Friday, November 7, 2014

Eating in Jeonju

Now whilst Busan is the Seafood capital of Korea, Jeonju is the Food capital of Korea, home of super fresh ingredient and super tasty food. Being just a couple of hours (via KTX) from Seoul, hubby and I couldn't resist but to do a day trip here to have the best Bibimbap in the world. Or at least, this region is famous for bibimbap (and was having their annual bibimbap festival the week after we visited). Word of warning - we went on a Saturday (and I don't know if it was just THAT sat) but it was super crowded, full of local Korean tourists.

In Jeonju, there is Hanok Village, a village full of olden day Korean dwellings. This is were the majority of the tourist attractions lie - pavillions, a Confucian school, tea houses, traditional wine making places and so forth. I think this is also where Koreans take their kids to stay the night to teach them the traditional way of living. Above all those touristy things - there is food galore! So much street food!!! And stews, and tradition "royal table eats" (where you get a table full of food) and of course, bibimbap.

The bibimbap place we chose was a little walk away from the village. Upstairs in level two, the place was full of people, all eating the same thing. There's really two choices - the bibimbap with cooked beef and the bibimbap with raw beef. And like any good Korean meal, it comes with a table full of side dishes, all super tasty and super awesome and super refillable. This bibimbap had so many different types of root veges, it felt clean, wholesome, healthy and was really quite delicious. I'm usually not one who likes rice, but I loved this bibimbap and was almost able to finish this massive bowl of rice!
Street food-wise, who can resist some liquid nitrogen ice-cream. The workers at this shop completely hooked us in (along with some friendly Ahjussi's ) but taking these chocolate biscuits and pouring liquid nitrogen on them. When you put it in your mouth, it leaves this really cold, super crisp feeling. The worker was like 'chew quickly' and you realise why straight away. Don't chew quickly enough and that biscuit is going to be stuck to your tongue for the rest of your life! LOL Btw, this tiramisu icecream was deliciousness :)
A spectacle not to be missed at Jeonju this Sat was the amount of people lining up for things. People were lining up for all types of street food - particularly for Mandoo, for this baguette burger, croquettes and PNB. PNB is this super famous bakery that sells chocopies. You know how you get chocopies at the Korean stores here and its like, meh... PNB sells chocopies that are like OMG it's soooo big! The chocolately biscuits sandwich just the right amount of marshmellow and jam and it's all wrapped in this chocolate coating. It's not too sweet and not too dense. Pretty much just right for a chocopie. Hubby was a fan and I ate some (which is saying something as I usually don't even glance twice at chocopies).
After much deliberation, we also lined up and got his 'baguette burger'. This was a cheese, mincey, pizza-y mixture stuffed inside this super crunchy yet super soft baguette bun. Koreans definitely know what they are doing when they are making bread, donuts and deep-frying and this baguette burger was no different. We were initially disinterested and underwhelmed - puzzled by why the line was so freaking long but after one bite, we were sold (even though our stomachs were already full). It was cheesey, meaty and had the right amount of chilli.

Right before our baguette burger experience, we actually had probably the best Beef Rib Soup I've had in my life. This beef rib soup was really really tasty. The soup was just teaming with  the essence of beef bone and the beef? So succulent and fall off the bone. It left this warm fuzzy feeling within us. I wish I had some of that soup now :)
In Jeonju, there's also meant to be something called 'Bapsang' which literally means - a million side dishes. I suspect that you can get this in any of the house-stay places in Hanok but we didn't get to try as the place recommended to us by our friend was closed down :( Maybe next time! Jeonju is really a great eating day trip! Must go if you have some spare time in Seoul.


Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

Whoah that's a lot of panchan, and super fascinated by the idea of a baguette burger now!

bbsnoopy said...

Yeh - it was a bit of a surprise. Crispy yet with tons of filling :)