WHAT THE OKRYUGWAN!!!

Oh! Wow! We know Dubai is a melting pot with people from all walks of life, countries, cultures and languages. If you follow me on Instagram you will know too that I am a foodie and I am keen on trying any cuisine, but this one.. Boy! It was a surprise! Great Surprise for my palate!

Some months ago my husband and me decided to start looking for new places to dine. We think the Bur Dubai, Deira and Karama areas will hold great secrets and we were just driving – no GPS- until we would find something eye catching and stop to give it a try. From this experiment, some times we had not the best results, but this one time I must say, I honestly enjoyed it.

The restaurant is called Okryugwan – dont ask me what it means, not a clue-  and it is inside one hotel -Royal Ascot or something similar. I am not sure where it is, but you can check it on Time Out Dubai, because there is not that many North Korean restaurants in the world (around 12 in our planet). It looks like these restaurants are operated by the North Korean Government to acquire foreign currency and to maintain the expenses of the embassies. 

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Honestly, we decided on it because at the entrance there was a beautifully dressed lady. Lol! This is what happens when you let us decide! She was wearing the traditional korean dress in baby blue and she was all smiles. The dress is absolutely gorgeous!

I have this fetish of buying traditional dresses and earrings in my travels (or my husbands!). I never  or very rarely wear the dresses outside home but I feel I have a piece of the country and the culture. If any one of you have the chance to get one of these korean dresses, remember me! 

The place is not the shiny gold and modern luxurious decor Dubai  has us accustomed to. It is pretty basic, feels like one of those chinese old restaurants back home. The food is very nice, but be aware, when it says spicy or hot, it really is.

The one thing you can not miss is the korean barbeque. It is very traditional and very yummy. In some other Korean restaurants they give you a plate of raw meat or fish and start the bbq, the cooking is for you to do.  The bbq is right at your own table. There is like a hole and inside it is the grill. At Okryugwan they do the bbq for you, so we had our gorgeous waitress show cooking for us.

Other thing I liked a lot were the dim sums. The pastry filled with chicken were delicious. I totally recommend you to try them. The soups were very nice too.. we choose one with kimchy – not knowing what it was really, but it looked like cabbage- here is when things got too hard to swallow. The flavour was very nice but it was really hot.  Spice is cumulative so the first spoons were ok, the rest were.. too much for me. 😉 (fire extinguisher situation)

Here you have my pics. If you go, let me know your thoughts.

 

Luv,

Lil

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FIESTA FOR A CAUSE.. FOR A VERY GOOD CAUSE

Hi my dears,

Yesterday it was one of the events that I mentioned in a previous post to assist and gather funds for the Yolanda Victims. Dubai is a generous city and that showed yesterday with people coming and going during the entire day.All the money and goods collected will be sent by LBT to the disaster area.

The food was awesome, the people amazing and the cause a really good one.

Let me show you some of it..

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Amore Rosso, the restaurant of the venue, has an italian chef and a filipino chef -actually a wife and husband team!- when we arrived it was filipino food available as they were doing batches. I am not too familiar with it and the names are kind of difficult to remember but the chicken caldereta and the buko pandan (a green dessert that looks atomic and it is just delicious!) will stay with me forevaaaaa .;)

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Nada and the Buffet

As it was a buffet, I picked up a bit of every dish and enjoyed all of them. The company was the best of the best, as I went with my friend and blogger Nada from Undefined Declarations and there I finally met Naomi from PinayFlyinghigh!! She was the brave organiser and soul of this project.

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There we met other amazing people too as we were so lucky to share the table with other two bloggers friends of Naomi too. Sanne from Mitziemee and Pia from Expiatriatewife ( I love the name Pia!!). Please check their blogs as these ladies have a lot to say.

It is funny that we all come from such a different backgrounds, countries, culture, languages, professions,.. and still we all have such a strong bond through our blogs. Blogging is an amazing connection and I love it!

After the event and to make things even better we went to have a coffee to Reem Al Bawadi in Downtown Dubai. After getting lost for quite a while – who on Earth designed the roads on Dubai was planning to use helicopters and not cars!!- we reached. There we met Sarah and Yessenia. I loved the conversation and could have stayed there with them for a week chatting non stop!

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With the girls!!

The place was very nice although the service was not at all. Still we got to enjoy a beautiful view of my favourite building.. Burj Khalifa. I have some many pictures of my beloved BK in my phone that looks like I built it!!

