Eating in Jeju: 4 Course 갈치 (Kalchi) Meal


Two months ago, I went to Jeju Island for the annual Fulbright conference to present my research. I stayed a few extra days after the conference to explore the island. Which, of course, means trying different foods as well! For our first meal after the conference, we decided to stop at a restaurant that specializes in the fish known as 갈치 (kalchi) in Korean, which literally translates to sword fish, but is not the same type of sword fish with the long nose that is more common in restaurant menus in the US. The official name of this fish is the largehead hairtail, and it is a small and long fish shaped like a sword, hence the name in Korean. This fish is a speciality of Jeju Island and this restaurant (which I unfortunately forgot the name of and I didn’t take photographs either of the name of the restaurant!!!) is located in Seogwipo, which is where we stayed. We had just walked an incredibly long distance, following one of the beautiful Blue Pony trails (officially they are the Jeju Olle trails, but the mascot is a blue pony), which is also the same name […]

Continue reading Eating in Jeju: 4 Course 갈치 (Kalchi) Meal

One Shot: Flower Bibimbap (꽃비빔밥)


It is finally spring in South Korea and the weather is beautiful – not too chilly and not too hot, just perfectly warm the way I like it. In other words, the weather is like Berkeley weather! After a long and cold winter, I definitely feel like I just awoke from hibernation. So when I was watching TV with my partner’s family and we saw a spotlight on 꽃비빔밥 (flower bibimbap), my eyes lit up. On TV was a beautiful bowlful of flowers that looked so beautiful! Right away I turned to my partner and asked him to go together. So off we headed to the city of Asan to the Asan Botanical Garden (아산 세계 꼭식물관), a 40 minute drive from my partner’s home in Pyeongtaek. Turns out the restaurant that was featured is part of a botanical garden, so we enjoyed the beautiful display of flowers on the way to our final destination: FOOD. Continue reading One Shot: Flower Bibimbap (꽃비빔밥)

63 Buffet Pavilion (63뷔페 파빌리온)


The 63 Building (63빌딩) is an iconic landmark in Seoul and it is situated in Yeouido. A few months ago, when I first arrived to Seoul, I was lucky enough to have my partner treat me out to their buffet! The restaurant is located in the ground floor of the building and is simply called the Buffet Pavilion. The restaurant definitely feels like luxury and we were seated right upon opening in a raised veranda. The view above us was gorgeous! Continue reading 63 Buffet Pavilion (63뷔페 파빌리온)

Chuseok Meal: 칼국수 (Kalguksu)


Chuseok (추석) is a major holiday in South Korea; this year the holiday fell on September 8th. Chuseok celebrates the harvest and is referred to as “Korean Thanksgiving” and is similar to other harvest festivals that follow the lunar calendar, such as the Mid-Autumn Festival (中秋节, zhongqie jie). It is seen as a time to spend with family and so people usually leave the major cities (such as Seoul) to go back to their hometowns to spend time with their families. This Chuseok, I had the pleasure of spending time with my partner’s family. We ended up eating out on Chuseok day itself and to an amazing restaurant, both in taste and in the amount of food! The restaurant is large and spacious. The name is 황도 바지락 칼국수 (Huangdo pajirak kalguksu…I’m not sure if this is the right romanization, so please correct me if I’m wrong…I’m still terrible at translating Korean sounds ㅠㅠ). Continue reading Chuseok Meal: 칼국수 (Kalguksu)

PLANT in Itaewon


It has been a little over 2 weeks since I have arrived in Seoul, although it feels alternatively like I’ve only just arrived here and like I have been here for ages! I have to be honest in writing that I still feel homesick at times and that adjusting is a little more difficult when I realize that I’ll be staying in Seoul for a longer time period than just a vacation. I just began Korean language classes and may potentially audit a course with my faculty advisor at Ewha so I think the routine of being a student will help me to feel more settled. Of course, my partner and his family have been so supportive as well and I feel so lucky to have them because otherwise I would be even more of a nervous wreck than I already am! I supposed I should move on to the food though…this time, I am profiling a restaurant that I ate at over the summer with a friend. The restaurant’s name is PLANT and it is located in Itaewon, an area of Seoul that is particularly known for being foreigner-friendly. I knew of the restaurant through the […]

