Page 1

SINCE 2006

KOREA • Issue 141 • November 2018


Calm and quiet of Cafe Loby Take a trip to Taiwan

Seoul Players 10 min festival’

Seoul FashioN Week

Monthly KitcheN offers warm welcome Jazz and class in Kyungridan groovekorea.com






Over the years, the Korean fashion industry has grown and bloomed. The recent Seoul Fashion Week proved that Korean designers have a unique and fresh take on fashion. Cover Illustration by Priscilla Dayandante (@ohwelladays)




Trained at TONI & GUY and VIDAL SASSOON Academy in UK Color, Perm, Magic Straight, Treatment and more English Spoken For more info, call Johnny Tel 02.363.4253 Mobile 010.5586.0243 3rd fl. 168-3 Donggyo-dong, Mapo-gu Qunohair Gangnam / Apgujeong Branch Tel 02.549.0335 10-6, Dosan-daero 45-gil, Gangnam-gu, Seoul www.qunohair.com

www.hairnandjoy.com 3




10-MIN PLAY COMP The 8th edition of the Ten Minute Play Festival set to hit Seoul


42 4

SEOUL KIDS FASHION Kiddies bring out the best of Seoul fashion



BRIGHT DENTAL Dentist seeks to take the fear out of the dentist office



BURN HAL Burn in Hal brings class at affordable prices



GREEDLIOUS Korean designer proves she’s got something to show



TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN TAIWAN The top best things to do in Taiwan




General Inquiries




SPECIAL THANKS TO emma@groovekorea.com
















Priscilla Dayandante, Oh Woo-Hoon, Hal Hursrevoglu, Manon Thore, Uhm Yong-sun, Erica Almquist, Ida Astrand, Natalie Rapisarda, Saemi Moon, TOFIT, Hair & Joy, GREEDILOUS, Jessica Lawrence, Jim Sullivan, Grand Hyatt Taipei, Bright Dental Clinic, Seoul Players, 월간식당, and Seoul Fashion Week

To contribute to Groove Korea, email submissions@groovekorea.com or the appropriate editors. To have Groove Korea delivered to your home or business, email subscribe@groovekorea.com To promote and event or share your opinions, please email info@groovekorea.com or the appropriate editor. The articles are the sole property of GROOVE KOREA. No reproduction is permitted without the express written consent of GROOVE KOREA. The opinions expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher.




© All rights reserved Groove Korea 2006



Carla Bruni November 2 Kyunghee University Seoul November 3 BEXCO Busan

Cigarettes After Sex November 5 YES25 Live Hall

Charlie Puth

Rachael Yamagata

November 7 & 8 Jamsil Complex

November 9 & 10 Yonsei University



Megan Hess: ‘ICONIC’ exhibition

Karel Martens: Still Moving

Until December 30 Seoul Forest Galleria Forest

Until January 20, 2019 Platform L Contemporary Art Center

Megan Hess is the most famous and influential fashion illustrator in the world. Her works are not just simple fashion illustrations. In her works, women are described as self-loving figures who are always confident and brave. Adults: 15,000won Children: 8,000-10,000won

A prolific graphic designer for more than 60 years, Martens has established himself as a unique presence in the design world. He shows undefined, diverse oeuvres, from the traditionally creative print works to the moving image based interactive and kinetic type of works. 《Karel Martens: Still Moving》 introduces the artistic world of Martens that shows us his tireless affection and enthusiasm for his diverse practice for the first time in Korea. Adults: 5,000won Children: 4,000won

Norman Parkinson: Timeless Style Until December 31, 2019v KT&G Sangsangmadang Hongdae The exhibition showcases extensive works of the British fashion photographer Norman Parkinson known as a pioneering artist to infuse outdoor backgrounds to fashion photography.

Harun Farocki: What Ought To Be Done? Work and Life MMCA Seoul Offering insights into the way of images are used to control the world, a German filmmaker and media artist Hauran Farocki criticizes the violence of media and industrial technology toward humanity.

Adults: 8,000won



Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald Drama/Fantasy Johnny Depp Eddie Redmayne Jude Law Ezra Miller


A simple favor



Charlize Theron Mackenzie Davis

Blake Lively Anna Kendrick

Robin Hood Action/Adventure Taron Egerton Jamie Foxx

Escobar, Loving Pablo

A Dog’s Purpose


Dennis Quaid Britt Robertson

Javier Bardem Penélope Cruz




Not just community theatre Seoul Players’ 10 Minute Festival returns Story EMMA KALKA Photos ROBERT MICHAEL EVANS



Over the years, the reputation of Seoul Players Annual Ten-Minute Play Festival has grown – international submissions to it have doubled in the past year – any every year we see so many new faces at the auditions Lorne Oliver, producer


ver the years Seoul Players has built up a reputation for itself. “It may be amateur, but it is not unprofessional,” said Lorne Oliver, producer of the Seoul Players Ten-Minute Play Festival. “Over the years, the reputation of Seoul Players Annual Ten-Minute Play Festival has grown – international submissions to it have doubled in the past year – any every year we see so many new faces at the auditions.” He added that the group is confident that the festival is doing the community some good as a creative outlet for foreigners from all nations and Englishspeaking Koreans, of all levels of talent and ambition. Oliver, himself, said that he hadn’t know there was an expat theatre scene in Seoul until he happened upon the Ten-Minute Play Festival in 2013, which is what got him involved in Seoul Players. He’s been on the board a few years and this is his second year producing the festival. “When Korean and non-Korean friends of mine (both actors and civilians) hear about it for the first time, they often dismiss it as ‘just community

theatre’ and don’t expect much at all,” he said. “However, I have watched audiences cry with laughter, joy, and sadness many times since then.” This is the eighth year of the festival and Oliver said they had 380 submissions from around the world that they widdled down through a lengthy process to 16 plays that will be performed. He said that they were looking for things that they personally reacted to as a group. They first cut it down to 65 scripts for the live reading weekend. “Once we started reading them aloud and listening to the plays, we were able to narrow it down to the ones that affected us the most, and from there, to the 16 that made it into the festival this year,” he said. The festival includes a wide selection of dramas and comedies with more dramas than Seoul Players are used to, according to Oliver. “Maybe it is a sign of the times, I’m not sure. Also more anthropomorphic animals.” And what’s up for grabs to the lucky winning plays? “Awards? Cash, glory, and street cred! What more do aspiring,

narcissistic thespians really need?” The plays will be presented in two different programs of eight shows each. The top four from each program – determined by audience vote – will then proceed to the finals. There will be cash prizes for the winning casts and the writers of the winning plays. Program A will be presented on Friday, Nov. 9 at 9 pm and Saturday, Nov. 10 at 4 pm. Program B will be on Saturday, Nov. 10 at 8 pm and Sunday, Nov. 11 at 4 pm. Finals will be Nov. 17 at 8 pm. All of the performances will be at Yeolim Hall. Tickets are 15,000 won in advance and 20,000 won at the door, with a 5,000 won student discount available both online at http://www.seoulplayers. org/ and at the door. Advance ticketing will close 24 hours before each performance. There are also ticket bundles available for those who would like to see both programs and the finals. A two-show bundle (Program A + Program B) is 25,000 won, while a three-show bundle (Program A + Program B + Finals) is 35,000 won.



Dr. Wan-hoi Koo Make them feel comfortable, that’s important to me. To get closer to each other, I think that’s a good method to approach the patient

Taking the I fear out of the dentist

Bright Dental caters to international patients from all over the world Story EMMA KALKA • Photos UHM YONG-SUN


t’s the one universal fear that most people around the world have – going to the dentist. But Dr. Wan-hoi Koo, who runs Bright Dental in Hannam, goes out of his way to make sure that every patient that walks into his clinic – from children up to adults – is comfortable and has nothing to fear. Especially his growing number of foreign patients. “Make them feel comfortable, that’s important to me,” he said. “To get closer to each other, I think that’s a good method to approach the patient.” Dr. Koo has had his clinic in Hannam for four years, though he’s been a dentist for 14 years, studying in the


So my case, if the children come to my clinic, even if they have a cavity, I don’t start to treat the cavity first. I want them to get used to it, to the clinic, so I start with small things first. Dr. Wan-hoi Koo U.S. and working at clinics in Kangnam and Ehwa University. He also lives in Hannam and said over the past 10 years, there has been a steadily growing population of foreigners in the area as well as foreign patients at his clinic. He says that it’s important for a patient to find a clinic where they can communicate with their dentist to fully understand the problem and treatment. This is something he feels attracts patients to his clinic, some coming from as far South Jeolla Province just to see a dentist that speaks English. Many of his patients seek him out through recommendations. Most of his foreign patients are those that live or work nearby including those in the military, embassy workers and residents in the Itaewon area, though he does get tourists with dental emergencies and foreigners traveling from all over Korea. The clinic accepts Tricare and International SOS to better cater to foreign patients in the Army or those who are just traveling through Korea, as well as providing all documents from treatment plans to insurance receipts in English.

