[travel] Snapshots from Lisbon: fish & pastries & fish pastries

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?

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[eat] 알전골 (fish roe soup) at 알부자 @ Gangnam, Seoul

I don’t usually eat out in Gangnam, but when I do, it ends up a terrible experience. I’ve always found myself go to the wrong restaurant, eat the wrong thing and eventually pay the wrong price. It pains me just to think about the experiences. Luckily, this time isn’t one of those times (or is it). And that says something because I’m widely known for being prone to tough luck.

The love for fish roe has brought me to 알부자 (Albuja) – a pretty popular fish roe soup restaurant among Korean food bloggers. The soup is often served as a drinking food at the hofs. Like many other Korean soups, it’s spicy, red and sour.

We ordered a pot of 알전골 (Al Jeongol/22000 KRW).


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[travel] Jeju trip (day 4): Cheonjiyeon water fall, Black pork, Seafood noodles and lots of donuts

After 2 hectic days of lots of sightseeing and walking, we decided to take it easy on our last full day in Jeju. We decided to explore Seogwipo city (on the southern coast of Jeju) because I wanted to see the majestic Jungmun Daepo Coast Jusangjeolli Cliff. Sadly, it was raining the whole time so all my ambitions mostly evaporated when we got to Seogwipo city (for your information, it was a 70 minute bus ride from Seongsan Gymnasium bus stop to the old Seogwipo intercity bus stop and cost us 3000 KRW each). Upon seeing the magical Dunkin’ Donuts across the street from the bus terminal, the bf and I swiftly changed our plan of the day into chilling at D2 instead of checking out Jungmun Daepo Coast. After stuffing ourselves with donuts AND Jeju black pork AND naengmyeon, I thought that we should at least check out the nearby Cheonjiyeon water fall, because, after all, it felt absurd to ride the bus for more than one hour to Seogwipo city just to eat donuts and black pork.

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[travel] Jeju trip (day 2-1): Jeju Olle Trail route #1 & Jeju’s abalone porridge

We started our second day in Jeju island by asking the hotel staff to give us a ride to the starting point of Route 1 of the Jeju Olle Trail. Jeju Olle Trail is

Ollegil (올레길) The Jeju Olle Trail, called Jeju Olle Gil or simply, “Jeju Olle” in Korean, is a long-distance foot path on Jeju Island, an island off the south-west coast of South Korea. The overall route, mostly following the coastline, consists of 21 interconnected numbered main routes, 5 major spurs, and a short spur that connects to Jeju Airport. The routes each have an average length of 16 km and total 422 km in all. The exact length and locations change over time as trails are modified or re-routed. The routes pass through various landscapes along the way including small villages, beaches, farms and forests. Many routes encompass some of the island’s 368 oreums (low parasitic volcanoes and historical sites dating from ancient times through to the modern era.

The 2 most beloved Olle trails are route #1 & #7. While the latter is far from our hotel, the former was just 3 minutes away by car. We spent ~5 hours on the trail, hiking through villages, over mountains, and along the beach. The weather was perfect (no sun, cool and windy) and the trail was beautiful. Hiking is our favorite activity, given how antisocial we are xD Jeju has a lot to offer, but many spots of interest are touristy. We just want to spend our holiday as pleasantly as possible, and enjoyment = no people around. I am not sure if I would recommend hiking Jeju Olle Trails to everyone, because many may find walking ~15km nothing fun, but if you want to discover the hidden beauty of Jeju island, Olle Trail is a good place to start.

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[eat] Prague fare at Praha restaurant @ Itaewon, Seoul

I am suddenly having a crave for mussels. Mussels in white wine sauce with tons of garlic always make me smile.
And the mussels, among others, at Praha in Itaewon made me smile.

It was a fine winter day, my friend and I were walking along the street of Itaewon looking for good eats. Praha — a cool looking restaurant — caught our eyes with its lunch special. The lunch special was from 11am to 3pm, and it was 2:55pm. We pondered for a moment, and decided to skip. 5 minutes later, we came back. Bang, lunch special was over. But well, we were already seated.
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