Twoppul Deungshim Korean BBQ Review

Twoppul is a high end Korean BBQ franchise in Korea that started only a few years ago with its first location in Nonheyongdong, it now has 8 locations across Seoul. It is known as a dependable franchise that does everything right with relatively good prices for the quality of meat, interior, and service. I want to say it’s like the Houston’s/Hillstone of American fare as Korean BBQ, but I like Houston’s so much that I would have to say that Twoppul is almost there. I like this BBQ over all the BBQs in Koreatown on 32nd, but it still does not hold a candle to the best East Coast Korean BBQ which is Mapo BBQ in Flushing, NY. (One of these days I will get to a review of Mapo…) On a side note the New York Times recently did a very thorough and laudatory review of Korean restaurants in Queens. You can see photos of Mapo’s BBQ in the article’s slideshow.

A few months ago I visited the location in the Seoul Finance Center which had only opened a month before my visit. The interior sparkled with it’s fancy wine coolers and granite countertops. I can see this location being popular with all the corporate employees in the area like Changgo43 which is also another great Korean BBQ nearby under the Mirae Asset Building. I was there on a Sunday for lunch and the restaurant was full of families despite being in such a commercial district. With it’s popularity, it is a wonder it has not opened up yet here in the States. Maybe it is next like Baekjong which has recently opened up in Ktwon NY after being open in LA, Hawaii, and Flushing.

This restaurant is called “Twoppul” meaning two pluses because the grade of the Hanwoo (Korean beef) is 1++, the highest on the grading scale. (see my in depth review of other places to eat BBQ in Seoul here). You can see the nice marbling in every order of beef that comes out at this restaurant. The beef is cooked over charcoal which imo is the only way to eat Korean BBQ. Unfortunately due to restaurant regulations in NYC there are no indoor charcoal grill restaurants and I have to go to Mapo in Queens to experience this. Twoppul is also known for BYOB ie bring your own bottle with corkage. The full pdf menu for each location is on their website. There are three main types of BBQ beef:

Aged Striploin ₩34,000 for 150grams (with Feb 2015 xrate of ₩1,100=$1 this comes out to $30 for 5.3oz, in Korea tax is already included in the price and there is no tip on the bill)
Marinated Aged Striploin ₩35,000 for 150g
Aged Tenderloin ₩38,000 for 150g

You can also order 100 grams instead of 150 grams and be charged pro rata. 100 grams is 3.5oz and 150 grams is 5.3oz.

The 8 restaurants are in Nonhyeon (original store), Nonhyeon (2nd location), Garosugil, Pangyo, Suhyeon, Itaewon, Jongak, and the newest in the Seoul Finance Center near Gwanghwamun. This link will take you to Naver’s Map with “투뿔등심” in the search box.

This short 15 second video will give you an idea of the dining experience at Twoppul Deungshim.

Twoppul Deungshim Seoul Finance Center Entrance JenCooksKorean

Entrance at the basement of the Seoul Finance Center to the newest Twoppul Deungshim

Twoppul Deungshim Seoul Finance Center Interior JenCooksKorean

The fancy new interior

Twoppul Deungshim Seoul Finance Center Menu JenCooksKorean

Menu, about $30 for 5oz, tax is included, no tip in Korea

Twoppul Deungshim Seoul Finance Center Review Korean BBQ JenCooksKorean

One 150g order of the marinated aged striploin and another 150g of aged tenderloin

Twoppul Deungshim Seoul Finance Center Banchan JenCooksKorean

Nice and new charcoal grille with good ventilation

Twoppul Deungshim Seoul Finance Center Charcoal Grille JenCooksKorean

Cooking over the clean charcoal grille

Twoppul Deungshim Seoul Finance Center Banchan doenjangjjigae georanjjim JenCooksKorean

Banchan and Jjigae

Twoppul Deungshim Seoul Finance Center Banchan georanjjim JenCooksKorean

Beautiful steamy georanjjim a staple of the Korean BBQ banchan

Twoppul Deungshim Gwanghwamun

96-14 Nonhyeon-dong,
Gangnam-gu, Seoul,
South Korea.

