CCR Showroom

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Lifestyle

DSC00916 CCR Showroom (short for Cocorobox) is a cute, little home and lifestyle store located near Pusan National University.  The store sells a host of top quality goods to liven up any home. It’s a great place to spend time browsing (& maybe buying) as well as a shop, CCR also has a cafe for you to sit and admire this wonderful retail space.

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Taipei

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Food / Photography / Travel

A few weeks back I travelled to Taipei and spent some days exploring the city as well as venturing to Jiufen, located just a few hours away from Taipei.

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One of the many old buildings to be seen in Taipei

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We arrived on a Friday afternoon and the first impact Taipei had on me was the architecture. The city is full of old, derelict looking buildings that gives Taipei it’s distinctive feel and atmosphere.

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Night market

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Taipei 101

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Such a great building

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We came to a quiet neighbourhood to check out a dumpling restaurant in the area and yes you have my word, their dumplings was delish.  After lunch, we strolled around the surrounding streets,checking out the many independent shops, cafes’ and restaurants.

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Cheap fruits

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Dumplings galore

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Tea time

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Jiufen

We made a quick trip to Jiufen, famous for the inspiration behind the Studio Ghibli film Spirited Away. This place had such a dreamy atmosphere and was definitely the highlight of our trip.

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Hidden alleys

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Sea salt coffee- suprisingly delicious

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I had to take a picture of this.

Bye bye Taipei^^

Mid Century Cafe

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Cafe

Wedged between Pusan National University and Jangjeon station, Mid Century Cafe is a welcome surprise located in a very residential area of Busan. The cafe is kitted out with the usual aesthetics that are synomynous with any independent Korean coffee establishment: neon signs-check, outdoor area and seats perfect for selfies- check, vintage assortments displayed randomly- check. I ordered their strawberry latte which was divine, they also have a simple selection of cakes including gigantic madeleines ( which I regret not ordering now). Mid Century Cafe is a cute, dreamy place that I highly recommend if you’re in the area.

 

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벗꽃 Season

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Lifestyle / Travel

I’m sharing some photos of the cherry blossoms (벗꽃 in Korean) that I took a few weeks back when the trees were in full bloom. It’s sad to see the blossoms go so quickly, but it is with their fragile brevity, that we flock and admire such beauty of nature and to appreciate the small pleasures life gives to us. Enjoy!

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Kimchi & Scrambled Eggs

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Food / Recipe

I’ve recently moved to Korea and am excited as well as nervous in adjusting my new life here.  I wanted to share a delicious and quick recipe that I made recently. Kimchi is a staple product of Korea, rich in vitamins A,B and C and loaded with healthy bacteria. Perfect for a ‘once again student at 27 years old’ who will need refuelling while studying. There are many recipes online of kimchi and scrambled eggs, so for the record I am not claiming this as my recipe, but it is super delicious and quick to rustle up for breakfast or lunch.

Ingredients:

Serves 1

2 eggs

1/2 spring onion, thinly sliced

1 packet of kimchi ( I used Bibigo’s )

1 tsp oil

1 slice toasted wholemeal bread

Salt & pepper to taste

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  1. In a bowl whisk the eggs, salt, pepper and a dash of milk until well mixed.
  2.  In a separate bowl, add the kimchi and cut into small pieces.
  3. Heat a frying pan with the oil and once hot add the egg mixture and ‘scramble.’
  4. Add the kimchi and mix the ingredients together until the eggs are cooked. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  5. Plate up with the toasted bread, scrambled  kimchi eggs and scatter the spring onions on top.

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Film Photo Album- Snapshots of Korea

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Photography / Travel

On my recent trip to Korea, I bought along with me a couple of disposable film cameras and ”experiment” with some film photography. Although, I’m no pro when it comes to photography, I enjoy snapping away and am learning to practice and improve my skills in this little hobby of mine. I took my camera everywhere with me while on my trip, taking photos of the everyday and unique life of Korea. I was excited to see how my pictures would turn out and although the final results have been mixed (why didn’t I turn on the flash button??!….) it was great to hold physical copies of my own photos-  a feeling that is very special , a relic of my memory in Korea. Maybe I’m sounding a little too sentimental, but in a world where everything is instantaneous and photoshopped, sometimes it’s better to take time at what you’re looking at and see things in the raw state that it is. Looking at my photos, it evoked my memory on how I was feeling in that moment, be it walking down the side alleys of Busan to hanging around in the hip quarter of Hongdae in Seoul.  I definitely want to continue processing more film photos in the future and I may invest myself with a 35mm camera once I gain more confidence. But at the moment I’ll stick around with the disposable stuff . So please enjoy my photos and if you have any tips about photography, film or digital, it would be greatly appreciated. Enjoy!

