Food in Korea 101

HI! I’ve been wanting to write this post forever but I hadn’t collected enough pictures to do so. even now, too, actually. but at least I’ve gathered up enough pictures for post number 1! ^^

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#1 Belgian waffle. sometimes it’s really costly but sometimes it can be rather fair.  but the one above costed around 16,000won (that is RM48 holyyyyyy). friend bought it but still it was T________T. we had it in a nice cafe at Samcheongdong. the cheaper ones would cost around 3,000won ^^. but of course much smaller and.. there’s no fruits and ice cream haha. and view.

and if you’re wondering WHY something BELGIAN in Korea? well, it’s a famous Korean treat here and if you’re from a place where good waffles aren’t easily found, then Korea is some sort of waffle heaven. =D.

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#2 Samgyupsal everybody who loves Korea knows about this. but the thing about Samgyupsal is that it is cheap. it cost around 4,900won per portion at some cheap places! but if you could spend a BIT more for a 9,000won per portion worth of samgyupsal, I can almost guarantee you it’s juiciness =D. (provided you cook it the right way too! you should only flip the samgyupsal ONCE for the best taste)

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#3 Sundae!!!!!!!! okay. this is a personal favourite. it cost 3,000won on an average basis. anything above it will be really expensive (unless you eat them in Busan because they serve in real intestines). it is basically japchae, the chewy glass noodles and blood wrapped in “intestines”. because intestines are really expensive nowadays they would just use fake ones. and they’d usually serve it with the pig’s heart and lungs =3. you dip it in salt or ddeokbokki sauce (YUM) Seoul style and Ssamjjang (the sauce they give you to eat with lettuce when you go for Korean BBQ) Busan style.

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Ddeokbokki. I bet you guys know how it looks like. red sauce, rice cakes. it’s spicy and filling. it costs 2,500won normally. =D. cheap street food to fill me up! =3.

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#4 Chumu Kimbab. with awesome squid kimchi! not everybody’s favourite but my friend, Kate, loves it. it is a Busan specialty but you can also find it in Seoul. so far, I know Myeongdong sells it. relatively cheap as well =3.

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#5 Galbijjim! beef ribs in awesome stew. simply the best. but also the most expensive. T______T. it starts from 20,000won per dish. but it is so good you will not regret it. a poor student like me wouldn’t be able to eat it always but… as a tourist this is what’s worth splurging for.

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#6 this is not easy to find. but it is served in a restaurant at Sinchon. full blog post here. it’s the perfect taste for Malaysian taste buds so… but it isn’t very Korean haha.

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#7 just very fresh fish with wasabi. needless to explain more.

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#8 MUK! dish to go with alcohol. it is very light. jelly-ish dish which sometimes come with salad. yum yum.

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#9 Golbaengi! one of my favourite Anju. it’s snails. =D. escargot! spicy escargot! but very expensive T_T. it is around 16,000won for a plate. =S. well most anju’s are of that price since alcohol is so cheap here. but that means we cannot eat as much as we want T_____T. sigh.

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#10 Bindaeddeok/green pea pancake. they say you should eat this during the rainy season because when you fry it, it sounds like the rain. okay. hahaaha. more like the rain will remind Koreans of this dish. you dip it in soy sauce and eat it with a piece of onion. purrrrrrfect.

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#11 TOUS LES JOURS CHEESECAKE. or most cheesecake. you must find one which is famous for cakes. Aa Museum had lousy cheesecake but TLJ and Decoa Ballim (the one I blogged about a while ago) are FABULOUS. can’t wait to try the posh cakes at Passion 5 Itaewon too!

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#12 Kalguksu. especially the ones from Myeongdong Gyoja.

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#13 Hanwoo Bulgogi. these are no ordinary bulgogi. these are KOREAN BEEF. which explains why they are so delicious and…. pricey. but worth it. since the beef is FROM Korea, they are guaranteed fresh. I mean, who are you kidding. Koreans with BEEF. Koreans KNOW their beef.

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#14 Hanjeongsik. as a thrifty little fellow like myself, I’ve always avoided this set meal. Hanjeongsik is the traditional course by course meal (very filling. they all come in small portions but there are MANY dishes) which are usually crazy expensive. but the perks are, you can have so many flavours of Korea in just one meal!

