Seoul is a city that has its soul buried a little below the surface. Blocks of blacked out 4 x 4s and Bentleys cover the 6 lane roads, swept clean, kept to its utter bare concrete. Everybody keeps to themselves, contained in their sphere with a grim, fierce and stoney face. Its people - the men and women some of the most beautiful in the world- appear far colder than that of any Asian country I have ever been. Polar opposites of the Vietnamese whom I feel are like the Italians of Asia.
I have come to Seoul more often than I can count with both hands for my Love Leluu boutique – my passport, full of Incheon’s customs stamps and I have a pocket full of bad memories as well as good ones.
I have the same relationship with Korean food. Introduced to it in London, by a lovely Korean friend, Jisook – who always called me her sister: ‘Ran’ – in Great Marlborough Street, Soho became a regular treat as I have had the most amazing food. Korean – being right up there on my top 3 cusines.
Kimchi comes with everything and I see people order JUST kimchi with noodles or with rice! How could you…?
My favourite is 'bulgogi'- tender beef, marinade in soy sauce with sesame oil, sugar, onions, garlic, black pepper, rice wine vinegar. I heard that what makes it ever so tender is blended kiwi and onion.
My other most favourite meal is ‘bibimbab’ – it is most delicious when made well of course as you can get many variations. It is normally cooked in a stone bowl, with rice, pickles, minced meat and a fried egg on top. You mash it all up with red pepper sauce and it is really delicious.
I have had really nice red pepper sauce and really bad ones – like anywhere and any foods, some people can make it really well, some others should give up!
I never used to like going to Seoul very much – although I always enjoy my work there, but that was because I didn’t really understand it. I still don’t, but slowly slowly, I am coming around.
*Com-sa-me-da* [Thank You]