cook steak in the hostel

#FoodFriday: How to cook steak in a hostel

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday–the day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today’s post is a special feature where I give you tips on how to cook yummy steak in a hostel. Let’s eat!

When travelling, eating out at restaurants is a good treat. But if you need to save a few pesos/dollars, cooking will save you more money.

Since I’ve been in Argentina, I’ve cooked steak in my hostel kitchen for about 5 times. My hostel-cooked steak usually costs around 25 peso (S$6) while eating out costs a minimum of 45 pesos (S$11) to more than 100 pesos (S$25).

For this recipe, you will need…

Salt and oil, the only other things you need besides the meat

Salt and oil, the only other things you need besides the meat

Meet the type of Argentine meat I like.

Meet the type of Argentine meat I like.

  • Steak: Preferably Argentine steak. I choose mine base on how pretty it looks.
  • Coarse salt: Larger grains of salt make it easier to see
  • Oil
  • Frying pan/ Grill
  • Watch
  • Plates to dirty and plates to serve

Step 1: Season the meat

Rinse the meat and pat dry with kitchen towel (the paper kind, not the cloth).

Pour some oil into the plate and lay the meat on it. Pour more oil on the meat. Sprinkle the oiled meat liberally with salt so that it looks like it’s Edward Cullen under the sun.

Salt the meat

Salt the meat

If the meat was refrigerated, this is a good time to allow it to be less cold and more room temperature.

I’m not very sure how long the salt should be on but I give it at least 10 minutes.

Step 2: Heat up the pan

If you are using an iron grill, make sure it heats up nicely before you start. I like frying pans too and these don’t take long to heat so I wait about 30 seconds before I cook to heat it up.

Step 3: Cook one side of the meat

Cook that meat

Cook that meat

Lay the meat in the middle where the fire is. Afterwards DO NOT TOUCH the meat or it will turn out burnt in strange places.

I usually wait about 6 minutes for my one side to be done. The meat usually turns out well done if I do 6 minutes on one side and 4 minutes on the other.

Step 4: Check if your meat bleeds

Let it bleed a little

Let it bleed a little

If your meat starts to ooze blood from the part that is exposed to the air, you are doing a good job.

Step 5: Flip the meat and cook more

Now to cook the other side

Now to cook the other side

When the 6 minutes is up, flip the meat to the other side. The cooked part of the steak should be easily separated from the grill/pan.

Wait another 4 minutes for this side to be done. Then take out the steak.

Step 6: Leave the steak

Let the meat rest before your devour it

Let the meat rest before your devour it

This is the most difficult part of this meal. After cooking, leave the steak for about 4 to 6 minutes. I read that this allows the juices in the meat to redistribute evenly so the steak is tastier.

I usually distract myself by cooking the other piece of steak because it’s hard not to swallow the hot steak whole when it comes out of the pan.

Step 7: Eat, drink and be merry

Fruit of your labor

Fruit of your labor

After the waiting period is over, it’s time to dig into your meal.

Red wines supposedly go well with steak but it’s your meal so drink whatever your want.

Is someone judging your rose? Tell them to buy their own drink.

Is someone judging your rose? Tell them to buy their own drink.

Do you have other hostel recipes to share? Share them in the comments.

avenida 9 de junio

New travel plans! [YQrtw Day 82 Jun 27]

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

I was on Avenida Cordoba 3 times today for different reasons.

I was on Avenida Cordoba 3 times today for different reasons.

Today was a really stressful day. I was planning to buy air tickets to Ecuador but the booking site had terrible reviews so I headed down to Avenida Cordoba to TAME Airline’s office.

The guy managing the counter was a younger and more handsome version of Javier Bardem. If I wasn’t as stressed out about my airtickets, I would have secretly fan girled more.

Anyway, I had many problems with the tickets to Ecuador:

  1. The booking office does not have a credit card machine
  2. The only way to pay was in Argentine peso at a bank around the corner
  3. I will need to get money out of the ATM 3 times because of the 1,000 peso limit (My bank might think it’s a fraudulent transaction.)
  4. The ticket was S$700
  5. I need a ticket out of Ecuador or Javier Junior cannot sell me a ticket (This can be easily solved though.)

