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Monday, September 30, 2013

Chilling Out @ Sky Garden

I woke up that morning and felt a slight discomfort in my right eye. There was just a teeny burning sensation, and when I looked into the mirror, I saw that it was red. Conjunctivitis? I was not sure. Throughout the day, my eye teared, and it blurred my vision. There was also a bit of discharge from the eye. Yet, I did not go to the doctor's. I had Optrex in my disposal and I used that to relieve my discomfort.

The next morning, I woke up and I could hardly open my right eye because of a thick crust coating my eye lids. It was no longer burning and I felt better, though. But later in the day, the eye itched ... and so I decided to go get some medication from the doctor's. 

I went to 3 GPs ... but they were all closed. I then headed to a private hospital outpatient clinic. There was not many people, and I did not wait for long for my turn. The consultation? Took even a shorter time. I barely warmed the seat before I went out again. It WAS conjunctivitis alright. Confirmed by doc. 

Anyway, I paid for the bill and went to collect my medication at the dispenser's .... when I saw a familiar figure in there. AT. My friend.

"Why are you working today?" I asked. It was weekend after all. 

"What are you doing here?" He then looked through my medical papers, and helped the pharmacist to dispense to me my medication. Busybody, eh?

We then went for a drink. It being weekend, Starbucks and CBTL were packed with customers ... and it was also quite noisy. So we went to Meritz Sky Garden on the 17th floor. It was practically empty, a better place to talk, right? 

 Vanilla milkshake & Iced cucumber tea
AT always opted for something safe. He hated cucumbers. But I wanted to try the item on promotion - the Iced cucumber tea. 

Well, I'm glad I did, because I LOVED the tea very much. At the bottom of the glass was the Monin cucumber syrup in the prettiest shade of green. Then, over it was poured in tea in the lightest of yellow colour. It looked so pretty. I muddled the drink and had my first taste .... and I had fallen in love immediately with its thirst-quencher. The drink was iced cold, light and with the clean, refreshing flavour of the cucumbers. It was a lovely drink indeed. I'd have another one without any hesitation! I urged AT to have a sip, but the thought of cucumbers gave him the shivers. Silly man! 

Kiwi Cheesecake ...

Hmn .... I did not like that shade of green on the cheese cake .... The thick green part of the cake had a mousse-like texture; the taste of the cheese was rather mild, though the kiwi flavour was quite distinctive. I did not quite like this cake, actually. 

We caught up over our drinks .... had not seen him since June. :P 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sesame Stick Crackers

These Sesame Stick Crackers by Meiji were absolutely yum. I bought them from Matsuri Mart, at Tokyo Street at the Pavillion KL. They were only RM0.99 each.

 Sesame Stick Crackers
These were manufactured in Singapore 

The sesame sticks

The biscuits were not to sweet, but really crunchy .... and I loved the sesame flavour of real sesame seeds! Very delicious to snack on. Every Berry loved them!

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Iz Jeruk

I've always seen people eating these pickles at the airport ... and the other day, I thought I'd try some. Hmn ... there were lots of different types of fruits, mostly pickled.

I stood in front of the kiosk for a while to scanned the fruits, and finally picked up a round plastic container. With the tongs provided, I picked up the pieces of fruits gingerly. I took pineapples, guava, shredded pickled papaya and 3 types of mangoes ...

Then I scanned at the sauces ... but was undecided about which ones to eat with my fruits. "Which one do you recommend?" I asked the staff.

"Do you prefer a spicy or non-spicy sauce?" he asked me.

"Spicy," I said.

He then recommended me the spicy mango sauce ....

Crunchy pickles with spicy mango sauce ... 

I paid near RM10.00 for my bowl of fruits, sat down .... and poked at my fruits with a skewer.

Now ... let's see. The mango sauce had a pungent smell. It, in fact, was smelly. I was sure there was prawn paste in there. It was spicy, and slightly sweet .... but I was not sure whether there was any mango in there at all. Perhaps it was overpowered by the prominent smell of prawn paste. For those who enjoy prawn paste, you would probably enjoy this sauce.

