Saturday, 30 September 2017

South Korea SEOUL || Day 5 (Bongeunsa Temple, Royal Tombs, Crown Park Myeongdong, Myeongdong Gyoza, Ediya Coffee, 8 seconds)

Bongeunsa temple
It was drizzling a bit as we left Hotel Cappuccino to explore Gangnam.

Thankfully city sights are easier to navigate to compared to the countryside.

Bongeunsa is a pocket of calm and tradition within the city.

Cherry blossoms + old buildings













After Bongeunsa we made our way to the next major sight in Gangnam - Royal Tombs.

Royal tombs of the Joseon Dynasty

Cherry blossoms!

It might actually be peach or something, but all pink blossoms are cherry blossoms to me.



Much bigger than it looks


I think the royalty buried here will be shocked by how the country has changed since their reign.

Lots of Koreans come here during lunch break.


We need this! I catch a bus to violin class every Wednesday and am always craning my neck or walking up and down the bus terminal trying to read the bus number.



On the walk back to Hotel Cappuccino I passed this charming events space.


Love these typically Korean neighbourhood roads.

It was raining as we left Hotel Cappuccino we so hailed a cab. There's special cabs with English-speaking drivers.

'Where are you from?' the driver asked.

'Australia.'

'But you look Asian.'

Then we had to go through the whole Malaysian-Chinese-British-born-Chinese spiel.


After checking into Crown Park Myeongdong (we decided to stay in Myeongdong so we didn't have to lug our shopping around), we headed to Myeongdong for lunch.

I'd heard of Myeongdong Gyoza and seen it on blogs as well as my friends' Insta, so when we passed by and there was no line (it was 3pm, after all), I decided that we were meant to lunch here.

The restaurant was tight and only offered a few menu items, which made ordering a breeze.


Knife-cut noodles


After being served we looked around for chopsticks and spoons then realised they were in a drawer built into the table.

After lunch it was raining in earnest so we ducked into the Ediya Coffee opposite for hot drinks and dessert.

Hot fruit tea


Honey toast
I love honey toast! I think they were quite trendy a few years ago but the craze has subsided now.

8 seconds
On the way back to Crown Park Myeongdong I saw this giant G-Dragon face outside a store.

It was 8 seconds.

I went in and bought a lot - both Mei and I were shocked at the bill. I was so focused on shopping I didn't pay attention to the PA system notifying customers of a chance to enter a lucky draw to meet GD.

So I paid for all my shopping in 1 receipt, and only got 1 entry!

Back at Crown Park Myeongdong Mei and I took turns in the toilet - not sure if it's from Myeongdong Gyoza.

When I showed off my 8 seconds purchases to Mei and Martica (who joined us at night) the response to my basic V-neck T-shirts and skinny jeans was, 'Err, you could've bought the exact same items in Australia.'

But my floaty white top and high-waisted ripped denim shorts got nods of approval.

To soothe our tummies we had yogurt drinks in the evening. (It's something I enjoy doing on holidays - going to supermarkets and buying snacks, especially yogurt.)


Sunday, 10 September 2017

quay

roe, creme fraiche, lime granita
其实只有酱油盘这么小。

但是免费的,所以不多说。

Terra Preta truffle, aged Comté, roasted walnuts, egg yolk, potato
其实我一直觉得自己是松露爱好者。

但真正的松露怎么闻起来有点像洗衣粉的味道((惊

还是很好吃的一道菜- Peter Gilmore 很重视口感,所以这道前菜又松又脆又细腻。

朋友吃 hand shelled mud crab, pickled white turnip, kombu jelly, raw hispi cabbage stems, cultured cream, Geraldton wax。Geraldton wax 是一种可以食用的花。我平时不吃螃蟹但只是蟹肉完全 ok!很鲜,吃了也没有过敏。

Congee of black lip abalone, pearl oyster, heart of palm, black vinegar laver
Quay 的粥品算是经典。

粥煮得米很烂,非常舒服的一道菜。

吃的时候觉得粥和汤好像没混合得很均匀,但现在回想起来觉得这是它美味之处。

朋友吃 fan shell razor clam, shaved shiitake, smoked pig jowl, sea cucumber crackling。完全就是冲着 sea cucumber crackling 吃的。这道是他最喜欢的菜,我也觉得猪肉软的超 on point!

