Monday, 6 April 2015

Biya 비야 (South Korea, Seoul)

A instavideo of the food we had at Biya 비야.
Budae jjigae 부대찌개
Biya 비야 is a korean restaurant that specialises in Army Stew (Budae jjigae) 부대찌개.

Budae jjigae when translated, literally means "Army Stew". It was named this way as this dish originated during the Korean War. Back then, the Americans who assisted in the war brought their own food such as spam (canned meat), baked beans, sausages and hot dogs which was not introduced in Korea before. As the Koreans were facing a food shortage, they cooked a spicy stew which consisted of kimchi and gochujang (red chili paste) and mixed the American's surplus food into the stew. This was how the Army Stew / Budae jjigae came about. Today, this dish is popular among the locals and tourist. 
This restaurant is located at Anam. It is 5 minutes walk away from exit 2 of Anam 안암 (subway line 6) station, along the same street as Deungchon Shabu Kalguksu 등촌 샤부 칼국수 and Coffee Bean. Students studying at Korea University would likely have heard of this restaurant as this is the same route where one can get to Korea University's hostel and CJ international house!
Compared to eight years ago, Biya 비야 has opened a new outlet. Which means that they now have two outlets along the same street! I still remember during the good old days, Biya was always full of students as the Army Stew was delicious and cheap.

We visited the new outlet as it was nearer to Anam station. It is easy to spot the outlet with its black and white exterior.
We were the first customers at the restaurant as we went there early (at around 530pm) for dinner. We were there so early as we planned to sleep early and wake up at 3am to proceed to Gwanghwamun Square 광화문광장 where the World Cup Match between Russia and South Korea would be telecast (more about this at the end of the post).
The menu
Hash Browns
Complimentary Pickles and Hash Browns (Tater Tots) with ketchup and honey mustard. Both are refillable.

The Hash Browns were disappointing as they were cold. =( .  In the past, there were served warm and we would polish this off quickly and ask for more. Maybe we were too early, but still that is not an excuse to serve these cold.

Naturally, we ordered the Army Stew (Budae jjigae) 부대찌개 and added Instant Noodle (Ramyeon) 라면 to it.
Army Stew (Budae jjigae) 부대찌개
This is how it would look like when served. Food such as kimchi, spam (canned meat), baked beans, hot dogs, ricecakes, onions, spring onions and cheese are added into the broth. Let it boil and simmer for a while and you are ready to enjoy it! This is not the best and in fact, personally, I feel that the standard has dropped. Its not as good as before. But we just had to go back and visit this place to reminisce the past!

As mentioned earlier, we got up at 3am and proceed to Gwanghwamun Square 광화문광장. The atmosphere there was electrifying. We got there before 4am and the place was already filled to the brim with people! While waiting for the match to start, it was like a concert event. At around 6am, Jaseuk and Haha came over and joined in the pre match 'concert'. I was told that the whole event was already scaled down due to the South Korean Sewol ferry disaster. The scoreline for the match was Russia 1 - South Korea 1.

It was an amazing experience. Some videos and picture below.
Jaseuk's VJ in running man.

Biya 비야 (South Korea, Seoul)
Directions: From Anam Station (subway line 6) Exit 2, turn back and walk down the street. Go straight about 110m, the restaurant is on your right at the small intersection.

View FoodieFC's South Korea Food Map in a larger map


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