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Saturday, December 28, 2013

[Asiana Flight] Meal Service: Asiana Airlines Korea <--> Japan

Are you flying Asiana from Incheon Airport to somewhere in Japan?

I moved from Seoul to Kansai (Kobe, Japan) in October.
My flight was over the noon hour.
I, being ridiculously frugal, did not really want to pay money for an overpriced airport meal...and I was flying Asiana, so I knew the food should be ok...if I got food.

But, I figured there was a slim chance that I would get an in-flight meal since the flight is a whole 1.5 hours.

But, I did some searching anyway.

I could only find information on Korean blog sites, so I figured I would share this as a resource for anyone who is doing some traveling (or moving) from Korea to Japan or from Japan to Korea.

It's nothing much, but it is enough to hold you over until you get to your destination and can buy real food.

You get a sandwich, orange juice, water, and then tea/coffee service after your meal. They will also offer you some other beverages (soft drinks, I was not offered wine/beer on this flight).

The taste isn't too spectacular, but it's satisfying nonetheless. It's basically a croissant sandwich. I was worried it would have ham on it, since I'm kind of scared of ham, but this sandwich didn't have any. It was mainly vegetables, but did have mayonnaise and sliced cheese.

Now you know, you do receive a sandwich on flights between Korea and Japan.

Friday, December 27, 2013

[Tokyo, Japan] Preliminary New Year's Trip Itinerary

Hello, happy holidays everyone!
I am in my final two weeks in Japan. As a result, I had a lot of final projects/presentations to work on at my internship this week, so I was not able to update this blog as much as I had hoped.

I leave for my Tokyo trip tomorrow afternoon to see my friends and go to Tokyo since I've never been and I don't know when I'll be back in Japan. (Living here was completely an internship offer, quit my Seoul internship and job and came to Japan over the course of 4 weeks.)

Anyway, that being said. I was completely unprepared for going to Tokyo. I don't know anything about Japan/Tokyo. I've only been surviving in Kansai because I work every day during the week and I have a really really good guidebook for if I venture out of Kobe.

I also just learned about fukubukoro (Japanese grab bags of sorts). Although I'm not really a fan of Japanese fashion, I am considering buying one just for the experience and testing my luck. Any recommendations about where to go? I would prefer a bag/accessories or electronics or food product (ie tea) fukubukoro. 

Anyway, I did a super crazy itinerary ... it seems like most stuff in Tokyo is closed down for New Year's holidays save temples/shrines. I'm also not super crazy about shopping, so I think for a bunch of the stuff, I will just go, take a picture, walk around like 10 minutes and then leave.

I also don't really know much about food in Tokyo, so this is going to be an interesting trip. I can also speak/read basically zero Japanese.

Also, I was thinking about the number of airline miles I will be banking over the next three weeks...I am worry environment for my carbon footprint. I am also sad that there's no such thing as a universal airline miles program...

Japan until 10 January. Korea until 13 January. Minnesota until 18 January. New York from 18 January.

Too much flying!

Anyway, please take a look at my itinerary and let me know if you think there are any HUGE holes in it and if you have any recommendations for food!

There are so many places that I wish I could have put on there, but they were closed (ie. gardens)

I also highly recommend if you are planning a trip. It has information about closing dates, prices, locations, etc. for almost everything.

Also, I took some of this information from and the Yokohama Tourism site. I will try to credit where credit is due...if you see anything in sentence form, it's likely from

Sunday, December 22, 2013

[Seoul, Edae / Ewha Women's University Cafe] Chocolateria San Churro

I discovered San Churro about three or four years ago. It used to be the only place where you could get churros in Seoul. It's actually an Australian cafe chain.

However, following recent food trends in Seoul this has definitely changed based solely on the emergence of a lot more churro cafe chains.

I discovered this cafe three or four years ago after my Danish roommate said she was craving churros. I did a quick Naver search and found Chocolateria San Churro. AND, luckily for us, it was in Edae. (We were living in Yonhui-dong - neighborhood next to Yonsei University.)

