Thursday, September 17, 2015

Recipe: Hamburger Steak

Hamburger Steak & Mash with Ponzu sauce |

Hamburger Steak
(Serves 6-8)
600g of ground beef
500g of ground pork
1/2 cup Panko bread crumbs
3 tbsp Milk
2 eggs
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1-2 tbsp Olive Oil/ Cooking Oil

1. Add milk into the panko bread crumbs and stir.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add ground beef, ground pork, eggs, panko mix, salt and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
3. Divide the meat into 6 to 8 portions. Roll each portion into a ball and push down to flat even steaks.
4. Heat oil in a frying pan. Add the patties in when the oil is hot enough, fry for 4-6 minutes on one side. Flip over and fry for 3-5 minutes covered until cooked through.
5. Remove steak from pan and serve.

Serving suggestion: Serve with mashed potatoes on the sides and top with grated daikon, sliced spring onions and ponzu sauce.

Sometime last month, over the long Jubilee weekend here in Singapore, we realised that half the clan of the furkids are actually August babies and we had a mini birthday party for them! We wanted them to have something different and decided to make them a homemade cake made up of mainly meat patties for dinner.

But since we were already going to get our hands and pantry dirty, we thought that the humans should have an equivalent too! And so that's how we ended up with our dinner, an idea abstracted from Japanese Cooking 101, consisting of hamburger steaks served with mash and topped with grated daikon and ponzu sauce.

And I have to say that the end results were superb even though dinner was served and eaten over measly disposables! Super love the thick and juicy steaks and I never ever thought that a tangy citrusy sauce like that can go so well with those hamburger steaks!

Anyway, you can use any of your favorite recipes for the mash (or you can take reference from my recipe for mashed potatoes here) and you can opt to make your own ponzu sauce from scratch or simply grab a bottle at the supermarket.

And just in case you hate wasting jus just like I do, you can recycle the jus left behind in the pan after you pan-fried those steaks, pour in the required amount of ponzu sauce you will need and allow the mix to simmer for about two to three minutes before serving!

Yes to no wastage of jus and a big handful of happy tummies that night!
But no to an ultra greasy pantry to clean up afterwards. Haha!

Sunday, August 09, 2015

Majulah Singapura!

Most recently, I have heard many comments that I have got patience of a saint.

Not that those people who said that didn't know me well enough, but it just seems that my temper has officially taken the back seat (most of the time). And I supposed one of the best-est thing I have ever fallen in love with is to do evening walks - Walking and breathing in some fresh air or basically trying to be at my zen-most and catching up on the latest changes on the neighborhood around me!

And since there was a large pocket of time before one of the dinner meet up would commence, I decided to take a walk around downtown Singapore!

Here's some of the landmarks I captured during the walk!

28 July 2015 | Padang, Singapore

28 July 2015 | Padang, Singapore

The last time I had a live experience of our National Day Parade, I was about 10 years old and taken by my school to one of the rehearsals that year. I remembered how wonderful it felt to be there in the crowd but thanks to the horrible balloting method to grab the NDP tickets, it has been impossible to get any of them and I have never ever went for another one ever since.

Then came this evening walk, a big handful of people were gathered for one last try at rehearsing for one of the items during our National Day Parade this year! I managed to catch some bits of it as I walked pass, like an exclusive backstage pass! Shiok! But I am still not taking back my comment about the horrible balloting for the NDP tickets! Haha!

Marina Bay
28 July 2015 | Marina Bay Sands, Singapore

I must have avoided this part of town so much that I didn't realise that there is a new bridge, Jubilee Bridge, erected that connects you from the promenade in front of Esplanade to Merlion Park just across the river. At the same time, it offers you a beautiful view of Marina Bay, especially in the evening when the facade of Marina Bay Sands turns golden in the setting sun.

And did I mention that it was actually one beautiful and clear evening after several bouts of showers throughout the day and guess what I caught sight of when I arrived at the Jubilee Bridge!

Just a quarter of the arch but this has got to be the most rewarding view I can ever ask for during my evening walk! ❤

Boat Quay
28 July 2015 | Boat Quay, Singapore

Clarke Quay
28 July 2015 | Clarke Quay, Singapore

Probably because of the route I took, I was mistaken for a tourist umpteen times even before I arrive at Boat Quay and Clarke Quay. And tourists and Singaporeans alike I met along the way were smiling brightly at everyone and anyone that they cross paths with, some even sparing a small chat. That was some awesome vibe I don't think I can elaborate accurately with words.

