I love shortbreads and especially those dipped in semi-sweet chocolate. The best shortbreads I have tasted are those sold by Marks & Spencer. They are so fantastic. The shortbreads are so soft and crunchy. The chocolate used is definitely not of an inferior quality. The half-coated chocolate shortbreads are perfect for daily snack! Since I couldn’t get Marks & Spencer’s shortbreads here, I made some homemade ones instead. It turns out that the ingredients required are easily available and not expensive, and the steps to make the shortbreads are simple and easy to follow. Nothing complicated. But of course, to make high standard shortbreads, I will have to keep trying to perfect the recipe. For now, the below recipe suffices my craving.
¾ cup of Unsalted Butter, at room temperature 1 ¾ cup of All Purpose Flour ¾ cup of Powdered Sugar ½ tsp of Salt 1 tsp of Vanilla Extract
1) Spray a 13×9 baking pan with cooking spray and line it with parchment paper, and set aside.
2) Using a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or an electric hand mixer, cream together the butter, sugar and vanilla until creamy.
3) Add the flour and salt, and mix. You may use your hands to mix the mixture (which I did) too.
4) Press the dough into the lined pan and make sure it is evenly spread out. Using a butter knife or a bench knife, cut the dough into bars of any sizes you want.
5) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
6) Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until lightly golden. As soon as you take them out of the oven, run your knife through the cut lines (this will ensure easy removal of the shortbread pieces) and let them cool completely. Remove from the pan and dip them in melted chocolate.
Doux Cafe is a newly opened (February 2016) cafe in Houston. It is spacious, clean and neatly decorated. Doux Cafe is a to-go cafe for chocolate lovers, and for people who love crepes and waffles. I was greedy on my first visit because I ordered a brownie crepe and a waffle all for myself. I was alone in the cafe on a weekday late morning and I thoroughly enjoyed the quietness while I dug into my sweet treats.
The brownie crepe was awesome. I am not a big fan of brownie but the brownie tasted good with it being stuffed inside the crepe, and the crepe was coated with white chocolate, milk chocolate, and dark chocolate. I finished the crepe fast and furious!
The triple chocolate waffle was fantastic too! However, after a few bites, I tasted sour flour in the waffle. The manager’s timing could not be more than perfect. He asked how was my waffle and I gave him my feedback that it tasted sour. He was shocked and insisted that I should stop eating it. He snatched the plate away from me and threw it into the garbage bin despite my assurance to him that I was totally fine with it. He then made a new waffle for me and added a scoop of ice cream (additional scoop of ice cream costs $1.99) as a complimentary dish. The manager told me that their food is made fresh everyday and the sourness comes from a spray, which was used on the waffle machine. I was very grateful that he provided such good service. Many thumbs up!
My complimentary triple chocolate waffle with a scoop of Dreyer’s vanilla ice cream. No more sour taste!
I would definitely go back to Doux Cafe again and again and again to get my chocolate fix!
Copenhagen, Denmark, is famously known as The Bicycle City. Using bicycles as a mode of transport, goes way back into the Danish history. There are bicycle lanes on the roads and many Danes prefer to cycle to work, go out on dates, on their bicycles.
I was at Copenhagen for 2 weeks. I saw many beautiful buildings, got to know Denmark’s history, and ate many delicious food. My first $200 Danish Krone note was spent on a data SIM card. I can’t live without a data SIM when I am overseas, and having it is a life-saver! There are many telecommunications which you can choose from. But since I only required a data SIM, I opted for Lebara which provides me 15GB of data throughout my stay. The data SIM can be bought from 7-Eleven. 1GB of data costs $49 Danish Krone. I paid $99 Danish Krone more to purchase 15GB of data as I expected myself to use more than that. DO NOT throw away the receipt given to you as the codes for upgrading to 15GB are in the receipt.
