Really weird looking restaurant. It was a stone brick motif on the wall, and neon outer space carpet on the ceiling?? It looked like it could have been a bowling alley in a past life.

Hot Stone Pot Bibimbap with mozzarella. I truly appreciate that Koreans like to add cheese to dishes that many other people would not try. But, and this really pains me to say (see blog tagline), the cheese in this case was not necessary.

I think my sister just fainted.

Bibimbap is good on its own! Although we’ve been making this a lot at home lately and I think I like my homemade version better. This one had too much rice for the amount of toppings.

1/2 Cave Salt wings, 1/2 Sweet Lava wings. Very crispy. Quite inconsistent sizing, some of them were huge and some were actually quite tiny.

Scott had pear juice and I had grapefruit soju.

Caveman1961 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Some cool stuff that we’ve made/eaten lately.

Dutch Baby! These are so cool. I mean look at those ruffles! Look at that deliciousness! They are also super easy to make. I use this recipe. Dump everything in the blender while you heat the cast iron in the oven. Pour in the mixture, and bake for 15 minutes. Top with whatever you like.

Mi Goreng doughnut from Bistro Morgan. It was filled with chilli chocolate custard, and topped with Mi Goreng glaze, noodles and a sweet chilli drizzle. It was, understandably, weird. A spicy doughnut, lol. The other one was a New Yorker: cheesecake custard filling, passionfruit glaze, cheesecake biscuit crumb. This one was, understandably, normal.

Scott made pavlova for the first time and this is how it came out. O_O Not bad! I like pav. The chewy outside bits are the best.

Just a really delicious salad that I made that I wanted to show off. Perfectly cooked grilled salmon, avo, goat cheese, cucumber, cherry tomato, on rocket with a bit of balasamic vinegar. I could eat this salad over and over.

Homemade almond brittle ice cream in a store bought waffle cone. Actually not my best batch of ice cream, you can kind of see that it came out a bit grainy. This is the second time this has happened and I’m not sure exactly why. Scott thinks it might be because the almond brittle (or cookie dough in the other instance) started to dissolve in the ice cream? I have made some good batches lately though: passionfruit was a big hit.

The worlds most expensive bubble tea. Cheesy mango. Such a gross name, they really should specify that it’s cream cheese, haha. It actually was quite delicious, but man it cost a lot (like $8!!). Why do they use such fancy cups?

Soondubu jjiggae. This is one of my favourite Korean foods. I JUST LOVE SOFT TOFU SO MUCH. So I tried to make it myself at home with our trusty stone bowl! I used this recipe and it turned out fine, although I was hungry about 20 minutes later because it wasn’t much more than a bit of tofu and some water. Next time I will add some kind of seafood, and maybe serve it with a bowl of rice like they do in Korea.

So after spending a week in Seoul, Scott and I spent the next 5 days in the mountains riding shuttle buses (and occasionally going to Olympic events).

Feb 14, 2018

Buses: 6     Taxis: 3     Trains: 1    Subway: 1

Events attended: mens curling round robin

This was a rough day because we had to bring our bags from our hotel in Seoul to our hotel in Donghae via Gangneung, then go back to Gangneung for curling, and then we tried taking the free shuttle back to Donghae afterwards. O_O

Curling was cool though. We had great seats, and Canada won!

Scott got interviewed by the Washington Post. He now likes to tell everyone he’s a nationally quoted curling expert. (PS there are two quotes guys!!).

Feb 15, 2018

Buses: 3     Taxis: 2

Events attended: mens hockey CAN v SUI

We were supposed to go to mens Super G in the morning too but it ended up being way too windy up in the mountains so the event got postponed. I was pretty relieved to not have to get up super early to get to the mountains tbh, since it took us soooo long to get back to our hotel the night before on the free shuttle. We would have died. Anyway instead we watched mens skeleton heat 1 & 2 in bed at the hotel, and then leisurely headed back to Gangneung to spend the day at Canada House before hockey.

Canada House was so cool! We got there in time to watch the ladies hockey CAN vs USA game, which obviously everyone was super in to. It was stressful, but Canada won. They had Canadian food and drinks, and even gave out free poutine in the afternoon. We saw lots of athletes, like Tessa Virtue, Alexandre Bilodeau, Meagan Duhamel and Eric Radford (everyone cheered when they came in), and Jeremiah Brown (rower).

Hockey was good. Our original tickets were SOOOOO HIGH UP OMG. We had like a vertical view of the rink, haha. It wasn’t very full though so about half way through the game we moved much closer to the ice.

After a few minutes in our new seats I realized that we were sitting directly in front of Jennifer Jones and Kevin Koe (and the rest of the mens curling team). They were friendly.

Canada dominated. We won 5-1.