More than that, Dr. Koo said he is also contacted more and more lately by tourists coming to Korea specifically for medical treatment. People from other Asian countries like China, Singapore or Hong Kong, “they know the technology of dentistry in Korea is very high. And then compared to the treatment fee, it’s not expensive like their country,” he said. “So, they send me an email and then they say they will come to Korea and then they want to have some dental work while they are traveling to Korea.” Dr. Koo is a prosthodontist and specializes in implants, bridges and dentures. But he also takes care of basic dental care such as cleanings and cavity treatments and added more whitening treatments and veneers. There is an orthodontist that comes to the clinic regularly to deal with patients that have regular braces. He said that he does everything but oral surgery. “Also, I have many patients who have Invisalign in my clinic,” he said. While it’s been popular in Korea for the last 10 years, he said lately more foreign

patients have been interested in the corrective procedure as they’ve been staying longer in Korea. But no matter where they are from or why they seek dental treatment, he hopes to make each and every patient – especially his child patients – feel comfortable. Many patients, himself included, fear the dentist, some because of some sort of dentistrelated trauma from childhood. “So my case, if the children come to my clinic, even if they have a cavity, I don’t start to treat the cavity first. I want them to get used to it, to the clinic, so I start with small things first,” Dr. Koo said. “Not even children, but adults, all patients are a little nervous in the chair. I try to start with a simple procedure at first because I don’t want to give them trauma.” He continued that it is very important to help children come to the clinic without fear because if they have some sort of trauma as a child, they won’t go back as an adult. “I think it’s important to make them think that the dentist is not a scary place. Like a good place to keep your teeth healthy,” he said.

5FL, 59 Hannam-daero, Yongsan-gu | www.brightdental.co.kr | Monday-Friday – 9:30 am-6:30 pm; Wednesday – 9:30 am-9 pm; Saturday – 9:30 am-2 pm (Lunch Break – 1-2 pm) | 02.797.0015 | brightdentalclinic@hotmail.com






In the midst of minimalist street style that dominated Seoul Fashion Week, one brand made a splash with bold prints, abstract imagery, and a whole lot of attitude

Story DIANNE PINEDA-KIM (@dianne_panda)




atching the Greedilous runway show collection was like playing with a kaleidoscope toy—the clothes’ symmetrical patterns and geometric digital prints will leave you transfixed. This reflects designer Youn Hee Park’s preference for infusing surrealistic, computer-generated digital prints with classic silhouettes that mirror her rebellious and risktaking spirit. Grand inspirations Inside the frenzied fashion hall of Dongdaemun Design Plaza at the last day of fashion week, an upbeat instrumental music played, signalling the beginning of the Greedilous show— one of the most anticipated brands in South Korea. Popular model and beauty TV show host, Moon Gabbi opened with a bright yellow checked number in all her striking glory, headlining the rest of the models. As the show progressed and the clothes shifted into retro-eclectic looks, the music transitioned into a familiar, somewhat nostalgic neo soul and jazz tune: “You know I’m no good” by Amy Winehouse. The models emerged with the late singer’s signature bold cat eye and “beehive” bouffant hair, a fitting


style that brought to life the designer’s legendary inspiration. Winehouse is, as Park revealed, her muse for this collection, and this enabled her to come up with her own take on contemporary glam style. “Amy Winehouse’s popularity can be credited to her unique sound and the lyrics that boldly reveal her own wounds. This is how she reflects her self-image and art in her own words,” she says, adding that she wanted to translate this aesthetically into her garments. “Like her album, which combines various genres, I tried to put various motifs and harmonize them into one print. I also used more vivid colors to showcase a new, younger Greedilous than ever before.” At the finale, actor and environment conservation advocate Shin HyunJoon made a surprise appearance on the runway with a sunflower in hand, which was a euphemism for the intention of the designer: “I wanted to make a moment for the audience to think about the environment and sustainable fashion.”

Representing Korea The designer’s penchant for dramatic looks and overflowing decalcomania prints sealed her brand identity, which she was able to establish not just in Korea but also in Paris and New York Fashion Weeks. Park shares, “I am currently one of the five world star designers in Korea. I was proud of my country as a representative designer in New York and Paris, introducing Korean fashion to more people all over the world.” Her signature geometrical prints and structured silhouettes that became recognized all over the world were a byproduct of Park’s creative imagination and her extensive background. Park studied industrial design before pursuing fashion shortly after, melding her expertise on shapes, balance, masterful techniques and keen eye for what women would actually want to wear.


“I was proud of my country as a representative designer in New York and Paris, introducing Korean fashion to more people all over the world.” From stars to the streets An interesting quality of her body of work is their ability to become both wearable and aspirational. Outfits from Greedilous are worn by today’s top Korean idols and the world’s most recognizable celebrities (Beyonce herself was photographed wearing a leather jacket and a printed shirt dress from the brand) and women on the streets. Anyone looking to make a statement and break the boundaries of everyday dressing can be a Greedilous man or woman. It’s the kind of aesthetic that makes fashion available for all—and that’s something that only a few designers could achieve.



A MOMENT IN THE SUN This Swedish model has made her mark in the Korean fashion and entertainment industry, and now she’s ready to take a new journey




t feels good to be a woman,” Queen of K-Pop BoA sings in her newest single “Woman,” in which she sends out a message about feminism, self-esteem, and female empowerment. In the video, she makes a strong statement as she strides proudly alongside different kinds of women from various backgrounds and nationalities. One of them is Ida Åstrand, a 24-year-old model from Sweden, whose poised and confident look in the video resonates with her personality in real life. It is a fitting song to describe a self-assured woman who has taken on the challenge of going halfway around the world to dabble in her many creative pursuits. During our photo shoot at Sky Park, Ida revealed that an “edgy” image suits her more than a soft or delicate one, saying that she’s a pretty low maintenance kind of person who’s quite unlike the typical idea of fashion and commercial models. But despite her down-to-earth personality, she has the ability to transform like a chameleon in front of the camera. Her body of work speaks volumes: she’s appeared in the music videos of big Korean artists like BoA and Zico, to name a few, and has taken on some acting roles in K-dramas, particularly Mysterious Personal Shopper, I’m Not A Robot, and talk show Abnormal Summit. She’s also the face of many clothing and beauty brands, most notably Fila Korea for their Fila Skate campaign.

Photos DANNYSEOUL (@dannyseoul) Story and Stylist DIANNE PINEDA-KIM (@dianne_panda) Clothing GREEDILOUS (@greedilous_official) Model IDA ÅSTRAND (@idajosefine) Hair HAIR AND JOY (hairandjoy.com)

Ready for Korea Looking at her flourishing portfolio and long list of prestigious modeling gigs, one would think that Ida specifically set out to become a model. But she shares that she stumbled upon this covetable career, saying, “It just sort of happened. I used to do photography in Sweden and when I came to Korea I was asked if I wanted to be in front of the camera instead, so I figured I could give it a go. I never even considered it growing up since I’m pretty short by Swedish standards.” >>



Prior to moving to Korea, however, Ida was well prepared and ready. She did all of her research before coming to Korea in 2014 to study Korean language for one year and planned to go back to Sweden to finish her university studies. But some fortuitous events and encounters meant that she finds herself still living and working in Seoul after four and a half years. “I did my homework before coming here so, if anything, it seemed less different than people online had made it out to be,” she shares. “My family was very supportive my mom has visited me in South Korea on multiple occasions - and I also go back home at least once a year.” Seoul has become her home, but it didn’t come without any challenges. She recalls, “The school system here is completely different from the Swedish one and while I used to always be at the top of my class back home, I was struggling to keep up here. Korean is my fourth language but I had never had this much trouble with learning a new language before. Basically in Sweden the focus is always on understanding and being able to use the information given but here it was all about memorization, something I had never had to do before to this extent.” But experience taught her what the four walls of the classroom couldn’t, and Ida was able to adjust well by communing with locals and opening herself up to many things that Seoul has to offer. She says, “Everything is open around the clock, there’s always people moving around and tons of fun things to do. What I couldn’t learn from my Korean teachers, I did so from real life conversations and situations.” >>


“It just sort of happened. I used to do photography in Sweden and, when I came to Korea, I was asked if I wanted to be in front of the camera instead, so I figured I could give it a go.”




The next step At various shows during the latest Seoul Fashion Week, street-style photographers swarmed around Ida, who could often be seen wearing outfits by Korean designers. It’s her eighth time attending and, as always, she considers it a remarkable experience. “I always love attending the shows and I haven’t missed a fashion week in the past four years. A lot of my friends walk the runway, which is an added bonus for the shows I watch!”


It may take a while, however, for her to make another Fashion Week or to join festivities in Seoul because she is planning to move back to Sweden to take the next step in her life. “I want to finish my university degree and become a personal trainer. If possible I would love to keep working in entertainment/ modelling in some form in Sweden as well.” But whether she’s in Korea or back in her hometown, Ida is sure to live her best life on her way to the top.




