Sunday, November 23, 2014

Jeju Grilled Squid & Dried Fish (鱿鱼丝,香烤鱼干) - Where to Buy Them! @ Cheonjiyeon Falls [Seogwipo, Jeju, Korea]

For those out to have a variety of food to choose from that are also within walking distance in Jeju's second largest city, Seogwipo, i have a suggestion for you. Check out the immediate area outside Cheonjiyeon Falls! 

And the one stall you should never miss is the one selling grilled sotong right in front of Dunkin Donuts. There were a number of similar stalls but this one (branded as being authentic) took the cake for having the most enticing aroma! 

The operators would willingly pass you samples without you even asking and when i took a bite, i knew this would be the right place where i can grab a few packs of grilled squid back to my mom; the texture was chewy yet soft with a flavour of the ocean that was extremely addictive! 

Machine that tore the poor squid to shreds! I have always thought it would be easier to do so by hand although i don't think i can resist not having a few shreds on the job! Maybe that's exactly the reason for inventing the machine. Haha.

While we were contemplating how many packets to buy (they were good for two weeks), the owner handed to us a few pieces of stuff that came from the box on the right. Oh my gosh, it was darn good! 

That stuff was grilled dried fish and i initially thought the taste was a bit too fishy for me. However, it was just as addictive as the grilled sotong and the fact that it was crispy made it even easier for us to eat it like chips! 

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We purchased four big packets in total.
Totally regretting not buying more! 

p.s. the dried fish turned soggy after the long plane ride and even though they continued to be edible, the taste wasn't as good. Nonetheless, do go for the yummy grilled squid! 

Location
Outside of Dunkin Donuts,
Cheonjiyeon Falls, Seogwipo,
Jeju Island, Korea

Contact Number to Key in GPS
You may use the one for Cheonjiyeon Falls which is 760-6301

Price
Small Packet - ₩5,000
Large Packet - ₩10,000
(You can mix grilled squid with grilled dried fish)


For the summary of my inaugural South Korea trip 
(Seoul and Jeju Island), click HERE.

Friday, November 21, 2014

O'Sulloc Tea Museum & Innisfree Jeju House @ Jeju Island [Korea]

The numerous journeys i made to Cameron Highlands (where tea is grown) and China (where tea is highly regarded as a beverage) should have taught me a lot about tea; hence, i wasn't expecting much from this modern looking tea museum in Jeju Island. 

Of course the context is more related to the Korean culture although the rituals more or less are similar to China, Taiwan and Japan. What's more interesting was the location; Jeju Island, filled with volcanic rocks rich in minerals, is claimed to be the best location for tea cultivation!

After trying my best ever green tea latte in O'Sulloc Cafe within the tea museum, i must say i was quite convinced of the claim! For my review, click here

In addition to plain looking traditional Asian tea sets, there was an extensive display of beautifully crafted tea sets from Europe; some of which have a history of more than a hundred years! 

If you are lucky, you could even see real-life pan-frying of tea leaves! I wasn't so fortunate; i was more focused on getting my stomach filled with goodies. 

Tea lovers would get themselves crazy over the huge variety of flavoured tea in the retail section of the museum! I am more into pu-er and didn't see the point of paying so much for hybrid tea that is, in my opinion, unnatural tea. 

Check out this display! I thought it was reminiscent of the contemporary times we live in; the increased usage of paper cups for our hot drink, including tea of course! 

I think we can draw on an empty paper cup and then put our completed artwork on the wooden shelving (and hoping it would stay there for as long as possible). Couldn't find any drawing materials though. 

Many people appeared to have missed out an elevator that would bring us up to an enclosed pod where we can marvel at the beauty of the surrounding! 

Both sisters were simply ecstatic to be able to sit down to rest their tired feet from climbing Hallasan. Shall blog on it soon even though i am seriously too lazy to go through the over 400 photographs taken during the climb. 

A more spectacular view greeted us on the uncovered roof deck! Hallasan can actually be seen from the above picture; somewhere in the middle, slightly towards the left. 

Near the entrance of the cafe (where i had that green tea latte) was a glass door that would bring you to the great outdoors. I had the impression it was just a backyard garden but it would actually lead you to the Innisfree Jeju House, another must go for those interested in facial products. 

Pretty flowers, pretty butterflies. The weather was a bit too warm for us that day; if not, i believe we could have relaxed in a more relaxed manner. 

It also didn't help to see this sign warning us about snakes! Yikeeeees!! This was one of the rare moments (trust me, you don't see me behaving like this much) i was literally pushing my sisters to walk ahead of me!

