Boiling Crab – Southern U.S Louisiana style seafood restaurant in Seoul

Everyone misses certain foods from back home when they’ve been away for a while. Me, I tend to miss the food from the places I visited while I was away from home.

That’s one reason I love Seoul. It has so many foods I miss from the places I’ve been. I’ve been wanting for the flavors of one special place that has provided me with so many of my favorite gastronomic experiences. Thinking back, I recall the ecstasy of the crawfish Étouffée at Commander’s Palace and the crunchy, sweet meatiness of the fried soft-shell crabs out by the river near Jean Lafitte in Jefferson Parish.  I fondly remember helping to heft an enormous burlap sack of writhing crawfish into a purging basin as I learned how to do a proper crawfish boil in the back of a friend’s house that looked out onto the bayou.

I’m talking about the food of New Orleans, Louisiana. After regular exposure to such fare, not eating it for an extended period can result in a serious nervo-gastric condition called crustacean frustration. Luckily, The Boiling Crab has a remedy.

Down ’bouts N’awlins they boil up all manner of goodness in giant pots and kettles. Before your eyes, any sort of crustacean might be bubbled into a spicy mix of deliciousness. It’s best to not even differentiate between sides and mains; it’s all cooked in the same pot and served together, dumped onto newspaper in the middle of the table.

At The Boiling Crab, they do about as well as it gets outside Louisiana. Truth be told, when we first walked up and saw the sign – “Louisiana Style Cajun” – we scoffed.  How is anyone going to serve a proper crab boil (which takes hours to prepare) to the hurry-up diners of Seoul? It didn’t get much better when we saw a couple of girls wearing disposable gloves and lobster bibs trying not to muss their makeup at the next table. “Amateurs,” we thought. When paper was rolled out over our table we began to reconsider. Bibs were offered but we turned them down. We had come appropriately dressed, in clothes we didn’t mind dirtying.

The Boiling Crab has a number of options for your boil including combos and individual items. The three combos (recommended) include Korean blue crab, shrimp and snow crab. Along with your main you will find mussels, clams, scallops, corn, potatoes and sausage. There’s also a decent selection of fried items, which is a must if you really want to taste the South. We opted for the shrimp combo and the fried soft-shell crabs, ordered our drinks and settled down for the wait.

In the meantime, a bucket for shells and cobs was brought to the table along with my San Miguel. The wait for the boil wasn’t quick, but I wouldn’t call it slow. It told me things were being prepared fresh; seasoning wasn’t just being drizzled over the top of quick-made food.

Finally, our meal emerged: spicy boiled goodness, neatly contained in an oven-safe bag. They cut the bag open and dumped the normal mess out. We found cooking the seafood in a bag helped speed up the cooking process, and allowed flavors to mingle and penetrate more thoroughly in less time. From experience, we could tell that some things had been pre-boiled, like the potatoes. This was part of the time-saving solution they came up with to actually boil your meal while you wait. They were still good. The sausage was not andouille, but good quality. We could also tell that beer had not been used in the boil preparation, and asked, just to be certain. Both are nice to have, but not totally necessary.

The important stuff – the seafood – was tender and full of flavor. You can choose the spiciness of your dish on a scale of one to three. We chose two, which was just right. Especially notable was the use of garlic. In a normal boil, whole cloves of garlic are tossed in, then eaten later. Here the garlic had been chopped – showing more care than we expected – and it was terrific. The savory warmth was delicious. Although not authentic, this is an improvement that made up for the other shortcomings.

In all, it was thoroughly satisfying and enjoyably messy. Oh, and that soft-shell crab? It was exactly the hot, sweet, crunchy meatiness I had been longing for. Frustration ended, remedy enjoyed.

MENU 

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1. Big Size Black Tiger Shrimp Combo

대왕 새우 콤보 (Big Size Black Tiger Shrimp Combo)
대왕 새우 2마리 포함 (Big Size Black Tiger Shrimp 2 pcs Included)

PRICE : 69,000 WON (2~3인분,2~3 Person)

딱새우,골벵이,홍합,백합,가리비,옥수수,감자,소세지 포함
also includes Rock Shrimp,Sea Conch,Mussels,Clam,Scallop,Corn,Potato,Sausage (included)

784f9af8_c5a9b1e2baafc8af_img_0050

2. Snow crab combo 

PRICE : 85,000 KRW (3~4인분 Person)
홍합,백합,새우, 골뱅이,옥수수,감자,소시지 포함.
Mussels,Clam,Shrimp,Sea Conch,Corn,Potato,Sausage (included)

