KAREÖ 카레오, Hongdae 홍대

March 27th, 2015

the no.1 Japanese curry shop in Seoul?

that must be Kareo! a restaurant that I frequent a lot in Hongdae. I am not quite a fan of most curry shops in Korea because they are normally too sweet or just.. too bland for my Malaysian taste buds. but what’s good about Kareo you ask?

well.. it’s affordable! while 8,000 and up is the price of a plate of curry at other shops, the curry here has such a big portion that.. you should only order one portion for 2. since I eat a lot, I normally order the huge portion and share it with a friend. while many shops dislike the fact that you share your portion and insist on having each person ordering one portion, in Kareo, they told me that one portion is very huge and I should not order 2 for 2 of us in case we cannot finish it. kind staff yes? they care for their customers more than their profits =D.

가끔식 카레를 땡기신적 있죠? 저두 그런 마음이 있겠죠~ 그래서 카레를 땡길 때마다 홍대 카레오로 찾으러 갑니다!

카레오와 다른 카레집의 다른 점은 보통 달달한 카레와 달리 일본카레라 약간 더 매콤하고 스파이스의 맛이 조금 더 강합니다~ 카레 꼽빼기 하나만 시켜도 2사람 먹기엔 녹녹합니다~ 나누면 생각보다 가격이 되게 착해요!

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here’s an ugly picture of myself =D. I was extra hungry because I spent hours biking before that.

자전거 배운 후에 머리가 엉망진창이네요 @@.

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this is the shop you shall look out for!!!

카레오의 정문! 가게가 아주 크지 않기 때문에 테이블도 별로 없어요 ㅠ. 바쁜 시간에 오면 조금만 기다릴 수도 있겠지만 평소엔 2 사람 자리 잡기는 힘들지 않아요~

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there were many many many Maneki Neko’s here. the boss claimed that it really does bring in business!

눈 깜빡하는 마네키네코 본적 있어요? 엄청 귀여웠어요! ㅋㅋㅋ 마네키네코 많은 이유가 운이 정말로 데리고 온다고 들었어요~

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and more nekos. we can also see that the boss is a big fan of baseball!  I scribbled on the wall (post-it) too! if you can find it… take a picture and post it on instagram and tag me =P.

안 쪽도 마네키네코!!! 사장님이 야구도 좋아하시나봐요. 벽은 주로 미술학 공부하는 손님들이 포스트잇으로 꾸몄습니다~ 제가 쓴 포스트잇도 있어요!

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they say that these naked babies bring happiness. mmmhmmm.

야하게 생긴 이 귀여운 아이들… ㅋㅋㅋ

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the ultimate collection of Doraemon!

okay lets talk about the food finally hehe.

도래몽도 많았습니다!

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I am not a big fan of that yellow stuff there called 단무지 because it’s normally thick and it tastes weird but here.. it has a sour taste to it which I really like and it’s sliced thinly the way I like it!

단무지를 별로 좋아하지 않지 않지만 여기의 단무지는 얇게 설고 씨콤하고 완전 좋아함!

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our curry rice!!! MMMMMMM. look at that generous amount of curry sauce!

엄청 맛있어 보이는 카레!

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there are quite a variety of toppings to choose from from donkatsu to prawns but I always go for my favourite ham and cheese because I love cheese like that. they also have fried cheese fingers (super thick!!! but it feels fattening at the same time. very sinful.) and cheese toppings if you like.

저는 보통 햄과치즈 튀김은 토핑으로 추가한데 다양한 토핑 있습니다~ 새우튀김이나 돈까스 다 있어요! 치즈토핑도 있어요! 그것도 맛있었요~!

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the fillings? JUST CHEESE. a huge slab of mozzarella (I think) cheese.

여건 치즈튀김입니다~ 모자렐라 치즈 녹녹하게 줬슴!! 치즈 좋아하면 이건 시켜도 좋습니다만 저같이 살 빼야돼는 여자들은.. 피해야죠… ㅠㅠ.

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not to be missed out in your curry should be this.. MAGIC SPICE!!! it does not only make the curry spicier but it adds a lot more flavour to it! =3.

카레오 제일 특별한 점은 매직스파이스이라고 생각합니다!!! 좋아하는 매운 정도로 저절할 수 있게~ 고소하고 정말 맛있어요! 이것은 카레의 필수!!!

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the method to eat the curry deliciously:

don’t mix the rice with the curry all together. instead, eat it by mixing the curry with the cabbage and rice bit by bit!

맛있게 먹는 법~ 한꺼번에 비비지말구 조금씩 비벼가면서 드세요 ㅋㅋㅋ

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just to show you how big the portion was.

