Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sabah Trip - Tawau

I’m sad. I’m down. I have been aeroplaned. Quit clicking on thesaurus or pulling out massive dictionaries. You won’t find such Manglish word there. It means moi have been abandoned, neglected, forsaken, deserted etc etc etc. No no no not relationship but a vacation to Miri, East Malaysia. Thought this trip is secured since all 4 confirmed but I guess 9 months is a looonnnggg time. One bogged down with new position in Hong Kong, one is on probation due to new job and one have to juggle some maid issues. Left me. The return flight tickets were obtained for free in Jan’07, so names or flight dates changes are strictly not allowed. Tickets burnt. Calm down Tree-huggers, Air Asia’s booking confirmation ticket is only a thin sheet of print out, the open burning is negligible. *sigh*

Maybe a flashback on the highlights of a recent vacation will lift my holiday deprived spirit up a tiny bit. Bear with me, k.

End of June, 7 of us went to the Land Below The Wind, Sabah. Our initial plan was to trek Danum Valley, which none of us had been before, for a few days and then fly to Kota Kinabalu to conquer the highest mountain in our country again (Yes, most of us did this before. One did it 3 times!). Keyword here is ‘initial plan’. Found out Sabah’s world famous virgin forest reserve Danum Valley is accessible vide Lahad Datu, not Tawau. To further distort our ‘initial plan’, we failed to secure lodgings for a night at Laban Rata at the top of the mountain. So, the climb is out too. (Personally, I was glad. Phew.) Flight tickets already paid for and nobody bailed out, so we flew.

Tawau, a slow-paced quiet town. Quite dusty. Anyone knows why?

Being in Tawau without going to an island would be akin to visiting Penang not eating hawker fare – blasphemous.

Presenting Mataking Island Resort!

After much bargaining with it being the low season (according to our land transport driver, we just missed the influx of giggling Japanese beauties and yet a month too early for the invasion of the masculine Italians! What luck.) and our considerably high number, it was still pricey. RM350++ including land transfer from hotel to boat, boat ride to island, main meals, ONE night accommodation and transfer to airport to catch our flight to Kota Kinabalu the following day.
BUT wait. Look at what we enjoyed:- I broke my camera second day into the trip (mentioned briefly here whereby my sis got me this. Feel like dancing again .. ) so pictures were taken with my friend’s Canon (Actually quite a number of these were taken by her).

All aboard..

About an hour later …Marked territory ...Corals and crab visible above water

Fishes. Captured these without getting wet. Bet your haven't seen that flourescent yellow fish before!Clothed beach bunniesMain meals were served buffet style. Nothing to shout about but decent enough to keep us satisfied. Here's a 'lil peek ..Plain water, tea, coffee, cordial juices were available the whole day.

Now follow me to our chambers ..

2 to a garden chalet like this ..Envious? Good!

For my next post on Tawau, salivation will be induced by food not S.A.M - Single Available Malaysians. Let's not give more reasons for friends to up the price on my head ..

Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match.
Find me a find, catch me a catch.
Matchmaker, matchmaker, look through your book
And make me a perfect match.

Sliced and diced from here

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bongsen & Chinoz On The Park, Suria KLCC

Dinner time at Kuala Lumpur City Center again. Not my choice but since someone else offered to treat …

Ninny meeny minny .. Bongsen. 3 out of 4 of us (Incredulously including me who have salivate over pictures posted by fellow floggers) have not eaten here. 2 have not even heard nor noticed this place though they are regulars at Madam Kwan’s and House of Sundanese which are nearby. Maybe the proprietors should enhance the look of its entrance or exterior? Flashing running neon lights or something? =P

Service was excellent. Well, we were the only ones there. To be fair, the only dinner companion who had been there sang praises for the service during crowder lunch times too. Difference would be the attention showered by 2 dedicated staff who either stood nearby or swing by very often.

Apple Celery Juice
Those circled on the menu were what we had.Oh, and a most umexpected order - Curry Laksa. In a Vietnamese restaurant! @.@Was treated to:-Location:-

End of a satisfactory dinner. Drinks, anyone? Unfortunately, we went for it downstairs. It had to be al-fresco as friends smoked. Chose a table, sat down and started scrolling down drinks menu. Had to wait quite a while before orders were taken.

Vesper Martini. In the drinks menu, it is decribed as 'The James Bond classic from Casino Royale - gin, vodka + vermouth. Asked friend how it tasted he retorted, 'Like how it looks.'

A pot of Chamomile Tea to have with honey and another pot (not shown here) held Earl Grey. This you can ‘ka-sui’ (continuously add hot water) to your heart’s content.However, over here, waving down a waiter to do the task will wane your heart’s desire.

