Photo Potpourri: Enticing Eats

Photo Potpourri

More food-related photos are here! I suspect now that my work’s summer programme will start, I am not sure how much of a foodie I can be the next two and a half months. I hope I can still find the time to try new places (or return to an oldie but goodie) and make yummy things at home. If not, I guess I can always pick it up in September . . . which is quite a while from now X_X; Anyway, enjoy my photos below!

Mandarin Orange Toast and Latte at Berkeley Coffee Social

On a Saturday, I went out to Berkeley Coffee Social, which just happens to be one of my favourite coffee shops. On my last visit to them, I saw that they offer food items, and one of the things that enticed me was their mandarin orange toast. So I got that with an iced latte, and I relaxed and read on my Kindle with these treats. The toast with the mandarin orange jam and some raisins paired so well with my latte. The bread came from the infamous May Bell Bakery, so that was a plus!

Home-made Coleslaw

I’d made some home-made coleslaw back in March, and I found myself really craving for some again! So I made it again, but this time I used red cabbage, carrot, corn, and baby arugula tossed in oil and rice vinegar. Om, nom, nom. It was seriously good, and the colours of this dish were just amazing!

Pancake Breakfast Set at Cafe Travel Maker

One of my bosses was leaving, so we decided to check out the Ardium store in Hongdae, but the darn thing was not opened according to its hours of operation on the website ~_~; So we wandered around Hongdae and ended up at Cafe Travel Maker to get some breakfast, and that ended up being a nice little experience! Cafe Travel Maker focuses on American-style breakfast. It was so good — the hash brown especially! I had the pancake set, and om, nom, nooooom. Unfortunately, this photo came out blurry :( Apologies for that! It was a case of, “Oh, it looks clear on my phone . . . but WAIT. It looks crap on a bigger screen. Nooooo!”

No-Bake Peanut Butter Cup Bars

I attempted these peanut butter cup bars :D Please go see my guest post on Chynna’s website to see the full experience and recipe of this delicious treat!

Soba Set at Mesiya

Lastly, I went back to Mesiya. See, they’d been focusing on their new location, so the one in my neighbourhood had wacky hours ~_~; Lately, though, they’ve been more regular, so my co-worker and I headed there, and we were lucky to try their soba set! It was delicious. Very good homestyle food, and it was the first time I had soba and tsuyu :D The lotus root side dish was also great. Mesiya is definitely a favourite of mine, but it’s not something I can go to all the time now that their set meal cost 15,000 won X_X. But it’s a treat for once in a while, and it’s worth it then!

Photo Potpourri: Nomminess

Photo Potpourri

Graaaagh. I’ve been a bit busy lately because I’m on the wonderful 6:00am split shift, where I have to wake up at 4:30am to ensure I get to work on time. Then I pretty much am working and breaking in between until 5:15pm, so needless to say, I am bloody knackered when I get home. I was so tired and busy that I couldn’t even really do much for Memorial Day weekend, but I did make it down to Cheongju to visit Chibi Toaster. Except I had no idea it was Buddha’s Birthday on Memorial Day, so the Koreans were also on holiday . . .

Anyway, here is a quick photo dump post to share some nommy things I’ve eaten :D Enjoy!

Butter Chicken at Namaste

Chibi Toaster and I had some errands to run in Dongdaemun a few weeks ago, and we decided to get some Indian food at Namaste. I got the butter chicken with naan, and it was yummy! This was my second visit to them, and I liked this visit better than the first one!

Slow Cooker Butter Chicken

The visit to Namaste encouraged me to try making some butter chicken in a slow cooker, and I merged these two recipes. It turned out okay only because the seasoning was much too bland. So I doubled the seasoning when I re-heated the dish on the stove, and that proved to be much better. At least the chicken turned out to be juicy and tender! Oh, and that bread is not naan; it’s pita bread from the Bakers Table XD;

Green Tea Cake from Tous les Jours

My auntie’s lunar birthday was a couple of weeks ago, so she brought home some green tea cake from Tous les Jours . . . and this was the cake. It was pretty good :D

Naengmyeon at Halmae Soondaegook

Naengmyeon has become one of my favourite Korean dishes. I love these chewy noodles in the sweet, tangy, and cold broth with some gochujang (red pepper paste) to spice things up! This place is the new 24-hour soondaegook place called Halmae Soondaegook. This naengmyeon came with soondae, which is Korean blood pudding. This has become my new go-to naengmyeon place!