I did not join any free guided tour as I prefer to explore the city alone. I did not take the metro, train, nor bus as I prefer to explore on foot. There is less chance of me getting lost too if I were to walk than to take the public transport. My first tourist attraction was The Old Stock Exchange. The Old Stock Exchange is one of the oldest buildings in Copenhagen. The spire’s design is of four intertwined dragon tails, and topped by three crowns, which symbolizes the Scandinavian empire (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden). Today the Old Stock Exchange are used for parties, conferences, and other events. It is not open to the public.
After taking some pictures at The Old Stock Exchange, I headed towards the Christiansborg Palace. The ticket to the Christiansborg Slot costs $90 Danish Krone, and it includes entry to the Christiansborg Ruins, the Royal Reception Area, and the Royal Carriage. The ticket used to cost $120 Danish Krone but now is $90 Danish Krone because there are no horses at the Royal Carriage (the reason why I did not go to the Royal Carriage).
Some pictures of the Christiansborg Ruins. There are many historical stories of the Christiansborg Palace. I understood the history of Copenhagen by visiting the Christiansborg Palace.
The Royal Reception Area is an eye-opener for me. The place is so beautiful! The stairs, the unique tapestries, the dining area, the halls, the Queen’s library, etc, was just wow! Imagine yourself walking down the stairs like a royalty!
This is the Queen’s library.
The Queen’s library has an elevator!
The chinaware used by the Royalties are exquisite and beautifully made. I found a menu on display but I couldn’t understand a single word because they are in Danish. Eat like a royalty!
These are some beautiful tapestries hanging on the walls. You may mistook them as paintings, but they aren’t just paintings! Amazing thread work!
After being astounded by the Royal Reception, I went to the City Hall, which is one of the tallest buildings in Copenhagen. The City Hall also houses Jens Olsen’s World Clock, which is an advanced astronomical clock.
I have never visited Guinness World Records Museum so when I know that there is one in Copenhagen, I must make time for it. In the museum, there are so many record breaking news and people. I was fascinated by the world I am living in. The museum has interactive games for visitors and one of my favorites is the Boxer machine. I threw my hardest punch and scored 334 out of 910! Cool! The ticket for the museum includes a coin which is for the entrance to The Mystic Exploratorie. The Mystic Exploratorie is like a haunted house. Spine-chilling sounds and frightening displays… Enter if you dare…
A must-go tourist spot in Copenhagen is Nyhavn – a 17th-century waterfront, canal that harbors historical wooden ships, and entertainment district. There are brightly colored townhouses and bars, cafes and restaurants along the canal.
Amalienborg is the winter home of the Danish royal family, and consists of four identical palaces. I bought a ticket to tour at one of the palaces which is open for visitors. I followed a free English tour guide and gained insightful knowledge of the palace. The tour was about 30mins. Short and sweet. I was told by the tour guide that if a flag is risen on the palace means that a royalty is currently in the palace. I was fortunate to see the flag on one of the palaces, but not lucky enough to see the royal family!
Here are some of the sight-seeing places that I have been to: The Little Mermaid, The Round Tower, Rosenborg Castle, National Gallery of Denmark, Frederik’s Church, and Det Ny Teater.
It is a must to visit Carlsberg when you are in Copenhagen. The ticket consists of 2 free beers so keep your ticket well! Carlsberg came a long way to reach its success they are enjoying now. Remember to take a photo with the elephant statues when you are there! Also do not forget to buy some souvenirs back at the Carlsberg gift shop! I bought many nice magnets, mug, and cap opener!
I bought a “Around the Sound” ticket to visit Helsingør (aka Elsinore in English), Helsingborg, and Malmo. I took a train from Copenhagen to Helsingør (remember to check the train timing and platform on the screen). Then from Helsingør, I took a ferry to Helsingborg. Do bring your passport along because it is required for traveling from Helsingør to Helsingborg. I spent about an hour at Helsingborg then took a train to Malmo, and back to Copenhagen. The must-to-visit attraction in Helsingør is the Kronborg Castle where Shakespeare’s Hamlet was played. The castle is huge. Stroll the circumference of the castle while enjoying the sea breeze makes you forget all your worries. There wasn’t much to explore in Helsingborg and Malmo in my opinion, however, it was good to just be there to take a look.