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3. Robster Tail Combo

랍스터 테일 콤보입니다.랍스터 테일 2개 (Lobster Tail  2 pcs Inc)
PRICE : 85,000 KRW  (2~3인분 Person)
홍합,백합,새우,옥수수,감자,소시지 포함.
Mussels,Clam,Shrimp,Corn,Potato,Sausage (included)

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4. Seafood Combo

All in one…
PRICE : 44,000 KRW (2~3인분 Person)
새우,골벵이,홍합,백합,가리비,감자,옥수수,소시지
Sea Conch,Scallop,Mussels,Clam,Shrimp,Corn,Potato,Sausage (included)

5. KOREAN CRAB 
 (Korean Crab ) it’s not a combo.
PRICE : 15,000 KRW  (for one serving)

(Korean Crab Combo)
44,000원 (2~3Person)
홍합,백합딱새우,옥수수,감자,소시지 가 포함
Mussels,Clam,Rock Shrimp,Corn,Potato,Sausage (included)

Side Order(추가 주문)
*대게 한쪽 (Grand Crab 1 Section):20,000 KRW(크기에 따라  가격변동 있을 수 있습니다)
*랍스터 테일1개(Lobster Tail 1EA):20,000 KRW
*대왕 새우 한마리(Grand Big Size Black Tiger Shrimp 1EA):18,000 KRW
*감자(Potato):2,000 KRW
*옥수수(Corn):2,000 KRW

*소시지(Sausage):2,000 KRW
*자스민 라이스(Jasmine Rice):2,000 KRW

*위의 것은 물론,단품으로 판매되는 모든 것을 따로 추가 주문하실 수 있습니다.
상기 사진은 감자,옥수수가 추가된 사진입니다.(This picture is image cut with corn & potato)

6. Boiled Shrimp

메콤한 쏘스에 빠진 중하 새우…
PRICE : 15,000원(1인분  Per Person, Shrimp 15ea)


Side Order(추가 주문)
*대 게 한쪽(Grand Crab 1Section):20,000 KRW(크기에 따라  가격변동 있을 수 있습니다)

*랍스터 테일1개(Lobster Tail 1EA):20,000KRW
*대왕 새우 한마리(Grand Big Size Black Tiger Shrimp 1EA):18,000 KRW
*감자(Potato):2,000 KRW
*옥수수(Corn):2,000 KRW
*소시지(Sausage):2,000 KRW
*자스민 라이스(Jasmine Rice):2,000 KRW
*위의 것은 물론,단품으로 판매되는 모든 것을 따로 추가 주문하실 수 있습니다.

7. Boiled Rock Shrimp Combo ( Seasonal Menu)

Rock Shrimp from Jeju Island

평상시 쉽게 접하지 못하는 제주산 딱새우…(Seasonal).
PRICE : 16,000 KRW  (2인분 Person)
감자,옥수수,소시지 포함. 
Potato,Corn,Sausage included


Side Order(추가 주문)
*대 게 한쪽(Grand Crab 1Section):20,000원(크기에 따라  가격변동 있을 수 있습니다)
*랍스터 테일1개(Lobster Tail 1EA):20,000원

*대왕 새우 한마리(Grand Big Size Black Tiger Shrimp 1EA):18,000원
*감자(Potato):2,000원
*옥수수(Corn):2,000원
*소시지(Sausage):2,000원

*자스민 라이스(Jasmine Rice):2,000원
*위의 것은 물론,단품으로 판매되는 모든 것을 따로 추가 주문하실 수 있습니다.

8.  Boiled Scallop

부드러우면서 매운맛….
PRICE : 12,000원 (8~9ea)
단일 품목으로 판매하지 않습니다. 추가 사항입니다.(Just add item)

Side Order(추가 주문)
*대 게 한쪽(Grand Crab 1Section):20,000원(크기에 따라  가격변동 있을 수 있습니다)
*랍스터 테일1개(Lobster Tail 1EA):20,000원

*대왕 새우 한마리(Grand Big Size Black Tiger Shrimp 1EA):18,000원
*감자(Potato):2,000원
*옥수수(Corn):2,000원
*소시지(Sausage):2,000원

*자스민 라이스(Jasmine Rice):2,000원
*위의 것은 물론,단품으로 판매되는 모든 것을 따로 추가 주문하실 수 있습니다.

