Thai Garden

Thai Garden was a delicious Thai restaurant  in Itaewon.    We ordered several different dishes and they were all excellent.

We got a really great chicken and vegetables dish, a green curry a noodles dish, and a  soup.

The chicken and vegetables, were delicious.  The stir fried  vegetables were nice and fresh and the chicken was delicious.

The highlight of the dinner for me was  the  the green curry.  The vegetarian dish was full of flavor and very enjoyable.  The soup was also quite fabulous, it was spicy and full of tons of excellent foods.  It had a bit of a sour edge to it.


In addition to all this food they were also running a 2+1 on Thai Chang beer.  We also shared a bottle of Spanish tres velas red wine.  The drinks were on the whole just okay but the 2+1 was a nice touch.

The service on the other hand was exceptional.  The waiter was a Thai gentleman who was super friendly.  They let us stay a good deal past closing time to finish our  food.  We were given a private room for our dinner of  four.

I’d highly recommend a trip to the Thai garden in Itaewon.     It’s just down exit two after about a five minute walk lok up  to the second floor.    I’ve never been to Thailand, so I can’t comment as to the authenticity of the  food but  my friend seemed to think  it was excellent. 

Game of Thrones review

Well, that was a wild ride.   This week Game of Thrones, the HBO adaptation of the book by the same name came to an end.   It started out a bit slow, just like the book, but by the end it was quite amazing.

They made some alternations to the book, but most of them seemed pretty well reasoned.  They got rid of a lot of the history of various houses and people’s because it would have been too cumbersome to show on television.

One of two of the characters seemed a bit different than what I expected.   I thought Tywin Lannister would be quite a bit different.  But they nailed my favorites, Jon Snow, Ned Stark, Danerys Targaryen and Tyrion Lannister were dead on.

The show, because the novel was so deft at this, really does a good job of turning the fantasy conventions on its head.  I mean they killed off like several major characters in the first book.   King Robert dead, Khal Drogo dead, Ned Stark dead and in Robert’s place are five seperate claimants to the throne.

Buddae Jiggae is the best awful food in the world

Budae Jiggae, is something which literally means troop soup.   It dates to the Korean war, where soldiers would  take their  food tins and put them together.  I’ve now been to the nationwide chain of restaurants known as Nolboo Budae Jiggae and smoked meat fish several times.

The food is kind of disgusting to hear it described.  It’s a bunch of  spam and hot dogs and spices, kimchi.  All thrown together  and put in a pot.

However it’s delicious.  It’s meaty and spicy.  I get it with  a portion of ramen noodles in it and it’s excellent.

Nolboo Buddae Jiggae is everywhere, I’ve probably seen 50 locations since I’ve been in Korea.

Vegan dining in Insadong

Let’s face it, Seoul is a tough place to go out to eat if you prefer not to eat meat.

I’m not a vegan but I went to a vegan dinner in Insadong last night and the food was excellent.  The name of the restaurant is Osege Hyang.

I ordered the stir-fried Udong ad split an order of fried kimchi mandu.  It was really quite good.

A guy I was with got the vegan barbecue which consisted of thinly sliced tofu seasoned like barbecue.  Like all fake meats it got the taste kind of right but the texture of course immediately screamed fake.

Salads and soups were ordered as well.  They also started us off with a surprisingly neutral tasting hot tea.  It was quite good.

One of the down sides to this place was the seating.  It was on the floor and it was quite difficult to manuver yourself. on the ground.   On the other hand the decor of this place seemed very nice.

Osege Hwang can be found just a stone’s throw from Anguk Station (line 3).

Noryangjin Fish Market

So on Thursday I went with a friend of mine to Noryangjin Fish Market.  And wow what a site that place is.

They had things for sale I hadn’t even dreamt  were food.  Octopi big enough to justify a “Release the Kraken” quote.

There were tons of regular fish and shellfish of many varieties.  Some of the fish were quit expensive.  One of them my friend tried to request totalled something like 100,000 won.

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What the Dog Saw

What the Dog Saw is an anthology of articles by Malcom Gladwell, and because it’s that instead of a book, it lacks the unity of purpose and voice that comprised Gladwell’s previous books.

Instead, what we get with What the Dog Saw is a series of unrelated points that are at times quite entertaining.  I especially enjoyed the bit about why there is so litle variety in ketchup but every other food category has been about catering to smaller niches for the last few decades.

The Titular story about how dogs relate to, “The Dog Whisperer was fascinating as well.  I’ve never seen the show, but it made me interested in it in a way that I never would have been from descriptions, or allusions to it in South Park.

The problem is that some of the stories just aren’t that interesting.  They also sometimes are quite old and draw on old events for inspiration.   I just can’t bring myself to care about John F. Kennedy Junior’s plane crash.  Maybe I would have when the story was published in The New Yorker, but in 2011 it’s nothing but a distant memory.
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Weekend walks: Bonegusa Temple

So sunday I took my camera and headed for Bonegusa temple.   This, one of the most famous of Buhddist temples in Seoul, is located right across the street from the COEX mall.

Now, I’m not  spiritual at all but the art and architecture of this place were pretty moving.  In the back there is a really remarkable  statue of “Goddess of Mercy Buhdda.”  It was shockingly tall and very peaceful, for a place right in the middle of a big city.

Another highlight of the trip were two sets of lots of small things.  They had a really cool set of paper lanterns.

Another cool thing was a wall of little golden Buddhas.   It was really kind of shocking.

To get to Bonegusa temple you just go to Samseong Subway (line 2).  Go out Exit #6 and walk  till you see it.  It took me a few minutes longer than I thought it was.

Weekend Walks: Namsan Tower and Namdaemun

I’d never call myself a hiker but I do love to walk from place to place.  Today I went on a really great walk through Namdaemun market and from there all the way to the top of Namsan tower.

Namdaemun is one of the coolest market areas you’ll find in Seoul.  It’s huge and there’s all sorts of things for sale.  I saw tons of stores for glasses and clothes and food and cameras.   I’d been there before but it had always had a very precise purpose–it was fun to just wander around and look at all the crap for sale at the different stores.

From there I wandered on to Namsan Park.  I started out by visiting a traditional house, which showcased how old timey Koreans lived.

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Southeast Asian food in Northeast Asia

Sitting nearly side by side in Noksapyeong are two small cafe style Southeast Asian joints.  Le Saigon offers a selection of Vietnamese food and just a stone’s throw away is Buddha’s Belly Thai Takeaway.

I’m something of a neophyte when it comes to Asian cuisine.  I’ve dived head long into Korean food, but before I came here my only Asian food experiences were sushi and Americanized Chinese.
I went to Le Saigon first.  I ordered a Vietnamese pork chop from their bilingual menu and a Saigon beer.   This was pretty good.  It consisted of a highly marinated piece of pork that was just soaked with flavors.
On another evening I took a trip to Buddha’s Belly and sat outside.  Here I ordered Pha Thai with shrimp.  This is a kind of noodles covered with pha sauce.   I was surprised how tangy the sauce was here.  The few times I’ve ordered a Thai noodle dish it’s usually been a bit spicy so to get something that could be described as sour was a twist on my expectations.  It was pretty good but it seemed a bit on the spartan side, without much stirred into the noodles.

Busan adventures slideshow