Thursday, October 30, 2008

Abuzzed over Foodbuzz & Freebies

Call me old fashioned but I adore mails (not bills). Physical mails (not males .. not for this post). Opening mailboxes can induce quite an adrenaline rush. Especially when the door is bulging with the tip of a big envelope sticking out like a jeering tougue. Not the season for tax forms so must be a surprise gift!*clasp palms hoping*

A cheerful looking paddle and a pristine white apron from Foodbuzz! Nice or not?
Frankly, I ‘sayang’ (err not eager or is shy an appropriate description?) to use the apron. So clean so pure so white. Yes, I'm a clutz. Period. So I presented it to kusahi_keat. Me nice friend or not? He (yes, a single available kitchen wizard HE) is in a baking / cooking / desserting frenzy. Too engrossed in trying out recipes, no time to update his blog.

Had an impromptu meet with a few buddies to catch up just now.Most brought juicy gossips. A few grumbling tummies. He came with a homebaked Marble Cheesecake. =D

Oh thank you Foodbuzz! More to come? *rubs hands in glee*

Hey, did I pique your interest on the Foodbuzz community? Go click on the link on the top left corner and take a peek. Drop me an email if you want to join ok? Once my name pops up as the one who sent you an invite I may be eligible for more freebies. Muahahahaha and more vigorous *rubs hands in glee*.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

National Service

Just a follow-up informative post. That's my national service part. =P

I raved about my newly discovered local fruit here but was stumped when it came to telling all and sundry exactly where I bought them. A few weekends ago I made a trip up North of the Peninsula again and hunted down this elusive (to me that is as obviously it never went anywhere else) stall.

Avocado fans, thank me in fruits please for I have scored the ultimate interface instrument since discovery of the earth is round and now flat again . . . . . . . the NAME CARD.

Stall no. 7 at Tapah Rest Area on the North South Expressway .

Please note that it's on the side one travels from South to North. NOT when you travel back down to Kuala Lumpur from say, Penang.

Do use it wisely. Call in advance. I left empty handed in September. According to Mr Ooi the harvesting is done in certain months only. “Come back in October or November”, he suggested. Else just get a pomelo which I did. RM12.00 it was! It was easily smaller than my head minus all the bangs and wild wild hair. Things are getting superficially pricey Itelu and don't you get me started on our freshly minted Finance Minister proclaiming about no recession-lah, solid resources-lah, strong reserves-lah when the rest of the world is bracing for the worst and dishing out rescue packa ... blah..blah..blah.

So anyone travelling this coming Deepavalli weekend?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Green & Black's Organic Chocolate bars

A post dedicated to a thoughtful Welsh. Look what came flying across the ocean! Organic GINGER chocolate.Yes I was surprised. Ginger tea, ginger cake ok. But ginger choc? Do note it's ORGANIC. Hmmm. I gave it a good sniff before I gingerly (of course pun very much intended) took a bite. Followed by a big greedy chomp! It was gooooood! The ginger taste was subtle although there were bits of the piquant root vegetable (or is it fruit?) in the bar.If I have not known earlier, I would not be able to pinpoint the mysterious ingredient.

Organic Orange (Maya) chocolate.No wow factor here. Big mistake. My bad. My buds were still hitting the high notes with ginger choc when I broke this. *smack own hand*. Lucky I still have half a bar in my fridge. Saving for .. this weekend! Yes yes yessirree Saturday's the day! And I have just secured great company for it. Judith McNaught! Yes I am brilliant that way .. sometimes. Oh thank you Allan and most definitely a special thank you goes out to you too,
sc, for it’s because of you I get to savour such treat. Psst. The group photo posted by sc and I look similar simply because it's the same copy. It was taken with Allan's camera and he kindly sent us copies.

For the just-enlightened-ones (moi), here's an excerpt printed on the wrapper on how the organic chocolate is produced:-

Monday, October 13, 2008

3D2N Camerons Highlands

Sit back. Roll your shoulders back. Release. A long winded post on a short trip coming up. Breathe in, take a long one people.

1st Day (Friday)

My RM9.90 (still working) wall clock from Tesco showed the time I left for my short trip with 10 pax in 3 cars.
There we are halfway up. A quick toilet break at the Bharat Tea House.
Lucky I breakfasted with a few slices of bread generously spread with butter, peanut butter and a soft sprinkle of sugar before the journey. Lunch was at 2pm only when we reached Tanah Rata!

Lucky the portions were generous as the weather was a tad cold and all of us were hungry.

White Rice went with Guinness Ribs, Fried Egg with Bitter Gourd, Stirfried Greens (‘Siu-pak-choy) ‘Wok-Chai-Taufu’ aka Beancurd in Small Wok (An unappetising picture. Overflowing gravy good with rice, bad for amateurish photographer) and Mix Vegetable Soup. Another unappetising picture. This time my excuse is the overcooked bits of eggs pock- marking the soup.

I did not catch the address but according to fezzaboy’s dad, it’s a well-known restaurant. So just ask around, k. Afterall, how big can Tanah Rata town be right?

We occupied 2 apartments, 1 in Tanah Rata another at Brinchang near Strawberry Park Resort. Right after lunch we checked into the Tanah Rata apartment for its Astro service. *roll eyes big-big*

Consequence of a trip with a band of badminton fans. No gerrymandering was possible so I was out voted tsunami style. So there we were. Blame blur picture on heat from flaring nostrils. Oh no. Arrghhhh! Due to the inability of both countries’ teams to garner straight wins in this Semi, we stayed in for the full 5 games = 4 hours, just to confirm the Thomas Cup will not be checking into our shores soon!! First day of my back to nature holiday burnt. AARGGGGGHHH!

