Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >

RipCurl's Profile

Title Last Reply

Perth & Swan Valley

Just a short note to say thanks again for your thoughts, they were spot on.

In the event, we couldn't make it to half of the places due to family & logistics. We did go to Lalla Rookh, Gaya, Pleased to Meet You, Viet Hoa, Corica & fish down by the wharf in Freo. We also got Good Fortune duck, roast pork & char siew as takeaways for a gathering. Sadly Mama Tran was closed both times we tried to go. We also passed by the Twilight Hawkers Market (packed to the gills!) & decided not to join the lines. We also went to the Heritage Brasserie (needed late night food - the steak tartare & gruyere cheese souffle actually was not too bad) & Sittella in Swan Valley (reasonably priced, duck confit had interesting Asian flavors to it, very pleasant terrace to sit on). All of the places we went to were ok, if not as you say translating to a world rating.

I should mention though the couple of vegan-ish cafes we went to - Raw Kitchen in Freo & Little Bird Cafe in Northbridge. I would revisit these cafes if they opened where I lived, and I'm not vegan or vegetarian by any means.

Jun 19, 2015
RipCurl in Australia/New Zealand

Perth & Swan Valley

Just a short note to say thanks again for your thoughts, they were spot on.

In the event, we couldn't make it to half of the places due to family & logistics. We did go to Lalla Rookh, Gaya, Pleased to Meet You, Viet Hoa, & fish down by the wharf in Freo. We also got Good Fortune duck, roast pork & char siew, & Corica as takeaways for a gathering. Sadly Mama Tran was closed both times we tried to go. We also passed by the Twilight Hawkers Market (packed to the gills!) & decided not to join the lines. We also went to the Heritage Brasserie (needed late night food - the steak tartare & gruyere cheese souffle actually was not too bad) & Sittella in Swan Valley (reasonably priced, duck confit had interesting Asian flavors to it, very pleasant terrace to sit on). All of the places we went to were ok, if not as you say translating to a world rating.

I should mention though the couple of vegan-ish cafes we went to - Raw Kitchen in Freo & Little Bird Cafe in Northbridge. I would revisit these cafes if they opened where I lived, and I'm not vegan or vegetarian by any means.

Jun 19, 2015
RipCurl in Australia/New Zealand

Perth & Swan Valley

Thanks! I guess it's good to set our expectations lower then. I hear there's hainanese chicken rice if we get desperate, though ironically I think we'd feel more of a pinch to pay $15 for that (3x what it costs here) than to pay $35 at one of the places above.

I might skip Nunam if it's moved in a hipster direction, that doesn't sound too promising tbh. Will definitely check out Mama Tran, also the Fremantle fish places (not sure about Little Creatures yet as most of the group isn't too keen on beer).

Are any of the farmers' markets worth visiting in your view?

Mar 12, 2015
RipCurl in Australia/New Zealand

Perth & Swan Valley

G'day all, we'll be in Perth in a couple of weeks and looking for advice. I post occasionally on the Asia boards (mainly on Singapore, Korea & Japan) & have looked through the Aussie board, but the newest post on Perth is from 2012 & the main recommendations are for Margaret River (which we won't be able to get to this time unfortunately). So from research on food blogs & review sites, what I've come up with are:

Brika (greek, best for dinner)
Corica (apple strudels & pastries in general)
El Publico (mexican, small plates)
Harvest Espresso (brunch)
Lalla Rookh (italian)
Must (French bistro, lunch or dinner)
Nahm (thai)
Old Crow (soul food, brunch or dinner - I saw the chef's changed a few months back?)
Pleased to Meet You (small plates)
Twilight Hawkers Market (food trucks)
Viet Hoa (casual vietnamese)

Am I on the right track here? I did read earlier posts suggesting that food blogging in Perth tends to be more focused on the trendy than the tasty.

There'll be a few older folks coming along so we'll probably steer away from places that are noisy (which I guess rules out Varnish on King - not sure if that'll be an issue for Must too). Some veggie options on the menu would be good too, so I've not really gone for the more 'dude food' places. Lastly, where possible we're trying to stick to a budget so I've skipped the pricier places where the minimum is $50 & up per person. (That rules out a lot more places in Perth than I would've originally thought!)

