Wednesday, 16 August 2017

South Korea ANDONG || Day 2 (Goodstay Andong Park Hotel and then I forgot where I went)

We decided to spend 3 days in Andong because a random Australian uncle I met at the Korean Cultural Centre had told me it was the best place to view cherry blossoms. Since Andong was more of a village, we'd assumed it would have the Korean equivalents of ryokan - hanok. Unfortunately this is another area where South Korea differs from Japan (why do I keep assuming they are highly similar?) so Mei and I booked a Goodstay hotel, which is a hotel which has been vetted by the Ministry of Tourism.

The hotel location was quite central, and the manager was a lovely ahjussi who is warm in the way small-town people are. And despite the decor, which is more East clashes with West instead of East meets West, we loved our room because it is the only place we stayed at which had ondol (heated floors).

This was the only place where Mei did her exercises and I did push-ups. Ondol makes all the difference in the world - you don't feel like dying when you get up in the morning and your feet touches the floor, it's like getting reflexology therapy.

Our little table where we ate breakfasts in the morning.

After a quick break we ventured out to explore. Andong is known for masks like this one painted on a public bus.

We passed by some roadside markets selling fresh produce on our way to the stone buddha.

Unfortunately, because Google Maps doesn't work well in South Korea, we got hopelessly lost and had to return to town.

We got off the bus in the middle of a mountain - it was a bit scary.

A Real. Korean. Supermarket. The excitement. I love browsing in supermarkets.

('Are you taking a photo of a supermarket?' Mei'd asked.



Mei promised to bake me one of these for my birthday. Love the way they look!

For dinner I decided I wanted to eat in a traditional restaurant where patrons sit on the heated floor, so we entered this bbq restaurant.

You take off your shoes and place them on the shelves before sliding open the door and entering the restaurant.

And the wonderful thing about South Korea is that bbq restaurants don't smell. There's no oily, smoky aroma clinging to our hair and coats. Magical.

We ordered by gesturing + my beginner Korean. The owner came out to have a quick chat where I exhausted my Korean - 'I'm not Korean, we came from Australia.', a phrase I'll be repeating throughout my holiday.

The food was good and we were served a dessert made of ice and rice in a sweet soup.

After we returned to the hotel we opened this apple honey snack which was insanely addictive. It was so yummy I didn't dare to buy another packet after we finished this one because I was afraid I'd inhale the whole thing, packaging and all.

But I'll definitely eat it if I visit South Korea again.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

South Korea SEOUL || Day 1 (Dong Seoul Hotel)

My first time flying Asiana and I was overly impressed by the inflight slippers in economy. Which meant everybody took their shoes off, but thankfully nobody had Hong Kong feet!

Koreans are hygienic people, as proven by the lack of stinky feet and the long queue at the toilets after meals as every. single. Korean. went to brush their teeth.

Apparently Asiana's Korean cuisine is famous but because I didn't research the airline, I hesitated for 1 second when asked for my meal preference and lost my bibimpap. However the air stewardess was so breathtakingly beautiful and looked so genuinely sad that I couldn't eat bibimpap that I reassured her (and myself) that it was ok, because her eyes were so big and watery that I couldn't sulk at her.

Finally we arrived in Seoul, got our SIMs and train tickets, and here I am grinning loonily on a Korean train, with hangeul and a legit Korean man behind me and everything. I know this is a bad photo because I texted it to a Tinder and never heard from him again hahaha.

We trained to Dong Seoul bus terminal, where we'd booked a room at Dong Seoul Hotel so we can easily catch a bus to Andong the next morning.

It was 0 degree celsius when we stepped out of the train, and I almost died.

Thankfully the hotel was well-heated, and we were upgraded to a suite -

Albeit an old suite which made me feel like I should be doing some shady business deals.

Proximity to the bus terminal is good, and the room is ok for 1 night.

After unloading and having a giggle over the furniture, we went out for supper.

There were several stalls around the hotel, and all of them looked exactly the way roadside food stalls look in Korean dramas!!!

The proprietor didn't speak English, but some young Koreans sitting at the counter did, so here I am with my dream-came-true expression. Always wanted to eat fish cakes in broth from a stall.

Mei had breaded sausage.

When you're done eating, you can clean your fingers using the toilet paper strung up at the counter. Hahaha.

1 April 2017

Wednesday, 24 May 2017


If you are a person who cares about where your life is going, do not pretend otherwise.

Sunday, 18 December 2016


15 dec - an early Christmas celebration with expensive angmo style dim sum at Work In Progress and Janie's amazing chocolate Nutella cake!

and then in reverse chronological order..

10 dec - at the opening of Stan's bakery in Eastwood, with Becs.

7 dec - one day Maz mentioned Ippudo was doing $10 ramen, and this happened that very night (points up.

