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Kongbul at Hongdae

Kongbul at Hongdae

My first time dining at Kongbul 콩불 was at Hongdae outlet with my mom and my brother. After walking around Idea almost the whole afternoon, we were starving. Since our next destination was Hongdae, we decided to have our late lunch there.

Kongbul 콩불 is franchise restaurant and has many other outlets across Seoul. Initially I had no idea about what food they serve here. But the menu pictures outside attracted me. The idea of a huge platter of meat and lots of veggies sizzled together on a pan was so tempting.

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We walked into the restaurant. Since it was not a lunch nor dinner hour, there were only 2 other guests besides us. After choosing our seats, I went to the counter to order. From the menu, they basically served only one type of dish with different choices of toppings.

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From the menu here, there are 2 types; with / without squid (ojingo 오징어). There are sets for 2 with options of toppings of noodle, cheese, fried rice and bacon and drink. We ordered for Kongbul Set A (without squid and bacon). And because there are 3 of us, we have to add extra a la carte for one person.

Other side dish such as fried rice 볶음밥 (2,000KRW), udon noodle (1,500KRW), rice (1,000KRW) are available. They also serve soju 소준, beer 맥주, raspberry wine bokbunja 복분자, plum wine maehwasu 매화수, coke 콜라, cider/sprite 사이다, calpis 쿨피스, etc…

Before cooked

Before cooked

Finally it's ready!

Finally it’s ready!

They brought out a huge pan of uncooked food onto our table, which had an integrated stove. Now we have to wait till the meat and the veggie was cooked. Despite of having the integrated stove on out table, the staff would do the cooking for us.

After 10-15 minutes, finally the food were cooked! It was so good! I’m personally a fan of bean sprouts. Although it may be a simple meal only with pork meat and bean sprouts, it is cooked in a teppanyaki-style. Just slightly before the meat and veggie was cooked, the udon noodles went in.

For those who can’t eat spicy, unfortunately this is not a good option for you. This delicious dish is spicy. Even for me, who love spicy food, admit that this is spicy. The drink that came with the set was our saviour for the meal. It could really cool down out the hot taste of red chilli paste gochujang 고추장. 

Last but not least, when we were already almost full, the staff went back to our table and throw in the rice with more red chilli paste gochujang 고추장. If you eat enough of Korean dish you will encounter that some dish mix rice only towards the end of the meal. This is what they called fried rice or 볶음밥.

The serving maybe intended for 3 people, but I’m pretty sure 2 serving is enough for 3. However, it is pretty much a steal at ₩15,000 🙂

 

How to go there:

Take subway to Hongik University station 홍대 (line 2, green line) and take exit #9. Turn left to the street and keep walking towards the Aritaum cosmetic shop. Before you reach the Aritaum, turn right and walk along the restaurant streets. The restaurant is on the left hand side, located just a few shops before Gong Cha bubble tea shop.

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Don’t like to go to museums because you think they are boring? Try visit the Trick Eye Museum in Seoul. It is not the same as other museums and you will be able to to interact with the artworks. The art gallery exhibits 2D paintings created with techniques to give the illusion of being 3D. The visitors can pose just right so that  they look as if they are part of the paintings.

There are a few Trick Eye Museums in Seoul. Hongdae’s is one of them. The museum located in the basement level of Seogyo Plaza apartment building within the shopping area of Hongdae. It is very easy to find its location and if you were to get lost, most people will know the location.

It is better to have a companion when visiting the museum so you can take turns taking picture. My friend and I visited the museum in one afternoon. We purchased the tickets at the counter, rent a locker to keep our bags and bring our cameras. We did not want to carry our bags while doing poses :p

They also have “The Scream” here

All the drawings are done on the wall! But the effects are 3D and seem to be real. To be part of the paintings, we have to do funny poses and expressions. Most of them do not work with only ‘smiling’ pose, such as sitting inside a big gigantic fish… And at some popular paintings, we have to take turns with other visitors.

Some paintings may require you to lay down or sit on the floor. So it’s better to wear a proper attire especially for ladies.