Nearly forgot to add, we'll probably make a stop in Swan Valley too, so any recs there would be great.

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.

Mar 11, 2015
RipCurl in Australia/New Zealand

French hound coming to Seoul - Need a few insights

Oh good for you, one month will allow you to explore a lot more of Seoul / Korea! Especially if you haven't tried much Korean food before, I feel like the list you have is a good starting point to seek out your own discoveries :)

In terms of types of places to seek out, I think in Korea (given its economic and social background) you'll find that there is a greater wealth of 'hole in wall' comfort food than higher end refined dining. A lot of the foreign cuisines & high end modern restaurants will probably not be of the same standard as rich global cities like NYC, Tokyo or London. Korea has its own court cuisine as well, but that's not something you'll probably want to eat very often in your month there.

As compared to Chinese or Japanese food (given their many cultural and historical associations, there are some similarities in cuisine), you'll notice that Korean cooking is set apart by its use of doenjang (bean paste, like miso but stronger tasting), gochujang (red pepper paste, 60% sweet and 40% spicy) & gochu-garu (red pepper flakes). There's also a wider range of pickled foods (e.g. soy-sauce marinated raw crab). Also a wide range of local mountain vegetables (sanchae) and herbs that you may not have seen before elsewhere. Do explore the basement food halls / supermarkets in the big department stores (Hyundai, Lotte or Shinsegae). Korea is an agricultural country and notable produce includes black pork (similar to Japanese kurobuta), hanwoo (a la wagyu), temperate climate fruit (strawberries, grapes, peaches etc), also oranges from the Southern tropical end (e.g. Jeju hallabong). I apologize for the analogies to Japan but as you seem familiar with Japanese food I thought this would be an easy reference point for you.

Some general food terms that should be useful when deciphering menus - jji-gae (stews), tang (soup), guk (in between soup & stew), jjim (braised stuff), bab (rice dishes), bokkum (stir-fried dishes). If I think of more I'll add on later. Oh and as you like mochi, 'chapssal' means they use glutinous rice in it (e.g. donuts and other baked or fried goods). I do recommend getting a Korean translation app, the Lonely Planet Korean phrasebook or something like that, as a good many of the good places have no English menus (although of course there's always pointing to the next table to rely upon).

As for types of food, perhaps you'll find this interesting? It's a new series running on a big 3 broadcasting channel KBS called "King of Food".

If you have a list of specific foods that you would like to try in Korea I can suggest some places to check out. I fear otherwise you would end up with a disparate list that reflects more my personal preferences than food you & your wife may actually enjoy (especially given considerations about spice - how much can she take?). For example, you might well like bundaeggi (the larvae Steve recommends) but I definitely don't.

Some answers to specific qns:

Sushiko (Seocho?) - I've not been but I took a look on some blogs and it looks like Korean-style sushi. I think you may be looking more for places like Sushi Cho or Sushi Hyo?

Samgyetang - Tosokchon is not bad, I also like Yeongyang Center. They're a chain and have outlets in the common areas visitors to Seoul would go (Myeongdong, Cheongdam-dong etc). From Tosokchon, you can walk to explore Insadong and / or Samcheong-dong, it's quite a pleasant stroll. There are quite a few places for traditional Korean course menus (similar to royal cuisine) in this area as well as cafes.

French hound coming to Seoul - Need a few insights

Hello Rio Yeti, is this your first trip to Seoul?

Re prices:
-- Bong San Jib --
Price: 160g chadolbaegi for 25,000W, jjigae for 2 is 10,000W so 33,000W per person. ( At lunch they have this combination as a cheaper set which is (iirc) 17,000W but at least 2 people have to order this same set.

-- Gangnam Myun Oak --
Price: galbi-jjim (small) 35,000W, jjin-mandu 7,000W, naeng-myun 8,000W = 50,000W would be enough for 2 I think, so expect ~25,000 - 30,000W per person.

