Charcoal-Grilled Chicken & Beer at Daejeon Tongdak

This is one place that I miss in Daejeon already. Chicken and beer is everyone’s favourite in Korea but from so many different varieties that I’ve tasted this place in Daejeon was surely one of a kind.

Charcoal-grilled chicken coughing up thick clouds of smoke

Daejeon Tongdak, literally meaning Daejeon chicken, operates in its own building in Yuseong district of Daejeon. They do have good old regular fried chicken and half-and-half with sweet and sour sauce. However, the signature of this place is charcoal-grilled chicken, with or without sauce. Continue reading

Sariwon Noodles, the First Restaurant in Daejeon

Visiting old, traditional restaurant always excites me. I get to take a peek at the culture and history behind not only the food but the neighbourhood where the restaurant first settled in. My hometown Daejeon is situated in the center of South Korea and is more known as a transportation hub than gourmet destination. However, it will still be worthwhile to visit a restaurant that is registered as the first dine-out restaurant in the city.

Beef ribs soup at Sariwon

Continue reading

Spicy Seafood Noodles at the First Ebiga Restaurant in Daejeon

I’m not crazy about chain restaurants wherever I am in the world but visiting the first store of a mega franchaise is always fascinating. You get to see how the big names first kicked off from the ground without knowing that they will one day become leading brand. In addition, you get to learn the business secrets that powered the rapid growth. In Daejeon, there is a head restaurant of a Korean-Chinese spicy noodle brand that gained national fame by opening more than hundred chains across Korea within mere five years of starting their first store. What could be their key to success?

Spicy noodle soup at the first Ebiga store in Daejeon

Continue reading

Life in Korea: Kimchi Workshop

Another late posting as this happened back in November. One Saturday morning I invited over a few friends and we made kimchi from scratch – yes, we have officially done  gimjang.  Gimjang is an annual tradition for typical Korean family that seems to be dying these days like many other traditions.  Back in the days, as the air began to chill, families and neighbours would set a date to gather around and make huge batches of kimchi that would last well over winter. These days, with smaller, independent families and the convenience of store-bought kimchi, gimjang slowly becomes a thing of the past especially in urban lifestyle.


Continue reading

[Hiking in Korea] Sikjangsan in Snow

Daejeon Hiking Group‘s February 2016 hiking took place in eastern part of the city.  Sikjangsan (식장산) is an easy access from public transit and has several hiking courses that are far from a challenge. Our group on Sunday had beginning hikers so it was a perfect opportunity to try out this neighborhood mountain.

DSC06492 Continue reading

Gyeryongsan Winter Hiking

After a self-satisfying attempt at a winter hiking in Sutonggol, the hiking group’s next target was naturally the extension of our most recent achievement.  As I mentioned in previous post, Sutonggol Valley, although extremely convenient and popular hiking destination for locals, is a mere tip of a chain of peaks known as Gyeryongsan National Park.  The real deal lies farther away from the city’s boarder. The group rendezvoused early in the morning at Daejeon National Cemetery station and hopped on a busy 107 bus en route to Donghaksa loop.


Continue reading

Following the Accident: Hospital Life in Korea

So after a car knocked me over on a busy crosswalk in Daejeon, South Korea, I was taken to nearby university hospital in Dunsan by ambulance.  As I mentioned in the previous post, I was told by the doctors that I’d be alright and walked out of the ER only to discover 9 days later that I had a crack in my spine that the X-ray failed to catch.  Bummer.

I was admitted to Daejeon Woori Hospital in Dunsan-dong, a facility specialized in spinal treatment.  I was really a fortunate case.  I didn’t know much about Korea’s insurance system and I was just about to let go of the incident and move on as I seemed fine except for the bruises and what seemed to be a pain in the muscle.  If it wasn’t for the advices I received from my parents and other locals I may have missed all the benefits and rights that I deserve.

In case you ever get involved in a car accident like I did in Korea, here’re some tips that I learned hard way.

  • Never say that you’re sorry or you’re fine at the accident scene.

Your kind remarks may work against you later on.  Also, it might not hurt at the moment but sometimes the pain emerges days later.

Continue reading