Alien's Day Out

November 6, 2014
by Mipa
8 Comments

Observing October

It’s been so long since my last post! :( I can’t believe October is over and we’re already well-into November…. which means the holiday season is coming FAST and the rest of this year will be a complete blur. October was packed with a bunch of awesomeness and great weather, I’m kind of sad to see it pass. Anyway, without further ado, here are some things I’ve been up to. If you follow me on Instagram (aliensdayout), you might notice that a lot of these pics are pretty old… bear with me! :)

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Last month I made a super impromptu trip down to Cheonan to see the ‘rents. Whenever I feel that pang of homesickness and start craving good Korean home-cookin’, I just need to get out of Seoul and make my way home. hehe. My parents are also pretty close to the Independence Hall in Cheonan, so we went for a stroll around there which was so peaceful and relaxing. Fall is without a doubt the BEST season in Korea, albeit way too short.

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Still lake at the Independence Hall.

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Korean Pride yo.

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Also got to do some hiking in Seoul~~ This was at Gwanaksan.

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Going up toward the temple.

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October seemed to be the month of reunions. So many good old friends came through Korea and some also got to see the shop and how my life has changed since the last time I saw them. I love how with true friends, it doesn’t matter how long it’s been, or what you’re up to now– when you get together, it’s back to just hanging out like usual. From top left to bottom right: Diane, Sylvia, Yunseo and baby, Hyun, Andy, and Hanjoo. :) Love all you guys… these are friends that have supported me from the beginning, and always believed in me. And for them to now see what I’m doing and see how far I’ve come. Seeing them again was a reminder of how blessed I am and how much I have to be grateful for. LOVE.

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Y’all know who this is? :) Sam Okyere came into the shop with his vegan girlfriend for the first time last year (before he got completely famous) and we hit it off cuz he’s from Ghana and I lived there for like 10 years of my childhood. Since then, he’s become a bit of a regular~ :) He’s super nice and I’m just thrilled that he’s so loved by his Korean fans. And ofcourse I’m grateful for his support of PLANT, and it’s so cute how he also supports his vegan girlfriend. Adorbs.

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Last month PLANT also got invited by the PTO at Yongsan International School of Seoul (YISS) to particiapte in their annual Fun Fest. It’s basically like a carnival/fair for the students and faculty. Ever since I opened the shop, I haven’t been able to participate in as many outside events as I used to… I remember all the bakesales and marches that I used to be a part of and it makes me a little sad. So this was a really nice opportunity and a good break away from the routine. It was a lot of fun and we saw a lot of regular customers and also met some new ones. Grateful to be a part of the foreign community here, and to do something outside of the shop’s regular routine.

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Ye (my assistant) was great as always, charming customers and helping to get everything set up. Here she is looking pretty. :) We didn’t prep that much since we didn’t know what to expect at the Fun Fest, but we took a few cakes, cupcakes, brownies, and cookies. Overall it went well and the response to our vegan booth was great! :)

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One of our cutest customers that day.

I’ve also been eating out a lot lately. Living in HBC makes it so much easier and tempting to eat out all the time… So much good vegan food options.

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Veggie skewers at Yakitori By tucked away in one of the alleyways along Kyungridan. It’s a small yakitori grill/bar and you can choose from a variety of veggies like mushrooms, garlic, gingko fruit, eggplant, asparagus, etc, etc. Each is around 2,000won and up. It’s cheap, but in the end it kind of adds up cuz you just want to try it all and it’s not exactly filling.

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Dinner at Bao in Noksapyeong. It has been YEARS since I went there but now that I’m living so close, it’s quickly turning into one of my regular spots for dinner. I have a pretty serious addiction for stir fry noodles and curry these days. The one I got here is the malay style thin rice noodles with veggies and tofu (no egg). I believe this was 9,000won for the regular size.

