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Archive for the ‘Food’ Category

HK: I think I ate too much

Posted by quirksalight on December 13, 2010

Jen’s uncle took us to a seafood restaurant in the New Territories. It was AWESOME. I ate things that I have no idea what they are, but only that they were delicious. The seafood is freshly caught and in holding pens outside the restaurant. These were extremely large specimens… and you choose your dinner to be cooked in whatever way you please. It’s a good thing that we spent 6 hours earlier in the day walking around on Hong Kong Island.
I’m going to let the pictures do all the talking. 🙂 Definately on my top 10 meals ever.


Posted in adventure, amusing, Food, fun, Hong Kong, travel, vacation | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

The Peak and other delights:

Posted by quirksalight on December 13, 2010

The rest of our group made it to HK and we were now a merry band of 4 Penn alumnae running around HK. Excellent.

Staying in Kowloon, we hit the local shops, the malls, and markets for interesting finds. Personally, I found some sunglasses, a bottle of Miss Dior perfume (which I hadn’t been able to find for a while), comfy/dressy shoes, and a jade necklace. The necklace was a part of a collective bargaining session at the Jade Market in Yau Ma Tei, with Laura taking the lead for our goods. Nice market, but definitely a place where you need to be able to bargain and knowing the language will do you a lot of good. Next, as one of our main agenda items for the trip was eating, we hit up a Buddhist vegetarian dim sum place. Hmm… the artificial meat in the dimsum was a little strange… but the veggie bits, such as the tofu skins, excellent!

Tea at the Landmark Mandarian Oriental – running late because turns out you can’t just get a taxi on the street to get you from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island, but have to call one for that purpose. Easy enough at any hotel, but to those who didn’t know this tidbit of info, quite frustrating, especially when you’ve got reservations.

Next, we split up and the three of us, Kim, Jen and I, headed up to Victoria Peak, just after sunset. Even though it’s not high tourist season, the tram line was LONG. And a crush to push our way into the tram – I seriously had to hip check a guy out of my way who tried to jump ahead of me.

But the view was totally worth it. With the wind whipping through our hair, we stood on top, watching the glittering skylines of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon spread before us, and the ferries moving across Hong Kong Harbour like balls of light floating across the water.

Recommended by our guidebooks and several friends, we first hit up Dragon-I for drinks and apps. Turns out that there is a Happy hour special of 2-1 drinks from 3-9pm. Just don’t get the one with Benedictine liquor – horrid… tastes like cough syrup…. unless you like that sort of thing…. Otherwise, it’s a great deal for drinks in that area.
Met up with an AFP photographer who I met at the G20 in Seoul the past month. He and his colleague joined us at Classified, a wine and cheese bar in the Soho/ Lan Kwai Fong area of Central HK. It was good to meet up with him, though his colleague wasn’t feeling well and went home shortly after arriving.

Posted in adventure, amusing, Food, friends, fun, Hong Kong, outdoors, travel, vacation | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Cupcakes of another color…

Posted by quirksalight on July 21, 2009

Today was the opening day for the brick and mortar version of “Occasionally Cake“.

Located in the Mount Vernon area of Alexandria, this store focuses on custom designed pastries, but also have wonderful cupcakes. Not your average chocolate, vanilla, etc, but original creations, such as pink champagne (pomagranate and champagne icing), chocolate raspberry (chocolate cake, with chocolate ganache and chocolate raspberry icing), and strawberry lemonade (lemon cake with strawberry icing).

Here’s the half dozen I picked up:

After eating these… I’d highly recommend this place if you’re looking for unusually delicious pastries for a special event or to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Disclosure: One of the proprietors is a former HS classmate.

Posted in Food, friends | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

A random bit of amusement

Posted by quirksalight on April 23, 2009

N.Koreans Love Choco Pie
Image from The ChosunIlbo

Uh huh… that’s what I said…

Posted in amusing, ancedotes, Food, news, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Work + Fortress + Beer + Karoke = Wurzburgr

Posted by quirksalight on April 9, 2009

The next day was a bit annoying as I had to work. Uh huh.. not a complete vacation. Still had to do some editing and I was a bit behind. Considering that I need the internet, MH and I went to his lab at Univ of Wurzburg (He doesn’t have an internet connection at home! Ack! Talk about detox… ), which is on top of one of the hills surrounding the river valley that the city sits in. Great view. Met a couple of his friends including F, his officemate, as I was using their office to edit in.

Of course, the paper was an extremely dry paper…. on Ostriches. Yep. Large flightless bird. So as I am working, I’m throwing out raather grumpy comments out loud, which is entertaining F and MH (as he’s running in and out of the office). As I finish, I tell F that I wanted to eat ostrich, just to kinda get back at it. Much to my surprise, there’s a place serving ostrich in Wurzburg. Heading there for lunch, we were too late, and the place had already finished serving lunch for the day. So we took advantage of the sunny day to grab a burger before heading to the Festung Marienburg (Marienburg fortress).

