fritz coffee

mogumogu_050317.jpgFritz Coffee is a cafe/bakery that started in our neighborhood and has lately expanded around Seoul. The original cafe is in a semi traditional looking 3 floor house (?) with a chill relaxing vibe. The bakery items range from scones, croissants, and cookie/brownies.  I had a scone which was ok but the cookie I tried later was better. I think the cafe is most famous for the coffee though. They sell their own branded and packaged beans and have won several barista awards. The branding design reminds me of retro Korea and the walrus logo is pretty adorable. It’s definitely a hip place popular with the young crowd and instagrammers. Personally, we like the varied option at the bakery closer to our apartment. But I recommend if you’re south of Gongdeok station or need a place to chill with friends!


isaac toast

mogumogu_050117.jpgSometimes we watch the youtube channel Korean Englishman and in one episode, they stop by Isaac Toast with Ollie’s father. My foodie partner was curious if it’s as good as they were raving, so after my class ended on labor day (I still had school!), we decided to stop by for lunch. There are about 10-13 different sandwiches all under 4000 won. I went with the hot chicken mvp which included those funky cafeteria type meat sausages, lettuce, egg and some delicious sauce! The toast could be crunchier but probably soaks up the sauce quickly. With the price and ample sandwich options compared to the street toast vendors, we could see the reason for Isaac Toast’s popularity. Since then, we’ve been back about 2-3 times for an easy quick lunch.

時々人気のyoutubeチャンネルKorean Englishmanを見るが、あるエピソードでは、カメラマンのオリーのお父さんとイサックトーストに行ってました。トーストを絶賛していたので、彼氏は本当に美味しいのか気になり、韓国の労働者の日、授業が終わった後(そう、私はまだ学校があった!)、お昼を食べに行ってみました。10~13種類のサンドウィッチは全て4000ウォン以下。私はホットチキンmvpを選び、中身はアメリカの学食によくある奇妙なソーセージ、レタス、卵、そして美味しいソース!パンはもう少しサクサクなら良かったけど、多分ソースを吸収してグニャ。値段とたくさんのトーストの種類を屋台のトーストと比べたら、イサックトーストの人気が納得できる。それから、私たちも簡単で早いお昼を食べに2−3回行ってます。



I’ve probably mentioned this before, but Korea’s ice cream scene is still pretty lacking. Especially north of the river. There are a couple places in Hongdae but nothing I can call a regular spot. But one weekend we tried out the Seoul city rental bikes and biked to the upcoming hip Mangwon dong. Truthfully, we were pretty disappointed since the cafes felt spread out and hidden. If you know where you’re going it might be fun, but if you’re looking to stumble across something… we didn’t have much luck. But through the mangoplate app, I found a gelato store! Dangdo is a tiny shop but has at least 10 rotating flavors that skew towards the unique. There are also an ample amount of fruity flavors — good for my foodie partner 😉 The first time was green tea and black sesame, which my foodie partner wasn’t a fan of. But a few weeks later we went back and I chose pistachio and strawberry. The price is reasonable although there is only 1 size plus a take home pack. And they’ll add a tasting scoop of one flavor you’re curious about too!


korean melon


Korea has their own melon! The first time I saw this was when I visited Korea for the first time with my friend in 2009. I actually like melon (except watermelon) but Korean melon’s texture feels closer to pear. Maybe the taste too. So… I’m not a fan. But it works well in our morning fruit juice.



mogumogu_042317.jpgOn the walk home from school, I always pass by a restaurant with at least 10 people waiting outside. I told my foodie partner excitedly that there seemed to be a popular restaurant nearby our apartment and found out this was the pyeong yang naengmyeon place he had mentioned when he first moved in. I’ve tried pyeong yang naengmyeon before but this is one of the authentic restaurants. The broth is very subtle that at first tastes almost bland but by the end tastes rich and full. It’s very refreshing and perfect to cool down from the summer heat. The noodles are also on the soft side rather than the usual chewy type. They also have a nokdu jeon (mungbean pancake) with pieces of pork which is well worth trying. The flavor is much stronger than the naengmyeon but doesn’t overpower the subtleness of the noodle broth. Even if the line is long, don’t let that deter you. There is ample seating with 4 different seating areas so the wait shouldn’t take too long.


