Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Weekend Brekkie

It had been a crazy busy week, and I was glad that weekend had approached. I could get up a bit later than usual, and had my brekkie in front of the tv. Lol. Hadn't done this for a while .....

Half a steamed bao and a cup of hot peppermint tea 

The other day, Second Aunt bought for me 2 pieces of this giant steamed meat bao from Sin Kwang Foochow Bao. The baos are so huge that I only needed to eat half a piece each time. Today, the bao pastry was dense, but fragrant and soft, just the way I liked it. And the filling was a compact ball of very well-seasoned minced pork and crunchy vegetables .... the filling complemented the plain pastry, coming together perfectly. It was a great breakfast, thanks to Second Aunt who was so thoughtful and generous. :))

Sunday. With the roasted chicken breast that Mom had kept for me in the freezer, I thawed and shredded the meat, added some pepper and mayonnaise onto the chicken and mixed well ..... and I had my favourite chicken salad sandwich for breakfast.

Yummy ,,,, chicken salad sandwich with a cup of hot peppermint tea .... 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Instant Meals Again

Since I came back to Kuching, I hadn't many opportunities to eat instant noodles. Mom just never missed to cook dinner! Now that she'd gone to Bro's .... it's time for my instant noodles to make an appearance again. Lol.

 A yummy instant meal 

Tonight, I had my favourite Maggi curry ... served with mustard greens, a poached egg, and a roasted chicken wing. Alright, the chicken wing was store bought, thanks to Mom, who had kept some roasted meat in the freezer for me. :)) 

I decided to eat more veges ..... lol ... maybe subconsciously to lessen my guilt.  

Blanched Mustard Greens 
This was super easy to prepare ... I blanched the vegetables in hot boiling water and then drain them and cut them. I arranged them nicely on the plate and drizzled some light soy sauce over it, followed by shallot oil. Light flavours on fresh and crunchy vegetables. Yums. 

Sunday, March 29, 2015

We Made It!

In mid February, our choral script was ready. My colleague, R and I started recruiting students for our choral team. I went to the best Form 4 class and personally approached the students to ask whether they would join me. I got turned down mostly. In a class of 37 people, I managed to rope in 2. Only. It was pathetic. We then resorted to enroll the Form 1 students.

We thought that when we had our team assembled, training would commence. But then, our trainer, A, refused to help us because we could not provide her the Form 4 students whom she wanted. A did not think that the Form 1s would do very well and did not want to waste her time to train them. A thought that their voices would not be matured enough to bring them to the national level competition.

Yes, she was that ambitious.

Without A, P did the training. P was my colleague, and he was really very creative and talented. Watching him train the kids, I too, learned a lot!

He singled out a few boys to select a conductor among them. Then he taught them how to conduct. At the same time, he choreographed our presentation and trained the students to deliver the script. Everything had to be perfect. The tone, the expression, the movements and so on.

P was also, at the same time, training the BM choral team .... so he really had a hard time juggling both tasks. That would be where R and I came in .... When P was attending to the BM team, R and I would supervise our team's practice. We helped as much as we could .... looking into the administrative matters, while P did the creative side of the work.

Training was long and tedious .... and we went back to school every day during our holidays and stayed the whole day in the hall to perfect our lines. Finally, it was the competition week.

Day 1 - we went to the auditorium for rehearsal. Early that morning, the bus did not turn up ... Darn. It seemed that there was an overbooking at the transport company's side .... and they conveniently forgot us. We managed to get there anyway, but we were late. Despite all the setbacks, rehearsal was swell. The students charmed the crowd, inducing lots of laughter amongst the audience. We went back to school and did final touch ups on our performance.

Day 2 - competition day! The bus came early .... and we got to the auditorium on time. While waiting for our turn to compete, a boy's nose started to bleed! It stopped after a while, but the organisers were nice enough to let us defer our turn. We were team no. 2 to perform, but we switched turns with team no. 4. The students delivered our choral piece as well as they could ... and the crowd loved them! Yippee .... we stayed on to watch a few other teams before making our way back to school. My colleague P, was so confident that we stood a chance to win the competition. P was right. At 4.00 p.m., the organisers invited us back to the auditorium the next day for the closing ceremony.