-- Sawhuleh Boleebap --
Bossam (steamed fatty pork) with barley bibimbap.
Price : Here's the website - should be 15,000 to 20,000W per person. This is more like 'well-being' food where you feel good and healthy after eating the boribap.

Spiciness shouldn't be a problem with any of the places you have on your list, at least for the main dishes - some of the side dishes (banchan) will probably be spicy but she can skip those & still enjoy the meal.

As for sushi, it would be closer to the Japanese quality but I definitely still prefer Japan for that. Many (though not all) sushi restaurants in Korea also have some Korean inflection e.g. their typical 'course menus' come with things like Korean-style spicy fish stew, fried foods, so if you want a sushi-only experience a la Japan you do have to check what type of sushi restaurant it is.

Jung Sik Dang has some Korean elements to it and it's not pricey (quality is consistent at lunch and there are a number of common items w/ dinner menu) so I do think it's worth a try.

I could make other suggestions on food but I'm not sure what you like - however in summertime Koreans like to eat ginseng chicken soup (samgyetang) and red bean ice (patbingsu - though there are also many other popular variations on the shaved ice theme beyond the traditional red beans + ddeok [like mochi] e.g. fruit, ice-cream...) so you may like to try that too?

Singapore - where to get an apartment, food being #1 priority?

Not the same although the Balestier stretch (Balestier Road and nearby streets) is just under 1km away from Novena MRT, so fairly close.

Singapore - where to get an apartment, food being #1 priority?

Lavender is good too. Near to Balestier that Julian's recommending, convenient for the East-West line, close to town (CBD, Orchard etc) & Little India / Arab St and has numerous nearby food options. You can get a studio for just over S$3k I believe & a 1000sq ft 2 bedder for about S$4.5k.

Singapore Eats - Researching Choices

Diamond Kitchen @ Laguna? Interesting choice, it's rather off the beaten track but if you're going to be in the East Coast area then I think that's quite a good 'zi char' choice. I like the 'champagne' pork ribs. If you're going with a colleague who cares about ambience, do google for pictures of the place first & judge if you're ok.

Skyve, Zafferano & Mykonos I've never been but they give me the impression that you go as much for the ambience as the food, and they're a bit pricey for an everyday meal. Specific to Mykonos, I personally find every restaurant along that stretch of Sentosa Cove overpriced (Skirt excluded).

Singapore Eats - Researching Choices

No problem, there's many suggestions here to start with so will restrict myself to just adding that for sweet tofu you may also like Sichuan Douhua at the top of UOB Plaza (it's also a proper restaurant serving lunch / dinner but you can sit at the teahouse side to just have dessert) - and for savoury tofu, do try yong tau foo (I think there should be recommendations on this board or blogs).

Oh & by 'rustic', I meant (& I think so did klyeoh) the style of cooking, not the ambience. Chui Huay Lim is a proper restaurant so no worries that your colleague will feel uncomfortable. I'm sure whichever you choose btwn ITT & CHL you will have an enjoyable meal, it's more a matter of personal taste.

Report on 3 days in SIN by a San Francisco hound

Ok will give Kim Choo's rempah udang & kaya a try, thanks for the suggestions. At Princess Terrace I always end up spending too much stomach space on the DIY chendol & apom balik that I don't remember actually getting to the kueh!

Report on 3 days in SIN by a San Francisco hound

I see, I actually find it quite quaint myself! With their displays of kebaya and knick-knacks (this is the one along East Coast Rd with two entrances).

I prefer the Subway Niche kuihs also or even Bengawan Solo in a pinch. But seems to be harder and harder to find good kuihs - I've tried a whole assortment (Chintamanis, Chilli Padi, Kedai Kue...), most places don't even sell those kuihs that used to be more common like dodol, pulut inti, kuih lopis. It used to be possible to find kuih lopis fairly easily - Scotts Shopping Ctr FC, Parkway Parade... putu piring also, it seems like the Haig Rd place is the sole survivor. I suppose hard to make money on these.

If you know of other places (far-flung in Sgp is fine too) for good kuih or for putu piring / putu bamboo do share!

Singapore - where to get an apartment, food being #1 priority?

