"Gourmandism is an act of judgement, by which we prefer things which have a pleasant taste to those which lack this quality." – Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

Archive for December, 2011

Noryangjin Fish Market

On the last day in Seoul, we visited the Noryangjin Fish Market. There were not many people but there were so much seafood from small fish to big fish, prawns to big hairy crabs, clams to abalones and baby squids to giant octopuses. However as we walked down the lane, every shop was actually similar in the seafood they were selling. Some of the sellers would try to talk to you persuading you to buy. There are also Chinese nationals there whom we could communicate with.

Finally, we settled for a flatfish sashimi. We chose the smallest in the tank and it cost us W20000. The stall tender sliced the fish swiftly and pieces of pink meat was laid neatly onto a styrofoam plate. We were then asked to go into the small stall to eat our sashimi. It was actually the space he used to kill and slice the fish. It was a bit gross so we paid and found a place to sit down to eat. The texture of the meat was tender. I especially liked the meat around its fins. As for taste, the meat was tasteless. It was a big plate for two of us and we got super cold eating in the cold weather. Hence we tried to find a restaurant to see if they could cook it for us.

We were lucky to enter this stall managed by an elderly couple. The stall is located by the staircase of the overhead bridge. We ordered kimchi stew and requested the ajuma to put the fish slices into the stew. She was very kind and didn’t grumble, scold or charge us extra. The kimchi stew was accompanied with Korean black rice (Heuk Mi Ssal 미쌀) and cost only W4000. We had a set each and the hot stew warmed our chilled bones.

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다올식당 on Jeju Island

Our first proper meal in Korea on Jeju Island was at this restaurant. We were on our way to Manjanggul Cave and drove past this eatery. Immediately, we pulled over for lunch.

Here’s what we ordered:

The banchan themselves were already very good! The kimchi was heavenly and very spicy. The bibimbab was really worth mentioning. I’ve never eaten such good bibimbab before! The vegetables were fresh and crunchy. Other than the usual spicy-sweet chilli pepper sauce (gochujang) used to mix in with the sticky rice and vegetables, the ajuma added in very very aromatic level 10 sesame oil! It was a taste of a lifetime!

The Okdom Gui (fish) was made sweet and spicy. The meat is a little soft but very sweet and tasty. Okdom is one of Jeju’s local products. The Jeju Okdom have reddish skin, translucent eyes and have four to five white tail fins. They are caught along the coast of Jeju and Japan. They are highly nutritious and flavourful due to the rich minerals present in Jeju waters.

The pork cutlet was surprisingly huge! It could easily be shared between 2-3 people!

One more specialty about the restaurant is that they used Korean black rice (Heuk Mi Ssal 흑미쌀) mixed with white rice! It became a pretty purple-ebony bowl of rice.

This restaurant is really worth visiting if you’re on Jeju island!

Restaurant: 다올식당
Address: On the way to Manjanggul Cave (5 minutes away from cave)
Tel: 064-784-7049


한밭식당 in Jeonju

In our adventure at Jeonju in Korea, we chanced upon this dull-looking eatery while looking for a place for lunch. It was so cold walking along the lifeless streets and we really wanted to eat something hot. Most shops were closed at the time of only 2pm! There were many shops which also seemed to have stopped their business. There were only a few souls driving on the road. It portrayed to be a dead town.

Hungry and cold, we tried our luck in this shop that was still open. We initially wanted to order only kimchi stew and bibimbab but the kind ajuma was saying we do not need to order as we won’t be able to finish. Not long after, we were served with 18 banchan, 3 hot stews, 2 grilled fish and 2 bowls of rice. We were truly shocked but yet at the same time amazed at what was laid before our eyes. One of the stews was piping hot steamed egg which was super delicious. The other was my favourite kimchi stew and the third was bean paste stew. The grilled fish was very fragrant and its meat sweet. The rest of the 18 banchan were equally tantalising. We really tried our very best to finish everything on the table and we succeeded. We paid W10 000 each for this very filling meal.

The eatery stall front

Our food

Restaurant: 한밭식당
Tel: 284-3367


Hello Kitty Town Restaurant and Amusement

I’m back from Korea and I had a good meal everyday! There’s so much to share with you here!

First of all, I would like to share on Hello Kitty Town Restaurant and Amusement in Seoul to all the Hello Kitty fanatics out there. The directions I had were a little complicated and we took quite a while to find the place. We tried asking some passerby but they had no idea about the place. So, here’s a video I made on how to get to the place:

 

Here’s a more detailed note on how to get to the place:
1. Seoul Metro Line 3 (Orange Line)  Madu station Exit #5
2. Walk straight after coming out of the exit for about 200m. You should see New Core Outlet on your right side.
3. Cross the big traffic intersection diagonally to Lotte Castle. (You may cut through the carpark to get to the pink building too.)
4. Walk straight down for about 100m until you see the statue in the video.
5. Make a left turn and walk straight for about 300m. You will pass by two mini marts (one on left and one on right).
6. Head towards the pink building and you will see Hello Kitty Town banners on the building.
7. Walk to Western Tower III lift lobby and take the lift to Level 3.

