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Korean food (in Seoul) is terrible
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bugs



Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Location: Classroom

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2003 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Columbus Georgia (whose Korean population is quite large...they've even got a Noraebang with the tiny little rooms and everything.)


Been there while visiting an Army friend at Fort Benning. I think this is partly due to the American GIs who bring their Korean wives back to the states.
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JackSarang



Joined: 28 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2003 11:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The King of Kwangju wrote:
PM, I strongly agree with your strong disagreement.

There is definitely a difference, but if you think Seoul is bad, wait til you try Koreatown in Toronto...


There are two Koreatowns in Toronto, which one? The one in North York or the one at Bathurst and Bloor?

I found the food at both places to be exceptional and when my Korean girlfriend visited me in Toronto she was very impressed also. Much better than the overpriced and generally crappy food in New York's sorry excuse for a "Koreatown".
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weatherman



Joined: 14 Jan 2003
Location: Korea

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For me it is in the side dishes, and the urban ahjuma doesn't cut it with her sisters in the countryside. Out of Seoul, especially in the Cholla region, the side dishes are numerous and fresh. And I am thinking of the simple eateries, like the ones you find out side of a university front or back gate, not an expensive place.
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KoreanLifer



Joined: 30 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 2:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chollado province has the best food in Kr.in Yeosu, suncheon, or Kwangju u can find the best food in Kr.they have sidedish stuff that u never see anywhere else in Kr.

stay away from all the restaurnat places in Seoul near the seoul station area.i paid 6,000w for bibimbap and i am sure a tongGae wouldnt eat it!
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kiwiboy_nz_99



Joined: 05 Jul 2003
Location: ...Enlightenment...

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've lived two other cities and now Seoul, and I don't agree. Seoul's a big place, and I think it's just luck of the draw, but I've found some great spots here.
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candu



Joined: 16 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It simply depends where you go. There are fantastic restaurants in Seoul and lousy ones in Jeonju and Busan, and vice versa. Jeonju bibimbap, Chuncheon ttalkalbi, and other regional specialties are often just as good in Seoul as in Jeolla-do, Gangwon-do, etc. (One of the worst dweiji-kalbi meals I ever had was in Gwangju.) There are also a few restaurants in Toronto's Koreatown that are as good as anything you'll find here, plus a lot that are overpriced with a lot of Japanese items on the menu. Your best bet for a great Korean feed - if you're lucky - is a holiday feast with the in-laws!
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ersatzprofessor



Joined: 17 Apr 2003
Location: Same as it ever was ... Same as it ever WAS

PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2003 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think Korealifer is right. I guess you get to learn things after awhile here. The best food in Korea is in Chollanamdo, that is if you don't mind it a little saltier and spicier. Seoul food can seem bland and boring in comparison - although since there are people from every region in Seoul- a whole bunch are from Cholla actually - you can pretty much find every variety there.

But there are differences even within the Cholla region. So, for example, Kwangju is famous for the number and variety of side dishes you get, having the best kimchi, and for a whole whack of local specialties - the duck soup there, for example, is awesome. If you go there order the 'bekpan' and you'll be blown away by the variety and quality you get for the price. Tamyang is famous for it's galbi as is Gwangyang ( both justifiably!) and Suncheon seems to be the capital of boshingtang for some reason. Yeosu has wonderful sashimi and the most delicious seafood side dishes, although you get more for a little less in Mokpo- although I haven't eaten in Mokpo for awhile so perhaps things have changed there. Anyway, the idea that regional and even local cooking has died out or shows any signs of doing so is nonsense as far as I can see.

If you stick to "shiktangs" you will indeed get the same monotonous kimchichigae, lammion , etc., no matter where you go. Generally speaking any restaurant where they have chairs will serve crap. These are bolt and dash places, nothing more.

As for Dr. Buck's comments, I wonder if we are living in the same country. I have noticed myself, and this has been confirmed by Korean friends, that there is usually an inverse relationship between how a restaurant looks and the quality of the food served inside. The best restaurants, and this applies to Seoul as well, make their money off how good their food is - appearance is irrelevant and so they don't bother much about it. The nice looking restaurants with the sofas and all that are places to take dates or otherwise impress people - mood is everything and the food is secondary and so usually sucks. And those country ajummas, if you hit the right ones, are superb cooks with generous and deft hands . Just look for the restaurant where the farmers are eating and you can be sure the food will be of the delicious ribsticking kind.

As for lack of variety in Korean cuisine, what total nonsense. Anyone who says that is simply displaying their own ignorance. I've been here over four years now and I am yet discovering new dishes. The restaurant business is incredibly competitive here, and so every cook is always looking for that little edge. So the cuisine is always evolving.

Anyway, all this posting today has made me hungry. What to eat....?
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The King of Kwangju



Joined: 10 Feb 2003
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JackSarang wrote:

There are two Koreatowns in Toronto, which one? ... I found the food at both places to be exceptional and when my Korean girlfriend visited me in Toronto she was very impressed also.


I was referring to the one on Bloor - I haven't spent much time at the other one.

Now mind you, I'm another Cholla fan with high standards. I found the restaurants hit and miss - a restaurant might do one dish passably, but you have to wade through the overpriced filth to get there. At best, all you can expect is a meal on par with a mediocre Cholla meal.

While we're at it, I highly suggest you stay away from the new "Korean BBQ House" on Queen, near MuchMusic. The location and decor is upscale, and the all-you-can eat bulgogi/kalbi would sound promising, but the food and service is not even subpar. Strangely enough, it's also run by Chinese, giving you their interpretation of Korean food.