DRINK WITH CARE. STOLICHNAYA® PREMIUM VODKA 40% Alc./Vol. Distilled from Grain. © 2016. All rights reserved. ® – Registered trademarks, depending on the country, of ZHS IP Americas Sàrl, ZHS IP Europe Sàrl, ZHS IP Worldwide Sàrl, Spirits International B.V., or Spirits Product International Intellectual Property B.V.





Story LORENA JIMÉNEZ (@lo.sworld) Photos MANON THORE (@nothorma)





ashion week was once again filled with people to the core, proving the fact that fashion is slowly becoming a more mainstream aspect of culture. But what is fashion exactly? Because only by walking among all the different outfits filing the passages of Dongdaemun, it was clear that there are many possible approaches to this same concept. “What is fashion exactly?� Fashion varies depending on the person. To some it might just be a needed attire for work and life. To others a potential source of attention or even something to play around and have fun


with. While to someone completely different, the meaning could be reduced to a very shallow aspect of life. Strongly believing that everything in this life is not made of just blacks or whites, but mostly a mix of greys. Fashion like everything else, can have positive and negative traits depending on what you make of it. In a world where we tend to judge easily and at times outer appearance is the only thing we are able to see. It is no wonder why such a concept could become this important for some, while being perceived by others as a burden or something that only feeds the ego. Today, I wanted to add yet another different perspective on

the subject, since I strongly believe that fashion is a lot more than just the shell. A Different View on Fashion To me, fashion is an art. A form of self-expression, an additional way to share what we are and how we feel. It is a way of creating, a way to distinguish ourselves from that sea of people where we many times forget to be our own. Not only that, I see fashion as a source of change, , and new choices. A way to take a stand against things that you might believe in or even a path to help you make better life choices. If you think about it most societal changes have come with new trends

in fashion that took over former “rules” creating new boundaries. The first woman wearing trousers, the clothing adaptation that went through the industrial revolution, the seek of peace through the hippy movement… It is undeniable that fashion was a big part of it all. In current times, fashion can also be more than a mere way to dress. But a way to bring up to the surface a little bit more of all that greatness that we all have bottled up inside. Fashion is a statement. One that can not only help you shine a little bit more brightly but at times like the armor of a battle, something to give you that extra courage or confidence that might be needed to push through, upon a difficult task. Fashion can be confidence, self-love and appreciation, that does not come from selfishness or narcissism. It can be a way to help you fill your own cup. Something that makes you feel a bit better about yourself, so you can then give out to others, from a place of self-love and self-respect, without having to step on anybody’s head in the process. Fashion is all those things because, at the end of the day, fashion and life are both about choices. For that, I want to challenge you to have a look at life and also fashion in another way, not as something that defines you and your value, depending on how you dress or how much money you spent, but as something that can potentially add to who you are and what you want to create. Having said that today, I do not want to make it only about us, the people wearing the clothes. But more about the creators, those whose inspiration and hard work bring us a new way of selfexpression, a new source of art. So today we are going to shine some light on the designers, the ones that start giving, by creating. >>

“Fashion is an art. A form oF self-expression, an additional way to share what we are and how we feel. It is a way of creating, a way to distinguish ourselves from that sea of people where we many times forget to be our own.”



for creation impregnating the air. It could be the reason why for me fashion is familiarity, it is love, the love of a mom creating something special just for her child. Care, trying to adjust everything to the last detail to make everything look as perfect for others, as you possibly can. Fashion is also sacrifice, spending many hours working in order to make everything come together, not knowing what others might have to say about your art.

Seoul Fashion Week This fashion week has been filled with very beautiful collections. A season in which the trend and demand for more wearable fashion have definitely shine through, bringing out more “real life” trends into the runway. But do not be confused, collections have might been tamer in terms of eccentricity, but have only increased in terms of pattern work, design and inspiration.

The designers Creation is very brave in a way, sharing a piece of you out into the world even besides the fear of being judged. Designers share big parts of them with every collection. Pieces open publicly for everyone’s opinions. Something that most of us might never dare to do, because how many of us will be brave enough to share core pieces of our mind and identity with the world when most times we can not even share it with those that are close to us?

“collections have might been tamer in terms of eccentricity, but have only increased in terms of pattern work, design and inspiration.”

“Designers are brave, they share a piece of themselves that many of us hide inside” The behind the scenes When it comes to fashion most of us only see the finished shining product without knowing all that it is behind, the good and the bad. In my case, fashion has been a part of my life for as far as I can remember, because of that I wanted to share with you the perspective of a child that was born behind the scenes. As the daughter of a hard working fashion designer I grew up having a dining table filled with sewing machines and fabric scraps instead of plates. Marking soaps, measuring tape and pins instead of silverware. Designs and half made pieces filling all the empty spaces on the walls, the floor, and the chairs. It was a special house, where you could not only find unlimited supplies, but also a very distinct feeling, the love


Due to that braveness, I have always found a big respect and admiration for designers and creators, who put their contribution out into the world. Designers exposing a little bit of what we all might decide to leave in, afraid of being judged while bringing us a new angle of reality and pushed boundaries. While also making the path a little bit more easy for everyone else following behind. You can see all their work and inspiration through every new collection and this fashion week was no different. Seoul Fashion Week gifted us with very talented designers, collections, creations and trends that should be celebrated, not only for the beautiful aesthetics but for the braveness, values and hard work that they also represent.

A Spring Summer fashion week in which, societal factors have also played a huge role in the designer’s work. As you know Korea has been going through a lot of change. And things like the desire of peace, climate awareness and pushed gender boundaries have been very present in most of the collections. Korean fashion is slowly but steadily taking a stand into the global scene, with a very beautiful approach. One where not only designs and aesthetics are improved, but one in which designers themselves are pushing to improve the world starting by wanting to make Korean society, values, and climate also rise for the better.

“Korean fashion is slowly but steadily taking a stand into the global scene, with a very beautiful approach, improving the world by improving oneself first” Fashion week in Seoul is slowly maturing, bringing out some excellent designers and brands that you might want to start to get to know. And here you have some of the numerous shows that I really enjoyed. >>

Photos courtesy of TOFIT

TOFIT With a collection named Strangers presented over a design slightly recreating a camouflage pattern. Tofit started its show with fast-paced beats of music along which the models started to march across the runway. Mixed patterns and fabrics created the colorful designs that filled the collection. A collection created around three main concepts: the “encounter of military and romance”, fun rebellion of slight punkish details and the comfortable yet stylish desires craved by today’s society. Tofit´s pieces presented mesh detailing, overlapping elements, flowy skirts, and loose fitted pieces with which designer Kim Hyun Jung brought us a strong yet delicate collection that slightly contradicted the “fit” taking part on the brand´s name.



HAN CHUL LEE With “Ombra Mai Fu” a piece of opera that could easily bring your mind right back into an Italian Catholic church during the Renaissance period, angelic-faced models dressed fully in white started to glide along the runway. An outfit slightly transitioning from white to black, started adding duality to the show. The opera music switched then to a Marylin Manson piece that brought with it all black outfits, with beautiful detailing and slight rockish vibes. With military patterns and a mix of fitted and oversized elements, the predominant colors of designer Han Chul Lee´s collection were blacks, whites, and greens adding the occasional red. Abundant metal and silver detailing like studs, beautiful button art, chains, and hooks decorated the pieces. And a mix of materials among which silk, leather, and dark and white jean were the main protagonists, created the pieces. In a beautifully made collection that in my eyes screamed duality, with slight references to what could possibly also represent a bit of the current Korean political situation. The fringe detailed jackets that made the models wearing them look just like dark winged angels, made me on this case and in this duality, run towards the dark side.

Photos courtesy of SEOUL FASHION WEEK


MOHO A dark smoky room illuminated by faint lighting was building the ambiance for Moho´s latest collection, “the sublime”. A very conceptual collection with which designer Lee Gyu Ho wanted to evoke not only the “grandeur of nature”, but also give society a small piece of its mind. Futuristic outfits, in which pieces could hold a slight resemblance to spacesuits and working gear right out of the next industrial revolution, this collection had the power to teleport you to another era. Beautiful organza suits created through the superposition of fabrics, the mix of materials, the monochromatic color scheme, the incredibly beautifully created accessories, and the accompanied chosen hairdos, definitely made heads turn around for a closer look. With a collection in which the designer wanted to add a bit of perspective through the criticism of the loss of human value for material one, the armor like structures were in my eyes a clear representation of the defensive personal wall that we at times build in today’s society. A collection in which the aim to trigger an emotion further from the traditional basic aspects of only aesthetic was very well reached.



BAROQUE Baroque started its show with enchanting music and an eye-catchy dance performance. The 1001 tale like music, transitioned into a more powerful song that brought the model´s strong strikes along the runway. A collection in predominant blacks and whites, in which the well-made fit and pattern design were the main protagonists in all pieces. Models with very distinct attitudes added a rebellious aura to the show along with the rockish, punkish and biker elements presented on the runway. Zippers, leather, eye-catching stitch lines, and big bags were big elements on the show, without subtracting any attention of the main star, the outerwear pieces. Overall the show created an aura, through which you could very well imagine charismatic individuals wearing the same exact designs out on the streets while stealing many glances. And that was the beauty of it.


