battery park restaurant review {seoul}

If you are living in Seoul or planning on visiting, you must visit Battery Park located near Myeong Dong station.  (From exit 4, walk straight a few minutes, and you’ll see the State Building. Take the escalator down and you’ll see it across the Starbucks.)  Little did I realize that my cousin, who is a few years older than me has become a restaurant mogul  in Seoul. He has recently opened multiple restaurants, ranging from Korean, Japanese, fusion, and even an American brunch place in the works. And, I’m in the midst of convincing him to open a Korean restaurant in Singapore (of course).

During my short and unexpected visit to Seoul a month ago, I was able to finally visit two of his restaurants that are located in the Myeong Dong State Building. We had a big family dinner after my grandmother’s burial service at his two restaurants. They are actually located right next to each other. One is called Battery Park and the other one is Kobachi. The “younger” adults, went to Battery Park, a fusion place, while the “older adults” went to Kobachi, a Japanese place.

I really loved the modern and clean interior of Battery Park. I was impressed with their menu and range of choices. They even had beer from Craftworks Taphouse there. Well, I quickly learned that when your cousin is the owner, we get great service and selection of food! He ordered us appetizers and entrees from the menu. There was a delicious salad with grapes and goat cheese. I specifically asked for the fig & prosciutto pizza with pesto sauce, which was well worth it. There were also some unique fusion dishes like the spicy pasta with pigs intestine (Korean dish).  I also really recommend the black sesame cream spaghetti! That might have been my favorite after the pizza.

Battery Park also has a great selection of bar food including big hamburgers with lots of french fries! We tried another fried platter that included fried chicken, onion rings, fries, and more. At this point, I was getting pretty full as the entrees kept coming out. My cousin even sent over a few sushi platters from next door. It was quite the interesting, but delicious combo of dishes. I knew my grandmother was smiling down on us. She would have been so proud to actually come to one of my cousin’s restaurants in person. She was definitely one of the best cooks I knew.

Obviously, there’s always room for dessert! Battery Park had some unique and delicious dessert dishes including a dropped ice cream cone, banana pudding, and Oreo cheesecake. I admit at this point, I could barely shove any more food in, but I tried. I’m always a sucker for good banana pudding. They actually opened a second location of Battery Park in the new Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park! I hope that all of my fellow foodies and bloggers (ahem, Melody, Dyanne, Elaine, Derek) in Korea will add this restaurant to their list of places to check out! 🙂

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Searching for the Best Pizza in Singapore

As a New Yorker, I hold good pizza close to my heart. Good pizza is something that I’ve been looking for these past few months here in Singapore. I’ve tried a few different reputable Italian restaurants. I went to La Forketta in Dempsey Hill and Pizzeria Mozza in the Marina Bay Sands Mall. Pizzeria Mozza is a “celebrity” restaurant, since it is opened by Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali, and Joe Bastianich. I was particularly excited to check out Mozza, since I can depend on Mario Batali for good pizza, like in his restaurant Otto in NYC.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the pizza at La Forketta that I ordered. It was prosciutto with rucola and cost $35! The other dishes that my friends ordered seemed to be delicious as well. The restaurant also had a nice ambience with high ceiling and nice decor. The only downside beside the expensive prices was the slow service.

   

Pizzeria Mozza had a completely different vibe inside than La Forketta. This was the “cheaper” side of the restaurant with wooden tables, noisier crowd and slightly cheaper prices for the same food served at Osteria Mozza. On the menu, they had a wide range of pizzas. I had trouble deciding on one, and ended up going with the pizza my waiter recommended, the Burrata, slow roasted tomato & Sicilian oregano pizza.  This pizza was delicious and I would definitely order it again.

For dessert, I got the olive oil and peanut butter gelato! Both flavors were delicious and fresh. The service overall was pretty good. They even gave my friend an extra dish for service, because her dish came out a bit late. I will definitely be going back for more pizza soon!   

Celebrating a Birthday Vatos Style

It’s always a treat when I get to go to Vatos in Itaewon. I remember the first time I went on a cold December evening, where my friend Joebo, who was visiting, introduced me to the place. He was friends with one of the owners which is no surprise since most Korean-Americans are connected to each other in one way or another. That was when I first tried their kimchi carnitas fries. This is probably the best thing on their menu. Make sure to get the nutella nachos for dessert!

Last Friday, we went there to celebrate our favorite French-Canadian friend Joelle’s birthday. It was a night full of loud laughter, good food and drinks. I’m glad that we could get a reservation for a Friday night! Their kimchi carnitas fries never disappoint! Their tacos are delicious and filling, plus the complementary salsa and chips are an extra bonus. They leave you wanting more. After a lot of eating and celebrating, we left pretty full and satisfied. Make sure to make reservations before if you are going during dinner and on the weekend!

For directions, go to the website: http://vatoskorea.com/