Monday, September 13, 2010

New Food Court

The Gayang E-Mar-tuh has been in the process of remodeling for about a year, expanding upwards. The new Food Court is finally open, having moved from the ground floor to level 3. As you can see in the photo above, the Burger King and Baskin-Robbins are still with us, but alas! the Popeye's is gone, replaced by a 돈가스 donkaseu counter--that's schnitzel or breaded pork cutlets. This food court also has bibimbap (rice and vegetables), naengmyeon (iced noodles) and a traditional cuisine restaurant.

In a Korean food court, the Western-style restaurants work like usual--you walk up to the counter, place your order and wait for the counter person to put everything on your tray. But to eat Korean food, you first decide what you want by examining a glass case at the entrance containing models of all the food. Each choice has its name, the price and a number.

Once you decide what you want, you go to the cashier and tell her the number(s) of your choices, and tender your payment. She gives you a receipt with your order number on it. You find a place to sit and watch the digital display until your number comes up. Pick up your tray--remember to get your sucheo (utensils) as well; then enjoy.

The big news with the food court is the addition of an "Italian" restaurant called Spaghettia Classico. I was anxious to try it (I really like Korean food, but not for every single meal), yet I did not get my hopes up.

I ordered grilled chicken with mushroom risotto and a classic Caesar salad to go with it. Together with a glass of house white, the bill came to just under 30,000 W--quite pricey, but in line with what you'd pay in Itaewon, for example.

The presentation, as you can see, was quite good. And the taste, I am happy to report, was even better. The salad had the right amount of dressing, fresh parmesan grated by the server, and plenty of big tasty chunks of bacon. The chicken was delicious, and the big serving of risotto also savory, even if someone did get a bit heavy-handed with fresh-milled black pepper. Still, I happen to like black pepper.

This is the fourth installation of the Spaghettia Classico brand in Seoul, owned by Sun at Food, which is responsible for the Tony Roma's, Bistro Seoul and Mad for Garlic franchises, among others. The Spaghettia menu boasts pizzas, gratins, a variety of pastas and some steaks, so I'll be back to try some other items later. Losing the Popeye's doesn't seem so bad.


Chris said...

I believe one of that same chain is in Technomart. At least your nearby food court is all on one floor - at Technomart it is split between the basement and the tenth floor. I'm not quite sure what the logic is behind that, but ignoring the 11-story gap, there sure is a large selection.

I used to enjoy eating spaghetti at a chain called "il mare" - don't know if they're still around or not. They served oven-baked spaghettis, and I always got one style which had a layer of bread on top of the bowl. It was like your spaghetti was wearing a bread hat. But you can't eat that often, especially at 30,000 won a pop!

BTW, would you view that E-Mart as one of the larger E-marts? I used to think it was a big one, with more area and selection that others. Last time I went, I began to question that...

Chris said...

Popeye's is a rare indulgence for me. But I gotta love those biscuits.

I'm going to try to make cheese garlic biscuits next time. They used to serve something like that at Red Lobster back home.

Tuttle said...

I have eaten at Sindorim TechnoMart many times, but was not aware it was continued on the 10th floor! I'll have to check it out.

I don't know the last time you were at Gayang E-Mart, but during remodeling, they closed down large sections of each floor at one time or another--now that it's all done, it seems huge. Much bigger than the HomePlus nearby.