Thursday, June 25, 2015

중앙로 - 대구

Daegu was not a destination but a stopover. I had been on the move for almost a week and needed some rest before returning to Seoul. It was my first time in Daegu; I never found any reason to visit it before. I knew nothing much about it except perhaps, it's the fourth largest city in Korea, the hottest and the city where the conservatives always achieve landslide victory with both eyes closed.

I stayed near the busy Jungang-no (중앙로, 中央路). No prior research about the place was done and no plan was made to stay there until I passed by it while taking a joy ride on a city bus. It is the "Myeongdong" of Daegu minus the maddening throng of tourists. I made several discoveries about the place after one evening walk.
There was a bakery with exceptional long queue. So I thought if many people are queuing, it must be good, just like if many people are looking at something, it must be interesting. They have a term for it, it's called "mob mentality". The proof of the pudding is in the eating, so I bought a few buns to try and one of them was the bestseller of the bakery - "Mayak" bun (마약빵, 麻药面包). To see how mouth-watering good it looks, watch the video below. For all the "빵순이" (bread lover) out there, Sam Song Bakery (삼송 베이커리), with almost 60 years of bread-making history, is a must-visit 맛집 in Daegu because many people say so, including me, and I am not even a bread lover.

Sam Song Bakery (삼송 베이커리), along Jungang-daero, near to Exit 2 of Jungangno Station. Quite ironic to post a picture of the bakery without queue. The picture was taken early on a Sunday morning when the shop has just open its door.

Another outlet that saw long queue was Cafe Bom Bom (카페 봄봄). The queue did not seem to die down no matter how many times I passed by. I did not come across similarly named cafes in other parts of Korea and wondered what's the buzz about. The price of its beverages ranges between 2,000 and 4,000won with most priced at an affordable 3,000won. What's more, all their drinks are sold only in large size. So I guess, their winning formula was simply big plus cheap, offering good value for money. I tried to queue but ended giving up. I was not sure if I want to spend fifteen minutes of my life queuing for a cup of coffee.

Long queue outside Cafe Bom Bom. Value for money beverages only if you can persist till the end.

I have been craving for omurice for a while after finding out the popular "Omurice" outside Kyunghee University was closed. Finally, I found one small basement eatery that sold omurice. It was called Gyeonghwa eatery operated by a middle-age lady. I could not believe for a price of 5,500won I could get a 3-in-1 meal of handmade omurice, donkatsu and 쫄면 (chewy noodle). The food quantity and quality were also up to mark. I knew I could not find such place in Seoul, so I ate there twice just to make sure I ate to my heart's content. Seoul is expensive and Singapore is ... worse.

A menu of reasonably priced Japanese food

3-in-1 meal of omurice, donkatsu and "쫄면" (chewy noodle)

How to get there: Exit 2 of Daegu's Jungang-no Station

The day I was in Daegu, spring was no where to be found. Everyone was walking around in summer clothing. That reminded me I was in the hottest city of Korea.

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