Friday, August 21, 2015

Korean Temple Food

Korean cuisine is starting to take over the world. They take pride on their cuisine as they always put on meticulous details on their foods. I have been a big fan of Korean cuisine for a long time now. However, I never tried Korean Temple Food.

On my last visit to Seoul for honeymoon, we decided to try on Temple Food. My husband is vegetarian and he was so eager to try it. For me, I was just excited to try something new, especially Korean temple food has been known as a good cleanse and detox foods.

Originally we wanted to eat in Gam Lo Dang Restaurant. Unfortunately it was close and change into Mara Restaurant. So we decided to go to Balwoo Restaurant near the Jogyesa Temple.

Posing in front of Mara Restaurant

Jogyesa Temple
We picked the one with 12 dishes meal
It was slightly expensive. The same price with hotel buffet in Jakarta. But it was all worth it.
There are 3 highlight of Temple foods;
1. Natural: The food will use only organic and natural ingredients and seasoning.
2. Healthy: Thanks to all the natural ingredients and seasonings, this food is healthy too.
3. Balance: Temple food is a good detoxifying food and a good balance to our bad eating habit.

1. Juk or Porridge

Juk or porridge
We started the meal with Juk or Porridge. The flavor was more on a bland side as expected from temple food and their lack of use of salt.
The white marshmallow looking thing is actually hand towel
Kimchi Radish, side dishes/banchan

2. Juksunaengchae, Bambu Shoot Chilled Salad

Juksunaengchae, Bambu Shoot Chilled Salad
This salad has a very strong flavor of ground mustard. It gives me brain shock, the kinda feeling you got similar to brain freeze or when you ate wasabi. The ground mustard has similar taste to wasabi. It was a good feeling tho. It woke me up immediately. It was like all my senses were finally open.

3. Japanese Anglea and Soybean Pancake

Japanese Anglea and Soybean Pancake
Still kinda blan taste, but thanks to the opening of all my senses including the awakening of my tastebud, I could enjoy this pancake with it's delicate flavoring. It was enjoyable for both of me and my husband.

4. Vegetable Round Mandu and Tofu

Vegetable round Mandu and Tofu
I really enjoy this one too. Dip it to a sweet sauce in the middle (not sure what it was), but it has a sweet tangy flavor to it. 

5. Burdock Root

Burdock Root
This was probably my favorite part of the whole meal. It was my first time eating burdock root. Turned out, it has a sweet flavor that taste similar to sweet potato, except that it also has a more fiber texture to it.

6. Lotus Root and Ginsaeng

Lotus Root and Ginsaeng
Probably the most expensive part of the meal. This dish is not available on the 10 course meal option. Definitely the reason why the 12 course meal is more expensive. Definitely feel healthier after eating the ginsaeng. I didn't eat the leaves tho. I am not sure if I should.

7. Fried Mushroom in Sweet and Sour Apple Sauce

Fried Mushroom in a sweet and sour apple sauce
A salty crunchy mushroom with a sweet yet soury apple sauce was a good balance to the tastebud.

8. Tofu and Wild Aster Soup

Tofu Soup

9. Lotus Leaf Rice

Lotus Leaf Rice 
Contain pine nuts, chestnut, etc.
The rice was a good combination to the soybean soup and banchan. Even to it alone is already flavorful. I ate it bibimbbap style, putting all the banchan together with the rice and mix it all.

 10. Chan / Banchan/ Side Dishes

Banchan/Side Dishes

11. Guk or Soybean Paste Tofu Soup

 It taste similar to the usual Dwenjang Jigae. The only thing different is the seasoning taste a bit weaker. Temple food didn't use the dwenjang or soybean paste that was packed with msg. They usually use their own seasoning. I still like it tho.

12. Dessert and Baverage

dried kelps, lotus root, sweet potato, and orange
The dessert was crispy and yummy. My favorite would be the dried kelp and lotus root.

We went home with a full stomach but it was nothing closer to the uncomfortable bloating feeling after a full course of less healthy food. I feel more energized and healthier. I could imagine if I get to eat this kind of food everyday I could live longer and It might also makes a different on my skin, hair, etc.

If you happens to run into this post and planning to go to Seoul anytime soon or you are already there. I highly suggest to try temple food. It might not for everyone's taste. But the benefit is good for everyone.

The place that I visited is Balwoo Temple Food.
Telp. (02) 2031-2081
Hours: 11am—2:30pm, 5:30pm—9pm
Prices: 25,000—50,000 won
Getting there: Exit 2, Jonggak Station, Line 1. Walk 70m to Jogyesa Temple. The Temple Stay Information Center is across the street. On the fifth floor of the Temple Stay Information Center. Serves Buddhist temple cuisine.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Silly Hubby Part 1

Learning Bahasa Indonesia is not always easy for him. Despite him being half Indonesian, he is not that fluent speaking Bahasa Indonesia.

We have been dating for 2 years and then married for 6 months now. There are a lot of funny 'accidents' when it comes to his pronunciation or understanding of Bahasa Indonesia's vocabulary. It is quite amusing sometimes. So, I would like to share some of things that he said.

Btw, I made this cartoon strip from a website called Pixton: in case anyone wants to try creating their own funny or sad story.