Day 3 - Results day today! Unfortunately, P could not come with us to the auditorium. He had to bring his BM choral team to compete at a different venue, while R and I brought our English team back to the auditorium. We watched the final 3 teams competed .... and then results were announced. We bagged the "Best Conductor" award! Yayy! My little conductor was only 13 years old! And he beat many of those much older than he was! We were ecstatic. Finally, it was announced that we were the first runner-up. We beat 18 other teams. Phew! I am relieved. The kids were a tad disappointed, though. They had expected to win .... but competition was stiff, and we'd put up a good fight.

And you know what?? P's BM team also obtained the "Best Conductor" award, and they were announced champions of the BM choral speaking competition! Wowww!!!!!!! WE WERE REALLY, REALLY ON CLOUD NINE.

Our trophy yield for the day! 

Victory was sweet. But it took a lot of sweat to achieve the sweet.

With this major competition over, I feel one burden lifted from my shoulders. I had time to cook dinner even! I made my simple noodle dish .....

Beehoon stirfry with seafood, pork, mushrooms, vegetables and egg
Homecooked, and very light flavours, and full of texture.


To go with my noodles, I cooked a light cucumber soup. Dinner was sumptious. The man said so. :))

Saturday, March 28, 2015

We're Top 5

Today's competition day .... and the kids did well. There were slips and all, but it was alright. I know that they'd done their best, and we teachers were happy with their performance. The crowd found them humorous ... so I thought that was great. Results would only be out tomorrow .... and the kids were all excited about it.

I felt immensely relieved now that competition was over ..... I left school as soon as I could and got back to rest. :))

Well, my folks had gone to KL, leaving me alone at home. Mom's left some food in the fridge, in case I wanted to cook .. but so far, I'd been too busy .... today, I had just chicken rice from the canteen, and a cup of hot peppermint tea.

Chicken Rice, RM4,00 and a hot cup of peppermint tea

The man and I are trying to cut down on coffee by drinking more tea. So we'd been exchanging some teas so that we would not get bored drinking the same type of tea every day ....

Twinings Peppermint Tea
I loved this refreshing tea hot! 

Some tea sachets that the man gave me but I had not drunk them yet .....

Green tea is good for health! 

As of now, we know that we are the top 5 teams in the competition ... so we may stand a chance to win something. We are bringing all the kids back to the competition venue tomorrow .... hope for the best!

Friday, March 27, 2015

A Long Day ....

My day started at 4.30 a.m. when I climbed reluctantly out from the bed .... I got ready for work and then sent my parents to the airport so that they could catch an early flight to KL. Then I was off to work.

My students and I waited and waited and waited at the kiosk in front of the school for our bus. But it didn't come. You'd think that I did not book the bus. But nope, I did. I vividly remember the school clerk informing me last week that the bus was confirmed.

So why didn't it come? Well, after some investigating, we found out that there was a miscommunication at the transport company .... resulting in them not readying a bus for us. They quickly sent us a van .... and because there were so many of us, it took 3 trips to bring us to location. Each trip took half an hour ... and so we were an hour and a half late for our rehearsal.

Despite the unfortunate incident, the kids charmed during practice. Lol. They weren't perfect, just charming. Afterwards, we quickly bundled them up, brought them back to school, and camped in the auditorium for the final practice. There was much tweaking and last minute changes. The kids practised hard ......... and by the time we finished, it was already 5.30 p.m. It had been a looong day, and everyone was tired. Traffic was heavy and jam was everywhere, but I had to send a student home ..... and by the time I got back to the house, the man was already there ..... it's the first time he had to wait for me ... Lol.

Hot and Spicy Glass Noodles, RM6.00

"That's not something I would order .... " the man said, looking into my bowl of hot and spicy glass noodles.

"Why not?" I asked.

"It's dangerously red. And oily," he explained, as I tucked into the noodles ....

Well, I had order the noodle dish from a stall at Premier 101. It's located outside The Best Corner, just next to the fruit stall.

"Wanna try some?" I asked him.

Of course, he shook his head profusely. "They look scary," the man said. He did not eat spicy stuff ... Lol.

"There're only 3 things I don't like about this noodle," I told him. "The polystyrene bowl, the disposable cutlery, and that it's got no meat in it."

In actual fact, the noodles tasted good! Do not be fooled by the dark red broth! It wasn't spicy, just numbing. It was also pleasantly tangy ... the flavour coming from malt vinegar? Not sure, actually.

Ingredients used were glass noodles, shredded seaweed, roasted peanuts and topped with Chinese celery. And it was in fact, not meatless .... but there was a miserable chunk of minced pork in the dish. So it'd make me happier if there were some meat in this dish. :P

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Rojak @ Rihga

Today, I was feeling annoyed all day ... so what is better to cure that annoyance than with some rojak? I ordered this from Stall No. 7 named Rihga at Song Kheng Hai Hawker Centre. This is also the same stall that sells kompia.