Phone: 82 2-517-3794
http://www.dinehill.co.kr/new/src/twoPlus_about.asp

 

Tosokchon Entrance Ginseng Chicken Soup JenCooksKorean

Tosokchon Ginseng Chicken Soup

Tosokchon (토속촌) is a venerable Korean dining institution, serving one of the most traditional Korean dishes “samgyetang” 삼계탕 which is a soup with a young chicken stuffed with sticky glutinous rice, ginseng root, garlic, scallion, gingko nuts, and jujube. You can choose either a common white chicken or black chicken. In the states I have only seen this dish made with white chicken. I have never had a version in the states as good as Tosokchon’s. The flavor of the broth, perfect stuffing, and tender meat cannot be beat. This restaurant is the most famous location for samgyetang and definitely one to visit on a first trip to Korea. I highly recommend this as a tourism spot because the restaurant itself is in a beautiful old traditional Korean house with many rooms and a courtyard and serves a very authentic and tasty well priced meal. It is near other tourist spots such as the Blue House Presidential Residence, Gyeongbukgung Palace, Bukchon Hanok Village, Chunggyechon, and beautiful Samcheongdong. It is also two blocks away from a local marketplace, Tongjin Market, which has in my opinion, the best ddeokbokki in all of Korea. If you are going to Tosokchon, please save room for ddeokbokki later on.

Address Korean
5, Jahamun-ro 5-gil, Jongno-gu, Seoul
서울 종로구 자하문로5길 5 (체부동)

Address English
85-1 Chebu-dong, Jongro-gu, Seoul, South Korea

By Subway: Gyeongbokgung Station (Seoul Subway Line 3), Exit 2. Go straight about 170m and turn left onto Jahamun-ro 5-gil Road.

Open 7 days a week from 10AM to 10PM, accepts credit cards, tel 82-2-737-7444

Tosokchon Streetview Ginseng Chicken Soup JenCooksKorean

View of the restaurant from the street, from exit 2 of Gyeongbokgung Station walk straight 170meters then turn left

Tosokchon Entrance Rotisserie Ginseng Chicken Soup JenCooksKorean

Rotisserie chicken roasting in the window by the entrance

Tosokchon Entrance Courtyard Ginseng Chicken Soup JenCooksKorean

Covered interior courtyard you walk through to get to the back rooms where they serve the food

Tosokchon Menu Ginseng Chicken Soup JenCooksKorean

One of the many rooms of the restaurant. Tables are the traditional style low wood tables, you sit on a cushion/mat on the floor. The old fashioned wood menu shows just a few items but the menu is more extensive.

The beautiful white or black chicken soup is served with complimentary cabbage and radish kimchee. When you open the chicken the deliciously herbed sticky white rice with jujube, ginseng root, and gingko nuts emerge. All this together with some kimchee and broth make the perfect bite.

Tosokchon Ginseng Chicken Soup Kimchee JenCooksKorean

Samgyetang, chicken soup with rice and ginseng root, with the complimentary kimchee

Tosokchon Ginseng Root Chicken Soup Kimchee JenCooksKorean

Tosokchon Kitchen Ginseng Chicken Soup JenCooksKorean

New dishes are constantly coming out of the kitchen to the steady stream of customers, this large, multiroom restaurant has 420 seats

A shot of the menu. Assuming an exchange rate of $1= KRW 1,100, the prices are
Samgyetang (white chicken) KRW 15,000 / $13.65
Ogol Samgyetang (black chicken) KRW 22,000 / $20.00
Rotisserie Chicken KRW 14,000 / $12.75
Seafood Scallion Pancake KRW 15,000 / $13.65
Beer KRW 4,000 / $3.50
Soju KRW 3,000 / $2.75

Tosokchon Menu Full Ginseng Chicken Soup JenCooksKorean

Full Menu

I was not able to take a good video of this place but it gives you a bit of an idea of the bustling atmosphere.






rose apple tart recipe jencookskorean

Rose Apple Tart

Rose Apple Tart

These days it seems people are often inspired by beautiful food images of blogs or pinterest. I randomly came across this beautiful recipe for a rose apple tart while actually looking for walnut tart recipes and could not stop thinking about it. Being overeager on the first try, I ended up scrambling the pastry cream and overbaking the tart shell. The second try I heat up the milk for the pasty cream less and took the pot off the flame once the milk started to simmer. I was surprised how many roses I could make with just one apple and how the apricot glaze really prevented the apples from oxidizing. I made this around noon and the apples hadn’t oxidized yet when I brought them to a friend’s for dinner later that night.

I used BakingAMoment’s recipe for the walnut crust recipe and AllRecipes for simple pastry cream. My Kyocera mandoline was perfect for getting just the right thickness for the apple slices to assemble into the rose petals. I was actually on the fence about purchasing this mandoline because I had seen reviews saying it was too sharp and some people had gotten cut by it. However I love Kyocera’s products, particularly their paring knife for cutting fruit, so I gave it a try. I was really happy with the performance of the mandoline, it gave me precision cuts, and was very easy to clean and adjust between 4 thicknesses. (On a side note the mandoline also outperforms two truffle slicers I purchased and now I only use the mandoline for truffles). For this apple tart, I used the thinnest setting of 0.5mm.  I used 1 granny smith apple for the middle rose and 1 red delicious apple for the outer roses. On my long food to do list would be to remake this tart with light pink, red, and dark red for an ombre effect.

