Category: Cafes / Takeaways / Bars

Fat Boy Sandwiches

I’m off on holiday for the next few weeks, so posts may be rare depending on how busy I am. If you want to keep abreast of my travels and all the amazing food I’ll be eating, follow my instagram. Due to my impending trip my fridge is empty,  and I thought I’d use it as the perfect excuse to get take out, not that I need one, but you know. For some reason, Fat boy Sandwiches, really spoke to me.  I had heard great things so ordered two for myself from Shuttle. If you are unfamiliar with Shuttle you really need to get on it, because it is an excellent service that goes to all my favourite restaurants and delivers their food right to my door for a mere 4,00 won. In fact if you are a first time customer you can get it delivered for free, by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.

After perusing the sandwich choices I ordered the Beefeater (10,500). A medium-rare roast beef and Swiss cheese stuffed baguette. The internet had been abuzz about the size and taste of the Fat Boy sandwiches, so I was really looking forward to this bad boy. But when I unwrapped it, it was rather small in size in fact I could fit both pieces on the palm of my hand, and I like to think my hands are quite small and dainty. Despite the size, the sandwich was actually really good, lovely thin slivers of roast beef and a nice tang from the horseradish mayo. As you can see the sandwich has a good ratio of filling to bread, so maybe that is the what they are promoting, but honestly I was still hungry after finishing this one.

TFB wanted the test the muster of their ham so got the Classic Ham & Cheese (9,500). Deli Ham, American Cheese, Tomato, Mayo, Mustard, Romaine Lettuce, Campagnard bread. I am no fan of ham, especially hammy ham so only took a very small bite of this one. It seemed a big and hearty size though and was much bigger than mine. I didn’t really care for that kind of cheese, but TFB gobbled it up and deemed it satisfactory. The loftily piled layers of thinly sliced ham made a nice change from the faux ham offerings sometimes found in Korea. As ham and cheese sandwiches go, this one was not bad, a touch more mustard and big chunks of cheddar cheese and this could be a winner.

When I saw that they had Creamy Deli style Potato Salad (2,500) on the menu I was very pleased. I love potato salad, in fact I make it quite often myself, but it was nice to have it it as an add on, especially at such a great price. The tub itself was quite big and the portion generous. The flavour was pretty decent too, not as tangy as I tend to make mine, but pretty solid. It also helped fill up my exceedingly large belly.

Overall I liked the food I tasted, but the Fat Boy size was not big enough for the Fat girl. The ingredients are quality though and if you have a normal sized appetite you should be pretty pleased with what is on offer. Fat Boy Sandwiches are only available via Shuttle Delivery. To order please visit their website. If you are a new customer to shuttle, please click here to receive 4,000 won off your first on your first order.

Bistopping

It is hot as hell right now, and nothing cools you down like a beautiful and very Instagrammable ice cream. I came across the Sinsa ice-creamery online and thought it was such an adorable spot, that I couldn’t resist paying them a visit. I also brought a whole host of friends with me to try it too. The ice cream shop is located in between Sinsa and Nonhyeon. The shop itself is quite small and was packed to the rafters with hungry girls waiting for their frozen treats. Luckily they have a small seating area outside, and an air conditioned restaurant next door for you to wait in while they make them. We visited on a busy afternoon and we probably had to wait 20 minutes for them to be made after ordering.

The ice creams come in three different flavours Milk (3,500), Yogurt (4,000) and Chocolate (5,000), you can then pimp it up with one of the fabulous decorated cones for an extra 1,500 won. There was a huge display area with 20 different numbered designs for you to choose from.  You then choose your cookie and chocolate add ons, which are what make the dessert look so magical. The simple chocolate stars and hearts are 700 won, while some of the prettier cookie embellishments are between 1,500 -2,500 won. If you want to get a super crazy cone it will be closer to 10,000 though I managed to make my cactus cone for 7,800.

The ice cream itself was quite nice and reminiscent of the one you get from Sweetruck. It has that slightly sour, almost cheesy like taste. Kind of like milk gone bad, but it in a good way. Our group was rather boring and we all got milk, except one of us who got chocolate so I didn’t have chance to try the other flavours. I did get to try some of the other embellishments though. A definite thumbs up for the fruity pebbles, never had these before and thought they were tres delicious. I cant believe it is a breakfast cereal though, it would be like eating a bowl of sweets for you morning meal.

