Saturday, February 23, 2013

Topokki for Lunch

Toppoki 1
Catching up with friends over food is my favourite thing to do so when my friend Claire came to visit me, I decided to take her to one of my favourite haunts in Birmingham. Topokki is a little Korean Cafe  serving 'home style food' and I was happy to discover that the owners and staff were all Korean. Some reviewers have described it as a 'Seoul Urban Cafe' but since I've never been to Seoul I wouldn't know - but I am desperate to visit! If you remember this post on an unauthentic Korean restaurant - then you'll be pleased to know that this place passed the Kimchi test. It's really good and definitely authentic. Topokki is also the name of one a well known Korean dish of rice cakes...which confused a few of my Korean friends as it is like calling a Mexican place 'Burito' or something.
toppoki dumpling soup
toppoki dumpling soup 2
We started with some Manduguk which is a dumpling soup - and perfect for a cold Winter's day. I have to admit that I was pretty distracted with those bowls and plates. Just LOOK at the adorable cat, I've never seen tableware so cute!
toppoki cat plate
We also had bulgogi bibimbap which is a signature Korean dish full of vegetables, rice and beef which you mix all together along with a chilli pepper sauce. That day was also pancake day and so we thought it was only fitting that we went for the Kimchijeon, which is a type of savoury pancake dish. It looks a little burnt in the pictures but luckily it didn't taste that way at all. It's probably my favourite thing to order there.
bibimbap
kimchi jeon
My friend Claire is an English teacher in China and has a love for K-pop too so she was rather pleased to listen to the K-pop playing in the background. She is now back in China and I get to see her fleetingly about once a year when she visits home. She has a great instagram account if you are interested in following her daily adventures as an International English teacher in Guangzhou, China.
claire toppoki
toppoki 2
toppoki line Lastly, I have to mention the amazing wall illustration. Every time I go to this place I stare at the beautiful line drawing. It features a street full of traditional Korean architecture on the wall with lots of quirky details. It is all hand drawn which makes it even lovelier!
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42 comments

  1. Argh who's the hippo?! ;)
    Miss you already siu Winster XxxxxxxX

    Moi, le Claire
    (Had to post anon - VPN has its limits!)
    X

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  2. Such a neat place !! And thats two great photos of the two of you :)

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  3. I'm very taken with that wall illustration too! Everything looks delicious :)

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  4. This is in Birmingham?! Whereabouts? I know I will miss getting Korean food on a daily basis when I'm back home! >_<!

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  5. What an amazing looknig place- love those kitty bowls!

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  6. The food looks amazing Winnie, you always take such gorgeous photos.

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  7. All the food looks delcious. Really cute pics.

    xoxo

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  8. Food looks great! I love the photos too

    Joyce @carouselstreet.com

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  9. great blog :)
    would you like to follow each other?
    www.lusciousstyle.blogspot.com

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  10. Your photos are too cute! I love food pics. They give me so many ideas on what I should eat during the week.

    love,
    Sherry

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  11. Ooh! Looks yummy! Topokki looks like it's very cozy; I love places that give off that vibe. The Kimchijeon looks super yummy! Also, the art work on the walls is beautiful. Adds a nice touch to the cozy interior! Your post has me craving Korean food right now! --Ciara :)

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  12. Wow this looks like a reaaally
    good Korean restaurant! Yay
    for passing the kimchi test :D
    Too be honest, I would probably
    smuggle the cute tableware with
    me haha :P

    xx

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  13. I've never tried Korean food before but going by those pictures and the descriptions it sounds yummy, I wonder if there's a Korean restaurant anywhere near me? hmm... xx

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  14. mmm all looks so lovely, I loveee Korean food!
    Fashion Ganache.
    http://fashionganache.blogspot.com

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  15. This sounds amazing, I have never tried Korean food but I I'll have to try here!

    Maria xxx

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  16. Aww Claire!! So glad you got to spend time together and I spot a cat plate, which makes it perfect. That food looks so yummy. That wall illustration is insane, some people are so talented xx

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  17. Ooooh love the look of this place - will definitely be checking it out if ever I'm in Birmingham. I'm also just after stumbling upon your lovely blog and I'm an instant fan..I adore your style and lifestyle posts in equal measure :)

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  18. awww I want that kitty tableware! I need it NAO! D:
    What an amazing illustration… O_O

    nyuu } lolitium.net

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  19. Im more of a Jap food lover than Korean but i gotta say, i LOVE the Korean pancakes!!! They are soooo yummmy!!! I also like the korean rice cakes:D

    The beef dish above looks soooo delish!!! Is it one of those stone rice dishes? That cat on the plate looks soo cute!!! There's actually a street in TST that is filled with Korean restaurants and a few supermarkets. Have you been there? If so, you should check it out when you come back to visit! it's close by Kimberly road and Knutsford Terrace around that area:)

    To answer your question, yes, we do set off firecrackers in China but my dad does it in our village, hahha...wow you remember i go back to Shenzhen for CNY?!?!? You've got awesome memory, really made my day knowing that!!! heehee...I just came back from Shenzhen about 2 weeks ago, it was soo festive and mad packed. i also want to wish you a happy chinese new year and may you get what you wish for in the year of the snake!:D

    Cinz
    http://cinzee.wordpress.com

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  20. Aw, love this and love you guys! x

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  21. love your pics! now im hungry...lol

    xx
    b

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  22. Amazing yummy food and I just love the wall art!

    Rebecca
    www.winnipegstyle.ca

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  23. omg that neko plate is so adorable!!! I've seen a similar one in a shop in Lausanne but it was too expensive for me this month. You look so pretty and radiant on the photo!! Super lovely shot (: and purrrrfect hair! Now I'm hungry...

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  24. The place is adorable. The food looks delicious too. I heard that in korea there is a lot of pretty cafes and restaurants. I can't wait to check that out at the end of year.

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  25. Oh my gosh your header is so nice! I need that plate its so adorable ee!

    http://itsrainingdaisies.blogspot.co.uk/

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  26. Lovely post + pictures! Glad I came across your blog. I'm your newest follower :) Would you mind checking out our blog & following back via GFC and Bloglovin'? Looking forward to your next post! xx

    sixthtractate.blogspot.com

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  27. This is the cutest cafe!!!!! So funny that this is in Birmingham though I've never been to your hood before. :P By tomorrow we will be so close to each other (yet so farrrrr). I'm dreading the awfully long trip going there though- we have a transfer inbetween. T-T

    Sam
    http://www.samishome.com

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    Replies
    1. Noooo wish I was in Paris to say hi! :(

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  28. ANOTHER food post! Stop it already!

    hehe

    Come down to London soon and let's have a meal together.. I'm dying to take pics of you taking pics of food.. :D

    xx

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  29. Oh wow I am just instantly drawn to the kitty cat bowl. I want one! Best ever.

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  30. That restaurant looks amazing! I would love to visit Birmingham one day! Lovely pics and that drawing is really amazing.

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  31. I looking liked your post as it is very interesting to read thank you

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  32. Such a sweet post, it's nice to visit friends and have good food of course. I love hand drawing so much. The tableware is also so adorable. xx/Madison

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  33. visiting here with a smile. take care.. have a nice day ~ =)

    Regards,
    http://www.lonelyreload.com (A Growing Teenager Diary) ..

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  34. i have one if those plates and am looking for the rest of the set!! where was this pkate you visited?!?

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