Week 2 Brunch; Boufe Boutique Cafe

On the second week of my last semester, I finally met what i call, “the very coincidental friends” since we all met each other in different situation, coincidentally.

This time round, we decided to try a new cafe in town. With the rise of cafe culture in Singapore, I was hoping that the food doesn’t disappoint us because there have been plenty of “good reviews” about not-so-good cafes these days. Continue reading

Rounding up 2014

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2014 is ending in a few hours and I am definitely so ready to welcome 2015. Just a quick post before I leave home for a countdown party! I don’t know if 2014 had been good or bad.. I think it’s probably a good mixture.

This year consisted of a lot of adventures and I felt like I was constantly on a roller coaster.. There were so many ups and downs and writing this post did make me realize some of the silly things I’ve done this year.

In 2014, I fulfilled the biggest dream in my life so far. Which was to study abroad, in Korea. I never in my university life thought I would be able to go to Korea for exchange because it’s so competitive and my grades are far from perfect. Nonetheless, I made it with a story to tell and a memory that will last with me forever. It was definitely the best 5 months of my life and I don’t think there was any moment I was homesick throughout my exchange except the last couple of weeks before going home.

This year is also the year where I travelled the most because of my exchange. Although not globally, but those small inter-cities trips did made me learn and think a lot. Other than all the typical “money is not easy to earn” lessons, I realize that life is too short so we should stop bothering about what people think and just do whatever that makes us happy. I’ve met so many kind people this year and I would like to believe that there are still nice people in this world despite all the evils.

Other than all these life lessons, I also met a family who treated me with so much kindness and love. They are like my family in Korea and I think we probably met in the past life or something. It was truly a heart-warming experience.

But of course, there was also the bad where I experience a broken love. So much dramas and I guess it wasn’t mine to begin in the first place. But well, lesson learnt!

A broken love comes a stronger friendship. I forge a lot of friendships and grew closer to people I never thought I could. And I also grew closer with my family through all those times I was away and the small bickers we had.

In terms of academic, it’s still pretty much of a mundane but I’ve done my part and I’m happy to be graduating next year! The Ascott Challenge was definitely the highlight of this academic year. The journey was nothing but amazing (and tiring). My team members and I were so amazed at how much we could push our limits and we really learnt a lot through all the nerve wrecking presentations and tight deadlines! Am glad that our hardwork paid off! :)

2014 is finally coming to an end! It also means it’s time for me to put down all my emotional baggage and unnecessary negative thoughts and grow to become a better person! I’m never good at keeping up with resolutions but I’m just hoping next year will be another exciting year (since I’m starting work) and as cheesy as it sounds, I’ll continue sharing in this space as “girlinsorea” because I really love it!

Pusan National University (Korea) Street Food Guide!

Having to live in Pusan National University’s (PNU) dormitory for 4 months, I’ve tasted some of the best and worst food. No doubt, the dormitory serves the worst food EVER! But I force myself to eat in a lot since I’ve already paid for meals and I don’t want to waste the money. Plus, going down and up the “PNU WongBee Mountain” is such a chore.

One thing I realized is that the university streets in Korea are really hyped up but people usually talk about the ones in Seoul but not Busan. It was difficult for me to decide what’s good to eat when I first arrived in Busan so I decided to collate some of my top 10 favorites eateries near Pusan National University! I would say that most of them are pocket friendly price except for one where you really pay for quality food. But it’s always good to splurge once in a while right? :D

1. Budget Eat: 3-layer toast (명물토스트)

I blogged about this before and I’m going to blog about it again since it’s probably one of the tastiest and most convenient food you can get other than cup ramen. I think many who visited Korea have heard about the “Isaac Toast”. But seriously, why eat Isaac toast when you can get a tastier + thicker toast at a cheaper price!

Instead of the normal two layer toast that Isaac is selling, the toast shops outside PNU specialise in 3-layer toast! Expect generous ingredients such as apples/pickles, cabbage and chicken mayo/ham-cheese/tuna-mayo etc (depending on what you order).

Credit: http://www.rodeostreet.net/info/view.html?idx=17 


An unappealing photo of my sandwich :(

There are around 4-5 stores selling the same thing outside PNU but 명물토스트 is my favourite because the ahjumma is really friendly. Other than toast, they also sell juice and waffles. The ahjummas usually add syrup in the juice but you can opt for no syrup by telling them “시럽 말고 넣어주세요 (siryup malgo neoh-eo juseyo)”, which basically means no syrup.

Here’s a little help in case you’re not sure what to order.


Credit: http://blog.naver.com/dirxf3/220174909354 

Directions: The store is just right outside the main entrance of Pusan National University.

P/S: Bap Burger (Rice burger) is also one of the cheapest food you can get outside PNU but I’ll choose bread over rice anytime!

2. If you’re craving for some burgers…

VALENCE Burgers will do the job. This place sells pretty decent handmade burger and it’s much cheaper than many other handmade burger joints in Singapore.

Other than their handmade burgers, they also have one of the best garlic fries I’ve ever eaten!! Remember to order that!!! Chili fries are just passable though. You could complete your meal with a drink and fries and the drinks are refillable. Only about SGD $10 for a set and you get better quality item as compared to fast food like McDonalds. It’s pretty worth it!

Directions: Busan Univ Station, Exit 3. Walk straight till you reach the main street where T mobile is on your right and Starbucks Coffee is on your left. Turn left (toward Starbucks Coffee direction) and continue walking straight till you see Valence Burgers on your left

Address: 312-7 Jangjeon-dong Geumjeong-gu, Busan

3. Makgeolli, makgeolli and more makgeolli

I think makgeolli is probably the most preferred Korean alcohol among many since it’s really sweet! Other than having it straight from the bottle, do you know you could mix it with many other things to make it even better?

I’ve been to three different places which serves makgeolli in three different styles. Each has it’s own unique taste and I didn’t know drinking makgeolli could be that interesting!

부산대 산성: PNU Fortress 

One thing I realized in Korea is that it gets really cooling under the trees (even in summer). It’s weird because I tried going under the trees in Singapore but it.. still.. remains the same. Now I understand why Koreans love having their mini picnic in the middle of a forest.

Yup, so you basically “dine” in the forest here. And like how different cities in Korea have their own makgeolli, this place sells their own makgeolli too!

 

Directions: This might be pretty unknown for those who are not studying in PNU and I have no idea how to give the directions to this place but it’s near the PNU Gymnasium! Students in the university are generally friendly so you can always ask around! :)

조선칼국수와통막걸리

And if you prefer fruity drinks, try this place that sells fruit flavoured makgeolli. They have many different flavoured makgeolli such as kiwi, peach etc.

It comes in a huge jar and cost only KRW3,500 if I didn’t remember wrongly? Expect a slushie makgeolli instead of the normal makgeolli. But they can get pretty inconsistent so your makgeolli might turn out to be very watery!

Credit: http://blog.naver.com/eomsblog/220143240946 

They also sell lots of food here and like many other drinking places, you have to order at least one food item. Their spicy seafood guksu (noodle) is da bomb! And the staff also check your ID so remember to bring them!! My friends got turned down because they didn’t bring their IDs along. Anyway, it’s best to keep your ID in your wallet since it’s common for the staffs to do a random check in these drinking places near the university.

Directions: Busan Univ Station, Exit 3. Walk straight till you reach the main street where T mobile is on your right and Starbucks Coffee is on your left. Turn right and walk straight till you see a traffic light. Cross diagonally to Busan Bank and continue walking straight till you see a handphone shop on your right (Lotteria is right opposite the handphone shop). Upon seeing the handphone shop, turn right to the small alley and continue walking straight for till you see another alley with a huge white signboard on your left. Turn into that alley and you’ll find 조선칼국수와통막걸리.

Address: 418-37 Jangjeon-dong Geumjeong-gu, Busan 

천탁

Heard of makgeolli with honey? If you haven’t, you need to try it! It’s even tastier than the usual makgeolli and this place also sells makgeolli + cider and makgeolli + yogurt.

But I didn’t really like this place because the owner is double standard upon knowing that you are a foreigner. If you want to get some honey makkgeolli, go to Sinchon in Seoul. You’ll be spoilt for choices.

Directions: *Don’t bother*

4. Best fried chicken in Busan?

Give me OUTDARK CHICKEN!! I’m a huge chimaek (chicken & beer) fan and I’ve tasted countless fried chicken in Korea. Other than Kyochon Chicken, my second favourite would have to be Outdark Chicken. Outdark originated from Busan and I heard recently, they’ve also started operation in Seoul! Hopefully they get as popular as Yoogane and open a branch in Singapore soon!

