Seoul 2018

This year, my family and I finally went back to Seoul after not doing so for 2 years. My side of the family are without doubt, creatures of habit and once we find something we like, we do it all the time.

Hongkong used to be the destination of choice as it’s somewhere my mom was familiar with. But after we went to Seoul, it became clear which city was more enjoyable for us.

For the past 2 trips, my dad was able to come with us for the holiday. While that should be the way it is, and is good family time… the burden of finding good and cheap food naturally fell on me.

I also recommended some of the food to my friend and she is bringing her family around as I’m writing this post. All good food places from this trip can be found on my instastories and this map.

Here are some of the ones I dream about daily:

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Swee Choon

We might have ordered a little too much at dinner.

K.cook

One of our weekday lunches. I’d been having a few of these since the year has been moving slowly for me. I thank God for having so much time to meet the special people in my life, and also the money to enjoy such lunch dates.

We initially wanted to try ShiLiFang steamboat at Orchard Central, but changed our minds as the queue was too long.

I walked down a little and saw a Korean BBQ place. To be sure of the spread, I asked to take a look at the meats first. The thinly sliced beef and pork got me but the spread was pretty extensive.

The lunchbox above was the cherry on top that would make me come back for more.

There was this interesting somen/meesua look alike noodle which I mixed up with the fish soup, on the right of the photo.

On the left, there was jjajang sauce but I couldn’t find the thick squishy noodles so I decided not to go for it.

As I took this photo of the many condiments available, behind me was even more – the mandatory sliced garlic, sliced onions and spring onion with the soy sauce, salads, fruit, pumpkin, more salads, lettuce and so many other cold dishes that I didn’t even get to try as I was busy filling myself up with the meats.

The meats on the left were so-so, but look at that fridge full of thinly sliced pork and beef! This place has topped the charts for a wallet friendly Korean BBQ lunch for me.

Only $20 per pax (3 for around $59). There was a time limit of 2 hours which we didn’t hit, and a last serving at 2.30pm which we didn’t need.

K.cook Korean BBQ
Address181 Orchard Road, #07-01, 238896
Mon-Thu: 11.30am – 3pm, 5.30pm – 10pm
Fri: 11.30am – 3pm, 5pm – 10pm
Sat-Sat: 11.30am – 10pm

December Bangkok Trip: Thonglo & Ekkamai

As of all my trips, my December Bangkok trip was centred around food.

It turned out that my hotel, IR-ON Hotel, was just a short walk away from my planned dinner place so we could drop our things off before heading for our early dinner. The hotel is pretty cool – industrial design, basic amenities and convenient location. It can’t beat Cabochon in experience but was available at a good price. 3 nights here was less than a night at Cabochon and we thoroughly enjoyed. Even though I whined about walking in the narrow, dark road with many passing cars and bikes, it was only a few minutes and very bearable.

We admired our well-designed hotel for a bit then went off for dinner.

Gyuma BBQ got me when I did my research on good places to have bbq meats in Bangkok.

Charcoal grill and all.

Lovely meats 🙂

As it was our first meal after touching down, we weren’t quite prepared to think too much, so I just ordered a portion of all the beef and pork varieties. The marbled beef was good, pork loin and vegetables were good and entire meal was pleasant though not mindblowing. If ever we craved freeflow bbq meats again, we’d come back.

Wattana Panich, on the other hand, was pretty mindblowing. I chanced upon a beef-lover friend’s feed and saw her photos there. We came on the first morning and loved it! We mistakenly ordered 2 portions of herbal soup – one beef and one mutton.

We actually wanted the beef noodle soup so we added a third order after our herbal soups arrived. After having a taste of the rich herbal soup, the beef soup paled in comparison. It was good but the herbal soup was better.

We got 1, 2 (by mistake but best mistake ever this trip, 200B each) and 6 (80B?). Best food on the trip!

Asia Herb Association

Before we came over, I got a recommendation from a friend to try Asia Herb for massage.

For someone who was contented with Healthland as it was the most value-for-money, I loved the experience here. The quality was superb. I loved the interior for what we paid and their technique was pretty good too. We opted for the foot+head+shoulder oil massage (500B) for the first day, and the aroma oil + herbal ball body massage (1700B) for the second day.

