Friday, June 17, 2011


I like big buns and I cannot lie, you oth… *ahem* Sorry about that..Well, today is Rotiboy/RotiMum/RotiPapa! I really don’t know the difference between the 3 chains, but they all have the delicious rotibuns. Their website might shed some light on it (, but I really didn’t care enough to go looking.

Rotibuns are actually a Malaysian bread based on a Mexican bread that’s been imported into Korea. A Korean dude was in Malaysia and said, “Hey, I like these! Koreans like bread! I’ll open a chain in Korea!” And so we have rotibuns in South Korea. Close enough to the real story at least… Anyway, the one in Yeongtong is a RotiMum and is located next to A Twosome Place across from the Yeongtong Kinex (and KFC). Rotibuns are also called “coffee buns” at some places, like Paris Baguette (I assume because rotibun is trademarked and because it has a light coffee-flavored sprinkling on top). Interestingly enough, “roti” means “bread,” so they’re literally “bread buns.” They often look like little hats because the bottom has flattened out around the edge. Mine that I got today just looks like a brown lump. :/

When you walk into one of the RotiWhatever stores, the first thing that’ll hit you is the smell of rotibuns baking. *sniifffff* Ahhh! The smell of them baking alone will make your mouth start to water – a sweet, buttery bun smell. And they taste just like they smell. They’re best when they’re fresh out of the oven, which is how they serve them typically. The inside is a sweet, buttery, light bread that melts in your mouth when they’re fresh. The outside is slightly crispy with a light coffee flavor. Mine had to endure a 15 minute walk home, so it doesn’t look quite as light and fluffy.

The RotiX stores will also sell other types of buns, like pumpkin, and coffee and maybe ice cream, too. Each one is a little different so it’s hard to keep track. The one here in Yeongtong has ice cream and coffee available. Rotibuns are fairly inexpensive at 2000 won each and are nice for alight snack while out for a walk. Some of the other buns will run you about 5000 won, but eh, who wants anything besides a rotibun anyway?

So if you haven’t tried a rotibun yet, stop into your local RotiBoy/Mum/Papa store and give one a go -They’re definitely worth it!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Izakaya (Maetan-dong and Yeongtong)

And….back to South Korea. Let’s start back up with one of my favorite Japanese ramen places: Izakaya. The location that I typically go to is located in Maetan-dong in front of Samsung (this location is now closed or has moved elsewhere and I haven't found it again yet). There is a location in Yeongtong, but the exact location escapes me – I think it’s on the street that runs along the side of KFC, but I’ll have to double-check that. I’ve never been to the one in Yeongtong because I’m more familiar with places in front of work.

It's to the right of Freshburger (which I DO NOT recommend).

They serve a few other things besides ramen here, like some donkasu and random other dishes that I have no clue what they are. Izakaya is nice for a quick, cheap lunch or dinner: the bowls of ramen average about 6500 won and the sets, which come with a smaller bowl of ramen and variety of choices for cutlet on rice, for an average of 10500 won. The rice and donkasu bowls on their own aren’t very filling, so I’d recommend getting a set. I’m not sure what kind of ramen comes with the set and I’m too sure on getting it replaced with a different type. I know that one time I went with a Korean friend and he was able to get them to substitute the miso ramen for me. I should probably note that the only ramen I’ve eaten at Izakaya is the miso: they have two different kinds of miso ramen. The one I get most often is on the first page of the menu and has the spicy symbol next to it. I prefer the miso ramen because the soup base is miso instead of a fish base, which is what the other ramen soup bases taste like to me (I don’t like fish). The other miso ramen is on the third page of the menu and has half of a boiled egg on top and comes with mushrooms and 3 pieces of pork as opposed to 1 with the ramen that I always get.

As you can see, the ramen is topped with a copious amount of bean sprouts, corn, green onions, a piece of seaweed, and a piece of pork. This is the one I typically get because I always pick the pork out and feel better about taking out 1 piece instead of 3 :). Now, I love seaweed, but the seaweed they use in the ramen taste a little off to me, so I usually try to pick its sogginess out of my noodles, too. The ramen also comes with a little side of kimchi and pickled radishes. The kimchi here is hit and miss – sometimes it’s good, sometimes it just taste like old, nasty, spicy cabbage. The radishes, however, I love: I think they’re marinated in soy sauce or crack (much like the jjangjorim at Bon Juk).

I haven’t tried many things here since a lot of the ramen has seafood in it, but my Korean friends enjoy those ramens quite well. They also have dumplings on the menu as a side item that are baked instead of fried. I think they’re “gyozo” on the menu instead of “mandu,” but they’re the first item under Side Orders on the menu.

So yeah, I can’t really read the menu very well at Izakaya and can’t tell you much about most of the food, but I know the one thing that I always order is enjoyable and I probably look something like Naruto while I’m eating my ramen.
*image copyright VIZ Media

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Lambert's Cafe II

So, I was back in the U.S. for a couple of months for family reasons, so I haven’t tried any places in Yeongtong for a while. However, there is a restaurant in Ozark, Missouri that is a great place to visit for good, down-home, Southern cooking: Lambert’s. There are 3 Lambert’s located in the U.S. with the 1st one being in Sikeston, Missouri (in the southeastern part of the state – a.k.a. the bootheel), and the 3rd one is in Alabama. This one in Ozark is Lambert’s CafĂ© II and is located between Springfield, MO and Branson, MO on highway 65. If you’re passing through Missouri on I-44 or US-60, it’s not much off your path to pay this place a visit – it’s well worth it!

Their website ( gives directions and offers a view of their menu. They don’t take debit/credit cards or reservations, so make sure you have cash on hand and time to wait (usually no less than half an hour).

The best thing, in my opinion, is the “pass arounds.” Servers walk around the restaurant with bowls of fried okra, fried potatoes, macaroni and tomatoes, black-eyed peas, and rolls and sorghum. One of most distinguishing features about Lambert’s, though, is the rolls aren’t just “passed around” but chucked at you across the restaurant by a server. Do people ever miss? Sure. Do people ever get whomped upside the head with a hot roll? You betcha. It just adds to
the experience.

This is the fried okra:

And this is the fried potatoes:

The other interesting thing is that the whole menu is pretty much all-you-can-eat. If you’ve finished your plate and want more, you just ask – that is if you’re able to squeeze anything else in after stuffing yourself full of delicious rolls with butter melted over the warm, yummy goodness…mmmm… warm, buttered rolls…

Ahem, anyway, the food is quite good and you definitely get your money’s worth: most all of the meals are only $11.99, plus all the “pass arounds.” At this outing, I had the meatloaf for some reason despite not being a big meatloaf fan – it just sounded good, and meatloaf is always a good comfort food. And it was. Just the right amount of seasoning and ketchup crust (top).

My meatloaf dinner:

My brother had the charbroiled chicken breast and seemed to like it despite thinking it was a little bit dry.

Ken had the chicken fried round steak (hen’s portion) and demolished it pretty well.

On the way out of the store there’s a gift shop if you feel the need to have a reminder of your visit other than the stretched waistband of your pants. You can also purchase rolls by the dozen for take out…mmm…rolls…