Our first taste of Korean food came in the wake of our trip to the War Memorial Of Korea museum. From there we took the train the short distance to ‘Meat-ing’ in the university area of Hongdae to go out for a yaki-niku (grilled meat) meal that would please everyone. With no-one able to speak the local language this was a reasonable choice as signs were in English and some of the staff could speak it. The choice of meats, vegetables and so on was varied enough in my opinion and we were all very happy with it though I get the feeling some locals may look down on such a place for its cheap and cheerful style.
The next day we went to the popular Tosokchan Samgyetang restaurant which is inside a traditional house and was recommended by a friend and I ate black chicken samgyetsang (ginseng chicken soup). Quite a unique thing to sample and though the taste was absolutely fine I’m not a fan of picking out bones having come from a world where the food can be eaten without such activity.
Not too far away from that restaurant was Gyeonbokgung Palace which I recall visiting on my previous trip to Seoul with Asif in January 2006. The Palace of Shining Happiness is a work of great architecture and with the mountains in the background and the soldiers in Joseon-era uniforms standing guard it is quite the popular tourist attraction.
As we headed for the exit, Ethan was stopped by a couple of Korean guys wanting to interview him for a University project as he was a foreigner. Not sure if it was a coincidence or not but the interview finished fairly rapidly once he said he hoped to go back to Japan to live!
From the Palace we strolled down leading down to Gwanghwamun square and the Dongdaemun Market, over the Cheonggyecheon stream and onto Seoul City Hall where we took the train back to Ethan’s place.
On the way to the airport in Incheon the following evening we stopped off at Cheongna International City to meet up with ex-colleage David and his wife Uyoung to see their home and recently born baby, catch-up with each other and grab a quick bite to eat.
We took the short walk along the river of this new town towards a restaurant where we ate jajangmyeon (noodles topped with a salty black soybean paste), tangsuyuk (sweet and sour pork with vegetables) and jjamppong (spicy seafood noodle soup).
‘South Korea 2015 Pt III’ can be read here