Hello Kitty Hongdae

I really wish I had more time to plan for our trip to Seoul. There wasn’t enough research… Reading blogs AFTER we came back made me realized how many more places I would have wanted to visit. Sigh pie.

On one of our nights in Hongdae, we popped by for some chill time at the Hello Kitty Cafe in Hongdae. It was so pretty! So much nicer than the fake HK cafe we went in Batam.

I don’t really know what is the exact road name, or the exact directions, but I’m quite sure it is quite an easy icon to spot.

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There seem to be a trend where everyone leave their marks and writings, and I think we pretty much succumbed and wrote everywhere we could. Hashtag #kriskrista

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Kris was the one who drew this! Heartshape surrounding K – our initials. I used to know a couple called Bernard and Bernadette and I thought it was really cute, and I’m lucky enough to have found a boyfriend called Kris.

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A holiday is very much needed

Life can really be extremely unfair, I think I need some more luck. Reminder to self to pray more, hur.

I had planned to go on a holiday this week to celebrate, but well we couldn’t so I can only look at past pictures and wish work doesn’t have to be so tough and that I was born smarter. 😥

We didn’t have enough time to go to Jeju island, so Nami was the only “island” we went. A shuttle bus is actually available, pickup near our hotel – Insadong, but we didn’t know reservations were required because the guy at our hotel told us we can just purchase tickets straight from the driver.

The journey there without the shuttle was long and tiring – four train changes, one taxi and one boat ride. So please, do get the shuttle bus tickets and save yourself all the trouble.

From Myeong-dong Station, take LINE 4 train heading to the direction of Chungmuro Station to get to Dongdaemun History & Culture Park Station, then change to LINE 2 and take the train heading towards Sindang Station to get to Wangsimni station, then change to JUNGANG LINE and take the train heading towards Cheong-nyangni to get to Mangu Station, then change to KYEONGCHUN LINE and take the train heading towards Galmae Station to get to Gapyeong Station, which is the destination.

Once at Gapyeong Station, we took a short taxi trip (costs about KRW2500-3000) to get to the ferry wharf to Nami Island. And when we arrivee at the ferry wharf, we bought our “Entry Visa” to Nami Island which cost KRW8,000, including ferry to and from Nami Island and, of course, entry to Nami Island. We also bought the return shuttle tickets straight away so we wouldn’t miss the return bus again.

I was so tired by then! All the excitement kind of died off by then.
T_T

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This is one of my favorite picture of us, taken by some random stranger on the ferry. I was trying to take a selfie using the monopod but he seemed to think I was having difficulties and offered help.

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Trying to take a version of the follow me picture.

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Yupp, that’s my manly boyfriend wearing my cateye shades.

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Maybe it was because I was so hungry, I thought this sausage bought from one of the stores that does caricature was one of the most heavenly cuisine I’ve ever had in my life. Seriously, you guys might want to try it.

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I am so thankful for a good friend for lending me his tripod and we took so many pictures with it! Also thankful for Riki who helped to photoshop the Ajuma out of our pictures.

All the pictures were taken with the Olympus EPL5 and  I’m so glad so many special moments were captured with it. It makes a huge difference snapping photos with a camera and an iPhone. Now i really want to go back to Bali and take those scenic pictures again…

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I hate this pair of pants I bought from Bangkok. It makes me look so freaking fat! Someone actually commented on my facebook asking if i was pregnant. Wtf.

The return shuttle to Insadong was at 430pm, but we were already done by about 3pm and starving, so we decided to take the ferry back to the shuttle bus area and grab some pizza. Food really never tasted so good, but the pizza was too huge and we couldn’t finish it.

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Nami Island is a beautiful place, and a great place for photoshoots. We drew and wrote on many stones in memoir for our trip, we laughed and kissed and chased after bunnies – I really wish for our next holiday to come soon.

Work is draining me of my brain juices.

Tiramisu Hero

One of the places that is highly raved, and one of the places I kept in my to-go-list.

Two words to describe – utmost disappointment.

