So, now we’re in Korea, and we’ve had one 24-hour cycle under our belt. What happens next?
Seoul, Korea: The Four Seasons
I had read about the Charles H. bar at the Four Seasons, Seoul. It’s known to serve one of best martinis on the planet. But you have to know where to go, because the bar is a throw-back 1920s speakeasy. From the lobby you go down a flight of stairs, find this unmarked door … and do what, now?
You open it … and enter a pretty cool bar.
I had the martini.
Was it one of the best in the world? I have no idea. However, I can say that the food was fantastic. We ordered the sliders.
You might as well see me enjoying my drink.
Yeah, dark. That’s the way to go.
Seoul, Korea: An Eel Restaurant
Then, since we’re in Korea, we decided we needed dinner. So we went around the corner, found a promising venue and went upstairs to – once again – a promising room. Looks like they’re going to grill something for us.
The ‘something’ was difficult to discern, because the menu on the wall wasn’t translated. Rimi did her best looking at the Korean and trying to get her phone to transliterate it for her. Gerard and Rimi asked in their best attempt at Korean if there was beef on the menu. There wasn’t. Another try for chicken.
Turns out, the only thing on the menu was eel.
They fired up the grill, put the eel on it, covered them with a dome:
Then they thrashed around inside. I have to say it was not a happy sight for me.
Eventually they got cut up and cooked.
When they were done to a turn, the pieces were distributed.
I had already eaten at the Four Seasons, so I took a hard pass on the eel.
When we exited the restaurant, we saw a big, huge hint to what it served.
After dinner we went back to our neighborhood – the Staz Hotel – and ate and drank some more.
We hung out again on my terrace.
Seoul, Korea: Gangnam Style
The next morning, we headed out to the famous neighborhood of Gangnam, immortalized in Psy‘s 2012 viral video hit.
This neighborhood is known for catering to rich people. Pretty much the first thing we saw when we got off the subway was this:
Then it was on to shopping. Me, I was still puzzling out Korean modern architecture. This example, below, seemed to have attempted to answer the challenge: How many architectural styles can one building handle?
This one also drew my interest:
The Gangnam stores alternated between clothing and beauty products. Tons of restaurants, too.
Seoul, Korea: Back to Myeong Dong
Then it was back to Myeong Dong, the shopping mecca. Where we had lunch at a famous restaurant, Myeongdong KyoJa, which in Japanese would be gyoza ‘dumpling.’
The restaurant occupies four, if not five, floors in this building. Every table is taken, the turn-over is continuous. You order at the entrance and almost by the time you sit down the dumplings are set on the table.
More shopping? How about at Korea’s largest Uniqlo store (a Japanese chain, in case you don’t know):
I will leave you with this image:
The Korea trip was a success. We fulfilled two cycles of: Eat, Drink, Shop.
See also: Seoul, Korea: First Twenty-Four Hours
This post was written by Julie Tetel Andresen