Showing posts from September, 2015

Budget Travel Korea | Seoul | Dinner @ Mr. Kebab

After checking in and chatting for so long with our hosts at Eid Guesthouse in Itaewon, we were finally ready to check out Seoul on our first evening there.
We wanted to head out to Gangnam district first, but we were so famished as we missed lunch and it was already 6pm. 
Since we stayed just a few minutes walk from the Seoul Mosque, there were actually so many halal restaurants to choose from that are located along the way from our stay towards the Itaewon subway station; so we just stopped by at a Mr. Kebab shop because we were dying for some french fries ^^
Between Itaewon station exit 3 and the Seoul Mosque, you'll find 2 Mr. Kebab branches, we went to the one on the hill slope (the second branch you'll find if you come from the subway).
The setup was simple and small, but pretty cozy and private as they can only seat about 10 people (or less) at a time; however it is this big welcoming smile that somewhat attracts customers; Korean speaking Turkish cook in a French chef get …

Food | #ICook | Steak Fingers with Onion Dipping Sauce

When I saw the beautiful fresh qurban meat that we received on Eiduladha yesterday, I don't know why I immediately thought of making this dish; even though I've never seen the full recipe.
It's inspired by Ree Drummond or the Pioneer Woman as she is famously known on her blog and Food Network cooking show.
I'm using the word 'inspired' because I'm afraid I did not follow her recipe 100%; I just basically remember how the finished product looked like on tv and simply recreated it based on my gut feeling :P. If anyone ever tried my version and it's less than good, the last thing I want is to associate it with the PW coz she's a great cook ^_^.
But since I find my recreation of the PW's finger steaks turned out to be so darn good and yummy, I thought I'd share my way of making it anyway he he. 
As always, I didn't measure my stuff, especially when it's this simple;
I used: Fresh beef, cut into fingers Wheat flour 1 egg Dried mixed herbs, ground …

Budget Travel Indonesia | Banda Aceh | Bubur Ayam Jakarta

Despite the name, we had this breakkie in downtown Banda Aceh, and not Jakarta ha ha .. I imagine this must be a popular dish in the latter that it has made its way wayyy to the west of Sumatera.
Before heading to the airport on our last day here, we walked out into the street in front of our hotel practically just one minute walk across the road to find a friendly street breakfast place.

It was barely 7am but we were lucky that one stall has already opened; they sell Bubur Ayam Jakarta. It's basically rice porridge served with shreds of chicken meat, roasted peanut, fried shallots, some deep-fried crackers with chicken broth and a special green chili sauce.

Truth to be told, I'm not a fan of rice porridge but surprisingly I enjoyed this one very much. Check out the humble setup of this street joint;

The price per bowl was cheap, something like way below Rp10,000. I will definitely look out for one of these whenever we visit Indonesia in the future ^^

Budget Travel Indonesia | Banda Aceh | Staying @ Hotel Lading

I picked this hotel because it is very close to the city's main mosque, Masjid Raya Baiturrahman and Aceh market; practically 5 minutes on foot. 
It's also just next to a bank and has a fair share of tsunami stories to tell; we heard some from the owner himself.

We came here after visiting the PLTD Apung Tsunami Site about 10 minutes away; it's also near other attractions in the city.
I didn't take photos of our stay though because I wasn't a blogger 7 months ago he he, but if you only need a basic room that's in the city center, neat and pretty spacious to spend a night or two, this place would suffice. The only things bothering us were the mosquitoes =D . 

Just be sure to bring along your mosquito repellant or request for a mosquito spray from the front desk and spray your room before you go out for the evening. That should take care of it.
They also have other types of higher-rate rooms but we only checked into a standard one fit for three person at Rp 250,000 a …

Food | Dine Out | 2 Things I love @ Nando's

My first time dining at a Nando's restaurant was circa 1999-2000 ; the only menu I liked back then used to be the burger and that's hugely because they served fries with it (I'm a sucker for deep-fried foods) =D
I didn't find their other grilled chicken menu appetizing either because they were too dry for my liking so that explains why I stopped going there only after a few visits (read: healthy meals are not at the top of my list either he he) ... until my recent stay at  Swiss Garden hotel in Melaka with my mom and sister when we had our lunch at a new shopping mall attached to the hotel, The Shore.
We only found 2 halal restaurants there which were Nando's and a sushi place and were too hungry to explore if there were anymore halal joints tucked in the corners of the top floor.  So we just settled for Nando's coz our mom doesn't eat sushi.
Long story short, I ordered their Caramel Cheese Cake for dessert and that alone has managed to make crave to go back t…

Budget Travel Korea | Busan | Gamcheon Culture Village

This is another must-see spot in Busan especially for Running Man and K-drama fans =D
We came here around noon after checking in at a motel in Busan China Town; we actually flew in from Jeju that morning. 
As we hopped off the bus, we saw this view and I immediately thought of Rio de Janeiro; 

not that I've been there before though but these roof tops look similar to the houses in Rio as seen in movies and photos. A cousin of mine thought of the same thing too when he saw this photo.

The main attraction here is basically a unique Korean neighborhood built on a hilly area that faces the harbor in downtown Busan. You could experience waking in maze-like narrow alleys of an urban village just like those featured in their dramas. 

This staircase is known as the 'Stairs to See the Stars' because people used to get dizzy climbing it while carrying heavy loads until they thought they saw stars ; just like in the cartoons ha ha. Luckily, we were descending he he ^^

Although some of the …

Budget Travel Indonesia | Banda Aceh | Kapal PLTD Apung Tsunami Site

We headed directly to Kapal (PLTD) Apung Tsunami Site from Ulee Lheue ferry port after spending 2 nights in Weh island. There were many taxi drivers who offered their service at the jetty, but I was determined to call a guy that was recommended by my brother's friend in Banda Aceh. 

This place is one of the most famous tsunami sites in Banda Aceh because of this ...

a 2600 ton generator ship stranded in between houses after tearing down every single building that stood in its way when the fierce waves pushed it  about 5km towards the city. Allahuakbar.
The site was only about 10 minutes away from the jetty as I remember, and when we entered the gate we were greeted by a tour guide who then took us around the area; he is a survivor.

The first thing that caught our eyes was this monument near the entrance;

Notice that tall bronze wall actually symbolizes not only the size of the fierce tsunami wave that hit Aceh's shoreline but also the color of the water that gushed into the mainlan…