Exactly one month after Valentine’s Day comes the holiday known as White Day. While guys get all the love, attention and chocolate on Valentine’s Day, March 14th is a time for them to return the favor to their lovely ladies. Unlike the chocolate inspired deliciousness that is Valentine’s Day, White Day focuses more on the sugary goodness of candy. Quite frankly I prefer chocolate to candy any day, but hey, that’s just me.
While this is a day for guys to shower girls with delicious gifts, I just couldn’t help but bake something for my single friends. So, I found myself baking some very delicious rainbow M&M cookies… at 1am. Courtesy of my teeny tiny oven. They were a great start to the holiday and they were a big hit! Even my boyfriend was found gobbling down the leftovers.
Anyway, because it landed on a Thursday my boyfriend and I decided to wait until Saturday to celebrate. So it began with 7 o’ clock reservations at a restaurant called 민가다헌 (Min’s Club) located in 인사동 (Insadong). I’m definitely a lover of traditions, history and remnants of the past, so leave it to my boyfriend to find a restaurant tucked inside what used to be the home of one of Korea’s first architects and what is now one of Korea’s national historical sites. This beautiful hanok was built in the 1930s and while it retains all its original design and charm on the outside, the inside had been slightly modified in 2001 to offer visitors a more comfortable dining experience which includes lovely victorian style furniture and drapes. In a way, it gives off an old-world meets new-world kind of flare, which is even more apparent in their Korean-European fusion cuisine.
We decided to go with the course menu A and B, so that we could try as many things as possible (food junkie mentality). We both really enjoyed the Shrimp-fish fillet mandu covered with grain crust served with mandarin ratatouille and fish veloute sauce. the mandu was unlike anything we’ve ever tasted; tender and juicy on the inside and crusted with a flavorful herb breading on the outside. Absolutely mouth watering! I also really liked the dessert dish from menu A which was some kind of lemon crème brûlée ice cream served with a scoop of basil ice cream. It was so good, but to be honest my favorite part was really the basil ice cream. It was such a surprising combination of sweet and herb like flavors. My boyfriend, on the other hand, enjoyed the grilled chuck of pork with braised shrimp which was served with potato cake and gochujang oyster sauce. The pork was incredibly tender with not much fat on it (a rare find in Korea). The meat its self was flavorful and had a good balance of sauce, so nothing was overpowered; a delightful main dish. Overall, we felt that the dishes were quite good but lacked creativity, compared to other places we’ve been to. The presentation was also a bit ordinary. I suppose it felt a bit more like Korean and European food rather than fusion.
Nonetheless, it was a lovely dinner complete with candlelight and a lovely view of the surrounding garden. There was even wildlife (cats) that would stop in front of the windows to drink from the stone water troughs outside. While we both felt the meal to be a bit pricey and quite small in portion, we agreed it was more of a place you go to for the atmosphere, which I highly enjoyed and found to be really romantic.
Afterwards, we headed to my favorite tea house, O’sulloc. This place has, in my opinion, the best tea in Korea. They cultivate all their tea leaves here in Korea and their main factory is located on Jeju Island. If you haven’t been here yet, you really should. You wont be disappointed. This time I ordered their seasonal sweet milk tea and my boyfriend got a citron milk tea. Of course the teas were perfect as usual; flavorful while still retaining the flavor from the tea leaves. We also shared some green tea chocolate. The chocolate was incredibly rich and one piece was definitely enough for each of us. In fact, we were on a bit of a sugar high after that. So we spent some time chatting, enjoying our tea and taking silly pictures together. You know, typical Korean couple stuff (lol).
At the end of the night we walked along the couple filled streets of 인사동 holding hands and came across a trio performing outside. What caught our attention was that they were doing a really great rendition of one of our favorite songs, “Fix You” by Coldplay. So, my lovely White Day ended with my boyfriend and I standing together hand-in-hand softly singing together in the middle of the street. It was the perfect ending to a perfect evening. Just another reminder of the kind of wonderful guy I have in my life. I’m such a lucky girl!
Oh! I almost forget to mention my gift. For White Day my boyfriend got me tickets to Swan Lake. While I have been in quite a few ballets and other dance performances, I’m sad to say I have never actually seen Swan Lake in person. So as you might imagine, I’m really excited and can’t wait to update you all on it after. Until next time…
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