(well…Busan as well, but that would’ve ruined my play on words)
I love Korean food but why oh why was I born with such embarrassingly weak taste buds!? Some of the kimchi even had me shedding a tear or two. It makes me a little nervous for any future Asian travels because I absolutely love trying new food but I just can’t handle the spice. Living in Japan hasn’t exactly helped…with the exception of wasabi I can’t think of a single food here that packs a punch. Better start on operation taste bud spicy bootcamp. I think a couple of Durban samoosas would be a good start.
Busan fish market
The first thing that struck me about Busan fish market was how clean it was…until I witnessed the most horrific sight of a woman skinning live eels in one quick serial killer sort movement. I think I’m still having nightmares about it. After some recovery time and leisurely meandering we headed upstairs to the open-plan restaurant section. We were led to a table and ordered (well we weren’t really sure what we had ordered) but ended up with a table full of seafood dishes, sidedishes and beer. We left full and happy, beaming at the success of our first Korean meal.
Korean barbeque (Gogigui)
The gogigui meal we had in Seoul was possibly one of the best meals I have EVER had!! I love food that involves experience…and sitting together at a grill, with plates of meat and a multitude of sidedishes, while cooking it up ourselves and chatting about the previous night’s antics all seems a sweet memory to me now. Our looks of apprehension had the very pushy/disguisedly sweet Korean waitress picking up our food for us and showing us how to wrap the meat, rice and sidedishes in a perilla leaf and then gesturing to eat up with our hands. It was glorious, and I even tried one with a whole clove of garlic in it, which no doubt led me to tears again. Gogigui places are everywhere, so just ask your hostel/hotel to recommend a good one.
A great meal in Myeondong before a shopping marathon! We were beckoned into a restaurant, which at first I was apprehensive about entering. I assumed if they were desperate for business their food wouldn’t be so great, but we obliged, a little out of fear (I’d be scared to ever say no to a feisty Korean woman), and ended up having a perfect bibimbap meal. It’s a rice dish mixed up mainly with seaweed, vegetables and a fried/raw egg. They served up the gochujang (chilli pepper paste) on the side so my weak taste buds and I could add it in moderation.
I wish I’d had more time to taste all that Korea had to offer! The food there is a travel experience in itself and I hope I’ll be back someday to try more. Recommendations are most welcome!