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Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ayam Penyet Ria, Kuching

We're staying back in the afternoon for work this week. 3 times this week, and that's a lot of days by our standards. Heh. So that means more having to eat out more, since I was not really in the mood to pack my own lunch from home. Heh.

It's been two weeks since I've returned from Bali, and well, I do miss all the spicy Indonesian food we ate over there. And so for lunch today, W, S and I went to Ayam Penyet Ria , opened not long ago along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman here in Kuching. Well, that's the block of shops just next to Sarawak Plaza, opposite Tun Jugah, where the old Maybank was. Now, in place of the bank, there's not only Ayam Penyet Ria, but next to it is New Atmosferah Restaurant .....

Teh botol for W, Ais kacang for S, no drinks for me

W loved this teh botol and drank it a lot on his trip to Bandung. I'd not drank it before. But I recognise the brand - Sosro. At Eden Hotel in Bali the other day, we were provided with Sosro tea sachets. I took them home but I'd not drank them yet. 

S did not comment about her ais kacang, so I wasn't sure whether it met her standards or not. She ordered it kosong, meaning that she did not want extra sugar added - only to be told that they used gula apong in the concoction. 

Ayam Penyet, RM10.30

W ordered the ayam penyet. It was served on a a piece of banana leaf atop a small 7-inch wooden plate .... Heh, I did buy one wooden plate of that size from Bali - I think it cost me only IDR15,000 and that's a mere RM4.80. 

There was chicken, a chunk of tempe and deep-fried beancurd, 2 slices of cucumber; the other vegetables were blanched cabbage and kangkong - you can probably see the cabbage peeking out underneath the cucumber. The reason you can't see the kangkong is that there was only A SINGLE STRAND somewhere in there .... 

I strongly think that they are very stingy with the vegetables. You'd think that kangkong is so expensive that they can only afford to provide you with a strand. Tsk, tsk, tsk .... 

 Free flow of sambal though ...

There were 3 types of sambal the other day. Eat as much as you like. But do not waste. W took it upon himself to take the sambal for me ... so I wasn't sure which sambal was which .... they were not bad, spicy. 

 Ayam bakar, RM11.30 

Served with rice .... extra sambal on the side ... 

I had the ayam bakar, the chicken was coated with a sweet soy sauce and grilled. It had a bittersweet, caramelised flavour. Not too bad, but not enough for me to be crazy about it.

The spiciness of the sambal made my nose runny, but was still tolerable. At least I did not have trouble with my tummy, like I had with Bebek Tepi Sawah the other day. :))

Air-conditioned restaurant, comfortable. Food was decent, drinks were pricey. Not bad a place, but not totally great either.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Curry House

I liked the way the Balinese cooked their mee goreng with lots of vegetables ... so the other day, I tried to emulate it. I made my own version and packed it for lunch at school ....

Homecooked mee goreng
Of course, mine was bland as I did not use as much seasoning as I would have liked; so it wasn't as enjoyable to eat. Heh.

Today, I did not bring any lunch with me .... so W and I went out to Curry House at Palm Road to eat ...

Teh tarik, and rice, drenched with fish curry gravy
I choose side dishes of paku, deep-fried bittergourd, and a piece of deep-fried chicken 

I loved the variety of dishes one could eat with the rice ... just take as much as you like and pay for it. My rice was RM7.50 today .... Teh tarik was RM1.80; I paid RM9.30 for a good lunch. I liked this place which seemed really clean and comfortable to eat. Will be back. :))

Friday, September 15, 2017

319 Chin Siang Seafood

When old people give directions, they tend to be quite muddled. Second Uncle was telling the folks that the shop was "opposite the old 100% Discount Store behind his house" and that the shop was called "太湾小食". It was a "high class" shop, not an "economy rice" shop. And the most important thing for them was that the food was "cheap" and yummy.

I wasn't there when this conversation too place. So I had no idea whether Second Uncle was accurate in his descriptions or that somehow the meaning got lost in translation .... or that Mom simply added her own information when she was telling me about this place.