So, we made a study plan and went and tried out their churros set.

Read more!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

[Seoul / ICN Layover] Neal's Itinerary. One night layover in Seoul.

After posting the itinerary I made for my friends, I received an email from Neal asking for an itinerary for him and his girlfriend.

They will be arriving at 4:45PM to Incheon Airport (ICN) and then leave at 7:10AM the next morning and have opted to stay at a hotel near the airport.

So, this will be a much different itinerary than the previous one.

Also, a great resource for people who are doing a layover in Seoul is this website from the Korea Tourism Organization. There are actually free transit tours available for you!! I envy you if you are able to take advantage of this great program! If you do go on the “transit tour” let me know how it is, please.

By the way, don’t click on the banner on the left side of the page, these tours cost money and, honestly, aren’t worth your time. Korea is very manageable to do on your own, even if you know no Korean.

Unlike Steph, Neal and his girlfriend do not have any food requests since they don’t know any Korean food, so I have to do Korean food justice and show the best parts of Seoul! So much pressure!

But he requested to go to some major Seoul landmarks – Cheonggye Stream and Namdaemun Market and requested to have galbi (Korean marinated beef or pork ribs).

For them, I decided to make an itinerary around Central Seoul (City Hall, Gwanghwamun, Insadong, Gyeongbok-gung).

Read more!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

[Kobe, Japan] Harbourland / Umie Mosaic Shopping Center

If you're in the Kansai area, I recommend that you check out Harbourland in Kobe for a great night view!

You can do some sightseeing around Kobe, maybe in Kitano - one of the oldest foreigner settlement in Japan - or in Motomachi Chinatown - one of the largest Chinatowns in Japan. Or, you can do a bunch of shopping around Harborland and, if you're traveling with children, there's the Anpanman Children's Museum and a ferris wheel.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

[Hongdae Cafe] Peony

By now, I'm sure you have recognized a pattern. If I eat dessert, it's going to be bingsu. I also carefully select my bingsu will rarely see me eating a bingsu at Cafe Bene. I'm also pretty sure I haven't had a bingsu at Paris Baguette, ummm, ever. When I choose my bingsu place, I make sure that they are really well known for it. Luckily for me, bingsu gained a ton of popularity and you now find a ton of stores that sell JUST bingsu all around the country.

Today, I want to introduce you to "Peony" cafe in Hongdae. It is well-known for it's homemade strawberry shortcake and it's strawberry bingsu. I was obviously there for the bingsu primarily, but, of course, I also had to try the strawberry shortcake.

It is very popular! We waited in line for about 40~45 minutes. The line snaked out into the know the parking lot road that goes down the middle of Hongdae area. Then we finally got into the cafe!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

[Myeongdong Restaurant] Myeongdong Namsan Wang Donkatsu (명동 남산 왕돈까스)

While my parents were visiting me in Seoul in October, we went to a few places that were not included on the itinerary I made for their trip (click here to take a look!).

One day, they were getting sick of eating Korean food and wanted something "light," so obviously I took them to the famous dongatsu restaurant in Myungdong. Because, you know, what's a lighter meal than a slab of fried pork bigger than your face? Well, at least we got Japanese food and not Korean?

It was recommended that I take my parents to this particular store by a friend AND I was having a hankering for some donkatsu before I moved to Japan. Logical, right?

So, we walked from our hotel near City Hall. I will provide walking directions soon for getting around central Seoul on foot since I think it's useful to know. You can save money and time sometimes since many times you have to transfer trains (from City Hall to Gyungbok Palace, for instance). 

Friday, December 13, 2013

[Seoul, Myeongdong Restaurant] Battery Park

When I first arrived in Seoul in the summer, there was this one restaurant that was gaining popularity over a ton of social networking sites and Korean food blogs. So, naturally, it went on my eat list.

