Sunday, September 30, 2018

[Bandung] Kawah Ratu and Wilujeng Sumping Balibu RM. Khas Sunda

It rained in the morning and just before our excursion to Kawah Ratu. Kawah Ratu or also known as 'Queen's Crater' is located at Tangkuban Perahu. A trip to the volcano!

Our tour guide described it as an easy trek. It was quite tedious actually. Slippery paths due to the early rainfall, made it all harder.

interesting looking cooking cyclinder, so cute
It was quite a long bus ride to the mountain top.

a hotel in the middle of nowhere
going higher and higher
ok, this was where we left our comfy bus seats
ticket for shuttle bus to bring us up somemore
on higher grounds
anyone wants a pony ride?
he's so gentle

The pony was really gentle. Such soft silky fur on its body too. It only cost Rp50,000 to ride one. The handler will hold the reins and lead the pony around the area and for the last lap, the pony will break into a faster trot. Final burst for the finale! Hahaha!

mountain view
time to get down there
bubbling hot

The whole trip was us trekking down on a jungle trail with a guide, and towards the crater. Just need to watch where you're stepping otherwise, it was easy to fall on one's butt. Probably an hour to get down and once you're down there, it was basically relaxing and soaking the feet into one of those hot spring. The temperature of the hot springs in Kawah Domas varies. Some hot, and some not so hot. Mine was the not so hot ones, and hence, lesser people was at that area. Egg is sold and your guide will likely ask if you want some. If yes, he can help you to get some from the vendor and put it to boil in one of the boiling hot springs. The guide would also offer his service to help you massage your tired calves with mud.

After resting for about 30 minutes, it was time to trek back up again. Yes, what goes down must come up again. If you are too tired, there are people who would fetch you back to the bus parking lot area on a motorcycle/scooter. Yes, the transport service is available for a fee. It'll cost about Rp10,000 for a short trip.

saw this guy on the way back

The trek downwards started around 10.30am and we were back up on our bus at 1.30pm. All, in all, we walked for about 2.5 hours.

It was then time for lunch and we were hungry after all the strenuous exercise. The sulfur hard boiled egg did help to stave of some of the hunger pangs.

lunch time

The food at Balibu consist of mostly fried items. By this time, I realized that for every meal, there will be lalapan which is essentially a plate of Sundanese raw vegetable salad served with sambal. Usually there'd be lettuce, sliced tomatoes and cucumber. The sambal chili is usually pretty powerful. Loved the vegetables in Bandung as they are so fresh!

The fried chicken and fish at Balibu were dryer than the first meal that we had. I liked the beancurd skin item. Satay was eaten with a bit of fear as on the way to the restaurant, our tour guide said that the people in that area loved to eat monitor lizard satay. Eeek..

Kawah Ratu

Address: Jl. Gn. Tangkuban Perahu, Cicadas, Sagalaherang, Kabupaten Subang, Jawa Barat 41282, Indonesia
Business Hours: Daily 8am to 5pm

Wilujeng Sumping Balibu RM. Khas Sunda

Address: Jalan Raya Tangkuban Perahu 423A, Lembang Bandung – 40391 Jawa Barat
Contact: (022) 2789582

Saturday, September 29, 2018

[Bandung] Boemi Mitoha

Boemi Mitoha serves up Sundanese cuisine (makanan Sunda) in Bandung city center. This restaurant was part of the tour package lunch stop on our arrival in Bandung. First meal, and yes, I was pretty excited to have a taste!

The place was spacious with clean washroom. Within the restaurant, there are taps to wash hands.

prospective son-in-law should buy (treat) food for the prospective in-laws
food on display
variety of foods

As it was a packaged tour, we were served up with a set meal. It consist of soup, meats of grilled chicken and fried whole fish, crackers, salad, fried snacks made of corn, fried egg, rice and a hot tea drink.

lunch time

The cold soup "Sayur Asem ala Mitohas" was sourish and appetizing. Their version of grilled chicken was the most tender (relatively) that I've encountered while in Bandung. The fried fish was enjoyable with some sweet spicy sauce drizzled on it. The bakwan sayur (fried corn snack) was the item that I least liked. Lovely greens and powerful chili to accompany it.

Boemi Mitoha

Address: Jl. Ciliwung No.15, Cihapit, Bandung Wetan, Kota Bandung, Jawa Barat 40114, Indonesia
Contact: +62 22 7279176
Business Hours: Daily 10am to 10pm

Monday, September 24, 2018

[Seoul] Sulbing 설빙 雪冰 @ Myeongdong

The visit to Sulbing was because of our failed attempt to visit Namsam Tower. The queue to Namsam that day was just crazy. Mission aborted and for us foodies, we decided to find comfort! Jokes aside, we just wanted a place to rest our feet.


This outlet is on the 2nd floor of the building. Lovely space and lucky us, there was a table available. Place your order at the counter. We had no issue ordering. Make the payment and wait for the buzzer to vibrate.

our orders

For me, I had a strawberry latte and a red bean bun. Loved the drink. It has real strawberries inside. Not too sweet and enjoyable.

strawberry latte 딸기 라떼 and red bean bun
red bean bun

Because we were at the dessert cafe, an order or two of bingsu was a must! So we had two types; green tea bingsu and the original injeolmi bingsu. For injeolmi bingsu, I always have a problem eating it. If accidentally inhaled too fast, it'll irritates the throat and makes one cough.

