I ate my way around Korea the best way I knew how: with an empty stomach and my mouth wide open. I was down for anything that came my way; weighing scale be damned.
It was snowing when I arrived and I was really, really starving. Anyone who’s been to Seoul knows how the trip from the Incheon Airport can be quite a stretch especially if you’ve spent half the day flying.
This Haemul Doenjang Jjigae (Soybean paste stew with seafood) was very comforting. I was freezing and just wanted something warm inside my tummy. You can’t go wrong eating it with rice too. There was no English translation for the restaurant’s name, but you won’t miss it as it is just a few steps away from the Myeongdong Station and a McDonald’s. I ended up eating another meal here after 3 days. It seemed to be popular with the locals too.
When in Korea or maybe anywhere else, make sure to try out Paris Baguette. I’m really not a bread person but this place made me discover the sandwich monster in me.
I still crave for their Shrimp and Egg sandwich. Who knew they tasted fantastic together? The bread, it tasted like cake to me. I was thankful for the many staircases I had to take and the streets I roamed because I was too full that day. The Iced Americano was pretty good too.
The presentation was done very well that I wanted to taste everything on display. If you’re health conscious, you will love the place as they make sure you’re aware of the number of calories that you’re about to waste. The verdict? It’s worth it.
On the streets of Busan, make sure to walk along Seomyeon and go beyond the chicken and beer experience. I was thrilled to sample a different kind of bibimbap with fish roe as its main protein. I didn’t like having mayonnaise on my rice though.
I went all in and tried the live octopus at the Haeundae Traditional Market. It was like eating sashimi; a really restless sashimi. I made sure I had water in case the tentacles stuck to my throat.
I also tried the version in Gwangjang Market; this time with the beef sashimi. I found this to be tasty.
Busan has a fun cafe culture; a street full of interesting places to hang out it made my head spin.
I was attracted right away to the minimalist aesthetic of Caffe Zassen.
And who can resist not ordering their cheesecake? If I’m not mistaken, I think this is Camembert.
Another welcome surprise after my cultural food immersion was the bleacher style food court of Lotte in Busan.
Guess who wanted something familiar for dinner?
Something interesting from the Namdaemun Market in Seoul:
The seafood didn’t disappoint in Korea too. My friends took me to this seafood joint in Incheon a few hours before my flight.
When in Seoul, make sure to stop by Insadong. My friend took me to a traditional tea house and I ordered this Yuzu Tea aka the chicken soup for my soul that day. It doesn’t look like much but my soul needed it that day. My Korean friends were worried that I might have extended my stomach’s capacity for eating live and raw protein. I only had a few hours of sleep before boarding but I remember waking up feeling light and recharged for my flight back to the Philippines. Just how every trip should come to a close.