It’s really just one of those cafes that has great ambiance, cute interiors, but amateur food. I like the place for the theme, the cute mascots, Sir Antonio, the quirky items they sell (including accessories and pens!). I would not go back to this place though.

We were not really hungry, so we shared the following:

Chunky Mushroom SoupIMG_9501Bangers with Mac & Cheese ($17 dollars was really, really not worth). Mac and cheese was yucky, thank god there was still some pork and chicken sausages that tasted relatively good.

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Dark Chocolate Lava Cake.

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The thing about Lava cakes is that the filling has to be “flow-y”. I’m not sure if that is the word to describe it, but when you cut up the cake, the chocolate should ooze out. The lava cake here oozed. Chocolate filling was great. However, I think the chocolate cake itself wasn’t really completed baked? We could taste the flour while chewing.

Mini Tiramisu: Cute looking. That’s all I can say.

Verdict: I’ll not go back, especially when it’s so tough finding a parking lot.

*All the pictures here were taken with iPhone 5s.

Tiramisu Hero
121 Tyrwhitt Road
Singapore 207548
Tel: +65 62925271

Seoul – Hostels

Sometime back in April, we made a very last minute decision to head to Seoul, Korea. I really love holidays together because it brings a couple closer. There really isn’t much of a choice when you are sharing the same bed and spending 24 hours side by side.

Hotels in Seoul are costly. Given that we needed somewhere that was close to the subway stations and centralized, and the fact that our trip was only finalized three days before flying off, most of the value for money hotels were sold out.

A colleague recommended me to look for home stays/ hostels from Air Bnb. A word of caution: Air BnB will not be able to help out during times of disputes. I lost $400 because of an error made during a booking at another hostel. Money scamming hostel owners.

Eventually I decided on Mini Hong Hotel. I think the total cost was less than $400 SGD for 5 night’s stay.

It would have been really worth it if i didn’t make the error on my first booking. Damn, $800 would have gotten us better rooms else where. T_T

57, Gwansu-dong,
Jongno-Gu, 110-420 Seoul
Conveniently located just a 2-minute walk from the Jongno 3-ga Station

It was my first time staying in a hostel, and naturally I was a little taken aback when I saw the room.

It was…. tiny. A single bed against the window with a tiny little fridge right on top, a TV at the end of the bed. The length of the bed equates to the length of the room. The consolation, however, was that the location was fantastic, and all the showering facilities were provided. The owners are both really kind and nice as well. Breakfast is provided as well. And oh, WIFI is provided free too.

Just right outside the hostel is a row of food street. Korean BBQs, Cold Noodle, Lotte, etc etc. You’ll not have to worry about food at any time of the day.

There’s several stalls selling grilled saba, and we just had to try it.

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Ajussi grilling the fish that Kris selected.

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One thing i love about korean food – the side dishes aka appetizers that are refillable. The kimchi… ♡

I’m not sure what this was, but it was really really delicious.

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If you are looking for cheap accommodation while in Seoul with good food and a good location, you can consider staying at the Mini Hong Hotel. However, please do not ever expect it to look like a hotel!

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This is how the restaurant looks like! I love the ajumas and ajussis!

And I really need a holiday now.

Omakase Burger

What do couples do on Saturday nights? We watch WWF. Or rather, the man watches while I fiddle with my phone and watch 蜡笔小新 on my RedMi.

Occasionally, we search for places to eat for our Sundates. We read food blogs, and we filter down the choices. Sometimes the food turn out disappointing – well, food blogs are usually paid advertorials and they can’t possibly be saying mean stuffs about their clients right?

On Sunday, we were heading to Taka early to do some exchange of goods. So Kris searched for brunch places at Taka. We initially decided on Pique Nique, but when I woke up on Sunday, I literally screamed “Lets have Omakase Burger!”

Wisma Atria Shopping Centre
435 Orchard Road, #01-02/03/37-41
Singapore 238877
Tel: 6737 3218

Please take note that the place is at Wisma, not Taka. We spent 10 minutes roaming around level one Takashimaya before Kris realised that his girlfriend mixed up Wisma and Taka. Yes, I’m smart like that.

