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Jars of hwangari at Hahoe village.


Food tour in Andong. Start time 7am. 3.5 hours.

Actually it was more than just a food tour. More like 'Korean style oriental herb healing tour,' as it's actually titled. The tour was led by 'Big Farm', which is a creative hub for agriculture here in Korea, alongside Ongo Food communications. They teamed up to lead this tour for mostly foreigners in Korea who were interested in diving into the world of farming.  


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ariake at the shilla

Squid sashimi with fresh yuzu zest.


For this post, I think I'll just let the photos speak for themselves.  I can confidently say... that this is the best sushi I have had in Korea!  Recently, a friend introduced me to this sushi haven at the Shilla hotel-Ariake. We were fortunate to dine at the sushi bar, and the experience was just pure joy.  A few things that I have never tried before-like the squid sashimi with yuzu zest-wow.  I'm personally not a huge fan of squid, but the way Chef Song prepared it almost paper thin, with the texture so rich and buttery-I'm converted.  I thought they marinated it in something profound, but soon found out that it was just the pure quality of the squid, haha. The toro & uni were exceptional, and I observed some techniques that were truly quite unique & refined at Ariake. Perhaps you can only see this kind of sophistication at hotels like the Shilla and of course Japan? Haha.  Oh do I hope to visit again soon~

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bloom & goûté


So here's another cafe to put on your list if you're in Seoul.  Coffee+flowers+desserts+brunch+Linus' southern smoked bbq pork!!!   

The first Bloom & Goûté was off of the main Garosugil street for years-this is their new location which is one street over that recently opened this summer, still in Sinsa-dong.  For those familiar with Garosugil/Sinsa-dong area, you will notice that there have been some major changes in the last few years.  Quite different from when I lived there a few years ago. The local, artsy, boutique cafes are slowly disappearing, and the big brother is taking over the whole block!  Ugh. However, the previous owners will not put their guard down...instead they seem to relocate their business near there for their loyal customers.  Bloom & Goûté is just one of those cafes.  Similar to their first location, they have a flower shop inside the cafe, as well as a good selection of desserts and coffee.  I actually prefer their new location, as the interior is done well, and there is a huge improvement on their savory menu.  Their savory menu only provides brunch, but the best part about it is that their croque monsieur & the eggs benedict has my good friend Linus' smoked pork! Ok, I checked this cafe out for this very reason.  Never would have come up with southern style (Alabama that is) smoked pork with melted gruyere & parmesan cheese in a sandwich!  You may have heard of Linus' famous smoked bbq in Seoul, doing pop-up's and catering events...I will be doing a follow up post about his goods.

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White asparagus with feta cheese, micro greens & truffle vinaigrette.


If you're in Seoul, you will quickly notice the number of Italian restaurants everywhere. Most western dining experience in Seoul includes pasta and pizza.  Okay, I stopped asking myself why...the the first few months of my arrival, haha. Do Koreans really love their noodles and cheese or what?  However, with this said not every place that serves Italian does it well. After being disappointed countless of times, I started making/eating Italian at home. Then you might find a few good restaurants ones here and there...  

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korean royal cuisine-days 5-10

This spread is considered 'anju' or food that's paired with drinking.


You can achieve quality taste without msg in royal cuisine.  

You may think that the quote above is pretty random or weird.  The sad truth is, is that so many Korean restaurants (I will boldly say majority) in Korea, use a lot of msg.  When I first moved here a few years ago, I struggled with indigestion for a year! Only to find that it was the Korean food that caused it.  Not to say that there aren't restaurants who do it the proper way and leave msg out of the picture all together.  During this course, after carefully learning how to marinate and season food without any additives, everything was quite clean and authentic!  So you can achieve the quality taste at home by using natural ingredients to prepare amazing Korean dishes.

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