whole*istic

Trying to live a holistic life in an unholistic world

Posts Tagged ‘South Korea

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…..

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However, there is a distinct line between drawing inspiration from someone else’s work as opposed to copying not only a concept, but a whole shop, right down to the actual menu, spatial design and interior decoration – including personal quirks.

Having worked as an interior designer, I value good design, but above all, design integrity.

I refer to my previous post, (which was sooooo long ago I know) where I hailed Porchetta as having a holier than thou vegan sandwich. I don’t want to slam a small business directly, or wish them into closure, however I think it’s important to be well informed, as things aren’t always as they appear.

After I had posted the previous blog entry, I received an email from Frankie Harrington, owner of Meat & Bread in Vancouver. The tone and delivery of the email was polite and informative, without any spite or malice. Frankie informed me that

“I built Meat & Bread sandwich shop and opened in October 2010 with my business partner. We grew up in restaurants and opening Meat & Bread was our first crack at owning our own. We took many risks in this venture and tried our hardest to be different and to stand out with our approach, cooking techniques and design.”

“It’s pretty upsetting to know that there are people that copy everything…inspiration is one thing but they took everything. My business partner and myself have worked very hard independently to open Meat & Bread…It’s not like we have bottomless pockets and come from a corporate background. This idea is as real as it get’s and we both still work at our two locations 6 days per week.”

Whilst I can not deny that I still dream of that sandwich from Porchetta, their ethics and morals have left a bitter aftertaste. It is a personal decision for me to decide not to visit Porchetta again, mind over stomach, ethics over hunger for me. Besides, Casablanca is just a 5 minute walk away when a carby craving hits, and it hits the spot oh so good.

Meat&Bread-Copy2-02

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Written by ayearinpatissiere

May 26, 2013 at 20:09

All apologies

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Many, many apologies.

It has been far too long between posts.

Life became crazy busy, things kicked off for whole*istic faster and bigger than ever expected. Collaborations with Cafe Suッkara and High Street Market, stalls at the Marche Festival , quitting old jobs, starting new jobs……phew.

What a crazy couple of months it has been.

But I’m not complaining, it has all been an unbelievable ride. A sleepless ride. A test of strength, determination, integrity and self-belief. And it’s only the beginning….

A slideshow of what’s been happening, more in depth accounts soon…….so much to write about, so little time.

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Written by ayearinpatissiere

November 19, 2012 at 15:39

High Street Market Collaboration

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Sooooo, a bit of a shameless plug.

High Street Market, located on the cusp of Itaewon and Hannam-Dong, is the boutiquey gourmet deli that I like to frequent when I’m missing Australia and in dire need of a slice of home.

The interior is warm and cosy and laid out like a typical delicatessen that would fit right in amongst the trendy Emporium or James Street shops back in Brisbane. Since moving to Korea one year ago, I’ve seen the store grow and morph, offering not only long lost items like dried beans, rolled oats, a massive selection of cheese, cured meats, lamb, peas and a good range of baking supplies to incorporating a cafe and dining area and also offering a growing range of hand crafted snacks and ready to go meals such as good breads, hummus, ricotta cheese, lasagne, thai rice dishes and…….whole*istic!!!

That’s right! This Saturday, 20th October, 2012, whole*istic snacks and desserts will be available in store.

crackers and dip

whole*istic menu
all items :

VEGAN & GLUTEN FREE

NO REFINED SUGAR (Fruit, Maple syrup, date sugar) OR SUGAR SUBSTITUTES

NO WHEAT FLOURS. NO XANTHAM GUM.
ALL ALMOND FLOUR

Crackers
₩2,900 p/10
brown rice, quinoa & tamari
rosemary & fig
black sesame, onion & chia

Dips
₩5,900 – 200g
roast beetroot & walnut
semi-dried tomato, basil & sunflower seed
roast carrot, ginger & coconut

Desserts
₩6,000
raw blueberry cheesecake
raw apple crumble pie
raw persimmon & hazelnut cream pie
chocolate caramel tart
pumpkin pie

Energy Balls (all raw)
₩1,800
apricot & almond
peanut & oat
raw cacao & hazelnut

Rosemary & fig crackers, roast beetroot & walnut dip

Black sesame, onion & chia crackers and roasted carrot, ginger & coconut dip

Brown rice, quinoa & tamari crackers and semi-dried tomato, basil & sunflower seed dip

Mix and match

Energy Balls. Can someone please help me think of a better name?? Orbs?
Yup, I spelt hazelnut incorrectly.


