Tag Archives: Plant

Last Weekend

You must excuse me for the lack of post from last weekend. The majority of our July has been spent staying outside until the last very last second possible, or until the rain moves in. We are in monsoon season here in S.Korea so getting out and about when the sun is shining is imperative if you are trying to squeeze every ounce of “clear” sky out of the dwindling summer.

We trekked slowly up the base of Soyosan to marvel at the lush green trees. Soyosan is prime people watching too! During the hot season’s Korean’s often lounge and cool themselves in the trickling streams that come off the base of the mountain. You never know what you might see or get invited to join.

Don’t worry we’ve been properly hydrating with lemon water and practically turning into rabbits nibbling on all of our vegetable greens. (Beats turning on the oven in the humidity and heat).

I have a new Korean friendship blossoming and we enjoyed a really nice dinner together at a unique little restaurant near both of our homes. We dined on duck and a soup made of perilla leaves.

Not familiar with perilla leaves? Don’t worry it is most likely because it grows in Korea, China, Nepal and India. It’s a flavor I really cannot explain. The taste is quite pungent and has a nutty peppery taste to it. It is a herb that is often referred to a wild sesame. I was told that this heart-shaped leaf is a Korean staple and you can find it almost year round served in Korean homes. Plus it gets better! Of course it has healing components to it as well. If you are feeling tired, suffer from frequent headaches, need some anti-inflammatory relief, detoxify fish poisoning, combats morning sickness. WHOA! Talk about a marvelous little leaf!

and here is where I let you all down…. can you believe I ate the soup before I took a photo to share with all of you? Oops… trust me.. it would have just been a photo of a bowl of soup.

Kelsey stayed over too! She came sharing her newest sweets with us. What a sweetie!

We hopped on an AM train into Seoul and ran about in the on again off again rain to a vegan bakery called PLANT owned and operated by the sweetest girl, Mipa. Enjoyed a peanut Thai bowl and grilled chickpea sandwich. Both incredibly sumptuous and we shared one anther’s lunch family style. We are family after all! We then went to Maybell Bakery where I introduced Kelsey to a fabulous European bakery with freshly baked focaccia, baguette, croissants. I think it’s safe to say she’s in heaven.

We got home and felt like “grilling” hot dogs. I whipped up a vegan macaroni salad and she grilled the dogs. We were quite the little team in the kitchen if I do say so myself.

Howbeit it wasn’t as exciting of an update, it’s summer folks! Get off the Internet and GET OUTSIDE!


Places to go:

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory (Candy Apples)
Addresses in Korea here

PLANT (Vegan Bakery)
Check out Facebook site here.

Maybell Bakery (European bakery-But hey make me a deal and don’t buy up all the bread before I get there)
737-2 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul
South Korea

Soyosan (Local Mountain / park)
Check out more here.


What I love about Seoul is that I never know day-to-day, week to week, what I am going to get myself into, or who I am going to meet. The adventures are always endless and the choices are so grandiose. Do I hike? bike? head to a coffee shop? be a tourist? head to the east coast beaches? shop? Or, do I decide to hop on a train and just explore a random train stop?

This weekend I decided to get myself back down to Seoul, specifically the Itaewon area and pick up freshly baked bread, as well as stop by and see my friend Mipa at her newly opened bake shop PLANT. Again, big surprise decisions made around food. I don’t care, I am not ashamed to admit that… my belly and my soul truly needed it.

The bakery of choice was Maybell 메이벨 베이커리오월의종. Maybell has been listed as one of the top 7 must get to bakeries if you ever find yourself in Seoul. What I love about Maybell is that you are not going to bite into a scrumptious crusty piece of bread to find chunks of corn or a crazy hot dog. Yes, I am serious.. it happens more than I’d like to admit here. I pick dainty little wonderfully looking creations from places like Paris Baguette, example a strawberry harmonica…and then there is a hotdog hiding in there! You think I’d learn too? No, I am almost always startled and find myself saying, “What in the world is this doing in here?” Oh Korea, ha-ha!

Maybell is the real deal, it’s true to form European-style bread. I knew that I had to get there quickly because they sell out rather early in the day. Well, I guess I wasn’t the only one with bread on the brain this afternoon, I got there and stood in a line that looped around the tiny bakery. Not to worry, there still was plenty of choices and I still was able to snag my favorites; cranberry rye, a loaf of rye, and ciabatta.

When leaving Maybell to head to PLANT, every time I’d moved my bag or bump it, the aroma of the bread would just swirl right out and up into my nostrils. Mmmmm… I could live in bakery if I could smell that all day everyday.

Prices: Baguettes ₩3,000; sourdough loaf ₩5,000

Hours: Monday-Saturday, noon-6 p.m., closed on Sundays

Address: 737-2 Hannam 2-dong, Yongsan-gu (용산구 한남2동 737-2);+82 02 792 5561

Conveniently Maybell isn’t that far from PLANT. I arrived at PLANT at the right time because there were only two woman sipping drinks and sharing conversation, eventually each seat at the three tables would become filled, as well as people waiting to grab a seat. This bit of lull gave me the chance to talk with Mipa for a few minutes. I asked about how she was doing and how business was, I was pleased to hear that she had been really busy and the business was going well. I then asked if I could snap a few photos for the blog because I wanted to help get the word out about her and her partners bake shop. She of course permitted and went back into her glass baking sanctuary to start on my lunch order.

Mipa is incredibly sweet and incredibly talented. She is very passionate about being vegan and loves to share her ideals and values through her food and blog. I knew that I had to grab lunch after seeing her post’s earlier in the week. The lunch menu for this afternoon was a tuna and chickpea salad or a teriyaki Tofu Sandwich. I wanted both! The decision was way to hard! In that moment I really wished Mr. B was with me so that he could get one option and I could get the other. I decided to ask the expert, Mipa. I explained that I needed to save room for a delicious treat afterwards, naturally. Mipa suggested the sandwich then, so the sandwich is what I ordered. Right away I decided that my treat afterwards would be a slice of red velvet cake with cashew cream frosting. All I can say is that both my belly and my soul are filled and oh so happy. The food was out of this world.

While sitting there reading my book and enjoying each bite of my sandwich, I ended up shared my table with another woman who looked to be the same age as me. We ended up exchanged a few stories, laughing together, and eventually chatting through our entire lunch while sitting there. It’s incredible when you meet a stranger that you are so comfortable with that you feel you knew practically your entire life. Again, I chalk the experience up to the unknown magic and endless possibility of Seoul. We made sure to exchange contacts and hope to get together again soon. Perhaps even at PLANT where it all began?

Directions to PLANT: ( Straight from Mipa, herself)

Itaewon Station, Line 6, exit 4. Come out the exit and walk straight, down Itaewon road. There will be a Converse store on your left. Immediately after Converse, turn left into the narrow alleyway with steps. Walk down the steps and cross the next intersection. Continue walking straight and go down an alleyway, passing a pasta restaurant on your left. Keep walking a little further and PLANT will be on your right. 5-7 minute walk from the station.

서울시 용산구 이태원동 63-15
Phone: 070-4115-8388
Hours: Tues-Sun 11am-7pm. Lunch service starts at noon.
Closed on Mondays.