What I Ate Over Winter Break

What I Ate Over Winter Break

It’s been a tradition now that after every break, I do a post about what I ate over break. While some other blogs talk about what people did, my break (and my life actually…) is defined by the food I eat.

Of course as you usual, there will be a food overload!

For the first four days of winter break, I drove up to NYC with a couple of close friends to celebrate Serena’s birthday! We hung around the city for a while and then had dinner at Hangawi, a Korean vegetarian restaurant.

The restaurant was darkly lit and you had to take off your shoes to get in. There was a deep pit that you put your legs underneath the table. The atmosphere of the restaurant and the service was great!

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LOL…my friends in the bottom of the picture leaning over so they don’t get in the picture.

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The foods were vegetarian so it was mostly bibimbap or any bowl with mixed ingredients. My friends ordered the hot-pot bibimbap while I ordered the gluten-free zen noodles. They were sooo good!

 

After the dinner, we went to a Korean bakery and had a walnut banana butter bread (or something like that – I feel like these days, restaurants put so many names to ONE thing..)

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After that night, my parents, who drove up to NYC, and I spent two more days in NYC. The next night, my parents took me out to a celebratory dinner for completing turkey term (the term in between Thanksgiving and winter break) successfully. We went to a Korean restaurant (of course) called Gaonnuri.  The special thing about it was that it’s on the 39th floor so you could see all of NYC while eating Korean food. Can anything beat that?

The restaurant was a lot more modern than Hangawi, but nevertheless, a great environment to eat it.

It was so nice to be sitting at the restaurant, with winter break just starting, with my parents, and outside of the freezing cold (I think those days, like December 15-18th were one of the COLDEST and WINDIEST days I’ve ever experienced!)

My family ordered a pajeon (a vegetable pancake), my mom ordered bibimbap, I ordered galbi-gim, and my dad ordered some combination of fish and soup. But they were delicious! It was so nice to have two nights in a row eating Korean food after three weeks away from it!

The galbi-gim (left) was so good that I was commenting about its texture, richness, and flavor upon every bite. My parents got so annoyed that my mom promised me she would make her famous galbi-gim when we got back home.

We also had dessert. It was a combination of three ice cream flavors: black sesame, green tea, and caramel. They were oh. my. goodness. This was a whole new level of ice cream. Apparently, the head chef at this restaurant makes the ice cream from scratch. But either way, the ice cream was insanely delicious. My parents and I licked that dessert plate clean despite the cold weather outside.

Who wouldn’t want to eat delicious Korean food while observing the NYC skyline? Look at that view..

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After a couple of days in NYC, my family drove back home. Of course, by home, that means California roll (aren’t you guys sick of my obsession for make-your-own California roll? I’ve probably featured it in every one of my what I eat in a day over break posts.

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I mean so much goodness in my meal…ya know?

I also followed my dad to work before the Christmas season. I have a hard time working at home since my mom and I talk a lot to each other and we always have fun impromptu plans to go outside. Thus, I went to work with my dad for a couple of days just to get some work done. But let me tell you, this might have been one of my best decisions as his workplace has the BEST salad bar.

And then one more…because on the 23rd (the last day I went to my dad’s work) it was a half day, so my dad (and I) could technically have left and eat lunch at home. However, I wanted to make as much use for the salad bar so I got a to-go.

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My family also ate out a bit. We’ve been going to a peking duck place. I’ve never really LOVED LOVED this place, but for some reason, after I left for home, I started craving eating at this place. So we go every time and every time, I leave the restaurant full and satisfied. No other better feeling, right?

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Sorry about those hands at the top of the picture.

My family and I also met up with Serena’s family. It was a great way to catch up and rewind WITHOUT having the stress of school. I got a vegetarian meal. It was a cauliflower steak with I believe dahl (tell me if this is wrong) and some greens on the side.

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My mom also cooked some of my favorite Korean side dishes. I loved the side dishes so much the table looked like (aka had the same food) this for a solid three days.

img_4704And last but not least, on my last day home, my mom and I went out for a lunch-date at Le Pain Quotiden. It was sad (as it was my last day) but also great (because I had such a fun time with my mom).

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Exact same picture from our instagram (@avolicious_blog)

So that sums up my break! Hope you enjoyed getting a sneak peak at my eating habits!

What did you eat over the holiday season?

xoxo,

Stephanie

NYC Current Favorites

NYC Current Favorites

New York City has so many amazing food destinations and every time I go, I always plan the trip around the food! Yeah, just being the foodie that I am 🙂

SO here are the destinations that I’ve recently visited and recommend!

1.) Bibble and Sip


You’ve probably seen pictures on Instagram of creamy matcha lattes and giant oozing cream puffs. This place is definitely definitely worth the hype.


I had a matcha cream puff, earl grey cream puff, and a bite of the brûlée egg tart. They cream puffs were so good that we had to take one home, along with a black sesame croissant. The matcha cream puff was my favorite! The cream had just the right amount of matcha flavor and it wasn’t too sweet. The outside puff part was crispy and match-y. And then there’s the price. At $3.50 a cream puff, the cost is insanely cheap, especially for a super popular NYC cafe. This is the place that I recommend everyone take a trip to! It’s right in between Time Square and Columbus Square, so it is very conveniently located if you want to visit all the major touristy areas.


Next time I come, I’m definitely ordering a Lavender Latte. I hear it’s amazing as well!

2.) Hangawi


Hangawi is a Korean restaurant that serves only vegetarian food, and I had been eyeing this restaurant for a while because of its outstanding reviews on Yelp and Zagat. So for my birthday recently, I finally got to try the food here with my friends and it was so yummy 🙂 And while the food is not completely authentic Korean, it still tastes super good. Even my friends completely adverse to vegetarian food enjoyed the dishes.


