Portal da Coreia: getting your kimchi fix in São Paulo

koreaonmymind:

A couple weeks ago I decided to finally take my mom to a Korean restaurant for lunch. She loves spicy food, so I knew she was going to like all those rich flavours and I was pretty much dying to eat some kimchi ‘cause it’s been ages since I last had it. There are quite a few options to choose from, but I decided to try Portal da Coreia, situated in São Paulo’s Japanese neighbourhood. This restaurant is actually a bit known around here, since it’s been featured on quite a few newspaper/magazine/internet articles dealing with Korean or Asian food and it’s an easier place to reach from where we live, so that’s where we headed to.


The doors closed as soon as we left; we really were the last customers!

It was a Friday and the restaurant, fortunately, was almost empty. Apparently, most people had already eaten and we were the last ones to arrive. According to the lady cashier, that just doesn’t happen on Friday nights and Saturdays, so booking is highly recommended.

Looking from the street, the place is not impressive at all. When you go inside, things change a bit. It’s certainly not super sophisticated, but it looks nice and feels cosy. As I do tend to prefer very solid furniture, the place’s heavy tables and chairs pleased me to no end.

As it was my mom’s first time, I thought we should order some basic and well-known dishes: I ordered bulgogi and she chose daeji galbi. The portions were quite big and, even though they weren’t officially suggested for two, were more than enough for the two of us to share both, which was great. The sidedishes were pretty good and as we ran out of kimchi, one of the waiters even offered to bring more.

One really important thing was that they taught us how to use the grill. All tables had one, but I had never used it before, so I was a bit baffled. The waiter, then, was more than helpful and explained in detail what I was supposed to do. The lady to whom we paid was also super nice and made the whole experience even more agreeable.

It looked better in person, I swear!

From what I could see of the menu, they offer all known dishes (known to me, that is, haha), so I believe it’s a pretty good alternative to people who want to try Korean food for the first time. The above mentioned friendly staff is one other positive point (am I crazy for taking waiters’ dispositions into account when recommending a restaurant?).

Unimpressive-looking menu; thank God the food was delicious! ;)

Oh, and the end reserved a little surprise: the check was delivered in the case below, with a lovely little doll wearing a hanbok. A bit dirty, yes, but still quite cute!

So, to sum it all up: good food, good environment, good service. I’m definitely coming back for more!

Portal da Coreia
Rua da Glória, 729 - Liberdade
(11) 3271 0924


Check out the other collaborators’ blogs here.
Check out The Korea Blog!

I found this on Lauren Kilberg’s Facebook page, saved it in my drafts folder and forgot all about it. But since I’ve started playing Pucca’s restaurant, I’ve developed a horrible craving for Korean cuisine and was reminded of a few food-related posts I had saved. 계란찜 (gyeran jjim), one of the many different types of 반찬 (banchan or side dishes) is a casserole of steamed eggs and, well, I don’t even need to tell you how delicious it is, right? Just seeing the ingredients does the trick of leaving me starving!
Oh, the illustration was made by Anna Lee.
(via double takes: Korean Banchan: Steamed Eggs (계란찜))
Check out more posts from this collaboration HERE.Check out the other collaborators’ blogs here.Check out The Korea Blog!

I found this on Lauren Kilberg’s Facebook page, saved it in my drafts folder and forgot all about it. But since I’ve started playing Pucca’s restaurant, I’ve developed a horrible craving for Korean cuisine and was reminded of a few food-related posts I had saved. 계란찜 (gyeran jjim), one of the many different types of 반찬 (banchan or side dishes) is a casserole of steamed eggs and, well, I don’t even need to tell you how delicious it is, right? Just seeing the ingredients does the trick of leaving me starving!

Oh, the illustration was made by Anna Lee.

(via double takes: Korean Banchan: Steamed Eggs (계란찜))


Check out more posts from this collaboration HERE.
Check out the other collaborators’ blogs here.
Check out The Korea Blog!

