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I made it to the top of Low’s Peak on Mount Kinabalu after a grueling two day hike from about 1800+ meter to 4095 meter above sea level.

We’re still at Kundasang nursing sore legs right now. Will pen down the experience and share some of the other exciting stuff around this area on the blog soon!

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Here’s a simple mushroom chicken with oyster sauce recipe that allows you to whip up a comfort dish within 15 minutes or so. Ingredients are pretty simple and straight forward, so is the cooking method, do disregard the cooking wine if you want to have it the halal way.

ingredients - chicken, oyster sauce, mushroom, garlic, ginger etc
ingredients – chicken, oyster sauce, mushroom, garlic, ginger etc

Ingredients (fit for 2 pax):

  • 3 tablespoon oyster sauce, 3 tablespoon cooking wine, mix in bowl
  • 1 inch ginger, sliced
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • a handful of mushroom
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoon cooking oil

always start with garlic and ginger
always start with garlic and ginger

Cooking Instructions:

  • heat up cooking oil and fry garlic & ginger till fragrant
  • add chicken and fry till surface is brown (a couple minutes usually)
  • add rest of the ingredients, stir fry
  • cover up for steaming action for 4-5 minutes
  • serve when hot!

end result is a plate of comfort food
end result is a plate of comfort food

This is a pretty simple recipe, and you can also substitute chicken with other white meat as well. I’d usually have this with some chili padi and soya sauce, but whatever rocks your boat!

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Heading East from Klang Valley via the Karak Highway towards the direction of the East Coast, there exists quite a number of restaurants that offers “proper” food just a few kilometers away from the exit that brings you up to the mountain top wonderland that is Genting highland or Berjaya Bukit Tinggi (if visiting a Japanese garden is your thing.)

Late last year, we did just that with a couple Singaporean friends of Haze’s.

Garden View restaurant at Bukit Tinggi, there's actually a vegetable garden
Garden View restaurant at Bukit Tinggi, there’s actually a vegetable garden

Our stop-over for late lunch was at Garden View restaurant, a pretty big zinc-roofed restaurant over viewing a vegetable garden. Looking at the size of the little farm though, I can’t be sure if it is sufficient for the crowd that this restaurant gets. Doesn’t bother me anyway.

The menu is quite extensive. They offer a variety of river fish, kampung chicken, pork, seafood, and a selection of “wild” meat such as wild boar, frog, ostrich, soft-shell turtle, and deer.

river patin, this is the expensive bit
river patin, this is the expensive bit

We ordered a river patin (RM 90, 1.2kg of RM 7.50 per 100 gram) prepared in its purest form – steam with soya sauce. The portion was perhaps a little too big for just the four of us but it was delightfully prepared and certainly very fresh, smooth, and absolutely packed with seafood fatty texture which I really like.

You can also have the fish prepared by steam with ginger, with assam sauce, teo chew style, with chili sauce, in clay pot, or even deep fried. There’s also quite a variety of fish to choose from, with tilapia (RM 3.50/100gram) being cheapest, all the way to kelah  (RM 40/100 gram)

steamed kampung chicken, wild boar curry, four kingdom vege dish
steamed kampung chicken, wild boar curry, four kingdom vege dish

In addition to the fish, we also ordered steamed kampung chicken with ginger (RM 15), wild boar curry (RM 15), and “4 kingdom vegetable” (RM 15). These are very reasonably priced and tasted more than decent.

The chicken is my favorite and a speciality of sort of Bukit Tinggi. You can get pretty good ginger steamed chicken just about at any restaurants around the area, the key being the Bentong ginger they use, which is really spicy and extra fragrant.

Singaporeans, same as Malaysians, are trigger happy
Singaporeans, same as Malaysians, are trigger happy

Over all it was a very satisfying late lunch for us. The river fish is pricey but expectedly so, if you stay away from having river fish, the prices at Garden View restaurant is very competitive. So if you’re around the area looking for a good meal especially with a group, this place won’t be a bad choice.

map to Garden View Restaurant, Bukit Tinggi Bentong

Address:
Garden View Restaurant
Lot 19326 Pesona Heights,
Kg Bukit Tinggi, 28750 Bentong, Pahang
GPS: 3.353010, 101.826982
Tel: 09-233 0282

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The weekend prior to Hari Raya, we went up to Penang for a little staycation getaway at Rasa Sayang Resort and Spa. The trip was quite a special one for me for reason that may be different from most. Close to two decades ago, I worked at the very same hotel as a casual worker and used to think “what if I was a guest there one day…”, and that day came true.

