Hi, okay, I am back, I guess. Where have I been? Tanzania & Kenya, then back to Korea after a 30-hour flight (layover time included) amid the Ebola outbreak -.- Good thing is that I have now settled in at Yonsei dorm, bad thing is that I am just back from a 5 day trip to Cebu where, conveniently enough, a tropical storm hit the country and my plan to see things was wrecked. I love my life. The cherry on top is that my plane touched down in Korealand at 1am and I am now waiting for the first limousine bus back to my dorm which will depart at 5:30am. No I am not complaining I am just ranting.
Sarcasm aside, I am back, guys. I am in a shitty mood (those who follow my facebook will understand why), but I am also professional. I simply cannot let my mood defeat my purpose in life, i.e. eating good food & blogging about it.
That said, what is better to mark my comeback with a review of Korean BBQ?
My body was ready for the fabled pastel de nata. That Portuguese pastry, with which I have been harboring a hopeless helpless love for years, was the main reason I booked my tickets to Lisbon. I am well acquainted with this creamy, flaky custard tarts; back in the days in Hong Kong, the bf and I found every chance to indulge ourselves in this precious golden pastry, and I sometimes had to resort to those feeble tarts in Seoul to satisfy my sweet tooth. It was a religious moment when I brought myself to the most famous, oldest pastel de nata cafe in Belém, when I finally saw those real authentic beauties with my own eyes and carefully savored them as tears came out of my eyes and all those wasted years of eating the second-rated tarts flashed by with a tinge of shame and regret.
As much as I adored egg tarts, Lisbon’s culinary scene turned out to spread farther and wider than those pastries. Lisbon has to be my food city in Europe, everything was so cheap and so good, so authentic and so hearty. For 5 days there my belly was filled to the seams with amazing seafood, sensational pastries and, well, let’s throw in some alcohol to make everything jollier, shan’t we?
I have so many fantasies about Vienna, or may I call it, Wien. Listening to The Blue Danube played by Vienna Philharmonic every New Year’s Eve has become a ritual. In my heart, Wien is all about the classical, classic, and classy; Wien for me is elegant, resplendent, and dignified. Wien for me is Lacrimosa’s Nachtschatten–calm, imposing, and beautiful..
Und so treffe ich Dich in Cannes
Und vielleicht auch schon in Rom
Vielleicht bin ich der Mann
Der Dich anruft wenn Du einsam bist
Im Grandhotel in Wien
I had so many expectations before coming to Wien that somehow the whole trip, in the end, felt flat. I am so sorry to say this. I wanted to love Wien so badly, but it turned out that for me, Wien was fine and nice, but hardly left on me a lasting impression.
Apart from this?
After a stressful flight from Rome to Amsterdam, I got back to my room in Utrecht at 11:30pm on 17 January 2014. I rushed to do laundry, check emails, and do some very very last minute packing for yet another adventure the next day. Yes, I have to get up at 5am to catch my 6am train for Cologne. Guys, this is seriously strenuous alright. After 1 week of non-stop sightseeing in Italy, a flight + train ride + biking back, a few hours of doing laundry and waiting for my clothes to dry, I have 3 hours of sleep before getting back to the road.
Given my fragile state on that day, it is no surprise that I did not enjoy Cologne very much.
The short answer is, yes.
As you might have read my declaration of love for Venice here, you can only imagine how sad I was to read indonesia in my pocket‘s very different view on Venice (ok it is not that I was sad sad but I like to exaggerate things). I understand her frustration, though. 5 euro for a scoop of gelato is a crime against humanity. Had I encountered such ridiculous price tag/cost of staying in Venice like her, I don’t think I could have written such a loving post about Venice.
Luckily for me, however, my short holiday was very affordable and pleasant for such a popular city.
And here is how.
After a super duper long hibernation, I’m finally back. Sadly, school is back as well which means I won’t be able to update the blog as much as I want to. To make up for my more-than-unforgivable absence, this post is going to be super long (with pictures) and filled with nothing but flowers, awesome playgrounds and delicious food!
Think Spanish food and what comes first to your mind? Lots, indeed. Spanish food is among the best known in the world, not only for its level of yumminess but also for its incredible diversity. Varied climates and terrains mean that a myriad of different vegetables are grown. While lamb, beef and chicken abound, Spain’s extended coastline brings seafood to the country’s gastronomic scene. Most importantly, perhaps, is the influence of different cultures embedded in Spanish cooking: Roman & Greek (where else do you think olive oil and wine came from?), Moorish (gazpacho, baby, it’s the gazpacho), Jewish (stew in olla), and Christian (SPANISH HAM!). Paella, croquetas, tortilla española, jamon, chorizo, churros, sangria… even the name sound exciting already.
However, if you can only choose ONE type of Spanish food to savour, stick with tapas. Everyone knows what tapas mean, but in plain English: a variety of Spanish appetizers, served hot or cold, which make you very happy after tasting and keep you longing for more. Good thing is that you can find tapas bars everywhere in the world, but in Spain, tapas have been perfected into real cuisine.
When we were in Spain, the sheer density of tapas bars per square kilometer was confusing and intimidating. As visitors, we of course wanted to find a real gem among this multitude of establishments. After failing to make it to one of Girona’s best tapas bars (according to TripAdvisor), we decided to avenge our loss by heading to La Republicana–arguably the most popular and the best place to enjoy tapas in Zaragoza the next day.