I searched and searched online but found no shop called "太湾小食" at that area. I knew for sure that there was a shop called "台湾小粥" there, though. So after work one day, I drove over to the area ... and found a restaurant called 319 Chin Siang Seafood. I knew for sure that Second Uncle was referring to this shop.

I brought the folks the other night for dinner ....

Cantonese Fried Kueh Tiaw, RM6
Huge portion, lots of noodles and I loved the taste of the gravy; I thought the ingredients were also generous

That plate of noodles was a bit of an extra ... heh .... I just wanted to try the noodles here. We ordered a few other dishes to eat with rice .... 

Signature tofu
Bite-sized tofu were fried to perfection, lots of ingredients in the gravy.... tasted really good

Midin with Red Wine
The red wine was thick, but a tad sourish; the vegetables were crisp and not overfried 

Signature fish fillet
Tasted a bit like 糖醋 or sweet and sour style of fish fillet; very crispily fried fish ... 

Lamb with onion and scallion
Again, the portion was generous .... found this particular dish to be a bit salty ... 

With 2 rice and a pot to tea .... we paid RM69.00 for our meal. We thought it was pretty cheap. We've not had a great meal outside for a long time. This shop had great ambience, nice food and reasonable prices. Would be back to try the other items ....

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Kenny Rogers Roasters

The other day, Fifth Aunt and I went to Matta Fair, which was held at Boulevard Shopping Mall here in Kuching ... and so after we'd visited the booths and after we'd done some shopping, Fifth Aunt wanted to have dinner. She wanted to eat at Kenny Rogers Roasters. She told me that there was a "Buy 1 Free 1" promotion and that day was the last day .....

Hmn .... I'd not eaten at Kenny Rogers for such a long time .... my last visit was in 2014 in Miri .... and ever since then, I'd not have the urge to eat at here. So anyway, Fifth Aunt and I went to the shop, and enquired if the promotion was valid ....

The young lad here required Fifth Aunt to flash a photo of the voucher, which Fifth Aunt did. Heh. I did not even know of the existence of this promotion .... Fifth Aunt said she saw it in the social media ...

Promotional Gimmick courtesy of the recently-completed SEA Games in which Malaysia emerged victorious ... RM29.30 for 2 plates ...

So we sat for a while and then food was served .....

Muffin
Crumbly and sweet, served hot and tasted not too bad ...  

Creamy chicken or mushroom soup 
Heh ... I couldn't decide whether this was chicken or mushroom
I hated the fact that it was served lukewarm; obviously this was instant soup, and there were some awful lumps in there that were undiluted ...

A roasted quarter chicken. coleslaw, mashed potatoes, rice
I'm lost for words .... the roasted chicken tasted nothing like it used to .. and it was all lathered in some sort of a BBQ sauce .... 

What happened to the original wood-fired chicken?

Fifth Aunt and I remisnisced that time in 90s, when we were both students in KL ... and when a visit to Kenny Rogers Roasters would be a special treat. We remembered the freshly roasted chicken, still dripping with juices and flavoured with the smoke from pine wood .... I remembered eating at that outlet at Kota Raya ... I remembered the sour cream potatoes that I loved and also the pasta salad that I always ate with my chicken ....

Sigh ... today, even in the USA, Kenny Rogers Roasters has gone busted. So why are we still pay such high prices for sub-standard rotisserie chicken?

Even with that promotion today, I'd not eat here if it were up to me.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Bali : Day 8

I couldn't wait to wear my new Barong shirt that morning! It was large and cooling. Pairing it with my denim shorts, I thought I looked very much liked I was on a summer holiday. Heh.

We were ready for breakfast by 7.00 a.m.; we would be taking our sweet time to enjoy our breakfast, since we would be checking out and leaving only at 10.30 a.m. The breakfast buffet at Eden Hotel was rather impressive - plenty of cooked food, fruits and salads, breads and pastries, cereals, coffee and tea. Free flow. Eat as much as you like. We spent 2 hours here, eating many rounds .... lol ....

