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Ngau Hor, or Cantonese style fried beef noodle, isn’t exactly a dish that is offered in many places. Truth be told, I can’t say that I’ve tried many ngau hor in my life, but if you ask me which one I’ll have right now, this version at New Apollos kopitiam will be my take.

New Apollos at USJ 4
New Apollos at USJ 4

New Apollos is a busy kopitiam this part of Subang, with perhaps over a dozen different stalls operating within. The ngau hor stall offers Kong Fu Chau, Sang Har Mee (river prawn noodle), and also venison, in addition to beef noodle (I should try them).

For RM 11, you get a big plate of Cantonese style hor fun with generous helpings of super tender beef coated with starch, its flavor perfectly balanced as well. If you love this dish, you’d enjoy this version.

ngau hor (beef noodle), perfectly executed
ngau hor (beef noodle), perfectly executed

Kuih Teow Soup is also good here, along with the rather unique offering of paus, check out the New Apollos tag.

map to New Apollos kopitiam, USJ 4

Address:
Restaurant New Apollos
2, Jln USJ4/6B
Subang Jaya
GPS3.051770, 101.576209
HoursLunch and Breakfast, Closed on Tuesdays

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A couple weeks ago, I had the slight unfortunate fortune of being involved in a minor accident. The Malaysian system is such that you can’t go to just any police station to make reports, but certain specific traffic police station to do the deeds (eh, upgrade already please), which explained how I got to this part of town in Klang – Sungai Kapar.

Restoran Ji Yang, Sungai Kapar
Restoran Ji Yang, Sungai Kapar

After having sorted out the reports with authority, it was quite a bit past my initial dinner time, so naturally I wandered around to the closest restaurant, in this case – Ji Yang Restaurant, an unassuming “tai chao” place this part of town.

Having no idea what is good, I seek recommendation from the server, and that’s how I ended up having one of the best curry pork rice I’ve ever tried.

curry pork rice, single serving
curry pork rice, single serving

For RM 7, there were plenty of pork slices perfectly prepared and drenched with spicy curry paste, and made perfect with just the right amount of red chili, onion, and curry leaves. It was as tasty as it was fragrant, perfect.

If I ended up at this part of town again, I’d not hesitate to try their second best dish, perhaps.

map to ji yang restaurant, sungai kapar

Address:
Restoran Ji Yang
12, Jalan Sungai Kapar Indah 3c,
Sungai Kapar Indah,
42200 Kapar, Selangor
GPS: 3.096571, 101.385858

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I was at a cousin’s wedding the other day, being seated by a bunch of relatives mostly a generation older, and while you can guess what the topic of conversations generally falls on – whose son just took UPSR, who’s on medication for diabetes etc, one surprise, to me, was this line:

“My daughter very smart doesn’t need to bring cash, all use phone to pay only”

And that of course, was the indication of cashless payments now reaching the lexicon of critical mass in Malaysia.

grab pay

When it comes to cashless payments, or e-wallet apps, none is as ubiquitous as GrabPay.

Most of us already use Grab for other services such as e-hailing rides and food delivery, it makes sense to leverage on the platform and use GrabPay for everyday activities, which is one way to earn more of those Grab Reward points too.

dining at Mei by Fat Spoon
dining at Mei by Fat Spoon

The skeptic in me (and undoubtedly some of you) will ask if GrabPay is up to the task to be a true provider of cashless transactions in everyday life. And whether or not a person is able to live completely cashless solely on their e-wallet.

To answer this question, GrabPay has added more opportunities and brands to its breadth of merchants to enable everyday users to go cashless via the app, from mostly F&B outlets to now including hypermarkets, health and beauty retailers, cinema outlets and even convenience stores. GrabPay is also the first e-Wallet to adopt Malaysia’s national QR Standard, DuitNow QR making cashless payments more seamless than ever.

Grab ride using Grab Pay
Grab ride using GrabPay

Hence, the GrabPay Cashless Challenge – going one week cashless, with the aid of GrabPay as payment and carry on life as you would any normal day.

So, let’s break down what’s to cover for a whole 7 days of activities:

  • 14 – 21 meals (you don’t exactly need 3 meals a day everyday.. I certainly don’t)
  • groceries
  • rides
  • other supplies or gifts
  • entertainment (maybe)

Kenny Rogers via GrabFood using GrabPay
Kenny Rogers via GrabFood using GrabPay

For my typical 7 days, I usually go to restaurants perhaps 7-10 different times, food delivery another 3-5 times, cook few times, and enjoy free biscuits & coffee at office pantry the rest of the meals.

Some of the restaurants I checked out during this period using GrabPay includes Mei by Fat Spoon (their ox tongue was awesome), Gamtong in Kota Kinabalu (tofu pot!), and Universal Bakery (sourdough).

99 speedmart accepts GrabPay too
99 speedmart accepts GrabPay too

GrabFood was my next source of meal – Kenny Rogers (chicken), Mich’sology (poke bowl), Shepherdoo Restaurant (pizza), Thaqwa (roti telur for breakfast!), and DubuYo (soondubu jigae) where what I fed myself with. I also recently learned that GrabFood is now in additional cities around the nation, making it easier to go cashless as they only accept cashless payments.