Hot Chocolate. My drink. Was looking forward to the presentation after reading this:-It arrived looking like this.Yes, it was most unfortunate we went for drinks downstairs ..

Grouchily paid:-Where we were:- Ground Floor facing the fountain (which maintenance seems slack lately), Suria KLCC

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ming Chun Kee Seafood Restaurant – Section 17, PJ (opposite Diethelm)

A firm favorite for many patrons, this place offers good food at good prices. No complaints here, save for the fact that it should have air-conditioning to prevent me from sweating.

My first encounter with this place was a couple of years ago, when a few of my colleagues decided to have a long overdue dinner cum get-together session to relive the good old days. I wasn’t sure of the directions to this place back then and the fact that we were searching for a restaurant within a block of old flats made my curiosity soar.

This time around, 2 tables, 20 people in total. The food was pre ordered as we called 3 hours earlier. Pictures are as follows:

Curry Fish Head – Would have preferred more gravy as I was scrapping the bare bottom of the pot for more curry. Went well with the rice. The fish was pretty good, not overcooked and the curry was very aromatic. Heaps of long beans, ladies’ finger and cabbage too.

Tofu with minced pork – Another favorite dish I grew up with. This came with the infamous Japanese tofu, mushroom slices and minced pork. The dish was great but it would have been better if we had more mushroom to go with.

Clams in Superior Soup – Tastes pretty much the same like many other restaurants but you get less empty shells here, hence less disappointment. Would have been better with more ginger.

Kung Pao Chicken – Pretty common dish, but the dried chilly was really spicy. Great, as I have this habit of sucking dried chilly, especially Kung Pao style. One complain here, not enough garnish – the cashew nuts.

4 Heavenly Kings – A dish that I have grown increasingly fond of, especially in this restaurant. The 4 types of veggies used consists of Petai, Brinjal, Long Beans and Ladies’ Finger. I’m not a fan of Petai and Ladies’ Finger, but the veggies are crispy-fried here making it really enjoyable.

Pork Knuckle – the photo you see here was taken immediately when the dish was served. 10 minutes later while were still carving our way through the meat and crispy skin, the waiter took the dish and sped back to the kitchen while mumbling something. Within 90 seconds, he reappeared with the dish, this time with another piece of knuckle on the plate, apologizing to us for the cook left this piece out before it was served. Oh well, we were certainly NOT complaining.

Kam Hiong CRAB! – It’s been a while since I last had crabs, though I still long for my favorite salted egg yolk crab. Anyway, the Kam Hiong crab here is rich in flavor, so rich that my fingers still smell of the Kam Hiong flavor the next day. However, the flesh was somewhat disappointing as it wasn’t really fresh…

A plate of watermelon cubes was served compliments of the boss… but somehow, I wasn’t really that satisfied. My tummy was full, but my taste buds were left craving for more…..

My tummy rating for this session – 6.4/10…

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Restoran Unique Seafood, Setapak

This totally slipped my mind. This was way back In July'07 when the restaurant just opened for 1 month (I think). Thought I’ve posted this but noooo..A casual dinner at Mei Keng Fatt Seafood Restaurant inadvertently directed us here. We got wind that the restaurant’s seafood supplier has opened its own restaurant nearby charging lower prices. No name was mentioned but had an idea where it is located. Following weekend, we went to look and ended up having a grand dinner there. Ho-ho-ho do the dance do the dance! (yes I realise this is getting old).

Money Pouch. Glamour name for bits of scallops and other seafood wrapped with beancurd skins in superior gravy. Call me uncultured but I prefer ‘sui-kows’ (prawn dumplings) since I felt the taste was downright bland. *duck to avoid hand swipes from dinner companions who shared good money for this dish*
Steamed Soon Hock (Grouper). Sweet succulent meat.Been advised that this is the kind of fish that size does matter. Choose one that weighs at least 1 kg to get solid meat.
Kailan Greens Stir-fried with 'Har-khau' (literally means prawn balls due to the way the deshelled prawns looked when cooked). Fresh and crunchy, both vegetables and seafood.ALASKAN SPIDER CRAB in superior soup!!! I repeat. ALASKAN SPIDER CRAB.Let's hear it again. ALASKAN SPIDER CRAB. Fuh *wipe brow*.This is what I really want to show off! ALASKAN SPIDER CRAB *swoon*

About the width of a spread out palm, it looked fierce but no big claws? Oh, the shell/shield was soft too.Thorns? What thorns? These? Bristles aje-lah – stiff hair. Yea yea I did have to brave myself before touching those. =P *swoon* That was it's claw. Puny huh. Also not much to dig from the fat body either. Sweet succulent meat concentrated in those thick spidery legs. *swoon*

Bill (Warning. This may rock your world. Mine swung, opened up and swallowed my money purse whole):-Address and map:-

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