Chicken Pesto Sandwich and Chocolate Avocado Smoothie at De Espresso Room

I saw on Facebook that the De Espresso Room was now serving new sandwiches and avocado smoothies, so I moseyed on over there to try out the chicken pesto sandwich and chocolate avocado smoothie. YUM. I think I’ve found my new favourite place to get a light lunch!

Croissant French Toast at Greenstreet

Last, but not least, my co-worker and I went to Greenstreet in Dragon Hill Lodge to have some brunch, and I got the croissant French toast with some bacon. This was the first time I’d tried croissant French toast, and it was amazing. I don’t think I want regular French toast anymore . . .

Photo Potpourri: VSCO Cam

Photo Potpourri

I’ve recently decided to try VSCO Cam to see what the hype is all about. I’ve grown to like it, and I enjoyed applying the filters to the images I’ve taken. So this whole photo dump post is dedicated to all the photos I’ve taken thus far and have been VSCO Camed XD Enjoy looking at my photos!

Message Book

One of my recent projects was to compile a “message book” for my super big boss who’s leaving. She’d been here for about thirteen years, and she’s someone everyone in my organisation is going to miss. The “party committee” I’m apart of suggested we get a card for all the employees to sign. I, on the other hand, thought about how ridiculous it’d be to try and get 70+ employees to sign a single card. Someone suggested we get a huge card, but I objected to that idea because it’d get all smushed when folded. Then I remembered my memory book project. Thus came the idea that we get a photo album and index cards, and all of us write, draw, or print our farewell messages on an index card, and compile it together with some photos and whatnot. Then I had a good friend help me decorate the album, and this is what it came to be. Who’d have thought fabric, ribbon, lace, and a tassel could be combined to create a good look? I’d have never come up with something so simple and elegant!

Earl Grey Tea and Chocolate Fudge Cake at Chloris Tea

I took my boss to Chloris, and she loved it! We checked out one of the Sinchon branches, and I ended up getting Earl Grey tea and chocolate fudge cake. Yum!

Green Jasmine Tea at Chloris Tea

Then I went to the other branch in Sinchon and had some green jasmine tea. I really love Chloris and their concept. I just love how the usage of a real teapot and teacup just gives off an elegant feel to the whole experience!

Tteokbokki, Soondae, and Tweegim

One of my good friends came to visit, and she told me she wanted some Korean food. So I took her to the little diner in my area that serves mostly Korean “street food”, and we ordered this set that comes with soondae (Korean blood pudding), tteokbokki (spicy rice cake), and tweegim (Korean tempura). This set only cost us 3,500 won (About $3.25 USD).

Goldilocks Assorted Polvoron

My friend also brought me some polvoron! They are my favourite cookies from the Philippines! :D I call them “crumbly cookie dough cookies” because that’s what they really tasted like to me when I first tried them. Unfortunately, I can never remember the name “polvoron”. Luckily, when my friend asked me what I wanted her to bring me from the Philippines, she knew what I was talking about when I said, “those cookies”.

Macadamia Nut Latte and Chocolate Chip Cookies at Berkeley Coffee Social

I also met up with her briefly for breakfast, and we stopped by Berkeley Coffee Social to get some caffeine and cookies! We both got the macadamia nut latte and their chocolate chip cookies. Oh, em, gee. That latte was so good! First time I’d ever tried macadamia nut latte :D

Cupcakes from Fat Cat

I bought these cupcakes at Fat Cat in Haebangchon, and they are delish! See, I’m friends with the lady who bakes them, and she’s the baking goddess of all the baking goddesses I know. I don’t know what she magic she does when she bakes, but her cakes are just super scrumptious!

New Movies for Marathoning!