Help!

Help!

I wish they are real money

I wish they are real money

How fun it is! The admission maybe a bit pricey, but it is really a worth of money. We really enjoyed everything and most of the photos we took turned out to be funny and nice.

Recently, they just opened another new attraction and you can enter with one ticket. It’s called Ice Museum. I’ve never been to the Ice Museum before. But as seen from other blogs, it exhibits ice sculptures in a freezer room, but still in the same concept as the Trick Eye Museum. I’ll visit the Ice Museum next time!

Opening Hours: 9AM – 9PM (Last admission is at 8PM)

Admission: 15,000KRW (adult) / 12,000KRW (children below 18)

Website: www.trickeye.com

How to go there:

Take subway to Hongik University Station 홍대입구 (subway line 2, green line) and take exit #9. From the exit keep walking straight passing by KT Olleh shop. You will see the Angel in Us Cafe on your left side. Cross the big street and turn to your left. Walk towards Tony Moly cosmetic shops and turn right into the second alley just before the shop. Shortly you will see the signage of Trick Eye Museum and the stairs to the basement level of Seogyo Plaza.

Korea is famous for their BBQ meat and mostly it is one of the must-eat-food in foreigners food list when visiting Korea. Hongdae is one of spots in Seoul where there are a lot of good meat shop. Even my friend from Suwon (a city located on the outskirt of Seoul)

One of my favourite BBQ places is ‘수정옥돌 생소금구이’ or Sujeong-ogdol Saeng Sogeum-Gui / Fresh Grilled Salted Pork BBQ. The shop is located just side by side with Hongik Sutbul Galbi or ‘홍익 숯불갈비’ (another favourite BBQ place of mine). Their speciality is their chewy salted pork meat.

Another uniqueness on this place that attracts me is the meat is not grilled on the normal grilling pan. BUT ON THE STONES!

menu

The owner recommended us to try their speciality : the salted pork meat. They also have other kind of meat. Although the menu are in korean hangul, the ahjumma will offer you an english menu if you are a foreigner.

We ordered their speciality the salted pork meat or sogeom-goi / 소금구이. We also ordered pork belly meat or usually known as samgyeopsal / 삼겹살, pork skin or kkeobdeigi / 껍데기, and pork skirt meat or galmaegisal / 갈매기살.

Once we ordered, the ahjussi brought out the pan filled with stones and the raw meat. The meat cooked well in time.

Salted pork meat grilled on the stones

Salted pork meat grilled on the stones

sogeum3See how the meat are perfectly cooked on these stones. So delicious! The sogeum-gogi is very chewy and the meat just perfectly melt in your mouth. Of course, the perfect way to eat meat is to wrap it with lettuce with kimchi and the chilli paste.

My Korean friend ordered pork skin or kkeobdeigi / 껍데기. Different from Chinese charsiew style pork skin which is crunchy, kkeobdeigi is chewy and sweet. If you haven’t tried kkeobdeigi, you should try it. Watch out while grilling these fellas, because they ‘jumps‘ (you will know what I mean by jump once you try).

pig skin or kkeobdeigi

pig skin or kkeobdeigi

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This is how I use to wrap my meat 🙂

After you finish your meal, they will serve a sweet cinnamon punch drink with a herbal medicine for free. The herbal medicine will help to cleanse your digestion. And the punch drink is really good to cool down the heat after eating a lot of grilled meat.

Overall, for me the samgyeopsal at Hongik Sutbul Galbi (next shop) is better. But if I were craving for a salted grill pork meat, I will come here to have fresh and chewy sogeom-goi / 소금구이.

How to go there:

– Take subway to Hongik University Station (Green line, line 2) and take exit #8. From the exit, take the turn right. Go straight passing Coco Bruni Cafe and Black Smith.