I went straight back to the hostel, forgoing the English tour for Recoleta Cemetery. (I’m rather sad about this.)

I decided that instead of going through the 6 problems I have with buying tickets to Ecuador, I should just head to Chile instead.

So that was how I decided my next destination: Out of stress.

Buenos Aires building

Buenos Aires building

Kung Fu school in Buenos Aires

Kung Fu school in Buenos Aires

Theatre on Avenida Cordoba

Theatre on Avenida Cordoba

Buying the ticket to Chile

When I first bought my tickets for South America, I bought a flight into Buenos Aires and a flight out of Lima, Peru.

I was worried that the ticket agent might refuse to sell me a ticket because I don’t have a flight out of Chile. I was also worried that the people at the airport might stop me from buyiboarding the plane (horror story from Javier Jr).

What is a person to do at times like this? Book a flight out of Chile. Well, virtually. I’ll explain more after I land in Chile.

After getting all the documents I need, I went for lunch with the Taiwanese girl from the hostel. We had an amazing Peruvian meal which I’ll share sometime later.

After lunch, Iheaded back to Av Cordoba to buy my ticket.

The lady didn’t even look at my air tickets and swiped my credit card for 2,400+ peso (S$600+). There was a second in which I thought about heading back to Javier Jr but thought that it’s too much of a hassle paying for the ticket to Ecuador.

Despite having my Chilean ticket, I was still stressed. Now I have to worry about currency, transportation, accommodation and pronunciation.

It’s very scary leaving a familiar place for a strange land. I feel sad that I wouldn’t be able to go to the Carrefour where the security guard knows me by sight, or buy empanadas from the Downton Abbey Thomas lookalike.

Luckily, I know someone from Twitter who’s now in Santiago. She helped with hostel recommendation and we’re meeting up for dinner. (Hurray for the internet!)

I can't promise I won't cry for you, Argentina.

I can’t promise I won’t cry for you, Argentina.

Obelisk on Avenida 9 de Junio, Buenos Aires

Obelisk on Avenida 9 de Junio, Buenos Aires

Stripper show only for women

Stripper show only for women

Tour of Palacio Barolo

I still had some pesos with me so I decided to go for the afternoon tour of Palacio Barolo. Even though my language school was in the building, I never got the chance to visit the rest of it.

Palacio Barolo was designed based on Dante’s Divine Comedy. (Don’t ask me what it was about.)

The best part was the view of Buenos Aires.

Stairs in Palacio Barolo

Stairs in Palacio Barolo

View of Buenos Aires from Palacio Barolo

View of Buenos Aires from Palacio Barolo

Plaza Congresso from above

Plaza Congresso from above

Argentina stop for school sign

Argentina stop for school sign

What should I do in Santiago de Chile? Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Evita dresses

Trip to the Evita Museum in Buenos Aires [YQrtw Day 81 Jun 26]

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Today is my sister’s birthday. Happy birthday to her!

This evening, I checked out Museo Evita because it’s museum day for me and I was around the area. I have to admit that before arriving in Argentina, the most I knew about Eva Peron was that Madonna played her character in a movie which I’ve never seen.

When out at one of the school outings, Macarena from the language school I was at, told more about the history Evita. It was Evita who helped allow women in Argentina to vote and she had helped the poor.

I was curious to know more about Evita. Actually, it was either visiting the Evita Museum or the Museum of Decorative Arts. Of course Evita would win.

The museum is located in a fancy building with sculptures on the wall outside.

Facade of Evita Museum, Buenos Aires

Facade of Evita Museum, Buenos Aires

What the Evita Museum looks like from outside.

What the Evita Museum looks like from outside.

Entrance to the exhibition area is 20 peso (S$5). The exhibition includes a lot of artefacts of Evita and bit of quotes from her book, In My Own Words.

The museum was mostly in Spanish but English translation is available.

We walk in a doorway where there is a sort of shrine for Evita. Then follow a walkway to a mirrored room showing a video of Evita’s wake.

