Monday, January 31, 2011

Bravo My iPhone

Well, I've finally entered the 21st Century and got myself a smart phone. Thanks to the lovely folks at the KT Global Centre in Itaewon I've been kitted out with an iPhone 4 and am now getting used to the luxury of a wired lifestyle and the joys of being able to tweet pictures of my lunch...

However, I have a favour to ask, dear readers of mine... Now that I'm in possession of one of these fancy electronic devices, what apps should I be putting on it?

Help this poor ajosshi get to grips with his iPhone, put him out of his misery and suggest a few things that might ease his miserable life.

I will be eternally grateful...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

KBS Bear

KBS Bear

I was back at KBS again this week, but for a different purpose. More on that later, but for the moment I'll leave you with this rather colourful bear...

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Doughnut Memories

Angel French Cruller

Until Friday it had been a long time since I had set foot in a Mister Donut. It used to be a favourite haunt of my friends and I in Yokohama, where we'd gorge ourselves on the bottomless coffee and scoff doughnuts as we put the world to rights and drew silly pictures on napkins.

So I jumped at the chance on Friday when I arrived at the National Assembly station on Line 9 and discovered a Mister Donut right by the ticket gate.

Tongs and tray in hand, I scoured the shelves for my favourite doughnut of old, and there it was... the Angel French Cruller. A delicious combination of chocolate, fake cream and deep fried dough based goodness.

Happy doughnut memories.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Your New Favourite Animation

I hope you'll forgive me if I try to waste a few minutes of your time...

Yesterday, thanks to a considerate colleague, I entered the world of DoongDoong. It's a pretty bizarre place...

Starring DoongDoong, the mischievous baby gorilla (though his dad is a monkey), this odd series of animated shorts is fast, funny and downright ridiculous.

It comes from the twisted brain of Egeol Kim and is not afraid to go to places that other cartoons do not dare.

I'll leave you with my favourite clip starring Doong Doong and Toy, the baby lion who "goes around wearing false mane, which often gets him into a perplexing situation". Visit their Youtube channel, their naver cafe page, fan them on facebook or watch them on Tooniverse.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Wolfhund?

The Wolfhund

Every time I see The Wolfhound's dilapidated sign on my way home from work, I imagine it to be a dodgy German theme pub...

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Harry Potter And His Magical Tripe

The JoongAng Daily has outdone itself lately with an outstanding article titled "Butterbeer Me Up".

With a little help from some chefs at the Grand Hyatt Seoul Hotel, reporter Yoon Seo-hyun was able to try out a few of Harry Potter's finest treats: Butterbeer, Pumpkin Fizz, Ice Mice and... Tripe Soup?

Read the article for an in depth analysis of Harry's favourite foods, but I'll leave you with the review of Hogwarts famed Tripe Soup:

"Just the look of it makes you want to vomit. But the taste of the tomato diminishes the unpopular odor of the tripe."

Mmmmh, I love an unpopular odor...

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My Company Loves Me This Much...

Dove Gift Set

With the Lunar New Year just around the corner your employer should be showing you how much they care by presenting you with a gift set of some kind.

Today, my gracious overlords sent this to our apartment. I now know that I am worth this much soap.

The gods have smiled upon the Ajosshi household, we shall be clean for another six months!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Polish Rolled Deliciousness

Swiss Mini Rolls

I stopped off in Daiso (the cheap knick-knack store of choice) today for a few bits and bobs and managed to pick up a pack of these delightful (Polish) Swiss Mini Rolls.

Swiss Mini Rolls

These "Soft & Moisture Sponge Cakes" may not look like much, but they bring back the sweet taste of childhood treats. I like to think of them as a European Twinkie with a delicious fake cream and strawberry filling.

Swiss Mini Rolls

Slice them to match the picture on the box and you end up with a classy addition to your tea-time table...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

In A Perfect World...

No Weight Gain Chocolate

If only it were true...

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Surgical Emoticons

Surgical Emoticons

No matter what my personal feelings on plastic surgery may be, I have to admire the use of emoticons in this subway advert...

Friday, January 21, 2011

Marble Cake

Marble Cake

More adventures in baking courtesy of our Cordon Bleu cookery books this week with a Marble Cake. Half chocolate, half plain sponge and speckled with lemon peel shavings...

Marble Cake

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Beaity Is In The Eyes Of The Beholder

Beaity Is In The Eyes Of The Beholder

The eleventh floor of the Lotte Department Store in Jamsil is where the concept of beaity is taken to another level...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Belly Pork Pesto

Belly Pork Pesto!

Tonight's dinner needed to be quick and easy so I picked up a slice of belly pork and a couple of cheap green peppers on the way home.

Sliced up the pork and the peppers along with a few oyster mushrooms and while some fusilli pasta was put on to boil, took out a wok and started frying. A dollop of pesto, a small handful of parmesan cheese and a sprinkling of black pepper later, dinner was served...

Mark Kermode Reads This Blog?

Last week saw one of my proudest/geekiest moments of 2011 (still very early days), when this blog sort of got a mention on BBC radio.

