October’s a special month for me this year, and not just because Halloween falls on a Friday (though that is pretty darn awesome.) This month marks my one year vegan-niversary (is that a thing?!), which seems totally crazy to me right now; time has just flown past! After we returned to Korea from a long weekend in Osaka last October, I had one last KFC (don’t judge meee~), and have been eating animal-free ever since then! Becoming vegan has definitely made me feel a lot healthier. I know I’m totally jinxing myself, but I actually can’t remember the last time I was sick…which is pretty darn impressive for someone who works with snotty kids all day! Anyway, my body just feels good, and I feel way happier, too; no more guilt of saying how much I love animals while chomping into a bacon sandwich…
Anyway! Last week, we had a three-day weekend, so we gorged on all our favorite goodies and took a stroll through sunny Seoul Forest (with Duggie, of course!)
Let me be totally honest with you: I am not a big fan of Korean parks. I’ve only been to a handful of them, but they all seemed to have more pavement than actual trees and flowers in them. That being said, Seoul Forest does have a lot of big, paved paths covered in swerving cyclists and kids on go-karts, but there were plenty of pretty trees and flowers, and peaceful places to hang out, too.
I’d looked up Seoul Forest on the Korean Tourism website prior to coming here, where I was advised ‘not to take a pet in order to preserve ecology and make visitors use conveniently,’ which is the biggest pile of cow turds ever, because there were LOADS of people with dogs here, and, look! Doggy poo bag stations!
Duggie had a super time, and he took great care to preserve the park’s ecology, cuz he’s just a considerate lil dude like that.
From some viewpoints in the park, we could see nothing but forested hills; and from others, like this one, we could see skyscrapers and office buildings looming beyond the park’s boundaries. It’s such a great balance of urban life and nature.
We did find this behemoth of a praying mantis, though! There are also meant to be wild deer, elk, and varieties of ducks living in the park…buuuut…
…the actual forest area was fenced off, with these pretty domesticated-looking deer wandering around. Needless to say, I wasn’t too impressed.
These fawns were in a ‘children’s zoo’ enclosure, next to some rabbits and guinea pigs.
Anyway, ‘wildlife’ disappointments aside, we really did have a lovely day out!
Soakin’ up the last of the summer sunshine!
We started our three-day weekend at 슬로비 (unfortunately translated as ‘Slobbie’ in English, though it’s actually pronounced ‘slow-bee’, in reference to the ‘slow-food’ movement.) From our experiences here, ‘Sloppy’ would probably be a more fitting name. We’ve eaten here countless times, purely because it’s not too expensive, and it’s conveniently located right near the Hongik Uni subway station, but every single time there’s been some sort of blunder (hence why I’ve never reviewed it on here!) I wanted to give it one last chance, because it’s one of the few popular restaurants in Seoul with multiple vegan menu options, but we got off to a bad start when they said they were all out of the first two meals we tried to order (even though it was only 6pm.) The waitress kindly offered to make us a bibimbap without egg, so we ordered that as well as the sweet and sour tofu bowl.
Thennn, a different waitress brought out the bibimbap…with a big ol’ runny egg on top. Even though there were literally only two other customers in the restaurant. We had to explain to her that the other waitress had ordered it without egg, so she returned to the kitchen, scraped off the egg, and brought back the bibimbap…minus the egg, but covered in egg oil… And the bibimbap was just rice and salad. No bean sprouts, no veggies. So disappointing, I’m not even going to bother putting up a photo of it…cuz it just looks like a bowl of salad.
At least the sweet and sour tofu bowl has never let us down, though it is quite expensive (around 15 dollars?!) compared with the other menu options.
So, yeah, as much as I’d love to put up a good review of Slobbie, it’s obviously just never gonna happen! I can’t even put the blunders down to language barriers, cuz all of the staff speak English well, and the menu is in English!
Luckily, the rest of our weekend was filled with awesome food and excellent service 👍
If you’re hungry in Hongdae and don’t wanna risk being disappointed by Slobbie, I can’t recommend Cafe Sukkara enough. They have three vegan meals, but I especially love going for the drinks and puddings.
We tried their Buckwheat Crumble, accompanied by two super creamy soy hot chocolates which were too massive to fit into this photo (or we drank them too quickly…)
We ventured back out to Thien Dang Loving Hut in Sadang to try their recently updated menu, and it was awesome!
I tried the ‘Bun Xuon’, topped with cute little vegan sausages! It had a really light, slightly salty flavor.
And Eoin got the SUPER SPICY ‘Bun Bo Hue,’ which packed a big ol’ lemongrass punch! This one had slices of fake meat and big, juicy meatballs which tasted sorta like chicken fat. After over-stuffing ourselves on the large size bowls last time, we opted for the medium portions this time…but they were still huge! Definitely come here hungry.
Especially if, like me, you can’t resist a side of spring rolls…
Onwards to Itaewon, for my fave sweet spot, PLANT! ♥
It’s usually packed when we visit, but this time it was super quiet and calm; so relaxing!
The menu changes every so often, but I HOPE the lentil black bean burgers will stay on there for a LOOONG time, cuz they are freakin’ mind-blowing (mouth-blowing? That sounds kinda wrong…)
Seriously, you can’t even tell how good it was from the photo. So smokey, slightly spicy, hefty, and creamy all at once. OOMPH.
The chickpea melt seemed cheesier than the last time we had it, and it was even better accompanied by a cup o’ soup.
Of course we had cake and iced chai lattes as well. Two rounds of iced chai lattes, actually, and two slices of cake. This is the Earl Grey Tea cake; nice, light, and vanilla-y. We didn’t photograph the Pumpkin Gingerbread cake cuz I already have like two or three pics of it, and it’s so yummy that I just wanted to stuff it straight into my face.
I’d love to buy an entire cake, but I’d honestly probably eat the whole thing within a day…
Too much tastiness to handle!
We finished off the weekend with a visit to CARE’s Coexistence Cafe in Dapsimni ♥
OH MY GLOB YOU GUYS. Coexistence Cafe has stepped up their cake game something serious. They had literally just taken three cakes out of the oven when we arrived, so this slice of chocolate, cherry, pecan dreaminess was still ooey gooey and warm. It was so soft on the inside, and so crisp and caramelized on the top. And that soy iced mocha, too. Oomph.
We got a big ol’ slab of cinnamon coffee cake to take home, too, and it was equally scrumptious.