Thursday, July 27, 2006

9 2 3 3 CHU KU MEE GRILLED OCTOPUS BAR Tel: 02 568 9233

Cross the road outside the Oakwood Coex serviced apartment in Gangnam-Gu using the pedestrian crossing on your right, and head up the small road in front of you. Restaurant 9 2 3 3 is about 200 metres up on your right (if you get to the Family Mart on your left you have gone too far).

At night after work, Koreans like to head to a cafe for a bite to eat, some drinks of Soju and a relaxed chat. These local neighbourhood cafes are a more economical way of eating out in Seoul, with plastic chairs and aluminium tables and no frills. But the food is really good, the Kimchi is fresh and tasty and the staff will always help you even if your Korean is not so great.

The 9 2 3 3 cafe is one of these joints, specialising in grilled Octopus (which has to be the most yummy way to cook octopus). Tables have central grill points and if busy, the owner will bring an extra table onto the pavement and has a small mobile gas grill for your food.

We ordered a big tray of octopus in a spicy sauce, with roughly chopped onions, mushrooms, leeks and side orders of bean shoots, cabbage and kimchi. As the gas fires away underneath the tray, the octopus and vegetables sizzle away, the sauce blackening and caramalising underneath, making the most delicious tit bits to eat with your chopsticks. A metal scraper comes with the food , so you can scrape these bits up and turn the food to cook it.

It is a a lovely way to spend and evening with friends, and won't break the bank. A meal for two with a few beers will come to around 50,000.

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