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Korea Trip #6: Miss Lee Cafe 介紹韓國有名的咖啡廳 (Eng&Chin)

Hey everyone~
finally I'm getting around to writing another blog post about my time in Korea. This will be about a pretty famous Cafe chain in Korea, Miss Lee Café.

我回來了!給你們介紹以外一家韓國很有名的咖啡廳, Miss Lee Café

While in Seoul, I visited two different branches of this café, one in Samcheongdong and one in Insadong. Both sell exactly the same dishes and drinks, but the interior differs a little.
Both are adorable though. 
A lot of people seem to visit the branch in Myeongdong, but I'd recommend you to go to one of those two. If you're planning on visiting Gyeongbokgung palace, you can just get lunch at the Insadong branch while walking over from the Anguk Subway station. Or you could explore the streets of Samcheongdong after you finished walking around the palace and get dinner there.
While both branches were quite busy, I didn't have to wait for either of them, they're not too crowded.
First, a few impressions of the Samcheongdong branch:

我在首爾的時候去了在兩個不一樣的地方的 Miss Lee Café,  一家在三清洞,一家在仁寺洞. 兩家都賣一樣的飲料一樣的食物,但是裏面看起來一點不一樣。兩家都很可愛. 好象很多人喜歡去明洞的咖啡廳,但是其實我推薦你們去三清洞還是仁寺洞。如果你已經打算參觀景福宫, 先在仁寺洞的Miss Lee Cafe 吃午餐其實很方便。從安国站去景福宫你就回經過 Miss Lee Cafe.

If I translated this right, you can send postcards to your future self! If you place postcards in this postbox , they will send them out after 100 days, which is a super cute idea and a nice touch as it mixes future and past as Miss Lee Café specializes in traditional Korean food. Not super traditional, but basically food and dishes that remind a lot of Koreans of their school days.
放明信片在裏面,100天以後 他們會奇給你。

They also sell a lot of oldschool Korean candy, which is pretty cheap and fun to try.

The cafés interior definitely fits in with their oldschool concept, it gives off a very different feeling from all the other modern coffee shops in Seoul.

You can also leave messages on the walls!

Before I move onto the food and drinks, let's take a look at the interior of the branch in Insadong first:
You'll be greeted by their adorable mascot and her camera again, before you head up to the second floor.

The branch in Insadong feels a bit more modern than the one in Samcheongdong, but it still kept a lot of it's original elements, such as a place to hang written notes.

Or cute old toys placed around the café.

Onto the menu~
It's all written in Korean but there are adorable paintings to go along with it so even without being able to read Korean you should be able to understand what you're ordering.
I'd still recommend learning how to read Hangul before coming to Korea though (but that's a topic for another day)

If you go with friends, get one of the sets! It saves you a bit of money

At Samcheongdong they had plastic figures of their Bingsu on display, this is what the most popular fruit Bingsu looks like:

Our meal (2 People) in Insadong:
Sesame Bingsu (11.900 Won) ; Assorted traditional sweets (4.900 Won) and Citrus (Yuja) Tea (6.500)
我們在 三清洞 點的:
芝麻沙冰 (11.900塊), 總是傳統的糖果 (4,900塊), Yuja 茶 (6.500塊)

Their iced tea might seem a bit pricey, but I can assure you, it's worth it.
No only are the metal cups super cute, the tea is also really refreshing and delicious. 

The assorted candy was a bigger size than I expected it to be.

I quite liked those sunflower shaped once, they were very soft and sticky but not too sweet.

Those other ones though...

I have no idea how to describe them. Extremely sweet, tasted basically just like sugar and very sticky.
If you're there with friends and you just want to try it out, get the assorted candy. If you actually want a decent snack, get something else. They have ricecakes and other traditional sweets too.

Onto the Bingsu~

Their Bingsu is really really good. Lots of sesame flavour, crunchy nuts, rice cakes, a few chestnuts and vanilla ice-cream on top.
They also had the genius idea to serve their shaved ice in a partially frozen metal bowl, which is why you need to wait for a bit before you get your Bingsu.
We ate so slowly, yet the shaved ice barely melted!

We also tried their shaved soybean powder one, which was just as good.
It had the same ingredients, just a different powder on top.