Then we enter the room about Evita’s childhood. She lived in a childhood “with happiness and sorrow”. Her father died and her mom became the pillar of the family.

We learn that her mother finally gave up on stopping Eva from being an actress and went to Buenos Aires with her. While Eva was in several films, she was the leading lady in only one film which was not screened.

My jaw dropped when I saw this. Damn, you are gorgeous!

My jaw dropped when I saw this. Damn, you are gorgeous!

Evita Duarte

Evita Duarte

Then we walk on a spiral staircase up to the second floor where we follow Eva’s political journey (she was never in office) and her fabulous wardrobe.

Eva was the first First Lady to appear in a presidential potrait.

Eva was the first First Lady to appear in a presidential potrait.

I particularly like the section with Evita’s clothes, so chic!

Evita's clothes in the Evita Museum.

Evita’s clothes in the Evita Museum.

Evita's dress. I love the stripes.

Evita’s dress. I love the stripes.

Evita's headgear. I am jealous of people who can wear hats. My head is too gigantic for most hats.

Evita’s headgear. I am jealous of people who can wear hats. My head is too gigantic for most hats.

Things about Evita that I didn’t know

Card to bring for voting, I think.

Card to bring for voting, I think.

Evita opened orphanages and started a school for nurse so more people can be trained to take care of others.

One rather interesting program by her was a Children Tourism program (or something like that) where kids were taken to the sea and mountains for the first time.

At the end of the exhibition is a video about how Evita’s body which was embalmed was snatched by Bad People. The body was driven away and buried in Italy under a name starting with Maria. It was years later that the body was returned to her family.

One of the scariest part of the video was Evita’s sister’s voice recording. The voice talked about how parts of Evita’s body was damaged and the camera panned over the damaged parts. Urgh!

Random inner courtyard in Evita Museum.

Random inner courtyard in Evita Museum.

Pretend kitchen with pretend steak on the pretend hot plate.

Pretend kitchen with pretend steak on the pretend hot plate.

I loved the museum very much. You should definitely visit if you are ever in Buenos Aires.

The first part of the day

Now that the main subject is done, I’ll share a bit of what I did for the rest of the day.

I spent the noon at Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA) which had a good collection (Monets, Rodins, 1 van Gogh). Since it was free entry, the employees were quite horrible. So terrible that I would rather bury the memory of it than write it down here. Still I recommend going there for about an hour or two.

After MNBA (Museum of National Bigheaded Arse), I walked to the National Library. I had heard that the design of the library is cool so I was pretty excited.

National Library in Buenos Aires

National Library in Buenos Aires

Museum of Decorative Art

Museum of Decorative Art

10-year tourist visa for the US included in this envelope

10-year tourist visa for the US included in this envelope

After Evita Museum, I rushed back to the hostel to check online if my passport was ready for collection at DHL. It was and I only had 40 minutes to get to the DHL branch.

I made it in time!

How much do you know about Evita? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

hair color

How to dye your hair in a hostel [YQrtw Day 80 Jun 25]

Imagine that you are travelling. One day, you thought that your old hair color is kind of boring but you do not have extra cash to go to the saloon to get it colored.

What do you do? DIY (Do-It-Yourself), of course.

Step 1: Buy hair dye

How to die your hair in a hostel: Buy hair dye

How to die your hair in a hostel: Buy hair dye

This is the simplest part. Head to the nearest supermarket near you to pick up a bottle of hair dye.

Please note that the hair color displayed on the box will probably not be the result that appears on your hair, especially if you have ink black hair with the texture of iron string.

While you are at the supermarket, it’s good to pick up a few cheap towels for your post-dye hair drying.

Step 2: Read instructions

Read the instructions even if you don't know the language

Read the instructions even if you don’t know the language

This part is very important. If your instructions are in a foreign language, get your dictionary out. Or try interpreting the pictures on the instructions, they make sense most of the time.

Step 3: Test for allergic reaction

It’s best to test if you are allergic to the dye mixture. Do this by opening the mixtures and putting a few drops on the inside of your elbow.

If you get rashes, do not use the hair dye solution. Instead, get a new one or don’t dye your hair at all.