and lab

mogumogu_042117.jpgMy language program has 2 cultural days per semester. The first one for the spring was a trip to Everland! I was excited to finally go to an amusement park but ended up being pretty disappointed… There were barely any roller coasters and the lines were too long. In the end we walked around the zoo and flower garden, trying to waste time at the end.

After being bus sick twice that day, I walked home from school to meet my foodie partner for dinner. I had recently been following a japanese expat bloggers site who had mentioned a japanese izakaya and ramen place that opened nearby our train station. So we decided to try it out the izakaya first. The food was pretty good but the sake options were mainly bottle only. After satisfying our stomachs, my foodie partner exclaimed he wanted to go to itaewon.

We hopped on the train and wandered around looking for a dessert cafe we hadn’t tried yet. And suddenly I notice a familiar figure. My foodie partner’s friend! They chatted for a second before we headed onto our destination — And Lab. Unfortunately, there were only 2 cake choices left. I had been hoping for the mont blanc but at least there was my favorite pistachio! We also ordered the milk assam tea. Pricey but surprisingly very delicious. The cake was good too but not as pistachio as I hoped. The place was crowded even an hour left to closing. I would much rather come during the day and snag dessert when there are more options. Oh, and on our way home, I tripped on the stairs to the subway and ended the day with a big bruise on my knee.



電車に乗り、デザートを探しながらイテワォンをウロウロ。そしたら、見覚えのある顔。なんと彼の友達!ちょっとおしゃべりしてから、デザートカフェのAnd Labにゴー。残念ながらケーキは2種類しか残っていなかった。モンブランを食べたかったけど、ピスタチオはまだ残ってた!ミルクアサム茶も頼みました。高いけど、まろやかでとても美味しい!ケーキも良かったけど、ピスタチオ味は薄い。閉店1時間前だったのに満席。私は午前中にもっとケーキのする意があるときに行きたいかな…そしてその日の帰りは、地下鉄の階段で転んで、膝に大きいアザ。

deux cremes


My second dress shop visit to Reehue with the same friend. This place had a lot of body fitting lace dresses from what I saw online, so I also didn’t have my hopes high but thought length wise would be better. Although there is a fitting fee again, the number of dresses is limitless! I tried on at least 5 and found 1 that was a strong candidate. The length was perfect, with capped sleeves and dress style I liked. I didn’t even require any adjustment. The only weak point was the lace usage at the bottom which made me hesitate. The rental price was reasonable and included various belts, hair accessories, and shoes. I really recommend this shop for shorter ladies or if you’re looking for a nice simple cocktail style dress. The employees are genuinely helpful too.

After oohing and ahhing over the dresses, we left to grab dinner and dessert at garosugil. Dinner was jokbal (pig’s feet) — my first time trying it! Lots of collagen but also very heavy and filling. But of course dessert always fits! We headed down to Deux Cremes, one of the first dessert cafes in the area back in the late 2000s when garosugil first started booming. We debated over at least 10-12 different types of tarts until choosing strawberry pistachio and caramel tiramisu tart. It was good but the tart is flaky rather than crunchy, which we both were a bit disappointed about. Personally, I wouldn’t choose to go here again, but it wouldn’t be bad for grabbing dessert  for a friend’s party.