Roasted master stock duck, green orach, spring onion, seaweed, house made koji paste

说实话这道菜令我有点傻眼。

拌菜很好吃。

烤鸭也很可口,只是味道和在马来西亚茶餐室的烤鸭完全一摸一样!(那我们干嘛以每人 180刀的价位来 Quay 吃?!)

朋友点的主菜是 Poached Blackmore wagyu, shaved fungi, black garlic, smoked bone broth。看起来超恐怖因为牛肉看起来好生!味道是很细腻但卖相吓死我了!

Snow egg
Snow egg 也是 Quay 的经典甜品,口味会跟着季节而改变。现在刚入春,是草莓的季节,所以当晚的 snow egg 是草莓口味的。

一眼其实看不怎么出到底是什么,我朋友形容为 meringue。

Ice cream filled poached meringue coated in a maltose biscuit + granita + fool

服务员会叫你把‘蛋’敲开然后伴着 granita 吃。

真。美。味。

朋友秒杀他的 snow egg,然后吃我的。

个人特别迷草莓的切法-和 Peter Gilmore 另一家餐厅 Bennelong 的 Strawberries and cream 甜点草莓切法一样。

所有味道混合起来甜而不腻。

虽然日子有时过得辛苦但偶尔吃好的安抚自己。

Sunday, 3 September 2017

South Korea SEOUL || Day 4 (Hotel Cappuccino, Gangnam)


After our standard breakfast of instant coffee, fruit and a cookie from the supermarket, we found a bank to convert some KRW. It's always cheaper to convert in-country! I was totally ripped off by the money changer on George St (serves me right for converting a closed currency 2 days before departure!)

We had some time before the optical shop opened, so we shared a red velvet cake at A Twosome Place, a chain cafe in South Korea.

I can't remember the taste, which means it wasn't exceedingly good or bad.

After our cake we went to the optical shop with the cute, soft-spoken sales guy and bought a pair of sunnies each. 

Then we were off to Seoul! (On the bus the driver asked a guy to help with our suitcases, and a kind Korean woman helped carry my backpack on her lap. Ah, the niceness of small-town folks.)

A cute tap for kids at the rest station

What every public toilets need

You know when all the doors in a toilet look closed and you wait in line. 

And wait.

And wait.

Then you nudge one of the doors and realise it's been empty!


Back to Seoul, where images of GD are everywhere!

We had booked a night in Hotel Cappuccino, a funky hotel in Gangnam.

My friend Martica from Taiwan had recommended it and we were supposed to meet here, but she had a change of plans at the last minute.

Flavoured water in lobby
Fan-cy.

Work station in lobby


2 double beds

Retro white-tiled bathroom

Mei's bed for the night

The sink in the room
Gangnam

Hipster

The public hotel phone for the floor



Cafe on the ground floor

After leaving our luggage we decided to go out for dinner.

Err never heard of this

So we took the bus to.. Gangnam station? Apgujeong? I have no idea. But we started walking around this neighbourhood with shops and restaurants sort of.. scattered around. Are we in the right place? Is this the place to be? Still no clue.


Wanted to try this Jun Ji Hyun fried chicken! But didn't. Can't remember why.

Pickles!
Salad with cheese
The cheese was yum!

Fried chicken

Very Gangnam
Bun with cream and red bean
On the way home we stopped at a mart to buy snacks - I bought a bun similar to the delicious one Mei had in Andong. Except it wasn't similar at all. The cream was salty and soggy, as opposed to the fresh fluffiness of the Andong bun.


Then it was back to our home for the night for a good sleep before tomorrow's more organised exploration of Gangnam.