Espressamente Daegu

15 11 2009

I live in Taebaek. Seoul is 3-4 hours away. Chuncheon, our provincial capital is about 3 hours away. Daegu, 3rd largest Korean city is about 3 hours away. Taebaek is the middle of nowhere.

Sometimes we need to get away and have our dose of western goodness. These days we are turning to Daegu more. Why? Its closer than Seoul, we can drive there, its like “mini Seoul” and it has Costco.

Major added bonus is this place.


Espressamente Illy, Daegu

We’ve been going to Daegu for a few years now, and about a year ago discovered Espressamente Illy. Think of one of the most modern and funkiest coffee shops anywhere in the world, then put it in downtown Daegu. Its an amazing place. I know Illy associate themselves with design and fashion and this place is no exception.

Espressamente Illy, Daegu

Delicious delicious coffee’s, amazing cakes, awesome sandwiches. Hard to beat (actually there is one place better, but its in Seoul).

Espressamente Illy, Daegu

Espressamente Illy, Daegu

We usually go for breakfast. Korean breakfasts are usually nothing flash. Rice, Kimchee and Soup. Other alternatives are opening up, Dunkin Donuts, Macdonalds etc, but they can’t compare with first rate food like this

Espressamente Illy, Daegu

Yes, its expensive, but so is every coffee shop in Korea. What you see above was W19,000 and worth every individual won. Its perfect coffee with the milk steamed to perfection, the sandwiches are freshly made, with (by Korean standards hard to find) fresh ingredients.


Espressamente Illy, Daegu

Sleep? Really? Who needs it with Emarts “No Sleep Gum”

21 09 2009

My latest discovery in the world of strange candy that E-Mart gives us. No sleep gum. Aimed to keep you awake while driving, or for students who are studying, its a wondrous glossy black colour, something gum should never be.

As part of its magic “no sleep” formula, I think contains about 2% guarana extract. I can’t find anything referring to caffeine but it might also be in there.


So, how does it taste? From looking at it you would think awful, but in fact its absolutely delicious. A really strong minty fresh hit that blows through your sinus passages, leaving you refreshed and awake. Not sure what the guarana does but I’m sure it kicks in.

If it weren’t for the fact that my kids would stick it all over the English room, I’d be tempted to give it out to them at the start of class. Something to wake them up. Anything…


Dog, a mans best friend? Chicken, the ladies choice.

1 07 2009

Warning, some pics could be seen as a bit disturbing.

Today was exam day for the kiddies. Their 3 exams were over by about 12pm, so they headed home for more study time (yeah right, more likely computer games). Traditionally the teachers use this as an excuse to go on an excursion, hike a mountain, eat bizarre lunch, drink soju, sing, dance and generally let their hair down.

Today was no exception.

We drove about 45 minutes out of Taebaek towards Yeoungwol, pulled into a camping ground and settled in for lunch.

Male teachers at this end :

Lunch, Dog and Chicken

Female teacher at the other end.

Lunch, Dog and Chicken

Notice anything that might indicate why?

One end was the chicken and lemonade. The chicken was deliciously tender and very very tasty.

Chicken, the safe option

This was the other end.

Plate of Dog?

What’s that? If I didn’t tell you you’d think its just a plate of pork or something. But no, its not. Its dog. Yes, the infamous Ke-gogi, or dog meat.

Guess which meat was at which end of the table ?

The dog is “prepared” (I’m not going into that) then boiled for hours to make it “delicious” and “tender”

The Dog Cooker

Its cooked in a soup or stew, full of vegetables, kimchee, onions etc. The whole family helps in this restaurant. Grandparents, young kids etc. Everyone does their bit.

Dog soup. A family affair

Once cooked to greasy and bland perfection its removed from the stew, chopped, de-boned and served. Disturbingly this is the head he’s pulling out, that’s the tongue sticking out to the right.

Dog head, freshly boiled.

Once all the “tasty” edible bits are removed you are left with this

Full of heady goodness?


How does it taste? Well I will admit to trying it (actually my 3rd time). Nothing special. Bland tasting, very greasy, needs salt and strong flavours to make it ok. Honestly, stick with chicken, beef or pork. Much more tasty. After one small piece I was allowed to leave to join the female teachers at the chicken end of the table. I enjoyed that much more.

Always a bit disturbing to see people sucking the flesh off a dog’s bones. Supposed to make you strong and give you stamina.

I’ll pass.