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Seoul: Chawoongga In Hongdae

 photo IMG_7656-151128-v2__zpssybivgzy.jpgI had lunch in Chawoongga,  a restaurant housed in this beautiful hanok  with a courtyard garden in hippy Hongdae.  The restaurant serves traditional Korean food such as bibimbap, soups and stews.   

 photo IMG_7655-151128-v2__zpsb74t44jh.jpg photo IMG_7657-151128-v2__zpsr8kvskoo.jpgInitially, I wanted to brave the cold and eat my meal in the beautiful courtyard, but just standing there for 5 minutes snapping photos was enough to give me stiff fingers.  So into the restaurant I went.

 photo IMG_7658-151128-v2__zpsiaqhwbxs.jpg photo IMG_7659-151128-v2__zpsyruldaqo.jpgI am not such a cam-whore that I take photos in lavatories, but I couldn’t resist snapping the above when I was using the bathroom.  This is the pretty picture that you see while sitting on the toilet-bowl.  LOL.

 photo IMG_7650-151128-v2__zpskqunsr80.jpg photo IMG_7660-151128-v2__zpslwfn4gs5.jpgView of the courtyard from the inside of the restaurant.  Imagine how pretty it would all look if it had snowed then.

 photo IMG_7652-151128-v2__zpsdfjfuilr.jpgI ordered the sea squirt bibimbap.  The meal was served and elegant copper bowl filled with loads of fresh vegetables, omelette and what looked like alfalfa sprouts (yucks!).  The bibimbap tasted so fresh, crunchy and wholesome, and I was so pleased that they gave me acorn jelly as ban-chan.

 photo IMG_7653-151128-v2__zpskxobbd2s.jpg photo IMG_7654-151128-v2__zpsmzrrgfol.jpgToss it all up and tuck in.  Piles of sea-squirt.  My first time eating this and it was quite tasty.  Not as strong tasting as sea-urchin but with a similar texture.

 photo IMG_7651-151128-v2__zpssibshk4i.jpgI think this is a good place to rest your legs and fuel yourselves up with simple yet refine Korean food before you explore Hongdae.  

Address: 20-12, Jandari-ro Mapo-gu Seoul 121-893 Directions: Take the subway to Hapjeong Station, exit #3., or Sangsu, exit #1 and follow the directions in the map below.

Opening Hours: 12pm to 10pm.

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Seoul: More Street Art In Hongdae

I usually hang around the Hongdae area that is closer to the Hongik University subway station.  That’s where I go to eat my favorite churros at Churro101, or have an expresso at Coffee Lab.  This time, I wandered around on the other side of Hongdae, the area closer to the Sangsu and Hapjeong subway stations, where Fell+Cole ice cream and Ok Lu Mong patbingsu are located, and stumbled onto street art in several places along the way.

 photo DSC_0321-140721-v2__zps04058b35.jpg photo DSC_0323-140721-v2__zps77d554c0.jpgIn a back ally where a number of interesting restaurants are located.

 photo DSC_0324-140721-v2__zps0f2ee2a2.jpgMusical notes covering the outer wall of a residence.

 photo DSC_0335-140721-v2__zpsbbef8a61.jpg photo DSC_0337-140721-v2__zpsd7823eb5.jpgI like sitting around watching people.  A cornucopia of different things that make up an interesting street scene.  It looks messy though – with ugly wires criss-crossing overhead, street vendors parked randomly by the sides of the streets, an array of restaurants, boutiques, cosmetic shops with contrasting facades, fashion-conscious youths, the elderly, and a group of nuns strolling along the streets…

 photo DSC_0336-140721-v2__zps3fd87424.jpgWhat an eye-catching chicken mascot.

 photo DSC_0338-140721-v2__zps71f5cefd.jpgI love dessert crepes, especially the ones that come with fresh bananas and chocolate sauce.

 photo DSC_0329-140721-v2__zps989b5d5e.jpgWandered into a colorful playground across the road from the main entrance of Hongik University.

 photo DSC_0332-140721-v2__zpsb23eedae.jpgI saw a number of elderly ladies sailing out of this building.  I have no idea what it is used for.

 photo DSC_0344-140721-v2__zps860bedca.jpgI love the vibrant and colorful cafe scene in Korea.  Each and every shop – including the chain stores – looks and feels different.  There is almost always a eye-catching decor, or a strong stamp of individual style.

 photo DSC_0346-140721-v2__zps52ecc5ed.jpg photo DSC_0339-140721-v2__zps26157e0e.jpg

 photo DSC_0342-140721-v2__zps8a40c39a.jpgShould have bought one of those bags!  I was eyeing the one with orange triangles.

 photo DSC_0363-140721-v2__zpsa5084172.jpgI came across quite a number of soft-serve ice cream parlors that have sprouted up all over Myeongdong and Hongdae after my last trip to SOFTREE in Garosugil.  Must say that it was the life-size stand-up of Kim Soo Hyun that first caught my eye.

 photo DSC_0358-140721-v2__zpsa64c6328.jpg photo DSC_0356-140721-v2__zps3427da76.jpg photo DSC_0352-140721-v2__zps6a528b7d.jpgStumbled on the Hongdae outlet of SOFTREE!  Also spotted one at Itaewon when I was there shopping in Comme des Garcons.

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