Day 2 started with breakfast in the hotel which was the usual fare in Korean hotels as far as I am aware (from this and my previous stay): a buffet of European and Asian foods. I had scrambled eggs, french toast, bacon and kimchi (I had to have at least one Korean food for breakfast!)
After that we walked to Nangdaemun market which was absolutely amazing. It was street after street (and alley after alley) of clothes, fabrics, foods, kitchenware, and virtually anything you could want or need. I bought eight stainless steel nangmyeon bowls and eight rice and soup bowls. Needless to say I will definitely need to send a crate back to NZ with my shopping!
After the market we had a snack at a French coffee shop chain called Paris Baguette. I ordered a latte which was as good as at home and a red bean paste bun which was incredibly soft and delicious.
Today was also the first day of the government sponsored food tour: lunch at Hanmiri - an upmarket restaurant based on traditional Korean food. For the meagre price of $49 US per person we ate non-stop for 2 hours. The first wave of food was a series of salads which were mungbean jelly side dish (cheongpomuk muchim), japchae, lettuce salad, radish beef and cucumber salad and a huge bowl of mul kimchi which was amazing! It was incredibly refreshing and savory.
Next we got gujeolpan which was beautifully presented in a special gujeolpan dish made of Korean brassware especially for the restaurant. The pancakes were slightly green - colored with spinach juice I suspect. I was later told by a food expert that gujeolpan is more important for its colors (harmonious) than its taste which is considered to be bland.
Next we had wild sesame soup which was a light tan color and had a very subtle flavor. That was accompanied by galbi jim, a slightly seasoned dish of thinly sliced pork, and a plate of something that was very much like kimchi but wasn't made with cabbage - it was a very crunchy vegetable - maybe Maangchi can enlighten us on that one. One piece each with two huge mushrooms.