Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Some Things Make Me Angry...

Suicidal Advert

This advert makes me angry.

I'm not a fan of censorship, but I'm a big believer in corporate responsibility. The glamorization of suicide is not the nicest way to help you sell your fizzy water and let's not forget that South Korea has the highest suicide rate among the 30 OECD countries. What a classy method to advertise your product in the country that claimed nine celebrity suicides last year...

Congratulations Trevi (produced by Lotte Chilsung), you win the prize for sleaziest exploitation of unhappiness in a printed bus stop advertisement for 2010.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Mistaken Identity at the Naked Bar & Grill

Naked Bad and Grill

Round the side of the Hamilton Hotel, tucked away in the sub-basement of a shabby little building is a rather sparkly new restaurant and bar.

Naked Bad and Grill

Silvers and purples dazzle you as you enter the Naked Bar & Grill; this restaurant come cocktail hangout strives to be cool even though Shania Twain blares out of the speakers ever so slightly disturbing your lunchtime mood.

Like its sister restaurant in Hannam-dong, the Naked Bar & Grill's menu focuses on burgers, tacos and burritos ranging from 5,000 to 10,000 won. All very reasonably priced with only an extra 4,000 won to add fries and a soft drink. However I was feeling in the mood for something a little more Italian and decided to go for their "Twisted macaroni and cheese (fusilli pasta, grilled chicken)" at 16,000 won. At over three times the price of a taco I was sure to be treated to a spectacular dish, wasn't I? The concept of a fusilli and grilled chicken mutation of mac and cheese was too much to refuse and after previous experiences at Macaroni Market, I was expecting something exciting...

Naked Bad and Grill

What came out looked appetizing and tasted wonderful. Crispy unsweetened garlic bread, perfectly tender grilled chicken and al dente fusilli served in a creamy delicious sauce. A beautifully cooked pasta dish that I'd happily order again, but, and this is a big but, it was nowhere near anything like macaroni and cheese...

Here's some advice for the Naked Bar & Grill: if you label a dish in a certain way, then the customer may well have certain expectations as to what the dish may be like. Using words such as "twisted" may lead your customer to expect certain changes or substitutions in the dish and said customer will probably be very happy to discover that an old favourite has been given a makeover. However if you promise a "Twisted macaroni and cheese" and serve a cream sauce pasta then you shouldn't be surprised if your customer is a little disappointed at receiving a dish which does not really have any relation to the name it has been given. Call me a pedant, go on I know you want to, but I expect my food to be given a moniker it deserves. If I order a "pepperoni pizza" I'm not expecting to be served a grilled cheese and salami sandwich.

I digress...

Naked Bad and Grill

Gratuitous pickle shot.

The food was good, pricey, but delicious. I doubt you'll find a better grilled chicken breast in Itaewon and the service was very friendly and helpful. If you like casual dining with loud music and a nightclub atmosphere then Naked Bar & Grill could well be the place for you.

Naked Bad and Grill

Naked Bar & Grill is just round the corner from the Hamilton Hotel, just turn right at KFC and it's on the left hand side of the alley. I couldn't get any contact details for them (no business cards as yet), but you could always give their Hannam-dong branch a ring on 02 749 4225.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

James Cameron and His Korean Viral Campaign

Gwangju Avatar

James Cameron's Avatar has been sixteen years in the making and by the looks of this shop front in Gwangju, he started his viral marketing in Korea a little earlier than usual. The subliminal messages may be brutal, but have proven their worth in 12 million ticket sales on the Korean peninsula... You truly are King of the World, James... King of the World...