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Japchae- Tasty treat

Japchae is a popular Korean noodle dish that I love making. The chewy texture of the translucent sweet potato noodles along with the plethora of veggies makes it so colorful and tasty.

It just keeps getting better!

Takoyaki in Busan, Korea

I had takoyaki for the first time last summer in Japan. Takoyaki is one of Japan’s quintessential street foods. It even originated in Osaka. It’s a sphere-shaped hot snack of flour-based batter with various scraps, often including diced octopus (take), ginger, and green onions. I really like this snack with dark takoyaki sauce, mayonnaise, and shavings of dried bonito on top.

I did enjoy this food in Japan, but found that the balls were too big (meaning too hot!) for my mouth. Fortunately, you don’t have to travel to Japan for takoyaki. My boyfriend is a big fan of this street food in Korea, and I’m happy to say I like takoyaki more in Korea. The snack is smaller here, and much more pleasurable to eat.

There is a really good street vendor that serves them outside of Kyungsung University subway station exit 5. 

A Cheltenham Wishlist

So I learned recently that my home town Cheltenham is getting a Carluccio’s Italian restaurant, and I couldn’t have been more excited because it’s one of my favourite places to eat. And I realised that over the past couple of years there have been so many great additions to Cheltenham. After literally years of wishing for an H&M, one finally opened in 2013; Yo Sushi appeared to bring good sushi into the town (it was sad to say goodbye to Pizza Hut, but you can’t have everything); and Patisserie Valerie provided everyone with temptation to spend too much money on delicious pastries. There’s even a new Caribbean restaurant opening soon, which is very exotic and exciting.

Despite the great, and increasing, variety in Cheltenham, there are still a few eateries and shops which I’d love to see come to Cheltenham. Here’s my wishlist:

1) Pret

Moving To Korea: Top Tips I Wish I’d Known…

Coming to Korea was a huge, daunting move, and needless to say I did a lot of research beforehand; finding out about the culture and customs (bowing your head and removing your shoes inside), weather (yes, there definitely are 4 distinct seasons), and shopping (being told that buying clothes/shoes/underwear was pretty much impossible). 

The information I found was helpful, but ultimately it’s living here which gives you the best knowledge. So here, in hindsight, is what advice I’d give myself, and anyone else about to move to Korea.

Conscious Streams of Consciousness on a 13-Hour Flight

I am in Seat 41A on United Airlines flight 88 to Newark Liberty International Airport. I am about four hours into a 13-hour marathon from Beijing, which began in Incheon. Before that, a 42-minute express train from Seoul. Before that, a two-hour, 50-minute KTX from Busan Station. Before that, an 11-stop subway ride from Hadan. Before that, my friends’ apartment, graciously donated to me for the night.

The coffee I drink to keep me awake–as my body and mind attempt to adjust to the endless night across the East Siberian Sea–is measurably worse than the coffee I could be drinking at home, ground from beans from Costco in Centum City. It’s even far worse than the Americanos I have the luxury to complain about from time to time. But it tastes considerably better than the mysteries I chose to leave to imagination when I quit on Korea years ago.

20 Foods That I Wish Would Make a Comeback

I’m feeling very nostalgic (and hungry) today, so I thought I’d share this list: a collection of foods which are no longer available and which I miss dearly. (The original article which I wrote on Buzzfeed can be found here, but I thought I’d recreate it on my blog for all you foodies.)

1. Citrus Polos

Innovation or Aberration? – Unpeeling the Costco Onion Salad

Life from Above

Life from Above

Life from above, as captured in Daegu's sprawling Seomun Market complex. You can read the accompanying story here . 

One can find the restaurant, Seoga & Cook (서가앤쿡), all over...

One can find the restaurant, Seoga & Cook (서가앤쿡), all over Korea. I had seen it before but had never been to until my co-worker, another Korean-American, recommended it to me. She described it as “a good place in Korea to get American-ish food.”

After going there, I’d say that that’s a pretty accurate description. They had American-style foods like pasta, risotto, and fried rice, but with a Korean twist, such as corn mixed in or sweet pickles as a side dish. 

