View Larger Map

blue pin: visited; yellow pin: transit;

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Day 162: Seoul (A quiet birthday)

This year birthday was very low profile compared to the last few years. It was my turn to cut the cake.

Cool packaging

Raspberry cake

Not an ordinary plastic knife.

Why nobody think of this? Usually we frantically look for matches when celebrating birthday in office.

Din Tai Fung
First time we went to the Taiwanese franchise restaurant in Seoul. It is located in Myeongdong, the shopping district.

Instructions on the back of chopstick cover of how to eat xiao long bao. :D

Xiao long bao

Only the first few bites were good. The food here was so oily!!

Oily soup

Meat bun, the skin was good but not the meat.

Soup was quite bland and oily. :(

We ordered too many, and took away the fried rice.

The fried rice was so oily too, I could see a layer of oil at the bottom of the container after I took out the fried rice.

It was a disappointment, don't come here.

Pho Hoa
This time we tried the Vietnamese franchise restaurant. Both dishes were fine.

Pad thai

Beef noodles soup

This beef noodles soup was very good, much better than the other Pho restaurant that we tried a few months back. At least the noodle here is quite authentic compared to Pho Bay. The soup was very tasty too, I could finished the whole bowl with no soup left. :)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day 160: Seoul (It snowed again)

This was the second snowing after a week of freezing weather hovering around -10. I had been thinking that this wasn't fun at all, we got all the cold weather but it never snow. Felt being shortchanged hehehe...

This time the snow fall was longer, it was falling all over afternoon. As a result, our balcony was all covered by snow. Nice...

All white

View of our neighbour apartment. The snow was still falling and they had started to clear it up. Of course, it's a wasted effort.

At night, we went for dinner at Insadong after a snow fight in front of Fraser. :)

Get set!


Fraser shuttle bus covered in snow.

Look what I did. ;)

Insadong looked different in snow. I was very excited, walking hand in hand in snow really felt so romantic hehehe... :P

Insadong in snow.

Someone built a snowman with Nescafe cup.

Leaves covered in snow.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day 152: Seoul (Gwanghwamun Square ice skating rink)

The Gwanghwamun Square is converted into three ice skating rinks during this winter season. That's the good thing about living in a four-season country, every season we could participate in different kind of activities, life is definitely more colorful. :)

The ice skating rink opened in mid December and will last until end of February. And the most shocking thing is it only costs 1,000 won (SGD 1.2) for one hour session including the rental of the skates!! Even his Korean colleagues are in shock when they heard this. Korea is da best!

Since it's so affordable, hubby is determined to learn how to skate before this winter ends. :D I don't know how to skate either, but I usually pretty bad in all sports so I'm not very optimistic hehehe...

Gwanghwamun Square
We braved the freezing weather of -13 and walked all the way here from Insadong.

Crazy Haechi in bikini

The tickets for the next few sessions were sold out and the earliest available was the 7pm session. So we bought the tickets and heading back home.

Ice skating rink

The kids were pretty good.

Gwanghwamun Square at night

Christmas lights

The ticket booth and skates rental on the left, lockers room on the right.

We changed the size of the skates for a few times before it fit properly. It was so difficult to walk with the skates and the distance from the locker room to the rink was quite a distance.

Christmas tree in front of the ice skating rink.

The staffs were cleaning the rink before our session started.

I was quite scared and hold on tight to the barrier when I went in. Oh no.. it was so slippery. How am I going to move? My arms were sore holding on to the barrier and I did that for two rounds. But after that, I had the courage to let go. By the end of the session, I could confidently walk without holding on and I had not fallen once yet. :)

Hubby improved quite a lot because he was more aggressive and as a result he fell so many times. Just like the saying "no pain no gain"...

Since we improved quite a bit, we decided to get tickets for the next session. So we bought the tickets, went for our dinner and came back an hour later.