Overall I thought Bistopping to be just as adorable as it looked on Instagram. If you are looking for really good ice cream then this is not the place for you, but if you want a really fun dessert that will look great in pictures it is worth a visit.

Bistopping is located at 68 Sinbanpo-ro 47-gil, Jamwon-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Sinsa Station (line 3) and come out of exit 4. walk straight and take the third right. Walk straight again and take the third left, the road kind of curves round. follow this road and you will see Bistopping just ahead on the left hand side. for more information you can call them on 070-7792-0409 or checkout their Instagram page. Bistopping is open from 11am -10pm everyday.

C27

I’m not sure if you will believe this, but this year I didn’t have a birthday cake. A tragic tale I know, but it ends very well because my very wonderful friend Lizzy offered to cheer me up and take me the land of cake, a magical place in Sinsa that offers 27 different kinds of cheesecake! There is nothing like a dazzling array of wondrous desserts to put a smile upon your face, and forget your troubles.

The dessert cafe is set over four floors, a true tower of cake filled goodness. The main cafe is on the first, making it easy for you to order your drinks and desserts, then you go and find yourself a seat and wait for your order. While every floor of the cafe is different, being two rather lazy ladies, we settled for the ultra comfy sofa nook in the back of the first floor. However there are dozens of cute selfie spaces  strewn throughout, just check out this mannequin and beauty mirror combo, obligatory selfie taking girls included.

Life is full of hard decisions, and none so hard as choosing which of the 27 different cheesecake we were to try. Since my companion was the president of the cake club and much more experienced than I when it comes to desserts, I left the decision up to her. It was for the best as I was getting carried away, if I had had my way i would have tried them all. A dream that one day I hope to fulfil. On the drinks side they offer the usual assortment of coffees and a teas, plus a couple of yogurty type smoothie things and wine. Nothing that overshadows the cakes though.

In the end we narrowed it down to three. The Earl Grey, the Dutch Apple and the Chocolate Cherry Cheese all 8,800 per slice. All the cheesecakes are the same price which I think is a nice touch, and allows you to make a choice based on flavour rather than price. While all the cheesecakes were orgasmicly good, I’d have to give the Earl Grey my star prize. I never would have chosen this one but it was rather magical. The cheesecake itself was sweet and creamy and incredibly delicious. It was topped with a very light fluffy creamy topping, and had a tea flavoured sponge at the bottom. The Earl Grey flavour wasn’t particularly strong, but there was enough to give you a hint of flavour as the cheesecake melted in the mouth. Each of the plates comes decorated with a trio of grated cheeses, not sure if it really works but it is a playful idea, and I’m always willing to eat a bit of cheese.

Our second choice was the Dutch Apple (8,800). This one was topped with a very crunchy and sweet and crumbly biscuit topping, this made for a nice contrast of textures against the silkiness of the cheesecake itself. We also loved the chunks of fruit strewn throughout giving a fruity pop now and then. This one didn’t have a sponge bottom like the others, it had more of a pastry bottom instead of the sponge, which made it a little more like an apple pie.

Lastly we ordered The Chocolate Cherry Cheese (8,800), which was probably the most decadent of the three we tried. This one had a chocolate sponge bottom, and was topped with a chocolate cheesecake which was studded with little bits of cherry, then a layer of fresh cream, and finished with a thick layer of chocolate ganache.  This one was he sweetest of the bunch and very chocolatey, the chunks of cherry were nice when we found them but I would have liked a lot more. If you are a chocolate lover then this one is likely to be a winner, though there were at least half a dozen other chocolate versions too.

Overall you couldn’t find a better place for cheesecake. The array of flavours was incredible and the cheesecake was excellent.  The cheesecakes are baked but have a similar silkier smoothness to the non baked ones that are more popular in the UK, so I especially enjoyed them. The cafe itself is quite stylish and has plenty of room and is a nice place to while away an afternoon while enjoying some good desserts.This is the main branch of  C27 but there are several other locations, including a new one opening soon in Hongdae.

