PEr FYI

July 30, 2017

Hanboknam, Seoul…looking like a local in Seoul

Filed under: Activities, South Korea — Tags: , , , — PEr @ 7:29 pm

Looking like a local in Seoul is surprisingly easy. One of the costumes that you want to try at least once when you visit South Korea is a hanbok. I don’t often write reviews about traditional dress-up/photo shoot but my experience with Hanboknam is worth sharing.

Wear a traditional Hanbok and get sophistically styled up for your exclusive photo shoot in the Seoul. They offer more than 300 different types and even help you with all the traditional accessories including a hat, bag, shoes and wigs. You can transform yourself into a emperor or princess. Get a few pictures in the studio or even on the rooftop. The more adventurous walk around the  alleys of Bukchon fabulously dressed in hanbok.

It’s a truly welcoming, worthwhile experience. And one, quite frankly, I’ll probably never forget. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 29, 2017

Minetta Tavern Restaurant and Bar, New York City…The black label burger renders other burgers meaningless

This place opened in the 30’s so it’s wonderful to see the vintage décor of the old saloon-era interior intact. Being a full house, I sat at the refinished oak bar in the front of the room, elbow to elbow with other diners. The vibe is buzzy, exclusive, and properly chaotic.

The food rocks as much as the scene. The US$33 Black Label Burger – selection of prime dry-aged beef cuts with caramelized onions and pomme frites is without question a mind-blowing rivetingly intense experience. Named the best burger in America by CNBC, a continent full of burger connoisseurs, The Daily Meal,  calls it “the stuff of legend.”  The beef is a blend of four different cuts—short rib, skirt, brisket and rib-eye. It’s like eating a dry-aged steak in burger format. The bun was airy but not spongy. There is a chewiness and lushness in the same bite. Each bite of this burger was lingered over and savored. Even the fries were perfectly seasoned, and nicely crisped. It held to the quality of the burger.

This is now my must-go place in NYC, but frequent Minetta too often and I’ll be broke and really fat. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 8, 2017

Madam Zhu’s Kitchen, Shanghai…an absolute gem

Across its many regions China encompasses so many different cuisines that lumping them all together under one banner is akin to talking about ‘European food’. Madam Zhu’s Kitchen specializes in Sichuan and Shanghainese cuisines.

Make sure you sample Specialty: No1. Madam Zhu’s Peking Duck. Immaculately carved at the table by gloved cooks, it is worth it. Both the meat and the skin were excellent. The pancakes were wonders—light, delicate, strong. If you’re looking for Sichuan Province’s famous ‘hot and numbing’ dishes, this is the place to come. The gritty fried shrimp balls with chilli and pepper really is lip-tinglingly good. True to Sichuanese form, red is present in this dish –  in lashings of sliced or whole chillies. It made my scalp sweat. Boom.

The food comes quickly, the food is excellent, and the food is not very expensive. It is a busy restaurant, yet it feels intimate. Right now Madam Zhu’s Kitchen is an absolute gem, a true collector’s piece. I just hope it stays that way. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

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July 2, 2017

Skinny Pizza, Singapore…squid ink pizza and black pepper prawn linguine are pure magic

Pizza is officially rated the world’s most popular food, and rightly so too. Asia has seen a boom in gourmet pizza restaurants of late.

Skinny Pizza’s squid ink pizza  does not only look like something that would feed Darth Vader, but has fullness, richness and jam packed with flavor. With an impossibly thin and crunchy crust, it’s a dish with something to say. The black pepper prawn linguine was perfect, simple pleasure. Linguine tossed in a fragrant black pepper sauce and prawn Bolognese. Topped with succulent char-grilled prawns. Skinny Pizza had it bang on.

As a fan of butter chicken, I took the bait and ordered the ginger butter chicken pizza. What a mistake. Butter chicken is great. Pizza is great. That doesn’t mean the two can be successfully merged — in fact, just the opposite: slice after slice, it got more repulsive when you bite into it.

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Whatever you do, just don’t take someone who’s going to order just a salad. This is the true truth as I say it as it is…

 

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