WHEN IN SEOUL (PART 2)

Before we took the journey to Seoul, South Korea, we did some searching of what food to have there.

After some local food experiences in previous post, here are some international must try when in Seoul.

CAFÉ DIOR BY PIERRE HERMÉ 

Located on Apgujeong-Ro which reminds me a lot of Rodeo Drive, this fabulous café is located on top of the House of Dior. So to get to the cafe, we have to stroll along the boutique which has extensive range of Lady Dior bags hanging around (a tough stroll for me, LOL). FYI, they have this sort of rule: each person must order at least one menu (either drink or dessert). I oredered BABA ISPAHAN (seen on the pic above) which costs 32.000 Won. Yes, they’re not cheap. I also ordered Cafe Latte which costs 19.000 Won, certainly the most expensive coffee I’ve ever bought in my life. But it was a fabulous cafe, so take this chance to take some beautiful shots. I did on my instagram, @shintarosvita (so please do check them out). Taste wise, well….it was entertaining and the Latte was creamy. 

THE ORIGINAL PANCAKE HOUSE

It was quite an adventure to get to their Sinsa-dong location in Gangnam. We took the Metro and have to walk about 10 minutes to get there. But heck it was a worth it trip. The Original Pancake House is an American family chain that started out in Portland, Oregon, USA, known for their pancakes and other brunch-centric menus. Their pancakes are super soft, made with very tasty butter. Waffles were delicious. And we ordered their specialties, DUTCH BABY (above pic on the right). It’s like a souffle pancake which takes up to an hour to make, very unique taste with melting butter, powdered sugar and lemon juice on top. 

BILLS

We went to their first Bills in Seoul which located on Jamsil’s Lotte World Mall. Bills is known for its’ best scrambled eggs and ricotta hotcakes, originally from Sydney, Australia. So of course, we ordered the Ricotta Hotcakes with banana and honeycomb butter, one of their classic menu. The best Hotcakes I’ve ever tried with delicious melted honeycomb butter and gigantic bananas. It was kind of huge, so sharing is recommended. 

And yes, we ordered the most famous FULL AUSSIE, comprising Scrambled Organic Eggs which tastes heavenly, Sourdough Toast, Miso Mushrooms, Bacon, Cumin Roast Tomato, Pork & Fennel Sausage. It was kind of huge as well, so you can share this champion breakfast. 

They also offered different kind of cakes, which unfortunately I didn’t try.

SHAKE SHACK

We found this by accident, as we strolled along Gangnam-daero to find NIKE store. Just before Nike, we saw this huge queue and surprised surprised, it was SHAKE SHACK! This burger joint is already happening in New York, and I heard from my husband who tasted them before, that the queue in New York were longer than Seoul. We went in after about 20 minutes, and ordered Cheese Burger, Shack Burger, Chocolate Milkshake and their crinkled-cut fries plus Cheese Fries. The burgers were amazingly delicious, buns were soft, meat were well marinated. They made great burgers for sure. But can’t say much about their cheese fries, though. That yellow sauce didn’t taste like cheese at all. And their shakes were so-so, I’ve tasted better. So.. go here for their burgers only.

MAX BRENNER CHOCOLATE BAR

Another accidentally found when we strolled along Central City near Express Bus Terminal Station. This originally Australian chocolate bar is a must visit if you love chocolate. We ordered Banana Split Waffle and Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate. I enjoyed their desserts even though I am not a big fan of chocolate. (I know, I might be the only woman in this world who doesn’t love chocolate that much). Their food presentations were nice, I love their cup and I wish I can take them home (unfortunately can’t).

That was it, folks. Unfortunately, there were some misses due to timing and not to mention that I had flu when I was in Seoul. So yeah…I hope I might be able to try some more if I have the chance to go back to Seoul. Kamsahamnida. 

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

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WHILE IN SEOUL (PART ONE)

Just got back from our year end family vacation to Seoul, South Korea. 

