I’ve been dying to write about a Taco Truck for ages. Last month I almost had my wish. El Camion is a Korean Taco joint Inspired by the Taco Truck scene in the US. It does a decent enough line of Korean inspired Tacos, but as a bricks and mortar establishment it doesn’t really count.
On Saturday, however, I came across the real thing. Habanero in Hongdae sits on four wheels (I checked) and serves a menu of Burritos, Tacos, Quesadillas and Salsa Bibimbap. Unlike El Camion, this is a dyed-in-the wool street food operation; the truck is run by a crew of one and is strictly standing room only.
I really like to see care and personality going into food and this is exactly what chef EJ Chun achieves. Burritos, Quesadillas and Tacos come in a basic beef or chicken, but it’s the personal touches that make him stand out: he is proud of his own blend salsa (very spicy,) finishes each burrito off with a mini blowtorch and he’s not interested in Korean-style tacos. He also strives to set his food apart from the main taco chains, which he considers much too greasy. The result is food that feels very lovingly crafted.
I went for the beef burrito and Sarah opted for a quesadilla. Both were big, filling, tasty and spicy. While other places can get bogged down in cramming as many different ingredients as they can into their burritos, Habanero takes a fairly minimal approach of cheese, meat, rice and salsa. At 3000 won a piece they were also criminally affordable.
As such, Habanero is a welcome addition to Seoul’s streets. The attention to detail, personal service and good food make it well worth the visit.