BIG PARK With a collection as cheerful as the song accompanying it, Big Park´s new collection exuded spring. Colorful schemes with predominant greens, yellows, and oranges played a contrast with the more neutral colored pieces, that added fun elements through overlapping and small colorful touches and details. The use of silk, ruffles, double ribbons, big sleeves, and artwork like patterns were eye-catching elements that added to the designs. Predominant oversize fits, loose shirts, and flowiness added movement to the collection. A collection in which clothes were given their own special shape through well-thought pattern design and potent detailing elements.

IT IS ABOUT YOU Collections were filled by different inspirations, strength and the love for self-expression. So today I wanted to give a shout out not only to the models, the pieces or the collections but especially to all the great creators out there that made all that beautifulness happen through their hard work This article goes out to all designers established or new. All those artists that actively decide to create and give a piece of themselves into the world besides the hardship or the possible judgments. Thank you for making reality a bit more colorful, more fitted, more loose, darker, more sober, a little bit more open-minded and special‌Thank you for making reality broader and pushing people besides their limits to express themselves. Also a special thanks to a great designer that through my life taught me love and passion for fashion and selfexpression among many other things, being a firsthand example herself. Thank you for being a great designer that has given me not only a career, but also a lifelong passion and dreams to go with it. Designers, today I celebrate and thank you all.



DivergING Towards Luxury Story LORENA JIMÉNEZ (@lo.sworld)


eoul, South Korea, a 24-hour bustling city where bars, clubs, stores, and Seoulites are always on the move. Even when many might not realize about it yet, Seoul is not only a restless city but the city where even beauty, never get its beauty sleep. South Korea has been showing enormous economic growth in the last decades and developing a good taste for luxury. And Seoul, its capital presents a very balanced mix in between decadence and sumptuousness. Some parts of Seoul filled with that lovely and picturesque charm that brings you decades back to a time where daily commodities were not accessible, versus the new Seoul that is diverging towards luxury. Some areas of Seoul dispense a preference for luxury that can be felt as soon as you step into them and when talking about aesthetics, things are no different. As you might know, beauty is indeed a concept of great importance here and aspects related to it like valuing one’s image or the outer appearance might be deemed as almost taboo in other


countries, but are extremely accepted into Korean society. Not only that, Koreans are expected to take care of themselves and put the effort in trying to present their best version to the world every day. Just as any of the luxury items everyone wants to get their hands on, the way someone carries themselves gives some sort of social status, in some cases considered your best introduction card. It is safe to say that in a way, beauty here is perceived as a form of luxury itself. South Korean beauty standards influenced not only by external media but also by many interesting cultural or historical facts, are able to give anyone ready to observe a new outlook into Korean society. Out of the many beauty standards searched by society, one of the biggest ones might lay on the skin, beautiful, flawless and preferably snow white skin is desired. And even though standards keep on changing, skin that represents purity and innocence never seems to get out of style, making porcelain skin the ultimate goal to achieve. Being beauty and in particular skin an element of

such importance, it is no wonder how concepts like a 10 step beauty skin care regime, the 3-second rule or even layering toner 7 times are a must, on the life of a big percentage of the population. The goal of achieving perfect skin makes Koreans very aware of the importance of good skin care. They know what they want and are not afraid to be demanding with the products they invest in, therefore companies have to follow if they want to succeed which explains why Korea has one of the biggest and more competitive cosmetic markets in the world. With such avid consumers, brands need to compete hard to satisfy the very savvy public, to a point that even road store brands have great ranges of effective products at very competitive prices. Elements like product formulas, products, and packaging keep on changing for the delight of the tremendously exigent consumers. In fact, it is very likely for anything you might have imagined in terms of skincare or makeup to already exist here, making Korea one of the best places to buy beauty items from.


A brand in which modernity and antiquity blissfully coexist. Products, devices, and procedures of any type are easily accessible, transforming beauty into something that you are no longer only able to have by being born with it, but something that you can easily achieve with the proper tools and even procedures. These variables differentiate skincare from any mere expense, becoming at times an investment to achieve a very desired goal. However, with so many cosmetics and decent results from road shop brands, you might be wondering how is Korea competing with the standard cosmetic industry in terms of luxury or if there is any point in splurging into luxury altogether? If you live here you might know many road shop brands, but let me introduce you to some of the best Korean luxury brands that you might not know about, in case it peaks your curiosity or you might want to splurge. And let me tell you as well that even these brands have decent price points compared to their luxury western counterparts.

Creative and convenient packaging that follows traditional lines and filled with Korea’s best traditional ingredients, create the harmonious products filling up their shelves. A brand hoping to keep the best of both worlds, balancing modern science and the latest techniques with the wisdom of ancient traditional Asian medicine, ingredients and culture. A brand from one of the top cosmetic groups in Korea, Amore Pacific, under CEO and Chairman Mr. Suh Kyungbae, is defined by their creators as “Holistic and harmonious skincare inspired by traditional Asian wisdom that cultivates balanced beauty inside and out” and gets its name from “the exquisite allure of winter blossom springing forth in the snow”. The brand not only places great importance in the quality of their products, using main ingredients such as ginseng or Jaum balancing complex (Sulwhasoo’s unique formula, created from a mixture of “ five oriental plants such as peony, Solomon’s seal, Sacred lotus, white lily and adhesive Rehmannia”) but also keeps their signature classy aesthetics, based on Korean heritage and supports and promotes Korean based art and artists, through simple things such as their catalogs, trying to show the “feel and scent of the real Korea” for the whole world around them to see. This brand is especially well known for their essences and refiners if you want to give any of their products a try.



When simplicity meets chiC

Sleek and simple packaging, filled with products made out of highquality active ingredients, seems to be the aim of this local brand created by the LG Household group, whose CEO and Vice-Chairman, Mr. Suk Cha, defines as a group that “strives to serve consumers with values that are healthy”. The brand O HUI marketed by the founders as “the delightful change” targets a wide range of skin concerns. Hydration, vitality or moisture in between many others, are along the lineups of this brand, which also carries a very exclusive collection named The First, available only for the most exquisite audiences. Like many of its luxury competitors, the brand uses very highquality ingredients to deliver the best results, but what makes this brand different and very popular is their use of stem cell technology, used to target and deliver help without damage, to even the most sensitive skin types. O HUI seems to be made to suit the modern woman of today, from packaging to catalogs, everything is created with great amount of simplicity and classiness. Especially if compared to the opulent packaging in fellow luxury brands, but the quality of the products, made out of great formulas and carefully chosen ingredients, will not disappoint even the most exigent consumers. You might not be very aware yet of stem cell technology, but it is one of the latest beauty booms, to help regenerate and reverse skin damage, is not a little bit more accessible to the public but O HUI was one of the first Korean brands to incorporate this type of cosmetic technology.


Cosmetics made of everyday ingredients Another top brand under Amore Pacific’s belt, Hanyul also uses mostly natural ingredients with a small spin-off, it strives to provide nutrition to the skin in one of the most simple ways. By feeding the skin with common ingredients, that have been used at home during centuries by the everyday Korean woman. Hanyul aspires to be similar to food for your skin using “mild, but effective remedies passed down from mothers to their children for generations” Known ingredients include vegetables, plants or even grains such as “rice, brown pine needles, Artemesia, Baekhwago (Korean mushroom), Korean Chrysanthemum, and native Seoritae (Korean bean)” that bring Hanyul into the spotlight. Topping it all of with monochromatic and sleek packaging, made of high-quality materials, you get products that even when competing with luxury have easily accessible price points. Hanyul products are easily found at Aritaum, and their rice essence is probably one of my all-time favorite products.


A name emphasizing exclusive beauty The Whoo character hides the exact meaning of what this LG household brand aspires to represent, an empress, a powerful name used over a slogan already exuding luxury and exclusivity: “An emperor who ruled the world, an empress who ruled the emperor. The empress’s space for the chosen few only” Traditional oriental ingredients and oriental medicines are used in the development of the products while packaging inspired to resemble profound concepts about the origin of life, femininity, dignity, purity, and mystery. This is purposely chosen to not only give their products an elegant look but to at the same time play with some of the most prominent qualities possessed by women, making these product ́s harmonious and balanced aesthetic extremely appealing to many.

Vitality of nature

Sum:37, also under the LG Household, is a considerably more recent brand that has been getting a lot of attention. Even though it seems to focus into already existing concepts, such as oriental medicinal values, natural active ingredients and the vitality of nature, there is one factor that is making this brand catch on with some of the already coexisting ones: their use of the fermentation process. Elegant packaging and a wide range of collections makes this brand a favorite in between many others, and the careful selection of their plants to guarantee efficacy, as well as the usage of a fermentation process that follows strict standards of purification and control done by master craftsmen, are the reasons that differentiate it from similar competitors. Living here you already know fermentation is a big part of Korean culture, you can see it in basic aspects of society like the Korean cuisine, which incorporates a lot of fermented foods, like vegetables and different types of paste. Fermented foods seem to be very good for the health due to the high content in probiotics and the similar effects seem to come out from their use in cosmetics.



