Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Aik Cheong Hai-nan 3+1 Coffee Mixture Bag

1 simple instant post coming up.

Seems like ages ago since I last woke up to a blaring alarm clock and sat for hours in office attire. Okay okay the Deepavali Raya holidays were not that long but still it's hard returning to a relatively boring work routine.

I'm not a frequent coffee drinker. Not 1 of those who needs daily caffeine boost. In fact, I'm more into the smell rather than the taste. I dislike the pungent bitter aftertaste coffee leaves in my mouth (same reason I stayed away from smoking.) AND on others' breath. ~_~"

But then again, once a while a hot cuppa helps. Thick and aromatic. A good pick-me-upper. Nowadays, I'm into this (with addition of 1 teaspoon milk powder for the creamy texture):-

Then pop a sweet or chewing gum after to rid the aftertaste. =D

Friday, October 27, 2006

Toilet post#7


1) What are these?

2) How these work?

3) Where are these?


The answers are ..

1) Washbasins.

2) Turn the wheel in the first picture while for the second contraption, just pull the hanging pole.

3) The Ladies' and Gentlemen's respectively, at the Feast Floor of
Starhill Shopping Gallery, Kuala Lumpur

With very interesting and vibrant interior designs decorating the various restaurants coupled with such attractive loos, the Feast Floor remains tops on my list of must-visit-must-see whenever I have non-local visiting friends and relatives!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Restaurant Seong Mun, Kuala Kubu Bahru

A friend's been to this restaurant a number of times as he likes the proprietor's friendliness and the 'kampung' shack-like atmosphere. Hey, there's a cock and its brood of hens running around the restaurant floor! Ok, I seem to hear murmurs questioning the hygiene level but people, don't our usual non-airconditioned dining venues have stray dogs and cats scavanging under the tables? o.0?

That night, 8 of us had steamed white rice with:-

Wild boar rendang/curry. Definitely tops! Tender pieces sauteed in fragrant spices. If we weren't so full, we would had ordered another round! Oh, the picture includes the green vege we had. 'Choy-sum', I think.

Steamed 'pak-suk-kung' fish. It had a bit of muddy smell but the others were ok with it. Maybe my tastebuds are a bit too sensitive. =P

Deep fried calamari. A hint of curry powder and a few of us found it quite salty. (I suspect too much MSG because I was really very thirsty after the meal).

Fried froglegs. Somehow this dish appeared different to what we were used to. Instead of the usual appearance of just the thigh and leg parts, there were other 'stringy' meat mixed in. Curious, but I thought better than to question since the others were cleaning the plate in record time.

Sambal baby french beans. Again I found this a tad too salty. (Err.. too much MSG again?)

Mixed seafood claypot. Since most dishes were quite dry, the proprietor suggested a 'soupy' dish so we went with this. Not a good choice. We found it wanting - too starchy and lacked taste. Quite expensive too, RM50. Then again, this is usually pricey with all the supposedly 'exotic' ingredients involved, right?

Total bill for the dinner:-

Though it was not a superb meal but the trip was a good break from the city lights for a relaxed meal with good company. Sometimes that counts the most.

I'm lost when it comes to directions, more so when it involves trunk roads, so here's the address. If interested, dial the phone numbers.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Toilet post#6

Has been a long time since I did a 'review' on these. Before & after my recent trip to China, much had been questioned, discussed and joked over this issue - Toilets' condition.

Glad to report that most toilets were clean and bright with dry floors. Most but not all. Met a few that were real nasty even by our 'Malaysian's standard'. Others were tolerable, comparable to our usual public toilets.

Here's a post of those found at that country's famous National Parks. I was definitely amazed and relieved. Well, mostly relieved. Pun totally intended.

Mount Ermei (Goose Brow Mountain). A picture taken from 'Ching-ting' (Golden Peak), its highest point and 2 types of toilets found on the climb up.

Panda Research Center, Chengdu.That's the Red Panda which belongs to the Panda Bear family. Yes, it's on the critically endangered list too. That's one of the bamboo themed toilet found there. Cosy, no?

Huang Long (Yellow Dragon). First picture shows one of its main attraction. Come to think of it, all its water feature looked somewhat like that. Something to do with the high level of calcium in the water which cascaded down a hill for centuries forming pools of shimmering ponds which reflected different colours at different height, light and season. Those formations (with yellow banks) in the river is said to resemble scales of a dragon if seen from above, hence the name Yellow Dragon. Got it? That's the public toilet. There was actually a minimum of 2 workers stationed at each of this stop to care for the cleanliness!

Jui Zhai Guo (Nine Gorges?). There. That's the clear emerald coloured water this place if well-known for. Looks like dye, right? The astounding beauty of nature indeed! I saved this for last as it had the most interesting toilet concept. Please keep in mind that water for washing/cleaning is scarce in this area. No, the water in the lakes are strictly out of bounds. No touching, no using, only admiring. To add to this, no piping or major development is allowed so as to preserve mother nature at its best. So how to install clean toilets? Answer:- plastic bags! Shocked? Don't be. It's quite ingenious (well, to my opinion). See those picture below? After the scenis shot is a cluster of toilets. Then, the ladies' followed by the laddies' (men's). In the former, when u flush (some were on automatic mode), the green plastic was clamped and pulled inwards towards to bowl. Tada, next user get a fresh plastic on the seat and no sight of previous user's discharge! However, wash basin was not easily found (remember the part about scarce water & no piping?). Have no fear! They have machines that dispenses wet tissue instead!!