Well, I did not mind the smell ... I loved belacan after all. So I quite enjoyed my smelly fruit bowl. Lol. The pineapples were fresh, sweet, juicy and crunchy. I loved their refreshing taste. Of the 3 types of mangoes I took, I preferred the 2 pickled ones. They were tangy, crunchy and very appetising. I also liked the pickled papayas which were pickled with black pepper. I never knew that papaya and black pepper went so well. The guava, however, was crunchy but no sweet. Dad grew better guavas in our backyard. :P

Friday, September 27, 2013

Dinner @ Chicago Ribs

We went to Chicago Ribs for dinner that evening. Unlike the other rib houses, this one was served pork. The outlet we went to was at Cheras Leisure Mall. It was a full house at dinner time ... and we waited some 10 minutes for a vacant table.

Now, the menu was quite fun to peruse ....

Look at the menu cover! Full of puns and fun expressions! Lol ...

Well, I must say that I liked the food here ....

Beach Fiesta (RM12.90) on the left, and Peach Melba on the right
Beach fiesta was a concoction of cranberry, lychee and lemon ... it was rather refreshing a drink which I enjoyed. Peach Melba, though, tasted like cough syrup. Peach Melba was on the house because we redeemed it with some vouchers that we got from our previous visit. 

Trio sampler  (RM33.90)
There were three items on the platter, namely Buffalo Wings, Potato Skins, and Pork Chilli Con Carne served with Ranch Dressing. I liked two out of the three items. The potato skins, to me, were tasty. They were crispy, and covered with cheese, chives and bacon bits. I had it with lots of rich Ranch dressing .... and yums .... it was really divine. I also enjoyed the Pork Chilli, which was spicy and full of flavour. Yums.

Next was Chicago's Famous Pork Pizza ... 

Chicago's Famous Pork Pizza 
I loved the crust. Though it was not that thin, it was crispy. The topping was simply pork, Italian cheese, and herbs.  The pizza was rather enjoyable! 

We ordered 2 portions of ribs ... 

Half rack of Original BBQ ribs with beer battered fries and mashed potatoes, RM33.90
The meat was succulent and fell off the bone with just a prick; The sauce was thick, tangy, smokey with a hint of tomato too. Quite tasty indeed. But the two types of potatoes were not to be missed. The beer-battered fries, especially, were superbly crispy on the outside, airy and light inside. The mashed potatoes were rich and buttery, and flavoured with bits of bacon.  I would give thes two potato dishes a two thumbs up.

 Half Rack of Flaming Kansas City Ribs with .... 

 Coleslaw and Fresh Vegetables 

Of the two types of ribs we ordered, I definitely preferred the Flaming Kansas City. It was served en flambe with a shot of whiskey at the table. How cool is that! The ribs were also tender, and was more savoury in taste, compared to the Original BBQ version. I loved it! The coleslaw and fresh vegetables were also delicious. 

All in all, we paid RM177.95 for our meal. Worth it? Hmn .... you decide. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wow Set Dinner @ Esquire Kitchen

We went to Midvalley City that evening .... and were looking for a place to eat dinner before we went to the property fair.

What do you want to eat? I asked Bro.

Nothing, he replied. Bah! That was his usual answer. :P

We had not eaten at Esquire Kitchen so far .... and so we headed there. No one was at the entrance to greet us nor to show us to our table. So unwelcoming, eh?

But hanged around there .... and saw a poster just beside the door. Esquire Kitchen was serving set meals ... and we thought we would go for that.

Since no one bothered to show us a table, we walked in and seated ourselves. Only then did someone come and assist, helping us bring a baby chair for Berry, and to show us the menu.

We already knew what we wanted. Wow Set A, I said. I was a little bit peeved by that time, actually.

A while later,  our food arrived. Wow Set A consisted of four dishes.

