Deli Manjoo, a Korean subway snack beckoned us every time we walked in and out of the Myeong-dong station. There was always a line at the kiosk and the smell of baked goodies constantly wafted near the entrance from the underground shopping area.
These snacks are so popular (even outside Korea) that there are Deli Manjoo machines for sale online. One spout has the batter, the other spout, the custard filling. The metal molds move like a conveyor belt through the metal counter and is flipped open to reveal a perfectly cooked ‘dumpling’.
Be prepared to wait because these babies take about 1-2 minutes to bake (which explains the line) but the wait will be worth it.
You get fresh, piping hot, Korean version of our Malaysian kaya ball. The custard, eggy and not too sweet was perfectly warm in its corn-shaped enclosure. The skin is thin enough that with just one bite, the filling oozes straight into your mouth.
Another snack we enjoyed while in Seoul is the local mochi known as tteok. While we stayed in 24 Guesthouse Namsan Garden, we brought lots of food back to share with their staff because we always wanted variety and most food come in big portions.
If you have the chance, do try the Korean melon too. Survey prices when you see them and when you find the cheapest, go ahead and get them! We got both the mochi (if I’m not wrong they were 1,500 won each type) and the melons at Namdaemun Market.
This is a layered tteok of nuts, beans and black sesame. The 24 Guesthouse owner was particularly fond of this version. It’s not too sweet and there was a nice chewiness and crunchiness.
This variation is Ggul tteok (꿀떡) which means honeyed tteok but it’s actually filled with a sugar syrup. The fun part is where you bite into it and the sugar syrup bursts in your mouth!
In the background are the Korean melons we had. They were like sun melons, sweet, crispy and refreshing after a long walk. Do try this if you have the chance!
The lady whom be bought the mochi from. These tteok are generally sold anywhere, it only depends on which variety you’re looking for. Also, I don’t suggest importing them home because they spoil very quickly even if you store them in the fridge.
Please bear in mind that most of the time, we ordered 2 portions for 3 people and that some places have a minimum 2 portion policy for 2 pax or more.
Here’s a summary of what we ate during our trip, click the image below for a larger view.
Kindly compiled by my extremely efficient travel finance manager, the excel sheet for the above image is available here.