Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Korean Dunkin' Donuts, Daiso and Convenience Store Raids

I'm sure by now you've noticed how influential Simon and Martina from eatyourkimchi.com have become on my week in Seoul, since I discovered them. Thanks to them I wanted to try the weird flavors in Dunkin' Donuts and I wanted to visit the Hello Kitty Cafe which I re-posted here, and I wanted to my own version of their Convenience Store raids (they come in four parts and are quite easy to find on YouTube)... plus I threw in my own stamp on this post by including my finds from Daiso (my favorite store in any country!!!).

Dunkin' Donuts Korea

The day after I discovered the Dunkin' Donuts review of simonandmartina, I told myself I HAD TO try Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast. I even tried to convince my teammates with to join me on this adventure by tempting them to try Tofu and Glutinous Rice with Cream Cheese donuts but they were NOT interested. Hahahaha. I guess not everyone likes trying weird food like me. Hahahaha. I kept trying to convince them that this was just like trying Kikkoman Kit-o Kat-o or Soy Sauce KitKat when you're in Japan, but that didn't convince them either so I embarked on this adventure alone. We did a post on weird Kit Kat Flavors from Japan that you can read here.

Dunkin' Donuts at the Posco Building (one of the largest steel manufacturers in the world)
The Posco Building from the outside.
The building is in Gangnam, which looks and feels like a CBD.
There is a big steel tree right in front of the Posco building.
Upon entering, you'll the see aquarium they have that spans two floors.
They even had the shark that Tim and I saw in Maldives.
Back to Dunkin' Donuts, the ambiance was nice and cozy.
It did not feel like a tacky donut fast food joint like it does in the Philippines other countries. 
Donuts are self-service.
The only weird ones I found were Glutinous Rice Sticks...
Where was the cream cheese??? That donut had the best review!!!
Potato Munchkins...
...and Olive Chewisty!
This was too normal, I didn't taste the olive at all.
They also had Choco Banana which I did not try.
Once you make your selection, you line up to order your  drink and hot food (if any).
This branch was busy and there was quite a line.
I ordered a Cappuccino and the three weirdest things on the menu.
Color Accent Orange to match the pictures on the walls.
The Glutinous Rice Stick had a chewy texture.
It would probably have tasted so good with cream cheese.
The potato munchkin was NOT good.
It was dry and yuck.
The olive chewisty had good consistency...
But it did not taste olive at all...
My breakfast was only KRW6,100 ($6.80 or Php231) so that wasn't a bad experiment at all.

The next day, I discovered that there was a Dunkin' Donuts branch closer to our office which you can access from the back entrance, so I wanted to have breakfast there again, hoping they had the other weird flavors available.

This store was brighter (read: tackier) but it was also less crowded.
The person in the picture is my friend H who I finally convinced to come,
so we were actually the only clients.
The only new weird one I found was Potato Ring but I stayed away because I fugured it was a relative of the Potato Munchkin.
They still had the poster for the Tofu Donuts but I think they told me that it was no longer available.
They had Tofu Chips though, which I was not adventurous enough to try.
Read: this wasn't endoresed by siumonandmartina!!!
I had an English Muffin with bacon, egg and cheese instead, which was so much better than breakfast from Starbucks because they only prepare it as you order.
My friend and I enjoying our breakfast.

Dunkin'Donuts in Seoul is like Starbucks, you can find it on almost every street corner :)


Convenience Store Raid

I saw this in the Family Mart near our hotel and I took a picture because I LOVE SPAM.

I thought it was SPAM Onigiri, but in Korea it's called Kimbap.
I learned that in this video... 


So on our last day, when I was trying to finish my money (because a philosophy that I really live by is that "anything you buy when you are finishing your money before leaving a country, is like getting it for free!!!") I made it a point to pass Family Mart so I could buy one SPAM kimbap to try when I got hungry. I ended up carrying it all the way to Singapore but it sure came in handy when I got hungry in the middle of the night.