Round 1 
Hot coffee, mango juice, French toast with maple syrup and vanilla cream sauce, fresh greens with vinaigrette dressing, coleslaw, pastrami, cheese and a fig 

Round 2 
More salad for me, Lyonnaise potato, tempe, a chicken sausage, Thai-style chicken, and fried beehoon ....  

We sat at the balcony ..... 

It was a relaxing and enjoyable breakfast for us that morning ..... 

Final round of Indonesian Mie Goreng ... 

We were so full after breakfast and decided to go out for some last minute shopping .... 

A sign at  stall nearby the hotel .... 

After about 20 minutes, I got tired of shopping - the stalls essentially sold the same things at outrageously high prices ..... my friends went on walking while I went back to the hotel to rest for a bit while my friends continued. At 10.30, we checked out, paid for our shuttle taxi to the airport. It cost only IDR30,000 per pax, but the airport was only 10 minutes away.  

Queuing up to check-in took about 45 minutes .... sigh ..... but after that ... everything was a breeze. While waiting to board our flight, we overhead someone saying that there were some t-shirts sold at half price at the Hard Rock shop .... Curious, we went to check it out and all of us ended up buying a shirt each .... 

My Hard Rock Cafe Bali top cost IDR190,000 after discount

Heh ... my rocker shirt 

Boarding ....

Chicken Masala
I got the last serving of chicken masala .... there was only vegetarian food after that; we were seated on Row 8 and even then, they'd run out of chicken ....

Our stopover in Kuala Lumpur wasn't long. We only had time to buy some bread ... before we had to board the plane back to Kuching ....

Pizza and a muffin and soybean drink ...

Flight as on time, bags came out real quickly ... I reached home before 9.00 p.m. End of holiday. :))

My regrets for this trip:
1) Letting J insist on ground arrangement when it wasn't necessary. We could have saved a couple of hundreds of RM.
2) Missing out Pura Besakih - the mother of all temples .... sigh ...

We actually want to come back to Bali ... and next time, we would want to go round the island. 

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Bali : Day 7

We were leaving Ubud today. We were going back to Kuta as most of the places we would visit today would be located around the southern area of the island.

Breakfast of omelette and toast @ Narada House
Lots of shredded cabbage in the omelette ... I kind of like their crunchy texture and the sweetness they brought to the eggs... 

Banana juice and fresh fruits
I believe this was the first time I've had banana juice and I quite liked it! Fresh fruits served together with my toast and eggs .... 

We walked along Jalan Raya Ubud to go to Pura Taman Saraswathi ... 

Pura Taman Saraswathi, a temple dedicated to the Hindu goddess of knowledge and arts, Saraswathi.

This is a temple in central Ubud is known for its lotus ponds ... 

But there was only a single lotus blooming that morming ...

After lingering for a while, we went to Starbucks just in front of the temple ... 

A drink with a view of a classical Balinese temple .... 

Then it's back to Ubud Market ... 

Beautiful flower petals used for religious offering ... 

Carved wooden items
Lots of phallic ornaments on sale everywhere! This is lingam, a representation of the Hindu deity, Shiva 

 Traditional dessert on sale .... the purple one was pulut hitam, the white one was coconut milk, but I had no idea what the other two pots held .....

Bubur bali with condiments ....
Looked interesting .... it was thick porridge, spreaded out on a piece of banana leaf and served with various condiments .... I didn't dare try this though.

At 10.00 a.m., we checked out of Narada House, and left cultural Ubud for the more modern and upmarket Nusa Dua. We wanted to go to the Water Blow ... 


But when we reached there ...  

Sigh .... closed

As far as my eyes could see past the warning sign .... 

There was an incident in mid-July, when 5 foreigners fell off the rocks and got injured ... news was here

We were disappointed. We then headed to Bali Collection, the premium outlet.


Huge and beautifully landscaped compound .... 