The little stars of

Seoul Fashion Week Story DIANNE PINEDA-KIM (@dianne_panda) Photos OH WOOHOON


f there’s one thing that Seoul loves more than trends, it’s the adorable little kids that they can’t help but fawn over, more so when they’re wearing pint-sized fashion even their adult counterparts wouldn’t be able to pull off. This was evident during Seoul Fashion Week, where throngs of kids who probably couldn’t even read yet gathered with their stage moms in tow—not for a playdate but to get photographed outside one of South Korea’s most anticipated events. In front of every little toddler and his or her mini posse were about 10 to 15 professional photographers and onlookers who instantly whipped out their cameras to capture every cute gesture. What makes this scenario more fascinating is that the kids seemed completely unfazed by all the attention, as they masterfully posed, smiled, and showed off their well-coordinated outfits with ease and confidence. This is the new generation of street-style stars: Seoul’s most stylish kids, who defy the “normal” code of children’s clothes. One event in particular is taking this phenomenon to a whole new level and creating a platform from which these tiny trendsetters and children’s wear designers can introduce themselves to the world at large. A runway for kids Seoul Kids Fashion Show (SKFS) was founded by Australian photographer and entrepreneur Natalie Rapisarda and, together with director Saemi


Moon, they’re making what could be the next most watched event after Seoul Fashion Week. “We’ve truly created a special opportunity for South Korean children’s wear designers to have their new collections be viewed locally and online internationally by new audiences in London, Brazil, Australia, and more,” Rapisarda said. But this isn’t the first time that they have put these youngsters in the spotlight. Last year, the partners (who are young themselves) organized Seoul Fashion Futures, which set them on their path to discovering more kid models and designer talent in South Korea. This year was quite different however,

as the show garnered more interest and frenzy than the last. Hosted by Groove Korea’s very own Becky White and held at Urban Space in the middle of Seoul, the event gathered several top Korean brands, while some international media entities have also caught on. The lineup included Top Ten Kids, Moonya Moonya and their label Chummy Chummy, designers Mumu & Baba and their second label Lug & Lyon, Maman Salon, Bubble Kiss, So Little Urban, and Emma Baby. SKFS also partnered and gave support to the Korean Unwed Mothers Families Association (KUMFA). Kids as young as three years old


“This is the new generation of streetstyle stars: Seoul’s most stylish kids, who defy the ‘normal’ code of children’s clothes.” walked proudly without fuss or tears, while the pre-teens strutted the runway like pros. Moon revealed that close to 350 children auditioned for the show but they had the hardest task to make the final cuts, “This year we were lucky to have 80 talented boys and girls walk the runway, giving them the chance to improve their confidence and industry experience.” The future of Seoul fashion When the fashion show ended, everyone packed up, and after the last photo was taken, it was the moment when the kids had to go back home, perhaps right before nap time. SKFS was able to send out a message that the best in fashion are usually not those already on TV or in glossy magazines— it’s the youngsters that hold the promise. For most of these kids, it probably was more like a “Look, Ma! I’m walking the runway!” moment. But little did they know: South Korea and many different parts of the world were watching.





Cafe Hunter discovers Cafe Loby Story BECKY WHITE (@sincerelybeckyw) Photos MANON THORE (@nothorma)




mong the hundreds, dare I say, thousands of beautiful cafes that dot the streets of Seoul, it is a challenge to stand out. In a city full of movement and noise, people hurrying from one place to another, being louder and busier seems to be the key to getting noticed. Yet one place in particular caught my eye, despite the many sights and sounds clamoring for my attention. A place that struck me with its quiet simplicity and sunlit space. Cafe Loby hasn’t been around for long, but yet it is making a buzz among cafe hunters like myself. It lets its fine coffee and striking interior design speak for itself. I arrived just before opening, strolling through an ordinary avenue in the early morning to come across the front window. Wide and clear, the window reveals the entire inside of the cafe, illuminated by the soft morning light. A few words come to mind at the sight of Cafe Loby. Pure. Simple. Tidy. It’s the sort of place where one sits with only a novel for company, sipping a cafe au lait from a small, porcelain cup. Where one doesn’t need to fill the silence with meaningless words. The air feels a bit easier to breathe here, and I take a deep breath myself before entering. It seems as though everything is made of glass and crisp white trimming. The seats inside are narrow, and each round, little table is just large enough for two cups of coffee to nestle together. It’s just right for the singular dreamer or a cozy couple. The owner has a kind smile and he welcomes me in as he polishes the milk steamer. I am already anticipating a latte to kickstart my morning and am hardly disappointed when I order their specialty drink, the malt latte. It’s a unique drink and takes time to enjoy it. Their cold brew is frozen into a

grainy ball of coffee-ice that bobs in a glass of fresh milk. The drink is enjoyed as the coffee slowly melts into the milk, becoming stronger as the ice dissolves. A little glass jar of extra milk is given to me to refill my cup as I sip. For someone who frequntly takes her latte on the run, I must make myself wait patiently as the ice melts away. It takes me over an hour to finish, but I learn to love it until the very final drop. The backdoor leads to an enclosed courtyard, walls high to make a >>

A beautifully modest cafe, unique in interior design but faithful to a good cup of coffee. 45


space solely belonging to Cafe Loby. The sky is clear, and the white and cream-colored stones seem to gently reflect the light. It is outside in this courtyard where Cafe Loby’s unique photo friendly sculpture sits. It is simply a large stone square, with a circle cut out in the middle, large enough for a tall woman such as myself to stand nearly upright inside. It’s striking and modern, the square shape at odds with the rest of the circular-styled cafe. Round tables, round cups, round stepping stones, and one massive square statue. At first glance, it looks peculiar, and yet somehow, it all fits together. I find myself feeling comfortable with the peaceful atmosphere of Cafe Loby. Perhaps it’s because I came in the early morning. Perhaps it’s the time I must take to fully enjoy my malt latte. Or perhaps it’s the quiet demeanor of the owner that imbues the whole place with a calm air. Whatever it is, this modestly beautiful cafe makes me appreciate once more the small, reserved things that often go unnoticed in this fast-paced concrete jungle of mine. An open room full of morning light and a slowly sipped cup of coffee suit me just fine.

Hours: Weekdays 8:30 am~ 9:00pm (Sat/Sun 11:00 am~7:30pm) Address: Seocho-dong 1564-4, Seocho-gu, Seoul Phone: 070.4300.4180 Bakery partner: @ejbakingstudio


Though new to the Seoul coffee shop scene, Cafe Loby has already caught the attention of those seeking a quiet space and sunlit seating.





A place that makes food that anyone will like. A place where you can create what you like, and enjoy it.

That is Monthly Kitchen The menu might change every month, but the warm welcome always stays the samE

Story BECKY WHITE (@sincerelybeckyw) • Photos ERICA ALMQUIST (@erica.almquist)


he music is the first thing noticed when you walk through the front doors. Japanese classic rock and jazz fill the cozy interior with a warm and welcoming sound, tinged with retro vibes. It pours out from the single speaker in the corner of the room, music that laps throughout the restaurant. There is a purpose to this single speaker, rather than many placed in every room for equal sound for every customer. It heralds back to the days when families gathered in the living room around the radio to listen to a broadcast together. The atmosphere suits the main room, decorated in

dark wood with gold and blue accents. A beautiful jade green is painted on the ceiling and walls, emphasizing the overall friendly feeling. The lighting is low, and charmingly uneven lamps emit a soft golden glow. Here and there are some nods to Japanese culture. Besides the music, there are a few Gundam Wing action figurines set atop shelves. I learn later that the chef himself makes them by hand as a hobby. The little pieces that make up the complex figures are further indication to the chef’s eye for perfection. Tucked into the corner beside the kitchen window is a line of comfortable chairs beside the bar. They provide great private

seating for individuals or couples who would like to come for a quiet drink at night. A big window separates the bar and the kitchen. Through the glass, you can see the chefs at work, slicing fish into delicate strips, sauteeing, mixing interesting flavors and herbs into the pan, the fire heated brightly beneath. It feels personal, almost intimate. It’s nice to see where the food is coming from, as though I am watching someone cook just for me in my own home. There are large windows on each side, wooden slatted fencing seen past the small front yard, separating the restaurant from the rest of the street. The world becomes a little smaller, a little cozier. >>



With the wood outside and greenery surrounding the restaurant, it’s like having a personal garden on all sides. I hear that songwriter and music producer Yoon Jong Shin has much to do with the music choices. This isn’t any surprise, as he is the owner and investor of Monthly Kitchen (월간식당), the new restaurant I have come to visit. As the name Monthly Kitchen hints, the menu is changed on a monthly basis. I open the menu and am surprised by the amount of choices available. For a menu that is changed every month, the number of dishes is surprisingly many. Surely, whoever creates the menu options has his work cut out for him. But I am soon to find out that chef Ahn Gyeong Seok is more than capable for the creative task. Before meeting him, I am offered a few dishes to try, courtesy of the chef and his staff; all of whom smile and greet me warmly as I take a seat in the corner. First to arrive, is the Sicily Lasagna. All it takes is one glance to see that it’s no ordinary lasagna, however. For starters, it’s served cold. Rather than having the cheese melted over the top, it is made into a cream, akin to a dollop of cheese gelato on top; it’s rich, but not too sweet. Rather than meat filling, there are thin slices of eggplant and other vegetables. Cheese shavings decorate the sides of the plate, and overall leave me wondering how someone had ever considered serving lasagna cold, and make it delicious at that. Before each bite, I double guess myself and think, “is this really going to be tasty?” And after each bite, I am further confirmed that indeed, yes it is. The next dish is Gopchang (beef tripe) Tomato Pasta. I am familiar with pasta. I am familiar with tomato. I am familiar with beef gopchang. Yet I have never tried a combination of all three such as this. The tomato sauce feels friendly, and yet the Korean twist of beef gopchang


and the rough Italian style noodles together creates something entirely new. I glance over at my photographer who is mid-bite. “This,” she says, “is my favorite.” It’s hard not to sit and savor the food, even though I know I should finish up quickly and interview the man behind all the delicious flavors I am currently enjoying. As though called up by the mere thought of him, the chef peeks into the room, looking bashful as I notice him. “How is it?” He asks.