Okay, we finally walked through the canopy of danger and reached Innisfree Jeju House! I first noticed Innisfree when i was in Taiwan, where people were queuing to get into the store! 

I honestly didn't know it was known for its organic, natural products. Owned by Amore Pacific, it is also the parent company of O'Sulloc; thus explaining the close proximity of the tea museum and the innisfree jeju house. 

Other than purchasing expensive and even unique products that you could not find in other Innisfree outlets, this one in jeju also allowed you to partake in an activity.

The making of soap! 

As expected, we had neither the patience nor the time to make the soap. Furthermore, i doubt i would use the soap and that would be such an incredible waste of money!! 

Those without time can consider purchasing the natural soap present kit as above at 12,000 korean won, which by the way can allow me to buy around 4 packets of 830ml shower gel at Swanston

Nearby tea plantation, owned by Amore Pacific! No way would you see us walking there under the hot sun and i guess the view is always better when you watch from afar. 

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Location
Western Seogwipo,
Jeju Island

Contact Number to Key in GPS
794-5312

Opening Hours
9am to 6pm


For the summary of my inaugural South Korea trip 
(Seoul and Jeju Island), click HERE.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Best Green Tea Latte @ OSulloc Tea Museum [Jeju Island, Korea]

I am going to keep this short and simple as i am too tired to trawl through the many photographs i took during my Korea trip yet there is still a pang of guilt as i know i have not been as diligent to update this blog at the speed i used to.

Whatever the case, i shall touch on the one thing one die die must try in Jeju Island; OSulloc Tea Museum. To be more specific, i am referring to an item on the menu at the in-house cafe. 

The green tea latte - honestly, i really didn't quite see the big deal it generated but to see a cup on every table in the cafe did appear to be a tad too unbelievable! 

Just in case it was more hearsay than the truth, we decided to diversify the risk by ordering two additional items; the King O Fredo and the Black Roll Cake.

King O Fredo
For such a high and mighty name, it was essentially a smoothie. I am not much of a smoothie drinker as i am aware it is high in fattening cream!!! Give me a scoop of ice cream anytime and i would devour it faster than drinking a smoothie. 

To add green tea is usually a no-no for me as its taste is known for its bitterness. Surprisingly, this smoothie managed to strike a balance of both sweetness and bitterness and was in fact quite the perfect drink to have on a hot day!

Black Roll Cake
I should have gone with the green tea roll cake with white cream as the tarty green tea filling was just too much for me to handle. The black dough was comparatively better in flavour although as a whole, it was not worth the almost S$6 i paid for.

Green Tea Latte
Before this, the only green tea latte i found acceptable came from Starbucks. This one from OSulloc changes everything! 

There was a natural lightness to the flavour as we slowly let the milky green liquid trickled down our throat. It tasted unprocessed (strange i know although that's a consensus from the three of us) and we wondered if the leaves were freshly plucked from the plantation located right outside the museum! So good we regretted stuffing our stomach with the black roll cake and the king o fredo! 

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Location
Western Seogwipo,
Jeju Island, Korea

Contact Number to Key in GPS
794-5312

Menu
As above

Price
King O Fredo - ₩8,500
Black Roll Cake - ₩5,000
Green Tea Latte - ₩6,000

Additional Information
I tried the green tea latte at OSulloc cafe @ Insadong, Seoul but the standard wasn't as good as the one in Jeju. Guess it makes a difference when you have the green tea plantation next to you. 


For the summary of my inaugural South Korea trip 
(Seoul and Jeju Island), click HERE.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The S$4 Teochew Minced Meat Noodle (潮州肉脞麵) @ Peck Hoon Teng Eating House along River Valley Road [Singapore]

I was one of the few kiasu Singaporeans who turned up early for the Decathlon eXperience on Saturday but seeing that there wasn't a queue, i decided to use my precious time for breakfast instead.

The only two problems were; i didn't want to spend too much on food and the area surrounding the upmarket Mohamed Sultan road wasn't exactly known for cheap food! 

Walking aimlessly helped and i soon found myself in front of a coffeeshop housed within a likely pre-war shophouse! Our typical Singapore kopitiam - food, in any case, should be easier on the pocket. 

Nevertheless, i still forked out S$4 for this bowl of teochew minced meat noodle! The saving grace, at least for first impression, was that the cook didn't sting on the meat ingredients!