If no allergies appear, it’s probably safe for you to use the dye. Give about 24 hours before you start dying your hair to see if any allergic reaction occurs.

Step 4: Prepare your instruments

Towels

Towels

Besides the hair dye, you should have newspaper or plastic bags as well as dark colored towels around. The newspaper and plastic is to protect the floor from getting stained while the dark colored towel hides dye stains when you dry your hair.

Ask the hostel people if they have dark colored towels. If you are lucky, they might have discolored but clean towels for you to dry your hair with.

Lay the newspaper on the floor or on the sink to prevent the hair dye from coloring anything but your hair.

Use protection

Use protection

Step 5: Start the dye job

Follow the instructions in your manual for steps to dye your hair. You might need to shake the dye mixture together or gently slosh them around.

Cover your hair with the mixture and let it sit for as long as the instruction requires you to. During this time, you can read or play games on your smartphone.

Step 6: Rinse it out

When the time is up, rinse off the dye. Rinse until the water from your hair is clear. If the dye comes with conditioner, apply as instructed.

However, no matter how much water you splash on your head, some hairdye will cling to your strands. That is why you need dark colored towels.

Step 7: Admire the result

Since this is the first day of the dye job, you might see a darker color than what was depicted on the box. If you use your imagination enough, the hair color might look like what the box promised.

If that does not work, just let it be and be satisfied that you actually turned your hair from the same tone to the same tone but with dark lowlights.

My newsletter just went out this morning (Buenos Aires time). If you are curious about it, check it out.

Want to receive it the newsletter directly in your mailbox? Sign up now or later.

Have you ever dyed your hair in a hostel? How did it turn out?

iguazu group

Settling back in Buenos Aires [YQrtw Day 79 Jun 24]

Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

The bus from Iguazu was supposed to reach Buenos Aires at 10am. In the end, we reached at 12:30 noon. It didn’t matter to me since I was jobless and schoolless.

While on the bus, I managed to conquer my motion sickness and write up a few disjointed blog posts. At times like these, I really wish I have 3G internet so I can surf the web.

When our bus arrived at our destination, there was a group photo. Try squinting to see me.

BAIS Iguazu group

BAIS Iguazu group

I took the same bus as I did coming back from the US embassy. It felt strange to look at this city which I’ve been in for about 3 weeks. I recognized some of the street names and some shop fronts looked familiar.

I headed back to my old hostel. Now I have a new bed space, the furthest away from the window (Hurray!) and has a less saggy mattress.

I spent most of the afternoon on the bed, trying to get a nap. It didn’t work.

In the end, I walked to the supermarket for dinner. As usual, I bought steak (it’s just so cheap here!) and half a head of cabbage because it was cheap (S$1 per kilo!) and I need my fiber after countless suppers of steak.

While I was preparing my steak, the hostel receptionist who was from Buenos Aires gave many tips for cooking steak:

  1. Beat the meat to tenderize it (I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way.)
  2. Cooking in on an iron grill (and not the frying pan I was using.)
  3. Pair the steak with a strong Malbec (not the wimpy rosada Malbec that I got.)
Meat on a frying pan

Meat on a frying pan

Anyway, my steak turned out awesome even without his tips. Still, I might take his advice when I’m cooking my next meal.

The rest of the night was spent preparing my newsletter and looking at random things on the internet. I should start planning touristy trips out of the hostel.

What do you want me to do in Buenos Aires?

cold medicine

Chilling in Iguazu/ Back to Buenos Aires [YQrtw Day 78 Jun 23]

Location: Puerto Iguazu, Argentina

The day started out well with the sun peaking out of the clouds. I woke up well before the other 8 in our room to join another girl from our room for breakfast.

It was the first time during the trip that I got to eat the scrambled eggs. Everytime I reach the breakfast area, the eggs were gone.

At the end of breakfast, my nose started to run. I didn’t need to chase for it but I downed a cup of hot water with Panadol for cold and flu sachet, just to be safe.

