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Sunday, February 22, 2015

Yummy Pork Chop Noodles

It's the fourth day of the Lunar New Year, and One Kopitiam is abuzz with people, even though the stalls charge special prices for the food. A regular bowl of Kolo Mee, for example, was RM4.50 and even then, the noodles were all sold out, and only rice vermicelli was available. All the stalls seemed so busy dishing out plates and bowls of food for the hungry crowd.

The man ordered the nasi lemak ....

Nasi lemak, RM6.00

I had this before and did not like it. The man ordered it because there wasn't much else to eat ..... and I think the price was not RM6.00 before .... it was either RM4.50 or RM5.00 .... so CNY made it OK for a surcharge of RM1.00 to RM1.50. :P 

I myself went around the stalls twice .... I nearly gave up  until I checked out one of the two stalls at the corner, selling Taiwanese food. I saw that they had this pork chop with rice or noodles ..... so I chose to have mine with noodles. 


Pork chop noodles, RM7.00


Wheat noodles were blanched a bit too long, resulting in them being slightly soggy. The braised minced pork was quite tasty .... slightly savoury and sweet, so it was nice to eat with the noodles. What I liked was the pork chop .... so tender and and tasty! I shared my noodles with the man ... and he liked it too. :))

Food prices should be back to normal again soon, I think ... :))

Friday, February 20, 2015

Oreo Cheesecake

Inid2tell's Oreo Cheesecake

I researched lots of websites to make a non-bake cheesecake for CNY. It did not seem too difficult to make. There were lots of different recipes and ingredients and measurements .... so I took stock of what I had at home and tweaked the recipe a little. The result wasn't bad at all, actually ..... and I had a chocolate-y, rich and creamy cake, that wasn't too sweet. :))

Since I wasn't quite used to making cakes .... I was a little clumsy in the kitchen and took a longer time than the experts. First, I pounded 2 packets of Orea cookies (its cream removed) finely. I used a mortar and pestle ... though I could easily choose to use the food processor. :P

Then I mixed the crushed Oreos with 70g of melted butter. I mixed it well and pressed it onto the base of a tin. I refrigerated the base while I made the cheese topping.

For the cheese topping, I used the cake mixer to beat 250g of cream cheese with 50g of sugar, before adding in 60g of cream, 10g of gelatine (diluted in 30ml of warm water). When well mixed, I crumbled another packet of Oreos (with its cream removed also) and folded it in. I poured the mixture atop the base and refrigerated for 24 hours.

Phew! Done. And that's my contribution to the CNY goodies at home. :))

Sil, on the other hand, made some very cute sheep cookies. She used the German cookie recipe ... 

Very cute baa baa sheep cookies ... 

And spent a whole lot of time decorating it .... :))

Happy CNY of the goat! 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Reunion Dinner 2015

Happy Chinese New Year of the Goat! This year's reunion dinner is held at home .... and there are only my grandma, my parents, my 3 aunts and myself. Bro, Sil and Berry are flying back only on the first day.

This year, we had a total of 11 dishes, all homecooked, hearty dishes to usher in the New Year. But preparation was tedious, and took Mom many days. Most of the food were made from scratch.

Me? Well, I helped out here and there ... but credit had to go to Mom.

Dish 1 : Fish maw soup with homemade prawn balls

Dish 2 : Braised free-range duck


Dish 3 : Braised pork belly
This pork belly was braised together with the duck 

Dish 4 : Braised bamboo shoots (明笋)

Dish 5 : Steamed pork belly and yam

Dish 6 : Stirfry bamboo clam with curry

Dish 7 : Prawns in tamarind sauce

Dish 8 : Steamed tilapia fish

My aunts came with 3 dishes .... 

Dish 9 : Beef rendang

Dish 10 : Leeks stirfry 

Dish 11 : Kerabu midin 

Our dinner spread

My favourite dishes were the tender and aromatic duck, the bamboo clams, the prawns, the fish and the kerabu midin.  What a sumptuous meal ... one of the best reunion dinners ever!

Lastly, wishing everyone a very ... 