Counted three meat balls, a generous serving of minced pork, slices of pork (thankfully no pork liver which i absolutely detest) and a considerable amount of pork lard! *melted*

Noodles were nothing to scream about and to be totally frank, texture was the type i like with thin al dente strands that didn't stick to each other; it was more the lack of flavour that surprised me! In this case, i really have to thank the existence of chilli sauce and ketchup!

Would i revisit? For the sake of the meat ingredients (and the fact this was one of the cheaper meal in the vicinity), it would be a resounding yes!

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Location
219, River Valley Road,
Peck Hoon Teng Eating House
[Near UE Square & Liang Court]

Map
As above

Menu & Pricing
As of signboard above.

Additional Information
A glass of good old Asian style coffee was really cheap for that area at only S$1.10!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Getting My Hands on EasyBreath Snorkeling Mask @ Decathlon Experience Launch Party Singapore

Friends on Facebook might have noticed my status check-in to Decathlon Singapore earlier this morning and i shall now share more details on exactly what i bought from the launch party that was in celebration of a new, physical office where consumers can try out some of the products available on the web store!

It's the EasyBreath Snorkeling Mask! 

Featuring a revolutionary design that fuses the breathing tube with a mask that covers the entire face, i have desperately wanted to get my hands on this darling for the past few months when i first saw it online!

Okay, a person would look kind of like an alien when they wear this but who cares when it would make snorkeling a much easier affair than before! For more information on this innovative product, click HERE for the write up.

Anyway, i guess i might as well take this opportunity to share with all of you about Decathlon Singapore's physical office at No 58, Kim Yam Road which would cater to picky shoppers like me who are uncomfortable with online shopping and prefer to feel / try the products.

It was fifteen minutes to the inaugural opening and right in front of me was a queue of ten persons. Darn, i thought i would be the first few kiasu customers to grab hold of a limited stock of easybreaths which would also be officially launched on the same day at a promotional price of S$89 each!

As expected, a big chunk of those in queue went straight for the easybreaths at 10 am and made payment almost immediately! For me, there was no way i am going to waste my parking coupon (with a balance of 40 minutes); hence, i shall check out other sections.

There were around a hundred available on the rack and i am unsure if you could still get any in the next few days. Nonetheless, you could always call the hotline at 6225 4773 on weekdays from 9am to 6pm to enquire. 

At the moment, only size L / XL is up for grabs; a casual check with the friendly staff revealed that other sizes would only arrive in the first quarter of 2015.

Note: this isn't your typical retail shop with high end decorations, huge-ass panel wall posters etc to attract your attention. Such expenses would be better spent on their shopping website.

No frills would be my best (given my limited vocabulary) description for the store (well, the staff members prefer to call it an office). Besides serving as a collection centre for online purchases, it offers products for you to test / try out on the spot!

Kids may even try out the trampoline in the middle of the store! Honestly, this would be a great product to keep Jovyn and Jerald busy at home.

This 'office' should have been launched before my Korea trip as i can see many items that i could have purchased to make my hike up Hallasan a lot more comfortable!

Prices were not expensive too; a pair of swimming goggles for only S$6.90?! I remember paying over twenty bucks a few years ago! Anyway, to answer my friend's comment on Facebook, i am not buying speedo lah; have to wait till i get my abs back which might be mission impossible for the rest of my life!

Categorised into different sports activities, it was relatively easy to navigate the shop although i don't think it has the full display of products listed in their online store. Whatever the case, it was comprehensive enough for me to dedicate some time to slowly browse through.

I was more keen with this section on fitness!

Almost paid for this ABDO Gain - said to allow individuals to better train their core abdominal muscles in different styles, i decided to purchase on a later date as i need to rein my expenses this month!

By the way, early birds were given a S$10 voucher and try their luck on a sure-win lucky draw! I am not sure if fate was playing a joke on me; what am i supposed to do with so many snorkeling masks?! Aside from easybreath, i had another snorkeling mask purchased in Tioman

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Location
58, Kim Yam Road
[Very Near to Mohamed Sultan Road]

Map
As above

Operating Hours
Weekdays - 9 am to 8 pm
Weekends - 10 am to 7 pm
Closed on Public Holidays

Website

Additional Information
Payment is online using your credit card (no point bringing any cash)! In order to save time, i would strongly suggest you create an account on the website before proceeding to the shop.

A major problem with online shopping has always been the after-sales service. I haven't had the need to experience it at Decathlon Singapore yet but i am really assured by the promises made in the above notice especially the 30-day free return and believe it or not, a 2 years guarantee on "all products for material / manufacturing defect recognised by their after sales service team"! 

Guess i would be making more purchases soon! 

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