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Southside Parlour cocktails…. this is quickly turning into a weekend ritual…. :)

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Speaking of rituals… There’s this one bakery in Noksapyeong up the alleyway where that darn ridiculous churro shop is, and it’s nothing amazing, but there’s one item that I get cravings for. It’s like a twisted breadstick but its loaded with all kinds of nuts and dried fruit. It’s super chewy and also filling, for only 2,000won. I haven’t tried any of their other stuff so I can’t say a whole lot about this bakery, except that this one breadstick thingy is becoming a Sunday morning ritual…

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…along with some Chansbros soy latte.

And now onto some PLANT eats:

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PLANT’s new fall drink: Pumpkin Spice Latte. Everyone and their mom is talking about how Starbucks here in Korea doesn’t sell pumpkin spice lattes. Well fear not because PLANT’s is maybe better because it has REAL pumpkin in it, unlike Starbucks’, which only has the spice mix and orange food coloring. And we make sure ours has plenty of pumpkin pie spices, like cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. It may be a little intense for the average Korean palate, but as one expat customer called it, it’s “the wind beneath my wings.”

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Got into the Halloween spirit at PLANT. Pumpkin Cranberry Oatmeal cookies, packaged in adorable ghost bags.

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One of our best selling items lately has been these vegan, gluten free banana muffins. The texture is what makes these so awesome. Chewy, fairly light and fluffy, and not overly sweet (although the chocolate chips add some extra sweetness). They’re especially yummy when they’re still warm, so come early in the morning to get them as fresh as possible.

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Another new gluten free item…. the Chocolate Berry Cake. Super moist (I know, I hate that word too, but it must be used in this case). I’m happy to say that I think I’ve perfected my gluten free chocolate cake, and it might even be better than my regular chocolate cake. lol.

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Last but not least, a blog post about October wouldn’t be complete without some pics from Halloween!! It’s been about 2 years since I last dressed up for Halloween. But this year I was encouraged to go all out, so I went as Little Dead Riding Hood. I’m proud to say I did my own skeleton makeup! Go big or go home, right?

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Me with some gal friends Audrey (Gamora from guardians of the galaxy) and Ye (a ninja). It was a lot of fun and Itaewon was complete NUTS that night… cars could barely move because people were just walking on the streets. haha. I’ve never seen Itaewon like that before….. overall, a pretty decent halloween! :)

And now what’s November gonna bring….

I love hearing feedback from you guys! Feel free to leave a comment by clicking here~~ :)

October 1, 2014
by Mipa
8 Comments

Vegging out in my neck of the woods

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Ahhhh these are the best days of the year… That transition from summer to fall (time to put our clothes back on, lol). There’s a crispness to the morning air but there’s still a nice warmth during the day, without the humidity. It’s simply the best. This summer has been a complete whirlwind. I can’t believe it’s been almost four months since PLANT‘s reopening. But at the same time, it feels like it’s been forever~ like this is just how it’s always been.

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Chuseok came and went… I went to Cheonan for one last family gathering before my sister went back to LA. Ofcourse there was a ton of food… Chuseok food, which is even more epic. And mostly all vegan because my mom is just awesome like that. I’m always so grateful the way she prepares mostly vegan dishes when I’m home~

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Korean food rules.

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Me and the bigass super moon that happened over Chuseok. Don’t look so “super” to me…

And thank you everyone for your words of congrats on my move! It’s been a month since I moved apartments and I’m absolutely loving life now that I don’t have that godawful commute. My quality of life has improved tenfold. haha. I’m so much happier, I’m getting more sleep, I even have more of a social life… No complaints over here.

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Hiking up Namsan on Sunday evening. It was such a nice stroll and the weather was perfect…. And the view at night ain’t half bad.

And maybe the best part of moving is being close to all the good eateries in the neighborhood.

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Paco Loco’s Vegetarian Nacho plate. I have yet to try their veggie burrito, just cuz I’m a sucker for nachos. This is an acceptable meal right?