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#15 Korean curry. I believe that it is actually just Japanese Curry but I’ve never had Japanese Curry so…. well they are mainly sweet. not in a bad way. =D. it has its own flavour.

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#16 Budae Jjigae/Army Stew. THIS IS YUM.  sausages, ramyun, meat.. what’s not-so-healthy will always taste good =P.

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#17 who cares if churros are from Australia? Koreans love their churros! normally at 2,000won a stick.

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#18 JAPAGURI. it is basically Jjapaghetti with Noguri. Jjapaghtetti is the instant noodle version of Jjajangmyun (which I do not fancy as much as the instant one) and Noguri is spicy udon soup with a huge seaweed. =3. normally we’d mix 2 packs of Japaghetti and 1 pack of Noguri for the perfect blend. you just cook it like Jjapaghetti with tad bit more of water so you can mix the Noguri ajinomoto-filled spice powder in well.

it is so good even GD loves it!

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#19 PANCAKES. especially the Nutella ones. pancakes in Korea are just heavenly. the one above is from Cafe Container, Sinchon but there are plenty of pancakes around in Korea. I have heard a lot about Butter Finger in Gangnam too (exit 9).

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#20 Korean sweets and cookies. there are plenty of small little Korean snacks around on the streets. and they are usually good. so give it a try! it wouldn’t be too costly too since they are all usually street food =D.

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#21 Jumok-bab. they are literally called the fist-rice. similar to the Japanese Onigiri, except round. and they have many types of fillings. my personal favourite is the one with kimchi or tuna in it. there’s also another type of similar to this called the Bab-burger. basically a burger made out of rice and it’s filling it similar to a Jumok-bab. yum yum. and what’s more? it’s cheap! ranging from 1,500won to 3,000won!

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#22 Sannakji. RAW OCTOPUS ANYONE? it does not taste slimy at all. in fact, it is cruncy and delicious =3. tastes absolutely clean. no sea salt smell or anything like that (so far). dip it with seseme oil with a pinch of salt for the best taste! remember to bite it thoroughly before chewing it since there are always a few death cases reported because of Sannakji =S. usually because the Koreans eat it too quickly without chewing it.

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#23 cold/iced soba noodles. different from how it is served in most countries, the ice is crushed and shaved like ice kacang (shaved ice) and it is put into the broth. another way to have it always chilled! great for the summer.

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#24 Bbob-gi. probably the most unhealthy sweet on the streets. it’s literally burnt sugar. but it’s worth a bite =3.

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#25 Ddeokbokki. and no, this is not your casual Ddeokbokki because it is served in a huge pot. you can add anything to its soup cum sauce and have an awesome fried rice with the left overs later =3.

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#26 Al-bab. Al is fish roe. it’s a very simple bibimbap-like dish. but usually very cheap. around 3,000-4,000won on average and USUALLY served in BBQ places. but there is one store in Edae serving ONLY al-bab and it’s sooooooo good. and cheap!

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#27 Dwiji-guk-bab. most famous in Busan. it is basically rice and pork put in awesome broth. with chilli paste if you like it spicy. I am not a person who like bland stuff and I can tell you, this is perfect. not too bland but just right. I have always wondered why my Korean friends were such huge fan of this not-so appetizing looking dish but it is really good. the pork were so tender and…… ohhhhhhhhhhhh.

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#28 Dalggalbi and it’s fried rice. I like dalggalbi. everybody should know Uncle Jang. I am not afraid to say that Uncle Jang actually tastes better than all dalggalbi I’ve tasted in Korea. it fits Malaysians more and it is also spicier. but I have to say that Yoogane has awesome Ddalggalbi fried rice. nyam nyam.

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#29 Ddeok. traditionally, Korea does not have many sweet dishes and these are as close as you can get to sweet stuff. (I think). I am not a fan of those above but I do like those Song Pyeon 송편 usually eaten on the Korean Winter Solstice Festival =3. and their rice ddeok even though they are not sweet. also! their red bean ones. served HOT!

