A visit to Yeongdongpogu Market

I’ve been to a few of Korean markets so far, there’s a great one that I walk to near my home; Namdaemun was a great time too but last Sunday I stopped at Yeongdongpo-gu Market.  I pass the self-titled subway stop for Yeongdongpo-gu Market every time I get on the train but it has taken me almost 4 months to actually check it out.

I got out of the subway and followed signs for the market to Exit 3.  On the street there no sign of a market but I kept walking straight following the crowd of Koreans.  At the end of the block I saw “Gate 3” and what looked like a subway entrance.  Turns out its actually a subterranean market!

CAM01324

Down below I wandered in between an array of stores and boutiques.  At first I worried that I wouldn’t find anything that suited my holiday gift ideas.  It needed to be authentic Korean, lightweight so I could ship it and I didn’t want it to just sit on a shelf.  Store after store displayed women’s clothing.  Each one had a tailor attached to but all I could find were dresses, skirts, blouses, and just about every type of FEMALE fashion item.

CAM01325

I texted a coworker to check if I had unknowingly walked into a market marketed to women.  She said I was just in the wrong section so I kept walking.  Turning the I found a rotunda with a small snack shop and display full of trinkets.  To my left was another long hallway; this time I could see stores of all kinds.

CAM01327

There were sock vendors, hat vendors, belt vendors, and vendors selling things I didn’t recognize.  I saw a guy selling men’s slacks and another store with all the jewelry you could imagine.  The corridor kept going and was packed with people.  Luckily there were a few other shops interspersed.  I found a phone store next to a snack shop where I could buy all the cases and phone accessories I ever dreamed of.  The market kept going and I picked up a few items before realizing there’s no way I would make it through the whole thing.  I just don’t have that kind of shopping stamina!

CAM01328

As I was heading back to the subway I noticed Lotte department store.  It was a lazy Sunday; why not check it out?  The first floor was littered with eateries.  I wouldn’t quite call it a food court since that elicits memories of cheap greasy food back home while these were exquisite bakeries and niche restaurants.  As I was strolling through my eyes became drawn towards a sushi display.  There before me delicately placed on tiny plates were dozens of different types of sushi lazily rotating around the top of a bar.

CAM01332

5gso6

I sat down and quickly realized that the color on the plate dictates how much it costs, plates can be as cheap as ₩1500 ($1.50) or as much as ₩8000 (8$) and usually had 2 pieces of sushi each.  As I was deciding what to grab first a miso soup was brought over along with a pitcher of water.  The waitress pointed out a wasabi reservoir and I made my own soy-wasabi mix before grabbing what looked like a crab sushi with eel on top.

CAM01334

CAM01335

It was delicious! I savored both bites before picking what looked like 2 Italian pom poms coated in buffalo sauce.  After taking the first bite I think it was some kind of tuna-crab mix and was actually coated in roe (fish eggs).  I couldn’t tell you much more about it other than the flavors exploded in my mouth while devouring the second.

CAM01337

My next choice was a bit of a dud.  The green leafy wrapping instead of seaweed gave a little too much crunch and a slightly off flavor for sushi.  My brother would have called the whole thing “rabbit food” and he wouldn’t be wrong about this piece.  Good thing it was only ₩2500($2.50)!

CAM01338

My last sushi had what I think was salmon on top of a creative concoction of crab and sauces.  It brought me back to the previous standard of deliciousness.  As I was debating getting another plate they dropped a fruit platter on the line.  This was a sign that it was time for dessert!  I waited patiently, hoping no one would take it before the fresh fruit got to my seat.  When it arrived I grabbed it and savored each bite of pineapple, wished there was more strawberry and wondered what the last bite was.  I thought it was a type of melon but it crunched and tasted more like an apple.

CAM01340 CAM01343

What are some of your exotic food experiences?  Has anyone seen a sushi bar like this back in the States?

2 thoughts on “A visit to Yeongdongpogu Market

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s