Stan brought bread for us to sample. Yum!

the year is winding down, the weather is doing daily alternates of heat waves / cold rain and i feel a bit dazed because my love life is sad, but what to do? (at least my love life is 'funny like a tv sitcom' to my friends. i'm so happy my misery brings you joy.)

can only 见招拆招 😊 and go out more.

i'm so lazy when it comes to going out i beh tahan myself. i arrived at a party on Friday night after 11pm, and people were shocked to hear i was so late because i went home to shower after work and couldn't part from my bed.

(i finally rolled out of bed into the shower at 10pm after Kw gave me a pep talk, and i'm glad i went. one feels less miserable when sipping orange juice + vodka and playing games with friends. thank goodness for Kw!)

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

pendolino's wild mushroom pappardelle

so good i had it 2 years in a row at work Christmas dinners.

and so good it has its own dedicated blog post.

Monday, 5 December 2016

cousin lyanna visits

Cousin Lyanna visited Sydney last weekend, and it was fun to catch up and show her my fave restaurants.

We went to

1/ Fratelli Fresh for black truffle, mozzarella, egg pizza, bellini and shiraz
(where i reconfirmed my habit of continuously eating/drinking until my dining partner assures me i don't have to finish if i don't want to.)

2/ Black Star Pastry for strawberry watermelon cake
(sekali sold out =.=)


3/ N2 Extreme Gelato for alcoholic Baileys Cheesecake gelato
(she was amazed by the substantial size and creamy non-sweet flavor.)

4/ Hurricane's Grill and Bar for their famous ribs
(the garlic mushrooms entree was good, too. however i was super thirsty on Sunday night, so there must be tons of MSG in the food.)

There were a bajillion other eateries I wanted to show her, maybe during another trip..

Lyanna loves performances, and even before we watched Spiegel'esque at Spiegel Zelt, we'd stopped to watch an impressive breakdance street performance with 6-packed French men. She asked to take photos with the performers after, which is something I'm forever too shy to do.

Spiegel had the strongest pole dancer I've ever seen doing gravity and (biology?) defying moves. If it weren't for my cousin I never would've discovered Spiegel. [hearts]

I hugged Lyanna bye at Sydney Opera House today, where she's watching one of my fave plays - a flea in her ear. 

yep, post poo drops

Thanks cousin for the gift, and looking forward to seeing everybody at cousin Tai's wedding whee!

And if anybody else visits, we're eating
1/ Tsukemen at Ramen Zundo
2/ dry hot pot
3/ crepes at Four Frogs

We're shopping at
1/ Chemist Warehouse
2/ Woolies or Coles
(People go nuts in these 2 shops)

Saturday, 3 December 2016


grilled nectarine, pistachio oil
Last night Kw took me to dinner at ACME to celebrate my foray (?) into adulthood.

Not sure how long I can keep #adulting haha.

We went to ACME - the review on Timeout was all kinds of amazing. It's the kind of 'grammable, hipster fusion restaurants for yuppies which I like but rarely frequent because they're not cheap.

I think that Kw has integrated into Australian society more seamlessly than I have - she starts (and ends) dinner with alcoholic drinks (I still dislike the taste of alcohol and I itched like mad after I had my umeshu), then we talked before ordering (I always order first, or when prompted by staff) despite the increasingly obvious nudges by the lovely staff, as we only had our bar table for 2 hours.

beef salad
The food is awesome. The grilled nectarine was a total flavor explosion in the mouth, and the creamy pistachio oil balanced out the caramel sweetness of the fruit.

Beef salad was a bit like Thai beef salad. It's good and simple, but not the dish that I fantasize about returning to eat.

We also had the linguine, black garlic, burnt chili and macaroni, pigs head, egg yolk. ACME has a sharing concept and the wait staff will advise you if the food doesn't seem to be enough as the portions are small.

The linguine's texture was a bit stiff, kinda like Asian dry noodles. I love the macaroni, which must be ACME's signature dish. This would be the dish I dream about eating again. Timeout has a delicious photo of the macaroni. I love fresh pasta, and I can say that the macaroni here is probably the 2nd or 3rd best I've tried in Sydney - Pendolino's pappardelle is #1, and #2 or #3 is Fratelli Fresh.

I'm having a noodles phase recently, what with my recent tsukemen obsession then now fresh pasta.

The bar staff (owner?) was hilariously honest. We were making small talk, commenting about oh, can't believe it's been a year! when he said, 'yeah, can't wait for 2016 to be over, it was such a shit year.'

Haha I've never met a bartender who talks like that. He continued, 'Didn't you have a shit year? Everybody I knew had a shit year.'

We ended with sake for Kw and the coconut rice cream, white chocolate dessert for me. The dessert was generously sized, and good. I only like coconut when its flavor isn't overwhelming, and the interplay of hot/cold, creamy/crunchy in this dessert makes it interesting.

So much good food in Sydney!