Saturday, February 28, 2009

Wood & Brick

Almost about 15 years ago, my senior invited me at dinner. After work, he brought me to one bakery, which on 2nd floor, italian restaurant was equipped. The first floor is bakery. In that time, there were not many western style restaurants in Seoul like now. Therefore, this restaurant was like a pioneer. Frankly speaking, I don't know why they named for Wood & brick and What from. I can't even associate two words. At any rate, I can guess just that wood will indicate cooking and brick is just associated with chimney, so cooking kitchen.
As it's located in the center of Seoul, food was not bad. With the lapse of time, this restaurant was also developped. Decoration, interiors became more modern, and chic covered with black colours. They introduced course menu with steak, and wine menu also. One day, I brought my foreign friends to this restaurant. They liked so much. Without me, they have had dinner from time to time during their staying period. I prefer their pasta menu. Although many restaurants will be newly opened and closed in the future, I expect their longevity.

Food : ***
Inteior : ***
Address : 1-6, Shinmunro, Chongro-gu, Seoul, Korea,
Telephone : 82-2-735-1151

Friday, February 27, 2009

Greentea chocolate Yatsuhashi

Personally, I love japanese cookies, chocoplates, mozzi, even food also. What is the most fantastic and amazing in Japanese food and their dessert is that each region and shop have kept their own recipe and making method. They developped their own label, packings, case, box. Therefore, just their packing or box allow clients to guess where that product comes from. Although recently many japanese cookies and food stuffs, ingredients were much imported and many japanese bar and restaurant have been opened and introduced into korean peoples, their too many kinds of their food stuff can't be all brought to Korea. So when I worked with japanese company, my colleagues close to me brought different kinds of cookies, mozzi, chocolate, yokang, etc. Whenever they come to Korea, they have asked me what I like to try this time. Especially femal colleague selected so nice cookies for me. As their case is so pretty, sometimes I keep them also. Today, I just introduce one item of them that I liked. Green tea chocolate Yatshuhashi.
As per its case, about 250 years ago, people start selling Yatshuashi as a souvenir. Now Yatshuashi is the most popular souvenir in KYOTO. Yatsuhashi is traditional japanese cookies made from rice flour with cinnamon.
Especially, OTABE-chan is MAIKO girl in Kyoto. She loves CHOCOLATE coated YATSHUHASHI very much.

Although I'm not Yatsuhashi girl, I do love this green tea chocolate.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dong Hae

When I came to know japanese restaurant, Dong Hae, it came back 1996. It's really 15 years ago. Our liason office was located just close to this restaurant. If there were very important guests or clients, we had a meal ; lunch or dinner. As it's a little expensive, normally, we used lunch time. After moving our office, I couldn't try to go to this restaurant. However, coincidently, my office was moved again to this area. Therefore, I could enjoy their foods. At lunch time, they offer lunch menu with hot fish soup. Normally, I take sushi costed to 30,000 won. As I go there alone, I sit in front of cook. Adventage of sitting there is that cook serve more sushi. As I love sushi, sometimes I go to this restaurant alone to enjoy a special taste. Today, I invited my sister and mother. As we had to sit inside, I couldn't expect more extra sushi offered by cook. Each ordered a fish soup and as appetiser, I ordered a special sushi. Fish is so fresh and quality also is good. However, what I like this restaurant is that I have many souvenirs there which I can't dream at all in other restaurant. Whenever I pass that area, I wish that this restaurant is not being vanished during my life time. In seoul, there are not many restaurants with their beautiful history over at least 20 or 30 years. Some times, new menu and fresh restaurant, just opened now made us excited. However, some times, we miss something old and tradional.

Interior : **
Food : ****

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wa ka si

One actress took wakasi on TV drama. Although I don't like too much wakasi, her eating look attracted my attention. Therefore, I bought some wakasi at Department store.
Wakasi is japanese word. I didn't find english name for Hwa kwa Ja. Kwa ja means cookie, and hwa means harmony. That is to say, harmony of cookie. This wakasi, hand made was offered to God at Royal court long time ago, just limited class, royal family and nobbles could taste them. Wakasi enjoy its first taste with eye, its final taste with tongue, so shape of wakasi is so splendid. Normally, it goes well with Green tea. This wakasi in Japan is made per region, therefore, there are a lot of kinds. There are 3 kinds ; Namakasi[生菓子], Hannamakasi[半生菓子], Hikasi[干菓子].
Especially, namakasi has much water, it's so similar to korean rice cake. As the representative example of namakasi, nerikiri, it is made beautifully of glutinuous rice and red bean grounds per different season. I know that there are many specialists of wakasi in Japan and each shop has his own speciality, which was inherited from their ancestors since a few years or century. It's so amazing ! One cookie and make up can be an art and a tradition.
Wakasi is not too sweet. It's not recommendable to take it every day. However, sometimes, when we take a little sweet and beautiful dessert, it's so good.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Dublin love (2) - Il Posto

3 years ago, at the entrance of spring, one saturday, I took a walk and was indulged in eye shopping in Grafton street. I've got one phone call from Marc, my irish friend. He invited me at lunch. When I was waiting for him at grafton capital hotel, he entered with his three angels(daughters) - Tarak, Jorgia, Hana,. These pretty girls were really like angels. He guided me to italian restaurant, Il posto. As it was saturday lunch around 12:30, there were not too many peoples inside restaurant. His wife, mary went to beauty shop. He had to take care of four children. One son was born in dec. 2005. He was really baby. I tried mushroom pasta, and chocolate dessert(I can't remember the name). However, the taste was so good. As we took pictures, I rememerber cleary that day. Since then, I visited a few times Il posto with my colleagues. Some times, I went alone for lunch. Interior and decorations are so clean and modern. Unfortunately, I couldn't discover same feeling of their food except the first visit. I couldn't think either that this restaurant offers real italian food. Maybe, I'm wrong. Subjectively, to my tongue, it seemed just western food, not focused to Italian style. However, it's clear that this restaurant gave me many souvenirs with my freinds and colleagues.

Interior : ****
Food : ***
Adress : 10. St. Stephen's Gree, Dublin 2
01 679 4769

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Influenced by Jamie Olivier

Watching food program, I thought what encouraged me to be intrested in cuisine. Although I have loved food, spent a lot of money in eating since when I was student in university, I have never thought of being gourmet or food critic. I believe that an TV show hosted by Jamie olivier impressed me so much. Watching his cooking style, I discovered that he knows well how to adapt original cooking recipes into his own style. It is so amazing. He looked for natural ingredients and materials. And he tried to mix different stuffs and found his own creative product. His cooking way is so similar to korean ones. For example, he liked milling grains or mixing vetables in small mortar. And he tried to keep original taste and freshness of materials. I don't know yet. Because I have worked in company so far having a great intrest in food. However, some day, I wanna work as food critic and gourmet. Of course, I have to study many things indirectly through food programs, books, and directly visiting different restaurants, leaning in culinary school. As I can speak in English, and French, and italian, I hope that my ability in language contribute me to act as food specialist.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Strawberry's season

Now, it's the season of strawberry. Although I don't like too much fruit, strawberry is exceptional. I like smoothie, cake, ice cream made with strawberry. As it's strawberry's season, we can get them more easily in the market. Making use of this good material, many bakeries, hotels are showing special event making strawberry as main subject. Today, I tried very fresh strawberry brest. It was so good, not too sweet. Walkerhill hotel that I like the most organize a special event called as strawberry season. From 14th of Feb., valentine's day, to 29th of March, they offer strawberry buffet. For a few hours, peoples can be indulged in strawberry's world tasting strawberry ice cream, smoothie, juice, cakes, pies, etc. Everything is made of strawberry. To absorb freshness of strawberry as well as vitamin, It's worth visiting.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Dublin love (1) - Orchid