I’ve been recently in the mood to re-watch a bunch of older films, and I realised that I didn’t have Armageddon or Deep Impact, so I ordered those and the Charlie Brown history specials from Amazon. Guess I’m in a movie marathon mood!

French Manicure

And the last photo shows my newest manicure :) French manicures are some of my favourite nail design, but I hadn’t tried this version yet. I like how it looks, but I think I’ll stick to the thinner version.

Photo Potpourri: Spring Staycation Ending

Photo Potpourri

Annnnd here’s the other entry that summarises the rest of my short spring staycation. Next time I take time off, I really should do two weeks at least. Ten days flew by fast and felt way too short! Still, though, I had a nice time off from work, and it was great to unwind and think about other things. It was a nicely balanced staycation where I met people, but I also had time for myself. I read a lot, had yummy food, met awesome people, and enjoyed the great spring weather in Seoul — it really was a great staycation!

Blue Skies

Monday actually was a bit of a pain in the beginning. It was wet and dreary in the morning and the early afternoon. I was on base to do some work errands, and it took me the whole day to accomplish most of it. Eventually the weather finally cleared up by late afternoon, and that’s when I took the photo of the sky. It was just gorgeous and so clean and blue.

Chicken Pesto Sandwich and Tangy Coleslaw at Fat Cat

Tuesday, I went and had brunch at Fat Cat in Haebangchon. I had the chicken pesto sandwich with some tangy coleslaw. It was super yummy, and it cost me 12,000 won or $10 USD. Afterwards, I walked around and went to Chansbros, my favourite coffee shop and played with my smartphone. Then I went home and just did bum stuff. Wednesday was when I attended the Beethoven concert, and Thursday was spent all day at home. I just slept a lot and read old RP logs on my Kindle, haha!

Taro Bubble Tea from Bubbly Tea

Friday, I went out to meet Chantelle, but prior to meeting her, I got me some taro bubble tea. AnneMarie posted about getting some bubble tea a few weeks ago, and someone else posted getting the taro-flavoured one. They made me crave some, and I saw that Bubbly Tea opened up in Itaewon, so I decided try it. I’m glad I did — it was delicious! I need to go back and try the other flavours :D It was so cheap, too. Only 3,300 won, about $3!

Curried Chicken Sandwich at London Tea

Chantelle and I decided to do lunch at London Tea, an upscale brunch place with a lot of tea options. I decided to get the curried chicken sandwich and chocolate hazlenut tea. The curried chicken sandwich was yummy, but the tea . . . X___X; No more chocolate-flavoured tea for me! My whole meal cost 19,500 won, which is about $18. Afterwards, Chantelle and I chilled at Hell Cafe with some coffee.

White Nail Salon

When Chantelle and I separated, I decided to go get another manicure :D I went to White Nail in my neighbourhood, a place I’ve been once, so I decided to give them a try again. I’m glad I did. They are so much better than Nail Bar and more relaxing, but not as good as Dragon Hill Lodge. Still, they are a good alternative for me to get my nails done when I can’t make it to Dragon :D This cost me 15,000 won, about $13.50.

Grey Manicure

My finished nails! I chose a grey shade by Orly. I really love grey nails. It’s a great neutral colour that’s not as dramatic as black, but more eye-catching than nude/pink :)

Domain Giveaway Winner

I also have a winner for the domain giveaway that I’ve partnered up with Kya to do :D Congratulations to Chynna for winning the giveaway!

Knitting Project

Finally, the rest of my staycation had me staying home to finish up some work tasks, and I started on a new knitting project! I ordered the yarn online, and it’d finally arrived. What am I knitting? Try and guess! Oh, I re-discovered TED Talks, and they are great to listen to as I knit! Too bad I didn’t discover that combination earlier. But now my staycation is ending, and it’s time for me to return to the real world. :( Farewell, staycation . . . until next time!

