VIDEO | All Around Seoul

VIDEO | All Around Seoul

In one day in Seoul, I was able to:

– Try out the coffee and scone at one of Seoul hippest coffee shop, Fritz Coffee Company.
– Do a little shopping at Hongdae
– Play with dogs at Bau House Dog Cafe
– Have an afternoon coffee at Coffee Libre
– Have a roast lobster with cheese dinner at Myeongdong.

If only Manila has Seoul’s efficient transport system…


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VIDEO | What’s new in McDonald’s… Seoul?

VIDEO | What’s new in McDonald’s… Seoul?

I never shy away from local cuisine whenever visiting another country. As long as I can take it (read: not curry), I will gladly take a bite at it. And I’m not talking about those in five star restaurants. I have a budget of a person who stays in hostels. I’m talking about food on the streets — hawkers, mom and pop neighborhood shops, maybe their version of jollyjeep.

But one thing I try not to miss is their local McDonalds. You see, McDonald’s menu varies from country to country. I think we’re the only country with Chicken McDo. When I was in Beijing, they had congee in their menu. When I was in Bangkok, they had churros. In Seoul, they have Bacon McMuffin.

Unfair.

Who do we have to address a petition to for us to get Bacon McMuffin? Should we change.org it?


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VIDEO | Back in Seoul, Day 1

VIDEO | Back in Seoul, Day 1

After 3 years, I am back in Korea!

I am one of those people who’d rather be super early at the airport than fidgeting in the car because I am cutting it close. That’s why on the day of my flight back to seoul, I was there at 2:30 am for a 7:00 am flight.

I had a nightmare once that I missed a flight. I have never missed a flight in my flight. And I hope I never will.

I am used to red eye flights. You catch the last flight out, sleep at the hotel and then tackle the city first thing in the morning. Morning flights are such a waste of time. We flew out at 7 am, arrived at 1:00 pm, Seoul time and just had enough time to drop our bags at the hostel and then rush out to catch the sunset at N Seoul tower.

Still, I was back in Seoul. Feeling hashtag blessed.


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FLASHBACK FRIDAY | Soondae. Not the Ice Cream. The Blood Sausage.

FLASHBACK FRIDAY | Soondae. Not the Ice Cream. The Blood Sausage.

It was love at first taste. Not first sight. Because visually, Soondae, or the korean blood sausage, it’s not exactly appealing.

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But there was one day many breakfasts ago that Jr and I walked into a restaurant in Hyehwa and pointed to picture on walls only to discover the best delicacy I ate in Korea.

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Ever since then I look forward to having soondae when I visit. Often at night, for 3000 won, I would stand in one of the street food kiosk and point to the steaming soondae covered in thick plastic. The friendly kiosk owner would cut half a foot length in one inch segments, coupled with a few bites of tripe and pork liver in a plastic covered bowl and place it in front of me, along with a little plate of salt and pepper. Smiling, he would raise his thumb, index and middle finger and I would hand him 3 one thousand won bills. He pour a ladle full of hot soup from where the fish cakes are bathing and he’d proceed to serve the next customer. I would do this every night after I alight the subway station nearest to my hostel before going back to my room. Samgyeopsal was plentiful in Manila, but I have yet to find a place serving soondae here. My goal was to eat my weight in soondae while in Korea.

On my last night in Seoul, instead of pigging out in Myeongdong, I decided to walk the streets of Hyehwa instead in the hopes of finding that breakfast place we once visited. It took a couple of blocks of walking and my mission was almost blocked by the steak rice topping being mobbed in one street corner. And then I saw a familiar establishment — bright, covered in thick plastic insulation, warming it against the cold fall night. I peeped thru and thought, I think what I was looking for was in one of the pictures on the wall.

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I entered and a friendly Korean lady pointed to an empty table. I, in turn, pointed to the picture of the stew on the walls. In the universal language of food ordering, I hoped to the food gods that we understood each other. I also hoped it came with rice.

Minutes after and this boiling soup in a hot pot arrived on my small table already full of banchan. I scraped the bottom and yes, I hit the blood sausage hotpot. Also, at 5000 won, it came with a steaming cup of rice.

Ask and you shall receive.

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Ginger Pig In Hongdae, Seoul

Ginger Pig In Hongdae, Seoul

After Fritz Coffee Company, I took the subway to Hapjeong Station to catch the opening of Bau House. The article I saw on the internet said it opens at 11:30 am and I was trying to catch it as soon as starts to play with (still) energetic dogs. I tracked the perfectly good directions only to find out I was actually 2 hours early. Bau House opens at 1:30 pm on weekdays. Note to self: Double check everything you read on the internet.

Good thing I remembered this was a station away from Hongdae, a university district also known for arts and shopping. So I caught the train to the next station and killed some time with unnecessry shopping.

After two hours, and two bags and a pair of glasses without prescription, I decided to just enjoy the lovely fall weather and walk to Hapjeong instead of taking the train. It was just a station away, a straight road as mapped out by google. Also, I was hungry. I saw a chicken place near Hapjeong. Maybe, I can eat along the way.

I was looking forward to the fried chicken when after a couple of blocks of walking, a bright marquee sign caught my eye.

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Ginger Pig. Pig. Pig eh. Automatic.

I went it and an urban industrial interior welcomed me — tolix chairs, wooden tables, exposed pipes, brick walls. Also they had parts of pig as wall decor. I felt like I belonged. I settled down in a booth and asked for the advertised ginger pork cutlet.

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As with other korean meals, I was served a cold water in a canister and banchan as soon as I was seated. And then after a few moments, this monster arrived.

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This fried pork cutlet was huge — like the size of my face. It was well-cooked, juicy and meaty in spite of the thick breading. I ordered it with the original sauce, which I can only liken to the sauce you slather your katsu with in Yabu. And it’s just 6,000 KRW — 300 pesos for all this goodness.

Ginger Pig was halfway between Hongdae and Hapjeong. I have a good kilometer to go before I reach Bau House. And since I practically inhaled my meal, it was a very welcomed and needed walk.


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