Friday, 25 July 2014

AWkitchen by Akira Watanabe

Hey! I'm at AWkitchen as we speak, as the food slowly trickles out of the kitchen. Service could be improved greatly, but so far the food are simply delish (though tad too salty for our taste), with top notch quality. Even Auntie P approves! And she's a tought nut to crack! We think this is so as the Japanese chef is still here. 

It's located at Plaza Senayan, right next to Garçon. I don't think I could be back anytime soon for a review, so do drop by some time soon before the Japanese Chef leaves ;p

Thursday, 24 July 2014

대한민국 - South Korea

Hiya! Le Sister here! 
I know I've promised this post since weeks ago, heehhehe 
Sorry! As always /.\

Anyways! I was in South Korea for about 5 weeks! And it definitely wasn't enough!
Mommy can I just stay there forever? :D
It was dead winter when we were there, during the first few days the temperature was the lowest for that winter. Daydreaming about the next trip and it should probably be fall/spring :D

Anyways. Focus. Food blog. Ok. 

The Traditional Must Eats

What's a trip to South Korea without 비빔밥 Bibimbap? There are different types of ingredients to go in your Bibimbap, you can add in any ingredients actually and it'll still be Bibimbap. The one we had in the picture is 고비빔밥 Beef Bibimbap. 

We've had ours at MyeongDong Lotte Dept Store, I don't remember it being pricey but look at that heap of meat! We ordered a Large size, and for 2 girls it was definitely enough. 

Fire meat! The direct translation for 불고기 Bulgogi. Hahahah
The best ones that we've had was from Bulgogi Brothers, they do have a branch here at Lotte Shopping Avenue, but please please just avoid the one here and go to the one in Korea. 

They have branches everywhere, and we chose Hongdae area as it's personally one of my favourite spots for everything; to hangout, eat, sing, dance, shop, or simply just to people watch.

Ginseng Chicken Soup, or more commonly known as 삼계탕 Samgyetang; is a summer must eat for Locals. Chicken stuffed with ginseng and glutinous rice, it's a summer dish as the ginseng will help to keep their body temperature lower, thus help us feel cooler during the hot heat.

For the best Samgyetang, do visit Tosokchon! If you plan on visiting during summer, try to visit earlier. We came during lunchtime and the queue was crazy epic, it made us make a u-turn. Even during winter the whole place was bustling with both locals and tourists. It tastes so clean and light, not a single drop of soup was left in the bowl.

순두부찌개 Subdubu Jiggae, one of my all-time favourite Korea dish! Our favourite one is from Dongdaemun, the street right behind the shopping malls. Though this time around we didn't manage to visit, memories of having our dinner there some 2 years ago still lingers.

본가의 우삼겹!! Woosamgyeop from Bornga! Marinated thinly sliced beef, from my favourite restaurant ever in Hongdae, Seoul! Bornga! Don't get me talking about this. I could finish 2 servings of it all on my own! Definitely one of the reasons to visit Seoul! Don't even try to compare to the Bornga here, they're on an entirely different level!

삼겹살 Samgyeopsal! What's Korea without some pork belly and soju! Though we skipped the soju, but out lovely house manager treated us to the famous 팔색 삼겹살 Palsaik Samgyeopsal! Where the pork belly is marintated in 7 different types of seasoning. Definitely a dish to share with some great peeps and chat over some soju!

My new love!! 알밥 Albab at Alchon! Alchon is a chain where they serve really affordable food for students. It's basically kinda like bibimbap, but they use fish roe, crab stick and some meat and greens. When I was obsessed, I had it 4 times in 1 week! It was THAT GOOD! Love the normal Albab and Curry Albab the most, the Jajjang Albab was just okay. Since I've been back, this is one of the dish that I miss the most ㅠㅠ

I think most of you reading this post should be familiar with this one if you've been to Seoul before, for its 명동교자 Myeongdong Gyoza!! Can't believe we didn't have time for this on our first visit, and we actually stayed at Myeongdong then! Such fluffy steamed dumplings and uber soft noodles! If you're a noodle fan like us, you would definitely go crazy! 

When in Busan, eat like the locals. Kinda. Hahahah Busan is known for the seafood as they are by the sea. We were already in Jagalchi Fish Market anyways, so a sashimi seafood is a must! This whole set is actually for 3 person, as it also comes with a pot of soup, but the 2 of us swept it almost clean. And this is coming from me, I don't eat any other sashimi other than salmon. Not sure what it's called in english, but the ones we had, had a crunchy texture to it, which was really interesting.

The Everyday Eats

One of the many fried chickens that we had. This particular one was from Kyochon Chicken.Wa~y better than the ones here, wa~y better. Those were finger licking good and didn't taste greasy at all. Can't remember the other names of the ones we've tried, there are simply too many chicken chains, and Kyochon is definitely one of the better ones!

