Seoul

Our first bibimbap in Korea! It was in a lovely restaurant near the N Seoul Tower.The restaurant is particularly beautiful as it is set in an old style house on the side of the hill.

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We both opted for the beef bibimbap, which looked delicious without adding anything to it.

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Bibimbap comes with a selection of pickles and vegetables to mix into the rice. After watching others around the restaurant we went ahead and put all our vegetables into the bowl with the beef and rice. Once the chilli sauce has been added, all that is left is to mix it all together.

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The colours and flavours looked great in the special metal bowl. 

The last bit to add was the kimchi. Some people around the restaurant added it all in others ate it alongside the rice. I chose to mix it all on with the other ingredients.

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The food was really good and the flavours went together so well with different textures and the spice from the chilli sauce.

Chinatown – Singapore

 

 

 

 

 

 

Even though our favourite food in Singapore is by far the variety of Indian food available, we wanted to try out the different Chinese food the city has to offer. After a walk through the rain and an expensive couple of drinks we made it to Chinatown and the seemingly endless row of steaming food stalls.

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G & T under a black light!

 

 

Chinatown is Singapore’s traditional Chinese quarters and whilst the entire city of Singapore is largely Chinese, the area still retains some of its original charm. This particular area has lots of older style buildings with food stalls running down the centre. We walked past all the food stalls at first trying to decide what to eat from the huge selection of Chinese and Asian delights.

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Chinatown Food Street

 

Once we had found a table as were well stocked with Tiger beer we set off to make our selections. I really wanted to try the stir-fried noodles from this stall. I watched him cooking the food in this huge pan adding different vegetables, sauces and meat to the noodles.

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Stir-frying my chicken noodles

 

 

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Adding some bean sprouts and the meat

 

 

The end result was a delicious plate of fried chicken noodles and pork fried rice. They were both very good and made all the better with the hot chilli paste we added to the mix.

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Chicken Noodles

 

 

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Pork Fried Rice

 

 

 

 

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Spicy chilli paste

 

John went off exploring next and returned with some very nice satay skewers alongside a peanut, spicy sauce. He got us a selection of beef and chicken skewers and both were very tasty – it was just a shame there wasn’t more meat on each! These went particularly well with our cold glasses of Tiger! Nothing will come before Singapore’s Indian food for me but this meal made a nice change.

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Satay skewers and peanut sauce

 

Last evening in Singapore

Our last night in Singapore is always a sad one but we try to ensure we stock up on enough food to keep us going till next time! That final meal at the Tekka centre had to include another delicious biryani. This time with mutton and poppadoms to scoop up the fragrant rice. The colours of the food definitely add that extra something; the bright orange pickles, the rich shiny curry sauce and the golden yellow of the rice.

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At John’s request and to supplement our biryani we selected a few dishes from ‘Dean’s Nav Tandoor’. We have also visited here a few times and love their range of snacks, breads and of course their Tandoori Chicken. John’s first choice was this spicy green bean dish. Being a massive fan of green beans and chilli this was always going to go down well. It is a mix of spices, chilli, green beans, cauliflower and green peppers. It is a very good compliment to the biryani.

 

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The second dish John chose was of course Dean’s Tandoori Chicken. The smokey pieces of chicken are well flavoured and remain moist and succulent after being cooked. This is another dish that has bold, beautiful colours – the bright red and oranges. The chicken is served with a fresh onion and cucumber salad with a green chutney. I loved the smokey rich flavour of the chicken and it pairs so well with the sharp, fresh onion. This was definitely a last Tekka Centre feast!

 

 

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Singapore River Safari

What to do on a hot afternoon in Singapore? Having been to Singapore a couple of times we found we had seen the sights and followed the tours around the city. We came across a leaflet advertising the Singapore River Safari and its resident Pandas. We are huge fans of pandas and as John has not seen a real panda before we had to visit. We managed to catch the bus finally; after following the bus the entire way around a mall! It was an interesting walk around the safari with some interesting displays and collections of animals. We were more excited to meet this fine chap here. Life looks so easy being as a panda!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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After the excitement of seeing the pandas we felt the need to stop for refreshments. John selected two fine snacks which you can see below: fried chicken pieces and wontons. They were surprisingly nice for a zoo. Best thing about about this snack was the full range of condiments you could add to your meal. We tried soy sauce with chillies as a dipping sauce for the chicken.

