Our Korean finals are over! Now all that’s left is the oral test. We’ll need a bit of luck for that! I do hope to be able to speak proficient Korean the next time we return to South Korea!
To celebrate, we took the bus to POMO, Dhoby Ghaut and headed straight to Hungry Korean Chef (what else!). We had bought Groupons for two meal sets and intended to use them. I expected the place to be bigger, but there was still seating space for us on a peculiarly quiet Friday night. We chose Kimchi soup with rice and bibim ramyeon and took a seat.
Hanging on the wall was a picture of Seoul in the early 20th century, and we recognised it immediately because of the iconic Gwanghwamun inside. The most noticeable difference, though, was the lack of high-rise buildings surrounding it. Of course, Bukhansan was sitting at the back, as stoic as ever.
Our food didn’t take long to come. First, the bibim ramyeon was served. It looked like it came from one of the packets of instant noodles we saw at the side of the counter. Never mind, we thought – perhaps the sauce was homemade! Then the Kimchi soup and accompanying Korean rice came. We grabbed our complementary Qoo drinks from the fridge, thought that was it, and started taking the obligatory photos of our feast!
While we were about to start eating, the side dishes came. The thing about Korean cuisine is that side dishes are bound to be aplenty. First came tteokbokki and fish cake, which was actually part of our meal. Then they were joined by more Kimchi and half an egg with a dash of fiery-looking red sauce on it.
We were left wondering if we could finish everything.
Nevertheless, we began. We felt that the ramyeon was slightly undercooked, but the sauce drizzled over it was nice. Similarly, I felt that I have tasted better tteokbokki (especially in Korea), but the sauce was thick and devilishly spicy. The main draw though was the Kimchi soup. Soaked up by the Korean rice, it was really satisfying. At one point we just decided to pour the remaining rice into the soup and ate it like a porridge, albeit a nicer version. As Clara commented, she would eat porridge more if it came in this soup! I concur.
The egg tasted like those Hanjuku eggs we love. We ate it all up with the rice! The fish cake was the only dish without any spice in it, and due to that, it tasted healthy. But we agreed that we’d ask for both side dishes to be the tteokbokki next time.
As expected, we had some trouble trying to make everything on the plates disappear. But after resting, we did it in the end! Overall, I have to say the meal we had was satisfying. We got it at half the price (about $13), but we weren’t so sure we’d pay the full price (about $26).
After dinner, we walked around the newly-revamped POMO to ease the bloated feeling. Actually, the upper and lower floors seemed the same; only the first floor changed drastically. There was a Shine Korea mart, so we popped in for a look. We saw the Spaghetti Bokki instant noodles we got from a 7-Eleven store in Insadong, as well as the usual Honey Tong Tongs, Market O goodies, Samyang/Nongshim instant noodles and Citron teas. We even saw the ingredients Hungry Korean Chef had, and deduced that perhaps they got their supplies from this mart haha.
Other than that, there was a dessert shop on the second floor, a new LAN shop in the basement and a Cosmoprof Academy (for makeup). We were slightly shocked to learn that this was Prof’s new venture, after resigning as a university lecturer!
We were still bloated, so we walked towards the School of the Arts (SOTA), past two long queues for I’m Kim Korean BBQ, and saw the Craftholic Cafe for the first time in person! It was adorably decorated, but the prices on the menu were so astronomical. We sat there to admire the decor through the glass windows for a while, before thinking that it’ll look better in the day. We’ll be back!
We saw an installation with rotating cubes with which public can form images. And this was what we formed!
As we were leaving SOTA, we saw a lot of Westerners standing outside an auditorium, probably for an event. We’ve probably never seen so many Westerners gathered at one place in Singapore before. There were some buskers outside the Cathay and a outdoor movie screening on the other side of the road.
Up next on our food-burning trail was Plaza Singapura. We went clothes window-shopping at Uniqlo and Cotton On Kids (which had nice, if tiny, clothes) and to Build-A-Bear, where we saw this cute little rabbit which took a liking to Clara! The obligatory visit to Daiso followed, but we didn’t get anything this time (saving up for EZBuy’s 11/11 event heehee).
Our legs started aching then, so we decided to head home! It felt great to truly relax and suddenly not have to study so intensely anymore (but of course, oral test on Wednesday)!