I think I’ve already mentioned how hard it is to come across Korean markets here in São Paulo. It’s not like it was the easiest thing in the world in London, but I knew a couple really close to where I studied, so dropping by was pretty effortless. Besides, I’d get my 김치 (kimchi) fix from one of the restaurants nearby and there was no need to buy the ready stuff to consume at home. In here, it takes me two buses and one hour at least to get to the nearest store or restaurant. I mean, just thinking of this whole ordeal makes me tired. So I thought, “Why not learn to make this staple of Korean cuisine?” and went online looking for an easy recipe. I found this which is not as easy as I would have liked, but still pretty do-able, I guess (or maybe I’m in a brave mood). Haven’t given it a try yet, because, well, I do have to go to the market to buy 고추장 (gochujang), but I intend to do it this Saturday. Hopefully, it’ll turn out fine enough for me to blog about it. Fingers crossed!
(via Bap Story: Easy Kimchi (guest chef : Bo’s mom))
Check out more posts from this collaboration HERE.Check out the other collaborators’ blogs here.Check out The Korea Blog!

I think I’ve already mentioned how hard it is to come across Korean markets here in São Paulo. It’s not like it was the easiest thing in the world in London, but I knew a couple really close to where I studied, so dropping by was pretty effortless. Besides, I’d get my 김치 (kimchi) fix from one of the restaurants nearby and there was no need to buy the ready stuff to consume at home. In here, it takes me two buses and one hour at least to get to the nearest store or restaurant. I mean, just thinking of this whole ordeal makes me tired. So I thought, “Why not learn to make this staple of Korean cuisine?” and went online looking for an easy recipe. I found this which is not as easy as I would have liked, but still pretty do-able, I guess (or maybe I’m in a brave mood). Haven’t given it a try yet, because, well, I do have to go to the market to buy 고추장 (gochujang), but I intend to do it this Saturday. Hopefully, it’ll turn out fine enough for me to blog about it. Fingers crossed!

(via Bap Story: Easy Kimchi (guest chef : Bo’s mom))


Check out more posts from this collaboration HERE.
Check out the other collaborators’ blogs here.
Check out The Korea Blog!

L.A.’s Idea of Korean Food vs. What Koreans Really Eat

(from laweekly.com, which means i did not write this at all, ok?)

"Our continuing series of Venn Food Diagrams has explored American regional and a smattering of international cuisines in no particular order or with any sense of geographic or cultural continuity. We’re taking another random trip from the land of tater tot hot dishto the land of kimchi hot dish to study how accurately Angelenos view Korean food.

Moral of the story: L.A. knows Korean bbq and kimchi. Trader Joe’s sells two kinds of Korean bbq: “Bool Kogi” and Korean style beef short ribs. Kimchi is available at national chains such as Whole Foods, Ralph’s, Costco and Walmart. Whole Foods carries snacked sized packets of roasted laver for kids’ lunches. Fashionistas who’ve never set foot in a Korean restaurant enjoy bimbimbap at spas. Dave’s Korean banchan does brisk business at Burbank farmers’ market with white kimchis catering to vegetarians and vegans. Finally, those Korean tacos: when soccer moms and the New York Times are talking to you (we provided backstory for this article) about them, California Pizza Kitchen’s Korean tacosand frozen Korean tacos at Costco seem inevitable. No, we’ve never tried North Korean tacos.

Methodology: A highly unscientific collection of armchair cultural anthropology, polls on social media sites, and anecdotes from years of being pegged a native informant about everything Korean including the virtues and horrors of Korean food (and women). Plus, we enjoyed a 100 or so trips to South Korea since 1975, including several culinary tours from Seoul to the port city of Pusan. And we remember when L.A. didn’t even have a Koreatown.

