People often perceive traveling as en expensive hobby. Seoul breaks the rule, as equally warm and tasty choices are hidden around every corner. Like in Tokyo, quality is a precept for anything served, anywhere.
– Luxury business dinner
Koreans are incredibly efficient and organized people during the day, that turn open and warm as they kick out of work. Each after work dinner is to be shared among the guests. One bottle for all. I fill your glass, you fill mine. Finished? Let’s order another one. The younger will never look at the elder in the eye while drinking, his glass will always be lowered while saying Gambé! as a sign of respect. As are the biggest importer of whisky in the world, Koreans like to impress. Either by Scotch on the rocks or Karaoke, the more one has, the more it’s shown off.
* 45000W for a Bibimbap in the VIP at Renaissance
All pickles are free refill. Everywhere. Specially Kimchi, the rotten spicy cabbage which is a staple and side dish on all meals – including breakfast. B-men always eat it but confess not being able to make it – my mummy/wife does.
– Customer lunch
Here’s how a BentoBoxBibimbap looks in its highest range.
– Korean Barbecue
When the locals go for afterwork, they do it with less cuttlery and more flavor. Very spanish style, everyone sits around a big warm plate, chatting openly about the day and drinking the night away. Western restaurants might copy the table with embedded grill, but the meat there is a entirely different deal. While we are often told that the leaner, the better, Koreans prefer marbled pieces which get marinated and then grilled, so all the fat essentially melts leaving a tasty bite behind.
One takes a lettuce leaf, some pickles and meat. Roll it up and enjoy!
Slightly cheaper (25000W per 150gr), the bbq is an extremely playful experience, all about getting together around a warm fire, sharing some bites and washing it out with soju.
– Office honors, the VIP room @headquarters
Technology is the key for Korea’s economical rebirth. Displays, phones and patents. They have managed to keep in-house production and usually differentiate employees with apparel. Only higher management and project leaders wear suits, all other stick to more convenient uniforms. Rather interesting comparison with the West, imagine how many uniforms would we need if all engineers needed one?
Still, Asian style is a lot fancier than our Swedish food trays, so common in tech hotspots like Kista – the European Silicon Valley.
– Teen coolness: Scandinavian Style Café
Inside the Doota fashion mecca
, the best shopping break is enjoyed with Swedish Style. Funny to see the extent to which kannelbulle
are appreciated abroad.
– Local hangout: Jeongol
However, most of the locals have a slightly different preference. After shopping, seafood thirst is calmed with Jeongol (16000W for 2) where you get all sorts of veggies, noodles, spices & seafood raw, inside a big pot. The ceramic stove warms up so you cook it yourself, as it seems to be rather typical in this country.
– Hidden spot: Best bibimbap ever
Jet-lagged, tired and hungry. After wandering during 10h, it’s easy to feel desperation in a quiet Sunday in December, where everything seems to be closed. However, the attentive eye recalls that place. Filled with teenagers earlier that day. No tourists and photo menu, couldn’t be bad.
So you come in, pick the waiter out, point the picture on the wall and wait.
Classy spot, some toilet paper on the wall, very sustainable napkin.
Cooked with love.
YUMMY! Incredibly cheap too – less than 4€ (4500W)
Big rewards await the open mind. Alleyways and locals teach more about life, people and the country than any museum or guide. Traveling is all about discovery, understanding and personal growth.