Send to

[Well-curated] Hong Kong waffles, Tom Cruise films and tomb guardians

June 9, 2023 - 09:01 By Park Yuna By Lee Si-jin By No Kyung-min
The banana and Nutella waffle with black tea-cream coffee at Iksun Jutaek in Ikseon-dong, Seoul (Park Yuna/The Korea Herald)

Hong Kong waffles at Ikseon-dong hanok village

It would be a perfect weather this weekend to stroll around the maze-like hanok village at Ikseon-dong in Jongno-gu, central Seoul.

The narrow alleys that run through this cluster of traditional houses are paced with hip cafes, restaurants, pubs and shops.

Among the cafes is Iksun Jutaek, literally meaning Iksun house, which offers Hong Kong-style bubble waffles.

Bubble waffles, crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, are a common street snack in Hong Kong, sometimes served with whipped cream, fresh fruit or ice cream. There are various stories about how bubble waffle was invented in Hong Kong, but it's generally agreed that the snack was invented in the 1950s.

The cafe serves plain waffles, banana and Nutella waffles and fruit waffles, which all come with gelato ice cream. Be warned: the unique texture of these crispy, fluffy egg waffles can be addictive. For a drink, we recommend the bittersweet black tea-cream coffee.

Poster image of Tom Cruise special screening (CGV)

Tom Cruise classics at CGV Arthouse

Fifteen CGV Arthouse branches across South Korea are screening Tom Cruise classics. The screenings started Thursday and will run through July 4.

Before the long-anticipated release of “Mission: Impossible -- Dead Reckoning Part One” in July, the country’s largest multiplex operator gives fans of the actor an opportunity to see seven of his hit films in theaters -- “Top Gun” (1986), “Rain Man” (1988), “A Few Good Men” (1992), “Interview with the Vampire” (1994), “Magnolia” (1999), “Eyes Wide Shut” (1999) and “Vanilla Sky” (2001).

“Top Gun” aside, six other films feature many sides of Tom Cruise in different genres, ranging from comedy, sci-fi, romance to mystery thriller, psychological drama and gothic horror.

Tickets cost 14,000 won.

If you are a member of CGV Arthouse, you can get a discount coupon with 6,000 won and a Capt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell postcard.

CGV is also giving out special A3 posters for those who watch the films on a first-come, first served basis, starting from June 14.

Six CGV Arthouses, theaters dedicated to art and independent films, are located in Seoul, while nine others can be found in Incheon, Daejeon, Daegu, Busan, Gwangju, Seongnam (Gyeonggi Province), Chuncheon (Gangwon Province), Cheonan (South Chungcheong Province) and Cheongju (North Chuncheong Province).

Both online reservations and offline ticket sales are available.

Haetae stone statues in the Haetae garden at Mok In Museum Mok Seok Won (No Kyung-min/The Korea Herald)

Tomb guard figures on a hill

Visiting stone figures on a hill, originally designed to stand guard at tombs, may initially seem far-fetched when seeking a brief respite from bustling urban settings.

However, as eerie as it may seem, Mok In Museum Mok Seok Won inspires tranquil introspection in those who visit by helping them navigate the abstract concept of death through tangible stone installations.

The museum boasts a vast outdoor expanse interspersed with indoor exhibitions along the uphill trek.

Upon purchasing a ticket at the main building, visitors are offered one free drink to quench their thirst before embarking on the uphill journey.

Stone figures of varying sizes at Mok In Museum Mok Seok Won (No Kyung-min/The Korea Herald)

Following the museum's brochure, visitors commence their exploration with the indoor exhibition titled "Mok in storage." Inside the two-story building, funeral biers and wooden statues offer a glimpse into the theme of death.

The special exhibition, "Well-Being & Well-Dying," continues the contemplation of death, encouraging visitors to ponder on mortality.

Along the hillside, air-conditioned shelters such as a seminar room and the picnic house provide a momentary break, each housing a variety of cultural items that keep engaging visitors in the realm of the afterlife.

The outdoor gardens dominate the museum's expansive grounds, featuring stone figures in diverse forms and shapes, organized according to different themes.

The view from inside the seminar room at Mok In Museum Mok Seok Won (No Kyung-min/The Korea Herald)

One notable example is the Haetae garden, where a wide array of mythical creature Haetae statues stand in an imposing manner to stare visitors in the eyes.

The museum has prepared a "spaceout" zone at the peak of the hill, a place where visitors can lie down on a hammock and get lost in thought.

Visitors can then descend along the fortress wall, overlooking the entire museum area. From this vantage point, they can appreciate the picturesque scenery that envelops the buildings and statues, blending harmoniously with nature.

Admission is 10,000 won, including one beverage. The special exhibition, "Well-Being & Well-Dying," runs through July 30.