Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Seoul City Transit Tour (Final Part)

We were actually pretty happy that we gave Cheonggye Plaza a miss. I wasn't really in the mood to walk around in the rain to look at some man made stream :P Also, it was already way past lunch time (or so it felt like) and we were hungry! Our tour guide explained to us on the bus that we will be going to a popular traditional Korean restaurant, in the outskirts of Seoul city.
I really have no idea where this restaurant is located or the name of this restaurant (everything is in Korean!). I might ask Ashley to read the signs and try to figure out the name of the place. Oh yes, Lil Miss Korean Boy Band fan now reads Hangul too! Man, this K-Pop craze is getting out of control. Anyways, it looked like a pretty popular restaurant, with tons of tours buses parked outside. Looks like this is where all the tourist go to for the 'traditional Korean lunch' part of the tour..haha! :P
If I am not mistaken, the restaurant consist of three levels (maybe four?). The ground floor is for walk in customers, the second floor is for tour guides as well as their bus drivers and the third floor has small private rooms for various tour groups. I am not too sure, but looks like there is also karaoke somewhere in that restaurant! LOL!
Ahhh, this is our tour group's private room. We had to take off our shoes and place them in the little nooks beneath the floor before sitting down in our individual booths/tables. We shared a table with a guy from New Zealand and his Israeli girlfriend. Our tour guide told us that water and Korean tea is on the house but we needed to pay for any other drinks that we ordered. OK, got that! Now bring out the food please...
So, what did we eat? Of course, they brought out a few different kinds of banchan (side dishes). Now, let me state that I am not really a fan of kimchi. I would usually just eat the spinach and beansprouts but since I was in Korea, I figured I would try a piece (just to see if it taste any different). Guess what? It was different!! Man, I guess I have been eating bad kimchi all this while. That's why I didn't like the taste. This was actually good! Since the other three 'angmohs' didn't like the taste of kimchi, I had the whole dish to myself. Yay for me!
For our mains, we had a choice between Bulgogi (of course) or Bibimbap. Bulgogi is thin slices of marinated beef grilled with mushrooms, onions, spring onions and garlic. It is usually served alongside some lettuce and rice. Bibimbap on the other hand is a bowl of white rice with vegetables that are seasoned and sauteed. It is then usually topped with chili pepper paste and a raw egg. Almost everybody (except two people, I think) went with Bulgogi. I would say that it was a good choice. The servers allowed it to cook for a bit, then they would come and mix it all up and sort of like 'stir fry' it in front of you. The meat was so tender and the sauce was really sweet and nice. Super yummy!

Look at the size of the pan. That was a three person portion. Even after sharing, we still couldn't finish all the food. Let me say it once again. It was really really yummy! One of the best bulgogi I have ever eaten before. After lunch, we all piled into the little bus again and headed back to the airport. It was a fun ride back, with our tour guide teaching us Korean phrases, giving us Korean candy to munch on and some Korean trivia. We even received a bottle of hand lotion each, compliments of the Korean Tourism Board! After arriving at the airport, we still had quite a number of hours to kill before our flight back to Malaysia. Stay tuned to see what we did!

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