Conclusion: Most Angelenos know at least a few Korean dishes. Beyond that, appreciation of the range and depth appreciation of Korean cuisine varies quite a bit. We’re never surprised about the wide swath of positive or negative things anyone has to say about Korean dishes. It really seems to depend on how someone was introduced to them and which aspects of the cuisine they chose to like or hate. Centrally located Koreatown is bustling with hundreds of restaurants. More adventurous eaters enjoy a number of specialty restaurants for dishes such as bibimbap, soon dubu, nengmyun, raw sea cucumber, blood sausage, clay pot duck, and even goat soup. Besides restaurants, on any given day we see a diverse cross-section of Angelenos shopping for ingredients at Korean supermarkets including entire Russian families buying ingredients for serious pickling and Armenian seniors trying to decipher packages of dried fish at HK market in Glendale. In aggregate terms, we’re pretty impressed with the range of Korean dishes Angelenos have tried.

Notes: Perhaps not everyone has a Korean friend, but there sure are a lot of us in Los Angeles represented in a broad cross-section of industries. So, if you live in Los Angeles, you’ve probably met a Korean in one context or another. Maybe you had a college roommate or co-worker who kept a stash of kimchi in a shared refrigerator. Susan Fenniger was introduced to kimchi by her dry cleaner (was that too obvious?). Chef Ludo Lefevre was introduced to Korean food by a Chinese friend who is married to, you guessed it, a Korean.

L.A.’s Koreatown may seem a bit like a “Third Korea”, however, an ethnic enclave in the diaspora, no matter how big and economically connected to the mother land, can’t possibly reflect the foods and eating habits of an entire country. Neither do Korean-Americans, who are afterall American, and tend to eat larger portions of proteins and bigger portions overall. Around 1998, there were probably more all-you-can-eat bbq joints in L.A.’s Koreatown than the entire country of South Korea. And yes, Korean-Americans are a wee bit heavier than Koreans who still live on the peninsula.

Eating at restaurants and shopping at Korean supermarkets are only two windows into Korean cuisine. If you’re invited to a Korean home for dinner, don’t expect bottomless pits of ten different banchans. Banchan are side dishes to be eaten with rice. The idea of banchan served as appetizers before bbq, with rice served last, is purely a restaurant convention. Sure, you”ve seen plenty of Koreans gorging at restaurants. But home meals tend to be much simpler and smaller. If there is one small plate of bbq and kimchi for five people, it’s shared by everyone. If there is rice in a Korean home, there is food. Even the leftover sauces will be spooned on rice and eaten. Eating at a Korean table is an inherently social affair, please pace your consumption and quantities of it with your fellow diners.

If you’re Korean or have a Korean friend who disagrees with this Korean, well, that’s expected. As much as many Koreans want to believe we are culturally and socially homogenous, we’re not. Currently, there are 7,000,000 Koreans in the diaspora and quite a few immigrated a second time to Los Angeles. Here, you’ll find Koreanexicans, Korean-Brazilians, Korean-Argentines and Korean-Russians. And depending on when a family immigrated to Los Angeles, their perception of the cuisine might be stalled in a certain place and time. Native informants, not surprisingly, speak from their own experiences and observations.

Susan Park is a food historian and the Program Director of Ecole de Cuisine, follow her on Twitter or join her on Facebook.

The article’s main illustration.
The piece claims Aclimação is some sort of Little Korea in São Paulo, what with its Korean restaurants and… well, that’s pretty much all you can find there (and, as far as I know, you cannot find thaaaaat many). I’ve always thought Bom Retiro was much more “Korean” than any other neighbourhood in the city, but maybe I have to update my views.
Check out more posts from this collaboration HERE.Check out the other collaborators’ blogs here.Check out The Korea Blog!

The article’s main illustration.

The piece claims Aclimação is some sort of Little Korea in São Paulo, what with its Korean restaurants and… well, that’s pretty much all you can find there (and, as far as I know, you cannot find thaaaaat many). I’ve always thought Bom Retiro was much more “Korean” than any other neighbourhood in the city, but maybe I have to update my views.


Check out more posts from this collaboration HERE.
Check out the other collaborators’ blogs here.
Check out The Korea Blog!

