Korea Travelogue: Day 6 - Garosu-gil, Fangirling and Myeongdong
Day 6 Itinerary
- Entertainment companies: Cube, JYP, FNC and SM Entertainment
- Nolboo Budae Jjigae
- Night shopping at Myeongdong
Started 2015 with extremely good weather in Seoul that day. Headed to Garosugil 가로수길 in search of the dessert tart café after breakfast at TP.
Take the metro to Sinsa Station and exit at Exit No. 8. Walk three blocks down then turn left onto Garosu-gil.
Upon entering Garosu-gil, you can feel that this part of Seoul is very upstate. Tons of luxe brands stand-alone stores line the two pavements leading down and everyone is fashionably dressed, probably on their way to eat brunch/café-hop. We actually chanced upon a Boy London store on our way to the café and since there was a 20% sale storewide, the girls went in to have a look.
I was so upset because all the designs I wanted ran out of my size so I left empty handed together with Stella. The rest of them emerged with their loots after much decision (it's a 2 storey store by the way) and then we headed down to search for the dessert tart café.
Here's the café we were looking for - Deux Crèmes, a café specialising in pies and tarts.
강남구 신사동 533-11 533-11 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul
All of us ordered a beverage and tart each. Prices for the tarts are comparable to local patisseries in Singapore (KRW6500 to 8000 per tart). You have to place your order at the second floor, wait for the buzzer to ring and collect your items at the counter before heading to your table.
The camera always 'eats' first haha.
Oops I got caught taking a sneak shot LOL
Clearly the pumpkin tart (orange coloured one) was my order. I had a cappuccino to go along with it because I'm a coffee-addict. Travelling on that trip was really exhausting because we crammed in a lot of places to visit plus the wake-up time is always very early and sometimes we sleep very late because of the queue to shower at night. So yes, a daily cuppa is necessary so I had my caffeine boost courtesy of the cappuccino at that café.
The interior of the café is very sleek and modern. Major plus points for having large clear glass to allow the natural sunlight to enter, making it a heaven to take Instagram-worthy pictures of your food or yourself maybe LOL. Taste-wise, the tarts were pretty normal in my opinion although there have been friends who left comments on my Instagram picture of the tarts saying that the strawberry one is very yummy (I don't really fancy strawberry food items - phobia from having to eat strawberry jam with bread everyday in primary school).
Left the café after devouring our tarts to head to the next destination. But along the way, the bff and I discovered this Youk Shim Won store in a smaller alley. Super excited to see it because we are major fans of the Korean drama "Fated to Love You" starring Jang Hyuk and Jang Nara. The artist's works were featured in the drama as art pieces created by Jang Nara's character - the small girl adoring the front of the store's display is "Gaedoong-ie", the main couple's lost fetus' name.
Dal-peng ah! (Translation: Snail!) which was what Lee Gun called Kim Mi Young hence the fingers' shape to resemble a snail's shell hehehe.
We both bought the passport cover (KRW 10,000/cover) with Gaedoongie's drawing and left the store. By the way, the artist's goods are available at ION B3 as well in one of the stores near tcc if I'm not wrong.
Weather was also really great to take a ton of selfies/wefies :D
Anyway it was in the late afternoon when we left Garosu-gil for Cheongdam-dong to head to CUBE Studio Café and also home to many entertainment companies. The bff wanted to go to her husband Jaejoong's store MOLDIR which is along the way to CUBE but it wasn't open due to the new year O.O
Take the metro to Cheongdam Station and exit via Exit No. 9. Walk straight ahead till you see a Citibank and cross over the road. Turn right and keep walking till you see this fork junction with Baskin Robbins (pictured below). Walk all the way in and you'll see CUBE on your right. JYP is up ahead (in front of a Dunkin' Donuts) while you can turn right to CUBE Studio Café at the JYP junction.
*MOLDIR can be reached via Exit 8 of Cheongdam Station
Walk in to this alley.
First up is CUBE Entertainment.
Walking up ahead from CUBE will lead you to JYP. Turn right here if you want to head to CUBE Studio Café.
.... but it was closed T.T Super suay that day because it was freaking cold and windy plus we were quite hungry then yet the café was not open!
Moral of the story: Just stick to tourist areas if you are visitng in Korea over the new year. You never know what stores are open or closed but the major attractions should be open.
