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When you just don't know what to do with that stuff

Posts Tagged ‘Food Porn

Banchan in Haeundae

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On the first trip to Busan, the first item on the list was to enjoy some seafood, particularly eel. After a relaxing train ride from Seoul (not much a fan of zombie movies, but willingly taking the ‘train to Busan’), was soon in the southern beach city and made a beeline for the subway and Haeundae Beach.

After several stops, finally made it and took a walk down the wide central pedestrian pathway that led directly to the beach. Approaching the sand, looking to the left and right, it was an amazing contrast between beach and nature and massive development just steps from the water. Walked all the way down to a long pier, took in the view and spotted some waterfront to restaurants, then headed back.

While walking back, found a small street filled with restaurants, many with tanks full of eel. After strolling down one way, walked back up and stopped at one of the restaurants.

Before even getting to the main course, the banchan laid out was an impressive spread.

Different types of kimchi, soup, bean sprouts, salad, japchae, and so much more – along with a basket of greens to wrap the main course in – was enough to entice the taste buds. Having enjoyed banchan in different parts of the world, from Seoul to New York City, this was definitely the most diverse and unique.

Along with the attractive dishware, the shot currently serves as wallpaper for the desktop computer and mobile phone.

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Written by Paulo Loreto

January 14, 2018 at 8:17 PM

Pastries in Gangnam

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With an ever-shifting work schedule at the newspaper, it has been a while since last getting to update. Ever since the last post of enjoying lasagna in Genoa, Italy, have also re-visited New York City, returned to Seoul, and made the first venture to Busan. With 2018 underway, am looking to ensure this blog is regularly updated (guess it’s a resolution for the New Year).

On the second trip to Seoul, made the first visit to the ever-touted neighborhood of Gangnam and it is definitely a far-cry from the regular haunts of Myeongdong and Itaewon. However, like Myeongdong, it is a shopping haven, with lots of stores to walk in and out of. Also wandered through various back alleys and found lots of small restaurants and cafes all over the place.

Also stopped into a massive Daiso store… shortly before happening upon another one a block over.

Eventually, took a pit stop at Gontran Cherrier, an international bakery chain named for its founder, a French baker and pastry chef.

Clearly, a green tea latte is likely not the typical French café item, but with the likely Asian twist given to the products offered at the Seoul location, it was one of many “fusion” items available. A delicious and creamy offering that helped cool down from the long day of walking – especially after climbing a few hills.

Then, there was the croissant – and their version was filled to the brim with cream. The taste is worth getting croissant flakes and powdered sugar all over the place. The idea of just opening it and seeing all the cream inside is enough to bring on hunger pangs.

However, the only downside was, when walking out of the café, it’s only a few steps until you’re right in front of a gym; at the time, fit and toned clients were standing outside taking a rest (some on a smoke break). While it may have put the deliciousness of the croissant in perspective, it was still very much worth it.

Written by Paulo Loreto

January 5, 2018 at 5:02 PM

Piping hot lasagna in Genoa

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Docking in Genova, or Genoa, did not have the biggest of expectation for the city. Before leaving New York City, a bartender said she had just visited Genoa and said there was not very much to see outside of some interesting architecture – what one would expect from a centuries-old port city in Europe.

A friend had previously taken a cruise that also docked in Genoa but, during that occasion, she opted to stay on the ship.

Taking the first few steps into town, it was clearly different from prior stops in Rome and Florence. It was much more modest.

In a way, it was a nice change from the sightseeing aspect of wandering some of the more popular locales in Italy and getting to see something a bit relaxed.

After first getting confused on location, eventually found the way into town, which offered a good glimpse of the area. Eventually found one of the main thoroughfares in town, the Via San Lorenzo; walking down the street, caught sights like the Cattedrale di San Lorenzo and the Palazzo Ducale (along with a bubble tea shop).

After browsing a farmer’s market, sat down to lunch in the Piazza Giacomo Matteotti at a place called Douce Pâtisserie Café. Went with a fairly basic eggplant and mushroom lasagna, which arrived to the table hot and steaming. The first bit was a very welcoming one, despite being really hot, the taste of the ingredients were all very pronounced and the lunch became the highlight of the entire visit to Genoa.

