Friday, September 13, 2019

A Food Court Like No Other at CJ Food World, Seoul SK

Whenever I hear the word food court, Tapa King, Binalot, Tropical Hut, Hen Lin, Lydia's Lechon, and Sizzling Plate always come to mind. Back in college and striving solely on student allowance, my friends and I would end up at any of these quick-serve restaurants whenever we feel like splurging. The smell and sound of the freshly-laid steak on the sizzling plate never fail to bring excitement to all my senses that I would end up with a burnt tongue every time.

Fast forward to my working class self, I still eat at mall and office building food courts from time to time especially when in a hurry, but this time, I got to visit one in COEX Mall in Seoul, South Korea. Specializing mostly in Korean cuisine, CJ Food World is one of the biggest and most organized food courts I've been to, surely an upgrade from the ones that we're used to locally.

What we ordered

Korean Beef Set - KRW28,600 (Php1,250.00)

Strawberry Ade - KRW5,500 (Php240.00)

Korean Spicy Pork Set - KRW28,600 (Php1,250.00)

Strawberry Latte - KRW5,500 (Php240.00)

A great underground food court with delicious offerings, aesthetically pleasing interiors, plenty of tables, fast service, and reasonable prices (by local standards) - CJ Food World is a worthy find if you get hungry browsing through thousands of books in Starfield Library, a massively beautiful library in COEX Mall and another must-visit when in Seoul.


CJ Food World
Starfield Coex Mall
Yeongdongdae-ro, Gangnam-gu
Seoul, South Korea
Tel.: (821) 670-0865

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Foodventures: Beansbins Coffee, Seoul SK

No, I still don't drink coffee but I'd take a piping hot cup of chocolate drink anytime of the day. Back in March when the weather in Seoul can go as low as a single digit, wearing thick jackets and thermals is not enough especially come night time. Long walks along the famous Ehwa University Shopping Street brought us to Beansbins Coffee, a great place to chill out and in our case, to warm ourselves with their bestselling hot chocolate drink and snack on their dreamy strawberry waffle.

What we ordered

Hot Chocolate - KRW6,000 (Php300.00)

Beansbins' hot chocolate was bittersweet - just the way I like it! As great as it tastes though, I can't imagine spending this much on a cup everyday as I'd probably go broke in a week or two.

Fresh Strawberry Waffle - KRW16,500 (Php720.00)

Another enticing yet expensive item off the menu is the seasonal strawberry waffle. Served warm and crispy, their version is perfectly cooked with just the right of softness on the inside.

Work. Save. Travel. Repeat.


Beansbins Coffee
43 Ewhayeodae-gil
Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, South Korea
Tel.: (822) 393-1444

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

More Than Just Desserts at Half Saints

I've been reading about the Half Saints' 64% dark chocolate tart from the popular Instagram handle @masarapba, a no-nonsense and straightforward food/restaurant review all done anonymously. Since her first post of the restaurant's most coveted cake, people have been sending their affirmation that it was indeed, one of the best desserts available in Manila. So on a rare occasion that I was in the area, CS knew that it was all I looked forward to trying out. 

Best to reserve a table in advance since the place can only accommodate a few diners at a time.

What we ordered

Braised Tomato & Mozzarella Cream Penne - Php320.00

At first glance, this pasta dish looks nakakaumay. Too much cream and no protein to balance the flavors, I thought we would be passing on this and just go straight to dessert. After all, it was their chocolate tart I was really excited about. But CS convinced me to try it and he proved me wrong! It was actually every inch a pasta lover's dream in one plate - al dente penne with creamy and flavorful sauce. No heavy feeling even after we devoured the dish down to the last piece.

Shiitake. Goat Cheese. Balsamic Vinegar. - Php495.00

I am not much of a pizza eater but Half Saints' puff pizza is something new and interesting so why not. Compared to the normal crust, puff pizza is flaky and more buttery - more like croissant-type in taste and texture. And of course, how can you go wrong with goat cheese and shiitake mushrooms? A definite must-try especially if you're undecided which ones to try first.

64% Dark Chocolate Tart - Php220/slice

It was the BOMB! You really have to try it to believe that it was and still is the best chocolate dessert that money can buy. It was a simple yet sophisticated dessert of unsweetened crust topped with the smoothest dark chocolate tart directly sourced from cacao farmers in Davao. 

