Located on the top floor (14th floor, near the escalator) of Lotte Department store is this Japanese restaurant that serves up a really special uni bowl for about SGD$50 or 50,000 won (at the time of this writing). There’s a generous mound of plump uni and airy flakes of seaweed sitting atop their rice, which has been seasoned to be slightly more tart. And the acidity really cuts through the richness of the sea urchin , making each bite more and more appetising. Highly recommend! A steal for the price.
Address: Top Floor of Lotte Department Store (the one next to the hotel), 14th Floor. There’s a Japanese restaurant right by the escalator. You won’t miss it.
Picture below Taken from: @ccccleris ‘s Ig story! (I think it’s 14th floor though but just go look for the Japanese restaurant.. hahaha)
2) Soha Salt Pond
Oh Gosh, this totally blew me away! It’s a cute little cafe with a salt-pond theme and a sit-in area that recalls the sort of cottage an Enid Blyton book inspires. The standouts here: 1) Their Salt. Wow. It’s a coarser type of sea salt with the opaqueness of pearl sugar. And their salted stuff (salted cream, salted chocolate pastry) is so well-balanced. 2) Milk Cream Salt Bread. It’s my first time trying shio pan filled with cream and this was as perfect a first bite as it could be. 3) Salted Chocolate Pastry. I loved the fudgy salted chocolate filling inside. 4) Try their truffle salt one too!
They also serve salted butter coffee. Also find it super adorable AND practical that they provide a pair of scissors to deal with their bakes here!
Address: 21-5 Supyo-ro 28-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
(Ikseon-dong Hanok Village)
3) Shio Pan near (2)
Walk all the way to the end along the same stretch as Soha Salt Pond, and you’ll come across another Shio Pan shop with an outdoor sitting area. When we were here on a Sunday, there was a line of people queueing up for this one item, and the fact that this shop proudly displayed their single-item menu completely sold it for us. It must be pretty damn good to be the only item on the menu, right? So, into the queue we went and it did not disappoint – far from, in fact, it rekindled something in our jaded palates. In terms of texture and butter factor, this wins Soha Salt Pond! Fresh out of the oven, the bread is fragrant, tender, with a toasty butter-drenched bottom. Easily one of the best shio pans I’ve had in my life.
Though the salt used in the previous shop was better, and they do provide an interesting variety of bakes at Soha Salt Pond.
My suggestion? Try both! YOLO.
Address: Ikseon-dong Hanok Village (same row as Soha Salt Pond, walk all the way to the end)
4) Cheese Industry
Also located within Ikseon-dong Hanok village, you’ll find this interesting bakery masquerading as a cheese factory, in the best way possible. It’s all cheese-themed bakes. Tons of pastries with a mixture of different cheeses and fruits, and specially crafted cakes to resemble the cheese they’re made from. I had the Gouda cheesecake to go and it was SO GOOD. There’s an outer layer of yellow “Cheese” to have it cleverly resemble gouda yet when you sink your teeth into it, it’s actually white chocolate, which also pairs superbly with the cheesecake.
Next trip, I’m definitely dining in here to try more items on their menu! We happened to chance upon this while exploring the area. There wasn’t a queue when we were there on a Monday but upon googling, I’ve read that the waiting time can be long.
Address: 33-7 Supyo-ro 28-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
5) Mil Toast House
Admittedly, I tried this in BKK but also chanced upon it at Ikseon-dong Hanok Village too. Try their French Toast which has a crackly, bruleed exterior, and a pillowy, custardy interior.
Address: 30-3 Supyo-ro 28-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
While we were finding Soha Salt Pond, we saw a queue snaking outside Solsot, which happens to be right next door to the bakery. Of course, we joined in the fun. >.< They serve up these individual rice pots – kind of like a donabe or claypot rice, with a variety of toppings. Pot rice but make it Korean. You’re supposed to pour Barley tea all over the leftover crusty rice that’s stuck on the pot, allow it to steep, then dig in. We got the steak don and abalone don. For the steak don, I was not a fan of the quality of steak they used – but then again it is SGD$16 or 17 for the entire pot. The abalone bowl on the other hand, is definitely something I would order again. The rice is seasoned with its liver, and came interspersed with pops of what resembled sea grapes.
There’s also tons of other flavours! Try those, NOT the steak don.
Address: 1F, 46, Samil-daero 30-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
(They’ve got other branches too.)
7) Traditional Teahouse
This is a spot that’s located along the main area at Ikseon-Dong. Come here for the experience of being at a traditional teahouse while experiencing the warmth of the owner – a friendly Korean Uncle who speaks Mandarin! We ordered puffy Korean rice cakes to nibble on with our tea.
Address: I can’t find the address but here’s the storefront. The teahouse is upstairs.
(Korea doesn’t have Google and getting around//finding spots is really different!)
8) Gold Pig BBQ
Let’s just say, I’ve never worked so hard in my life before for a meal. The queue on this is CRAZY. Blame it on the Michelin Guide or blame it on the BTS dude who loves this (full on army cray), well, either way, the queue on this thing is utter insanity. We were first here on a Friday evening (say, 8.30pm) but they had already closed the waitlist. Yes, like there’s so many people on the waitlist they had to close it.
Undeterred, we came back the next morning around 11.30 am to find that we’d won a ticket…. As in, a ticket for a chance to be #49 on the waitlist. We went somewhere else to shop and missed our reservation being called. So, we had to restart the queue all over again at 3.30pm. I foolishly thought there’d be lesser people having Korean BBQ at 3.30pm. Anyway, re-entered our details to queue again, went to Abebe Bakery (it’s below the list), and FINALLY made it for our long awaited dinner at 6.30pm.
Thank the heavens it was a really good BBQ experience, and for the price, totally worth it. Highlights: their pork belly with basil was so special! Quality of meat was good, especially for the price, and their ssamjang sauce was exceptional. Really enjoyed the meal but bear in mind the amount of effort it takes to .. eat some BBQ Pork. Not for the faint hearted.
Address: 149 Dasan-ro, Sindang-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
My friend was raving about this place to me from her previous trip and ordered a takeaway box back to the hotel for me to try. I must say, the apple tart we had here literally has the tart crust of my dreams. It’s tender, flakey, very caramelised and crisp. Every single component was perfect. I honestly don’t recall ever having had such a perfect tart crust in Singapore.
Another place I’m definitely going to try my next trip. If you sit-in, they’ve got plated desserts as well.
Address: South Korea, Seoul, Songpa-gu, Songpa-dong, 33 호수임광아파트 상가동 2층
Other places I tried but found overrated:
Charcoal grilled chicken that’s juicy, tender, and value for money. The chicken meat itself wasn’t anything special – I’ve had better yakitori, but for the price point, guess we can’t complain too much!
Address: South Korea, Seoul, Gangnam-gu, Dosan-daero 15-gil, 15 1층
- Abebe Bakery
This originated from Jeju Island and the queue snaked for layers and encroached into a nearby bus stop. Add a scorching hot September sun to the mix, and you have a grouchy me. The saving grace was that the queue moved relatively quick-ish. Favourite here was the black sesame doughnut. The rest didn’t leave much of an impression.
- Geokje Galbi
This was overpriced for the beef quality, although they supposedly use the top 1% beef here. Felt like it was just fatty meat without anything else to offer in terms of flavour. For the price paid, I was expecting more.
For a List of things to do in Seoul: Click Here.
Youtube Video for Seoul Eats: (Coming Soon)