Before visiting orchid, I didn't expect anything. Maybe I had a prejudice. Normally, Chinese food is so common, and its restaurants can be found in everywhere. As here is dublin, I preferred to try western food. However, restaurant was so great. Black wall is painted with orchid in gold. It's so cosy and comfortable. Since then, I became a guest. Foods are so excellent. Beijing duck, spicy crispy fish, steamed fish with gingers, slices of steamed pork, wantang soup, steamed shrimp dimsum, etc.
As appetizer, I try soup or dimsum. As main dish, different foods are ordered. As I love of fish, I order fish menu. When there are many visitors from korea, or some special meetings were hold, we gathered all at this restaurant to be relaxed from stress, and chat each other. It's funny and joyful time ! Orchid prepare some Movenpick ice creams, sorbets. Coffee is not so great. However, as they know me well, they offered more coffee. As I am coffee mania and like very much to talk taking some coffee, I love their service.
Normally, I go there at dinner time, however, some times, I go to enjoy lunch special menu with shrimp dimum and steamed fish with gingers. Restaurant staffs came from Hong kong, china, and Malasia. As I was always alone in Dublin, I wanted to talk with somebody. In that time, I went to this Orchid. It seems to me like freindly places to consolate me.

Interior : ****
Foods : *****

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cup cake fever

Recently, korean peoples indulge in cup cake fever. Many cafes show different cup cakes, which go well with various coffees. Maybe, a trendy movie < sex and the City> influenced us. Or fashion and food programs. They introduces cup cakes shop with one scene of movie such as sex and the city. Many young girls associate it automatically with very luxurious and cool dessert. Of course, cup cake's shape is so cute and extraordinary. However, it's so expensive(I think so). It costs about 5000 won. If we can solve one meal with 5000 won, this small dessert is not really cheap. If I take it with a cup of coffee at the cafe, I have to pay at least 10,000 won. In spite of this price, many peoples buy cup cakes at department stores. And recently, there are some special shops selling just cup cakes. Today, I tried cup cakes with hot coffees. These cup cakes were not so sweet differently from my expectation. I loved this taste. I picked up two cup cakes ; apple cinamon, strawberry.
Due to popularity of cup cakes, different cakes are not served too much. As I like other cakes or pies, range of choice became very limited. Anyhow, for the time being, we can try very easily these cup cakes. ^^

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Little Saigon

I'm very and seriously lazy person. Today, I made up one more time my mind of updating my blog very often, almost every day. As I'm now living in Korea, my main items of blog will be korean food. If I can introduce korean culture through korean foods taking opportunity of this blog, I'll be very pout of myself and I believe that my little contribution to this blog will be so meaningful. I hope so. Besides it, from time to time, I wanna go back to my previous 3 years that I stayed in Dublin. As foreigner, I discovered more deeply western cooks and 3 years awoke the taste, the smell, the sight that were dead up to then and didn't know how to appreciate them. I want to share my beautiful memory thinking of different menus, and restaurants in Dublin.

Today, I want to introduce a vietnamien restaurant called as Little saigon( it sounds like a movie title ). For me that have looked for a special menu, my frined recommended me this restaurant. We can find them in a few spots. We visited one of them located in Karosu Kil. With two stories' building, interior decorations are so simple, white, so bright. However, partly, it looked so plain. Usually, I go to 2nd floor, because it is less busy, less peoples. Today's menu is vientamian wrap( Wal nam Ssam). With rice pan cake, which dips in hot water, we wrap different stuffs served on a big plate such as carrots, pineapples, cabbages, onions, shrimps, beefs, etc. Quality of stuffs are so good and fresh. And it's so abundant. Although I tried other vietnamien restos since then, I couldn't enjoy them, and appreciate any menu either except it. If you think of very fresh and well-being food, why not taking this vietnamian wrap ?