BLESSED & HAPPY CNY 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015

Too Long To Wait

This is the one of the few times that the man and I went to Noodle Descendents at Jalan Padungan, but did not manage to eat the famous noodles. This time, we sat and waited for 45 minutes and had not even placed our orders as it was not our turn yet! So we finished our drinks and left.

"Don't want to wait?" the drinks auntie asked.

"We're rushing for time," I answered politely. Yeah .... 45 minutes and we'd not even ordered our food. I'd wait .... but the man wanted to be home by a certain time.

So we walked to the Song Kheng Hai Hawker Centre, and here, food was served really quickly.  

 Kacangma chicken in claypot

Hmn ... I did not like the kacangma which I felt was too oily. The kacangma herbs wasn't aromatic at all, and the wine tasted too diluted. 

Tomato kueh tiaw from stall no. 11

The kueh tiaw serving was reasonable, and the gravy tasted alright;  ingredients of vegetables, char siew and fish cake slices were minimal. The vendors there seemed so friendly, though, talking to the man at length ... about the weather and the impending CNY holidays ..... Lol.

Our lunch done, the man said that he would still want to eat at Noodle Descendents; and we sort of worked out a strategy so that we would not need to wait for so long. We'll test it out during our next visit. Lol.

By the way ..... I'm most disturbed by the spelling of the word "Descendents" because it's wrong! Shouldn't it be spelled "descendants"? And by the way again, the prices have increased, with a regular bowl of noodles now at RM4.50, and soups at RM6.00 and RM8.00.

Previous posts about Noodle Descendents here and here.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Pulut Panggang @ Lee Coffee Shop

A few weekends ago, the girls went to Lee Coffee Shop at Ban Hock Road for breakfast and chit chat, and one of the kueh that I was very impressed with was the pulut panggang. After I had it, I'd been thinking about it for a while ...

This morning, after I'd sent Mom to the market, I drove all the way to Ban Hock Road, just to buy some pulut panggang.


Pulut Panggang, RM1.50 each 

Each pulut panggang was quite large as they were wrapped using pandan leaves - the type people used to wrap rice dumplings or bak chang. Normally, pulut panggang is wrapped in banana leaves. 

 Inside the wrapping .... 


The pulut or glutinous rice was nicely cooked, not hard at all, though I could not detect the fragrance of coconut milk; I liked the generous filling though .... very savoury with a tinge of sweetness, aromatic with dried prawns and spices.

This kueh was very enjoyable to eat with a cup of hot coffee .....


Saturday, February 14, 2015

Ekee (Sabah) 3 Flavours Bak Kut Teh

I think it's called 3 flavours Bak Kut Teh because there are 3 options available for the bak kut teh broth - Original, Herbal and Black Pepper. I chose to try the original version today. The man and I shared a bowl for 2 persons for RM16.50. We could customise our choice of meats .... and we had spare ribs, lean meat, pork belly, and pig stomach.

Our claypot Bak Kut Teh ... 

The broth was clear ... and did not taste very strongly of herbs. I did not find the soup particularly special of course. Then the meats were of reasonable portions ... and I had to eat all of the pig stomach because the man did not eat them. I'd say that the bak kut teh tasted alright. One could have unlimited re-fills for the broth though.

Rice was RM1.20 per bowl, and the vegetables stir-fry were RM5.00 ... in the end, not sure how much we paid, cause the man's friend DS decided to treat us. Yayy! Thanks DS.

Ekee Bak Kut Teh is located near the Kuching Park Hotel at Jalan Ang Cheng Ho.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Lemon 3, Kuching

I'd been to Lemon 3 twice so far ..... the last time I was there, I had the Zao Cai Fen Gan (糟菜粉干). At that time, I had waited for ages for it to arrive . All my friends had finished their food .. and my noodles had yet to arrive.

Zao Cai Fen Gan, RM5.00

And when it finally was served to me, I did not find the dish particularly special. Sure it was tangy enough .... it just lacked that umami flavour. It wasn't worth eating.

Today,  I was there at Lemon 3 again but I was quite late and there was only fast food and kolomee left. The Muslim food stall was also nearly sold out ... but they had stir-fried beehoon and I ordered that.  

Stir-fried Beehoon, RM3.50

This was nearly "kosong" ... the noodles were stir-fried with egg and beansprouts .... and then garnished with a bit of shredded chicken, chillies and lime. It totally lacked flavour .... sigh ....

I don't think I'd want to eat here again .....

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Lunch @ Verinice 口福 Kuching

We had lunch at Verinice Restaurant at SoHo 188 West, Lorong Wan Alwi 5, Kuching. It's a corner shop, just adjacent to Choice World. There were only the 2 of us and we did not want to order too much. So with a bowl of plain white rice each, we had ....

 Baby Kailan with garlic, RM8.00

 Buttered prawns, RM18.00 

Deep-fried buns 

The vegetables were still green and crunchy, so they weren't overcooked. It was not too salty either, and the golden bits of deep-fried garlic bursts with flavour in the mouth. The buttered prawns were served in a claypot. The battered prawns were deep-fried and then sauteed in a creamy and buttery gravy. The gravy was quite a lot .... not too thick, yet it tasted quite rich. The gravy was quite sweet, though ..... The man and I both loved the deep-fried buns .... which was a great accompaniment to the prawns.

Overall .... not bad an experience eating here ..... :))

Monday, February 9, 2015

Pita For Lunch

Years ago, when we used to visit Kuala Belait in Brunei, we would never hesitate to buy doner kebab from a vendor who had set up stall outside Supasave, a local supermarket. However, our visits to Kuala Belait were few and far in between, and we couldn't have kebab at anytime we liked.

Once, while I was buying kebab, I observed the vendor assembling it ... he first put the chopped and cooked doner meat on the hot plate .... and then he squirted some chilli and tomato sauce on it while it heated up, in went the diced tomatoes and cucumbers, and a dollop of mayo just before serving it in a toasted pita.

After my observation, I experimented with making my own kebab. Of course I tweaked the recipe a bit, as I did not have doner meat. I resorted to using minced beef, and served it in a pita shell. The result was really amazing. When my friends tried it, they loved it too!

One time, I even sold my version of kebab during church sales. They sold very well and were sold out in a very short time. Teenagers, especially, loved it .... One youth bought a piece, and having eaten a few bites, directed her friends to buy more. It was heart-warming, seeing people enjoy what you cooked.

***

Mission Foods had started selling pita bread in Malaysia .... and when I saw it, I bought a pack. There were many ways one could eat pita bread .... but I remembered the kebabs I had in Kuala Belait ... and I wanted to eat that ...

So I cooked some mince beef with tomatoes and spices,. and added tomato and chilli sauces into the mixture. Before serving, squeeze mayo, chopped cucumber and tomatoes into the filling. Then, I toasted my Pita bread ..... halved it ..... and pried the pocket open. The pita came apart quite easily unfortunately ... and some bits were torn. But still, I could scoop my minced beef filling into the pocket.

Homemade and yummy :))

I made some for my parents too .... well ... they did not particularly like it. Lol. They probably weren't used to the flavours. :P

Sunday, February 8, 2015

CNY Bazaar 2015 @ Kenyalang Park, Kuching

It's about 11 days to go to the lunar new year, and this is the time people are busy preparing for the festive occasion. Every year, there is a CNY Bazaar at Kenyalang Park here in Kuching.... where vendors will set up stalls at every available space at the Commercial Centre to sell CNY goodies.

For the past many years, I hadn't been to this bazaar because I was away from Kuching. By the time I came back, the bazaar would usually be over already. I remember visiting the CNY Bazaar in Miri last year though.

This year, the man and I actually anticipated going to the CNY Bazaar @ Kenyalang Park. We went there at about 8.30 p.m., parking the car at a distant and then walking to the commercial centre which was brightly lit.

Stalls were everywhere! And I thought they were arranged in a very haphazard and disorganised manner ... making it not very systematic to navigate. There wasn't a clear path, and sometimes I did not even know which side the vendor was facing. The shopping crowd was there though .... and all were being invited to taste the goodies on sale before buying. Competition was sure stiff!

Thee things on sale were pretty extensive too ... ranging from ....

Colourful and pretty CNY blooms ... 

 Elegant orchids 

 3D greeting cards ... this was a carousel! 

But most of the stalls sold cookies, cakes, preserved fruits, bbq sweet meats, dried cuttlefish and nuts and so on. Most of the vendors let you try their wares before you decide to buy them or not ... 

 Preserved fruits
This particular shop was overcrowded with customers ... and I could not even squeeze into the front line where the tidbits were ..... 

The man had a colleague's son selling homemade festive cookies at one of the stalls. When he saw the man, he greeted him out of courtesy (though the man did not recognise the young lad .... tsk ... tsk ... tsk).

We spent some time at the stall, where the enterprising lad offered us tome testers. I found the cookies all very yummy :)) 

 An array of homemade cookies, price range from RM26 onwards .....

The man did support the boy by buying 2 jars of cookies. By the end of our shopping expedition that night, we bought also 2 types of preserved fruits and a bag of prawn rolls ..... Yayy! We're almost ready for CNY 2015. :))

I'd urge everyone to visit the traditional bazaar ..... have a jostle with the crowd as you make your way from stall to stall .... sample what the vendors have to offer ... soak in the din and the festive atmosphere ..... I think that's all part of the fun of visiting a bazaar. :))

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Cafe Cafe @ The Original Carwash, Kuching

The colleagues and I went to Cafe Cafe @ The Original Carwash at Rubber Road for lunch. Cafe Cafe is an eatery, located obviously, at a carwash. So while having a meal, diners can get their cars washed for a price. The prices range from RM10.00 to RM16.00, depending on the size of the car.

We were there about noon, and we were quite surprised. Apparently, this is a popular place to eat lunch, judging by the size of the crowd.

 The interiors of Cafe Cafe 

It was quite dark inside ... but the colouful spring colours brightened up the place. The paper umbrellas and the large paper flower on the wall exuded an Oriental feel .... and CNY music played in the background. 

There were 5 of us ... and we ordered 3 dishes because the portion was very huge! 

 Tomato Kueh Tiaw, RM12.00 

The tomato kueh tiaw here tasted great - sweet and tangy. Its sauce was slightly thicker than the usual version found at the hawker centre's, thus giving this dish a very rich tomato taste. Because the plate was so huge, the amount of kueh tiaw seemed to look a bit meagre. Other ingredients used included black fungus, chicken and fresh tomato chunks. I wish they had some seafood in there too .... 

 Rice with Beef Rendang, RM14.00 

Another huge serving of rice with tender beef rendang and tangy vegetables .... a large serving of keropok accompanied the dish .... I did try the meat and the vegetables and the keropok .... which I found to be palatable. 


Chinese Fried Rice with Salted Fish, RM12.00 

This was a gigantic serving .... enough to feed 4. The rice was fluffy .... stir-fried with eggs, chicken, some chopped lettuce, and topped with bits of salted fish. It wasn't the best fried rice I'd eaten ... but it was alright, I suppose. 


Chocolate Mascapone Cheese Cake, RM12.00

The cake was dense and hard ... but it had a rich chocolate flavour .... we all loved it .... 



Hot Lemon Tea, RM6.000

And we washed everything down with a glass of hot lemon tea. The food came in sets with a free drink .... but if one were to order the hot lemon tea off the menu, it cost RM6.00

Our bill came to nearly RM60.00 ... and that's about RM12.00 per person. Food was alright - very cheap and common ingredients were used, but price was justified by the huge portion. 


Friday, February 6, 2015

Birthday Dinner @ Wakakakaka, Kuching

It's the man's birthday. And I offered to buy him dinner. I gave him a list of eateries to choose from ... and he chose Sharing Downtown (which was not in the list .... *roll eyes*). Fine with me. It was his birthday. So it was his call.

I thought we'd settled on the venue already. Today, however, the man told me that we should change the dinner venue because it was raining the whole day ... the reason being that it would be muddy at Sharing Downtown. I assured him that the place wouldn't be at all muddy, but it being in a garden setting, I could not be too sure either.

