나주 영산나루 Yongsan Naru: Cafe in Naju

Sunday, 29 November 2015

나주 영산나루 Yongsan Naru: Cafe in Naju
In Naju over the weekend? Visit Yongsan Naru cafe (영산나루), it's a multi cultural space where you can enjoy tea, wine and food.

Here, you'll sometimes find live violin music played on stage while you enjoy your afternoon tea.

I can see some Korean dramas being directed here already.

Decorations look very English countryside, from the large, beautiful courtyard to the inner restaurant design.

People come here to chill out during the weekends, and those who visit during the day are some ajummas who are feeling fancy.

Coffees are just so-so, as along with its accompanying latte art.

But try some traditional Korean tea here to warm yourself up during the chilly season! You'll love it.

It seems that locals love to visit for its western food and BBQ dishes, so if you're hungry, check that out too, when you do visit.

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영산나루 (Yongsan Naru Cafe, Naju)
Address: 14-9 Jumyeon 1-gil, Naju, Jeollanam-do, South Korea
Korean Address: 전라남도 나주시 주면1길 14-9
Tel: 061-332-2131
Operating hours: 10am to 10pm

나주 이가네 숯불갈비 Mr. Lee's Charcoal Fire Ribs, Naju

Saturday, 28 November 2015

나주 이가네 숯불갈비 Mr. Lee's Charcoal Fire Ribs, Naju
I know of this place only because we were brought here by the Naju locals.

Firstly, I'll break down the restaurant name for you. This place is called i-ga-ne-sut-bool-gal-bi (이가네 숯불갈비). Also more widely known as Mr Lee's Charcoal Fire Ribs.

They have a few branches, Naju is one of them.

The place specialises in (duh) 'charcoal fire ribs', a direct translation from 숯불갈비, used in the restaurant name - a.k.a Korean charcoal grilled short ribs.

Remove your shoes before entering!

This place does serve up some awesome short ribs, along with delicious side dishes which I have no idea what its called. I only remember chowing down the sides voraciously.

One of the reasons why I like to venture out into the Korean suburbs, is because their traditionally made dishes are nothing like that you'd get from Korean chain restaurants that open up in Singapore or even, in Seoul.

Yes, you'd be surprised at the food quality of some Seoul eateries, how they suck.

Back to the dishes here.

This one is starchy and slightly milky with a fragrant hint of rice, served with coloured rice cakes which ups its starch game. It's thick, but not the hard-to-stomach kind. I don't think I've ever eaten this in Seoul unfortunately. If you've come across this Korean dish, let me know what it is. :)

Some of you might cringe from this: cow's blood soup?

Don't. Because even their 선지국 (Korean cow blood soup) tastes good. No, you don't drink from it like a vampire. The cow's blood had been coagulated into something like tofu and cooked in the soup, something like Taiwan's favourite pig's blood 'tofu'.

So when you're eating this soup, just treat it like stew and enjoy the blood 'tofu'!

See, it looks perfectly normal like any other Korean stews you've eaten! With lots of beansprouts, this one!

The star dish of the eatery: grilled short ribs!

They will help you ensure the ribs are cooked to perfection, in front of your eyes. Flavourful, juicy, all I could ever ask for as a meat-lover.

Eat it in the Korean way - one piece of leafy lettuce, ssamjang, meat and a little garlic, wrapped nicely and to be entirely popped into your mouth.

I know it sounds crazy, especially eating cow's blood soup, yada yada. But when in Korea, eat like their locals! I do love their food generally, so I really enjoyed this entire meal.

You'll not regret it.

If you liked this post, please show some support here by showing some love here, click 'Like' for my FB Page!:

나주 이가네 숯불갈비 (Mr Lee's Charcoal Fire Ribs, Naju branch)
Korean address: 전라남도 나주시 용산동 221-20
Tel: (061) 333-2999 / (061) 333-5354

Mint Medical Aesthetics: Skin Laser and Hydra Clear Peel Medi-Facial for clearer skin

Monday, 23 November 2015

Mint Medical Aesthetics: Skin Laser and Hydra Clear Peel Medi-Facial for clearer skin
So, just before my Korea trip, I set out to do a simple skin laser and hydra clear peel medi-facial by Mint Medical Aesthetics, located near my office building, during lunchtime. 

This is part of an aesthetics programme for the skin which also combines their technology with award-winning skincare Dermagold to achieve optimal results. Medi-facials combos can be customised by the doctor for each individual according to skin types and needs.

What I did: 

Skin Laser (by lady doctors) – empowered by Korean technology
1. A non-invasive treatment with no downtime.
2. Lunchtime procedure that takes only about 5 minutes to do

Hydra Clear Peel (15-20min)
1. This uses a Korean technology and does a painless extraction
2. Suitable for all skin types.
3. Helps to unclog congested and enlarged pores, deep pore cleansing, remove dead cells and stimulate new cell growth
4. Nourishes skin with anti-oxidants, nutrients to restore skin balance and hydration

The procedure:
1.      Cleanse
2. Exfoliate and detox the skin with a wonderful derma-cocktail of lactic acid, algae, green tea, glucosamine and yeast extract
3. Extraction (you thought it'll be yikes, but it ended up being PAINLESS!)
4. Nourishment of the skin with a lovely derma-mix containing anti-oxidants and vitamins that restore skin balance, hydration, reduce wrinkles, improve skin healing. 

