seoul in the city

a love affair with food. travel. design.

final notes… January 27, 2011

Filed under: seoul — seoulinthecity @ 9:17 am

Just wanted to say *thank you* for following me through this amazing journey…I would like to introduce my new blog site. Please subscribe to my new home, and join with me while I explore some more culinary adventures!!!


Solbin’s Superdog in Apkujong January 10, 2011

Filed under: seoul,seoul-late night eats — seoulinthecity @ 12:32 pm

tina and i getting excited to eat our 'midnight' snack at superdog-in apkujong

One of my favorite late nite snacks in Seoul-Solbin’s Superdog in Apkujung! Introduced by my friend Tina last summer, I don’t know if it’s a curse or a blessing! Hahahaha…both I guess.  Tina and I always make a stop before heading to Sahm bar…sometimes we’ll even go twice (before and after Sahm).  Yes, 2 crazzzzy ladies can never get enough of these dogs!

Good hot dogs are truly a difficult find in Seoul, but something about Solbin’s…his specialty bacon wrapped dogs with Korean style cole slaw, chili sauce, ketchup, creamy cheese, and chopped onions.  It’s his take on the Kogi tacos in L.A…but with hot dogs…Absolutely delish!

Solbin started off with his business by selling his hotdogs in a cart 2 years ago in Apkujung.  His reputation, along with his natural charm, brought instant recognition amongst late nite guests looking for good eats.  He’ll even deliver one hot to Gangnam on his scooter! He claims this is what brought return customers…Be sure to take a polaroid photo of you and your friend to tag onto his wall of fame!

Clientele: Kyopo’s (Korean ex-pats), celebrities, foreigners, and of course the locals who love hot dogs as much as we do:)

His secret: Solbin claims it’s the love he puts in making the hot dogs! As cheezy as it sounds, I think there’s definitely some truth to it!

Location: Honestly…a bit hard to explain…but it’s behind Uni Qlo (across from Galleria dept. store in Apukung).  Close to Rodeo drive, kiddie corner from Mister donut. Sorry my explanation is so dodgy! I will update this soon…

Solbin-the owner of 'Super Dog' in Apkujong

the dogs cooked in beautiful butter...this just can't be too healthy, but pretty darn good!

solbin let me take over while he went to deliver some dogs

i must say, my dogs were pretty darn good! had way too much fun...

tina and bobby getting excited to eat solbin's dogs!

ed and john trying out their first solbin dogs!

the best freakin hot dogs in seoul!

bobby thoroughly enjoying his dog...


Sahm January 2, 2011

Filed under: seoul,seoul-bars, lounge — seoulinthecity @ 4:14 pm

the beautiful bar

I’m about to reveal this hidden treasure in Apkujung…

Good friend Tina and I have discovered this bar this past summer, making a pact that it would be our ‘secret’ bar. Sahm. Needless to say, it’s THE perfect spot for us!  There is simply no other bar like this in Seoul! They opened their doors late spring of 2010, mainly attracting folks in the bar/entertainment industry.  It’s tucked away in the alleys near the famous Rodeo drive in Apkujung, so it’s hard to spot stragglers just dropping a visit.

The owner and former model Jonghwan Shin, has been working in the industry for over a decade, and brings his honed skills to create ‘his sanctuary’.  Not to mention the 2 other bartenders are currently models as well…uh hum. Well, this isn’t the sole reason why Tina and I make this our second home, as everyone teases us about.  To me, Sahm is where ‘The Green Mill meets The Violet Hour’. Two Chicago bars that are truly dear to me, and absolutely miss!

The lure: making your perfect drink.

I was a bit disappointed when I didn’t find makers mark on their list on my first visit, but after having a deep discussion with Jonghwan about how it’s a must to make manhattans, it was on the shelf on my next visit! This is when I knew, that this place was something else…

On New Years Eve, Tina and I decided to share this home with some of our friends.  Their response? They couldn’t believe we held back for all these months, AND they might see us more often there now.  We hope to see you guys there as well:)

Happy New Years!!!


Sinsa-dong 660-17/rodeo star a-104


*address is sinsa-dong, but it’s across from galleria shopping center in apkujung, near rodeo drive…next to mick jones pizza

guinness on draft

my perfect makers manhattan-jonghwan knows how to make mine just the way i like it 🙂

sitting in 'VIP' section at sahm on new years!

jonathan and bobby

'hotty toddy' the perfect drink for a cold winter day

preparing a hotty toddy-equal parts whisky, hot water, honey, and cinnamon stick!

bobby choy making 'hotty toddy's' for everyone...he got all of us hooked on this!

waiting for the countdown

watching the countdown

smiling with bobby choy (aka big phony) @ sahm

the owner and the boys cycle to work...that's pretty awesome!

the boys behind the scene-young joo on the left, jonghwan in the center, parker on the right


a love letter to audrey December 30, 2010

Filed under: seoul — seoulinthecity @ 4:29 am

audrey at her 1st birthday-february 2010

This is a love letter to my beautiful niece Audrey Haeun Lee.  A letter long overdue…for my close friends, you guys know how crazy I am about this little bean! There hasn’t been one get together where I wouldn’t go online and showcase her photos! kkk.

