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Friday, September 3, 2010
Just a quick post to publish photos of what I ate during my last business trip to Seoul. The highlight of the whole trip must be Mister Donut. I am no fan of donuts - I have difficulty trying to understand what is there to like about Krispy Creme or Dunkin Donuts. Mister Donut over threw all my negative preconception of donuts a few years ago when my Korean colleague had strongly recommended that I try it while we were traveling in Taipei. Originally an American brand, this was bought over by a Japanese company and ever since, they have been serving donuts that are quite different from your normal Krispy Dunkin fare... Totally innovative in their use of ingredients and flavours, Mister Donut is less greasy and very very soft! Biting into their signature soft ring donut is like biting into the softest bread you can find. You will be hooked at first bite! The other signature of Mister Donut is of course, the famous Ponde Ring - shaped like a wreath of 8 donut balls, these are really mochi donut. I once tried to make these using a Ponde Ring recipe I found on a Japanese site - with tofu and tapioca flour - it left me wondering why are there people out there who feel so adamant that tofu is an ingredient in the Ponde Ring. I have eaten the Ponde Ring numerous time, and I am always convinced that it is a mochi based bread. So anyway, I had 6 donuts in 2 days - definitely went terribly overboard- but hey, there are only 3 places in Asia now that I can get these (Japan, Taiwan and Korea) so I am going to stuff myself to content.
I chose to stay at the quiet Walkerhill in Seoul this time, away from the dreadful temptations of easy shopping. Perched on the hill with a view of the Han river are the W hotel and Sheraton Grande. What is impressive is that there are 17 restuarants on this little hill. W Hotel, famed for it's modern, avant garde design theme is exactly that. I had the chance to check out the 2 main restaurants there The Kitchen, which is a somewhat international fusion restaurant and Namu, the modern Japanese restaurant. Arriving late at the hotel on the first day, I decided to just dine at the Japanese restaurant. Working with my camera at the dining table is not what I do best - I feel rather silly and am always trying to snap the photos as quickly as I can so that I can put away my camera. Hence, I hardly document what I eat at restaurants - but I told L I want to practice and get comfortable and thick skin about sharing my dining table with my camera...
And I didn't even get to finish snapping my whole course because the battery went dead on me... :-p
Here's what I ate at Namu :
Tofu Steak Appetiser : The tofu tasted a little like Goma(sesame) Tofu, thinly coated with a membrane of sticky yam. This is one of the few things in the course that I find memorable.
Chicken Breast Salad - a big put off. The chicken was dry and hard. KFC's popcorn chicken would have beaten it hands down.
Sashimi Platter - The fish was very fresh and with fish this fresh, there is no reason to have this go wrong.
Ginger Mirin Glazed Pork Belly : This actually tasted nice. It didn't feel oily. The sweetness of Mirin provided a good balance to the soya sauce. The little drop of citrus mustard on the pork fascinated me.
What followed was the Deep Fried Oyster rice and a Ginger chocolate mousse cake.
The whole dining experience wasn't bad but it was not memorable. The donuts overshadowed all other eating memories for this trip... LOL