SEOUL DIARIES 040: KOREAN SULBING 설빙

SULBING gets a new location in downtown Hongdae! 설빙, loosely translated into 雪冰, is the Korean traditional shaved ice dessert. What this cafe does better than most – instead of plain tasteless ice, the dessert is prepared with creamy, frozen milk flakes. Coupled with some piping hot coffee, what the menu offers is basically perfect […]

SEOUL DIARIES 039: CAFE LEEMAN’S COLLECTION KITCHEN 리맨즈홍대점

An afternoon at Cafe Leeman’s Collection Kitchen in the Hongik University vicinity. Hongdae is by far my favourite spot for chilling whenever I’m needing space and anonymity without being physically solitary. In this part of town you could be surrounded by throngs of milling university students and still feel comfortably ignored. You know what I mean? […]

SEOUL DIARIES 038: CAFE BELLA PRAHA

One truly amazing (albeit solitary) afternoon at Sinchon and Ewha Women’s University (Edae), I chanced upon Cafe Bella Praha, one of those down-to-earth coffee places tucked away in an alley off the beaten track like a well-hidden secret. Had my craving for ice-cold desserts satiated with a matcha green tea bingsoo topped with red bean paste, and […]

SEOUL DIARIES 037: SHOPPING AND CAFE CULTURE ON EWHA WOMEN’S UNIVERSITY STREET

Sinchon and Ewha Women’s University (also known as Edae) is a district bursting with youthful vigour. You will love this place if, like me, you have a thing for affordable vintage labels, understated hairpieces, independently designed jewellery, and in general quirky finds. That aside, if you’re looking for loud colourful accessories, branded and no-label patent […]

SEOUL DIARIES 036: ROYAL MILKTEA ICE @ A TWOSOME PLACE 투썸플레이스

My kind of breakfast in Korea tends to swing towards unconventional. On this particular morning, I happened to be in a mood for an ice-cold treat. During the summer / fall season, Koreans love their patbingsu – shaved ice desserts with toppings such as chopped fruit and nuts, mint leaves, coffee or milk tea, condensed milk, fruit […]

SEOUL DIARIES 035: 자장면 JAJANG MYEON

Pre-boarding, transit passengers may delight in a quick bowl of super awesome korean black bean noodles from DeliSky at Incheon International Airport. My last meal in Korea before heading home: 자장면 Jajangmyeon! Have always loved slurping up these gooey mash of black bean paste with neverending strands of chewy noodles. Back when it was winter […]

SEOUL DIARIES 034: BEANS & WAFFLE

“Waffles are just awesome bread.” — John Green Loading up on carbs before a full day of Seoul-tripping. Breakfast was palm-sized Sweet Maple Waffles 스위트 메이플 와플 at Beans and Waffle, downtown Gangnam. Surrounded by imposing office towers, a food alley plus a couple of pubs, the cafe has fed plenty of OLs, pub-crawlers and […]

SEOUL DIARIES 033: BASILUR TEA

“What do you want?” “Just coffee. Black – like my soul.” — Cassandra Clare Enjoying my afternoon cuppa at Basilur Tea on Sinsa-Dong’s Garosugil. On display within the 3-storeyed building are tins and tins of tea leaves and related tea spices that tickled my olfactory senses. Basilur does premium tea exports from Sri Lanka to the rest of the world. […]

SEOUL DIARIES 032: AZUKI MATCHA

“Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the ‘Titanic’ who waved off the dessert cart.” — Erma Bombeck Mister Donut‘s intensely satisfying Azuki Red Bean Matcha Bing Soo. Summer now doesn’t feel complete without having an ice-cold bowl of sugar-laden goodness! Especially when they come with chewy Japanese mochis. Erma Bombeck said it right […]

SEOUL DIARIES 031: CARRIED AWAY

Oh you know how it is. Once started, shopping can get absolutely frenzied. Just a day in Apgujeong and my summer luggage threatened to explode at its seams. Fall is my favourite season for shopping anywhere in the world. It’s neither too hot for brisk-walking in the streets nor too cold for chilling with a […]

