Weekends: for a large portion of us are days of indulgence. For some it’s a day to cast away healthy eating habits and put a temporary halt on calorie counting. Saturday nights are reserved for cracking open a bottle of Vino and maybe two helpings of mushroom chow mein alongside kung po chicken from the Chinese/chippy ”down the road”. Besides, Prince Harry and Megan’s wedding was the perfect excuse to cram in as many ‘delicious points’ (aka Calories) as possible… even if you didn’t watch the ceremony.
My weekend lacked a lavish spread of Tunnock’s Tea Cakes, Victoria Sponge, fresh British-grown strawberries with whipped cream, finger sandwiches, sausage rolls, scones with cornish clotted cream. Not a Scotch egg was in sight. I did however devour plenty of yummy goodies that were equally as satisfying.
Friday 18th May
Sandwiches: one of those repetitive foods which made me dread opening my packed lunch as a child. Nowadays sandwiches are what I crave most frequently. In Korea, supermarkets fail to provide the array of sandwich choices which the UK clearly expertise in. Nonetheless a select few bakeries, including ‘Paris Baguette’, and cafés sell the breaded goodness which I daydream of. Fortunately on this day, I came to my local Paris Baguette before the lunch hour – when shelves and fridges can be found bare. I gladly purchase a ham and fresh salad sort of combination: the filling wedged between two unidentical slices of fluffy bread.
Paris Baguette Ham Salad Sandwich – Most importantly it curbed my hunger. The bread was moist but not of a displeasing soggy texture. Overall, it was a ‘moreish’ kind and luncheon. Rating ♥️♥️♥️♥️
Peach Water Jelly – A refreshing drink/snack which goes down well during the peak of a humid Spring afternoon. Rating: ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️
Saturday 19th May
My boyfriend and I had separate commitments to attend to at the same time during the early afternoon: which worked out rather well as after our appointments we were able to meet up for having lunch out together instead of seeing each other back at our stuffy apartment. The weather was perfect, perhaps the sun was blazing too intensely, yet the atmosphere of the well populated town in Incheon was what made the day ever more admirable. No one seemed lonely – small groups of friends, elderly couples, young partners and competent children flooded the streets in harmony, and took advantage of the gleaming sun that had finally graced us, by sipping on iced coffees and sharing delectable cream cakes/pastries.
We decided that it was too humid outside to be eating a hot cooked meal, especially one of Korea’s many spicy dishes. There weren’t any decent sandwich delis within close proximity, so we settled upon a dessert café that specialises in making Tarts and Mille-feuille. I believe ‘Tarr Tarr’ is a franchise which is somewhat underrated, seemingly to the fault of other Korean dessert café franchises which have a thriving beverage menu. I was very tempted to have one of the two Matcha flavoured cream tarts as green tea is one of my preferred flavours. In order to try something else for once (not that I had been to Tarr Tarr beforehand) I opted for the Strawberry Mont-Blanc Tart, whereas my boyfriend chose a chunky slice of Red Velvet cake and the most common selection – a Golden Cheese Custard Tart.
Golden cheese custard tart – With it’s perfect balance of tangy cheese and lightly salted shortcrust pastry, it took away the overpowering sweetness of the iced Caramel latte which I had ordered to accompany the tartlets. The downfall to the tartlet being it’s lack of filling to pastry ratio. Rating ♥️♥️♥️
Strawberry Mont-blanc tart – For me it was almost perfect. It wasn’t too sugary nor full of an artificial strawberry essence. A plant-based milk substitute formed the basis of the cream, meaning that it lacked an authentic creamy taste, but retained a fluffy texture beneath the cream’s intricately piped outer formation. Rating: ♥️♥️♥️♥️
Red velvet slice – One of the best Red Velvet cakes that has ever blessed my taste-buds (and hips). Unlike some Red Velvet cakes the cream cheese wasn’t too buttery. The sponge layers were well aerated and didn’t annoyingly crumble off from the fork. Rating: ♥️♥️♥️♥️
Iced Caramel Latte – The milk was too diluted even before the ice cubes melted, resulting in the caramel syrup being weak tasting. Rating: ♥️♥️
Sunday 20th May
Sunday was largely spent in cafés – both for tutoring purposes and having a relaxed lunch hour with one of my students. If you have visited my previous food related blog posts, by now you will be over familiar with the Korean dish ”Dak-galbi”; so I won’t bore you with the repetition of describing this dish again. Not only did we order Dak-galbi, we had a generous portion of ”Bibim-naengmyeon”: a spicy buckwheat noodle dish containing some elements of another dish called ”Bibimbap”. The difference between Bibim-naengmyeon and Bibmbap, is that Bibmbap can be eaten hot as well as chilled and based around rice; whereas Bibim-naengmyeon (‘naengmyeon’ meaning cold noodles) maining revolves around noodles…of course. Besides the lengthy buckwheat noodles Bibim-naengmyeon contains dried seaweed (laver), a hard boiled chicken or quail’s egg, stick thin carrot and cucumber slices, Korean chilli paste and other seasonings, sesame seeds, and sometimes kimchi or shredded cabbage. Paired rating: ♥️♥️♥️♥️
Starbucks New Green Tea Frappucino – A new edition to the Starbucks Korea menu which is consisdered to be a take on the brand’s original green tea frappuccino. The main difference that was most distinguishable was that the green tea based syrup seemed more concentrated than that used in the original recipe: resulting in more of a layered earthy Matcha taste. Pieces of Matcha biscuits (-possibly sponge cake) topped the cream to give the drink multiple textures. Rating: ♥️♥️♥️♥️♥️
Starbucks Chocolate Pudding Pot – This is the first Starbucks dessert I have tried. It may not be as extraordinary tasting as the delicately crafted cakes that Starbucks sell; yet it was a suitable ‘pick-me-up’ which perfectly accompanied the green tea frappuccino. Rating: ♥️♥️♥️♥️