Thursday, July 28, 2016

Seoul Food

Lunch at Arirang Folk Restaurant
Any visit to Seoul easily turns into a food trip. 

As soon as we checked into our hotel at the Seoul Plaza, we were prowling the streets checking out the various restaurants in the neighborhood. And as it happened, we chose Arirang Restaurant for our first meal in Seoul. That was a great pick because we had a very good lunch at Arirang. I ordered the Korean style seafood pancake and it looked and tasted like it spent just the right amount of time in the pan. My brother cleaned up his bibimbap hot pot. The japchae was a rich mix of sweet potato noodles, stir fried vegetables and shredded beef. The black cod boiled down in soy sauce was the amazing reveal.  It was both flavorful and moist. It was the very first time in my life that I really appreciated cod. And the service was commendable.

Address: 23, Namdaemun-ro 7-gil, Jung-gu (behind the Westin Chosun Hotel)

Bibimbap
My favorite dish is bibimbap but I couldn't find bibimbap with chicken anywhere we went in Seoul. I wonder if this is just served in the U.S.? Most bibimbap dishes in Seoul are served with beef. I finally ordered one with beef and asked the waiter to tell the kitchen to hold off on the beef. It worked out! 

Directions to restaurant
Unfortunately, I dont have the English name of the restaurant. It's on the second floor of the building next to the Lotte Young Plaza and above a 7-eleven convenience store.

It's standard fare to be served ban chan when eating at a Korean restaurant. Sometimes there are two small dishes or five as we had at Arirang. Kimchi is a staple ban chan dish. There is usually a box of stainless steel chopsticks on the table. I just had to buy my own set of ss chopsticks for home. Such useful souvenirs!

Samgyetang
Samgyetang is ginseng chicken soup. We ordered this on a hot summer's day at a restaurant inside a hanok house in Jongno-gu. The soup was served in a hot pot with a whole boiled chicken. It was a lot to eat for one person but since we had been walking around Gyeongbuk Palace and Bukchon village all afternoon, we did justice to the big serving. I learned later from watching Maangchi on YouTube make samgyetang that ginseng energizes you. And I read somewhere that if you want to cool down, you need to drink hot tea. So eating hot soup must have the same effect. In fact, Koreans believe that you fight fire with fire or yi yeol, chi yeol and consequently, they eat samgyetang on the hottest summer days. 

Make your own samgyetang: http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/samgyetang

Shinsegae Food Hall
The Shinsegae Market Hall (in the Shinsegae Department Store) is a very busy place. I couldn't find a free table at any of its many restaurants. So I walked around in circles checking out its various departments. There's a bakery, cheese and deli, candy, tea and wine sections and a gourmet market along with its upscale restaurants. It's really a food destination on its own.


Food Stall in Myeong-dong 

Myeong-dong has an incredible array of street fare. Besides hot dogs, I spied noodle stalls, bulgogi, fried prawns on a stick, fruits, egg buns, gimbak(looks like sushi), mochi, and chocolate covered strawberries. There's something here for every hungry belly. 

Food for thought from Arirang Restaurant: "We cook in traditional ways, keeping the Korean tradition of regarding food as medicine in mind and serve with our whole heart as if we provided our elders with food."

Jal meokkesseumnida! Bon appetit.

*****

Images by TravelswithCharie


Sunday, July 24, 2016

Azulejos as Decorative Art

Altarpiece of our Lady of Life. c1580
This altarpiece was partially destroyed during the 1755 earthquake. It is composed of 1,498 tiles in a multitude of hues. The top section with missing pieces is the Annunciation. The Adoration panel in the center is flanked by the images of St. Luke on the left and St. John on the right. The arrangement of this altarpiece resembles that of a retablo. It is attributed to Marçal de Matos, one of the masters of Portuguese azulejo painting.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Lavish me with sweet hydrangeas

Hydrangeas

DO NOT SEND ME ROSES
Do not send me roses
Roses do not surprise
Lavish me with sweet hydrangeas
Their delicate bunches a feast for the eyes......
Rhonda Johnson-Saunders
Please read the rest of this beautiful poem in The Poetry Soup.
http://www.poetrysoup.com/poem/do_not_send_me_roses_371614

*****

Image by TravelswithCharie


Friday, June 17, 2016

Reminders of the Age of Discovery in Belém

Padrão dos Descobrimentos 
Belém, on the banks of the Tagus River, hosts a multitude of attractions, so many in fact, that it would be hard to see them all in a day. But walking along the banks of the Tagus River will give one a preview of the Age of Discovery.

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Évora, a Storied City


Temple of Diana
After days of rain, I finally got a healthy dose of Vitamin D while exploring the old town of Évora. The blue sky above this Roman temple from the 2nd century can attest to that. Fourteen granite Corinthian columns of the original eighteen have withstood the ravages of time. Meanwhile, time has given archaeologists fodder to believe that this temple may have been dedicated to Emperor Augustus and not to Diana, the Goddess of the Hunt and of Fertility. Food for thought: Not everything we believed to be true yesterday may not hold water today? Hmmmm.

Thursday, June 02, 2016

8 Images from the Church of São Roque in Lisbon

Igreja de Sao Roque
The Church of São Roque has been designated as the Jubilee Church with a Holy Door of Mercy during this Jubilee of Mercy year (December 8, 2015 - November 20, 2016). Please check my post about Lisbon for more information. http://travelswithcharie.blogspot.com/2016/05/why-lisbon.html

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Why you should visit Lisbon now

This city of seven hills has long been sidestepped by travelers to Europe. And this is a good thing for those of us who are traveling to Lisbon because it means less crowds, no lines nor jostling for the best views, no distressed people in the service sector and just plain "having the place to ourselves". But interest in Lisbon and, Portugal in general, has climbed significantly since the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. As travelers search for alternative destinations in Europe, Portugal sparkles as one of the best value destinations this summer. 

 Ruins of Santa Maria do Carmo