We do not like to follow around flag-wielding tour guides when we travel. Its better to explore and discover on our own - Easy and Not Free (but Cheap). And this includes discovering Halal eateries. Of course with the many websites and google, we can prepare ourselves on the dining options our destination has to offer, as part of our trip planning.
On our recent Winter trip to Seoul - we did not starve :-)
First logical place to look for Halal eats and groceries in Seoul is the Itaewon area, especially the area around the Seoul Central Mosque. Its a ghetto like place lined with Muslim (mainly Indian/ Pakistani) businesses and restaurants. Warning though: The place is also home to many Pubs and Bars...so, best to avoid the place in the evenings.
Elsewhere in Seoul:
At the Insadong shopping street, you can get Halal North Indian food at the Nirvana Halal Indian Kitchen. They serve the typical Biryani, Curries and Naan.
Nirvana Halal Indian Kitchen
58 Insadong-gil, Gwanhun-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Walk further South, there is another Halal Indian restaurant -
99 Cheonggyecheon-ro, Gwancheol-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul, South Korea
We headed for Yang Good Restaurant for our fix of barbecued lamb and beef - Korean style of course.
Yang Good Restaurant
15 Nonhyeon-ro 95-gil, Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea
By the way, Yang (羊) means sheep (in Chinese).
At Nami Island
We spent the whole daylight hours at Nami Island. For lunch, we headed for
Asian Cuisine Restaurant which serves your typical Korean fare with sides (Bancan). For convenience, there is a very spacious musollah on the 2nd floor of the building.
Other options -
You do get stalls selling Halal food at the weekend night market at Insadong and Myeongdong.
Or, if you are in an apartment with kitchen facilities - buy some local ingredients at their markets and supermarkets and Cook!
Its a Sunday and we feel like having authentic Malay Kampung (Village) dishes for lunch. So we drove 100 km to a Kampung in Johor (Teluk Sengat in Kota Tinggi district). We came across this restaurant at the junction of road J92 (enroute to Desaru) and J222 (Jalan Teluk Sengat) - Masakan Kampung Ibrahim (Ibrahim Kampung Dishes).
We had rice with Gong-Gong (Conch/ Sea Snails)...
which, we can get in Singapore...and Asam Pedas Ikan Sembilang (Cat-fish in Chili Tamarind Broth)...
which, we can get in Singapore....but mostly at my my Mom's place....and Horseshoe Crab (Belangkas)...
which I have not eaten in yonks: Oh wait...as of 2 weeks ago: I had the same dish in another restaurant in Kota Tinggi 2 weeks ago when I had a craving for this Living-Fossil-of-an-animal which looks like something out of an Alien movie. (Small piece of wiki information: Its blood is blue in colour and used for the detection of bacterial endotoxins in medical applications).
I believe, to the Kota Tinggians, Belangkas is not as exotic as what we urbanites think. It is available in abundance in Kota Tinggi, especially during the spawning season. This dish must be properly prepared, as some parts of the animal can be toxic. The eggs are prized while the flesh are normally sparse. The flesh tastes like chicken+mud-crab and the eggs tastes like little beads of egg yolk. Locals cook it in Asam Pedas (Chili Tamarind) or Lemak Chili Padi (Coconut and birds eye chili) broth.
After the most satisfying lunch, we traveled further down Jalan Teluk Sengat to the scenic and breezy village and bay area.
Location of Kedai Masakan Kampung Ibrahim
Location of Medan Selera Teluk Sengat
Here, we share some of our Halal eatery finds.