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Favorites/Wish-list for Pub Fare?
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PaperTiger



Joined: 31 May 2005
Location: Ulaanbataar

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:29 pm    Post subject: Favorites/Wish-list for Pub Fare? Reply with quote

It's very likely that I've been chosen to re-vamp the menu of a local night spot in Itaewon and punch up their menu. What are some entrees or bar snacks you guys would like to see on a local menu? What dishes would guarantee your frequent custom if they met your standards? Trying to stay away from burgers because people can get those anywhere. Anyone into salad? Soup? Sandwiches?
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schwa



Joined: 18 Jan 2003
Location: sokcho

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least one filling vegetarian option, clearly identified as such on the menu.
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thrylos



Joined: 10 Jun 2008

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good tato skins, with real cheese, sour cream, chives and bacon....Mmmmm bacon..... Cool
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timhorton



Joined: 07 Dec 2005

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pretzels - fresh and handmade
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lemak



Joined: 02 Jan 2011

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 4:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chicken Kiev and Chicken Parmigiana.
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NYC_Gal 2.0



Joined: 10 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Homemade tomato soup and quality grilled cheese
Jacket potato with different options for fillings
Sweet potato fries
Blooming onion or onion rings
Panini with different options for fillings
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Steelrails



Joined: 12 Mar 2009
Location: Earth, Solar System

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as stuff that is economically viable (popular, low cost, not easily perishable, consistent ingredients) and foreigner friendly...

Fish and Chips is certainly possible
Pizza
Basic nachos
Cheese sticks, tenders, other fried crap
I assume burgers would see enough sales
Non-Korean like pasta
Non-Korean like salad, if you can ever pull off a Greek Salad or maybe whatever salad is trendy back home, you can get some addicts

The key with these is not their uniqueness, but in how well they are made. Find the right ones (if you're buying bulk/from food supply), maybe season them up a little, fry them in actual lard, etc. You and the bar next door could get cheesesticks from the exact same supplier, but because you prepare them one way and slightly doctor them up, yours are a must-have, while theirs leaves everyone feeling sick.

More elaborate but probably still economically viable

Stew/Curry or Stew & Curry
Marmite/Vegemite sandwiches
Burritos
Cheesesteaks
Hommus & Pita Chips
Fried Okra/Veggie Fries
Stilton Fries
Bangers & Mash

But if you really want to draw in a food crowd, work on developing a couple "signature dishes" that word of mouth says are the best in Korea.

And consider something like Spinach & Artichoke dip (unless someone does have it....). I haven't seen to many places with that, people get addicted to it, and the wave hasn't hit like say, burgers, burritos & pizza where its going to be hard to get name recognition as the place to go for those foods. Other candidates include Mac&Cheese or Meatloaf or Shwarma or BBQ Pork Sandwiches or Sliders (Now I'm not too well traveled so I don't know what places in Seoul/Korea have laid claim to those, so do your research). Even something as simple as chili (chili dogs, chili fries, chili mac).

Don't overlook desserts. People often stumble into the watering hole following dinner and maybe are up for some dessert (a potentially high-profit item)/ Peach Cobblers, Apple Bakes, Ice Cream Brownies have high addiction potential and often are relatively easy to prepare and store. With irregular schedules and all, these items slot nicely in terms of pricepoint between a person just ordering drinks and someone getting a meal. They might not spring for a 10 dollar meal but they might spring for a 5 dollar dessert, particularly if they are "slightly hungry but don't want to stuff themselves". You can either get 2 people splitting a 5 dollar basket of fries or 2 people each getting a 5 dollar brownie sundae.

Last but not least- DO NOT overtop or overportion your food. It destroys your food cost, actually doesn't taste as good, and if you're trying to move booze it can hurt your bottom line. People who are stuffed tend to get lethargic and too full to drink beer thanks to a messed up gut. You want the booze to flow. People who feel bloated and indigested lose their drinking mojo. Price your items that leave people feeling "stuffed" a little high. Remember, you're a bar first, restaurant second. Don't lose a crowd from 8-11 because you're patrons come in at 730 for dinner, stuff themselves and call it a night after two beers and leave your place a tomb.
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PaperTiger



Joined: 31 May 2005
Location: Ulaanbataar

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Steelrails wrote:
As far as stuff that is economically viable (popular, low cost, not easily perishable, consistent ingredients) and foreigner friendly...

Fish and Chips is certainly possible
Pizza
Basic nachos
Cheese sticks, tenders, other fried crap
I assume burgers would see enough sales
Non-Korean like pasta
Non-Korean like salad, if you can ever pull off a Greek Salad or maybe whatever salad is trendy back home, you can get some addicts

The key with these is not their uniqueness, but in how well they are made. Find the right ones (if you're buying bulk/from food supply), maybe season them up a little, fry them in actual lard, etc. You and the bar next door could get cheesesticks from the exact same supplier, but because you prepare them one way and slightly doctor them up, yours are a must-have, while theirs leaves everyone feeling sick.

More elaborate but probably still economically viable

Stew/Curry or Stew & Curry
Marmite/Vegemite sandwiches
Burritos
Cheesesteaks
Hommus & Pita Chips
Fried Okra/Veggie Fries
Stilton Fries
Bangers & Mash

But if you really want to draw in a food crowd, work on developing a couple "signature dishes" that word of mouth says are the best in Korea.