Went into the small Dunkin' Donuts opposite the JYP building to regain some warmth in our bodies and fuel up with some snacks.
Yay found some more pumpkin related snacks! But it tastes quite bad ugh. Had the Moomin donut because it is Bom's favourite character and she's my ultimate bias from 2NE1. Tastes pretty normal in my opinion, the sugar glaze was a little too sweet for my liking.
The girls made me take this picture here because the customers here are generally fans waiting for members of JYP groups and since I am not a fan of any JYP groups, I probably wouldn't have been there by choice. But yeah, I made the bff do the same too HAHAHAHA! (internal joke -.-")
Found this sign in the store with directions to FNC and SM which are both near the vicinity. Didn't expect the companies to be located so near to each other because while we were grumbling in despair outside CUBE Studio Café, a policeman drove up in his car asking around where the SM Entertainment building was as a fan was sitting inside his car (whoa!). Solved the mystery of the SM building location with this sign so posting it here for everyone's reference. You can go on a tour of Korean entertainment companies if you want to wtf. So off we went to FNC first.
And then the last stop was the new SM Entertainment building. FYI this is the new building, their old building at Apgujeong Rodeo (which we passed by on another day) is now converted into a training centre for their trainees. Going there is so stalker-ish but it is probably the nearest we will get to all our idols lol >_<
The sky had turned dark by then so we took a cab to the Gangnam area for dinner. Main objective was to have budae jjigae at this restaurant called Nolboo Budae Jjigae (놀부부대찌개) which I found out is available in Singapore too #fail
Ordered the signature Nolboo Budae Jjigae to share. This is basically a stew filled with a ton of ingredients - steamboat really lol!
You add all these ingredients in once the stew starts bubbling.
The entire pot for the 5 of us wohoo! It was a pretty yummy meal and one of the nicer budae jjigaes I've tried - the SG ones simply do not match up to this chain restaurant's so try it in Seoul if you come across it.
The packets in the basket are basically pumpkin tofu pieces (KRW4000 each) and I think you can purchase them to add into your stews if you like it. We didn't order them though.
After dinner was finished, the group of us headed to Myeongdong for some late-night shopping. Myeongdong is of course famous among tourists because of its cosmetics stores along with fashion outlets and food alike. I really enjoy coming to Myeongdong at night because it has more variety of street food and street vendors. During the day this whole stretch has just a handful of street vendors.
Take the metro to Myeongdong Station and come out from Exit No. 6. You will find yourself on what I would call the main stretch of shops in Myeongdong.
When in Myeongdong, I never fail to come to this SPAO outlet. If you've read my older entries, you'd know that SPAO is owned by SM Entertainment so it's a must visit for all SM Town fans! They do carry some affordable clothing so I do enjoy coming here to shop for clothes other than the most obvious reason of checking out the store displays with Super Junior members :D
All of us bought at least 1 item in here. I went out with a long sleeved shirt that only cost KRW9000 - mad cheap! The winter range here is also very extensive so if you're in need of winter clothing while in Seoul, I highly recommend that you come to SPAO to check out their collection. Prices are reasonable too which is a major plus for me.
Got hungry (yes,again!) and bought a hotteok off a street vendor. We decided to head into some of the cosmetic stores because Jacelyn was heading back to Singapore earlier than the rest of us and we accompanied her to fulfil her makeup shopping list.
Kim Soo Hyun is everywhere in Korea!
Song Ji Hyo is the new endorser for banila co., one of my favourite Korean brands. I broke my bank here, walking out at least SGD200 poorer thanks to all the new collection items released since my last visit in 2013. Look at that eyeshadow palette below!!! :D
The gzbs and I always have a phobia when one of our favourite groups become endorsers for makeup brands - because that would mean having to purchase that we would not necessarily like in order to collect their merchandise. It's crazy really omg. Thank goodness SHINee just took over as the new endorsers for then in early January so there were not many items available. Of course, G-Dragon merchandise were still available at the SAEM too.
The rest of us just watched Jacelyn do all the shopping as we were scheduled to move to a guesthouse in Myeongdong a few days later and didn't want to have to lug the items all around Seoul only to come back to Myeongdong again. Anyway, called it a night at close to 10pm and headed back to Hongdae because we had an early start the next morning to Nami Island. So till the next entry, annyeong! ^^