Friday, July 3, 2009

Day 2: The First Meal in Jeju

Ok. We're getting back to our Jeju postings...
A 5-star hotel like Haevichi has the tendency to make you want to lie in bed all day, watch TV, sleep & do nothing, just like farm animals. The only other time we felt the same was when we were on the Star Cruise. However, this time around we were not on a ship. So there was no excuse to stay in bed. After all, we were pure blooded Malaysian tourists. We squeeze out as much as we can from our trips.

Jeju and to be more precise, Haevichi Hotel and Resort is located near Pyoseong Beach. This is a very extremely nice place. However, public transportation is a pain. Don't bet on getting around on the bus. We hardly saw any. So we rented bicycles at the hotel for 5,000 won (RM15) each & that's good for up to 3 hours. However, the hotel staff was nice enough to let us use them for longer since there were nobody else around.

We cycled to this little pier which was just about 2 minutes from the hotel. We could have walked you know. But we didn't know it at that time. But anyway, we thought it'd be romantic.

This is Jeju sky & Jeju water. They're all blue.

And then we saw this restaurant which was just next to a police station. Now, that felt like a pretty safe place to be, so we parked our bikes outside & went in.

We were taken upstairs where there was a panaromic window that stretched from the left to the right, giving us a wonderful view of the sea & the pier outside. As it was late into the afternoon, the restaurant was empty, except for the both of us. That's a tip. To avoid crowds in restaurants, go at the wierdest hours.

This was to be our first actual meal on Jeju island. We didn't really know what to expect cos the hotel staff couldn't tell us much about where to go. He just said everywhere is OK & that a seafood meal cost around 100,000 won (RM290) on average. We were wincing hard & at that point, we seriously thought we would be bankrupt at the end of the five days. But we had a secret weapon - credit card.

The restaurant waitress didn't speak English. So we used a combination of sign language, charades, theatrical facial expressions & mime. We found a few English words on the menu that we understood like assorted seafood for 81,000 won (RM240). We thought we could order a seafood set platter for two plus another separate soup ala carte but the waiter was pretty insistant that we don't do the soup cos the set was SPECIAL. So after a few pointing actions, we thought we understood what she meant, that the soup was already included in the seafood set cos it was SPECIAL.

Here you go. The meal started with a variety of side dishes:

The set came with side dishes of all things that you can find inside a fish, and everything else outside of the fish.

Then came 2 different kinds of salad (raw fish salad and the plain soya salad) plus carrot & seaweed side dishes.

Then there was surprise - yummy clam porridge & seaweed soup.

At this point, we could have walked out & it would have been pretty ok to last us till dinner. But then the real thing came out. And every time the food came up the elevator shaft from the kitchen downstairs, there was a doorbell-like ring DING DONG. When we saw this, we were like "Oh... so this IS the assorted seafood. Right".

This was like the clam/shells set. We practically didn't know what we were eating but it was quite exciting. And as we were eating, our minds kept racing ahead & wondering if this was the main dish. We wouldn't know cos there was no point asking the waitress.

When the next DING DONG came, both of us stared at each other. You mean there's more? This looked pretty much like the actual main course, a kind of white fish and this was a huge plate of sashimi.

Then the DING DONG went off again and both of us just did not want to make guesses anymore. This super delicious grilled abalone dropped onto the table.

And even more fish, grilled this time.
At that point, Nee & I were both giggling silly. This has got to be the longest meal ever. We were beginning to dread the DING DONG. And it came again, DING DONG and with it came more stuff, which wasn't really necessary, but they looked so good.

Grilled corns

Do you know what it's like to be full? I think you do. It means there's no room for anything else. It means every single gaps that were there in between the food that has already gone down in your stomach has been filled up. It means that there's no room even for air.

And the train of food kept coming. I was beginning to be worried if they actually keep charging us for every dish that comes to the table until we tell them to stop.

So I held up my little finger to the waitress & asked her if this is the last. She nodded her head & we thought we were safe.
Some kind of fried rice
But she LIED to us cos the mother of all DING DONGS came after that. It was the super duper fish soup in a bowl that was bigger than the size of both our faces put together (we measured). And there was a whole fish inside.

Images of grandma & all the other grand aunties that kept shoving food onto our plates came flashing by. I think Koreans have stomachs even up their backs. No wonder it costs RM240.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Super Duper World Saving Enzymes

Okie Gals and Guys. You guessed it right. This is the enzyme thingy that EVERYONE BUT ME seems to already know about. Very upsetting. How can I not know?!

Anyway, this thing is brilliant for the following reasons:

1) Environmentally, we are playing our part in cutting down rubbish. Recyling is good. I wonder if the trees TPK cut down for the Jalan Song (read about it on Kenny Sia's post here) can be used in the same way. I am still very very upset to see those beautiful trees gone. I told Greg I wanted to do a case study of it under UN-SUSTAINABLE construction and climate change and write a paper on it and present it somewhere. My hubby had to restrain me, reminding me that I will likely be sacked if that were to happen, and of course I will remain a peanut in my department for the rest of my life if I do so. Bloody dirty politics. So bear with me. I am just venting my anger, disappointment and displeasure over the whole thing on my OWN blog.

2) Sorry, back to enzymes. This thing is quite amazingly useful. I got a whole bottle of it from a friend. Hers is the pineapple ones. I am still not used to using that on its own. So I dropped a few drops and a cap or two into my dish detergent and floor detergent and reduced both the detergent by the equal amount. Hey, the results have been really good. My floor is seriously squeeky clean, not just borderline clean. My stainless steel top and sink are now really free from my constant baking butter, cream and chocolate. And it does give a hint of fruit fragrance after use. It's upposedly really good for timber doors, window frames and window panes.

I don't know how mine will turn up. So far so good. But you can have the recipe first cause my final results will only comes in three months. Will let you know how mine turns up. Probably everyone already know this but here it goes:

10 litre of water
1 kg of brown sugar
5 kg of any fruit skins and left over*

1) Stir water and sugar till they dissolve in a plastic container that come with a lid. Add in fruit skins. Stir and close the lid. Leave it under the shade in a cool place.

2) For the next seven days, open lid to stir and release the gas.

3) After the 7th day, leave it for 3 months to ferment and decompose. Strain the final product & you'll have the enzyme. The leftover can be used as compost apparently.

* I was told any fruits skin would do. Mine has lots of pineapple skins and the shaved off eye bits. I threw in lemon, orange and passionfruit skins. I think more acidic fruits smell better. You can also try apples, kiwis, peaches as well. But only if you so happen to have them.

Pineapple skins are available in abundance in wet markets but the traders are getting smarter. Cause demand is up due to this enzyme thingy, they are selling their pineapple skins instead of giving them away. The lady gave me her whole 8 kg for RM 4. Heard some vendors even go up to RM1/kg. Not exactly cheap for 'rubbish' but not exactly expensive if I thought about reducing the dumping on this poor overloaded earth.

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