Amazing spontaneous Korean dinner in Ikebukuro
Seibu Ikebukuro has a fabulous Korean restaurant! If you crave for Chijimi or Bibimbap tonight, here is your destination!
The other day, we were looking for something to eat for dinner at Ikebukuro. We were feeling pretty pressed for time because it was a Friday night and we really didn't want to think too long because we were afraid of the queue.
Even looking at the directory didn't help so we decided to walk past all the restaurants and see which one would be calling us and we found this.
The restaurant's name is 韓国食彩 にっこりマッコリ which we will shorten to Nikkori Makkoli. It is actually a combination of a Japanese word (nikkori) and a Korean word (makkoli). Nikkori means "smiling" and makkoli is a Korean alcoholic beverage which is a milky-coloured rice wine.
It is on the 8th floor of the Seibu Ikebukuro Store. Seibu is directly connected to Ikebukuro Station so come rain or shine, you don't have to worry. There are many lines such as the JR line, the Metro lines, the Tobu Tojo Line and Seibu Ikebukuro Line just to name a few going through this station.
Once you enter the restaurant, you have to disinfect and one really nice thing I noticed about this restaurant that I have not seen in others so far was that they even provided a plastic bag for you to keep your mask in.
Yes, it might create more rubbish and plastic is not exactly easy to recycle but I guess it's a lot more sanitary to be putting your mask anywhere else.
The menu that caught our eye was the JPY1580 set which consists of a main, a Chijimi (pancake), four side dishes and a seaweed soup.
There was a variety of choices to pick for a main. There were about 8 choices to choose from which includes the usual Kimchi Jjigae (Kimchi Stew), Sundubu Jjigae (Spicy Soft Tofu Stew), Cold Noodles and Bibimbap (Mixed Rice With Vegetables & Meat).
There were two kinds of Bibimbap to choose from. There is the usual one and then there is the Dolsot Bibimbap, which is the rice bowl served in a hot stone pot. It'll keep your food hot almost the entire time unless you are a very slow eater. If you like some part of your rice crispy, this is a good choice for you.
The Banchan (side dishes) came first, there was the classic Kimchi, wakame, burdock and Korean seaweed which was crisp and light.
The Chijimi was SO good. But compared to the chijimi I was used to eating, this felt more like an omelette with a lot of ingredients. So it was different in a good way. It tasted good even when it cooled down.
My friend picked the Dolsot Bibimbap. She said it was hot the entire time and the scorched rice was very good.
I went for the Bibimbap. I wished the egg was a little more runny. It would coat the rice better but this was pretty good too. Now if you are new to this, when your bibimbap comes, you'll be given a sauce as seen in the first picture. You add it into your rice, mix it all up and it is ready to be eaten as seen in the picture below.
There was quite a generous amount of rice in this but it wasn't too filling. The seaweed soup was really good too.
Did you know that it is taboo to eat seaweed soup before an exam in Korea? There's a saying that because seaweed is slippery = you will 'slip off' the good grades. So when someone said, "I had seaweed soup", it means they had failed their exam.
All the dishes in this set was pretty good. The next time I come back, maybe I want to go for the Samgyetang (Ginseng Chicken Soup). Let me know which one did you eat in the comments!
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