C27 is located at 545-12 Sinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Sinsa station (line 3) and come out exit 8. Walk straight and take the fourth left (the one after Garosugil). Walk straight down this road, you will see C27 about four blocks down on the left hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-544-9901 or check out their website.

Plant Cafe & Kitchen

As it is summer and we’re all showing an ungodly amount of flesh at the moment, I thought it might behove me to share somewhere that is a little bit more on the healthy side. So today, I will talk about the amazingness that is Plant, the vegan cafe and kitchen. Plant has been a stalwart of the vegan and vegetarian community for years, however their home was a tiny little place in a back alley location that you would never come across unless you were looking for it. Just recently they have moved to much bigger premises, which can fit a lot more hungry vegans. The old location is still there, and is now being used a Plant bakery.

The new plant restaurant is located in the old Left Coast location on the furniture street in Itaewon. They have really transformed the space and made it feel very homely with their plants and cute cushions while at the same time making it feel light airy and slightly tropical. I was getting a real Bali kind of vibe going on. The menu like the new location has grown too, and has some great new additions to it.

We started off with a drink each. I went for the Mango Coconut Smoothie (7,500), this was divine and a taste of tropical bliss, though I found the addition of coconut milk made it a touch on the pricey side. My fellow pals got a Kombucha (6,500), and the Power Green Smoothie (7,000)  which is made with soy milk. I know that many people struggle in Seoul to find coffees and drinks that are made with dairy free milk, and at Plant they have options with both soy milk and almond milk, which should be music to lactose intolerant ears.

My favourite dish of the day was the fabulous BBQ Jackfruit Tacos (12,000). These are the vegan version of pulled pork and while I have had them before elsewhere, these ones were by far the best I have ever had. The shreds of Jackfruit were charred on the outside and tossed in a tangy BBQ sauce. With the cabbage slaw and salsa and chips on the side they were very filling. I’m pretty sure that if no one mentioned it to you, you would have no idea they are meat free. Unfortunately they are only available on Tuesdays, so you will have to plan your visit accordingly if you want to try them.

For my lunch I ordered the Sesame Peanut Soba Bowl (11,000). This was a wooden bowl filled with soba noodles, sesame-peanut satay sauce, fried tofu cubes, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, green salad, and pickled slices of carrot and radish. The peanut sauce was very morish and I found the tofu was a nice change from chicken while the noodles were very filling. A good hearty lunch for sure.

Lastly we got the Plant Cheeseburger (12,500). There are three kinds of burger on the menu, but this one is my friends favourite. This one comes with the Plant veggie patty, vegan cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, pickled cabbage, sriracha aioli, and yellow mustard. I tried a bite and have to agree it was really lovely, the bun in particular was very good. This one might be even better than the vegan burgers they serve at Huggers. It also comes with a nice helping of fries on the side, because lets face it, who wants a burger without fries?

Overall we had a very enjoyable lunch. The tacos in particular were really something special, so I’ll certainly  be visiting again on a Tuesday. The new space has a great vibe and is very relaxing, and I’m sure absolute haven for the vegans of Seoul. Though we didn’t partake this time they also have some incredible vegan cakes and their previous location is now a full time vegan bakery.

Plant Cafe & Kitchen is located at 117 Bogwang-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Itaewon Station (Line 6) and walk out of exit 4, turn back on yourself and take the road on your left (the street where Taco Bell is) and walk straight. Keep walking on the same side you’re on for about 150 meters, Plant is on the right on the second floor. For more information you can call them on 02-749-1981 or check out their facebook page. They are open Mon – Thurs 11am – 9pm, Fri + Sat 11am-10pm, and closed every Sunday.

Rooftops in Itaewon

You’d think in a city as cool as Seoul, there would be a hell of a lot more roof top action going on, but thanks to the zoning regulations, or some other boring reason like that, rooftops really aren’t permitted here, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. In the Itaewon area alone there are dozens of different rooftop bars to soak up the sunshine, with new places popping up all the time. Since summer has now officially started, I thought would share my top five favourite places to hang out and drink while catching a tan.

