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Best non-Korean restaurant in Seoul
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Mercer Cheese



Joined: 04 Apr 2003
Location: Near Huntly

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 9:21 pm    Post subject: Re: some places i like Reply with quote

hjkorea wrote:
does anyone have any opinions about the semi-new indian restaurant called "new delhi"? it's located in itaewon, but it's closer to the noksapyeong subway station directly across from the other indian place "shankranthi"? i walk by frequently and for the longest time there were never any customers. lately, i have beeing seeing some tables with diners. for some reason, i am hesitant to try it out.


Yeah, I've been there a couple of times, and thoroughly recommend the place. Yummy food, good value and very friendly staff.
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Zed



Joined: 20 Jan 2003
Location: Shakedown Street

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2004 10:33 pm    Post subject: Re: some places i like Reply with quote

Mercer Cheese wrote:
hjkorea wrote:
does anyone have any opinions about the semi-new indian restaurant called "new delhi"? it's located in itaewon, but it's closer to the noksapyeong subway station directly across from the other indian place "shankranthi"? i walk by frequently and for the longest time there were never any customers. lately, i have beeing seeing some tables with diners. for some reason, i am hesitant to try it out.


Yeah, I've been there a couple of times, and thoroughly recommend the place. Yummy food, good value and very friendly staff.
the last 2 times I've been up there to get lunch I've been unfortunate to have gone to Itaewon on the wrong day or something. Both closed. The plus side was that on both occasions I had a great dinner at Taqhwa Pakistani restaurant.
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Not Angry



Joined: 31 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zed wrote:
Not Angry wrote:
Best Italian Rest. In seoul is deffinetly Anna Binni, In Apkujeong up the hill not far from California Fitness. It is fantastic. La Tovola and La Volpia don't hold a candle to it. It is quite a bit more expensive but they have an outdoor garden setting which makes it great for a date. Plan on about 30,000 per person. But oh so worth it. Did I mention the wide selection of delicious breads? I think I have to go there for lunch now....
Do you usually need a reservation?


If you go there during prime eating hours 6-8:30 then yes you usually do. But if you go there after 8:30 they can usually fit you in. I have eaten there many times and only once used a reservation. Also they don't usually pick up the phone. (and I can't find the number now anyway) So best to stop by if you want to make sure you have a spot.
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paperbag princess



Joined: 07 Mar 2004
Location: veggie hell

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2004 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

idame, near ewha women's university is an awesome veggie rest. it has faux meats and awesome stir frys. you can't drink there, but i always waddle out of there happily! even my carnivore boyfriend agrees that it's tasty!
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Poker-Guy



Joined: 25 May 2004
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 6:03 pm    Post subject: Food! Reply with quote

Hi!

The best Italian restaurant in Seoul is Mad for Garlic!

http://www.madforgarlic.co.kr/

Great Italian food. La Tavola is crap and pretentious. And my ex-wife used to work there...URGH!

The steamed mussels at Mad for Garlic are amazing.[/url]
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rudyflyer



Joined: 26 Feb 2003
Location: pacing the cage

PostPosted: Fri May 28, 2004 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

why does anybody go to Uno's for something other than pizza? It is simply the best pizza in Korea, no argument there, having been to the original one in Chicago several times and waited 3 hours to get a table.

What blows me away is last nite I was at Coex and the wait for Pizza Hut was an hour and we walked into Uno's and had a table in less than 5 minutes.
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JongnoGuru



Joined: 25 May 2004
Location: peeing on your doorstep

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 1:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greetings, fellow new-poster, Poker-Guy ~

Just curious about your experience at La Tavola... I was there a grand total of once. It was on a whim, with a group of 12 (!), on a Saturday night, and we were just thrilled that they were able to make room for us all w/o a reservation.

Man, that place was crowded when we got there (6:30 pm) and JAM-PACKED a few minutes after we sat down. The head waiter was having to turn guests away... just turning 'em away, turning 'em away, turning 'em away all night long. Clearly THE place to be for many seemingly well-heeled, well-traveled, continential sophisticates.

Sooooo, what's the real scoop then? You say it's "pretentious." Well, that fairly sums up my impression of 80~90% of European restaurants in Korea. (Curious about the opinions of other posters here) So, is it as "pretentious" as we'd all expect it to be, or is there something more serious and specific that you might elaborate on?

It's "crap"? Based on my one visit, the service was a bit slow, but heck -- you'd expect that given the capacity crowd they had to deal with that night. I couldn't call the service "crap." I may have just been lucky, who knows?

Now, nobody from our group complained about the taste, though some said of the portions (pasta, espeically) were definitely of the Minimalist School of Culinary Art. I greatly enjoyed my pizza and swapped a slice with others -- no complaints at all. Taste is so subjective anyway, but if the food at La Tavola truly tasted "crappy", could they keep packing 'em in the way they do, particularly the non-Koreans?

I'm no a connousseur of Italian food, and will humbly bow to your superior judgement on such matters. I'll also take your word on Mad for Garlic. (Will never eat there, though, as I find Kangnam repugnant and am allergic to Yoido -- the restaurant's sole locations.) And I should probably take your word on La Tavola, too, but my experience certainly didn't suggest "crappiness" or "pretention"...

Just hoping you might share some details based on your/your ex-wife's insights.


The Guru
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JongnoGuru



Joined: 25 May 2004
Location: peeing on your doorstep

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 1:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I direct this to all posters:

I've lived here long enough to know better, but how common is it for non-Koreans to get jobs working in non-hotel restaurants? And with what sort of visa? When I first arrived, only 5-star hotels were allowed to employ one or two European chefs, and certainly none of the waiters or busboys or kitchen crew were foreigners.

