One of the great joys of travel - and there are many - is the food.
Of course, for most of us, we can eat many cuisine's of the world just a few moments from out home. But it's different abroad.
We started with Korean cuisine on the first night, desperately hungry and in need of good sit down meal after the long flight from the UK. Nothing about kimchi made me look forward to it but there it was, as promised, served with every meal. It looks nice and I'm sure you will enjoy it if you like your foods pickled but I, dear reader, do not. Still I tried it. The noodle soup I actually ordered had lovely flavour but it's the texture, in particular of the meat, I could not get on with it so I only managed half of the generous bowl.
So having ticked-off the local cuisine, the rest of the trip had some amazing bites. Unusually for me, the next night, I was happy with burger & the amazing Parmesan garlic fries (NY B&B) - usually my last resort - followed by pizza - another last resort (Paulie's Brick Oven Pizza in D Tower), which we had the following night. Both were served up New York stylee and both excellent.
As with Hong Kong, a place I long to go back to, the best food in Seoul is to be found in shopping centres. The meal at Lotte World tower is a standout on the Korean front, although I didn't attempt the kimchi this time. In a department store food court, we had the amazing Thai meal, freshly cooked but arrived in minutes which meant my holiday Thai fix is taken care off.
I only tend to go to Indian restaurants when I'm abroad. Everything seems over-priced for this Indian in the UK, unless there is a traditional cafe handy. We struck lucky in Seoul with the fabulous Agra in the food hall of Shinsegae, the oldest department store in Korea. I could have eaten here every day, even the same dish with it's magical mist (see photo). We found another branch of Agra in a shopping centre and having had a fairly light afternoon tea earlier in the day, popped in to share one dish. The food was almost as good but as this was Agra 'Fine Dining', it cost a lot more and the service was slow and unimpressive.This is rare in Seoul though where the smiles generally come free with the food.
We did quite a bit of researching to see if we can find any of our Hong Kong or Tokyo faves in Seoul and we were pleased to see Bills. I had to have a repeat of the Coconut Toast I'd adored in Tokyo but the Ricotta hotcakes were a delight too.
We had a couple of American experiences in my chase for pancakes, the first a waste of time; The Flying Pan Blue gave us a slow service, the wrong order (we'd waited too long to send it back) and they really couldn't care less. Maybe we caught them on an off-day? The other, the Original Pancake House served me up some delightful coconut pancakes. The best breakfast undoubtedly was at Le Briller. As french as it sounds but with French Toast like I've never seen it!
The trip's afternoon tea doesn't make our all time favourites but Seoul doesn't really do this glorious meal in the same way that Tokyo and Hong Kong do. Still, the Intercontinental was pleasant enough to spend an afternoon in.
On our last night we tried the American Chinese place, Cha'R, back in the D Tower where we'd had so many of our great food experiences.
Even if we just went to the food courts for all of our meals in Seoul, I'll never tire of all amazing choices providing excellent service and great value.