Chef Ahn Gyeong Seok is a man with a kind face and dancing eyes. His humor becomes apparent in good-natured, quick-witted responses. Though he stands courteously, looking professional in his white chef’s outfit, with his hands by his sides, he radiates energy. He looks like an artist. I take the remaining bite of the lasagna and think, he certainly is an artist. When we finally settle into the comfortable seats besides the front window, gazing over the small courtyard outside, the ground dusted with


Every dish is unique, designed in the mind of Chef Ahn Gyeong Seok and brought to realization by his hand.

fallen leaves, I already feel a sort of companionship with Chef Ahn Gyeong Seok. He has an air that makes one feel comfortable. “Did you originally want to be a chef?” I begin, keen to hear his story. I started cooking as a hobby, attending hagwons in Korea. But I wanted to get better, so I went to Japan. Then after that, I went to continue learning in Italy. Why did you go to Japan to learn? Because the cooking schools are better there. At that time, Korean cooking schools were not so good. So I went to Japan. Oh, so you didn’t go because of interest in Japanese cuisine? No, not to learn how to cook Japanese food necessarily, but because like I mentioned before, the schools there were better. They taught western style cooking, Chinese, Japanese, all of it. I had an Italian friend who attended the school at the same time. He once made pasta for me. It was tastier than the ones I had eaten elsewhere. Perhaps it was because he had cooked it for me personally, there was a family-feel to his food. In that moment, I first had the thought that perhaps in Italy they made food well. >>



Today the food you recommended seemed to be a sort of fusion of Japanese and Italian food. It was so unique. I have always wanted to make foods with interesting flavors. Like using truffles, balsamic herbs, and other Italian flavors with unexpected ingredients. People don’t typically think about mixing the kinds of flavors that I try to use together. But I had learned how to use these flavors in Italy, and so I knew how to combine them well. If you learned how to cook in other countries, why did you come to Korea to open a restaurant? I wanted to understand why people could not cook as well after learning in Korean schools. Also, at the time when I had gone to Italy, I fell in love with my wife (we had known each other for a while before), and so we came back to Korea to start here.


Oh, is your wife the lady whom I saw helping you out in the kitchen? Ah, yes, that’s her. She is really beautiful. Chef Ahn Gyeong Seok laughed, looking sheepish and delighted at the same time. Thank you, thank you. You yourself are a true beauty, as well. I laughed, too, flattered. No wonder he had won over such a beautiful woman to his side. Their kindness and good partnership is apparent as they work together. I continued with my questions. Before Monthly Kitchen, did you have a different restaurant? I worked as a chef elsewhere. Then I began making foods that I wanted to make, ideas that I came up with. I thought about making foods that I would want to try to eat. For example,


winter, do you cook only hot foods? We do have seasonal dishes. Originally, I was going to only make cold lasagna in the summer and then the hot version in the winter. But I couldn’t just change it like that. However, I am thinking about it. And are you thinking about writing a cookbook, by any chance? If the opportunity came!

in Korean dishes like (소고기덮밥) beef topped rice, I would put in truffles. I tried things that I thought would be tasty. When I first saw the menu, the first thing that stood out to me was how unique each meal is. You’ve really made a lot of different dishes. How do you manage to change the menu every month? It is true that every month some dishes change. Not all of them. Just fundamentally, if I want to change a few, I do so. We also have a daily menu that changes every day. A lot of it has to do with my personal preference. Isn’t it difficult to manage such a creative and ever-changing menu? I like cooking. When I see people enjoying the foods that I have prepared, I don’t feel that it is difficult at all. How did you start this restaurant? It began with my ideas of making foods that I would find delicious, foods I wanted to experiment with. I started this restaurant together with my family. I was curious to know how such a famous singer as Yoon Jong Shin had come into play. You could say he’s the investor, chef replied. My wife is his wife’s younger sister.

Of all the dishes you’ve made, which one do you like the best? That’s difficult to choose. I don’t have one that I think is my favorite. Perhaps one you’d like to show off? As just a personal opinion? I like the interesting ones. Like the cold lasagna. I enjoy those unique dishes. I’m just so amazed that you can be so creative with your food. Where do you get your inspiration? It just pops up in my head. I don’t read books or draw inspiration from anywhere exactly. I sketch it out in my mind then I experiment. When I saw the menu, I noticed that the dishes seem quite luxurious, and yet while each presentation is carefully set, it all feels so comfortable, as though anybody could easily enjoy their meal here. The price is so decent, too. True. All the foods on the menu are ones that I myself had wanted to try. We take care to use only high quality ingredients. I want to introduce to all people that kind of luxury with their food. Does the menu change depending on the month? For example, in

Well, I say, wrapping up the conversation, if you ever need a photographer to shoot your dishes for your book, never hesitate to call! Chef Ahn Gyeong Seok stands up as I do. He has some additional munchies for me before I go; flourless coconut cookies and dried fruit. Both are delightfully crunchy and sweet. The music has quieted, and the main room is filled with the soft, late afternoon light. I look around the restaurant once more, feeling welcomed and at home. One last thing, I say. Perhaps, in just a few words, could you explain Monthly Kitchen? Chef Ahn Gyeong Seok pauses for a moment. Slowly, he says, “A place that makes food that anyone will like. A place where you can create what you like, and enjoy it. That is Monthly Kitchen.”

Address: Yongsan-gu, Hannam-dong, 683-69, 1F Hours: Weekdays - 11:30 am to 1:30 pm / 6:00 pm to midnight Saturday - 11:30 am to 2:30 pm / 6:00 pm to midnight Phone: 02.6261.8293 Reservation Not Needed



Burn in Hal Seoul’s Leading Cigar and Whiskey Lounge Story NELL ROBBINS • Photos DANIEL KIM



The majority of available scotches and whiskeys are single malt


aving sung jazz at the cigar and whiskey lounge Burn for nearly four years, it is far from an unknown venue, but being able to approach a review of the establishment from a patron’s perspective put a new spin on things. For those who don’t know Burn (otherwise known as Burn in Hal), it is a high-end whiskey and cigar lounge that’s been running since 2011. Located in Kyungidan (somewhat saucily across the street from Dae Seong Church), Burn in Hal has their cigar shop and cafe on the first floor, and a whiskey lounge on the second. During warmer weather when the windows are open, you can hear their jazz music beckoning you to come inside, otherwise you will have to settle for the lure of the vibrant red glow of their neon sign on the brick facade. Downstairs, the newly added cigar shop and cafe sets quite the atmosphere. A spiral staircase takes up the left side of the shop, and to the right, past a scattering of leather

sofas and ottomans is the giant walk-in humidor containing a plethora of cigars guaranteed to make any cigar lover positively giddy. Upstairs, the continued 1920s interior aesthetic continues, the wooden walls and floors creating a warm and earthy ambiance the owner refers to as “contemporary Edwardian”. More leather couches, ottomans, loveseats, and chairs fill the space, all pointed towards the stage where there’s an upright piano, drum set, and ribbon mic. Spotlights shine down on the musicians, and to the left is the bar with counter-to-ceiling shelves filled with nearly every whiskey and scotch imaginable. The backlit bottles diffuse the air with an amber glow, making patrons feel like they’re stepping on the set of a Gatsby-era movie. Many find themselves wondering how Burn came to be, usually asking the proprietor how he got it up and running. Oddly enough, Hal Husrevoglu originally came to Korea on completely different business. Originally from

