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Dongdaemun 동대문 area isn't only notorious for its late night shopping, it also includes dining with restaurants operating non-stop 24 hours. The stretch of lane located behind the 3 prominent shopping malls in Dongdaemun (Hello apM, Migliore and Doota) is filled with Korean BBQ restaurants waiting to replenish your stomach after shopping up a storm. Butumak 부뚜막 was the first Korean BBQ restaurant we had during our Seoul trip.

Butumak, a brightly lit corner restaurant on a corner lot, seems to be quite popular not only to the locals but also the Japanese tourists.

Most of the restaurants in Dongdaemun area are tourist-friendly, with well-written English and Japanese menu and waitresses that can speak in Mandarin.

Most of the grilled pork prices range from KRW 10,000 - KRW 12,000/pax (RM 28.50 - RM 34.20) and grilled beef prices range from KRW 17,000 - KRW 20,000/pax (RM 48.45 - RM 57) with minimum serving for two people. We had one serving each of samgyeopsal 삼겹살 (Pork Belly) and Marinated Beef.

Like any other Korean restaurants, a wide array of banchan (side dishes) will be served as starter before the main course begins. Of course, you can ask for more without any extra charge.

True to the Korean tradition in food, even the richest foods are made healthier with the addition vegetables like lettuce and garlic.

Not every Korean BBQ restaurant in Seoul uses the traditional charcoal stove. Butumak uses the more common grill pan over a stove built into the center of the table. Don't worry about not knowing how to cook, the waitress usually takes care of it. Unless she is extremely busy and your food is burning, you better do some flipping!

Despite lacking the smokiness flavor from using a charcoal stove, it is definitely less messy and less likely to over burn.

No Korean BBQ is complete without ssamjang 쌈장 (Chili Soybean Paste).

The best way to eat the grilled meat is to wrap it with fresh lettuce, ssamjang, garlic and shredded scallion - ssambap 쌈밥 (Korean Lettuce Wraps). "Ssam" means 'wrap' in Korean, and "bap" means 'rice'. Besides using rice in the wrap, there is endless variations of what that can be stuffed in it.

Besides grilled or barbecued meat, Butumak does serve various noodles and rice dishes. Ttukbaegi Bulgogi 뚝배기 불고기 (KRW 6,000 / RM 17.10), marinated minced beef cooked with vegetables and glass noodle in a hot stone bowl. We just love the dramatic bubbling cauldron action as it arrived.

The stew was lightly sweet and generously filled with tender minced beef. This dish definitely warmed our hearts in the cold rainy summer and we finished it all in the blink of an eye!

Dolsot Bibimbap 돌솥비빔밥 (KRW 6,000 / RM 17.10), rice with mixed vegetables in a hot stone pot. Mixed it really well with few spoonfuls of gochujang 고추장 (hot pepper paste) sauce.

It was okay but it wasn't as good as our favorite place for dolsot bibimbap at Gomone in Ampang Point. It was probably due to the lack of ground beef and less sweetened gochujang sauce.

Verdict: Butumak is a Korean restaurant that never sleeps. Despite operating 24 hours, the quality and freshness of their meat is good. The taste is decently good with relatively reasonable price.

18-84, Euljiro 6-ga,
Dongdaemun, Jung-gu,
Seoul, South Korea
Tel: 02-2267 2522
Business Hours: Opens daily 24 hours
Pork Free: No
GPS: 37.567390, 127.007422

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One of the best way to get around Seoul is the subway (지하철 jihacheol). Don't be nervous and intimidated by the complexities of the subway networks when you are doing self-guided sightseeing, it isn't that difficult once you have tried it.

For tourists like us, we used the subway extensively and the most convenient way is to get a T-Money Card. The T-money card is like a prepaid credit card that can be used on any subways, buses, some taxis or even public telephones, convenience stores and some vending machines. Besides being ultra-convenient, the T-Money card also gives you discounts off the cash fare. If you use the subway a lot, those savings add up!

Where can I buy a T-Money card?
You can buy it from any subway station counter or any convenience stores like GS25, Family Mart, 7-Eleven and MINISTOP that have the T-Money sign displayed. It only cost KRW 2,500 (RM 7.13) and you will need to add money to the card before using it.

How to recharge a T-Money card?
The easiest method for us is via the ticket vending machines. If you are technically challenged, you can always buy the credit from the convenience stores or subway ticket counter. You don't really need to speak Korean – just hand them your card and the cash amount you wanted to add.

  1. The vending machines operate in either Korean, English, Chinese or Japanese. Just select your language preference and the rest of the menu will be in the selected language.
  2. Touch the T-Money card icon on the right side of the screen.
  3. Place your T-Money card on the electronic card reader marked with the T-Money logo.
  4. Select the cash amount you wish to add to your card.
  5. Place the money into the machine.
  6. Wait until the recharging process is completed, and don't forget to take the card with you.

How do I use the T-Money card?
Simple! Just scan your T-Money card on the card reader on your way in and out of the subway. The display will show you how much has been deducted from your card and the current balance.

Why use a T-Money card?
  • It's really convenient and save up your time queuing up for a ticket.
  • The base transit fare for a T-Money card passenger is KRW 800 compared to a normal ticket KRW 900.
  • You get a 10% bonus whenever you top up your card. If you recharge KRW 10,000, you will actually have KRW 11,000 added to your card!
Can I get a refund for the remaining balance?
T-Money cards have no expiration date and the unused balance will remain on your card until the entire amount is used up. You can receive a refund for the balance on your card at convenience stores like GS25 that charges KRW 500 (RM 1.43) fee and the card price of KRW 2,500 is not refundable.