Continue reading PLANT in Itaewon

Flavor Abroad: Boulevard-ing in Seoul

Dear Flavor Boulevard Readers, It has been a LONG time since I’ve written for FB and I feel terrible! Although I suppose I am lucky just to share space here with the beautiful Mai and her equally gorgeous photography, and I can only hope that my posts contribute to the overall site. Long story short, the main reason why I have been away from the blog is because I was studying for my QEs (qualifying exams) and have been traveling in/around Seoul. I am finally writing this short post to announce a new segment: Flavor Abroad: Boulevard-ing in Seoul. This announcement goes hand-in-hand with my upcoming move to Seoul, South Korea where I will be spending at least the next 10 months beginning in mid-August for my dissertation research. While I will hopefully explore outside of Seoul, this little space will explore the foods that I ate/have eaten while primarily traveling/living in Seoul! I was also in Seoul this summer for a little over a month, so I have quite a few posts already planned! I am also hoping that the “boulevard-ing” part of this title would also give me an opportunity to share some photographs and stories that […]

Continue reading Flavor Abroad: Boulevard-ing in Seoul

Seoul Gomtang in Oakland


This restaurant… The plus: 1. their steamed dumplings, despite being stuffed with 95% tofu and 5% unidentifiable substance (probably also tofu, but Cheryl and Eric hoped it was pork, so let’s go with pork), were big and well seasoned; 2. their kimchi seems homemade and tastes fresh. The minus: well… where should we start… Continue reading Seoul Gomtang in Oakland

Why I Love Fried Rice


Yangzhou fried rice, kimchi fried rice, chicken and salt cod fried rice, whatever-that’s-in-your-refrigerator fried rice…I love it all. Fried rice is the ultimate comfort food – it’s filling, healthy-ish (if you put in a lot of vegetables), and just hits the spot every time. Perhaps the best thing about fried rice is how easy it is to make at home! As someone who is still really learning how to cook, trying out a new recipe usually means that I’ll be spending anywhere from 30min – 2 hours in the kitchen (actually sometimes it takes me 30min just to prep everything because of my lack of knife skills). So for me, when I want a quick meal because I need to get back to reading or studying, or just because I don’t feel like devoting that much time to cooking, my go-to is always making fried rice. It usually takes me 15-20 minutes to cook fried rice at the most and while it probably is not the healthiest meal to eat every day, I usually end up making some kind of stir fry or fried rice at least 3-4 times a week because of how easy it is. Also, since […]

Continue reading Why I Love Fried Rice

Photo Essay: Conference Eating in Seoul

Our private room!

When I wasn’t presenting at my conference in Seoul, we were eating, eating, eating! I learned that it is pretty typical to have a table covered entirely with food and drinks until there’s literally no space left so dishes started piling upon each other! It’s definitely the best way to eat in my opinion! Rather than writing a detailed post about each of the dishes I ate, I’ll showcase the food itself by displaying the photographs I took with little captions. Everyone was wondering why I was so intent on taking pictures of food, but when I’m in a new place and trying new foods, it’s just too hard to resist. This will probably be my last post on eating in Seoul, so I’ll end it with lots of pictures! Day 1 – Dinner at the Seoul National University Hoam House Our private room! Continue reading Photo Essay: Conference Eating in Seoul

Best of Seoul: 달식탁 [Dal Ssik Tak] in Sinsa


The day before my conference I met up with a friend from college and he suggested we eat at 달식탁 [Dal SSik Tak] since he heard many good things about the restaurant. We agreed to meet at the Sinsa station, which is a short walk away from the restaurant. Sinsa is located south of the Han River, which made it convenient for me because I had a pre-conference dinner at attend by the Seoul National University campus. I also haven’t eaten that much at the more upscale Korean cuisine restaurants because I’ve been mostly traveling on my own, so this was a great opportunity to try more traditional Korean cuisine. Continue reading Best of Seoul: 달식탁 [Dal Ssik Tak] in Sinsa