And just in case you are curious with the route I had taken, I had very ingeniously remembered to turn on a tracking app during this evening walk! Hehe!

There is absolutely no doubt how much Singapore had grown and prospered over our 50 years of independence. Oh how we are a beautiful and bustling city now even though we are just a single red dot on the world map!

And although you are so crowded these days and you are costing me a bomb to live here on my homeland, thank you for the peace and security that I reckon I can find anywhere else on Earth!
Happy birthday and Majulah Singapura! 

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Eat Johor Bahru June 2015

I will very much love to call this a 1 day Food Trip to JB (or something along that line) but I live on the eastern corner of Singapore and met some interesting traffic conditions that made me spend far too much time traveling than actually seeing/doing anything else. Haha complaints aside, I actually managed to squeeze in two meals and a facial massage session after all thanks to a dear forest friend for driving me around!

I, for that matter, didn't remember to grab a name card for the facial/massage place so this quick write-up is going to be all but just food!

新山顺发肉骨茶 (Taman Bukit Indah)
No. 59 Jalan Indah 16/12, Taman Bukit Indah,
81200 Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Bak Kut Teh 肉骨茶 @ 新山顺发肉骨茶 (Taman Bukit Indah) | Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Bak Kut Teh 肉骨茶

It took me three good hours to get my butt across the customs and to this table spread of food! Thank goodness I took up the folks offer of some light breakfast before I started making my way all the way from home or I cannot imagine if I fainted while I was caught in the traffic! Haha!

Anyway, it was so damn hot that Saturday afternoon and definitely not the kind of weather for bak kut teh, but I was still genuinely glad to see my bak kut teh arriving in a clay pot! I would really wither and die if that highly savory, slightly peppery and slightly mushroomy soup turns cold while I was trying to savor the tender pork ribs, bits of button mushrooms and chunky pieces of garlic inside it. You also can add on stuff like tau pok (fried beancurd skin), meatballs and so on (Of course, you just need to pay more...) but we decided to stick to the original serving.

And the side dishes were just fine, more like homely, so you can order them if you also think that they are mandatory when you eat bak kut teh! But aside from the bak kut teh, you should really try their braised pork! The pork was perfectly braised till it was coated in the dark sauce and it was too fragrant that I think I can down two bowls of rice with the sauce!

All in all, famous and yet just that trusty bak kut teh place with no frills at all. No wonder I was rubbing shoulders with Singaporeans while I was there!

Nijyumaru (Taman Sutera Utama)
94, Jalan Sutera Tanjung 8/4, Taman Sutera Utama,
81300 Skudai, Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Nijyumaru Sashimi Bento @ Nijyumaru (Taman Sutera Utama) | Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Nijyumaru Sashimi Bento

Orange Mango Sorbet @ Nijyumaru (Taman Sutera Utama) | Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Orange Mango Sorbet

We digested all that we had during lunch by going for our facial and massage! Not the most glorious of ways but we had plans for dinner anyways and ate shamelessly when the clock screams, "Dinner time!"

According to the forest friend, this is one of the more popular Japanese place available in JB so I doubt this place needs more introduction. In the shortest and sweetest mention possible, my bento was affordable and damn awesome! And I guess my clone was the one who put together the menu because that person actually considered putting my favorite Japanese food (namely cha soba, sushi and sashimi) into one bento like that! How can I not love it right? Hehe!

On the side note, Nijyumaru Japanese Restaurant is located among the entire cluster of shophouses just beside Sutera Mall. And judging by the crowd I witnessed around the area outside the mall, it sure says how much more (food choices) the shophouses have to offer as compared to the mall itself!

That said, if you did not make any reservations before heading over to Nijyumaru, you need to be mentally prepared to wait a (long) while in the queue before you get your table!

And with that, it sums up my whirlwind trip to JB on that fateful Saturday sometime in June! Thank you my dearest forest friend for driving me around and being my 'Mobile ATM' at the same time! Hehe! 