Unable to run around with her, since my arrival in Seoul 10 months ago, was pretty brutal. Thanks to skype and facebook, I feel that I’m somewhat living her life vicariously through the images posted by my brother Ray and his wife Jiye.  Not to mention in the earlier days (my family claims this), her baby photos resembled me when I was young! Of course over time, she is an absolute mirror image of Ray, along with Jiye’s sweet femininity and sweet charm! Hahahaha…

My heart skips a beat every time I think of her…

The photos are in random order (from most recent).  Audrey’s 1st birthday was Hanuri Catering’s last event in Chicago. A sweet farewell, but with remembrance.

A-고 모 will see you soon~


i call this the sarah jessica parker the streets of chicago!

jiye does a fantastic job in maintaining her ‘fashionista’ status!

following the footsteps of 고모 (me!)

first snowman...and i missed this!

so she looks a little better in a hat than me...kkk

father and daughter...matching pjs!!!

matching headbands...audrey at 6 months at my parents house

audrey's 1st birthday-this was a collaboration with good friend sarah kim-'truly smitten'

the table spread-audrey's 1st birthday

flowers for a's 1st birthday, designed by me:)

more can never get enough of the peonies!

twirling like a princess

my brother ray, baby A, sister-in-law jiye

too cute!

the dohl game...audrey ended up picking the mircrophone!

red velvet cupcakes


audrey in her hanbok with halmoni (jiye's mom)!



my first christmas in seoul… December 27, 2010

Filed under: seoul,seoul-just having fun — seoulinthecity @ 5:37 am

sally bought this christmas cake for party, but we ended up bringing it home! and i've been eating it ever since...oh geez...

Missing home like crazy this holiday season…must say it really didn’t feel like Christmas here in Seoul! The traffic-road and foot- was absolutely crazy on the 24th and the 25th.  Everything was pretty much open both days, and all of Seoul was out and about.  I stopped by Myung-dong on the 25th with my roommate, I just about died in the crowd…plus the weather was quite brutal this past week!  All in all, I’m very blessed to have close friends around me, who have made my first Christmas in Seoul amazing! Would not have have spent it any other way!

To my devoted readers out there-thanks for keeping up with my blog, I am truly grateful for your encouragement as well as your continuous support.  You guys are my true kindred spirits!

Hope everyone had a warm Christmas, and have a fantastic New Years!

met christmas bear on the train, had to take a photo!!!

'free hugs' at myung dong on random!

crazy crowd on christmas in myung dong

roasted chesnuts in myung dong on christmas day!

hodduk on a cold the best!

enjoying hodduk on christmas day!

silk button-my favorite jewelry store in myung dong!

earrings from silk button-all made from silk scarves!

spending christmas eve with jon and keeyon

brian and chad goofing off-christmas eve @ portgha

tina and her cousin

folks having a good time at our portgha christmas eve party


Kyotofu Seoul December 22, 2010

Filed under: seoul,seoul-desserts — seoulinthecity @ 1:54 pm

warm miso chocolate cake @ kyotofu-hannam dong

Kyotofu– the award winning Japanese dessert and sake bar from New York made its mark in Seoul!

This new family member in Hannam-dong (next to Itaewon) has definitely made a statement.  Took me a while to drop a visit, even though I was working right next door! The two visits I made, absolutely amazing!  Their signature dessert-sweet tofu is something that is a must…along with their tofu tiramisu and their warm miso chocolate cake.  I am happy to admit, I think they  have one of the best desserts in Seoul! Not to mention Anthony’s sweet hospitality (one of the partners), always make us feel at home 🙂

Next agenda: weekend brunch and to hit their sake list!

Kyotofu Location:

Yongsan-Gu, Hannam-Dong 682-1 1F, Seoul, Korea
Tel: 02-749-1488

Line #6, exit 3 (walk about 100 meters) to your left side

curried chicken salad with cranberry @ kyotofu

yummy desserts @ kyotofu

signature sweet tofu

signaure sweet tofu with kuromitsu syrup at kyotofu...just discovered this, and my life is just not the same anymore!

tofu tiramisu at of the best tiramisu's ever!

fancy beef donburi-kyotofu

truffle sake mac & cheese-kyotofu

inside kyotofu


some of my favorite things… December 14, 2010

Filed under: seoul,seoul-garosugil — seoulinthecity @ 12:31 pm


'cafe may' in garosugil

amazing hand drip coffee at ‘cafe may’ in garosugil

For my readers out there, you may have noticed that I have so many ‘favorite’ spots around Seoul…but I wanted to blog about a few spots that are truly dear to me, and love taking my close friends to! I was tempted ‘not’ to blog about this for a while…but oh what the heck! Sharing is caring 🙂 This is to my fans out there…perhaps I’ll bump into you at these spots one day!

inside 'cafe may' in garosugil

customers can pin their point cards on the wall, and just use it again next time!

inside 'cafe may'

pastry chef chad from 'the spice' made pepero to give out to our guests on 'pepero day' in seoul-11.11

han choo bar/restaurant in sinsa...a 10 min walk from my place!

crispy stuffed jalapeno peppers

the pork stuff jalapeno peppers @ 한추, just can't enough of these!

thoroughly enjoying the peppers...

inside 한추

my favorite sake bar in garosugil...right @the entrance of garosugil (sinsa side)

inside 정든집...

the chilled sake with extra ice @정든집 sake bar-this is an absolute must!

Seoul in the City’s fans-Rodney & Ivy  came to visit me at ‘The Spice’! Thanks for visiting, I was thrilled to meet you guys in person…hope we meet up soon!