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Brunch at Baker’s Table. I got the only vegan option on the menu…. the Vegan Sandwich (9,000 I think?). My friend got the Farmer’s Plate.

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The fillings in the sandwich were great– tasty and super juicy. Especially the mushrooms. However, what ruined it for me was the toughness of the ciabatta, which is characteristic of most of the breads I’ve tried from Baker’s Table. They’re all super dense, chewy, and tough…. which is fine for some, but I guess I just prefer my ciabatta to be of the soft, pillowy variety. Oh well, it was still a nice brunch outing. :)

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The Hummus Avocado Sandwich from Good to Go in Haebangchon. It’s close to my house, and if I didn’t work almost every day, I might eat here more often. I appreciated the freshness of the ingredients and huge chunks of avo. The hummus was a teeny bit sour… maybe that batch was on its last leg or something. No worries, it all balanced out when put together.

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Good to Go counter and menu.

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Coffee at one of my fave spots in HBC: De Espresso Room. They have soy lattes, although it’s Samyook soymilk so it’s got D3. And they got a cute puppyyyyy.

Anyway, it’s so great having tons of veg-friendly eateries near my house. There are so many options…. I seriously think Itaewon/Kyungridan/HBC is probably the most veg friendly neighborhood in Seoul, and I feel really proud to be a part of it, both as a business owner and now resident.

In fact, the Itaewon area has just blown up this past year or so. All of a sudden, Itaewon/Kyungridan/Hannam became the new ‘it’ neighborhood in Seoul, and on weekends the place is a madhouse… super busy and crowded. It’s weird to see so many Koreans on the streets, since it used to be so foreigner-dominated. The whole neighborhood has kind of turned into a tourist attraction… for Koreans~ all coming to check out these foreigner-owned restaurants and bars. A lot of hip things are happening in Itty and real estate has also shot up over the past year making it harder for smaller independent businesses to come in now… I feel like PLANT snuck it at the right time. ;)

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Speaking of PLANT, we got featured in the October issue of Muine Heritage magazine. They were doing a feature on vegetarian restaurants in Seoul, and we got included. :) It’s always nice to be recognized in these kinds of lists.

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A snapshot of the showcase display.

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A slice of PLANT carrot cake. yaaaas people.

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Cookin’ up some meaty veggie burgers lately at PLANT… These burgers are pretty BOMBdiggidy if I may say so myself. Lentil black bean cheezeburgers yo, with lettuce, fresh tomato, smokey fried mushrooms, vegan aioli, on vegan buns. Don’t miss out.

I love hearing feedback from you guys! Feel free to leave a comment by clicking here~~ :)

September 14, 2014
by Mipa
10 Comments

Apartment 3.0

A lot of things to blog about lately like PLANT news, recipes, random eats, Chuseok holidays. It’s all backed up. :( I’m the worst blogger! There has definitely been a lot going on lately, but most importantly, I MOVED! After about 3 years in the ghetto neighborhood of Daerim, I’ve made the leap and found a spot near Itaewon (different kind of ghetto, perhaps). My third apartment in Seoul, hence Apartment 3.0. I’m so excited to finally be walking distance from work and to not have to wake up super early to make the hour commute before rush hour. In fact, I can’t believe I actually lasted this long without moving.

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The days before the move, the place was a mess…


Why do I have two mattresses… ㅠㅠ

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The almost empty storage room.

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Farewell to my outdoor patio. I shall miss you~~

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“Hey Mister, where you going wit all our stuffff~~” Moving day was a bit of a nightmare because we had to finish up real estate paperwork, the movers were late, and to top it all off, it started pouring rain at one point.

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Bunny on the move! She hates being in the carrier, but it must be done.

