Four Go-to Cafes Over Spring Break

Coffee and Friends: The Perfect Blend!

Not sure what you’re going to be doing over spring break? Or do you already have set plans: being stuck at hagwon for over ten hours, studying for your AP exams and perhaps even the SATs? It’s okay, I’ve been there too. But don’t worry – I’m sure we can find something for you to enjoy over the well deserved break other than simply repeating what you always do while school is still in session. I’ve got just what you need: a list of four unique and “aesthetically pleasing” cafes you definitely need to visit with your friends over the break!

1

As the name of this cafe goes, the Style Nanda Pink Hotel gives off vintage hotel vibes, perhaps inspired by the movie, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. As soon as you enter the place, the first thing you will see is the concierge desk with room keys hung on the wall, just like any other hotel. Moreover, as Style Nanda is a fashion brand, you can shop for makeup and clothes from the first floor all the way to the fourth floor at this five stories tall building. The Pink Pool Cafe is located on the fifth floor, where you can enjoy the standard lattes and cappuccinos, as well as their famous cotton candy ice cream. It’s basically a giant fluff of cotton candy placed on top of haagen-daaz ice cream – what more can we ask for? And of course, we can’t forget the rooftop terrace cafe on the sixth floor, the area perfect to take photos with your friends, or to just chill out in general.

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PC: Twitter.com

2

On the search for an one and only vibe to experience at a cafe? Then Ferry Roasters is the way to go. Again, as the name of the cafe goes, the interior design of this cafe is mostly inspired by how a cruise ship would look on the inside, with sprinkles of European sentimentality here and there. However, you can also go up to the cafe’s rooftop section where you can relax as you sip your cup of coffee (roasted on the spot!) and munch on your mini donuts, the cafe’s original specialty, while enjoying the great view. In fact, you can even see the Namsan Tower from there! Their popular menus include a drink of espresso added to milk (mixed with herb and vanilla) with a mini donut on top called the tube latte and the chilly choco, which is their hot chocolate with marshmallows on top.

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PC: Instagram.com

3

Aren’t flowers pretty much long overdue, after that long, long, winter? I mean, it’s spring time; flowers are a staple when it comes to appreciating this season. So why not check out this flower cafe located in Hongdae? First of all, whether you take a selfie or ask your friend to take a “candid” shot of you at this cafe, the photos are guaranteed to look decent to a certain extent because the background will be that beautiful. It’s not necessarily a quiet cafe, per say, with everybody around you taking photos, but you need those photoshoot days once in awhile! As for popular menus, you should try their strawberry yogurt smoothie or their berry berry mate tea. Once again, a great place to take pictures to blow up your instagram feed!

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4

On the lookout for some mouth-watering dessert? Well, YGiis is a fantastic choice for you. It’s not difficult finding this cafe, as it’s the only place with a white exterior design amongst all the dull colored ones around it, thus easily noticeable to one’s eye. This cafe sells not only the usual coffee menus such as americano and mocha, but also the best choices of a wide range of sweets. Mont blanc, tarts, roll cakes…whatever you’re craving that day, I’m sure YGiis will have that choice of cake for you. Also, don’t forget their most popular menu, their ice cream placed in a cone made out of langue de chat. Langue de chat, French for “a cat’s tongue,” is a French cookie recipe, and it goes perfectly with the milk ice cream!

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Spring break may not be exactly what you planned for it to be, with the inevitable amount of studying you have to do, but who says you can’t take a day off from all those brain-frying equations, and the hours you will have to spend on which ways the AD and AS curves shift? #TreatYourSelf to a trip to one of these cafes with your friends, and don’t forget to take some insta-worthy photos! Don’t worry; we’re almost there.

– Leona Maruyama (‘17)

Banners by Crescentia Jung (’19)

Featured Image by Celine Yoon (’19)

Ode to Nutella

Nutella = Love

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Who doesn’t love Nutella? | c. Pusheen

Nutella… More like hell yeah. Am I right or am I right?

A jar full of absolute mesmerization, that brings the feeling of jumping over a rainbow while riding a unicorn. Scratch that, two unicorns. That, my friend, would be Nutella. Ever since it was introduced to the market in 1964, Nutella has been – and to this day still – a very much appreciated chocolate spread. The perfect combination of hazelnut with a hint of cocoa and milk is like, the best thing ever on this planet. With just about nine weeks left of school, we find ourselves already thinking about summer break, procrastinating our work to the last minute. And, it’s been scientifically proven that chocolate is good for your mind and body. Add those two together and you have a happy brain, mind, and attitude about school! (and a fulfilled stomach). To satisfy your needs, I’ve got some Nutella recipes! Of course, everybody goes through the eating-directly-from-the-jar-with-a-huge-spoon kind of days. But check out these recipes and try some because honestly, they’re life changing.

