Soft Queen Bee & other Food at Lotte Department (Gwangbok Store) – Busan

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Koran Oden

If you get off at Nampo station and take exit 10, you’ll be connected to the Lotte Department store. There are various Lotte’s in Busan, let alone Seoul, and this location was called the Gwangbok Store. Lotte Department store is the major department store in Korea. They sell everything from fashion, to books, to computers and gadgets. A one stop destination with international and local brands. Well, other than clothing and technology, they also sell food! At the bottom floor of the department is a floor dedicated to food! Restaurants, little small pop up shops and even a supermarket. Of course we headed straight there! Not only do they sell Korean food, but even Japanese, American, Italian and much more! We ended up trying some Korean Oden at one of the stalls. It came with two fish-like balls, and two fish cakes. I like how they add a bit of carrot, peas, and green onion in their balls, so it’s different from Chinese fish balls. The oden broth was light and flavourful. Very yummy!

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Tteokbokki

J got the Tteokbokki, which is spicy Korean rice cake. I find that in Korea, the rice cake is cooked to a much softer texture, but still remains the chewiness and stickiness. Much better than the ones in Vancouver. It also came with some slices of fish cake, which are my all time favourite. The sauce was surprisingly not too spicy, but had a hint of sweetness to it. Great to share!

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At another stall, we found honeycomb ice cream, which is the new trend in Korea. The stall was called Soft Queen Bee. I believe they have a bunch of other stores around South Korea. Honey with milk ice cream is what everyone talks about in Korea. Almost all ice cream shops sell this now.

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Their menu only has 6 flavours. The base is the milk ice cream, with honey added to it. Then you can choose different toppings, such as caramel or the actual honeycomb. It’s a bit pricey at around CAD$5 for a small cup.

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Honey Cube Cream Bee

I chose the Honey Cube Cream Bee. The milky ice cream is drizzled with honey and topped with an actual honeycomb. I’ve never had a honeycomb before so it was pretty neat! I bit into the honeycomb and left it on my tongue. All the honey will come out and what’s left is the comb. I found it sort of odd. It was kind of like wax or plastic left. I really didn’t like the plastic texture left, but I loved the part when the honey came out. The ice cream itself is very creamy and strong in milk flavour. Mixed with the honey, it’s like smooth cream in your mouth. Really good! I think I would opt for just honey and the milk ice cream next time, since I didn’t really enjoy the honeycomb itself.

Overall, Lotte Department has an assortment of food to choose from. It’s a great place to even just grab some snacks. Lots of bakeries and cake shops too! A must see if you have never been to a department store with one floor dedicated to food!

Izumi-Tei at Izumi-Ya Japanese Marketplace

After hearing about the crazy buzz about Izumi-Ya’s new all you can eat, I decided to go give it a try. It’s called Izumi-Tei and this was probably just two weeks after it had opened, but it was packed already! I arrived at the marketplace to see that they had sectioned an area off for the buffet. There were already crowds of people waiting for a seat, but luckily we only waited for maybe a short 15 minutes and we were given a seat. The interior was very small, with most tables only fitting probably 4 people max. The workers were also not quite organized, probably because it had just opened.

For dinner or lunch, it was only $9.99 for adults! I heard rumours that they have increased the price now though. My friends who had just went recently were giving me such good reviews about it, so I guess I went in having some high expectations, which was a bad idea. It ended up to be a buffet style all you can eat, but the selection wasn’t too large. Food wasn’t prepared quick enough, so a lot of times, there wasn’t much food left when I went up to get food. And most of the food were just greasy, fried items, which I’m not a huge fan of. They did have an oden section, which was quite different from other Japanese all you can eat places. Sushi selection was limited to dynamite, california, salmon, tamago, and cucumber rolls. There wasn’t sashimi either, but what can I expect with the price I paid. Another interesting item they served were takoyakis! You also got to add the toppings yourself, which was pretty fun. Lastly, they served soft-serve ice cream, which wasn’t anything special again.

They only let you eat for an hour as well, and they stick a little tag on your table with the time you must leave when you’re brought to your table. Overall, was the food anything amazing? I don’t think so, and I would probably choose to pay a few more bucks to eat better all you can eat. But with this price, it is definitely a place to go to if you want to fill up your stomach.

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