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In the end, everything got to the right place, including Bunny and myself. We are now happily settling into our new digs, in the Itaewon area. Lovin’ it! I still haven’t unpacked a lot of the boxes, but it’s slowly coming together. Just need to scrounge up some furniture like a coffee table and maybe hang some curtains to cover up the ugry bars. I’m super stoked though, mostly because I can take my time in the morning and sleep an extra hour! The first morning that I walked to work was completely blissful, I almost shed a tear. lol. Home Sweet Home!

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Late night ‘Welcome-to-the-neighborhood’ drinks and nachos at Paco Loco. :)

I love hearing feedback from you guys! Feel free to leave a comment by clicking here~~ :)

August 19, 2014
by Mipa
2 Comments

March Rabbit @Garosugil

Woops, ok, so this is one of those restaurant posts that have been sitting in my drafts folder for far too long–several months to be exact. I should really be quicker when it comes to blogging about restaurants here in Seoul because you never know, the next day they might disappear! It seems that there are all these new veg-friendly, healthy, raw, fresh-food shops opening up these days, so much so that it’s a bit hard to keep up. Ya’ll probably don’t even need me to blog about them anymore cuz there are so many more up-to-date resources out there. But what the hey, I’ll still blog about them when I can.

I admit that these days, I don’t venture too far from the Itaewon area for food… There are just so many good places around Itaewon with veggie options, and plus, I don’t have as much free time to go trekking to random neighborhoods in Seoul. But when the owner of March Rabbit visited PLANT and introduced his salad bar restaurant to me, I knew I wanted to check this one out! Oh, and besides, it’s got ‘Rabbit’ in its name.

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March Rabbit: a bright yellow & green building. You can’t miss it.

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Loving all the green imagery around the shop~

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So much seating! I always get a bit jealous of restaurants with so much seating space, because PLANT is so freaking small. But at the same time, I still love the coziness of plant, so I should just stop comparing. lol

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Such an extensive menu!

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As far as I can remember, they only had one main vegan salad option called the Happy Vegan Rabbit, but you can also build your own salad, and add whatever toppings you want. Also plenty of vegetarian options available.

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My order. The vegan salad, with mixed greens, green hummus, lentil salad, barley, and a chunk of tofu. They also normally add croutons, but they weren’t vegan, so they just left that out. This was back in March/April, and I’m not sure what the bread situation is now, so maybe ask in advance. The Popeye green ade was also surprisingly good! Haven’t had a carbonated green juice before– a tad sweeter than I expected but nice and refreshing. Tempted to try this at home. :)

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Green ‘hummus.’ It looks like guacamole but most definitely is not. I’m not so sure what made it green~~ I can’t even fully remember the taste… it was interesting! In a good way~

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The tofu had a nice chewy texture, but it wasn’t particularly flavorful. I kind of wished it was covered in BBQ sauce or something.

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Overall I enjoyed March Rabbit for its freshness and vegan options. I just think it’s cool that there’s a salad bar spot like this one. Hopefully this fresh & green food trend will continue. Yay for eating more veggies, less meat.

Map to March Rabbit:

지도 크게 보기
2014.8.19 | 지도 크게 보기 ©  NAVER Corp.

560 Sinsa dong, Gang-nam gu (Garosugil) Seoul
02-3444-4514

July 23, 2014
by Mipa
1 Comment

Random eats and avocado obsession

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I know, I know~  It’s been a really long time since my last blog post! And this year is already more than halfway through. Things are busy but also really great, especially now that things are starting to settle into a routine, after the big ol’ transition in May. I even joined a gym by Itaewon and have been able to sneak out of the shop on certain afternoons to get a quick work out in, while my part timer runs the shop. The fact that I have this kind of freedom is so weird and amazing. A few months ago, I would’ve never imagined that to be possible, especially because I’m a control freak and I have a hard time entrusting people with anything. But I’ve been learning to let go and live a little. And my life is so much for the better.

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Kung pao tofu stir-fry at PLANT. Super saucy.

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So happy cherries are in season again!