Trivia: Did you know that adding salt in chocolate further enhances its flavor and intensifies the body's ability to taste the sweetness of sugar?


Half Saints
G/F The Ignacia Place
62 Sgt. Esguerra Ave., Quezon City
Metro Manila, Philippines
Tel.: (63935) 933-0512

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Foodventures: Isaac Toast, Seoul SK

With over 700 branches in South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Macau, people line up at Isaac Toast & Coffee for the most popular Korean breakfast toast in Seoul. In fact, this particular branch in Myeongdong Cathedral is always packed with locals and tourists as soon as it opens at 0700H.

It was freezing cold when we traveled to Seoul last March so lining up for more than 20 minutes for a toast is not something I'd consider. Besides, the line clears up in the afternoon if you're just as curious if the toast is really worth queuing up for or just another social media overhype.

What we ordered

Ham and Cheese - KRW2,400 (Php105.00)

Both sandwiches were freshly made with premium ingredients so for quality alone, it was a bang for the back especially if you're traveling on a budget and wants something quick to go. In terms of taste, it was delicious and generally sweet but quite oily so a tissue will always come handy.

Steak Ham VIP - KRW3,000 (Php130.00)

Verdict: Delicious and reasonably-priced as advertised but will try again only if the line is short.


Isaac Toast & Coffee
17-1 Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu
Seoul, South Korea
Tel.: (822) 752-3002

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Sunday Treats No. 64

Seasoned Baked Chicken (Half & Half) - KRW18,900 (Php830.00)

Sweet Chili Flavor

Garlic Flavor


Oppa Dak Chicken
21 Myeongdong-gil, Jung-gu
Seoul, South Korea
Tel.: (822) 3789-5892

Friday, July 5, 2019

Bali Hits & Misses: Bali's Greatest Hits by Klook

Verdict: A must when in Bali!

DIY or package tour? Most tourists think that DIY travel is always cheaper than availing package tours. While its true in some cases/destinations, a private tour in Bali is your best option to save on time, go to as many tourists spots as possible, and travel on your own pace. For our trips abroad, we always book thru Klook, the leading booking platform that links tourists directly with tour owners, so the rates are very competitive. Just make sure to read the booking inclusions, insider tips, fine print, and user reviews so you'll have an idea on what to expect.

Bali's Greatest Hits is an all-inclusive Bali tour of Ubud rice terraces, temples, and volcano. The 8-hour tour includes hotel transfers, private tour, buffet lunch, and entrance fees which you can avail for a discounted rate of Php1,280/person only.

First stop was Pura Puseh Batuan Temple where you can watch the slightly bizaare and exotic Barong Dance - a storytelling dance between the fight of good versus evil.

Bali is also known for its delicate handiwork, impressive wood carpentry, and handcrafted jewelry which you can purchase at Celuk and Mas Villages. But even if you don't intend to buy one, just meeting the local artisan working on their amazing artwork is an experience one should partake.

Buffet lunch was in a local restaurant with this spectacular sight. Our mediocre meal instantly became remarkable because nothing enhances a dining experience the way a perfect view does.

Mount Batur (Kintamani)

After lunch, our guide brought us to Tirta Empul Temple and the Holy Springs. A major temple complex and holy mountain spring in Manukaya Village in central Bali, Tirta Empul is a national cultural heritage site and is the legendary setting of a traditional tale about good versus evil.

Tip: Always bring a sarong as most temples require all visitors to wear one regardless of gender.

The Holy Springs of Tirta Empul Temple is believed to have been created by The God Indra and posses curative properties. Bathers consisting of locals and tourists start in the pool on the left side under the first waterspout which is about waist deep. Once cleansed, they will join the next queue until they have cleansed themselves under each waterspout. However, there are two spouts that are meant only for cleaning the dead and are prohibited to be used by the living.

Final stop of our 8-hour Bali tour was Tagalalang Rice Terraces, home of Ubud's most iconic view. The valley of rice paddies not only offer jaw-dropping scenery from a viewpoint but is also the venue for Ubud Swing, the newest tourism activity in Bali where you can glide and soar high above the jungle, the rice fields, and the river. Talk about the ultimate adrenaline rush!

You can also buy the famous Bali bag here, cheapest among all the other shops we've been to.

Sign up with Klook and get Php150 instantly which you can use for your future bookings. Click here!
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