Thursday, July 09, 2015

Recipe: Tofu & Cucumber Salad

Tofu & Cucumber Salad |

Tofu & Cucumber Salad
(Serves 2-4)
1 box of Soft Tofu (Approx. 300g), drained and sliced
1 Japanese cucumber, sliced
300g Cherry Tomatoes
1 bottle of Kinnogomadare Sesame Dressing with Roasted Nuts

Kelp, shredded
Alfafa & Radish sprouts

1. Slice Soft Tofu and Japanese cucumber and assemble on a serving dish together with the Cherry tomatoes.
2. Add shredded Kelp and Alfafa & Radish sprouts on top and pour Kinnogomadare Sesame Dressing with Roasted Nuts generously over the platter
3. Top with a dash of Furikake and serve.

You probably think that I am such a joker for sharing this article and even call it a recipe when there isn't fancy wok flipping involved or a greasy kitchen to clean up after you are done. But my point is that this salad is just too quick and easy to prepare that it puts anyone who tries to come up with an excuse that it's difficult to prepare home cooked meals to shame! Or maybe I am too much a sucker for anything with Japanese sesame dressing that I felt a dire need to share this recipe!

And on a serious note, those people from Kinnogomadare really need to appoint me as their ambassador or I should really attempt to make the dressing from scratch one day!

Thursday, July 02, 2015

Chronicles of Korean Fried Chicken

Aside from llaollao or frozen yogurts, I supposed the next highly raved food trend in Singapore has got to be Korean Fried Chicken. It has been going on forever so inevitably, there were certain occasions when curiosity took over the decision making and I found myself checking out a handful of food establishments offering those fried chicken.

Here's three to start...

Chicken Up | Tampines

Spicy Yangnyum Up Chicken @ Chicken Up | Century Square, Singapore
Spicy Yangnyum Up (Half Chicken)

Bulgogi Fries @ Chicken Up | Century Square, Singapore
Bulgogi Fries

NeNe Chicken | *Scape

Chicken Tenders with Green Onion/Swicy Sauce @ NeNe Chicken 네네치킨 | Scape, Singapore
Chicken Tenders in Green Onion Dressing/ Swicy Sauce

Chir Chir | Bedok Point

Garlicky Chicken Wings @ Chir Chir 치르치르 | Bedok Point, Singapore
Garlicky Chicken (Wings)

If I have to pick a favorite out of these three places, I will vote for the Garlicky Chicken (Wings) at Chir Chir even if I thought that the chicken at Chicken Up was juicier! And that's simply because I almost died trying to eat the spicy versions for the fried chicken at both Chicken Up and Chir Chir. I think the spice level is comparable to those instant (mad) spicy Korean ramen and it was absolutely a torture if you try to eat them while it is still piping hot.

Whereas the Garlicky Chicken (Wings) was served in a soy based sauce that is simply garlicky (obviously!), savory and just occasionally spicy only when you bite on the chilli bits. And of course, not forgetting that you get Korean rice cakes and sweet potatoes in the same platter too. So much more joyful to eat!

But then again on the side note, if you happen to be at Chicken Up, I urge you to save some stomach space for their Bulgogi Fries and go for the Green Onion dressing if you are at NeNe Chicken!

And very honestly, I am pretty uncertain if this list will ever grow because I had been complaining a lot about how incredibly expensive these fried chicken costs when they are tagged with the word 'Korean'. And I sometimes hate myself for allowing the curiosity take charge and leave myself reeking in guilt from stuffing myself with all these chicken madness!

And it really doesn't help when no one knows about this whole Korean fried chicken and beer thing when I was in Korea last September. Think about those clueless faces when I asked if they have a recommendation. Haha!

Friday, June 26, 2015

Foto Friday: My homeland | Marina Bay, Singapore

27 March 2015 | Marina Bay, Singapore

Every time I pass by Marina Bay on my way home after work, I can't help but to be so mesmerized by the sunset in a way or another. I told myself that I will love to take an evening walk across Helix Bridge to experience the sunset and I finally did it on 27 March 2015, days after news broke out and while the nation is mourning the lost of our founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

But no sunset is beautiful without complimenting elements like the weather conditions and the dramatic looking clouds. Whereas in Singapore today, we have got a beautiful skyline defined by the visions of the great man.

