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Saturday, February 28, 2015

[Tokyo] Moomin House Cafe - Anti-loneliness cafe; Tokyo Skytree Solamachi

Moomin House Cafe in Tokyo Skytree Solamachi is a character cafe featuring everyone's favorite Finnish characters, Moomin. It is also one of my favorite memories of my Tokyo trip!

Friday, February 27, 2015

[Saint Paul, Minnesota] Como Park Zoo and Conservatory - Baby Orangutan Kemala

We were excited to go see the baby orangutan, Kemala, at the Como Zoo. I love baby apes, as you may recall from my visit to Arashiyama Monkey Park, so I had to go when I heard about the baby orangutan at Como Zoo in St. Paul, Minnesota.

[Tokyo] White Cosy at Skytree Solamachi

After a long day of touring, I ended up at Tokyo Skytree Solamachi Mall again. I really needed refreshment and didn't really want to spend too much money, so I decided to stop at White Cosy.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

[Tokyo] Cacao Sampaka KAKAOSAMPAKA (カカオ サンパカ) Chocolatier Kitte Shopping Mall - Marunouchi

After a day of shopping and sightseeing, stopping by Kitte Shopping Mall for a treat is definitely necessary. We went to Cacao Sampaka (カカオ サンパカ), a chocolatier that specializes in delicate treats.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

[Tokyo] Kitte Shopping Mall Marunouchi

When you're in Tokyo, you should definitely check out Kitte Shopping Mall, one of the newest malls in Tokyo, even if you're not a fan of shopping.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

[Seoul, Samcheongdong] Mukshidonna - Famous Korean ddukbokki restaurant (먹쉬돈나)

Mukshidonna (먹쉬돈나) is a great restaurant for quick, cheap eats. It specializes in ddukbokki (spicy rice cakes).
It is a chain store (just look for the sign around the country - at bottom), but the Samcheongdong store is the original location and one of the most popular!

Monday, February 23, 2015

[York, England] The Yorkshire Soap Company

Look at these adorable and detailed soaps!
Nestled in the winding streets of York is the Yorkshire Soap Company (10 Blake Street). If you don't look at the sign and only see what's in the shop windows, it could be mistaken for a bakery.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

[NYC] Chai Thai Kitchen (Columbus Circle/Hell's Kitchen)

Chai Thai Kitchen is known for having great lunch specials in Columbus Circle/Midtown West. You get your choice of 14 entree options and your choice of a side (salad, soup, vegetable spring roll) for only $7.95.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

[NYC, Manhattan] Chinatown Chinese New Year Parade

Every year, there is a parade in Manhattan's Chinatown to celebrate Chinese New Year. This year (2015), the parade is at 1PM on Sunday, February 22.

These pictures are from last year.

Friday, February 20, 2015

[NYC, Koreatown] Food Gallery 32 (Korean food hall)

Happy Chinese New Year Everyone! 새해복 많이 받으세요!
It's actually kind of hard to find decent dduk guk in Manhattan at a reasonable price.
We finally found it at Food Gallery 32 in Manhattan Koreatown.

[San Francisco] Duc Loi Supermarket - Mission Banh Mi

My friend, a local, took me to Duc Loi Supermarket right before my flight. In her words this is "probably the best banh mi" in SF.

Happy New Year! Happy Tet! 새해복많이 받으세요!
In honor of Chinese New Year, I wanted to write about a great banh mi I had in San Francisco!

For only $5 you get a very substantial had to have weighed about 4 pounds.

Where's your favorite banh mi?!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

[Korea] Beans Bins - Fruit Bingsu 빈스빈스 과일빙수

Beans Bins is known for its waffles (review) and its modern, clean atmosphere.

Best locations: Samcheongdong (near Insadong), Edae (Ewha Women's University), Dongdaemun Market (Doota)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

[NYC, Koreatown] Pocha 32 - Korean Pub

Pocha 32 is an authentic Korean pub right in Manhattan's Koreatown. It serves Korean beer, soju, soups, casseroles, and meat dishes.

Don't miss the famous watermelon soju!  
Apologies for the low-quality photos. These were taken with a really bad camera phone.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

[Osaka, Dotonbori] Dotonbori Kukuru Honten 道頓堀くくる 本店 - Takoyaki

Osaka is one of many Japanese foodie capitals. It is known as the home of omurice (omelet rice), okonomiyaki (Japanese pancake), and takoyaki (little dough balls filled with pieces of octopus).

For the best selection and probably the best takoyaki in Japan head over to the Dotonburi area, near Namba. You'll see the place when you see this HUGE red octopus on the building.

There are 3 different varieties of takoyaki here, if you want to try something a little new and they also offer beer and soft drinks.

Have you tried any of the other flavors? I only got a chance to try the traditional takoyaki.

Monday, February 16, 2015

[NYC, Washington Heights] 181 Cabrini Coffee and Wine Bar - happy hour

181 Cabrini is a coffee and wine bar/bistro in Washington Heights.
If you're into the Food Network, the chef/owner James Lee appeared on an episode of "Chopped."

