Shave ice from Coconut Cafe


Hawaii is paradise if you are: 1. into constant heat and 90% humidity. In Hawaii, the world outside your air-conditioned box (e.g., your house, car, or office) is a sauna. 2. in the shave ice, juice, lemonade, or ice cream business. The owner of Coconut Cafe is in *full* control of her life, her shop, and her customers. Her main sale is undoubtedly shaved ice, although her menu also has other dessert drinks (such as bubble teas), sandwiches and burgers. Coconut Cafe has no fixed hours of operation. She opens and closes when she wants to, and even if you walk into the door when she has already decided to close, she will tell you firmly so and there is no changing it. We know this fact, because we experienced it not just once, but 4 times. The first day, we got there at 9:30 pm, after dinner, doors were shut tight, understandably, although we were somewhat surprised by how early stores and restaurants close in Hawaii compared to Berkeley. There was no sign anywhere saying what hours they’re open. Continue reading Shave ice from Coconut Cafe

Cafe Calaugh – why no cats came to me?


Yesterday Kristen posted on Facebook pictures of cutie fluffy four-legged pals that walk all around her in a cat cafe. I’m so jealous, Kristen! My jealousy is as high as Mt. Fuji right now. You know the (almost) first thing I did when I went to Japan? I looked for a cat cafe. Unfortunately, just about everybody decided to go to the same cat cafe that day (I wished I had found a less popular cafe, this one being on the internet with English and all just makes it too known). One middle-age man chased the cats around relentlessly. (He wanted their attention just as much as I did. I feel you, man.) Then after he was about to leave, a couple came in and the girl took over the chasing duty. >__> All of the cats retreated under chairs and onto inaccessible window sills. My phone sucks at taking their pictures. One cat semi-approached me, but somebody (either the middle-age man or the girl) inched to him and he left. Me devastated. I spent an hour there reading, trying to hide my misery, but I was too heart-broken to […]

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one shot: Profiteroles at Cafe Rabelais


Even if you don’t like anything at Cafe Rabelais (I didn’t), this mini-mountain of profiteroles loaded with ice cream is still as resistible as a pool in the summer, and worth every second you spend with it too. To top, it’s HUGE. THREE orange-size puffs, for only $6.50! We thought it was going to be just one cream puff, you know, like how desserts are usually portioned… but no, the pastry chef has a heart of gold. Next time I’m at Rive Village, I’ll swing by for a profiterole recharge. 😉 Sidney and the cream puffs. See how big this dessert is? Continue reading one shot: Profiteroles at Cafe Rabelais

Eating in Seoul: Sandwiches at Cafe Beati


While in Seoul, I stayed in Hongdae for 5 days and Myeondong for the next 5 days to experience different areas of Seoul. Since I was in a hostel at Hongdae and raw eggs and bread were provided, I never had to worry about breakfast. However, moving into a hotel in Myeondong meant that I would have to start going out for breakfast. I was worried because it seemed like nothing in Hongdae opened until 12:00pm (except for Cafe Berlin and a few other cafes that opened “early” at 10:00am). Luckily, just down the road and across the street from Hotel Astoria is a little cafe called Cafe Beati (카페 베아띠) that is opened at least before 8am (I am not sure when it actually opens but when I stopped in it was already open at 8:00am). The owner of the store was one of those people who absolutely refused to speak to me in Korean despite my not using any English. This is probably good news since this means that it’s a pretty accessible cafe for non-Korean speakers, but it definitely made me self-conscious about my Korean skills! Continue reading Eating in Seoul: Sandwiches at Cafe Beati

Eating in Seoul: The Hello Kitty Cafe


While figuring out where exactly I was staying in Hongdae, I printed out the map on how to get to my hostel from the limousine bus stop. The map was marked with restaurants and cafes to use as landmarks while navigating through the backstreets of Hongdae. To my surprise, on this map a location was marked as “Hello Kitty Cafe.” I’m not the biggest fan of Hello Kitty, but there is something about themed cafes that really excites me, so I knew then that I had to go. (Or okay maybe I am a LOT excited about Hello Kitty…) It is PINK in here. It was a little blinding, but I felt so happy once I stepped inside! The music consisted of club dance music too so that definitely contributed to the upbeat atmosphere. I couldn’t decide what to order at first since all the cakes and drinks looked super cute and yummy, but I decided to go with the prettiest treats because how often is it that I get to go to a Hello Kitty-themed cafe? Continue reading Eating in Seoul: The Hello Kitty Cafe

Eating in Seoul: My Favorite Cafe


As a graduate student, I find that I need to always be constantly reading and writing. However, I am not someone who can study easily in a library – it’s a little too quiet and after a while, I start to freak out. I need a little bit of noise to keep me motivated, which is why I prefer to study at cafes all the time. Seeing that I was in Seoul to present at a conference, I needed to get on top of my studying too and took a few days to relax a little bit and read. For the first half of my trip I stayed in Hongdae, which is a super cute neighborhood outside of Hongik University, an art and design university. There were so many cute shops and vendors open during the day and clubbing at night; I can definitely see why this is such a popular place for young people! My favorite part of Hongdae though are the cafes – each cafe is unique and has its own charms. I obviously did not get a chance to hang out at every single cafe, but I did have a favorite while I was staying in […]

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