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[Well-curated weekend] Enjoy hanok cafe, Yayoi Kusama collaboration with LV and seafood ramen

Visitors wait in line at Cafe Onion in Jongno-gu, central Seoul. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)
Visitors wait in line at Cafe Onion in Jongno-gu, central Seoul. (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

Hanok-themed Cafe Onion in Jongno

If you’re looking for a place to rest while strolling through Bukchon Hanok Village, a cluster of old-style Korean houses, pay a visit to a hanok-themed cafe for delicious desserts in a unique traditional setting.

If you walk toward the Hyundai Building for two to three minutes from Anguk Station Exit No. 2 or 3 on Subway Line No. 3, you can see wooden doors supporting a traditional tiled roof -- called “giwa” -- signaling the entrance to Cafe Onion.

The wooden entrance of Cafe Onion (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)
The wooden entrance of Cafe Onion (Lee Si-jin/The Korea Herald)

After stepping through the door, a small terrace welcomes visitors to sit outside.

The smell of baking bread already mesmerizes cafe lovers from the entrance.

Cafe Onion presents a wide variety of desserts which can be enjoyed both in and outside the cafe. Baked goods on sale include Jeju green tea scones, croissants, olive bacon mini pizzas and sweet pumpkin castellas.

Caffeinated drinks such as Americanos, lattes, cappuccinos and more are offered with different kinds of milk -- low fat, oat, almond and soy. Non-caffeinated drinks like lemon tea, sweet chestnut lattes and chocolate-based drinks are widely enjoyed by visitors.

Don’t panic if the cashier asks your name -- they call it out when your drinks are ready.

While Cafe Onion is open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, the store welcomes visitors starting from 9 a.m. on weekends. According to the cafe, it is also open on Lunar New Year holiday, or Seollal.

The Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, shows its collaboration collection with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. (Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul)
The Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, shows its collaboration collection with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. (Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul)

Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul unveils Yayoi Kusama collaboration collection

Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul presents a special collection through collaboration with Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama, who is well-known for her extensive use of polka dots and large-scale installations.

Menswear, womenswear, bags, shoes, accessories and perfumes are all part of the Louis Vuitton-Yayoi Kusama collection, depicting the 93-year-old artist’s signature objet and core motif of infinity.

Colorful dots and a playful sculpture have invaded the Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul located in Gangnam-gu from inside out.

The atelier is filled with polka dots on a yellow background, with mannequins sporting dot pattern outfits.

The Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, shows its collaboration collection with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. (Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul)
The Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul in Gangnam-gu, Seoul, shows its collaboration collection with Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. (Louis Vuitton Maison Seoul)

In addition to the clothing and accessories line, three types of Louis Vuitton perfumes have been reinterpreted with the Kusama collaboration. They feature a new package, bottle and travel case design inspired by Yayoi’s signature dot pattern, flower and pumpkin objet.

Some of Louis Vuitton’s iconic products can be found at the atelier, which have gone through a Kusama makeover, including dot pattern-painted LV trainer sneakers, sac plats and monogram chain bracelets.

Louis Vuitton will drop a second collection on March 31.

The French fashion house and Kusama first worked together in 2012. The duo’s collaboration collection is currently also displayed at Incheon Airport.

Freshly steamed top shell and mussel soup at Seochon Gyedanjip (Park Yuna/The Korea Herald)
Freshly steamed top shell and mussel soup at Seochon Gyedanjip (Park Yuna/The Korea Herald)

Fresh seafood at Seochon

If you crave fresh seafood, visit Seochon Gyedanjip this weekend in central Seoul. The name literally translates into “Seochon Stairway House.” The restaurant has a humble setup, but is one of the best known seafood restaurants in Seoul.

The restaurant is located in the Seochon Food Alley near Gyeongbokgung Station. If you walk up the alley, you may find an orange-colored sign that says “Seochon Gyedanjip.” There is usually a line outside the restaurant, so it will be hard to miss – those who have tasted seafood at the restaurant would come at least one more time for the fresh seafood.

Raw red shrimp at Seochon Gyedanjip (Park Yuna/The Korea Herald)
Raw red shrimp at Seochon Gyedanjip (Park Yuna/The Korea Herald)

It serves a variety of seafood that includes raw red shrimp, live octopus, oysters, fresh sea urchin, sea squirt, steamed cockles and steamed top shell. The highlight is the restaurant’s signature seafood ramen that is cooked with clams, squid and mussels. This is a great dish to pair with drinks.

It’s also fun to look around Seochon Village, an old and cozy neighborhood in Seoul that has many cafes and stores, before or after visiting the restaurant. It opens at 4 p.m.



By Lee Si-jin (sj_lee@heraldcorp.com)
Kim Da-sol (ddd@heraldcorp.com)
Park Yuna (yunapark@heraldcorp.com)
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