I treated myself to a gelato here ....
Strawberry and lemon gelato, IDR25,000

We did go to the Sogo Departmental store here .... but did not buy anything. We left promptly as we did not want to waste more time here ....

I was not leaving Bali till I ate babi guling - Bali's signature dish. Essentially, it's a baby pig stuffed with a blend of spices and spit-roasted. And so, Wayan Astika brought us to Babi Guling Pak Dobil. He said it was the best babi guling in Bali. But there were so many people there! And so we decided to eat our babi guling elsewhere ..... 

We went to Dwi's ... 


The vendor 

Yayy! Introduction to Babi Guling .... Loved everything on the plate! Made me regret not eating this sooner!

The rice was as usual, well-cooked - fluffy and firm. The rice was doused in a spice mix - it tasted quite unique ... not sure of the ingredients but I was sure there was lemongrass for it had a tang to it. There were 2 types of vegetables, a skewer of satay, a pork rind crackling, a piece of sausage, pork skin cracker, and of course tender pork meat.  

Served with pork bone broth .... 

J wanted to go paragliding ... and after lunch we headed to a cliff side near Pandawa Beach to do that. 15 minutes of flight for USD110. A video recording of her flight would cost an additional IDR300,000. 

View of the water from the cliff side .... 

J paid and was soon off for a flight with her pilot. While waiting for J, we observed many paragliders preparing for flight. It was my first time being near such a sport, and I was amazed that people actually owned their own equipment. I spoke to an Australian gent, who said he glided 4 times a week in summer back in Australia ... 

I'd seen all the gliders carrying a large backpack on their backs .... so I asked him why they had to carry the backpacks. He said that it was an airbag which was attached to the harness, which offers support in both the standing and sitting positions ... so in case there was a rough landing, it would protect the back and spine. Duh. How dumb of me. I never thought about safety at all! 

My friend J, about to land .... 

Once J was done, we drove to Pandawa Beach. We paid IDR10,000 each for the entrance - that's the rate for locals. Heh. 

The beach ....  

The sea

There were many locals that day, it being Aidiladha. Pandawa means 5, I think. And there were 5 huge statues of the characters from the Mahabhrata epic carved in the hills .... 

Garuda Wisnu Kencana
We had to give up going to GWK because we did not have enough time. We needed at least half a day to visit this cultural centre.

We opted to go to Krisna or Agung Bali to shop instead. Wayan Astika brought us to Krisna as it was nearer. This time, I bought stuff to bring home - coffee, snacks, soaps, key chains, t-shirts. I bought a grey Barong shirt for myself. 

Source: http://www.lazada.co.id/kampung-souvenir-baju-barong-bali-abu-abu-1586963.html

I hadn't intend to buy the shirt at all, until I saw a Caucasian woman wearing it last night at Ubud. She paired it with blue denim shorts, and I thought she looked good in it. Krisna sold the shirt for IDR31,500 - and that's less than RM10.00. 

After shopping, we checked into Eden Hotel Kuta, located along Jalan Kartika. 

Our room

The bath

Our hotel location was good. We could walk to Lippo Mall or Discovery Mall .. and on both sides of the road were small stalls to browse .... 

Kecak Dance outside Lippo Mall

Inside the mall weren't many shops though; we browsed for a while and came back out. We had dinner at Bebek Tepi Sawah ... 

My small bottle of Bintang

 4 types of sambal - there were all so spicy.  My stomach and my lips caught fire. I ate till I cried.

Ayam Terasi Grilled chicken with shrimp paste marinade comes with vegetables and rice
It's somewhat like our Ayam Percik back home ... the sauce coating the grilled chicken was sweet, salty and creamy with coconut milk.

My friends had ..... 

 Nasi Goreng Indonesia fried rice with chicken sate, fried shrimp, egg and cracker

 Grilled Cock Fighting Chicken Grilled spiced spring chicken with Vegetable and Balinese Sambal

After this meal, my stomach was unwell for 2 days .... thankfully by that time, I was at home already and I could recuperate in the comfort of my own home and in my own bed. :P 

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