Mar 112013

Note: The Fresh Fries Factory has been REBORN in to Savoy!


The previously known and loved ‘Fresh Fries Factory’ has been reborn as ‘Savoy’ and is bigger and better
than ever.

The best fish and chips in Seomyeon is back after a short hiatus, with a couple of additions to the menu,
the quality is the same as ever. The small shop is open as normal, opening hours are usually from around
4 in the evening until the punters clear out.

P1080175Savoy have excelled themselves with the new English pub-style shop front on the new, larger premises,
just around the corner from the old one. The red wooden façade stands out among the coffee shops
that litter the same street, and the inside pleases even more than the outside. Brown leather seats and
dark wooden table tops, soft American oldies tunes and a wall of vinyl and cd collections provide an
atmosphere unique to any other restaurant. As if things couldn’t get any better, they have Guinness,
Indica IPA and Max draft on the menu. Win win win.



Directions: To the big, new shop: Seomyeon subway station exit 2, walk straight  until you reach Tom and Tom’s Coffee shop, turn left, when you are in from of Ella’s café take the left fork, the shop is on the right hand side about 20metres down this street. The red store front is obvious. The small, original location is just around the next right corner.



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Mar 062013



IMG_20130215_124903Well Balanced Nutrition:” quite a bold statement. Bolder still when printed in large block letters above the picture of a supersized burger on a brightly lit example of restaurant signage. Somehow I’m not entirely convinced. There’s something that seems almost too good to be true about those two going together. The sight of my own burger (which I strongly suspect of harboring an onion ring somewhere amidst its savory layers of meat and cheese), isn’t really helping.  But I’m not ready to give up yet. Maybe the balance isn’t in the burger at all. Maybe it’s somewhere in the side order of garlic cheese fries. Welcome to Valance Burger: Very Delicious and Balanced.

The fact of the matter is that I hold at most only a passing interest in balance and nutrition; despite the best efforts of the good people at Valance Burger to draw my attention to it. I’m there only to indulge my interest in a good burger and nothing more, except perhaps a coke and some fries. Sure they may have the symbolic image of a scale above their doorway and offer menu items such as “a salad of a meal” for those so inclined, but who’s falling for it and who really cares?  Valance makes a good burger and I would eat it even if it came with a Surgeon General’s warning.

IMG_20130215_125128    Questionable marketing aside, Valance gets two things absolutely right: they have good food at a good price, and provide a comfortable area to sit down and enjoy it.    Naturally their menu is focused on burgers. They menu offers what looks like the usual array of burgers, cheese burgers, bacon burgers and chicken burgers, along with more imaginatively named variations such as the  Dracula, Mania and Autumn Squash Burger. The sandwiches can be matched with any of three sets, all including a drink and either fries, garlic fries, or chili fries. I also spotted at least three different kinds of hot dog and salads, spring rolls, crunch shrimp, and hot fish nuggets just to keep things interesting. Best of all no set will set you back more than 9,000 W.

The burgers come wrapped in a folded paper pocket, skewered with an oversized toothpick bearing the burger’s name at the top.  The sandwich is substantial without being so large as to require either taking it apart or unhinging your lower jaw in order to eat it. The fries are of the crinkle cut variety and each order comes with more than enough of them.  The restaurant itself is clean, surprisingly spacious, comfortable and simple which means there’s nothing to really distract you from the most important fact of all; the fact that everything just tastes right.  Valance isn’t the kind of place you go to eat because the promise of “balance” drew you in, or because you’re just desperate for western food. Its somewhere you go because you appreciate a good burger, or feel that you should be able to enjoy fast food that doesn’t look or taste like it was designed by a team of efficiency experts and accountants . Valance is good stuff at a good price, and looking for an easy lunch or dinner, what’s better than that?



To get there, exit the PNU Station at exit three. Walk up the shopping street until it intersects a main road and turn left at Starbucks. Valance is about half a block down on the left side.

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