The entire treatment (Laser and the Hydra peel) really only took about 30 minutes all in all!

Good for:
- Busy people who don't have much time to go through 1 or 2-hour long facials
- Those who cannot take pain from blackhead extractions

It only needs to be done once or twice a month (depending on your skin condition), a simple upkeep for lovely skin.

Some benefits of the technology: 
- Refines your pores
- Whitens and brightens skin
- Improves skin tone
- Reduces acne outbreaks, blemishes and marks on your skin
- Stimulates collagen

Note: All photos in this post are non-edited and are without 'beauty' mode!

Before the facial (this is without makeup and filter) - I have dull skin and enlarged pores!

Right after the facial... (also without makeup and filter.)
As you can see, my skin is visibly lighter and brighter than before!

3 hours after the facial...

6 hours after the facial...

Skin is still visibly clearer, pores are smaller and cleaner, even after 6 hours!

If you are worried that you'll be going to a social function or back to work after that, no worries, because the treatment has no downtime and it also ends off with application of Dermagold award-winning Hydra Recovery Gel and also a Dermagold sunblock.

FYI, they are currently having a promotion for the DermaGlow Medi-facial programme that goes for $688+, that includes:
- 3x skin laser
- 3x ClearLight Tx (for photorejuvenation)
- 3x Hydra Clear Peel
- 3x Customised ampoules

Award-winning DermaGold goes online!

Previously, I also mentioned how I love dermagold products right? The Dermagold online store is now officially open at www.dermagold.sg, so easy to purchase the products with just a click of the mouse now! 

You can now enjoy 15% off total purchase, with a minimum purchase of any 3 Dermagold products (not including mask), as well as free shipping till 31 Dec 2015! This would really make a lovely Christmas gift, so don't wait anymore!

All you have to do is just to use the following codes to enjoy the above!

- For the 15% off, quote “DERMAGOLDxHADARA” at checkout
- For free shipping, enter 'FS100'

Do sign up for an account to utilise the above coupon specials and go ahead and shop for your favourite Dermagold skincare. 

Dermagold Products

Mint Medical Aesthetics @ Mint Medical Centre (also a DermaGold stockist)
Location: 1 HarbourFront Place, #01-10 HarbourFront Tower 1, Singapore 098633
Tel: +65-87263383
Operating hours: 9am-6pm (Mon-Fri), 9am-12pm (Sat), Closed (Sun & PH)

This review is by invitation.

Yomeishu, the wine which preserves life

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Yomeishu, the wine which preserves life
Yomeishu, also known as Yang Ming Jiu or 养名酒, literally means 'wine that preserves life'. First produced in Japan in year 1602 (yes, it's been 413 years and still going strong!), the drink is popular among people who seek better health.

The wine is manufactured by soaking medicinal herbs in a sweet and mellow wine base. There are 14 main herbs that go into the Yomeishu concoction. The process of soaking these herbs within the wine will release the herb's curative actions.

The wine is made at the Komagane Plane in Komagane City, Nagano Prefecture. The climate of this region is blessed with clean air and water, making it the best location for producing the Yomeishu effects which it is required for.

What are the benefits of the wine?
Mainly, the wine encourages a good boost to blood circulation, which is an important part of your body's overall function and health.

Why is boosting blood circulation important? 
To understand why boosting your blood circulation is important, you should also understand how your body functions. Your heart pumps blood through blood vessels in your circulation system. The red blood cells will carry oxygen to your body's vital oxygen, providing vitality and energy. When your circulation system and vital organs are able to work hand-in-hand, this means you will have sufficient blood flow. People are seeing an increase in many conditions which contributes to the decrease of blood circulation, such as diabetes - which affects even young people in our society today (mostly due to poor eating habits!).

Why should I consider taking Yomeishu?
As you know, the efficacy of the wine lies in its ability to help boost blood circulation. When this happens, it helps to increase blood flow within the body and helps promote cell growth and organ function. Even your skin (yes, girls!) also will reap benefits from it, as it is better able to fight off bacteria and infection.

Once opened, you don't have to rush to finish it. Drink sparingly till the whole bottle is gone! There is no time limit and remember, you are not in a competition so don't have to rush through it!

To best preserve the wine, always cap the bottle tightly and avoid direct sunlight, as per all other alcohols.

How to take Yomeishu?
Adults can take about 20ml, 3 times daily, before meals and/or at bedtime. There are markings on the cup (which comes with the wine bottle) which will help you determine the required amount to drink.

Can you increase or decrease the dosage? 
It depends on your body condition. Just note that overdosage should be prevented. Yomeishu's special point is how it helps promote action on blood circulation. And that should be taken into consideration as well, for example, for those with conditions, such as high blood pressure, etc.