I believe I’m not having any jet lag, but I certainly have this weather lag. While in Seoul, the temperature can drop until -5 degrees Celsius (the worst was in Nami Island which was -10), and when we got back to Jakarta, Indonesia, it was 30 degrees Celsius. Imagine that lag! 

It was bloody bright, but bloody hell freezing as well. Truly an experience for me and my family as we’ve never experienced snow before, and we did in Seoul (even though it didn’t fall on us, unfortunately).

Somehow, Seoul reminds me of Paris for its’ language barrier. I don’t speak Koreans, and if I tried to talk to them in English, they’ll reply in Koreans. Like, seriously???? We ended up taking a lot of Metro trains, as we had a lot of trouble explaining our destination to taxi drivers. Fortunately, Metro was an easy ride for us, first timer in Seoul. 

Ordering food was always a challenge as well. Some do have menus in English, but some just don’t. They don’t even have the signage in English. I believe Koreans are proud of their own thing, I mean…come on, K-Pop is literally everywhere, K-Drama, and K-Food. 

Talking about K-Food, I might as well blog about them. I also posted a lot of my journey in Seoul, Korea on my instagram @shintarosvita (please check them out).

For those who love spicy food, trust me…you’ll survive in Seoul as they do have lots of spicy food to offer. Even their K-BBQ is spicy. 

We went to this local K-BBQ in Gangnam Area, named Saemaul Sikdang. They don’t have signage in English, so we did have a trouble finding it. But with the help of Google Maps, we did. A friend recommended me to visit this restaurant. It was not a big restaurant. When we were there, we were the only tourist, so I believe locals love this restaurant so much. FYI, we had to wait in the cold outside the restaurant for 15 minutes before the waitress called us. It wasn’t halal for sure, they only serve pork. Oh yeah, they use charcoal to grill the meat, which gives that special smokey touch. 

Leaving a restaurant in Seoul, especially a local restaurant, means you’ll get left behind with smokey food aroma on your hair and clothes. LOL. Except the barbecue, Bulgogi is also a local favorite. Unlike Bulgogi served dry in Jakarta where I live, they somehow have it with broth.

We had this Bulgogi in Sariwon at COEX Mall. And yes, Koreans do love their garnishes and kimchis. 

They sure love to mix stuff, seriously. We went to Shinsegai Central City and was curious to try this local restaurant which had long waiting lines. It must be that good, since locals were lining up in front of this restaurant (sorry it was in Koreans, so I don’t know the name of the restaurant). 

(Unbelievably) they named this Beef Teppanyaki. They mix the minced beef with rice (bap in Koreans) and vegetables, nothing like the teppanyaki served back home. And again, it was spicy. 

In terms of packaging, Koreans does it best.

Look at that cute coffee cups from Paris Baguette. By the way, Paris Baguette is a local bakery/cafe that can be found almost everywhere in Seoul. In terms of taste, it was OK, I had better coffee. 

In Nami Island (it was one and a half hour drive from our hotel in Gangnam area and off with ferry for another five minutes), it was freezing cold and fortunately, there were hot food sold.

Local food Hotteok aka pancake. It is one of the most popular Korean street snacks and particularly popular in winter. If they weren’t filled with sunflower seeds and nuts, I’d probably like them more as they’re also stuffed with dark brown sugar and cinnamon powder. And yes, they’re charcoal-grilled for that unique smokey flavor. 

Another Nami Island must eat food, is their Chicken Barbecue in a restaurant named Seomhyanggi. Fortunately, they’re not as spicy as I thought, so my boys can eat them. 

Well, that was as local as I can get ….

On my second post, I’ll blog about the international food that they have in Seoul. Stay tune. 

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

REVIEW: VOV ALL DAY STRONG EYE COLOR & LIP COLOR

Thanks VOV Indonesia (@vovmakeupid) for sending me their latest products to review
which comes in a pretty black makeup pouch.

