Monthly Archives: December 2012

[Taipei, Taiwan] Hello Kitty Sweets

Address:  台北市大安路一段90號  Taipei City, Da-An Road, Section 1, #90

Hours:  11:30~21:30 Everyday

Directions:  Take the Ban-Nan (blue) metro line to Zhongxiao Fuxing Station, exit 3.  Go straight, then make a right at 大安路 (Da-An Road).  The cafe is about a minute walk, on your right.

http://www.hellokittysweets.com.tw/

 

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Visiting this sweets shop is a must for all Hello Kitty lovers.  The shop is not only all decked out with Hello Kitty items, but the pastries, cakes and drinks all bear the symbol of the cute feline.  The servers (both guys and girls) all wear cute pink uniforms and the shop even sells some Hello Kitty souvenirs (like travel mugs and candy).  Be warned, since there aren’t that many restaurants dedicated to Hello Kitty, there are quite a bit of tourists here.  Also, this is one of the few places in Taiwan that I know which charges a minimum fee AND a mandatory 10% service charge.

The minimum charge per person is NTD 300 (or around USD $10).  In addition to serving desserts, the restaurant also offers a lunch and dinner menu, which features pasta, steak and burgers.  The full menu could be found on the restaurant’s website.  I read online that for normal meal times, reservations are highly recommended, since the restaurant is a bit small.  We went for late tea time, and were lucky enough to get seated right away without a reservation.

 

The store front display window

 

Yes, even the napkin holder and the napkins themselves were all Hello Kitty prints!

 

The display windows featured the to-go desserts.  So cute!

 

Hello Kitty egg tarts!

 

Sesame brûlée in Hello Kitty jars!

 

     

There are a few combo sets, priced at NTD 300 to satisfy the minimum charge per person.  Each dessert combo set comes with a dessert and a drink.  This is the crème brûlée set.  It not only came with the crème brûlée, but also some fruit and chocolates on the side.  The crème brûlée was really good!  Nice sugary crispy top, with the creamy filling inside… mmmm…

 

I chose the pudding latte to go with the crème brûlée set.  You can pick from hot or cold.  This is the cold one.  It was a little sweet for me, but I liked the texture of the pudding in the drink.

 

A mango pudding also came with our combo orders.  It was so cute that I almost didn’t want to eat it…  this was also pretty good.

 

This is the green tea with red bean swiss roll.  Doesn’t it just look like a fairy tale???  The green tea Hello Kitty stencil is just perfect… It really is a feast for the eyes! The cake itself was moist and delicious.  I heard the macaroons were only ok.

 

The chocolate swiss roll.  This was also pretty good, although not as tasty as the green tea version.

 

Hello Kitty hot cocoa.  I heard this was also yummy.

 

Live out your Hello Kitty dreams here!  ^ ^

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[Seoul, Korea] Sinseon Seolnongtang 神仙雪濃湯

Apparently this is a a popular seolnongtang chain, and I happened to drop in on the Sinchon location.  There is also a branch in Myeongdong.

Directions:  Line 2 to Sinchon Station, exit 3.  Walk straight for 200 meters, then make a right at the big intersection.  Walk for about 100 meters, and the restaurant will be on your right

Hours:  open 24 hours!!!

More info from the Korea Tourism Site:  http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1364777

 

I kind of stumbled into this restaurant by accident.  I was walking around Ewha Womans Univ and Sinchon area one evening, and didn’t know what I should eat for dinner.  This place was brightly lit and full of people, so I figured it must be pretty good.  Service was really quick and friendly.  I guess this was also one of the locations where they filmed Shining Inheritance — there were pictures of the cast and from the drama along the walls!  The seolnongtang was really good, I definitely recommend it!

 

I sat by the bar facing the window, and the menu was right on the window. In multiple languages too!  For a few of the soups, you can choose between regular or the large size.

 

Each table has 3 tubs of different side dishes, so help yourself!  This is the spicy pickled radish.  Juicy, crunchy and with a bit of a kick.  Mmmm…

 

Kimchi – there are scissors so that you can cut it into smaller sizes.  This is the regular kimchi.

 

There’s also the whole kimchi, which is less fermented.  Both are great accompaniments to the soup!

 

The seolnontang!  It’s Australian ox bone soup with brisket.  The soup is pretty flavorful, so I didn’t add too much seasoning.  It’s a richer soup than the one in LA at Han Bat Sul Lung Tang.  The soup comes with a bowl of Korean rice.  The beef brisket was soft and full of the ox bone soup flavor.  A really great and simple meal for a cold day!  I ordered the regular size, which is already a pretty big portion, so can’t imagine how big a large one must be! W7,000 (around USD $7).

[Seoul, Korea] Jeonju Joongang Hweguan 全州中央會館

Address: Jung-gu Chungmuro-1-ga 24-11 (중구 충무로 1가 24-11); +82 776 5889

Hours:  8:30am — 10:30pm

Directions:  Line 4 to Myeongdong station, Exit 6. Turn left and make a left at the first street you come to.  Keep walking, for about 3 minutes and you’ll see a Uniqlo store.  The restaurant is in an alley next to Uniqlo.  Usually there’s also an old man (dressed in a white robe with a straw cone hat) standing in front of the alley, holding a large banner for restaurant.

 

Review from CNN Travel: http://travel.cnn.com/seoul/eat/seouls-5-best-bibimbap-880232

 

This restaurant was mentioned in all of my travel books, not to mention countless food blogs and even CNN Travel, so I knew I had to make a stop here for the bibimbap.  This place calls itself the origin of the dolsot bibimbap (bibimbap in a hot stone pot), have been around for 50 years, and offers a large menu including samgyetang and various barbecue dishes.  Great place to stop for lunch or dinner (or even breakfast!) when you are tired from shopping in Myeongdong.  🙂

 

Entrance to the restaurant

 

The side dishes are simple but really good (from top left going clockwise): there’s the usual kimchi, pickled radish, spicy squid, seasoned mushroom sprouts.  I loved the spicy squid!

 

Complementary soup also came with the meal:  it was a spicy bean sprout miso soup.  Mmmm!

 

Every review I read about recommended the original dolsot bibimbap, so that’s what I ordered.  It comes with an assortment of veggies and a bit of galbi (barbecued beef).  Add the spicy red sauce, then mix everything!  For those of you who like a little pan-crust to your bimbimbap, wait a few minutes before you start eating.  Be careful, the pot is very hot!  Portions are pretty generous.  W10K (around USD $10)

This bibimbap gives off such a great aroma when it arrives at the table – I think it’s because they add sesame oil to the bibimbap.  The texture and flavors are both great. Like CNN Travel mentions, it is a little sweeter, at least compared to the ones I’ve had in LA.

Enjoy!