Injeolmi Bingsu 인절미 빙수

green tea bingsu 녹차 빙수
Was impressed by the green tea bingsu. It came with two scoops of green tea ice-cream! Plus, it has green tea syrup to pour over. Wow!

let it flow~

The plus points for the bingsu was because the shaved ice was made of milk and in-between those shaved ice-mounds, there are layers of condensed milk in there. So very good and tasty.

charcoal mochi
our drinks

This place is recommended for the strawberry latte and the bingsu. Staff was also friendly and cute!

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Grissini @ Grand Copthorne Waterfront

Was at Grissini recently for a tasting omakase menu by Head Chef Mirko Vinci. An Italian omakase? That's a first for me. At the moment, I understand that the number of courses may change depending on the request from guests.

Grissini, interior

Grissini serves its complimentary rye bread, in style. To be more precise, it was a candlelit dinner style. A rather novel way of getting your bread dip. The edible candle will be lighted up and the warmth melts away the candle 'wax' and dripped onto the dipping saucer.

edible candle, rye bread

The oil was fragrant from the herbs and loved it with the soft rye bread. But one need to work fast as the oil will harden once it is cooled down enough. 

But do leave some space for the next courses. The entree dish was Panzerotto pugliese. The name was quite a mouthful and this dish is native to Chef Mirko's hometown of Puglia. It looks pretty much like a curry puff or a calzone. It is made of flour, water, yeast, sugar, olive oil, salt and is filled with mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and herbs, and baked.

Panzerotto pugliese

It looked puffy and the dough was slightly chewy. The cheese and tomatoes fillings were enjoyable. A light starter, provided you stopped at one.

mozzarella cheese and tomatoes

Next up, was a cold starter of grilled Mediterranean seafood salad. Lightly grilled seafood such as chunky squid, scallop, prawns and octopus, accompanied by crunchy asparagus. Loved the sweetness of the scallops and the prawns. 

Grilled Mediterranean Seafood Salad, Green Asparagus, Olives and Lime Dressing

Then, we were served with a warm starter. When the eggplant parmigiana was brought out, there were some silent 'oohs and ahhs'. At least, that was me. The presentation was not quite the usual and the eggplant parmigiana served in that shiny brassware (not sure if it was brass, but still shiny!) was quite interesting.

Eggplant Parmigiana with mixed leaves and pearl tomatoes, white balsamic

Enjoy the baked layered eggplants with cheese in tangy tomato sauce. This was big in flavour contrast from the previous cold starter. While the cold starter felt like the kiss of cool breeze and nuances of the sea, but for this one, it felt like a warm passionate hug. I enjoyed it by piling the soft eggplant with the charred cheese ontop of the bread and munching on those. The greens had sprinkles of sea salt and that added an extra kick to the tangy balsamic dressing.

lovingly layered

Next, we moved on to Primo. The first main course of a pasta dish. Tagliolini with white onions and sage sauce. Interesting. First impression, was the prominent sweetness from the onions. Sage sauce was light and mild. Was reminded of summer that was just ending, and of the fast approaching autumn.

Tagliolini, white onions, butter, sage sauce and shaved black truffle
For the secondi, we were given a choice of either seabass or veal. If you are still hungry at this stage, then veal would be a better choice, otherwise, go for the seabass. 

The presentation for the veal was so pretty. Veal scaloppine, chargrilled zucchini with red capsicum tapenade and lemon sauce. The milkfed veal was light in flavour, with tender texture and highly enjoyable. Ate it together with the grilled zucchini and that lent a burst of freshness in each bite with a hint of smokey end. Interesting, detected the flavour of perilla amongst the combination of capsicum tapenade and the lemon sauce with the micro-greens.

Veal Scalloppine with chargrilled zucchini, red capsicum tapenade and lemon sauce

Now, the seabass. This was one of my favourite dish that night. It was a small square of fish but was big in flavours! This was a 'wow' dish for me. Tried the cherry tomatoes and the intense sweetness that oozed out was simply amazing. The fillet was cooked perfectly. Molto bene!

Pan-seared seabass fillet with parsley and garlic crust, cherry tomatoes, olives, white wine sauce

Truth be told, I was stuffed at this point. But then, do we still have room for dessert? Why, of course! Chocolate lava-cake with sea-salt and coffee, hazelnut crumbles, berries and ice-cream sounds about right. We got pistachio ice-cream that night.

Chocolate lava-cake with sea-salt and coffee, hazelnut crumbles, berries and ice-cream

Chef Mirko said, this was a cross between lava cake and souffle. Expect light and fluffy exterior with moist and soft interior. On first bite, one could taste the coffee. Each subsequent bite with the sea-salt especially, and moist chocolate was divine. Am loving the chocolate, coffee and sea-salt combo.

lovely dessert

For the ladies and the smaller eaters, the 6-course meal may be a tad too much to handle. Perhaps, a choice of 4-course omakase to be considered?

