Friday, February 26, 2010

Gingerbread men!

Recently we encountered a rarity in Korea,
Gingerbread Ajussis!

These are our self-portraits, no prizes for guessing who's who.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Yukgogan BBQ, Hwamyeong

Hidden away in Hwamyeong-dong is one of the best value BBQ joints around. At only $10p/p for all-you-can-eat meat, Yukgogan is the perfect solution to all your meat eating needs.

And as you can see to the left here, Yukgogan provides over 20 varieties of meatables, including seafood. That's not just galbi, but marinated galbi, sausages, shrimp, even whole baby octopus.
There's also a solid selection of sides, soups and salads for you to ignore while filling up your plate with meat.

This is one of those places that, as an Australian, I am required to love - because they let you barbeque your own meat. Unfortunately, its just on a simple gas burner rather than the charcoal or hot stone arrangements of some of the fancier BBQ establishments.

On the plus side, the staff are way too busy (this is a seriously popular place with the Hwamyeong locals of every age) to ever bother you about your meat placement; habit of pouring beer on the grill; or whether or not you want to change the hot plate. Freedom and unlimited meat!

Some comments from my fellow diners:


"It's hard to describe the joys of this meat."

"You can't go wrong with anything here."

Of course, these good reviews might just be due to my BBQ skills.

The only warning I would give is that this place is really slow with drink orders. To avoid this, order drinks when you're first seated. If you need more, you'll have to suck it up, somehow dislodge your very full belly from its newfound home and chase down one of the staff.
Phone: 051-333-5999
Location: Refer to map...
From Hwamyeong exit 1 (map bottom left), go straight to the corner and turn right at lotte mart. Cross the street, and turn left at dunking donuts. From donuts, go straight and take the 1st left. The building is opposite a large chinese restaurant and next to the chicken (ass) restaurant. yukgogan is on the 6th floor.
English Menu: No. Staff speak no english.
Vegetarian Option: No.
Open 12.00-23.00
Prices :
All-you-can-eat-BBQ: 10,000 per person (wastage charge 1,000)
Soju/Beer 3,000

Monday, February 22, 2010

Benepiatto Italian Restaurant

Benepiatto, sometimes friend, sometimes enemy of the hungry foreigner.

On one hand, Benepiatto offers a selection of reasonably priced and edible italian cusine, in a fashion that brings to mind the excellent Japanese chain Sizzeria (unfortunately, no branches in Korea). Most of their food is just fine. The mozzarella & tomato salad looks just the way it should, and they have a selection of pizzas which do not suffer from corn-infestation. Overall, it almost tastes as good as the italian food you cook at home, and you don't have to cook it.


The first rule of Benepiatto is you must never, ever order the pizza known as "Primavero". It is, without a doubt, the worst pizza I have ever seen or tried - and once I ate a slice of custard pizza in Kyoto (don't do that either). One victim of the Primavero described her experience thus:

"When I saw it I just wanted to cry."

And I must say my experience with the Primavero caused me to feel the same way. The pizza itself was a horror to behold. How does one even describe the atrocity that was committed in that kitchen? I had night terrors for a week afterwards. Sometimes the cabbage still haunts my dreams. Sometimes I wake in a cold sweat, the laughter of the mad chef and his hunchbacked assistant still ringing in my ears, as he gives life to this unholy fusion of salad and pizza. The earth itself seems to cry out in torment, and the heavens angrily hurl thunderbolts and sleet. The creation itself sobs quietly, knowing even from the moment of its unnatural birth that a corn and cabbage pizza violates the laws of god and man, laid down from time immemorial....


Suffice to say, avoid the Primavero pizza, its not worth it. Also not worth it is the house wine, which is both lousy and served in thimble sized amounts. I have it on good authority that their coffee sucks too.

Finally, I must warn potential diners about Benepiatto's extremely poor service. The first time I went there the waitress poured half a jug of water on me, and then ran away. Outside of "refilling" your glass, the staff are loathe to do anything other than play with their phones, so avoid any extravagant demands for a menu, some food, or to pay the bill so you can leave this place. In the unlikely event that you do have contact with a staff member they are rude and sullen, not to mention slow, at best.

Obviously I can't really recommend this place. Some of their menu is worth eating, but there are so many better options in Hadan.

Location: From Hadan subway station, take the Dong A University exit and continue walking toward the university. Look for the big lime green sign and fake garden out front.

English Menu: Dish names are in English, ingredients in Korean.

Vegetarian Option: Yes.

Prices :
Pizza/Pasta: 7,000+
Wine: 5,000

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Pho, Nampo-dong

Firstly, we reviewed this restaurant mere days after returning from our trip to Vietnam. Secondly, their Vietnamese food is really, really good.

The Pho really gives you the atmosphere of an upmarket restaurant. As part of "The Terrace" (which also includes "The Pan" and "The Cafe") it has an interesting street view while seating you comfortably back from the foot traffic of Nampo-dong.

Service is excellent. The staff are quite professional and even brought us lap blankets!

The food is excellent value and surprisingly authentic. All the dishes we tried were very similar to what one might find in Saigon and the presentation is excellent. The dish sizes are pretty big though, so if you order, for example, a large Pho you might want to share it.

Generous amounts of tea are also provided free with your meal, which does encourage one to linger under their gas-fired heaters.

After finishing your meal, you can enjoy a Vietnamese-style drip coffee (Ca Phe) - but first-timers may be suprised by the ultrasweet condensed milk at the bottom of their glass.

The Pho is without a doubt my new favourite restaurant in Nampo-dong, and I can't wait to get back there.

Phone: 256-8055
Location: Nampo-dong, near the main roundabout & police station.

English Menu: Yes. And English-speaking staff.

Vegetarian Option: Yes. The staff even asked us if we were vegetarians (did I forget to shower today or something? Maybe its time for a haircut.)

Prices :
Ca Phe: 4,000
Spring Rolls: 4,000
Medium Pho: 8,000
Fried Rice 8,000

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Foreigner using chopsticks at Jisan Resort

What are the the top attractions at Jisan Forest Ski Resort?
According to the Korea Tourism Organisation, the number two attraction appears to be a Foreigner Using Chopsticks. Note that neither Yangji Pine Resort or Muju features foreigners using chopsticks - something to look at for next season?

Original Link

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I'm on a diet.

I'm on a health kick, with these delicious, healthy alternatives...

1. Ice Cream
2. Chocolate
3. Cheese
4. Beef
5. Pizza

Check out the full article at...

Of course, after a workout, I rehydrate with a beer.

Preferably, a healthy North Korean Beer!

Happy Lunar New Year everyone!

(Image gakked from