[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.

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[Paris] Hopping around in ‘le gay paree’

We hopped on the Eurostar for a few days of sun in Paris back in August this year. I feel like having been to Paris for so many times, I know the city pretty well that I know where to go and what to do during my days out here.

My go to place for crepes is definitely Crêperie Suzette which is in the hustle of Le Marais where you have your quirky coffee shops and non stop shopping. My favourite is the galette Barbette which is a savoury pancake made from buckwheat with cheese, potatoes and bacon inside topped with crème fraîche and a drizzle of basil dressing. It’s amazing – just get it!

Nothing is complete without an early lunch at the famed Carette in Place des Vosges. We opted for the French onion soup, a sandwich platter (Parisien ‘Duo’) and a lemon crêpe for afters.

We were on our way to the Eiffel Tower when a small Popellini caught our eye. Must go to get my pistachio fix! Deliciousness every time, small but filling and one is certainly enough.

We lazed around on the grass with a view of the tower in sight. It was a lovely afternoon before saying ‘Au revoir Paris’ and then ‘Hello London again!’

[London] Afternoon Tea at Ham Yard Hotel

As I have had my fair share of afternoon teas in London, it is a wonderful way to catch up with friends especially if tea, cakes and savoury bites are involved. I have wanted to try the afternoon tea at the new Ham Yard Hotel nestled behind Piccadilly Circus since it opened and being the latest edition to the Firmdale Hotels group, I was even more intrigued to go. Having had the afternoon tea at the Charlotte Street Hotel, the Haymarket Hotel and the Covent Garden Hotel (all part of Firmdale Hotels and the latter being the better one of the three), I was curious as to what Ham Yard would offer as their menu changes weekly and it is priced very reasonably at £19.50 per person.

Their afternoon tea can be served in either the main restaurant area or the orangery. If you prefer a quieter environment, then request to be seated in the orangery area otherwise they will by default seat you in the restaurant where the bar is. I requested to be seated in the orangery area and we had a table outside in the lovely garden.

The savouries were spot on and my favourite was the salmon bites. There were 4 plain and sultana scones hiding underneath the canvas bag which were both warm and crumbly to enjoy with the clotted cream, raspberry and strawberry jams. The sizes of the scones were perfect, not too big or small to devour at once.

The selection of cakes and desserts went down nicely as neither of them were overly sweet. Overall I was very pleased with the afternoon tea at the Ham Yard Hotel, it is closely tied with the Covent Garden Hotel, the only difference being that there is more than one choice of menu for the afternoon tea at the Covent Garden Hotel. However given the location of the hotel, the stylish decor, the lovely scones and the very reasonable price tag, what more can you ask for?

 

 

[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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