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If you’ve been following my instagram feed, you’ll probably notice that I’m on an avocado kick lately. Can’t get enough of it. I’ve been eating at least 1/2 an avocado almost every day. Yes, they’re expensive in Korea (usually 3,000+ per avo), but worth it! So creamy-good.

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Another avo salad with lentils, kale, chickpeas, tomato, toasted seeds, etc etc.

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Avo toasties. This is a typical mid-afternoon snack. Smash some avocado inbetween two bread butts and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Done and delicious.

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Dinner at Cotto at the IFC Mall, by Yeoido park. It’s a pizza pasta restaurant and the only vegan option was this beet root tomato-apple salad with lemon-olive oil dressing. It was alright… everything was a bit too big and chunky for me, but I appreciated the generous amount of beets on the plate. Especially since it was 15,000won. Why are salads in Korea so expensive! By the way, this was my first time at IFC mall, and it was pretty cool! Really well-designed, modern, more like an American-style mall, and had some interesting things to see. Check it out if you’re in the area (map here). Oh, and it’s a short 10 minute walk to Yeoido Han River park too~

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I’m always craving Korean food. Gondeurae bibimbab and banchans at a random Korean restaurant.

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Dotorimuk salad! One of my faves because it’s so salty, spicy, and fresh.

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Closing the shop at the end of the day~ looks so different at night.

I love hearing feedback from you guys! Feel free to leave a comment by clicking here~~ :)

June 24, 2014
by Mipa
6 Comments

Tastes like random eats.

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Early morning, on the way to PLANT.

Anyone else in Korea sleep-deprived because you’ve been waking up at ungodly hours to watch the World Cup? I feel like a zombie during the day. But anything to support my fave teams Ghana, RCI, Portugal, Brasil, Netherlands, and Korea… Although the latest Korea game against Algeria was quite painful to watch (4:2 loss)… can’t believe I woke up at 4am for that. Besides Algeria, the only other winners were those who stayed in bed for that game and slept in a few more hours. ㅠㅠ

Anyway, World Cup aside, things are going swimmingly lately~ Running the shop is gradually getting a bit easier as things start to fall into a routine. And my part-time workers are adjusting and doing a great job. I feel really lucky to have found some wonderful people to join the PLANT team. It’s still always a lot of work and I always feel like I’m perpetually chasing the end of my to-do list, but it’s all worth it in the end. Here are some things I’ve been cooking at the shop:

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The other week I made burritos, stuffed with rice, lentils, beans, mushrooms, kale, corn, onions, and more. The whole thing was so loaded, you could probably eat it over two meals. Especially since it also came with a carrot slaw salad on the side.

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Veggie tofu quiche! I’m still working on getting the crust-filling ratio just right… This one definitely had a thick crust! It has been such a LONG time since I did anything with pie crust, and I’m still a total pie novice, but hopefully practice makes perfect.

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Ahh, this one was much better.

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Tempeh carrot slaw wrap with hummus and avocado. Avocados are so expensive in Korea, but I just cant help myself from including them in the PLANT menu. They’re so yummy and good for you (healthy fats, good for your skin, etc!), Koreans need to jump on the avo bandwagon.

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Late afternoon lunch: Everything wrapped up nice and cozy, burrito-style. During the day, sometimes it’s difficult to take a break for lunch, and I don’t like eating unless I can actually sit down and focus on the meal, rather than being distracted or stressed and not being aware of what’s going into my mouth. Eating when I’m busy and stressed during service tends to give me digestive problems too, so sometimes I’ll put off eating until the shop closes and I get back home… I admit it’s not a healthy schedule… something to work on. But thankfully I have friends who try to make sure I’m eating on a regular basis. haha, you know who you are.

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Some random street art I came across while wandering Itaewon the other day.

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Some recommended reading~ :) Trying to get back into the habit of reading books.