Kudos to Chef Mirko and thank you for an enjoyable meal. This experience offers a glimpse of his culinary vision, his take on traditional recipes and looking forward to many more unique dishes.

Special thanks to Gilbert for the invite and Grissini team for taking care of us that night.

limoncello to end the night, saluti~

Sunday, September 16, 2018

[Seoul] Baek nyeon Baekse Ginseng Chicken Soup 백년토종삼계탕 @ Hongdae

Last meal for our Seoul-full trip. This was a trip where towards the end of it, we stayed at different locations. There were 9-Bricks, ROinhome and an AirBnB in the mix. For lunch, we decided to try the ginseng chicken that received thumbs-up from Shermaine. And, it was just nearby 9-Bricks Hotel.

Wild Cultivated Ginseng Chicken Soup with Abalone @₩20,000

From the menu, there was a total of 6 different types of ginseng chicken soup available. We chose 3 types to share. On the table, one could take as much as kimchi radish cubes as one wishes.

But all eyes on the prize; nutritious ginseng chicken soup was all that we were here for.

Weather was cooling, so it was rather nice to have these hot piping pots served.

Ginseng Chicken Soup with Perilla Seeds @₩15,000

The one with perilla seeds had milky white broth and looked like it had lots of dregs floating. In actual fact, this broth tasted really good and those seemingly 'sediment' were perilla seeds. Perilla leaves we had eaten before, but perilla seeds were a first.

The baby chicken in each pot was lovely to eat. None of those tough meat nonsense. Here, each chicken were so tender yet retained its meaty flavour.

Ginseng Chicken Soup with Black Garlic @₩16,000

The odd one out in terms of broth flavour from all the pots that we ordered, was the Ginseng Chicken Soup with Black Garlic. It tasted like our home cooked chicken soup with garlic. Keke. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable and rather homely.

glutinous rice and one chunky ginseng in the chicken

The best part, is the glutinous rice in those chicken. Fully absorbing the richness of the flavours, the soft mushy rice was so good. Yummy!

Am liking this version more than Tosokchon.

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Dookki 두끼 @ Clementi Mall

Do you love chewy rice cake in spicy gochujang sauce as much as you love those fishcake skewers (odeng) soaked in clear broth? If your answer is yes to both, then you'd love Dookki. Imagine eating an unlimited amount of tteokbokki and fishcakes to your heart's content, buffet style! Sounds fantastic, yes? Ahhh, but there is a catch. This is a time-limited buffet. For dinner, there is a 90-minutes time limit. Adequate for the majority of us as the ingredients only needed a few minutes to cook.

store front

Just make sure that all pax in the party are at the door otherwise, time starts when the first person starts. The service staff would ask if it is your first time, and if yes, he/she will take the time to explain briefly the processes.


Staff will help you to create the sauce in accordance to your spice level preference. We asked for a mild spicy as there is one in our party that has lower tolerance to spicy food. The broth will be set to boil while the staff goes to make the sauce. If you'd like to add the cheese ring to the meal, it is of a separate charge and not included in the buffet by default. About $9.80 for the cheese ring with sweet corn.

broth (soup base for the sauce)

A tumbler of the base broth will be left at the table and diners are free to pout it into the pot once the pot became too concentrated after prolonged cooking.

Staff would explain which are the containers for cooked food, and raw ingredients. Each diner gets their own personal 'plate' that look like a mini tiny sauce-pan. So cute.

raw ingredients

Liked that the tteokbokki are really tiny. Loved the purple coloured ones for they reminds me of ang ku kueh. Chewy exterior plus sweet fillings. Try it and you'll know what I mean. If you like the cheesy ones, the pale yellow tteokbokki that looks like mini sausages (similar to purple tteok) contain cheese fillings. The chicken bulgogi tasted good even when boiled in the soup/sauce. And with Korean army stew style, one could put in as many pieces of luncheon as you desire.

take your pick 
first round

We exercised caution when taking the ingredients. First round was just to try what's good and what's not. For the cooked food section, there was a lot of fried stuffs (twigim). Totally regretted taking the fried chicken! More flour than chicken. The mandu are decent and so was the gimmari (fried seaweed roll).

twigim 튀김

My favourite and probably the safest bet, was the odeng / eumok (fishcakes). A few varieties and my friend asked what's the difference. Err...the shape and density? Hahaha!

fishcakes 어묵/오뎅

Meanwhile, do place all the ingredients that needed cooking into the pot. And while it is boiling away, one could start with the twigims and eumoks. Remember to eat the cheese ring once it start bubbling otherwise, either the cheese gets chaotar (burnt) or the ring will stopped cooking after a short while and the cheese will harden.

cooking in progress

If you are looking for utensils/tissue paper, for Korean food dining, most places would have this compartment as part of the table design. For Dookki, it is the same.

at the side of the table

For the best fish cake, it got to be this one. The soft and fluffy ones.

best fish cake

For dessert, don't bother. Just shaved ice and chocolate sauce. Hmmm, we shared one and agreed that this was not worth any stomach space.

shaved milk ice with chocolate sauce

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