And it was then that I realized the true reason why it never ever fails me to keep my eyes peeled on the windows of the bus I am on, just to catch a glimpse of the sunset.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

7Kickstart University Cafe | SMU, Singapore

Soup du jour | 7Kickstart University Cafe, Singapore
Soup du jour // Pumpkin Soup

Chicken Chop | 7Kickstart University Cafe, Singapore
Set lunch // Chicken Chop with Iced Tea

When 7Kickstart's first opened at Singapore Art Museum that is barely a stone throw from my work place, it actually caught my attention but somehow I never ever dropped in for a coffee or anything. Seriously, I can throw a stone and smash their windows if I ever try! But don't hold me accountable if you guys ever get a smashed window one day! I am just trying to say that the outlet is so damn close!

Then came their second outlet on the university campus of SMU. It is still within a stone's throw but this time round, I definitely cannot smash any windows even if I want to. Haha! And that new outlet has a full glass frontage that revealed their quirky interiors that attracted me to sit in for lunch one of those days.

I had only a soup on my first visit. The soup was ok and although it did not really satiate my appetite since I felt that it could be thicker and creamier, I popped by for a second visit to sit in and try out their main courses and nothing close to coffee which was supposed to be their specialty. Oops!

Anyway, food and the prices are fair in my opinion. But I really do enjoy the friendly service and ambiance of the entire place and it is really nice is that the full glass frontage of the outlet at SMU offers you a nice view of the park! And for that, I see myself revisiting this place again and again in the future when I need a good break on work days!

7Kickstart University Cafe
70 Stamford Road, Singapore Management University
Singapore 178901


Thursday, June 04, 2015

Travelogue: Korea 2014 - Day 12 & 13 @ Flashback and Goodbye Korea (for now)! | Seoul, South Korea

As usual, I have taken as long as I can to complete my Korea September/ October 2014 travelogue series! Oopsie! But however long I take, all good things will come to an end eventually and I am here on my very last post! So here goes!...

[Korea September/ October 2014]
7th & 8th October 2014 - Day 12 & 13
Flashback and Goodbye Korea (for now)!
After 11 full days, countless of shopping frenzy and feasts, Korea had left us with horribly burnt pockets and bursting luggages even before we were ready to board the flight home!

And aside from an overstretched budget for this trip, I guess we had spent more than enough time soaking up every single bit of Busan and Seoul as much as we can. So for our final leg in this extended escapade in Korea, we decided to go around Seoul and eat all our favorites all over again! In other words, revisiting the places we fell in love with and bidding good bye to them... :(

Spicy Braised Chicken 닭볶음탕 | Seoul, South Korea

Remember that eatery located just behind our apartment which I mentioned on Day 7's post and said something about the place that didn't look very appealing from the outside?

Well, we showed up the very first thing in the morning with our emptiest stomachs to indulge in another round of their specialty Spicy Braised Chicken 닭볶음탕 for one last time! Noticing that we were returning customers, the owners welcomed us with a wide smile! And we manage to speak briefly and when they found out that we were scheduled to leave Seoul the following morning, they wished us all the best and told us to go back to visit them if we are going to be in Seoul again! Such lovely people!

Hanok Village Postcard 한옥마을 | Seoul, South Korea
Postcard with a hand sketch of Hanok Village... 

Right after our hearty breakfast, we took a detour to the nearest post office just to get this postcard mailed out to a friend! I still think that anything handwritten and snail-mailed is still the best thing ever to receive so picking a nice postcard, filling it up and then getting it mailed has somewhat grown to be one of the norm every time I am overseas! 

And when we were done, we decided that we wanted to go back to Edae since I was the only one who had the chance to go around the entire district a few days back while Xin had her hair fixed at the salon. That aside, I wanted to indulge in our favorite street food that can be found along Ewhayeodae-gil ! Haha!

Egg Muffins 계란빵 @ Edae | Seoul, South Korea

Egg Muffins 계란빵 @ Edae | Seoul, South Korea
Egg Muffin 계란빵 ❤

It all goes all the way back to some 10 years ago when I was on a holiday in Korea with my family when I had my first encounter with Korean street food. It was a cold winter day in Namdaemun, we were basically trying to eat everything served piping hot just to warm up a little and then we chanced upon a tiny and humble looking street stall selling these egg muffins. At that time, I took one bite into the cute muffin and I was in love! What else can beat a piping hot combination of muffins and eggs! 

Or maybe, I just love eggs that's why nobody can understand why I love this so much. Hehe!