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Unlike most of Korean brands which concentrate on skincare products, VOV strengthened
its position in Indonesia to be the only K-Makeup who concentrates on colors
makeup. And these are their latest innovations eye & lip colors makeup: ALL
DAY STRONG EYE COLOR & LIP COLOR. Both come in chubby retractable matte
pencil packaging, with a big round tip.

Here’s my review.

ALL DAY STRONG EYE COLOR

They sent me three shades of eye color to try, SL 211 (Silver Salt), PK 101 (Diabouquet) and BR 802 (Nude Foundation). As the name stated, SL 211 is shimmery silver, PK 101 is light
pink with shimmer and BR 802 is a pretty caramel shade with matte texture. I
believe it’s the only matte in the range. Please … please make more matte
shades in the future.

Personally, I don’t like to use shimmer and creamy eye color because I have oily lids and the colors will look ugly by noon. But with this VOV ones are different. Even though the two out of three shades, SL 211 and PK 101 are shimmery, they didn’t end up with oily lids
look. Judging from the swatch I did on a piece of paper, not even a slight of oil shown after 24 hours.

The best part: the shades stay true even if I don’t use eye primer and they didn’t crease by the end of the day.

I recommend to use these as eye shadow, not liner, because the tips are kind of big and round which make it difficult to reach small corner. And, make sure you blend fast after applying, because they tend to set faster than any eye color pencils I’ve tried. I love to bring these as a part of my traveling makeup kit, as I don’t have to worry they’ll be
broken to dust.

ALL DAY STRONG LIP COLOR

Being K-Makeup, their shades are limited to pink, red and orange. I wish they’ll
extend to nude shades because I really like their texture. They sent me three shades:
PK 101 (Pingvely), RD 302 (Smoke Red), and OR 202 (Coralster). As you can see
on the swatch I made, PK 101 is more to fuchsia than a true pink, RD 302 is a
brownish red and OR 202 is coral with touch of pink. These shades are lovely
bright, perfect to wear with nude eyes look.

Very smooth and creamy texture, therefore really easy to apply (you can skip lip
liner because these can act like one, too). Unlike some K-Makeup lipsticks I’ve
tried, these are super pigmented and gave matte finish without exaggerating any
lip lines. And hardly any kiss-up…yes, they’re transfer-proof but no worries,
they’re easily remove by cleansing oil.

PHOTOS: SHINTA ROSVITA

AN ODE TO JAKARTA FASHION WEEK

Be prepared, as the main fashion week in Indonesia is coming soon. Jakarta, are you ready to be rocked by the Korean storm once more?

Empty your schedule for one of the most awaited event by the darlings of Jakarta fashionistas, November 3 – 9, 2012. To celebrate the opening of this annually premiere fashion event in Indonesia, Lie Sang Bong, one of the top designers from Seoul, Korea will present his collections with Indonesian top designer, Sebastian Gunawan.

Originally from Korea, he’s quickly accepted as part of new generation of designers from Paris fashion scene since he moved there in 2002. Creatively combines the elegance of French Fashion with his Korean roots, his trademark is the architectural shape. Mostly ready to wear collections, Lie counts Lady Gaga and Rihanna as fans. 

Let’s take a look at his Fall 2012 Collection, which shown on the last day of Paris Fashion Week earlier this year. Eclectic set of dresses, jackets, covered with polka dots from materials like feather, fur and leather. Above the models questionable make up on the runway, the whole collection represented the creative fusion of culture and art with his well known geometrical shapes. 

Personally I can’t wait to see Lie’s collection for the opening of Jakarta Fashion Week 2013. Just a tiny sneak peek for his Spring 2013 collection which titled “Nostalgia”. It features retro elements and personal memories which incorporated with Lie’s avant garde style. See his sketch and some of his collection above.

Hopefully, I’ll be reporting live from the venue at JFW 2013. So, stay tune for more.