F &B industry in Korea never fails to surprise me. One recent outing to Garosu-gil in Seoul with YJ that left me such impression was this cool Tteokbokki (Korean rice cake 떡볶이) restaurant that merges fashion & food. To be precise, this place brings the Korean rice cake together with fashion, meaning you can enjoy your fashionable Tteokbooki in a yummy environment. (Yeah! Please imagine yourself having the legendary Korean street food — a premium one, in a runway fashion show).
This restaurant, Villa de spicy that YJ brought me to offers a variety of fusion style Tteokbokki. These premium Tteokbokki are different from what you can get at the snack bar (bunsik jib). Stepping into the restaurant with the modern + minimalist interior leave you wondering if you are actually inside a Tteokbokki house, a cafe or a fashion runway. It is a dining space in the most fashionable area of Korea (The Garosu-Gil) where these pop-ups function as a gallery to showcase the latest fashion collection.
The interior of the restaurant. The clothes on the racks are for sale. By the way, their menu here changes according to the seasonal changes in the fashion industry, the S/S or F/W, two times each year. Tteokbokki the fashionable way. Gorgeously yummy~
The huge projector in the middle of the restaurant were showing some fashion show footage on the day when we visited the place. Certainly an interesting place fellow fashionista should check out ^^
It was about 2pm, off-lunch hour when we arrived. We were seated at this cosy table right beside the road. I like the interesting structure of the restaurant as it is located at somewhere between basement and first level. Not a common scene at home.
Although they have several seasonal Tteokbokki menus here, the majority of the people who visited this place recommended their “Improvised Tteokbokki” 즉석 떡볶이 [Read: Jeuk-seok Tteokbokki]. It is the kind of Tteokbokki you can customize the ingredients you wanted.
For those who don’t know what is a Spicy Korean Rice Cake yet, it is a kind of Korean Street food with the chewy Korean rice cake as main ingredient, and cooked in sweet and spicy Gochujang chilli paste. Normally the cakes are tossed the fiery sauce with eomuk (fish cakes), cabbage, hard boiled eggs, scallions and garlic.
YJ who brought me here ; ) Good to catch up with her and I am so excited about her wedding the end of the year!
If you wonder how to order the Improvised Tteokbokki, to summerize, it is like ordering a Subway sandwich. Choose your basic menu and add the toppings and voila. Since the menu is in Korean, here’s my English translated version for ordering at Villa de Spicy:
HOW TO ORDER:
Step 1: Choose your size.
Small (2 pax.) KRW13,000
Medium (3 pax.) KRW16,000
Step 2: Choose the spiciness scale.
Medium Spicy (mild spicy)
Hot Spicy (Very, very spicy)
Step 3: Choose your main toppings.
Bulgogi KRW 3,500
Seafood KRW 3,500
Vegetarian KRW 1,500
Step 4: Choose the rest of the toppings listed below:
– Hard Boiled Egg
– Basic Fried Kimbap (Rice wrap with Korean seaweed and deep fried)
– Dumplings x 2 pcs
– Cellophane Noodles (Dong Fen in China)
– Jjol Myeon – A type of Korean noodles made from wheat flour and starch that has a chewy texture.
– RaMyeon- Normal instant noodles
– half Jjol Myeon + half Ramyeon
– Sweet potato
– Additional Rice Cake
– Additional Fish Cake
– Additional Vegetables
– Fried Rice
Here’s what we ordered for our Improvised Tteokbokki:
Small size, medium spicy. Bulgogi as main.
Extra sides: Hard boiled egg, Half Jjeol Myeon Half Ramyeon, and cheese.
Our own improvised Tteokbokki. The boiling fiery soup, and the eomuk looks so inviting in the pot. Here at Villa de Spicy, they use the top grade of rice cake, which is chewier in texture compared to other Tteokbokki places. We added Mozzarella cheese before tucking in and the rest is history!
A Tteokbokki for two at KRW 22,000 is a bit expensive. (11,000 per pax). However, the serving is certainly big for two. YJ and I couldn’t finish the whole big pot just by ourself. YJ was saying their fried rice with Korean seaweed is a must try, but we were too full to eat anything else. A small tteokbokki set with similar toppings should fit 3-4 pax if you order their fried rice when you finish your meal.
All in all, I enjoyed this premium tteokbokki experience here at Villa de Spicy. Certainly a fashionable way of eating Tteokbokki. Hidden in some back alley of Garosu-gil, this trendy spot is also a good place for people watching since it is located in the fashionista Mecca of Seoul. One of the must-try Tteokbokki in Seoul.
Villa de Spicy 빌라드 시파이시
541-10 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, South Korea.
How to get there: (click map to enlarge)
1. Coming out from Shinsa Station Exit No. 8, walk straight down the street and turn left at the 3rd junction.
2. Go down the road, where you’ll pass by Cafe Twosome Place, Olive Young, and this cafe with huge outdoor seating “Coffee Smith”.
4. Cross the road right infront of Coffee Smith and walk into the alley facing Coffee Smith.
5. Walk up the alley and you’ll find Villa de Spicy on your left-hand side.
Garosu-gil is such a good place for food hunting. And this caramel roll at Maman Gateau 마망까또 was amazingly wonderful. The roll cake was coated with a thick layer of insanely sweet caramel, but it was a perfect combi with the very thick Ice Americano that we ordered together. I love the nutty flavour from the inches thick cream and the crumb was incredibly moist and tender. I am still thinking if I should write about their caramel roll cake in a brand new post, but I am just too lazy lately ; p