Dwaeji Gukbap, Jagalchi Market, BIFF – Busan

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Garlic chives, kimchi, garlic, green peppers, onions, radish kimchi fermented baby shrimp, noodles

Our second day in Busan would also be our last full day, so we headed out early to try and hit up most of the tourist spots. For breakfast/lunch, we wanted to try the famous Dwaeji Gukbap, which is also known as pork soup and rice. Busan prides itself to have the best of this soup and there is even a street in the Seomyeon district that is filled with shops selling this soup. We headed there and just chose a shop. After placing our order, they brought us a huge dish. At first, I thought they were appetizers to eat, but we later figured out that you should put this into the pork soup. We didn’t end up throwing all these things in, since we weren’t sure. We did however throw the fermented baby shrimp in, which was quite interesting. It brings a bit of saltiness to the soup.

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Dwaeji Gukbap

And the Dwaeji Gukbap arrived! The broth is a milky colour due to hours of boiling pork bone. You’ll find slices of pork shank and green onions in it. The soup is light but full of flavour. Super homey and is perfect on a rainy day. You are also supposed to put your rice in, but we didn’t know until later. Even just by drinking the soup on its own was absolutely delicious. I would say it’s one of my favourite Korean dishes! A must try in Busan!

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Gamjatang

We also added a Gamjatang, which is a very popular Korean dish. I’ve tried it in Vancouver as well, but I found the broth to taste a little different here. Gamjatang is a soup made of pork spine, vegetables, green onions, and hot peppers. It comes sizzling on a hot pot to keep the soup hot. The soup is quite spicy, and is absolutely delicious with rice. It came with potatoes, enoki mushroom and other green veggies. The pork spines have bone marrow in it which is supposed to be really good for you. There’s surprsingly quite a lot of meat hanging on the bones, so you actually get very full. However, I still favour the Dwaeji Gukbap over this one.

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After lunch we headed to the Nampo-dong area. Nampo is famous for shopping, but nearby, you will also find BIFF or Busan International Film Festival. The festival is held in October and is one of the largest film festivals in Asia.

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Obviously the festival wasn’t happening when we were there, but you can still see something similar to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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There are also various food stalls with long line ups. Food looked pretty good! We were all still full from lunch though.

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Also within walking distance is the Jagalchi Market. It is the largest seafood market in Korea and is a top tourist spot in Busan. There are many restaurants here who will cook your seafood right away for you.

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There is an outdoor market area as well as an indoor one. We took a peak in the indoor market and the floor was all wet and it smelled really fishy. We didn’t feel like going in, so we headed over to the outdoor market. The stalls sell a variety of seafood, from shellfish to prawns, crab, and fresh fish.

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I think the most impressive part of the market were these huge octopi. Pretty much every stall sold octopus. They are ginormous! I believe you can also eat raw octopus here. They are supposed to suck on your tongue and lips, so you need to chew very quickly! I saw some that had been cut into bits already, but they are still squirming! Crazy… As a foodie, I should’ve probably tried it, but I just couldn’t… However, my Korean friends said they are really good and a delicacy!

Overall, Nampo is definitely worth checking out! Plus, you can check out BIFF and Jagalchi Market at the same time!

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Casa das Bifanas – Lisbon

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Casa das Bifanas is located in Rossio Square, and it doesn’t look fancy at all. We got drawn in because of the lady at the window preparing the bifanas or Portuguese pork cutlets. Don’t expect much service here though as they are extremely busy! Some people come here and sit at the bar and just order a soup or a bifana and then quickly leave, while others actually enjoy their meal here. Regardless, there are not many seats.

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First we got the Vegetable Soup. This was very simple with just some typical veggies like carrots in it. Nothing too special, but it still tasted pretty good.

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The Fish Soup was much better and our favourite. It came with pieces of bread on top, which were delicious when soaked in the soup.

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Underneath there were loads of macaroni and pieces of fish. Very good and most tables had also ordered this!

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And then we had the Bifana or the Portuguese Pork Cutlet. This was so good! The bread wasn’t the softest, but the pork cutlet was well marinated and grilled to perfection. So tender and juicy! This is a must try in Portugal and the prices at Casa das Bifanas were very affordable.

Na Zlate krizovatce (Closed?) – Prague

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I was responsible for looking up places to eat and within our budget. Since Europe doesn’t use urbanspoon, I’ve been relying on Tripadvisor. I found this top rated restaurant that was at a reasonable price range called Na Zlate krizovatce. No idea how to pronounce it, once again. The interesting thing was that the restaurant was well known for being gluten-free. I’ve never really had gluten-free food other than gluten-free bread, but my friends were excited to give it a try. I mean, it sounded like a “healthy” meal! The restaurant is located pretty far from where we stayed. It was dark at night and the streets were pretty quiet. The restaurant wasn’t situated in a lively area, and it was a little hidden, especially in the dark.

