Jihye Chang

October 2010

Lucy’s North China Cuisine

Alas. Silver Moon closed. I am so sad. I hope something good will take up that lovely place again soon.

But there is a good news, too – Lucy’s North China Cuisine on the 32nd Avenue South, Fargo, expanded their menu! Now it has tea-smoked duck, lion’s head meatballs, home-style tofu, eggplant with garlic sauce, Szechuan style shrimp and quite a few more.

(From left to right: Dumplings with Chinese chives, Vegetable delight, Tea-smoked duck/ Second row: Szechuan style shrimp, my table with take-outs, and eggplant with garlic sauce)

First of all I like Lucy’s steamed dumplings a lot. They seem that they are made daily – they sometimes run out of dumplings, and there are 3 kinds of stuffing – Chinese chives, onion and celery. Lucy’s grandma noodle is spicy and yummy, although it sometimes comes with too much oil. Tea smoked duck was good. Eggplant with garlic sauce was very tasty, although a bit oily. (I hope this oily problem will go away soon..!)

Fried flat breads are also very tasty. Oh, and one must try their green onion pancakes – very similar to the ones I ate in Taipei! Lucy’s also has special menu written on a whiteboard near the cashier (e.g. Szechuan boiled beef in fiery sauce), and if people like the special menu enough it will stay on the menu. More to come, they said.

I think the vegetable delight was better when the restaurant just had opened. It had more garlicky/ smoky taste. Now it’s a bit too sour and watery. What they call “Szechuan shrimp” is more like fried shrimp with sweet and sour ketchup sauce with a bit of kick to it, but tasty enough. (I often make it at home, and it’s sometimes called “Chili shrimp” in Korean Chinese restaurants.)

Lucy’s is doing really really well, and I think I will go to Lucy’s for a while when I crave Chinese food.

P.S. I don’t know how their standard Chinese items such as General Tso’s chicken and Sweet and sour pork taste like. But why would you order them when you can order other fun stuff?! 🙂

Lucy’s Northern China Cuisine: 701-356-5100/ 3003 32nd Ave S.

11am-9pm, 7 days a week

Chan’s Espresso Bar-One of the best espressos in Seoul!

If you want to see a lot of good lo0king young people hanging out, or taste the “it” food for those young people, or hear Korean indie rock bands performing, you need to visit the Hongik University area (aka Hongdae). I have a soft spot in my heart for this area, but it is so far away from where my parents live or anywhere that I visit regularly that I rarely have a chance to go there whenever I am in Seoul.  But this summer I had a mission – visiting the rising star cafe of this area, Chan’s Espresso.

Their machines are very fancy and justly famous among Korean bloggers – Synesso and La Marzzoco espresso machines, the Clover coffee machine, Mazzer grinders, Everpure water filtration system, and even the orange Smeg refrigerator. Instead of roasting their own beans, Chan’s imports beans from the famed Tim Wendleboe of Oslo and Intelligenstia of Chicago. Unfortunately, that means that the beans will never be completely fresh due to the shipping time from Norway and USA to Korea. However, I think it works better than roasting poor quality beans, which happens often in a lot of new roastery-cafes in Korea. Also they don’t do the latest Korean cafe fad of cakes, sandwiches, or waffles – only coffee. I like that.

Let’s get straight to the point: I was highly impressed with the Tim Wendleboe double shot cappuccino! It was a totally new experience for me to enjoy espresso so deep and layered with so much complexity. It also looked much thicker than the regular espresso shot, and had an almost terra cotta-like color. I usually prefer espresso on the sweet side and not too acidic, but this Tim Wendleboe cappuccino had a really pleasant acidity that I enjoyed very much. Also it had a deep sweetness as well as really great body-feel to it. I wish I had been able to compare the Tim Wendelboe espresso to a shot of Intelligentsia, but by then I had already consumed too much coffee and could not handle any more! Oh well – such was my luck.

My husband ordered Tim Wendelbo’s Kenya brewed by Clover. That was not as good as the cappuccino. It was too muddy, had too much sour flavor, and just not good.  It might also have been the Clover machine, which I find myself liking less and less…

Anyways. Chan’s cafe is cultivating a very serious fan base already, which doesn’t surprise me at all given the quality of their coffee. It’s a place that I will definitely go back next time I am in Seoul.

Location: Seogyo-Dong, Mapo-gu, 409-10 (“Parking lot street”, aka “Joochajang georit”)

To find your way: Take subway #6. Get off at the Sangsoo station. Exit #1. Turn back and go toward “Geukdong Electronics” and look for a restaurant called “Yogi” and 7-11 convenience store. Take the small road between those two and walk toward “Donkatsu cham jalhanun-jib” and you will see Chan’s on your right. (It’s a labyrinth kind of area with many little cafes and restaurants, and Chan’s has a big, black steel door and a big glass window at the front.)

Price: Espresso for 5500 won (about $4.8)/ Macchiato, Cortado, Americano for 6000 won/ Latte, Cappuccino, Mocha for 6500 won