Originally Posted by Manton
The first time I went to East Asia I was terrified about the food prices. But people showed me where to go and I ate very well for the mid-two figures per person. (Not just ramen either.) The only time really got socked was having Kobe beef, but I knew what I was in for and just wanted the experience.
Is SK really that crazy now?
Originally Posted by Joe E Taleo
I think Impolyt brings up a good point. The Seoul I know is a place where you can eat for extremely low prices, and get bombed out of your head with soju for less than ten bucks. The Seoul he knows is the one of robber barons and celebrities. There seems to be very little in-between.
lil bit of both (old $10 is now $15 btw) but you get sick of that shit the minute you can afford to, because good old cravings kick in, and rice and cabbage can not tide over a man for a lifetime. :P
Anything nice costs real money, about double what you're used to, and that's not guaranteeing the content will be any good.
Pierre Gagnaire has a place here, his prix fixe is about $250/head plus $250/head more for wine; I've done it for two and I've done Tokyo restaurants that promise similar things, and there is no comparison. There is no value in Korea for anything resembling fine dining. There is value in grilled pork belly and kimchi, and distilled rice wine, and nothing else. That is good and well if you visit for 3 days or a week, but not befitting a place you want to live in for an extended period of time (and I've lived here 8 years now)
Our plastic bags at the supermarket (5c deposit here, btw) are the same size as anywhere else, but to fill one with your average supermarket buys will surpass $50 easily, and $100 if you try hard by adding cheese and charcuterie. It's a strange feeling to walk home from the supermarket with just two plastic bags worth $200, but it's been done week after week. $6 for a head of celery here, $10 for 8 slices of prosciutto, $15 for 150g of cheese, $5 head of iceberg lettuce, shit be expensive here.
Patriotism is obviously huge here, so the populace is brainwashed into thinking that domestically grown everything is better; we export almost nothing beyond green bell peppers to Japan to cheap chain restaurants there, though. It's a real shame, because home-grown sucks ass here. They're beginning to tout Korean beef as something equal to Japanese beef and a mere glance will tell you it's not, not even, but it costs nearly the same, or more. That can be $20/3oz or more for the steaks, a good steak can be $50 at the supermarket.
Anyway, blah, blah, blah, rant, I have the most painstakingly assembled kitchen, pantry, and fridge in this country, and I know that for almost fact, because half of it was sent and smuggled in from overseas in personal packages or bought at black market places (just spent $7 on McCormick cream of tartar in the small canister), but it's still nothing at all for preparing food properly. THAT is fucked up, and it cost thousands of dollars.