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Sandwiches And Hiking To Namsan Tower – North Seoul Tower

One Monday we made the journey in the rain to Itaewon for a sandwich feast at Casablanca Sandwicherie. Our little hearts were crushed when we got to the front of the empty shop and saw the lights off, a sign saying “closed Mondays”. We paced up and down the road trying to think of something that would fit the sandwich craving and settled on burgers across the road. While it was filling, it wasn’t anything to write about, however they did have good chips and beer. I first read about Casablanca Sandwicherie in this hilarious piece about sandwiches in Korea. It says what I and quite possibly many other foreigners here, feel for the humble sandwich that is being butchered.

Paris Baguette DSC05397

On the rare occasions when homesickness struck, Bobby would buy me this “sandwich” from Paris Baguette in an attempt to make me feel better. It had the opposite effect. The bread is sickly sweet and cake like, soggy in parts from the wet lettuce and limp cucumber. The processed meat has a slimy cover and the cheese is beyond plastic. It sits on the shelf for days, cut into tiny delicate triangles and sold at a hefty price that could buy you a decent Korean meal. I can deal with the sandwich fillings, but not the candy bread. Typing in sandwiches in Seoul led me to “Derek Versus Lonely Planet” (amazing food blogger) who’d written about Casablanca Sandwich and got me with this line:

Finally, the bread. This bread is some of the softest and freshest bread I have ever had. I swear to God it was still warm when it was placed on the table. This is the real deal. – Derek Versus Lonely Planet

SOLD! We went and it didn’t disappoint. Two chicken sandwiches were ordered and we sat down in the cosy shop. I’ll start with the bread and work in. It has a beautiful crust with a slight crunch when you bite in which then gives way to chewy, soft warm yeasty greatness that instantly comforts and lifts the spirits (Who doesn’t love good bread?). Rich mayo is thickly smeared on the top inside with a spicy sauce that sticks to the marinated chicken and deep-fried mashed potato balls. This post here practically gives away their recipe for the chicken which we’ll test out at a later date. The large chicken pieces have just the right amount of acidic and spice flavour oomph and, together with the fried crisp potato balls that become creamy mashed potato, play well off of each other in textures. The lettuce was fresh, the tomatoes juicy, the dill pickles crunchy, sweet and sour. That first sandwich left us craving more. We tried again with friends but were too late in the evening and the bread had sold out. Another attempt had us take the trip back on that dreary Monday. Defeated by the lack of sandwiches, but stuffed from the burgers, we ended up hiking to Namsan Tower for a look around at the sunset and city lights, taking the cable car down. *Traveller’s Tip* Don’t take the cable car. 6,000 won per person sees you packed in like sardines. It’s not worth it as you can’t turn around to take a photo. It felt exactly like a subway ride, not a peaceful gondola ride and was over in two minutes. Save your pennies and get your extra exercise in.

Wednesday, we attempted again and were successful. We ordered three: Moroccan Chicken, Lamb Chili and Berber Omelette. Chicken has the textures and all the rich flavours. Lamb has the delicious spices and depth. Berber Omelette was soft but still had really awesome flavours.

1/2 Lamb Chili sandwich at Casablanca Sandwicherie
1/2 Lamb Chili and 1/2 Moroccan Chicken sandwich at Casablanca Sandwicherie

The owners and staff are really friendly and they cut all our sandwiches in half so we could mix them around. We can’t praise this place enough and in times of need, it’s worth two mat-jibs to me. For directions, at the start of this post, detailed instructions are at the top. Happy eating – Chan and Bob

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4 thoughts on “Sandwiches And Hiking To Namsan Tower – North Seoul Tower

  1. Oh my gosh Paris Baguette sandwiches…The first time I had one, I was like, “Ew wtf am I even eating. HOW COULD THEY CALL THIS A SANDWICH.” But after a year of being deprived of a decent sandwich, I’ll confess that there were times when I splurged on a PB sandwich, and found it hitting the spot, despite the slimy meat and the soggy bread. And the worst part is that now that I’m living in the States again, where I’m surrounded by delicious sandwiches, the ones I’ll find myself craving are those from Paris Baguette, but we’ll chalk that up to nostalgia/Korea-sickness. I’m glad you found the sandwiches to satisfy your cravings! And holy cow, you guys took the long way to get up to Namsan Tower! It looks like you walked all the way from the park (?) Those stairs… I’ve been there like, four times, and I’ve only ever used the bus to get me halfway up and then walked the remainder of the road, but you guys basically hiked up! Great exercise! I’m so impressed…

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    1. ha! The first time eating PB sandwiches turned me into an angry monster. It’s definitely Korea-sickness… Unless they lace it with something! I too had a PB craving when I went back home and had been settled for 6 months, but not as low as the sandwich ㅎㅎ just the “cheesecake”.
      You have to try the sandwiches at Casablanca’s! Perhaps it won’t taste as fabulous without months of deprivation? But really, they’re so good…

      We called it the local route, there wasn’t a single tourist along there and it was tough but good exercise. We walked up the old alleyways to get to the stairs, think it’s round the back/ left side of the main way to get up. Definitely a huff and puff and I want the relaxing bus view next time :p Do you like hiking? I recommend ChiakSan, JiriSan and WeolrakSan. Yet to test out the other ones, but everyone raves about SeorakSan. I wonder if there’d be some remmants of Spring when you come in May? There should be right?

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      1. Oh wow, what a hike. I think you got to know the area really well because of that. I love hiking and I’m kind of considering visiting 설악산 in May. It’s been on my “Korea Bucket List” for years now, but somehow I never got the chance to see it. I’m loving your photos of spring on Instagram! Hope to see a video or more photos on here of your spring adventures~

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  2. Indeed! Tell me how SeorakSan is when you do it, if you find it enjoyable, I will tackle it on the next trip 🙂 bucket lists are the best, I like the mini one you’ve got going down the side of your blog. Shall make a flower blog next 😀

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