Meal Top: Seoul sweet treats


Fished out the hidden mochi in the hot red bean soup :)



Point at the menu board to order if things get lost in translation…


Everybody loves dessert, young and old :)

Summer in Seoul can be unforgiving, but it’s also the perfect time to indulge in lots of bingsu (dessert ices). My all-time fav is still pat-bingsu i.e. shaved ice topped with swirls of condensed milk and lots of crushed sweet red beans, introduced to me by my Seoul sista Heajin :)

Meal Top, at the very top of Hyundai Department Store, is reputed to be one of the most popular go-to-places for bingsu, and of course the FOMO piglet in me knew it was never a question whether I should head there before leaving Seoul hehehe.

The place is cute and spacious, very airy and bright, with menus placed atop the counter for easy reference. They were doing a brisk weekend business, but I was seated and served within 10 mins flat – man I love the uber efficient service in Seoul!

After numerous Seoul ice-capades, I decided on the hot red bean soup as it reminded me of the red bean desserts my mum used to make while growing up, anddd which I haven’t had for way too long :( The red bean soup arrived steaming hot, with lots of fragrant smells wafting from that bowl of joy. It wasn’t too sweet (yay!) and had little glutinous balls mixed with red beans which were cooked just perfectly soft. Every mouthful felt like being at home again having home-made dessert on the weekend, and it was gone before I knew it (despite a BIG BIG meal barely an hour before that oh boy…)

It’s a little steep at 7,000 KRW per bowl (you can get it for ~4,000-5,000+ KRW at other cafes), but portions here are hearty and it’s a very convenient place to drop by for a quick pick-me-up in between shopping at the gazillion shops in the complex :)


Wherefore art thou?

Meal Top (5th Floor of Hyundai Department Store, map here)
517 Teheran-ro
Gangnam-gu, Seoul

Seoul Eats: Milk ice-cream at Paul Bassett


Go on, eat me!

For cheat Friday, I grabbed a chocolate croissant from the Paul Bassett cafe at the basement of Gangnam Finance Centre as a TGIF prez. The place looked really promising from the outside with a cozy chic vibe; wouldn’t expect anything less from a cafe in the Gangnam area :) Anyhoo, the croissant was mediocre at best – flaky pastry was way too dense and oily, and the chocolate filling didn’t ooze out with each expectant bite sigh. A far cry from the amazeballs salted caramel flaky almond croissant at the Joel Robuchon bakery in Tokyo (back in beloved Tokyo in 2 weeks and can’t wait yay!!)

So when Bo (who has this awesome recipe blog on modern Korean cuisine) suggested Paul Bassett for coffee, I was a teeny bit apprehensive…but she swayed me with the promise of milky milk ice-cream (3,500 KRW) which I must try!


TGIF! Bring ’em ice creammmmm

And oh boy, Bo was r-i-g-h-t. It was the most deliciously creamy soft serve I’ve ever had, like a McDonald’s soft serve infused with crack A-grade cream. Who knew that Paul Bassett, winner of world champion barista in 2003 (but not champion croissants), could come up with such heavenly soft serves?


Oh organic milk, you make such milky soft serves!

According to Bo, the secret x-ingredient comes from the organic milk produced by the Sangha brand. This organic milk is what gives the ice-cream its incredibly silky texture and extra milky taste. Throw in a crunchy cornflake-like cone (ask for the cone, not the cup when ordering!), and you’ll be screaming for more ice-cream :)


Coffee is serious business, and calls for a branch diagram on the wall


So while the weather is still swirling with the Summer heat, cool down with lots of milk ice-cream swirls from a Paul Bassett cafe near you! One might not be enough :)


Wherefore art thou?

Do a quick Google search on the nearest Paul Bassett cafe in your ‘hood. I had a delicious ice-cream Friday at the branch in Gangnam Finance centre, on level B1.

Seoul eats: Buncha time at Tang

Buncha meat

Tang (땅), a 5 mins walk down the road from the Ritz Carlton in Seoul, does a kickass Vietnamese-Korean fusion. Billing themselves as an Asian dining place, their signature dish is buncha – a Vietnamese dish of grilled pork and vermicelli.

Buncha 2

We were transfixed by Tang’s version of buncha, which was fresh, delicious and grilled to perfection. The pork was grilled just nicely to seal in its delicious sweet taste and retain its fatty tenderness (plus points for not being too oily till death becomes it!). The vermicelli came with THE MOST AMAZING dipping sauce – a combination of piquant fish sauce, tangy citrus and a slice of lemon to add even more citrus-y goodness. Dipping the noodles into this crack sauce, followed by a mouthful of crispy salad, and rounding it off with juicy slices of pork is the most amazing combination of sweet, tangy, salty tastes. Ever.

Buncha fried rice

We gave the green fried rice with prawn a try, which turned out a little bland. The saving grace was the juicy little prawns, which burst into fresh succulent flavours with each mouthful (but not enough to save the overall meh-ness of the fried rice).

We ended up paying 54,000 KRW for 3 buncha sets (which came with soft drinks) and the fried rice. A little on the high-end for quick one-dish meals, but it’s refreshingly delicious, and the decor is clean and cozy.

Buncha decor

Apparently they’ve outlets across Tokyo, London, New York, Shanghai. Give it a try if you happen to swing by those cities,. Remember to stick to their specialty buncha for some Vietnamese-Korean goodnessand you’ll leave a happy foodie :)


Wherefore art thou?

Tang (땅) (Turn left when you exit the Ritz-Carlton, and keep walking down the main road for 5 mins. You’ll pass by Bandi (a huge nail salon), and Tang is right after that)

1F Yonwoo Bldg
601-1 Yeoksam-dong