[Seoul] Ilhochic 일호식

Having read about this new restaurant that serves healthy and hearty meals, I definitely had to check it out so made a reservation for dinner one evening with friends (I recommend to make a reservation beforehand especially during dinner time).

Ilhochic is located in tucked behind a main street in Hannam-dong and the nearest metro station is Hannam Station. The restaurant is on the ground floor of a four storey building and the entrance is very simplistic with just its sign on a square wood block.

We were ushered to our table which was facing the bar table so you could see the kitchen area. The atmosphere was relaxing and all the tables by the windows were already taken up by mature men and women. This is definitely not a place for the young and hip but rather for those who are into their healthy food from time to time (me!).

The menu was simple and consisted of single dishes and the Prix Fixe – the fixed price set meals which is inclusive of the side dishes. The five of us went for a set meal each and our choices included brown rice with beef and soft boiled egg, grilled mackerel with brown rice and a Korean style omelette to share.

The food was fresh and hearty and I thoroughly enjoyed every dish laid out in front of me! The price is probably a bit overpriced compared to similar restaurants but it was comfortable and cosy. Next time I would come back here and try the dinner menu and other delicacies on the menu such as the braised kimchi with pork belly and the fish cake stew. If you are looking for something healthy and hearty and tasty then give Ilhochic a try.

For those of you who don’t know, Ilhochic actually means 一好食 in Chinese. This loosely translates to Number One Tasty and the way its pronounced in Cantonese is very similar to the Korean pronunciation. Coincidence? I think not.

[Hong Kong] AMMO Restaurant

So when you hear a restaurant is located in a former explosives compound site, you immediately become so intrigued that you rush off to make a visit… right? Actually we stumbled across AMMO which specialises in pasta dishes, through a friend who knew we were looking for a comfortable but unique place to have lunch. We had never heard of AMMO and was surprised that it is located just opposite the British Embassy up in Admiralty on Justice Drive.

As we stepped inside the entrance leading to the restaurant, there was an outdoor seating area with cushions and a grass border on the right side of the pathway. The restaurant itself is not big but contains a bar with high chairs which you will see just as you walk in with dining tables next to the windows and sofa seats with low tables on the left hand side. Because of the high ceiling and windows, the beams of natural light gave the restaurant a lift, complimenting the small lights hanging from the staircases above.

We were a party of four so we ordered everything to share amongst us. For starters, we ordered the pan seared tuna salad, the Japanese scallop carpaccio and the marinated black cod. We had the Boston lobster spaghetti and the crab ravioli as the mains and the apple tart and chocolate passion fruit crème as the perfect ending to our lunch. While most people may have thought that five dishes would not be enough to share for a party of four given the fact that the portions were not big – think again, the food was spot on and perfect for the four of us as we shared and was content with tasting each dish. Not to mention that they gave us each bread and olive oil to begin with before the food arrived, which probably already made us half full.

The apple tart took around 10 minutes to prepare which gave us plenty of time to digest and take a breather before the final round.

The apple tart along with the vanilla ice cream was a perfect match and you can actually taste the passion fruit within the chocolate crème. Both desserts were satisfying and we were all very full by the time we finished devouring both of them.

For the price and service you get at AMMO, in my honest opinion, it is worth the money to give it a go. We had kind staff serving us and given the location and the setting of the restaurant, it is not difficult to come here. AMMO seems secretly hidden up the hills of Admiralty but if you are looking for somewhere unique with good food then here’s your next place to try.

[London] Fabrique Bakery

Swedish bakeries have been making their mark across London and the latest addition comes from Fabrique who has just opened their second branch in Covent Garden. They open from 7:30am on weekdays and are famous for their cinnamon buns. I happened to be around the area around 8am so decided to make my first visit as I was very eager to try their buns after having read so many good reviews about them.

As I entered the cafe, I realised I was the only person there at that time which was great! The decor is bright and cosy with a hint of a middle eastern flair with their flooring but very much a Swedish affair all around. Most of the buns and bread were laid out behind the counter and I was greeted by two friendly staff. I opted for a cinnamon bun along with a latte to start my day.

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This was the first time I had sampled a Swedish cinnamon bun and it was soft and not too sweet. The flavour was neither too strong or weak and the slight stickiness of the bun made it a joy to devour. I was amazed by how large one bun is and took my time to finish it with my latte. I do recommend a trip to Fabrique and bring along a friend so you can share the bun between the two of you as one is definitely more than enough to keep you full for the next few hours. A delightful way to start your Monday or any other day of the week.

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[London] The Princess of Shoreditch

Having brushed past this place several times while working in the City, this is actually the first time I’ve stepped in and had a meal in this lovely home feel pub called The Princess of Shoreditch. The exterior is a mix of cream and grey lined with hanging street lights outside the ground floor windows. It is in a quiet but convenient location, just a 10 minute walk from Liverpool Street Station.

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We were a party of four and I had previously made a reservation the day before so as to not avoid disappointment! The ground floor consisted of a bar and a bubble of chatter lingered over the dining area where most of the tables were full. We were seated upstairs on the first floor where it was their dining room. It was a Sunday when we met and my intention was to try their Sunday Roast. The choices were the chicken leg, the pork ribeye, the lamb shoulder and the beef sirloin steak. The three of us opted for the beef sirloin steak and one went for the lamb shoulder. As we waited patiently and excitedly for our food to come, we dived into our drinks. We ordered a bottle of the Camden Pale Ale and three bottles of Aspall Cider Isabel’s Berry. As a group of girls, I can say that we all thoroughly enjoyed our drinks! I especially liked the cider as it had a refreshing but not a very strong berry taste.

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Our food came all at the same time. The staff were all very friendly and attentive when serving us our food. When I laid eyes on my plate, I could not believe how big the Yorkshire pudding was. Everything including the roast potatoes, the carrots, the greens and the Yorkshire pudding was perfect and complimented the sirloin steak. We dug in to our food straight away. The roast potatoes were very crispy on the outside but just slightly undercooked on the inside but that did not stop me from enjoying my sirloin which was perfectly cooked to a medium. The carrots and greens were sweet and juicy and the Yorkshire pudding was a joy to break into.

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Only two of us managed to clear our plates. Since we were quite full at this point, we just ordered one dessert to share amongst the four of us. We opted for the traditional sticky toffee pudding with bourbon sauce and milk ice cream. I can say that this is one of the best sticky toffee puddings I have ever tried in my life. The sponge was soft and moist while the toffee sauce was just divine and pairing a serving with the milk ice cream was pure heaven.

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I have a few other places to try the Sunday Roast but given that this is my first visit, I can honestly say it was a very good experience. The staff are friendly and the food was good and at very reasonable prices. Also because the location is near the City, during the weekends it is quiet so if you want to spend your Sundays away from the crowd then this would be a great place to do it in.