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Itaewon – Eating British Food and a Classic Pub Experience

Itaewon is a well-known area in Seoul and a hotbed for expats in Korea. What was once a place of seediness, it has become a little corner of multiculturalism in Seoul. I first heard about Itaewon from a Canadian who had lived in Korea. From the way he talked about it, I found this place intriguing.

Itaewon – “Foreigner Town”

Koreans know Itaewon as the place where foreigners hang out and it first started out as a place where US soldiers spent their downtime. I arrived at the subway station and it no-longer felt I was in Korea. While I waited for my friend, I saw more foreigners than Koreans. I heard people speaking much more English and even French.

The Rose and Crown – A British Pub in Korea

This is an area lined with pubs geared towards expats and Koreans wanting to get the traditional pub experience. My friend suggested that we get “English” food which I initially found quite amusing. However, it turned out that this pub called the Rose and Crown had a pub food menu. In addition, it wasn’t just pub food, but an attempt at British food.

Fish and Chips in Korea

Fish and chips is one of my favourite foods. It’s also quite hard to come by outside of the UK. I’ve had it in Australia and it wasn’t bad. However, I also ate it in Costa Rica and it was way off. The menu at the Rose and Crown had fish and chips, but also a selection of other classic British dishes. The menu had pub delicacies such as chicken tikka and even a Sunday roast.

It had been so long that I did not remember the last time I ate a chippy. The fish and chips I ate there wasn’t a full authentic feeling of British cuisine. However, I would still say it was slightly better than something you would get at a Spoons.

The meal itself was 21,000 which isn’t bad if you consider that prices are slightly higher than Seoul. I would still consider it much cheaper than something you would get from the city centre of Edinburgh. Even more, the pub had Tennent’s on tap. Tennent’s is a lager which screams Scotland, although I’d say I’m not mad about this beer.

Tennent’s Lager in Korea

However, if there is Tennent’s on tap, I think why not have some. My friend also tried it for the first time and said he really liked it. We then headed off to another pub to watch the Newcastle play Tottenham. It was probably the first full game I watched in a few months and the pub was full of expats. I even bumped into an English lad with a Newcastle top who told me his stepmum is from East Kilbride, it’s a small world.

All in all, Itaewon is an experience and it feels similar to Zona Rosa in CDMX. If you’re living in Korea and want the British pub experience, I do recommend it.

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