Enough of attractions. Personally, what amazed me the most in Copenhagen was the food. The Danes eat so healthily, which I can see from their figures! The Danish breads were so delicious and good! I bought breads from different bakeries – Meyers Bageri, Lauras Bakery, Lagkagehuset, Andersen Bakery, everyday and they were all good! There are also many cafes in Copenhagen. The cafes are small and they have limited seats indoor. Luckily almost all cafes provide outdoor seatings so enjoy the sun and nature by sitting outdoor!
From Meyers Bageri.
Remember to take a ticket once you enter the doors of Lagkagehuset. Wait for your queue number to buy tasteful breads.
From Lauras Bakery.
From Royal Smushi Cafe. The tea and pie were delicious but I wish the service could be better.
From Next Door Cafe. I ordered an egg sandwich and was given a toy car. The toy car was used to identify the customer. So remember to take it with you after ordering your food. I was shocked by how hard my sandwich bread was. The bread was so hard that I could not cut through it!
Visit La Glace for their cakes (at the first floor) and butter cookies (at the second floor)! Sit down for afternoon tea or get a slice of cake after lunch. Soak in the great
Cafe Dyrehaven is a cafe that one has to visit for eggs benedict. I ordered a plate for lunch and my eggs benedict was cooked to perfection. The portion was just right and the service was great. The cafe is always crowded and as usual, there is limited seatings inside. I sat outside to enjoy my lunch despite the cold weather. Yums!
Grød is famous for their Danish porridge. I had the bestseller which consists of apples, oats, caramel, and almonds. The porridge was so good! I could eat this everyday!
My husband and I reserved seats at Restaurant PUK to celebrate our anniversary. The food was good and healthy. However, we wished that the portions could be bigger because we are used to big portions in U.S.A.
Torvehallerne is a SUPERmarket but it is not your usual supermarket. There are so many delectables inside. Many varieties of cheese, expensive caviars, sharp knives, bakeries, wines, pizzas, fresh fish and meat, and many more! I had a lot fun in Torvehallerne!
I got to try the Danish hotdog when I am in Denmark. I had the classic hotdog. Super yummy!
Hotel Chocolat produces high quality chocolates. I bought some back and I am totally in love with the chocolates.
Karamelleriet makes high quality hand-made caramel. The factory is inside the store itself and I got to see how they made their caramel. The store smelled so great when I opened the doors.
Ro Chokolade made hand-made chocolates. I tried the salted caramel chocolate. Yummy!
Of course I could not resist the temptation of eating macarons even when I am in Denmark. The macarons were not too bad but the jam could be more tasteful.
Shopping in Copenhagen is not as cheap as shopping in U.S.A. I did not buy many clothes there but of course when I am in Copenhagen, I have to get some chinaware from Royal Copenhagen. Some may not know, there is a Royal Copenhagen outlet store. The difference between the non-outlet and the outlet stores is, some of the chinaware sold at the outlet store are of second quality. The details of the differences are transparent in the Royal Copenhagen website. However, there are some chinaware sold in the outlet store are first quality. I bought a mug, a bowl, and a plate from the outlet store. I am totally in love with the chinaware and I am still pondering when to start using them. I also bought many Lego keychains because Lego originates from Denmark!
Singapore is famously known as Little Red Dot because Singapore is so small on the World Map that only a little red dot could be used to identify Singapore. Though Singapore is small, she is a bustling city that has different nationalities staying together harmoniously.
I visited Singapore for 3 weeks to celebrate one of Singapore’s major festivals – Chinese New Year (CNY). About 2 weeks before CNY, the streets would be decorated with red Chinese lanterns, various shops would be playing CNY songs, and Chinatown would be crowded with Chinese men rushing to buy CNY goodies.