Built on one the many hills surrounding the city, the Marienburg Fortress is a rather imposing structure overlooking the river and the city. In the past it has been a residence, chapel, and the local defenses against warring neighbors. Now, it’s been restored and the grounds and building are beautiful. I definitely have to come back when the gardens and the vineyards on the slopes are in bloom…
Of course, the whole on top of a hill thing meant a bit of a hike up… but the views of the city and the hills surrounding it was well worth the climb. Great pandoramas!

And the structure itself! I loved the little details – the gargoyles, the janus faces, and the carvings that abounded on the building. Some of it historical, others following superstition. I think a good percentage of all the pictures I took in Germany were architectural; just so neat!

Later that evening, a couple of MH’s friends were meeting us at a local beerhall that evening. Wurzburg is really known for its white wines, not beer, but this was one of the better places to drink beer in the city (according to my friends).

Funny, it’s was karoke night. Serious. No, I didn’t sing. MH was signed up to sing ABBA’s “Dancing Queen”, but what do you know… it came up and someone else grabbed it! Hah… boy was he relieved. Two of his friends from the physics dept, H and F, did sing. I even have it on video. 🙂

Posted in adventure, amusing, ancedotes, annoyance, Food, friends, fun, history, Humor, outdoors, travel, traveling | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

I think I need an umbrella, or Hannover – Part I

Posted by quirksalight on April 6, 2009

This is rather an apt title for the majority of my Hannover trip, as it was cloudy or rainy for the first 4 days I was there. In fact, the first sunny day was the day that I was leaving for Wurzburg! heh…

On the up side, I got to see a lot of the city’s museums. A surprising thing was that the museums I visited in Hannover didn’t have too many English programs or pamphlets. Considering that they are tourist spots, well…
What was interesting was that I was about to puzzle out about 50% of the legends for the exhibits. So not too bad. 🙂

There’s an interesting initiative by the Hannover tourism bureau called the “Red line tour”. There is a 4-5km walking tour through the city where you follow, yup, a red line painted on the sidewalks and roads throughout the city. It’s rather nice – hitting the major sights of the city. This includes churches, museums, sculptures and the town hall. So on a bit of a gloomy-looking Thursday, I set off. A couple highlights:

Hannover Opera House

Hannover Opera House

Brooding from above

Brooding from above

The New city hall

The New city hall

The old city and the Market Church

The old city and the Market Church

Waterloo Platz

Waterloo Platz

After, I hit the Hannover city museum, which chronicles the changes in the city over the centuries. The changes in the city plan were in the Neus Rathaus, which I saw later, but this museum had the mementos and artifacts of the major events of the past.
Electric car built in Hannover

Electric car built in Hannover

Hannover coat of arms

Hannover coat of arms

WWII Proclaimation

WWII Proclaimation

MR and I ended the day with a very odd dinner… pancakes. Well, it was pancakes with a load of unusual toppings.
I had the “Milanese” and he had the “New Zealand”.

The Milanese

The Milanese

The New Zealand

The New Zealand

His was a mix of lamb, veggies, and a creamy sauce. Mine was a ground meat tomato sauce with cheese, artichokes, and cream freiche. Not bad, just unusual. 🙂

Posted in adventure, commentary, Food, history, outdoors, travel, traveling | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Food poisoning

Posted by quirksalight on February 9, 2009

Last week, we ordered lunch (like usual) at school, and decided to pick Soon Doo Boo jigae, which is a soft tofu seafood stew. It’s definitely on my favorite Korean foods. However, this time, it was a little, off. I started eating it, and I really couldn’t place what, but I had to stop eating it because my palate and gut was telling something was wrong. In about 90 minutes later, yep, gut and palate was right. The good ‘ol GI tract started grumbling, and severe cramping kicked in.

I left school early, and went home, where in the early evening, my body felt like someone had taken a rubber hose and beat every single one of my muscles. Ugh… movement in general was severely painful and slow. Indeed, voiding the GI tract (you can use your imagination here) helped a little, but not too much.

After the muscle pains passed, I started on antibiotics… now… it’s 3 days later, and there are *still* some after effects… Blargh…

Lesson learned. Food is food. It can still f*&% you up.

Posted in adventure, ancedotes, annoyance, Bizarre, Bupyeong, Food, Incheon | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Turkey day

Posted by quirksalight on December 6, 2008

Thanksgiving…funny… I haven’t missed it, in the years I have lived away from my family since this year. The food, and the mashup of family members under one roof was interesting to say the least.

I snagged a turkey, courtesy of a friend of mine who lives on base (in Korea, a turkey can run 80,000 – 100,000 won), and an oven (took over other friend’s apt) to throw a Thanksgiving lunch.

Two trips to bring over all the food and materials, cooking for hours with friends:

Rosmary/garlic rubbed Turkey
mashed sweet potatoes
Buttermilk biscuits
Sauteed potatoes & mushrooms
pies – too many to count!
cinnamon apples
stir fry veggies
seafood patties
cous cous with garlic-veggie topping
Sweet potatoe-squash soup

And wine. Lots of wine….

