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.
When walking past bakery shops, I always have to stop and peep inside for any pastries, buns or cakes to satisfy my sweet cravings. I passed by Mr. Holmes Bakehouse and was immediately drawn to the baby pink neon signs (especially the cute peace sign) outside the shop and OMG cruffin alert!
We opted for the chocolate brioche donut and the famous cruffin! Two of these should be enough to share between the three of us! We found the donut was a little bit sweet but the cruffin was really moreish. The pastry was crispy but flaky at the same time and the chocolate creme really complimented it well. But definitely these delights are to be had once a few months! I really recommend the cruffin which is great for sharing. I have also heard that there is now a concession in Shinsegae department store in Gangnam so there is now another place to go to if you want to avoid the crowded Garosugil.
Having visited Seoul during three out of the four seasons, I finally managed to plan a trip in early April which means yes, I have now completed my trips to Seoul during the four seasons! I still must say that Autumn is my favourite in Seoul but Spring is a close second followed by Winter and then Summer.
So as you all may or may not know, Spring means bloom which means flowers, flowers and more flowers! South Korea in particularly is popular during Spring where they have many festivals and not to mention the cherry blossom festivals where thousands flock to see their blooming beauty.
After an unsuccessful viewing of the cherry blossoms in Yeoido due to bad weather and time limit, I was taken to capture the less popular but still lovely forsythias in Eungbongsan. To my surprise, the mountain and park is in the centre of Seoul – between Oksu and Wangsimni station on the Gyeongui-Jungang railway line which made the trip ever so easy and accessible.
We were lucky as the weather was simply perfect for a relaxing hike up the mountain whilst being able to see the forsythias in full bloom – a field of sunshine. The walk from the train station up to the mountain was not difficult and not as high compared to Haneul Park. One could make it to the top easily within 20 minutes.
Once we reached the top, we were able to see a clear view of Seoul Forest and Han River which during the wonderful weather we had that day, was of course a lovely sight! There were not many people when we went so we had the enormous pleasure of taking pictures to our hearts content without any huge crowds in sight!
I highly do recommend this short trip to Eungbongsan as it is a lovely stroll through the park and whilst the forsythias are in full bloom, it is truly a wonderful experience! If you cannot survive the crowds when going to see the cherry blossoms then Eungbongsan could be your second choice as there are also some cherry blossoms in the park to gaze at. If you cannot make it this time around then mark it in your diary for next Spring.
So as you casually stroll along the streets of Seoul, specifically in Cheongdam-dong, Gangnam, you may come across Dior’s largest boutique in the world – House of Dior. This six floor flagship store opened in June last year and after getting word of it, we decided to plan a visit to check it out. I was even more intrigued when I heard that there is a Café Dior by Pierre Hermé on the top floor and they do the best macarons in the world (it’s true, trust me).
The best part of visiting during the weekdays is that there is absolutely no one in the entire shop that you need to squeeze past or maybe that normally occurs during the weekends which is why we avoid visiting at that time. Of these six floors, the first four floors consists of Dior’s collections – bags, clothes and shoes for men and women, the fifth floor is definitely worth a tour as it is the museum where you do surprisingly learn a lot about the Lady Dior bag. We then made our way to the top floor – the café!
The colour theme was a lovely inviting pale grey with mint and cream hints around. The café itself was not huge but they also had a seating area outside but since it was cold, we chose to sit inside for our little coffee and pastry break!
The mono chronic plates and cups gave a vintage French café feel and along with our order of macarons, this was a perfect break!
The seats were simple but stylish and they gave off a very chic and understated atmosphere. I do recommend a visit if you are interested in fashion or architecture or interior design (I’m into all three) as it is quite a building and to end it on a high note, it’s currently the largest Dior store in the world. Welcome to Seoul!
When is Seoul the most beautiful one might ask… Having been to Seoul many times but never during spring, my favourite time to go is in the autumn. The weather is refreshing, not cold and not hot and the warm autumn breeze is just wonderful so that you can almost do anything.
If you are like me, who has been to all the tourist places in Seoul and is looking for something a bit different then Haneul Park is highly recommended! It is a 15 minute walk from the World Cup Stadium subway station and since the name of the park means ‘sky’ in English, you will have to brace yourselves and climb up 291 stairs to reach the park.
The park itself was breathtaking. Everywhere I looked, gleams of silver grass were blowing in the light breeze and this was at the end of November. The sky was as blue as sky blue could get. The silver grass flowers were still visible at this time but if you go earlier then I think you would be able to see more of them but I had no complaints when I went!
You can find yourself just walking through the grass fields and just enjoying the fresh air around you. Obviously not to mention that this place is very picture worthy so get snapping!
Give yourself at least two hours to walk, enjoy and take pictures in Haneul Park. I would definitely visit this place again, I have already been here twice during my trip to Seoul this autumn. This is one of the few tourist spots that is not crowded, making it a very pleasant trip for you, your friends and your loved ones to enjoy.