Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Review: Flying Pan Blue

Today is the first installment of my restaurant reviews for Seoul. I'm going to try and be as honest as possible and I really want to review more Korean restaurants than western ones (since, though there is a wealth of amazing Korean places to eat, there is a lack of English language reviews of any particular places). However, today's review is for one of my absolute favorite lunch spots in Seoul

Flying Pan Blue is the best place I have found in the city to cure your westerner bread-fueled desires. Lets face it, Koreans don't eat bread much so when they make bread it is typically a sorry substitute for what we westerners have taken for granted all our lives. A good, hearty, flavorful hunk of bread is pretty high on my list of things I miss from the States but, let me tell you, Flying Pan can help cure this longing. I am pretty sure they make their bread in-house but, if they don't, I need to find their baker so I can completely stock my freezer with enough bread to last me the rest of my time in Korea: it's THAT good.

Enough about the bread... ok, one more thing about the bread, this bread is so good that I would suggest not eating it while standing. Alright, now on to what they put on top of the bread. SeungHyun and I are still going strong on our vegetarian diets, so I opted for the open-faced poached egg and avocado pesto sandwich. I must say, this sandwich was damn good. The egg was a little over-done but the pesto was impeccable; heavy on the olive oil which was just what the bread needed. It came with a side salad, mayo potatoes, and a roasted tomato. The roasted tomato needed... something, it was a little bland except for the slight taste of char. However, I was tempted to order a bowl of the potatoes to go, the house mayo has a really wonderful texture and taste. The balsamic vinaigrette almost had me licking my plate (Koreans also have a difficult time making salad dressings that don't taste like dissolved jolly ranchers).
Behold, near lunch perfection
I went to lunch with my very good friend Kelley. She ordered the roasted vegetable panini and it was also very very good. A nice mixture of veggies with incredible cheese and, of course, great bread. We both had iced lattes and, I have to say, it was the best iced latte I've had outside of HyeHwa (I am convinced that HyeHwa has the best cafes in Seoul and I'll fight anyone who says different). The quote of the meal was shortly after taking the first sip of my coffee I turned to Kelley and said, stone faced, "do yourself a huge favor and taste that fucking latte."
The feast
The major issue with any western food in Seoul, as always, is the price. For my sandwich and an iced latte it would up costing about 23,000 won, which is painful to cough up when you can get equally delicious Korean food literally within spitting distance of wherever you are in the city for less than 10,000 (and that's when you have multiple courses). But, lets be honest, we are all willing to sacrifice our hard-earned money for a little taste of home from time to time.

Flying Pan has two locations: Blue and Red. Flying Pan Blue is in Itaewon. From Itaewon station take exit 2. Take your first left (small alleyway leading up a hill). The restaurant is in the basement just after the restaurant with a patio area. Flying Pan Red is in Gangnam, but I haven't been there, so I wouldn't feel comforatble giving directions without testing them first.

Do yourself a favor and DON'T go at peak meal hours and avoid this place like the plague on typical brunch days, you wont get a seat any time soon. They serve all-day brunch, which I hear is fantastic, but good brunches aren't as difficult to find as good sandwiches are, so I would recommend choosing something from the lunch menu.

1 comment:

  1. Really? 23,000? That makes me sad cause that sandwich looks awfully good.
    BTW, Mags, Catie and I may have found the new best place in Seoul for a vanilla latte and its in Suyu... That's not really my drink, but just thought you should know.