However, it was upon leaving that the expansive patisserie inside was noticed – it looked incredible.

Gelato in Rome

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During a walking tour of Rome, the group stopped at the Trevi Fountain for lunch. After enjoying a stromboli for lunch at a small spot a couple blocks down from the fountain, stopped at Gelateria Cecere on the way back for gelato.

Walking into the tiny establishment, which occupied the corner of a building, customers are greeted with a wide freezer display with heaps of flavors, along with a backdrop of multicolored cups – a different color for each size.

Seeking out which flavor was calling, went with the pistacchiosa – it was not the standard pistachio. Beyond the creamy texture of the gelato, the delicious pistachio taste, and the sprinkling of chopped pistachios, there was also a ribbon of pistachio spread that snaked through the scoops.

It was the kind of thing that could potentially swear one off the typical pistachio.

According to a TripAdvisor review, “The pistachio gelato is unlike any I have ever had and, believe me, it is my favourite dessert.”

Written by Paulo Loreto

June 20, 2017 at 9:42 PM

Filling up on Guangzhou street food

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During an 11-hour layover in Guangzhou, China, was provided a 72-hour visa to roam the city while waiting for the connection to New York City. After making an obligatory stop at the Canton Tower, it was getting close to sundown and meandered to the Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street (with assistance from the accommodating staff at the tourist center at the base of the tower).

Exiting the subway station, found a street lined with small shops and restaurants, everything looked great but was skeptical if it was even the correct place. After a bit of wandering and turning down random alleyways that led to small residential enclaves, found the street. It was wide with tons of people walking around (while dodging cars that are permitted on parts of the “pedestrian street”), with stores both local and international, along with restaurants – also, both local and international.

As time went by and the ticks continued to pile up on the phone pedometer, it proved difficult finding a place to eat; not that there wasn’t anywhere to eat, but there was too much to choose from. Started snacking by stopping at roadside stands and enjoyed things like bubble tea and scallion pancakes. Happened upon a food court that was packed with people and noticed one stand putting out, what looked to be, cups of sesame chicken. It looked good and tasted even better; big, meaty hunks of chicken in a delicious sauce, all for about 25 RMB (just a bit over $3.50).

After a while, noticed the hunger was gone and realized snacking down the Shangxiajiu Pedestrian Street provided enough to make a meal – and there was still so much more to enjoy.

Phở

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It had been a while since visiting one of the local Vietnamese places in town, the Rau Ram Café, down a side street, a few meters from the Marapara Golf and Country Club in Bacolod City. Ever since the first visit, always ordered a big bowl of phở, a traditional beef noodle soup.

Arriving at the table, the steaming bowl comes with a plate full of fresh herbs, including basil, cilantro, and sawtooth coriander; along with hot sauce and hoisin sauce, in order to customize each individual bowl.

With ever bowl prepared, tore up various herbs and threw them in before adding in the soup. Once the hot broth makes contact with the leaves, the aromatics consume the table and before taking one bite of the soup, the impression the smells leave is already remarkable.

Even though this place does not serve it with the traditional thin slices of beef that cook quickly in the hot soup, instead its small cubes of beef, the dish is still delicious.

Taro bingsu is lovely

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It has been a while since getting to enjoy a huge bowl of bingsu, the Korean shaved ice dessert. Have tried to keep track of the different flavors tasted but that’s been lost. Took a shot in the dark and ordered the taro bingsu, whether it’s been requested before or not, it was delicious.

The refreshingly flavored ice, red beans, ice cream, cheesecake bites, and whipped cream mode for an amazing treat – as always.

It is amazing how all the different flavors go so well together and the ice, as it melts in the mouth, takes on a creamy feeling, not just water. The worst part is when it is over; it’s such a unique dish with a taste that is all too delicious.

Taro bingsu with red beans, cheesecake bites, and ice cream.

Written by Paulo Loreto

March 19, 2017 at 12:18 AM