raw persimmon & hazelnut cream pie

chocolate caramel tart

pumpkin pie

raw apple crumble pie

raw blueberry cheesecake

Get to high street market this weekend, or email me direct for any orders:
mail@wholeistic.com

Open: 10:00am – 21:00
Phone
 : 02-790-5450
Address : 2F, 737-24, Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Korea

Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 19, 2012 at 06:20

Summer’s over but semi-dried tomatoes are here forever

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The taste of the Mediterranean – homemade here in Korea, for 1/4 of the shop price

Although the leaves are yellowing, the air is more crisp and the time spent frolicking in the sun (who has the time to frolic? But the idea, or word is lovely) is becoming shorter, I’ve found a way to savour the taste forever!

Like everything exotic and non-korean in Korea, avocados, watermelon, baby spinach to name a few, the price is excruciating, unbelievable, ridiculous. Semi-dried/sun-dried tomatoes are no exception. ₩9,000 on special? ₩13,000 – ₩20,000 for a small jar?

Sure, I’ve nothing better to spend my money on than eating.

Back home I’m used to picking up a couple of hundred grams for $3 – $5, of varying dried-ness, immersed in different oils or vinegar’s, with different herbs and accompaniments, full fat, fat-free. Pro-choice tomatoes, oh yeah!

So, figuring it’s just tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, spices, sun and time, I thought, I could make my own. Except, ah, the long hot summer days are over here – thank my sweat-free brow – so what to do, what to do….

Oven-dried tomatoes! Looooooong, sloooooooow dehydrated tomatoes result in the sweetest tomatoes with a soft inside, encased by a not-too-hard, ever so slightly chewy and dried out shell. Dehydrating them with a dash of olive oil that has been infused with Himalayan rock salt, pepper, garlic and herbs, enhances each flavour, bringing out the sweetness of the tomatoes.

I used cherry tomatoes here, because that’s what the ajumma was selling near my flat that day

Although I don’t label myself with a food label anymore such as vegetarian, carnivore, vegan, raw foodist; I eat 80% vegan and raw as much as possible (although since preparing samples and market prep for whole*istic snacks and desserts, my diet has changed to 80% DESSERTS! HELP!!)  and meat/fish if my body truly is craving it or someone has been so nice as to cook for me.

I found that it has been easier to make more conscious decisions this way, without placing limitations and expectations on myself and removing the ‘banned food’ list – which actually makes me want them even more.

Bu,t I digress.

A dehydrator is just as vital to a raw foodist as the holier-than-thou blender, the VitaMix – which you cannot get in Korea! Here I was ready to part with my ₩600,00 on a blender, but it’s not even possible. (Post to follow on what I did actually get)*be warned – it will be a rant, as after having acquired the most powerful, expensive blender in Korea, it DIED on me within 24 hours, 2 batches of energy noshies, 1 pie crust and halfway through a ‘cheese’cake…breathe in, breathe out….I am floating on al lily pad down a….one day, it lasted one day!!!! …..down a clear, tranquil blue stream….. But as I’d just received a new large, 4 rack oven, I had been reading that food prepared at 48°C or less, can technically be considered ‘raw’.

Which isn’t very hot at all. I’m sure the Bikram yoga room has been hotter than that before.

So anyway, if you’ve got an oven that can function at 48°C, lots of fresh tomatoes (it’s too time consuming to just do a punnet), and lots and lots of time for these babies to dehydrate – read on my friend, read on……

All you need is love! And time, and a big ass oven.

Oven-semi-dried tomatoes

Ingredients:

1 kg tomatoes (I used cherry tomatoes)
1/2 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Himalayan rock salt (this is more ‘salty’ than salt, so use less at first – then to taste)
1 tsp black pepper – 5 grinds?
1 tsp mixed herbs (I used a mix of basil and Italian parsley)

*Add all spices/seasonings to taste. I LOVE garlic so my recipes are heavy on the garlic, taste as you go, to your liking. Add anything you like. Just remember, the dehydrating will bring out the flavours more.

Method:

1. Combine all ingredients, except tomatoes, in a screw top glass jar.
Shake it, shake it like a polaroid picture.

2. Wash tomatoes. Cut in half. If using cherry/grape tomatoes place on greaseproof paper lined baking tray, cut side up.
If using larger tomatoes, scoop seeds out (can add to a smoothie, dip, pesto, sauce, eat, whatever – just don’t waste it)

3. Drizzle some of the oil over the tomatoes.
I used about one tablespoon per line of tomatoes.
There should be about 1/4 cup of oil, more or less, remaining for you to sit the tomatoes in after dehydrating, or to use as a dressing. Beautiful!