It was awesome! People just relaxing, eating, and eating some more, all the while, chatting, playing with the dogs, and laughing. 🙂

Posted in Food, holidays, Korea | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

First weekend away

Posted by quirksalight on April 22, 2008

I’ve been in Korea for two months now and last weekend was the first time I left the Incheon/Seoul area since I arrived. Which is understandable, as there is so much to do here as it is. But, I want to see the rest of the country too.

This past weekend, I was in Gyeongsnagbuk-do, the middle eastern province of Korea. Several of us were getting together at Yeongju, a small city on the northern edge of the province. And when I mean small, I mean that it’s the size of Reykjavik, Iceland, which is small enough to walk across in 30 minutes.

But the biggest thing was the attitude towards foreigners. I guess I’m used to Incheon and Seoul, where seeing a foreigner isn’t TOO unusual. But during the entire weekend, it was a total spectacle when we were walking around. Several English speakers, and all but one blatantly non-Korean. In one of the smaller towns, kids would literally stop biking to stare while saying, “way-gook, way-gook,” which means “foreigner, foreigner”. Weird…

We hit a lot of spots on Saturday, which was our main activity day, as we all arrived late on Friday, and had to leave on Sunday. So, first was Danyang, to see the Gosu cave. Completely different experience than in the US… here, you have to touch the sides of the cave, as the walkway is completely wrapped around it. I am a pretty short person, and I was bending over and twisting my body to get around the passages. Totally felt bad for my friend, who’s 6’4. Poor guy was almost crawling in some places. 😛 It was also a vertical and horizontal walkway…we went up several hundred meters (yes, that many stairs) in a live cave, which means the ambient humidity was at 96%.
At the cave, there were vendors (of course) and several of them were selling amethyst jewelry so cheap! It turns out that they (and other semi-precious stones) are mined in this province. Hence, cheap. Look – pretty earrings and a little charm for my phone!

We stayed in Danyang for lunch – it was catfish stew, Korean style. The hostess took one look at us and had this “OMG” smile, and looked so relieved when I replied back to her in Korean. The food was delicious, as it came straight out of the fish tank outside. :p And no, we did not pick out the fish, though it was an option. Danyang was beautiful – the waterfront was gorgeous under the afternoon sun. I can’t wait to be back here after the rains arrive.
Next, we went to Punggi. This is a small town, and not used to tourists. Hence, we got a lot of stares and comments in Korean. The reason to visit here is the hot spring nearby and the ginseng market. The ginseng market was HUGE. I have never seen so many stores and stalls with ginseng, which is one of the main commodities from this region. We bought some tea and ginseng candy and headed off to the spa via taxi.

The taxi driver, Mr Jang, was a rather brusque man, but got us to the spa. When we got out, I decided to take his card just in case we needed it. Definitely a good idea. Because we walked in, and realized that it wasn’t really a spa, but one of the Korean baths that was built over a hot spring. Not what I expected or wanted. The guys left the decision to stay or go to me, and I decided that it was best to leave, as I also didn’t want to get all clean and then re-dress in my sweaty clothes. So I called Mr. Jang and asked him to take us to the Heuibang trailhead at the base of Mt. Sobaek.

I think he may have thought we were a little nuts heading to the trail this late in the day, but we were only planning to go up to the Heuibang waterfall, which is about 2 km up the trail, and we should make it up there in little over an hour. This was a tough hike. The trail was full of large granite rocks, and it wasn’t walking up as much as scrambling over rocks. At least for me. Others with longer legs did not have as much difficulty as I. :p
But it was worth it. Achy body and all – it was a beautiful waterfall, and the scenery up and down was excellent.
The way down was faster, but also in some ways, more difficult do to rocks. I am going to invest in a good hiking pole if I am going to continue to do this. (which I am) We get to the trailhead, only to find out we missed the bus by 10 mins. The next one would get there in about 75 minutes. ARGH! So out comes the card to call Mr. Jang for the third taxi ride today. There was another woman waiting there for the same bus, so I offered her a ride with us, which she gladly accepted, as she wasn’t looking forward to waiting either.
And that was our Saturday. 🙂
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pictures here

Posted in adventure, amusing, ancedotes, Food, hiking, Humor, Korea, Korean, Nature, outdoors, travel, traveling | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »


Posted by quirksalight on April 8, 2008

I hate being ill. And today was the first time I’ve really been sick in Korea. I called my co-teacher sounding extremely stuffed up and croaked into the phone that I was rather ill and would not make it to school today.
Luckily, today is my easiest day and tomorrow is a federal holiday, so there is no school. Now, I just have to get better, though what i really wish I could do is open up my sinuses and scrape out all the smut that must be in there… blargh!!!

But my co-teachers are very considerate. They called twice to check in on me, and about an hour ago, stopped by to look in on me and to give me some rice porridge, which is eaten when you’re ill. (Seriously, my mom did the exact same thing) Now, I’m eating porridge, and smiling at the nice people in the world.

Posted in Food, Korea, Nice, People, sick | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »