Seoul Searching 101: Myeong Dong Food District

“To travel to a new place isn’t just about getting an idea of its culture, and exploring such famous landmarks. It’s also about trying their authentic food, something that you don’t get to see or eat from where you live.” – A thought that I always bear in mind whenever I go on a travel.

For our last stop of our second night in South Korea, we’ve decided to take on a food trip to the famous Myeong Dong Food District. And as to what I’ve already written from my last blog which was entitled “Seoul Searching 101: Bukchon Hanok Village”, I actually did mentioned that if we weren’t sort of lost after our bus ride had dropped us off at the wrong Myeong dong station, we wouldn’t have found its famous food district by accident. The funny thing is that, this famous food trip area is just right across the street from the area that leads to the place where we were staying, which was truly a surprised for us; for we had never expected that one of the places that we’ve been looking forward to visit was just right under our noses. Oh well, talk about destiny!

Anyway, we were on our way back downtown after our night time exploring of Namsan Tower Park (via cable car and part of our 8,000 won fare per head). So we went straight ahead to Myeong dong food district. It was just a walking distance from the guesthouse for about 10-15 minutes. It’s either you can walk across the street, or go down and walk along the pathway inside the subway station, and take a short cut there going up the district (which we actually did on our way back to the guesthouse).

It was a cold night, but I couldn’t care less, because from the moment we’ve arrived there. I was totally excited especially seeing all those different stalls of food along the small streets of Myeong dong. Plus, I was utterly looking forward to take on my pick on which food should I try for the night. But such street foods that are being sold are a bit expensive (which in the Philippines cost for about 100-200 pesos each). And most of its stalls would sell their products at a price of 2,500 won, 3,000 won, and 5,000 won.

As for my first pick for the night, it was an egg bun which cost for about 2,500 won. It’s tasty and fluffy but something that I couldn’t say my favorite for the night. So we went on to continue our exploring from one stall to another.

While I was busy eating my egg bun, my friends first choice was to eat a sea shell with cheesy boiled eggs, and corns on top of it which cost for about 5,000 won. Then they went on for a Pomegranate juice, and caramelized fruit stick (3,000 won).

For our next stop, are you familiar of this famous street food called Fish Cakes? I’m sure for those who are into Korean Series would have totally seen this. This food cost for about 1,500 won each. It is very delicious, and you can either go for spicy or not spicy. And since I love spicy food, I was totally up for the challenge. But, I totally underestimated it, for it was so hot and spicy (although I really enjoyed my time eating it). It’s just that, such spiciness has almost gotten me sick. I’m not joking. Seriously, it was such a cold night, but it has gotten much colder after eating that fish cake, and drinking its spicy soup. And while walking along the streets, I wasn’t able to concentrate for I was already freezing so badly like I was having a seizure. And that almost ruined my night. So it was a good thing that after taking a short break somewhere along the area that I was able to recover from it.

Moving forward to our food exploring, and as I’ve already mentioned, such street foods that are being sold there can be a bit expensive. So I’ve decided to go for three different varieties of it, and go for the other ones on our last night. So for my third and last pick for the night, it was a food called Croissant Taiyaki, it’s a small pastry in the shape of a fish. And it taste really good, I guess it’s because of the cream cheese inside of it. For its cheesiness really did blend well with the croissant.

Then after almost two hours of exploring this famous district, one thing that I’ve observed as to what made this area quite famous for so many travelers is that, it’s a place where you can truly see its authenticity. For it is the kind of street foods that showcase South Korea for what it is; using such ingredients and recipes that can only be found in that country, but with a modern and creative twist, which is also such a big factor as to why there are lots buyers that are enticed to try and taste such different varieties of street foods along the Myeong dong food district.

And since it’s been such a day, and we were already getting exhausted from our exploring. We’ve decided to go back to the guesthouse, to rest, and to get ready for our next adventure. And that is an out of the city visit to Nami Island and Petite France!

For our second day in South Korea, I must say, what a day and what a night!

To be continued.

And thank you so much for reading! 🙂

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Madame Butterflies Natural Fruit Ice Cream

Almost two years ago, I had an opportunity to visit Bohol. And one of the places that I was able to explore was the Butterfly Garden. It’s a beautiful place with a small restaurant and it looks so peaceful. But I’ve mostly enjoyed my time there eating than sightseeing!

So as a girl who loves sweets, it was actually a friend of mine who suggested to try it. At first, I was kinda hesitant because the picture that she showed me during her trip to Bohol wasn’t really that appealing at all. So when I had the chance to visit the Butterfly Garden, I took the opportunity to try it. And my oh my! It’s one of the most delicious ice cream that I’ve ever tasted! Forget all the brands of ice cream that you’ve tried! For its really one of the best! This homemade ice cream is not too sweet, and you can totally taste its creaminess that blends with its particular flavor. Each one of us in our group tried two different flavors, and we really enjoyed our time eating it. The Flavors that I’ve tried were Cookies & Cream and Buko Pandan. Oh how I wish that there is such an ice cream back here in Cagayan de Oro city! And if you’ll ever get the chance to visit Butterfly Garden in Bohol, please try their very delicious ice cream! For it is definitely worth eating.

