Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Icing Room (Design-It-Yourself)

Have you ever had the experience of passing an interesting store on your way to work or do groceries but never found the time to step in and enjoy it? Well, The Icing Room was one such place we heard about, often walked past on our trips to Tampines 1 Mall. We've talked about trying it out with the kids one day, and one fine day in March after work we finally had the chance to go down together as a family.

The concept is to order a plain cake and decorate it. The cakes come in three different sizes - 4 inch at $11.80, 6 inch at $20.80 and 8 inch at $28.80. Simple icing decorations and disposable piping bags of syrup (5 different colors) are provided. Extra decoration pieces are available at additional cost. You can find the details here ( When you are done, they pack it into a little pretty box and ribbon for you.

Of course, the children were excited to be master chefs. To help them reach the counter top, stools are also provided. When the 4 inch cakes were placed on the decorating turn-table, they were all ready to go. The girls had some difficulty squeezing out the colored syrups from the piping bag because of the controlled force needed. The older girl got a hang of the force needed after a while but the younger one needed help along the way. Despite this, it was not a problem because she was more fascinated by the pretty icing bits which were in the shapes of flowers, perfect for two little girls. We, too, couldn't resist putting in a few flowers as well and when everyone got their fingers stained with cream, the best thing to do was to lick it off. Ooooo, the sweet taste! Altough we took the smallest cake for both of the girls, they were able to focus on their creative artwork for about 30 minutes. After that, we were just left with the anticipation of eating it at home.

And mind you, this activity is not only for children, but when we were there, two women sat down right beside us as we were about to finish and began their own DIY experience. It is a popular place with youngsters as well.

On the way home, the girls were on cloud nine. We decided to have a 'mock' birthday party, with candles and all and after the cake cutting ceremony, we were ready for some real action. The vanilla flavoured cake with fruit bits tasted a lot better than we expected, considering we thought most of the price was for the experience and not really the final munch. In fact, it was so yummy that the girls finished half of their cakes each. That was quite a feat.


We will definitely be keeping this shop in mind as a possibility for the next birthday celebration. After all, we are certain that the girls would be itching to showcase their creativity talent again.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

South Korea Day 7: Myeongdong

Staying in Ibis Myeongdong put us right in the heart of all the action! Restaurants, cafes, shopping, it is no wonder that Myeondong has been designated as tourist zone by Seoul Metropolitan Government.

We started our exploration of Myeongdong during lunchtime. Mummy stays in Myeongdong whenever she comes to come Korea so she knows Myeongdong like the back of her hand. We wanted a restaurant which serves piping hot food and we came across this restaurant that claimed its popularity with the recognition from MBC, one of Korea's top broadcast station. With the words 'Budae Jigae' written in big letters, it seemed like we had found what we needed at that point in time. Budae Jigae, otherwise known as army stew, is a mixture of ramen, rice cake, ham, sausages, vegetables, pasta etc. Pretty much an assortment of anything. Perfect. The restaurant offers set meal with their budae jigae. We chose the one with 2 persons portion and it comes with bulgolgi beef patty and 2 bowls of rice. The kids don't like spicy food so it was great that the bulgolgi beef comes along with the rice. The price? 23000won! 

Navigating through the alleys of Myeongdong

You won't miss the big signboards

At the entrance to the restaurant

Budae Jigae

Adding the stock

Beef Patty. Really delicious

Add the ramen and just wait for everything to be cooked.
After a hearty lunch, Daddy and the girls returned to the hotel which was a mere 5 minutes walk away. Mummy, armed with a long mission - shopping list from friends, combed the streets of Myeongdong and within an hour, was back in the hotel, with bags and bags in tow. Mission accomplished.

Everyone had a rest while Mummy started her rigourous packing for the return back to Singapore the next day. Mummy and the girls went to Nanta Myeongdong Theatre (read blog entry on Cookin' Nanta) which is a short 5 minutes walk away from Ibis Myeongdong Hotel, for a performance and Daddy would rejoin the ladies for dinner after that.

After the Cookin' Nanta show, everyone adjorned at the hotel lobby and set out to experience the street food stalls that were littered all over the streets of Myeongdong. In warmer climate, Myeongdong would be covered with many roadside stalls, selling a range of products from food to clothes to accessories. As it was -5 degree Celsius when we were there, the streets were relatively sparse. Still, we were able to sample enough to satisfy our tummys.

Streets of Myeongdong

Looks like muffins?

Not anymore...after all the hammering...

The aftermath - bits and pieces of hard biscuits. Name? Snow Powder.

Grilled meat. On one side you can sample skewered fishcake.
Eat it with Gochujang or just soy sauce. Nothing beats drinking the hot soup from the skewered fishcake in winter.

Sizzling egg bread. Stall owner puts an egg on top of a bread and fries it.
The egg would not be fully cooked but it is delicious with the fried bread.

Squeeze one whole lemon and mix it with soda. Even though it was cold, we had 2 packs each day.

One of the many cafes

Spoilt for choice

Caramel Chocolate Bread

Plain waffle with blueberry

Dried seafood

Trying out some fried squid

Dumplings with saucy cabbage
We had a lot of other food like ddokbokki (korean spicy rice cake), fried spicy hot thing was for sure - the more we ate, the sweeter our sleep would be.