Throughout my time in South Korea, I tried many foods. Today, we will highlight a few more things I ate during the course of my stay here. Admittedly, some of them aren’t exactly exotic, but I feel they are at least somewhat relevant to those from the West heading to South Korea, either to teach or to travel. Let’s start with a late night visit to Cafe Bene, for a little spot of dessert…
… okay, maybe a big spot of dessert! This is Cafe Bene’s Honey Bread, a paleo dieters worst nightmare, as it is a carb bomb consisting of roughly 1018 calories of awesomeness. The honey flavoured bread is complimented by lashings of caramel sauce, a liberal application of cinnamon, and a massive dollop of heavenly whipped cream. I’ve also had this for breakfast a few times before … so wrong, yet so right! 🙂
One of the great aspects of my hagwon was once a month, we’d all go out for a buffet lunch together. Now in South Korea, buffets are EXPENSIVE, they are not the bargain basement affair that they are back in Canada. I was told that this particular restaurant cost roughly 30,000 ₩ ($27 USD) per head, and for the most part, the food fit the bill, as did the decor and surroundings. The mandu (Korean dumplings in the bottom left corner of the plate) were delightful as always, the squash dish was sweet without being overwhelmingly so, the spring rolls (I had eaten the other one) were quite satisfying, and the breaded Chinese chicken in the top right was sinfully delicious. Only the pizza was disappointing, but I had my expectations set lower on that count, so I wasn’t devastated.
You might that this is a sushi roll, but in Korea, while it may look like sushi, it is called and is something completely different. This is a kimbap roll, which is a roll of rice, carrots, radish, ham and cheese, wrapped up in a sheath of seaweed. Other kimbaps will have different ingredients for the veggies and meats, but the constituent ingredients of rice with a seaweed covering remain consistent through the offerings of this quick Korean meal/snack.
Unlike the buffet pizza displayed above, some businesses do manage to get pizza right in Korea. One such homegrown establishment worth mentioning is Pizza Maru. Baking their pizzas on a multigrain (MULTIGRAIN … IN KOREA?!) crust with a range of excellent toppings, and selling them at a steal of a price (8,000 ₩ or $7 USD for a 12-inch pie), you’ll be hard pressed to find better value for money in the country. Domino’s does the best job of nailing Western style pan pizza in Korea, but they come at a higher price point (12,500 ₩, or $11 USD for 12 inches), so when you’re running short and payday is not due for a few more days, Pizza Maru is a sure bet!
Have some hot tips about food in Korea, native cuisine or foreign food? Share them with us below!