Back when I lived here in 2007, there were only a few kebab places in Itaewon, but now there are so many that it feels almost overwhelming… Like any one place you come across could be either the best or the worst place you’ve ever been. I was glad to be armed with a destination in hand. A bit of research in the internets yielded the highly recommended name Petra Palace.

Now, the internets told me that PP was the only one of these kebab joints that had falafel, which had me super excited.

The falafel was pretty standard, if not a bit on the bland side. This could turn some people off, but I usually eat my falafel with a lot of condiments, so I actually prefer it this way. (I once had a falafel that contained an unintended little lump of pure salt. Biting into that lump inside the falafel was a really traumatic experience.) The falafel had good texture as it was crunchy on the outside and grainy on the inside. I only wish it had a few more herbs and spices, but those can be hard to find, and I believe they did the best with what they had.

It did occur to me, however, that under-seasoning was possibly PP’s game, because I also ordered the chicken kebab hummus platter and noticed the same thing.

Maybe my palate has become too accustomed to strong Korean flavors, but I found the under-seasoned chicken and hummus (I spell it hummus, PP spells it homos, it’s the same) kind of refreshing. It the case of the hummus, it let the rich flavor of the chick pea shine all on its own. Actually, I’m not 100% sure if it’s chick pea they used, per the traditional hummus recipe, but it was still creamy, hearty, and nutty. All the dishes came with PP’s two house condiments.

These two sauces might be the reason everything was under-seasoned the way it was. I’m careful to not call the food bland, because it wasn’t. It wasn’t spicy or salty or overpowering at all, and just let the ingredients speak for themselves. I think the one on the left was a yogurt sauce, though it was far less tangy than other yogurt sauces I’ve had (like tzatziki), so I’m hesitant to call it yogurt. In any case, it was creamy and tasty and went great with the hot sauce, which was wasn’t too spicy.

Prices were reasonable: Chicken Kebab Homos Platter 13,000₩, Falafel set 9,000₩. The restaurant, like the food, was clean and simple. It was food I felt good about eating, that left me feeling sated without feeling heavy. The interior was tidy and the service was friendly enough. It’s set up like a fast food restaurant, so you queue up, place an order, and they’ll bring it to your table. Also, the staff didn’t seem to speak any Korean, but that didn’t seem to be too big a problem. xo