Monday, November 21, 2016

The Perfect Dinner.

It's a dinner plan made three months ago but someone was always out of the country or busy to ever get it to push through. We have all been dying to try the famous CHINESE LUMPIA of Tiff. 

FINALLY, last week, we were able to to stay put and get together at the host's beautiful home. Tiff outdid herself by setting up her whole house beautifully. Everything a guest could ever ask for was easily made available. 

The table set up. 
Fell in love with those Christmas crystal balls with lights inside. 

I discreetly tried to take some home but I think it was too obvious down my shirt.... I wore them as earrings and tried to act normal for this photo. 
Dennis Lustico, your bloggerina and Ivar Aseron

The rest of the house made us all feel the spirit of Christmas. The laughter was beyond daily limit and the drinks overflowed. 

The food though, was something else. From crispy chicken skin, to caviar pie, assorted cheeses, berries and nachos with Tiff's special salsa, well, let's just say that Santa Claus has some major belly competition. 

Oh did I forget to mention the cochinillo? Well, it was tender with the crispiest skin evahhhh...
Thank you Tess for this delicious monstrosity. 

Freshly steamed Lapu-lapu for those pretending to be healthy. It was so good Santi, thanks!

This is the best homemade Chinese lumpia I have ever tried. I had two heaps! I told the others to stop eating the rest so that I could take it home but because of the tequila rose, I had totally forgotten to grab my loot bag. Waaahhh!!! 

The beautiful ladies we all fondly call The Lolas, not sure why though as they can party all night long. Turn up the 80's music and we've got Tess doing the moves. 
Tiff, Santi, Christine and Tess

The class of 2016, University of Chinese Lumpia. 
Standing: Ivar, Santi, Stan, Tess, Dennis, Jasmin, Jen; Seated: Tiff, Almay, Christine, Freg and yours truly

A great big THANKS to Freg and Tiff for being the perfect hosts! 

Friday, November 4, 2016

Candifer in Gangnam Country.

A 7am flight means waking up at 4 which means who cares what I look like. 

This trip to Korea was a last minute plan because we just wanted to get away for the long weekend. We have never been and getting a visa is not a problem so off to Seoul for me and my aunt, Jona. 

We stayed in a boutique hotel called Hotel La Casa Mia Seoul. The location is in Gangnam-gu and it's perfect for shoppers and foodies like us. Not sure about the names where we dined but I assure you, Koreans surely know how to cook so don't worry where you eat, most likely everything will be good. 

You will notice that this post will most likely be about food, that's because we only had two full days and didn't get to go around much. But I will surely be back for more. 

Dinner- first night. 

Dinner- second night.

Uni on rice!

Dinner- third night.

Near our hotel are rows and rows of local shops that offer a whole range of beauty products and accessories. We just loved going into a skin care shop because we all know that Koreans have beautiful skin. Sadly, they don't offer foundation that is good for our tropical skin tone but toners, moisturizers, serums and all that good stuff is all over the place. They are big on organic, all natural and proud to say that they are made in Korea.

I haven't tried any of these out yet but when I do, I shall most likely give a review so that when you  do go to Korea, you can try them out. 

Got this from a friend early this year and I really like it. It's nice and smooth on the face.

On our first official day, we went to Namdaemun Market. (Address: 21 Namdaemunsijang 4-gil, Namchang-dong, Jung-gu)We took a taxi from Gangnam-gu, cost us about US$11-13.00. If you love to shop, walk and taste different kinds of local snacks, this is the place for you. 

Crispy Pata galore! 

This bread egg snack is to die for. $1.00

Tempura in a cup. $3.00

12 inch chicken barbeque $3.00

Corndogs with a twist, it's breaded, not pancake mix batter. $3.00

Freshly made sugar donuts. I didn't get to try it because I was already full from all the other snacks I had. Boohoo. Another reason to go back. 

After half a day in the market, we went to Doosan Tower in Dongdaemun. 
(Address: 275 Jangchungdan-ro, Gwanghui-dong, Jung-gu)
It is a 12 storey building filled with local and imported goods from Korea. 

We also went to Bukchon Hanok Village. (Address: Gye-dong, Jongno-gu, Seoul) A must see, this is where the old ways are still very much practiced. Locals wear their national costumes and people lived in Korean traditional village. They are very happy to stop for a photo with tourists, so don't be shy. 

Make sure you stop by Grandhand. It's a perfumery and they personalize the bottle for you. It's quite cute for $35.00, smells good too!

Lunch was smoked duck, yum!

It is perfectly alright to just walk around and get lost in Bukchon because you will never be bored with the many shops they have. 

We hit what they call the Dessert Road or what I call heaven on Earth. There were so many to choose from but our legs nearly gave up so we had to choose what was in front of us. Happened to be Chocolate Factory, not complaining. 

Seoul is a wonderful city. The people are friendly and honest. There's no need to tip in restaurants and cabs, in fact, cab drivers give you back your 20 cents change. The roads and smooth and orderly. The whole city is clean. I could only wish the same for our country. 

Thank you to my sugar momma, Jona for being a great roommate and travel companion. 
Love you Tiger!

P.S. They have very interesting art all over the city. You must go to their Dongdaemun Design Plaza and be wowed! (Address: 281, Eulji-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul)

A special thanks and mention to Janina, Fifi, Mitzi and Windie for "lending" me their country as they have claimed to have discovered it sorta the way Magellan discovered the Philippines. 

Also the map you gave me was truly helpful. It showed exactly the names of places that we needed to go and where to turn right and left. Your handwriting is so easy to read that we didn't get lost, not even once. If anyone wants to borrow this special map of Seoul, please ask Janina first because I'm not sure if she will allow you to visit Korea. They are quite possessive. 

Oh by the way, to get a Korean Visa is very simple. Just make sure you have your supporting papers (bank certificate, credit card bill statements for 3 months, business papers, marriage certificate, etc). 

Bring it to the embassy at 8am until 11 am. The line goes very quickly. Once approved, you wait 3 days for the release of your passport. Luckily they gave me three years which seals the deal about me going back for more of that Korea soul!