We decided to not bother with trying to use the free shuttle back to Donghae and instead took a very long taxi because #yolo. Well really we had ‘saved’ money by getting a hotel so far away (possibly not the best idea in retrospect) so it was fine. A million thank yous to the Olympic volunteers who helped us get a taxi since we couldn’t use any of the taxi apps without a Korean phone number.

Feb 16, 2018

Buses: 6     Taxis: 2     Trains: 1

Events attended: mens skeleton heat 3 & 4, womens skeleton heat 1 & 2

Another big day. We had to get up early and head into the mountains after very little sleep for mens skele, then kill 8 hours, and stay out late for womens skele. AND THEN do the epic journey from the mountains back to our hotel.

There were no spectator shuttles to the top of the track so we had to hike up… TWICE!!! We did 160 flights of stairs that day, omg. It was exhausting, but being at the start was so fun. We cheered and yelled and cowbell’d for everyone until our throats ached.

Tired but very excited at the sliding track.

The mens race was a bit of a runaway. Yun Sung-Bin is an excellent slider AND had home track advantage, so he dominated. The crowd was SO HYPED for him, which was cool to see.

Martins Dukurs had a rough race. He was in 3rd position after the first day, moved up to 2nd on run three, and then made a mistake and dropped out of the medals to 4th on his final run. I was heartbroken for him. A Russian (who also competed in Sochi but somehow managed to not get caught for cheating like every single other one of his teammates) got silver, and GB got bronze which was a bit of a surprise.

We had a lot of time to wait until the ladies race so we checked out the Pyeongchang Olympic Plaza. The sponsors had giant exhibits, many of which involved VR, which I had never tried before. This one was kinda fun, you had to use the gun to shoot down these flying thingies while dodging getting hit yourself. We also went to a hologram K-pop concert, haha.

We also went to the Olympic Superstore, which was super huge and super crowded. I got a Soohoorang skeleton t-shirt and we got a few pins and magnets too. Everything was so cute!

We spent the rest of the time in the Bing Bong Bing Bong food tent, as I like to call it, until it was time to head back to the sliding centre.

Look who we found!! Rob was my skeleton coach in Whistler a few years ago. Since then he’s been coaching the small nations on the World Cup circuit, and was coaching Australia for the Olympics. So cool to see old friends.

Ladies skeleton was funnnnn. It was a much closer race than the mens, and it was impossible to tell who was going to win after day 1.

Feb 17, 2018

Buses: 4     Taxis: 2     Trains: 1

Events attended: womens skeleton heat 3 & 4

I think I slept in until 2pm this day. We were so exhausted we just ate McDonald’s in bed and watched Olympics on tv/tablet/laptop ALL MORNING and AFTERNOON. It was glorious.

Eventually we headed back to the sliding centre. There was tons of traffic so we didn’t get there in time to hike up to the start area, so instead we watched in the crowds at various corners of the track. It was packed, again. It’s so amusing how everyone gasps and screams and cheers as the sliders fly past. I sort of forgot how skeleton looks to the layperson, who is just amazed by the speed and not analyzing the lines and such. The excitement is contagious.

Although the Canadian girls didn’t finish quite as high up on the list as I thought they might, I’m still so so proud of them. They each had some fantastic runs throughout the competition and some excellent start times. I loved watching all of them.

Currently wearing three pairs of pants, three shirts, and three heat packs. :D

Feb 18, 2018

Buses: 1(!)     Taxis: 2     Trains: 1     Subway: 1

Events attended: womens curling round robin

Our last day in the Olympic area. :( We dropped our bags at the train station, spent the day in the Gangneung Olympic Park, and then took the train back to Seoul.

We only had to take one bus today!!! Because you could walk from the train station to the Olympic Park (this was the view on the walk). It would have been extremely useful to know that everything was super convenient by train. All the shuttle buses were train-centric. It probably would have been cheaper and easier to just stay in Seoul the entire time and just take the train every day than stay in our love hotel in Donghae. Ah well though, there was no way of knowing that ahead of time, and I am still so thankful for Jinnie saving our butts and helping us find any kind of hotel at all.

Our last event was ladies curling. The Canadian ladies weren’t doing so hot, although they did win this game. The Korean girls were doing very well though and because of that the place was PACKED. Actually we could barely even see anything because our seats weren’t that good and the Korean fans were going bananas. Everyone kept leaning forwards and moving around. I don’t think anyone was actually sitting in their real seats. Once they finished their game though EVERYONE left and we could watch the last few ends of our game in peace.

And that was that! Olympic time over. It was SO TIRING, but extremely fun. We learned a lot, so our next Olympics will be better. ;) Calgary 2026 perhaps?

PS that popcorn had four different flavours in it! And the beer was only $4!

