1st Shop Coffee Prince and Babtol’s

Anneka and Louise came to visit me in Hongdae while I was still living there.  We all wanted to go to the Coffee Prince cafe where the MBC drama ‘Coffee Prince’ was filmed.  I’ve walked by the cafe a few times but I never went inside.  I’ve heard stories about it being expensive and the taste nothing to boast about.  However, since Coffee Prince is one of my favorite Korean Dramas I HAD to at least go once.

Getting there is easy.  Just a bit of walking from the subway (map at the end of this blog entry).  I have to be honest and say I was a little disappointed.  There were no princes.  The waiters were all women.  The beautiful flower painting on the wall was a sticker that was starting to peel off.  The menu seen in the drama isn’t the real menu, which means they raised the prices of everything.  The chairs were cheap and flimsy.  You weren’t allowed upstairs.  Some of the walls were covered with black paper which I think was to prevent fans from writing on them….but it made it look really unprofessional.  The lighting inside was bad, so my pictures came out crappy.  The outside of the building was kind of dirty.  When we were posing with the Coffee Prince sign there were flies everywhere and it kind of smelled bad.

Am I being too negative?  I had really high hopes for the place….Sorry.

On the positive side, it was cool to see the autographs of all of the cast.  You could buy Coffee Prince merchandise.  Our peach iced teas (one of the cheapest items on the menu) were realllly good!

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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 nolboo.co.kr)

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…..it’s a REALLY simplified version!