On PropertyGuru's search site ( the following districts have green line MRT stations nearby and are convenient for food: D01, D02, D06, D07

Further west than Outram area will probably be a bit inconvenient for Little India, Arab St (by Singaporean standards that is, where anything more than a 20 min drive is generally considered far).

Some of the popular rental condos for younger couples:
Tanjong Pagar area: The Clift is right next to Amoy Hawker Centre & Tg Pagar MRT station. Icon is also nearby. The closer to the CBD, the higher the psf rental though.

Lavender area (walking distance to Arab St, Little India outskirts, farther fr Chinatown): Citylights, Southbank, both a couple of mins from Lavender MRT station.

Best vongole pasta in Tokyo?

Following up on my earlier query - plans changed unexpectedly and I only managed to make it to La Brianza for lunch. Seems like it's particularly popular with ladies who lunch. Definitely a good value lunch overall, some average items and some v good (pictures below, being well-stewed tripe, giant tender asparagus - note regular-sized fork for scale, main - note chunk of fat).

Ironically, the vongole wasn't any good. La Bisboccia next time perhaps..

Apr 17, 2014
RipCurl in Japan

Report on 3 days in SIN by a San Francisco hound

klyeoh, I'm just curious - do you like Kim Choo's kuihs or do you recommend it also because of the shop's quaint atmosphere? I haven't met a single Kim Choo kuih I liked (other than the nyonya ba zhang, which was alright)

Singapore Eats - Researching Choices

Had typed a longer reply but it went missing so just some brief replies to your queries & a few more suggestions:

* Sushi Kou - not as good, for sure
* Imperial Treasures Super Peking Duck - you can do this and dim sum tog. Don't forget to pre-order the duck. Tippling Club and Jaan have good value lunches. Jaan more classical, Tippling Club quirkier.
* Imperial Treasures Teochew vs Chui Huay Lim - as klyeoh says, CHL is more rustic. ITT has a mixed Teochew & Cantonese menu (both generally good), more refined. I prefer ITT given same prices but YMMV.
* Amoy - If you go, try Piao Ji too (same floor as Han Kee). Pricier, richer soup vs Han Kee. I ask for add'l fish egg usu. Also Hoo Kee 'ba zhang' (glutinous rice dumplings).
* Egg tarts - Tong Heng is more rustic, shortcrust pastry. Dim sum restos usu do it w puff pastry, do try both.
* Bar-Roque - a bit pricey & not worth yr limited meals; Osaka Ohsho - I'd drop this, it's just fast food gyoza; Bistro du Vin - you can get better back home; Gunther's - yes if you hv the budget as set lunch is a far cry fr dinner
* Desserts - what type of desserts are you looking for? local (e.g. chendol, avocado shake, chinese tong sui), cakes, ..? the ones you listed above are all western-style cake / pastry places.
* Japanese (not sushi, you pay a big premium here vs Jpn since we import everything, unless you're more keen on cheap & cheerful) - Kazu (sumiyaki), Yazawa (yakiniku). 2 Japanese places that I would make time for if I was visiting with little time.
One add'l suggestion - do drop by Takashimaya's basement food hall and pick up Four Seasons durian ice cream (they use D24, skip the puffs), Waguri Millefeuille fr Flor, cake fr Rive Gauche, tea fr TWG

Apr 17, 2014
RipCurl in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore Eats - Researching Choices

First of all wishing you a good trip to Sgp. Some local feedback on the places you've specifically mentioned:
- Maxwell Centre: Tian Tian is not bad for chicken rice (there may be better but that is a fairly subjective judgment depending on your personal preferences for rice, chicken & condiments) but I suspect all the hype has led to the disappointment for first-timers.

- Tim Ho Wan Singapore: Standard is inconsistent, queues are long (except at non-peak hours like midday on a weekday). I think equally good or better dim sum (incl char siu bo lo bao) can be found at the usual suspects mentioned on this board, which also accept reservations e.g. Canton Paradise / Taste Paradise, Imperial Treasures...

- Restaurant Ember: Yep chef is changing in May.