1.Southside Parlor – Not only does this Texan bar make one hell of a cocktail, they also have a pretty large and impressive rooftop going on. The whole bar has just undergone a complete transformation, but thankfully my favourite cocktail The Pimp Cup  is still on the menu. This is the Lone Star State’s take on the classic British cocktail Pimm’s. They also have awesome edibles like their highly addictive piggy chips and tacos.

2. Brick Yard – I can’t believe that Brickyard has just turned two years old, my how time has flown. The cocktail menu has changed quite a lot in that time and isn’t as fancy as it used to be thanks to my favourite barman leaving, but they still rustle up a refreshing drink and the rooftop is as bitching as ever.

3. Rooftop Bottle Shop –  Located above Sam Ryan’s, this self-service bar is an Itaewon institution. The rooftop is huge, and you can help yourself an amazing array of beers and ciders out of the fridge. They also sell liquor by the bottle, plus mixers and even provide ice and glasses. There is also food and snacks available for when you get peckish. Check out this facebook page for more.

4. Sonnendeck – Sonnendeck has an awesomely amazing rooftop filled with fake grass and huge giant bean bag loungers. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy some Sunday Funday. Some past events here include a La Marmite brunch pop up, and Drag Queen brunch, if that’s not a reason to get out of bed I don’t know what is. They also have parties that go all night too, this Saturday the amazing team behind Little Baja will be hosting a taco and cocktail pop up. Check out the event facebook page to see more details.

5. Hamilton Hotel – Right in the middle of Itaewon is the Hamilton hotel, which has its own pool that is open to the public for a small fee (20,000-25,000). The bar offers all manner of drinks and the tunes are pumping out all day. It gets insanely crowded on weekends so if you have your heart set on renting a lounge chair (15,000) come early. Most days it is open between 10am-6pm, but every Saturday in July & August they are having special all night parties. It’s the closest you are going to get to an Ibiza vibe in Seoul .

Scoff Bakehouse

I’m almost ashamed to admit this, but for the past three years I have known about the existence of a British bakery, and have never been to visit it. Its located up in the depths of Jogno and not easily located by subway which always kinda put me off, I am a very lazy girl after all. However just recently they opened up a second branch which is still in Jongno, but a more reasonable walk from Gyeongbukgung station. It  is located in the most adorable area by Tongin-dong that is really worth a visit by itself. After hearing about the new location I knew I needed to go give it a try, but it wasn’t until some friends of ours brought some of the fantastic Scoff goodies to a BBQ that I hosted that I was compelled to go at the next opportunity.

Scoff is located in the most gorgeous cute and quaint neighbourhood, I have written about it before as it is home to my favourite croquette place Nalari, and Ellay’s Icecream (which is sadly no longer there as its moved to a different hood). The Bakehouse is set over several floors, with the main bakery on the ground, and then cafe seating up above, the most heavenly aroma wafted down the street as we approached and my mouth was watering before I could even feast my eyes upon the array of baked delights.

The bakehouse itself is very modern with a rustic twist. The whole place is filled with reminders of my very British childhood, from the old wooden art desk draws, to the old teapots and china chickens for keeping eggs in. The owner Jonathan told me that every time his parents come to visit they bring his another car-boot sale treasure to cement him to his heritage, and decorate the cafe. I was very charmed by it all.

The first thing that has to be talked about are the Sausage Rolls (6,000) which are so orgasmic we bought another two straight after devouring the first one. This really is the gold standard of sausage rolls as far as I’m concerned, I’m not even sure if I have had a better one back home. We make them ourselves quite often, but they cannot even compete with these bad boys. The sausage itself is short and stout, kind of chode like in appearance, but wrapped around the well but simply seasoned pork is a duvet of thick and and golden pastry. The layers in it are awesome, some of which cling on to the meat with all their might. I’ve always though good pastry has layers you can peel off and enjoy just by themselves. This was very filling, one was plenty to fill me up, so get one to take home for later, you wont regret it.