Given it was 11am, there was almost no queue. Yippies.

We ordered:
The Wisma exclusive Applewood Smoked Bacon Cheeseburger, Beef Tallow fries (only available on weekends) and the Deluxe Cheeseburger.

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We loved the buns! Velvety soft… melts in the mouth. Yums! Tummy was happy! The man was happy!

We also ordered a root beer float.

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The total bill came up to almost $46, in my opinion rather expensive given the self service. Still, good burgers and I kinda liked it. Also extremely coincedental that our queue number was 13 – yesterday was the 13.

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The Sushi Bar

I love Japanese cuisines. Recently, I’ve even picked up sushi making so the craving can be satisfied whenever. 

One of my favourite place for Jap is The Sushi Bar at Far East. The first time me and Kris went, we waited for an hour. That was back in January when it was still at level 3. 

Last Wednesday, Johnson and I met up for our yearly birthday dinner. The place has finally expanded, having moved to level 4 instead. Yet, we still had to wait for almost an hour just for a table (bear in mind there was only 2 of us). 

I really wouldn’t say much, except that if you guys were to visit this place, please be prepared to wait, and also bring cash – the place does not accept Nets/ Visa/ Mastercard. 

My fourth visit to this place, and still ordering the same – I find it amazing that I still get food-gasm each time.

 Hotate Mentayaki

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 Tako Wasabi

I’ve never, ever liked Wasabi, but when Kris made me try this the last time? 
I was immediately sold. 10500286_740542026009948_7922746921160825609_n

 Salmon Aburi Sushi.

This is the MUST-HAVE. 10516852_740541959343288_6287533650858616775_n

 Basic Chirashi Don which comes with a small drop of Uni! 

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 The Sushi Bar

#04-28 Far East Plaza
14 Scotts Road
Mon to Fri: 12.30pm – 3pm, 5.30pm – 9pm
Sat: 12.30pm – 9pm
Nearest Station: Orchard

Crab Fiesta – Park Royal on Beach Road

A month ago, I came across this particular post on Facebook – Crab Ultimate Fiesta at Park Royal on Beach Road. I immediately tagged Kris, and then said “AWWMAGAWDDDD WE HAVE TO GO” when he called me later that night. We managed to squeeze in a booking of 6 for yesterday (booked in early June), am so thankful because it was my actual birth date and the bookings were almost full. One of my friends told me that she did not even managed to get the booking and it is all fully reserved till the end of the month!

An excerpt from the site,

  • Featuring a total of 27 crab dishes including 14 whole crabs cooked in different styles
  • The Ultimate Crab Feast is complemented by the signature Best of Asia spread

Prior to us going for dinner, sometime back last week while I was throwing one of my tantrums, I told Kris I didn’t want to go anymore. Reason being I wanted to go somewhere else that was more romantic for my birthday dinner, and just the two of us. And Kris, being patient, rational Kris, said, “Are you sure you don’t want to? We should go and try… If not you will have to wait for next year.”

Side tracking a little, sometimes, I really get so amazed by how much Kris understands me. He seem to always be able to find the exact food that will make my belly happy, and it gets rather annoying how he will always be able to say, “See?”

Anyways, back to the topic – Crabs.

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I WAS SUCH A HAPPY GIRL SITTING THERE EATING ALL THE CRABS. My favourite part of a crab is the claw. It’s so easy to eat and there is always so much meat in that claw. I thank god everyday for my high metabolism because I eat so much and I don’t get fat easily, and I don’t even exercise. It’s truly a great blessing.

Was it funny that our pleasure point from the buffet yesterday wasn’t exactly the crabs but the raw oysters? Super juicy, super succulent, super fresh, super slurpy and Kris, who went to the Line at Shang Rila last Friday said the oysters from yesterday actually tasted better than the ones at Line. I think the 6 of us ate a total of maybe 80 oysters. They were really that good. The guys always eat them with lemon and tabasco sauce, but I like mine “nit”. No lemon, no sauce, just raw.

