Charcoal-Grilled Chicken & Beer at Daejeon Tongdak

This is one place that I miss in Daejeon already. Chicken and beer is everyone’s favourite in Korea but from so many different varieties that I’ve tasted this place in Daejeon was surely one of a kind.

Charcoal-grilled chicken coughing up thick clouds of smoke

Daejeon Tongdak, literally meaning Daejeon chicken, operates in its own building in Yuseong district of Daejeon. They do have good old regular fried chicken and half-and-half with sweet and sour sauce. However, the signature of this place is charcoal-grilled chicken, with or without sauce. Continue reading

Sariwon Noodles, the First Restaurant in Daejeon

Visiting old, traditional restaurant always excites me. I get to take a peek at the culture and history behind not only the food but the neighbourhood where the restaurant first settled in. My hometown Daejeon is situated in the center of South Korea and is more known as a transportation hub than gourmet destination. However, it will still be worthwhile to visit a restaurant that is registered as the first dine-out restaurant in the city.

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Beef ribs soup at Sariwon

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Spicy Seafood Noodles at the First Ebiga Restaurant in Daejeon

I’m not crazy about chain restaurants wherever I am in the world but visiting the first store of a mega franchaise is always fascinating. You get to see how the big names first kicked off from the ground without knowing that they will one day become leading brand. In addition, you get to learn the business secrets that powered the rapid growth. In Daejeon, there is a head restaurant of a Korean-Chinese spicy noodle brand that gained national fame by opening more than hundred chains across Korea within mere five years of starting their first store. What could be their key to success?

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Spicy noodle soup at the first Ebiga store in Daejeon

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Prime Korean Barbecue: Hanwoo Beef Sirloin Steak

Eating out with my parents can be amusing and stressful at the same time.  It all depends on everyone’s mood that day – if something fell through at dad’s work or mom didn’t do so well at her golf practice then might as well just stay home for dinner.  But regardless of the atmosphere there is something about Korean BBQ that brings everyone closer.  Maybe it’s because the small, built-in grill is right in the middle of the table so literally everyone needs to gather around tighter.  Nonetheless, grilling some Korean-style barbecue meat is almost like a family tradition and it makes the whole occasion extra special if the meat on the fire is none other than premium Hanwoo beef.

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Table setting. Lots of veggie side dishes so you won’t go complete carnivore.

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Korean-Style Ox Head Soup vs. Spicy Beef Offal Soup

Mmm.. hot, boiling soup in steamy, scorching weather?  It may not seem like a good idea but in Korea there is a tradition in which it’s understood that we gain energy to survive the summer heat by having hot soups made with nutritious ingredients.  Samgyetang, a whole chicken soup with ginseng, is an example of popular seasonal delicacy  or so-called boyangsik.  I am a sucker for all kinds of soup but I especially cannot resist beef broth – and every goodness that goes on top of it.

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All-You-Can-Eat Marinated Crabs at Daecheong Lake

I have known quite a number of non-Korean friends in my life that claim to be the experts of Korean food.  They sure knew their ways of having pork belly BBQ with soju and some seafood pancakes with rice wine.  But I believe there are different levels to becoming a true expert in Korean foods and gejang (게장: marinated fresh crabs) is one of the advanced options.

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Beat the Summer Heat with Korean Chicken & Ginseng Soup

Ipha (입하: beginning of summer) was on 6th of May this year which means summer has officially arrived.  It is still a bit cooler at night but during the day the heat is already unbearable.  It is times like this when you are vulnerable to cold viruses and that is eventually how I suffered almost five days with a strong cold.  I was stupid to wear thin layers on the days when it seems like summer but the temperature drops after sunset.  On a Wednesday after work, I dragged my sick body to grab me a bowl of samgyetang (삼계탕) – a traditional Korean soul food that is well known for effectively restoring stamina.

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