Thank you so much for reading! 🙂

 

A Food Trip to Del Monte Clubhouse

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As a wanderer and a foodie, I always think of the idea that to travel is all about exploring an unfamiliar place, and of course, getting a taste of their food!

So when my friends and co-workers suggested that we should go to Camp Phillips to visit their very famous Del Monte Clubhouse. Of course, I did say yes to such a plan. For I’ve always wanted to visit the place. Especially back then, I tend to hear such comments from my family and friends that their different varieties of food are definitely a must try. Which also makes me so jealous whenever I listen to them talk about it. Keeping in mind that one day I’ll be able to set foot into it! And after so many years of wondering as to when I’ll be able to. I’ve finally had the chance to go there, and it was definitely worth it.

Although it is only a short trip, we need to plan and schedule it; for we also have to consider each and every one’s availability to go. And even if the weekend is the perfect time to go, there are some of us who works on a Saturday. So we’ve finally decided to schedule it on the 21st of August which is a non-working special holiday here in the Philippines; and by the time that we’ve finalized the date of our trip. We’ve started to go into the planning part. Like inquiring about their famous dishes, mode of transportation, our meeting place, and finalizing who really wants to go with us. Then three days before our actual trip. There were two unexpected events that had happened, and that a number of who were supposed to join us couldn’t come. This almost made us to reschedule it. But luckily, all is well that at the very last minute we’ve finally decided to push it through even if we were narrowed down from 14 to 8.

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The Del Monte Golf Clubhouse in Cawayanon, Bukidnon is more or less a 45 minute drive from Cagayan de Oro city. But, it would also depend on the traffic along the highway; and since the trip was on a holiday, and we headed out of the city in the late morning. So our journey on the way there was kinda smooth. Moreover, we were able to enjoy such wonderful sceneries on the way there. Such views that we don’t usually get to see since we live in the city. By the time that we’ve almost reached the clubhouse, we’ve decided to go for a short stopover in the Cawayanon Church.

Well, after years of wondering about this famous Del Monte Clubhouse. I’ve finally had the chance to actually see it! And I must say, the place itself is much more beautiful than in the pictures. For it is so picturesque, and utterly breathtaking. And from the first moment that I’ve arrived, I just knew that I’m really going to write about this enchanting place.

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Before I move forward, I almost forgot to say that if it’s actually your first time there like me; and if you’re also keen on planning food trips. You could also make some inquiries by sending them an email at clubhouse@delmonte-phil.com, or you can contact them by this number 09272735211. Just ask for Ma’am Saling or Ma’am Marianita. Plus, it’s a good thing that I’m a bit meticulous about inquiring. For when I’ve made a call a few days before the trip, I was informed by their staff that during the holidays or weekends, the clubhouse tends to be a bit fully booked during lunch time; and that we need to make a reservation in the morning if our plan is be to there in time for lunch. And thank goodness I’ve made a call on the way because by the time that we’ve arrived there, the place was really crowded, and the best seats were already taken. But we’ve already had our reservation, so it wasn’t a hassle in our part to find a good table for 8 persons.

As for the place itself, I tend to find it to be an old fashioned and old school type of restaurant; giving that sense of feeling of being on the countryside, and looking at the view outside while eating, also makes you feel that you are in one with nature.

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Finally, to the part that I’ve been wanting to write about is their food. Of course Del Monte Clubhouse is quite famous for their delicious steaks, (and also quite expensive). Plus, I was informed that their steaks are not always available. And it’s okay, because when I was reading some blogs about the clubhouse. I’ve read that they are also known for their best sellers like their Roast Beef, Cheese Burger, and of course, their Blueberry Cheesecake. But sad to say such delicious dessert was not available at that time. And I was so dismayed for I’ve been looking forward to eating it so badly.

I must confess that I’m not really into rice and beef. And the closest thing that I would tend to eat for such kind of meat is mostly burgers. But since this is a very rare trip, and I don’t usually tend to always have the opportunity to do this. So I’ve decided to break the habit, and go for it.

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In our group, half of us ordered the Roast Beef; and as for the other half went for Roast Pork. As you can see in the picture of their menu, such orders could be categorized in complete or short order. The Short Order is being served with rice. And I’m sorry to say this, but I’m not so sure about the drinks. As for the Complete Order, it is with rice, salad, soup, dessert and drinks. For some, they’ve ordered the complete meal, but I didn’t because I knew I just couldn’t eat them all in one piece.

For their “Roast Beef”, I find it quite tasty, and it really blends with its gravy sauce which was really a big factor as to why I’ve really enjoyed my time eating it, even though it was kinda hard for my taste. Plus, their servings were so huge that I almost thought that I wouldn’t be able to eat them all. But to my utter surprise, I was able finished the whole plate. It just shows that even if I’m a conscious eater. I’m still a foodie by heart.

