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Asia eats, korea eats

july 31: cafes everywhere

This afternoon, my mom, my sister and I went to another cafe-filled, Soho-like area in Bundang. It’s very similar to  Terrace Street, except it’s newer and lesser developed; as a result, there are less restaurants and stores. There was enough to see to keep us occupied for a couple of hours though.

It’s a really cute part of the city, and each bistro, cafe, and clothing boutique has its own unique, quirky vibe. After exploring the whole place through once we realized that we should eat somewhere; we ended up waffling between a couple of places before choosing to eat at a place called The Pan.

the pan: mr panny's cafe

mr. panny & co.

the pan logo, emblazoned on both the napkin and the table

Although less interestingly designed than some of the other places, The Pan had a cute teddy-bear theme going on, and we liked a couple of things we saw on the outside menu.

My mom got her usual iced Americano.

mm. coffee..

My sister got the “The Pan” panini:

ham, micro-greens, tomato, cheese and a sweet mayo dressing between whole grain toast with a balsalmic micro-green salad

It was a good, light sandwich; even though the sauce was made with mayonnaise, there was very little of it so it wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet or oily at all. The bread was nutty and hearty as well, and perfectly grilled to a crispy exterior and a still-chewy inside.

We also got a fruit bingsoo to share.

I didn’t like the whipped cream or ice cream on top of the bingsoo, but the red-bean to shaved-ice ratio was spot-on. It wasn’t too sweet and the serving was good for 3 people. Other than the dairy stuff and red-bean on top, toppings also included frozen blueberries and raspberries, sliced almonds, kiwis, bananas, grapes and strawberry syrup. I’ll admit though, I’m not a big fan of bananas in my bingsoo – I don’t think the taste meshes very well. It was a good bingsoo, and it definitely ranks somewhere in the top 3 I’ve had in Korea, but I still like the one from Bizeun better.

We walked off our linner (i.e. lunch-dinner) by going  to the nearby E-Mart. Can I just express how amazing E-Mart is? You can make one trip there and get everything you’ll ever need/want/use.

target, shop-rite, and a mall all mixed together = EMart

We didn’t stay long because there were so many people, and it was getting to hectic. Hey, it’s a Saturday afternoon, what can you expect? After our shopping, we went home to a dinner prepared by my grandma. It’s been a while since I’ve posted a g-ma meal, mostly because the banchan have been the same from day to day. But today she’s been trying to use up all the extra vegetables and stuffs in the fridge, so there’s been a little more variety than usual.

some kind of fish. looks like a piranha..?

Although it looks kind of unsettling, I really liked this fish because it was very tender and clean. Most of the fish prepared by Koreans are the oilier kind, and they’re usually broiled in an oven, but this one was braised and it was very clean-tasting. It made for a nice change of fish pace.

radish greens braised in dwenjang

tuna-egg cakes. i've always wondered how they get the tuna inside the egg..

After our dinner, I was totally stuffed. But still craving fruit, which is a problem because if fruits are in front of me, I’ll keep shoving them into my mouth no matter how full I am. Ah, well they digest quickly.

And this is a little of topic, but I wanted to share another cool Korean snack with you guys.

This is a traditional Korean bread. Although the traditional carb of choice is usually rice, there also used to be bread back in the day. But instead of using yeast as a leavening agent, Koreans would use makgulleeh (i.e. fermented rice wine) to create air pockets within the dough. Because of the alcohol, the bread smells kind of beer-y, but it’s light and soft, with just the barest hint of sweetness. Oh, and the reason it’s yellow is because it’s made out of cornmeal flour.

Cool, huh?

Early morning tomorrow, so I’m gonna go to bed. PEAAACEE!

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