1. Darah vs Daerah

This is our recent conversation. He thought that darah (blood) is daerah (area). He said he likes to stay in Benhil's blood. What he meant to say was that he likes to stay in Benhil area.

 2. Kedelai vs Keledai

We got soybean milk (susu kedelai) from my mother. He mistaken the word 'keledai' that means donkey as 'kedelai'.

 3. Balado vs Manado

I will be updating more stories like this later. Enjoy! ^_^

Culinary Trip: 8 Best Foods to Eat in Seoul, Korea

Korea, the land of a morning calm, offers a huge variety of culinary from the cheap street food to a decadent Korean cuisine. Believe me, if you visit Korea, this trip is the one that you don't wanna miss out the most.

Korea has always been a country that has a great awareness toward healthy delicious food and it is always down to perfection thanks to their love of beautiful plating. The combination of colors on the plate, the arrangement of the food, the decoration of the restaurant, the unique gimmick they are selling, are the main reasons why you don't wanna miss out on their cuisines.

These are our list of places to go and foods to eat;

1. Bindaetteok at Gwangjang Market

This might not be that famous around tourists and visitors, but I am certain that everyone should at least try to come to Gwangjang market once. There are so many food stalls in this market. Lots of these stalls sell sundae (blood sausage), bindaetteok (mung bean pancake), tteokpokki, odeng, sausages, varieties of jeon (pancake) from small to big one, etc.
We ordered bindaetteok and tteokpokki. It was the best decision ever for the bindaetteok. The tteokpokki was nice, but the one in Hongdae was probably better. However the bindaetteok was super duper yummy. Dip it to the onion dip and yummmm!!!!

the wall was full of hand writings

 2. Korean Temple Food

 I don't wanna say too much for this one as I am planning to write another post just for this one. Yes it is that good!!!
Menu in Balwoo Temple Restaurant

 3. Shamcheongdong Heotteok

This is one of the best street food in Korea or in anywhere really. Best for cold days, because you will eat it when it is still hot or warm. There are 2 types of heotteok these days; the sweet one filled with brown sugar and nuts and the vegetarian one filled with japchae (buckwheat/rice vermicelli) and vegetables brush it with the apple sauce like shown on the picture.
Yache Heotteok or Veg.Heotteok
This particular one we got from Samcheongdong Heotteok in Insa-dong. It is kinda hidden from plain eyes. So you need to follow direction to go there.
Follow this map; Samcheongdong Heotteok

4. Beverages

Korea has a lot of varieties of beverages. Most of them are healthy beverages. Of course I wasn't just talking about makgeoli (rice wine) or soju. There are actually more than 10 healthy beverages you need to try, especially on summer. Bellow on the picture is my favorite one, Omija Cha.
Here is the list of 20 Korean best drinks; Korean Drinks

5. Tteokpoki and Odeng in Hongdae

I forgot the name of this place. It was a cute cafe in Hongdae area. We were kinda confused on how to order food because you need to order from a machine and give the ticket to the chef. After a while, a guy helped us out.  We ordered 2 cheese tteokpokki for my husband and my friend and I ordered Odeng soup. It was really good, spicy but yummy. The rest of the banchan (side dishes) and drinks are free. Definitely cheap and delicious.

6. Home food at PARC

 PARC has a really cute concept. The exterior looks like a house but don't let it fool you. The interior looks like a greek house with waitress wearing navy uniform. Almost feel like we are in Greece near the doc. This restaurant was famous for its home cooked meal. They have different menu each time. If you are coming to this place and by any chance you got the same menu like we did, I recommended the Grilled Salted dry Mackerel plate. 

Aussie Beef Bulgogi Plate, my plate
Grilled Salted dry Mackerel plate, husband's plate. I could not get enough of this.
Here is their review and address on Trip Advisor: Parc

7. Ramyeon and Fried Rice

We went to this restaurant on accident. We barely remember the name of the place. But you can find it in Myeongdong, they are located in 2nd floor near the chicken restaurant. I thought I was going to regret this choice. We were going to go to the chicken restaurant on the 2nd floor but we went to the wrong restaurant opposite the chicken restaurant. Turned out it was the best decision. This was such a guilty pleasure meal, comfort meal, especially on cold nights.

8. Pizza from Pizzeria D'Buzza

We found this place while walking around near my friend's office looking for a place to eat. We decided to eat in PARC then. But we came back the next day to try this restaurant. This place is close to Ittaewon and you can take the subway till Hangangjin Station. It has a glowing review on Trip Advisor too.

Fried Shrimp, my plate
However, I was not happy with my order. I prefer a clean fried shrimp without the head and feet. It was annoying to try to separate the shrimp for its head and feet.
Buffalo Cheese Pizza, husband's plate
Husband claimed that this was one of the best pizza he has ever eaten (including the one in New York). He is a hardcore pizza lover. So I trust his judgement despite of me not being able to consume cheese or any dairy products. He said this pizza has authentic Italian taste. He has been bragging about this pizza a lot to anyone whose not fortunate enough talking about pizza with him ;-p

I would recommend these places to anyone visiting Seoul. Most of these places are not easily found. You have to follow the map and direction to go there. But rest assure, it is all worth the effort.

Enjoy your vacation in Seoul and Stay Awesome!!!