Kyspeaks.com

Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / November 2010

I went to Hong Kong for the first time over the last weekends, spent a very happy 4 days 3 nights. Hong Kong is probably the capital of street food that you eat on the go. This probably stemmed from the fact that most restaurants are too packed, and when you have a place to sit, lunch time might have been over by then.

So, here are some of the stuff we managed to try, none of these food requires nor provides table & chair.

fish ball stall that sells more than fish balls
fish ball stall that sells more than fish balls

If you watched Hong Kong movies from the 80s and 90s, there’re always scenes of hawkers selling fish ball on portable stalls. These small business owners will push their stalls running away from cops on first sighting.

Well, there aren’t portable stalls anymore but you can find all these stalls on virtually every other street corners. Typical item on the menu will be various types of fish/beef/meat balls, pancakes, beef tripes, and my favorite – octopus tentacles, very yummy! They’re usually priced from around 10 HKD onwards.

yummy grilled meat, innards, and sausage
yummy grilled meat, innards, and sausage

We stayed at South Pacific Hotel at Wan Chai on Hong Kong island for the first two nights, and there’s this little grill meat place that operates from evening till late that we visited a couple times. There’s a variety of sausages, pig innards, chicken wings, grill duck/chicken/pork, and even abalone.

My favorite was the grilled 3 layer pork, so succulent and tasty! That was around 10 HKD too. The lady will grill the meat (which was usually already half grilled) on the spot when you order.

yummy egg tart with fluffy pastry
yummy egg tart with fluffy pastry

Bakeries are abundant in Hong Kong too. We tried this egg tart from a random bakery by the name of Golden Peach Bakery at Wan Chai and it turned out to be better than any I had in Malaysia, better than John King egg tart at Pavilion KL, which I thought was pretty good. The pastry is very fluffy and the content delicious.

coagulated pork blood and intestine
coagulated pork blood and intestine

Opposite Nathan’s road at Mong Kok, I spotted this other fish ball etc shop that offers coagulated pork blood with intestine. Of course I couldn’t give this a miss, for 15 HKD I had one of the best combinations of pork product in a little styrofoam bowl. Keep a look out for this if you’re in Hong Kong, not every stall offers this dish.

stinky tofu at Mong Kok
Haze ordering stinky tofu at Mong Kok

And no Hong Kong trip is complete without sampling stinky tofu. We found this shop with our nose at Mong Kok (directly opposite Starbucks and located at the end of Sai Yong Choi Road).

The stinky tofu costs 7 HKD each and was actually came in a rather big piece, you then add the spicy or sweet sauce on your own. Very yummy, but a clothing clip on your nose might be advisable.

There’re more Hong Kong posts to come so stay tuned!

I remember IKEA from years back when it was at 1-Utama, a smallish outfit with too many furnitures displayed in whatever floor space they have. In fact, I used to have a bit of fire hazard phobia when I was there.

IKEA at Mutiara Damansara, Malaysia

Then they moved to the new store at Mutiara Damansara some years back and furniture shopping in Malaysia was never the same again. IKEA easily occupies more space than your average shopping malls, and they pretty much sell every type of furniture you need, and some you don’t need but desperately want. Every time I go there, I end up buying something, can’t be sure if that’s a good thing…

Now to hide and seek, I’ve played plenty of unintentional hide and seek games in IKEA over crowded weekends, as I’m sure many of you too. But now, IKEA came up with an online hide & seek contest that does not involve missing person but kitchen items instead.

ikea kitchen hide and seek

If you’re the best player of the week, you walk away with RM 500 IKEA vouchers, contest runs from 8 – 28 Nov, 3 weeks in total.

kitchen hide and seek contest dynamics

The dynamics are simple – load the flash game from ikea.com.my/kitchen

  • a photo of IKEA kitchen shows up, and 10 images of various IKEA kitchen items will flash through, remember them.
  • next, click on the location of those kitchen items when requested
  • fastest time wins! (I managed 1 minute on my 1st try, miserable)
  • Best part is you can play as many times as you wish and it will only take your best score for that week

Well, that is the game dynamics for the first week, there’ll be new challenge every week for three weeks, so keep trying!