– Once you reach the convenience store (when I wrote this, it is C&U convenience store) at the corner of the second intersection. You will see a rotary, walk across to the left side. Then keep walking straight until you see the second rotary. On the right side, on the corner of the small street, you will see this restaurant with white signage with red hangul writing ‘생소금구이’ and green door (next to Hongik Sutbul Galbi which has yellow signage).

sag1

When I’m writing this post, I was craving for Korean tempura, or Koreans called it ‘Twigim’ or in korean 튀김. If Japan has tempura, Singapore has ‘Old Chang Kee’, Indonesia has gorengan, Korea has twigim. The concept is pretty the same; batter-dipped and deep fried.

Twigim usually use various vegetables such as green peppers, sweet potato, seafood, or kimbap, battered and deep-fried. It is pretty easy to find twigim sold on the street food cart anywhere in Korea. But, not every food cart sell good twigim.

During my 2 months staying in Korea, I have tried quite a number of twigim bars. But, for me the best one is at Hongdae (홍대). The shop called Sag or in Korean “삭”

Sag is actually come out in Running Man, a famous Korean variety show (Episode 34 : Best restaurant around Hongdae). The shop itself is not a fancy restaurant and people who do not know how to read Korean hangul can be mistaken as a drinking bar. There are only small writings in hangul ‘튀김전문’ on the signage.

sag2If you look from outside, it is dark and does not seem like a restaurant at all. We have to enter in, there will be another door. I think there is a second floor too, but I always seat on the first floor so far. 

The staff will give us menu and small papers for ordering. For foreigners who don’t understand Korean, the menus are written in English and Korean hangul. We ordered the cream croquette (the fried potato and cream round balls on the separate basket) and for the twigim : 고추 / green peppers stuffed with pork meat, 오징어 / squid, 고구마 / sweet potato, 오징어완자 /squid ball, 새우 / prawn, and 김말이 / laver roll or glass noodle wrapped in seaweed. They will serve tartar sauce and soy sauce for the twigim. Yummy!!

Croquette,

Cream croquettes and the Twigim set

They have other food than fried too, such as spicy rice cake and seafood stew. But the twigim set is good enough for sharing because the size is considered bigger than normal twigim sold on the street.

In my opinion, although the croquettes here is not bad, I still prefer the croquettes at Hapjeong Chilli Cha Cha. But the laver roll / 김말이 (kim-mar-i) and squid ball / 오징어완자 (ojingo wanja) are a must to order.

Now writing this post making me craving for twigim! Somebody please send me back to Korea…. ㅠ.ㅠ

How to go there:

-Take subway to Hongik University Station 홍대 입구 역 (Green line, line 2) and take exit 9. From the exit, you will see KFC on your left. Cross the street, walk pass the KT Olleh, Citibank, etc to the big junction. Cross the traffic light and turn left.

– Walk a few meters ahead and turn right on the third alley right after Holika Holika (it is the biggest alley compared to other two). Keep walking to the end of the street and you will reach the junction. You see Etude House at the corner on your left.

– From the junction, turn right and keep walking until you see the orange signage of Sag. The twigim bar is on the left side.

There are a lot of cafes with good coffee and desserts in Seoul. Chloris Cafe is one of cafes that serves good tea for tea time session.

CHLORIS

They are famous for their Milk Tea Snow Blossom. The outlet that I went to is in Hongdae. Since it is located nearby Hongik University, there are always be students studying here. The cafe is decorated with Victorian style chairs and couches and British tea sets, giving the vintage but yet classy ambience.

The Snow Blossoms came in a big size, good for sharing. Milk tea lovers are gonna love this. Topped with a scoop of milk tea ice cream, the snowy ice itself is made of milk tea. The taste of the milk tea snowy ice melt in your mouth, yummy!

Snow blossom Bingsu

Milk Tea Snow blossom

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Royal milk tea

If you are not in the mood of eating something cold, try their Royal Milk Tea. Best served when it is warm, not too sweet too.

How to get there:

– Take subway to Hongik University (line 2, green line), exit #9 and walk straight until reach the big intersection. Cross the traffic light and walk to your left. Keep walking, passing by Holika Holika, Tony Moly, until you reach Giordano. The cafe is right next to Giordano, on the second floor.

Time to explore HONGDAE (홍대) again!

I’ve been exploring this place so many times, but always find new and fun things here!

