Monday, June 1, 2009

Crap Kebabs and Sloppy Salads

Santorini

Just round the corner from the Hamilton Hotel lies the only Greek restaurant I have ever seen in Seoul. I've walked past it many a time over the past few years, but always been put off by the rather shoddy looking exterior and a strange sense of foreboding. However, after being inspired by the antics of Stavros Flatley over the past few weeks, I decided to give it a go.

We ordered the "Spinach Pie" (spinach and feta cheese in filo pastry) for 8,000 won, the "Pork Souvlaki" for 19,000 won and the "Chicken Souvlaki" for 18,000 won. Excited by the prospect of delicious Mediterranean food, we eagerly waited for our dishes to arrive.

Santorini

The complimentary salad thrust our way was a bad sign of things to come. I'm not a huge fan of chopped salads, but this one was sloppily presented on top of a pool of watery dressing.

Santorini

Then came the spinach pies. These looked delicious enough, but upon closer inspection turned out to be hot on the outside and rather cold in the middle. Suspecting something was amiss we informed the waiter, he didn't seem surprised by this occurrence and replaced the dish with some speed.

Santorini

The substitute pies were warm all the way through, but did nothing wonderous for our taste buds. Just limp spinach, a slight hint of feta (and possibly coconut according to my wife) aswell as the crisp filo pastry. The souvlaki arrived hot on their heels...

Santorini

This photo doesn't do justice to the pork souvlaki, it makes it look far prettier than it really is.  The kebabs themselves weren't terrible, but quite dry and unimpressive. The fried potatoes were limp, the wrong side of warm and looked very much as if they had spent the past few days languishing in the fridge. The ball of rice was stodgy and added nothing to the dish, while the two salads provided were, in the words of my wife "terrible". Even the parsley looked like it had seen better days and the pita bread provided was soggy and past its prime.

Santorini

The dishes were very disappointing for their high prices and the arrangement of food on each plate suggested that things had been thrown together rather than artfully arranged. It lacked a feeling of love and care and felt much more like something from the school cafeteria. Our worst meal in Itaewon for quite a while and with a grand total of 49,500 won, a costly mistake.

Santorini

If you really want to run the gauntlet of over priced, under-cooked Greek food then head out of Itaewon station, round the back of the Hamilton Hotel and you'll find Santorini opposite Gecko's Garden. You can call them on 02 790 3474, but if I were you I wouldn't bother...

4 comments:

Sean Choe said...

I love here. Greek food is just lovely. :)

Paul Ajosshi said...

I'm glad you've had better experiences than me. I hope our lunch was an exception.

Fatman said...

We were just there this weekend, and thought that while it wasn't bad, it was underwhelming and overpriced. Moussaka lacked the requisite richness, and the spanikopita appeared to have been deep fried. The assorted dip appetizer was bland, and served with french bread which didn't match anywhere near as well as pita would have. However, to be fair all our Korean companions were quite taken with the place. There's another Greek restaurant by Hongdae, and we've heard rumors of others in the same area. Sadly, we think it unlikely that Koreans are going to cotton to Greek food anytime soon, particularly since lamb is still quite unpopular. Best bet in the meantime is the new kebab shop near Boshingak ~ oh, those Turks!

Paul Ajosshi said...

Underwhelming and overpriced is the perfect way to sum up that place, Fatman. As for the Turks... I'll have to head over to Boshingak and try a kebab for myself!