Now we have talked about the amazingness that is the sausage roll, we can talk about the cakes. The brownies are very popular and after sampling several I can see why, we loved the simplicity of the Scoff Brownie (4,000), but to me the stand out was the Raspberry and Cream Cheese Brownie (5,500). I am not one for foreign objects in my brownie unless it’s more chocolate, or an occasional nut, but the tart combination of the raspberries and the creamy swirl, was heavenly. The gooey fudgey texture of the brownie itself was enhanced by the pop and sweet tingle of fruit, and I almost found myself longing for them.

The Raspberry and Almond Tart (4,500), also must be mentioned, as it is kind of like an unofficial Bakewell Tart. The pastry bottom was perfectly crisp, the spongy middle was soft,moist and punctuated by more of those fabulous raspberries. My own mother made this regularly during my childhood, but I was never all that partial to it until now. Another popular item for Brits I’m sure are the Hot Cross Buns (3,000). The sticky glazed buns were perfectly spiced and sumptuously soft. It might not be Easter but I just couldn’t say no.

Being a cafe, they have an array of drinks for you to enjoy while having your cake and eating it too. I stuck with my usual Ice Vanilla Latte (5,000), while TFB went for their Scoff Lemonade (5,500). This was exceptionally good, nice and sour with a tickle of sweetness at the end. They also have a few fruity variations of it which also sounded delicious. I found the drink prices to be very reasonable and cheaper than most chain stores, especially considering they have a captive audience and could charge a lot more.

Overall I was thrilled with Scoff and am kicking myself for not going sooner. They have an amazing array of baked goodies that can be enjoyed by both Brits and non Brits alike. For those who are looking for delights that cant be found anywhere else in Seoul like sausage rolls, hot cross buns, Chelsea buns, carrot cake, lemon drizzle, scones, and the best brownies ever you need to plan a trip to Nuha-dong immediately if not sooner, this place is not to be missed.

Scoff is located at 90-2 Cheongunhyoja-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Gyeongbokgung Station (line 3). Come out of exit 2 and walk straight for 3-4 blocks until you reach Tongin Market, Its an adorable place filled with lots of traditional foods and is worth visiting by itself. Walk through then then exit the other side, keep walking straight down the road almost opposite and then take the first left, you will see Scoff just up ahead. For more information you can call them on 070-7761-1739 or check out their Instagram page. Scoff Bakehouse is open Tue-Sunday from 10am-7:30pm but I’d advise you to go earlier in the day to avoid disappointment. 

Mal Car

My neighbourhood of Gyeongridan is a treasure trove of unique and one of kind shops, bars, and restaurants. And one of its most hidden gems is my new favourite coffee shop Mal Car. Mal Car is a vintage automobile themed cafe, which is set over three floors and is full of quiet nooks and crannies to sit in. The place is festooned with all sorts of car themed knickknacks, even the outside tables are made from what looks like old bus doors. It is certainly a quirky place, and like no where else I have been before. It is located up on the Hyatt hill in a hidden residential alley, if it wasn’t for the sign on the main street you’d never find it, luckily I was invited so had the address.

It being a coffee shop and all, we thought we should start with a coffee. After placing our order we were given the most adorable shopping basket to help carry everything upstairs which I thought was a nice touch. I went for their signature Cloud Coffee (6,500), which is their version of the Vienna style, probably the coolest coffee in the city right now. I love creamy coffees so this was perfect for me, my only complaint is that I wish it had been sweeter, I would probably add a shot of vanilla syrup next time, but overall it was nice drink and coffee lovers should be impressed. My assistant Elizabeth ordered herself a refreshing Sunset Ade (6,500) to beat the heat. The colourful ade was super refreshing and had an almost sherberty fruity taste. We both really enjoyed it, but I thought it could be even better with a shot of vodka!

The Cinnamon Rolls are a speciality at Mal Car, so we had to give one a try. They have several different variations but we opted for the Original (4,600). Just looking at it, it was easy to tell why they are famous for them and boy were they good. Warm in the middle so the frosting kinda melted and you could sop it all up like a sweet and buttery gravy. The texture of the bun itself was super soft, and it had a good blend of spices without being over powering. Honestly I don’t think I have stopped thinking about these big bountiful buns ever since, they are addictively good, and not to be missed.

