Every day we wake up a little later, so our first stop of the day had to be for lunch because we woke up at lunchtime. Haha! (This is honestly my favourite part about exploring countries without following a tour group because you get to decide when you wanna wake up. And we felt like we could go at a slower pace simply because we were going to be there for 18 days.) It was a Saturday afternoon, so we decided to go for lunch at Hongdae 홍대 (Hongik University Station, exit 9)- this place is particularly exciting during the weekends because (1) there’s a flea market, (2) it’s basically where the youngsters hang out since it is near a university and (3) there’s a whole lot of street performances which are incredibly fun to watch- the place is apparently known to encourage freedom of self-expression?!
So J and I had planned to try some local delicacies, some not so pleasant, and the Sundae (순대; pronounced ‘soon-day’) was one of such not-so-pleasant food stuff. Sundae is basically boiled or steamed pig intestines stuffed with pig blood and Dangmyeon (i.e. Cellophane noodles). Having to try this dish is particularly challenging for the both of us because we really cannot appreciate offal food stuff. Bulk of our video is literally us trying this Sundae at a restaurant called Gongsugan. J’Me was really gung-ho about it like she just stuffed it into her mouth without hesitation. We got several other food stuff: kimbap, tteokbokki, kimchi fried rice (this I love) and the Eomukguk/Odeng guk (fish cake soup). I thought they were all pretty good, except the tteokbokki because I really couldn’t take the level of spiciness. My tolerance for spicy food is really not very good but I do like Kimchi. I wouldn’t particularly recommend going to Gongsugan just because I think other Korean restaurants in the area would serve the same types of food and they probably wouldn’t differ so much in taste. I personally hated the taste of Sundae, but y’all should try it for the fun of it and who knows you may actually enjoy it? (Jerald and Tianming finished the Sundae homg.)
Something you have to do when you’re in Hongdae is to SHOP. The streets are lined with a lot of shops selling mostly clothing and shoes. The flea market is only held Saturdays. Once in a while, a food store pops up and we decided to get some Takoyaki. It was reeaaally good!! (Then again, it could have been because it was cold outside so to have something warm to eat was really shiok la.) And we noticed this tiramisu shop and I really wanted to try it but the queue was horrendously long so we didn’t. Oh yes, and everyday I need my cuppa coffee, so on this day I got a cup of hazelnut latte from Holly’s Coffee. It was pretty okay, though it was basically priced as much as a Starbucks drink. Now that I’ve discovered Paik’s Coffee though, I wouldn’t recommend Holly’s. (Paik’s Coffee is this amazing coffee chain that serves pretty good coffee and is super affordable. Plus, if you order any types of coffee, you get a free upsize. HOW DOPE IS THAT.)
I didn’t buy anything from the street shops because they weren’t my style, but the international brands at Hongdae had the best sales!!! H&M was located right at the heart of Hongdae and Bershka was across the road. And it was very very festive – there were people dressed as Santa Clauses (minus the beard) singing Christmas songs. I was so looking forward to Christmas!!! I honestly didn’t expect to buy a whole lot of clothes because I thought it was a bit absurd to buy clothing from international brands that were available back home, but the sale in Korea was ridiculously good. I didn’t buy a lot of things on my first visit to that H&M – I got myself a romper for 9,000 KRW (i.e. 11 bucks), a really gorgeous black laser-cut blouse and a Christmas green halter blouse with gold detailing. They were all super cheap. The green blouse was for sale in Singapore a while back, but it was too expensive so I didn’t get it then. Alas, it was for sale at 60% off in Korea so I just had to get it. Needless to say we went back to H&M/Bershka on another day sometime after Christmas.
Palsaek 8 Flavours Pork BBQ place (팔색삼겹살) is really popular amongst tourists. Trishh brought me to the place when we went in summer. I couldn’t remember the way there, so by the time we got there, we were famished and freezing ’cause we kinda got lost. Going back to the train station after that was easier because we found a faster way – Sinchon station, exit 7, cross the road to go straight along Baekbeom-ro for about 150m then you’ll see the restaurant. It’s basically a tourist destination because everyone there was a tourist. We got the beef, stuffed squid and 8 flavours pork set. I love love love BBQ pork so i thought it tasted pretty good. We all did a short review in the video; I personally thought the Miso Paste flavoured pork was good and I didn’t enjoy the herb one either.
Watch our video for more! I promise this one is funny because J’Me keeps judging me and I apologise for the background noise, especially in the restaurant.