Chinese men love to buy pussy willow flower on CNY because when the flower blossoms, such growth represents the coming of prosperity. Chinese men will also buy paper cuttings of Chinese words to decorate their houses.
There are several CNY goodies sold and eaten especially during CNY. Most CNY goodies are cookies like sesame cookies, cornflake cookies, kueh bangkit (white coconut cookies), and peanut cookies.
My favorite CNY goodie is pineapple tarts. Pineapple tarts could be either made by having the pineapple paste on top of the pastry or the pineapple paste is wrapped inside the pastry. Personally I prefer the pineapple paste to be wrapped inside the pastry. That way I could taste the pastry and the pineapple paste together. However, in terms of presenting as a gift, it would look more presentable if the pineapple paste is on top of the pastry.
One of the favorite activities that Singaporeans like to do during CNY is to play mahjong. Mahjong is a gambling game which involves 74 tiles and 3 dice. It is a rather complicated game. A new learner has to sit down to play and learn at the same time in order to understand the game fully. My dad and my older sister are experts in playing mahjong but not me. Playing mahjong is one of my favorite activities because the game is full of excitement, and playing mahjong helps my brain to think fast and to be always on alert-mode.
2 bottles of sparkling white wine that have exteriors which complement the mahjong tiles.
One of the Chinese tradition during CNY is, the young ones would hold two oranges with two hands, and give them to the elders while saying some Chinese blessing words like “身体健康”, which means enjoy good health. The elders or married couples would have to give ang baos (red packets) with some money in it, in return, and would also be accompanied with Chinese blessing words like, “学习进步”, which means progress in studies. When giving the red packet, two “new” (two different oranges) oranges would also be given back to the young ones. The words said would usually be in fours as they sound nicer and more compact, following the China Chinese tradition in the past. The red packets were usually distributed by banks, and the designs would always be very attractive and competitive – just like the one I received from Credit Suisse.
Alright, enough of CNY. Let me introduce you food that Singaporeans eat. The most common breakfast food that Singaporeans eat is a toast set from Ya Kun. The most popular toast set is kaya-butter toast. As I do not like kaya (coconut jam), I ordered the butter-peanut butter toast set. Other than two slices of bread cut into half with peanut butter and butter in between slices, I also got two large half-boiled eggs, and a cup of cold barley as a set. You could get coffee or tea for the drink but I desired barley more. This was a perfect start for a great day.
Another delectable breakfast food that Singaporeans love to have is dim sum from Tim Ho Wan. Tim Ho Wan has a Michelin star in their Hong Kong main store. Tim Ho Wan serves delicious dim sums at affordable prices. I ordered the crispy char siew buns, vermicelli roll, and har gow (shrimp dumpling). Of course, a cup of Chinese tea was compulsory to digest the yummy food. I was very satisfied with my breakfast, and wished I could eat dim sum every morning.
Another restaurant which is famous for their dim sums is Canton Paradise. The crispy char view buns, wontons, har gow, congee, fried carrot cake, and vermicelli roll tasted so delicious. The congee was made perfectly, which is the cantonese way – thick and smooth. The wontons were seasoned well, and the carrot cake was not that oily. These food were perfect for breakfast or bunch.
As I usually take heavy breakfast, I would eat some snacks during tea time, before dinner. One of my favorite snacks is egg tart from Tong Heng in Chinatown. Tong Heng has been around for very long and they sell many kinds of Chinese pastries ranging from wedding pastries to egg tarts, and they also sell Chinese traditional desserts such as sesame paste and peanut paste. Tong Heng is reputable for their egg tarts, and the queue is always long just to get one of the egg tarts. Tong Heng sells two different kinds of egg tarts – traditional egg tart, and coconut egg tart. I would always buy the traditional one as I do not like coconut. Their egg tarts are diamond shaped as opposed to the conventional round shaped. The egg tarts should be eaten while they are hot as that is when you could taste the richness of the egg filling, and the pastry skin will be flaky and crispy. Usually I would take more than two at one go because I could not say “Stop” to the yumminess!