양이 정말 크죠?!

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the famous moving Simpson clock in Kareo. not only the curry here’s delicious, there are really a lot to see, the post its, the quaint decorations and all. including the handsome boss and pretty and handsome staff =P.

so if you’re in Hongdae and you’re craving for some good curry, I highly recommend Kareo! =3.

here’s the directions from Hongik Univ. Station Exit 9! it’s at the left side of Hongik Univ if you’re facing the Univ. it isn’t as far as it looks!

홍익대 근처에 있어서 찾기 쉽습니다~

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Clubbing in Korea 2015

March 26th, 2015

HELLO!

since my old post was.. really old. here’s a new one! many like Vanguard and NB2 Gangnam closed down.. but don’t fret because there are still a handful more! clubs are mainly located at Hongdae, Gangnam and Itaewon.

NOTE : please bring your passports if you want to go to a bar/club in Korea because without it, you will be denied entry. it doesn’t matter if you’re 30, you’ll still have to flash your passport/alien card. some places gives discounts to foreigners too! most clubs in Korea are free for all but if you’re way over 30, you might not blend in with the crowd and some places might deny your entry (it’s sad I know T_T). there are also a bunch of bars who don’t accept foreigners but if you’re going to a club there’s not much problems for foreigners. there are also locker rentals (3,000-5,000won) in most all clubs so don’t worry if you have a huge coat during the winter or an extra backpack. it’ll be safe ;).

NOTE 2 : although most clubs in Hongdae does not have a strict dress code, avoid full suits (black), slippers, training suits when entering a club in Korea as they might deny your entry. they may deny your entry for some stupid reasons sometimes relating to your appearance so it’s better to dress nicely than to get denied for entry.

here’s a helpful site for clubbing in Seoul and I have a list taken from Reddit at the end of my post and I will just state the ones I recommend in detail. I stopped clubbing but anyways, here’s my top 3 clubs!

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1. Club Octagon (Gangnam)
address : Seoul, Gangnam-gu, Nonhyeon-dong 152 (Below New Hilltop Hotel)
open : Thursday, Friday, Saturday
hours : 10PM-7AM
cover charge : Thursday – FREE!/Friday&Saturday -30,000won (10,000won before 11PM, FREE after 4AM)
genre : Electronic, House, Trance etc. (songs after 12/1 are nicer!)
dress code : NO slippers, shorts, training suits.
locker charge : 5,000won
cost of average drink : 10,000-15,000won
cost of average bottle : 300,000won
contact no. : +82(0)2516-8847 (landline), +82(0)10-9031-0808
how to get there : get off at Hakdong Station 학동역 (line 7) exit 4, stick to the same side of the road and walk up the slope for 5 minutes. it will be on your right. OR get off at Yoksam Station 역삼역 (line 2) exit 6, same side of the road, walk straight for 15minutes. 5minutes by taxi. I’d suggest taxi if you’re in Gangnam to avoid walking in heels, or in the cold. if you take the taxi, tell them to go to New Hilltop Hotel at Gangnam.
comments : my personal favourite. even though I’ve stopped clubbing for a while, I really don’t mind going there once in a while just to gawk at all the pretty girls. the truth about clubbing in Korea is that most people go to clubs to pick up “someone” instead of enjoying themselves so you might have to digest the fact that most people are there to try to look their best instead of dancing. many famous people have been there like Skillrex, Jamie XX (I SAW HIMM!!! people named Jamie is awesome), Mystique… just to name a few. I saw 2PM there too (pure coincidence!) and I heard many Korean artists go there. I met uh.. Lee Yong Dae (Korea’s famous badminton player) there as well though I thought he wasn’t a nice person. I’m not as lucky but my friend met (like MET.) people like SNSD, Jay Park etc walking around at the VIP area. I go there for DJ KOO most of the time (some of my friends don’t like his music but oh well..) and they have the most good looking DJ’s so far.

some Koreans don’t like girls who frequents Octagon as they think that Korean girls who goes to Octagon are gold-diggers and those who value class a lot since it’s an expensive club. but to me.. the music’s great! some girls might be trying too hard in Octagon with the super sexy clothing but ain’t that a good view for us foreigners anyways? =P.

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here’s an old picture of me outside Octagon.