In Insadong, we went for lunch and ordered their famous lunchbox as well as the Ddeokbeoggi.

And some more delicious iced tea of course.

The lunchbox has sausage, egg, Kimchi and a bit of seaweed in it. You also get a bowl of seaweed soup that you can mix with the lunchbox if you want to.

The proper way to eat this is also shown on their menu:
Hold the box closed with both hands, and shake.
It's a lot of fun but much harder to mix the ingredients than you'd think it would be.
At first I was a bit sceptical of how it would taste, as it just looked like a lot of rice with very few ingredients. But surprisingly, after mixing it it tastes pretty good! 

Their Ddeokbeoggi is great as well! It wasn't too spicy, and unlike normal Ddeokbeoggi, it had different sizes of rice cakes in it. The big ones are normal sized ones, such as those you find at street food stalls. The smaller ones were not as soft, but very delicious still.

All in all, I can only recommend visiting this Café at least once while you're in Korea. It makes for a nice, uniquely Korean experience with the lunchbox and transports you a few years back in time.
And the food is delicious too. What else could one ask for?
總是我真的想推薦那家餐廳, 你們要去試試吃韓國比較傳統的食物吧!

Have you ever been to this place? If not, would you like to go and what would you try?
Tell me in the comments below! 
Hope you enjoyed this post.
你們去過,還是覺得想不想去?  請你們下面告訴我吧!

Love, Lydia


Taiwan Travel Diary #25: Best pancakes, worst service

For some reason, there are barely any blog posts about cafes in Taipei. Whenever I travel, I try to look up cute places to visit and I usually do so by consulting my dear friend Google for blogs. 
However, that's not the case with Taiwan. Here, I usually try to figure out where to eat, which places to try by scrolling around Instagrams #Taipei Hashtag, and just taking screenshots of whatever looks delicious. Occasionally I even look up the name of a place on Chinese blogs. That doesn't always work out well though.

While my Chinese is okay-ish, I'm usually way too lazy to read through a whole blog post all in Chinese, so I never really know anything about the Cafes I visit. Except that their food looks good.
This place is one of those. The first time I went, a classmate and friend had looked it up, and their panncakes looked amazing~
They offer mostly Hokkaido style desserts and thus, the cafes interior also has a northern, slightly rusty feel to it.

Now, before it gets confusing:
The first time I went, I went to Cafe LeTao, near Sun-Yatsen memorial station.
The second time, I went to Cafe Konayuki.
Two different locations, two different names, but basically the same cafe run by the same owner.
I'll generalize a bit here, since my experiences in both places was basically the same.

Both Cafes interior is quite simple, with neutral colours.
They offer different desserts, sandwiches, drinks, etc.
All of it looks delicious.
Now here's the catch, and one thing i absolutely dislike about Taipei.
Minimum charge.
Lots of places tell you every person on your table needs to order at least 100NTD (or any different amount), or order at least a drink, or simply that every person needs to order something.
Which is slightly annoying by itself (since lots of times friends share food etc) BUT this place made it even worse.
Even though my friend and I already both ordered a full meal (pancakes + sandwiches), that's not enough for them. You HAVE to order either a drink or an ice-cream sundae per person.
Which makes the whole experience pretty expensive, as their pancakes alone are already 360 NTD, and the cheapest drinks start from 120NTD (also they taste awful).
So every time i went, i ordered an ice-cream sundae as well as they're not much more expensive than a plain coffee and at least they're something special.

The waiters weren't particually nice either, and definitely not worth the usual 10% service fee.

So that's the fruit sundae (190NTD, I guess?), not really anything special but ok.

Their Matcha / Red Bean sundae is a lot better as it includes delicious chestnuts and cereals.

The one reason why I'll probably end up going to this awful café again even though I hate how they make you spend so much money:
Their pancakes. They're amazing.
They're super light, and fluffy, and sweet and just so, so good.

So that's it~ i'm not sure if i could recommend this place to anyone, they have the absolutely best pancakes i have ever eaten in my life, but also their service is super unfriendly and if you only want to eat pancakes, it's kind of frustrating that they make you order more.
If you're planning to eat pancakes and ice-cream sundae anyways, go for it.
If not....well, decide for yourself. Just don't order their cafe latte, you'll end up only drinking the free water anyways.

Love, Lydia