Drama watcher should be familiar with this one, a 도시락 dosirak. It's basically rice with some tuna, kimchi, egg and seaweed in a thin metal contrainer; and you shake the whole box with all the energy inside of you until everything is mixed together. Rather than taste, it's one of the food that you eat for the experience.

Kimbab and chobab. We had kimbab every other day for breakfast, either from the convenience store or homemade one from this shop at the corner of our street. Though i'd like to say both are equally good, but seriously, who could beat a good ol' fashion homemade kimbab. We also made kimbab at our guesthouse, together with the awesome house manager's adorable 3 kids. Such great memories.

Another one of my favourite breakfast option, bread and drink from the local bakery of convenience store. (You could probably tell that I love the convenience store. I really do visit it almost every day for 5 weeks.) This one in particular is awesome! It's a sandwich, but the bread is made like croissant, with it's many layer and flakiness. Happiness in every bite! And only for ₩2,000, what more could I ask for.

A warm bowl of Udong to beat the chilly winter nights. I'm aware it's not exactly 'korean food', but you can find it easily at every other mom and pop shop. Cheap and filling supper that won't make you feel bloated the next day. Other than Udong and Kimbab, I'd be getting a bowl of Eomuk from the same shop, the portion is so huge and cheap, makes me so happy!

The Street Eats

떡볶이! I guess you guys don't need any further introduction on this one, Ddeokbokki, or rice cake. Fluffy chewy rice cake, with some fish cake coated in red pepper paste. It's almost lunchtime time now in the office and I'm salivating just by looking at them. Oh! You could ask for refills on the broth, which is heavenly with a stick of fish cake during the dead winter.

I don't think there's a specific name for this, but it's grilled ddeok and sausage. Had this on one of my shopping trips in Myeongdong and it's quite filling. Enough to last me 2 hours of non-stop shopping :)

One of the trends when we were there was waffles with cream. What originally attracted us to this cart was the kitchenaid mixer. We did eventually try it after dinner, and they were yummy! They were always surrounded with a crowd every time we passed by.

The New Eats

Modern take on the traditional Ddeokbokki; Carbonara Ddeokbokki! Though both Ddeokbokki and Carbonara are both one of my favourite foods, I'd rather have them separately. Not that it didn't taste good, but I'd like my Ddeokbokki the good old way. 

Ask any of the people I'm close with, they'd tell you that I don't eat any shellfish. At buffets where others would make a beeline to the oyster bar, I would slip away to other stations.
The back story was that a friend and her family was visiting while I was there; and they chose this well-known restaurant in Myeongdong. The whole menu revolves around shellfishes! Being a guest it would be totally rude to sit out of dinner.

Boy am I glad I forced myself to eat! They tasted heavenly! Out of 10 of us, I was one of the last ones to put my chopsticks down. Pretty sure they were just steamed and then drenched with seasoned Gochujang paste, but it was so so addictive! Never have I had so much shellfish in 1 seating.

Not that we were bored with Korean food, but there are many pasta places scattered around Seoul. So if you think you might not enjoy Korean food, fret not, there are many other options as well :)

Grill 5 Taco! JUST LOOK AT THAT CHEESE! Their fries are crazy good! Skip everything and just head in and order some fries!

Aren't they pretty! They tastes as good, or better even, than they look! Which rarely happens here in Jakarta. Even though they were located kinda far from where we were, that didn't stopped us from coming back for more!

One of the cafés along Garosugil, one of my favourite district is Seoul! I'd visit the street every other day, even if it took almost an hour ride, because it never fails to sweep me away. Just the street alone, it's pretty. And it's filled with pretty shops and cafes. Hop in into any random cafe, bring along a book or simply people watch :) 

Another dessert from one of our visits to Garosugil.

You might think it's some fancy smanchy cake shoppe, but it's actually Baskin Robbins! Aren't they adorable! Look at that unicorn! They even had an Olaf cake when The movie 'Frozen' came out.
And their flavours options are crazy, they totes carry 31 flavours, and uniques ones! I'd kill to have a pint of Korea's Baskin Robbins right now. 

The latest spring trend (prepared this post since Springtime in Korea, and now it's already full-on summer. Heheheh) Macaron ice cream! And soft serve ice cream and popcorn ice cream was a hit too! 
Why can't we have such cute trends here too :( 

I didn't specify much restaurant or locations, but feel free to drop me a comment or email if you want to know more about the foods in Korea, or simply anything about Korea. :) 

I can guarantee you that you'll have a ball of a time when in Seoul! Hope the post comes out right on time for those of you travelling for the Lebaran holidays.

Thank you for reading:):)