Visiting 윤씨밀방 and Gentle Monster in 홍대

Last Saturday I met up with my language exchange friend for the first time.
I was really nervous because I'd never met anyone online in person before.
Especially in a foreign country!

Her name is Jenny and you'll be seeing her a lot on this blog.
Unless she runs away...
(Jenny, 지금 읽고 있는 거 알아. 도망 치면 내가 찾아 줄게~)

Now that I think of it, it was more excitement than nerves. We'd been talking since January and back then neither of us knew that I would be living in Korea so soon. So you can imagine our excitement when we found out we'd be meeting in person more often!

One place she'd always mentions to me was 홍대 (Hongdae) which is her favourite place to hangout. I'd say it's the equivalent to Shoreditch or Brick Lane in London.

We met at 상수역 (Sangsu station) and she took me to her favourite restaurant named "윤씨 밀방"
Now, when I put this into my dictionary it translates to to "Yoon's Honey House" but this doesn't make any sense because this restaurant doesn't serve honey of any form? So I think the actual translation would be "Yoon's Meal Room."

Correct me if I'm wrong!

We waited and a server came to us asking what we wanted to order. By us I mean Jenny because the whole menu was in Korean and I was waaaaay too hungry to try and translate anything. It took about 30 minutes to seat us because it was busy but it was so worth it! Our food quickly arrived and we dug in.
We opted for the 함박스테이크정식 Hamburger steak which came with rice, bread, salad and egg. (May sound like a weird combination but all of the flavours worked well together!) and also the mushroom pasta. This was served with pickles (I LOVE PICKLES) and 떡볶이 (Tteokbokki) a stir fried rice cake. Both of these totaled to 18,000원 (approx. £12).

As we were eating I noticed a weird thing beside me. I thought it was a plastic bag dispenser...

Until Jenny pulled a tissue out of it.
 ...And presenting the beautiful Jenny!

^ Being extra as usual but what's new eh?

After we filled our tummies Jenny gave me the anticipated tour! First she took me to a clothing called named Åland. They had nice clothes but I especially liked the bags there! (which I didn't photograph but I'll be buying some soon anyway)

I noticed they had an area for skincare and earlier I was wondering whether we'd be able to pop into a store that sold Cosrx. One of my favorite Korean youtuber's Joan (click her name for her vlog channel!) always raves about the One step pimple clear pads. We have the same skin type (desert dry) so I really wanted to give them a try. (So far so good!)

After we visited Åland we walked a few more minutes and I noticed the Gentle Monster flagship store! Gentle Monster is the leading designer sunglasses brand in Korea, famous for their over the top store concepts. Their new concept The SCENTS is a lab project that researches... you guessed it... different smells.

Looks more like a museum than a glasses store right? Another reason to keep coming here.

3rd Theme: Beginning Experience. 

The scent researches and displays the different emotions of nostalgia and inspiration derived by smell.


 My hair clearly isn't surviving in this humidity

After visiting the store, we roamed around with my other friend Stephanie and ended the day.

More adventures soon!

London, Farewell.

For some reason this one post alone took about 3 weeks to write.

Usually I can write a post in one sitting but I guess this one is really important as I have some explaining to do...

Originally, I had written a long emotional monologue type post (lol, no not really. who am I kidding??) expressing my love for travel and where it stemmed from. (no I did not do this. this is a lie)

Long story short, it nearly marks 1 month since I moved to South Korea. 
I'm here to work, explore, study and then possibly to work again. 
So far I'm loving it! I've been blessed with the best colleagues and managers.

A week before I left, I threw an intimate going away dinner with some of my closest friends. I gave them the choice of picking a cuisine and naturally they wanted to experience the food I'll be eating for the next few years or so.

I ended up settling for a restaurant called Cah-Chi (which I'd recommend) located in Earlsfield. The last minute reservation was made, some super casual clothes were slipped on (this is rare) and I arrived at the location with Onayomi. 

While we waited for the others to arrive we ordered a bottle of Soju to get the party started. Soju is a beverage that comes in many different flavors. Similar to vodka but less of a percentage. (Maybe 10% less?)

Mirose was next to arrive and we decided to order some soup starters.
I ordered the 야채스프 (Yachae soup) which is a soup (duh) with assorted vegetables. Very light and perfect for a starter.

Onayomi and Mirose ordered the 육개장스프 (Yukgaejang soup) which had a spicy vegetable base and shredded beef.
 ^ Starters for our starters.

Finally the rest of the crew arrived. The majority of my friends had never tried Korean food before so I had to call the shots. I described as much as I could and we all agreed to order the Korean barbecue. I knew it would be the best food to share and would be an interesting experience for the girls.

After some more drinks and giggles the starters 반찬 (banchan) for the BBQ arrived.
For time saving purposes (and because I'm lazy right now) I'll describe a few of them.

군만두 (Gun-mandu) homemade dumplings with either a vegetable or pork filling.
These were really crispy. I like crispy food.

오징어퇴김 (Ojingoe twigim) deep fried baby squid served with vinaigrette chili sauce.
More of this please!!

내 사랑 김치 (My love, Kimchi) a staple side dish. In essence it is fermented picked spicy cabbage.
My fridge is currently filled with kimchi. It's supposed to be a side dish but I can eat it with plain rice and be happy.

닭꼬지 (Dak-koji) chicken skewers drizzled in teriyaki sauce.
My friends seemed to like these a lot!

젓갈 (Jeotgal) pickled squid seasoned with hot sauce.
This was a crowd pleaser as well.

나물 (Namul) bean sprouts.
 We had variety of steamed 나물 but my favorite is 숙주나물 which was seasoned with garlic and sesame oil. All of these side dishes (plus the others I didn't mention) can be added to the 상추쌈 (Sangchu ssam) lettuce wrap.
Now it was time to dig into the barbecue. My side of the table got the 삼겹살 (Samgyupsal) pork belly served with salt and sesame oil and the 닭불고기 (Dak-bulgogi) thinly sliced chicken fillet marinated in a secret sauce. Kailia's side had the 소갈비 (So-galbi) Beef spare ribs also marinated in a secret sauce.

It was all so yummy! I wish I took more pictures explaining how to make a 상추쌈 lettuce wrap but we were all too deep in conversation. Maybe next time!
When we were all stuffed we took some pictures and the emotional part started (lol no thank you). Prepare for an influx of photos:


The night ended and we all parted our separate ways.

I'd just like to take the time out to say thank you for all the lovely messages I've received! And also a big thank you to my friends for being both supportive and encouraging!

So unless you haven't already realized this, my blog is going into a new direction. I'll be blogging about my new experiences here in Korea and all the new places I'll travel to. (Japan is 1hr 30mins away!) So if you're interested stay tuned!