August 2012 ~ Eating With Kirby

Mosaic Bar and Grille- Italian Chef Tasting Menu

The barely cooked runny yolk is meant to be popped and enjoyed along with the risotto...and enjoy I did. The golden lava coated every kernel of rice with its warm embrace and made the risotto that much more comforting.

Adorabelle Tea Room- Catching Up With the Girls

This is an Onion, Chive, and Bacon Savoury Cupcake. Even the icing was savoury! It was super delicious and was really innovative. Overall, the ambiance was great (loved the fake sky ceiling!), food was well thought out and executed, and the service was attentive.

Forage- Pretty Decent Food.

All six of us ordered their Award Winning Seafood Chowder with soft poached quail egg and crispy pork rind. While the soup was smokey, full of flavour, it was too thick and tasted a bit more like sauce than soup. The quail egg added a certain richness to the soup too which was nice.

Jethro's Fine Grub- That's Some Tasty Grub.

Overall, Jethro’s is an awesome breakfast and lunch diner serving up good eats with a twist. I most definitely will return for some alligator nuggets or pancakes!

Teppan Kitchen and Mambo Cafe (Aberdeen Food Court)- Crazy Sauce.

They serve this to you with a little sleeve around the plate to catch any splattering oil that radiates from the oven hot iron plate. If you are noob (hehe) at this Teppan Rice business, you can read the "How To Cook" instructions on the sleeve.

Basho Cafe - Quaint, Cozy, Delicious

You get the real deal here when it comes to their Matcha Latte. Served in a traditional Japanese bowl the way its suppose to be (not cup), its not only fragrant but it has incredibly depth. Be forewarn, this latte isn't sweet. There is no additional pre-sweetened sugary stuff here.

25 August 2012

Baby Cafe (Hong Kong)- Opened By HK's Famous Model, Angelababy

Trixie and I walked around Tsim Sha Tsui on our first day of hanging out together in HK. After a long day of sightseeing and shopping, we were both tired and began our search for a place to eat for dinner.

Eventually, we wandered into a mall called ‘iSQUARE’ initially to find some wifi and google up some restaurant spots nearby. However, while we were walking inside, we saw an ad for this restaurant called ‘baby cafe’. We both knew about this cafe before coming to HK and we even laughed about it because this cafe is ‘created’ and centered around this famous HK model called 'Angelababy'. We both thought it was a funny and weird concept but it nevertheless intrigued us.

The interior was modern and all of the pictures of Angelababy were all mimicking Audrey Hepburn’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Their menu was pretty simple. For $128 HKD (~$16.50), you can choose a soup or salad, an entree from the list, and you’ll get a free drink.

As we were waiting, we both thought it was pretty impressive for Angelababy to open her own cafe (3 locations too) as she’s only a year or two older than us.

22 August 2012

Meat-ing (Seoul, Korea)- 'Meating' Friends in Seoul Over All-You-Can-Eat BBQ

On my last day in Korea, my friend from Vancouver brought me and a bunch of his friends to this AYCE (all-you-can-eat) BBQ place in Seoul. He said he had a very enjoyable visit the last time he came and the price is also very affordable.

This place is called... Meat-ing. I can only guess that their intention of naming this place “Meat-ing” is to encourage you to ‘meet’ friends while eating ‘meat’. LOL  Hahaha. Oh Asians. :D

For a fixed price of 10,800 won (~$10.00 CAD), you have access to everything including appetizers, soup, raw meat, all drinks, dessert, and salad bar. These appetizers consist of French fries, fried dumplings, fried pork, and some patty. All of them tasted mediocre but I had no complaints as I was glued to the BBQ meat section. :D

The raw meat section had about 11 different varieties of meat.

My favourite was the pork belly and they had two flavours for you to choose from. One was rubbed with spices while the other one was plain.

20 August 2012

Dragon Hill Spa (Seoul, Korea)- The Jimjilbang (Korean Spa) Experience, Smoked Eggs, and Sikhye

One of my favourite things to do in Korea is go to a Jimjilbang (Korean Spa). Unlike traditional spas in America, the Jimjilbang culture is very different and unlike anything I have ever experienced. You first pay a very small entrance fee, then you are free to use their entire facility for as long as you want (up to 24 hours I think) which includes taking a dip in the pool, soaking in a sauna, playing in the arcade room, eating and snacking, relaxing in their rest room or in their multiple hot tubs. Some people even sleep overnight (as I did) just to wait until the train reopens in the morning.

A few days before I left Korea, I went to a jimjilbang in Yongsan called Dragon Hill Spa. It is located right next to the Yongsan train station (not even a 5 minute walk) and this jimjilbang has been recommended by CNNGo and The New York Times as the best place to get the full Korean jimjilbang experience.

