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Ma-India Restaurant Seoul

Tonight, we went to an incredible restaurant!  We were out and about and had planned on eating dinner when we got home.  However it was getting later than we had expected, and our favorite Kebab place in Technomart seems to have been shut down for good.  This made us very sad!  I thought I remembered seeing a McDonalds when I was at the bus station across the street, however, when we walked across the street, I was disappointed to realize that it was in fact a Lotteria!  EEEEEEWWWWW!  It is the Korean version of McDonalds, but not even most Koreans like it!
So, we walked outside and looked around for any place that might possibly have an English menu.  Usually in Seoul, if you go to a restaurant that is from a different culture, usually, they speak some Korean, and some English.  Well we lucked out!  We found an Indian restaurant right across the street from Dong Seoul bus terminal and across from the Gangbyeon subway station.  If you walk out of the subway, cross the street, then turn to your right and cross the street again.  It is in the corner on the second floor of the building with the Tom and Tom’s Coffee Shop, right next to the Paris Baguette.  You are looking for Ma-India.
I have been curious about starting to cook Indian food lately, but am not a huge fan of curry, so I was a bit afraid.  I did try homemade samosas once after a clown gig, and the family sent me home with one.  They were spicy but incredible.
So, Jeremy and I decided to take a chance that this place was run by true Indian people, and pray that they at least had English menus!
It was totally worth the risk.
Our meal began with some restaurant provided appetizers.  We got a small salad to share, and we each got a bowl of cream soup.
The salad was a mixture of lettuce, with tomatoes and fruit cocktail.  It had a sweet strawberry dressing on top.  It was a bit sweet, but actually kind of refreshing and very tasty!
Next we tried the cream soup.  It turned out to be a very simple cream of mushroom soup.  It had a pretty presentation, and the biggest appeal was that it was not over done.  It was very simple, and that gave it an elegance that other soups don’t seem to have.
Because I knew samosas, I insisted that we order an appetizer for Jeremy and I to share.  The crust is not what I had expected, it was almost like a wonton wrapper, not really made from a dough, but it was filled with potato curry, which I did expect. It was very spicy, but the flavor was incredible.  They brought out some sweet chili sauce to dip them in and it was a perfect combination.
They were served with some kind of orange pickled onions.  They were very tasty, even though I really have no idea what they were!
We had not eaten all day, so we ordered another appetizer as well.  We ordered paneer naan bread.  From the description, it was suppose to be naan bread with cottage cheese inside.
The bread was sweet, like they used a bit of honey in it, or coated the top with maybe a honey butter.  We were not expecting that, but it tasted amazing.  I am not really sure I tasted the cheese, however the bread was fresh and warm.  It was chewy and delicious.  Look at my face, I think you will agree!
I know I keep saying incredible, but that about fits the description.  This bread tasted like heaven on a plate.
The meal I ordered was a tandoori chicken salad.
It looked beautiful!  The chicken was wonderful in the salad and I loved the presentation.  I will warn you, if you don’t like super sweet salads, this is not the one for you.  This salad was prepared the same way as the appetizer salad was made.  It had various lettuces and maybe sesame leaf.  It also had cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots.  The unexpected part of this salad was the fruit cocktail and the strawberry dressing.  If I were to order this again, I would order the dressing on the side or ask if they have more variety in dressings to choose from.  The strawberry dressing they put on is not bad, it is just very sweet.  At the end, I got full, and just picked out the chicken.  It was really yummy to take some of the bread, and wrap it around the salad and eat it together.
Jeremy ordered the Lamb curry.