I got my groceries at 99 Speedmart  too, grabbing some toothpaste, kitchen soap, and of course, the all important instant noodles for those late night emergency meals. Other grocers like  Tesco & MyDin accepts GrabPay too by the way.

Watson, cashless? no problem.
Watson, cashless? no problem

I also took a trip to Watson for some supplies and holiday gifts – I mean, gifting moisturizer with SPF protection works pretty much 100% of the time, the sun is a gift and also a threat, people!

Watson even had a 20% discount for certain GrabPay purchases, a win in my eyes.

It can be hard to keep up with all the different promotions every e-wallet seems to be giving out these days but if you’re looking for a list of GrabPay’s exclusive deals, they can easily be found HERE.

can you sense I use GrabFood quite a bit?
can you sense I use GrabFood quite a bit?

Other merchants that have joined  the GrabPay ecosystem includes Zalora, MBO Cinema, Mr DIY, Dominos, and more. I have a feeling my relatives, despite their age, will be jumping on this platform soon enough. After all, they are already using messaging apps, playing games, and watching online news with overly loud volumes on a daily basis.

All in all with the expansion of GrabPay touchpoints that includes different merchant categories outside of just F&B outlets and with their ecosystem of services, GrabPay is definitely one step closer to being the everyday ewallet.

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Like many of you, I love myself a bowl of ice cold dessert on a hot day, and in this part of the world, what’s better than a bowl of ice cold cendol, one of the most popular cold desserts this part of the world.

I mean, bingsu & kakigori is nice and all, but they’re not cendol.

Kwong Wah Ice Kacang at Happy Mansion
Kwong Wah Ice Kacang at Happy Mansion

Good cendol is easily found in Penang and Melaka, but if you’re in Klang Valley, most options tend to be of the mamak cendol + rojak variety, which is alright to curb addiction, but doesn’t quite leave you in post-orgasmic satisfaction sort of way. Most likely due to the harsher shaved ice and quality of ingredients, like normal brown sugar instead of gula melaka, and normal red beans instead of those bigger variety.

Cendol with Gula Melaka, yums
Cendol with Gula Melaka, yums

For folks in PJ, Kwong Wah Ais Kacang at Happy Mansion serves up a good version of cendol that hits the spot squarely. A bowl will set you back RM 5.50, and there’s often a queue on hot weekend afternoon. But if you love cendol the way I do,  this should satisfy.

I’ve yet to try their ais kacang, but heard good things.

direction to Lai Thai at Happy Mansion, Seksyen 17

Address:
Kwong Wah Ice Kacang
Block C,
Happy Mansion, Jalan 17/13,
Section 17, Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS3.123148, 101.634671
Tel: 012-550 0975
Hours: 10 am to 5 pm

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There’s only 3 more days in 2019, time flies, but it’s still not too late to write about the diving trip at Komodo Islands that I went back in September. This is the first part of the trip – a visit to view the famed Komodo Dragons.

Welcome to Rinca Island, here be dragons
Welcome to Rinca Island, here be dragons

Since there’s no direct flight from KL to Labuan Bajo, the Western fishing town of Flores closest to the Komodo National Park, we took the flight from KL to Bali, and then Bali to Labuan Bajo.

A note though, never fly Lion’s Air if your life depends on it. Other than the plane being old (which is acceptable), the service level is downright bad. On our return flight the computer system broke down and the ground crew refused to check us in manual method until the plane landed, which delayed things further on an already delayed flight, almost made us missed the connecting flight back to KL.

Anyway, back to dragons.

My dive trip was arranged by Melanie from Flow Dive Centre in PJ.

After spending a night at Labuan Bajo, we headed on to our liveaboard (more on that boat in next post), and the first destination was Rinca Island – one of the three largest islands included in Komodo National Park.

a bit of forced perspective doesn't hurt any dragon
a bit of forced perspective doesn’t hurt any dragon

All visitors to Rinca island must be accompanied by a local guide, and it was obvious from the get go that it’s for our own good, preventing stupid tourists such as us to get ourselves into trouble with these magnificent creatures. These things looks almost like your usual monitor lizard but just, wayyyyy bigger, like size of a crocodile.

There were some pretty sad looking deer around the park too, and we were told that these were dragon food, which kinda explained how they look the way they did, dohhh.

a guide is definitely mandatory for dragon sightseeing
a guide is definitely mandatory for dragon sightseeing

The guide did his best in explaining to us about Komodo dragons, their behavior, life cycle, and even helped us take some pretty neat photos. Wikipedia does a better job than I ever can, so I’m not going to even attempt, check out the entry here.

The tour lasted some 2-3 hours, we walked around the foot path to the top of one of the hills, where more dragons were loitering around. The view on top was quite neat, worth it.

the pink beach is due to all these coral bits (I think)
the pink beach is due to all these coral bits (I think)

As a bonus, we also got to stop by a tiny island comprises entirely our of sand – and they’re pink! Yes, the famous pink beach of Komodo National Park.

pink beach island
pink beach island

The pinkness of the beach is from a sort of red coral bits making up part of the sand. Makes for a good photo if you pump up saturation a bit, otherwise they’re not exactly overwhelming to be honest. One of those things that looks better on instagram than in real life, oh well.

map of komodo islands

Some diving photos and what we managed to see underwater on this trip to come, it was a very tiring and overly satisfying few days of diving.