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Now that it’s summer, it’s time for cold soybean noodle soup! :) This is almost always vegan and although it’s a bit of an acquired taste, I love how refreshing it is on a hot day.

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Ethiopian again! So good and really filling– the injera is so huge!

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Dolsot

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Japchae noodles with fried sweet potato as a garnish on the side. I pretty much ate that as my main meal.

That’s all I have to share for now. Looking forward to another fun work week at Plant. Ta ta! xo

I love hearing feedback from you guys! Feel free to leave a comment by clicking here~~ :)

June 12, 2014
by Mipa
32 Comments

PLANT Ver 2.0

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So PLANT is back! After a hectic 3 weeks of re-organizing and a little renovating here and there, the place is back in business. A huge thank you to everyone who waited patiently (and apparently not so patiently for some of you, haha) for its return, and sincere apologies to those who traveled far to eat PLANT food, only to be disappointed and find the place in a complete state of disarray during the hiatus. Before we opened, I was really nervous about having to operate it as the sole owner, and having to oversee every. single. thing. But thankfully, I found some great part time helpers to ease the load. You know, gathering my minions… :) *evil grin* Hopefully I can foster a good work environment that is fun but also challenging and inspiring. Anyway, despite all my anxiety, PLANT reopened without any major hitches, and it was so lovely to see familiar faces again. I half expected people to forget about PLANT, but you guys remembered, and you came back! <3

So here are a few interior changes I made to the shop. Nothing crazy like tearing down walls or anything… just a little paint, new furniture, and fixing etc. If you came to PLANT before the change, this is how you’ll remember it:

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PLANT Before. Big table in the back, white table (which I brought from my house) in the front, and a collage of random pictures and magazine clippings on the back wall.

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PLANT 2.0 ^^

To recap, I painted the back wall with chalk board paint, and then replaced the big table in the back with three smaller marble tables, and also installed bench seating against the wall. There are also cushions along the bench seating now (they arrived after I took the pic). A lot of people have asked if I made the physical space bigger because it just looks more spacious. But nope! Same amount of space, just optical illusion~~ maaagic. :) jk. It’s still the same PLANT, but tidier. I tried to give it more of a polished look, rather than the cluttered home-decor feel which is what it was rockin’ before. haha.

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The ktichen is also much more organized…

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A customer took some lovely pictures of our shop and I asked to share them with everyone. :) I love the filter~ makes the shop look extra fancy and pinteresty.

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From back left to front right: Green Power Smoothie, Lemon bundt cake, iced soy chai, smoky tempeh salad with pita bread, pumpkin gingerbread cookie cake, and dark chocolate peanut butter cake. Like my sparkly new marble tables?

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I also installed a bench outside the kitchen window for customers to sit while waiting on a busy Saturday, or to chill out there when the weather is nice. I like it when people sit right outside our window, and plus, it’s nice to see the bench being put to good use.

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Dogs like it too~

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One thing that hasn’t changed is that PLANT is still doing meals! I’m still cooking the same food I’ve been making this whole time… things like chickpea melt grilled sandwiches (as pictured above), TLT wraps, veggie burgers, burritos, kale salads, etc, etc. The menu will continue to change every week or so. In the past, we always posted the weekly menu on the Facebook page, but we haven’t been so diligent about that lately, and I’m not sure how on-top-of-it I will be now. Feel free to call the shop that day to ask what our menu is. Or better yet, just come with an open mind, and in return, we’ll do our best not to disappoint you. :)

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Serving up some smoky tempeh salad with agave mustard dressing, and toasted pita bread.

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BBQ lentil mushroom meatball salad.

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Check out our new eco-friendly take-out boxes! Looks like one of those Whole Foods boxes… :P Before, we used plastic to-go containers, and I just didn’t feel good about the whole thing. So I was ecstatic to find these paper ones. They’re great, and hopefully better for the environment.

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Brought back the Chocolate Stout PB cake after a long time away.