Besides the buns, Mal Car also offers a whole range of baked breads and cakes. After gazing over their dazzling array of desserts we decided to try the Humming Bird (6,600), as it was too pretty to resist. The banana and pineapple spiced cake was topped with a nice thick layer of cream cheese frosting and an adorable pineapple flower. The sponge had a lovely hint of pineapple, though I didn’t get much of the banana coming through. We both enjoyed the lovely creamy cheese frosting, and appreciated that it wasn’t too sweet. Being two very greedy girls we also got a Carrot Cake (6,200) too! This was really incredible, so moist and had a really nice balance of spices with a hint of orange. The cake itself was the star here, but the frosting was also good too. I was green with envy when eating this because it was even better than my recipe which I have always considered to be one of the best around.

Overall I thought Mal Car was a gorgeous cafe with fabulous cakes, breads and coffees. The Cinnamon Rolls in particular were incredible and I’ve not tasted one as good as this in Seoul before. The theme really sets it apart and there is seating inside and out. In a city filled with big chain places, these are the small places I love to support, so I will definitely be going back again soon, especially as it is very close to my house.

Mal Car is located at 48-10 Hoenamu-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul.  To get there take a train to Noksapyeong Station (line 6) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight until you reach the underpass, go through and exit using the stairs on the left hand side. Follow this road around passing the church and Paris Baguette, walk up the hill towards the Hyatt. Keep going up the hill and look out for the Mal Car sign after you pass the big GS, its in a small residential alley way just after passing Baskin Robbins. Go down the alleyway and you will see Mal Car on the right hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-790-2310 or visit their facebook page. They are open from Tuesday – Sunday from 1pm – 11pm

Ferry Roasters

If there is one thing that Seoul has no shortage of, it is coffee shops. Seoulites absolutely adore coffee and seem to spend an awful lot of time hanging out in their favourite cafes. So it is no surprise that the city is practically bursting with dozens of cute and quirky places to get a caffeine fix. And before I set off on my travels, I found the most charming one just next to my house that I couldn’t resist sharing with you.

The boat themed coffee shop is conveniently located opposite the fabulous Cre8 Cookies, making it the perfect place to grab a drink after picking up some baked goods, however the nautical theme is not the only specialty, they also serve the world’s most delightful donut topped coffees, yes donut topped coffee! You can have your donut and drink it too. The menu is quite small but I tried a couple of their specialty drinks along with a dozen of their marvelous mini donuts. I placed my order and went up to their fabulous roof top to enjoy the glorious weather that we were having. Though if you don’t like the sun, they have a more covered outdoor space on the main floor, or inside seating.

After about 20 minutes my order finally showed up, and thankfully it was worth the wait. The first thing I tried was the Salted Caramel Latte (6,900), I’m usually a vanilla latte kinda a girl, but the melted marshmallow topping on this coffee was too much to resist. I was at first concerned that the coffee would be too sweet for my liking however it was far saltier than sweet and mixed with the strong coffee it was actually quite tasty. The frothy melted mashmallows added a hint of sweetness and it was actually quite refreshing. So far so good.

My second coffee, yes I was all alone and couldn’t decide what to get so thought I’d treat myself to two instead, was the Tube Latte (6,500). This is the delightful little Homer Simpson donut topped coffee. You can have this served hot or cold, and in this weather over ice seemed very logical. This one was not at all sweet, I’m guessing that’s why there is a donut on top. It was incredibly precious and the coffee was strong, but I need my latte a touch sweeter than this so would ask for some vanilla syrup next time. It was also on the small side, so I’m glad I had two.

It being a weekend and all, I figured I would treat myself to a dozen their adorable mini donuts. There are two different flavours, cinnamon sugar, and basil parmesan. I decided to try both and got a half order of each (7,500). Donuts are a rare find in this city, at least outside of the big chains. These were made there and then on the spot, which accounted for my 20 minute wait. I loved having a mix of sweet and savoury, it is the best of both worlds. The cinnamon sugar were soft and fluffy in the middle while the savoury basil parmesan were addictively good and probably my favourites of the day, whoever thought of putting parmesan in a donut is a genius!