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The interior is very fancy looking and very quiet. There were around 2 other tables of diners when we arrived. It’s definitely more like a place to bring your date to since it’s got a bit of the romantic ambiance to it. Actually, we found a table later with a couple meeting the parents which was interesting.. So yea, that type of setting. Well, we were a group of friends and we kept our voices low and it wasn’t that awkward and bad after all. The prices are actually quite reasonable too, which our whole meal being under CAN$20. But then again, the cost of living seems to be substantially less compared to Vancouver.

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Zatec Beer

Again, U and I decided to try out some Czech beer. Whenever we go on a trip together, we seem to be determined to try some local beer. Zatec is an old town in the Czech Republic and apparently this beer’s brewery is now situated in the Zatec Castle. Pretty cool! Anyways, I’m not a huge beer person, so I don’t know much about beers, but to me, it wasn’t very bitter. That’s basically all I care about.

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 Complimentary Bread

Again, we got complimentary bread, and the owner said it was their homemade gluten-free bread. D didn’t really like it since she thought it was too dense, which is true because it’s more difficult to get soft and fluffy like normal wheat bread. It definitely didn’t taste as good as wheat bread, but I wouldn’t say it was terrible. The texture is a bit gritty too. Again, it came with two spreads – a butter and some sort of fat mixed with herbs. I guess using fat as a spread is really common here! K and I actually really liked this herb spread, although I don’t know how healthy it is…

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 Roast Pork with Dumplings

I wasn’t sure which entree to get, so I asked the server for suggestions. He suggested the Roast Pork with Dumplings. This was average. The roast pork wasn’t super moist and I found it a little dry. The sauce was really good though. The dumplings were good at first, but after a while, I found that they were really dry and I really had to dip them in the sauce to moisten them. Not sure if it’s because they’re gluten-free, hence that texture. It’s sort of like eating bread pudding, or those German bread dumplings. A little chewy, but I found these much more gritty.

To be honest, I found that most of the food on the menu was gluten-free anyways. Like if you order the roast pork or duck or chicken, the meat is gluten-free. Only the sides have a chance of having gluten. So basically, I felt like I was just eating typical food and nothing too special. On a side note, I visited their website, and it says that they have closed due to some health concerns. Not sure what happened, but it sounds like they’re permanently closed.

Dae Ji Pork Cutlet House

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Dae Ji Pork Cutlet House opened just last month a few minutes away from J’s house. It’s near Coquitlam Centre, so it’s very convenient. We decided to go check it out, and I believe they literally just opened that day. They also have other locations, including one in Downtown.

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The place reminds me of a cafeteria and is a very chill place to eat. However, you don’t need to order at the counter, since the man will come over to serve you. So it’s a bit fancier than a serve-yourself shop.

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Pork Cutlet with Spicy Sauce

J got the Pork Cutlet with Spicy Sauce. It came with two large pieces of pork cutlet and an abundance of sauce. I found the sauce a little spicy, but J thought it was fine. Each of our dishes also came with a side of salad with thousand island dressing, corn, macaroni salad, daikon, and rice. J’s dish actually had less rice than mine, since he ordered it off the pork cutlet menu, and not the rice menu… confusing.

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Pork Cutlet Curry Rice (comes with miso soup)

For myself, I was craving some curry, and got the Pork Cutlet Curry Rice. It was a large piece of pork cutlet, topped with curry and vegetables, all on top of a large scoop of rice. On the side, I also had the same sides as J. I actually found the curry really spicy! I thought it would be similar to Japanese curry and be sweet, but it also had tons of spice in it! Even J thought it was spicy, so it wasn’t just me…Pork Cutlet was extremely crispy and the batter was light. Delicious!

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Miso Soup, Kimchi Soup

My meal also came with a miso soup, which was nothing special, and J’s came with a kimchi soup. Since it was the opening day, the man also gave us free pop.

The pork cutlets are definitely up to par, and for the price and quantity, I can see it being successful. On opening day, it wasn’t packed, but there was a consistent number of people going in and out. Not bad!

Dae Ji Pork Cutlet House on Urbanspoon

Shang Noodle House

BBQ Pork with Ramen in Pork Broth

Spicy “Tan Tan” Ramen with Crushed Peanuts

Shang Noodle House has actually been open for a while, although it is still fairly new. I believe they opened around the start of this year. I remember watching all the shops underneath the Paloma apartments renovate and Shang Noodle House was one of them. I finally decided to give it a try since it was close to home. The shop has a very modern vibe and is extremely clean and service was very well. Really enjoyed the BBQ Pork with Ramen in Pork Broth, as the broth was very tasty. Overall, I was very satisfied with the food and would definitely recommend giving it a try if you’re looking for noodles. They also serve snacks that you can share, as well as bubble teas and desserts!