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#30 MORE BINDAEDDEOK! 빈대떡 just like the ones I’ve mentioned above, there are many times. they are best to go with makgeolli and these with meat in it cost 10,000won for a pancake. but they are soooooo good. U_U.

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#31 BIBIMBAP! how can you come to Korea without trying Bibimbap? you may skip the raw beef one as it has quite a foul smell to first timers. at least to me. and you should definitely find one which writes Jeonju Bibimbap for the more authentic one. but generally, they mostly taste the same =3.

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#32 KONGBUL! lost around Edae, Hongdae, Sinchon and want some spicy, delicious yet cheap food? Kongbul will be the place for you. its exterior are made of red bricks and cute windows. so it is hard not to recognize them ^^.

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#33 PASTA. do not hop into cafes which sells only 2-3types of Pastas. but restaurants that REALLY sells pasta. they are amazing. most of them are. if you are opting for high end ones. Apgujeong and Cheongdamdong have really promising pastas! except they cost around 3times the normal pasta price.

you might be wondering why you should eat Italian food in Korea. but may I tell you that there are almost as many Italian restaurants as Korean ones in Gangnam. because it is just so good like that. might be a trend too. but whatever it is. they are awesome. pizzas too! especially the ones with almost no crust. so amazingly cheesy!

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#34 BASKIN ROBBINS. they are not only cheaper in Korea, but less sweet. I hated BR back in Malaysia but fell in love with the ones here. my favourite flavours : 사랑에 빠진 딸기 Sarang-e bbajin ddalgi (lit. strawberry who fell in love), Yoghurt and Green Tea. my friends like Shooting Star and Shrek 2 as well =).

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#35 Jjambbong! if you are a Joseph Germani fan, you should really know that Jjambbong is his favourite Korean dish. hahahaha. he told me this a long long time ago. we both wondered how this is a Chinese dish when it tastes so Korean. well, it’s a Korean-Chinese dish. Chinese to Koreans but Korean to Chinese. does it make sense? haha. anyway it is spicy seafood noodles =3. economical and delicious!

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#36 Chuncheon Dalggalbi. when it comes to dalggalbi, you know you should go to Chuncheon for it because nowhere else makes it better than the people there. =3. so if you are heading to Nami Island, drop by for some before heading back!

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#37 Dosirak/lunchbox. used to be a 60s dish where many Koreans were mine workers. they’d just throw in some kimchi and eggs into a gold metal lunchbox and put it on the fire and then shake it while its hot before eating it. nowadays they add many other ingredients into it but I still like the classic one. =3. maybe with cheese or tuna would be fine.

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#38 PATBINGSU! nobody should leave Korea without trying a bowl of delicious Bingsu. and no, not just any bingsu. do NOT go to places like Cafe Bene because they serve the most horrible bingsu’s in a sky high price. opt for places that specializes in bingsu. preferably one with many people in it. like the one above, it costs 8,000won for a bowl but it was really good. the one above is called the traditional patbingsu. where pat means red bean and bingsu means shaved ice. I had my best traditional one at Jeonju with the abundant black sesame powder.

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but as for the best newer generation bingsu’s, Homilpat at Sinchon is still the best.

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also if you’re in for some real wacky ones…. there’s Cafe Container!

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#39 Patjuk! if there’s patbingsu for the summer, there’s patjuk for the winter. and I’d highly recommend “the 2nd best place in Seoul” because it is simply one of the best.

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#40 Jokbal. this is the SMALLER portion if I was not wrong. jokbal is pig’s feet. delicious but I still prefer Malaysias “zhu kiok chou/vinegar pork leg”. it’s best with alcohol actually. you can just keep eating. and they are mostly perfectly steamed! the one above is from Park Myeong Su’s shop at Hongdae next to Cacoon!

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#41 DEUNG GAL BI! spicy ones. they are one of my favourite of all times. what can be better than munching on pork ribs with your hands? they give you a glove but it’s still good. I hadn’t had a chance to blog about it yet since I always forgot to take a picture of the shop outside. but here’s a Korean blog for you to get a picture of. it is at the row of shops behind Hyundai Departmental Store. this one is located at Sinchon. near Ashleys.