Panadol cold and flu medicine

Panadol cold and flu medicine

On today’s itinerary was Paraguay or the zoo. I did not have my passport and I did not want to see animals in cages so I skipped both and stayed in the room.

A lot of others were also in bed. From 10:30am to 4pm, I laid in different positions on the bed, trying to catch the light to read my Kindle after I got bored with surfing the internet.

It was raining rather heavily, making the room extra chilly. I had to wrap myself in my coat and the thin blanket to try to stay warm.

Finally, the bus arrived at about 4pm. The folks who went to Paraguay reported that they only walked to the bank and back. I guess I was lucky I didn’t have to do that.

When I dragged my things to the bus, I found out that the seat I used to sit in in the lower deck of the bus was taken. I had to sit on the upper deck.

Luckily, everyone seemed to be tired out and there was no partying on the upper deck. We watched the first 3/4 of The Impossible.

Throughout the movie, I kept being annoyed that it was a movie focusing on white people when the whole affect area was in Asia. Only the sight of Ewan McGregor kept me from throwing an empty cup at the tiny screen.

The movie was paused when our bus stopped at a rest stop for dinner at around 10pm. Here, I drank another flu medicine to prevent the cold and flu from attacking.

Another flu medicine

Another flu medicine

Back on the bus, the movie continued. When the [SPOILER] family united [/SPOILER], some people on the bus clapped. They also clapped when the movie ended which I thought was quite funny.

The next movie was The Notebook. Even though I like Ryan Gosling, the whole story makes me go URGH and I couldn’t finish watching. I did like the parts where James Marsden was in.

Unfortunately, the movie was a strong doze of sleep medicine for me and I managed to doze off in my seat. When I woke up, it was the next day.

Do you like The Notebook or do you fall asleep watching it?

aripuca main building

It’s a trap! Looking at tree trunks in Aripuca [YQrtw Day 77 Jun 22]

Location: Puerto Iguazú, Argentina

Today’s itinerary was a visit to the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls. As my passport was still with the US embassy, I could not go to Brazil.

Instead of having a coffee at a cafe for the whole day, I followed some tour members to La Aripuca. While the sight was far from the hostel, It was a pleasant walk as the sun shone bright and strong.

La Aripuca

La Aripuca

At Aripuca, you can enter for free or pay about 20 pesos (after 5 pesos discount) each for a guide. The guide doesn’t do much except show a termite nest, a payphone in a tree trunk, a little trap (Aripuca in local language) and some of the buildings around.

La Aripuca main building

La Aripuca main building

Steps to nowhere in Aripuca

Steps to nowhere in Aripuca

There were more gift shops than actual sights here at Aripuca. The more astounding structure was one made out of GIGANTIC tree trunks. The building served more as a photo opportunity than anything else.

Nobody got my Game of Thrones reference when I said it was the Wooden Throne.

Nobody got my Game of Thrones reference when I said it was the Wooden Throne.

The most enjoyable part of the sight was sitting outside under the sun eating mate flavored ice cream. We sat around and chat for a long while before leaving.

Eating at La Vaca Enamorada

It was another long walk back to town. We didn’t have any clue where to go so we ended up at a strange restaurant which had a green cow displayed.

The place turned out to be the #1 restaurant in Iguazu on Tripadvisor. The elderly owner was super enthusiastic as he thought that we were students learning Spanish. He suggested that we share asado (local BBQ).

Asado, Argentinian BBQ

Asado, Argentinian BBQ

I am very in love with good asado. The meat is generous with lots of fat. Most people just cut off the fat but I tell you, the fat is probably the best part since it melts in your mouth. I’m hungry just thinking about a good asado.

After the fulfilling meal which came up to be quite affordable, we headed back to the hostel.

One of the girls in my room was sleeping off her hangover when I reached my room. She suggested that we go for ice cream. I’m in!

Helados

Helados

I bought a quarter kilogram of ice cream with 3 flavors: yerba mate, milk caramel and cookies ice cream. The mate wasn’t as fantastic but the rest were great.

While eating ice cream, some people from the tour group passed by and said they were going to see the sunset by the river. We tagged along.