Turkey, he worked in the U.S. for over fifteen years. Coming to Korea just before the 2002 World Cup to work for a maritime company, he found himself feeling frustrated with the lack of options for an affordable high-class night out with fellow gentlemen to enjoy good drinks and good cigars. Getting together with some friends, they conceptualized what they wanted in an ideal hangout. Upon finding a location for the establishment to cultivate, they signed a lease and six months later hosted a soft opening shortly after Christmas. It was an intimate affair, pretty much just close friends and borrowed furniture, but since then Burn in Hal has become the leading example of a proper whiskey and cigar lounge. Since the opening, several other jazz bars in the area opened up as well, further proving that Hal had the right idea of things. Despite how effortless Burn may seem, it was not an easy set up. The finances required for creating his gentlemen’s club dream were steep,



and it was about two years before the lounge started paying for itself. Some of the main costs that had to be considered were tied to the import of the cigars. In Korea the government keeps a firm regulation on what is or isn’t permitted to be imported – second only to the fees that come with importing those goods. It is little surprise though, considering the quality of the spirits and the cigars. Burn is one of the few places you can find true Cuban cigars, and they carry a variety of Davidoff cigars as well. There’s also always live music; a different band or performer every night

of the week - which explains the 5,000 won cover charge upon entry. It is clearly a classy joint. If you’re interested in visiting, keep in mind that there’s a “smart casual” dress code. Ball caps are not permitted, but those who arrive with hat hair need not fear - Hal keeps the establishment stocked with a small collection of Panama hats for patrons to wear in place of their ball caps. Despite the good energy from the live music, it is not a rowdy atmosphere; Burn is where you go to unwind with luxurious vibes. Both electronic and regular cigarettes are not permitted.

Address: 11 Hoenamu-ro, Yongsan-gu, Seoul


Hours: 6pm-2am

Though originally founded by Hal and his fellows seeking a gentlemen’s club setting, Burn has a surprising number of women patrons as well. You will find a pretty even mix of both Korean and foreign patrons. Burn welcomes people of all backgrounds. You will find plenty of businessmen coming for a post-work drink, or even embassy representatives. Even Jackie Chan’s son Jaycee stopped in and enjoyed a cigar or two with his friends when he last visited Seoul. One thing is for certain, though: Burn is a place for people who come to enjoy a relaxing atmosphere with good cigars and cocktails, wines, scotches, or whiskeys in peace. Burn was actually the first lounge in Korea to offer high-end and expensive whiskeys by the glass rather than only the bottle. Don’t let that stop you from ordering a bottle if you’d prefer though - as a matter of fact, if you purchase a membership at Burn, you even get your own personal locker for your bottles for you to come back and enjoy at your leisure. The majority of available scotches and whiskeys are single malt. Curious about trying cigars but find yourself lacking the basic know-how? Hal is happy to provide some tips. “There are no rules on how to enjoy a good cigar,” he said. “I encourage beginners to start with a good cigar according to their budget.” When asked about his own favorite pairing, he mentioned he often enjoys having a cigar with his afternoon coffee. It is important to keep in mind that cigars are not a recommended substitute or replacement for cigarettes or e-cigarettes; smoking is still smoking, after all. If you haven’t been yet, you should definitely give Burn in Hal a visit. For more information on the venue, you can go to www.facebook.com/ burninhal or visit their website at www.burninhal.com.

Phone: 02.794.8077


Burn is where you go to unwind with luxurious vibes.



A Perfect Weekend in





aipei is one of Asia’s best kept secrets. From street foods to Michelin-starred restaurants, the city is jam-packed with a wealth of culinary options, stunning natural scenery, friendly locals, and excellent value to boot – and considering that the flight from Seoul to Taipei is over before you can catch the end of Life of Pi, you don’t really need an excuse to visit. Here are our top tips for spending a perfect weekend in the Taiwanese capital. >>




Check in at the city’s most established international luxury hotel, Grand Hyatt Taipei – recently hailed as one of the top 10 hotels in Asia by Condé Nast Traveler. Opened in 1990, the property still delivers top-notch service and style, thanks to a landmark renovation in 2014 that saw all of the 850 guestrooms and suites stripped back to its concrete beginnings, redesigned and rebuilt. Located in the heart of Taipei’s main commercial and shopping district Xinyi, the hotel is just a stone’s throw from a wealth of popular eateries and bars, shopping arcades and cultural attractions. Opt for one of the apartment-sized Grand Executive View Suites for panoramic views across the city and of Taipei 101, the skyscraper that was, until 2010, the world’s tallest. There are eight restaurants on property, ranging from Italian and Japanese to contemporary Chinese fare – the European steakhouse Bel Air is our pick for a romantic date – although the seafood buffet in the casual Café is hard to pass up. Round off the ultimate city break with champagne cocktails and live music at Ziga Zaga or get your tan on at the stunning outdoor Oasis swimming pool.




Often ranked as one the best food destinations in the world, Taiwan’s culinary philosophy can be best described as eat often and eat well. No visit to the Taipei is complete without a visit to the original Din Tai Fung on Xinyi Road for their world-famous xiaolongbao – the soup dumplings that have earned the Taiwanese chain a Michelin star in Hong Kong and a “top-notch table” designation from The New York Times. Be sure to get there early though as the restaurant doesn’t take reservations and it can often take a while to get seated. After lunch, amble down neighboring Yung Kang Street. Packed full of tea houses, cute cafes and roadside vendors selling steaming bowls of beef noodle soup, this bustling street and its surrounding alleyways is a mecca for foodies. Indulge in a mango shaved ice dessert from Smoothie House or get your caffeine fix with a bubble milk tea from Yi Pin or buy some oolong tea to take home from Yoshan Tea.

For Chinese fine-dining, look no further than Yun Jin at Grand Hyatt Taipei. This elegant restaurant, with its plush velvet chairs and silk embroidered walls, specializes in regional Chinese delicacies from Sichuan, Hunan, Shanghai, Hangzhou and Taiwan. The menu here is extensive, encompassing everything from barbecued meats, soup, seafood and delicious clay pot dishes. Try the mouth-watering fish dumplings and be sure to pre-order the roasted duck. Fifty years of Japanese rule left Taiwan with a taste for raw seafood, so if you’ve had your fill of Chinese food for the day, check out Addiction Aquatic Development – a live seafood market, gourmet grocery, sushi bar, hotpot and grill restaurant all rolled into one sleek complex. The stand-up sushi bar doesn’t take reservations, so grab a drink at the wine bar and ogle the vibrant space while you wait your turn.




A visit to Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall is a must to understand the culture and colorful history of Taiwan. Surrounded by a gorgeous park, which is also home to the National Theater and National Concert Hall, the memorial hall was built in memory of Chiang Kai-shek, the first president of the Republic of China. An enormous bronze sculpture of the late leader adorns the white marbled hall where visitors can watch the hourly changing of the guard. From here, it’s a quick cab ride to Longshan Temple in Wanhua district for a glimpse into Taiwan’s folk faith and unique temple architecture. Founded in 1738 by Han immigrants from Fujian, Longshan has served as a municipal guild and self-defence center, as well as a house of worship. These days, the temple is regarded as one of the island’s top religious sites and includes halls and altars to Buddhist and Taoist deities such as Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea, and Guan Yu, the God of War. The best times to visit are 6am, 8am, and 5pm when crowds of worshippers gather and engage in hypnotic chanting. Lovers of beautiful relics should make a beeline for the extraordinary National Palace Museum, home to almost all of China’s imperial treasures, which were spirited away from Beijing’s Forbidden City by Chiang Kaishek when he set up government in Taiwan during the Chinese Civil War.




For some retail therapy, look no further than Taipei 101. The iconic tower and mall, which is connected to Grand Hyatt Taipei via an outdoor skybridge, boasts an enviable selection of international designer brands and is open until 10pm. Once you’ve maxed out your credit card, take the world’ fastest elevator to the observation deck, located on the 89th floor, for breath-taking views of the Taipei skyline and beyond. If shopping malls aren’t your bag, hop on a YouBike (Taipei’s public bicycle sharing service) and pedal over to Songshan Cultural & Creative Park. Located on the grounds of a former tobacco factory, the remodeled warehouses now hold live music performances and art exhibitions as well as quaint shops selling trinkets and Taiwanese-designed products. Right beside the creative park is Eslite, Taipei’s popular lifestyle and bookstore, which is well worth a browse, particularly for its glass blowing, pottery and jewellery-making workshops.



Hike You’d be forgiven for thinking that Taipei’s attractions are only confined within the urban area. Take a break from the metropolis and hike Elephant Mountain – one of the capital’s most popular hiking trails. The majority of hikers are able to reach the top in around 20 minutes, and are rewarded with sweeping, unobstructed views of the entire city.


Tired and cranky after your flight? Skip happy hour and visit the Oasis Spa at Grand Hyatt Taipei instead. Perfect for detoxifying post-travel, the spa’s 180-minute “Calm” signature experience uses moor mud from Hungary’s Heviz Lake, the largest mineral lake in the world. The treatment includes a therapeutic moor mud body wrap to promote circulation and release toxins, a Swedish-style deep tissue massage to knead away aches and pains, and a moisturizing moor mud mask to lift, firm and hydrate the skin. Pure bliss.