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There was also a great fresh selection of tiger prawns, flower crabs, scallops, snow crabs. My love for tiger prawns (raw with natural sweetness) and snow crabs will never die. The sashimi selection was also very satisfying to the palette, and the fish – cooked in 3 different styles was very well done too. Our favourite was the Hong Kong Style steamed fish.

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Out of the 14 whole crabs, I think I tried almost everything except for the curry crab.

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In a listed order of my liking:

  1. Steamed Crab with Danggui – such strong Dang Gui (Angelica Sinensis) and wolfberries taste in the soup
  2. Salted egg yolk crab – The first round was quite bad. The salted egg was hard and stuck on to the shells, probably because the dish has been there for quite a while. When we saw that there was a fresh, newly cooked tray, we grabbed a couple, and I went almost to 7th heaven.
  3. XO Sauce crab
  4. Nonya Crab
  5. Butter Crab
  6. Marmite Crab

 

My least favourite would be…

  1. Cereal crab – I normally really like anything cereal, cereal prawns, cereal crabs, but meh to this.
  2. Bak Ku Teh Crab – others may like this, but I like my Bak Ku Teh tonic tasting instead of pepperish.
  3. Chilli crab – an immense disappointment. The sauce was sweet, not spicy at all.
  4. Black pepper crab

Our night ended with some Tequila Dry Ice Cream, and some Durian Mousse.

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It was a great birthday dinner, and I’m so thankful Kris didn’t give in to my nonsensical tantrum and going somewhere else.

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Plaza Brasserie

PARKROYAL on Beach Road

7500 Beach Road, Level One

Tel: +65 6505 5710

Daily: 6pm – 10.30pm

Email: dining.prsin@parkroyalhotels.com

26th – Of reflections.

It has been a really, really long time since I’ve posted anything here. Life has been pretty much a whirl recently, time is passing by weeks after weeks and I’m not even sure what I’ve done. Work is starting to turn maniac-like, with stress levels building. Today is one of those mornings I need to take a short break from everything else, before I focus again on working hard for the next 7 hours.

Yesterday, I turned 26 years old. Slowly, but surely, I’m moving towards the big 3. When I was in secondary school and junior college, I couldn’t wait to turn legal. I remember after we turned 16, a bunch of us from school sneaked in to Mad Monks along Mohammad Sultan. I was drunk right after my first shot. While in secondary school, it was cool to have a boyfriend from Victoria, Maris Stella, or Catholic High; it was cool to own the latest Rip Curl Girl bag, or the Roxy Pencil cases that were so huge they took up half the space in our bags. And then shortly after, I was 18; legal. I could now smoke, and drink, and walk into clubs under VIP guest lists and not be scared during a police raid. I remember late nights out, coming up with a dozen lies to my mother about why am I going home at 3am. The times in Double O, where drinks were really free on Ladies Night and getting burned with Bacardi 151 because some ex colleagues tried to be funny and light the shot glass up.

21, came and went, with no parties, no crazy drinking. I was in Perth, spending time with an ex boyfriend. 22 and 23 with another guy I thought would be the love of my life. Everything else then went downhill thereafter. Breaking up, drunken nights to heal the broken heart, emotionally bursting into tears, meeting random strange guys mostly from clubs, sleeping less than 8 hours in total every weekend, spending so much money popping bottles. It reached a point where the bouncers and bartenders in the club knew what I would be ordering, what I liked, and I was “VIP-tualized”. I think I spent $2k opening drinks on my 24th birthday.

And then suddenly, everything just changed again. My 25th was spent with close friends, and we only had one tower of beer before we went home to bed.

My 26th? I celebrated with a lot of food. I bought clothes for myself. I went out with friends, the ones I would like to keep as friends for life. I got high, but not drunk, and we went to the zoo.

I’m thankful for this type of stable healthy lifestyle, and I really would like to thank all the close friends who stayed with me. And of course, the ultimate most, the boyfie, for being ever so patient with my irritating antics and tantrums. You are my favourite human.