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Since I’m not one of those in our group who’ve ordered their “Roast Pork”, so I really can’t say something about it, but based on some of my co-workers comments, it was also delicious that really makes you feel so full after eating it. As for their salad, it is very tasty, even if it was served in such small servings. Just like their Asparagus soup.

Until now, I still feel so disappointed that I didn’t have the chance to have a taste of their very own “Blueberry Cheesecake”. So I’ve ordered their “Fruit Salad”. I must say, all the fruits that were served were really fresh, and very delicious. The only thing that I didn’t like is that the cream that was added into it wasn’t really that creamy at all; for whenever I think of a fruit salad. I always go for something that is so full of heavy cream. Which I also think should really blend with the fruits. But still, even if that were the case, such dessert was refreshingly yummy. And the rest of members in our group ordered the same dessert, but there were two who wants some “Mango Float”. In which I’ve also had the opportunity to try at least a small portion of it. And as usual, it was delicious with tons of grahams, but just like their fruit salad. It wasn’t that loaded with heavy cream.

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Then there’s their “Cheese Burger”; for it was definitely one of the most delicious burger that I’ve ever tasted. You know that feeling of floating around because something wonderful just happened, and you just can’t stop thinking about it. That’s what I’ve felt after eating it. And oh my, it was big. Plus, it wasn’t really that loaded with so many toppings. But mind you, the thickness of the cheese, small portion of lettuce, and the dressing that was added really did blend well into the patty. For such meat was thick, and at the same time, so juicy. Moreover, by just looking at it, you can really see that it was not hardly formed, and by the time you’ll get a bite into it; there’s that taste of the softness of the patty. Over all, it was definitely my most favorite food in the clubhouse.

However, this burger was actually a take-out of mine for dinner, and I keep on wondering, if how utterly delicious it really is going to be if I’ve eaten it when it was just newly made. For sure next time, cause I still haven’t got to taste their famous dessert!

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After eating our lunch, we’ve decided to do some activity while we’re still there. We were playing golf and taking pictures. You know, just goofing around and trying to make the most out of our free time there. Then we went back to the clubhouse to take a short break, order our take-outs. And as for me, I bought some souvenirs, which I always do whenever I go on a trip; something to add into my collections.

It was a day that was worthily spent. For each and every one in group really had so much fun, especially to all those hilarious jokes that was bantered to one of our comedians. And by the time that we’ve headed back into the city, we just knew that something like this should be repeated again; for indeed, it was definitely a very unforgettable day. And thank you so much for reading.
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Elizabeth Cauvel: My Inspiration to Cook

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Cooking has never been a usual thing for me. I’m not saying that I don’t know how to do it. It’s just that I rarely have the time for it for the reason that I tend to feel like I don’t have that confidence in myself that I can actually cook. So putting aside all the recipes that I’ve copied online, and enjoying all the food that I really want to eat by going to restaurants. But then,  I’ve finally reached that point that it has no longer given me that satisfaction that I’m really looking for after eating a food. Especially when I eat some pasta (which is really my favorite!). So for months I’ve been having that itchy kind of feeling that I’m looking for in order to give me that satisfaction in my appetite. And then the right inspiration came in!

I think it was after watching this famous TV show Master Chef. For that’s when I saw 1st runner up ELIZABETH CAUVEL. She used to be an amateur cook who lives in New York City with her husband, and works as a creative director in a certain Advertising company. For years, she’s been dreaming of competing for Master Chef. And such a dream has finally turned into a reality for she was finally chosen as one of the TOP 22 for Season 5. It was really one of my favorite seasons! So when I first saw her, I was like “Who is that gorgeous and sophisticated woman?” and ” Does she really have what it takes to compete?”. Little did I know, behind all those executive outfits, and classy act, is a woman who can really cook in STYLE! From then on, I’ve been rooting for her all the way to the finals! Although I felt so bad that she didn’t turned out to be the winner, but oh well. For me she will always be the real winner!

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A little master chef trivia about Elizabeth Cauvel was that she was the first contestant that has never been in the bottom 2/3 or lose a team challenge. This means she never had to compete in a pressure test. And another thing that the viewers really like about her is her cute expressions whenever things are getting into a heat up kind of situation during the competition. She just looks so adorable!

I’ve watched all the episodes for season 5, and of all the recipes that she has made during the competition. I think it was the BREAKFAST LASAGNA that has definitely made a huge impression on me. I was actually in doubt when she cooked it! But it turns out it has actually saved her in the pressure test. So from then on, I’ve noticed that she cooks in a way that marks each food that she makes as her own. I think her biggest trademark is that she’s really good in making Italian dishes but with her own unique twist.

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Aside from my mama, Elizabeth Cauvel has inspired me to do well in my cooking. Combining my mama’s advice that one should always cook from the heart, and Elizabeth’s style to cook in confidence. So far, I’ve been doing well in the cooking area. I know that I still have a long way to go. But at least, I’ve finally lost that doubt within myself that I can’t do it. And another thing that I’ve also learned from them is that you should cook based on how you visualize your food. Although it is very nice to look for tons of recipes but one should have their own twist to make it into their own. Bon Appétit!