Today I went to MUSTOY cafe. Maybe most people especially the locals, have heard about this place before. Here, we can draw our own toy! Actually, we went here because my friend wanted to make birthday present for one of our friends who is coming to Seoul next week. It is a very sweet of her to give this handmade toy! I always think handmade presents are very special, sweet and one of a kind, and I would like to receive one of this cute little toy too 🙂

The place is located at one little corner very close to Hongik University  (I will tell you how to go here very soon). Since we are familiar with the streets, it took only minutes to reach the cafe. Here is how the place look like.

Mustoy front

Big Mustoy doll will welcome you!

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When we went, there are a lot of people, most of them are couples. Luckily there were still seats for us. The shops are decorated with various designed Mustoy, from superheroes, abstract, people’s faces, cartoons, etc. Some of the toy even wears accessories. So cute! 

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There are a few options that we can choose:

  1. Set 1: Design the Mustoy and leave it there + a drink (coffee or orange juice) – 10,000 won
  2. Set 2: Design the Mustoy and bring it home + a drink (coffee or orange juice) – 15,000 won
  3. Set 3: Buy the set of Mustoy and design it at home – 30,000 won

We were given a choice to choose a boy (남자) or girl (여자) Mustoy. Then a plain Mustoy, a preparation card, pencil, sets of markers, alcohol (to erase the marker), tissues and cotton buds will be given to us. Not to forget drinks that we order…

The first step is to draw your Mustoy design on the preparation card before drawing on the actual toy. Not to worry, the alcohol will always be there to clean off the “unplanned” strokes.

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musttoyIt was really fun! After so much effort, the satisfaction to see the outcome really satisfying. I don’t mind coming here again to design another one. Maybe with my boyfriend one day, haha… Personally, I think it will be fun come here with boyfriend/girlfriend, draw each other faces and put them in your room.

So are you interested to try? Good luck and have fun!

How to go here:

Hongik University Station, exit 9. Turn left after exiting the subway station; go straight to the Aritaum shop and take a right turn to street. Keep walking straight towards the going uphill street. If you see Piano Cafe on the small alley on the left, means you are going to the right direction. Keep join straight up the hill, passing CU convenience store and Chatime bubble tea shop. Soon before the street ends you will see the cafe on your right side. You won’t miss the big figure of MUSTOY in front of the cafe entrance.

Opening time : 11.30am ~ 9.30pm

Address : Kaliope B/D 105 344-6, Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Korea

We went to Hongdae to visit the Hello Kitty Cafe. There is another outlet nearby, at Sinchon, which is one station away from Hongdae. I forgot why we decide to visit Hongdae’s one, but I heard the it is the larger one.

When we visit the place, it was already dark. The cafe is situated in an isolated alley so it was kind of difficult to find it too. We had to ask around and the weather was cold too (we went to Seoul in the early spring)

From Hongik Univ station, we took exit #9. While we were searching for the direction, we passed by Baskin Robbins!

It’s my favourite ice cream! The BR ice cream here has more flavors compared to Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. And it’s cheaper too. Who can resist the temptation?

Cute door handle with the shape of ice cream spoons

Their variety of ice cream

So we grabbed our ice cream despite of the cold weather. In fact, many people said “The best weather to eat ice cream is in the cold weather”.

Since we kept walking around, we decided to ask the sales person of Tony Moly. Lucky, she can speak chinese! So she told us the direction to the cafe and finally we found it!

Obviously since it is a themed cafe, the interior of the cafe is in pink. I’m not a fan of the character. However, I was carried on the excitement of my friends.

I saw their menu and they have Sweet Potato 고구마 Latte. I was curious how it tastes like, so I decided to try. Quite nice and you can taste the goguma flavor too..

My next visit to Seoul this November, I will go to Sinchon outlet and make a post about it too! 🙂

How to go there:
Take train to Hongik Univ Station (Seoul Subway Line 2), Exit 9. Walk straight to the 1st traffic light and turn left. You will see Tony Moly and turn right after that. Keep watching your left side. The cafe is situated at the alley.

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