Rojak, RM4.00 (small)

The rojak here was better, if compared to the one I ate at ABC Food Court. The rojak paste here was not as thick, but was moist and coated the ingredients in the most sensual manner. Lol. The paste here also tasted more piquant, and that made the rojak yummier. The ingredients used included cucumbers, jicama, pineapples, tofu, and also strips of cuttlefish, Crisp pieces of youtiao dices added crunch to the rojak. Some chopped peanuts topped off the dish. Not bad, actually ... the rojak here was quite enjoyable to eat!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Papaya Salad

My colleague M had a papaya tree in her backyard. One night, strong wind uprooted the tree. It fell, slamming onto the ground with all its green unripened fruits. M brought all the fruits to school. There were people who wanted them. C, a new mother, wanted the fruits to boil in soup because papaya soup is known to enhance production of breast milk. I, on the other hand, asked for 1 piece of fruit to make papaya salad.

She had given me the fruit more than a week ago .... and it had been sitting there in my fruit basket for many days. Till today, when I finally had some free time to make it. I peeled the papaya, washed it, and then grated it. It was more difficult to grate than expected ... because the fruit was slippery to handle, and I was afraid of grating my fingers. I could be that clumsy.

Then, I squeezed a lime into a bowl, and mixed it with a tablespoon of fish sauce and a tablespoon of castor sugar. I stirred the mixture well and then added 2 pieces of smashed cili padi and a tablespoon of finely ground toasted dried prawns. Finally, I added in the shredded papaya and tossed to mix.

Papaya Salad 

Before serving, I garnished with some toasted peanuts. It was spicy and tangy, so refreshing to eat, and both my dad and I liked it very much. 

This was my first attempt .... I forgot to put in some tomatoes ... that would give the salad a tinge of red, I also did not put in long beans as I did not have them at home. Easy to make, delicious to eat .... I'd make this again and again. Just have to get my hands on those green unripened papayas. :)) 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Little Misfortune OTW To Siniawan

The girls were looking forward to an evening out ... but while we were queuing up for our turn to exit the junction into the main road, we got involved in an accident. An old man driving a taxi was exiting from a lane, but it hit into a Perodua Kancil ... and so the Kancil driver lost control and skidded past our car before knocking into the Proton Wira just behind us. Darn.

Heart-wrenching damage

We got out of the car and thanked God that we were all alright, and the damage to our car was very minimal, compared to the other 3 vehicles. We merely got a scratch on the side and a nick on the bumper. Nevertheless ... we had to make a police report at the police station nearby. Giving our statements took us an hour and a half.

Coming here reminded me of the accident I got involved in last October, and it sure wasn't a good feeling at all. 

By the time we were done, my friend S insisted that we head to our intended destination ....


It was drizzling ........... so we walked along the street to buy what we wanted to eat ....

Bacon on the left .... and pork belly on the right (RM3.00 each) 
The sauces for this skewer of meats tasted great! But of the two, I preferred the bacon which was more tender, compared to the squares of pork belly

Popcorn chicken, RM7.00
The chicken did not taste so good ..... the batter seemed to be a bit sandy in texture, and I needed lots of chilli to eat the chicken with 

Fried rice, RM5.00
This was quite tasty, with a smoky flavour .... except that it was a bit salty .... 

Sambal Fried Kueh Tiaw, RM5.00
Not bad too, not too spicy, smoky, and piquant. 

And for dessert ..... 

Durian egg tarts, RM3.50 each
I was very impressed with this last time ..... this time I think the custard was slightly harder, so that it did not melt in the mouth. Nonetheless, the durian egg tarts still tasted good! 

After dinner, we drove back to Kuching. S texted me today to say that her dad had helped her wash and polish the scratch .... and it now looked as good as new. :)) 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Shilin Station

If you turn into Foochow Road No. 2 from Sekama and drive along the road, there is a little shop on the left side of the road. Its name is Shilin Station, and it sells snacks like shao bao, shao mai, steamed bao and so on.

I've been driving past this little shop for a long time, but I had never stopped. Today after exercise, I decided to buy some snacks for my tea break ....

Shao bao, RM1.70 each

Sweet pastry, RM1.50 each 

I was anticipating the pastries till I cut them opened ... and was disappointed ...

Hmn .... doesn't look too appealing ...... 

