Archive for the ‘Seoul’ Category

It was my last night in Seoul and I was desperate.

Desperate for haemul pajeon, a.k.a. Korean seafood pancake (what were you thinking?!), which I was determined to try at least once.

We popped into a random eatery off a side street near Dongdaemun and yay, the pancake was thankfully delicious! Rather thin, and not starchy at all! Gone in a flash, I think this is even better than pizza, haha.

Can’t say the same for my cold noodles though. The icy cold broth (with ice cubes!) was refreshing, but I couldn’t get over how chewy the noodles were.

Guess I’m more of a cold soba kind of girl.

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Seoul: Oh, Saba~

At every country we fly to, there’s bound to be an eatery known as “the crew joint” where my colleagues like to dine.

In Seoul, we simply call it “the saba fish place“.

Colleagues have been eating here for many many years and I’m glad it’s my turn now! 😀

As you can see from the photo above, we were famished after work and couldn’t wait to attack the side dishes (banchan)! Lol.

Piping hot steamed egg came soon after, yum.

The piece de resistance: one whole big saba fish, grilled to perfection.

Juicy, tender, charred-at-the-right-places, rich, oily, hooked.

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Yet another tried and tested recommendation from the BFF.

This time, it’s banana milk from the Binggrae company! There are three flavours: banana (green cap), strawberry (pink), and a ‘lite’ version (blue) of the original. I like all of them so I tried to rotate the flavours each day (I drank this twice a day while in Seoul!) though the ‘lite’ version was quite a challenge to find.

Try this once and you will understand why this is the number one product sold in Korean convenience stores. Easy to find, easy to love. And cheap too, at 1,000 KRW (approximately $1.10) per hanggari-lookalike (traditional Korean jar) bottle for a delicious start and end to your day!

While googling for more info on this product, I came across the commercial starring so super handsome Lee Min Ho!

Video credit: minoz1987 (uploaded on YouTube on 30th April 2010)

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Seoul: Tea in Insadong

There are several traditional tea houses in Insadong so we decided to stop for tea after walking around the area.

Love my Yuja Cha (citron yuzu tea)! Sweet, tart, and packed with Vitamin C~

Some other floral tea with fancy names that I can’t remember now, haha.

Note to self: O’Sulloc has a branch here too, yay!

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If you ask me what’s the most memorable meal I had in Seoul, Jirisan would come to mind immediately. It was the first meal I had after landing and to date, it’s the best Korean meal I’ve ever had in my life. Jirisan is a very popular restaurant and you will find many reviews on it online so I shan’t say more.

My host ordered for us and soon, our table was loaded with so much food that it was a feast for the eyes! Many different types of side dishes, assorted savoury pancakes, and a variety of stews and seafood. I absolutely love how all the food tastes like authentic, home-cooked meals, and it’s an interesting experience, since I’ve never seen or tried many of the dishes before. Luckily, my host is a Korean and kind enough to answer all my “what is this?” and “what is that?” questions, haha.

84-2 Gwanhun-dong, Jongno-gu, Insadong, Seoul

Love the old and traditional architecture.

This was only half the food we had! After I put my camera away, several more plates of food were placed on the table but I didn’t bother to snap any more photos since I was super hungry and it ain’t polite anyway, heh.

I’m crossing my fingers I’ll have a chance to come back again!

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Seoul: Paris Baguette

Paris Baguette in Seoul is somewhat like BreadTalk in Singapore.

This is a very popular chain bakery across Korea and can be found everywhere! Airport, train stations, and virtually any major neighbourhood. Trust me, you will definitely spot at least one outlet during your stay in Seoul.

Again, if not for the BFF’s recommendation, I wouldn’t have thought of coming here for breakfast. After all, how good can a chain bakery be?

Ok, I shall eat my words now.

Cuz the egg tarts are darn delicious!! It may not be as fabulous as my favourite darling Tai Cheong Bakery in Hong Kong or Lord Stow’s Bakery in Macau, but it’s still way above average. The custard was very soft and eggy, and the pastry (not the flaky type) was nice, not a butter overkill for me.

Since one (or two) egg tart was not enough for breakfast, I also had a crispy coconut puff pastry stuffed with custard and a cute traditional Korean manju filled with sweet chestnut paste.

Good, but not great.

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By now, you will probably realise that Myeong-dong is my favourite place to eat since there’s so many fantastic restaurants and cafes! Here’s another place I like: MiGaBon, a small popular restaurant specialising in all things porridge. Yup, that’s right, MiGaBon serves all sorts of Korean porridge, from fancy abalone and scallop to humble kimchi and black sesame congee.