My another favorite snack is tau sar piah from Loong Fatt Eating House & Confectionary. Tau sar piah is a Chinese pastry that has either sweet or salty fillings in it. I especially love Loong Fatt’s tau sar piah because the proportion of filling to pastry is just right, and most importantly, the filling tastes super good. The pastry skin is made so well that even the pastry skin itself is so yummy and flaky. Ooh so good!!
My alternative snack is Chinese paus (buns) from Tanjong Rhu Pau. The fillings vary in the paus. The fillings could be char siew (pork), lotus seed, or red bean paste. There is a pau known as da pau (big bun), which has a big chunk of pork, and a quarter of hard-boiled egg. My favorite pau from Tanjong Rhu Pau is the lotus seed, though their best seller pau is the char siew pau. The paus from Tanjong Rhu Pau is small but tasty. The skin is soft and smooth, and the fillings are generous. Every bite into the paus is just so heavenly.
When it comes to dinner, I love to eat Japanese food. Actually Japanese food is my favorite cuisine of all time. One of the nights I dined at Itacho Sushi, which is quite well-known for their expensive and unique sushi. I decided to have salmon sashimi rice set, while my partner got chicken cutlet rice set, and soft shell crab temaki roll. The salmon sashimi was fresh and tasted good. My partner definitely enjoyed his chicken cutlet set and the soft shell crab roll. While I was enjoying my rice set, I saw a small piece of cloth in my rice. I was shocked to see it as I did not expect it. I informed one of the waitresses and the floor manager was alerted. The floor manager was very polite. She apologized to me and a new rice set was served to me within 5 minutes. On top of the normal salmon sashimi, I was given two slices of salmon belly sashimi too. It was very thoughtful of the floor manager. After finishing my rice set, the floor manager apologized to me again, and offered to give me a complimentary pudding dessert. Thumbs up for the excellent service!
I also love to dine at Ichiban Boshi because of their set menu. They have very good set menu, and the portion is always good. I got the beef yakiniku (grilled meat) set, which came with chawanmushi (steamed egg), a bowl of rice, three slices of salmon sashimi, a small cold tofu, two slices of oranges, and a bowl of miso soup. The price of the set was affordable, and definitely worth the money. Whenever I would like to have a very full meal, I would go to Ichiban Boshi.
Koh Grill & Sushi Bar is my another favorite sushi place. One of the food items I would always order is shiok maki (California roll), which is what made Koh Grill & Sushi Bar so famous. There are two shiok makis – shiok maki generation 1, and shiok maki generation 2. The difference is, generation 1 is grilled eel wrapped in lightly torched salmon, while generation 2 is crispy fried prawns wrapped in lightly torched salmon. I would only order the generation 1 because grilled eel and salmon is the ultimate combination. The California roll is covered by melted cheese and topped with fish roe. Oh my… I could eat this everyday.
Other than Japanese cuisine, sometimes I would like to go to Din Tai Fung (DTF) for Chinese cuisine. DTF is well-known for their xiao long baos (Chinese dumplings). What made DTF so consistent and good is that every dumplings, wontons, and small side dishes, are made and measured using a scale. Observe this when you dine in the restaurant. DTF’s xiao long baos have a small amount of soup in it, and they are simply awesome. I also love the oriental Chinese salad, which would be a good appetizer because of the slight sour taste. As I love spicy food, I would not give the wontons in spicy chili oil a miss. What a wonderful meal!
I fell in love with Korean cuisine ever since I went to South Korea. Fortunately I found a Korean restaurant called Togi Korean Restaurant in Chinatown. My cousins and I ordered quite a lot of food – army stew, cold noodles, stir-fry beef, zhajiangmien, and ttoboki (rice cake). All the dishes were yummy! The army stew had very good soup base. The noodle dishes had different textures, and they tasted very good. The stir-fry beef was really good, and I could not taste any fats in the meat. A sumptuous meal!
