battery park restaurant review {seoul}

If you are living in Seoul or planning on visiting, you must visit Battery Park located near Myeong Dong station.  (From exit 4, walk straight a few minutes, and you’ll see the State Building. Take the escalator down and you’ll see it across the Starbucks.)  Little did I realize that my cousin, who is a few years older than me has become a restaurant mogul  in Seoul. He has recently opened multiple restaurants, ranging from Korean, Japanese, fusion, and even an American brunch place in the works. And, I’m in the midst of convincing him to open a Korean restaurant in Singapore (of course).

During my short and unexpected visit to Seoul a month ago, I was able to finally visit two of his restaurants that are located in the Myeong Dong State Building. We had a big family dinner after my grandmother’s burial service at his two restaurants. They are actually located right next to each other. One is called Battery Park and the other one is Kobachi. The “younger” adults, went to Battery Park, a fusion place, while the “older adults” went to Kobachi, a Japanese place.

I really loved the modern and clean interior of Battery Park. I was impressed with their menu and range of choices. They even had beer from Craftworks Taphouse there. Well, I quickly learned that when your cousin is the owner, we get great service and selection of food! He ordered us appetizers and entrees from the menu. There was a delicious salad with grapes and goat cheese. I specifically asked for the fig & prosciutto pizza with pesto sauce, which was well worth it. There were also some unique fusion dishes like the spicy pasta with pigs intestine (Korean dish).  I also really recommend the black sesame cream spaghetti! That might have been my favorite after the pizza.

Battery Park also has a great selection of bar food including big hamburgers with lots of french fries! We tried another fried platter that included fried chicken, onion rings, fries, and more. At this point, I was getting pretty full as the entrees kept coming out. My cousin even sent over a few sushi platters from next door. It was quite the interesting, but delicious combo of dishes. I knew my grandmother was smiling down on us. She would have been so proud to actually come to one of my cousin’s restaurants in person. She was definitely one of the best cooks I knew.

Obviously, there’s always room for dessert! Battery Park had some unique and delicious dessert dishes including a dropped ice cream cone, banana pudding, and Oreo cheesecake. I admit at this point, I could barely shove any more food in, but I tried. I’m always a sucker for good banana pudding. They actually opened a second location of Battery Park in the new Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park! I hope that all of my fellow foodies and bloggers (ahem, Melody, Dyanne, Elaine, Derek) in Korea will add this restaurant to their list of places to check out! 🙂

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slice of life challenge day #15: the first meeting

slice of life 2014

My grandmother had 7 children, 16 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren. Since she lived in NY the past 30 years, she had some great grandchildren in Korea that she never had a chance to meet. A few of her great grandchildren finally had a chance to meet my grandmother at her funeral. One of them, a sweet young boy, cried tears as he sat in front of her on the last day of her funeral.

My grandmother was always good with her hands. Our house was full of these swans she created with origami paper up until the end of her life. She would fold hundreds of these small pieces of origami paper to create these swans. She would make pairs of swans for our family, friends and people at our church. My parents brought two of the smaller swans she made to Korea for the funeral. This great grandchild that met my grandmother for the first time asked about these swans. I shared with him proudly how they were made by his great grandmother with much love and care. We decided to give these swans to him and his sister to take home.

After we buried my grandmother’s ashes into the ground at the cemetery, I saw the children gather in front of her grave. I knew that even though they didn’t meet her in person, I could see glimpses of her in them. I knew that I would make sure they would know her story when they got older. I knew that she was smiling to have finally met them.

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I’ve Got Seoul…

Of course I couldn’t end my summer without a quick stop over in Seoul.  I made sure to do all the things I desperately missed like eating Korean bbq, hanging out in cute cafes, getting my nails done, watching soccer games and taking photos with Melody.

On my birthday, we ate lunch at The Tasting Room in Itaewon, which was delicious.  I highly recommend the spinach flatbread and lasagna. This was the first time I went to their branch in Itaewon, which was behind the Audi dealership, closer to Hangangjin station.  While waiting to meet Elaine, Melody and I took some photos by the outdoor sculptures at the Leeum museum which was further up the hill from the Tasting Room.

After lunch, we hung out at the glamorous penguin cafe. I mean, how could we not check it out with a name like that.  Then, I had to make sure to catch the airport bus and I had no issues. This was the second time that I had to fly on my birthday, and unfortunately I didn’t have any famous Korean celebrity encounters on this flight. But, I did get a handwritten birthday card from Korean Air and ate miyukgook (seaweed soup) on the plane.

It’s always a fun time stopping by in Seoul, especially seeing my friends that are still there. Until next time, xoxo.

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photographer in training

Seoul is such a fascinating city that I had so much fun taking photos there. It was my first time there with my Nikon d5100 dslr. I love these photographs that Melody took of me during  our photoshoot at Bukchon village. I especially love the candid shots! I still have a lot to learn about photography. It looks like I’ll have opportunities to take more fascinating photos as I will be traveling to Indonesia and Vietnam in these next few months!

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a final adventure in korea


As  I waited for the bus to the airport, I anxiously checked my wallet carefully. I only had 13500KRW. I was short 1,500KRW (about $1.50) the required bus fare. I just hoped that they would take credit card, like they did on the other bus I used to take. However, I was taking a different bus route today.

I got on the bus, and asked the bus driver if he took credit card. He had me try to use my transportation(T-money) card, but I didn’t have enough money on that. Then he told me to try to use my credit card, but I knew that I had a foreign card, and it wouldn’t work on the T-money machine. I didn’t know what to do. He told me that I needed to pay. I asked if I could pay at the airport. I mean there would be an ATM machine there, but he said that I had to pay before.

Not sure what else to do,  I told him I would get off the next stop. He asked me what I would do. I said that I would have to find an ATM or something. Then, he told me to stay on and that I could get off the next stop where there’s an ATM. I thought he meant that he would kick me off, and that I would have to wait for the next bus.

I waited anxiously for the next stop, he told me that I could get off and go to the ATM and he would wait for me. Luckily, I was still the only person on this  huge bus, even after 4 stops. As we approached the stop, I got off and went to the ATM. However, I tried all 3 of my credit cards, but they didn’t accept my foreign cards. This was it, I thought. I didn’t really have any other option. I would really just have to get off the bus.

I told the bus driver that I would just get off the bus and catch a taxi. I could pay with my credit card on the taxi. He asked me if i would have enough time to catch my flight if I took the bus. I said yes. He asked me if I could use the ATM machine at the airport. I told him that those machines would work with my foreign card.

Relieved, I got back on the bus. Then, he asked me if I had any dollars. I told him I had some Singapore dollars. He had me pay the amount I was missing with my Singapore dollars. Why didn’t I think of that earlier?! However, that wasn’t the only hurdle. As I looked at my watch I realized that the bus ride was taking a lot longer than I had expected. I was getting closer to the departing time. I got to the airport about an hour before. I didn’t realize that my flight time was 20 minutes earlier than I thought!

When I got to the security line, there were more people than normal. Usually, it is very quick to get through security at Incheon airport. Nervously, I waited on the line. As I made my way to the gate, they started boarding about 5 minutes after. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to do any duty free shopping, which may have a good thing on my wallet! Next time I’m in Korea, I’ll make sure to have the required bus fare and leave much earlier.

Have you had any crazy getting to the airport/almost missing your flight stories? 

Slice of life Tuesdays are hosted by the Two Writing Teachers.