Finally we checked into the other apartment at Brinchang.

Shortly thereafter, tummies drone again. A cold night with so many of us. Need I state the obvious choice for dinner?


Bill & restaurant:-

Then we walked over to the night market. Found that 9pm was considered late as the stalls were already in the midst of packing up. *sigh* Nevertheless here is fezzaboy’s post about it. Yes, he's been there countless times.

1st Night (Friday)

Back to apartment, chit-chat then ZzzzZzzzzzzzz.

2nd Day (Saturday)

Breakie at a backpackers’ favourite hangout. At least that’s what I gathered from the pictures, letters and postcards hanging on the quaint café’s wall. We were too eager. It opened only at 10am. So, we took our morning tea at a Mamak shop nearby. Then exactly at 10am, we walked in. The first customers of the day get to arrange their own cosy corner.

Once seated, menus were given out and our orders were systematically jotted down by the staff.Everybody now, NO PORK.

A long itemised bill:- Location of T-Cafe :- Opposite the Tanah Rata Bus station. On the 1st floor above Mary Brown Fried Chicken. Stairs on the side.

I cannot recall what we did after so let's just take one of my all bundled up companions', Wai Ling, comment, 'Had scrumptious breakfast then we went hiking.. got conned by uncle. Went to strawberry farm then we had lunch near there.. & CRAPPY Ice cream… '.

Our lunch (no ice-cream sold here):-
2nd Day (Saturday)

Dinner was memorable. For the venue, atmosphere, service and price.

Note the setting. Washed out jeans-r-us were so underdressed. Oh well, we were the only crowd.

Rowdy us had these in semi darkness:-

Our highest dining bill of the trip:- Location:- Tudor Grill, Strawberry Park Resorts Tanah Rata ,
Cameron Highlands,
Pahang Darul Makmur, Malaysia.
Tel : +605 491 1166
Fax : +605 491 1949

3rd Day (Sunday)

Last day, it was off to the obligatory tea farm tour. Safe to say we walloped all that was being offered at the Sungai Palas Tea Center Sweet desserts. Hot drinks. Ahhh bliss.

Personally I find the journey to and fro the tea farm more adventurous than the destination. Sharp corners, narrow roads with ferocious supply trucks and tour buses. Fancy big vehicles, good luck.

And being our last day uphill, it was Market day. Another must-visit in the highlands, Kea Farm, where this is THE must-buy! There are lots and lots of vegetables (new, old, mixed breed, original, spicy ..) sold at bargain prices. Keyword bargain. Shy? Walk to the furthest stalls to get better prices. My hands were full. Companions’ hands were full. So, no pictures. Sorry.

Lunch was back at Restoran May Flower then down hill we went.

Oh in case anyone is a bit dense due to the fog that most probably came with this post, allow me to lament aloud – I find no pork uphill! Apparently the meat is very expensive there that even the one and only Bak Kut Teh shop only managed to survive for a few months. Oh enlightened ones, please correct me. I will gladly eat my words next trip.

By the way, Secret Recipe has closed shop while Starbucks is opening soon (maybe by now, already in full swing).

Back in the city, we went for a major dose of lardy goodness. Ahhh....
Breathe out slowly else you’ll choke. A little bow, a little clap. Thank you.

Another ancient post posted. Checked. Wendy Yap, happy?

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Kuala Terengganu, anyone?

Allow me to continue from my July's lazing and feeding time in the East Coast.

Today is 1st Syawal (Muslim calendar) so it's Hari Raya, a grand day for Muslims after a month of fasting, 2 days of rest for others. To celebrate, I'll start with pictures of the 2 grand p(a)laces of worship our money built. Best news: no entrance fees. This main attraction at the still new Islamic Civilisation Park was expected to attract at least 1 million visitors this year. Wonder where's the crowd. Oh that's another quiet mosque sitting across from this reflective mosque. Did not catch its name though.The RM200 million (or RM1 billion. Depending on who you ask) Masjid Kristal ie Crystal Mosque is just a namesake. Like most grand buildings in our beloved country, crystals only hang on huge chandeliars within. Not much effort went into washrooms.Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque, better known as Floating Mosque is located at Kuala Ibai Lagoon and water in the lake is fed by the sea.Locals informed that floatation scene happens during flood season, err towards year end? (-_-)" Guess the photographer of the official Visit Terengganu website didn't want to get wet either. =P

Now a jumble of other things we saw during a day trip. The taxi took us to Losong Village where every household are into small industry of producing Keropok Lekor (Fish crackers).
Here's a short snap I snatched from wiki:-

"In the Malaysia, krupuk are usually made by grinding fish, prawn or a vegetable into a paste, mixing with sago and then deep-frying it. It comes in three main forms: keropok lekor which is long and chewy, keropok losong (steamed) and keropok keping which is thin and crispy. It is frequently served with dipping sauces."

How can a trip to the East Coast be complete without a visit to a Batik factory?
And the most MUST do over there is ..

shop for beachwear at either Pasar Payang or the Waterfront shop for kenduri (Malay party) material at either Pasar Payang or the Waterfront
and local delicacies.
When I was there a new market just opened across from Pasar Payang. At all markets, enjoy the bargaining process. Oh just so you know, there's NO cinema in Kuala Terengganu and the only departmental store (Parkson) was still under renovation during my July 2008 visit.

If you have an hour or more to spend, why not take a bus ride to the outskirts? Taxi for a day trip to mosques, batik factory & Losong Village: RM60.00

Locations of visitors to this page