Sunday = Flea Market Day <3

In Berlin and in most European countries, Sunday is a rest day. This means that most shops, even supermarkets don’t open. If you feel like doing something on a sunny Sunday, you could head on down to flea markets. There are many flea markets in Berlin. For instance, there’s one @ Straße des 17 Juni Tiergarten (this is considered to be for tourist), and another one @ Arkonaplatz Mitte.

I have been to the one at Mitte 3 times and absolutely love it! You’d never know what you will find. A person’s junk could be someone’s treasure! I could spend the whole afternoon down there, slowly looking at every store, browsing thru their goods. It’s a different experience of shopping all together. Unlike shopping in the comfort of air-conditioned stores, shopping at a flea market could be a hot and sticky affair. That’s because there’s so many stalls and people that you will feel hot and crowded.

At Arkonaplatz, I managed to find some great buys. At flea markets, as some goods are second-hand, you can bargain for a better price, which is a good place for students like me. I managed to grab this second-hand bag and bracelet for just €1 each! Oh, I tried boulette too. The thick meat patty was so delicious and filling! I even sat down under the shade and heard a guy singing jazz songs. It was relaxing and fun!

In Singapore, we don’t have flea markets. Instead, we have Pasar Malams’, it’s malay for night market. It is because most stalls only open at night as that is the time when people are free as they have just finished work or school, so it will be crowded and busy. These markets tend to sell not only bags and clothes, but also food! They sell the famous Ramly burger (pictured below) which is cheap and it tastes heavenly!

I love flea markets!! Maybe I’ll visit other flea markets in Berlin. Hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I do.

Bye (:

p.s: For more information on flea markets in Berlin, please visit: http://www.berlinfo.com/Lifetime/Shopping/flea_markets/index.htm

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Chinese Food

Yup, as a Chinese, I am proud that there are many Chinese dishes that are delicious and well-loved by people from all over the world!

When I went to London, I could not help but miss eating Chinese food. So, I visited the Four Seasons  Restaurant @ 12 Gerrard Street Chinatown in London.

   

Four Seasons is famous for their roast duck, as you can see by looking at the roast ducks hung up for display at the front of their shop.

The Chinese usually eat plain white rice with a lot of different dishes which flavours range from hot & spicy to sweet & sour. Normally, the whole table will be filled with many dishes. It is a sight to behold. Now, let me introduce you to some famous Chinese dishes!

Roast Duck, 烧鸭 

 

Four Seasons uses their own secret recipe to marinate the duck. After that, the duck is then roasted  until the skin becomes crispy and the meat is juicy. It was simply wonderful. As it is cooked using the Hong Kong style, I feel that it tastes better than the roast duck that I eat in Singapore. What a surprise! Although it is fattening to eat the skin, I still ate it as that is the best part of the dish as it is crispy and the meat tastes better when eaten together with the skin too.

Sweet & Sour Pork, 酸甜猪肉

 

I absolutely love this dish. It is one of my favourite Chinese dishes. It tastes sweet and sour at the same time because pineapples are added to the dish to give it its sour taste. The pork is coated with flour and then deep fried, so that it is crispy on the outside, but tender on the inside. Furthermore, it is easy to eat as the meat is cut into bite-sized pieces, so you can just pop it into your mouth.

Tofu, 豆腐

 

Tofu is another one of my favourites. I eat Tofu almost daily in Singapore! It apparently makes your skin look smooth and silky. It is healthy as it is made from soya milk and is low in calories but high in calcium, so it is good for your bones. Although it tastes a bit bland on its own, it is normally cooked with a sauce or together with vegetables to give it some taste.

Char Siew & Roasted Pork, 叉烧烧肉

 

The pork is roasted until the skin is crispy, and is prepared the same way as the duck. The meat is tender and the salty sauce is quite addictive. This is a popular dish too as it is a good combination when eaten together with rice.

I highly recommend this place as the ambiance is homely and the food is good. Furthermore, the price is reasonable for the standard of food. However, do take note that the service may be a bit bad as the place is always full and they have many customers and orders. But I suppose the most important factor is that the food is delicious!

