For most of us who love almost everything about Korea, the extent of influence it has on us extended way beyond Korean food, language, culture, television dramas and K-Pop…it has delved deeper within us to the point that it has also become a part of our daily lives. Together with their citizens, we also hope for a peaceful reunification of North Korea and South Korea…for a One Korea.
My friend told me about Smule which is an application where you can sing and record songs as solo or as a collaboration. What’s great about it is there are also non-English songs including Korean and Japanese songs which I can sing along with other like-minded individuals. Continue reading “Hooked on Smule”→
It was not planned nor expected. It just happened. It was like a dream. It was meant to be…
That was how my friends and I felt when our travel dates coincided with CNBLUE‘s comeback schedule with their 6th mini album Blueming. CNBLUE had been to Manila for Blue Moon World Tour and Can’t Stop World Tour but Philippines was not included in their Come Together concert tour last year. There were a lot of things that happened which almost got our trip cancelled due to personal reasons but it turned out to be one of the best trip we all had because we were able to watch our favorite band perform live! Continue reading “CNBLUE Blueming at MNET M! Countdown”→
I keep coming back to South Korea because there is so much more to see and do especially in Seoul. But aside from immersing myself in Korean culture and visiting tourist spots, part of my itinerary would always include something related to K-Pop. CNBLUE is one of my favorite band and that would be quite obvious now if you have been frequenting this blog as well as my Instagram and YouTube channel. Let me tour you and let us retrace together CNBLUE’s footsteps in Seoul! Continue reading “Fangirling over CNBLUE”→
Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! What are your plans for today? If you are in Seoul right now or is planning to visit Seoul soon, you may want to try Miss Lee Cafe (별다방미스리).
I am a big fan of CNBLUE, most specifically their leader, Yong Hwa. During my first trip to Seoul, I went to Bukchon Hanok Village and visited the traditional Korean house where Park Shin Hye and Jung Yong Hwa lived in the Korean TV drama Heartstrings. On my second trip to Seoul, my friends and I had a late dinner at Miss Lee Cafe in Insadong where Yong Hwa and Seo Hyun of Girls Generation went for a date during their virtual marriage for MBC’s We Got Married.
Part of my one-day K-Pop tour is to visit celebrity-owned restaurants. Since CNBLUE is one of my favorite K-pop band, Hwang’s Eel Restaurant which is owned by Min Hyuk’s father and Jong Hyun’s Sulbing Korean Dessert Cafe are on top of my priority list. After I went to K-Star Road and Korean Entertainment agencies (Cube, JYP, FNC and SM) in Apgujeong and Cheongdamdong in Gangnam, I went to Jong Hyun’s Sulbing Korean Dessert Cafe to celebrate my successful K-Pop tour and to have my very first bingsu as well!
Bingsu is a Korean dessert that is quite similar to our very own halo-halo which comprises of shaved ice, milk and different varieties of sweet toppings ranging from chopped fruits, beans and syrup. Sulbing is a Korean dessert cafe which specializes with different kinds of bingsu but rather than using shaved ice, it uses frozen milk instead. Since it is springtime, I opted for berry cheese sulbingo at ₩7300. This is a bit pricey but it is so worth it!! The blueberries and raspberries are fresh, the cheesecake and yogurt ice cream are delicious, and the frozen milk yogurt melts perfectly with the rest of the toppings. It was cold outside since it was in early April when I went here but I still managed to enjoy each spoonful of my berry cheese bingsu without needing to mix the ingredients altogether as what you would normally do when you eat halo-halo.
Aside from the bingsu, their menu also includes coffee, smoothie, bread toast, cake, porridge and sherbet.
While eating my sulbingo, I was able to observe and take pictures of the restaurant. The restaurant is big and has a modern contemporary interior design. There are pots of plants from CNBLUE fans and there are various pictures of Jong Hyun. I also saw a picture of Kim Woo-bin which was taken when he visited the cafe (they were both in Korean Drama Gentleman’s Dignity). Jong Hyun also filmed an episode of We Got Married by MBC Entertainment here with his virtual wife Seung Yeon.
Directions to Jong Hyun’s Sulbing Korean Dessert Cafe:
1) From Sillim Station, take Exit 6. From Exit 6, turn left.
2) As you turn the corner, you will see Sillim Department Store and a street sign of Sillim-ro 65 gil (신림로 65길). The department store was still under construction when I went here in April so it’s probably open by now.
3) Walk straight ahead until you see this building. Jong Hyun’s Sulbing Korean Dessert Cafe is located at the 2nd floor. The stairs is on the left side.
4) Here’s the entrance to Jong Hyun’s Sulbing Korean Dessert Cafe. Enjoy your sulbing while listening to CNBLUE’s songs!