Some other promotions I wished they had when I was renovating the house:

  • RM 30 voucher for every RM 300 spent on new kitchen
  • RM2,599 for a set of hood, hob and oven from FAGOR (this is a great deal, grrr!)

The one thing I really liked about IKEA kitchen is the various accessories that you can add on to the whole system. Little gadgets to put various kitchen utensils, little compartments to put various size of bowl/plates, hooks for hanging cloths, etc etc…. ok I better stop thinking too much, already feel like an urge to go jalan jalan at IKEA again.

By the way good luck with the game!

Just checked into Disneyland Hotel, HK isn’t a place with many wifi spots but luckily the lobby of the hotel has free wifi service.

Spotted Snow White having photo sessions with kids, lovely place.

Having lunch at Crystal Lotus restaurant at the hotel now, with suckling pig + bun, yum max. Will be back to KL tomorrow night but first, whole day and a half’s Disney tour! 😀

After having a pretty good first impression on the food at Jalan Peel that came in the form of Kar Kar Lai chicken/pork rice stall, I was determined to go back to the area again. We did just that several weeks later, but this time to check out the hawker scene at night.

hawker stalls at Jalan Peel, Cheras
hawker stalls at Jalan Peel, Cheras

The setup of the hawker center at Jalan Peel is much like the one at Kuchai Lama (awesome grilled lamb), with rows of stalls situated along Jalan Peel, right across Shell gas station. Pollution in terms of noise, smell, or air aren’t exactly the best, but hey, we’re a third world country and we embrace this kinda thing, don’t we?

mixed pork soup
mixed pork soup – meat, tripes, intestine, blood, tongue etc

There are some dozen stalls operating on the stretch, but as soon as I saw the pork innards stall, I made my decision. The last time I had this was at Restaurant Matahari at Bandar Seri Damansara with Kim, and that stall has unfortunately, already ceased operation.

The bowl of goodness you see in the photo above comes with generous amount of 3-layer pork, tripes, big and small intestines, pork tongue, and even my favorite – coagulated pork blood. It was a little slice of heaven for RM7.

drinks, coagulated pork blood, popiah
drinks, coagulated pork blood, popiah

Having seated outside the corner kopitiam, we ordered drinks from another stall. Fresh sugar cane and coconut juice, kinda felt like being on a holiday.

The pohpiah here (RM 1.80 per pc) was crispy and pretty good too. We ended up ordering more cos the Char Kueh Teow I tried to order somehow didn’t came. I still prefer the non-halal pohpiah at Jonker’s street in Melaka, but this was quite fine too.

KY & Haze at Jalan Peel
KY & Haze at Jalan Peel

There are certainly more stalls to try out at this hawker center. The chicken wings and the satay stalls always looked busy, and I want to try the CKT too. Will go there again soon!

map to Jalan Peel hawker centre

Address:
Hawker Center
Jalan Peel, Cheras
55100 Kuala Lumpur

GPS:  3.13102, 101.72293

Pulau Aur is one of the Southern most diving destination in Malaysia, as a result, the island is probably more popular to Singaporean than the average Malaysian. Which explains why Gab, who used to work in Singapore helped organize this trip right after our Redang Project AWARE dive trip last September.

The operator was FWS, and we stayed at Pulau Aur Diver’s Lodge.

Journey to Pulau Aur
the journey to Pulau Aur via Mersing

Racheal who missed the Redang trip due to illness was able to join us on the last dive of the season with her boo Norman. Terence, Gab, Irene, Horng, and myself fit into 2 cars and started our journey to Pulau Aur on Thursday evening, taking advantage of the holiday on Friday (Deepavali.)

While the road journey is only some 360 KM, the east-west bit was through old trunk roads and thus it took a good 4.5 hours to get there while driving relatively speedy. This is evident from Irene’s constant exploit of the poor IKEA soft toy to cover her face over the windier part of the track.