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Shanghai Fusion Restaurant

We had originally wanted to go to Sunway Restaurant for some Taiwanese food again, but it wasn’t opened yet at 11 am and we were in a hurry. We looked around Empire mall, and ended up trying Shanghai Fusion Restaurant. It was empty except for us and and another table, but it was a little early I guess. We decided to get a “build your own combo” for 4 people, with two appetizers, two dim sums, one soup noodle, and one fried noodle or rice. Unfortunately, I was only able to get 3 pictures of the food since I got caught up in a phone call, and my family ended up eating all the food before I could snap some pictures. Don’t exactly remember all the names of the food as well…Food was decent, nothing too special, and portions were alright. Price was quite reasonable as well, so not bad.

Shanghai Fusion Restaurant 滬之星 on Urbanspoon

Hubbub Sandwiches

Pork Sandwich

Marinated for 24 hours to be spicy and tender, then perfectly slow roasted.

Such a lovely day in Vancouver, but still pretty chilly. Went downtown to try Hubbub Sandwiches since people have been talking about these gourmet sandwiches. And of course I go on my food expedition with Steph! It was actually their 1st anniversary last week, which is when I went so they were having daily promos and giveaways all week! That day, if you bought any item on the menu that had chicken in it, you would be entered for a chance to win a gift basket! Unfortunately, Steph and I had come here hearing about the pulled pork sandwich and desperately wanted to try that! So no contest for us… Anyways, their concept is that there is “the sandwich” and then your “protein.”  So basically, every sandwich starts off with the same base: pickled jalapenos, creamy garlic sauce, romaine lettuce, cilantro, and crunchy caramelized onions on top of a toasty baguette. And then you choose your protein, which they offer pork, turkey sausage, chicken breast, veggie or prawn! You would think how special can a pulled pork sandwich be, but believe me, it was amazing. First bite, i thought the baguette was a little tough and hard for my liking, but the pulled pork which was moist worked well with the tougher bread. It became easier to bite afterwards, and oh did it get really spicy too! I can’t usually take spice, and I could literally see jalapenos in my sandwich, but I still chewed on. The spice gave such a nice punch to the sandwich and the marinade had such a good flavour to it! They even had cilantro and onions in it, which I was never a big fan of, but I ate everything. All the ingredients just worked so well with each other. Now I know why they can just use the same base for every sandwich they make. Portions were also quite filling, as I only shared one sandwich with Steph and was already quite filled. So definitely go try it out when you’re in downtown since it’s extremely close to the shops and skytrain too. $9 for a sandwich is pretty pricy, but it’s definitely worth it.

Hubbub Sandwiches on Urbanspoon

L’Abattoir


Poached Egg with Potato Gnocchi
Leeks, mushrooms, pecorino sabayon

Country style pork pate
Toast, pickled vegetables, apricot sauce


Duck Breast and Leg Meat Sausage
Buttered green cabbage, pan fried German noodles

Homemade Pasta Stuffed with Braised Lamb Shoulder
Roast tenderloin, ricotta cheese, tomato and onion pan gravy

Chocolate Caramel Bar
Banana ice cream, chocolate yogurt

Earl Grey Pot de Crème
Lemon shortbread, whipped milk

Dine out is such a great event each year because it allows us to try a variety of restaurants that we otherwise might not. The prices are often a really good deal for a 3 course menu, so trying places a little more fancy won’t break your wallet. This year, I went to L’Abattoir in Gastown, where they offered a dine out menu for $38. I left the restaurant extremely satisfied as the food and service were both excellent! The poached egg appetizer was cooked perfectly. It was a little runny, but the egg complemented the food around it, like the gnocchi perfectly. The pork pate was also a nice appetizer, but I would probably choose something like foie gras over it. Then came the entrees. The duck breast was delicious! It was cooked perfectly so that it was extremely tender, and not tough at all. The lamb was also extremely tender and cooked just right.The past was filled with lamb, which I found quite special, as it wasn’t just the regular cheese filling. It was a nice twist to regular pasta. Last but not least, the desserts! My favourite part! The banana ice cream was my favourite. It actually had a very strong banana flavour and the dessert just melted in your mouth. Definitely a very special dessert! We also got the earl grey pot de creme, and it was perfect for people who didn’t want something too sweet. The alternating layers of cream and shortbread gave a very nice texture to the mouth. Food was excellent and the ambiance was also really neat. Apparently, the restaurant was built in the 19th century and was actually the first jail in Vancouver! Kind of creepy at the same time I guess…but the interior has been modernized a lot while keeping some of the classic French tile work. It’s even got a bar, so to be honest, it’s not a very fancy restaurant. It’s a really hip restaurant with laid back service, but excellent food!

L'Abattoir on Urbanspoon