Big changes – coming soon!

I have some potentially exciting news!

First of all, though… I realize I haven’t posted anything in ages, and for that – I’m sorry.

If I had any regular readers, I’m sure you’re all gone by now. I wrote in this blog back in 2010-2011 as a way to keep tabs on my travel adventures, and also as an outlet for my love of creative writing. I wanted to get back into it regularly, but I lost my inspiration after I came back to Canada. I miss Korea like crazy and I have been thinking of a way to use this blog on a more regular basis.

I have a lot of crazy ideas floating around in my head lately, and I’m preparing to start a new project that will hopefully blossom into something huge. I’m teaching myself a lot about coding and I’m getting in tough with my design roots again so I can make some beautiful things happen with my new project.

Keep your eyes peeled – something exciting is on its way. I’ll be posting more news about it soon. 

Until then,

Andrew

How-to: Survive Our Cold, Crisp Canadian Winters

As if a rainy, messy and gloomy summer wasn’t enough torture for one year, we are now rewarded with an early winter! HURRAY.
If I remember correctly, wasn’t it (somewhat) warm a few weeks ago? Why does fall always have to end so abruptly?
Do you want to know what I wasn’t expecting to see today? FLURRIES FALLING THIS MORNING.

Oh well, the harsh Canadian winter is almost here and there isn’t much we can do about it.
On that note, let’s be positive! My favourite part of winter is eating hot foods (such as stews and noodle soups) to help warm me up!

Today, my friend Hyesung and I went to one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in Halifax – Suzuki Restaurant (formerly known as Doraku).
We shared a small salad, two maki sushi rolls and one of my FAVOURITE dishes –  鍋焼きうどん(Nabeyaki Udon)

鍋焼きうどん(Nah-bay-yah-key Ooh-Don) translates directly from Japanese as “Stir-fried noodles in pot”.
It consists of udon noodles, grilled chicken, shrimp tempura, fish cake, egg and green onion boiled in a tasty broth, served in a big clay pot.

If you are in Halifax, head on over to Suzuki Restaurant http://www.suzukirestaurant.ca/ to give it a shot, or make it in the comfort of your own home by using this recipe from the fabulous “Cooking With Dog” YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/cookingwithdog

This is the ULTIMATE resource for the most delicious Japanese recipes available on the internet (in my opinion). You should be able to find plenty of recipes that will keep you happy (and warm) throughout the winter months!

幸運を祈る!

Nabeyaki Udon (鍋焼きうどん)

Hip & Happenin’ in Halifax: The Middle Spoon and Bistro Le Coq

Hello folks!

I have returned from Asia (for now) to finish off my undergraduate, and have finally settled in to a new place. I’m pretty sure it’s about time to start writing again!

After being 100% unsure as to what I should blog about, it struck me that I didn’t even consider talking about what is new and exciting in this little East Coast city that I like to call home. Sure, a travel blog is far more diverse and exciting, but I’ll do my best to jazz up the content to keep everyone’s attention! There’s a lot happening in Halifax, so let’s dive right into it!

1st: Halifax’s new Desserterie and Bar, The Middle Spoon. This weekend marks their second week anniversary, and they have most certainly made a splash on the downtown scene. Beautiful decor, friendly staff – this spot should be on your list of places to go.

An establishment that lends itself to sleek, 50’s-60’s malt shop style with a chic modern twist, The Middle Spoon is creating buzz all throughout the HRM.

With Brownie Cookie Sundaes, Peanut Butter and Brownie Chocolate Pie and a wide selection of martinis and other thirst-quenching drinks on the menu, who in their right mind could resist? Stop whatever you are doing at this very moment (unless it is VERY important) and go check it out!

Address: 1559 Barrington St. Phone: 407-4002

2nd: RCR’s new “Bistro Le Coq” is now open for business on Argyle Street, in the heart of the entertainment district. Check them out this weekend for their soft opening, or join them next week for the grand opening!

Expect traditional French cuisine matched with a robust wine list (what kind of French bistro doesn’t sport an awesome wine selection, anyway?), decadent desserts and knowledgeable, friendly staff. RCR also owns “Q Steakhouse”, “Onyx”, “Victory Arms Pub”, and “Cut”, so we can only expect the best.

The staff has been spreading around the word that we should expect the bistro to be a strong competitor in the weekend brunch category, and it seems they are hoping to win over the title of “best weekend brunch”. Let’s see if they can make it happen!

Address: 1584 Argyle Street. Phone: 407-4664

日本料理〜おいしい!(Japanese Food ~ is Delicious!)

After returning from Korea, it has been so busy, that I haven’t had much of a chance to keep up with my blogging! So, from today, I’m going to make a solid effort to update as often as I possibly can!