Sunset on Iguazu river

Sunset on Iguazu river

From this looking point, you can see Paraguay right in front and Brazil on the right. The dorm mate and I didn’t stay for the whole sunset but walked back to the hostel, buying some groceries along the way.

When I tried to pay for my 9 peso bottle of water with 100 peso bill, the cashier actually refused to sell me the water because my bill was too large. What on earth was that? So the dorm mate and I pooled together our purchases.

At night, I wrote some posts in the 10 degrees celcius cold. Later, I went out for dinner with the people from the language school. I have to saym Argentinian steak is marvellous. We finished dinner at 12 midnight, successfully integrating into the timetables of the Argentines.

What was the biggest tourist trap that you’ve been to?

Boating on Iguazu Falls

Amazing Big Water–Iguazu Falls [YQrtw Day 76 Jun 21]

Location: Porto Iguazu, Argentina

YQ in Iguazu

YQ in Iguazu

After only about 4 hours of sleep, I woke up to prepare for the day at Iguazu Falls. How Argentinians manage to party until the early morning and go to work immediately baffles me.

Breakfast at the hostel was about as bad as the one in Buenos Aires, especially since so many people were fighting to eat the last fried eggs.

It was drizzling the whole day. Combined with the cold weather, it was quite unbearable. An entrepreneurial local man was selling ponchos at the gates of hostel. He was selling one for 15 pesos, promising that it would be more expensive inside Iguazu Park.

When breakfast was done, we were sheparded to the bus. It didn’t take long to reach the park. By the way, Iguazu in the local language means Big Water.

Our group was divided into two for the waterfalls activity. We were taking a speedboat on the Iguazu and getting as near as we could to the falls.

All of that sounds exciting but in reality, we had to walk in the rain (with poncho and umbrella) around for quite a while in the wet footpaths. The purpose of the walk in the park was never revealed.

Walking in the rain in Iguazu Park

Finally, we were brought to the gates of the Grand Adventure. Everyone was given a ticket to board the truck.

As usual, I managed to lose my ticket. One minute I was holding it in my hand, 15 minutes later I could not find it anywhere near me. It was a bit distressing.

Luckily, one of the organizer had a ticket for two so I was allowed onto the truck. The truck didn’t go straight to the falls. Instead, a blond man in a raincoat boarded and started explaining the different trees in the park.

Walking in the rain in Iguazu Park

Walking in the rain in Iguazu Park

Sitting on the wet seat, in the rain, we listened as he pointed to different trees. I looked out of my wet glasses and couldn’t see much except rain drops.

Pier for Iguazu Falls Grand Adventure

Pier for Iguazu Falls Grand Adventure

We finally reached the waters. Here, we were given a bag to put our belongings into. The bag’s opening is closed so no water goes in.

The boat was rather large and would probably fit 60 people. I manage to snag a whole row to myself and I sat at the right side of the boat.

Since it was raining, the waves of the river were quite violent. Luckily, our captain was able to steer in the terrible weather and in the opposite direction of the tide. We had a lot of fun.

Boat on Iguazu river

Boat on Iguazu river

Iguazu Falls ride

Iguazu Falls grand adventure

Iguazu Falls grand adventure

Imagine sitting in a boat on a massive river with reddish-brown water. On the sides of the river are hillsides with trees and some with mini waterfalls caused by the rain.

The wave crashes into your boat but the captain manage to swerve the other waves. As the boat sped on, you finally reach the waterfalls.

From far away, tons of water falls, causing a white mist. In front, you see what seems to be the end of your part of the river. You hope that the boat does not go too near the edge and fall down.

The boat goes near the mist of water and everyone screams as one wave crazed violently at the side. More waves come but the boat keeps afloat.

Then the captain steers the boat to the middle of the river so people can take photos of themselves standing on the boat with the falls in the background.

Afterwards, you are told to keep your camera away. The captain steers the boat to another part of the falls. This time, you actually feel the water on your face. A wave decides to join you at your seats and splashes in. More screaming ensues.

After what seemed like 5 minutes of battling with the waves, the boat returns to the more calm center of the river. Everyone breathes a sigh of relieve and laugh out loud from adrenaline.