This place is always full during dinner so if you’re in a big group, I suggest going either really early or really late.

Directions: Busan Univ Station, Exit 3. Walk straight till you reach the main street where T mobile is on your right and Starbucks Coffee is on your left. Turn right and walk straight till you see a traffic light. Cross diagonally to Busan Bank and continue walking straight till you see a handphone shop on your right (Lotteria is right opposite the handphone shop). Upon seeing the handphone shop, turn right to the small alley and continue walking straight for about 3 minutes. Outdark Chicken is on your right. 

Address: 417-29 Jangjeon-dong Geumjeong-gu, Busan 

5. Hate it or love it. Dwaeji Gukbap

Pork soup rice literally. Taste very much like our teochew porridge in my opinion. Most of my friends didn’t like this because the taste of the pork is really strong. Well, I didn’t like this dish too in the beginning but it gets so addictive after a few tries! People in Busan generally eat saltier and sweeter food so I guess that explains the “strong porky smell”.

There is a “Dwaeji Gukbap Street” near PNU but my favourite one is the one near the North Gate of PNU where the kind ahjumma always give 1000KRW discounts for students!

Directions: Busan Univ Station, Exit 3. Walk straight till you reach the main street where T mobile is on your right and Starbucks Coffee is on your left. Turn right and walk straight till you see a traffic light. Cross to the opposite side (where ABC Mart is located) and continue walking straight till you see Lotteria. Turn left upon seeing Lotteria and you can find lots of 돼지국밥 there! Good luck in finding the one that suits your tastebuds!

6. Korean snacks in a restaurant, 빨봉분식

If you want some Korean snacks but prefer a restaurant setting, try this place. This is an absolute no-frill Korean snacks shop and everything is really affordable so you can order lots without burning a hole in your pocket. I heard that their cheese rabokki and tonkatsu salad are good!

Photo credit: http://toryssong.blog.me/220060827972

Directions: Busan Univ Station, Exit 3. Walk straight till you reach the main street where T mobile is on your right and Starbucks Coffee is on your left. Turn right and walk straight till you see a traffic light. Cross to the opposite side (where ABC Mart is located) and continue walking straight to a T-Junction (after Baskin Robbins). Turn left at the T-Junction and continue walking till you find 빨봉분식 on your left. 

Address: 420-26 Jangjeon-dong Geumjeong-gu, Busan 

7. Galbi Jjim 짚신매운갈비찜

You know how kimchi jjigae sometimes get a little too boring? Why not try this place where they braise pork/beef short ribs together with kimchi/capsaicin soup base! Price is a little high, about 10,000 ~ 12,000 KRW/pax. You can also choose the spiciness (10%, 20%, 30%, 50%, 70% and 100%). You might want to start with the 10% first because my room mate found 20% spicy but I thought it was pretty okay.

Directions: Busan Univ Station, Exit 3. Walk straight till you reach the main street where T mobile”is on your right and Starbucks Coffee is on your left. Turn right and walk straight till you see a traffic light. Cross diagonally to Busan Bank and continue walking straight till you see a handphone shop on your right (Lotteria is right opposite the handphone shop). Upon seeing the handphone shop, turn right to the small alley and continue walking straight for about 2 minutes. 짚신매운갈비찜 is on your left. 

Address: Busandaehak-ro 50beon-gil Geumjeong-gu, Busan

8. Quality sushi, Sushi-Sim (스시 심)

My first taste of sushi in Korea after 4 months. The set up is pretty similar an omakase and you have the chef working the magic right in front of your eyes. You can choose between three sets, each priced at KRW 15,000, KRW 20,000 or KRW 25,000 respectively. The difference is the number of sushi (10, 13 and 15 pieces) and the KRW 25,000 set has an additional sashimi platter.

Busan is famous for it’s seafood so no doubt, their sashimi is really fresh and good. And the chef also tells you what you are eating (not like I understand -_-) but at least they tried?

You might think it’s pretty pricey but… Paying just KRW15,000 ~ KRW 25,000 for a 7/8 course set? So worth it! The restaurant is really tiny and it gets crowded during lunch time so going at a later timing (by 2pm since they close at 3pm for dinner service) would be nice!

Directions: Busan Univ Station, Exit 3. Walk straight till you reach the main street where T mobile is on your right and Starbucks Coffee is on your left. Turn right and walk straight till you see a traffic light. Cross to the opposite side (where ABC Mart is located) and continue walking straight to a T-Junction (after Baskin Robbins). Cross to the opposite side (where Olleh is located) and continue walking straight continue walking straight for about 5 minutes. Sushi Sim 스시 심 is on your right. 

Address: 419-10 Jangjeon 2(i)-dong Geumjeong-gu, Busan

9. Korean BBQ

What’s Korean food without Korean BBQ!

Some random BBQ shop that sells skirt meat and pigskin

However, I don’t have any particular favourite Korean BBQ restaurant in Busan because the best one I’ve eaten are in Anyang and Jeju. Unless you’re eating BBQ Buffet (where they give you sucky meat), Korean high-grade beef or some special marinated meat, pork and chicken are just… pork and chicken to me. There are lots of BBQ restaurants outside PNU so I would say, follow your instincts. But I normally don’t go into shops that sell by grams because I have a perception that they charge more for less.

Directions: Countless! Just go to one that you think looks good!

10. NOHS Coffee

The coffee culture in Korea is really strong and Koreans love getting coffee after meals. Good + cheap coffeehouses are hard to come-by these days so do try NOHS Coffee when you are near PNU! I heard the owner of this café actually goes by the surname of NOHS too!

Anyhow, NOHS is a really good place for cheap coffee and cakes. And although their coffees are cheap, they don’t compromise the quality. However, the cakes are just so-so. But paying only KRW 4500~5500 for a drink AND cake, what else can you expect?

And do you know that many coffee shops in Korea (except the major franchise) gives a discount of KRW 1,000 if you takeaway? Do look out for the big “take-out” signs and you might want to start telling the barista “take-out” in your next visit to a coffeeshop in Korea!

Directions: Busan Univ Station, Exit 3. Walk straight till you reach the main street where T mobile is on your right and Starbucks Coffee is on your left. Turn right and walk straight till you see a traffic light. Cross to the opposite side of  Tous les Jours (also opposite Busan Bank) and walk straight till you find NOHS Coffee on your right. 

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Of course, the list goes on and on but I’ll leave the rest to you! Do let me know if you have a good place to recommend and hopefully I’ll be back soon to enjoy it! :)

Holiday starts now!

Before moving on, in case you missed out, I did a video last week in the midst of my paperS for a KBS World event! But no, I didn’t win that air ticket to Korea :(. Nonetheless, I had so much fun making this video so I just wish to share my humble first vlog (?is this considered?)!! I’m going to consider making more and irritate you with my face! HAHA!

AND FINALLY!! After weeks of agony, I can say goodbye to my books for a few weeks! Winter break is here! Although there’s no winter in Singapore, I’m still going to enjoy my rainy afternoons being a couch potato, writing, eating since christmas is coming… and basically just doing nothing? Perks of being a student.. I’m definitely going to miss being a student although school can be such a bitch sometimes!

This semester had been quite a breeze through except for a bit of hiccups. My worst nightmare– irresponsible group members. I think this happens to me every semester without fail. It’s not like these members are incompetent but you could totally see the amount of damns they give for the project. So SO many message left unreplied, irresponsible people and all these super last minute work drives me crazy. What’s the point of having a phone if you don’t want to reply messages? Everybody is all busy, so please set your priorities right? People also need to be more responsible instead of just disappearing into thin air and not turning up for meetings. And worse, when you are told in advance to get things done by XX time, please jolly well do so otherwise you will make the life of the person collating the work very difficult.

SERIOUSLY. Is making your group mate life easier so difficult for you? Sigh. But at the end of the day, they still got the work done so I’m shall not pick a fight with them…

Am going to move on to the next phase of my life! Which is to find a job… A process which I absolutely detest. Don’t ask me what I want to do in the future because I am currently stuck in a quarter life crisis (ha ha ha)…Shall take some time to think and search!

For now, I’m just going to worry about my results! It’s just one module which I’m afraid!!!! But what to do? Can only pray to the bell curve god..