2. TheA Hall (Gangnam/Yeoksam)
address : Seoul, Gangnam-gu, Yeoksam-dong 701-1 (below Art Nouveau)
open : Thursday, Friday, Saturday
hours : 10PM-9AM
cover charge : 30,000won
genre : Electronic
cost of average drink : 15,000won
cost of average bottle : 300,000won~
contact no. : +82-10-2025-1400
how to get there : get off Yeoksam Station and you’ll be there in no time!
comments : I’ve really only been there twice. it wasn’t really big but they always get the big shots to come. for example.. Steve Aoki, Justin Bieber, GD… just to name a few that I’ve heard haha. not a big fan of the music but always had quite a crazy young crowd on the floor and older peeps on the sides. but it’s currently under construction and I heard it’s going to be even huger. where their name will be changed to TheA Hall. I can’t wait! it should be open by March!

3. Ellui (Cheongdamdong)
address : 129, Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
open : Friday, Saturday
hours : 10PM-6AM
cover charge : 15,000won weekdays, 30,000won weekends. 1 drink included. world DJ playing? 30,000~60,000won. free entry before 1 (check their facebook page. sometimes you only have to show their page on your phone to get a free entry)
genre : Electronic
cost of average drink : 10,000won
cost of average bottle : 300,000won~
contact no. : 1577-9669
how to get there : get off Chungdam Station 청담역 (line 7) exit 13. walk straight from there, cross the road and you’ll be there at about 11minutes. if not, you can tell the taxi driver to get to Ellui Hotel, remember, it’s pronounced as ell-lu-ii. ^^.
comments : it’s new and renovated. I’ve been there once after the renovation. long queues but pretty good music. the sound system is pretty good now and it is still super huge. it feels less dodgy after the renovation and everything looks better. they cater a younger crowd and a lot of foreigners hit Ellui. loads of eye candies and people here are more approachable compared to Octagon.

4.  Club NB 2 & Harlem (Hongdae)
famous hip hop club owned by YG Entertainment (yes, Big Bang. friend met Seungri here. he talked to her!) people here wears sneakers into the club. since it’s a hip hop club you shall not find that surprising. girls here are less appealing but the music’s great (for me) and crowds awesome. just that their dance is very “kpopish” and pretty funny for first timers. the club cater the younger crowd and you can laugh at their dance moves all night long. the first time I was there, I thought to myself “what’s with those hand gestures?!”. eye opener. people here are very approachable. drinks are cheap. 4 tequilas for 10,000won. if you’re a foreigner, you can even get a 5,000won discount!
cover charge : 10,000won inclusive of a drink (sun~thurs), 20,000won inclusive of a drink (fri and sat)
genre : hiphop
how to get there : walk towards Hongik University, turn right once you’re outside the University and keep walking.
hours :  9pm-630am
you can enter the club as long as you’re not wearing a suit or slippers ^^. yes, NO FORMAL SUITS AT NB!

5. Cocoon (Hongdae)
address : Seoul, Mapo-gu, Seokyo-dong 364-26
cover charge : free entrance before 12 (sun~thurs) and 10,000won inclusive of a drink after 12. 10,000won inclusive of a free drink (fri and sat) before 11 and 20,000won inclusive of a free drink after 11.
cost of average drink : don’t worry it’s cheap.
genre : electronic and hiphop
how to get there : walk along the Hongdae Street and you’ll come by Prince Edward Karaoke on your left and turn in that junction. Hongdae is very very hard to explain. just get out of exit 9 and start your adventure ^^. basically just walk into the street upon exit 9, walk straight until you see the main street of Hongdae (you will know it!) and turn right. keeeeeeeep walking straight and you’ll find the Hongik Main Road which leads to Hongik University on your left. but cross the road and continue walking along Hongdae and you’ll find Prince Edward Karaoke. confusing much? well, read again. haha.
comments : the first club I’ve ever been to. quite a nice place. but really really really packed. it’s pretty average for me. it is a 4(?) storey club and the people there are rather young. like.. teenagers to early 20s. they dress like teenagers too. if you get what I mean? but it’s still alright. nothing too dodgy. they offer free tequila for ladies on Thursdays until 1am. and they also have free entrance for ladies on weekends before 10pm.

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the 2nd best place in Seoul 서울서 둘째로 잘하는 집

March 25th, 2015

the 2nd best place in Seoul is one of the oldest cafe/dabang around as they are open since 1976. although not as old as Hakrim Dabang, this is actually my.. 3rd time here? and my second post on it. the first post here.

ever since my good friend came with me 3 years ago and I’ve never once came here again since he passed away.. but it’s a cafe filled with our memories and the cafe stayed the same.

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located at the end of Samcheongdong street, the cafe isn’t difficult to find.

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the famous Danpat-juk/red bean porridge. super thick and it makes me feel very healthy eating it. they have bits of chest nuts, some other types of beans and a huge ddeok/tteok (Korean rice cake) and people usually come for this.

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the interior of the cafe. very 60s kind of feel no? you’ll find people of all ages here but with a little more elderly people as this cafe probably bring them good old memories =D.

and the place isn’t as small as it seems because there are more seats inside!