It was a mistake to go for the second session, our ankles were already hurt when we put in the skates again. I only managed to play for half an hour since it hurt so much. So I took the camera out and started taking pictures.

Hubby in action.

Not bad, after only two hours of learning.

I still couldn't slide, walked like a penguin :P

Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 151: Seoul (The irresistible galbijim - braised short ribs)

His Singapore colleagues told us that Galbijim is the best Korean food that they ever had in Korea. We went to check out the restaurant, and when we saw the picture we were a bit skeptical. The restaurant was a few doors away from Starbucks Insadong, it was the same place we had the cold buckwheat noodles sometime ago, and we didn't like the noodles at all.

So one day when we didn't know what else to eat, we went there again and ordered the galbijim. We ordered a small pot for two of us, but when the dish came, was a lot!!


It didn't look very appetising, but when we had our first bite, we were totally converted. The meat was so tender and the sweet and spicy flavour was all over our mouth.

The rib was huge!!

We thought we couldn't finish it and prepared to tapao back. But in no time, all gone!! We didn't spare the gravy either, it was so good that we cleaned it out completely until we could see the bottom of the pot. :P

8 huge ribs

Galbijim was a bit on a high side, our small pot cost 30,000 won (SGD 37) and I think we were just overly excited that we could finish it all. The size should be good for three people in normal situation. :)

Galbijim stands at number two of my favourite Korean food, my number one is still the tteokbokki at Samcheongdong.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Day 150: Seoul (The birthday boy)

Striked midnight, I took the cake out for him to cut. :) Bought the cake from Dunkin Donuts, it was actually a Christmas cake. Two weeks before Christmas, it was hard to find other type of cakes, all the cake shops here were just selling Christmas themed cakes. All the cake designs were very cute, I was looking at them for a good 20 minutes before I made up my mind. :P

A cute cake

Close up view of the cake

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday to hubby, happy birthday to you!!

What a glutton!

Woke up late in the morning and then we had lunch at Outback Steakhouse. We tried the Singapore Outback long long time ago and it was a big disappointment. Here in Seoul, Outback branches are everywhere, so we think of giving it a try. It's our first time having Western food in Korea since we came half a year ago. :D

Outback Steakhouse

Outback signature bushman bread and butter.

The bushman bread was very nice, even without the butter. But you have to try the butter, it was soft, creamy and sweet, very different from the butter I know. Err... and then we asked for more bread. :P

We ordered for two set of steaks which came with two side dishes, drink and soup.

Mango and strawberry sparkling

Creamy mushroom soup

The mushroom soup was very nice too. So far so good...

Ribeye steak with vegetables and coconut onion rings.

Sirloin steak with vegetables and baked sweet potato.

We had two different type of steaks to share and both were pretty good. The meat was a good size for guys, but it was too big for me to finish it all by myself.

The bill wasn't very expensive, we paid close to SGD 60 for two persons. I remembered it was much more than that when we went to Outback Singapore, and that was a good six or seven years ago.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Day 143: Seoul (Myeongdong Ginseng chicken soup)

We had a farewell lunch for a friend who returned to Canada for good. So we went to Myeongdong for our lunch, and what's best to represent Korea other than the samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup). :P

This shop was on the second floor, located in a small alley next to the Post Office Tower. It is quite easy to find this shop, they have a big signboard written ginseng chicken soup (參雞湯) in Chinese characters.

Knew about this place from hubby, he said the samgyetang here was pretty good and he ate here quite often with his colleagues. So when I told him to bring me here, he said no, not anymore. Too often for him.


The side dishes

The chicken gizzard was very nice. Even if I usually don't eat this kind of stuff.

They gave us a small bottle of ginseng wine and I poured some to the soup. It made the soup tastier.


The black chicken meat was not as tender as the normal ones. But according to Chinese, it is more nutritious. Well, it's your choice. :)

Samgyetang with black chicken

I couldn't finish mine, it was very nice but it's just too big bowl for myself.