As an obsessive film fan, one of the things I look forward to every week is Kermode and Mayo's Film Review on BBC Radio 5 Live. It's a marathon celebration of all things filmic with one of Britain's finest film critics, Dr. Mark Kermode. He happens to be obsessed with the film The Exorcist, so I decided to tweet him a link to Exorcist Coffee. He then decided to mention it on air...

If you listen to this podcast, at the 3 minute and 38 second mark you'll hear mention of Exorcist Coffee. It's only a few seconds and there's no mention of this blog itself, but it warmed the cockles of my heart to know that Dr. K took the time to briefly glance at one of my photos and that Exorcist Coffee has found the fame it so rightly deserves.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cracker Your Wardrobe!

Cracker Your Wardrobe!

After all, everyone wants to look like a cracker, don't they?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Long Gone Urban Cowboy

Giant Urban Cowboy

A glimpse of the past, circa November 2007. Demolished to make room for shiny new buildings near Nonhyeon Station, this urban cowboy used to dominate a car park on the main Gangnam road.

He used to cheer me up every time I saw him...

I miss him so much... sob... sob...

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Memories of Old Cartoons

Our appearance on KBS last week triggered a conversation at our theatre about childhood tv favourites. We hopped onto youtube and took a trip down our Korean staff's memory lane.

So I'd like to bring you Latt Children's Theatre Top Five Korean Cartoons:

(Disclaimer - some top five Korean cartoons may in fact be Japanese in origin)

At number five, it's the ever popular 아기 공룡 둘리:

Dinosaurs and unicorns make for a perfect team...

At number four, it's the rather bizarre 모래요정 바람돌이:

This little sand fairy seems to spend his time making wishes come true and running in circles. Very cute, but he does have a slightly disturbing voice.

At number three, it's teenage tearaway 영심이...

After that catchy little opening number here's Youngshim and the girls grooving with a guitar on a train.

At number two it's 빨간머리 앤:

It's that old classic tale of red headed orphans, Anne of Green Gables.

And at number one it's 피구왕 통키:

Tongky the dodgeball king rules the roost at our theatre, possibly because he has the best hairstyle ever...

Special mention must go to one cartoon in particular, 이상한나라의 폴:

Not everyday that I get a cartoon named after me, describing my adventures in Korea.

Plus 달려라 하니 deserves a look, as it is quite possibly the most melancholic opening to any children's cartoon:

Hey kids, her mum's just died, but she is going to do a lot of running!

As for my childhood, I have to say that Dangermouse holds a special place in my heart:

Though when it comes to stop motion animation, my number one would have to be Bagpuss...

Any old Korean cartoons you think should have made it to the top five?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Experimental Bread

Experimental Bread

My wife is back on her baking kick (yay!), more meringues and bread experiments. Thanks to the cheap dried yeast from High Street Market, I think we'll be making a lot more doughy treats this year.

This specimen may be a little flat, but has a great texture and taste.

On a slight tangent, has anyone seen any poppy seeds in Seoul? I fancy making some poppy seed bloomers and rolls, but haven't seen those crunchy black gems around the place. Any ideas?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Oven Adventures

Pork and Peppers

Roast pork, peppers, aubergines, onions and mushrooms.

Simple, yet satisfying.

Watch Me! Watch Me!

Five Fools 3 Photo Shoot

UPDATE: Turns out our office lied to me, we're on at 3.35 pm!

Just a reminder for anyone who might care to watch me dress up like a reject from the Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club album as I strum my ukulele on kids' television, that I'll be on KBS this afternoon at 4.00 pm on the TV유치원 파니파니 show...

Five glorious minutes of Ajosshi fun including minor feats of acrobatics, a badly played clarinet, Five Fools and a kazoo. Miss it if you dare.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Death To All Smurfs

Cafe Azrael

Continuing my series of badly taken blurry photos of strangely named cafes, I present to you Cafe Azrael...

For me Azrael has always been the Angel of Death, I hear that name and I think of scythes, cloaks and heading towards a bright white light. So I was intrigued by Cafe Azrael and its taped up smiley cat.

The only reference I can find that might explain the connection is that in The Smurfs, Gargamel's incompetent cat was called Azrael. However, with no sign of little blue people and only a generic cat shape to look at, I'm not quite sure whether Smurf fans would make the connection.

Cafe Azrael is located in the back streets near Ewha Women's University, but judging from the tape on the sign and the mess in the cafe itself, I wouldn't recommend it.

Forgive Me For Being Immature, But...


Sometimes you have to wonder why bands choose the names they do. Fannyfink? Really?

They're not bad, but Fannyfink? Really?

I like their style, but Fannyfink? Really?

Perhaps it's my inner schoolboy, but I can't help giggling every time I see their name...

Fannyfink? Really?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

When Regular Coffee Just Isn't Enough...

Exorcist Coffee

Strolling round the back streets near Ewha Women's University last night, I spied this oddly monikered cafe.

Exorcist Coffee

A friendly face to go with a not so friendly name...

Exorcist Coffee

It turns out Exorcist Coffee is a fortune telling cafe where you can hire out the services of wonderfully talented people who tell you what your future holds (that tall dark stranger, the lucky numbers for next week's lottery or the prospect of you being run over by a quick service motorcycle).