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

Upclose and personal with Iguazu Falls

Upclose and personal with Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

Mists of Iguazu Falls

Mists of Iguazu Falls

Long way back

By the time the boat ride was done, I was rather soaked from waist down. Unfortunately, there was a lot more walking.

Metal walkways and railings were built at the top of the falls so tourists could take pictures. We walked on a lot of walkways and took a lot more photographs.

It’s awe-inspiring seeing so much water pouring out of the riverend. While on the bus, one of the tour mates sounded what I was thinking when we saw the falls, “Makes you want to jump from the top.”

I’ve always had a fascination with falling. If I had nine lives, I would spend about 8 of them falling down from all sorts of places.

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

Iguazu Falls

Lunch was eaten at the park. There was more walking and waiting in the cold.

After Iguazu, we reached a spot on the Argentinian side where we could see the banks of Brazil and Paraguay. My camera misted up because some water went into the lens so I only had photos on my phone.

[Watched a culturally-incorrect James Bond movie while writing this post in 10 degrees Celcius outdoor. I rather enjoy seeing my breath when I breathe out through my mouth.]

argentina asado

Eat and party like an Argentinian [YQrtw Day 75 Jun 21]

Location: Puerto Iguazú, Argentina

It’s another 2-part post for Jun 21 because so much had happened!

I finished dinner at 12 midnight, seriously. I haven’t had dinner this late since I was in Paris when the person who brought a bunch of us girls to eat couldn’t find the right place in the semi-dangerous neighborhood.

The food came at about 11:00pm and it took us 5 people about one hour to polish off everything

Argentinian share platter

Argentinian share platter

Inside the shared platter, there was blood sausages, kidney, chinchulines (small intestines), chicken, meat sausages and beef.

It was my first time trying BBQ kidney and intestine, although I’m very familiar with these two parts. Kidney tasted better when grilled because the ammonia seemed to have lessen while intestine was still tasty as always.

Blood sausage was a new dish to me. The texture wasn’t as great as regular pig blood curd I had back home in Malaysia.

The rest of the BBQ meat were delicious. I especially love the fatty parts which were burnt crispy on the outside but oozing with cholesterol on the inside.

Party like an Argentinian

After the meal, I was persuaded to go to a party at a hostel nearby. It seemed like everyone was going so I tagged along.

By the time I left at about 2:30am, the party was still going on. There was much beer pong and dancing in the small living room space.

I did what I did best. I took off my shoes and curled on the ratty sofa to continue reading my book. This avoided awkward dance sessions and allowed me to read the book quicker.

South Americans really love to party. The girls were very forward in their search for dance partners, something I admire but would probably not be doing any time soon.

When I was ready to go to bed, it was about 3:00am. I don’t think the party ended until 4:30am.

What’s more amazing is that we had to wake up at 7:00am to get ready for the highlight of the day.

What’s the latest time you’ve had dinner?

los empanadas

#FoodFriday Empanada in Buenos Aires

Welcome to YQtravelling’s FoodFriday–the day of the week when I show off some of the lovely eats I had while travelling.

Today we’re visiting Buenos Aires for some deep fried South American curry puffs.

I have been talking about empanadas for far too many times without showing you what it actually is.

Mouth watering empanada

Mouth watering empanada

For those of you in Malaysia and Singapore, I imagine a curry puff that is 2 times bigger than the regular puff you have. Now imagine that the skin is not rock hard but baked to just the right texture.

Now imagine that this curry puff does not have lame potatos but meat with a few vegetables. Take a bite of your imaginary curry puff and you have just eaten an empanada.

Food for the eyes

By the way, the guy who’s in charge of the empanada area at the restaurant downstairs looks very much like Thomas in Downton Abbey but with green eyes.

However, take my words with a pinch of salt. A schoolmate indignantly told me that the guy DOES NOT look like Thomas.

Well, he looks like a chubbier version of Thomas. Who can blame him, with all these yummy empanadas around.

Vote: Thomas or not Thomas

Vote: Thomas or not Thomas

Have you ever had an empanada? What’s your favorite filling?