May 062015
Coffee afterwards

At coffee afterwards

2015-05-05 Lunch in SBD 06

Me, at lunch

A few pics from lunch with A in Seongbuk-dong yesterday.  I’d been the restaurant before, but the menu had changed — maybe new owners?  Anyway, it was a gloriously sunny day, and a nice time.

The guys in the 2nd picture were having lunch after a hike in the mountains, and were having a fair bit of Makgeolli (막 걸 리) with their lunch.  Makgeolli is like near-beer made from rice… on a hot day like that, after a hike, it probably hit the spot!


 Posted by on 06 May 2015
Apr 192015

2015-04-18 Noryangjin Fish Mkt 063 banner

2015-04-18 Noryangjin Fish Mkt 0852015-04-18 Noryangjin Fish Mkt 013It’s amazing that we’ve taken 18 months to get to the Noryangjin Fish Market.  I mean, some people go there on their first day in Seoul.  Maybe that’s one of the nice things about living somewhere – no rush! (Of course, “no rush” can turn into “never got around to it” if you’re not careful).  But, as part of my continuing plan to Do Something Every Weekend, we finally went yesterday (& at A’s suggestion, too!).

It’s easy to get to – either take the metro (Line 1 to Noryangjin station) or driving over the Hangang Bridge (Hangang-daegyo 한강 대규), right onto Noryangjin-ro and then look for the signs “Fish Market”.

It’s a huge place, a cavernous concrete warehouse with a 2nd story along one side, which is where most of the restaurants are.  It was surprisingly clean and lacking in fish-smell.  When you enter, you’re on the aisle along one side of the place, with the restaurants on the balcony above you.  The first couple of aisles are mostly shellfish, crustaceans, sea urchins, eels, squid & octopus, etc.


2015-04-18 Noryangjin Fish Mkt 0642015-04-18 Noryangjin Fish Mkt 035There’s no refrigeration — everything is kept on ice.  While most of the fish is obviously very fresh, some of it is still alive, in big tanks, as are the crabs & lobsters.  Pick your fish, and they spike it & scoop it out of the tank.  The shellfish, and sometimes the crabs too, are generally in large plastic tubs with aquarium pumps keeping the water full of oxygen.


2015-04-18 Noryangjin Fish Mkt 0512015-04-18 Noryangjin Fish Mkt 047The way the restaurants work is that you buy the seafood for your lunch, and the restaurant cooks it for you.  We bought a red fish that looked kind of like dorade and a couple of  flat white fish that looked a bit like sole.  The lady there scaled & cleaned the fish for us, and led us towards the restaurants.  But we were quickly intercepted by a tout, who passed us to a guide, who took us to the restaurant.

2015-04-18 Noryangjin Fish Mkt 071

2015-04-18 Noryangjin Fish Mkt 068We really lucked out:  Unlike most of the restaurants, which are in the fishmarket and are really interior spaces, this was in a building behind the market, up on the 2nd floor with large windows – a very airy & pleasant place.  (If you’re looking for it, the entrance is roughly in the middle of  that side of the market; look for the sign with 812-6200.)

The white fish was steamed & served with a spicy chili & onion sauce on top (A. scraped of most of hers, which meant more sauce for me!), while the red fish was grilled.  We didn’t have much by way of side dishes or rice — I guess you have to order them, and we didn’t.  Just as well, as we’d only intended to cook one of the white fish, but forgot & so there was a bit more fish than we’d planned on.

2015-04-18 Noryangjin Fish Mkt 0092015-04-18 Noryangjin Fish Mkt 098After lunch, we bought our giant prawns & large clams.  “Giant prawns” is a difficult term… in Spain, there was a term for each, from the smallest shrimp to the largest prawn.  But in English, I guess giant prawn will have to do.

Anyway, here are all the pics from above + a few more….






 Posted by on 19 Apr 2015
Apr 132015

Went to the office today, and had lunch with my friend KS & his team.  We ate in the 26th floor cafeteria at one of the nearby towers – the 235 Cafeteria, (if memory serves), named after the old building number.  The team were very nice, and the food was fine.  But… what a place!  No “C-Suite” here – top floor turned into the employee cafeteria — huge windows all the way around — pick your food & pick the view you want.  Very nice!

2015-04-13 lunch at 265

A diner, with the Parliament building in the background.


 Posted by on 13 Apr 2015
Apr 092015

2015-02-26 OleNoodles 72015-02-26 OleNoodles 2Another ‘cleaning up my iPhone’ post…

I’d been trying to get into Seongbuk-dong Ole Noodles (성북동 올레국수) for ages & ages, and finally managed it in late February.  It’s a really small place — only has tables for maybe 8 people, plus a few at the bar (though, frankly, I doubt even the ever-svelt Koreans could squeeze in there well).  And that’s been the problem:  every time I stroll by, it’s been full.

Then, out of the blue… it was empty.  So empty, I thought it was closed, but I spotted one of the two women who runs it hiding in the kitchen, so I boldly went on in.

2015-02-26 OleNoodles 4The menu, while in Korean, had sections handily labelled in English:  “Main Menu”, “Side Menu” and then other bits with no label.  I had the top items from the Mains & Sides.

2015-02-26 OleNoodles 5Very nice!  The main was a nice broth with noodles, chopped vegetables and some pieces of meat.  There seem to be no end to variations on that theme here, but this one was particularly nice, and despite the thick ribbon of fat on the edge of the pieces of meat, not greasy at all (nice trick!).

But the real surprise was the side dish, a lovely bit of rice with some bean in it, some dried seaweed on top… and a fair bit of caramelized onions mixed in.  What the heck?  Never seen anything like that here (nor have a few people I’ve mentioned it to).

2015-02-26 OleNoodles 6I’m waiting for the warmer weather… there is a flip-up counter on the outside, and if I remember, it’s an outdoor seating area.  Can’t wait for a nice day & someone to have lunch with for a change!

Conclusion:  It’s back to being packed, but worth waiting for a spot.  (Especially given how quickly lunches go here… the wait won’t be long!) (approximate location):



 Posted by on 09 Apr 2015
Oct 122014

2014-08-10 Chef To Go 03 banner2014-08-10 Chef To Go 012014-08-10 Chef To Go 02A new lunch place opened up down on Seongbuk-ro, the big road at the bottom of our hill.  My friend Kathy is crazy about it, says she wants to work there to learn Korean cooking, and that the cook is, for now, the owner’s mother.  That’s the owner in the photo above.  Place is new, modern, clean & pleasant — that’s a nice change, as lunch places can often be a bit heavy on the formica and flourescent lighting.

In fact, I’d quite forgotten about this place, but ran into Kathy & Ann Marie when I was out for lunch & considering where to go & they’d just eaten there & said that I should go there.  So I did.

2014-08-10 Chef To Go 03Kathy recommended the Kimchi Prawns, but in the event I was served the Teriyaki Chicken.  Oh well.  It was OK, but I’m not a big fan of dishes with packaged sauce (in that category it was excellent… which gives it just OK overall).

So… worth another try, especially for the Kimchi Prawns.

 Posted by on 12 Oct 2014