And consider something like Spinach & Artichoke dip (unless someone does have it....). I haven't seen to many places with that, people get addicted to it, and the wave hasn't hit like say, burgers, burritos & pizza where its going to be hard to get name recognition as the place to go for those foods. Other candidates include Mac&Cheese or Meatloaf or Shwarma or BBQ Pork Sandwiches or Sliders (Now I'm not too well traveled so I don't know what places in Seoul/Korea have laid claim to those, so do your research). Even something as simple as chili (chili dogs, chili fries, chili mac).

Don't overlook desserts. People often stumble into the watering hole following dinner and maybe are up for some dessert (a potentially high-profit item)/ Peach Cobblers, Apple Bakes, Ice Cream Brownies have high addiction potential and often are relatively easy to prepare and store. With irregular schedules and all, these items slot nicely in terms of pricepoint between a person just ordering drinks and someone getting a meal. They might not spring for a 10 dollar meal but they might spring for a 5 dollar dessert, particularly if they are "slightly hungry but don't want to stuff themselves". You can either get 2 people splitting a 5 dollar basket of fries or 2 people each getting a 5 dollar brownie sundae.

Last but not least- DO NOT overtop or overportion your food. It destroys your food cost, actually doesn't taste as good, and if you're trying to move booze it can hurt your bottom line. People who are stuffed tend to get lethargic and too full to drink beer thanks to a messed up gut. You want the booze to flow. People who feel bloated and indigested lose their drinking mojo. Price your items that leave people feeling "stuffed" a little high. Remember, you're a bar first, restaurant second. Don't lose a crowd from 8-11 because you're patrons come in at 730 for dinner, stuff themselves and call it a night after two beers and leave your place a tomb.


The level of interest is awesome, thanks. I think there's a big split between people who will spend for western food and those need a meal before they start drinking...ideally we'd attract loyal patrons from both groups.

If people are really into sandwiches, then variety would be the order of the day. Marmite/Vegemite, if it's available....could be an option. What goes on a Marmite/Vegemite sandwich? Cheese? Chicken? I'm assuming something with a mild or neutral flavor.

^^ Desserts are on the list and something I do particularly well.
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Zyzyfer



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: who, what, where, when, why, how?

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2012 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree on getting portions at just the right amount. Usually a burger and fries has me stuffed. But personally I just switch it up to a few gin tonics until things settle down.

Also agree on the veggie options. Doesn't need to be extensive, but a friend of mine who was here for years was a vegetarian and often had to settle on plain old fries at times.

Knowing you, and knowing how bars generally tend to be in Itaewon, I really think that, aside from that, all you need to do is clean up the clutter from the menu by throwing out unpopular dishes, revamp the ones that were doing okay, and replace what you tossed out with a few straightforward recommendations you have gotten from here or whatever.

On a personal note, I like simple menus. Don't like to see a ton of diversity when I'm out for drinks. If I'm actually planning to eat dinner at a bar and not scarf something down beforehand elsewhere, I usually go for something simple, i.e. a burger. Since I don't know where this bar is then I'm not sure that's the kind of clientele they want around. But if you won't be staying in the kitchen and the bar isn't 100% dedicated to making the changes stick then I think you know exactly what will happen, dude.

So I'd say go with tightening the menu, and improving the ingredients used, (i.e. you can get a burger anywhere but it won't be amazing) over busting out tons of high-end recipes that will get simplified two months later.
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NYC_Gal 2.0



Joined: 10 Dec 2010

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Marmite goes really well with cheese, though my husband also likes it with peanut butter. I'd say that cheese would go well on a menu, though. As I mentioned, paninis would sell. A marmite and cheese, or a cheese and pickle (aka relish) panini would be my husband's sandwich of choice. There's also tuna mayo, and a few other easy-to-make-and-keep-in-stock options.
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Seoulman69



Joined: 14 Dec 2009

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 2:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scampi and chips are amazing. Also a nice lamb burger would be good.
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Slaps



Joined: 22 Jun 2007
Location: Sitting on top of the world

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 5:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sunday Roast

Offer chicken, beef, pork or lamb (maybe a nutroast for a veggie option). Roast or mashed potatoes and a few veggies, stuffing, gravy and yorkshire puddings.

Make this a Sunday only affair and I know my friends and I would be there most if not every Sunday if it was priced competitively and done well. Maybe even consider doing it for only a few hours (12pm - 4pm) or until stocks last.
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PaperTiger



Joined: 31 May 2005
Location: Ulaanbataar

PostPosted: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

These are all great suggestions. I am sure that several of our menu items will be well within the range of what ESL folks can/will pay. The size of the kitchen as well as food costs is really going to define the limits of what I can or can't do, but I'll do my best to come up with items that you'll want to come back for again and again.
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wishfullthinkng



Joined: 05 Mar 2010

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

solid soups not filled with kimchi or tofu.

two soups that seem to be impossible to find is a nice french onion soup with a thick layer of cheese on top, or some new england clam chowder.

for a country surrounded by water on three sides it's fascinating to me how they don't have clams anywhere.
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thurst



Joined: 08 Apr 2009
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chili...as of now, i only know of one bar that has chili and it's pretty bomb, but off the beaten path. if one of the bars on the main strip had chili, i'd frequent.
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