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I ordered the red dates tea the last time I came here and it was amazing. it’s good for people with low blood pressure! like… me!

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this time around, we ordered Suijung-gwa (Persimmon Tea) and of course the yummy Danpat-juk which shouldn’t be missed!

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the new prices of the menu. everything that was 6,000won became 7,000won, everything 5,000won became 6,000won and everything 4,500won became 5,000won T__T. it’s ridiculously expensive for the patjuk but…… it’s really really really good.

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I’ve always liked the fragrant persimmons tea in any other restaurants I’ve been to as they have this strong cinnamon smell with it. one of the best Suijung-gwa I’ve ever had but.. definitely too much if you’re going to have it all by yourself since it ain’t a light kind of drink.

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and there’s a whole persimmon to munch on! =3.

Yoyoyoyoyokohama!

March 25th, 2015

it was actually my second time to Yokohama, the place where all imports and exports in Japan started, a very historical place especially for the development and growth of Japan. the first time I merely explored the place as I only “dropped by” after visiting Kamakura which was amazingly beautiful. so for this Tokyo trip, I spent one whole day at Yokohama.

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meet my tour guide for the day, probably the funniest man in Yonsei University’s language school — BOB!!!

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The castle in the sky– Takedajo, Hyogo

March 22nd, 2015

it’s supposed to look like this. and it’s often labelled as Japan’s Machu Picchu.

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(picture from Google)

but for this view, you’ll need to get there by 5am (or come here in Autumn, Sept-Nov where the clouds will be surrounding the castle till.. later.). but it’s super dreadful for me to pull an all nighters so I decided to just go in the day.

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there are two ways to get there: by train, or by car. and I went with the latter option but trust me the train will do better because it is much more punctual. the trip back to Osaka from Hyogo was 5 hours despite it being only 100km away. the jam was crazy.

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[Bukchon] Crab Marinated in Soy Sauce 큰기와집 간장게장

March 20th, 2015

there is this one thing which I didn’t enjoy at first because I thought it was weird– Ganjang Gejang. but as time passed I opened up my mind to all types of food and when I started to think raw food ain’t that disgusting, I begin to fall deeply in love with it. and because it’s raw in a way, you need to go to a restaurant that does it right. of course, there’s “PRO Ganjang Gejang” at Sinsa but because I live in Jongro, it’s very far for me hehehe.

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Keun Giwa Jip is a famous restaurant for Ganjang Gejang in Seoul and I dare say, it’s one of the best Gejangs in Seoul although I hadn’t had too much of it (it’s expensive!). from reading Korean blogs, I heard that there are very few good gejang places in Seoul. so far, Pro ganjang gejang and Keungiwajip is the best.

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it’s served at a high 50,000won for one crab (for one person) and rice, banchan (side dishes), dwenjang soup is also included.

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the black sesame soup starter. I am not a big fan to be honest. I think it’s because I am much more fond of Malaysia’s savory black sesame soup. the Korean version of it is rather bland but it feels much healthier.

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the table setting! they use expensive high class Korean tableware and these costs a fortune I’m telling you. upon colliding with the tableware, a sharp sound will be heard with a long echo. the amazing sound of expensive tableware <3.

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it is known as the “rice theif” and you’ll definitely finish all your rice with this excellent crab. whoever who created this, thank you very much! you’re awesome! I only wished I could have more of it.

look at the paste U_____U. it melted in my mouth like buttttterrrr. there were a lot of those yummy paste at the head of the crab too! if you’ve seen it in drama’s before, you’ll know that you should eat the awesome paste on the head with mixing rice there. it’s the best part. sorry I didn’t remember taking a picture of me doing so because.. I was too concentrated on eating heehehe.

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we also had a Ganjang Gejang Bibimbap which costs 30,000won. for those who don’t want to get your hands dirty, this dish may just be the one for you. you basically just mix it with rice and it tastes almost as delicious but I prefer biting and sucking it all from the crab itself YUMMM.

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and last but not least, they served us a chilled cup of Omija tea. the crab was fabulous.

can tell that they use very fresh crabs here. though it’s not a heavy meal, it was very very satisfying.

here’s a video of the drama I used to watch (식샤를 합시다. watched it for Yoon Doo Joon because he was nice to me when he first debut! and I love food porn too.) which made me want to go to this particular restaurant for Ganjang Gejang. and I guess it will make you want to go there too!

*CAUTION! FOOD PORN!

directions: from Anguk Station Exit 1
the pathway there is one of my favourite stretches in Seoul too! beautiful alleys with unique shops and cafes~

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