- Chui Huay Lim Teochew: For the same money & equally comfortable setting, I would pick Imperial Treasures Teochew instead, they are generally more consistent. I find CHL is a bit hit & miss and fish is not always as fresh as it should be.

- Jumbo Seafood or Long Beach Seafood: I think these are good choices for first-time visitors to Sgp who haven't had Singaporean seafood (chili crab, cereal prawns etc) before. Locals would probably go elsewhere (less accessible).

- Hai Di Lao: I personally prefer J-Pot or Imperial Treasures Steamboat but Hai Di Lao is alright. A lot of the patrons are groups of young people so quite a lively atmosphere.

- Teppei @ Orchid Hotel: It's definitely good value for money as far as omakase goes, but it's not refined in the same way that the top omakase in Japan would be, so it depends what you're looking for. Also, they're fully booked till Jul & any cancellations (released via their Facebook: are snapped up in minutes so if you want to try, join the line for lunch instead. Daily specials are posted on their facebook, the bara-chirashi don is generally popular also.

Apr 14, 2014
RipCurl in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore: Solo Sunday dinner in Little India?

Hi Kelly, welcome to Singapore!

Both Banana Leaf Apolo and Madras New Woodlands can take solo diners. Fish-head curry is the main thing at the former (portions are big - you can get other cuts as a solo diner but to my mind not as fresh or good as the fish head), the latter is all vegetarian (thosai and the like) so it really depends on what you feel like having. Location-wise, Banana Leaf Apolo feels that little bit safer to me than Madras New Woodlands, especially for ladies. Singapore also offers a fairly wide variety of Indian food from different regions (Bengal, Kerala / Goa..) that may be worth a try if you can't get any good Indian food at all in Brussels (alas!). Gajalee's at Esplanade is one convenient option.

Other quick answers:
--Chicken rice at Maxwell Food Centre >> Tian Tian still ok. Other recs on this board for Maxwell also still relevant.
--Chili crab at No Signboard in Geylang >> their salted egg yolk crab is better than their chili crab, which is not in my mind a good representative of what chili crab should be. Seafood Paradise or Jumbo would be better, although generally chili crab standard in Sgp is not as good as it used to be.
--Char kuey teow >> Hong Lim hawker centre
--Fish-head curry >> Well you've got Banana Leaf Apolo up there. :) Although since you're at Anson Rd I would definitely recommend Ocean at lunchtime (ask your colleagues as I'm sure they'll know)
--Roti prata >> Anson Rd area is not the best for roti prata, but there are a few places around Telok Ayer St (including Gayatri) that are passable, or Akbar (24H, at 2 Lim Teck Kim Road). Must be freshly made or it won't be that good.

Also near Anson Road, good lunchtime options:
-- Eng Kee at Enggor Street for roast meats (ask for fatty char siew)
-- Amoy Street hawker centre (Hoo Kee dumpling, Piao Ji fish soup)
-- Teppei (get the off-menu chirashi-don)
-- Ya Hua Bak Kut Teh (


Lines at the first three are usually long so get there before noon if you can. Enjoy!

Singapore/Hong Kong - Regular visitor looking for something new & different

If you're tired of the 'fashionable' venues and just want good food but don't care about the ambience, there are a few general options:
(1) Venture out to the further-flung suburbs, like Yishun. There are many unsung places that you won't find even in local guides or blogs but the old timers and those living in the neighbourhood will know E.g. there is good prata, wanton mee, 'cai fan' to be found along Yishun Ring Rd near the library, and all for less than $5 too.

(2) Go to the CBD during lunch hour and see where the lines are very long (compared to the other places, that is, given how crowded it gets around lunch time generally). E.g. the roast pork rice at Philip St, the lemak curry fish head at Ocean Curry opposite Amoy Hawker Centre (itself worth a visit)

That's my antidote to celebrity dining (or those chic places opened by the usual suspects).