Dish 1 - Hot and spicy beancurd
Soft beancurd, minced pork and leeks were stir-fried in a spicy fermented bean paste sauce. This dish was sweet! And that spoilt it for me. In my mind, this dish should be spicy and savoury and shiok. Here at Esquire Kitchen, those 3 characteristics seemed missing. :(

Dish 2 - Hot and spicy glass noodle
Hmn .... since the sauce which was used to cook this dish was the same as the one in Dish 1, this was also sweet. Hmn .... I did not like this either. I was confident I could cook a tastier version of this dish myself! 

Dish 3 - String beans
This was alright .... but a bit too oily, eh? 

Dish 4 - Lemon chicken
The chicken tasted alright, fragrant, crispy and succulent; the sweet and tangy sauce was also alright, and was served separately. The portion was alright as well. 

Rice was ordered separately, at RM1.50 per bowl. Besides the dishes in the Set Meal, I ordered a bowl of Tong Po Meat. 

Tong Po Meat, RM19.00
Now, this dish I liked a lot. It was sweet and savoury, and had the very distinctive flavour and fragrance of mei  gan cai. The cuts of pork belly was lean and chunky, and the meat tender. Only that it would be even better if the gravy would be slightly thicker. Sil and I polished off this dish with our rice .... :P

We also ordered 3 glasses of hot Jasmine tea. For our food and beverage, we paid RM90.80. Sales tax and service tax made up the rest of the bill, which totaled RM105.35. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Campbell Popiah @ Hutong Lot 10

All the good food are gathered at Hutong Lot 10. It's even opened a food court in Guangzhou, China, though I haven't the faintest idea what's sold there.

At Hutong Lot 10, Campbell Popiah is sold. It's supposedly a household name, where popiah is concerned. I stumbled upon the stall by accident, as I was coming out from the Isetan Food Mart. Indeed, I find the food court a labyrinth .... cause after I walked around surveying what I wanted to eat, I could not find the Campbell Popiah stall any longer!!

So to help me locate the stall, I walked back to the Isetan Food Mart only to exit from it once more. There, my Campbell Popiah stall was right in front of me.

Since I was early, I did not need to queue. I placed my order for a set of mini popiah and watched the man assemble my popiah. First the placed on the table top 2 round and thin crepe-like pastry. Then he spreaded the dark sauce and the chilli sauce in circular motion to cover the entire surface. Then, onto that was place the ingredients, made up of lettuce, raw bean sprouts, diced long beans, shredded cucumbers, chopped tofu bits, chopped peanuts, deep-fried shallots, and finally, the braised shredded jicama. The whole thing was then rolled up and cut into 3 portions.

Campbell Mini Popiah, RM5.70

What I like about the popiah was the thin and yet elastic pastry, the well-balanced flavour of all the ingredients and the crunchy texture of the vegetables. Since they were tiny in size, they made a very light eat. They were suitable for the weight-conscious, or those just wanting a light snack. I also think that the popiahs should be consumed almost immediately to prevent the pastry skin from being soggy. That would ruin the taste, texture and the whole experience. A set of 2 popiahs cost RM5.40. Add that to 6% of government tax, and be expected to pay RM5.70 for your food. Recommended!

Psst .... since the popiahs were so small in portion ... I had also ordered Hon Kee's raw fish porridge. I'd written about the porridge before. Read here.

Hon Kee Raw Fish Porridge

The porridge still tasted very good .... only now, it cost RM8.90.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Funny Signs I Saw

Well, as you would have probably read, I played tourist last holiday and visited China. My literacy in Chinese was very poor. I could only read some words in Chinese ... and therefore, I would tend to be on the look out for English signs.

But then, English was not a language used in China ... the locals certainly did not need them at all. I reckon that's why no one even realised how mangled up English language was in China.

These were some hilarious moments when I encountered incomprehensible signs, written in the most unexpected of ways. Some at top scenic or tourist areas too!


THE WINNER :

At Fu Rong Old Town
Err? Love toilet? Lol ..... 


SECOND PRIZE :

At Dragon Cave
Geez. They did not have "Import" written at the entrance. 


THIRD PRIZE :

At Yincheng Huatian Hotel
I burst out laughing as soon as I walked into the restaurant. 


CONSOLATION PRIZES : 

 At Yincheng Huatian
Eew .... intestines for breakfast? I'd take that sausage, thank you. 

At Yincheng Huatian
Lol ... they meant radish cubes

Lol .... turn down the volume 

 Lol ... place the linen on the headboard

 Overpriced pinhow cases .... lol

In between sightseeing .... these notices really made us laugh!! 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Day 9 : Csx - Can - Kul

Yayy, it was time to go home. I woke up at 4.30 a.m. to get ready as we were leaving by 6.00 a.m. to Changsha Huanghua International Airport.

Checking out was a breeze, and thereafter, we drove through the early morning traffic to the airport. It took about 25 minutes to reach there.

The queue at the designated check in counters were quite long .... and it looked like we had to wait for a while. But with MH's help, we went to group check-in counter, at which we were second in the queue. Hence check-in was a breeze.

We then sat down to have breakfast .... Xianyun Shanshui Hotel had packed our breakfast for us. We had ...

Milk and 2 coconut buns ....

An apple and biscuit .... 

The biscuit .... which I did not like 

More biscuits and cakes .... 

Coconut pastry
Now this coconut pastry I liked. The pastry was like and flaky, while the coconut filling was gooey and chewy. Sweet, but really enjoyable. 

When we flew in to Changsha, we were served only a packet of peanuts and a bottle of water. So I assumed that we would not be getting any food for the short flight from Changsha back to Guangzhou. Apparently, I was wrong ...

Breakfast 
A wet towel and a bun ..... They'd run out of bottled water and was serving hot tea instead. I did not wish to drink tea ... and so was not served any drinks at all. 

Breakfast bun .... 

The bun was filled with a slice of ham, a miserable slice of cucumber and a squeeze of mayonnaise
It was served hot ... so I guess that made it edible. 

Before long, we reached Guangzhou .... and there was a storm outside. Typhoon Utor had hit the shores of Guangzhou the day before, causing floods. 

We transferred to the international terminal ... and had to go through 2 rounds of security checks and past the immigration .... and after that, we did have about 2 hours to spare. Our flight would depart at 1.00 p.m. We thought we would have lunch ... only that there was nothing much to eat .... A cup of coffee was RM50.00. That was atrocious, I thought. 

Waiting at Gate A111 ... 

Half an hour before our flight was due to depart, we boarded the plane. Then .... came the announcement that we would have to wait for an hour and a half before the flight would be allowed to depart, due to the heavy storm.  

Everyone groaned .... a four hour flight was going to be now near six hours long ..... sigh .... The leaned back in my seat and suddenly felt that it was so hard. My back ached .... I asked for a pillow but there was none for the economy coach. So I arched my back once in a while and changed my seating position to make myself more comfortable ...... I felt so restless throughout the flight. 

We were served our meal even before we took off. I was glad as I was hungry ....  

My lunch .... 
Well ... there was a roll and a cube of butter .... that was nice. Then , in the saucer was kelp salad, which was quite delicious. For my main course, I wanted Chicken with Rice. The chicken was cooked in a mild curry, which I thought was quite nice. I finished everything on the plate ..... I guessed I had to be really hungry. :P

Even after the meal trays were cleared, we still sat waiting in the plane .... we were still grounded. Nearly 2 hours later, we lined up the runway and took off ..... 

By the time we landed at KLIA, it was 6.45 p.m. I was stiff and I was hungry and thirsty .... and I needed some fresh air!!! I hurried off the plane, went past the immigration, claimed my bags and rushed to catch at train to KL Sentral. I could not wait to see Berry!!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day 8 : Last Night At Changsha

I was asleep throughout most of the journey after lunch .... yes, I was so tired. We finally reached Changsha at 4.30 p.m. We went to a museum .... but it was closed already. Then MH brought us to a Shopping Street near Changsha's ID Mall. There was a major construction along the street .... so it did not seem so great to walk along it. We walked a bit and turned back. 

There was a famous Stinky Tofu stall here .... the most authentic Stinky Tofu in Changsha according to some. But the queue was long and we did not want to wait ..... 

The queue for Stinky Tofu ... ID Mall was just at the back

ID Mall looked modern and sold many international labels such as MUJI, Uniqlo, Esprit, Guess and so on. We did not want to shop. So we headed to dinner instead. 

It was our final dinner at Changsha as we were leaving early the next morning. Dinner was at this eatery named Tanzhou Dufu Restaurant. We had ...

Kelp soup

Steamed Egg Custard
The egg custard with steamed to perfection ... it tasted rich and creamy, and was soft like tofu. Very nice.

Steamed cabbage with ham 
Well .... this dish looked impressive; the vegetables were crunchy ... and the ham actually tasted quite good - salty and tasty. Only that I wished there were more meat on the ham instead of the fat.

Green chilli, leek and pork stirfry
I loved this dish, my favourite. The vegetables were crunchy, and their taste complemented each other. The marinated pork was also tender and yum. This spicy dish was great to eat with rice.

Fish hot pot
There were deep-fried fish in the pot ... and they were cooked in a spicy fermented bean paste sauce. The flavours would have been intense if not for the cucumbers inside the pot. The cucumbers brought to the dish a certain freshness and sweetness .... and hence the dish was rather enjoyable. I liked it. 

Lettuce Stirfry
This lettuce was crispy, crunchy ... and had a fragrant smell to it .... not bad.

Hmn ..... over this trip, I thought the food here in Hunan was rather enjoyable; I loved the spiciness of the dishes which were very great to eat with rice. My only complaint would be that the food was too greasy .... I could always see the oil at the bottom of the plate or bowl! It was scary ... and if one continued to eat like this, he or she would end up with blocked arteries.  

See the oil residue .... eeewww 

Well, it was not bad an end to a trip .... at least I did not end up in hospital this time. :P 

After dinner, we were transported to our hotel, the Xiangyun Shanshui Hotel where we stayed on our first night. I turned in immediately after a hot shower .... I was really tired and I had 2 flights to catch early the next morning. 

P/S : In 2006, I went to Nanking .... and suffered a serious food poisoning. I ended up in the hospital for a full day for treatment. It was a very memorable experience indeed. 



Saturday, September 21, 2013

Day 8 : Lunch @ Changde

We left Zhangjiajie after visiting the Junsheng Sand Painting Gallery .... there were lots of beautiful paintings which were painted using sand, gravel, tree barks ... and other natural materials. The paintings were mostly of the natural landscape of Zhangjiajie.

After that, we headed back to Changsha. We drove and drove and drove ... and we finally reached Changde, in time for a late lunch.

The table setting 
This dining hall was part of a hotel. Its hall was beautifully set up, brightly lit and with nice-looking cutlery.

Corn Soup

Century Egg
This simple dish was served with pickled chillies. I had never eaten my century eggs this way, but the tangy chopped chillies went rather well with century eggs. I loved this dish. 

Spicy Pork Trotters
The thing with trotters was there weren't any meat ... all tendons. I suppose people ate trotters because they liked the texture of the chewy tendons and the bouncy skin .... but I still liked my trotters to have some meat.

Steamed fish
I found the fish to be "fishy" ... and very bony too 


Pork & String Beans Stirfry
Now, I loved this spicy dish ... the pork and vegetables were stir-fried in a concoction of chillies and fermented bean paste ... very shiok eating this 

Cucumber Stirfry
I also loved the freshness of this dish. The cucumbers were sure sweet and crunchy.

Cabbage Stirfry

After lunch ... we continued our journey back to Changsha .... I snoozed as soon as we got into the car .... zzZZZZ .... so full and tired.

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