-mandated requirement in all western dishes served in Korea.

I did mention that set includes beer, didn't I?

The microbrews are nothing to write home about, but they are *real* beer. And it beats paying 7 or 8 thousand won for an import that's worth 2. (Yeah, that Tiger Beer you're drinking - sells for $1 in SE Asia. For a big bottle.)

Also, the beer is served in those Mediaeval Times style pitchers, which never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Hans also has a free points card too, which allows you to, with enough points, eventually get free brews or even sets. Naturally, you need a great many points to get anything, but with the prices at this joint you could rack them up quite fast. My tip is to bring a group of sausage-loving friends and use your points card for everyone.

So come and get a taste of Hans's german sausage. You know you want it.

Phone: 051-816-007
Location: On the corner near ABC Mart in Seomyeon
English Menu: Yes. Some of the staff speak Englishl.
Vegetarian Option: Yes - try the cheese gratin - its amazing.
Price :

Food from 12,000

Sets from 28,000

Microbrews: 4,000/400ml


Monday, January 18, 2010

Ton Mong Tonkatsu, Nampo Dong

Ton Mong is a Japanese tourist-orientated restaurant in Nampo-dong. The prices and and food are fine. This is much better than the tonkatsu you will pick up at your local kimbap joint, without challenging the tonkatsu at any of the million other tonkatsu restaurants in Busan. In fact, the main attraction of Ton Mong is the opportunity to dine in a creepy cat-filled environment (See right). So there's something here for the cat lady in all of us.

Service was pretty quick and tourist friendly. Our nervous waitress showed up again halfway through the meal with a forks, obviously in shock at the unnatural sight of foreigners using chopsticks.

The prices are quite reasonable as well, and with English and Japanese menus, staff accustomed to clueless tourists and plastic food, you certainly won't be hitting the language barrier here.
So all-in-all, if you're looking for a cheap, easy and cat lady-friendly meal in Nampo-dong, you could certainly do worse than to go to ton Mong..

Phone: 245-1147
Location: On the corner near DaeYoung Cinema in Nampo-dong. You can easily spot it by the long cabinet of plastic food outside.

English Menu: Yes. Staff speak some English as well.

Seating: Tables and chairs .

Vegetarian Option: None.

Price 5,000-10,000 per person.
Drinks: Beer 3,000. Cider 1,000

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

SooChaeHwa - Fusion & Well-Being Restaurant

Shabu-shabu is a Japanese hot pot meal (nabe) similar to sukiyaki. It is considered the dish for winter in Japan. This means that you will be cooking a stew over the gas stove in the middle of your table. The size of the meal means you will need a minimum of 2 people in any Nabe restaurant, and SooChaeHwa is no exception. SooChaeHwa adds a few Korean elements but essentially this is the same shabu shabu I've eaten all around Japan, but with some kimchi on the side. This is a clean, family-friendly restaurant, and the staff will help you with the various stages of cooking the shabu-shabu.

They serve several varieties of shabu-shabu, including beef, seafood and mushroom.

We opted for the Hanushabu (12,000 p/p) which, despite being one of their middle of the road options, is a very generous meal with more than enough food for two people.

As you can see from this giant pile of beef slices.

Although, looking at this heap on your left, you might think shabu-shabu is entirely beef, there is also a plate of assorted vegetables and mushrooms. The broth starts with some odeng and tofu in it as well.

Shabu-shabu is cooked in stages. First one adds portions of meat and vegetables to cook. Once they are fully cooked, ladle some broth into your bowl, pick out the most delicious looking items and eat them with the sauces, while you drink the broth like a soup. Then top the soup up with more meat and vegetables, and wait for it to cook again. You should find each stage is more delicious than the last.

As the stew boils down, the waitress will periodically top up the broth and recommend which components to add next. After all of your giant pile of meat and vegetables has been consumed, SooChaeHwa gives you another 2 dishes cooked in your remaining broth. The first is a fat spinach dumpling with fried noodles. Once you have managed to consume this, the final dish is a thick fried rice and egg combination with the delicious treasures that line the bottom of the empty stew pot. I would have taken a picture of the golden moment when this appeared, but unfortunately I was too full for thinking.
SooChaeWa makes great Shabu Shabu with quality ingredients. The paradox of shabu-shabu's deliciousness which grows exponentially over the course of the meal will mean that you will leave with a stomach so full you better not plan on doing anything for at least an hour or two after your meal. Come hungry and leave stuffed and happy.
Location: 5 minutes from Goejeong Subway Station (Line 1), take exit 8 and walk past the Goejeong Market. Continue past the Market and New Core outlet. Keep going on past Pizza Hut. SooChaeHwa is on a corner on the left side of the road.

Phone: 051-201-1953

English Menu: No, but a good picture menu. Staff speak no English.

Seating: Floor.

Vegetarian Option: None.

Price 8,000-18,000 per person.
Drinks: Beer 3,000. Cider 1,000