passion 5

My love for sweets took us to a large dessert cafe in Itaewon. This place is filled with rows and rows of different cakes and chocolates and sweet breads. After choosing the cakes, we went upstairs to grab a seat. But this was a big mistake. Since it was proper seating area, we had to each buy a drink with the cheapest at about $8! I chose ice hot chocolate which came with actual melted chocolate to pour in milk and ice. It was ok… maybe regular hot chocolate would have been better. For the cakes, the gateaux noir was pretty good. But the banana was too strong for the pistachio banana cake. I couldn’t taste the pistachio at all! Even though there were a lot of dessert options, I don’t know if I would go back here. I think I could find something better nearby.



l. bean

When we headed to gangneung, we originally planned to do a temple stay at odesan. In the end, we only stopped by the temple and took a walk nearby before heading to the beach. The mountains full of evergreen pine trees and the cool beach air reminded me of back home. The curvy back rides through the mountain wasn’t so fun though as the passenger.

We checked out a funky/creepy art museum & sculpture park and walked the beach nearby before we finally found a hotel. The beach in the city center is lined with cafes so we decided to head there after eating dinner. We were hoping to eat sashimi since it’s a beach town, but surprisingly there were few to be found. When we arrived at the beach, the street was literally cafe after cafe. I satisfied my daily sweet craving with a pumpkin tart at the popular L. Bean cafe. After attempting fireworks at the beach we headed back to the hotel. On the way, I spotted a discount ice cream store and ended up buying one for 40 cents (!) to eat at 10pm.

The next morning we had breakfast at the original Tera Rosa before heading to the only hot springs in Korea at Seollaksan. It was a fun trip and the fresh clean air and small town was a nice change from the polluted city air. Next time will probably be another beach town farther south.




highway rest stop

mogumogu_070817.jpgWow, summer has really flown by. I keep getting distracted with other things and haven’t managed to update this blog regularly.

At the beginning of July, we finally took a trip outside of Seoul towards the east of the country’s capital. Since it’s only takes about 2 hours, we decided to drive so we could also check out the highway rest stops. Unlike the US, highway rest stops are fancier with clean food courts and street food type snacks. Also, my favorite hodugwaja (red bean sweets that are shaped like walnuts)! Unfortunately, we didn’t see any crazy rest stops with a water fountain or playground but I was able to eat some delicious hodugwaja.

You have to be careful though. On our first try, the hodugwaja wasn’t freshly made, so the bread didn’t have a toasted crunch anymore. On our second try… just what I was looking for! The food court options weren’t as great this time so maybe on our next road trip we’ll have better luck!




cold recipe

The area north of Hongdae is up and coming with a large foreigners super market. After a failed naengmyung lunch, we decided to walk around the area a bit before heading to Jamsil. Supposedly there are a lot of cafes and bakeries but they were all a bit far from where we were. I was about to give up on dessert when suddenly an ice cream store appeared in front of us.

We had walked this street last year but I never noticed this store before. It was a small cozy artisan type ice cream store with some classic and unusual flavors. The options were few but a good amount of sorbets for my foodie partner. I tried a matcha cream cheese (I think?) flavor which I didn’t like. So I went with peanut butter chocolate chip and my foodie partner with grapefruit. It was very smooth with a strong flavor. My foodie partner was satisfied with his choice too. If only we had a place like this near our apartment!



thai man

A couple of months ago, my foodie partner’s high school friend opened a thai restaurant in the southern side of Seoul. We finally decided to take the trip across the river to say hello and try his food. The menu is small but with good options especially for lunch. I ordered the basil pork rice, my foodie partner beef pho, and we shared the shrimp croquette. The food wasn’t too greasy or salty. My foodie partner is pretty picky when it comes to pho soup, but he was impressed. We also tried the thai iced tea and were surprised it wasn’t sickly sweet like how it usually is.

Unfortunately, the location is pretty out of the way for us to visit often, but it’s a solid place if you work nearby, or are looking for lunch with friends in the near the gangnam area.



eulji myeon oak

Again, it’s been awhile to update. After coming back from Japan, I still had a week before school started. My foodie partner took a Friday off and after taking care of some business in the Euljiro area, we headed off to eat lunch at his late grandfather’s favourite naengmyeon restaurant. Since it was a weekday lunch, the line was already long with office people but within 15 minutes, we were seated and waiting for our cold noodles. Similar to eulmidae the broth is light and the noodles soft. It was very refreshing on a hot day. Almost a week later, we ended up going again for dinner when we were in the area.

I’m still not a big naengmyeon fan, but in the summer it definitely helps when you’re too hot to think of what to eat.




aunt’s bakery

I forgot to remind my aunt I wanted to learn bread making this time, but we still got to eat her bread! This time was anko bread with a little bit of sakura leaf which gave a nice saltiness to the sweet red bean. And a chocolate chip bread!



On our last day in Japan, my mom and I headed into Takamatsu by ourselves taking the train. There’s a local gift shop that seemed perfect for buying gifts that would be different than the usual ones from the airport. We forgot this is the countryside though so the train only comes every 20 minutes! We ended up running to the station and just made it seconds before the doors closed.