Singapore - Modern-Nyonya cuisine at Candlenut, Dorsett Residences (Outram Park)

Went about a month ago and had a pretty disappointing experience, so I'm surprised by the many positive comments for Candlenut. We had:
* Sous vide beef rendang - Nice tender texture but the beef appeared to have been cooked separately from the rempah so the meat had no real flavour to it.
* Bakwan kepiting - Bland
* Assam fish curry - Fish wasn't fresh, we skipped eating it entirely. The assam tasted pretty flat too, like it came out of one of the seasoning packets sold at NTUC and was just reheated. The lady who came back to clear the table for dessert noticed that we hadn't eaten any of the fish curry and rather quizzically asked us if we forgot about it, which I thought was a mildly puzzling query.
* Chap chye - First time I've had crunchy cabbage in chap chye. Normally chap chye is stewed but the vegetables didn't absorb any flavour from the seasoning and were unpleasantly crunchy, so I'm not sure how they cooked it.

The steamed banana cake dessert was pretty good though. We actually went expecting decent food (have eaten at Candlenut at its previous location around Duxton when the menu was different, it was ok) so it was quite disappointing that the food was that bad. But now I'm really puzzled why we had such a bad meal when everyone else seems to have had good experiences..

Best vongole pasta in Tokyo?

Ok got that, will check out Piccolo Grande's details. Which of the three is your personal favourite for pasta?

Btw thanks for responding to a somewhat random-sounding query (relative to the usual posts on the Japan board at any rate).

Sep 10, 2013
RipCurl in Japan

Best vongole pasta in Tokyo?

Am I right in assuming LB = La Brianza & not La Bisboccia? (Ebisu as that's where the latter is located & we can squeeze in tapas w/ less travelling around, not because we have a burning desire to go there otherwise)

ActualIy I was curious about La Brianza principally because (1) their Tabelog entry has a rather nicely taken picture of vongole pasta right up front (2) it was mentioned in a previous post about Japanese Italian restaurants as a place to go. But if it's not as good as the other places (by which you mean the ones that U. Yabai has mentioned, or the ones in your post?) then I might skip that

Sep 10, 2013
RipCurl in Japan

Best vongole pasta in Tokyo?

Ha, good to know, thanks v much! Will check out La Bisboccia (probably not Elio Locanda as no vongole according to their website), and likely also La Brianza (perhaps the trattoria, hope that's as good as their main place).

And since we'll be in Ebisu, maybe we can squeeze in some tapas before / after La Bisboccia...

Sep 09, 2013
RipCurl in Japan

Best vongole pasta in Tokyo?

'Best' is subjective, but would be great to hear which ones you most enjoyed, be it bianco or rosso (but no cream please!)

Searched the board & saw Charlesyu's rec for (chain restaurant?) La Boheme, any particular location?

Sep 06, 2013
RipCurl in Japan

Overwhelmed in Seoul

Since no else has commented, my brief thoughts on the grilled kalbi places you mentioned:
Samwon Garden - Probably the most touristy of the lot.
Byeokje - Actually a chain, standard is decent but probably won't wow you. Prices vary widely depending on which outlet you go, principally due to ambience. If I were to choose one of the Byeokje outlets to go, I'd likely pick one of the Bong Pi Yang ones.
Chamsutgol - Casual, not touristy. Side dishes a bit more interesting than Byeokje.
Mapo Sutbul - There are a lot of similarly named eating places with 'Mapo' in the name, so I'm not 100% sure if we're thinking of the same one, but this is a pork kalbi place. I've never been though, I don't get to Mapo much.

Sad to say I don't have any knock your socks off recommendations for grilled kalbi in Seoul (as yet). To be honest, I've had much more memorable experiences with other Korean foods. And particularly so if compared to the US where it's much easier to find decent grilled kalbi in my opinion than good kalbi jjim as Steve says (I recommended Gangnam Myeon Ok in another thread on this board) or grilled black pork belly (samgyeobsal).

Seoul: Cake/Macaroons/Chocolate for Birthday

Hi vkod3,
The Lotte Hotel website says that Hans Delica does deliveries within Seoul (order 3 days in advance) with a 20,000 won (+10% tax) charge, but as to whether they will accept orders over phone / email, you should probably check directly with the hotel. Contact here:
And menu here:

Laduree doesn't deliver, as far as I can tell neither do the rest. Your other options are Gmarket (but the quality of the cakes etc are in all likelihood not what you're looking for), finding an online merchant that ships internationally (there are many just a google away, including Amedei) or sending something from the US. Personally I would opt for the latter, if you can buy it directly yourself and ship over to her since you have more control over the timing. Most online stores in Korea do not accept non-Korea credit cards. Good luck and happy birthday to your friend.