The Spice Market Cafe at Rasa Sayang, Penang
The Spice Market Cafe at Rasa Sayang, Penang

I will write about the hotel and our experience staying there next, but today let’s talk about their huge dinner buffet at Spice Market Cafe located at the Garden Wing (the “right” side).

seafood on ice, baked salmon
seafood on ice, baked salmon

Dinner starts at 6:30 pm to 10:30 pm every evening and it’s the all you can eat affair. Priced at RM 185 nett for adults, it is also the buffet that offers one of the biggest selections of dishes on the island.

You have a choice of indoor seating that requires fewer steps to get to all those dishes, or alfresco dining area right next to the unique free-form swimming pool surrounded by their huge garden complete with giant rain tree by the beach.

Indian & Malay cuisines, selections of salad
Indian & Malay cuisines, selection of salad

The dishes include authentic ethnic cuisines from diverse cultures – including Chinese (with chef from China doing freshly made “knife slice noodle”), Indian, Nyonya, Japanese, Thai, Malay, and Western.

freshly made noodle, slipper lobster, local dishes, juices
freshly made noodle, slipper lobster, local dishes, juices

Some of the must-tries are the slipper lobsters either as-is, or covered in sauce, sashimi, roast beef, and snow crab. We also really enjoyed their selection of cheese, but the number one favorite for all three of us for the night though, was their deep fried soft-shell crab, it had just the right amount of seasoning that reminds me of some of the best banana leaf side dishes I’ve had the pleasure to taste.

desserts, ice cream, fruits, and even roast beef
desserts, ice cream, fruits, and even roast beef

If you just try a spoonful from each dish, you’ll probably need at least several visits to sample everything, the selection is huge. Unlike most buffet places that only serves water, there are also a selection of juice to go about.

mom, Haze, KY & Kit the F&B guy at Rasa Sayang
mom, Haze, KY & Kit the F&B guy at Rasa Sayang

If your wife or girlfriend can’t decide what to eat, this is not a best place to be. There bound to be something that’ll tickle her senses. I know my mom was more than satisfied.

map to rasa sayang

Address:
Spice Market Cafe
Rasa Sayang
Batu Ferringhi Main Road,
Kampung Tanjung Huma,
11100 Batu Feringgi, Pulau Pinang
GPS5.478865, 100.254181
Tel+604-888 8888

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While Penang is synonymous with char kuih teow, laksa, and curry mee, one of the least talked about awesome hawker food from the island has got to be mee goreng. Sure, you can find mee goreng just about anywhere in Malaysia at 24 hour mamak stores, but once you had it in Penang, you’d think that you life has been a lie.


mee goreng stall at Tanjung Bungah, Penang mee goreng stall at Tanjung Bungah, Penang 

When it comes to mee goreng, one of my favorites is the little unassuming stall parked at the Yok Fong kopitiam in Tanjung Bungah where the old Hin Bus station used to be, or about half way from Tanjung Tokong to Batu Feringghi.

just a squeeze of limau lipis is all you need
just a squeeze of limau lipis is all you need

The mee goreng here is manned by Indian stall owner who is actually not the “original” owner, but thank goodness the trick of the trade isn’t lost to this next generation operator.

A plate cost RM 5 and comes with the usual fritter, squid, potato, egg, bean sprout, and a bit of greens. If you want it hot, ask for more “cabai”. Squeeze the limau lipis just right before you dig in for that extra umph. The noodle is very wet in comparison to the usual versions, so much so you can eat it with a spoon.

just a squeeze of limau lipis is all you need
we ended up ordering another plate

If you’re in Penang and crave for something slightly out of the usual hawker fare, this is one to try out. Also, this would be suitable to bring your Muslim friends along.

Address:
Mee Goreng at Yok Fong Kopitiam
Jalan Chan Siew Teong
Tanjung Bungah, Penang
GPS5.465812, 100.279872

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