Getting there

The Boiling Crab is located in Itaewon, in the alleyway behind McDonald’s. Leave Itaewon Station, Exit 4, and find your way south to the alleyway, which runs parallel to the main street. Head west, toward Noksapyeong Station. It’s opposite Homebase. It’s closed on Tuesdays.

Online

Find more information at www.boilingcrabshrimp.com.

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Magpie, a focus on simplicity ; Good brewery in itaewon, seoul

Author: 
Photos by: 

As someone who reviews things food- and brew-related regularly, I’ve got a checklist. Yes, I know having a checklist for a brewpub sounds a bit uptight, but quality control in reviewing is nearly as important as it is in brewing. The point here is that you will find there are things that you need and things that you don’t need in order for a brewpub to be great. At the Magpie Brewing Company, the list of “checks” is a short one:

— Good Beer – check

 Good People – check

 Roof/Walls/Seats – check

There is a simplicity to Magpie that can’t be found except on rare occasions. For a beer purist, visiting Magpie is not unlike having an epiphany — a stroke of clarity. It’s similar to the feeling you get when you find something treasured that you had given up for lost. 

Started as a “brew kitchen,” Magpie has not developed its interior much past that. Upon entering, you will find it quite bare. The modern metal and concrete of the building have been dressed with little more than lights. Stools line the bar and a single standing table. Jars of barley and glass beakers sit out on the counter near the tap and large kettles rest upon a stove behind the bar. More beer brewing gear sits neatly about than there is equipment to serve patrons. Despite the sparse interior, there is an unexplainable warmth. Perhaps it comes from good vibes stored during the colder months. Perhaps it is the warmth of the kitchen, coming from the heat of the stove and the boiling kettle. Maybe it is just the warmth from my second or third pint of pale ale. Or was it porter …

In addition to whatever seasonal concoction has been conjured up by its crew, Magpie maintains two flagship brews. The porter is correctly described as warm and dark. Easy drinking for such a dark beer, it is gentle and not at all bitter, but still maintains a sufficient complexity to keep your interest past the first pint. It’s really enjoyable. The pale ale is a hoppy, citrusy American adaptation of an India Pale Ale (IPA), adjusted ever so slightly for Korea. What that boils down to is a dark, golden-amber color (a not-so-pale ale) with that cloudy hint that unfiltered craft beers should have. Nicely sweet, but not overly so, it is a dream come true for folks like me who enjoy the style. Both beers come in nice full pints.

My only reservation is thus. Having grown too big for its britches, most of the brewing is now done off-site at KaBrew, where other local notables do their craft work as well. While this does detract slightly from the overall authenticity of the ultra-micro-craft brewer, it is also a necessary step required to simply provide enough beer to meet demand (or most of the demand anyway). The beer is still great; the attention to quality and to preserving what was created in the original kitchen is still present. 

Also, because of the outsourcing, the owners need not spend 28 hours a day brewing beer. They can serve customers, teach brewing classes (contact info@MagpieBrewing.com for details) and have lives outside brewing. 

The growth in Magpie’s popularity has led to other changes as well, such as a need to expand physical space, not just brewing volume. 

Magpie’s new basement brewpub has just opened right next to the current location. This new location offers Magpie beers and homemade pizza, plus it’s open a little later. The old location is transitioning into a growler/bottle shop where you can get a pint while picking up a two-liter bottle (glass of course) for home. 

Magpie isn’t a place for a quick bite to eat or a romantic dinner (unless you brought your own food). Nor is it a cocktail bar to hang out in and look chic. It also isn’t a mega-bar with dozens of beers and scores of tables. While none of these other types of places are bad (in fact, some are now greatly improved as they carry Magpie on tap — be sure to ask at Reilly’s Taphouse, Maloney’s, Phillies, and Vatos to name a few), they aren’t simply about the beer. At Magpie Brewing Co. it is simply about the beer. Simply good beer.


GETTING THERE

Magpie Brewing Company is located in Gyeongnidan/Itaewon, just behind the Baker’s Table.

용산구 이태원동 691번지 (Yongsan-gu, Itaewon-dong 691)

MORE INFO

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 4-11 p.m. Visit www.magpiebrewing.com or find them at Facebook.com/magpiebrewing 

Twitter.com/MagpieBrewing.

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This article is from ‘groovekorea’