Last weekend was actually Seollal (Hangul: 설날) - or Korean New Year. This means we had the Monday off after the weekend for a nice long weekend. I didn't do much but I did go to Seoul on Monday to meet a friend for lunch in Itaewon. She was a bit late so I ended up going to 'What the Book?' English bookstore to wait for her. I got a book and a magazine, I pretty much never leave there empty handed.
I was meeting a Korean friend that I met while doing a camp, she was my co-teacher and we got along really well. We decided that we should meet up and enjoy some delicious food - she likes western food more than Korean food so we are on the same page.
We went to Suji's, it's a place I've heard was good but also that it is super busy, especially on the weekends. The only time I've been going to go there with friends a while back it was way to long of a wait for a table so we went elsewhere. On Monday there was only a short wait, some of the places were not open due to the holiday so it was good that Suji's was.
It was really nice, everything came quickly and it was simple but well prepared and tasty. I had a cheeseburger that came with wedges and a coleslaw - the coleslaw was a bit more heavy on the sauce than I ideally like but that would probably be my only complaint if I had to make one.
I would definitely recommend Suji's if you are looking for some nice basic western (American) food, however it is busy so if you don't like waiting in line you might like to have a backup plan.
How to get there:
You can use either Itaewon Station or Noksapyeong as a landmark for this restaurant, but it is closer to Noksapyeong Station. If you are coming from Itaewon Station you have to walk all the way down the main street - past McDonald's, past Santorini Greek Restaurant and when the road turns left around the corner Suji's is on your left just round the corner a bit., if you follow the sidewalk you should find it no problem. The picture above is what the outside looks lik - once you get inside, the restaurant is up the stairs.
I also took the opportunity while in Itaewon to visit the Foreign Food Mart, I have spoken about this one in previous posts. It's all the way down the other side of Itaewon from Suji's but I had not been for a while and wanted to grab some stuff to take to work with me as I will be leaving soon. My friend had never been before so she was interested in seeing what they had, she lived in America for a while and was happy to find a few treats of things she enjoyed over there.
I got a few things, Salt and Vinegar crisps, a Cadbury chocolate bar and two packets of Tim Tams to take to work - I also got some banana/chocolate sweets from Holland that looked interesting. These are my goodies from the trip - a good haul I think.
It was sooooo cold after that that we had to go to a cafe to warm up, we went to Jubilee Cafe which is just outside exit 3 of Itaewon Station on the corner. I've mentioned this one before in a previous post about Itaewon as it is a pretty nice place. It's a chocolate cafe and they do several kinds of hot chocolate (among other things), last time I just had a classic one but I was a bit more adventurous this time and had a blueberry flavoured one. It was nice, very sweet though.
This weekend I went to Insa-dong. Insa-dong is a neighborhood in Seoul where there is a real mix of the traditional and the modern. It's well know for sightseeing, antiques and art gallerys.
A friend of one of my friends will be leaving Korea soon and wanted to get some souvenirs - of course where is the best place for this? Insa-dong. I decided to tag along as I have a trip home at the end of the month and figured I could do with a few pressies to take with me.
Above and below are some pictures I took of Insa-dong, the souvenir shops, street food and hole in the wall vendors make up the majority of what you can find on the main road of Insa-dong.
Insa-dong is always so crowded, it's a real tourist destination. There is always lots going on, sometimes there will be music or performances (like the in the photos below).
There are also heaps of street vendors selling jewelry, wooden crafts and other various items. This one sells ice cream in the long tubes (pictured) which seems really popular, even in the middle of winter.
It was really really cold on Saturday, I find that the best places to shop are the big centers that have lots of different sellers all together in one store. You can find all the things you need in these and it's warmer than walking from one store to the next. I got a few of my things from this one and I have purchased stuff from here before too. They have decent items at a reasonable price.
I manged to get a few final souvenirs so all in all it was a good day out in Insa-dong.