Here’s what we ordered:

The portion is well-sufficient for one person. The food is so-so. When I requested for chilli flakes and cheese, they gave me some fragrant curry powder and said they didn’t have what I wanted.

Menu: Download

Child admission is 7000 Won for the use of play area. There is also a small area for purchasing Hello Kitty gifts. There is nothing much interesting for the adults. Neither are the food enticing.

The Hello Kitty Cafe in Hongdae (Hongik University station Exit #5) area is a more attractive place for Hello Kitty fans.

Restaurant: Hello Kitty Town Restaurant and Amusement (Seoul)
Address: 경기도 고양시 일산동구 장항동 868 웨스턴타워 B동 T3 3층
Tel: 031-904-1772
Opening Hours: 11 am to 9 pm
Website:  http://www.hellokittytown.co.kr/index.php


꼬꼬나치킨 & 호프 Chicken and Hof

Had authentic Korean Fried Chicken in Jeju near Seongsan Illchubong last night. We were exploring around our minbak and saw this small little shelter that was selling red bean paste fish-shaped pancake (붕어빵). It was selling 3 for ₩1000. It was piping hot that warmed us up in the super cold winter. The pancake was crispy and the red bean filling was aplenty.

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After finishing the pancake, the adjacent shop was selling Korean Fried Chicken!! The wife was selling the pancake and the husband was frying chicken inside. Without much hesitation, we walked in and ordered a soy sauce flavored chicken.

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A kind lady customer offered us 3 pieces of fried chicken while we were waiting for our soy sauce chicken. Koreans are so kind!!!

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We ordered a glass of beer (₩3000) to go together with our chicken. I think it was a whole chicken that was served to us. Compared to the Korean Fried Chicken I ate in Singapore, this is so much cheaper. The taste is comparable to the one at Kko Kko Nara but at a much cheaper price.

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Restaurant: 꼬꼬나치컨 Chicken and Hof
Address: near Sunrise Peak, Seongsan Illchubong, Jeju, South Korea

They offer delivery too.


횟집 (제주)

Blogging from Jeju, Korea!! Just finished a fantastic lovely meal near Hyeopjae (western Jeju-do). It’s our second day in Jeju and so far all our meals were really really awesome!

The restaurant was located by the bay and the setting was authentically Korean. You have to take off your shoes before entering the restaurant. The floor had a heating system and everybody spoke Korean. It was quite difficult telling the ajuma what we wanted.

Nevertheless, here’s what we had today:

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Seafood soup (해물탕), fish stew in soy and spices (생선조림) and fish sashimi (회). The seafood soup was sweet with the seawater aroma. The fish in the fish stew was very sweet but it’s meat was a little soft. The spiced stew was very fragrant and it went so well with the warm white sticky rice. The fish sashimi was arranged in order of its texture. I guessed it was arranged according to the different parts of the fish.

The restaurant was very kind to deep fry some sweet potato tempura for our lovely 7-year old child as she didn’t eat sashimi. They were so kind!

We spent a total of ₩117000. On our way back to Travellers Hotel, it snowed. Lovely day!

Tel: 796-1608
(enter the tel number to search in GINI GPS)


Shimbashi Soba

I’m blogging from my iPhone now. Wanna see if the photos can be uploaded correctly and nicely.

Just before going for rehearsals today, I had dinner at Shimbashi. They specialize in soba and I always see a chef making soba behind the glass window whenever I walk by. So today I finally had the opportunity to give it a try!
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Here’s what I ordered:

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This is tempura seiro ($17.80). I found the buckwheat noodles not cold enough. However it had a very good chewy texture and I enjoyed it very much. The soba dip appeared to be a little salty but that’s still quite acceptable.

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I also ordered a salmon sashimi ($9.80) which doesn’t impress me at all. It wasn’t a good cut from the salmon considering the hefty price and it lacked the sweet fishy salmon aroma when eaten. Disappointing.

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Lastly, after I finished my noodles, the waitress came with this red little pot filled with soba-you (the broth used to cook soba). She poured the soba dip back into its container leaving just enough to flavour the hot broth she was going to pour in. It was nice!

The Houji cha ($1.20) I had was one of the best tea I ever had in a Japanese restaurant. The temperature was not too hot and the tea was rich in flavour, yet not bitter.

My dining experience was heightened as there was a Japanese man slurping his soba away. It was a joy to watch him eat his noodles so heartily. I would definitely be coming back for more soba!!!

Prices exclude 7% GST and 10% service charge.

Restaurant: Shimbashi Soba
Address: 23 Serangoon Central #B1-02 NEX Shopping Centre Singapore 556083
Tel: 6634 4786
Website: www.res.com.sg