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c. Tyler Feder

But before you get to the cooking, take a moment to appreciate Nutella itself and it’s past.  Nutella’s history goes all the way back to the end of the Second World War. Pietro Ferrero, a confectioner was inspired to make cocoa and hazelnuts affordable for the people of Italy, as those ingredients were considered quite the luxury. This was when the Gianduja, the very combination of chocolate and hazelnuts, was invented (or rather, the prototype of our modern day Nutella).The new sensation captured everybody’s attention, ending up as an immense success. Chocolate treats were no longer inaccessible; both the cheap price and appetizing taste called for awareness, causing the Gianduja to become a huge hit. But it wasn’t until Michele Ferrero, the inventor of Nutella, created his new secret recipe that the actual Nutella was born. The Italian  – perhaps even worldwide  – success continues to be consumed all year long, because of its simplicity, functionality, and price.

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RIP Michele Ferrero | c. The Guardian

Here are three tasty Nutella-mazing recipes to celebrate our universal love for the chocolatey treat.

1. Nutella Banana Smoothie

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c. AThriftyDiva.com

Ingredients:

Frozen bananas (70 g)

Milk (100 ml)

Ice (50 g)

Nutella (1 tablespoon)

 

Step 1) Stick the frozen banana slices on to the inner surface of your cup.

Step 2) Using a mixer, mix the milk, ice, and Nutella until the mixture becomes smooth.

Step 3) Pour the mixture into the cup, and top it off with whatever you like! (I recommend whipping cream and granola!)

 

2. Nutella French Toast

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c. Buzzfeed

Ingredients:

Bread (1 piece)

Egg (1)

Milk (150 ml)

Sugar (1 tablespoon)

Nutella (AS MUCH AS YOU LIKE!)

 

Step 1) Get your slice of bread, cut it in half, and cut a pocket in the bread for the Nutella to go inside.

Step 2) Scoop as much Nutella as you like inside the cut.

Step 3) Mix the egg, milk, and sugar and place the bread slices in the mixture. (Tip: Use a ziplock bag to the dipping)

Step 4) Warm up your frying pan, and cook the bread until it becomes a golden-yellowish color.

Step 5) Optional, but you can top the french toast off with chocolate sauce, fruits, or just anything you like!

 

3. Nutella Brownie

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c. CompletelyDelicious

 

Ingredients:

Nutella (1 jar)

Egg (2)

Milk (4 tablespoons)

Salt (2 sprinkles)

Cake flour (80 g)

 

Step 1) Get a cake tray, and inside the tray, lay aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 175 celsius. Lightly sprinkle cake flour on the tray.

Step 2) Mix Nutella, eggs, and milk inside a bowl.

Step 3) Add the salt and the rest of the cake flour inside the bowl, and mix until smooth.

Step 4) Pour the mixture into the tray and leave in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes.

Step 5) Take out, cut it into small squares, and decorate however you like!

 

TREAT YO’ SELF with Nutella! Grab your smoothie mixer, cake tray, and start cooking!

 

– Leona Maruyama (’17)

Header: Tumblr

Blueprint Takes Garosugil

You haven’t experienced Garosugil until Blueprint’s taught you how.

Restless with a prodigious amount of time on your hands? Want to go out with your friends to someplace new? Enjoy the changing weather at Garosugil, a beautiful street full of not only major shopping sites and cherry blossom trees, but also innovative restaurants and cafes; it’s perfect for exploring and spending time with your friends and family.

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Cafe Able (Seiyeon Park ’17)

Cafe Able // Rating: 3.5/5

Cafe Able is a cafe and breakfast/lunch spot. A bit pricey (16,500won for the gorgonzola shrimp, and 16,000won for the risotto) and under-portioned, Cafe Able is a bit questionable as to whether I would go again or not.

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Gorgonzola Shrimp (Seiyeon Park ’17)

Although the gorgonzola shrimp was phenomenal with its savory sauce and warm bread to accompany it, the serving size was ridiculously small compared to its price.

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Quinoa Cream Risotto (Seiyeon Park ’17)

The quinoa cream risotto was averagely-sized, but as Hannah Park (’16) said, “a bit too creamy for the sensitive tongue.” Nonetheless, the service was exceptionally great with an offer of free coffee and fresh pickles.

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Remicone by No-Name (Seiyeon Park ’17)

Remicone // Rating: 3/5

Known for its unusual yet visually appealing ice cream and drinks, Remicone is a small shop in a small alley of Garosugil. Slightly overpriced (over 5,000 for each cup of ice cream), Remicone was slightly disappointing.