Port Cafe by Mersing Jetty
Port Cafe by Mersing Jetty

We arrived at Mersing just before midnight, parked the car and took care of supper in the TSH (tourist slaughter house) looking restaurant that is the Port Cafe. As it turned out, food wasn’t all too expensive at less than RM 10 per plate, and the nasi goreng Cina was exceptionally tasty too!

boat transfer from Mersing to Pulau Aur
slave style boat transfer from Mersing to Pulau Aur

The boat to Aur left Mersing just past midnight. There wasn’t any real seating space on this boat, there were 2 “decks” of sleeping space instead. If you’re like us and got on the boat late, all there’s left would be the rear upper deck that has about 3cm headroom.

The experience was a bit like sleeping in a coffin, except there’s an additional falling hazard and the aircond was too cold. It was still fun though, I slept through most part of the boat ride, bliss!

the resort at night, we arrived before day break
the resort at night, we arrived before day break

We reached the resort before sunrise. Being ushered down the boat onto another platform in the middle of water while still super woozy was certainly an experience. The resort wasn’t even really in sight at night, it felt like we were on set for Pirates of the Pulau Aur or something, that sorta woke me up.

Pulau Aur Diver's Lodge
Pulau Aur Diver’s Lodge does look a lot more inviting in daylight

This is the view of the resort taken from the small jetty that’s only good enough to park a sampan (shallow water). The seating area’s for moonlight BBQ dinner, with Narcosis bar on the left. There are altogether 18 rooms in 9 different semi-d chalet.

Our rooms were located on the 2nd level and it was already too high to climb after exhausting dives. I’d appreciate an escalator around here, but the view is fantastic though.

breathing compressed air - bliss!
breathing compressed air – bliss!

Diving is done from the very same boat that we took from Mersing. We set up our gears and left them on the big boat, but going to and from the diving boat to resort had to be done via the sampan. A bit of a hassle but we weren’t really complaining.

nudibranches at Pulau Aur
nudibranches at Pulau Aur

There were 9 dives scheduled in 2 days, I did 8 and skipped the last night dive mainly due to exhaustion. Over here there was no time to do anything else, it was dive, eat, dive, eat, dive, eat, dive, eat, and with some naps in between.

This was really a proper diving trip, there weren’t any activities for snorkelers.

we take a sampan to the bigger boat before each dive
we take a sampan to the bigger boat before each dive

Besides the platform, Pulau Aur Diver’s Lodge does not really have a beach. There were, however, two very short stretch of beaches at each side of the resort accessible via the very poorly maintained wooden bridge (one of which already completely destroyed). The resort owner explained that maintenance of these bridges/walkways are done by the Malaysian government…

tranquilizing seascape
tranquilizing seascape

Since it was the last dive trip before season ends, the water condition was not exactly the greatest. We were in fact pretty lucky to not have to deal with any thunderstorm or crazy huge waves when we had to be under or on the ocean.

Visibility, as a result, wasn’t too great either, and most dive sites had mild to strong current, not particularly friendly to beginners.

Terence with his new gear, weird sea creature, color-coordinated Rachael
Terence with his new gear, weird sea creature, color-coordinated Racheal

That said, we still had pretty decent dives that could have been even better if not for the fact that our Dive Master somehow always think that fighting the current head on is such a great idea.

There were the usual suspects under the sea – several types of nudibranches, bat fish, cleaner fish, clown fish, baby baraccuda, puffer fish, angel fish, and so on. Horng even spotted a cuttlefish!

Our hope of swimming with a whale sharks though, will have to wait for future trips.

food at Pulau Aur Diver's Lodge
awesome food at Pulau Aur Diver’s Lodge

The food at Diver’s Lodge was really way better than our expectations. We had moon light buffer dinner the first night, and really awesome BBQ dinner the second night. There were unlimited grilled prawns, beef, squid, cuttle fish, and so on. I still miss the sliced fried potato there.

Even the lunch/tea time food were pretty good, fried chicken, fish, and of course, that awesome homemade donut with Hershey’s chocolate sauce.

earth is 70% water, don't always be land bound :D
earth is 70% water, don’t always be land bound 😀

I think I’m done with diving for 2010, next year we’ll get the girls to learn diving too! Kerol, Kim, Haze, Diana and more (and also the return of Gareth), can’t wait!