Food!

Saturday night, we took advantage of living 2 minutes walk from the gate out to Itaewon, and went in search of a Japanese ramen place we read about on another blog. We did finally stumble upon it (it’s called Menya Sandaime, but the name isn’t anywhere on it in English) and joined the small line outside. It’s tiny, so you usually have to wait for a table, but it was totally worth the wait! When we got inside, the waiter gave us a menu, then did a double-take, took it away, and brought back one in English for us. We ordered the first ramen on the menu, with pork, along with a serving of gyoza.

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Both were incredibly tasty, and I imagine we’ll return many times in the future. That whole meal – 2 ramen and 1 gyoza – cost us ₩17,000 – about $15!

Today (Sunday), we took a “Foodie Crawl” tour with the Dragon Hill Lodge tour desk, a lovely present from my parents and brother and sister-in-law (thank you!!!!!). It was a cooler day with the threat of rain, but we decided to eschew an umbrella and just layer up. We met up at noon at the Dragon Hill, where our guide Hae Lee gave us an overview of what to expect. There were 2 other couples on the tour, which made for a nice small group. Sean and Kim were from Boston, stationed at Yongsan, and George and Pat were from Hawaii, retirees here on vacation.

First, we walked off post to a nearby bus stop and caught a bus to the Sinchon district, a big university area. I don’t know the names of any of the restaurants we went to, since my Hangul is still weak (okay, nonexistent), but I’ve got pictures!

First up was a spicy chicken place. The spicy chicken and sweet potato mixture was cooked at our table:

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It was deliciously hot, and it was the mildest choice on the menu! After we had eaten our fill, Hae Lee had them bring rice and cheese to cook with the rest of the chicken.

Next, we walked down the road a ways to a dessert cafe. There, we had a delicious savory rice cake-and-cheese snack, and 2 delicious shaved ice desserts.

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From right to left: rice cake-cheese snack on a stick; shaved ice with bean powder (tastes kind of peanutty); condensed milk to pour over the shaved ice
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Our favorite – shaved ice with mango and a type of cheese (!) – absolutely delicious and something we’ll be getting again, probably many times
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The whole gang, minus myself

Next, we took a longer walk around Ewha Women’s University, which Hae Lee told us is the largest women’s university in the world – 25,000 students. It was a beautiful campus.

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The walls on either side house entrances into one of the main buildings of the university, with a modern aesthetic and open plan
View of the city from the university campus
View of the city from the university campus

Our next stop was a small kimbap joint, along crowded bustling streets:

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I’m sure you won’t be surprised to see that more deliciousness ensued:

Amazing lettuce wraps
Amazing lettuce wraps
Kimbap - Korean sushi
Kimbap – Korean sushi
Fried dumplings
Fried dumplings
Incredibly tasty rice balls
Incredibly tasty rice balls

Our last stop (good thing, as we were starting to waddle) was a little fried chicken street stall:

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Ever since we did that Rome food tour, we have decided food tours are a perfect way to explore a new location! I look forward to more in our future, but this one was a great way to try some food we hadn’t had yet. We will definitely be revisiting all of these places in the future!

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