Breakfast for Lunch in Sinchon

Today Nayoung and I decided to have breakfast for lunch in Sinchon.  When another friend and I went to Honey Berries back in February I saw their huge selection of waffles and pancakes so I had always wanted to return there to try it out.

Nayoung and I split the Ice Cream Pancakes.  You get two scoops of ice cream, banana slices, and syrup on the side with two good sized pancakes.  There were about 5 or six ice cream choices to choose from and maybe 4 syrup choices.  We decided on Strawberry and Vanilla ice cream with the strawberry syrup. The pancakes were far from the best pancakes in the world, but I was so happy to eat pancakes….and just American breakfast in general.  I’m so sick of plain bread for breakfast.  I think this meal was just under W7000.  Surely good for two people on a date or a filling breakfast for one.  Oh, and they do have regular syrup for you to use as well.  (Not as tasty as the Vermont syrup T.T)

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Caramel Corn Peanuts are haunting my dreams

I’m procrastinating.  I have an essay due next Friday for my Korean Cinema and Society class.  I don’t want to write it, of course.

Anyways.  Yesterday a friend and I went to 홍대 Hongdae.  We didn’t know what we wanted, so we spent a lot of time walking around Hongdae.  Fine with me!  I got to build a mental map of the place in my brain.

Hongdae is definitely an interesting place.  It’s full of clubs and bars, but there are also some really neat restaurants and cafes if you know where to find them.  The people are very different from Sinchon, in my opinion.  In Sinchon I feel like everyone dresses ‘normal’ and has ‘normal’ hair styles and colors.  However in Hongdae there are some interesting hair styles and fashion statements going on.

Anyways, we ended up going to 놀부 Nolboo (a chain restaurant that I haven’t seen before) and ordered 김치부대찌개 Kimchi budae jjigaeBudae jjigae literally means ‘army base soup’.

Budae jjigae is a type of jjigae (a thick Korean soup similar to a Western stew). Soon after the Korean War, meat was scarce in Seoul, South Korea. Some people made use of surplus foods from U.S. Army bases … such as hot dogs, canned ham, and Spam, and incorporated them into a traditional spicy soup flavored with gochujang (red chili paste) and kimchi.

Budae jjigae is still popular in South Korea. The dish often incorporates modern ingredients such as instant ramen noodles and sliced American cheese. Other ingredients may include ground beef, sliced sausages, baked beans, dropwort, onions, green onions, tteok, tofu, chili peppers, macaroni, garlic, mushrooms and other vegetables in season.


2nd floor restaurant.  Nolboo in Hongdae.

They have cute mascot characters.

Side dishes (left to right): Spicy root.  Bean things?  Kimchi.  Corn.

Before the water mixture is added. (From their website

Ours had Kimchi, hot dogs, green onions, ddeok (rice cakes), mushrooms, tofu, meat,seaweed (I think) and noodles.  It was good.  REALLY spicy.  Probably one of the spiciest things I’ve eaten here so far.  Our noses were not happy with us.  But man, did it taste good!

W6,000 ($5.34) a person.

After dinner we wanted something to cool off our burning mouths, so we went on a search for waffles.  Yes, waffles.  Hongdae had many places that sell waffles, but not the waffles we were looking for.  So, we went back to Sinchon where we knew they had the waffles we were looking for.

Eating waffles while walking around with your significant other or friends is really common here.  I’ve seen many people eating them, and have passed many waffle stands, but I’ve never had one, until last night.

Coffee and handmade waffles.

The make these large circle waffles themselves.  You have a choice of regular filling or sweet potato filling.  The filling is like a fluffy yogurt.  You can also get almonds and peanuts in the filling.  Then you have a choice between strawberry or chocolate sauce.  The fold the waffle in half and walahh!  I got the plain yogurt with strawberry sauce. SO good!  My waffle cost W1,000 ($0.90).  I think the most expensive waffle was W2,000.  Fog’n also sells coffee, tea, hot chocolate, and other drinks.  I see Mint Hot chocolate on their menu for W2,000 in the picture above, that sounds really yummy!  Wish I had seen that yesterday.

The only negative side to Fog’n and other waffle stands is that there is no where to sit.  I got a food cramp from walking and eating….but it was sooo worth it!  Bring these waffles to America please!

Here are some other Korean foods.  Nayoung is kind enough to let me takes pictures of her snacks.

Caramel Corn Peanut:

The name describes this snack perfectly.  A mix of peanut butter and caramel taste.  Never would you think that these two flavors go together….but they do! I actually got these today, they are SO good!  Korea has such good snacks! I don’t know how they stay so skinny here!   W1,000. (Nayoung is currently trying to convince me to go buy another bag.  NO!  I won’t do it!   …part of me really wants to though T.T Damn you Caramel Corn Peanut!!!!!)


Beetles as in The Beatles?  The characters on the front are playing instruments…so maybe? I didn’t try these.  Not sure what they taste like, but they look like they would taste sour.  They are fruit flavored: apple, orange, grape, and lemon.  W500.