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Gluten-free, vegan banana nut & chocolate chip muffins. Trying to make sure the gluten-intolerant people don’t feel left out of all the fun. :)

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Couldn’t resist snapping pics of this gorgeous doggie at the shop. Just look at those eyes!

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Me and my wall art. It’s chalk paint, so the artwork may change after a while… Oh the possibilities!

So there you have it. Welcome to PLANT 2.0. As always, thank you to everyone who has been supporting Alien’s Day Out and PLANT from the beginning. I couldn’t do what I do with you guys’ support, whether you’re family, one of my closest friends, a regular customer, or even a distant blog reader overseas…. you guys totally rock! Hope you will continue to join me on this bizzare veggie adventure~ ta ta!

I love hearing feedback from you guys! Feel free to leave a comment by clicking here~~ :)

May 22, 2014
by Mipa
8 Comments

Vegan Ethiopian Food at Club Zion, Itaewon

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This past Sunday I finally got a chance to check out the Ethiopian bar/restaurant CLUB ZION in Itaewon! I’ve been wanting to go for ages, like for years, but then at one point they stopped serving food all together so I gave up. But then they recently reopened the restaurant, so I couldn’t wait to finally get my fill. The only thing is that the restaurant side is only open on weekends (Saturday and Sunday, open at noon). Lucky for me, PLANT is closed on Sundays so I can eat there on my day off. Yeaerz.

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Ya man!

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From the outside, the place looks dark and dingy, but don’t let that deter you. The service is great- lovely servers, cooks, etc,

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They have several options on their menu, but most of the time, there’s only two options actually available: the vegetarian platter and one of the meat-included options For 10,000 you get a ginormous plate of injera (the Ethiopian spongy sour crepe), with various veggie items on top like beets, lentil curry, cabbage, sautéed greens…. Wow.

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Everything is great, and the injera is legit! Some items are more flavorful than others but it’s nice to get so much variety with one order. No utensils provided, so wipe your hands clean on the wet napkins they provide and then get messy again. :)

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Love the beets… wish they gave more.

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And then after the meal, you should get some Ethiopian coffee. Dark, rich, sweet coffee. It’s pretty awesome.

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And you can even get it to-go! Check out this amazingness that one of my friends brought for me one Saturday when I was working at PLANT. Awesome tasty food, delivered straight to my mouth. Man, I have the best friends.

Directions to Club Zion
Itaewon Station, line 6, Exit 3. Walk straight out the stairs, pass the police station and then Starbucks… Turn right, after Dunkin’ Donuts and start going slightly uphill. Club Zion will be on your left, across the street. 2 minute walk from station.
*Restaurant side is only open on weekends, starting from noon.

I love hearing feedback from you guys! Feel free to leave a comment by clicking here~~ :)

May 13, 2014
by Mipa
20 Comments

Transitions~

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So.. it’s been an interesting month so far….  If you’ve been following PLANT’s facebook page, you will know that PLANT is currently taking a temporary break as it undergoes some changes. My business partner Yona decided that it was time for her to leave PLANT and venture out to eventually start her own shop. It’s a bit scary to think about me operating PLANT on my own, but I’m trying to see this as a new growth opportunity, and hopefully I won’t run the whole thing into the ground. ha. Yona and I have always known that our partnership was temporary, and we always saw PLANT as our ‘training grounds,’ where we would learn as much as we could and eventually take that knowledge and experience towards building our own store and brand. So anyway, during this transition, I am taking some time to refocus and do some minor renovations/fixing, and give PLANT a bit of a fresh start. Nothing too big~ it will still be the PLANT that everyone has come to know, but hopefully a little improved? I’m also looking for part-time help, so if anyone is looking to make some extra moolah working hard at a vegan cafe, check here for more details and consider applying!

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I took down all the pictures on the back wall! Aren’t you curious as to what I’m going to doooo~~? You’ll just have to wait and see, because honestly I have no idea myself. Actually, I probably shouldn’t lead people to expect any huge changes… For the most part, PLANT will still be the same, just maybe a little more polished and put together.