Maybe I’ll visit a Chinese restaurant in Berlin and find out if it tastes good or not.

Bye (:

p.s: For more information on Four Seasons Restaurant in London, please visit their website @ http://ukfourseasons.com/

Another Berlin Food Haunt <3

Fish & Chips @ NORDSEE

Yup, that’s correct. Nordsee is the place to satisfy your fish/seafood cravings. To me, it is like the fast-food chain for fish and chips and fish burgers. That’s because there’s always a Nordsee nearby and their service is fast and efficient. The prices are also quite reasonable too, with Fish & Chips and the XXL Fish Burger selling for just €2.99!

I love the way they serve their Fish & Chips in. It looks like a cone stuffed with delicious food. It is a unique way to serve it in especially if people order a take-away.

Hmm, maybe one day, someone will buy their franchising rights and open a Nordsee outlet in Singapore! Well, let’s hope that it happens, then, I can satisfy my cravings back in Singapore. I am sure it will be a bit hit amongst Singaporeans.

Brautwurst

Yes, Germany is famous for their Brautwurst! The Brautwurst is a long sausage served together with a bun, tomato and mustard sauce. It was my first time trying the sausage and I loved it. It’s different from those frozen sausages that we have in Singapore. The meat taste fresh and is chewy too. It’s good to eat this on a cold and rainy day because the Brautwurst is pippin hot and will surely be a joy to eat. It is affordable too, with a price range of €1.20-1.50.

Near shopping centers, there are many guys who carry their stalls on their backs. This is an interesting sight as there is no such thing in Singapore. I admire them as they are able to multi-task and stand on their feet all day long. I observed how they operate and found out that they are very skillful. It only takes them less than 1 minute to serve a brautwurst with bun! So it’s good for people who are rushing for time and want to have a quick snack or for afternoon tea.

Bye (:

A restaurant experience in Berlin – Eating Pork Knuckles!

Pork Knuckles @ Georg Braeu

When my sister came to visit me, I wanted to bring her to eat traditional German food. So I went online and searched for a restaurant to take her to. There were several restaurants that popped up, but I chose to visit Georg Braeu because of their rave reviews.

Georg Braeu is centrally located and is within walking distance from the Berliner Dome. When we reached there, the place was packed with people. We had to wait to find seats indoors as it was cold sitting outside. The place exuded a warm atmosphere, partly because there were a many people, but mainly because of the warm lighting used as well as a comfortable dining area.

We ordered the famous roasted Pork Knuckles. We didn’t realize how huge it was until the waitress served us the plate. IT WAS HUGE! It was served together with sauerkraut and potatoes. We had to stuff ourselves in order to eat finish the whole thing. But it was worth it. The meat was tender and the juice of the meat spilled out with every bite.

Even though the bill amounted to €30.45 (which was considered a lot to a student like me), it was truly an experience eating traditional German food in a traditional restaurant. I wouldn’t mind going to other restaurants and try other German food.

Bye (:

p.s: Here’s the link to Georg Braeu’s website for more information about the address and opening hours as well as for their menu list: http://www.georgbraeu.de/

Berlin Food <3

I love eating good food. Eating good food is an enjoyment in life, especially if it’s one of the most famous food in Berlin. There are many good food in Berlin, but Berlin is famous for Currywurst and Doner Kebab!

Currywurst

Currywurst is basically just sausage with a spicy sauce added to it. Although it sounds so-so, it tastes good. The sausage is so thick and the sauce has a unique flavor to it. It is sprinkled with paprika flakes on the top, to give it an extra ounce of spiciness. It is usually eaten with fries or bread. I love it because I love spicy food, especially curry.

‘Curry 36’ located @ the exit of the U-Bahn Mehringdamm station is the most popular stall with the locals and tourists. There is always a queue there, but fret not, the queuing time is quite short as they provide a fast service.

