This gourmet grocery store in the ritzy Cheongdam-dong area is changing Korean attitudes on food. They offer artisan local and international products in a polished storefront that is a wonder for the eyes. You can get top local produce such as Jejudo hallabong oranges, dates, pumpkins, endives, and more. It has the most extensive herb selection that I have seen in Korea—you can get everything from dill to basil. Their meat section offers top-grade Korean beef, pork, and chicken that can be fabricated to Western specifications. They even have a wide selection of fresh-baked breads and prepared foods so you can take your meal home. There are also several cafés and restaurants so you can do your shopping and get a meal all in the same place. This is truly foodie heaven.
North Korean refugee Chef Lee-Aeran’s restaurant, Neungna Bapsang, offers a range of traditional Korean foods such as North Korean-style bibimbap, dumplings, chilled buckwheat noodles, and stews. The flavors of North Korean cuisine are quite subtle and light compared to spicy South Korean cuisine. Many of the broths and fillings for the dumplings are chicken based, which adds to the lightness. The specialties of the house are the homemade buckwheat noodles and the dumplings. I would also recommend their pork bossam and their chapssal sundae (black sausage). If you are looking to learn about North Korean cuisine, there is a cooking school on the 3rd floor.
During spring I am always on the search for fresh, crispy, and nourishing bibimbap. Hanuso uses top-quality ingredients to <em
id=”__mceDel”>create dishes that will please the epicure in you. Their yukhoe (raw beef) bibimbap has fresh sprouts, various lettuces, julienned carrots and pears, and more. With this you get clear beef soup, Korean vegetable side dishes, and a steaming bowl of hot rice. All combined, it becomes a nourishing meal that feels like a bowl of sunshine and spring rain.