Last Sunday, my good friend, Czar, invited me to go out and perhaps to celebrate Cookie’s one week-sary (?) with me. Since he knows I love tea, we agreed to meet in a local tea shop near my home, Tea Talk.
Tea Talk is a small tea shop along Aguirre Avenue in BF Homes, Parañaque City. What I love in this particular shop is the comfort they give to their customers. It exudes such a cozy ambiance. There are the ordinary tables and chairs, as well as love seat cushions, but what I like best is their platform area where customers can kick their shoes off and sit on the floor hugging the pillows while sipping their drinks. The shop has a limited selection of drinks which vary from brewed green teas, milk teas, fruit teas, and even Yakult teas. They also have add-ons like tapioca pearls, jelly, egg pudding, and popping boba.
I chose my favorite Lychee Green Tea Yakult Flip and the emperor got his Mango Green Tea with Honey. After paying at the cashier, we went to the shop’s extension and sat in one of the green couches facing the window. Behind us was another raised platform occupied with three Korean girls noisily chatting around while snapping their selcas. The entire time that we’d been there, we never saw a single Filipino soul aside from the staff. Why? Well, it’s one of those favorite hangouts of Korean teenagers because the shop tolerates their PDAs. Ugh.
After we finished drinking our tea and enjoying the free Wifi, we decided to go out and leave those over-expressive Koreans. We walked around a bit as I “toured” him around our village. “Here’s the Korean resto strip, the Church, the stable, bla bla.” Anyway, after we spent our energy strolling in one of the parks, we decided to have dinner. He wanted to go Korean (don’t ask me why) and I had some suggestions to him.
We ended up eating in Sam Won Garden restaurant located along Aguirre, too. In fact, it can take only 3~5 minutes to walk from Tea Talk. It is one of the most popular authentic Korean restaurants in my village and their service is proven by a lot of people going there every day. Too many, in fact, that customer always have a hard time finding a parking place.
It was my second time to eat there and basically, the restaurant doesn’t have any much difference to others that I have been to. Czar only knows samgyupsal (삼겹살 or Korean grilled pork belly)so that automatically added to our order. He also wanted to experience cooking it by ourselves and our waiting staff informed us that we need to get two servings to be able to do just that. Weird. I dined there a month ago with a Korean friend and we cooked ours with only a single order. Anyhow, we got two, plus my favorite noodle tteokbokki (쫄볶이 or spicy rice cake with noodles).
Of course, various banchans (반찬 or side dish) were served first. We had cabbage kimchi, radish kimchi, sweetened potato marbles, vegetable pajeon, spicy Korean coleslaw, spicy onion leeks, and others that I have forgotten. They also gave us a free bottle of brewed tea while waiting for the samgyupsal.
When the raw pork belly arrived, Czar was excited cooking his first samgyupsal. I smiled and tried to remember my first experience in a Korean restaurant. Funny that I couldn’t remember. Anyhow, I taught him the basics up to the “how to properly eat a samgyupsal: the steps.” It was too hilarious. He ate in his own way, which I always teased him of being an ahjussi (아저시 or uncle/old man).
After half an hour or so, I heard him sniffing. Too much spiciness would end up with a cold. I encouraged him to eat more of the tteok, but he barely touched his bowl. Before I even expressed myself, he came up with, “I’m full.” I shared the same feeling, but there were a lot of food remaining in the table. The banchans are too much, and the tteokbokki noodles are just too heavy in my stomach. Add samgyupsal to the mix and I felt my tummy slowly bloating. We still tried eating more though, but not enough. We ended up taking home the remaining of the rice cakes.
That’s basically the highlight of the day. We also went to church to attend the Sunday service. Two hours after arriving home, I still felt the food in my stomach. Oh boy. Few more days like that and my stomach will be the one to replace the samgyupsal (pork belly) dish.
How about you guys? What are your week’s highlights? Any plan for this weekend?