Doner Kebab

Doner kebab is a Turkish dish, however, there are many stalls selling this Turkish delight! Almost every street will have a stall selling it. As you can see from the picture, it looks so appetizing with the bun being stuffed with meat and vegetables. Oh my, just by looking at the picture, it makes me drool. It is also fun to eat it as it will be a messy affair. You will have to take a BIG BITE, if not, the filling will drop out and trust me, you wouldn’t want to waste that.

To try a doner kebab, I would recommend the stall ‘Mustafa’s Gemuse Kebap’ located @ the exit of the U-Bahn Mehringdamm station. There’s always a long queue of people waiting to grab their doner! Well, their secret is that they use chicken meat instead of pork, which makes the meat tenderer and juicier. They also add potatoes into the doner, which is indeed a special and surprising addition because I love potatoes.

Here’s a shout-out to local Berliners: If you happen to know any stall which sells good Currywurst and Doner Kebab, please tell me! I would love to try other stalls and give my review.

Bye (:

p.s: To get your fix of food, go to the U-Bahn Mehringdamm station. You can get both the Currywurst and Doner Kebab (:

Being in a foreign country

The thought of being away from the comfort of your home can be quite overwhelming at times. However, once you think about all the new adventures that await you when you step out of your comfort zone, you will feel excited and happy. I felt FREE when I arrived in Berlin for my 5-month student exchange programme. Learning to be independent is something which a textbook can’t teach. It has to be nurtured and experienced.

Arriving in Berlin was exciting. I was full of hope and excitement as it was the first time I was away from home for a long period of time and I hoped that it will be a fun learning experience. However, being in a foreign country, one has to adapt to the climate and environment. When your surroundings seem strange and unfamiliar to you, the feeling starts to overwhelm you. But once you get adjusted and settled into a routine, life in Berlin starts to feel normal. And, most importantly, it starts to feel like HOME!

But, during my first few days here, there were a few hiccups here and there. It’s the same for anyone who has ever been to a new country with a whole different culture.

Here’s some tips when you’re in a foregin country:

  • Know sign-language or simple hand gestures. It’s exceptionally helpful when you don’t know the spoken language. For example, you can use your fingers to ask how much the price of an object is.
  • Be smiley (: Being cheerful and having a smile on your face always helps. No matter if the weather is terribly cold, you’ll enjoy yourself throughout the whole trip. Just smiling to strangers on the trams or trains also helps, because you’d never know when your smile can brighten someone’s day.
  • Know polite phrases or words in the native language. For example, ‘bitte’ and ‘danke’ in German, which respectively mean ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ in English. 

Those are some personal tips that I find useful to me. Till now, I still use them on a daily basis as I have yet to master the German language.

Coming from sunny Singapore, being in Berlin has been a whole new change. Different climate, culture and people. But I find that it is a whole new world where I have to live and grow in. It’s a nice feeling to be independent. Hope that I’ll become a better person after this 5 months.

If you want to know about Singapore, the city that I come from, please feel free to ask me (maybe I’ll even blog about in the future!)

Till next time, ta ta!  (:

Blogging fears

Blogs have been around for quite some time now. And it’s only until recently that I created my own blog. Why is this so? Well, there’s many fears about blogging that prevented me from starting one earlier.

Firstly, I’m afriad that I may not have a good style of writing and my blog will not have a nice cohesive flow to it. It also feels weird reading what I have already wrote because it may sound dumb and senseless. Or that I am not funny or interesting as compared to other people and my life does not have any happening events that can be described using words.  I may also lack creativity and may not have any topic to write about my feelings. Lastly, I’m afraid that I may not have viewers or friends visiting my blog. This has got to be the most dreadful thing… Having a blog which no one else but yourself reading it. Well, it also depends on whether you respect your own privacy. If no one else reads my blog, there’s no intrusion of my privacy. My blog will just be for my own eyes, it will just be my little own personal space in the wide world of the internet.That will be quite cool and awesome (:

Well, that’s my fears about blogging. Hope I overcome them because I like the idea of blogging, about having a personal online journal about my life. It will be nice to have a reference about my life so I won’t forget about stuff!

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