Entries in Korea (7)



The boys did not have school last Friday and have Monday and Tuesday off for Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving) so we headed up to Seoul for the long weekend. We love taking the KTX (high speed train) up to Seoul because it is so convenient. We like to arrive at Busan Station a little early so we can enjoy kimchi udon before our journey. I always bring my laptop so I can squeeze in some work and the 2 hours and 45 minutes goes by in a flash. The boys and I have been to Seoul numerous times so we have a routine and like to visit our favorite spots as well as try out a few new places during each visit. It was a little hot this trip so we opted to spend more time relaxing indoors instead of exploring the sites. Here are some highlighs of our trip.

+ Two lunches at Vatos, one of our favorite restaurants in Seoul. I like the Sinsa branch because it is less crowded and has better lighting. Plus it happens to be located on Garosugil, a cute tree-lined street filled with small shops and cafes. We always order tacos, kimchi carnitas fries, and a big virgin margarita for the boys to split.

+ The boys are good about sitting on a chair/sofa inside the shops while I browse around. A small electronic device or reward of dessert always helps!

+ This time we checked out Coffee Chu, a cafe that specializes in a variety of churros. The chocolate filled churro and sundaes were big hits! 

+ We always like to pick up some baked goods at Dean & Deluca (located in Shinsegae Department Store) to snack on at the hotel.

+ Tried soondubu jjampong for the first time. It was SO spicy!

+ Reunited with Appah as he flew in Saturday morning from Singapore.

+ Purchased a selfie stick. Loved the comments I received on Instagram about this little device.

+ Walked the streets of Itaewon, which is the most diverse area of Seoul. Love all the variety of restaurants in this neighborhood.

+ Visited the Sewol ferry disaster memorial at the City Park Plaza. Each yellow ribbon is inscribed with a message or the names of loved ones who perished in the tragic accident.

+ Discovered some cute new shops on the side streets of Garosugil.

+ Ate at Left Coast Artisan Burgers for the first time. Good food and very nice folks running the show, who happen to be fellow Korean-Americans and Cal grads. I really liked the Kalbi Jjim Bao Buns.

Click to read more ...




When I was in Seoul last weekend my friend and I visited five different bakeries. We actually had more bakeries on the list but we couldn't go to them all due to time. We have quite a few bakeries here in Busan, but I have to say Seoul has better bakeries. We visited some authentic European bakeries in Seoul, which carried a lovely assortment of freshly baked breads and pastries. I liked all the bakeries for different reasons, but I have to say that Rose Bakery was one of my favorite spots. We were just coming from another bakery down the road and on our way to lunch when my friend pointed out Rose Bakery. She had been there before and thought I would like it. We were planning to just window shop since we had 1/2 hour before our lunch reservation, but as soon as I saw the baked goods at Rose Bakery, I knew I needed to have a bite of their carrot cake. One thing I really miss from the States are loaf cakes and Rose Bakery has so many varieties. If we were not going to be walking around all day in the heat I would have bought a slice of each loaf cake to take home. Rose Bakery is located on the first level of the Comme des Garçons flagship store and has floor to ceiling windows on one side so there is beautiful light flooding into the bakery. My friend and I shared a mini carrot cake (it was SO good) and a carrot/apple/ginger juice. You can find the story behind Rose Bakery and the recipe for the carrot cake here. And looks like the founder of Rose Bakery has a few cookbooks. Next time I want to go for brunch or lunch and try their other food (and eat more carrot cake). If you are ever in Seoul, check it out! You might also like the Samsung Leeum Museum that is right behind the bakery.

Rose Bakery

739-1, Hannam-dong Yongsangu Seoul 02-790-7225

Directions: Subway Line 6, Hangangjin Station, Exit 1. Walk 3-5 minutes on your right, across from the Volkswagon dealership.




If you love cute paper goods and stationery then you would love Korea. Although I practice quite a bit of restraint when I peruse the aisles of my favorite paper shop it is always fun to shop for other people. I put together a little package of Korean goodies for a friend and her daughters (who live in the States) including these sweet Barunson notebooks. I love the peek-a-boo element and cute graphics.




I love the fun and cute designs by JStory, a Korean stationery and office supply company. I first discovered their goods several years ago and have been a big fan ever since. I love their character Mask Bunny although for the longest time I thought it was a ninja. They have so many clever products like their Hello Post Its, Desk Note and Big Monthly Planner. You can find their goods here.




I came across Common Kitchen, a Scandinavian style housewares online shop, when I was researching Korea food blogs. I was surprised to discover Common Kitchen was based in Korea because Scandinavian goods are not as prevalent in Korea as they are in Japan. Common Kitchen stocks beautiful ceramics, kitchen goods, linens and fabric. They also carry Skinny LaMinx tea towels and pillows. I only wish Common Kitchen had a brick and mortar shop here in Busan.




Millimeter Milligram INC. (MMMG) is one of my favorite Korean stationery companies. They have an amazing product line with beautiful paper goods and home accessories. When I lived in Busan a few years ago I would always pick up a few of their notebooks and stickers every time I would see them not knowing if I would have easy access to them in the future. But before our move back to Busan last month I gifted all of my MMMG goodies to friends in the States. And if I wasn't in a "don't buy it unless I can use it right now" phase in my life then I'm sure I would be stocking up again.