Locations vary, but the menu is often the same, and the atmosphere are trendy but comfortable. 

All plates are priced the same at 19,800₩, but should be shared among 2-3 people. 

A Message To Korea From A Student

In light of my recent post on exam stress, I thought it was quite fitting to share a video I saw on YouTube today. The video was made by a Korean middle-school student called Jason, and it shows his message to Korea: a depressing discussion of the Korean education system. 

Animal Themes, Hello Kitty Themes… And Study Themes- Cafes in Korea


Last week I was reading about a new cafe which is opening in London- a ‘cereal cafe’, with hundreds of flavours of cereal, many of which have been discontinued or are foreign imports. Lucky Charms, Barbie Cereal, Star Wars Cereal- you name it, they’ve got it. They’ve even got cereal cakes, cereal memorabilia (yes, I would like a Kellogg’s Frosties lip-balm), and cereal artwork on the walls. As a cereal lover, it sounds like my dream cafe. Needless to say I was pretty jealous I wouldn’t be able to visit.

Happy Christmas From Pizza Hut Korea


It’s December, it’s snowy and it’s time to start feeling Christmassy (and to give yourself an excuse to watch Home Alone and Elf in class). And while Christmas might not be the biggest holiday in Korea, Pizza Hut has still decided to celebrate in style…

With a limited edition, special, three- layered Christmas Tree Box. What better way to get into the festive spirit than to order a takeaway in a tiered box made to look like a Christmas Tree?! 

10 Ways That Korea Is Winning

All countries have good and bad points, things which we can either complain about or praise. And while Korea has it’s faults, today I’m going to focus on the good things: 10 things which give Korea definite cool points.

Oreo Cereal

To the misery of Oreo-lovers everywhere, this cereal has been discontinued in every country…apart from South Korea. I regularly see it featured on lists along the lines of ‘foods we miss which no longer exist’. Well, come to Korea and stock up…




The Coolest Ice Creams In Korea

Koreans can be pretty creative and original when it comes to snacking, as I wrote about

Sin-Free Stewed Apples

When it’s cold in the evening, there’s nothing better than a warming dessert. Well, actually, perhaps the best thing is a guilt-free warming dessert. I’m a huge fan of apple pie, apple crumble, apple strudel, basically anything apple-flavoured. But, it wouldn’t be too healthy to eat these every night. And let’s face it- the best part of these puddings is the sweet apple filling. So I decided to recreate my favourite apple desserts, minus the unhealthy pastry part.

What was I left with? A completely innocent apple treat, which you can enjoy any night of the week. After all, according to that famous saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away…

Here is the recipe for my sin-free stewed apples. Simple, quick and delicious (I apologize for the lack of photos, I got too excited whilst cooking/ eating to remember to take any).

Rachel’s Tiny Kitchen #1 – RICE COOKER CHICKEN WINGS!

I have always enjoyed cooking, but boy did I take for granted my kitchen and oven in the States! Since moving to Korea I’ve had to adapt the way I cook completely. From having no counter space, to replacing ingredients with things available here, to trying to make delicious cakes in a small toaster oven, I’ve done it all! There have been a lot of failed experiments and total disasters in my tiny kitchen(stories I may have to share soon!), but along the way I’ve learned a lot about how to make your tiny kitchen as efficient as possible and still make delicious food!

Healthy in Korea

Korea is known for having low obesity levels, with only an estimated 4% of people being obese, much lower than the 35% of Americans, or 25% of Brits. It’s true that the percentage of overweight Koreans is increasing, but nowhere near as drastically as other Western countries. And I don’t find the trend at all surprising; In fact, I’ve found it a lot easier to maintain a healthy-eating lifestyle since living in Korea.

Comfort Food Around The World

Everyone loves a good comforting meal, especially at this time of year when every day it’s getting colder and darker outside; what better thing is there to do than settle down in a cosy room with some delicious comfort food. In Korea, my favourite comfort food is my beloved Dolsot Bibimbap, a steaming-hot bowl of veggies, rice, egg and spicy pepper paste, perfect for warming you up on a cold autumn night.