Sometimes eating at Mos Burger is a good change. I particularly love Mos Burger because Japanese food hardly goes wrong and most of the time, it tastes very good. Other than normal burger buns, Mos Burger serves rice burgers. I had the kakiage (seafood) rice burger and it was fantastic. The sauce was amazing and the seafood portion given was just right. Every time I have craving for burgers, I would only go to Mos Burger.
Miam Miam, a French cafe with Japanese twist, is famous for their French Toast (first picture). The French toast was thick and fluffy, which had nice texture. However, the French toast’s taste was a little plain to my liking. The second well-known food served by Miam Miam is soufflé. I had the vanilla (original) soufflé, and I was slightly disappointed by it. The soufflé was not that great. The filling was a little mushy, and tasted like steamed egg. The creme brûlée was not that fantastic too. The flavor was so-so, and it was slightly cold. Furthermore, the creme brûlée was not fragrant. I would most likely not go back to Miam Miam again.
When it comes to desserts, I could not say “No” to chocolates. Having a cheese and chocolate buffet at Club55 was brilliant. A wide spread of delicious chocolate food accompanied with nice view from the 55th floor at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) was so relaxing. Every item on the buffet spread was super delicious. I especially loved the chocolate bread pudding. Could not stop myself from eating more of it. Definitely a must-go place for chocolate lovers!
Other than chocolates, I love to have desserts at Mei Heong Yuen Dessert. They sell traditional desserts and also shaved ice. There are various fruit shaved ices but their best seller dessert is the mango sago with pomelo. I love every dessert from Mei Heong Yuen because they never failed me.
Llaollao, founded in Spain, is natural frozen yoghurt. Many like to order the Sanum, which is three layers of seasonal fresh fruit + caramelised seeds + honeyed cereal + topped with frozen yogurt. The frozen yoghurt tasted not too bad. The fruits served in the Sanum were fresh, but the yoghurt was not fantastic. I would not eat it often because there are better yoghurt stores other than Llaollao. Sometimes having frozen yoghurt after dinner would be good for digestion.
Selegie Soya Bean makes a good dessert or a supper food. The beancurd was so soft and smooth, and most importantly, it was not very sweet. The beancurd was a complement to any food that I had eaten the whole day. One bowl was not enough for me!
Ritz Apple Strudel is a pastry dessert place that I frequent. They have many different strudel flavors, and my favorite is durian, out of the common ones like apple and strawberry flavors. The strudel consists of pastry followed by the filling then layers of pastry again. I love Ritz Apple Strudel because the pastry is crunchy, sweet, and flaky. The fillings used are always fresh, and the price is reasonable. Sometimes I would eat the strudel for breakfast!
When it comes to supper, Singaporeans love to eat roti prata. The Prata Place is my favorite place to go to when I have cravings for prata (pictures below were not taken from The Prata Place). Roti prata is a fried flour-based pancake that is cooked over a flat grill. It is commonly eaten together with curry or sugar. There are many different kinds of roti prata now though in the past, there used to be only plain, and egg prata around. Now there are flavors like plaster prata, prata bomb, chocolate tissue prata, milk tissue prata, cheese and mushroom prata, etc. I would always order the cheese and egg prata (first picture), and the plain tissue prata (second picture). The cheese and egg prata is a must to get because the combination is really good when eaten with sugar. The tissue prata is crispy and when eaten with sugar, it is super delicious. Murtabak (third picture), a stuffed pan-fried pancake with meat fillings, is also a common supper food. It is relatively big and it would be good to share it.
Other food items that I ate while in Singapore were BBQ food, minced pork noodles, char kway teow (fried noodles), matcha bingsu from Cafe Insa-dong (which did not taste good), durian, white fungus and longan dessert, popiah, and matcha red bean tea. Awfully Chocolate cake is so far my favorite chocolate cake because it is not too sweet and the sponge is moist. The cake’s texture is great! I had so much fun eating so many different food in Singapore.