Overwhelmed in Seoul

Hm, offhand I can't think of any simple English phrase that would be reliably understood. Maybe when they turn you down after finding out you're eating solo, you can show them a simple sentence like this:

고기 2 인분 주문하면 괜찮습니까?
(go-gi ee-in-bun ju-moon ha myeon gwen-chan-sum-ni-kka?)

Literally, "if I order two servings of meat, would it be okay?"

Overwhelmed in Seoul

Besides the social aspect, I'd like to suggest a practical reason why most grill places don't serve solo diners - considering the hassle / cost for them to clean the grill, do the set up & provide the usual (large!) spread of banchan (side dishes) that go along with your meat order, it may not seem worth their while if you're only ordering a one-person serving. I've seen solo diners at kalbi and samgyeopsal places before, but they usually order a decent amount, so I don't think the social aspect is necessarily always the primary factor for the restaurant owners. If you're still keen on trying some grilled meats & have the appetite to eat more than one serving, you could tell the restaurant when you enter that although you're by yourself you'll order enough for 2 people or more. Do you speak Korean? If not, you could have it written down in Korean to show the restaurant when you enter. Another strategy is to go at lunchtime when the grill places usually offer a different lunch menu that caters more to the solo diner (e.g. kalbi-tang, like at Budnamujib, or bibimbab which comes with the house grilled meat, like at Chamsutgol).

Jokbal (pig's feet) is definitely for groups! Things that would be easily served in single portions are noodle dishes like cold noodles (naengmyeon), guksu (soup noodles), bibimbab (mixed rice), jjigae (stews), juk (porridge). Korean food has a wide variety of soups, stews, and noodles so it isn't as restrictive as that might initially sound. Do you need specific recommendations, or are you looking more for general ideas on what type of places are friendly to solo diners?

Besides the above general suggestions, a few places near Hyehwa / 대학로 that would probably serve solo diners:
The Bab (더밥) -

Sollamugil Doenjang yesul (솔나무길 된장예술) -

Seoul food tour + INC airport question

Hi Sasicka, if you would like a specialized food tour perhaps this might suit you?

The main man (Daniel Gray) running the tours also blogs on Seoul food at so you can check it out to see if the type of places are what you're looking for. Disclaimer, I haven't taken any of his tours but have checked out his blog for ideas.

The City of Seoul actually offers free guided walking tours as well, but these aren't food-oriented:

Lastly, if you feel up to a bit of planning, the Seoul Tourism website also provides a wealth of info here:
The food they feature tends to be more down-home & rustic, and some of the locations require a bit of navigation. With two young children it might be more challenging to manage but just putting out that option for you to look at anyway.

Just a thought, if you have two nights, do you really want to stay at Hyatt Regency Incheon? The food options at the airport are pretty average (I think the best option may be Bon Pi Yang, the casual offshoot of Byeokje Galbi, which is near the AREX - airport train - station) and it only takes between 45 - 55 min train ride to get from the airport to Seoul Station. You could alternatively explore Incheon city, but if you think you might not visit Korea again any time soon, then I think it's worth visiting Seoul.

Best modern dim sum in HK - better than Singapore?

Thanks! Lung King Heen looks like a good choice then. Fu Sing hairy crab roe XLB looks interesting but we might skip that as it's not hairy crab season. Is there anything you *wouldn't* recommend at Lung King Heen?

PhilD, yep as klyeoh suggests, the pricing in Crystal Jade's luxury restaurants here in Sgp are in the same range as what we paid at Man Wah. How about if you were to benchmark against Man Wah, are there any other places that you rate higher than MW?

I find the Michelin rating really hit and miss, on our last trip we also tried 2* Tin Lung Heen at the Ritz Carlton but it was eminently forgettable (except for the price tag). Hotel is nice though.