AKA Spicy Chicken Stir Fry with a Cheese Moat :D :D

Because obviously when you make a spicy chicken and vegetable stir fry you think “wouldn’t this be better with a crap load of cheese”. Right? Maybe it’s just me. #everythingisbetterwithcheese

Anyway this exists. And it was great. I’m gonna walk you through it.

We ordered chicken galbi for three people. They fire up the burner on the table and bring out a giant pan filled with chicken in gochujang, potatoes, rice cakes, various vegetables, and a exorbitant amount of shredded cheese. We stare at it, unsure if we are supposed to start stirring.

Waiters come over and start stirring our pan every once and a while. We relax as we realize that they will do everything for us, haha. Nibble some banchan.

Look at the amount of cheese they gave us and wonder if we’ve made a terrible mistake.

When the food is mostly cooked they pour the cheese into the cheese moat.

Stir stir. Melt melt. Bubble bubble.

Is it ready yet??

It’s ready!!! Dig in.

Grab bits of chicken and/or veg and scoop up some cheese and shovel it all into your mouth. Yummmm.

Finish the stir fry and ask for one serving of rice. Waiter comes over and scrapes out the extra bits of food and cheese, then adds rice to the pan.

He does some elaborate scraping and stirring for a few minutes.

And smoothing.

Aww. “For Family” the waiter says.

Take selfies with your Japanese table buddies!

Roll home.

Another day, more Seoul-searching. Sunny, but coooooold.

At a design plaza/museum. We went hard in the gift shop, everything was so cool/cute.

That whole long building is a shopping mall!!! And it went off equally far in the opposite direction! There were so many malls omg. The shopping in Seoul was crazy, but we couldn’t really buy much clothes because we are too fat in Korea. We did have to get snowpants and mine are size XXL and they’re almost too small. :((( Maybe there is a whole mall for people that are Big & Tall but we didn’t look for it tbh.

We went to a Trick Eye Museum that was… weird. You could download an app and then when you pointed the camera at the different scenes it added stuff, aka augmented reality.

You could also go into an ice museum with a slide, and get your face printed onto a latte.

It would have been fine for $5 like the kimchi museum but unfortunately it was $15. I don’t really recommend it.

Oppa Gangnam Style!

We also checked out Insadong, Lotte World, many super hipster cafes that Jinnie recommended, underground malls, Hongdae, a lemur cafe (but left immediately because there was a kangaroo in a tiny cage and it made us all very sad), and many many other things. The entire trip we were either exploring, watching Olympics, stuffing our faces, or sleeping. LOL. I walked average 20k steps a day. Not bad.

OK so apparently Rosemarie is like an expert of Korean food, and she had a food bucket list a mile long. Since she had less time in Korea than us we let her make all the food decisions while we were together. She did a great job serving as Minister For Food.

Here are a few things that we loved:

BBQ was obviously a must-eat. We found this place in Hongdae that was All You Can Eat for like $12. We cooked up all sorts of vegetables and meats and wrapped them in lettuce and dipped in the salty oil and the peanutty sauce. Yum. We all liked the marinated beef the most, nice and tender with a good sauce.

A very good selection of banchan. Peanuts, fish, anchovies, eggs, mushrooms, pickled veggies, kimchi. Banchan comes free and unlimited with every meal, but usually we only got 3-4 things, not 8!

We stayed in Myeongdong, which was a very busy shopping area (especially beauty shops!) with tons of restaurants and street vendors. There was always lots to see and do and eat in Myeongdong and it was very central for transit too. A+ Would Myeongdong again.

Those were subway station doughnuts and they were amazing. Very crispy with vanilla custard, sweet potato, and red bean fillings. Scott walked 1 hr each way to go back for more doughnuts later in the week.

Raw beef bibimbap in stone pot. The pot was flipping hot so when you stir it around (after adding heaps of gochujang of course) it cooks the beef a bit, and the rice on the bottom gets crunchy. We ate variations of this a lot, which is good since it’s full of vegetables and relatively healthy.

This was another of Rosemarie’s must-eats… Korean seafood pancake. It brought back memories of when our parents took us to a Korean restaurant in NYC in approximately 2002 and we got traumatized by the still-moving seafood stew and acted like brats and wouldn’t eat anything except for the plain bits of the Korean pancake on the side. Thankfully we have become more adventurous eaters since then, and enjoyed the whole pancake this time.

She also made us try a mango mountain (one of those giganto desserts with shaved ice and all sorts of toppings like mango and cheesecake and ice cream), which Scott and I liked but Rose didn’t (she said it didn’t have good texture and was too cold). And she introduced us to one of those bbq places with a cheese moat (yes you read that right, and yes that is getting its own blog post coming up next) which was obviously amazing.

Then she had to go back to work in Japan. :( Sister time over. But oh man we love travelling with Rosemarie. Our collaborations of research and interests always end up being so much fun. Next time Japan? Or Vietnam?