jamieliew.com http://www.jamieliew.com Sun, 25 Mar 2018 11:16:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.3 http://www.jamieliew.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/cropped-logo2-32x32.png jamieliew.com http://www.jamieliew.com 32 32 [Tokyo] Marukin Ramen http://www.jamieliew.com/2018/03/tokyo-marukin-ramen/ http://www.jamieliew.com/2018/03/tokyo-marukin-ramen/#comments Sun, 25 Mar 2018 11:16:09 +0000 http://www.jamieliew.com/?p=7226 DSC02647 copy

hello all! hope you guys love ramen just like I do. in Japan, ramen is deemed to be a man’s food and me liking it made my friends call me a.. ramen-girl because it’s so odd to have a girl as a ramen fan. I used to eat ramen so often that I could eat it everyday! well, because it’s cheap and it’s just so slurpingly good!

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while many people thinks that Ichiran and Ippudo’s the best, the thing that foreigners don’t know is that.. there is a ramen for everyone, and I highly urge everyone to try out different ramens to find their perfect fit!

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this post, I would like to recommend this ramen shop which I always felt came out straight from an anime, Marukin Ramen. it’s a humble chain which can be found all over Tokyo and they also have stores in US!

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the shop’s very Japanesey and the staffs were all very attentive too!

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okay, here comes what I like most about this ramen shop. I don’t know about you but I am a huge fan of mentaiko. but the thing is, I like ramen too. I had mentaiko tsukemen and to be honest, I am not exactly a fan of it. I felt like mentaiko is still supposed to be a side dish, where this ramen bar offers! and so many other small dishes like gyoza, cyashu rice, MENTAIKO rice etc.

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of course, I had gyoza. basic, but yummy. you get me right? sometimes it’s the simple things that satisfies you!

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may I present to you the most delicious rice bowl on earth!!! I mean, look at that mentaiko. for those who have no idea what mentaiko is, it is actually fish’s roe (spicy) that’s actually originated from Korea. in Japan, they first had it adopted in Hakata (Fukuoka), where most ramen shops originated from which is why some Hakata ramen shops (like Ichiran and Ippudo, they are all from Fukuoka!) like this have mentaiko served! mentaiko has quite a short shelf life and therefore it’s always yummier when I have it in Japan. like many other types of “kimchi”, there are many ways of making mentaiko and to be honest, good ones are mostly really expensive like around 1000yen for one. this bowl was only 350yen and there’s such a huge mentaiko! such a steal. I honestly wanted to have another bowl..

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and here comes the ramen! we had the spicy ramen and tonkotsu ramen. the ramen here highly caters to the Japanese tasebuds as they were not too harsh in flavours but just right. I personally don’t enjoy ramen with broth that’s too strong but have a right amount of spiciness (actually very spicy) for me. I think this place just got my spicy ramen right. but I felt like this place really delivers the true Japanese ramen culture as they have all that different rice bowls, gyoza and ambiance.

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[HK: Wan Chai] Classified — best place for brunch. http://www.jamieliew.com/2018/01/hk-wan-chai-classified-best-place-for-brunch/ http://www.jamieliew.com/2018/01/hk-wan-chai-classified-best-place-for-brunch/#comments Sun, 07 Jan 2018 14:54:22 +0000 http://www.jamieliew.com/?p=7219 DSC06409 copycopy

nothing’s better for an expat working in hectic HK other than Saturday brunches. I just felt like brunch is the only time where I can slow down at this very fast-paced city. there are quite a number of places offering brunch in HK but they are normally over-crowded, not brunch-like and over-priced. but classified, a chic european styled chain here, is really my style.

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love the very chilled ambiance here.

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this is not their in-house newsletter, but it is actually the menu haha.

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our view.

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my date (almost) every Saturday, Min <3.

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and Min enjoys taking ugly pictures of me haha.

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avocados, greens and tomatoes on toast? simply purrrrrrfect <3. especially with dashes of tabasco! 70HKD.

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I know it’s too early, but they have great Sangria here =D. 55HKD.

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tomato and chilli flakes pizza at 72HKD. mmmm. yum. the crust was super crunchy and it was just so yummy. but please don’t eat it when it’s cold because it’ll become like a brick lol.

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this was our all-time-favourite. pancakes with greek yoghurt and caramelized oranges. 70HKD. mm.. so fluffy and dense. we actually over ordered. so please order one less dish if you’re not a big eater haha.

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our perfect Saturday ^_^.

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I also found Classified’s menu online for your reference :D.

