Category: South Korea

My Secret Romance – KDrama Review

My Secret Romance – KDrama Review

This romance is so engaging because both lead actors are gorgeous, especially the male lead. I say shirt off all the time, if you please. 🙂 Though he is my number one in my best suited list. He has a lovely body which muscles in the right places! 🙂

Anyway the drama is about a romance that developed from a one-night stand between a rather uptight woman with a happy-go-lucky chaebol.

The girl was rather uptight because her mother used to be a star of top shelf films, the semi-porn ones. She was horrendously bullied when she was in middle school because of this.

The guy is a chaebol, who was ‘abandoned’ by his mother, who he misses so much.  Because of this abandonment issue, he found it hard to settle down, whether with work or with women.

Not until he (Cha Jin-Wook) met Lee Yoo-Mi.  They had a one-night stand in a convertible overlooking the sea, which was pretty sexy.  🙂

Fast forward three years later.

Cha Jin Wook is now an active director in his father’s company.  His innovative design of men’s underwear had gone stratospheric that their company’s growth was due to effort.  He is now a serious salaried man.

Yoo-Mi, is now a nutritionist who happened to get hired by Jin Wook’s company.

He first spied her one day by the elevator and that is how their budding romance started.  He never forgot her.

In the background there is a cute little boy, who is supposed to be her brother.  But I reckon it was a child borne out of their one night together.

Episode 8 was slated to be shown last Tuesday but for some reason, it did not.  I was gutted because I have really grown to like this drama.  It is tender, romantic and cute with likeable cast.

Anyway the reason why episode 8 was not shown was due to South Korean’s presidential election.  I wonder who won?!!!

Can’t wait for Monday and Tuesday for the next episodes?

Father Is Strange – KDrama Review

Father Is Strange – KDrama Review


I have to confess I am totally addicted to Korean dramas now. But then again there are so many good dramas that keep your mind riveted. Like for instance, this drama called Father Is Strange.

This is a family drama which is shown during the weekend – Saturday and Sunday.

It comprises of 50 episodes; as of writing, episode 18 had been shown.

So far, it has been a rollicking fun; all the actors had done their respective roles justice.

The story is about a close-knit family with a son and three daughters. Out of the blue a man, who used to be a KPop idol and now turned actor, came to see the patriarch of the family, who runs a restaurant. He blurted out that he was his son.  Imagine the mayhem this would bring to the family!

The first two episodes introduced the characters.  The mother and father are a loving, hard-working couple, very down to earth.

The eldest son is a bit of a no-hoper.  Though a gentle giant, he had spent years studying and revising for his civil servant exam, which he regularly fails.  However he is reliable and loving son and brother, if rather dopey.

The eldest daughter is Hye-Young, a very beautiful, intelligent, sophisticated lawyer, who gets what she wants. Or does she wants including secretly living with her boyfriend, an act which is still frowned upon by Korean society.

The middle daughter and presumably the real star of the drama is Mi Young.  She suffers from self-doubt and lack of confidence, having been a victim of bullying when she was in middle school.  She was obese and was bullied for it.  Despite having lost the excess weight, she is still rather shy and retiring but has moments of bravados.

The youngest daughter is Ra Young, she is an extrovert shopaholic, despite not earning much.  She falls in and out of love.

The drama deals with relationship within the family, extended family, boyfriends, girlfriends, retirement, work, etc.

What I like about this drama is that, so far, there are no annoying characters that would turn you off.   There are some nastiness but it is required to fully develop the characters, as opposed to just trying to add drama to a drama series.


Update:

Scenes by actor Ahn made me rather tearful.  You can feel his loneliness in a house full of indifferent people.

Heard It Through The Grapevine – KDrama Classic

Heard as a Rumour

Heard It Through The Grapevine – KDrama Classic

This drama is a real classic.  I would go so far as to say that  had the esteemed BBC made a Korean drama, this classic would have been it.  It is comparable to BBC’s world classics.