Now if only I could get Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells out of my head...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Day Out At KBS

Day Out at KBS

As established in my last post I am indeed a media whore and to prove it I'll be on KBS this Friday along with my theatrical colleagues. At 4.00 pm we'll be appearing on TV유치원 파니파니, a kids' variety show. Tune in for all sorts of excitement, including a rare chance to witness me playing the clarinet badly on national television...

Until then, I'll leave you all with some of the highlights from our day out at KBS...

Day Out at KBS

Armed with a handful of props, a rack full of costumes and our own painted faces we headed off last Thursday to the KBS studios in Yeoido.

Day Out at KBS

We endeavored to make the most embarrassing entrance possible, sending our Clown into the lobby, tooting the horns on her tiny tricycle as she went.

Day Out at KBS

First stop the luxury dressing room.

Day Out at KBS

Not the nicest of places to get naked in, but we've all seen worse. If I could show you pictures of some of the dressing rooms I've been in...

Day Out at KBS

Then it was up to the glamourous canteen on the third floor.

Day Out at KBS

Pretty much a standard cafeteria menu.

Day Out at KBS

However, it was all quite tasty. The stewed Spanish Mackerel was beautifully tender, though the 청국장찌개 tasted more like your standard 됀장.

Day Out at KBS

As you can see, everyone was delighted to be there.

Day Out at KBS

And I took the opportunity for some rebellion. Yeah, watching SBS in the KBS building! I was born to be wild! I'm a rebel without a cause! I'm a... oh, wait. This isn't really as exciting or cool as I thought it might be...

Day Out at KBS

Behold the hippest dude on KBS.

The filming itself went well, I was rather too busy to take photos, but I've been assured that I'll be able to get my hands on a video at some point. Top marks to the KBS team, who were slick, smooth and treated us very kindly.

Day Out at KBS

So tune in at 4.00 pm this Friday when you'll see a load of balls being thrown at adults in bad fancy dress and a team of Five Fools pretending they know which camera to look at.

I'm a Whore, a Media Whore!

Stumbled across this yesterday, the lovely people at Visit Korea have put my Today's Blog video from Arirang tv on Youtube. Watch at your own peril, it may contain scenes of me...

Arirang Snapshot

But on the positive side I've now found out that my nationality is "England" and you get to see the ridiculous goatee I grew for last year's show The Little Dragon.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Baked Pasta

In this terrible cold there's only one thing that really warms my stomach... baked pasta. So the other night I set out to make myself a Pastitsio.

Baked Pasta

My parents used to make it when I was a child and it's the sort of dish that brings back happy memories of family life in Blighty.

Baked Pasta

Our family recipe is a slightly bastardized one, no pasta on the bottom. Just a layer of meat sauce, then a layer of pasta surrounded by a cheesy béchamel sauce. Finally the whole thing is sprinkled with cheese, black pepper and nutmeg, and baked in the oven for forty five minutes.


Sugar Glider Cuteness

Sugar Gliders

If you head down to Insadong on the weekend you may be lucky enough to meet the Sugar Glider man. He hangs about near the Crown Bakery at the Anguk Station end and likes to show off his furry friends (at least he did last year, it may well be too cold for him at the moment)...

Sugar Gliders


Sugar Gliders

Less cute!

Sugar Gliders

More cute!

Sugar Gliders

Sugar Gliders

Too cute!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Restraining My Impatience...

I Am Restraining My Impatience For The Time Being

"I am restraining my impatience for the time being."

Found in a taxi in Gwangju, possibly the most eloquent English ever seen on a sticker...

Though I'm sure there's a simpler and more accurate way of translating "애교 금지".

Jeolla-do Jungle Book

Garden Mowgli

On tour last summer we briefly sojourned at a Jeolla-do rest stop on our way to Gwangju and got a glimpse of some fantastic hedge work.

Garden Mowgli

It seems to be a tribute to Rudyard Kipling's magnificent Jungle Book, but I'm not quite sure what the musical pandas have to do with anything...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

It's A Small World After All...


Down the back streets of Insadong there's a magical place that will make your smallest dreams come true. It's called Worldmini and it is a fantastic little gallery with some tiny pieces of art.


There's a similar place in the Ssamzie shopping centre, but Worldmini is less about tourist knickknacks and more about the art of modelling itself.


The attention to detail is incredible. Each model has its own story to tell and if you care to, you can lose yourself in these miniscule worlds.


The Marie Celeste of Hanok parties...


My favourite is this fast food stall.


A miniature moment, frozen in time, each patron's plate perfectly arranged.


If you ask nicely they'll even let you sneak a look at their workshop. An Aladdin's cave of modeler's odds and ends.


When I was there last March I got a preview of their latest hanok.


And if you didn't know this was a miniature, you might glance and think it the real thing...


If you fancy visiting Worldmini, then head down to Insadong. Exit from Anguk station then head down the main street and turn right when you see the sign for the Hae Jeong Hospital. Worldmini is on the first building to your left (on the third floor).