SEOUL DIARIEs 030: BINGSOO-MANIA

Happiness is fishbowl-sized in summer. This, my dear friends, is the injeolmi bingsoo [인절미 빙수] from one of my favourite hideouts in Seoul! Come summertime, bingsoos and anything that comes with ice are all the rage. You can easily get bingsoos from any major or indie cafes in Korea. This is a unashamedly backdated post […]

SEOUL DIARIES 029: NAENG MYEON 냉면

Rules for eating NAENG MYEON (lit. Cold noodles) in Korea: 1. Do not order Naeng Myeon in winter. I tried that once and got told off with dismissive hand gestures. Thereafter I did not exist in the eyes of the elderly Korean Ahjumma chef. Naeng Myeon in winter, seriously? 2. Never tell a Korean that […]

SEOUL DIARIES 028: FEED ME PLEASE

Diet does not exist when everything tastes so awesome! Behold, (somewhat) massive Seoul foodporn. Hot English muffins for Western breakfast, Dunkin Donuts Kimchi Kimbab rolls from a place near my guesthouse. These are soooo goood Cafe Latte, Paris Croissant Cafe Late night ddeokbokki, Chamisul (Korean vodka) and blueberries! A Japanese and Korean fusion of fried […]

SEOUL DIARIES 027: WELCOME TO MY PIGEONHOLE

Located at a secluded corner in Gangnam district, Morning Guesthouse is virtually invisible to the foreign tourist. It took me a good hour and a half to track down Jaeyeong Building on foot from Gangnam Station in the sweltering summer heat. They have got quite a number of rooms in pigeon-hole sizes, each equipped with […]

SEOUL DIARIES 026: CAMPING OUT

Guess who maximized her stupidity quota for 2014 by voluntarily spending the night alone, resting on the hard wooden benches at Incheon International Airport, instead of getting a comfortable hotel room for a good night’s rest? I believe I’d only slept a total of 6 hours over the past 4 days. No kidding. Thanks to […]

SEOUL DIARIES 025: HOTEL MOTEL

I’m never again staying (alone) in a motel, regardless of how good the deal. Checked out from BLU:Guesthouse Hongdae, dragged my bags through interweaving subway lines, and finally arrived at Gayang Station. First, let me take a selfie –  to commemorate the end of (the first part of) my solo-venture. A long bumpy walk later, I found Baekje […]

SEOUL DIARIES 024: Seoul Fashion Week

Sometime ago, I was in Seoul. And I got to experience the rush of Seoul Fashion Week. Of course Milan was way better, because the glamour and excitement was literally in the air whereas the activities were concentrated and somewhat limited to the big fashion hubs at Myeongdong. Most local designers were alongside big names on […]

SEOUL DIARIES 023: SPRING BLOSSOMS

Come spring and summer, Seoul is just so beautiful. Pictures taken at Dongnimmun Gate. Gorgeously pink, aren’t they?   xoxo, Viktoria Jean

SEOUL DIARIES 022: SEODAEMUN PRISON 서대문형무소역사관

Seodaemun Prison History Hall: a former prison since 1908 that housed anti-colonial activists during the Colonial period. After colonial era ended in 1945, South Korean government housed prisoners at Seodaemun until 1987 when it was replaced by a facility in Uiwang City, Gyeonggi Province. The main hall has three floors of exhibitions. Here, you can […]

SEOUL DIARIES 021: DONGNIMMUN GATE 독립문

In late 19th Century, the King was many-a-times escorted through Dongnimmun Gate, thereafter to demonstrate personal reception towards visiting Chinese envoys. Dongnimmun is 独立門 in Mandarin, the gate that signifies independence and free will of a country’s people. Built in 1897, the gate served to concretize South Korea’s sovereignty.   Planted aesthetically in areas surrounding the independence gate are […]