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Asia eats, korea eats

july 10: raining in seoul’s francetown

I love the rain. I adore everything about it, from the sound that it makes as it hits the rooftops to the dark, foreboding clouds that cover the sky right before a storm. And in Korea you get a lot of rain, especially in the few weeks during the middle of summer known as sohnagee season. Sonahgees are rainbursts, infamous short showers that come without any warning and sprinkle everything with a light rain. And during this season, Koreans are never caught without an umbrella; it’s almost amusing to see everybody whip out an umbrella from their bags seconds after raindrops start sprinkling onto the ground.

Unfortunately, the rain that’s been coming down the past few days aren’t short showers; it’s a downright storm. There’s a typhoon moving northwards to Seoul from Jejudo Islands this week – watch it delay my flight tomorrow..

Even though it rained like crazy yesterday morning, it cleared up around noon, enough for my family to go exploring in Namdaemoon Market, then later Suhrae Maheul.

Suhrae Town is residential district, but in between the rows of apartments there’s are rows of stores and cafes known as the FranceTown of Seoul. It turns out that a French population does live in this area, so a lot of the restaurants and stores are designed to suit their tastes. There’s a French school here as well, and some of the signs are written in both French and Korean. It was a little surreal seeing the two cultures which I normally don’t associate with each other side-by-side.

french school. not just a hakwon. a school.

vehicle will be towed...?

After referencing my mom’s handy-dandy Seoul tour guide book, we decided to go to a restaurant called Popolarita, which was recommended for it’s good French and Italian-style cuisine.

they grow their own herbs right outside their store; thyme, rosemary, and an entire forest of basil

a european feel to the decor

table setting

We got to Popolorita just in time to order the brunch and lunch menu; we did a lot of wandering in Namdaemoon Market that day so my mom, my sister and I ate a late lunch. I chose a brunch set (which came with the soup of the day, a salad, the entrée and a drink), and my mom and Calynn decided on a lunch set and an entree to split between the 2 of them.

hmm... decisions, decisions

bread service: garlic bread and olive bread, with olive oil and balsalmic vinegar for dipping

there be olive chunks in tharr

mushroom soup: definitely not the same as campbell's canned cream of mushroom soup. this tasted rich and earthy with lots of finely shaved mushroom bits

salad with some kind of preserved meat (salumi, maybe?) and a balsamic dressing

pickles; they might seem out of place in this french-style meal, but this served so that the korean customers can cut through the richer tastes of western cuisine with their tartness

mom's carbonara with mushrooms and garnished with microgreens

calynn's seafood aglio olio penne pasta, also garnished with microgreens

the remains of the finished penne plate - lots o' garlic

my roasted vegetable sandwich with hummus and basil pesto, served with potatoes and a bell pepper sauce

innards: roasted bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, and caramelized onions on a lightly grilled whole-grain bread. it was really good, but i just wish the bread had been a little more toasted - i like my breadstuffs with crunch. this was almost hamburger-bun soft. it still got the food from plate to mouth, though, without any dripping.

hummus and pesto covered endbits. the hummus added a nuttiness and the basil just the tinest bit of citrus to the sandwich. i had basil-scented burps for the rest of the day though. never underestimate the power of basil.

I wouldn’t say that Suhreh Town is necessarily worth you going out of your way to see its various creperies and bistros. There are cute stores and restaurants with good food, but you can get that in a place with even better atmosphere in a place like Samcheongdong or Terrace Street. But for us who had visited almost every place worth seeing in Seoul, this place made a good change of pace from the Korean-fusion food we’ve been used to eating for lunch.

Whew, almost caught up; I only have today’s posts to put up. It should be a good one, since today was my last full day in Korea – I leave for the States tomorrow. I can’t believe it’s already been 5 weeks since I’ve been here. Jeez, am I gonna miss this place…

Well it’s almost 1 in the morning here in Korea, so I’ll leave you guys with a coffee shop sign that caught my eye in FranceTown.

coffeeology, a gourmet science. me likey the coffee bean logo



3 thoughts on “july 10: raining in seoul’s francetown

  1. wow, i didn’t know they had a frenchtown in korea!
    and the coffeeology cafe…. i wanna try their espresso! :D

    Posted by glocho | August 11, 2010, 1:10 pm
  2. Remember those torrential rainfalls in Mexico? After those, nothing I’ve experienced compares. Ah..nostalgia. Btw can you PLEASEEEEEEE have one free day so we can grab dinner in the city? I wanna take you to Otto at least!

    Posted by Euna | August 11, 2010, 1:22 pm
  3. fb me soon!

    Posted by Euna | August 11, 2010, 1:26 pm

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