5.195 11d/5c/9l (1) Seoul: Haribut Fish & Chips

-Cycle 5, Item 195-
19 (Sat) July 2014

Haribut Fish & Chips


at Second Ground

-Itaewon, Seoul-

with Dominic

11d/5c/9l.  For 11 days--5-day workshop + 2-day holiday in Spain, airport layovers before and after--my itinerary will take me through 5 countries and 9 locales, more-or-less at dinnertime, providing me an opportunity to have dinner in all of them.  

I experienced a similar though totally unrelated trip a couple weeks ago, which had taken me through 9 cities (plus 2 meals in the air), in 7 countries in 16 days (see most recently 5.182 Har Gao).

This is Day 1.

Republic of Korea is Country 1.  

Seoul is Locale 1.  No direct flights from the Philippines to Europe, I'll be flying via Korea, a free day at home today. 

Yes, I've informed him of the typos, though it remains to be seen if ever he revises the menu.

MtG's fish & chips shop is now open for business, if only softly (see previously 5.174 Chinese Spread).  The grand opening is still to come.  In the meantime, he's trying out various menu options and fine-tuning recipes, though everything is mostly good to go.

Tartare Sauce (4.0)

The food could be great.   The fish was a huge fillet of halibut, battered and deep-fried to perfection.  However, the finished crust didn't adhere to the fillet, making everything kinda fall apart while eating.  Not a major problem as the taste/texture of both components were excellent in themselves.  On the other hand, the chips/fries were sadly limp. MtG explained that the supplier had provided the wrong variety of potatoes in the most recent delivery.  Not a major problem as I don't like chips/fries too much, but the deficiency would generally be unforgivable at a fish & chips joint.  Fortunately, to compensate for the bad, the tartare sauce that MtG and crew have developed is perhaps the best tartare sauce that I have ever experienced in my life.  Otherwise fairly standard but with minced scallions to freshen the vibe and enhance the other flavors--so good, in fact, that I suggested that they charge for it.  I'll be covering the restaurant again when it opens officially, at which point this may be the greatest fish & chips joint in the entire country.


  1. Haribut?

    Was he in any way influenced/inspired by you to go into the restaurant trade? What does compel one to start a restaurant just like that?

  2. misspelling of "halibut"

    i doubt that i directly influenced the decision in any way, though probably indirectly my on-going interest in cooking--not just me, but everyone in our camping group likes to cook--may have encouraged him.

    i think a lot of people think that starting a restaurant will be easy, and fun, and profitable. though most of them don't think things through and fail.

    so far, it seems that the restaurant, which he's doing with 2 other partners, is doing pretty well.

  3. 1) Yeah I was guessing that...
    Speaking of that; why don't people actually do some research so that the names and/or signage of their restaurant/store makes sense/is correct? I mean, some mistakes in the menu is okay and understandable, and can be easily fixed.. but a huge ass-sign is kinda of a hassle to correct...

    2) Exactly.. Isn't it often said that like 70 % or all restaurants fail within a year? Although I'm kinda suspious of "facts" like that, often the source is just "something I just pulled out of my ass"....

    3) I'm glad to hear that his restaurant is going well, and if it's still in operation next time I visit the southern republic, I will make an effort to visit it!

  4. 1) in fact, their slogan was "We are making a real beer battered fish!" I asked him about the "a," which unnecessary. But his reasoning, ironically, was that he was trying to be grammatically correct, and he was thinking that Koreans always forget to use the articles, "a/the," so he added "a." I asked him why hadn't he consulted me first, but he just shrugged. I dunno. I think they've corrected it on recent t-shirts.

  5. 1) They often use it unneccesarily as well, like in the case with MtG.... Anyway, 99,99 % of the questions are not going to be native English-speakers anyway, so no one besides us will probably notice and/or care....