4. Place in oven at 45°C.
For 2 large trays of cherry tomatoes, they took 5 hours and were fully dried.
4 hours would create a more juicy, semi semi dried tomato.

Will keep in a sealed jar, covered in the remaining oil for a month? 2 months? Although, I don’t think they’ll last that long….

Cherry tomatoes: 2 hours in

Ta-da!! The finished product – 5 hours on


Drizzle garlic olive oil. Whiz into a pesto or dip. Top a salad.
Eat. Straight up.

I blended mine into a basil, sunflower seed pesto and served atop fresh squash, black sesame tofu (I’ve never liked tofu until moving to Korea – its baffling me -)

Looks like a raw, vegan nachos???

For 2 large trays of Roma tomatoes, well, they’ve been in for 3 hours last night, sat overnight, and we’re up to hour number 2 as we speak.

They’re getting close, but still very juicy

Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 17, 2012 at 02:35

Fusion cooking: Kimchi quinoa kimbap 김치쿠이 노아 김밮

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I’m a bit of a mixed bag. More a mixed bag of nuts as I’m kinda nutty, more crazy than quirky.

I grew up in a very Australian household enjoying barbecues several times a week, salad optional; minimum 2 varieties of meat essential, vegemite sangas and sao’s with cheese and tomato. With my Scottish mum designated to preparing meals,(very typically reflective of most baby-boomer nuclear households) there was also a strong British influence. I have very strong and fond memories of casseroles, soups and mince and tatties; not to mention Coronation Street, Heartbeat and whisky.

By face value, I apparently have a very Korean face, but my fashion sense and makeup is not very Gangnam style, or actually my face – no plastic surgery here….yet!

But anyway, I’ve been described as a banana before, yellow on the outside, white on the inside. Actually a term of affection or endearment….not as derogatory as it sounds or to be confused with being FOB-by (Fresh off the boat – an Asian in a western country, not assimilating and acting, well, very Asian….I don’t make these things up!!)

So I thought it finally time to embrace my banana-like, Konglish, fusion culture and make food reflective of my own culture. To share my relatively new found love of Korean food mashed together with all the best, fresh elements of Australian food.

Kimchi quinoa 김치쿠이 노아 with sesame leaves 깻잎, tofu 두부, cucumber 오이 and lotus root 연근

Kimbap 김밮, directly translating to seaweed (kim) and rice (bap) is as revered as tteokbokki 떡볶이 in the hearts and s(e)oul of all Koreans, bringing back memories of childhood, picnics and uni days. Both are cheap, tasty eats available at all street vendors or quickly slapped together by mothers as a snack food with limitless variations.

Tteokbokki 떡볶이: soft, chewy rice cakes simmered in hot pepper sauce with fish cakes.
Pretty tasty. Extra tasty after soju.

Kimbap is the equivalent to a sandwich. Similar to sushi, (but don’t mention that to hardcore patriotic Koreans, may as well ask them if Dokdo belongs to Japan) Kimbap is rolled rice, usually short grain white rice seasoned with sesame or perilla oil and with a variety of fillings; usually the ubiquitous yellow pickle, sweet marinated lotus root, bulgolgi ham, egg, tofu and sarimi stick. Due to the heavy lashings of sesame oil, no other seasoning is usually required making it the perfect snack/meal on the run.

Traditional Kimbap 김밮: yellow= egg, orange = carrot, dark brown = marinated lotus root, pink/brown= ham, translucent yellow = pickle, green = ? cucumber? probably another bloody pickle?

Quality varies from the GS25 roll or Samgak kimbap 삼각김밥 (triangle kimbap); that’s been sitting there for god knows how long, to the skinny, uniform rolls at any street vendor, battered, deep-fried and deep-fried again as you please! New restaurants such as School Food are revamping humble Korean staple foods by substituting white rice for black rice and more gourmet fillings.

Fancy pants School Food kimbap


Still-life artistic triangle kimbap shot

And then, there’s me, committing cardinal Korean food murder, fusing together well-known foods from Australia, like quinoa and cashew chive pesto and salad fillings such as mixed greens and cucumber with traditional Korean ingredients. Yet to try a hamburger with the works style with beetroot, bacon and a fried egg, but never say never, right?

Some worked, some didn’t.

I liked them all, and so did some friends and random taste testers, but when you’re messing about with very traditional Korean food, with tastes that are ingrained and reliably taste the same wherever you go in Korea, there’s going to be some resistance.

