Friday, July 09, 2021

calling all lurkers

As a lurker, you've been reading my blog for years, and up to now, you've said nothing. This makes me a bit sad since I do like getting reactions. Well, here's your chance to react because I want your help with something, and I've never tried crowdsourcing anything before.

I started watching Strictly Dumpling on YouTube. The host is Mike Chen, a Chinese-American dude based in New York but thoroughly Chinese (he's not American-born, as you can tell from his accent, although he is perfectly fluent in English). I've seen him all over YouTube before on various food-oriented shows, jabbering at the camera in his vigorous style, but I recently started watching his Strictly Dumpling restaurant reviews. His travels take him all over the world, including to South Korea. He's apparently also a trained chef and a businessman who's opening his own restaurants. On the side, he works to expose human-rights violations in China.

So here's the thing. I've lived in Korea for nearly sixteen years, and Chen was showing off eateries that I had no idea even existed. This got me thinking: if you're a lurker who lives in Seoul or elsewhere, I want you to help me by telling me about eateries that I can visit on my cheat days. As I've said before, I plan to have two cheat days per month, and one of those will always be devoted to our monthly office parties, which leaves one day free to use however I want. So I want you to help me find some nifty places to eat in and around Seoul, or even farther out than Seoul. I'm happy to take a trip to another city.

Chen's visits to Seoul lead him to both hole-in-the-wall eateries and fine-dining institutions that are way out of my price range. Most of the Korean places he's shown in his videos are utterly new to me, featuring, in some cases, food I'd never even heard of. So how much of a food mecca has South Korea become? I'd like to find out, and if you're willing, you can help me by pointing me to some of your favorite places.

Cheat days are going to keep me sane, so I might as well make them fun and educational, too. If you're a lurker, and if you're based in Korea and have a favorite eatery, tell me about it in the comments, and I'll be happy to take a trip to see what's up and offer my own review.

Hope to hear from you soon! (Oh, and non-lurkers are of course free to comment as well.)


John Mac said...

I've been gone from Korea quite a while now and I'm sure we dined at my favorites together over the years anyway. But since you say you are willing to travel, I recommend The Pub here in Olongapo/Barretto. I'll even take you on a hike to work off those calories afterward...

Kevin Kim said...

Once we're all free to travel without having to worry about quarantine, maybe I'll stop on by.

Charles said...

I'm trying to think of any places I would know of that you wouldn't have heard of. We don't go out to eat quite as often as we used to, so my memory is a little rusty.

daeguowl said...

Not sure if i've ever recommended the Breton crepe place in 합정 but i reckon you'd enjoy that (though perhaps go home hungry). There is also a Greek place in Seocho that is getting good reviews recently and greek food is very under-represented in Seoul. It's called Nostimo

Kevin Kim said...


Mike Chen's videos showed me the extent to which I've been living under a rock. There's so much to discover here, but I have my little ambit (which admittedly includes an extensive network of bike paths), and I'm normally happy to stay within it. Time to expand my horizons.


I'll definitely put the crêperie on my list. Sounds awesome. And if one serving isn't enough, I'll have two. It's a cheat day, after all. The Greek place also sounds promising, only as long as the gyros have lamb in them. Years ago, I went to Santorini in Itaewon and ordered the gyro, only to learn it would be made exclusively with beef. The gyro turned out to be okay, but I missed the lamb.