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Thursday, January 21, 2016

Japanese Spicy Curry "Abiko" Near Gangnam Is Run By A Celebrity!!!

Feeling cold yet? The weather is the coldest so far this winter, with temperatures dropping to as low as 17 degrees below zero!
Anyone in the mood for spicy Japanese curry to warm up your insides? You might have heard of "Abiko," which is a Japanese curry chain in Korea and famous for having different levels of spiciness - for those of you who are brave (or crazy) enough for a challenge, it's the perfect option.

But before that, here's a blog post that is long overdue! Last summer, a new "Abiko" chain opened near our Seocho branch, very close to the famous Seoul Arts Center. It's a popular menu for lunch, so I'd already estimated that the lines would be long, but it turned out this particular Abiko was swarming with people for a different reason: the owner was Song Baek Kyeong, member of 1TYM!

Huh? Who's that? What's 1TYM?

Well, back in the day, before K-pop started dominating the world, there was actually a pretty lively hip hop scene, less commercial or popular than Korean hip hop artists today. Not entirely underground, but not exactly mainstream; 1TYM was a YG Entertainment group that had released some pretty awesome tracks and a few hits that a lot of Koreans are familiar with even if they might know much about the group.

Anyway, 1TYM is not active anymore, and it seems Baek Kyeong had been keeping himself busy by running restaurants. It was awesome to see him there, he was actually at the counter himself, and was happily handing out autographs to anyone who asked. And of course, since it was a chance to see a famous person, and since we like Japanese curry anyway, we had to pay a visit!

Song Baek Kyeong at the counter
Now less talk about celebrities and more about the actual food!!!

Japanese curry in Korea is basically a customized meal: you choose the type of curry, the toppings, and the level of spicy. Maybe some photos of the menu will help you get a better idea:

If you're too lazy to come up with all the details, you can just choose one from the set menus. Overall the prices are around 10,000 KRW, which is not the cheapest but still considered quite affordable.

There are SO many toppings to choose from: vegetarian, pork, chicken, cheese, egg, natto, shrimp... I'm salivating as I write! It's definitely worth a few visits for you to try out everything, and to maybe attempt different levels of spicy. I could only tolerate up to level 2, since I'm a big baby (Korean standards).

It's been a few months now since Abiko opened here, and I'm not sure whether Song Baek Kyeong is still there - he might be busy with other things, and stuff. But visit when you can, because the curry is awesome, regardless of who owns the restaurant!

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