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A handful of us were lucky enough to be invited to a tasting at GR Cafe in Hongdae for HanSpoon Food Studies Club Gastronomique.  I’m also thrilled that we have something like this here.  I’ve heard of food clubs like this in cities around the world, where chefs and foodies get together and just go overboard with decadence.  We had a great time there, and I hope it continues to take a strong presence in the Seoul food scene.  Props go to Chef Eddie Ahn (pictured with yours truly) and the chefs and organizers for such a great evening.

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It was such a whirlwind, that I can’t recall the details of all the dishes.  But really, you’re here for the food porn.  Let me crack out that macro lens for the extreme close ups.

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Since magkeolli is the big trend, we had tons of artisanal magkeollis and magkeolli cocktails.  This was a play on piña colada and was one of my favorites.

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We make fun of tofu back home, but I could eat these every day.  Cubes of tofu dusted with three types of powders, paprika, black sesame and, um, I keep wanting to say chicken, but that’s not right.  Parmesan crispies on top.  They were called DubuSeon 두부선 on the menu.

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Refreshing wraps with fruits of the sea inside.

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Dwaeji Suyuk gwa Baek Kimchi Ssam 돼지수육과 백김치 쌈 (Steamed Pork and White Kimchi Wraps). To the left, pork belly wrapped around fruity white kimchi, like bossam.  Great with the meaty red wine they served.

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Jeju-do MulHui 제주도 물회. On the right, ceviche shooters based on the Korean chilled sashimi soup, MulHui 물회.

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Bread.

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There was a booth where this 23-year-old master of tea personally made ceremonial red and green teas for the guests.

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My description, this was a cold night cozying up with a beautiful woman.

This frothed green tea was bitter and like a walk through the woods with George Winston on the iPod.

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Black sesame magkeolli.

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This was the surprise hit of the evening.  A hearty chicken stew with magkeolli and doenjang.  Tasted bright and lemony.  I wanted a giant bowl of this with a basket of those crispy croutons.

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Yes, my camera was getting a bit tipsy by this point.  Another magkeolli cocktail.  I think omija flavored.

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Haemul Maemil ChongDdeok 해물 매밀 총떡 (Seafood Buckwheat Pancake Wraps). These buckwheet pancake wraps had seafood inside and had what tasted like a nice blue cheese, but there was no cheese in the description.

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This was my personal favorite.  A warm French-style potato soup with shellfish.  Co–zy!

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육회를 곁들인 파전 케익.  I think that’s what this is.  It was served towards the end of the evening. Crispy astringently sauced nuggets with little toasted pancakes sandwiching them.

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A latecomer to the evening.  “Chef Rain.”

R-R-R-AIN!!!

If you want to see Chef Rain in person, he works at 50 in Apgujeong.

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We were some of the last to leave, and the chefs were looking forward to drinking afterward.  We and the chefs had lots of fun.  I can’t wait for the next event.  These are the young talents that you will hear a lot of in the coming years.

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For more info on HanSpoon, you can go to www.cyworld.com/FSCG and find them on Facebook.

More pictures here.

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