Friday, May 16, 2008

The food tour: flavored tofu, buffet overload, and Indian

One of my new fave health snacks - flavored soft tofu with assorted toppings. It may not seem all that appetizing, especially when the directions tell you to eat it warm... but who knew sweet + tofu could be so good.

This was one was topped with a sweet soy sauce...

... and this one came with a sugary almond & walnut mix.

Other than the Cheesecake Factory, rarely can a restaurant pull off more than two cuisines and still be decent. So naturally, I was a little skeptical about dining at a place that serves Mexican, Korean, Japanese, AND Italian "inspired" chicken dishes...

I opted for the "Korean version." It wasn't bad... but not worth my 5,500 won.

Thankfully, my friends seemed to enjoy their dishes (chicken kangpoongi and chicken curry) a little more.

Jihey Onni recently introduced me to this two story basement bar that I would never have known existed...

It was here that I had my first Korean cape cod - I love it when there's no soju on the menu! ; ) It was served with nori (dried seaweed) and a sweet soy vinaigrette.

I finally tried one of those dime a dozen tuna restaurants (this one in Jogno), and I doubt I'll be frequenting them again anytime soon. Fish like maguro, hamachi, and sake tend to come frozen at these types of places, but our salmon was literally frozen. Thaw, people, thaw!

I definitely made up for it thanks to Aunty Mina, who was in town again. ^^

We had dinner at the Grand Hilton Seoul's Buffet Restaurant (creative name, I know) which had everything from tacos to sashimi to kalbi to prime rib. I had a good four or five servings, but before making any type of judgment, please keep the following in mind:
  • I hadn't eaten breakfast or lunch that day
  • I've been non-Korean food deprived!
  • Cheri + buffet usually = trouble
  • I typically eat more than your average human anyway

Plate #1 - Mmmh, sashimi and smoked salmon.

Plate #2 - I found hamachi, but it wasn't as good as the salmon. The baked white fish (top left center) was to die for - brought back misoyaki butterfish memories...

Plate #3 - I love it when they cook things in front of you, so I couldn't resist trying the cream pasta, and got a little too excited when I saw the shaved parmesan. (You've no idea how $$$ cheese is in this country!)

Plate #4 - Dim sum.

Plate #5 - This was supposed to be the "final dessert tray"... but I started thinking about sashimi again (top right corner), and then spotted a cheese section I had missed earlier (again, in this country, cheese is like a luxury for me.)

As with most buffet restaurants, the desserts were mediocre, except for the butter bread pudding, which I topped with chocolate chips.
Dad, this would have definitely gotten your seal of approval.

Plate #6 - Finally, a trip to a buffet would not be complete without a visit to the ice cream bar.

Next... Indian!

Indian's a bit tough for me to eat in Korea, mostly because I don't have a ton of friends here who are accustomed to it, which can make for a tough sell. YH and I tried a place called Namaste (in Jogno) tonight, and more than the food, I was really happy with the service... it wasn't Korean!

Haha, let me explain. They refilled our water without us having to ask, gave us the check after we were done eating (usually it's given to you at the beginning of your meal and you have to go up to the register to pay), and when I turned around to get a view of the decor, the manager came to our table, and asked if there was anything we needed. I know, I know... this doesn't sound like anything special, but I've really gotten used to shouting, "저기요! 물 좀 주세요!" or ringing the service bell to get someone to pay attention to me. It was nice to feel like a restaurant customer for a change. ^^

Veggie samosa.

Chicken tikka.


Palak paneer curry.

I'm stuffed.

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