Things to note
  • The corner seats are given priority to the older citizens, disabled or pregnant ladies. We mistakenly sat on it once and was innocently scolded by an old man. *sad!*
  • Even though you have taken a general seat, it is common to give up your seat for an elderly rider as the Korean culture emphasizes on respecting the elders.
  • Residents in Seoul aged 65 and older crossed the 1 million mark and that accounts for 9.7% of all 10.31 million Seoul residents. Yes, the subway is packed with elderly citizens!
  • Korean culture tolerates a higher degree of incidental pushing and without needing to apologize every time you bump into somebody. As such, subway-riding Koreans might be a bit aggressive to certain tourists. Don't sweat it, it's the culture!
  • Most of the Koreans have the ability of walking through hordes of people while staring only at their phone.
  • Try not to use your T-Money card on taxi. There is a possibility of meeting a less honest taxi driver that scanned your card but telling you that it isn't working somehow.

Tiger Street Football Contest Giveaways!

On 8/26/2011 12:17:00 PM Comments
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Now, what exactly is Tiger Street Football all about?

And how can you win those exclusive Tiger Premiums? Read on to find out!

Tiger proudly presents Tiger Street Football - the edgiest football celebration to ever take place on the streets of Malaysia! This international street football festival has been touring Asia, bringing the most intense street football tournaments to Singapore, Thailand, Guangzhou, Vietnam and Malaysia.

The Tiger Street Football National and Grand Finals will be kicking off this 17 - 18 September at the 1Utama open air car park, and it is going to be nothing short of the most fantastic street football celebration for fans, players and football lovers in Malaysia.

The Grand Finals taking place in Malaysia will see the Tiger Street Football champions from each of those countries, along with two professional street football teams from Brazil and Holland battle it out for the top prize of USD30,000 and the coveted "King of the Streets" title.

Now, as for the exclusive prizes mentioned earlier, Tiger will be giving away 3 super exclusive Tiger Chiller Boxes containing 3 x 500ml cans of Tiger Beer to you!

All you have to do is be the first 3 lucky readers to answer the question below correctly.

Question: How many countries in total will be participating in the Tiger Street Football Grand Finals this 18 September at the 1Utama open air car park?

Yes, it is really that easy! Post your answers at the comment section below! And don't forget to leave your email address so that I can get in touch with you. Good luck!

Terms and conditions:
  • This contest is open to all non-Muslim readers aged 18 year-old and above.
  • The first 3 comments posted with the correct answer and email address will be selected as winners.
  • The contest duration is from 22 - 29 August 2011.
  • The prizes must be redeemed at the Tiger Street Football registration station on the 17 or 18 September at 1Utama (Car park next to TGIF). Prizes may not be redeemed for cash.
  • Guinness Anchor Berhad reserves the right to cancel, modify, suspend or delay the Contest in the event of unforeseen circumstances beyond its reasonable control.

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A stylish new restaurant, T@ste6 has just come onto the Swiss Garden scene and we were invited to the launch on the 27th July 2011.

T@ste6 or pronounced as Taste@6, is located on the 6th Floor of the Swiss Garden Residences. This newly opened Swiss Garden Residences is the epitome of modern living at its finest!

From the moment you enter into the inviting surroundings of T@ste6, you will be greeted with a fashionable blend of design, elegance and a brand new holistic culinary journey overlooking the magnificent view of the city's skyline.

This trendy and cozy brasserie has contemporary garden inspired elements that complement its warm natural setting.

A private dining room enclosed with a glass wall exhibiting the most exclusive wines and champagnes.

Guests were able to sample the drama of a bustling open kitchen headed by Chef Amir Shah and his culinary team.

The launching ceremony started out with refreshing appetizers that were set to tantalize our taste buds.

Fresh Salad with assorted dressings and Pumpkin Parmesan Soup.

Parsley Potato with Sauteed Onions.

Assorted Vegetables with Butter Herbs.

Roasted Chicken with Jus.

Baked Prawns with Mushroom and Red Chilies.

Sea Bass Fillet with Chive Sauce.

Spaghetti with Ragout and Tomato Sauce.

Stewed Lamb with Potatoes and Rosemary. Looking back at this picture, we were daydreaming on how wonderfully tender the stewed lamb melted in our mouth!

Salmon Fillet with Bisque Sauce.

Roasted Cube Roll Beef.

For desserts, we had Mille Feuille with Pastry Cream.

Bread and Butter Pudding.

Assorted Mini Tarts and Chocolate Mousse.

As part of the launching ceremony, guests were entertained with colorful belly dancing and then preceded by live jazz band performance.

Whether it's an outdoor celebration for weddings to product launching or just dining our loved ones, T@ste6 definitely gives you the quality, comfort and hospitality. Definitely look forward to try out T@ste6's signature dishes such as the T@ste6 Ultimate Burger, Chargrilled Skirt Steak with Chili Salsa, Oven Roasted Duck Breast with Beetroot Mash and Beer Battered Fish and Chips.

Swiss-Garden Residences,
Level 6,
No.2A, Jalan Galloway,
50150 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-2141 3333
Pork Free: Yes
GPS: 3.143547, 101.705551

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