It was well worth the trip though since we found good food presents. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the best location for lunch since the main shopping area was a little too far to walk through. So we decided to go to Gusto, a family restaurant kind of like Denny’s but with a bigger menu, to eat something small. My mom chose strawberry mascarpone pancake and I went with coffee jelly. It was cheap but way too sweet. I felt nauseous afterwards. But finally my first experience at a family restaurant in Japan!

We realized the train only comes once an hour after noon and hurriedly went back to the train station. And when we got off, we realized Kamado (a wagashi store) would have been a better place for us to have tea…






mogumogu_052817.jpgIt’s been awhile since my last post! I was a bit distracted with some things going on but finally back to eating.

To continue my Japan trip (3 months ago!), during my stay in Kagawa, my aunt took us to a cake shop as always. On our way back from shopping in Takamatsu, we stopped by a shop I hadn’t been to before. My aunt and her husband seem to know all of the cake shops like the back of their hand!

This shop was famous for their roll cake and won an award 2 or 3 years ago. My mom was hoping to eat strawberry shortcake but sadly, it was already sold out. So she went with the house roll cake and I chose the strawberry tart. Later that night, we both enjoyed our cakes while my grandpa watched chuckling as always. I miss how easy it is to find cake in Japan and it’s so much cheaper than Korea…


日本旅行の続き(3ヶ月も前の!)… 香川にいた間、もちろんおばさんがケーキ屋に連れてくれました!高松でショッピングの帰りに行った事のないケーキ屋に寄りました。今回の店はロールケーキが有名みたいで、2〜3年前に賞を獲ってました。お母さんはイチゴショートケーキが食べたかったけど、もう売り切れだったのでロールケーキを選び、私はイチゴタルト。その晩、おじいちゃんがわらない柄、二人で美味しくケーキをいただきました。



mogumogu_052817x.jpgOn the weekend, my aunt and her husband took us out to Takamatsu for some shopping. My mom hoped to find some accessories to wear with her new dress. Unfortunately, after coming from Osaka, the shops were meager in comparison. Instead I bought some local snacks for gifts and ate some yummy gelato. But before all of that, we ate lunch at Kagawa’s famous Ikkaku!

Most people think of udon when they think of Kagawa prefecture. But for locals, Ikkaku – a roasted chicken restaurant, is one of the other famous foods. Even though it’s on the salty side, the chicken comes with cabbage and rice balls. Perfect to dip in the chicken juices! There’s also a chicken broth based soup which feels a bit too much after eating a huge piece of chicken. But if it was a side soup to a traditional Japanese meal, it would be delicious. I wouldn’t be able to eat this often, but if I’m crazy chicken this would be perfect to satisfy.



grand loft


The day after the closing ceremony, I flew off to Japan to meet my mom in Osaka. After a stressful night of trying to buy a SIM card then contacting my cousin without roaming, my mom and I went out to Umeda and Namba for a full day of shopping. Our main goal was finding a dress for my mom to wear at the wedding and taking care of my gift shopping list.

We first found a beautiful classic dress in Namba for my mom but after taking a look at the price tag, we decided to take the day to think about it. After heading to Umeda, most of our time was spent shopping at Grand Front. I managed to tackle most of my list and finally bought my own clothes too! My mom was exhausted from jet lag though and took a nap while my gifts were being wrapped.

But of course, I need to mention the food. Department food in Japan can be a hit or a miss (minus the basement). Usually, I would err on the side of not so great. But lately, it looks like things are improving especially at the newer department/shopping complexes. We ended up eating lunch, dessert, dinner at Grand Front but everything was delicious. Lunch was a light meal of oden followed by shopping before heading down to take a breath with gelato. I think this gelato was the best I’ve had in Japan! Very thick and creamy. I chose the pistachio and olive oil in a crunchy waffle cone. For dinner, we went to a fish restaurant by Kinki University Marine Research Center. Even though all of the fish is raised by the Research Center, everything was delicious! The highlight was the negi toro. I’m usually not a fan but this was amazing. I felt bad that my dad missed out on this one.

Also, if you go to Grand Front, there is a popular fruit tart store that my cousin recommended. We didn’t have time but it’s top of my list next time I shop in Osaka.

Oh! And my mom’s dress – in the end we chose the one from the first store. It should be a good investment piece for the future too. and mine 😉








mies container

Wow, it’s already been over a month since I finished level 2 of Korean language school. Unfortunately, no big scholarship this time. Apparently I was really close, so I was pretty bummed about it. And my new friend went back to Fukuoka too. But before she left, we hung out one more time after the closing ceremony.

We were debating about what to eat and decided to go somewhere with french fries. I’ve been to Mies Container a couple of times and they have pretty good thin cut french fries. This time we stuck to the plain rather than garlic which can be greasy and too garlicky. We also ordered a cream spaghetti and later garlic bacon pan cheese since my friend thought it wouldn’t be enough food. Boy, do Koreans really love cheese. The cream spaghetti was good but thickly sauced. I was full from that and the french fries, barely touching the pan cheese. It’s really like the name, just cheese and whatever toppings they add. My stomach immediately said “No” after a few bites. Even my friend regretted ordering it.

After my 3rd time coming here, I think I’ll only stick to the fries and MAYBE the pasta salad to share if I’m going to eat a full meal.