Vegan Cafe, Adoption Center, Seonyudo Park, Green Tiramisu
30th June 2013. Our last Sunday in Seoul. Today we hooked up with Tomek’s work colleague Dan and his girlfriend Mimi. Dan has come to Seoul five years ago, not for kimchi but Mimi and the two now live a bit further out of Seoul but came to visit. Dan is working as a freelancer like Tomek which is how they met. Mimi makes artisan soap in her wonderful work-shop called It’s Soap. The kind that makes Lush blush.
Mimi is able to create customized soap bars meeting clients’ most fanciful wishes. Incorporating ingredients provided by her customers into soap bars, who believe milky elements to be beneficial, thereby mothers supplying their nutritious fluids, not only to their newborns (yes, soap bars with breastmilk), is no biggie. What better way to let your friends know of the new addition to the family than through a very personal soap present.
Mimi and Dan took us out to a new vegan restaurant in Seoul. Vegan Cafe is a great place because it is part of a non profit organization that gives all money from the restaurant to the next door animal shelter, called the Adoption Center, which we visited afterwards. Stray cats and dogs get another chance, instead of being put down, they have a temporary place to stay.
We were impressed by the staffs commitment to treat sick animals and to keep them until a new owner is found. The cats and dogs had separate rooms. The dogs were not kept in horrible metal cages but each had their own small cabin with glass doors.
I will never forget a small beagle who was eager to make contact with us, howling and standing on his back feet, showing exactly the same behaviour like lively Bella (my parent’s beagle who passed away last year). Not a day goes by without a thought of Bella.
Don’t worry, mum, dad, we did not get the beagle. If plane travel would (finally) allow dogs on board (not caging them into cargo), we would have considered caring for the most fantastic and loveable bread.
The shelter also relies on donations and there is a donation box at the reception.
You could bring your pet to the restaurant which I think is great and should be normal in any place.
Drinks came first. Berry shake.
Glass noodle salad.
Veggie steak with mushrooms.
After a healthy meal, we went to explore Seonyudo Park.
Crossing an Indiana Jones kind of bridge.
Dan and Mimi explaining how to cross it.
The park is widely known to have been functioning as a filming location for the TV drama Iris.
Mimi and me on set.
Dan explaining the benefits of shelter on a hot day. Well, not really but we learned that the park is an ecological park created by reusing the facilities of a closed water purification plant.
The guys were drinking DMZ water, that is water from the demilitarized zone in Korea. Just like the misleading concept of infinity pools, which are definitely finite (sorry to disappoint some of you guys) – there is actually a lot of military in the demilitarized zone.
The girls had militarized-zone beauty drinks with collagen, fibres, minerals and vitamins – a challenge to drink but producing irresistible smiles.
The bunch picture after DMZ water and fizzy drink kicked in.
After Seonyudo Park, we went to my favourite area in town, Hongik University district around Sangsu and Hongik Station. If you prefer to walk, Hongdae Street is only 45 minutes walk away from the park.
One reason why the area is so unique. Packed with students and their ideas to make the world look nicer. Most young Seoulites look very chic themselves.
Another reason to visit is that Garfield is a homeless bum, living on Hongdae street.
Our foodie ambition in the area. Find green tea tiramisu! Mimi knew a café, famous for this sensational desert.
It is located right next to a cat café. The popularity of cafés where you can pet cats (and dogs) is overwhelming and as much fun as it is for humans, for animals that need nature and stability just as we do (surprise!), it is not.
Seoul has so many stylish cafés! Even though this one is underground it did not feel weird or creepy at all. And I am not a basement person.
We ordered coffee tiramisu to compare with the green tea version. Dear readers, there is just no match for the greatness of green tea tiramisu. Except my dad’s brandy tiramisu.
The ginseng tea was a bit too bitter for my taste but to stimulate some grey matter, I am willing to do anything. The smoothies were amazing.
They also have black tea – which is actually surprisingly difficult to find in Seoul.
The other thing they had was an animal corner, so you could bring your dog along which is very cool – instead of leaving those poor animals alone at home.There is no point in getting an animal if you work and the pet is going to spend most of his time locked up. Dogs are social animals and should not be left alone. Just saying.
With all the food intake and high energy levels, we went to bang together. Yep, that is what we did. Korean style bang. See you there!