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It was visually appealing, but that was about all it was. (Seiyeon Park ’17)

The Thunder-bomb (ice cream topped with grey cotton candy) looked more exciting than it tasted. Although the sugar candy on top of the ice cream was a pleasant surprise, the ice cream itself was “nothing more than just regular milk ice cream” (Hannah Park ’16). The salted caramel ice cream with hazelnut crumble was definitely a unique flavor, but the saltiness overpowered the caramel taste, while the hazelnut crumble was nothing more than a couple of chunks of hazelnut sugar.

Although it’s worth a visit, it’s doubtful if Remicone is a spot that I’d frequently visit.

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April Market (Seiyeon Park ’17)

April Market // Rating: 4/5

April Market is another restaurant that’s great for a light brunch or delicate dinner. With dim lighting and rustic decorations, April Market has the perfect romantic setting to come for a date. The mozzarella salad flatbread was a healthy spin on the classic pizza, and it was surprisingly light. The french fries were “crisped to perfection” (Ji Sun Jeon ’17), being perfectly crunchy on the outside, while warm and soft on the inside.

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The flatbread is a nice, healthy balance to the bowl of scrumptious French Fries. (Seiyeon Park ’17)

Although the flatbread was a bit pricey, the portions were larger than expected and I was easily satisfied with the meal. Definitely a place to come again—perhaps with a date next time?

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(Seiyeon Park ’17)

Pumpkin Terrier Cake Shop // Rating: 4.5/5

Pumpkin Terrier Cake Shop is a sister to the pastry shop Glamorous Penguin in Itaewon. It serves a variety of cakes and is famous for its specialty: banana pudding.

Admire the Banana Pudding Cake in all its glory. (Seiyeon Park '17)
Admire the raspberry meringue cake in all its glory. (Seiyeon Park ’17)

The banana pudding had a soft and creamy consistency, filled with slices of banana. However, the raspberry meringue cake was a bit of a disappointment. “It didn’t taste much like meringue as it did like a roasted marshmallow” (Ji Sun Jeon ’17). Nevertheless, the raspberry flavor was definitely there, though light, adding a sweet yet tangy taste to the cake.

So embrace the spring days and take a chance to explore the corners of Garosugil with your friends and family! Happy dining!

– Seiyeon Park (’17)

Header: Seiyeon Park (’17)
Captions: Faith Choi (’16)

Cures For Your Sweet Tooth

The #TREATYOSELF saga continues.

Cake, cookies, ice cream. YUM. Every once in a while, you need to #TREATYOSELF to a sweet snack. We asked some students for their favorite sweet treats and found recipes so you can make it yourself!

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Tumblr

“Brownies!” (Ji Sun Jeon, ‘17)

Simple brownies are rich, decadent, and full of chocolate. A perfect snack for when you’re running low on energy and happiness.

You will need:

½ cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 eggs

¼ tsp baking powder

⅓ cup cocoa powder

¼ tsp salt

½ cup flour

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC)
  2. Blend the oil and sugar until they are well mixed
  3. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients (baking powder, cocoa powder, salt, flour) together separately.
  5. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients and blend until the batter comes together.
  6. Pour the mixture into a greased 9×9 pan (if you double the recipe, use 9×13 pan and bake for longer)
  7. Bake for 20 minutes, cool the brownies, and enjoy!

 

(recipe by food.com)

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Two Peas & Their Pod

“Chocolate sea salt caramel cookies.” (Faith Choi, ‘16)

Mmmm, now that sounds good. What is this delectable treat? Warm, chewy, rich cookies that are all gooey with caramel, with a surprise of salt for extra flavor.

 

You will need:

1 ¼  cup all-purpose flour

¼ tsp baking soda

¼ tsp salt

5 tbsp butter

7 tbsp cocoa

⅔ cup sugar

⅓ cup brown sugar

⅓ cup plain yogurt

1 tsp vanilla extract

Soft caramels (rolled into little balls)

Sea salt

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and prepare 2 baking sheets lined with parchment paper.
  2. Sift and mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.
  3. Separately, melt butter over a saucepan. Removing it from the heat, stir in cocoa and sugars until it looks kind of like wet sand.
  4. Mix in the yogurt and vanilla until well blended.
  5. Stir in dry ingredients and continue to mix
  6. Wrap the cookie dough around the balls of caramel and sprinkle sea salt over each one.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes, cool cookies, and enjoy!

 

(recipe by twopeasandtheirpod.com)

 

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food.com

“Umm peppermint cookie thing. Oh wait, it’s.. ahh peppermint bark!” (Lina Oh, 11)

What is peppermint bark? Only the easiest, but most delicious snack for lovers of the chocolate-peppermint pairing! A layer of bittersweet dark chocolate, a layer of buttery white chocolate, and a layer of crunchy zingy peppermint. The perfect combination.

 

You will need:

12 oz plain white chocolate

12 oz plain dark chocolate

½ cup crushed peppermint candy

 

  1. First, line a 9×12 pan with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the dark chocolate. You can use the double boiler for this, where you boil a pot of water and place a heat-proof bowl over it, constantly stirring until the chocolate is smooth. Or, you could microwave the chocolate 15-20 seconds and a time, stirring in between.
  3. Spread a layer of the dark chocolate in the pan.
  4. Now, melt the white chocolate using whichever method you prefer.
  5. Quickly, while the chocolate is still hot, pour the mixture over the dark chocolate.
  6. Put peppermints into a ziploc bag, and crush with a rolling pin or a hammer.
  7. Sprinkle the crushed peppermints over the chocolate
  8. Put in the refrigerator to harden. Once it’s ready, break them apart and enjoy!

(recipe by food.com)

Whatever the case, remember to take a break once in a while from vigorous studying, and indulge your sweet tooth! All these recipes await you! YUM.
– Sarah Chin (’16)

Header: Healing The Body

Blueprint Takes COEX: What To Eat

Sometimes, you just gotta #TREATYOSELF.

Bored on a weekend? Need a time-out from the academic rigor? Why not #TREATYOSELF with a trip to COEX? With its recent innovation, it’s a perfect venue for shopping, eating, and simply winding down with your friends – all in one place.

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A place with a definitely lighter mood, the interior of this breakfast spot is lined with rose gold pans and other cool knick knacks that welcome the guests in. // Faith Choi (’16)
  1. Creammou

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  • Rating: 3.5/5
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It’s a bit heavy on the sweets, especially because of the whipped cream, maple syrup, sugar powder, and hot chocolate, but it all works together to create something beautiful in your mouth. // Faith Choi (’16)

Creammou is a homey and cozy breakfast shop. With a reasonable pricing of 6,000 won and phenomenal pancakes, I would say Creammou is worth a visit (perhaps even a re-visit). The pancakes are not too overwhelming – they are, rather, delightfully light and fluffy. Perfect for a quick bit of breakfast that you missed! Hot chocolate, on the other hand, was “a little too sweet”, according to Sarah Chin (‘16), and wasn’t worth the 4,500 won she handed over at the counter.

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The second you enter, you’re hit with dim lighting and the smell of scrumptious baked goods. // Faith Choi (’16)
  1. Eskimo

  • Rating: 4/5

“It tastes like something my grandma would bake for me, but that doesn’t even make sense because neither of them bake.” – Faith Choi (‘16)

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The antique-looking plates that deliver the delicious treats just make the entire experience that much better. // Faith Choi (’16)

Eskimos is a dessert shop that sells a variety of tummy-filling pastries. Their Chocolate Eclair, a little overpriced at 2,500 won, is not only sweet but also carries an amazing aftertaste. In my opinion, it was slightly small in portion, but try it yourself to be certain! Mmm, their Lemon Tart Meringue was beyond sublime; it’s a perfect balance between sweet and sour. The crust was its best part! The mini apple pie also had impressive crusts, but, disappointingly, it was extremely hard to eat, especially when sharing with three other individuals. However, after an arduous task of splitting the pie, it was worth it; it was a great balance with the lemon tart meringue. Eskimo carries an authentic ambience with hints of hipster vibes here and there, but the lighting is horrendous. No #selfie in this place for sure!

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As soon as it hit 1 PM, Shybana started filling up. Faith Choi (’16)
  1. Shybana

  • Rating: 3/5
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It’s a beauty so far, but that’s only because the Sirloin Steak hasn’t arrived yet. // Faith Choi (’16)

While we entered wildly excited for some Southern comfort lunch, Shybana provided us with an ample disappointment. Let’s start on a brighter note, shall we? The Louisiana Cajun Chicken Pasta was, actually, quite good. A flavorful dish with perfectly cooked chicken – tender on the inside, crispy on the outside – was enough to get five hungry girls excited. It was well-paired with the bacon mac and cheese ordered, which also had satisfying texture, saltiness, and flavor (plus croutons on the side), not too greasy or cheesy. The disappointment came with the third dish: sirloin steak. It was not at all like the picture on the menu: overcooked meat, undercooked garlic, too small in portion and thickness. Thankfully, it had good acidity with its lemon flavor, which (almost) remedied all else.

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Check out how fancy this place is! // Faith Choi (’16)
  1. Chloris Tea and Coffee

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  • Rating: 3.5/5
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Daisy Kim (’16) greedily reaches for the hot black milk tea. // Faith Choi (’16)

Before anything, Chloris Tea and Coffee is an epitome of properness; we felt–inevitably–a little bit out of place. The Black Cream Milk Tea we ordered was light and smooth, not too overwhelming with a great balance of milk and tea. However, there were mixed reactions on the cream that came with the tea. Some felt that there was too much foam to dig through to reach the gist of the drink, while some others felt it was an elegant touch to a mundane menu like black milk tea: you decide for yourself!

– Lina Oh (’16)

Header: Jaye Ahn (’16)