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#42 Macaroons. I know it is french. but it is especially nice especially at Macaron by Ruben Jan Adriaan at Hongdae. here is another Korean blog I found online on his macs =3. the boss is hot and he is very nice. there are also nice Macaroon shops at Samcheongdong =3. at the Samcheongdong shop (located very far behind the stretch!), passion fruit is the best. there is ALSO another macaroon shop at Edae. and their vanilla and green tea were awesome too =3.

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#43 all sort of cakes in Korea. as for this one, it’s by the same shop as the macs above, it’s the SNICKERS CAKE. simply heavenly.

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#44 Dubu Kimchi at my favourite Makgeolli (geom-un-kong (black bean) Makgeolli and Honey Makgeolli is the BEST!) place in Hongdae. I did not take pictures of its exterior so here’s another Korean blog. hahahaha. they included a map at the end. the green dot is from Hongik Station Exit 8. and the family marts in Korea are now all named COU by the way =).

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#45 Instant POPCORN! why pay so much for Garretts when you can get something similar? I prefer their butter flavour but this “instant” popcorn has a really thick coat of caramel!

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#46 Bossam. if you are dropping by Hongdae, why not stop by for some Hongik Bossam? at the same stretch as the Trick Eye Museum, just walk a little bit more and you’d see Hongik Bossam on your left.

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ha! I managed to take a picture of the outside with my phone. ahhahaha. it has no english words on its sign so it might be quite tricky to find it without a picture haha. well it looks like this. sorry if my picture isn’t that cleat T_T. well, if you are on the MAIN STREET heading towards Hongik University (as in, facing Hongik Univ literally), spot for Tony Moly and Holika Holika and walk IN BETWEEN that road.

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#47 Dhang-myun. awesomely cheap glass noodles you can eat by the road in Nampo’s eatery valley (BUSAN!). not absolutely delicious but it is when you’re there. smelling the nearby sea and all =3.

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#48 Gop-chang. not many people can take this but just take a stroll outside Gop-Chang Ee-yagi at Sinchon (near the Addidas store. walk into the alley.) and you’d smell something very awesome. they are beef intestines and they are very expensive. around 11,000won per person for the cheapest one the last time I was there.

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#49 HOF. nobody who is allowed to drink beer should miss HOF-ting. because it is Korean culture to go to a HOF. hahaha. beer and chicken will never taste this good back in your country. just go into any HOF (House of Beer) shops and simply order fried chicken and a pint of beer. sinfully yummy. I’d prefer Soon-sal chicken though. it means no-bone chicken because I am lazy like that.

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#50 MANDU-KUK! okay. I made these myself but you can get them at many places. a good place to go to is the Sinseonseolnongtang even though they are famous for seolleongtang (beef bone soup. will blog about it next time!) there. that shop is available in Myeongdong too but as for Sinchon, it is located on the streets on the way from Sinchon station to Homilpat patbingsu/Cafe Container =).

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#51 Sujebi. I call them the Korean Pan Mee. there is a famous shop in Sinchon behind the Hyundai Departmental Store which I have never tried but the one at Samcheongdong is always filled with people. I like eating it when I am sick but it’s good overall =D.

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#52 Hoddeok. I love the ones from Samcheongdong but that shop just closed down T_T. don’t know where to have my Seoul Honey Hoddeok anymore but the ones in Nampo, Busan, are simply the best in Korea with the brown sugar and sunflower seeds =3.

there are still a lot to talk about like the usual Kimchi Jjigae, Sundubu Jjigae and all but they are normally good in most places. I will have to find a place which really stand out to blog about them though! I used to think that there are not many type of Korean food, but now that I think of it.. THERE ARE A LOT! feel free to request for certain dishes (nothing too expensive like Sinseollo pfft) and I will try my best to do a review of it in the near future!