For this recipe you will need a mandoline, pastry brush, food processor, and tart pan.

rose apple tart ingredients

rose apple tart walnut shell

rose apple tart rose assembly

rose apple tart jencookskorean

rose apple tart jencookskorean

Rose Apple Tart

Rose Apple Tart

Ingredients

  • Crust
  • 2.5 C walnuts
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter (melted)
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 egg white
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Filling
  • 2 C milk
  • 1/4 C white sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 C corn starch
  • 1/3 C white sugar
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Apples
  • 1/4 C apricot preserves
  • 1/4 juice from 1 lemon

Instructions

  1. Pulse walnuts in food processor until crumblike consistency. Mix with remaining ingredients with a fork and press into a 9 inch tart pan. Bake at 375 for 10-15min, check on the tart shell as it bakes, if it starts to brown too much place a piece of tin foil over the tart shell to prevent burning.
  2. Bring milk and ¼ C sugar just to a simmer and turn off flame.
  3. Whisk together the 2 egg yolks and egg, stir in remaining sugar and cornstarch. Add this mixture to the warmed milk and sugar slowly while constantly whisking.
  4. Add in butter and vanilla and continue whisking until smooth. Strain this through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, place plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate pastry cream until chilled, about 2-3 hours.
  5. Fill tart with pastry cream. Wash then slice apples with mandoline on thinnest setting. Heat the apricot preserves with lemon juice in microwave for 15 seconds. Start assembly of roses, either brush the apricot and lemon mixture onto the apple before use or lightly dip both sides of the apple in the mixture before assembling. Use the smaller pieces to assemble the middle of the rose and work from the middle to the outside. Place the slices down in the pasty cream in alternating semi circle shapes.
http://www.jencookskorean.com/rose-apple-tart/

Gourmet 494 grocery store seoul

Gourmet 494 Food Court and Grocery at Galleria Apgujeong

Gourmet 494

One of my favorite things to do when I travel is check out the food markets of the area. I was excited to check out Gourmet 494 this time in Korea. It is a luxury food court and grocery store in the basement of the Galleria Department Store in Seoul. It seems luxury food markets are a trend these days, and the other highly recommended grocery I saw this time was SSG Food Market in Cheongdam (dare I say even more luxurious than Gourmet 494, read my review here *coming soon*). The space is large and can be accessed directly from the street or subway by escalator. The food court features many international shops such as The Cheesecake Factory and Eric Kayser while also featuring great Korean stores such as Ho Won Dang (the best ddeok in Korea the original store is near Ewha Women’s University) and new classics such as Vatos Tacos. I really liked that this food court was so beautiful with its dark wood and brass accents. There are many places to sit and eat and also free wifi. The grocery store is also fun to look around with its vast selection of international beers, European cookies, American classic snacks, and other produce. If you are shopping at Galleria or in the Apgu area I would highly recommend a stop at this food court and grocery store. The best thing I ate here was the dark Mexican chocolate churros at Churros 101.

Address & Accessibility
494 Apgujeong-dong, Gangnam-gu

고메이494
서울 강남구 압구정동 494
tel 02-3449-4114
By Subway: Exit 7 at the Apgujeong Rodeo subway stop on yellow Bundang line , in the basement of the West Building of the Galleria Department Store

Facebook Page

English Page

Food Court Map in Korean

Short video of some of the shops and groceries at Gourmet 494

The Entrance under the West Wing of the Galleria Department Store, accessible from street level and the subway by escalator

Gourmet 494 Galleria Seoul entrance

Gourmet 494 Galleria Food Court Seoul escalator

Some of the shops in the food court- Churros 101 (best churros! get the dark chocolate), Eric Kayser, The Cheesecake Factory, and Tartine mini pies

Gourmet 494 Churros Seoul Food Court
Gourmet 494 Eric Kayser Seoul Food Court
Gourmet 494 Tartine Pies Seoul Food CourtGourmet 494 Cheesecake Factory Seoul Food Court
Fell & Cole, interesting gelato and gelato sandwich shop with cool flavors like perilla leaf

Gourmet 494 Fell Cole Gelato Menu Grocery Store

Gourmet 494 Fell Cole Gelato Ice Cream Grocery StoreSoondooboo and BBQ Ribs

Gourmet 494 Soondooboo Seoul Food CourtGourmet 494 BBQ Ribs food court seoul
Some of the produce areas- expensive fruit, fancy lettuce, dried herbs, and the fishmonger

Gourmet 494 Fruit Grocery Store
Gourmet 494 Vegetables Grocery Store
Gourmet 494 Dried Herbs Grocery Store
Gourmet 494 Fishmonger Grocery Store