Some Singapore sceneries (did not edit any pictures)…
Annyeonghaseyo! It means “Hello” in Korean. South Korea is a country which I would like to frequent because of the unique cuisine. Korean cuisine consists mainly of rice, meat, and vegetables. Kimchi, a traditional fermented side dish made of vegetables with various seasonings, will always be served at every meal. Kimchi is slightly spicy and sour, which makes a great appetizer.
I remembered my first meal in South Korea was BBQ meat. After being seated, I was served various dishes like onions, kimchi, garlic, salt, house sauce, and lettuce. These small dishes were to eat with the BBQ meat. The quality of meat served were fresh and the portions were generous. Koreans have a special way to eat their BBQ meat. Most of the time, they would use a big piece of lettuce to wrap a small piece of BBQ meat with a little dip of sauce on the meat, some pieces of kimchi, onions, and a pinch of salt. Then put the wrapped up lettuce into your mouth. No words could describe the awesome taste and flavors! The juices in the meat oozed out in my mouth and all I could taste was sweet meat. Wonderful meal!
Another superb Korean dish is the kimchi and beancurd soup. You could order the soup as a side dish or as a main dish, i.e. with a bowl of rice. Because kimchi is a spicy and sour dish, naturally the soup would be spicy and sour too. The kimchi and beancurd soup which I ordered had other ingredients like cabbage in the soup too. The soup was equally awesome, just like the BBQ meat.
Another notable dish which is called Korean’s own is bibimbap. Bibimbap literally means “mixed rice”. The dish consists of white rice at the bottom of the hot pot, followed by sautéed and seasoned vegetables, and soy sauce or fermented soybean paste. Sometimes a raw or fried egg, and slices of beef would be added in the hot pot too. Mix all the ingredients in the hot pot before enjoying the dish. Bibimbap may sound like a plain dish to you but in effect, it is full of flavors. The flavors come mainly from the seasoned vegetables, and when mix well, the plain dish is elevated to a different level. This simple dish is enjoyed by many Koreans.
Another special dish which I tried in South Korea is Naengmyeon, a cold noodles dish made of long and thin handmade noodles served in crushed ice, egg, and spicy sauce. Naengmyeon is winter dish and is hardly eaten during other seasons. This dish may reminds you of Japan’s cold soba but naengmyeon’s noodles’ texture is very different from the typical noodles. The texture is somewhat like jellyfish. It is slimy and soft, and I found it hard to chew and break into shorter lengths for swallowing. It is not advisable to take one big mouth of the noodles as you may choke. This dish also has to be mixed well before consuming. The spicy sauce goes well with the cold noodles and it was awesome!
Do you know that Koreans have their own sushi too? It is known as gimbap. Just like Japanese sushi, the ingredients are placed on steamed white rice then rolled up, and cut into inches wide pieces before serving. This dish is great for picnics or as side dish in lunch boxes.
Koreans have their own dumplings too. Just like Chinese dumplings, the meat is wrapped in dumpling skins and steamed. But the Korean dumplings are much bigger in size as compared to the Chinese dumplings. Taste wise, both Korean and Chinese dumplings are equally good!
One of the dishes that I could not miss eating when I was in South Korea was ginseng chicken soup. The soup is widely eaten by both the Koreans and tourists. There are many health benefits in eating ginseng. Ginseng helps to lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels, an energy booster, and reduces stress. The ginseng chicken soup is usually served in a hot pot with rice, a small whole chicken, and vegetables. Definitely an energy booster for me after a day of shopping and walking.
When it comes to South Korea street food, I would have to eat tteokbokki. It is made from fish cake, sweet red chili sauce, and soft rice cake, and it is commonly eaten as a snack. For those who could not handle spicy food, the sauce would be too spicy for you. This is a plain and simple dish but the trick of making a good tteobokki is the chili sauce. Some stalls have different sauce taste but generally, the standard was there.