45-3, 1-ga, Myeong-dong, Chung-gu, Seoul

It was a struggle deciding between the black sesame or pumpkin porridge cuz I wanted both so much. In the end, I went for the latter (don’t ask me why, I don’t know either) and wow, no regrets at all!

I really dig this (think it’s called hobakjuk in Korean?), it’s so thick and creamy that it can pass off as pumpkin soup, seriously.

Heartwarmingly awesome on a rainy day!

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Seoul: O’Sulloc Tea House

If you are a green tea lover like me, I’ll strongly recommend you go to O’Sulloc Tea House in Myeong-dong!

33-1 Myeongdong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul

 All the green tea comes from Jeju Island, where the best tea is reputed to grow.

Actually, it was BFF (a.k.a. the Korean guru) who recommended this place to me! So I decided to psycho my colleagues-cum-friends to come here for breakfast before shopping, hehe.

There’s no conventional breakfast/lunch/dinner items on the menu, just teas and desserts made with O’Sulloc’s green tea products. But hey, who says you can’t eat cakes for breakkie?!

Sigh. That’s a happy sigh. Cuz looking at these photos makes me wanna eat the Roll Green and Roll Black again.

The former is a green tea swiss roll with one of the best vanilla cream filling I’ve ever had cuz it was so light and airy~ The thing is, I don’t even like cream per se. To think that I’ll willingly devour the whole roll (cream inclusive) surprises no one but myself the most! Oh ya, and the latter is a most lovely Earl Grey swiss roll. I kind of like that even more than its green tea counterpart since the taste of the fragrant tea roll was just so delicate.

Another winner: green tea cheese tiramisu!

I know I shouldn’t eat junk for breakfast. But I can’t resist ordering the green tea yogurt ice cream too!

FYI, ice cream for breakfast only happens when I’m on holidays (ok, technically, it’s a work trip, haha) 😉

Know what?

I may just tabao (takeaway) a whole roll of Roll Green and Roll Black to bring back to Singapore the next time I’m back in Seoul!

Can’t wait.

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Find this guy in Myeong-dong and you will find the best dolsot bibimbap ever!

24-11 Chungmuro 1-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul

From what I read in the guidebook, Jeonju Jungang Hoekwan (전주 중앙 회관, a.k.a. 全州中央會館, a.k.a. Jeonju Central Clan House) is a famous restaurant specialising in bibimbap, the iconic Korean dish that we are all familiar with. Rain or shine, there will always be someone standing outside holding a flag so it’s real easy to spot him! Fabulous location too, since it’s in the heart of Myeong-dong.

Here’s my method of eating bibimbap: mix everything (i.e. raw egg, rice, seaweed, vegetables) thoroughly and just let it sit for 10 to 15 mins (patience, patience!!) so that the rice touching the sides of the very hot stone pot will turn super crispy, yum. This was sooo good, definitely one of the best meals I had in Seoul! And I don’t even like rice, hahaha.

Please go there if you have a chance ok? I promise you won’t regret it! 🙂

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Buy, Buy, Buy in Seoul!

I’ve done all the touristy sightseeing stuff when I was in Seoul for holidays 9 years ago so this time, it’s just gonna be shopping, eating and more shopping!

Travelling around is easy with the efficient metro. And darn cheap too! 1,000 KRW (approximately $1.10) for a one-way ticket.

First stop: Dongdaemun!

This is shopping heaven, I’m telling you! Shop till you drop at the major malls like Doota, Migliore, and Hello apM~ Best of all? They are open till 4 or 5am in the morning! 😀

Second stop: Namdaemun Market!

This is a good place to pick up houseware and local food items such as ginseng and seaweeds. Not so much for clothings since I find that the apparels are more suitable for aunties than young adults.

From Namdaemun, it’s an easy walk to my last and final pit stop: Myeong-dong!

Interestingly, the “information centres” are actually these ladies in red!

There’s too many, many, many skincare and cosmetics boutiques everywhere you turn! The Face Shop, Skinfood, Tony Moly, Missha, Etude House, Innis Free etc etc etc. Luckily, I’m not very into skincare products so my only damage was at Laneige, where I stocked up on the Water Sleeping Pack EX and Water Bank Essence. I think these are fabulous for lazy people like me! Cuz I just slap them on and go to sleep right away, haha.

Ok, shopping done, eating next! Stay tuned! 🙂

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