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Living Expenses in HK http://www.jamieliew.com/2017/12/living-expenses-in-hk/ http://www.jamieliew.com/2017/12/living-expenses-in-hk/#comments Sat, 30 Dec 2017 04:51:55 +0000 http://www.jamieliew.com/?p=7214 hello all!

it’s been a long time. time flies and I’ve already lived in HK for over 2 months. it’s crazy how fast time goes by when you’re busy at your desk. I thought I would have a lot more time to blog because I get off at 6pm sharp everyday haha but my brain’s pretty much paralysed at the end of every day. but it’s going to be better. I hope. haha.

for today, I thought it would be interesting for me to share about the (crazy) living expenses in one of the most expensive countries in the world.

if you’re a long-time reader, you probably would’ve known that I am very (very very very) frugal. but as frugal as I can be, this city definitely isn’t cheap. at all. and  living expenses here is like 4 times of what I spent back in Seoul, which isn’t the cheapest city out there. the average salary here is 16,000HKD which is around 2,000USD. starting salaries are obviously different across industries but it can go as low as 9,000HKD and as high as 60,000HKD (highest I’ve ever heard. not sure how true. and where else other than Goldman haha.) for fresh grads in the financial industry. honestly, it may sound a lot to some people but very little to some as well, especially when HK is considered one of the most expensive cities out there. but let’s do a little breakdown on what’s “normal” from my observations so far.

rent (1BR/studio) – 13,000HKD
rent (shared) -8,000HKD
rent (2BR apartment that looks decent) – 25,000HKD and above

cheap Chinese meal – 60HKD
western food – 250HKD
hot pot (HK people’s fav) – 300HKD
cocktail at a bar – 130HKD
shaved ice dessert – 80-100HKD
Korean meal – 200HKD
sushi – 150-200HKD
milk (1L)- 22HKD
drinks (non alcoholic) – 20-60HKD
onigiri – 15HKD
tea set – 500HKD (and above) for two
banana – 7HKD for one
water bottle – 7HKD
yoghurt drink – 9HKD

so basically, you’d expect around 200HKD for a decent meal.

MTR/Bus – 5-20HKD
Cab – around 40HKD for a short 10min journey, 400HKD from airport to central. (similar to Korea. fairly affordable.)

medical – not sure. will update you when I know lol
specialists – 900HKD per 15min.

gel manicure – 200HKD onwards. around 150HKD for dirt cheap ones at dodgy looking places.\

haircut – 150HKD and above
perm – 500HKD and above

gym – 700HKD

movies – 110HKD

utilities – 500HKD

phone bills – 200HKD (unlimited data)

did I miss anything? or are you interested in knowing the prices of something else? just let me know!

on average, I spend around 6,000-7,000HKD on everything excluding rent and bills per month. you have to take my thriftiness into consideration. I really do not spend that much. I only eat better food maybe once a week. but I have to admit I shop quite a fair bit. living expenses here seems okay sometimes especially when it comes to shopping, but rent is definitely the killer here. food is quite expensive too but there are cheaper options and also if you cook at home, it’s going to be much more affordable. I would say that the starting salaries here may sound decent if its like above 20k but it is really just enough to get by with little savings.

hope this would help those who plan to move here have a general idea of what to expect and also for those who are not planning to live here, have some kind of general knowledge haha.

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[Taipei] Addiction Aquatic Development http://www.jamieliew.com/2017/11/taipei-addiction-aquatic-development/ http://www.jamieliew.com/2017/11/taipei-addiction-aquatic-development/#respond Wed, 29 Nov 2017 01:14:45 +0000 http://www.jamieliew.com/?p=7203 DSC03179 copy

one of the highlights of my trip to Taiwan was this — AAD. or in other words, Addiction Aquatic Development because it is a pretty version of Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo (and as clean) despite the much smaller scale. So, what is AAD? a fish market? a supermarket? or restaurants..? well.. why not all?!

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so this place is like a seafood heaven. if you love seafood, then don’t forget to visit AAD. To get there, simple a cab from the nearest station (google is your best friend) and the meter will probably not even jump. I took a cab from my hotel because it wasn’t that far and to be honest, Taiwan’s cab fare isn’t all that bad. the location above is the first thing I saw as I stepped into AAD. it’s a huge dining area — open air — and it looked pretty romantic especially because it was chilly.

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so what you can do there is to wait for a waitress/waiter to escort you around the market and select the types of seafood you want.

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and there are so much to choose from — all fresh.

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like living fresh for most.

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over at the other side, you’ll find this oyster bar with a wide selection of wine for pairing.

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the pathway to the market! and you’ll see even more vendors on the left and a streak of tables for you to dine standing up.

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the market is divided into a few sections and the first is this, the live-stock section. where you’d find a whole farm of seafood.

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and like I said, it’s like a fancier Tsukiji.

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even cooked crab!

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different types of crabs. so take your pick!

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I arrived when the market was about to close lol but nevertheless, look at how affordable this uni is!

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676 TWD! that’s like around 22 USD.

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the livestock game is real here.

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then towards the second section of the market — the MARKET. like super market type. which was my favourite area.

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here’s a map of the entire AAD.

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why I like this market? because you can buy anything and dine outside right away!

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and holy cow everything looked great.

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also a wide selection of imported alcoholic beverages.

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and cheese, oh holy cheese.

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or maybe you’re in the mood for sushi? the way they display their sushi is very similar to that of Tokyo, which I love.

