[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.

[Seoul] Mr. Holmes Bakehouse

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.

[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.

[London] Crosstown Doughnuts

So I finally made my way to Crosstown Doughnuts last week to try one of their doughnuts. I really didn’t think I could have eaten two considering how large each one was! So which flavour did I pick? Well it was a tough choice since they had ten different flavours laid out at the counter in front of me. So what happens next? Of course I ask the staff what’s your best selling doughnut here? She smiles and says the Creme Brûlée Doughnut and the Sea Salt Caramel and Banana Cream Doughnut are their bestsellers. I think not being able to see the Creme Brûlée Doughnut on site made me want to try it even more. She said that the Creme Brûlée Doughnuts are just sitting and will be ready to eat in 30 minutes or so. So I ordered one Creme Brûlée Doughnut and a latte to go. Within a few minutes, I had my doggy bag and coffee with me.

The Creme Brûlée Doughnut was divine. You could actually see the vanilla seeds from the vanilla cream once you bite into the doughnut. The creme brûlée glaze on top was not sweet and just right for those of you who prefer sweet things to just have the right amount of sweetness without being too OTT. I shared the doughnut as I think having one to myself would have really filled me up. I will be going back there to try the others but will just have to take it one at a time.

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