Sunday, July 13, 2014

Seoul 2013: 명동 (Myeongdong)

Final post for my Seoul 2013 trip. Finally. My last post would be on  명동 (Myeongdong). The shopping mecca of Seoul. But aside from all the zillions of cosmetics stores you can possibly imagine, there's also numerous dining options there. Cafes, restaurants, street food. You would be hard pressed NOT to find something to eat there.

I've already previously wrote about Myeongdong in my past trips. But, there's just tons of stuff to eat at Myeongdong, so I guess this post will be sort of to give you more ideas on what else to eat in Myeongdong.

Red Mango Cacao Green, Myeongdong 2013

레드망고 카카오그린 (Red Mango Cacao Green)
Address: 100-809 서울 중구 명동2가 32-5 3층 (3F 32-5 Myeong-dong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul)
Get there: Myeongdong Station, Exit 6
Opening Hours: 10am to 11.30pm
Phone: 02-3789-3102
To try: Matcha bingsoo (foodporn zoom up shot of it in blog post > here), dark hot chocolate

I absolutely adored the hugeass matcha bingsoo I had at Red Mango in 2012, that I brought my friends there again last year. And that was when I discovered the barista had pretty nifty latte art skills. We actually requested for a bear and a rabbit for our drinks when we gave our orders, and also showed the barista some sample photos of latte arts found online. And ta-dah! Cue "awwwww".

The dark hot chocolate was simply fabulously rich and decadent as it was made with dark chocolate (there are other variations of hot chocolate, be sure to try the dark chocolate version!). The latte, on the otherhand, was not too bad I guess. We actually went back another night just for that dark chocolate hot chocolate.

One of the girl pals wanted to try Kraze Burger, so we popped by for a quick bite one day, as it was located opp our hotel (Hotel Skypark Myeongdong I). To save stomach space cos we were planning to eat at Yoogane after that, we ordered one burger to share. Sad to say, we all weren't too impressed with the burger. So I shan't bother with digging out the store details sorry.

빈스빈스 Beans Bins Cafe
Address: 서울 중구 충무로 1가 23-1 사보이호텔 2층 (2F 23-1 Myeong-dong 1-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul)
Get there: Myeongdong Station, Exit 6. Located right above Kraze Burger.
Opening Hours:
Phone: 02-3789-1980
To try: Waffles

I actually quite liked the waffles at Beans Bins after I tried them last year. The amount of cream might look utterly artery clogging, but it's really quite light and all fluff, without any artificial cream taste. We ordered three different lattes - matcha, regular latte and sweet potato. I thought that the matcha one was a lil too sweet for my liking. The sweet potato was alright, but it wasn't as nice as Homestead's version.

유가네 닭갈비 (Yoogane Chicken Galbi )
Address: 서울 중구 충무로2가 66-6 (66-6 Chungmu-ro 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul)
Get there: Myeongdong Station, Exit 6.
Opening Hours: 10am to 1am
Phone: (02) 775-3392
To try: Marinated chicken galbi

Singaporeans love this place. I swear when I googled what to eat in Korea, this chicken galbi place popped up so many times in blog reviews. Oh well, it is nice afterall. Kimchi and pickles are self serve. But the servers will help you cook your dish at your table. We got the chicken, which was well marinated, and added cheese stuffed rice cakes (yes, you read that perfectly right - cheese stuffed!). And then, you get the option of choosing either rice or noodles (or neither if you want a carb-free meal, but really, I'm gonna ask - WHY??), we chose the rice. Sigh. I'm craving it now just looking at the below.

Well, I should be glad that they opened an outlet in Singapore at Bugis+ a few months back. I heard the queues are terribly long though (at least an hour or so wait during peak hours!), so I probably won't be heading down anytime soon unless I happen to have the day off work or something. *stares longingly at the below image*

강호동 백정(Kang Ho Dong Baek Jeong)
Address: 서울 중구 명동 2가 3-3 (3-3 Myeongdong 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul)
Get there: Myeongdong station, Exit 8.
Opening Hours: 11am - 2am
Phone: (02) 777 6780
To try: 꽃살 (Chuck flap)

Alcohol + BBQ = Necessity (This is non-negotiable)

The pork we ordered, which I'm sorry, is really not quite as exciting as the beef we had below. You see, I can't even remember what pork we ordered. I assume it was pork belly. Dear Pork, it's really not you, it's me. I'm just so in love with Beef that I totally didn't register your presence. *ashamed*

Marbling for the beef we ordered was *whistles*. Well, at least the first plate was awesome. We polished off the first plate of chuck flap easily, and ordered a second portion. The marbling was there yes, but not as noticeable as the first portion we had.


Homestead drinks menu

See. Just to give you an example of what I mean by the awesome selection of drinks Seoul cafes have. I've taken a shot of the menu board at a coffee chain store. Refer to the middle column. The non-espresso variations for the non-coffee drinkers is quite extensive isn't it?

Random lunch at some restaurant we walked into

On our last day, we wanted to have some regular Korean food for lunch. Now, one thing about Korea, they have plenty of specialised restaurants, selling just that particular dish they are famed for. So say, there's stores like Yoogane for example, that sell mainly chicken galbi, or Tosokchon, ginseng chicken soup. So we wanted to find some place that sells tons of Korean dishes so we could order tons of stuff. We managed to find one that didn't look too bad and I guess we went a lil overboard ordering. The above was for three. And NO, we didn't finish it. *A little guilty of the food wastage* Even the guy was a little taken aback at our order when he saw our bill at the cashier. Lol.

Street food at Myeongdong

My ultimate weakness. The heart-stopper stick (NO, don't you tell me the calories for that thing up there. I don't want to know. Nope. *lalalalala*). Not for the faint-hearted.

My friend tried the 계란빵 (egg bread) at a random stall in Myeongdong, but insists that the Insadong one she tried was the best.

On one of the nights, we bought takeaway from some stores that were opened late as we were too tired and just wanted to head back to our hotel to rest. I love kimbap, so while the girls were off buying fried chicken, I popped by a few stores down to order a beef kimbap. Then stood outside the shop just looking at the ahjumma do her thang. Man, it was quite fascinating looking at them roll and roll and yep, roll more.

Oh yay, I managed to finish up the post! I think I covered a decent mix of dining options - restaurants, cafes, street food and takeaway. For more on Myeongdong eats, refer to my previous posts here and here.

/on a side note, I need to brush up on my Korean skills. I'm currently on hiatus from my private Korean tuition. I was quite busy for the past few months so I've stopped meeting my tutor. I'm thinking if I should enroll in a school of some sort for more formal lessons so I can perhaps take TOPIK? Not too sure on where to start searching though. Hmmmm.

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