Brunching in Hongdae

There’s just something about brunch that sets it apart from other meals. The easy chatter, light flavors, and choice of menu all contribute to a warm ambiance so characteristic of brunch. It always makes me feel like I’ve started the day right. (You know, instead of inhaling last night’s slice of pizza or having a red velvet cupcake for breakfast.)

I was naturally quite excited when my friend- and supervisor- Camille asked me out to brunch on a lazy Sunday morning. The two of us agreed to meet up at the small cafe I had pointed out only a few days prior.  I’d noticed a line of at least seven people waiting patiently outside Butter Milk’s (버터밀크) storefront. With it being a mere five minutes away from my boarding house, I knew I had to give it a try.

With summer in Korea in full swing, I had the opportunity to take pictures of these vibrant (and alien- to me) flowers I saw along the streets of Hongdae on my way to meet her. I thought these orange buds on the right were immature chili peppers or some related genus before I saw the first bloom!

Of course, we ourselves did have to wait about an hour outside before the hostess was ready to seat us. I believe that there were around 5 tables available, and each was only intended to accommodate two guests. As it’s a very popular place, try to come early. They open at 10am and close at 6pm. And yes, the hour long wait was definitely worth it.

The interior of the cafe is quite homey and relaxing. There were several shelves of beautiful old books along the walls. Unfortunately, I believe most of them were in Japanese (we suspect the owner is too) and so I was unable to peruse any of them whilst waiting for our food to come.

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We ended up ordering the exact same thing! This place is famous for its Ricotta Cheese Pancakes (6,800KRW). These are without a doubt, the best pancakes I have ever had. I don’t know how I’ll go on without them once I’ve left Seoul. They’re amazingly light, fluffy, and the gentle ricotta flavor is only enhanced by the drizzled syrup.

I loved everything on my plate (except that odd red berry in the corner- I wasn’t sure what to make of it). The mashed potatoes and bacon were delicious, but next to the pancake my next favorite would have to be the scrambled egg that you can see peeking out from under my strip of bacon.

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We ordered Lemon Ades (3,800KRW) to go with our food. I was totally blindsided. I’d expected to receive lemonade. Instead, what arrived at our table was more like sparkling water with a touch of lemon flavor. It was the most bizarre thing. According to Camille, she has yet to come across a place in Korea that serves real lemonade. If you see ‘ade’ on the menu, be aware that that means soda.

What’s your brunch go-to?

Ysobel.

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Haphazard Update on the Past Few Months (and Cafes to Visit in Manila)

My goodness how many months has it been? I recently fell into a very deep pit of writer’s block. The semester caught up to me and suddenly I felt no drive to write about anything.  My moving from dorm to apartment and switching of college major didn’t help.

However, after having spent a month in Seoul surrounded by beautiful places and enticing shopping, I think it’s time to try my hand at continuing this blog.

Do bear with me, as this update post will be less like my highly organized posts of the past. I’m going to attempt to get you up to speed with the last few months of my life (Manila-based months), and perhaps go into proper detail about each phase of my travels later on! Continue reading “Haphazard Update on the Past Few Months (and Cafes to Visit in Manila)”

Kyoto: Gion District, Kyoto Tower

Leaving the charming geisha district of Kyoto was not easy. All the little streets and traditional Japanese architecture beckoned us to stay. I could feel the culture slipping away as the quiet town of yukata and kimono clad-citizens began melting into a more modern setting. Continue reading “Kyoto: Gion District, Kyoto Tower”

Kyoto: Kiyomizu-dera Temple

A lot of my dreams came true that day. No, seriously. I fulfilled my exotic hime-sama (princess) reverie. I teetered on the brink (have you seen the slope of the temple stage?) between fantasy and reality. Earlier that day, even before I was magically transformed by the amazing staff of Okamoto, I was already commandeering my imaginary subjects in my mind. Continue reading “Kyoto: Kiyomizu-dera Temple”

Arashiyama: Bamboo Grove, Kimono Forest

I really had hoped to arrive at Arashiyama Bamboo Grove by 8 am and evade the demon hordes of tourists. Due to a combination of factors, that plan failed miserably. And so we were greeted by a cacophony by all manner of people come from all over the globe. The worst part was when a woman dressed as a geisha began walking through to take pictures with people. She would stop after about 3 paces to pose for photos and the people just coming. The congestion was ridiculous. Despite all, the majesty of the infinite bamboo stalks disappearing into the clear sky could not be discounted. Continue reading “Arashiyama: Bamboo Grove, Kimono Forest”