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Saturday, November 16, 2013

[Seoul, Gangnam Cafe] Shall We? - Tart café

Shall We? Yes, we shall.
I don't remember exactly how I discovered this place last year. Likely, I was hungry at night and was doing some foodblog research, one of my favorite hobbies. It is very close to the station, so it is a great meeting place. Actually, I met many friends here and maybe went each week or something crazy like that.
Red Grape Tart and Banana Tart
It sells tarts and beverage items. Actually, I think that they also serve other baked goods, but I was here for the tarts and had eyes only for them. They also have fresh, made-to-order salads, pastas, and pizzas.
Some of the tarts appear to be there just for the visual know, so people, like me can take pictures of them and have their friends be jealous of them.

Friday, November 15, 2013

[Seoul, Gangnam] Julio - Mexican Food in Seoul

Lunch Set: Chicken Burrito with Fries (6,900KRW)
So, one day after meeting my Korean tutor last summer, I decided to wander around Gangnam. You know, scoping out my next meal...or my next seven. I happened to come across Julio on my way to cafe hill. (See the Standard Coffee Bar post for a great cafe!) As an American, I really miss the idea of Chipotle while abroad for a long time...I don't know what it is about Chipotle, but it's definitely crave-able.
So, I was kind of in the mood for a burrito and I came across Julio's by accident. I took a look at the menu and the prices were reasonable (not as high as Dos Tacos and definitely not as high as On the Border, but not as cheap as Chois Tacos). The lunch set menu is a great deal! So, if you can go for lunch, I highly recommend you to do so.

Do you have any recommendations for Mexican food places?

Thursday, November 14, 2013

[Korea Restaurant] School Food

So, I usually try to not eat at large chain restaurants, but sometimes you have to make an when the area you work in only has chain restaurants and is in a part of Seoul that is not really near anything. School Food is, I guess, a Korean chain restaurant...kind of like a Korean-style Applebee's or TGI Friday's (nevermind that there are plenty of TGI Friday's in Korea...). It's regular Korean food, but in fusion-style presentations and flavors. That also means that the price may be more expensive than you are used to paying for bunshik.

I apologize for the fuzzy picture. This was before I changed phones, so this was a 3- or 4-year-old smartphone...aka before phone companies got everything figured out.

I used to work near Cheongnyangni Station (청량리역)...incidentally one of the most tricky stations to spell in English, ever. This is line 1/Jungang line. It may be a good option for you if you want to get something to eat before you catch the KTX or the Jungang line somewhere.

Cheongnyangni Station Location: 3rd Floor of the Lotte Department Store. 

If you are staying in central Seoul, there is one in the B1 floor of the YoungPoong Bookstore at Jonggak Station (line 1).

There are plenty of other locations, so you can readily find it somewhere.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Requesting: Tokyo Travel Hints

Hi, I apologize again for my lack of posts this week.
My work was SUPER CRAZY last week and this week will be about as crazy, if not crazier.

As you may know, I am living in Japan now for three months, been here about one month already, so crazy.

I am going to go to Tokyo over New Year's since I have a SUPER long break from work, a full week!
I heard it will be crazy in Tokyo because of the bank holiday and super crazy New Year's sales. I may die.

I have never been to Tokyo and I actually don't know that much about Japan.

Anyone have any suggestions for what to see/do? Of, my personal favorite, any one have any suggestions of where/what to eat? (I know I'm turning the tables and asking you for advice!)

I am going to buy the JR Japan Rail Pass, I'm pretty sure, so anything JR is fine! Any suggestions of a great itinerary?

Monday, November 4, 2013

[Seoul, City Hall Station Restaurant] Shipwon-jip Green Onion Bulgogi + Steamed Egg

Shipwonjip - A well-established restaurant (more than 49 years in operation) known for its charcoal briquette-fired meats.

It has been featured on numerous television programs. While I was planning the itinerary for my parents' visit to Seoul, I knew they would want to have Korean barbecue, so I did my typical 맛집 research and found this gem.

[York Cafe] Patisserie Valerie

Patisserie Valerie is a chain pastry/sweet shop. There are about 80 in the United Kingdom. I went to the one in York.

Their pastries are baked daily, so the earlier the better. I had cheesecake and a decaf cappuccino. The cheesecake was 3.95 GBP (6.25 USD) for a generous portion. I had to take half of it home to finish later. The cappuccino was 2.80 GBP (4.50 USD). It was good but nothing extraordinary.

I enjoyed the cheesecake but I probably wouldn't go there again. There are better places in York and Patisserie Valerie is a chain, so it lacked in personality.

Patisserie Valerie is at 5 Feasegate, just off Davygate in the city centre.

[York Cafe] Chloes of York

Chloes of York was the first tea room I have ever been to. It was also the first place I went to eat in the city centre.

It is a family run tea shop. I didn't have any of the baked goods but they looked pretty good and were reasonably priced. I had a ham sandwich with coleslaw and crisps, all of which came from Yorkshire. I also had a pot of tea. The whole meal was around 6 GBP (roughly 9.50 USD). The tea was just an afternoon blend but they had a few other options. It is fresh brewed for each person and is 2 GBP for a small pot, which is about two medium cups. The sandwich was good, as were the crisps and coleslaw. The best part was that all of the food was fresh and local.

Here's the website:

Chloes is pretty easy to get to. It is located on Colliergate between St. Saviourgate and St. Andrewgate.

York directions tip: anything with "gate" in it is a street and anything with "bar" in it is a gate (in the Roman walls).

Sunday, November 3, 2013

[Sincheon, Korean BBQ] Saemaul Shikdang (새마을식당)

I typically try to not eat that much Korean barbeque or meat, but some just have to partake in it. A good option, in my opinion, is 새마을식당 (Saemaul shikdang).

It is a chain and the menu and atmosphere do not vary much from branch to branch, so it's a pretty safe bet.

Where's your favorite Korean bbq place?

Saturday, November 2, 2013

[Sinchon] Loving Hut. Delicious Vegan Food + Rose Lemonade.

[Sinchon] Loving Hut. Delicious Vegan Food + Rose Lemonade

I have heard from vegetarian friends how difficult it is to live in Korea. Virtually everything has meat in it in some form or another. I can only imagine how difficult it is to be vegan in Korea, especially since kimchi, a staple of Korean food, contains fish and shrimp products. Even the kimchi here is vegan! There is no shrimp or fish in it.

Loving Hut is also great, it has been pointed out to me, for individuals who cannot or do not consume pork products due to religious dietary restrictions and, from someone who consumes meat, the dishes that usually contain pork, in their Loving Hut form, do still taste like the meat-containing version.

A while back, probably around 3 or 4 years ago, my friend introduced me to Loving Hut in Sinchon. The Loving Hut is apparently a chain of vegan restaurants around the world started by a spiritual leader. Each store has its own unique menu. I have only been to this store and one in New York, so I cannot tell you what is on the menu in the other stores in Seoul/Korea, but I can send you directions if you need them. Just leave a comment.
Top: Vegan jajjangmyum
Bottom left: kongnamulbap (bean sprout rice)
Bottom Right: Vegan tangsuyuk (Sweet and sour "pork"), jangmi lemonade (rose lemonade)

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