Anyway, I ate countless of egg muffins while I was out in Korea this time and the favorite one can be found at Edae! Aside from large sized egg and the thicker and fluffier muffin, the egg muffins served here comes with cheese so there is a crusty layer over the egg muffin! And what's really notable above that all is that each egg muffin costs you an affordable price of ₩1,000 only!

Herb Cup Chicken 허브컵치킨 @ Edae | Seoul, South Korea
Herb Cup Chicken 허브컵치킨

We definitely have a thing for Korean fried chicken, or perhaps those addictive popcorn chicken stirred in a sweet spicy sauce and often served with tteokbokki or even fries or hash brown called 닭강정 (Sweet crispy chicken) to be exact. And coincidentally, our favorite most out of the entire trip can be found at Edae as well! One large cup to share among the two of us for one last time please!

Goguma Latte 고구마라떼 | Seoul, South Korea
Goguma latte 고구마라떼

While we were spending every last penny we have on last minute shoppings and a bunch of random stuffs like patbingsu 팥빙수 and croquettes 크로켓, I made sure I had enough for the very last cup of goguma latte!

Honestly, I couldn't understand how the girlfriend was so head over heels over this at first and how much she was looking forward to these sweet potato latte while I was looking forward to my egg muffins. But I guess I kind off caught on the addiction and I think I really wished someone will serve up a proper cup of goguma latte in Singapore real soon!

Sunset over Chungjeongno | Seoul, South Korea

Sipping sparingly and savouring every bit of my goguma latte by the window of our apartment and watching the darkness take over the the town in Seoul which I woke up in for eight mornings. I love sipping tea by the window, any window, but that was a true emo moment!

Oh by the way, that's the Chungjeongno Nanta Theatre on the bottom right of the photo!

Sunset over Chungjeongno | Seoul, South Korea

I guess I complained a fair bit about how Seoul was too crowded and the lifestyle and culture feels so hectic to me but still, it was a little difficult to accept the fact that my elongated journey in Korea was going to end.

Goodbye Korea, for now. @ Hangang 한강 | Seoul, South Korea

And finally on 8 October 2014, the thirteenth morning waking up in Korea, we had an emotional kiss goodbye while weaving through the morning peak hour traffic en route to the Incheon Airport.

That also means that I have officially come to the end of my travelogue series for Korea September/ October 2014 and I am feeling the exact same wrenched feeling I felt that morning as I wrap up this post.

I have the two best girls I can ever have in my life for creating such beautiful memories together during this trip. And not forgetting all the nice people (apartment owners, random passerby, eatery owners and so on...) who helped us as we were trying to find our way around! Such a pity I didn't get hold of any of those people's contact information and there's no way to keep in touch but I sincerely wish all of them good luck and health for being so kind! All these shall be etched in my heart forever! And hopefully all these people will still be where I found them when I revisit Korea in future!

Anyway, as much as I am trying to lie low for this year to save up on annual leave so that I can go on another long break like the one I did in Korea, I end up having two trips scheduled in the last quarter of 2015! I am visiting Bicol, Philippines in October and Hong Kong in November! Yes, one month apart from each other! Suggestions are welcomed!

Can't wait and till then~

More posts from Korea September/ October 2014 travelogue series:

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Travelogue: Korea 2014 - Day 11 @ Bupyeong and Cheonggyecheong | Incheon & Seoul, South Korea

We intended to spend the day out at Namiseom 남이섬 (Nami Island) and Gangchon Rail Park 강촌레일파크 but a miscalculation of our traveling time made us miss the morning train that will be able to bring us there! And the next trip out of Seoul will only depart in another seven or eight hours later! It just doesn't make sense for us to arrive at both locations when they are about to close for day so we had to make secondary plans, pronto.

[Korea September/ October 2014]
6th October 2014 - Day 11 @ Bupyeong and Cheonggyecheon
If you had been following my travelogue series ever since, you would probably notice that we had been checking out quite a number of underground shopping malls located at the metro train stations in both Busan and Seoul. The one most prominent reason why we do so is because these places were said to have the widest range and the most affordable deals for the latest Korean fashion trends!

And since we had missed the train heading out of Seoul and we were quick far off from everything, we decided to throw ourselves further off course and take an hour's worth of metro train ride to Incheon and check out Bupyeong-gu 부평구!

Bupyeong-gu 부평구

6 October 2015: Bupyeong Station Underground Shopping | Incheon, South Korea
Bupyeong Station Underground Shopping Mall

To be honest, the only reason why we ever thought of Bupyeong was because we remembered Lyn's message telling us about her findings about Bupyeong Station's underground shopping mall after she left us behind in Seoul and headed back first.

It was said that the underground shopping mall located at Bupyeong Station is way bigger (probably the largest?) and better than the other similar shopping malls, minus the crowd. And true enough, this must be the massive-most underground shopping mall in my memory from this trip to Korea!

This underground mall basically links up most of the buildings and others malls around the vicinity of that station so the entire shopping arena consists of about 30 exits, countless of lanes and turns to take you to the exits, and needless to say, so many shops offering the latest Korean fashion trends, beauty and cosmetic products and even food!

If you are really planning to head there, I think the best way to enjoy this shopping arena is simply not worrying about getting lost inside there!

6 October 2014: Bupyeong Market 부평시장 | Incheon, South Korea
The sleepy streets of Bupyeong-gu...

When we were done wondering how beavers survive scurrying through underground tunnels, we headed up onto street level and I kinda fell in love with how the town appears to be a little laid back as compared to most areas within Seoul!

6 October 2014: Bupyeong Market 부평시장 | Incheon, South Korea
Bupyeong Market 부평시강

While walking around Bupyeong-gu aimlessly, we half followed Google Maps and half followed the locals until we stumbled our way into the Bupyeong Market!

And trust me, visiting the local wet market is actually one of my favorite-most thing to do when I travel! I feel that it is always the best way to understand the culture of that particular land I was visiting. The markets we visited prior to this, namely Jagalchi Market (Busan) and Gwangjang Market (Seoul), were both too touristy in my opinion and I was really glad that Bupyeong Market turned out to be an eye-opener! It was not like I was going to buy anything to whip up a feast but it was pretty fun to mingle among the locals and check out the common and familiar ingredients in the Korean cuisine!

Anyway, in between checking out both the underground shopping mall and local market, we managed to grab food and snacks that I didn't have pictures of, unfortunately. And just like that, we kinda spent the entire morning and the afternoon out in Bupyeong-gu and it was already evening time when we got back to Seoul!

Evening walk at Cheonggyecheon 청계천
Then Xin wanted to just chill out back in our apartment but I felt like taking an evening walk alone. I guess I was sulking that we didn't manage to check out Gangchon Rail Park and Namiseom and also the fact that we were almost coming to the end of our grand break in Korea.

And it wasn't difficult to decide where I will take that evening walk since I always had Cheonggyecheon at the back of my mind. So I made an estimation to how long I did like to walk around for and decided I will commence my evening walk right in the heart of Dongdaemun!

6 October 2014: Dongdaemun Design Plaza 동대문디자인플라자 | Seoul, South Korea
Dongdaemun Design Plaza 동대문디자인플라자 (DDP)

First up, Dongdaemun Design Plaza!
I did a brief walkabout around the arts and cultural hub located in the heart of Dongdaemun and I just realised I don't remember any of the exhibitions that I looked through. And of course, I couldn't even recall which male Korean star was having an autography session there on the same day with all his fans screaming at their top of their lungs while waiting for him to appear!

But I surely do remember that it was really nice and serene walking through the vicinity of DDP (both indoors and outdoors), not forgetting the fact that its facade looks really impressive in my opinion.

6 October 2014: Dongdaemun Design Plaza 동대문디자인플라자 | Seoul, South Korea

6 October 2014: Dongdaemun Design Plaza 동대문디자인플라자 | Seoul, South Korea

The innovative design, that utilizes mainly concrete and curved perforated metal sheets to illustrate the overall concept, integrates the park and plaza seamlessly as one, blurring the boundary between architecture and in a continuous, fluid landscape.

And during construction, the world's largest and highly three-dimensional building set many new standards for design and construction across the world you can possibly imagine. Or to cut the long story short, DDP is truly a masterpiece on its own!

6 October 2014: Dongdaemun Design Plaza 동대문디자인플라자 | Seoul, South Korea6 October 2014: Dongdaemun Design Plaza 동대문디자인플라자 | Seoul, South Korea

6 October 2014: Dongdaemun Design Plaza 동대문디자인플라자 | Seoul, South Korea

6 October 2014: Dongdaemun Design Plaza 동대문디자인플라자 | Seoul, South Korea

6 October 2014: Dongdaemun Design Plaza 동대문디자인플라자 | Seoul, South Korea

6 October 2014: Dongdaemun Design Plaza 동대문디자인플라자 | Seoul, South Korea

While walking around aimlessly outside and inside DDP, I found the Design Market that is basically a retail space where you can find products from one-of-a-kind home deco to perky products for everyday use or even unique fashion accessories!

