This post is old, so what you see here may not reflect my current opinion and mindset, certain information may be outdated, and links may be broken.
Ages ago — okay, since February — I had written several blog entries about wanting to travel outside of Korea, and I had decided on Tokyo, Japan for this October. A few weeks ago, I’ve received news that slapped me in the face. Because of some family medical problems, I was told that I should postpone my Tokyo trip, which I’ve had difficulty accepting since it was the only thing I had been looking forward to since February. After mulling over that disappointment and other depressing news in my life, I’ve finally decided to be a bit more optimistic about what I can do instead.
Becky had written about “staycation” a while back, and that gave me the inspiration to try to get to know my own home city better than I do right now. Which isn’t really going to be easy since I’m lazy and like to stay in areas that’s near my home. Luckily, one thing I can do that’s near my home is to try all these restaurants, especially the ones in my neighbourhood, Itaewon, the foreigner’s district near one of the US military bases stationed around the Pacific. Now, I am no connoisseur on cuisine, but I like to try things at least once (as long as it doesn’t gross me out by its first impression — ie: pig’s feet? NO THANK YOU.) and lately I’ve been wanting to try cuisines I haven’t really had the opportunity to try, what with having unadventurous parents in trying new cuisines. That led me to explore The Korea Times archives and Seoul Eats blog for some ideas and suggestions, and here’s a compilation.
- Ali Baba — Egypt is the only place in Africa I want to visit, and well . . . I can’t go there, but I can experience the cuisine locally in Itaewon! Never mind its name keeps making me belt out “Prince Ali” from Aladdin.
- Bon et Beau — A French bistro in Itaewon? Why not. Seems like their brunch might be good . . . except for a slight problem. I don’t like waking up early to go to a brunch. Yes, I think of anything before 3pm early.
- Donburi — A Japanese restaurant specialising in . . . Donburi! Located in Hongdae (Hongik University) area. Now, I crave me some katsudon.
- La Vie — Moroccan restaurant near The Wolfhound Irish Pub in Itaewon. Never tried Moroccan cuisine before, but I want to simply because it would remind me of Casablanca.
- Le Sait-Ex — I was always a bit wary of French cuisine when I learned about escargots and frog legs, but I am willing to give that Floating Island a try. That dessert dish in the article looks heavenly to me! When I find this place in Itaewon, I will probably order that first and then the actual meal.
- Little Swiss — The Baby-Sitters Club, Kristy’s Great Idea, specifically, introduced me about fondue and its . . . interesting rules. I want to go there one day, preferably not by myself, and implement weird rules with whoever I’m with! I just hope I can find this place in Daehakro (Hyehwa) area. Not familiar with that area except for this one cafe and the infamous Gandalf statue.
- Marakech Night II — Another Moroccan restaurant to try in Itaewon — though I do want to know if there is a Marakech Night I. I want to try their tea! It sounds delish.
- Mignon Terrace — Belgian dining in Itaewon? I know next to nothing of Belgian cuisine except for its chocolates and waffles (as the article correctly states!), but I wouldn’t mind trying it out!
- Orange King — Not sure what kind of cuisine I’d call this other than burgers and meat cuisine imported from Seattle, Washingtom. Okay, so I guess it can be considered American. Let’s hope it’s not Koreanised to the point that the food is blargh, if I ever go there in Hannam-dong.
- Persian Land — Iranian and Turkish cuisine anyone? As if the name wasn’t a dead give away! There are so many Middle Eastern restaurant in Itaewon, come to think of it. Well, with Seoul Central Mosque in Itaewon, it shouldn’t be that surprising.
- Pharaohs — Another Egyptian restaurant in the “dingy” area of Itaewon. Hm. By that, do they mean Hooker Hill? Must be. But that won’t stop me from going! Their Omm’Ali, an Egyptian bread pudding, sounds yummy.
- Zelen — A Bulgarian or Belgian (? I saw it as Belgian somewhere else . . . ) behind Hamilton Hotel area. Am still trying to figure out if they have a dress code (EW!) for regular dining or if it’s only for the wine party.
Ah. If I did go to every single one of these restaurants, I will be spending quite a few bucks here and there. But sod it. I lost my chance to go to Tokyo, so I am going to use a bit of that plane ticket and hotel money to buy some books, dvds, games, and mangas, and try these restaurants out to make myself happy and not think of all the doom and gloom stuff that’s been bombarding me for a month. I had requested annual leave time for my trip to Tokyo — I’ve decided to shorten it and take six consecutive days off in October and catch up on my hobbies and do some staycation stuff then. I just hope I get that leave approved. If not, I will be rather put off.
On an ending note, after writing this entry I learned one thing: never write food-related entry this late at night ever again. Now, I’m starving and craving for some good stuff! Oh and I hope some of these restaurants are still in business! It would be a shame if they weren’t.