After successfully touring the entertainment agencies of Cube, JYP, FNC, SM and YG as well as Jong Hyun’s Dessert Cafe, I decided to push my luck more and end my K-Pop fangirling day by having dinner at Hwang’s Eel Restaurant which is owned by the father of CNBLUE’s drummer Kang Min Hyuk. It was dark and quite late so I got lost a bit because I passed by it without even realizing. I was about to quit and just go back to our hostel in Myeongdong but as I traced my way from where I started, I found it! Yehey!
I did my research about the restaurant but not about Min Hyuk’s father. As I approached the restaurant, an ahjussi (middle-aged Korean man) greeted me. He looked familiar so before I entered the restaurant, I greeted him and asked him if he is Min Hyuk’s father and he said yes! I introduced myself in Korean and told him I am a big fan of CNBLUE and I bowed 90 degrees instinctively as I said that haha! ^_^
The restaurant is small but homey and colorful because of the various sticky notes posted by international and local fans of CNBLUE who went here. I think 80 people would be too much for this place so perhaps it can accommodate 50 to 60 people at most.
Mr. Kang led me to my table and a lady approached me and gave me the English menu. I asked her in Korean what is the best dish and she pointed the pork skirtmeat on the menu, so that’s what I ordered. I will be more adventurous and try their signature eel dish next time.
In Manila, some Korean restaurants will have their staff cook the meat for their clients but most restaurants I’ve been to including this restaurant, you will have to cook the meat for yourself. I was served the side dishes first then the meat.
I was trying to take a picture with my monopod so I can update my friends in Manila but I dropped my phone on the table causing some heads to turn towards me, I was so embarrassed! Then the two ahjussis who were on the table next to me, offered to take my picture. One of them asked me where I came from and if I went to Seoul alone. I told him I am from Philippines, it is my first time in Seoul, and I traveled alone. He was so surprised when I said that, probably thinking I was brave to do that. He even told me Filipinas are beautiful and he kept repeating that to me and of course I thanked him for the compliment! As we were talking, his friend who I thought was taking my picture, took a video of me instead! These ajussis were so funny so I had a great time while having a meal. After that, I overheard their conversation and their topic switched to CNBLUE, ajussi fanboys in the making haha! ^_^
After a hearty meal, I posted a note for CNBLUE and placed it in the very corner near the table where I was seated. I will make sure to check on it when I come back this November or April next year.
It was almost 10 p.m. when I paid my bill. I was hoping to greet Min Hyuk’s father again before I leave. Thankfully he was there to receive my payment. I gave him a simple gift and asked him if we can take a picture together. I was not expecting he would agree because he might be busy, but he said yes! We took two photos together. Yehey! We said our good byes and he even asked me where I was staying. He gave me directions which subway entrance to take, probably worried because it was late and I might not make it to the last train. Min Hyuk’s father is really nice!
The underground shops were closing and some of the trains ceased operation so I had to change my route, which I was not prepared. It was not as easy as the previous tours I had during the day, but I still made it back to our hostel elated by how my day went so well overall.
Address: 5-2 Yeongdeungpodong 3(sam)-ga Yeongdeupo-gu, Seoul, South Korea 서울 영등포구 영등포동3가 5-2
Here is the step-by-step guide on how I made it to Hwang Eel Restaurant (minus the getting lost part):
1) From Yeoundeungpo Station Line 1 영등포, come out of Exit 5. You can also come out of Exit 1 which is the nearest to Hwang’s Eel Restaurant (see step 4) but I am not sure if it’s of the same station. I only saw it when I went home because that’s where Mr. Kang instructed me to go.
2) Walk over the main street where you will see Shinsegae. Cross the street and stay on your right side.
3) You should pass by a blue street sign (Yeongjung-ro 4 gil 옝중로 4 길) and a drug store which has a red LED sign 약.
4) Walk until you reach Yeongjung-ro 10 gil 옝중로 10 길 which is near subway entrance/exit 1, Times Square is on the opposite street. Turn right.
5) Congratulations, you made it to Hwang Eel Restaurant. Hope you will enjoy your meal as much as I did! ^_^
Psy’s song “Gangnam Style” had been a worldwide hit but this is not the reason why I went to Gangnam. Of course, Gangnam is known for its upscale fashion and it is a shopping haven for the trendsetters. World-famous brand labels line up the streets of Apgujeong-dong which will make the fashionistas’ heartbeat faster.
That is a different story for a K-Pop fan like me. The huge yet cute and colorful statues (also called Gangnamdol) which represent K-Pop idol groups from different entertainment agencies along the K-Star Road are more interesting to look at! You will easily find this road upon exiting the subway. Be sure to drop by and take lots of picture with your favorite K-Pop group’s Gangnamdol before you resume your long walk towards the entertainment agencies of Cube, JYP, FNC and SM along Apgujeong-dong and Cheongdam-dong.
Address: Apgujeong-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul, Korea.
Directions: Bundang Line Apgujeong Rodeo Station Exit 2.
Operating Hours: Daily, 24/7.
You may visit the following links for more details: