The Belated Birthday

Another one that is long overdue. Sorry, can't resist blogging about the colorful and fulfilling Christmas first :)

Buddies arranged for a steamboat dinner at this place in Kepong called Happy City Steamboat. I was supposed to meet Eve up at 6pm but guess what, it rained so heavily that the roads are all jammed up and it's not until close to 7pm that Eve arrived. Sigh. Then the waiting resumed for Grace and YK because they do not know the way there. Ah.... can't change a tiger's striped eh. Anyways Happy City is only across Carrefour.

Eve who is completely engrossed with her new phone. Alex even complained about her current obsession! Haha. Apparently she doesn't choy Alex with the phone in her hands. Bad girl.

Eve was the one who recommended this place. Apparently Happy City (seriously, how lame of a name you can get with a restaurant -.-) serves really fresh ingredients. They would bring out live prawns covered in a plate because the prawns are still active and jumps around. Ugh sick... I'm the ignorant kind, so if I don't see, I don't feel guilty but I am pleased to announce that there is a slight, erm, happy ending to this post. Happy ending to me, not the prawns.

A thought just occurred to me... what is it with Eve and steamboats ?? Before this she also recommended a steamboat place to us which is in Sri Petaling. Tsk. I shall henceforth refer to her as the Steamboat Girl.

Eker looking like she's on drugs while Gracie acting cute.

There are various options on the broth - whether tomyum, or herbal soup and even drunken soup (which includes Chinese cooking wine, I caught a whiff of it from a neighbouring table and damn, it sure smells good!) but we opted for a porridge steamboat.

Steamboat ingredients include crabs (the ketam bunga variety), prawns, lala, eggs, whole fish, scallops! But the more expo ingredients are less lar...

Deep fried pork fillets as appetizer, while waiting for the raw ingredients to cook. It's really yummy! Then again, almost everything deep fried also tastes good.

The porridge is so fine and soft, also sweet after we'd added in the crabs and all. Yummers. One con is that we have to almost always stir the porridge in the pot otherwise we will end up with 'chao tar' porridge... which we actually did! It was already the last serving (we cannot add more porridge because the restaurant ran out of those) and so we decided to crack the eggs and stir them in for that extra oomph. Unfortunately, the eggs stick to the base of the pot... and hence.... the chao tar-ness :(

Thanks my great friends for the dinner :)

Then we went for an after dinner drinks. Eker refused to come with us with the excuse that she has a lot of work to get done. We tried so many different tactics - persuasion, blackmail, begging - none of them work hahahah. Oh well. At least we tried.

@ WIP near TTDI.

Nice place to chill. But it's much nicer to sit outdoors as the music is really loud indoors. Bad news is that it's so full usually that we had to wait for a while to get seats.

My non-alcoholic drink. I can't remember what it's called, Apple Mint or something like that? It's essentially similar to mojito, without the alcohol, of course.

Digressing, I still don't seem to enjoy alcoholic drinks, except maybe red/white wine or the occasional beer. I hate hard liquor which hardly has any taste to it except being really bitter that you have to add in Coke/juice into it which I think defeats the whole purpose. So I wonder if those folks out there who love to drink, are they drinking for the sake of drinking or for the sake of getting drunk? Beats me. I personally don't like the idea of not being in control over my body, ie vomiting so un-gracefully over the side longkang or slubbering words in a conversation.

Yay for Mei who joined us later! Miss you lot already...

By the way hor, my throat is not getting much better leh! Groan. It's New Year's Eve tomorrow and I badly want to have a nice dinner with friends but it looks like I might be celebrating New Year in my room buried in blanket. :( Po pi po pi let me get well soon! I promise I will be a good girl :(

Porridge at

Happy City Steamboat (next to Carrefour)
Jalan Metro Perdana Timur 2
Kepong, Kuala Lumpur

Ho Ho Ho: The Long Awaited ABC

And thus, all good things will come to an end... Either way, I was feeling a lot better than Xmas Eve. Early Xmas morning, the others were up early for Shan's 7/7. Whereas I was still dozing. TY told me to take a rest and I was having a bad headache so I didn't argue.

Finally got up around 10:30am but the others are still out at the nirvana place. Couldn't find anyone else at home so turned my laptop on and played Plants vs Zombies lol I think it's becoming a Christmas game. If you check back my old Xmas post you would see that I blogged about the exact same thing. Nostalgic eh. sniff.

A little while later Wei En came bursting from the Ngo Nen's place lol. She got up very early and went over as she is not allowed to attend Shan's 7/7 since it's also her birthday. Something about superstitions la. Showered, and later See Xiang arrived with help in the shape of sushis. Hehe... Anyway, this has to be one of the most so -called 'healthiest' Xmas I've spent in Kuantan. On the second day there, I actually went to Taman Gelora with Hao and Uncle, jogged 3 rounds, non-stop and brisk-walked another round. ;)

That same day also I was bugging TY to hike up Bukit Pelindung. I even brought my hiking shoes and all! Then that bugger, knowing him, he just said see how first etc. Damn suey.... here I am all hyped up and he was being this wet blanket. Lei Ngo saved me in the end, they arranged to hike the hill along with TY's other ccousin, Dennis. Needless to say, TY didn't join us, that fat ass... said he had to work, but I know better hurmph.

It's a pleasant hill to hike, takes about 20-30 minutes maybe, to reach the top. The hill has some steep slopes and some flat areas nicely spaced in between the steep ones and the best part is that the walkway are shaded by trees. The paths are also tarred so no worries about muddy trails :D I think the hiking did me some good, gone back home all sweaty and fresh (ok oxymoron but you know what I mean).

Steamboat dinner! We were supposed to have steamboat dinner on the second night we were in Kuantan (which was the day it rained, whole day longggg ...ahhh... such a waste) but as TY's uncle and cousin had to go to Cameron on a business trip, the plan was postponed. Instead, they went there, and got us some really fresh and sweet ingredients for a kick-ass steamboat!

Has a lot of sai yong choy. I couldn't eat much as I was still recovering from whatever I was having. Ngo Nen kept calling me to the table as there was still a lot left but I had to decline :( Appetite not that well at that time. sob.

And there's this bacon strips too lol. After boiling in the water, dip into soy sauce or Kampung Koh chili - good stuff.


I bought the Christmas pudding from Marks & Spencer. There were 3 types of pudding available. I got the Classic pudding for RM35 at 500g. The others were outrageously priced... There's this Luxury Pudding which was tagged at RM98 or something like that... lol. I think that one has better quality rum or something like that lah.

I have come to realize that every type of dessert works extremely well with teh si! Hahahhahah. Just a couple of days earlier Uncle sat me down and started lecturing me about drinking too much teh si. I was indignant! Defended by saying I only take them when I am in Kuantan hahaha which is the truth. No doubt TY makes good teh si... He's so lucky he has me who can appreciate good teh si. Teh si is a really popular drink here, and TY would usually make at least 2 rounds of teh si each day.

Tastes good with steamed butter cake, with cheese cake, with Christmas pudding, with cheese and crackers. Really, anything!

Aunty got some cream out from the freezer and when it has warmed a little to the room temperature, she got this cute little whip and frothed the cream into a delightful-slightly-cold whipped frothy cream. Spoon that onto the warm steamed Christmas pudding and that is the best combination indeed...

Dis is heaven neh.

Second last day of my stay in Kuantan.

Got up very early, like 7ish and saw a message on my phone, "Massage at 10" from Aunty. There's this husband and wife team of masseuse who make trips to houses and provide massage. The others have already been relieved of their tight muscles the evening before but because I preferred to workout and sweat, I had to forgo the plan. Lucky me, the massage lady is free the next day but it has to be early morning as Dennis leaves for KL after lunch.

And thus, took a bath (I know it sounds silly to bathe before a massage but there is a lunch appointment at 11 which confirm I don't have time to bathe and hence, the bath) and had a light breakfast of cheese and crackers before going over to Ngo Nen's place.

The massage is freakingly awesome! It's unlike those I've tried in spas, or even with the Thai masseuse. This lady can really find those stress points, and rub them like she's never rub a thing in life. I was left all limp and that night, I found those points to be really sore and some even had a slight bruise mark. But it was almost gone the next day... syok. Some more 30 bucks per hour nia. Great deal.

Soon after the massage, went out to meet with a family friend, Uncle Man Zheng who brought us to this bak kut teh place. It was not bad, more and more meat... Later on, got back, hit more zombies and then got ready to hike up Bukit Pelindung again lol. This time there's more people interested in going hehehe I think I am pretty much the trendsetter lol.

By 3pm, Hao, WE, TY, Uncle, Chien, Hui, Lei Ngo and I were all ready to hike. This time around, we are taking a trail off the main route about three quarter way up. The trail goes on like a jungle trail and will eventually lead us to the beach of Teluk Chempedak. Great hike. Took us about an hour from the starting point to TC.

Reward for the hike? A piping hot bowl of the most aromatic ABC soup cooked with turkey bones ;)

My life is complete..... :D Must add bamboo salt and it is perfecto! I think I had at least 6-7 bowls of these. My stomach must have expanded 2 extra inches but it's all worth it.

Loads of vegetable dishes! My fave is the purple cabbage stir fried. Can't seem to have enough of those cheng cha veggies. Got some meat dishes also la but hardly touch those anyways.

And another shot of my happily sipping my teh si... I still have another dream left... to have warm teh si with cold butter cake T_T that time only left 2 small pieces of butter cake... sigh.

Everyone kept asking me to come back during CNY and I was like, cant! Mom will kill me and even if Mom allowed I don't think I want to leave my family behind that way. CNY is like the most important period of the year that it is a sin to miss it! Besides, I'm not even married to TY yet, so, no can do folks.

But I will sorely miss all of them, the way they make me feel so welcomed, priceless :)

Ho Ho Ho: Feast Fit For King (and me)

The highlight of the trip, and the one occasion all of us were waiting for and the reason I am willing to fork close to 200 bucks one way to Kuantan.... :D

Oh, not to forget I got up feeling like an utter zombie. Tired, whole body aching, throat on fire, thick wad of phlegm building up like a slow volcano waiting to erupt... talk about bad timing. As much as I wanted to get into the thick of things, I ended curled up in bed, feeling sorry for myself. I think the only help I managed to offer was to peel potatoes lol. :(

Last year's Xmas Eve was really fun as I got the honor to prepare a dish - the ceviche. And there was loads of marketing and picking out vegetables and stuff so I guess I felt more involved.

So after a few hours here and there drifting in between consciousness and slumberland, I found myself eager to feast. I decided not to give a damn if something is going to make my condition worse - xmas is only once a year and well, I sure get sick more than once a year ok I am not making any sense. Ah well, more food pics ahead, then.

Fresh salad - cherry tomatoes, iceberg lettuce, alfalfa sprouts and sliced cucumber. Healthy salad without dressing :)

Miniature french loaf with Swiss cheese and Italian herb. Lightly toasted. Loveeee. Some say it's stinky but I just can't find anything wrong with it ;)

This 5kg baby has been slowly roasting in the oven for over four hours. This time Aunty didn't flavor the bird much, plain and simple, with butter and salt layered under the turkey skin. The year before she had bay leaf and rosemary infused into the turkey.

If there is a theme to this Christmas dinner, then it should be aptly called the Potato Christmas. There are a grand total of four different types of potato dishes prepared.

Potato and leek soup (Potato dish #1) prepared by Dennis. And of course the most crispy and delicious garlic french loaf to go with the soup...

I love this shot (though more than half is not prepared for it). Family gathered, Christmas tree in the background and plates after plates of dishes prepared by the best cooks.

And thus, feast your eyes upon the mighty bird!!
(you shall get a view of it from every imaginable angle. lol)

Accidentally lau chui nua... Sorry can't help it.

Jiwang turkey...

Mister, can carve or not! :p terhegeh-hegeh pulak tu. Boleh tahan la.... quite thin strips lol.

And the godawesome turkey gravy.

Mashed taters (Potato dish #2) and cold tater salad (Potato dish #3). Oh and the sweetest corn too from Cameron Highlands. Eh I must have been mistaken, looks like there are only three potato dishes hehe.

Add in a slab of the juiciest medium-cooked piece of steak and my life is complete. My biggest regret this Xmas is that I couldn't stuff myself more.

*Saliva flooding room*

The same night, Ngo Nen went on and made steamed butter cake yin yang style with mixed fruit cake. How's that for a damn pro cook.

I am head over heels in love with the plain butter cake. Must drink with teh si! Ok, with the addition of these only my life is complete.

And finally the dessert of the day...

Waseh! Who made that perfect black cherry cheese cake base! Damn pro man! Actually damn senget ada la lol. Nevermind, adds character aye ;)

Much drinking ensued, well, for the others anyway. Crashed onto the bed before midnight lol. Oh and if you think that's the last of the Christmas feast, you can't be wronger (if such a word exist) in your life. There is a feast every night that I am here in Kuantan. Hopefully I can get work fast enough before the 2011 comes knocking.

Ho Ho Ho: Quirky Tang Yuen & Chinese Spaghetti

First day in Kuantan I already got to fulfill my craving for the curry mee. Yummy. No photographs though hehe, I think I have one too many shots of the infamous Ktn curry mees.

Day 1 dinner is enough to put a Chinese emperor to shame. Check out the spread:

Freaky? You bet. Ngaku with pork and black fungus, stir fried young french beans, braised chicken feet, stir fried Chinese leeks, ngar choy kai, omelette with imitation shark fin, roasted duck... is a few of them. Heavenly dinner... TY's relatives never fail to make me feel welcomed and stuffed :D

Don't pray pray.

It was also coincidentally the Chinese winter solstice festival. Something about celebrating the end or the mid of winter. Back home, occasionally we do have the tang yuen (glutinous rice balls) and with Tua Yi around, we are sure to have a mini prayer of some sort hehe...

Five colors to an immensely vibrant winter solstice. Green, blue, purple, red and white lol. If white is even a color, that is.

And so here we put our ball-rolling skills to action. This has got to be the most imaginative/quirky/weird tang yuen I have ever come to make. Ever tried stuffing each rice ball with little cubes of gula Malacca? Or even chocolate chip? Or both? Been there, done that rofl.

The five of us - WE, Hao, Chien, TY and I were the only youngsters pumped up in making the Chinese delicacy. Don't they look so pretty? Chien very de naughty go and make all sorts of figurines with the flour mixture. Ah gurl. Ever heard of don't play with food? Well, in this case, food-to-be...

Got little snowman, mermaid with huge boobies, a blue Elmo, and God knows what else lol. Chubi right the snowman?

Sweet broth derived from gula Malacca, pandan leaves and ginger.

To tell you the truth, I was almost afraid to taste the tang yuen with the prospect of biting into all these weird combination but I am pleased to say that they are the best ones I've ever had! Biting into a tang yuen stuffed with both gula Malacca and chocolate chips is the winner yet.

2 Days till Xmas.
Decided to go to the dentist for scaling. We were up by 7 in the morning as it was a government dental clinic we were headed to and the queue gets really long by 8 when it opens. It was a really bad experience for me. First we had to wait for a good half hour before anyone is called in. But thank goodness WE, me and TY were the third, fourth and fifth respectively to get our numbers.