It is a comedy of manners.  It satirises the perceived nobility of the upper crust.

It is just the funniest drama I have seen in ages.

A real treat!

Jeju Island Shrimp Recipe

Jeju Island Shrimp, photo by Cristy Miclat

Jeju Island Shrimp, photo by Cristy Miclat

Jeju Island (Jejudo in Korean) is a province in South Korea.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 pounds large shrimp—shelled and deveined, tails left on
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced basil leaves

Method of preparation

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC.
  2. Using a large bowl, mix the butter with the garlic, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, the lemon zest, lemon juice and thyme and season with salt and pepper.
  3. In a large gratin or ceramic or glass pyrex dish, arrange the shrimp, tails up, in a circular pattern.
  4. Spread the shrimp with the flavoured butter and roast for about 10 minutes, until the shrimp are pink and the butter is bubbling. Sprinkle the shrimp with the remaining 1 tablespoon of chopped parsley and the basil leaves. 
  5. Serve as a starter with some crusty bread.

Handkerchief, Are they still being used?

The Poppy® Collection Handkerchief from M&S

The Poppy® Collection Handkerchief from M&S

Handkerchief, Are they still being used?

I saw the above hanky from an advert by Marks and Spencer commemorating November’s Poppy Day.  I love it and I shall drag Peter to Brent Cross and get us a few!

I have noticed that people seem not to use handkerchief anymore.  They as  I do, prefer using the disposable tissue paper which is more hygienic and can be inexpensive.

However, there is something romantic about cloth handkerchief, especially large men’s hankies, freshly laundered and folded neatly and readily available to hand to ladies in need.

Korean dramas actually reminded me of men’s handkerchief.  Drop dead gorgeous Korean leading men were always ready with their hankies for their sobbing heroines.

Scenes like these always melt my heart! Awwww 🙂

It made me think that Peter should also have a hanky in his pocket just for me. 🙂

Moonlight Drawn by Clouds – Daebak

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Moonlight Drawn by Clouds – Daebak

Korean dramas have conquered Asia and are now busy spreading its awesomeness throughout the world, greatly helped by Netflix.

If you have not tried it and wanted to find out about Korean dramas, there is no better one to start with than Moonlight Drawn By Clouds, which is also known as Love in the Moonlight.

It is an epic historical cross-dressing love story, beautifully made with an overload of cuteness and sweetness.  Total kawaii.

The television series was made of 18 episodes.  It was so entertaining and gripping at the same time that it was so addictive.  Two episodes were shown each week, leaving viewers wanting more; sadly it ended this week.

SPOILER ALERT!!!

Moonlight Drawn by Clouds’ popularity is made possible by the right choice of actors portraying each role. Each of the cast did a fantastic job.  It might be historical in nature but it is fresh with a modern twist, which will delight anyone.

Viewers can’t helped but be drawn by the lead actor’s, Park Bo Gum, unbelievable handsomeness and perfect of stature and charisma. Being tall and slender he looks spectacular wearing the colourful hanbok.  My favourite was the purple hanbok which was pleated at the waist. 🙂  I have never seen a handsomer person walking, being stationary and flying on air while sword fighting in a long gown.  Park Bo Gum has the most beautiful smile with his perfectly white even teeth.  His orthodontist must be commended.

I watched the series via Kissasian which post each of the episodes between 7-10pm UK time still in a raw stage (unsubtitled) Because it is so good, I would watch it, not understanding a word said and yet enjoyed it tremendously.  I would often stay up until 2am when the subtitles were ready and applied at 1am. (I have such a sad life LOL)

I did a quick research on Lee Yeong, who the character of Park Bo Gum’s Crown Prince was based. I was rather adamant to continue watching the series because I found out that the real crown prince Lee Yeong died at the very young age of 20.  I did not want to invest emotion and time for a sad ending!

Anyway, Moonlight Drawn By Cloud is about the love story of the Lee Yeong and a eunuch Hong Sam Nong.