Overall I thought this pace was fab and I will probably come again to hang out on the roof top and grab some donuts. It is not the cheapest coffee in the neighbourhood but if you are looking for something a bit different or a cute place to meet friends than this is it.

Ferry Roasters is located at 225-22 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul. To get there train to Noksapyeong Station (line 6) and come out of exit 2. Walk straight until you reach the underpass, go through and exit using the stairs on the left hand side. Follow this road around passing the church and Paris Baguette, walk up the hill towards the Hyatt. After you pass the Happy Store keep an eye out for an alleyway on the right hand side and you will see Ferry Roasters on your left, just past Cre8 Cookies. For more information you can call them on 02-6015-2022. They are open Tuesday – Sunday 12:30pm -9pm.

Mangwon Food Crawl

Last weekend was absolutely beautiful and I used the good weather as an excuse to get out of the house and the hood to go and explore another part of this city I call home. For the best part of year I have been hearing wonderful things about the uber trendy neighbourhood Mangwon. Yet, despite it only being a 20 minute subway ride away, I always failed to get over there and check it out. For those not in the know, like I was, you are seriously missing out, this place is jam packed with cute and quirky cafes, stores, and restaurants. It’s kind of like what Haebangchon and Gyeongridan use to be like. The streets are quite spread out, but there is plenty to see once you head out of exit 2. I’ve listed five of my favourite places that we visited. though I’m sure there are thousands more to discover so I’ll be heading back soon to see what else there is.

We kicked off our morning with a coffee at Social Club Seoul. This is one of the coolest concept coffee shops I have ever come across, in the middle of the room is a giant table strewn with the detritus from a fancy dinner party. Think chandeliers and tea sets, then there’s a counter to the side where you order and they make the coffees. That’s it, they have simply built this in an old ripped out store front and people are going nuts for it. This place is selfie city, I think at one point every single person in the joint was taking one, myself included. I think the real draw to the place are their amazing, decadent, and delicious coffees. They have two signatures which we decided to try, and being an ice vanilla latte girl, I had to get the Short Cream Vanilla (6,000), while my girl Laura tried the Mocha on the Rock (6,000). Mine had ice cubes made from sweetened vanilla cream which just made it the most rich and decadent drink ever, while Laura’s mocha had coffee ice cubes and chocolate at the bottom, the more they melted the stronger it got. They were both pretty epic and it was just what we needed before heading to the next stop. One note, when we passed by again later in the day there was a definite queue so go before 12pm to avoid the crowds.  Social Club Seoul is located at 414-27 Mangwon-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul . Click the link or see the bottom for my map.

After coffee we were in need of breakfast so we headed to Sally Cheong to try one of her delightful fruit and yogurt bowls. I’m a healthy kind of girl (some of the time) so this was exactly what I was longing for. The menu is all in Korean but it is pretty easy to figure out. The bowls of yogurt come with different kinds of fruit and muesli and are adorably cute and only 6,000 won each. The yogurt is made in house and the fruits change with the season but there should at least be a couple of options available. As well as the yogurt and fruit bowls they also have plenty of drinks available, like some home made ades and a ginger milk. We had just enjoyed a coffee so didn’t partake but they looked great. Sally Cheong is located at 21 Worldcup-ro 23-gil Mapo-gu, Seoul . Click the link or see the bottom for my map.

Our next stop was Viva Salon (비바쌀롱), one of my followers tagged me in an Instagram post for this place and I couldn’t resist coming to see it. I mean look at the adorably cute Cookie Monster Latte, I am still living for it, almost a week later. Also pictured is the Coconut Smoothie topped with a rubber ducky. The whole cafe is toy themed and the place is decked out with all kinds of cute and kitsch paraphernalia. It’s a must see. The Cookie Monster Latte was 5,900 and really tasty, as was the Coconut Smoothie (5,800) though we did add a large splash or vodka to it to kick it up a notch. Viva Salon is located at 84 Poeun-ro, Mangwon 1(il)-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul. Click the link or see the bottom for my map.