I also tried other Korean dishes, which were somewhat like Chinese food but with a twist. Soup-based noodles, and stir-fry beef were great!
Patbingsu, the best dessert in South Korea! Bowl of flavored crushed ice served with a scoop of ice cream and toppings was great to wane off the heat. See my post under “Other Sweeties” for rave comments on this South Korean dessert.
These are some street snacks that I munched while strolling on the streets. A dung-shaped pancake with chocolate in it was cute and yummy. The drink which was made of barley and rice, was refreshing.
This sweet dessert called Dragon’s Beard Candy originates from China but has grown popularity in other countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea. This candy was a highly prized sweet within the Korean royal court. The dragon’s beard candy is made of 16,000 strands of honey candy. There are various stuffings in the candy which you could choose from. Ranging from walnut and chocolate to crushed peanuts, sesame, etc. The candy is soft and chewy. The stuffings inside created some texture to the candy and I could not stopped putting more candies into my mouth. This is a video on How to make Dragon’s Beard Candy in South Korea. Watch it to understand the wow behind making this seemingly simple yet delectable candy. When I was in South Korea, I watched how the experts did the candy, and many tourists cheered and clapped alongside. It was super amazing and definitely was not an easy task to make it.
To end off my trip, I bought macarons to celebrate the wonderful days I had spent in South Korea eating all the delicacies!
I chanced upon Ooh La La Dessert Boutique when I was at CityCentre having dinner. The dessert shop offers indoor seating with ample space, and also outdoor seating. Ooh La La Dessert Boutique sells many different kinds of sweet treats. There is a good selection of ice cream, cupcakes, cakes, and macarons.
The macaron flavors I chosen were Chocolate, Hazelnut, Salted Caramel, Vanilla, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Raspberry, and two other flavors which I had forgotten (oops!). The size of the macarons sold here were bigger than the ones I usually got. This was definitely a plus point for me because I prefer bigger cakes or bigger bowls of desserts at a price which is comparable to other stores that are selling smaller portion of the desserts. Not only does Ooh La La sells bigger macarons, their cakes are also sold in bigger slices.
The macarons’ cookies were not too sweet and the I could taste the flavors in the macarons. Thumbs up for having quality at an affordable price! Value for money! I would go back for their Salted Caramel macaron. I love the strong saltiness and sweetness sandwiched in the crunchy macron’s cookie.
Ooh La La Dessert Boutique has several branches and they are well spread-out in Houston. Visit one that is near you now!
23920 WESTHEIMER PARKWAY
KATY TX 77494
Monday – Thursday 8am – 9pm
Friday and Saturday 8am – 10pm
Closed on Sunday
20155 PARK ROW
KATY TX 77449
Monday to Saturday 8am – 6pm
Closed on Sunday
Town and Country Village
770 WEST SAM HOUSTON PARKWAY NORTH, SUITE 500,
HOUSTON TX 77024
Monday to Thursday 8am – 9pm
Friday and Saturday 8am – 10pm
Sunday 12pm – 6pm
Private Event Space
Patisserie Paris Je T’aime was the first pastry shop that I visited when I reached Houston, Texas. It is a small pastry shop with some indoor seatings and limited outdoor seatings. The shop is located in a conducive environment for afternoon high tea catch-up with friends. The selection of cakes, pastries and macarons were displayed neatly in the cake shelves. I walked to and fro several times just to be sure I did not miss out anything delicious.
After much pondering, I settled with some cakes (in another blog post) and 8 macarons. The flavors that I ordered were: Rose Jasmin Darjeeling, Peach, Hazelnut Vanilla, Caramel Apple, Passion Fruit Milk Chocolate, Green Tea Matcha, Raspberry, and Dark Chocolate. The cookies were sweet and crispy, and the fillings, other than the dark chocolate macaron, could have stronger flavors.
11660 Westheimer Rd, Ste 107A
Houston, TX 77077
10:00 am to 6:00 pm, every day, except closed Mondays