Simon and Martina also made a feature on drinks...



...but they totally overlooked this, which I found so good.

Starbucks Ready to Drink Iced Coffees.
I also saw them in Japan but I didn't try them when I was there.
There are my favorite convenience store food!!!
fully endorsed by this blog. just saying.
The SPAM kimbap actually travels well. It arrived in Singapore safe and sound.
The SPAM is quite miniscule... it was only half of a thin slice...
but the nice was a nice fried rice so it's actually very good if you augment it with crispy seaweed for added flavor.

Family Mart in Seoul, is like Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts, you can also find in on almost every street corner.

DAISO Raid

This part of the post is totally me!!! I love DAISO. I already wrote about how DAISO saved the day for me when we went to Namdaemun Market in one of my previous posts on Seoul which you can read about here

The good thing about DAISO in Korea is that they price their products at KRW1,000 (just a little over SG$1 or around Php40), KRW1,500, KRW2,000 and KRW3,000, so when you find good stuff at KRW1,000 it's really cheap because it Singapore everything has a flat rate of SG$2 (around Php70).

Well, when we were looking for a place for dinner near our hotel one night, I saw a big DAISO branch and I made a mental note to myself that I NEEDED to visit it when I had time, before I left. I was glad I did because I bouight so much stuff. I even went back when I had time to kill before my flight because this was where I wanted to finish my money so I could get A LOT of cool stuff for free (refer to philosophy mentioned above).

I was able to get a lot of cute stuff for Fif.
Set of 2 sketch pads KRW2,000
Stamp Pad KRW1,500 (i was thinking she could use it for our Kikki K. Stamps)
Then I realized the stamp set w/ stamp pad was cheaper at KRW1,000
Hello Kitty and Pororo Band- Aids KRW 1,000
I couldn't resist these hard boiled egg shapers. KRW1,000
They only have star and heart (corny!!!) in Singapore at almost double the price (SG$2).
I got these really cool face punchers for seaweed, and the face shaped rice molds.
KRW2,000 each (but this was free, i was finishing my money).
The seaweed came from Myeongdong. KRW7,000 for 40 small packs.
I could not resist buying the Korean Version of a French Manicure.
3 layers for a graduated pearly, glittery effect.
KRW3,000
Then I bought food to try and for pasalubong (presents).
KRW1,000 each.

Here is my Daiso Food Review:

I was curious to try the preserved hard boiled eggs in Soy Sauce...
because... you got it! it was reviewed by simonandmartina (convenience store video above) and they were pleasantly surprised that it was not YUCK Hahaha.
The back of the package.
A pack of 2 pieces is only KRW1,000 in Daiso.
Contrary to the fact that it's sold in Convenience Stores and Daiso, it's not really convenient because you need scissors to open it.
The egg white is quite tough and chewy, but not in a bad way.
It went quite well with the Chicken Curry (take away) I ordered from Toast Box.
Since I was quite stuffed with dinner, I wanted to try the instant green tea latte next.
Box of 5 sticks was KRW1,000.
It looks like wasabi powder.
and it smells like Grass. As in literally. (like DAMO) not the prohibited substance!
It tasted much better than the other Japanese brand we tried in Japan.
If you like Green Tea Frapp in Starbucks, you'll like this.
Good thing I got 2 boxes, 1 for Jem and the open box for me.

Both the DAISO preserved egg and the green tea latte are fully endorsed by this blog. just saying.

Unlike Dunkin' Donuts, or Family Mart, Daiso is NOT on every street corner in Seoul. They have a lot of branches though, so you just need to be observant and keep your eyes open for their store logo with the red dots.

Look out for the Daiso Logo in Korea.
photo credit: grrrltraveler.com

I just want to end this post with a last simonandmartina video on the WTF (wonderful treasure find) they featured from Daiso Japan. Hope you enjoy watching them as much as I do.


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