After all those drinks we were ready for lunch and came across Happy Burger. The line was long but the smell coming from the kitchen was too much to resist, so we wrote our name down on the list and went to get ourselves another GS cocktail while we waited. In 20 minutes our table was free and we both got ourselves a big ass burger and a side of fries. The burgers here were pretty impressive. I got the Double Cheese Bacon Burger (8,500) which was topped with bacon, double cheese and caramelised onions. The bun came came slathered in their homemade garlic mayo which I adored. It was very moreish and the kind of burger you want to inhale. Laura opted the Arugula Burger (8,900) which was equally delish.  This was exactly what we needed after a few too many cocktails, and i will certainly be going again next time I visit. happy Burger is located at 414-83 Mangwon-dong Mapo-gu, Seoul. Click the link or see the bottom for my map.

Lastly, we took a stroll around Mangwon Market to burn off those burgers.  It’s a covered arcade style market with loads of different stalls selling street food , fresh meat, fruits, veggies and other bits and bobs. Living in Itaewon I don’t come across these traditional markets often so it was nice to see, and it’s amazing how cheap some of he prices were. At the end of the market are two famed croquette stalls which had crazy long lines. I was desperate to try one but didn’t have room after that massive burger but next time for sure. Mangwon Market is located at  411 Mangwon-dong Mapo-gu, Seoul. Click the link or see the bottom for my map.

JL Dessert Bar – Cherry Blossom Pop Up

Last weekend was I was invited to a very special event at JL Dessert bar, a place I have been meaning to try for ages. The event was in honour of the majesty that is Cherry Blossom season. In Korea, nothing says Spring like a walk along the river, and fighting your way through crowds of other eager beavers trying to get the perfect selfie with the elusive cherry blossoms before they wither away and die. Since I don’t do so well with crowds I figured this seasonal dessert pop up was much more my bag.

JL Dessert bar, is located near Gangnam District Office station and is unsurprisingly a bar that specializes in cocktails, wine and desserts. What a novel idea, for many people dessert is the best part of the meal so why not skip ahead straight to the good stuff? It’s also ideal for those on a first date who don’t want to risk sitting through an entire meal. Our event was a one day special promotion for cherry blossom season which cost 45,000 for 2 people. this included three desserts and wine pairings, plus a few special spring goodies.

Our first dish to try was the Cherry blossom special, which was a sweet mix of cherry blossom, strawberry, blueberry, lemon and white chocolate. First of all I adored the personal plating, I love anything with my name on it. The star attraction of the dish was the white chocolate orb, that when broken into revealed a sweet and creamy mousse which reminded me of candy floss. Paired with the fruit and broken shards of meringue it was a real melange of tastes and textures. It was rather impressive. The wine paired with this one was a Blueroth Riesling, a sweet and dessert wine which really enhanced the dessert.

Our second dish was the adorable Petit Gateaux, this was probably my favourite of the desserts. Again a soft exterior but with a biscuity crunch at the bottom and lovely layer of strawberry jam, this was so scrummy, I was a tad upset to be sharing it. This one was paired with a German Brut, I think we all know how much I enjoy a glass of bubbly so this was ideal for me, and it was nice to have something to take the edge off the sweetness of the dish.

Lastly we ate the stunningly beautiful Cherry Blossom macarons. These were pressed with a dried cherry blossom which was such a lovely touch.  Again I wish there had been more, I could have eaten them all afternoon long. These we paired with the Vampire, Merlot rose, which i think might have been my favourite of the three wines, although it might have been because I was a little bit tipsy by that point.

Overall we had a fabulous afternoon, I felt very grown up going for dessert and wine tasting. They are planning to host similar pop ups in the future which  shall certainly keep abreast of, but for the time being they also have an a la carte menu where most of the desserts cost 15,000, or a set menu of 4 courses for 40,000 which I’m sure you could share between two. All the desserts also come with recommended cocktail pairings too.

JL Dessert Bar is located at 14, Seolleung-ro 120-Gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul. To get there take a train to Gangnam-Guchon Station (line 7) and come out of exit 1. Walk straight and turn right the first chance you get. Walk straight for three blocks and then go left. You should see JL Dessert Bar just ahead of you on the right hand side. For more information you can call them on 02-543-6140, or check out their facebook page. They are open from 12pm-11pm everyday.