Oct 31, 2010

Grand Mint Festival 2010

One of the most exciting thing on this trip for me is this festival that features Korean indie bands in the Olympic Park of Seoul. Once again, I was over impressed by the logistic organization. I bought tickets on internet and I planned that it'd need at least 30 minutes of queuing to retrieve our tickets at the booth. In fact, there were 20 booths, each one attributed to some Korean letters alphabetically. We went to the "ABC" booth, no one in line, the girl exchanged our tickets with my printed confirmation and told us to go the booth at the left where we then again exchanged the tickets with a bracelet for the day. All the process took us 5 minutes.

 We've arrived late because of the delay with the samgyetang lunch and
missed some gerat performance :( We had to queue for
1 hour before getting in the stage.

 The sun setting, it became chilly so I had to buy this nice purple blanket.

The saturday evening highlight show, No Reply feat. Han Hyo Joo

We were so cold that we decided it's be better to get in the crowd up front than sitting around on the grass. Also; people around on the big picnic area were annoying. They kept on talking, going up and back to get more food. Concentration 0 on the music. And why?! Why do people come to this kind of event with babies?!

Tosokchon's samgyetang

I've read that this is the best samgyetang place in Seoul. I think the queue in front of the restaurant at 11:30am confirms its celebrity.We were afraid when we saw the line but after observing 5 minutes, it seems it's moving, so we got in the line. We've waited just about 15 minutes to get in and from the inside, we can see how it is managed so that the queue is moving so efficiently. We got our table and ordered our samgyetang that arrived 10 minutes later. I'm not a fan of ginseng and I was afraid of the smell it'd have. But the taste is not as strong as I thought. Each bowl has half a chicken in it stuffed with rice, ginseng and a chestnut. This is my first samgyetang ever so I can't say if it's the best but it was yummy and you feel that's it's doing good to your body while eating it. Happy to eat some healthy food after yesterday's junk food day.

 The artistic tissue tower
 The number tag for going to the cashier afterwards
The soup was still bubbling when it arrived on the table
Stuffed with rice, ginseng and chestnut
You eat the meat with some large grain salt


A beautiful morning at Gwanghwamun with its gate all freshly renewed. And on top of that, we arrived right when the guards changing started.

Already preparing for the G-20 summit? 
I like the all matte black bad-ass look.

Oct 30, 2010

Myeongdong street food

We grabbed some street food as dinner while shopping in Myeongdong.
Very bad start... Since we got back into the city, we've been eating just junk food...
Okay, tomorrow, there's a samgyetang planned.

Andrew's eggtart

After the buns, we went for some sweets at Andrew's eggtart. The story is that Andrew came from Macau to sell his egg tarts. Their star product is the basic egg tart. They also have some fancies like sweet potato tart or pumpkin tart. You can just buy to take out. There's a table and some seats outside if you want to sit a bit. The tart was good, the pastry not too dry and the egg part is cooked nicely soft. The thing doesn't crumble into pieces when you bite in it. And it's not too sweet. In fact, every dessert we taste here are not sweet for us, with tongues that are used to the extra sweetness in the French pastries.

Cheonjin Poja - 天津包子

After having settled in our rooms, we went next door to 天津包子 for some mandu as a late lunch. (I've romanized roughly the shop's name.) Koreans call all forms of dumplings "mandu". Even when they're as big as a bun. I find this confusing. If you see "mandu" on a menu, you never really know what kind you'd get. In Chinese, each kind of dumplings/ buns have specific names, depending on their sizes, if they're steamed, cooked in soup, grilled...

The ones in here are the sizes of half a tennis ball. In this rounded form and steamed, I'd rather called them mini buns. In fact, the 包子 in Chinese would translate to little bun.
They shop is tiny, they also have another one just a few shops further. On the menu, there's only 5 kinds to choose from. You get 6 buns for a serving. It's more a snack than a meal.

Sophia's Guest House

We're back to Sophia's in Bukchon where there're lots of coffee shops and tea shops. (More on those later.) It's really a nice place to stay. Gyeongbukgung and Changdeokgung are from walking distance. Insadong is just across the road. Other main areas are at most 30min by subway. The only down side is that, as it's a traditional hanok, the walls are thin, doors are made of paper. If you're not lucky, you can get annoyed by noisy fellow guests.


Pinky tailed fellow met in Jeonju. He was kind of grumpy, I guess he didn't like what his/her master did to his hair. Poor guy, he's already an albino... But I think it's quite a funky style.

Jeonju PNG bakery

It was hard to grab some good and free conncetion after we wer back in Seoul, so the posting had been interrupted. Here come the last parts of our trip.

I've read* about the PNB bakery and their famous giant choco pie! (*Check out Paul Ajosshi's blog here.) Indeed, so giant I couldn't finish the whole thing.

Also got the chestnut like cake even I had no idea what it is. It just look pretty :) And the lady gave us some free stuffs.

Oct 22, 2010

The beef ribs soup

Remeber the beef soup I talked about last year? I've come back for that! And it is still SO good! Everything is perfect in this restaurant, all the way to the kimchi.

 the so sweet pumpking

Traditional tea shop

Again in hope to catch some wifi, we went to try a traditional tea house on a second floor where we can overlook on the main street. We were the only customer... Is that a bad sign?

I chose pine tree leaves tea and Anne chose a classic jasmine tea. Mine smelled somewhat weird but it was okay to drink. And we got some apple and some crackers. Then we stayed for an hour until the night falled sorting up our pictures. No internet again :(

Jeonju Hanok village

This is the Hanok village. Right now there's a bibimbap festival going on through the weekend so there're lots of events in the village.We got to see some traditional crafts demonstrations. There are stands selling various hand made items and a mini indie concert. It was funny the faces of the grandpas watching the singers yelling and rocking.

The bibimbap

Here we are for the famous Jeonju bibimbap!

We we're served some entrees first.

Japchae, jelly, a Korean cole slaw with pink mayonaise
and a sweet fried fish.

Lots of banchans again. I think the number of banchans might be proportional to the size of the table. The lady who were eating alone next to us had as many dishes as us.

Then the main thing arrived, with the rice aside in a hot pot. You get some crispy rice bits in the bottom.

The lady come to demonstrate her technical skills of bibimbap whipping. Wow! Now I know how to, will need some pratice tough to not throw everyting out of the bowl.

Too much, couldn't finish

They left us a kettle of water, we didn't know what to do with it. We watched the other people and saw that they put it in the rice pot then they eat the rst of the burnt rice and drink the water. To not die an idiot, I did the same, but beurk >< not good! It's just water with a burnt taste.

Last, we got a yellow tea? It tasted like rice.