Monday, December 28, 2015

Korea in Winter Day 13: Myeongdong Dog Cafe, BBQ and Bingsu

Time to say goodbye to our travel-buddies... but not so fast. There was still time to squeeze in a visit to the Dog Cafe. Our visit to the Cat Cafe in Gangnam was quite a hit with the kids, and we were eager to visit the canine version after lunch so that we can spend the morning having a late hotel breakfast, and doing some laundry and packing. Mummy had been in Korea for about a month, and our family of four was going to be bringing home quite a number of bags.

Map from pamphlet.

We decided to skip lunch after a late breakfast and look for the Dog Cafe first. Lo and behold, on the street appears the mascot, and he gladly leads us to our destination.

Up the narrow stairway to the fourth floor to the cafe entrance.

The entry fee of 8000won entitles us to a drink each. The staff in charge briefs us regarding the do's and don'ts of handling the dogs.

Each of us ordered drinks such as ice/hot cafe mocha, aloevera soda, iced lemon tea, and hot green tea.

Every visiting group is given a card.

There are overhead cubby holes provided to stow away bags and jackets.

This Golden Retriever lived up to its name, always looking out for cards that were left unattended and taking them back to the cafe counter for a treat.

The kids were apprehensive about interacting with the dogs at first as some of them were quite large. After a while, they warmed up to the smaller dogs.

Something smells good... ... I wonder what she's been stepping on.

Grab a towel and lay it on your lap to invite a dog to snuggle up to you. We had to wake this fella up when it was time for us to leave.

Others just snooze anywhere.

The dogs kept the staff busy cleaning up after them as they seemed to pee whenever and wherever they wished. Some table legs were especially 'lucky' to have dogs watering them frequently. The larger dogs really let go quite a puddle, and the smaller dogs sometimes lay 'mines' that were not easy spotted by the untrained eye. Nevertheless, the staff tried their best to keep the place clean, wiping and sanitizing the floor whenever necessary, which was once every few minutes.

In the centre or the room is a cleaning station complete with all the gear needed when duty calls.

After about two hours, we had to get ready to leave as we had to get something to eat before our friends caught a bus to the airport. We had a barbecue place in mind we scouted out earlier that was just next to the hotel. Yesterday's barbecue was quite a disappointment but there was a chance for redemption today. Like yesterday, we did not have lunch so we were ready for a hearty meal. Our hosts did not disappoint, and in contrast to yesterday's experience, the trump card of the staff today was their friendly, hospitable and sincere service and initiative.

The restaurant on the second floor.

Lots of endorsements on the restaurant exterior, but will it live up to expectations?

We're the first customers for dinner, and the staff are already eagerly waiting to offer us their best service. They immediately ensure that the kids are comfortable and took various initiatives to makes us feel welcomed. Our youngest member even had a cluster of balloons to take home.

We ordered Mummy's favourite pork belly, and a couple more servings this time as based on yesterday's experience, the kids love barbecued pork belly too.

Looks good, but the service was even better. Throughout the meal, a member of their staff waited on the kids and served them individually to ensure that they were eating well. She made sure the meat was not too hot for them and got rid of those with bones for them.

The boss decided to throw in a couple of his signature seafood pancakes as complimentary sides for us to try. It was a hit with both the kids and adults. The boss was delighted that we enjoyed the extras.

We decided to add a serving of pork belly and seasoned beef ribs. The beef is cooked over a charcoal fire instead of a hotplate.

While the second serving is cooking, the staff takes the kids to the live octopus tank.

Seasoned beef ribs over the fire. As this had more gravy, the wait staff was concerned that the juice would splatter and land on the kids so she cooked everything on the adults' table before serving the kids the meat.

When we left the restaurant, we were extremely satisfied with the both the quality of the food and the sincerity of the staff. Even the kids said that they wanted to tip them for their good service. Definitely a recommendation for any of our friends coming this way.

There was still time for some dessert just next door, and we hopped over for some sweet treats for a celebratory ending to our holiday.

Sulbing Cafe.

Plenty of space upstairs with a romantic window view of the bustling Myeongdong below.

Mango Cheese Bingsu. The cheese was really good, and the cups were so deep you really had to dig to get to the ice-cream bottom.

Strawberry Bingsu - check out the large red-bean mochi adorning this creation.

The original Injeolmi Bingsu - Korean Milk Ice Sorbet.

Chocolate Tiramisu Bingsu.

Caramel Coffee Bingsu. Crushed nuts, mocha ice-cream, expresso sauce and crumbled flakes adorn the ice shavings covering caramel sauce and red-bean paste.

We were quite full by now and had to be forgiven for not finishing every bit of it, but it was fun attempting to do so. A time-check and we made our way to grab the luggage and make our way to the airport shuttle pick up point.

Time for some street side shopping while waiting for the bus.

The last bus arrives at 8.20 pm. Good thing we didn't party a little longer.

Till we meet again!

Boy that was fun. Before the bus departed, one of the kids stuck out his head and told us he missed Korea already. That just means we get to start planning for next year tonight right?

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