Time flies – it’s already June! I finished my second semester of Korean school and took another trip to Japan to visit relatives. With the first half of the year coming to an end, I’m hoping to make some progress on my goals for the year. And find a dress!


pot au feu


pot au feu

Lately, I’ve been into buying huge cabbages from the local grocery near our apartment. And to use it up, pot au feu has become my go to recipe since I already have most ingredients on hand. It’s a simple and good way to get more vegetables into your diet. Of course the flavor all comes down to the consommé base. It doesn’t really work for lunch, but I think a couple days worth of dinner for busy single people.



cheong nyeon jang sankkun


I’ve been to this place numerous time, but their fries are delicious!!! There are only two types, basic and cajun. Personally the cajun is much better because it’s thin cut and crispy, rather than the basic thick wedge style. But the best part is the 12+ different sauces to choose from. I like the house sauce best but you can’t really go wrong with any of them. They also have sweet potato fries (so-so), chicken tenders (must get!), and cheese sticks (I’m not a big cheese person, but also good). The service is really good, and the atmosphere is cozy too. They serve beer in measuring cups which is fun too. They don’t open until 4pm because it’s more of a drinking place, but if you go before 7, they’ll size up your fries. The business model is pretty great too, since the servers are hired as actual employees rather than part time. I can enjoy my fries knowing I’m supporting a good business 🙂

ここでは何回か寄ってるけど、とにかくポテトフライがうまい!フライは二種類、オリジナルとケージャン。好み的には細くてパリパリなケージャンスタイルが厚切りのオリジナルよりは好き。でも一番いいところは、12 種類以上のソース。ハウスソースが一番美味しいと思うけど、どれを選んでも間違いはない。あとはさつまいもフライ(まぁまぁ)、チキンテンダー(必須!)、チースステック(大量のチーズは苦手だけど、美味しい)。サービスも良くて、雰囲気も居心地いい。ビールは計量カップに注いで面白い。一応飲み屋なので4時過ぎまで開かないが、7時前に行くと、フライのサイズをサービスとして、サイズアップします。ビジネスモデルもいいです。スタッフはアルバイトではなくちゃんと社員として雇います。いい営業を応援しながらフライを楽しめられところもポイントです。



A week after my first weak attempt at wedding dress shopping, I called a friend to join me at my first real wedding dress shop. In Korea, apparently people go with their wedding planner. My wedding planner (wedit) also offers this option, but I would much rather go with a friend. I made an appointment at Bride & You, another place I found through instagram, located in Cheongdamdong.

I didn’t have high expectations, but still hoped I would at least find one dress that popped up in their look book. Unfortunately, nothing in particular but I still tried on 3 dresses. One annoying thing I’ve found is that there is a try-on fee at the dress shops. Sometimes they return the money if you choose to rent/buy a dress but it makes it harder to try a bunch of different shops. In the end, I wasn’t particularly impressed by any of their dresses since they didn’t fit my body shape or style. But my friend (who is over 170cm!) would have looked great in any of them.

We decided to cool off with bingsoo after trying on dresses at sojukdoo in rodeo street. I was surprised at how dead this street is. Garosugil was disappointing itself with the commercialization, but rodeo street is basically over. The bingsoo here is more traditional and wasn’t bad but it won’t be my first choice to go. While we shared our dessert, we looked for other dress shops and made an appointment at Reehue for a couple weeks later.

最初のドレス探しから1週間後別の友達に頼んで、本格的なブライダルショップに行きました。韓国はアメリカと違い、友達やお母さんと一緒ではなく、ウェディングプラナーと行くそうです(ちなみに私のプランナーも手伝ってくれます)。でも私は正直な意見と楽な雰囲気の方がいいので友達に手伝ってもらいました。お金持ちエリアのチョンダムドンにあるBride & Youというインスタで見つけた店に予約しました(夫が)。



strawberry picking


My first strawberry picking experience in Korea! Near my foodie partner’s parents house, we passed by a bunch of strawberry farms earlier in the year. So a couple weeks later, we decided to pick some strawberries!

So delicious! It felt a little weird to eat non-refrigerated strawberries, but still some of the sweetest I’ve ever tried. All the strawberries had to fit inside the containers so I carefully chose different sizes to take full advantage. There was a woman who piled up huge strawberries but ended up having to eat them because the container couldn’t close!