First item on my new blogging agenda – talk about what I have been up to lately! As some of you may know, I love to cook, bake and of course, I love eating.  So, I suppose there really is no better topic to discuss, now is there? Over the past while, I have been experimenting with Japanese cuisine. I spent some time in Japan while I was studying in Korea, and I am actually working toward a potential work term in Japan next summer! (Let’s hope it works out~). For now, let me know what you think of my cooking skills after taking a look at the photos that I have included with this post!

Homemade Spicy Chicken Sushi!Homemade 弁当 (Bento) Box!

Fresh and Savoury Udon Noodles!

Well, that’s about all I have time for now! My next blog post is going to be a lot more exciting, I promise! I’m going to try making a recipe on Friday that I have been DYING to attempt ever since coming back from Japan last year.

I ate メロンパン (Melonpan, or Melon Bread in English) and it was the most scrumptious, mouth-watering taste experience I have ever had the pleasure of indulging in. If I am able to recreate that beauty that is Melonpan, I will be one happy young man.

No longer able to call Seoul home, back in Canada.

Hey everyone!

So, I realize it has been ages (November of last year, to be exact) since my last blog post. After I left Seoul and came back to Canada, I haven’t felt as inspired to write in this travel blog (which is obvious), but, I promise to find interesting things to blog about to keep up with it! I am still heavily involved with the Korean community here in Halifax, and I am also going to Toronto for the first time next week! I’m going to take lots of pictures, so I will tell you all about my experience when I get back!

Hopefully I will find more time to post here, because I really miss keeping a visual log of all of my adventures and experiences. It’s such a great way to keep track of what you have done, and it’s a lot of fun to look back on the amazing things you had the opportunity to see and do.

Anyway, this is probably extremely boring for you to read, so I’ll stop here.

Look forward to new posts in the near future!

(While you’re waiting, if you want to read some of my personal writing, you can check out maplesyrupandkimchi.blogspot.com and you’ll find some pieces that I have written recently!)

Cheers,

Andrew (앤드류)

Eat, drink and be merry.

Anam (안암 역) is in the North East of Seoul, and is most commonly known as the stomping ground for Korea University students.  It’s not the most developed district in Seoul, but it does have a lot of famous restaurants (Chamsari-gil – the famous street in Anam which is home to a ton of terrific eateries) and a slew of cute, comfy cafes/restaurants where I tend to spend a lot of time writing, sketching and killing time.

In Anam, near the Korea University campus, there are two places that I have fallen in love with.

Considering I have lived in this area for the past 3+ months, I have had time to explore and uncover the places that only a local would typically know about.

If you ever visit South Korea, it would be worth your time to check these two places out! (And explore the Korea University campus at the same time!)

HYPHEN:

Let’s just start off by saying (if you’re from North America), their brunch is delightful, especially if you want something a little less Korean, and a little more Sunday morning guilty pleasure breakfast. The atmosphere is warm and cozy, thanks to the cute decor and adorable decorations (like a giant Totoro that you can cuddle with while you eat!) It has a simple, alluring charm that only a small, non-franchised coffee shop/restaurant can offer!

MUST-TRY: French toast stuffed with Ham and Cheese, any of the Ice Cream Pancakes (Which are 50% off during the Pancake special from 5pm-9pm) and the Brunch Special .

TABLE B:

This gem is another non-franchised cafe/bar/restaurant with a similar vibe to the previously mentioned Hyphen. To the naked eye, Table B is just your average establishment, with the required americano, a decent selection of teas and some standard munchie fare – but it requires more than a surface scratch to uncover the treasure in this gold mine. During the morning/afternoon, they serve a terrific brunch special, which rivals any other place around and they serve a variety of sandwiches, one of which is sure to suit your preference. In the evening, it transforms into a trendy, hip social club where crowds gather to indulge in delectable drinks,  tasty cocktails and scrumptious snacks that are all served with a smile.

Their dessert/side dish menu is also phenomenal, especially if you have a sweet tooth, or love to snack while you drink and chat the night away.

MUST-TRY: 땅콩 바나나 토스트 (Peanut Butter Banana Toast), 오리오 셰이크 (Oreo Shake) and 카페 베일리스 (Cafe Baileys)

DIRECTIONS:

Take the Seoul Metro (Line 6 – Brown Line) to Anam Station. Take exit #2 or #3 and both places are located on the main drag near Korea University. Walk in the opposite direction of the Korea University hospital. Both of the establishments are located on the left side of the road.

TABLE B: You will see a Mini Stop and Tous Les Jours if you heading in the right direction. You will pass a hair salon, and a cup chicken stand, and Table B is right on the left.

HYPHEN: Continue walking past Table B and you will pass the side gate of Korea University and Hana Bank on your left, Hyphen should be on your left side before reaching a four-way intersection.

 

Hyphen is home to a giant Totoro, and you're welcome to cuddle with him during your meal!

Table B's version looks a little different than this (they add Strawberry Jam!), but I'm sure this is equally as delicious!