Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Seoul Food | Linus & SugarDaddy

I won't count my previous post as a Seoul Food entry, because I forgot to take down the names of ANY of the places we went to, haha. But they were great anyway.

In this post we went to TWO places, because apparently all I ever do in my spare time is eat a lot with a total disregard to my gently-expanding waistline.

This time, we were in Itaewon at Linus: supposedly the best American-style BBQ place in Korea. Not having been to any other American-style BBQ places in Korea, I'm not sure how high a praise this is, BUT it's right next to the US army base and is packed with Westerners, so it can't be all that bad.

We were running a bit late because of how long it takes us to get from school to Seoul, and this place is POPULAR. So there was no time to waste, and we let our friends order for us. The food, conveniently, arrived only a few minutes after we did, so that was some lucky timing!

The platters were around 25,000 won each, so we shared 3 between the 6 of us. Mine and Nick's consisted of some cute slider buns, mashed potato, slaw, beans, and a variety of slow-cooked pork. There are fries in the photo above because we mixed and matched the sides with each other to get a variety. THE FRIES WERE SO GREAT.

The buns were warm and soft, and a little greasy (which is gross, but I kind of like it, haha) and all of the sides were great! The meat was REALLY tender, too. Apparently the owner gets up at 5am every morning to get it all cooking, which is some incredible dedication to the cause.

In all honesty, the meat was lovely, but after several trips to Bodeans back in London I was expecting a whole lot more flavour from it. There were sauces, warmed like baby milk, available to pour on as we pleased, which was a nice touch, but I still felt like there was something missing.

Having said that, I've never had real US BBQ so maybe this is more like what Southern food is like! In my experience, many meals get localised for whatever country they're in (such as the Chinese food in England that tastes nothing like Chinese Chinese food, and the Korean Chinese food which is again very different to both!). Although by that logic this is Korean Style American Food. Who knows! It was very good, and the sides were commendable (I'd defo go back for some fries), but it's not my favourite place to eat at the moment.

Next stop was a Canadian bar not too far away (where the alien word "tipping" was seen on a wall ;p) for a fundraiser for a local Animal Shelter. I have a feeling fundraisers like this are a lot more important here, because there's generally a lot less funding for unwanted pets, and there's not enough room or money for all of them. I think there's actually a time limit for how long they can stay in any one shelter, and after that...I don't really want to think about it.

So yeah, this was a pretty important cause, and seeing as I don't have the space or money to give some poor cat or dog its forever home (yet), I was more than happy to try and help pay towards caring for them. I got to play Foosball, which I was a lot less awful at than I was originally expecting, but I DID manage to score an own goal.

There was a bake sale in one corner, a raffle in another, and some live music in a third. In all honesty? We were kind of weirded out by the first act we saw. A Western guy, singing in alternating Korean and English. Cool enough, but there was a definite air of Jack Black about him that wasn't working for any of our group, I don't think. This was bundled in with the confusing fact that he kept insulting the Westerners and chatting up the few Korean ladies in the room... maybe I just didn't get his humour but sadly Nick and I were pretty glad when one of his guitar strings broke and his set ended, to be replaced by a Canadian band playing Irish music. We felt quite Fus Ro Dah.

After a while, we headed up and out, back towards Linus and into Sugar Daddy. It's a really sweet little cake shop, and it was pretty quiet when we went. It's actually sort of directly above Linus, with an outside patio area to enjoy your cake in on a cool night. The interior is adorable, it pretty much just looks like a kitchen that happens to have a food display case in it. Pine shelves crammed with baking supplies, and cute 3-tier cake stands.

They have lots of interesting flavours, from standard red velvet, to a more exotic mint choco, and Nutella, which had a Ferrero Rocher pressed into the icing on top. There are some slices of cheesecakes and pies up for grabs too! I'm not too sure how varied the stock usually is, as we came pretty much right at the end of the day, and I feel like everything is baked freshly each day, maybe even different flavours each day. But, for a cafe, they had a good variety and a nice range of teas and coffees for reasonable prices, and the man running the place was lovely.

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