And I also happen to chance upon quiet nooks as well as a quaint cafe hiding at the corner on the upper levels of the design plaza. I supposed if I live out in Seoul, the plaza will potentially be one of my favorite haunts when I need some peace! 

6 October 2014: Dongdaemun 동대문 | Seoul, South Korea

Heading towards the stream and crossing the busy main street cutting through the highly raved Dongdaemun Shopping Haven... Which only reminded of the failed shopping spree attempt a few nights ago! Haha!

Anyways, finally presenting to you... Cheonggyecheon 청계천!

6 October 2014: Cheonggyecheon 청계천 | Seoul, South Korea

6 October 2014: Cheonggyecheon 청계천 | Seoul, South Korea

Cheonggyecheon has a colorful history of its own among all the beautiful historical buildings and sites in Seoul. It was first paved in 1958 when more and more people moved to Seoul after the Korean War and further developed with an elevated highway in 1976 to ease traffic in downtown Seoul.

And finally in 2003, a project was initiated to restore the stream to re-introduce nature back to the city. Today, the stream serves not only as a venue for countless of major events in Seoul, it is a somewhere you can walk down and ease you mind with the therapeutic sounds of flowing water on any given hectic day you're having. It's a nature retreat even to me. And for the fact that it is such a successful landscaped space today, it is a popular case study with its history and photos documented in numerous books.

6 October 2014: Cheonggyecheon 청계천 | Seoul, South Korea

When I finally got to the stream, the sun was already beginning to set and it was gradually becoming dark. It was all silhouettes and shadows and the setting sun casted a chrome hue over any reflective surface including the water flowing through the stream. Quite mesmerising, I have to say!

6 October 2014: Cheonggyecheon 청계천 | Seoul, South Korea

6 October 2014: Cheonggyecheon 청계천 | Seoul, South Korea

6 October 2014: Cheonggyecheon 청계천 | Seoul, South Korea

I know that the landscaped area around Cheonggyecheon is a very popular venue for major events in Seoul but I really wasn't expecting to be able to witness something happening along the stream when I went for my evening walk.

Even if it was just a quiet stand-alone exhibition about books and publications, it was really interesting to see that there were people heading there or even slowing down while passing just to check out the exhibition. And that really makes me wonder if it will be equally successful if we have got a similar exhibition happening along Singapore River or something.

6 October 2014: Cheonggyecheon 청계천 | Seoul, South Korea6 October 2014: Cheonggyecheon 청계천 | Seoul, South Korea

6 October 2014: Cheonggyecheon 청계천 | Seoul, South Korea

Throughout the entire walk, I had my phone and everything else tucked away in my bag and it was pretty much just me and myself (and my camera, occassionally...). And thanks to that, I managed to notice so much tiny little details along the stream from the kind of people who uses the landscape space to the plants and creepy crawlies! Really interesting!

6 October 2014: Cheonggyecheon 청계천 | Seoul, South Korea

Did I remember to mention that the weather was simply perfect for the evening walk and getting a short retreat close to nature after so many days going around Korea was really all that I needed that I was prepared to walk all the way back to our apartment in Chungjeongno!

But before you freak out about how insanely far that is, I did like to say that I actually aborted the idea immediately when I got distracted with the thought of egg muffins 계란빵! So when I was somewhere near Myeongdong, I broke away from the intended path in search of those egg muffins! Hehe!

6 October 2014: Cheonggyecheon 청계천 | Seoul, South Korea6 October 2014: Cheonggyecheon 청계천 | Seoul, South Korea

And with that, that pretty sums up my evening walk at Cheonggyecheon!

It was an amazing evening walk and absolutely a great nature retreat in the heart of the city other than the fact that I felt a little claustrophobic at areas where it got narrower between the side walls and the stream. And somehow, I really cannot help but to recall Singapore River and how similar both of them are! It was because of these river and stream that brought life and an elaborate history to the land around it!

More posts from Korea September/ October 2014 travelogue series:

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