Seoul: Hello Stranger (안녕,낯선사람) cafe @ Hapjeong

The day I visited Hello Stranger I was supposed to have an interview for my part-time job. The meeting got called last minute when I already on my way reached Hapjeong Station. I asked myself was there any place I could spend my afternoon and Hello Stranger came to mind.

A few years back, I saw a picture of Hello Stranger on someone’s tumblr and decided if I ever go to Seoul, that where I would definitely visit. The café located in a back street so getting there can be a little tricky. Up until now I still didn’t understand why I wanted to Hello Stranger so badly, I guess there was something to do with the name.

If you’re looking for a café with the sickest decoration where you can take ton of photos this is not it. But they served me the best Vietnamese coffee ever and, knowing how terrible Vietnamese foods here in Seoul, I appreciated it.

It’s not that special but if you have a more than enough time in the city, come have a drink because I wasn’t kidding about their Vietnamese coffee.

Mình lần đầu nhìn thấy ảnh của tiệm Hello Stranger trên tumblr từ vài năm trước đây rồi quyết định nếu có đến Hàn Quốc nhất định phải đến đây một lần, khi ấy mình còn chưa có ý định sẽ dành nhiều thời gian ở Seoul như thế.

Hello Stranger không nằm gần đường lớn, để đến đây cũng phải rẽ trái rẽ phải mấy lần. Tiệm không nhỏ cũng không lớn, nhưng cảm giác vô cùng ấm cúng. Dù biết cái gì Việt Nam ở Hàn cũng dở lắm nhưng mình vẫn gọi cà phê Việt Nam, và điều bất ngờ là lần đầu tiên mình được uống cốc cà phê Việt ngon như thế, không biết có phải vì hội chứng nhớ nhà không.

Hello Stranger không đẹp xuất sắc cũng không phải nơi nổi tiếng nhất định phải đến một lần, nhưng nếu có vài tiếng đồng hồ dư giả ở Seoul mình vẫn sẽ chọn quay lại đây.

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Seoul: TWG Tea Salon and Boutique @ Cheongdam-dong

I wasn’t planning to write about this until I have time to go again and take some more pictures but it bugs me so much every single time I open my lappy and see this TWG picture folder on the top of the list just because I didn’t post it up yet. Why I need more pictures you ask? Because I wasn’t happy with what I have. It’s not my fault that I went to a tea salon after 4, right? Who have afternoon tea before lunch time anyway (I was on vacation mood back then folks, my morning start at 12). TWG Seoul, a little advice, light your store. I have no idea why these upscale restaurants in Seoul have to be so dark. I never ever get good shoot of foods there. Come on, I know you want to set the atmosphere but people need to see each other, and more importantly, need to see and take picture of their foods too.

Put lighting problem aside, in my opinion TWG Seoul is successful in bringing that whole TWG standard all the way from Singapore.  I guess every TWG owned flagship store has to anyway. Are they? Sorry I don’t know, never been to any TWG outside Singapore.

I only knew TWG opened its store in Seoul in early 2014 when the news writing about it popped up on the google result when I was doing my research for a good place to enjoy some afternoon tea. I don’t worship tea but I do drink it enough and I love TWG so I headed out the next day with a book in my bag hopefully to spend my some quality time on my own.

TWG in Seoul turned out to be different from what I used to and no I don’t mean it in a bad way but, still, it’s different.

I didn’t realize it was public holiday because I was on my vacation so when I got there the place was full. Staff let me know I can look around and wait or place reservation for tomorrow and since I already there I told her to put me on the waiting list (their staffs speak English so don’t worry if you’re not familiar with Korean). So I was walking around, having a little chit chat with the staff and it was only around 20 minutes before being guided to my seat.

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Seoul: Starbucks @ Famille Park – 스타벅스 파미에파크점

Starbucks Korea celebrates its 15th year anniversary by building a special store in Seocho-gu right beside JW Marriott Hotel. Being a fan of Starbucks I have to pay it a visit just to see how it looks like and yes it’s true that’s the most beautiful looking Starbucks I had ever been to. Apparently this location is marked as Starbucks Reserve which offers the finest coffees that only available for limited times at select Starbucks stores only. Remember to stop by for a cup of coffee if you’re around. Other than coffee I recommend their Cheese Cake too, one of the best cheese cake I ever tasted in Korea!

The amazing cheese cake

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Seoul: Chikalicious (치카리셔스) @ Hongdae – My favorite cupcake in town

If you’re into cupcake as much as I do I’m pretty sure you have heard of Chikalicious – the famous dessert club in New York – before. The shop opened its Seoul location in Hongdae some time in 2012 and right after I found out it has a store in Seoul I went have my cupcake fix right away.

The shop is on a small lane in the back of Hongdae, away from all the noise and people. I arrived at night and luckily there’s still cupcakes left on the shelf. The cake shop doesn’t have a lot of space with only 3 or 4 tables and they all are taken.

The whole shop view

All the beautiful cupcakes

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Seoul: Passion 5 (패션5) @ Itaewon

passion5

Passion 5 is a famous dessert café in Itaewon area being known for its delicious desserts. I walked pass the building everytime I’m Itaewon but never knew it’s a cafe and dessert bar till a friend of mine mentioned it on her ask.fm account.

Someone asked my friend for recommendations about where to eat in Seoul and she answered with a few names along with Passion 5. In her words the café is supposed to have delicious desserts and decent foods. I, after that, did some researches about the place and it turned out there was a punch of blog posts about it 2 or 3 years ago. It seemed that the place got a lot of attention when it first opened.

People mostly wrote about how good their desserts are and how cool design of the building is but I totally forgot to pay attention to the design with foods in front of me (yes it’s that bad). There are good and bad reviews (about their crappy service) so I decided to give it a try myself.

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