He absolutely loves lamb, but was a little unsure about curry until he tried it.  The meat was very tender.  It had been cooking for a long time, and almost melted in your mouth.  The curry was mild, and had a great flavor.  There were other flavors in the curry, including the lamb stock.  The meat and the curry complemented each other very well, and they tasted absolutely delicious with the flat bread dipped in.  He did say that the next time he orders it, he would order some rice to go with it, but, “Make no mistake about it, I will be ordering it again!”
One thing I noticed about the food that we tried, is that it has a way of warming you up.  It has lots of spices, but is not necessarily too spicy, just very flavorful and warms your body.
The atmosphere was very warm as well.  The colors in the dining room as well as the decorations made you feel comforted and at home.
A mural on the wall
Colorful tiles on the counter by the bar by our table.
Pretty candle holders they put on the table in the evening I LOVE THE COLORS!
They had these chandeliers with both regular white lights and with green lights.
It was a pretty touch!
Their menus have lots of pictures, and lots of English.
They were very fancy  gold.
There were several of these drums decorating the dining room.
This was the presentation of our silverware.
Pretend there are two.   I was so hungry I started digging
into the salad as soon as the picture was taken!
What is awesome is that there were salt and
pepper shakers on the table…they don’t do that in Korea!
This is a postcard that is used to decorate around the dining room, along
with a napkin with the phone number on it.

The owner Ronu wanted to get our photo in the entry way to the restaurant.  He is a very friendly man, with friendly staff who speak English pretty well. I highly recommend Ma-India if you are looking for good Indian food.  They also have lunch specials!

This is Ronu.  He is the restaurant owner.
He actually gave us curb service  as we left.  He walked us all the way
to the corner as we caught a cab home.
Ronu wanted to get a picture of us in the decorated entry way, and Mom, we wanted to make sure to get the elephant just for you!  ❤

Friends Japanese/American Kitchen

Today I went to a new(er) restaurant in Hopyeong Dong, Namyangju si, called Friends Japanese American Kitchen.  It is located just up the street from Emart.  Here is a map, and what it looks like.

The owner speaks very good English and spent several years in Texas and Japan.  I thought it was a bit hilarious when I first saw this with my husband’s and my moms a few weeks ago.

My husband had to go in and investigate while us girls were on a weekend, only to find out that the owner, who’s English name is Eric, lived in Texas for several years as well as a few years in Japan, and partnered with two of his friends.  So this restaurant is in fact in Dallas, Fortworth, AND YES, Hopyeong-Dong, Namyangju Si!  Eric is a very nice guy.

The restaurant serves four different kinds of food, and varieties within that.  They serve burgers, cutlets (donkas), potatos, and chicken.  I can’t read the menu but some of the things he translated were bacon burger, and chili burgers, as well as a 2 patty burger, and the basic regular and cheeseburgers.  Potatoes mean their signature battered french fries.  I know they serve them regular, with cheese sauce on them, and with cheese and chili on them.  They have pork cutlet, as well as chicken, shrimp and beef.  The batter is very light, and flaky.  Cutlets are served with rice, miso soup, and cabbage salad with seaseme dressing.  It is very good (and in all honesty the chicken cutlet is only thing I have had there in two trips).  Their fries are good, however they are pretty heavy with the batter on them.  I have seen a photo of their fried chicken fingers, but I have not seen them or tried them yet. Their menus are fun, as you get a thick menu board, and a whiteboard marker.  Then you mark what you want on your menu, and just give it back to the waitress.  They don’t have an English Menu yet, but they are working on it.

Today, my husband promised to do some promotion for him, so we both brought our cameras (me for the blog, him for the facebook promo he is doing for our local area), and not only did we get pictures of our two meals, but Eric actually made a burger just for promotion.  After we took photos of it, he packed it up in a to go box and we brought it home for dinner later.  Here is some of the food that they serve at Friends:

And their signature Texas battered french fries

Chili Burger

Fried chicken with cheese fries

I have not seen the fried chicken, but my husband had it one time.  They serve several kind of beer, three kinds of fanta, sprite, and coke.

They have a fun atmosphere, and are very friendly.  Their dining room is bright and clean, and it even shows Eric’s friends from Texas. Since Texas is his theme, he has lots of the Texas flag, and even has a cute Longhorn stuffed animal in a case.

And this is Eric, the owner.

He is a great guy to chat with while you are eating.  So if you happen to be in Hopyeong Dong, Namyangju Si, check out friends.  As you can see by the map at the top, it is pretty easy to get to from the station.  Oh, and they do take out and delivery.  Their delivery business is really booming!  I forgot to check their exact hours, but I know they close at 9:30 pm.  Here is their phone number:

 031-594-7972

Enjoy!  I know we did!