Sunday, February 15, 2015

[San Francisco] Ghirardelli Square - Ghirardelli Ice Cream Sundae

Ghirardelli Square is a major tourist destination right on the bay in San Francisco. It is housed in the original factory established by Domenico "Domingo" Ghirardelli. There are many specialty stores, but one of the main draws is the Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop.

Have you been here? What were your thoughts?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Food Memories: Cafe Able in Garosu-gil/Sinsa

It is days like these that I miss brunch with my unni at Cafe Able.

I love the fresh, bright decor and the farm-to-table concept.

[Osaka, Shinsaibashi] Hokkyokyusei - Original Omurice Shop

Omurice is, jokingly, my favorite Japanese food. It is a thin egg omelet filled with seasoned rice, meats, and vegetables.

I was so happy when I got my placement in Kobe, which is only 35 minutes from Osaka, the home of omurice. There is some debate about the ACTUAL original omurice restaurant, but Hokkyokyusei, by most accounts, is THE ORIGINAL.

Friday, February 13, 2015

[NOTICE: Korea] Free Shuttle Bus Jeonju/Seoul 2015

Just wanted to let everyone know about a free shuttle bus service to/from Jeonju/Seoul.

It is open to individuals with a foreign passport only, but I believe if you have a Korean passport and some documentation about living/working abroad (ie. Green Card holders), you can also take advantage of this great service.

I have used it three times and it's a great way to escape Seoul and partake in culinary explorations of one of Korea's best food destinations!

Part Three: Update #2

[NYC, Chicago] Eataly - Gelato

Eataly is a destination for all things Italian. It is part market, part bar, part restaurant, part coffee shop, and part dessert cafe.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

[NYC] Wafels and Dinges - Waffles - Street Food

Whenever my friends come and visit, I always make sure to take them to Wafels and Dinges, either the street cart or the cafe in the Lower East Side.

What are your favorite dinges?

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

[Korea Layover Itinerary] Family-friendly layover itinerary

[Seoul] Family-friendly Layover Itinerary: Mom and 6 children (3-15 years old)
Staying near Namsan Tower and requested to not use the subway. As a result, I recommend getting an airport taxi van.

Since I do not have kids, I have never traveled in Seoul. I asked around for some recommendations from my friends with kids.

Please recommend other kid-friendly places for this family! 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

[Chungdam and Hongdae, Seoul] BingBingBing - Milk Bingsu

BingBingBing is one of my favorite places to go for bingsu, my favorite Korean dessert.
I have been to the Chungdam and Hongdae locations multiple times and have had a great experience  each time!

Monday, February 9, 2015

[Korea] Beans Bins - Ice Cream Waffle (빈스빈스 아이스크림와플)

Beans Bins is a really cute cafe chain in Korea. It is very well known for its waffles and modern, clean atmosphere.

The coffees and other beverages are moderately priced, so stop by to check it out!

Best locations: Samcheongdong (near Insadong), Edae (Ewha Women's University), Dongdaemun (Doota)

Where is your favorite?

Sunday, February 8, 2015

[Chicago] Portillo's Chicago Dogs

Chicago-style dogs are iconic Chicago eats. THE place to get your dog is Portillo's. There are plenty of locations all around Chicago.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Film Review: Into the Woods

First, a disclaimer: I have only seen the film version of Into the Woods, but I have listened, extensively, to the stage production soundtrack.

Into the Woods, starring among others Anna Kendrick and James Corden, was on the whole delightful. It maintained a fairytale feeling while being incredibly relatable. Who doesn’t understand the conflict that comes with being afforded the opportunity to have what you want only to be confronted with the realization that what you thought you wanted is not actually what you want? Or that straying from a set plan has unforeseen consequences?

[Minneapolis, UMN] Hong Kong Noodles

If you're a Golden Gopher, you know about Hong Kong Noodles in Stadium Village. I had been going there for a couple of years before my friend introduced me to my favorite menu item, the #379 Japanese-style jumbo shrimp fried rice ($12.95).

Friday, February 6, 2015

[NYC, Hell's Kitchen] Pure Thai Cookhouse

If you're in Midtown West, stop by Pure Thai Cookhouse for some delicious handmade noodles and other yummy Thai treats.

Credit card minimum is $15, so plan accordingly.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

[Chicago] Garrett Popcorn Shops

One of the more iconic Chicago foods, apart from the Chicago dog and Chicago deep-dish pizza is Garrett Popcorn.

Any thoughts?

Monday, February 2, 2015

[San Francisco Bar] Smuggler's Cove - Pirate-themed bar

I asked my friend for a recommendation for a bar in San Francisco and she recommended Smuggler's Cove, a pirate-themed bar in Fillmore. It is pretty popular, so expect a wait.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

[Korea, Nami Island] Country Restaurant 고목

If you are visiting Nami Island, there are limited food options. My friends and I went to Country Restaurant (고목) on my summer visit to Nami Island. It provided a relief from the heat and was very reasonably priced considering there are so few options on this famous tourist attraction.
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