After Dark

Although Taipei has no shortage of fine-dining restaurants, perhaps the most authentic Taiwanese food can be found at the city’s many night markets. Skip the overly touristy Shilin Night Market and by all means avoid the claustrophobic Raohe Street and instead check out Tonghua Night Market (also known as Linjiang). Located just a short walk from Grand Hyatt Taipei, this is one of the capital’s liveliest night markets and all the better for being more local. Here you’ll find dozens of stalls selling popular Taiwanese delights such as fried pork buns, stinky tofu, beef noodle soup and ice-cream roll with peanut brittle and coriander. Next, head over to BS Mini on Xinyi Road for a nightcap. Hidden behind a secret door, this Prohibition-style speakeasy specializes in handcrafted cocktails. Still not ready to call it a night? End the evening dancing your socks off at Taipei’s best hip-hop club, Chess. If your head begins to throb before you’ve even made it back to the hotel, there’s always the option to refuel with another bowl of beef noodles at Tonghua Night Market – after all it’s open till 2am.


FAMILY AND KIDS Eton House Prep (02) 749-8011 • 68-3 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul A unique British-style Prep School for children of all nationalities from 2-13 years of age. A broad, challenging and innovative curriculum preparing pupils for senior school and life beyond. www.etonhouseprep.com AMUSEMENT PARKS Everland Resort (031) 320-5000 • 310 Jeondae-ri, Pogokeup, Cheoin-gu, Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do Lotte World (02) 411-2000 0 • 240 Olympic-ro, Songpa-gu, Seoul Pororo Park (D-Cube city) 1661-6340 • 360-51 Sindorim-dong, Guro-gu, Seoul Children’s Grand Park (zoo) (02) 450-9311 • 216 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul Seoul Zoo (02) 500-7338 • 159-1 Makgyedong, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do BOOKSTORES What the Book? (02) 797-2342 • 176-2, Itaewon 1-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul • whatthebook.com Located in Itaewon, this English bookstore has new books, used books and children’s books. Kim & Johnson 1566-0549 • B2 fl-1317-20 Seochodong, Seocho-gu, Seoul

HEALTH ORIENTAL MEDICINE Lee Moon Won Korean Medicine Clinic 02) 511-1079 • 3rd fl., Lee&You bldg. 69-5 Chungdam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Specializes in hair loss and scalp problems and offers comprehensive treatments and services including aesthetic and hair care products. COSMETIC SURGERY MIZAIN plastic surgery Seoul National University College of Medicine graduate doctors offer the best quality medical services • (02) 515 6199 • Dosan-daero 423 (Cheongdam-dong 91-11), Gangnam-gu, Seoul www.mizainps.com MVP plastic surgery Welcoming environment for foreigners and friendly staff guarantees a pleasant visit for cosmetic surgery related consultations. (02) 3442 6669 •Nonhyeon-ro 819, Gangnam-gu, Seoul JK plastic surgery center Experience the best medical system in Korea. Its superb system allows the minimum efforts for your medical experiences. (02) 777 0337 • 584-2 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul FITNESS Exxl Fitness Gangnam Finance Center, 737 Yeoksamdong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul www.exxl.co.kr


UROLOGY & OB Sewum Urology (02) 3482-8575 • 10th fl., Dongil bldg., 429 Gangnam-daero, Seochogu, Seoul Tower Urology (02) 2277-6699 • 5th fl. 119 Jongno 3-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul DENTAL CLINIC Boston Dental Clinic General dentistry / Periodontics / Orthodontics (02) 3482-0028 • 92-12 5F, Banpo 4-dong (Seorae French Village), Seocho-gu, Seoul OPHTHALMOLOGY Dream Eye Center The best eye clinic for LASIK and LASEK. 3,000+ foreign patients over 20+ years of experience with 0 complaints. If you’re considering getting this, make sure to choose the best. • 1588 9881 • 14 fl., Mijin Plaza, 825 Yeoksam-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul ANIMAL HOSPITALS Chunghwa Animal Hospital / Korea Animal Transport (02) 792-7602 • 21-1 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul / www.cwhospital.com

MUSEUM AND GALLERIES National Museum of Korea (02) 2077-9000 • 168-6 Yongsandong 6-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul The NMK offers educational programs on Korean history and culture in English and Korean. National Palace Museum of Korea (02) 3701-7500 • 12 Hyoja-ro, Jongnogu, Seou This museum has a program called Experiencing Royal Culture designed for English teachers to help learn about Joseon royal culture. Seodaemun Museum of Natural History (02) 330-8899 • 141-52 Yeonhui-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul Don’t know where to take your kids on weekends? This museum exhibits a snapshot of the world and animals. National Museum of Contemporary Art, Korea (02) 2188-6000 • 313 Gwangmyeongro, Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do Leeum Samsung Museum of Art (02) 2014-6901• 747-18 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul • 10:30 am-6 pm Closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year and Chuseok holidays. Gallery Hyundai (02) 734-6111~3 • 22 Sagan-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul The first specialized art gallery in Korea and accommodates contemporary art. • 10 am-6 pm Closed on Mondays, New Year’s Day, Lunar New Year and Chuseok holidays. Plateau (02) 1577-7595 • 50 Taepyung-ro 2-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul • 10 am-6 p. m. Closed on Mondays. National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul (MMCA SEOUL) (02) 3701-9500 • 30 Samcheong-ro, Sogyeok-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul Daegu Art Museum (053) 790-3000 • 374 Samdeok-dong, Suseong-gu, Daegu Art space for local culture presenting Daegu’s contemporary fine arts and internationally renowned artists.

EMBASSIES American Embassy (02) 397-4114 • 188 Sejong-daero, Jongno-gu, Seoul Canadian Embassy (02) 3783-6000 • (613) 996-8885 (Emergency Operations Center) Jeongdong-gil (Jeong-dong) 21, Jung-gu, Seoul British Embassy (02) 3210-5500 • Sejong-daero 19-gil 24, Jung-gu, Seoul Australian Embassy (02) 2003-0100 • 19th fl, Kyobo bldg., 1 Jongno 1-ga, Jongno-gu, Seoul Philippine Embassy (02) 796-7387~9 • 5-1 Itaewon-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul Spanish Embassy (02) 794-3581 • 726-52 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul French Embassy (02) 3149-4300 • 30 Hap-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

HOTELS & RESORTS Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul (02) 2250-8080 • San 5-5, Jangchung-dong 2-ga Jung gu,Seoul


Novotel Ambassador Gangnam (02) 567-1101 • 603 Yeoksam 1-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Grand Hilton Seoul (02) 3216-5656 • 353 Yeonhui-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul Somerset Palace Seoul (02) 6730-8888 • 85 Susongdong, Jongno-gu, Seoul Park Hyatt Seoul (02) 2016-1244 • 606 Teheran-ro, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Lotte Hotel Busan (051) 810-1000 • 772 Gayadaero, Busanjin-gu, Busan Park Hyatt Busan (051) 990-1244 • 51, Marine City 1-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan 612824, Korea


Seoul National University Hospital 1339 • 28-2 Yeongeon-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul Seoul Samsung Hospital 1599-3114 • 50 Irwon-dong, Gangnam-gu, Seoul Asan Medical Center 1688-7575 • 88 Olympic-ro 43-gil, Songpagu, Seoul Keimyung University Dongsan Medical Center (053) 250-7167 (7177 / 7187) • 56 Dalseong-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu

AIRLINES Korean Air 1588-2001

FAMILY AND KIDS Yongsan Intl. School (02) 797-5104 • San 10-213 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul Seoul Intl. School (031) 750-1200 • 388-14 Bokjeongdong, Sujeong-gu, Seongnam, Gyeonggi-do Branksome Hall Asia (02) 6456-8405 • Daejung-eup, Seogipo-si, Jeju Island Daegu Intl. School (053) 980-2100 • 1555 Bongmudong, Dong-gu, Daegu

Dulwich College Seoul

Asiana Airlines 1588-8000 Lufthansa (02) 2019-0180 Garuda Indonesia (02) 773-2092 • garuda-indonesia.co.kr

University Dongsan Medical Center (053) 250-7167 (7177 / 7187) 56 Dalseong-ro, Jung-gu, Daegu

Jeju Air 1599-1500

Gangnam St-Mary’s Hospital 1588-1511 • 222 Banpo-daero, Seocho-gu, Seoul

British Airways (02) 774-5511

Yonsei Severance Hospital (Sinchon) (02) 2227-7777 • 50 Yonsei-ro, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul

Delta Airlines (02) 754-1921

T’way Air 1688-8686 Jin Air 1600-6200 Cathay Pacific Airways (02) 311-2700v Emirates Airlines (02) 2022-8400

Dulwich College Seoul offers an exemplary British-style international education (including IGCSE and IBDP) for over 600 expatriate students aged 3 to 18 from over 40 different countries. 6 Sinbanpo-ro 15-gil, Seocho-gu, Seoul, Korea http://seoul.dulwich.org/ admissions@dulwich-seoul.kr 02-3015-8500




Groove Korea_November 2018