Thursday, September 17, 2015

Korea 2014: 가로수길 (Garosu-gil)

As you read this, I'll probably be in Seoul by now! I've managed to upload more Korea 2014 photos, so enjoy!

 가로수길 (Garosu-gil), 2014

Garosu-gil is a must visit for every Seoul trip I make. Then again, I have a lot of "must visit" places. But yeah, there are always new shops whenever I make an annual visit, so it's fun exploring and noticing the new shops. For more on my 2013 trip, click > here. For more on my 2012 trip, click > here.

My favourite bakery, has a branch around the area. Once you exit the Sinsa Station Exit 8, there is a Tous Les Jours outlet within a short walking distance.


Besides cafes, there are also plenty of dining restaurants - eg Mexican (Grill5 Taco), Korean (Mukshidonna, Han Chu) in the area.

On our way to the brunch place, we spotted a new shop that opened in early 2014 and decided to share a pre-brunch snack. Healthy food is in trend now, so these acai bowls are pretty popular among the health conscious peeps.

Fresh fruits are really pricey in Seoul, so I'm not exactly surprised that these acai bowls are a touch expensive.

This is the regular sized bowl. The girlfriend and I shared it. Though we saw people around us having either a regular, or a large one individually. After a few days of not eating fruits, this bowl tasted oh so yummy. Healthy and guilt-free, I could happily have a bowl of this every day.

보뚜아사이 Boto Acai
Address: 서울시강남구신사동 551 (551 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul)
Get there: Sinsa station, Exit 8. Walk straight until Missha, turn left. Keep walking straight until you reach the Fossil store. Cross the street and go into the alley in between. Make a left at the five intersection and walk one more block. The store is on the right side.
Phone: (02) 516-3686
Opening Hours: SUN-THU 12-9pm. FRI-SAT 12-10pm
To try: Acai bowl

We were headed to one of the many brunch cafes at Garosu-gil - The Flying Pan. There are a few branches in Seoul, each a different name - The Flying Pan Blue at Itaewon, The Flying Pan Red at Gangnam Station and The Flying Pan White at Garosu-gil (the one we went).

It was one of the few places in Seoul that we had to wait a while before getting seats. With the large number of cafes in the city, rarely is there any queue for cafes as one will be spoilt for choices. I think this is one of the more well-known cafes, thus it was more packed than the average Seoul cafe.

We decided to forego our usual caffeine and order a blood orangeade to share instead. Daily dose of Vitamin C ya know.

Beef sandwich and potato soup set
Pancakes with banana, ricotta and walnuts 

The brunch here was quite pricey. We thought the food was just average only, nothing too special. Or perhaps we didn't order the right dishes. I reckon we could have gotten better food elsewhere for the amount we spent. Not a total boo-boo, but not a definite must-visit cafe either.

더 플라잉팬 화이트(The Flying Pan White)
Address: 서울시 강남구 신사동 540-22 (540-22 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul)
Get there: Sinsa Station, Exit 8. Walk straight after leaving the exit (towards Garosugil), make a turn at the fourth left turn. Walk ahead and turn right at the first right turn.
Opening Hours: 1030am - 10pm
Phone: 02-514-5585

After walking around some more, we decided to just rest at a cafe. The girlfriend had to do some work, and I had brought along a book with me, thus we were perfectly content to just while away the remaining afternoon at a cafe just doing our own thang. We decided to hang out at the uber cool Coffeesmith, which has a really awesome two-story open seating concept.

Alas, the place was packed with people and we couldn't find any seats, let alone get any of the first level people-watching seats. In fact, we stood by one corner on the second level for a bit before we got lucky with some couch seats.

Ice coffees

I didn't really like the coffee here at Coffeesmith. I forgot the reason for it, but I didn't manage to even finish half of the drink. Oh well, even if the coffee is bad, I wouldn't mind sitting here again just to people-watch (that is, must be lucky enough to get the right seats).

가로수길점 가로수길점 Coffeesmith
Address: 서울시 강남구 신사동 540-22 (13, Dosan-daero 13-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul)
Get there: Sinsa Station, Exit 8. Located along Garosugil main street.
Opening Hours: Sun to Thur 9am - 2am, Fri to Sat 9am - 3am
Phone: 02-3445-3372

And when the sun started to set, we left the cafe and slowly made our way to our dinner place. According to the map, it was within an acceptable walking distance. And since we had time on our hands anyway, so walking it shall be. I love how the setting sun cast a lovely warm glow around the neighbourhood buildings. It was my last evening of my trip, and I felt a little sad that the holiday was coming to an end. Nevertheless, it was a really enjoyable day spent at one of my favourite streets, and I'm definitely heading there again this trip in 2015. I'll blog about the yummy Mexican dinner we had that night in my next post!

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