Photo Potpourri: Spring Staycation So Far

Photo Potpourri

Here’s another photo dump post, and it’s all about my spring staycation so far. :D I admit, I’m a huge fan of staycations since these give me the opportunity to explore Seoul. Population-wise, Seoul ranks in the top 10 of the largest cities in the world, but it’s not in the top 10 based on urban land area size, but it’s still a huge city to explore. Part of it is because Seoul uses practically every nooks and crannies the city offers to stash away stores, restaurants, bars, cafes, and whatnot. I swear, even in my own neighbourhood, new businesses pop up in the most obscure alleyways, and I’m flabbergasted when I discover them. Bottom line, one can explore Seoul hundreds of times, and there’d always be something new to uncover. And that, my friends, is why I’m content with Seoul, and I don’t feel compelled to travel outside of it, unless it’s someplace in Japan, haha! Japan aside, enjoy my staycation photos!

Waiting at Severance Hospital

My vacation started on Thursday, April 16, with me taking care of some medical businesses at Yonsei Severance Hospital. The waiting (and the paying) is the hardest part of all this, so I made sure to bring stuff to keep my occupied. Along with my Kindle Paperwhite, I also brought my letterbook I’m working on. Paired that up with a “Lovely Strawberry Yoghurt Smoothie” from Uptown Cafe (that’s really what they called that smoothie!), I was able to ignore the hospital environment until the noise level in the foodcourt got to me.

Gwangjang Market

Friday, my boss and I went exploring downtown Seoul. Originally, I was going to go to Paju Premium Outlets, but my research led me to see that the outlets would have been super expensive, so I decided to visit Gwangjang Market (광장시장) instead. We had a blast. This is a very traditional market with a huge emphasis on food. Apparently the second floor of the market is known for their linens, sheets, and blankets, but we didn’t bother checking that out. The food vendors alone fascinated us. Bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes) and mayak gimbap were the market’s specialty. We walked through the market, and I discovered that Bangsan Market (aka Bakers Alley) was right across the street from it, so we also decided to make a return trip there :) Afterward, we backtracked back to Gwangjang Market and took a cab to . . .

Namdaemun Market

Namdaemun Market (남대문시장). Now, this is a place I’ve been to many times, but my boss hadn’t really gotten the chance to really explore it. We came here and got more food, and my boss bought a bunch of earrings and cheap grocery food. She was amazed that this one store was selling three pineapples for 5,000 KRW ($4.50 USD). After, we took a cab back to base to go have a spa day, upon my suggestion :D

Spa Day Manicure

We went to Dragon Hill Lodge salon, Clippers, and I decided to try their “special manicure”, which is their regular manicure plus special cleansing treatment and a paraffin wax treatment. That was my first time trying the paraffin treatment. My verdict? HOT, HOT, HOT!!! I’ve got crap heat tolerance, so my hands didn’t enjoy being dipped into the paraffin four times! Otherwise, it was a good spa day, and I like the pink OPI polish I chose! :D

Hyehwa Area

Saturday found me at Hyehwa Station area, also known as Daehakro. I met up with Piokun and his friend. I caught up with him since he and I hadn’t met since November.

Tonkatsu Set at Mad for Sushi Yaki Banzai

We decided to get lunch at Mad for Sushi Yaki Banzai, and I ordered the tonkatsu set. It was okay — not the best meal, but it filled me up.

Chansbros Coffee Shop

Afterwards, I walked 2 kilometres to Jongno 4-ga bus stop, and made it back to my neighbourhood to meet Chibi Toaster at Chansbros Coffee Shop. I people watched and killed time there. When Chibi Toaster came, we hung around my neighbourhood. She bought lunch at Tonic Curry, and later we went to Berkeley Coffee Social, a new coffee place I discovered recently, and their coffee is just amazing. Then she got a haircut, and we finally ended back at Chansbros to have one more cuppa before she left.

Fennel Hot Dog from Hassdog

On Sunday, I met my friend D. and his friend. We went to Fat Cat for brunch, and I had a hummus avocado sandwich with a choco banana smoothie. I wasn’t able to get a good shot of my meal, but it was delicious. Then I stopped by Hassdog to get some gourmet hot dogs for my parents and me, pictured above. I’d been hearing rave reviews about the dogs, so I finally decided to get some. It’s pricey, but it’s worth it! Even my picky parents liked it!

And that’s my staycation so far. It’s been lovely. I’ve got one more week to unwind and have fun. I look forward to the remainder of it! ^^