Korean restaurants mentioned by an article in today’s paper. According to the writer, Cho Sun Ok is more orthodox and, apparently, if you visit, chances are you’ll be one of the very few westerners there (maybe like in those Korean restaurants near Centre Point in London?).
Lua Palace is the other recommended Korean restaurant and a nice place if you want to try the country’s cuisine for the first time.
And just forget about Khanl el Khalili, which is a tea house and appears here only because I was in a hurry (i.e., late for work) and could not bother to scan properly and rearrange the images.
(Taken with instagram)
Check out more posts from this collaboration HERE.Check out the other collaborators’ blogs here.Check out The Korea Blog!

Korean restaurants mentioned by an article in today’s paper. According to the writer, Cho Sun Ok is more orthodox and, apparently, if you visit, chances are you’ll be one of the very few westerners there (maybe like in those Korean restaurants near Centre Point in London?).

Lua Palace is the other recommended Korean restaurant and a nice place if you want to try the country’s cuisine for the first time.

And just forget about Khanl el Khalili, which is a tea house and appears here only because I was in a hurry (i.e., late for work) and could not bother to scan properly and rearrange the images.

(Taken with instagram)


Check out more posts from this collaboration HERE.
Check out the other collaborators’ blogs here.
Check out The Korea Blog!

Korean snacks bought in a Japanese market.
edit: is it too funny to tag this as Korean cuisine? ;)
(Taken with instagram)
Check out more posts from this collaboration HERE.Check out the other collaborators’ blogs here.Check out The Korea Blog!

Korean snacks bought in a Japanese market.

edit: is it too funny to tag this as Korean cuisine? ;)

(Taken with instagram)


Check out more posts from this collaboration HERE.
Check out the other collaborators’ blogs here.
Check out The Korea Blog!

VI Festival of Korean Culture (São Paulo) - part 2

Better late than never, right? After almost one month, the second part of this series is here, yay! I’m not even going to waste time with excuses, so let’s get to the good stuff.

So, quick recap: on Part 1, we took a peek at what was going on the outer part of the event, mainly, since that’s what I did on the first day I went there. And even though I did go inside the cultural center to see the exhibitions then, I ended up not taking a single picture, so that’s what the second day was for. On Sunday, I was all by myself (on the day before, I was accompanied by some lovely folks from my class) so I could wander around more freely and stay as long as I wanted checking things out.

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What’s for (Korean) breakfast?

A couple months ago, an article that dissected breakfast in different countries was published in the gastronomy pages of a Brazilian newspaper and it also revealed what Koreans eat in the morning. 

Below, a scan of the main, more general piece; the rest of it was divided into sections that dealt with breakfast in specific countries. The title, “Sai um pingado com bulgogui”, makes reference to a very common breakfast drink in Brazil, the pingado, made with coffee and a few drops (pingos, in Portuguese) of milk. Koreans, though, “find nothing as familiar as starting the day with rice, bulgogi, kimchi and some soup”, states the highlighted part.

But this is not the end of it! Korean breakfast got a special, more detailed mention. Click below to see the scan and read the translated text!

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VI Festival of Korean Culture (São Paulo) - part 1

At last, the post on that Festival of Korean Culture that I attended in the end of May. Actually this will be a three part “series”, because there are a lot of interesting pictures (even if there weren’t, the post would be too long, anyway). So, on this first part, I’ll focus on outlining the event and talking about what I did on Saturday. The second part, will deal with a few of the exhibitions held during the festival and other things that I was able to check out on Sunday. The last part will be the K-pop one, as the Festival was packed with K-pop fans and K-pop music and K-pop dance groups and all things K-pop!

Before leading you to my account of what happened, I have to say that all photos here were taken by me. They’re not good ‘cause I suck at photography, but if you still feel like reposting any of them for any reason, just link them back to this post, please. =)

Now, click below for the full text and loads of pictures and enjoy!

(Or check out more posts from my collaboration with The Korea Blog HERE.)

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