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Catching some sunlight while on the job, with a green spirulina smoothie. I think I might put this on the PLANT menu soon, once we reopen. :)

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Lately, when I’m not reorganizing the shop, or planning the renovations, I’ve been trying to meet up with as many long lost friends as I can…. My friend Chad was back in Korea for a business trip, so we grabbed dinner at Casablanca in HBC. It had been ages since I last went to Casablanca and as always, the place was packed. I also ran into a handful of people I know… It’s like one of those watering holes where everyone gathers and runs into each other. We got the veggie sandwich, no mayo (5,000), and a small bowl of lentil soup (2,000).

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And Chad’s gf Johanna sent this amazing care package packed with Trader Joe’s goodies! I’ve already opened everything and finished about half of it. Those Thai lime chili almonds are bomb.

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Dinner and drinks with some Window Bakery Collection friends: the owner of May Bell Bakery and my good foodie friend Michelle. For dinner, we got some good Korean eats at Parc, a hip modern Korean restaurant in Hannamdong. And then drinks at Wonder Coffee. Good food, good people, good Friday night.

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More Korean food, because that’s what I’m craving lately. Gondeurae rice with doenjang jjigae and banchans. Korean food rules.

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Dolsot bibimbab.

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Japchae noodles with fried sweet potato chips. YUM.

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Brick Pop at Sinsaegae department store. Not everything is vegan, but they have a good selection of flavors that are dairy-free. :) And everything is made with fresh, real ingredients. Plus, just looking at all the colors is eye candy.

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Sometimes you just need a drink….

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Iced soy latte at one of my fave cafes in Hapjeong .짧은 여행의 기록. It has been a while since I went there, and I noticed they’ve added soy latte to their menu, which is so rad! Not exactly sure what soy milk they use though (might contain D3). It was good, but didn’t stand a candle to Botton’s soy latte, imo.

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They best soy latte in Seoul is at Botton Cafe. Ah, i remember those days when I would get to hang out at Botton every week~~ alas, now I’m lucky if I can hang out there once a month even.

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Just for these few weeks that the shop is closed, I rejoined my mma boxing gym. I’ve missed working out so much, but I think I missed my coach and gym friends even more.

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Bunny Buns.

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Foot in mouth…

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Oh, and PLANT got a full page write-up in this month’s Korean Marie Claire! They were doing this feature on various vegetarian/health conscious food establishments and Plant was included! Super cool, but not the terrible photo of me and Yona (I cropped it so you can’t see! haha). Neither of us thought our faces would be included in the article so both of us look completely unprepared to have our photo taken. lol. If you wanna see it, you’ll just have to go seek out this issue.^^ But regardless, it’s really cool to be included in the magazine (a full page), and among such great company too like Sukkara and Cook n Book.

That’s all for today. Thank you for keeping up with Alien’s Day Out blog, and please stay tuned for more info on PLANT’s reopening~ :) ta ta~

I love hearing feedback from you guys! Feel free to leave a comment by clicking here~~ :)

April 25, 2014
by Mipa
4 Comments

A nation in mourning…


I don’t have anything vegan or food-related to post today… Just want to express my sadness over the Sewon Ferry tragedy. This is a really tough, sad time for Korea…. The mood here is palpably downcast and dispirited. Everyone is beyond frustrated, saddened and heartbroken for the young lives lost… Not just that, we’re angry at the irresponsibility and carelessness. Needless to say, it has brought to light various problems that are rooted in Korean culture, societal system, and development, and has promoted serious self-reflection and critical examination of its values, ethics, and priorities. Is there something Korea can learn from this? Let’s hope so.

Anyway, I don’t have a whole lot more to say… Please pray for Korea. My hope is that we will come together for those who lost loved ones and that we will heal from this.