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Hongdae,Seoul

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평의점- Korean convenience store

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vintage toy shop in Busan

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Gwangalli Beach, Busan

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Swan boats, Busan

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Nampo- Dong, Busan

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Seomyeon, Busan

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Wild Wave Brewing, Busan

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Haeundae Beach, Busan

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Soju advertisements, Busan

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Marine City in the distance, Busan

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game arcade

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Rice cake stall- 떡볶이

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Oncheonjang at night, Busan

 

Cafe Matin

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Cafe / Food

Cafe hopping in Korea is a must. There are so many great coffee shops, each with their own individual style and aesthetic, it’s hard not to visit and enjoy what each establishment has to offer. Not only do these cafes’ take their style seriously ,but are also devoted in giving good coffee and a selection of brews to suit your taste. Cafe Matin does just that with its sleek industrial look and serving a fine collection of coffee drinks and desserts.

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Outside Cafe Matin

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I ordered the Busan latte and chocolate canele to share between with my fiance.

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Chocolate canele- look at those tiny forks!

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Their Busan latte was amazing *.*

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Neon lights are a thing in Korea….

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a touch of Scandinavia 

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Cafe Matin is a stunning place to relax and enjoy great coffee. Located in Seomyeon, it attracts a hip and young clientele and their dedication to coffee is clearly visible. Definitely check it out if your in the Busan area.

Address: Cafe Matin: 2F, 49 Dongcheon-Ro, Busanjin-gu

Instagram: @matincoffeeroasters

Lovesome Cafe

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Cafe / Travel

Lovesome is a pink paradise of a cafe, located in Jeonpo, Busan.  This cafe is another example of what is great about the Korean cafe scene, where it’s not only the drink that matters but also the aesthetic and making sure you get yourself that instagram worthy picture!

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pinkoholic

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Neon lights are a must!

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I ordered a hot sweet potato latte, something I needed on a cold rainy day. Their most popular drink is the pink latte, a two tone pink and white drink, which is worth the snap. The cafe also sells a selection of desserts as well.

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This is a cute cafe which ticks all the boxes for a typical Korean cafe and is especially catered for the female market.  I spent a relaxing time at the cafe and would definitely return again.

 

 

Japanese Bento Class at Atsuko’s Kitchen

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Food

Wouldn’t it be great to bring a colourful, nutritious lunch to work other than the same boring old farce of sandwiches? Japanese bento lunch boxes are an enticing piece of art that are not only visually appealing but healthy as well as super tasty. Bento’s are an everyday affair for the Japanese, they’re a convenient source of lunch for office workers and schoolchildren. There are also more elaborate forms of bento’s and seasonal one’s such as hanami bento, which are eaten in cohesion with the cherry blossom watching that takes place each spring in Japan.

The aim for me to join this class was to learn not only the art of Japanese cooking and bento but to kickstart a culinary revolution to my own lunch box that is healthy and satisfying for me. Taking the bento cooking class from Atsuko’s Kitchen, I learnt fool proof, everyday recipes and the philosophy behind the bento box.

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Tools for bento

Atsuko, who guided the lesson first gave us the basic introduction to the Japanese bento and the components needed for an everyday, enticing lunch. The main rules to a good bento is to have balanced dishes in terms of nutrition, taste, colour as well as cooking methods.

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The class was perfectly organised to make each of the recipes used for an everyday bento box, including:

Umesu Zuke (Ume flavoured pickled radish)

Saikyo Yaki (grilled miso marinated fish)

Tamago Yaki (rolled omelette)

Sticky rice

Yaki bitashi (fried & marinated vegetables)

Karaage chicken / tofu

Instant miso soup

Each recipe followed the element of a balanced meal, colours and different cooking methods.

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Making tamagoyaki- rolled omelette

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The finished product

Learning to make tamagoyaki (rolled omelette) was an interesting and challeging dish, where layers of beaten egg is fried and rolled into an omelette log and sliced.

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Ume pickled radish

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Making onigiri

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Making onigiri (rice balls) were effectively made using moulds and wrapped in nori (dried seaweed).

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Yaki bitashi- fried and marinated vegetables

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How to pack a bento

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Equally pleasing was arranging the bento box and how each dish complemented each other both in colour and taste.

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My own bento box

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Completed bento with onigiri, pickled radish, yaki bitashi, tamagoyki, salmon and karaage

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It was such a wonderful class and the easement of each dish proved how making bento and Japanese cooking in general is not at all hard. I was so proud of my bento box, making the dishes and how they each complemented one another so well. In addition, you’re provided to take the bento box as seen in the picture and recipe cards home, so they can be recreated again at your own leisure. But the beauty of bento is that you can create your own personal style and touch to your lunch and it doesn’t necessarily mean cooking only Japanese food, as long as the dishes are balanced, colourful and tasty, making bento is an easy fare.

Atsuko’s Kitchen is located 35 Charlotte Road in East London and holds various Japanese cooking lessons. Check out their website for more: http://www.atsukoskitchen.com/.

Overall this class has inspired me to bring my work lunch to a new level and incorporate Japanese cooking into my life, as well as assessing what is good and nutritious for me.

Thank you for reading.