I had a tofu stone bowl rice with sesame leaves, which was savory and delicious. I loved the flavorful tofu scramble, over the hot bed of rice.

3.) Beyond Sushi

   This sushi joint serves vegan and vegetarian sushi, and I tried the spicy mango roll and the mighty mushroom roll. The mushroom was by far my favorite, and it could be just because of my obsession with mushrooms, but mushrooms in sushi?! Mmm it was delicious! I love meaty vegetables 🙂

4.) By Chloe

You’ve probably also heard of this vegetarian/vegan restaurant that serves amazing meatless burgers. (You probably notice by now that I love going to vegetarian/vegan eateries)

This place is great. And really aesthetically pleasing-I went to the one near Flatiron.

First of all, the fridge is IDEAL. There’s chia puddings, fruit, plenty of kombucha, juice, and other goodies.

Then the actual food. I ordered a classic burger and it was so savory and tasted so much more satisfying than a regular veggie burger! The patty- a TEMPEH-LENTIL-CHIA-WALNUT PATTY- tasted so much like meat it was amazing 😍definitely looking forward to going again soon!!

Yes that’s the same picture from our Instagram 🙂

Now that I’ve shared my current NYC favorites, what are your’s? Recommendations in the comments will be much appreciated 🙂

Love,

Serena

“Masshittda”

“Masshittda”

“Masshittda” is a word that I have said times too many to count this past month while traveling to Korea. If you haven’t guessed already, the word “Masshitda” (맛있다) means “It’s delicious” in Korean.

I just want to point out, traveling means getting the opportunity to try lots of new (and delicious) food by sacrificing your healthy eating habits once in awhile.

Sorry for the long introduction; I promise this is the last part of the intro. For this trip, I took pictures of the meals that were interesting instead of documenting every single one. However, even though I took out some meals, there are still a lot (read: picture overload). So for your sanity as a reader, I’m going to break this trip up into two posts where each post covers 11 days.

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With all that being said, the start of my trip started with airplane food (cue in the groans and anxiety). Airplane food for me is the worst. You seriously don’t know where it’s from and it just tastes funny, you know? But I do appreciate Korean Airline’s dedication to provide the best food they can. My family has been flying Korean Airline ever since I was six months old, and we never really had a problem with their meals.

Here are one of the meals I had called “Bibimbap” – a mixed vegetable and rice dish with red bean paste on top:

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After mixing all the ingredients in:

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Since it was a 14-hour flight, there were two meals. One which included a very early breakfast where I chose to eat omelette:

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Complimentary guava juice…is that even a question? (the only time I drink something other than water)

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Once we landed in Korea (after a gruesome fourteen hours where my butt ached from sitting down so long), we (whenever I refer to “we”, I mean my family) had a four hour transfer at incheon airport. After having a quick shower at the Korean Airline lounge, I grabbed plain yogurt from the lounge food bar.

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^this is an example of plain yogurt in Korea. This is especially for Serena since she asked me once if there’s yogurt in Korea. Obviously there is.

Next we had a three and half hour flight to Manila. A little background story here. We used to live in the Philippines for four years when I was very little (3-7 years old). As an end of the school year treat, I picked Manila as our mini trip before our actual annual trip to Korea.

So with this trip being designated for nostalgia and all, as soon as we checked in the hotel, we looked for our FAVORITE Italian restaurant, L’opera. We had mushroom risotto, some kind of pasta I forget what, and a zucchini and eggplant pizza. It was an extremely carby lunch, but oh so worth it.

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(Restaurant: L’Opera in Fort Bonifacio)

After walking around the city in order to burn the calories we just ate, my family and I walked for about two and half hours. I seriously think we walked at least five miles. Talk about serious healthy and active travel.

Anyways, at the end of our adventure, we found our way at the market (whadya expect? My family is comprised of foodies so of course we go to the market). While there, my mom and I went on a quest to find durian and some mangoes (like promised in the previous post). Here’s what a typical fruit stall looks like:

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@ Market, Market! in Fort Bonifacio

After checking into our hotel, my mom and I couldn’t wait to try the durian. We had to save the mango for the next day because it wasn’t ripe enough.

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^this is a half of what we bought. My mom and I were initially thinking of eating this today and the other tomorrow. But nope. We ate the whole thing in one sitting – do you see the durian seed from the first half on the far right??

Another confession time. I didn’t like durian before. My mom is a self-confessed durian lover so she would always bring durian into the house. My dad got away with it being the adult he is and never was forced to eat it. I, on the other hand, was forced to. However, I wanted to give durian another chance. And guess what? I loved it. It’s so sweet – a much different sweet than avocado – and so creamy. I loved it so much I regretted the days when it was so available to me yet I didn’t eat it.

After another day in the Philippines, my family boarded the plane to head back to Korea. We were welcomed with a small but heartfelt meal from my whehalmoni (maternal grandmother in Korean)

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The following pictures are in random order. I honestly don’t know where and when I’ve eaten them, all I know is that they’ve been in my stomach :).

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Injulmi and black sesame bingsoo – don’t they look divine?

(Restaurant: 설빙; Sulbing)

 

Bad Farmers – took some time to locate this place with only a few directions and no wifi, but it was so worth it!

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^this is the Avo Cobb salad (I obviously got the avocado salad…)and the beet hummus open face sandwich with acorn squash soup. (One thing off the bucket list!)

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^the lighting isn’t the best, but here are the salads they have. I’m hoping that I can recreate some of these at home.

That’s going to be the end of the first leg of my trip to Korea. Keep posted for next week’s post for the last 11 days! Believe it or not, the meals during the last 11 days are even more “masshittda”!

 

Have you ever been to Korea before? Or have you travelled to another tasty city?

xoxo, Stephanie