Then, when I was finally called in, the female dentist damn cho lor. Poked my gums to no end and while the scaling is done, I had to hold the whatever thing it's called, neh the saliva suctioning thing. -_- Had a filling re-filled because it came off and scaling. Great news? Everything costs only about RM5 or so. Bless the gamen services, as sucky as the services and waiting time is.

Due to Siak's demand for ketchup mee, I was summoned to Ngo Nen's place to learn how to make them. Ketchup mee is a Sungai Lembing product, something which I have never tried before, much less know how to make them.

Sungai Lembing, which is about an hour's drive from Kuantan was where TY's relatives used to live. Back then, there was plenty of British who stayed in Sungai Lembing. These 'expatriates' would long for spaghetti and thus adapt to the local ingredients and the Chinese spaghetti is born. Jeez I think I am pretty good with these food history thingy.

This is probably a highly secretive recipe so I shall just roughly describe the procedures in the making of the ketchup mee as to protect its sanctity :p

The noodles used, according to Ngo Nen has to be from Sungai Lembing itself otherwise the taste wouldn't be the same. You can opt to deep fry the noodles to give them a crispy texture, otherwise a healthier option would be to pan-fry them without oil (as the noodles are already oiled), kind of like toasting them. The same is done to vermicelli - but this would need oil.

The base of the broth to the ketchup gravy has vegetables, loads of them, pork fillets and also the optional pork liver. Meat is lightly marinated in soy sauce and oil before frying them till partially cooked. All vegetables and meat has to be ladled out of the pot before adding the main ingredient - the ketchup. Haha. This is literally ketchup mee. It's required because adding the ketchup into the pot when meat and vegetables are all in would cause the pork to be more chewy instead of juicy.

The key to a great ketchup mee gravy is the color lol. Two whole bottles of Life tomato ketchup were added, along with a large amount of corn starch to thicken the broth.

This noodle dish is strangely one of those dishes that I enjoy more, the more I eat. The best part is there a LOT of fiber involved... best friends! :D

Might I also add that almost immediately after my so-called apprenticeship, I felt my throat getting sandpaper-y. That night itself, even after consuming cups after cups of water, honey, bamboo salt and lemon juice combined, I woke up in the middle of the night feeling like a total crap.

Coming up, Christmas Eve feast - how I stubbornly consume everything I shouldn't have :D

Monsoon Xmas: (not)

So, yea.

Booked my flight to Kuantan way in advance, like in September or something like that. Took the KLIA Express from KL Sentral. I think I was conned loh. I initially queued at the ERL which has about 3-4 transits before reaching KLIA but it was reasonable cheaper at RM15-17 as compared to the KLIA Express which costs a bloody RM35.

So when I asked for the ERL the lady (no... I should call her the devilress) behind the counter asked me to go to the KLIA Express and I said but I thought the ERL goes to KLIA too but the devilress shook her head. Unsure, I ma shuffle over to the non-existent line at the KLIA Express only to later find out it costs a bloodyfull thirty-five bloody bucks.

The justification? It's a non-stop journey and it takes only 28 minutes. My ass loh.... I had to wait for 15 minutes for the train to arrive whereas the ones in ERL already can jalan so the justification is.... not justified.

The hell with that aside, I arrived nice and safe and 45 minutes later to KLIA.

A piece of the skyline and a half of the train interior :p

KLIA Xmas deco.

I was like super duper early for my flight (I reached about 8pm but my flight is at 10) so I wondered around the airport, taking touristy pictures which no one, including me will bother with but wth again right?

How can anyone not love MAS? Not only is it punctual, you don't get the kiasu crowd waiting in line like 15 minutes before boarding and no squeezing into the plane or lansi stewardess.


Shall blog about the secret recipes of getting-fat meals in Kuantan very soon :) Happy Xmas :D

The Georgian Adventure - Hike to Chalaadi Glacier

Our third, and last hike in Svaneti. There are so many more places to hike and explore around Georgia, it was a hard decision to premature...