We were lucky enough to win tickets to the K-Town pop up by Gizzi Erskine. If, like us, you’re not that familiar with Korean food this was a great introduction to the exciting things happening in the Seoul food scene. Gizzi of course had put her own special twist on things!
On arrival and during the event, we were served a selection of drinks and cocktails including mango and pomegranate juices, Korean beer, Soju (potato spirit liqueur) cocktail [which Jason tried a few combinations with different juices at the suggestion of our waiter], or the infamous “Somek” (soju and beer mixer – which we gave a miss).
Gizzi introduced Joe McPherson, President of Zenkimchi International that organises Food Tours in South Korea, who had helped her source some of the products needed for her dishes via Korea Foods. Gizzi mentioned she also used Turner & George and The Ice Cream Union for supplying the other products within her menu.
Hot Splash Sashimi with Ponzu and Korean Pepper
The dressing features ponzu a citrus based sauce that is poured onto the fish warm so that all the flavour infuses into the raw fish. Pretty as a picture this was a delicate start to a meal that was about to get very messy indeed!
LA Style Korea Town Crispy Tuna Rice
Based on spicy tuna rolls with gojuchang, which is a pungent fermented Korean condiment made from red chili, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans and salt, the crispy rice formed a nice contrast to the spicy topping.
This is where things started to get messy! Yukhoe is pulled pork which you roll up with kimchee (fermented cabbage with a variety of seasonings that had been pureed to make it easier to spread) in a lettuce leaf and then shovel it into your mouth quickly before bits start to drop everywhere. Ridiculously good, we stopped talking at this point so we could put our mouths to the better use of scooping tender pork into them.
Korean Fried Chicken – Gizzi’s Signature dish and favourite food!
Just look at the glossy pile of sticky chicken! And believe me it tasted every bit as good as it looked. The chicken had been marinated for 24 hours then confited and then fired so the meat was succulent and tender with a crisp coating. Then it got smothered in tangy suace and covered with sesame seeds. Definitely a five napkin job!
Hotdog Fried Rice
This was Gizzi’s playful take on Bibimbap, a traditional bowl of rice with raw toppings served in a steaming hot stone bowl. The ingredients are then mixed at the table and the heat of the bowl cooks the toppings. This one featured hotdogs with egg, so it was like a Korean version of the full English. Would definitely see you right after a heavy night on the tiles.
Hottek with miso ice cream
We were super stuffed at this point so I wasn’t really in a position to appreciate dessert. The pancake had lovely cinnamon notes. But I found this a bit too salty for my liking.
And a couple of discoveries from wandering around the festival:
Manomasa tortilla chips
I love the unusual flavours of these chips, such as manchego and green olive. They also have only natural ingredients, no orange MSG dusted triangles here! My favourite so far is the tomatillo salsa one, a lovely balance of heat, sweet and spice.
Thank you to Lynn for letting us try so many flavours.
These are artisanal desserts, perfect for when you want something a bit different as a treat. Again what I loved about this was the unusual flavours, especially the passionfruit and blood orange cheesecake. So dramatic and the flavours really shine through. They also come in beautifully coloured ceramic pots so you can dish them up at a dinner party and pass them off as homemade!
The Pots & Co website & their pics (as I forgot to take photos – too busy enjoying eating them!) of their amazing products: