백설참외 – White Korean Melon?

I picked up this little guy at the Hyundai supermarket.

It is a kind of melon which is normally yellow. The melon is called a 참외, or chamoe.

I was surprised to see a white one! So I bought it for 4,000 won ($4USD) and ate it up. The result? Though a Korean melon tastes more like a melon/pear hybrid to me, this one was more like a cucumber. Interesting. Even my husband tried it for the first time.

From Wikipedia: The Korean melon or chamoe (참외), following its Korean name, is a type of melon primarily grown in Korea. The fruit is typically about half-foot (15 cm) long and weighs slightly over 1 pound (0.45 kg). It has smooth, oblong with white stripes that run the length of the fruit.It has white flesh that is juicy and sweet, and the seed cavity is filled with small white seeds. Although most Korean melons marketed is yellow in color, there are variant cultivars of green or ivory colors. The flavor has been described as a cross between a honeydew melon and a cucumber. The fruits are usually eaten fresh; with its thin rind and small seeds, the melon can be eaten whole. 

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We’re feeling fancy – one night in Apgujeong! The Kitchen Salvatore Cuomo

We decided to have a night out in Apgujeong to do our nails and have a nice dinner.

Colleen joined us in the evening and we went on a hunt for a good restaurant. We usually refer to Mango Plate to find good places – but each place we checked was absolutely packed. (1 and a half hour wait!) so we walked around a bit. It was a cold night but we stumbled upon this nice place: The Kitchen Salvatore Cuomo.

We knew it was fancy when we walked in and they took our coats. We took a look over the menu and though this restaurant is a bit more luxurious than others, the prices were not. 25,000 won for a meat pizza? Well, a lot of other places might have a similar price. But the alcohol was pricey. Since we were feeling fancy, we ordered a bottle of Moscato for 50,000. They kept it chilled on ice and poured it for us when needed. The servers were very attentive.

 

The complimentary bread. The left side is old, and the ride is a kind of anchovy pesto.

We ordered the bruschetta as an appetizer. This was my favorite. This ricotta! How amazing! The sweet and tart cherry tomatoes worked in perfect harmony with the lightly-oiled cheese. The bread was not hard and crunchy – a bit of a fight to bite off a piece but it was also perfect.

This shot was necessary. I mean, we paid for that fancy bottle, we need evidence! XD

Pomodoro with a glob of fresh mozzarella on top. Sugared cherry tomatoes were also scattered about in the pasta. So this is what al dente tastes like. Very nice!

Our meat pizza. I can’t remember the exact Italian name but it was good, but I still preferred the bruschetta.

For dessert(s), a chocolate lava cave with a tiny mountain of whipped cream that was delightfully fluffy. At first Alesia panicked and thought it might be ricotta on chocolate cake. Thankfully it wasn’t…

And Creme Brulee with fresh seasonal fruit for Colleen who is in love with it. Don’t you love to hear that little ‘tok’ sound?

We finished off with some hand drip coffee at a nearby cafe. What a fancy night!

모찌이야기 – Mochi Story in Hongdae

Do you love mochi? How about this little shop? ❤

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Look at this cute little place! I’d like to tell you about Mochi Story, located between Hongdae and Sangsu stations. This is in an area next to another famous place, Ma Creme, which is also a favorite of mine. We had lunch and were looking for a quick snack.

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Cute Japanese animation interior!

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This guy was there – look at your choices so far… Tangerine Mochi or Kiwi Mochi!image

Being a couple. ❤

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We settled on Grapefruit and Strawberry mochi. Strawberry IS THE BEST. NATURALLY. SO GOOD. I also like grapefruit as it is very juicy!!!

But nothing quite compares to strawberry, red bean, and mochi.

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모찌이야기

I also got blueberry which I enjoyed, but couldn’t compare to the others. I suppose because blueberries are less juicy. This little shop has changing choices every day, but the ones we saw were:

Tangerine Mochi, Kiwi Mochi, Strawberry Mochi, Grapefruit Mochi, Blueberry Mochi, Mango Mochi, and Peach Mochi.

Pretzel Pasta?

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I got a set menu at a local pasta place in Ewha… couldn’t help but be surprised by this “pretzel pasta”. Is it good… is it bad?

Well sadly, because it’s chilling out in pasta, this pretzel was mushy. Though it looks nice, it tastes exactly like a mushy pretzel on pasta. Maybe not next time. xD

Pumpkin Party?

A bit late on this post but!

Alesia took a quick trip to the States to visit her family, and came back with a whole bunch of pumpkin goodies for me. I was so excited because well…pumpkin, but also that Bransen had never tried that flavor before! They have it in Hawai’i, but maybe it is not as popular as it is on the mainland. OH YES PUMPKIN POPTARTS! Also in Pascucci, I enjoyed a persimmon slushie. Nice match. Good times with friends.

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Pumpkin

Today’s Strange Find: Charcoal Eggs? 참숮란

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I picked up these bad boys at the local Lotte 999 mart. How could I ignore them? Black boiled eggs? I have to find out!

They were only about 1,500 won for two. (I guess some would consider that on the more expensive side)

I was surprised because the outside feels like a fine powder, but it doesn’t rub off on my hands. I peeled it open to find the egg inside is brown, similar to the ones you can buy at the sauna.

It seems these are baked over charcoal. See that white packet? Salt included.

It was delicious! Basically the same as a regular boiled egg, with a smokey aftertaste.

Linus BBQ in Itaewon 라이너스 바베큐 – Pure Happiness

I had heard many times about Linus BBQ in Itaewon from various food review apps and sites. The line is typically long for this place in the evening, so it was hard to get around to there. FINALLY ❤ Last … Continue reading

오스틴 Austin : American BBQ in Seoul!

We’re not messing around. We wanted pulled pork. We needed pulled pork. On a whim, I typed ‘Hongdae American BBQ’ and found this gem. This place is in a back alley closer to Sangsu station, and I cannot believe I … Continue reading

Original Chicago Pizza♡

Kyndra and I went on a pizza adventure yesterday!

After a long wait, FINALLY ❤ we got to try the Original Chicago Pizza. It’s located between Hapjeong and Hongdae station, and it’s quite a famous place. Here’s a link to the restaurant’s site:

http://pzchicago.com/

I’ll start off with a little snapshot we took on the street! (This is post-pizza-eating-deliciousness)

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MENU! As you can see, it runs about 20,000 won for an 8-inch pizza – 6 slices. There were two of us, and yes – we ate all six slices. They do have another size up for 40,000 won a pie.

As it states, it takes about 20 minutes to come out.image

We also got beverages – Kyndra had a Chicago Orange Beer and I tried the Citronade. (I have a bit of a cold now… trying to fight it off!)image

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This is fried eggplant with garlic aioli sauce. Very nice when hot! It has a bit of cayenne pepper on it?image

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HERE YOU ARE BASIL PESTO PIZZA! image

Check out the close-up. YES FINALLY.image

Cheese bomb.image

My happy face making the magic happen.image

Gooey, gooey cheese.image

If you upload a photo of your experience to Instagram or Facebook, you can receive a “milk pudding” for free.image

And our picture of course for evidence!

After that, we took a walk to Sang Sang Madang. If you are unfamiliar with this place, on the first floor, they have a little shop filled with many unique things.

Including this little guy here:

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Adorable robot lamp!

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And this notebook which doubles as a pillow. Perfect if you are thinking about slacking off in class.image

Tested and approved.image

Then we went all the way over to Chocolatyum (which I mentioned in last week’s post as well) SO CUTE! I’m surprised because the selection had changed from the last time. More delicious things to try. I got two walnut pies and a strawberry tart.image

Kyndra got a strawberry cake to bring to her mother-in-law. ^^image

Strawberry is the big thing here… ALL the strawberries!!imagePooh cookie,,,? *giggle giggle*

A delicious adventure in Hongdae!

Seoul’s 7 Best French Bakeries

Seoul’s 7 best French bakeries

(Originally from CNN.com)

Flaky, buttery, crispy: Bread and pastries that live up to Euro standards

seouls best bakeries

The best chocolate croissants in Korea, from the bakers of Paul & Paulina.

Much Korean bread, the kind epitomized by the ubiquitous Paris Baguette, comes by way of Japan: soft and chewy, filled with red bean and topped with hot dogs.