Before you become rather uncomfortable with the idea of boy on boy, lol, the eunuch was really a girl, who was pretending to be a boy, a rather beautiful boy.  The prince fell in love with the eunuch after he secretly found out that he was really a she.

The ending was bittersweet as one of the three handsome heroes (the crown prince, the scholar and the bodyguard) died in battle.  It was heartbreaking but I think, it was some sort of closure.

There was a sweet ending for the Crown Prince and Hong Ra On.

The drama was produced by KBS, which is now apparently involved in a bit of a drama themselves.  Some complaints were received about them for allowing Kim Yoo Jung, the actress of the series to be shown binding her bosoms to make herself flat-chested as a boy (it was a fleeting glimpse and not much skin shown) and also having had some kissing scenes with the gorgeous Park Bo Gum when in reality she is only 16 years and 10 months old.  She is still an underage girl.

To watch the complete series, below is a good link:

http://kissasian.com/Drama/Love-in-the-Moonlight

Kimchi Stew Recipe

Kimchi, Photo by JMorton

Kimchi, Photo by JMorton

Kimchi Stew Recipe

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound fresh pork belly, cut in 1/2-inch pieces
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups kimchi, aged if possible, squeezed dry and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru)
  • 8 cups water (for a richer soup, use chicken, pork or beef broth)
  • 8 ounces soft or silken tofu, cut in large cubes
  • 8 scallions (spring onions) or Korean chives, chopped, for garnish

PREPARATION

  1. Heat a heavy-bottomed soup pot or large wok over medium heat.
  2. Add the sesame and vegetable oil and fry the garlic and ginger, then add the pork belly; and let it cook gently for 5 minutes or until golden.
  3. Add onions, stirring, until softened, which should take about 5 minutes. Turn heat to medium high and add kimchi and gochugaru. Simmer for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add water (or broth, if using) and bring to a boil. Season with soy sauce and fish sauce. Reduce heat to a brisk simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
  5. Taste broth and adjust seasoning.
  6. Just before serving, add tofu (it is also delicious to gently fry the tofu before adding to the stew) and stir gently to combine. When tofu is heated through, ladle into bowls and garnish with scallions (spring onion).

Serve with freshly boiled rice and since this is rather a special recipe, a few small shots of Soju would be most appreciated.

Kampai 🙂

Jo In Sung, Gorgeous!

Jo In Sung

Jo In Sung

Forget Brad Pitt, forget George Clooney! Forget Tom Cruise!

For the real eye candy, Jo In Sung is IT! He has no bad side. He is impossibly gorgeous.  So gorgeous he is so delightful to look at!

Jo In Sung, Gorgeous!

Jo In Sung is Korean actor, a model and has been a popular product endorser (he’s got the look)!

I first came across Jo In Sung in the movie called A Frozen Flower, which is a real treat 🙂   The movie is an erotic fictionalised account of the goings-on during the Goryeo Dynasty.  I must say I have never seen so many gorgeous men in long hair – high pony tail a la Orlando Bloom’s Legolas of Lords of the Ring.  Korean men in long hair were so aesthetically pleasing.  I have to warn you though the film is rated 18 (wow) I highly recommend this film!

After watching this film, I would suggest to follow it up with That Winter The Wind Blows!  If you have not fallen in love with him over George, Tom and Brad then what is wrong with you. LOL

In Sung was so beautiful in the film that he eclipsed one of South Korea’s most beautiful actresses.  Song Hye-Kyo looked rather ordinary in some scenes beside the luminous In Sung. 🙂

Jo In Sung Harpers Bazaar March 2013 2

Jo In Sung Harpers Bazaar March 2013

Jo In Sung, Gorgeous!

Apparently Jo In Sung is very choosy with what he does, so he has not done films in the last few years but having said that he was apparently shooting a film this year called The King.  I you can’t wait for that film, please watch It’s Okay, That’s Love and be astounded how versatile In sung is.

Jo In Sung

Jo In Sung