Two Days in Busan

I love film festivals. It’s a bunch of movie geeks come to experience or exhibit new and exciting films. South by Southwest in Austin used to have a pretty good selection and I’d go and try to predict which short films would be in the Oscars race that year. It was always the short films that interested me because of the animated experimentation factor and intense details needed to tell  a story in less than ten minutes. Continue reading “Two Days in Busan”

Sokcho ~ Seaside Beauty

Descending the winding roads, ears popping, the blue sea comes into view after a long tunnel through Korea’s highest mountain, Seoraksan. The precipitous Dragon Ridge is visible to your right among the scattered foliage, and beyond the road’s horizon, a small town spreads out before you, Sokcho. Continue reading “Sokcho ~ Seaside Beauty”

Seoul ~ Conveyor Belt Dining at Sushi Hiroba

In the posh backyards of Gangnam, there are probably hundreds of Japanese restaurants. We like this one with colored plates designating the price of the fish rotating on a conveyor belt. For the more expensive cuts, we order a fresh piece from the chefs. It’s a cool experience for people who don’t know exactly what they want when confronted by the Japanese menu symbols or even just what kind of raw fish they might want beyond the classic tuna and salmon. It’s not a place to show off sashimi knowledge as the plates offered are limited, but it satisfies the fresh fish craving yet doesn’t scare away a beginner. The plates range from 2$-25$. Most of the good stuff is around 4-10$ per plate. It’s a nice place, but your table can get overwhelmed quickly when you’re hungry.

“Oh, that looks good.”

“Grab it before it passes!”

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Tuna belly, just an outstanding mouth moment of tenderness.

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Salmon, soft and light.

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Two white fish, maybe mackerel, maybe sea bass, not sure.

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Eel roll, roe on top, crunchy inside, nice.

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This was some kind of salmon mash inside a crunchy fried egg rice outside.

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Potato croquettes, palate cleanser, comfort food.

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I didn’t eat this, but couldn’t imagine why someone would need only the fish head.

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A Magnificent May of E.A.T.ing

May brought high temperatures and a warning of early summer to Seoul. The beach started calling to me by the second weekend. The seasons move along quickly here in Korea, so I expect to get my salty ocean tan as soon as possible. Here’s some highlights from this month’s toothsome delights. Continue reading “A Magnificent May of E.A.T.ing”

Lunch By The Sea ~ Croatia

On a long day’s tour through the Istrian Peninsula of western Croatia, we stopped in for lunch after a swim in the cool, emerald waters of the Adriatic. Restaurant Najade (M. Tita 69) sits astride the tranquil almost imperceptibly moving water. Our first course was a nice risotto with a firm but chewy cephalopod.

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Next, we ate the main course of crunchy calamari, head-on prawns and a dragonfish fillet.

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The local white wine, Malvasia, had a well-balanced flavor to match the seafood, with an unbeatable view.

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Our dessert, piling on top of way too much food, was soft chocolate crepe and a cherry pie.

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Later in the night, when the food had settled and we were looking for a place to relax, I was thirsty and found a rather poor Croatian gelato to pair with the excellent and fun to say aloud beer, Ozujsko.

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Rovigno ~ Croatia

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An ancient church rests on the lonely hill, looking out upon the blue waters of the Adriatic. Crumbling stucco houses among the slippery streets of worn away stones. Flowerpots falling over shuttered balconies and laundry hanging to dry in the afternoon sun. It’s the classic romance of a Mediterranean coastline. We arrived via ferry from Trieste, Italy and immediately found lovely apartment accommodation with some convenient bargaining in Italian. The beaches are more pavement and rock than soft sand, but the crystal water makes up for any lack of horizontal comfort. We made a family lunch with various meats and delicious Croatian beer.

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We found a tiny little church from centuries ago.

Then a big family dinner of spaghetti and sausage with wine and beer before wandering around the night streets. We found a new gelato place called Chocolat, and they were literally giving away free gelato, and it was outstanding! On Sunday, we ate a delicious lunch beside the water.

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We said goodbye to Rovigno, Croatia, and got back onto the speedy ferry to Trieste.

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