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Impressive eh?

What can I say, I love my life and I love Dubai. I am very thankful for all the amazing things that come my way and all the private “gurus” and “teachers” that I am encountering here.

Talking about which, remember to be part our new project : The Happy- list. All the explanation is in this Happy Post. You can access to the facebook event in this link and see all the beautiful thoughts shared so far. I love them and wanted to thank you all for the great response and I must confess that your comments are so amazing and moving that you are transporting me there.. with you.. Thanks, Gracias, Merci, Danke, Grazie Mille!! Dont hesitate to share the event with friends and family, specially if they are having a tough time. There is a lot of happy thoughts there.

I have also done some other changes on the facebook page. You will see some new icons on the header.. Like the Pinterest and the Instagram icons.. if you click in the “more” buttom the Twitter and Youtube accounts will open up too. If you have no Instagram or no Pinterest now you can follow the pins and pictures from the Facebook page directly.

In case you have direct access, these are the links, please like and share as it makes me so  happy to know you are there.

Facebook– Twitter– Instagram– Pinterest

Lots of Luv,

Lil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IT IS ALL ABOUT A SHELTER.

I hope you have been missing my posts lately, because I have been missing my blog baaadly!! These last weeks have been just so H E C T I C, but really, really! On the other side, I have great news!

Lets see, where can I start? Better by the beginning, right? Ok, well,.. tachan! we bought a house and you are all very invited to come and visit. My preciousness ( and the bank’s!) is in a green area, have a beautiful garden, a chimney and even a swimming pool. It is located in Madrid, more or less 20 kilometers from the center, but I have a train station very close so I can be in Sol in no time!.

In summer, while on holidays, we went ahead and started some visits to properties and what made this house the winner of my heart ( and my savings..) was a moment and a smell. Let me explain,.. during the visit, when I opened the balcony, it came a fabulous smell of pine trees. The house is surrounded by trees and pine trees. It brought me back childhood memories, amazing moments with family, with friends, up in the mountains, walking in the Pyrenees, riding bicycles and horseback riding .. That was it!.. There goes my heart!..The winner is…

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This preciousness is one of the reasons why I have been so busy and nervous. It is my first mortgage and I couldn’t imagine all the paperwork and care you have to put into it. I am also very particular and I need to read and understand everything, so maybe it is me, hehehe! Banks now are tough to deal with, specially in my beloved Spain. Crisis is still very present and well now, no need to say I am very happy and I can not wait to start decorating!!.

I believe in signs. There are signs everywhere, but normally we decide to ignore them, we are too busy to see them or we prefer to deny the messages. Signs can be good or bad. The day before the signature, I fell asleep and I slept -honestly- like a baby. I haven’t slept this deep and peaceful in years,.. so many years, I couldn’t even remember!.. I woke up late, I didn’t hear any of the alarms and I felt just so great, it was weird. I reached the office and started my work, I felt very energized, so I was totally aligned and things were going well.

During the morning, just before the signature, I received an email from Tala Farah from the blog My small obsessions..oh my! I won a perfume! and guess what.. it is SI of Armani. A new perfume I liked already since an event in Mall of The Emirates recently and that was in my “next-to” list. Khalas! Now I have my own SI.. Si means yes in Spanish. It is a clear confirmation that Yes!You can go ahead. You have the blessings of the Universe. Yes, everything is going to go well and Yes! you will smell beautiful too!

And well, everything went well ( Siiii!!!). Now it seems long passed all the come and go of emails and calls and stress with banks, sellers, realtors and lawyers of these last months.

😉

Now , lets get serious.. I am very lucky- we all are- and we have some place we call home.., but there are people that have lost everything or almost. Yes, Si, Oui.. I am talking of the Philippines and the devastation that has been left behind Yolanda and the recent earthquake.

There are many ways to assist. I always use the Red Cross or Red Crescent. This is the link if you want to donate through the International Federation of  Red Cross and Red Crescents Societies. Choose your country, your region here and help if you can. I know my jamaican and spanish friends are very generous.

If you are in Dubai and want to help physically, the UAE Red Crescent is organizing an event on the 15th November between 8.00 and 17.00 in Zabeel Park (Amphitheater and MegaBowl area). Here you can participate by bringing food (please non perishables and non need to cook foods are better) shelters or medicines. There is no need for clothing as yet. Also there will be opportunity to donate in cash.

