[Seoul] A long line of tourists from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan can always be spotted queuing for Isaac Toast 이삭토스트 at Myeongdong.
Known to be one of the best sandwich toast place in Korea, is this worthy or just overhyped?
Quick introduction: Isaac Toast has over 700 retail stores in South Korea, with overseas branches in both Macau, Taiwan and Malaysia.
The outlets in Malaysia include Gateway at Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) Arrival Hall, and Johor Bahru Paradigm Mall Level 3.
While there are many branches all around, this kiosk at Myeongdong with no seating space, seems to be the most popular.
The Myeongdong outlet serves up 7 varieties of toast, including Bulgalbi (3,200 Won), Bulgogi (2,800 Won), Hot Tteokgalbi (3,200 Won), Hot Chicken (3,000 Won), Steak Ham (2,800 Won), Bacon Best (2,800 Won) and Ham Special (2,400 Won).
That is between SGD$2.85 to SGD$3.80, making it a rather affordable and filling breakfast.
Do note that other branches may carry different types of toast include Double Cheese Potato, Shrimp, Spicy Cutlet, and Bacon & Cheese Bagel.
While the line at Myeongdong is usually long, it clears up quite fast. However, I read some reviews that the servers can be rude. I guess can’t help it when there are only 2 to 3 ajumma handling so many tourists at once.
I first had a Bulgalbi Toast (3,200 Won), freshly made on the spot, filled with grilled beef patty, egg, cheese, pickles and cabbage.
The toast would then be wrapped in a paper wrap, printed with a verse of Genesis 26.
Upon the first bite, I realised what the hype was all about. It was simple stuff made particularly good.
There was a lot going out in a toast, with some special sauce and sweet honey which gave the bread a tinge of appetising sweetness.
The patty was thin (maybe too thin) but juicy, and sliced cabbage added refreshing crunch. The bread freshly pan-grilled over butter, was fluffy and aromatic.
To be fair, I had another Korean Street Toast from an ordinary road-side stall which turned out to be comparable.
After trying a couple different toasts, here are some tips.
Between than Ham Special (2,400 Won) and Ham with Cheese (2,200 Won), get the former as it includes pickles and cabbage, adding some “Korean-ness” to a breakfast meal.
Hot Tteokgalbi would mean spicy grilled beef patty. A friend confused it with Tteokbokki (rice cakes).
If you would like something sweeter, go for the Bulgogi patty.
The Hongdae branch is a café sit-down concept which faces directly the Hongik University entrance.
I also had a Spicy Cutlet Toast at this branch, which was closer to ordinary and lacked of that thin crisp on the surface. If this was the only Isaac Toast I had, I might be more inclined to say it was “over-rated”.
Conclusion: I like Isaac Toast enough, won’t mind having this for breakfast a couple of times in a week, but only if the queue is short.
Isaac Toast Myeongdong
105 Toegye-ro, Chungmuro 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel: +82 2 752 3002
Opening Hours: 7:00am – 8:30pm (Mon – Sat), Closed Sun
Isaac Toast Hongdae
93, Wausan-ro, Mapo-gu, Seoul 04040, South Korea (opposite Hongik University entrance)
Tel: +82 2 333 2492
Opening Hours: 8:00am – 10:00pm (Mon – Fri), 9:00am – 10:00pm (Sat – Sun)
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