Monday, October 31, 2011

31 October 2011

It's the end of October folks, right at the very end and we only two months left before we enter a new year. It's so surreal, it has so fast. Too fast for me to absorb and enjoy. Days in October have been typically, "have them all". There was sun, there was rain, there was clear sky and followed by the rain again. They could be in any orders, but most of the time we had them all in one day, many of days this month.

We had a gorgeous morning, the sun rose behind Marina Bay Sands and gave me a lovely photograph, a different beauty than other mornings. The sun shone strongly throughout the morning and I wanted to have some pictures that are bright and happy on my last post of the month.

The periwinkles looked so enchanting and the basil leaves appeared so healthy. But unexpectedly the strong wind came, blew away all the papers on the table as my doors were opened. The cloud thickened and the sky turned darker and grew darker that I had to turn on the light in my study area. Then came the rain, a very heavy rain. And on for a while.

There were no traces of cheerful morning and sunshine. I looked out there and everything looked so black and white, and grey.  Everything was wet. Til hours later, the sky was clear again, the sun came out and it was hot all over. Like it never rained before.

Tomorrow will be a new day and a new month! Expect the unexpected. Or maybe  just go with the flow .... Hello November!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A New Find...

There are way too many restaurants in this city, many stays around, some come and go. This Japanese restaurant at Vivocity, called Shin Kushiya, apparently has been around for quite a number of years, but only recently we began to dine there. It's only a good sign that we return, we like their food!

Their specialty is barbeque grill and we had some the very first time we were there. This time, I tried their Burger set, which, as typical, served with rice, miso soup, salad and sliced fruits for dessert.  We also had Salmon Sashimi while waiting for my burger, which took around 20 minutes to be ready. DH had Sushi set, I had no pictures of his food. The gravy of my burger was rather too salty, but I could work around it and it was fine. Will go back again to try different dishes!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Cheesy Hasselback ....

After seeing this, I was determined to steal the idea and made one on my own. My version. Originally Hasselback Potatos is a Swedish version of baked potatoes. Omitting garlic slices, but adding cheese, butter cream make it so super extra desirable.......

Friday, October 28, 2011


DH found a new Japanese restaurant in our neighborhood that offers the kind of food that he loves. After we got back from Seoul and I was craving for some tasty food, he persuaded me to go with him for dinner at Ten Restaurant in Central. I was very hungry and begged him to leave shortly after 6PM, not knowing that we had to pay a painful $3 just for ERP (Electronic Road Pricing) entering the street. Yikes. Ten restaurant's specialty is rice bowl with tempura and that's just what we had. Their food is quite simple, but delicious. I think, I will be back there.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Gyeongbok Palace

Gyeongbok Palace or Gyeongbokgung is the the main Palace built during Joseon dynasty. It is the biggest of the five Grand Palaces. The location is adjacent to the Korea National Folk Museum.

The above is an artificial lake surrounding Gyeonghoeru Pavilion (on the right), a place used by the King to hold important banquets during Joseon dynasty.

Down below is the place where the King slept, I was told. A simple room, based on Confucius ideology of lack of clutter. The ceiling (above), however, is beautiful and colorful.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Along The Small Streets of Myeongdong....

It was Tuesday at lunch time, Myeongdong is not as busy as in the weekends. People, however, turn up on the streets around there and do the things they do. Restaurants and eating places were packed.

The one Japanese curry restaurant that DH eyed on, had a long and slow line that I persuaded him not to wait as we had to head back to the hotel and get our bags to go to the Incheon International airport.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


19 days after it started, minus nearly a week of holiday, all are put up and painted.  No distraction as the weather was good today. And the bonus, dining-room small-side-terrace got re-painted too! Ya-hooooo.....

Monday, October 24, 2011

Il Cipriani Bistro, Seoul

This was our first meal out in Seoul on our recent trip. We were at Shinsegae in Myongdong and we thought of trying whatever was in front of us. The department store has a floor of food court and another floor of restaurants. Of course they have many other floors in which they sell everything from clothes to kitchen gadgets and all the typical things that most department stores carry. We decided on Il Cipriani Bistro to have a taste of Italian cuisines in the country.

It was a little bit past 1 PM, the restaurant was not to crowded and we were seated immediately. We were served with a couple of bread and one piece of sweet potato and another piece of regular potato. Interesting selection! I felt compelled to order a plate of Calamari as appetizer. Not so great, but edible! 

It was no brainer for DH even after he looked through all the available selections, he went for homey meal, Fettuccine Carbonara. It was very rich and creamy. If I were to guess, the dish probably used at least a cup of cream. At least!