Now that's the mobile toilet. Pity my picture of its inside did not turn out well. There were cubicles on both sides like seats on a bus with swing doors which only reaches to elbow height! Not much privacy but it serves its purpose well. :P Now that's the wet tissue dispenser on bus.

Festive season is here again. How do we celebrate? First thot, f-o-o-d, of coz! Second .. ? ;>

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Horse Trekking Eats

3 days 2 nights. Transportation, accomodation and food provided. Fresh air, breathtaking scenery, up close and personal with nature. That about sums up my most adventurous activity in Songpan, South West China (with 3 friends). Guess it's time to let the pictures 'bring' you there!

Fuel efficient with high metabolisme levels. The 'vehicles' added value/fertilised nature's earth and air (in other words, shitted and farted) all the way while in motion. On the 2nd day, one had a minor puncture which the horse masters/owners efficiently 're-hammered' the horse shoe into place with nails of about 1 1/2 inches long! Those hooves are really thick and tough.


One with nature - Camp outdoor in the wilderness! The horse-masters turned butlers and made our beds. Bracken on first layer (to allow water to flow through in case it rains) followed by sleeping bags and further covered with thick quilts (in red colour). How cold were the nights? 4 of us cramped into 1 tent wearing long johns and wool socks! Our butlers slept in an open tent in just their thin daywear.


The first meal we had was lunch. A real shocker - tasteless dry bread with raw tomatoes mixed with salt, sugar and dried chily flakes served with weak tea!
Second day there was a distinctive
difference - fresh cucumber instead on tomatoes. o_0"

Those were better. Much much better. Phew!
On the first night, our 'butlers' turned chefs and cooked us noodles somewhat similar to 'pan-mien' (flat broad noodles) with a healthy dose of various mushrooms which they brought and plucked in the mountains. Very good and satisfying in the cold weather!
Second night, our dear chefs served us white fluffy rice with 2 dishes of vegetables. We were in heaven!

Now this is real interesting! Our capable chefs baked bread using the pot over fire! Just look at the pictures and tell me the if the fresh baked bread don't look delicious! Actually, the buns were fluffy and soft but somehow lacked the wholesome smell or taste. See that stir-fried cabbage? It went extremely well with the buns. Giving you new ideas?

Our second breakfast was just as good. They fried some dough which turned out to taste a bit like 'ham-chim-pheang' (literally means salty fried biscuit) but with sugar sprinkled on them. Stir-fried pumpkins and potatoes were served to complement them. However we found our winners when we whipped out our 3-in-1 coffee mixtures!

They did cook more than enough for 4 of us and 3 of them. Guess what they do with the leftovers? Feed the horses!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

South West China

Tadaa.. the answers to hints given in my earlier post. Though most would have known by now, the show must go on!

Food Hint:-
Its steamboat style ala Szechuan Hot Stone Pot. One side was clear soup (always a safe option to act as 'insurance') while the other in red is the infamous HYPER HOT Szechuan Soup. The chilly oil attacked our throats relentlessly and numbed our tongues with loads of hidden 'pepper flower' (Jiao-hua in Mandarin). It was crazy but since the weather was quite cold, we were able to do it justice. Hardly pot bottom scrapping but at least all of us did 1 bowl of fire each (small bowl-lar)!

That's a food tier holding a few of our chosen ingredients ready to be dipped into the hot pot. A few kinds of local mushrooms (yummy), fishpaste of a local fish from the Juizhaiguo waters (sweet but pricey), thin slices of pork (tasted like very salty bacon) and a variety of local greens.

Scenery Hint:-
Yes, it's Juizhauguo, a national park which is mooted to have heavenly scenery ("sin-keng" in Cantonese). Below picture is the entrance gate where all visitors have to purchase the 3-days pass (approx. RM120) and bus ticket (approx. RM40). Expensive! Highlight:- they allow us to take a group photo which is scanned unto our individual passes instead of just the individual holder's face appearing on each. One of my best souvenir from the trip!Animal hint:-
There, the baby at 1 month old! Now it's so obvious, isn't it?

Activity hint:-
Arranged tours from Malaysia seldom stop at Songpan. Most would just pass through or pointed out as an ancient city from afar. Anyone for horse trekking in the mountains? This company monopolises this business in Songpan. Most of their clients are Korean tourists so other than Mandarin, quite a number of the locals there speak Korean. English? Let's just put it this way, it's not a common language in China even amongst the officials stationed at the gates of the most touristy spots! Well, in that part of the country at least.

So far I have not met anyone who did the horse trekking there. So, interested to find out about the accomodation & food served? Come around again soon, ok!

In the meantime, happy chowing!

Locations of visitors to this page