Most people don't seem to care, however, and the place is always full. Believe it or not, Korean restaurants are edging towards trendiness in this city.
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bucheon bum



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: DC area

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ersatzprofessor wrote:
IAs for lack of variety in Korean cuisine, what total nonsense. Anyone who says that is simply displaying their own ignorance. I've been here over four years now and I am yet discovering new dishes. The restaurant business is incredibly competitive here, and so every cook is always looking for that little edge. So the cuisine is always evolving.



new dishes doesn't mean new tastes, which I believe dr. buck was refering to. You've got your chili taste,garlic taste, soy taste, and a couple others. Granted, I'm far from an expert on Korean food, but that's my impression of korean food. Now compare that to some other foods of the world which have a richer variety of flavors. That's what he meant by lack of variety.

And really, are those new dishes much different than other dishes you've had before?
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Dan



Joined: 16 Jan 2003
Location: Sunny Glendale, CA

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zyzyfer wrote:
When I go to Seoul, I like to avoid Korean food...particularly grilled meats and stuff. I've found the ultimate cheap kalbi restaurant, the ultimate meaty kalbi restaurant, and the ultimate bulgogi restaurant, and they're all here in Cheonan. Suwon has the strange concoction, bibim mandu, and also has the best donggasuh restaurant I've been to.

Besides, Seoul is "international", so I don't want to eat Korean food when I go there.


There was this GREAT grill restaurant in Cheonan that was like a buffett style, but you have to ask them to bring it to you. And it wasn't that brown color meat, but very fresh high quality cuts. it was like 12,000 won but the freaking place closed down when i was leaving Sad

i'm hoping the owner just moved the joint to a more populous area.
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Zyzyfer



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

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan wrote:
There was this GREAT grill restaurant in Cheonan that was like a buffett style, but you have to ask them to bring it to you. And it wasn't that brown color meat, but very fresh high quality cuts. it was like 12,000 won but the freaking place closed down when i was leaving Sad

i'm hoping the owner just moved the joint to a more populous area.


Never heard of any buffet stuff around here, but there are several high-quality cut shops around here, for about that price. Do you recall the name of the place?
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Dr. Buck



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Location: Land of the Morning Clam

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, the regional "specialties." Good one. If I got a 10 won coin everytime a Korean told me, "This city is famous this this food," I would be retired and living in Provence.
Professor, as for "displaying their[my] own ignorance," I've been eating Korean food daily for six years. Same shit, different meal.

Shik-dangs out in the country--sure it's touch and go and sometimes you hit a good one. However, I've lived in the Korean countryside for the duration and I must say there are a lot of dumps out there serving substandard food in a grungy setting. Simple as that. As for the Korean farmers, those undereducated never-left-the-farm jacklegs eat whatever swill is put in front of the them, burp, and say, "Mashi-da." They simply have never experienced any other food.

I have much to criticize about Korean food since I eat it everyday at my school's cafeteria, and sometimes at home when my wife takes over the kitchen. There are some fantastic Korean meals out there. My favorites are saeng-sun-way (raw fish), and yook-way (raw beef). Both are worthy of a feast. I bring my own bottle of white or red for those meals with friends.
Ironically, those two favorite dishes are served raw, and not cooked.

The lack of variety is true when held up against other cuisines of the world.
Lack of variety in basic spices and ingredients, staples, cooking techniques, and dishes.
Unoriginality is the hallmark of Korean cooking. It's simpleton cooking. Boiling. Frying. Grilling.
I once told my wife that using an oven and baking is a "higher, more developed form of cooking, and since Koreans don't bake, their cuisine is sort of low-class." And that began one of the best kitchen table fights our marriage has ever endured. Hide the steak knives!
Even the raw fish-sushi is easy stuff. When a Korean friend told me that cutting the live fish for sushi is a "special skill," I told him I learned how to fillet a fish just the same as a 11 year old Boy Scout. Big deal. Don't buy the B.S.
How many Korean desserts can you name. Very few.
Now think of strudels, eclairs, apple pie, cakes, etc.

And also, you cannot count the retard dishes that crawled out from the kitchen, such gems as that one side dish called a "salad":
canned corned, apple chunks, cucumber thrown together with a dollop of factory mayonaise and served as a side dish. Very talented, indeed.

Like I said in the above post, read John Thorne's Simple Cooking. This guy is one of the best food writers operating and he's made me think twice about what gets prepared in my kitchen, and later what goes into my mouth.
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Zed



Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Location: Shakedown Street

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dr. Buck wrote:
There are some fantastic Korean meals out there. My favorites are saeng-sun-way (raw fish), and yook-way (raw beef). Both are worthy of a feast. I bring my own bottle of white or red for those meals with friends.
Ironically, those two favorite dishes are served raw, and not cooked.

Would you care to explain the irony?
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Dr. Buck



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Location: Land of the Morning Clam

PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2003 4:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The irony is that it is not cooked. A Korean cook could easily ruin those dishes by:
frying--with that nasty common flour batter
or making some kind of slop-dish with an over use of go-chu-jang. However, grilling the raw beef always equals something palatable, but the marinades for bulgolgi, though delicious, gets old, and hence my claim of lack of variety--especially considering the USA, land of one million BBQ sauces--that's variety.


And if you live in the land of the morning jackhammer, you must be my neighbor.
Just head out at midnight and take care of the problem with with a bottle of corn syrup in the fuel tank. Works everytime.
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