I was in the mood for Risotto, they had the one with wild mushroom and prawns and it came slightly different than the most restaurants would serve. It had some slices of courgette and I can't remember what else. The taste was not something that I was familiar too. I was given a small plate of pickles. Now, that's the Korean way?

I don't think this is the place that we'd like to come back, but it takes trying to know. 

Beautiful-Super-Gorgeous-Clear Day!

Here! Now. 3PM.
(click on the picture to see a bigger version!)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Cheonggyecheon Stream

On our last day in Seoul, DH was given the choice to pick the place that he wanted to go too. (So was on most other days too, actually!) He picked Cheonggyecheon Stream, which was just a couple of blocks away from Myeongdong area. We took Shuttle Bus from the hotel to get there and walked to the destination. It was a nice walk, the weather was fine and the sky was so gorgeously painted blue.  We took our time, we took tons of pictures and enjoyed the scenery and the many people that came and go.

Cheonggyecheon was created as part of an urban renewal project in downtown Seoul. The stream starts from Cheonggye Plaza and passes under many bridges before flowing into the Hangang River. There are many attractions along the way. It is now one of the popular tourist attractions in Seoul. It is definitely an interesting place to visit in Seoul.

This website has a very informative write up about the stream.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bibimbap And Bulgogi

We joined a locally organized tour when we were in Seoul and having lunch was part of the package. We were taken to a Korean restaurant and were given three choices.  DH's pick was Bibimbap, which is a bowl of white rice with a selection of dishes on the top. Mine was Bulgogi with mushroom, which is thinly sliced beef served with cellophane noodles. To my surprise, it was really soupy. They were just fine to get by. We're not too impressed.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Myeongdong Cathedral

By the time we arrived at our hotel in Seoul, it was already 7:30 PM. It had been a long day, considering the fact that we left our home around 12 hours earlier. All the hours added up. The flight itself was less than six hours, but it's all about waiting. Waiting for the flight to commence was about 2-3 hours and there's waiting for the immigration and waiting for the bus and the bus ride itself that took 90 minutes. All day was gone. We were exhausted.

The next day, we wanted to familiarize ourselves with the city a bit, by going on our own, exploring the city center where the shops and businesses are located. We also wanted to visit the country's famous Cathedral, famously called Myeongdong Cathedral because of its location.  We missed their English mass!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

National Folk Museum Of Korea

We went to National Folk Museum of Korea,  it is located on the grounds of the Gyeongbok Palace. The top of the building looks like a Pagoda and with the backdrop of clear blue sky, it could not make a better photograph. We had very limited time inside and outside the building as we joined a tour group. It was certainly an informative place, we love the miniature figurines describing the making of Kimchi, my guess?

Here are more pictures from the Museum:

Evening View From The Room....

What's in the sky is always different each time, each day, everywhere. One evening, I managed to captured a beautiful sight as the sun was setting behind. This is a view of Seoul, on the left is their famous Seoul Tower. Gorgeous.

Being In The Fall....

It's so nice to experience being in The Fall season for a short time. It gets a little too cold here sometimes, particularly in the morning, the temperature could drop to a single digit Celsius. It's lovely to be able to see yellow, red, brown leaves all around. They make pretty pictures!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The President's House

The house with the blue roof in the picture above in Seoul, is famously called Blue House. It's like White House of the USA. This is where South Korea president lives and works. Any tour vehicles can only pass by and we are not supposed to roll down the window. The tour guide asked us to prepare the camera and she said : three, and click-click-click-click! Ha! The Blue House tour lasted in a mere second!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Kimchi And Friends....

Traveling is tiring. we got so busy on daily basis that makes it hard to write much. We joined a local tour today and lunch was included, it was Korean dishes, These are some of the side dishes (balchan) served, including the famous Kimchi,

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fast Production....

We took a trip around Myeong Dong area and in one of the kiosks or maybe cart, we saw the cases for iPod/iPhone for sale, with, presumably unauthorized logos like LV, Chanel and boy-o-boy, Steve Jobs' face was there too. Of course it's due to his death, which happened merely days ago. They know business opportunity when they see one.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Going Up Again...

It's midterm break again, yes it came so fast. We are back up north to South Korea again. We made our stop at Incheon International Airport. Guess the food we got first in the plane! Yes, it was satay again. Given that were offered to choose either chicken and/or lamb, I picked chicken only. I was still recovering from feeling under the weather the day before the trip.Looking forward to Autumn weather in Seoul!