The entrance was super grand and beautiful to walk through at night. :D The Dragon Hill Spa has seven levels so there’s a lot of fun to be had here. :P

The entrance fee is 10,000 won (~$9.00 CAD) normally and 12,000 won (~$11.00 CAD) after 8 pm. This is the entrance where you put your shoes and enter the main floor.

Be sure to bring your bathing suit so you can go for a midnight swim! I stupidly forgot and therefore couldn’t go swimming!! Gahh!!

17 August 2012

'Seoul' Food On The Streets (Seoul, Korea)- Blood Sausage and Other Street Meat

One of my favourite things about Korea is their street food. We don’t really have street food in Vancouver (we only have food trucks... and they’re not cheap) so I was determined to try as much street food as I could during my month and a half here.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take pictures of all the street food I ate in Korea but I did manage to capture some. :P All of the street food I ate was in Dongdaemun as they have a lot of street carts around, especially at night when you’re craving a midnight snack. This stall sold items like sausage-on-a-stick and skewers.

I opted for a meat skewer consisting of sausages stuffed with rice cake. It sounded like a cool concept so I ordered one for 2,500 won (around $2.00 CAD). It tasted pretty good but the rice cake lacked the chewy, bouncy texture I was looking for. Nonetheless, it was a delicious and guilty meaty snack.

This stall was located right next to the meat stall and they specialized in fish cake (oden-Japanese/or odeng- Korean) on a stick. If you don’t know what fish cake is, it is basically mashed up fish, mixed with flour, vegetables, and flavourings. When all of these ingredients are combined, it is turned into a thick paste and you can either cook it by frying or steaming. They had many different varieties of odeng and were all made on site.

13 August 2012

Bina (Seoul, Korea)- Enjoying our 'Last KU Supper' at an Indian Restaurant in Seoul

I hate saying goodbye. I always want to cry when I have to separate from people whom I love and cherish dearly, but I know that’s a part of life. My Korea University International Summer Exchange Program had just come to an end and I have a lot of mixed feelings. I feel completely and utterly blessed for having met the people I did in the program and it was by a crazy coincidence that we all came together and became friends. I never expected my group of friends to be as tight as we were and now having spent a fulfilling and unforgettable six weeks together, I feel incredible sadness over the fact that we all have to say goodbye. Because we are all from different parts of the world (we were a very diverse group of people- from Sweden, USA, UK, Netherlands, Japan, Canada (me), Hong Kong, China, to Singapore..etc), we know it will be impossible for all of us to ever be in the same place at the same time again. Thus, it makes it even more sad that this could be the last time I ever see some of my friends (*crossing fingers that it won’t happen!*.
I just want to say to all my KU friends, I am so incredibly grateful for having met you during the ISC program and I will never forget the wonderful memories we shared together. We came together so randomly but somehow it all clicked and we were instantly bonded like glue. I couldn’t have imagined a better experience in ISC and I cherish all of our wonderful quirky and weird moments together. :P (CJ! What’s the clock? What the heck?! Aboout. US has 50 STATES!! Hanging out like hobos in front of GS25) Please don’t forget me and find me if you are ever in Vancouver or maybe even in Hong Kong! If I ever travel to any of your countries in the future, you will be sure to get a facebook message or call from me :D

So now back on to topic: food. :P On one of our last days of the program, we decided to try out this Indian restaurant near our campus called Bina. The owners are Indian so it is a very authentic Indian restaurant.

5 August 2012

Hanwoori (Seoul, Korea)- Mediocre Shabu Shabu Experience

At the Express Bus Terminal Station, you can find an AMAZING underground shopping area for girls (sorry boys :P), a movie theatre, a few fast food restaurants such as Krispy Kreme and McDonalds, and Shinsegae, a high end department store. The restaurant level is located on the 10th floor.
My friends and I were originally going to shop at the underground shopping area, but we decided to grab dinner first. But then by the time we finished dinner, the underground shopping area was closed. :( We ended up choosing this shabu shabu restaurant called Hanwoori.

I knew this restaurant was going to be quite pricey because of its location but I didn’t expect it to be as expensive as it was (remember, I’m really cheap ><). Regardless, the place was packed with customers so I am assuming a lot of people who live around this area are well off. :P

They first give you a small sampling of pumpkin soup. It was very thick and tasted like traditional Korean pumpkin soup.

1 August 2012

Paris Baguette (Seoul, Korea)- Starbucks of Korea, One At Every Corner

In Seoul, you will not be able to find Starbucks at every corner. Instead, you will find Paris Baguette which is a French inspired bakery/cafe that serves bread, dessert, bingsu (shaved ice), pastries, sandwiches, and salads.

Because my friends and I live within such close proximity to Paris Baguette, we come here quite often to get our bread fix. Peter, a friend of mine actually goes there every day because he is not accustomed to eating rice or soup for breakfast. :P

Their cakes look so darn cute and delicious! I wish I could try them all but I know I can’t. :(

More awesometastic cakes.