Potato stick snack:

Oh speaking of food…

I had to write a recipe in Korean for my homework yesterday.  Guess what I chose?  Pumpkin bread of course!!!   No one here knows pumpkin bread, it makes me really sad.  When I made pumpkin bread for my Korean friends in America they loved it.  Maybe I should start a pumpkin bread store, I bet I’d make millions of dollars ^^

Yea…’s a REALLY simplified version!

노래방 Karaoke Room

Last night Nayoung asked me if I wanted to get dinner with her.  I didn’t think we were going anywhere really interesting last night so I didn’t bring my camera. AH!  I’m really sad 😦

We went to Sinchon to eat 갈비 kalbi, I don’t remember what the name of the place was.  You sit at a table with the circular grill in the middle.  As soon as we sat down they brought over a container of hot coals and put it into the grill.  Then they give you a menu with different types of meat you can choose from.  No idea what Nayoung chose, it looked like thick bacon.  (Wow…this is turning out to be a great blog!)  They bring over side dishes which consists of kimchi, bean sprouts, garlic, onions, some red sauce, some brown liquid, and a bowl of vegetables in red sauce, and lettuce leaves.  Then they bring the meat with tongs and a pair of scissors.

You have to cook the meat yourself.  Cook the meat until it’s soft enough that you can cut it with the scissors into smaller pieces.  When the meat is done cooking you move it to the edge of the pan so it wont get burnt.  Hold a lettuce leaf in your hand, take a piece of kalbi (using your chopsticks of course) and put it on the lettuce.  Add some of the red sauce and some of the other side dishes onto the lettuce as well.  Wrap it all up in the lettuce and shove it in your mouth.  I was having issues with the last part. My mouth doesn’t open wide enough for me to cleanly eat the entire thing at once.  I had to take a bite off the extra lettuce first if I didn’t want to make a mess of myself.  It was really tasty though!

In total we ordered two servings of the first bacon looking meat, 1 serving of some other kind of meat that didn’t look like bacon, and 1 egg bowl.  The egg bowl was amazing!  The last and only other time I had eggs in Korea was the first week of school when Nayoung and I had breakfast and the cafeteria in my building.  The eggs were not cooked enough so they were really watery and not enjoyable to eat.  This however was cooked, so it was delicious.  It looked like they just cracked a ton of eggs into a  hot stone bowl and let the bowl cook the egg.  I miss eggs.

In total our dinner was just over 17,000won.  So that’s about 8,500won for each of us.  In USA dollars that is $7.45.  I’m pretty sure that’s really cheap.

After dinner Nayoung said that she didn’t want to go back to the dorm yet.  So we walked around Sinchon for a minute until she spotted a Karaoke place and dragged me in.  Karaoke in Korea is much different than in America.  In America, you go to a bar or restaurant to do karaoke.  There’s  usually a host that stands on the stage and get people to get up and sing in front of the entire place.

In Korea you go to a place called  노래방 no-lae-bangNo-lae means ‘song’ and bang means ‘room’.  You get your own private room. You can go alone or you can go with a huge group of people.  It was just Nayoung and I so we were going to get the smallest room.  However, the only room left was the biggest one so we really lucked out!  You pay 15,000won for 1 hour.  I don’t think it matters how many people there are or how big the room is.

The room was painted black and was decorated with some interesting graffiti.  A LED television was on the front wall.  There was a small stage in the center.  On the back wall was a huge couch and in front of the couch was a table.  On the table were two microphones, a HUGE book containing all the songs they had (including the MOST recent songs), two tambourines, and a giant square controller.

You search through the book for the songs you want.  They have everything!  They have Korean music (pop and the oldies), every famous and well known english song, chinese songs, and japanese songs.   The songs in the back of the book are the most recent (I think…at least that’s the way it seemed).  Each song has a number.  You type the number into the controller and hit the “request” button.  The song starts, the lights dim, and the lasers and disco balls start to dance.

While you’re singing the songs they obviously show the words on the TV screen, but they also show the most random drama and movie clips in the background that have nothinggg to do with the songs.  It was pretty funny.

Nayoung and I sang all the newest Korean pop songs and then we sang some of our favorites.  Nayoung has a really good voice, unlike me.  I sounds like a dieing animal of some kind.  However, Nayoung said that I was the first foreigner that she was able to enjoy 노래방 with because I liked to sing the Korean songs too.  yay!

We ended up staying there for almost two hours and didn’t have to pay any extra money!  Apparently it is normal for the owner to give you extra time.  They kept adding a lot of extra time to ours.  I don’t know how they determine if they should give you extra time or not.

When we finally left and were outside putting our shoes on (oh yea, they make you take off your shoes and wear sandals…that’s normal for Korea too) we could hear the other rooms singing.  Omg, the rooms are not that thick!!! >.<  So embarrassing!   That’s OK.  I really had a lot of fun!!  I hope I can go to 노래방 again soon with my other friends.