The man suggested that we go to The Spring ... for which I objected, really. There weren't any eateries there which appealed to me at all. Finally, right before we left, I suddenly thought of Wakakakaka at Brighton Square. I asked the man if he would want to eat there ... and he agreed.

We both preferred to get away from the air-conditioned interiors, so we sat outside at the courtyard ..... from where I sat, I could enjoy the brightly-coloured CNY red lanterns hanging along the facade of CityOne Mega Mall ....... that gave a very festive atmosphere ....


A bottle of Sommersby for us to share as the man couldn't tolerate too much of alcohol .... 

Baa Baa Black Sheep, RM26.80; and cream of mushroom soup in the distant, RM6.80

The man and I shared the mushroom soup, which we both found to be quite good - it was of thick consistency, rich in flavour, and I loved the bits of chopped mushrooms in the soup. The slice of buttered French bread was crusty and was a necessary accompaniment to the soup. 

Baa Baa Black Sheep was a best-selling item here. The portion was really huge .... with 2 slices of grilled lamb shoulder, 3 types of sauce, and colour-coordinated vegetables. The lamb was well-marinated, and well-cooked, I was glad that the meat was not too tough. The 3 sauces - referring to the 3 bagsful of wool in the nursery rhyme - were very tasty. They comprised of the mushroom sauce, the creamy mint sauce, and the black pepper sauce .... all very good and enhanced the flavour of the meat and vegetables. I even liked the potatoes which were so powdery ... 

Wario's grilled chicken with black pepper sauce, RM16.80

The man had the grilled chicken with black pepper sauce .... Apart from fact that he found the portion to be overwhelming and the sauce a bit too spicy, the man did not say anything else ... I did not try this dish as well, so I cannot comment.

Because I had a Kuching Food Critic's badge (which I had never utilised till now) ..... we got a complimentary soft serve ice-cream ....

Snowy Poo Poo 

The smooth vanilla soft-serve ice-cream with chocolate sauce was a pleasant dessert for the both of us. The man liked it .... he finished it even though he was very full already. 

A canine friend

Because we were seated at the outside, we were visited by a few canine friends .... to which we fed the leftovers of the meat .... lol .....

A happy birthday to D! May you be blessed abundantly with good health, happiness and all the wonderful things in life. :))


Thursday, February 5, 2015

I'd Stay Away

I haven't much idea where to do my facial here in Kuching. So one day, at Plaza Merdeka, I stumbled upon a group of ladies who were promoting their facial services. I'd seen their shop before at Abell Road .... so I thought I'd give them a try. I bought one facial at RM68.00.

I did not immediately go and have my facial done after I had bought it. I was procrastinating, I suppose. I only did my facial 2 months after I had bought it .... and that was September last year.

The beautician who did my facial was a nice lady, and she served me very well. I liked her and would not mind her services again ..... But I could not stand the "manager".

The manager was a middle-aged lady who had nothing good to say about my skin and about the skincare products I was using. She was extremely pushy .... and she forced a few products upon me. They were apparently paraben-free. But of course, I refused to buy them from her. I'd not heard of the products before! A quick Google search did not even yield any results ....... so who knows where on earth her products were made and what they were made of!

So having failed to get me to buy the products, she forced facial packages on me to sign up. And when I refused that too, she literally forced me to buy one treatment. Before I had said yes, she had already issued the receipt!!

I was annoyed! But I paid anyway ... RM108 for a Sensivital Treatment. It's not the money I was concerned with. But it was the way she forced it upon me. Though I bought the treatment, I bought it unwillingly. I did not want to go back to the beauty centre at all. I did not look forward to going back there at all.... and the receipt sat in my wallet for months.

My face was recently a wreck, with acne breaking out .... so I thought it was time to go and have it washed. But this time, I'd go with with a near-empty purse. I had my identification documents and the facial receipt and only a few ringgit in there. My credit card was purposefully left at home ... so even if the pushy woman wanted me to buy this and that, she couldn't because I had no money to spend!!

