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.







Lately I’ve been in a baking mode again. I bought a madeleine tray in Tokyo during the winter and decided to finally make use of it. I wish I bought a larger tray though, 6 isn’t enough to do at once! I always heard madeleines are hard to make, but I think using a nonstick pan really helps. The warm water bath is annoying but I think it makes a difference in texture. I recommend mixing in green tea powder and maybe next time I should try soybean… Madeleines really make good small gifts too!



grandma & grandpa’s

mogumogu_052717.jpgAfter a day and half in Osaka, my mom and I headed down to Kagawa to see my grandparents and aunt. Unfortunately, my grandma’s health and memory has been declining but it’s always good to spend time with family. We spent about 5 days helping clean up my grandparents house and hanging out with my grandma.

Although the countryside gets boring fast, one nice is thing is how the neighbors share food and there always seem to be lots of fruit. My grandma’s friend and neighbor gave a couple boxes full of hassaku, a tart slightly large clementine. And as a thank you for the chocolates from the US, the next door neighbor left a melon. My grandpa also grew strawberries which were tiny but still sweet.



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.




eggplant miso & bell pepper


eggplant miso & bell pepper

I HATED eggplant when I was little. But you know how as you get older, your taste buds change? I don’t love it now, but I don’t hate it either. And one eggplant dish I like is a sweet miso based sauce. This is one that I usually make if I buy some eggplant. Even my foodie partner who doesn’t like eggplant will eat it.

One nice thing I like about asian eggplant is that it’s long and thing rather that the fat bulgy ones I used to buy in the US. It does tend to be expensive but there’s a weekly vegetable stall nearby the apartment that sells a bunch for cheap! Oh and I remember when I was little, I didn’t know the english name for eggplant until I was in 3rd grade. I just called it Nasu.






mogumogu_050717.jpgDuring my second semester of language school, I finally made a friend! Sadly, it was her last semester in Korea and recently returned to Japan… But during the semester we hung out occasionally eating some good food. We also pared up for one of our pronunciation tests and met up with her Korean language assistant to practice at a cafe in Hongdae.

The cafe menu was hard to read since it is hand written in Korean but we all chose lattes with ice cream on top. I don’t drink coffee so of course mine was Green tea. I was craving something sweet after lunch so it was perfect. I think it’s a well known cafe, but luckily that day wasn’t too crowded. It’s no quiet enough to study but not a bad place to work for a few hours as my foodie partner did while he waited for us to finish. It’s pretty close to school and Sangsu station so not bad to stop by with a friend if you need a couple hours to waste.

語学堂の2学期は友達ができた!でも彼女はその後すぐ日本に帰ってしまいました… 😦 帰国までおしゃべりをたくさんして時々外食も。そして発音テストのためには二人で組んだので、ある日トウミと3人でホンデのカフェでテストの練習。


ojangdong hamheung


I think I’m getting more used to eating naengmyeon. With the hot weather, it’s definitely a good way to cool down. Although this time we ate hwe naengmyeon (spicy sashimi cold noodles), famous in the Jongno-gu area in Seoul. There are many knockoff restaurants but we went to the original Ojangdong Hamheung. The chewy noodles are mixed with a spicy sweet sauce and sashimi. But this isn’t the typical sashimi you’re probably imagining. It’s a marinated raw fish that’s kind of chewy and hard. It might be peculiar for westerners, but I like the different textures and the sweet spiciness of the sauce. But be warned that it’s quite spicy and you’ll be grabbing lots of tissues as you eat. Don’t be fooled by your first taste. My foodie partner thought it wasn’t spicy enough and added more hot pepper only to regret it a few seconds later.


shilla bakery

mogumogu_050517.jpgWhenever there’s a family gathering with the in-laws, the pastry shop at the Shilla Hotel is our go to for cake. This time we chose ssuk (mugwort) short cake since the color was beautiful. It was actually really good and moist. No leafy taste at all. But the downside was it was hard to cut and fell apart instead. Everyone was also too full from the pizza lunch to eat the cake we brought too 😦 Maybe next time we should choose a smaller cake.

義理の家族と集まりがあるときは、新羅ホテルでケーキを買うのが定番になってきました。今回は色がきれいで(彼氏もヨモギが好きなので)ヨモギのショートケーキを選びました。ケーキはしっとりで生クリーは甘すぎず、本当に美味しかった。でも切りにくくて、完全に崩れてしまいました。みんなもお昼に食べたピザでお腹がいっぱいでケーキも食べてくれなかった 😦 次回はもっと小さいケーキを選んだ方がいいかも。

simmered eggs & radish


simmered eggs & radish

I wonder why I made this… I must have a lot of radish to use up. Or maybe my foodie partner was having a bad stomach day and I wanted to make something easy to digest. Anyways, it was a good easy classic simmered Japanese dish. Feels hearty but not heavy. Probably more of a fall/winter food rather than in this warm weather though.



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。