Lotteria’s Ramyeon Burger (롯데리아 라면버거)

January 6th marks the first day that Korean fast food giant Lotteria served up their newly branded Ramyeon burger. While ramen burgers have been on the scene for at least a year, this is really the first time it’s hit the South Korean market in force.

The Lotteria offering rides in a W5400 for a set meal, which includes a soda and side order of fries. What else do you get? Not a lot.

The burger itself is quite small… and it’s not even a real burger. It’s actually a chicken patty. The cooks throw on some additional leaves of lettuce, an onion, and a spicy sauce.

The “buns” are circular formed bits of ramyeon. They are fully cooked, limp, and not fried. So after one bite, the whole thing falls apart.

Johanne Miller(@nyxnalia)님이 게시한 사진님,

So how does it taste?


Jo was happier with it than I was. I thought it stated like a run-of-the-mill chicken patty slapped between two cooked sheets of instant noodles. The spicy sauce was nice, but that was about it. In fact, the kid in the video ended up fanning his mouth when it was his turn to devour it.

I will say this, the picture and the product are a lot more in sync than most fast food restaurants.

ASIA NOW: Disgusting, but delicious Asian food

asia now podcast

Taking a trip to Asia can mean stepping outside your comfort zone. Today on Asia Now, three exotic food experiences: Kopi Luwak, Cobra, and Tarantulas.

Asia Now is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Thumbnail: Steve Miller

Sources: Leendertz, mmm-yoso, Steve Miller, The Bucket List

KAM Chats: #CoffeeTime

This week on Korea and More Chats, Tom and I are talking about coffee. More precisely, where we like to get coffee when we’re out and about. Many say that that Korea has a great “coffee culture.” That’s a notion I take issue with and think Korea has more of a “cafe culture.”

So sit back, grab a cup of joe and listen to me ramble on about my favorite beverage.

Don’t forget to listen to Tom’s side of the conversation here.

Costco 12 Year Old Scotch

Since college, I’ve enjoyed the sweet, sweet taste of whiskey. A great been is awesome to enjoy, but whiskey is simply sublime. Over the years, Costco has been rolling out a number of liquors for their members. I’ve sampled their bourbon, American vodka, and tequila (añejo and silver). Today, it’s time to add to the collection and try something new – The Costco 12 Year Old Scotch.

Cost actually makes three different kinds of scotch. The Costco 12 Year Old Scotch (which is a blend), an 18 Year Old Scotch, and a 20 Year Old Scotch. In Korea, the latter two are quite expensive ($90 and $120 receptively), but the Costco 12 Year Old Scotch is only $56 or so for 1.75 liters. It makes it a great alternative.

How does it taste? Pretty good. It starts off mild and then the wood kicks in for a nice finish. I’d put this at the same level as Chivas in terms of quality.

Korean McDonald’s Salsa Chicken Burger

Now that the 2014 FIFA World Cup is underway in Brazil (Brasil), McDonald’s Korea is finally breaking out some specialty food in celebration of the event. Today, Jo and I drop by our local fast food joint to try out one of the two specialty burgers.

What we have here is the Salsa Chicken Burger. This offering comes to W4600 for the medium sized set. The burger itself is a fried chicken breast with lettuce and tomato. It also has a slice or two of bacon on top of a fried chicken patty. It’s an interesting combo. Of course, with a name like the Salsa Chicken Burger, there’s a fair dose of salsa in lieu of ketchup or mustard.

What’s the verdict on the Korean McDonald’s Salsa Chicken Burger? Not bad. The sandwich isn’t anything special, but salsa as a condiment really won me over. I’d get it again for sure… while it lasts.

The other FIFA inspired burger is the Samba Burger. i’ll pick that up on another visit.

The Amazing SoMaek Prize

Korea’s default alcohols (beer and soju) are bloody cheap. A bottle of the standard soju (a distilled alcohol, similar to vodka and about 20% ABV) will usually run around W1,500 ($1.47). A 500ml can of beer can be as little as W2,050 ($2) on sale. However, as many who have traveled or lived in Korea will tell you, their taste leaves little to be desired for if one has a discerning palate.

SoMaek is the Korean drink mix that combines the two (SOju + MAEKju). Essentially, it’s the Korean version of an American boilermaker. Often the soju and maekju are poured directly into the consumer’s glass independently. However, on a recent trip outside where our favorite shooting game is located, we saw a Soju and Beer Mixer that does everything for you. I thought it a pretty ingenious idea and wonder how well it would work. It’s intriguing enough for me to buy in a store… but not enough for me to waste money on a shooting game.

What do you think of this gizmo?

Korean Snacks: Doritos BOMB!

It’s Korean snack time again and today we have a unique offering. While the bag says Doritos, it really isn’t the same Doritos you’d find in the US. In Korea, Frito-Lay licenses the brand and concept to Lotte. So what makes this bag unique? Well it contains a bomb!

Let me explain the concept. The bag contains a healthy number of what tastes like nacho cheese Doritos, but mixed in a handful of bags that are seasoned with something that’s best described as horseradish.

The color, texture, and appearance of all the chips look the same so you never know which one you’re going to get until you pop it into your mouth.

It’s an interesting concept and could make for a fun drinking game. However, as a snack, it just doesn’t work. The horseradish chip really kills the mood – making it a very effective bomb – so it isn’t something you’d like eat while relaxing.

In your neck of the woods, do you have something like this?