It is conveniently located in Myeongdong, so it's easily accessible after a day of shopping in Myeongdong or after sightseeing in the Gwanghwamun/City Hall area. Or, in my case, after working in central Seoul.

Monday, December 9, 2013

[Seoul, Sinchon] Hello Kitty Cafe

2 Iced Green Tea Lattes with Hello Kitty art and frozen yogurt "service."
Check out Sinchon's Hello Kitty Cafe!

I first came across this cafe about 3.5 years ago. I loved coming here to study while I was on exchange at Yonsei University. It was great because it had free wifi and the beverages were relatively inexpensive, so it was great for my student budget. On top of the great price, when you order a latte, you get a cute character art on the top.

It is also known for waffles, but, sadly, I do not have a picture of that.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

[Korea University, Anam] Jjim and Jok

My favorite Korean food is jjimdalk, maybe I mentioned it before, followed very closely by bingsu. If you don't know jjimdalk is a delicious chicken dish. If I explain it, I will not do it justice. Do you ever get the feeling that when you describe something it never sounds as good as it tastes? Basically, this is stewed chicken with vegetables, sweet potato noodles, onions, dduk (Korean rice cakes) and the sauce. You typically also eat it with a side of rice, just because it tastes better and the sauce goes well with the rice..also because it'll fill you up.

One day, I was doing my typical food blog searching right before lunch at my research lab and I stumbled across this place near Korea University. Since my lab was near Cheongyangri, my co-worker and I took the bus to Anam and ate here.

[Osaka, Kobe, Japan] A la campagne - Tarte cafe

My first weekend in Kobe, Japan, I went to Osaka to meet one of my best friends. It had been three years since we last saw each other, but it felt like just yesterday.

We went to a tarte cafe she knew and really enjoys. Actually, we tried to go to about six other cafes, but, since this was in Umeda on a Saturday afternoon, there was a very slim chance of finding any open chairs.

We finally found chairs A La Campagne with minimal waiting time. We were maybe 8th in line and waited about 30 minutes.

Friday, December 6, 2013

[York, England] Betty's Cafe and Tea Rooms

One of the biggest tourist destinations in York is Betty's. This past week I went with a couple of my friends and I know why so many people are willing to wait in long lines to get in. There are actually two Betty's in York. The main one is in in St. Helen's Square, near the Mansion House. It has a main seating area and a basement. We were in the basement, which was nice because it has a little more space. Depending on when you go, there can be a long line--it wraps around the outside of the storefront. We went in the early evening and had to wait, at most, 2 minutes. They also offer reservations of Afternoon Tea. The second Betty's doesn't have the line but it is also smaller. It is at 46 Stonegate, which is roughly halfway between big Betty's and the Minster.

One of Betty's specialties is Afternoon Tea, which is a selection of sandwiches, sultana scones with jam and clotted cream, miniature cakes and a macaroon, and a pot of Betty's Blend tea. One of my friends ordered it and was surprised at how filling it was. They also offer cheese scones if you prefer a savory option.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

[Sinchon/Ewha University Cafe] Pop Container Oreo Bingsu

So, I really really love bingsu. I was really eyeing this Oreo bingsu for weeks.
One day, finally, I got my ex-coworker from research lab to go with me!
I was actually kind of worried about trying this bingsu. There is a tendency for stuff to be very visually appealing in Korea, but actually not taste that good and be a major letdown.

Monday, December 2, 2013

[Makati City, Manila] Buddy's

Before I got to Manila, I naively thought that all Filipino food was the same.  But I quickly realized that this was not the case.  In the Philippines, different regions and provinces have specialized ingredients that, when cooked together, come alive in a distinct flavor unique to the place.

Buddy’s encapsulates such uniqueness.  Its food originates from Lucban, Quezon, a province Southeast of Metro Manila still located on the island of Luzon.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t know anything about the place prior to this restaurant, but after coming here, I would love to go and see it in person.

Chandelier- type decor

Pink rice "leaf"

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