It all started this morning as I sat sipping my coffee and surfed the internet. Looking at the latest crop of blog updates I noticed Daniel Gray had a new post about Macaroni Market. I clicked through and something about his photo of the macaroni cheese stirred my passions.
I don't know what it was, but some baser instinct inside of me raised its ravenous head and I knew I had to head to Macaroni Market for lunch. I'd been there once before, the week of its opening, but had not had the time to venture back.
It still looks as stylish as ever and the waiter very kindly sat me next to the heater. Ordering was easy, I had my eye on one thing and one thing only: Macaroni & Cheese (11,000 won plus tax).
Beautifully toasted bread with the standard oil and balsamic vinegar dip came quickly, but I wished for my main dish, the holy grail of comforting baked pastas. And then it came...
This is not your mother's mac and cheese. This is a pumped-up, super-rich, indulgent bowl of creamy, cheesy goodness. Emmental, parmesan and two kinds of cheddar (New Zealand and Korean!) come together in a silky, sticky sauce covered with crunchy bacon and breadcrumbs and topped off with tiny shreds of lemon peel and parsley.
There is a depth of flavour to this macaroni and cheese that beggars belief. The richness of the sauce combined with the crispy bits of bacon and bread satisfied my stomach on a very deep level. And the lemon peel! Those tiny shards offered sniffs of lemony heaven with each gloopy bite.
This dish is not for the faint-hearted or the weak-stomached. It's a large portion that even had me struggling to finish. I'd recommend ordering it with a salad and sharing with a friend, but if you're in the mood for warming, cheesy comfort food, then this big bowl of macaroni fits the bill.
To get to Macaroni Market come out of Itaewon station and walk towards Hangangjin, past Hard Rock Cafe, Kraze Burger, Ali Baba and Villa Sortinos and you'll find yourself staring up at the restaurant. You can call them on 02 749 9181 and satisfy your cravings for cheesy pasta.
Mr. Gray and his seductive Seoul Eats are to blame for this wonderfully indulgent lunchtime! Now I have to go and work off all those calories...