Yomeishu is available at all major supermarkets. For more information on the product, visit http://www.yomeishu.co.jp/english/faq/.
As with all health tonics and products, be advised to follow instructions in how you should take the drink.

As I always like to tell my friends, tonics and herbs are very powerful if taken right. Yomeishu is beneficial if you follow instructions and take it right, too. While Yomeishu complements and boosts your results in better health, you should also be mindful of your daily diet intake to ensure best overall results.

If you are not sure, always check with your physician first. 

Singapore's Yomeishu Website: http://www.yomeishu.sg/

This is a sponsored review.

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Bathing Soap: Review

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Dr. Bronner’s Magic Bathing Soap: Review
Things that we buy nowadays are filled with so many stuff that's bad for our bodies, skin and health. The world of today sees many people sharing their skin care concerns or conditions, genetically or just, you know, made from the society of today - environmental, food allergies or simply, stress. 

Today, I would like to introduce you a product that might just address these concerns today.

Ta-da! Introducing... Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Liquid Soap, by Nature's Glory!

Wait up! Who exactly is Dr. Bronner?
Emmanuel Bronner, a third generation German-Jewish master soap-maker, brought the family's old world soap recipes to the US in the late 1920's and established what has become the top-selling natural brand of liquid and bar soaps in America. In addition to producing an exceptional lather and smooth after-feel, our soaps support fair trade, organic agriculture and healthy environment. Dr. Bronner passed away peacefully on March 7th of 1997. The business continues to be run by the Bronner family with no break in continuity. Over 100 acres of Dr. Bronner's beloved Rain Forest was donated by his family to the Boys and Girls clubs of San Diego Country, California. Underprivileged children can now camp under the stars within sight of Mt. Palomar which is often mentioned in the "Moral of ABC". - excerpt extracted from Nature Glory's website.

Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Unscented Baby-Mild Soap (16oz or 473 ml, S$18.90)
This one is meant for those that have sensitive skin or skin that is prone to allergies, as it is so gentle that it can even be used for newborn babies! It is totally unscented, has zero chemical additives, synthetic fragrances, or other harsh chemicals that will trigger an allergy. And also, no parabens! Made with pure & organic extra virgin coconut, olive and jojoba oils. 

Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Tea Tree Soap Infected Skin (16oz or 473 ml, S$18.90)
Bacterial infections or dandruff? This bottle is meant for your use. Made with tea tree oil, or melaleuca oil, this soap bottle contains the soap that will help protect you against common skin infections, including acne and oily skin, as it has anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Pimples? No more!

Brand claims:
Dr.Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soaps have up to 4x more concentrated than other brands of “liquid soaps”.

Other than saving your skin, they are also for saving the world. All cylinder bottles are made from 100% Post-Consumer Recycled (PCR) plastic bottles!

Personally, I like that it's so liquidy and moisturising. The skin feels so well moisturised but yet, clean after use. When I tried the Tea tree oil soap, I must share that the tea tree oil scent was quite strong. 

The purity of the source of these soaps contributes to its qualities and scents, as the soaps themselves contain a relatively large volume of high quality grade essential oils - about 20ml in 1 litre! That's pretty intensive!

The prices I shared above are for 16oz or 473ml. Other sizes include: 
2oz, $5.50
8oz, $11.90
32oz, $30.80
1gallon, $109
5 gallons, $450

For more information on this product, view here.
To purchase your own Dr Bronner's soaps today, click here

This review is by invitation. 

Lean Bento: Healthy food made easy for office workers!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Lean Bento: Healthy food made easy for office workers!
With many healthy bento options available for corporate workers, Lean Bento is another one to consider in the recent rave for healthy foods. 

Yes, we ordered for the entire department! 
To order, you can simply do that through their website. Ordering proved to be a straightforward and simple process, which I was pretty glad. 
Muslim friends might also be glad to know that Lean Bento has recently been officially certified along with the Halal certification. Deliveries require at least your orders to be successfully submitted to them at least 1 working day in advance.

The delivery reached slightly before my fixed timing but I was fine with it. The sets were also nicely packed, content was filled to the brim. 


My colleague ordered the Arrabbiata Chicken Breast ($12.90). It contained patties made from grounded chicken breast meat, marinated with Italian herbs and spices and baked under low heat. The meal, listed under the High Protein Bentos, was a balanced one as she had her meats and loads of fiber. 
Love the bouncy, wobbly egg!
For me, I ordered the mushroom chicken noodles ($14.50), under the Low-Carb Noodle Bowls section, which the fat-trimmed chunks of chicken proved to be tasty and succulent. There was in fact, too much chicken pieces, but I'm not complaining. I also found in it a pleasure to break the runny, wobbly onsen egg. 
The meats and vegetables (broccoli), were good. 
What I didn't like about it was the the noodles. According to them, the noodles are zero-carb yam-fibre noodles, but it had a pretty weird texture, unfortunately. I get the thing about chewy consistency for noodles, but this was just not it. At least not the good kind of chewy. 

To order from them, visit their page at http://order.leanbento.com/.

Lean Bento
Location: 11 Collyer Quay #02-02 The Arcade, Singapore 049317