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and if you don’t fancy buying supermarket food and eating it outside, why not have the chefs prepare them for you on the spot?

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while there may be some seats, most of them are standing-up bars.

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if you think that there’s only seafood, then you’re wrong because… you can even have your fresh parma ham sliced din front of you!

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to be honest I don’t know who buys this amount of sashimi. I think they are great when you eat one or two slices.. but they tend to make you sick if you eat more than that..

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the oysters were sold at ridiculously affordable prices too!

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I literally marveled around this area because there are so many fruit’s I miss and also have never seen. especially in Korea.

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PAPAYA! did I mention that one of my favourite fruit’s papaya? although I only like it as a juice.

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they just make stand-up dining so much more fancier don’t they?

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fresh-fresh-FRESH sushi for only 150TWD. you kidding me?!

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ain’t these the shortest okra you’ve ever seen?

after marveling around, we proceeded to the 3rd section of course.

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we decided to dine in one of the sushi bars.

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otoro and chutoro. while I wouldn’t say that it’s the best sushi I’ve ever had. it wasn’t bad at all really!

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especially the sushi platter, it was actually pretty good! I forgot the exact price but I think it was around 10USD.

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and my personal recommendation — monkfish liver or “ankimo.” SOOOOO good.

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came here with the derp and my Taiwanese friend!

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lobster anyone?

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if you were to take out, here’s where you can grab your cutlery. just by the exit. I wasn’t satisfied without a dessert so..

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I got myself a cheesecake. it was very good. I loved it. period.

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It was so dense, moist and yummy.

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I actually quite like the idea of having my dinner standing up. feels like all the fats won’t go to my thigh finally.

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the boys weren’t full so we head out for second round. there’s shabu-shabu too but they decided that they want yaki-tori. I assume that they use salt from crystals..?

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this place was pretty special as they have a warmer for your food after they are delivered to you. there were rocks inside the bowl and the rocks are supposed to keep your food warm!

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I’ll definitely go back to AAD if I were to go to Taiwan but this time, I’ll remember to go there earlier!


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[Seoul: Bukchon] Layered – Cake Cafe http://www.jamieliew.com/2017/11/seoul-bukchon-layered-cake-cafe/ http://www.jamieliew.com/2017/11/seoul-bukchon-layered-cake-cafe/#respond Tue, 14 Nov 2017 13:31:52 +0000 http://www.jamieliew.com/?p=7198 DSC05371 copy

so right before leaving Korea, I went to one of the most amazing (and hip) cafe I’ve ever been to. unlike many other cafes’ that’s only pretty and ONLY instagram worthy, this place is a little different because not only is it great for instagram, it has one of the most delectable cakes in Seoul — baked FRESH.

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I have actually blogged about this “place” before. it was my favourite steak house before and my heart ripped a little when I knew they closed down. little did I know, it became my favourite cafe now. well, the only drawback was their (very) loud music and uncomfortable chairs. I guess it’s a great marketing tactic to make customers come and go quickly. smart.

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upon entry, you’d see a whole table filled with cakes and scones. and you’d also smell something that’s very great fresh-off-the-oven.

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you can dine in or eat out. and the prices are all around 4,000won. for a big piece. I think it’s quite worth it to be honest. especially when they are so yummy.

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although the cakes served here are are simple cakes you can bake at home, they are baked to perfection.

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the decorations in the cafe was very simple. but such a graceful hanok didn’t require much elaborated deco.

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I had a marble cheesecake at first, but the other cakes looked so good, I just had to order more! I mean, just look at those figs! I would recommend going there on an empty stomach and stuffing yourself with them yummy cakes.

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the lemonade was yummy, but the cheesecake was just.. can I have another piece. or should I say, can I demand more stomach room please. the scone was fresh and yummy too but it wasn’t the best I had so I’d recommend to go for the cakes.

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잘 먹겠습니다!!!

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ah, hanok’s are just so beautiful <3.

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what I loved about this place was the roof. even from before. I love how they had natural sunlight in the middle of the roof.

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I mean, it provided such great lighting to the whole place!

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but little did I know.. it was retractable!!!

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and the cakes and pastries suddenly looked even more delicious than before. haha.

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like really.

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if you are there, please have a piece of this figs and banana cake for me!

VERDICT: I absolutely adored the interior and them yummy cakes. especially that retractable roof! only drawback was the loud music and uncomfortable chairs. and the uhm, slightly expensive drinks. but drinks are mostly around that price in Bukchon so no complains. cakes were super fresh as the ovens never stopped working in their open kitchen. it’s really crowded and there are many girls too so brace yourself before going there.

Layered ($)
2-3, Bukchon-ro 2 gil, Bukchon-gu, Seoul
11AM – 12AM (weekdays)
12PM – 12AM (Saturdays)
12PM – 11PM (Sundays)

Jamie’s Rating:
taste ☆☆☆☆.5
atmosphere ☆☆☆☆
originality ☆☆☆☆☆
service ☆☆☆☆
hygiene ☆☆☆☆☆
value for money ☆☆☆☆

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