The pastry skin was too thick! The Shao Bao filling was too dry and not very memorable .... the skin too was thick and dry and tasteless. The same was for the sweet pastry, but its only consolation being that the filling wasn't too sweet. So if I had to choose between the two, I'd say that the sweet pastry fared better than the savoury one.

 Shao Mai, RM0.80 each 

The shao mai was better than the baked pastries, wasn't salty ... and tasted alright with chilli sauce. Next time, I'd try the steamed buns ... 

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Ham & Egg Pita

We were at Thompson Corner at Nanas Road for breakfast today .... and I was utmost happy with the ham and egg pita that I ordered.

Kopi, RM1.30; Ham and egg toasted pita, RM4.50

 After a few bites .... 

I could tell that the ham was of a good quality, it had bite and texture; The ham was wrapped around by the fluffy and soft egg. Some coleslaw and crisp fresh lettuce completed the filling which was encased in a toasted pita. What I liked was the fact that the flavours were rather balanced - the coleslaw was slightly sweet and complementing the salty ham; and that the sandwich was very textural - crusty bread, crisp lettuce, crunchy coleslaw, fluffy eggs and with bite in the meat. Nice breakfast. I washed everything down with a cuppa. 

Saturday, March 21, 2015

I'm Lovin' It : Chicken Spicy McDeluxe

I had taken a hiatus from McDonald's .... the last meal? Hmn ..... must have been at Krabi, Thailand where I tried the pork burger.

The thing about this school holiday is that it isn't really a holiday at all. I was at school everyday, starting last Saturday and Sunday, and then on Monday and Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday and Friday .... possibly, we will be at school again tomorrow. But I was not the only one at school. So many of my colleagues were there as well, preparing for various competitions - dramas, choral speaking, public speaking, debates, and a few other types of sports and games.

During the short lunch break, I went to McDonald's to grab a quick meal. I actually preferred to go to the outlet at Jalan TAR, but then parking is always so limited there. Hence, Plaza Merdeka seemed to be more convenient.

Chicken Spicy McDeluxe McValue Meal

The meal cost me RM10.05, including tax. I'm really not sure whether it's value for money now? 


At least I was quite happy with today's burger, which was freshly made - the spicy and crispy chicken patty .... the crisp shredded lettuce and the fresh sourdough bun. The fries, though, were somewhat tasteless ... totally devoid of any potato taste. Hmn .....

I ate quickly, and rushed back to work.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Breakfast @ Hao Lai Foo Cafe

The man wanted me to try the laksa at Hao Lai Foo Cafe, which he liked because the vendor served laksa with squids. This morning, we went to the cafe which was at Petanak .... but guess what? The stall was closed. Darn. No laksa and no squids.

There was only a noodle stall and a Muslim food stall operating. So I decided have kolo mee ....

 Regular kolo mee, RM3.00

Big portion, springy noodles, moist with a bit of clear soup at the bottom of the bowl, garnished with crinkled mustard, char siew, and minced pork. Taste wise, the kolo mee fared well .... not bad, but not really that desirable. Not really to-die-for. 

Wanton soup for the man .... 

 Looks pretty decent ..... 
The man said it was "ok". 

Guess I'll have to come back another time for laksa with squids, at an astonishing price of RM10.00! Not sure whether it would be worth it or not .... 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

All Joy @ City One Megamall

Hey, I did not realise that there's an All Joy outlet at City One Megamall, the same level as GSC. The man and I had just purchased our tickets for our movie, and as we walked past the cinema, we chanced upon this All Joy outlet. Since when? Lol ... I had no idea. 

All Joy

Aside from the huge portions of food, I did not think that the food here would be special in any way actually. Not impressive at all. 

Mushroom Chicken stew with rice, RM6.80

3 huge pieces of chicken, with reasonably generous amount of canned button mushrooms and carrots; the soup was overly salty as well. 

Verdict : I think I can cook a better stew than that!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Then & Now

It's been 5 years, and the same stall still operated at Wang Full Food Centre. But there was a marked difference in the quality, the quantity of the food served.

Last time in 2010 :

Mackerel fish balls, fish paste slices, seaweed, fish maw and vegetables in clear broth

 Fish balls, fish paste slices, seaweed, and vegetables in clear broth

Today :

 Visually unappealing .... 

Together with a bowl of dry-tossed beehoon, still RM5.00

Back then in 2010 : 

Laksa Special

Today : 

Also visually unappealing, not even a single piece of prawn in sight and charged RM5.00. The laksa gravy was also overly salty.  