In recent years, however, Korean bakers trained in France and Germany have opened a succession of small bakeries. In doing so, they’ve stated the European case for bread.

Seoulites get to reap the benefits: massive loaves of bread with crisp crusts and airy interiors, buttery croissants, sourdough, baguettes and lines of pastries are now plentiful in the city.

You can satisfy your craving for fresh bread at any of the places below.

1. Paul & Paulina

This tiny bakery is dangerous for those on a diet.
The chefs at Paul & Paulina have nothing to hide.

Behind a modest display counter, men and women wearing immaculate white uniforms go about their business: they weigh out flour, beat eggs in large stainless steel bowls and roll out dough on the pristine countertops. The silence and precision recall a laboratory more than a bustling kitchen.

What emerges from the kitchen, though, is simply magical.

The pain au chocolat looks like a chocolate snail; buttery layers of dough roll in around a dark chocolate center. The dough is so flaky that it shatters when you bite into it.

The peasant bread has a crackling crust and excellent crumb structure: perfect pockets of air give the bread lightness.

The long line that snakes outside of Paul & Paulina’s actually works in your favor. While there is the agonizing wait, the constant turnover ensures that the breads and pastries that you buy will be fresh out of the oven.

Paul & Paulina’s also now offers customers the option of calling an hour or two to reserve items.

Pain au chocolat, 3,500; Loaf of peasant bread 7,000 (half loaf 3,500)

Monday-Saturday, noon-7 p.m., closed on Sundays and first Monday of each month

344-6 Seogyo-dong Mapo-gu (마포구 서교동 344-6);+82 02 333 0185

2. Le Alaska

One Alaska that is definitely not cold.

Do you ever wonder where the well-heeled citizens of Apgujeong go to get their pastries? Do you wonder if they even eat pastries?

They do, and to get them they come in droves to Le Alaska, a bakery situated on the apt “Rodeo Street” (yes, named after Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills).

Le AlaskaCaramelized elephant ears at Le Alaska.But don’t let the luxurious surroundings fool you — these pastries are affordably priced and delicious.

Though kitchen produces savory loaves dotted with a variety of seeds, nuts and herbs, the pastries are the real specialty.

The wide selection begins with the “Praline,” a muffin-shaped puff pastry filled with chopped, roasted hazelnuts and chocolate.

There’s also the “Tornado,” a flat, crispy elephant ear of caramelized cinnamon sugar that is the perfect accompaniment to coffee.

In addition to the breads and pastries, Le Alaska’s Apgujeong location offers a variety of sandwiches and drinks. The sandwiches include a steak sandwich on their house-baked ciabatta and a ham and Gruyere cheese croissant.

Praline pastry 3,000; Tornado pastry 2,800; Steak ciabatta 8,500

Daily, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

653-9 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu (강남구 신사동 653-9);+82 02 516 5871

3. Publique 

A selection of Publique’s “intimate” offerings.Chef Jang Eun-chul’s 28 years belies his experience. Jang has studied or worked as a baker for more than a decade (the last four in France), and he brings all of that experience into a thoughtful, French-style boulangerie and patisserie called Publique. It’s located on a residential alley in Hongdae.

“Bread is a very intimate and everyday thing in France,” says Jang. “That’s why the café is called ‘Publique,’ because it is a café for the public or the people.”

Jang’s favorite bread is a humble pain de seigle, a French rye bread. Publique offers a variety of breads, ranging from toasted sesame bread to ciabatta to cheese bread baked with Emmental cheese.

Publique has an array of fruit tarts such as apple, pear and apricot, but the chocolate tart, with a milk chocolate base and a dark chocolate layer on top, is the most memorable.

Publique also makes scrumptious little Cannelés bordelais, éclairs and meringues.

Customers can take a seat at one of the al fresco tables or sit inside with a cup of organic Colombian drip coffee.

Seigle de Publique half loaf 12,000; tarts 3,800; coffee 2,000

Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., closed on Sundays  

311-1 Sangsu-dong, Mapo-gu (마포구 상수동 311-1); +82 02 333 6919; blog.naver.com/publiquepain

4. Pain de Papa

The rusk, Pain de Papa’s version of a healthy donut.The tagline for Pain de Papa reads, “The bread your father made for you.”