It’s like changing a cheeseburger. Or leaving out the beetroot on a hamburger.

You’re messing with the food gods.

But it’s a start, and generally feedback was good, although the flavours need to be very strong for the korean palette. The kimchi infused quinoa was more popular, as there was some familiarity.

Looking forward to more experimentation with new flavours, bases and fillings, let me know if you wanna be a taste tester!

Kimchi Quinoa kimbap: Attempt #1
Kimchi and green pepper to be mixed with quinoa.
Marinated lotus root for filling

Added in green pepper, kimchi, sesame seeds and yellow capsicum to the cooked quinoa

Pressed out the kimchi quinoa onto the kim (roasted seaweed)
Added some marinated sesame leaves in soy sauce  깻잎 장아찌

Added the marinated lotus root 연근조림 – yeongeun jorim
Should have divided this quantity with cucumber to provide a refresher from the spiciness of the peppers and kimchi.

Keep rolling, rolling, rolling. Arg, is that Limp Bizkit? I don’t even like Limp Bizkit…..Except for that Faith cover.
I should delete that.

Continuing on…I don’t have a bamboo mat for ease of rolling, so you can sub with greaseproof paper or seran wrap just fine.

Second variation: quinoa cooked in coconut milk mixed with capsicums and a crunchy mix of toasted peanuts, sunflower and chia seeds.

Added lettuce, cucumber, carrots and sprouts

Kimchi variation #2
No peppers this time in the quinoa, added fresh sesame leaves, tofu, lotus root and cucumber.

Ta daaaa!
Make sure you cut the kimbap with an extremely sharp knife.
Running the knife under hot water will make your life easier

Bottom kimbap was quinoa mixed with cashew chive pesto and black sesame seeds with cucumber, carrot and tofu

Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 5, 2012 at 07:30

Cafe Able: Serosugil, Sinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu 서올시 강남구 신사동

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Meandering around Garosugil this week, see post here, I discovered a newish cafe that has become my favourite southside hangout.

Not to sound all wanky and cliched and stuff, (these disclaimers always mean something wanky and cliched will follow) but the universe has a funny ‘ole habit of pulling you in the direction you need to be. Or meeting people who share common interests. Or realising that living life by the magic 8 ball app is probably quite foolish.

Though life may throw some curve balls and some straight out air swings, I’ve found that everything in life, positive or seemingly negative, leads you to where you have to be. I’m always where I need to be.

And on this bright, crisp Autumn arvo, I was led here.

Cafe Able, Sinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu.
Down the right hand side streets of Garosugil

They are part of the emerging ‘slow food’ movement in Seoul.
Apparently they have their own rooftop farm, however I couldn’t go up to see on this day, or I needed a Korean friend to help me with the language barrier.

They also had a workshop area for cooking classes, craft workshops

They also sell delicious treats, pickled products

Beautiful, eco inspired cafe with good spatial design with different areas.
Communal spaces for bigger groups, workshops, intimate areas for private occassions or a vibrant, social area for a quick bite or long lunch.

Jumping on the oh-so-trendy-but pretty mason jar trend, the menu was a selection of fresh, energising juices and coffee’s; light meals such as beautifully executed salads, sandwiches and soups served on individual wooden bread boards.

Refreshingly tart and delicious.
Green Vitamin; kiwi, orange & celery.

How to get there: Get yourself to Garosugil, Sinsa-Dong. Line 3 (orange) Sinsa – Exit 8.

From exit 8 end, walk all the way down the end, Forever 21 end.

As you see Starbucks on the left, take the the right hand street, before Starbucks. Follow to next intersection and turn left. Cafe Able is on the left hand side, near the corner.

Address: 2F, 547-6 Sinsa-Dong 서올시 강남구 신사동 547-6 2F *Don’t rely on google maps – It will send you to the wrong place.

Phone: 010-6219-7264

Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 5, 2012 at 06:46

Garosugil 가로수길 is so 2010. Serosugil 세로수길 is the new black.

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Today, being the last day of my holiday, I decided to take a stroll around my favourite southside area, Garosugil in Sinsa-Dong, Gangnam-Gu. (Dong = micro suburb, Gu = suburb. Southside = anywhere south of the massive Han river.

Garosugil directly translates to “tree-lined street” (Garosu = tree-lined, Gil = street) and is aptly titled, with the whole street decorated with deciduous trees which are in the first stages of shedding their summer skin in exchange for the warmer orangey-brown hues of Autumn. The area is renowned for having a European vibe from the huge varieties of food available to imported brands.

