“When you travel, remember that a foreign country is not designed to make you comfortable. It is designed to make its own people comfortable.”
Our last day in Hongdae was a relaxing day, mostly spent writing for the blog. I've been so inspired lately to capture the most important moments each day for you all, so I hope you like it! If you have a suggestion for me, don't be afraid to leave a comment on the home page, or follow me on Instagram (@la.vita.vivi).
For lunch, we went up the street from our hostel and visited Big Bowl in Hongdae. The menu was comprised of set bowls and salads, and another option to create your own bowl. I opted for the salmon salad.
I was so surprised by how beautiful this dish was! Not only was the presentation visually stunning, but the flavors were gorgeous as well. Balsamic vinegar, parmesan cheese, tomatoes, and fresh salmon are hard to beat in my opinion. It's a match made in food heaven!
After spending all afternoon working on the blog, my cousin, Soobin, took me out to eat dinner at this restaurant. The name literally translates to "The Salmon that Ate the Yukhwe." Yukhwe (yook-hway) is the Korean version of a beef tartar. It's dressed with sesame oil, sesame seeds, and a raw egg yolk on top.
A lot of Korean restaurants had this concept where you open your seat to reveal a storage unit for you belongings! This way, you could place your jackets, purses, cameras, and whatever else you don't want to hold while you enjoy your meal. Super thoughtful things like this are all over Asia, it's quite amazing.
We chose the plate with raw salmon sashimi, and ordered a side of soy-sauce marinated shrimp. The shrimp is raw so you really taste the natural sweetness of the meat while the texture is incredibly soft and luscious.
Just look at that close-up of the shrimp and yukhwe! I love raw preparations of proteins because it is so simple, clean, and the texture is so chewy. Make sure you're trying your raw preparations at reputable places of course, in order to avoid the risk of salmonella and other food-borne illnesses.
Raw egg yolk on top running down anything is guaranteed to be one of the most delicious things you can eat. Be adventurous and try something outside your comfort zone. If yukhwe happens to be your first try, leave me a comment and tell me how you liked it!
This establishment was hosting a special deal if you follow them on Instagram and Facebook. A lot of restaurants have these kinds of promotions so don't forget to ask the waiters if they have any. We scored with soju (Korean rice wine). I recommend getting the "Cham I Sul" brand instead of "Chum Churum", because the alcohol content is higher. In Korean, when you cheers you say, "Gum-beh!" So cheers to you, wherever you are in the world!
As we left the restaurant, the night life started to emerge. Everyone is busy to get off work and start their night of fun with their friends.
My cousin told me that many Koreans will go to a place like Green Light Party, which is a "speed dating" meets "blind date set-up" bar, if you will. Since some people feel too shy to go on dates, they come to Green Light Party to meet new people. I thought this was such an interesting concept I had to snap a picture of it and show you all.
I missed the chance to go to a photo-sticker booth in Japan, so my cousin took me to one because there are so many in South Korea as well. As you can tell by our photo below, we really enjoyed our free soju from dinner.
The clubbing scene in Hongdae is POPPIN'! We decided to go to NB2 because it's owned by YG Entertainment, one of South Korea's biggest music producers. Groups like Big Bang and 2NE1 are part of the YG Group!
(Curious to read about the drinking culture in Japan? Click here for more details!)
The next couple photos are pretty low quality, so I apologize for that. But these are some of my favorite moments from the night...before it got too wild (lol). Nights like these are the ones that will stick with me forever, and this was definitely one of those nights! Dancing the night away with your friends is probably one of the most fun things you can do. The free beer also helped, of course.
Like my South Korea posts? Click here to read about one of my favorite moments where I felt like a Korean princess!
I am so, so thankful for my cousin because she really took such great care of us while we were in Korea. We never had to worry about where we were going, where a good place to eat was, or missing out on the main attractions we wanted to visit. If you're reading this unni-thank you for everything! I already miss you so much, and I can't wait to see you again.
Next up-Taipei, Taiwan! If you like what you're reading, I hope you'll take a second to join the Got To Viv It Up family by subscribing (scroll down and input your email), leaving me a comment to let me know you're out there, and following me on Instagram (@la.vita.vivi)! Also, check out my style, beauty and lifestyle blog, La Vita Vivi, if you're into that fun stuff.
Until next time,
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