I mentioned Daniel Gray/ SeoulEats in my first post in Seoul and if you are interested in food in Korea you have probably already heard of him and what he does. In short, he does guided food tours of Seoul.
If you haven’t been to Seoul you might go “huh, why do I need a food tour? I’ll just go to some nice restaurants and grab some street food“.
And in most cities and with most cuisines you can do that; a combo of google maps, twitter, blogs, Chowhound, review sites like Yelp or Openrice and you can organise a pretty good food trip yourself. However, Seoul is different.
Bluntly, its a bloody maze. You will be lost 100% of the time, all the time. There is scant English language content on it and much of what there is is thoroughly out of date.
This is because the culture of Korea is even more opaque than Japan as Koreaophilia isn’t as omnispresent as Japanophila; I mean everyone loves Japan. In fact, I am probably the founding and only member of Koreaphiles – the HK chapter.
The result of this is that when you go on a food tour with SeoulEats you get an insight to a city or culture that you just won’t be able to decode yourself. One of the basic advantages is that you have someone who can guide you around and make sure you don’t get lost. More importantly, is that there is someone who knows the food and can place it and the way it is served in a social and historical context.
That might all sound a bit pompous but at its most basic level it is explaining why there are all these tents serving food in one of the richest cities I have ever been to, which Grandma serves the best late night snacks, how to drink a bucket of makgeolli, why Koreans love getting drunk and what they get drunk on and guiding you through all the types of Korean food you’ve never heard of.
So as is evident, I highly recommend doing a food tour with SeoulEats if you go to Seoul. It isn’t even expensive as it includes all the food and alcohol and given the amount of alcohol I drank, Dan Gray probably ran a loss that night