Also another friend blogger from the Philippines  is organizing her own event to assist. I will be there, supporting her and all the filipinos. Here you have all the info of the event and hopefully we get to see each other for such a good cause.

Lets help them… Now…It is our turn.

Lots of Luv and Good energy,

Lil

 

 

WHAT I JUST LOVE.. AMSTERDAM

WHAT TO DO IN AMSTERDAM IF YOU ONLY HAVE 2 DAYS?

(HEALTHY MODE)

Amsterdam is a beautiful and cosmopolitan city. My Mediterranean heart forces me to visit it always in summer though. And even in summer don’t forget to bring your sweater. Average temperature during the day in centigrade is 17 C during July and August. When the sun goes down it is chilly!

If you only have 2 days, like a long weekend or if you are enjoying a longer stopover between flights, you might want to see my list of basics…in healthy mode. We all know Amsterdam have a not so healthy side, but that is another story.

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This is what I recommend you to visit and experience:

–          The canals: take a tour to see the city from a different perspective. It takes more or less one hour to one hour and a half and most of the tours depart from the Central Station area. The canals are called Grachten in Dutch and have more than 400 years of history. Three years ago Unesco named the canals World Heritage Site. Dutch are very practical people so don’t think the canals are only beautiful, they served a purpose and it was part of an ambitious project to double the city size.

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–          The Museum Quarter: in the same area you can find the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum. The House of Bols and the Diamond Museum are also very close by. For the RijksMuseum there are huge lines so my only recommendation is to book online and be at the gate before the museum opens. Depending on your love to the shows you could be there one morning or the entire day. There are other Museums in other areas of the city like the Rembrandt Museum and the Museum of Bags and Purses that I will dedicate a stand-alone post because I loved it so much!.

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–          If the lines of the Museums are just too much, just beside the museum area you can find the Fashion District. From culture to couture in a pair of streets! The best designer’s shops are in street Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat. You might need 2 to 3 hours and a credit card ready to mambo!

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–          Check the festivals, in summer there is plenty.. In our case it was the traditional cheese market in Alkmaar and the Windmills and there we went!.. Check the concierge of your hotel or check “Tours and tickets” website  to see what is on at the time. You might be right on tulip season or a super fan of miniatures (then go to Madurodam). Depending on the excursion you might take one morning or a full day. More about our Cheese excursion in a coming post!

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–          Rent a bike: plenty of places to rent them and you can take a “dry” tour, well unless you are very clumsy and end up down in the canals. ;). Don’t worry the city is very flat and it is very easy to ride because they have their proper bike lanes.

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–          Food! Food and Food! Try the many cheeses, the uitsmitjer, the poffertjes, the bitterballen, the pannenkoeken, the cheese croquetten and the gulash croquetten. Not so good for the diet at all, but wherever I go I always try the local food and the beer or wine. In Amsterdam the beer is the absolutely international Heineken.

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–          Flea markets: I just love the street markets and in Holland are full of colours of the gorgeous fruits and flowers! In the Albert Cuyp Market I found one delicacy that stayed in my memory from my honeymoon… the wasabi peanuts!.. In the hotel in Maldives, at the beach bar, they used to serve them and I became addicted. I couldn’t find them in Dubai and my lovely hubby bought me a full bag! Yumm! There you can buy cheaper the souvenirs like the traditional clogs, the tulip bulbs, postcards etc..

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–          Delft shop. This cute little shop is full of beautiful ceramic pieces in the traditional blue and white. It is a must see!.. And yep! That is the price of the little plate..

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Other things you might want to see if you still have more time:

–          Central Train Station: for sure sooner or later you will end up here as most of the excursions leave or arrive from this point. The building is nice (from 1889) but the square in front is a chaos now as they are doing some construction and there is so many people that is a bit too crowded for my taste.

–          Anna Franck Museum. Sorry, the book made me so super sad that I wasn’t able to visit it the first time I visited to Amsterdam and this second time, same thing. There is too much emotion around Anna’s story. They say it is very commendable though.

You can see more pics on the Instagram feed (@gallegoara) or directly on the blog side. Don’t forget to like the pics you prefer and to follow and like very much the Facebook blog page. That would make me very happy!

This is my Amsterdam- short version, for a 2 days or 2 days and a half stay. Have you ever been in Amsterdam? What did you like the most? Please let me know your comments, your suggestions, your thoughts… interaction is what I just love more about blogging!

Lots of Luv,

Lil van Traveller 😉