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The wonton were cooked well and came with a spicy soy sauce. They were also a surprising find in a theme park. The best part of the visit had to be the coffees with the panda design on top!

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Our other Tekka Centre favourite

To accompany our murtabak from my previous post, I also chose a mutton biryani. I have ordered briyani from the same stall every time I have visited Singapore. As you can see below, the flavoured rice and meat comes from a huge pot that takes pride of place at the front of the stall. The food all smells delicious.

The pot where the biryani is made.
The huge pot of biryani.

Once you have ordered the food is spooned on to a banana leaf and served with curry sauce and pickles.

The mutton briyani as served.
The mutton briyani as served.

Tekka Centre

Our first stop on our Christmas travels was a favourite of ours…Singapore! We love visiting this city for many reasons, but particularly the food! The city is a melting pot of Asian cultures, that results in an amazing culinary mix. Being huge Indian food lovers, we head straight for Little India as soon as we are checked in. The Tekka Centre is a shopping and eating complex in the heart of Little India – the ground floor is taken up completely with Chinese and Indian hawker stalls, while the upstairs plays host to many shops selling Indian and Asian clothing and products.

Our first visit to the Tekka Centre of this holiday was actually for breakfast, albeit at about 10.30am. We chose a large chicken murtabak and a biryani to share.

I watched the stall owner make the murtabak from scratch. It was amazing to see how quickly it all came together, I feel he may have made one before! Here are the photos step by step:

The making of the murtabak
They twist and spin the dough, almost like a pizza base!
The making of the murtabak
Spinning the dough
Adding an egg and some onions before encasing in a second sheet of dough.
Adding an egg and some onions before encasing in a second sheet of dough.
Adding the shredded chicken.
Adding the shredded chicken.
Next the outer layer of dough is folded over the contents.
Next the outer layer of dough is folded over the contents.
Once the murtabak is all wrapped up it is ready to go on the hot plate.
Once the murtabak is all wrapped up it is ready to go on the hot plate.
The lady takes over from the man and ensures there is a  lovely golden brown colour on both sides.
The lady takes over from the man and ensures there is a lovely golden brown colour on both sides.
The final product! It was delicious!
The final product! It was delicious! It comes served with a curry sauce on the side and chilli sauce on top.

This was a delicious way to start our travels. It was really interesting watching it being made in this crazy, hot, humid environment.

Midweek Deliciousness!

After much persuasion from John and almost desperate attempts to convince me that Indian was the best way forward, we trekked to our new found Indian Restaurant. It is set in a mall so not the best location but the food is pretty good – some of the best we have had in China.

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We love getting a variety of food. We ordered butter chicken, chana masala and another chicken dish. We had a vegetable biryani to go with it too.

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A food we discovered in India last year was masala poppadums. We ate lots and lots of them there and have ordered them whenever we have Indian food since. This restaurant serve theirs loaded with cucumber, tomato and onion all dressed in a delicious sauce.

 

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When it comes to bread, John and I have quite different tastes. I love kheema naan bread with the spicy, flavourful meat inside the bread itself. John however prefers stuffed parathas.

Even though this restaurant is in a mall and mainly frequented by local Chinese it has a really nice Indian feel and the food is very good. We will be back!

Christmas

My first post!

Christmas Market
Christmas Market

We spent this weekend in Shanghai, it makes a very welcome change from Qingdao. We got into the spirit of Christmas by visiting the Christkindlmarkt at the Paulaner Brauhaus in the French Concession.

Glühwein
Christkindlmarkt

The Glühwein was hot, fruity and delicious and came in a souvenir cup. It was the perfect drink to chase away the cold.

Fried Camembert
Christkindlmarkt

Along with the hot wine and beer there were some delicious foods on offer. I went for fried camembert to begin with. It was pretty good, not quite having that ooozing centre you would expect. The cranberry sauce that accompanied was a good contrast to the cheese though.

Bratwurst
Christkindlmarkt

John went for a traditional German bratwurst – they were delicious, especially with the mustard alongside.

John enjoying his Glühwein.
John enjoying his Glühwein.

We stayed for a couple of hours enjoying the atmosphere and interesting christmas music before heading off to find warmth.