Other than the aforementioned master chefs, foreigners couldn't establish, own, operate or even mop floors at a restaurant. Not only was it illegal, it was just plain hard to visualise a day when it wouldn't be illegal. Today, of course, you'll find every colour of the human rainbow taking your order, cooking meals, bussing tables and scrubbing pots.

Just wondering when, how and why it all magically changed... I'm always pleased to see evidence of the Immigration Office lightening up on us, but it's sometimes difficult to imagine a majority of (or just many) Koreans favouring or sitting still for such changes to their immigration/labour restrictions.

To reiterate, the Guru's glad as can be ... he just a bit mystified.

The Guru
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chiaa



Joined: 23 Aug 2003

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 2:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

May favorites:

Ho Lee Chow - in the Hamilton Hotel

The brick oven pizza place....forget the name, but it is above the French restaurant with the big deck in Itaewon (accross from Kookmin bank right by the subway)

http://www.whatthebook.com
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Poker-Guy



Joined: 25 May 2004
Location: Seoul

PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2004 9:10 pm    Post subject: La Tavola Reply with quote

Hey...

Actually the food at La Tavola is pretty good. However, the servings are small, the place is crowded and the clientelle is a bit stuck up. People go there more for the sake of going there than for the quality of the food (ie. 'if I eat here, I'm a somebody!'). I'd rather not go to a restaurant where they shoehorn me into the place and then overcharge me for the experience.

Having said this, this is the reasons why I like Mad for Garlic. Even when they are busy it is a pleasure to go there. Rather than wait for a table, ask for a counter seat. Similar to Japanese style restaurants you can eat a meal while watching the chefs prepare dishes. I know this is the situation in Apgujeong anyway. I've never been to their second location.

However, if you're looking for atmosphere, Gecko's Garden is the place to go. They have a great outdoor patio completely secluded from the street. A great place to take a date.

Cheers!
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kidcharlemagne



Joined: 29 Mar 2004

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

salaam, around the corner from the mosque in iteawon is a nice turkish restaurant. it isn't very nice looking but the food is really good and quite cheap. you can also use the hooka pipe - which is great with turkish coffee after a big meal.
la volpia (sp?), the italian restaurant near the foreigner's clinic in iteawon has really good ravioli.
sogno, an italian restaurant in hongdae is also quite good and cheap. it's located next to the mcdonalds near the front gate of hongdae.
le st.ex is probably my favorite restaurant - great food, great wine and great atmosphere.
crazy crab is also really delicious. it's in changdamdong, near the california fitness center.
a really great place for restaurants is the seoul finance center. there is a gangas, a great thai restaurant, french restaurant, etc... also a really cool bar, moonbar.
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Swiss James



Joined: 26 Nov 2003
Location: Shanghai

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just one more, Tando Tando in Hongdae on the same side of the street as Gold Bar. Italian pasta place, really tasty stuff for about 10,000 per main course.
They've got a little patio out the back which would be pretty sweet if there wasn't building work going out outside.
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dogbert



Joined: 29 Jan 2003
Location: Killbox 90210

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

peppermint wrote:
I'm a huge fan of the new Greek place, behind the Hamilton in Itaewon. It's called Santorini, and it's above BricX. It's not just good for Korea- it's just plain good! You'd need reservations on the weekends, but well worth it.


It was OK.

Our enjoyment was tempered by the fact that after the waiter gushed about the tzatziki appetizer for five minutes he forgot we ordered it and we had to remind him to bring it after mains were served.

The mains we ordered did not match their descriptions in the menu.

Ordered "Greek coffee" with dessert. Got the dessert, not the coffee, which was odd as again the waiter did a complete spiel on the coffee. Maybe it's the ol' ADD.

The food was spiced nicely, but the ingredients were nothing special. Truly, a very poor price to value ratio.

Comes time to pay, the bill seems quite high. Turns out we had been charged not only for the non-existent coffee but for twice the amount of wine we'd ordered.

Caveat emptor.

peppermint wrote:
Oh and girls- the wait staff is pretty hot.


I'll grant you that, but I had the same question someone else posted -- how are North Americans getting visas to work at Korean (as in located in Korea) restaurants as waiters and why would they want to?

Oh, and baklava was "unavailable".
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Zyzyfer



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

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 5:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not Angry wrote:
Best Italian Rest. In seoul is deffinetly Anna Binni, In Apkujeong up the hill not far from California Fitness. It is fantastic. La Tovola and La Volpia don't hold a candle to it. It is quite a bit more expensive but they have an outdoor garden setting which makes it great for a date. Plan on about 30,000 per person. But oh so worth it. Did I mention the wide selection of delicious breads? I think I have to go there for lunch now....


Can I get more specific directions to this place? I don't really know Apgujeong very well, but I'll give this a shot.

----------

I'll second Sogno in Hongdae. They make some very tasty food, and the restaurant has a nice atmosphere as well. Not terribly expensive, even if you indulge on wine and garlic bread.
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peppermint



Joined: 13 May 2003
Location: traversing the minefields of caddishness.

PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2004 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll grant you that, but I had the same question someone else posted -- how are North Americans getting visas to work at Korean (as in located in Korea) restaurants as waiters and why would they want to?

Oh, and baklava was "unavailable".[/quote]


My understanding is that their staff are students here. I know one guy is in taekwondo training- perhaps for the Olympics?
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