Spending and Saving in South Korea

Happy Pepero Day & A Look at Korea’s Special Days


Happy Pepero Day from Korea! If you’re not familiar with this special day, it’s one in which people exchange Peperos (chocolate sticks) with their loved ones, kind of like Easter without the religion. According to reports, the celebration started because people believed if you partook in the Pepero celebration, you would become taller and thinner, especially if you ate your Peperos at exactly 11:11 on November 11th- 11:11, on the 11th day of the 11th month. And if you’re really superstitious, you should make sure you eat the Peperos 11 seconds after 11:11, for the ultimate thinning/ heightening effect. Eating loads of chocolate to make you taller and thinner? I like that kind of logic!

Saying Goodbye To Sugar


There’s been a big change in nutritional advice over the past few years; while before, fatty foods were seen as the worst thing for your diet, evil options which instantly add inches to your waist and clog your arteries, nowadays it’s sugar which is viewed as the enemy. Things with a higher fat content like eggs are suddenly ‘superfoods’, and nutritionists are advising increased consumption of such foods, advising people to restrict their sugar intake instead.

Perfectly Warming Pumpkin-Corn Soup

McKay Savage Wikimedia Commons
McKay Savage Wikimedia Commons

In the past month, there’s been a distinct change in season; evenings are darker, the temperature has dropped by about 10 degrees, and I’ve gone from wearing sandals and skirts to covering up with a coat, gloves and scarf. I’m only one pair of wellies and a thermal vest away from my full-on winter gear.

Expat Living- The Highs, The Lows, And Is It Worth It?

If someone had told me 5 years ago, even 2 years ago, that I’d move to Korea, I’d have thought they were joking: I’m  a homebody with a close family and friends, and have never really had the ‘travelling bug’ tempting me to go out and explore the world. The thought of leaving everything behind would have seemed absurd, something only someone way more adventurous than me would do. Even when I did a TESOL course with the intention of going abroad, I always imagined going to Europe and making frequent trips home.

Our 4th Chuseok in Korea, Part 2 – Busan & Yangsan

This is the 2nd part of our Aunt Kathy’s trip to Korea! You can read about the first part of the trip in Seoul here. Now on to Busan! I was really excited about the train ride from Seoul to Yangsan, because after years I’m still not tired of Korea’s beautiful mountains and countryside. It ended up not being as clear as it could have been but it was still a nice ride! As Seoul faded from our minds, we started focusing on the next couple days in Busan.

Same Chains, Different Countries = Unexpected Menu

Siqbal,Wikimedia Commons
Siqbal,Wikimedia Commons

Sometimes, even if you love Korean food, you just crave something from home- a burger and chips, a glazed doughnut, or a big cheesy pizza. Luckily, there is an ever-increasing number of Western chains across Korea, offering food for just these occasions. However, that’s not to say the menus are exactly the same..

Expat Longings

No matter how much you love a country, Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz was right when she said “There’s no place like home”. When you move away, you find new things you love, you make replacements and adjustments. But sometimes, you just want the real thing: a Mars Bar, some Nando’s chicken, your favourite magazine. And, most importantly, real English tea.

Then, there are the things you don’t even realise you like about home, until you’re not there and can’t have them anymore: the smell of going to a petrol station, turning on the radio and actually understanding what the people are talking about.

The Best Night At The Beastro


Delicious food, good service, weird cocktails and free wine? Yes please. Where do you go to get these things? The Beastro Restaurant in Seoul, my new favourite place.

British-Irish Style Pubs in HAPS Issue 33

The new issue of HAPS Magazine, the English-language publication covering Busan, is out. Included is my latest contribution for the bi-monthly, on the growing number of “British-Irish Style” pubs popping up all over the city.

Head to page 36 now or view the entire issue online below. You can grab a free copy at many fine and dandy establishments around Busan.

Zen Kimchi’s Ultimate Korean BBQ Experience

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