That’s exactly what Lee Ho-Young, the owner and head baker of this small bakery on a side street off of the famed Garosu shopping road, wants to say with his bread.

Lee makes delicious and nutritious organic breads and pastries along with homemade spreads from figs, peaches, red onions and strawberries.

Pain de Papa also bakes bread made entirely from wild yeast, meaning Lee uses the natural yeast present in raisins to leaven the bread. Leavening the bread using dried fruits can take up to five times longer than traditional methods, but the result is a moist, springy bread with a hint of sourdough flavor.

Pain de Papa makes a variety croissants and brioches.

The most inventive pastry, however, is their take on rusk, a twice-baked bread. Lee bakes spheres of dough with chunks of sweet potato and dried fruits, and then fires them up in the oven a second time with butter to give the exterior a delicious crunch.

The finished product is dusted with confectioner’s sugar. Think of it as a kind of a healthy doughnut.

Rusk, 1,700; natural yeast raisin bread 6,000; homemade jam 6,000 to 10,000

Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., closed on Sundays  

548-5 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu (강남구 산사동 548-5);+ 82 02 543 5232

5. Retro Oven

Flakiness worth traveling for.If you’re one of the moms who send her kids to Hakdong Elementary School, then you probably already know — and love — Retro Oven.

For those of us living in other parts of Seoul, coming out to find this neighborhood bakery near the district offices of Gangnam is well worth the trek.

The bakery offers a familiar spread of croissants, pain au chocolat, plain and herb ciabatta.

But the most surprising item is the Laugen croissant, or laugencroissant as it is known in southern Germany.

The Laugen croissant is the result of a perfect union between a pretzel and a croissant. it has all of the butteriness of a croissant with the slight pungency of a pretzel and distinguishing salt on top.

Retro Oven also offers loaves of “Retro Oven” bread, a soft, simple sandwich bread made with wheat and some rye that is ideal toasted with a spread of butter and jam for breakfast or as the base of a turkey club.

Laugen croissant 2,800; whole loaf of Retro Oven 10,000

Tuesday-Saturday, 12:30-7 p.m., closed on Sundays and Mondays

254-22 Nonhyun-dong, Gangnam-gu (강남구 논현동 254-22) tel. + 82 02 544 9045

6. Maybell 

Come quickly. These will be sold out soon.
Jung Woong, owner of Maybell, used to be an everyday office worker, or salaryman as Koreans like to say, before he decided to quit his job and become a baker.

Maybell came to its location in Itaewon four years ago after a previous four-year stint in the northwest satellite city of Ilsan.

The hearty and crusty loaves did not fit the palates of the Koreans living there, so Jung Woong decided to relocate to Itaewon where he hoped there would be a greater appreciation for his sourdough rye, rosemary rye and baguettes.

The sourdough takes a week to make and comes in sizeable 600 gram loaves.

Maybell opens at noon and closes at 6 p.m. —  or until supplies last.

The latter is an important detail to keep in mind, because the bakery often runs out of bread by four or five in the afternoon.

Baguettes 3,000; sourdough loaf 5,000 Monday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m., closed on Sundays 

737-2 Hannam 2-dong, Yongsan-gu (용산구 한남2 737-2);+82 02 792 5561

7. Brown Bread

 

 Brown Bread’s mini-bretzels draw a hungry university crowd.

In its display window, Brown Bread posts its baking schedule: pain de campagne (country bread) at 11 a.m., bretzels at noon, rye baguettes at 2:40 p.m., another round of pain de campagne at 3 p.m., and so on.

The baking intervals and schedule allow customers to get the freshest loaves.

The pain de campagne (country bread) from Brown Bread.Located near the front gate of Ewha Women’s University, Brown Bread makes the best bread in the area.

Its brezel, a soft pretzel that undergoes an extended fermentation, is probably its best item. Brezels come in different shapes and sizes — from long like baguettes, to small and round. All are topped with salt crystals.

At 1,000, the soft and chewy mini-bretzels make an excellent snack.

Bretzel 2,500, Mini-bretzel 1,000

Monday-Saturday, noon-7 p.m., closed on Sundays

27-46 Daehyun-dong, Seodaemun-gu (서대문구 대현동 27-46);+82 070 8658 1236