to continue the list of things you should try, I would definitely go like this…

53. Kimchi Jjigae (go to the specialized shops!)
54. Sundubu Jjigae (again, specialized shops are the best!)
55. Dwenjang Jjigae (they serve very nice dwenjang stew at the grilled fish place too =3)
56. Seollongtang
57. Samgyetang
58. Buk-eo-guk
59. Japchae (5 stars!)
60. Mulnaengmyun/cold noodles(with a lot of BBQ MEAT! thin slices or thick slices of beef will do =3)
61. Bibimnaengmyun /spicy cold noodles (personal fav.)
62. Galbi
63. Thin slices of beef Samgyupsal
64. Bori-bap (barley rice)
65. Galmaegi-sal (Brisket meat. another personal favourite. love it at Kang Ho Dong’s Baek Jong and Sorae!)66. Ganjang Kaejang/raw crab meat in soy sauce (the one in chilli paste is nice too!)
67. Miyeok-guk/Seaweed soup
68. Kimbab/Korean sushi
69. all the Jeons (Kimchi Jeon, Pajeon…)
70. Bung-eo-bbang (fish shaped red bean paste cake)
71. Hoddeok (my favourite’s in Busan =3)
72. Mandu (especially Mapo Mandu!)
73. Haejangkuk (Hangover stew. but so delicious =3)
74. Jjimdalg (love Andong Jjindalg. they are everywhere!)
75. Gyeranjjim (steamed egg)
76. fried kimchi
77. Dalg-ggochi

okay here’s a picture of Dalg-ggochi in Edae (best so far)

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guess that’s all for now! =3. until next time =D.

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21 Responses to “Food in Korea 101”

  1. Fiona Says:

    Wow!!!! that was a lot!!! :D

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  2. calisc Says:

    jamie, can i know any recomended budgeted korean BBQ or buffet in seoul?

    [Reply]

    Jamie Liew Reply:

    erm I only know that one in Sinchon where I’ve blogged about. there’s a few there actually. a few in Hongdae too. =). like selfbar and all.

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  3. Isabellmiao Says:

    NICE!!! But most of the stuff I don’t think I’ll be able to put in my mouth. Haha!! You should do more posts like this. :)

    [Reply]

    Jamie Liew Reply:

    haha really? xD. but it is like a long collection T_T.

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  4. suquan Says:

    Thanks Jamie! ! This post helps alot.i surely will bookmark it for my nxt trip reference. I went to kongbul after seeing ur blog post bout tat!! Its awesome yummy!!!

    [Reply]

    Jamie Liew Reply:

    glad it helped!! xD

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  5. Yeeun Says:

    omg. i’m crying in the inside. I miss korea so much T^T thanks for making me really hungry in the middle of the night jamie. lols :)

    [Reply]

    Jamie Liew Reply:

    hahaha you really shouldn’t read my blog when hungry =D

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  6. yuhjiun Says:

    omg there are alot pictures already!!! So hungry looking at the pics.. feel like going to Korea now T_T

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    Jamie Liew Reply:

    come!! or go to uncle jang =3.

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  7. david Says:

    wow!! thats a lot of food!! thanks for sharing :D Churros are from spain/portugal I think

    [Reply]

    Jamie Liew Reply:

    opps! but that churro’s store is from australia haahaha

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  8. C H I Q E S S Says:

    Omg!!! Thanks for such a comprehensive list of Korean food Jamie :)
    I really want to visit Korea when I can in the future, your blog shall be my main guidebook.
    The rib dishes look absolutely amazing..yummy yummy :)

    [Reply]

    Jamie Liew Reply:

    ahh!! thank you! ^_^. the ribs are really good T_T. but they are quite expensive. but I splurge on food sometimes hahaha.

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  9. ELLE Says:

    WOW! Definitely a must-try list of food :)

    I’m hungry now and makes me want to go back to Korea. LOL
    A blog worth reading ’cause I think I already tried some of the food listed here but I don’t know their names sooooo… jeongmal gomapseumnida Jamie!! Am I right?

    [Reply]

    Jamie Liew Reply:

    yupyup ^^ you’re welcome! =D.

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  10. PT Says:

    Hey I’m a guy but I enjoy reading your blog!Hope you update a new post soon!

    [Reply]

    Jamie Liew Reply:

    yes have been updating super often!!!

    [Reply]

  11. Fjunilla Says:

    hi, can i know the address of the macaron by ruben jan at hongik? thank you

    [Reply]

    Jamie Liew Reply:

    I am sorry but I don’t have it =(. just follow my directions =).

    [Reply]

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