To be fair, the laksa vendor had changed since 2010 .... word has it that the lady used to sell at Crown Cafe near Crown Towers.

Why is the difference so glaring? Is it the rising cost of ingredients? Inflation? Complacency? Whatever it is, no more coming here for the fish noodles. And definitely no laksa for me here.  Read the posts here and here to reminisce the good old days.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Predictable Man

Every time the man mentioned going to ABC Food Court for lunch, it meant that he needed to go to the bank afterwards.

How do you know? he asked me one time during lunch when I enquired whether he needed to drop by Public Bank, which was just opposite the food court.

Duh, I rolled my eyes. He was so predictable.

Today was one such occasion. Today I was very hungry. But the chicken rice guy skipped my order so that the ladies who came after me were served first. I wasn't happy about that at all but what to do? Sigh ....

 Salad Chicken Rice, RM4.50 

The fried chicken was actually very yummy. The meat was juicy and tender, and well-marinated, the skin very crispy. The rice was fragrant, savoury and fluffy and I liked the sweet and tangy pickles too. I didn't really care much for the salad dressing, the baked beans and the chili sauce though. They could really be done away. Salted vegetable soup accompanied the rice. 

I also ordered a plate of rojak from the stall just next to the chicken rice stall. This stall was operated by two very young and pretty ladies .... 

Rojak, RM3.00

The rojak had slices of cucumber, jicama, pineapples and sliced tofu. They were cut and mixed with the rojak paste and then sprinkled with chopped roasted peanuts. The rojak paste here wasn't commendable .... simply because it wasn't stinky enough. I think a good rojak paste should pack the pungent flavour of shrimp paste. This one wasn't substantial enough, but was more on the sweet side.

The man had rice and soup .... and then we left predictably for the bank. Duh.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Peach Garden, Jalan Song

We went for a massage at this outlet called "Fushen Health Services". It is located at Tabuan Heights Commercial Centre, the same row as Porkies. The masseuses are all Chinese women from Mainland China. Normally, I would forego the Chinese masseuses in favour of Thai or Indonesian ones. But it seems that I had no options here.

When we reached there, all the masseuses were occupied. That meant that business was really good here. We did not make a booking, and had to wait for about 15 minutes till the next two masseuses were available.

Then, we were ushered into the massage cubicles. The lady (no. 21) who massaged me was middle-aged, and she had very firm hands. She gave me very assertive rubs in very consistent strength, so I must say that I had a great massage session, relieving me of the soreness in my shoulders and back. The man, however, felt very lethargic after that. Geez .... I'd be worried if he suffered the same effects as the last traumatic massage he had. Hmn ....

We had an 1 1/2 hour session for RM42,00; an additional RM10.00 was charged if one wanted a special medicated ointment to be applied during the massage.

At least this massage outlet did not cheat on the duration - the 1 1/2 hour session was fully used up (unlike some places I know of!)

We exited the shop after we paid .... and walked along the shops when we saw a large crowd of people at Peach Garden.

Wow! I exclaimed. We walked over there and decided to have our dinner there too. The thing about this place was that the round tables were so crowded together. It was impossible to sit without encroaching the next table!! Well, I sat facing the man, but we were not the only 2 persons at the table.

 At first....

We had 2 strangers' backs at the table! It was downright weird!!!! And I felt really uncomfortable. I tried to move the table a little, but I could not do so. The table must have been screwed to the ground! Fortunately, one table finished eating and left. So I quickly shifted next to the man. It was easier to talk and to share our food that way.

I moved and it felt less weird

I ordered a pork burger.

 Pork burger, RM6.00

The bigger was larger than usual, but it looked flat. So I pried it open to see .....  

 There's the pork patty 

 And a huge mess of chilli, cucumber, onions, mayo and chilli sauce

While it was edible, I'd say that it was nothing great. And at RM6.00, it sure was not cheap! 

Chicken Chee Cheung Fun 

This was not bad ..... I liked the thin and elastic pastry, the filling had not only minced chicken, but it had some chopped mushrooms as well. The sauce was not bad too. I think the chee cheung fun would be nicer had the filling been prawns or char siew. 

 Teochew Oyster Omelette, RM10.00
I did not like the pastry which was too thick and chewy for me. 

The next time I come here, I'd sit outside and dine al fresco. At least it did not look too crowded there. There were really, really a lot of stalls here selling all sorts of food. I've yet to explore them all .... till next time. :))


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