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Asia eats, korea eats

july 24: a long day of cupcakes, gelato, and murals

The first thing I did today was eat a good, hearty breakfast with my family. Since my younger cousins slept over, we ate a Western breakfast instead of the usual rice and banchan – they just gotta have their bread and cereal.

little cousins and sister eating scrambled eggs

Breakfast also included the following:

bread was toasted, then consumed

juicy tomaters. they're so much redder and yummier here.

a mountain of chameh, kiwis, nectarines, and apples that i consumed about half of.

it looks like a muffin, but it's actually barley and bean dduk.

steaming the dduk allows for a lighter texture, although i don't know how they get it to rise

After our meal, my mom, my sister and I took the subway to HanNamDong where we walked to my aunt’s cupcake store.

lynn's cupcakes, named after my cousin

an open kitchen area so you can see the cupcakes being made

rows of cupcakes, made to suit the korean palate. flavors include strawberry, vanilla, red velvet, green tea, lemon drop, coffee, etc.

the counter and the menu board.

Once we met up with my cousins and aunt, we all took a short walk down the street to eat lunch.

la cocotte: a european-style bistro

the bar area

quirky-cute-vintagey decorations and upholstery

We ordered a variety of pastas and salads, one for each of us and some extra to share.

my spicy chicken and grilled mushroom salad

The chicken wasn’t very spicy, but I liked how thin and tender it was, as well as the basil-topped mushrooms were prepared. The salad was made of mixed greens and coated in a pepper-sesame vinaigrette (I think).

my sister's aglio olio, garnished with arugula

a side dish of pickles; a little out of place in this bistro setting..

Of course there were more entrees; almost everyone had ordered a different dish. But I didn’t take pictures of them because I felt bad if I kept them waiting while taking pictures of their food.

Lunch eaten and bellies full, we headed back to Lynn’s Cupcakes where our aunt gave us a few things for dessert.

orange velvet, red velvet, and chocolate cupcakes

Just like the way a red velvet cupcake doesn’t taste like strawberries or cherries, neither did the orange velvet taste like orange. Instead it was a carrot cake base with a cinnamon-y creme. I enjoyed it a lot; because Koreans don’t like their pastries too sugary, my aunt made the recipes so the cupcakes are just mildly sweet. I didn’t try the red velvet, but I know that it’s also been similarly adjusted.

pat bingsoo: topped with red bean, milk, cereal, pecans and a jello-cube thing

citron bingsoo: made with cherry powder on the bottom and topped with Korean golden clementine syrup

This has got to be the most unusual bingsoo I’ve tried yet – I don’t know if I’d call it a bingsoo. Instead of the usual red beans, this bingsoo is topped with a citron tea syrup that has actual chunks of clementine zest in it. So when you mix it around, it turns into almost a slushie. It was different, but in a good way – sweet and citrusy-tangy.

Once we finished talking in the cupcake stores and everyone had said their byes, my mom, my sister and I headed for the nearest subway station. But on our way there I saw this, and I knew we had to go inside.

cafe gusttimo: a gelateria

I read about this place in a Seoul food blog; I’d heard it was good, so we decided to go in to try a small cup of their gelato.

colorful scoop and smoothie displays

fresh gelato. this store just opened yesterday.

scoop action. because honestly, who couldn't use more gelato in their life?

our cup: kiwi, dark chocolate, and strawberry milk

I don’t know how I would rank this place, because I can’t say that I’ve had any bad gelato (this included). Even though the kiwi was a little too sweet instead of sour, the dark chocolate had the intense, bitter cacao flavor that I love in my chocolate. Calynn described the strawberry milk flavor as “tasting like Korean strawberry milk. It doesn’t taste like strawberry, or milk.” Instead it was a faintly fruity, creamy bite – which isn’t to say that is a bad thing. It stayed true to it’s flavor roots.

After the gelato, we took the subway to HongIk College, which is the most prestigious art college in Korea.

street view

As a result, you’ll see art galleries and art hakwons all over the streets; there are often pictures drawn by students on display in front of each building. You’ll also see random murals/sculpture stuff like this:

tiger-rabbit

People here also dress more eclectically (think Urban Outfitters-ish style) and with its indie music scene, there are a bunch of students who walk around carrying guitars and keyboards. These students will often stop by one of the many Korean street food stands for a quick, cheap, bite to eat.

spicy ddukbbokgee, korean sauasge, tempura, and fish cakes being sold

case & point: a guitar-toting, ddukbbokgee eating dude

Walking around so more, we took the subway to AhpGooJung where I met my friends and we went out to Korean-style pork-belly barbecue.

grill, wrap, enjoy

We ate and chilled for a bit, and then I said my goodbyes and headed home on the subway. It had been a long day, I was ready to go to sleep.

I actually am ready to go to sleep as I’m typing this. GOOD NIGHT!

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Discussion

One thought on “july 24: a long day of cupcakes, gelato, and murals

  1. red velvet is actually a chocolate based cake. in original recipes the cocoa reacts with another ingredient in the cake for a pronounced red tint. nowadays ppl just use food coloring lols.

    Posted by euna | July 24, 2010, 3:07 pm

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