I reached the beauty centre on time .... was greeted by Old Ms Pushy .... she served me a cup of tea .... and then went to prepare the room for me .... The same beautician who served me the last time was in-charge of my facial today, so I was glad about that. Before we started, Old Ms Pushy came by and started to point out what was wrong with my skin ..... and recommended me a serum and cleanser from her range of products.

I kept mum. She could say whatever she wanted. I had no money.

Perhaps sensing that I was indifferent or annoyed, she told the beautician to give me a double mask. "Special" for me, she said. Fine. But I still had no money. :P

An hour and forty-five minutes later, we were done. I was ushered to the front desk where Old Ms Pushy was seated .... and she served me tea again. Then she attempted to get me to try her lip gloss for the purpose of "treatment" because my lips were "dark" ...

I gulped down my tea and then told her in a very straightforward manner, "I'm not buying any products nor facials today."

"I'm not selling you anything .... I'm just sharing with you .... "

"Thank you," I brushed her off ....

Old Miss Pushy resigned. "Thank you," she said. And I left. AND I AM NOT GOING BACK THERE!!!  Phew!!

* * *

Whenever my colleagues and I talk about facials, I'd tell them this experience and advise them to stay away from this beauty centre! Does anyone have any beauticians to recommend me in Kuching??? 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Wrap N Go : Go Aries Sandwich

I had lunch at 626 Cafe again. Just last week I was there ... and this week, I had requested D to go again. Last week, I did not have the chance to eat the sandwiches which I had wanted to eat .... and so today, I just had to try it.

We both ordered the Go-Aries sandwich from Wrap N Go. Aries = ram .... so this is a lamb sandwich. Lol. Creative, huh?

Go Aries Sandwich, RM6.50
The presentation is nice, eh? It sure whetted my appetite. 

Take a peek ... 

The bread had substance, yet it wasn't hard at all. The wholemeal bread was toasted to crisp perfection. The filling was made up of lamb, onions, lettuce, tomatoes, bits of fruits, and roselle relish - the whole mix was sweet and savoury, so I'd say the flavour was quite balanced. Also caught a whiff of Italian herbs .... fragrant indeed.  

I'd love to come back to try the other types of sandwiches ..... like the beef or the egg sandwiches .... so till next time. :))

626 Cafe is located at Wisma Nation Horizon. It's not facing the main road .... but rather, it's facing the back. It's right opposite the newly opened Hong Kong Puff confectionery.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Lui Cha @ 31°C Food Station

D said to meet him at shops near Public Bank at 3rd mile. It wasn't our regular area for lunch as it was far away from his office. But that day, D was running some errands nearby ... and so we ended up there, where we just picked any coffee shop to eat at.

31°C Food Station was spacious and airy, but looked rather empty at lunch time. I saw only a few stalls still operating - the roti stall, the lui cha stall and the fast food stall. D had rice and a few dishes from the fast food stall ....

But I opted for lui cha ....

Lui cha, RM5.00

It came in two bowls - a bowl of rice generously topped with vegetables and other dried condiments, a bowl of muddy green soup, and a saucer of roasted peanuts. 

Now, I loved the rice bowl, but not the soup bowl. The rice was tinged purple, fluffy, soft but not overcooked. So that was great. Then I loved the loads of vegetables on the rice .... the leeks, cangkuk manis, french beans, and the other ingredients like chopped beancurd, dried radish, and I think a sprinkling of chopped dried prawns too. Pour in the peanuts, give everything a good mix .... and yum .... very textural and tasty. 

The soup, however, was bitter. It was just plain bitter with no pleasant or "gan" aftertaste. It was served warm, not boiling hot, and I also found it a tad too diluted. Of course, my yardstick for a good bowl of soup was that of this operator at Jalan Intan - my favourite lui cha. This lui cha broth did not sooth my tummy at all.

Even after I had finished the rice, I still had two-thirds of the soup left in the bowl. "Eew .... bitter. Should I drink this?" I asked D, pointing to the bowl. He refused to even have a sip of it.  

"Up to you," he replied.

I braved myself and drank the soup off the bowl in a few gulps ..... "Detox," I said, though my face was all wrinkled up to brace with bitterness. Lol. 

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