New fashion / cafe collaboration: ‘Around the corner’ fashion and ‘Publique’.
Original bakery in Hongdae.

Publique: Hongdae.
Sadly closed when I visited.
Amazing breads (none of that sweet white shite) and other sweet treats.
The founder was once an architect, with a passion for bread, and an obvious talent!

Garosugil.
Last Winter.
The big brands have taken over.

However, as with the gentrification of all suburbs, what was once a little hidden pocket for authentic pop-up shops, emerging designers and small businesses, has become a mecca for the big players, taking advantage of the beautiful location, accessibility and apparent ‘new money’ wealth of the area.

세로수길, or Serosugil, translates to ‘side streets’ and these noticeably quieter, quirky side streets of Sinsa, off the main drag of Garosugil, have been sprouting new small boutiques, cafes and restaurants reminiscent of the area formerly known as.

I was on a mission today to do the unthinkable in Seoul.
Trying to find some place I’d read about somewhere, but couldn’t find the post online again, or any information at all regarding the place. My phone wasn’t loading the Korea Herald website here, which has directions in layman’s terms.

So, Le Pure Pressed Juice, it’s you and me baby another day.

It wasn’t all a futile waste though. There’s always something new to be found in this city. That’s what I love.

Walking around in the glorious Autumn afternoon,weaving in and out of streets, I saw many interesting places, old faithfuls like Le Alaska Boulangerie (Why Alaska?) who imports their wheat flour direct from France and has a beautiful open kitchen where you can watch the bakers at work, dine in and enjoy coffee and croissant or take it to go. I’ve tried the spinach twist (and still dream of it, however now try to refrain from wheat) and can vouch that it is as delicious as it looks.

Help! Get me outta here.

Open prep & baking area

Because the French do it better

Another favourite, the Swedish cafe ‘Fika’ which has recently moved to a bigger location and extended beyond just a cafe to include a 2nd floor ‘smart working library cafe’ where the premise is to ‘work, share, read, write and drink.’  The basement floor is a Scandinavian design lifestyle shop where they sell different kitchen utensils, homewares and soft furnishings. The cafe now also stocks a range of gourmet biscuits, crackers and muesli’s. Not all Swedish, some German, but there was the ‘vellicht Svensk’ (very Swedish) Lingonberry and Gooseberry jam. This can be either spread on bread or crispbread or mixed with water to form a drink.

Having lived in Sweden, I find Fika to be quite authentic with the selection of cakes, buns and savoury items. Generally, Swedes love processed cheese/fish pastes in a tube and it was scarily heart-warming to see these nutritional nightmares there!

‘Fika’ in Swedish means coffee break. And Swedes love to take fika 2 or more times a day. I lived in a small town outside of Gothenburg on the west coast, and it was a tiny, quaint, fairy tale beautiful town with only around 25,000 people, a main street in the city centre that went for 2 blocks, but with a crazy 30+ cafes. At any time of the day, these cafes would be filled with people, man or woman, young or old, all enjoying fika.

The sweet taste of Sweden, Lingonberry.
Enjoyed with everything from pancakes to meatballs.

Bottom Left: Cheese/Fish paste in a tube
Top Right: Semla – a sweet bun usually filled with marzipan. Traditionally only eaten around Easter.

Other places of interest:

Spellbound Fixie Shop
Lots of people riding around, hanging about.
Will go back another day and buy me a bike.

One Chu – Churros Cafe

Cafe No Bear

Fork Fork Diner
Kitsch little cafe serving burgers, salads, pasta

Hello! Diner and Cafe
Menu looked suspiciously asian for a ‘diner’
Noodles, rice dishes……ho hum ho hum

Jane’s Picky Pizza
Good design, both architecturally and graphically
Food looks pretty banging too

It’s not all about food
Serosugil has nice, independent boutiques like this as well as more street fashion orientated stores stocking European brands like Nudie, Cheap Monday, WESC.

Ok, around the corner, back on Garosugil.
Collab between ‘Around the corner’ and ‘Publique’

Delicious bread from Publique.
Vegan chive and ‘cheese’ dip – recipe to follow

How to get there: Sinsa Station exit 8, line 3 (orange) Walk directly out of subway for 2 blocks. Turn left at the Missha into Garosugil.
Walk around, get lost, discover a new favourite, like I have here (post to follow)

Written by ayearinpatissiere

October 3, 2012 at 14:32