After our massage, we had a tomyam goong and oyster egg at the nearby Sukhumvit Soi 38. Both were delicious; the oyster egg was so much better than the one at Platinum that we tried at the previous trip.

There was a Mango Sticky Rice recommended by Misstamchiak in the same row but I’m not a fan of sticky rice.

The Commons

2 friends recommended this place for brunch but I fell in love with the philosophy before I even consumed anything here.

It’s all about community and the mineral water initiative raises money to help someone they know. I love how the concept is so simple but so needful. No need for permits, for licenses, for complicated accountability processes. But just help for those who need it within their community.

Husband and I were so inspired by this concept that we just soaked in the awesomeness of the place. I always believed that profit making is essential – but of the brand could be successful enough, it could lend its name to raise awareness to many things and alleviate some issues that its community faces. Such a wonderful thing – naysayers can say what they want, slackivists can ride on it, but the tangible help rendered speaks for itself.

I don’t know why the lights are dotting our faces.

Dream doors and kitchen.

We went back on our last day to have brunch at Roast.

Such good design for a menu.

“how you grow.”

“What inspires and drives me to get up every morning?” – a recurrent question in the books I’m reading and even the menu I’m flipping.

Husband’s espresso and my earl grey lychee tea.

Lamb ragout gnocchi

Truffle alfredo tagliatelle

Grapefruit sorbet and nutella tart

We went down for coffee after Roast.

On our last day we went for another foot, head and shoulder massage at Asia Herb. Dinner was at Sit and Wonder, and eatery I mapped the previous trip but didn’t get to go to.

It turned out to be a stylish cafe offering traditional Thai food.

Taken in a rush, I didn’t even check.

Bangkok’s such a relaxing place for us that we hope to go back at least once a year. Wishing it could be more than just recreation, but that would a whole load of guts and divine appointment.

December Bangkok Trip: Some food and finds

After You

I finally tried it and fell in love. All the butter soaked up in between the cuts of the toast. Savoury heaven in a dessert. Just the way I like it.

Somtan Nua

I brought Imm here after my visit with Cherlynn around 4 years ago.

We tried a salted crab salad and wondered how could better appreciate the raw crabs…

Box Space Ratchayothin

Don’t believe the blogs which say that the place is open daily from 10am. Only a few food joints were opened when we went over at around 3pm on a Wednesday. It felt like a dead space. The one eatery we visited (amongst the 3 that looked open) had the ‘egg soup’ which was like a steamboat steamed egg, and the ultra savoury spicy pork salad, so our entire visit was redeemed.

Tonkatsu Ma Maison

This is by far my favourite tonkatsu place in Singapore. My family used to love Tonkichi but I remember C constantly telling me to try this place out a number of years back. I can’t be satisfied with any other tonkatsu brand anymore.

The pork and oysters are so succulent and the occasional mentaiko or croquette that we order hit the spot.

The free-flow cabbage is normal, but the endless supply of quality Japanese brown rice and tonjiru soup is what keeps me coming back.

Tonkatsu by Ma Maison
Address333A Orchard Road, #02-35 & #02-36 Mandarin Gallery, 238897
Mon-Fri: 11am-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10pm
Sat-Sun: 11am-10pm

Siam square mookata

This has to be my Punggol family’s go-to place for celebratory food. We can celebrate normal days to, right? It’s convenient located at 308C Waterway Terrace, about a 10-minute walk from Waterway Point. It’s also just next to my favourite laundry place. Don’t know why we have to go so far to do our sheets but I guess it’s for us to discover this place 🙂

The soup is a very light one which starts off as simple stock – but the marinade of the meats go into it and it ends up a nice savoury sweet soup. (Not sure if there’s MSG but I would think so since it’s so tasty – which is just the way I like it.) For 4 of us, we usually spend about $50 which I think is pretty darn reasonable for mookata.

Siam Square Mookata (Punggol)
Address308C Punggol Walk #01-308, 823308
Mon-Sun: 3.30pm – 3am