Kimchi is probably in my top 3 of food items. It is more of a side dish, or appetizer to us, but definitely a staple in the Korean diet. It is not uncommon for Koreans to have Kimchi refrigerators, that is how much they eat.
We went on this trip with small children who have yet to develop the same love their mom has for the stuff.
They on the other hand were excited to see Dunkin donuts, Mister donut and street donuts on almost ever corner while walking around Seoul. We had donuts everyday, so we indulged this.
The Ginseng Chicken was a highlight of our eating out experience. A small chicken stuffed with glutinous rice, red dates, and chestnuts. Flavored with ginseng set in a delicious boiling hot broth.
Upon researching Seoul we discovered that it has a Taco Bell. I believe there are a variety of western food chains near the US army base in Itaewon and that is where we found Taco Bell. We turned the wrong way at first when we came up from the subway and almost gave up looking for it. We had a "let's try one more way" discussion and were pleased to find it. This was our only reason for stopping off in this district.
In talking with other Americans, I have found that we are not alone in missing the cheap tex-mex fix that Taco Bell gives to us. HK is not abundant in Mexican food choices and certainly has no fast food. We joked about going back to Itaewon the next day, but knowing our trip home was only a month away we held off and savored our first Taco Bell in over a year.
The street food often smelled delicious and looked like items we would eat. If anyone has ever been within a mile of Stinky Tofu, or strolled passed stalls of squid on a stick, fish balls, looking for a good hot dog, or french fry vendor you can appreciate my sentiment. Nathan had encountered a hotdog, french fry conglomeration during his last trip to Seoul and we couldn't find it. We did spot these spiral cut potatoes deep fried on a stick and were glad to try them. If we wanted we could also have had octopus and wasp larvae, but we were thankful for an option.
I am fairly certain in the picture above some of those were filled with red beans. Koreans from my observation have the same affinity as Chinese and Japanese for red bean as a sweet treat.
A spicy octopus dish was shared
and yes I had Kimchi.