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Since the start of working from home arrangement due to this fantastic 2020 pandemic, one of the very few positives has been the number of hours I get to sleep every night. It is incredible the amount of time we used to spend in traffic each day. My fitness watch tracks an average of almost 9 hours of sleep each night for me.

Which got me thinking, perhaps I should spend a bit more effort and investment on a surface we spend so much time on everyday?

Origin mattress, love the packaging
Origin mattress, love the packaging

Of course, shopping for mattress can be a very complex and convoluted process. Getting a mattress that is priced just right with the quality you can trust can be a fairly tricky process. There’s also myriads of different technology, something that can take quite a bit of effort to go through.

Thankfully, Origin Mattress makes things simpler by shifting things online and offering a 120 Night Return Guarantee on their Origin Hybrid Mattress.

The mattress is a full 24.5cm in height and comes in Single, Super Single, Queen, and King sizes. Made of natural latex with cooling gel memory foam and pocket springs, the hybrid nature of its construction ensures that we get the best of what each material can offer.

unrolled, unwrapped, and a few minutes later... done!
unrolled, unwrapped, and a few minutes later… done!

After sleeping rather sound for the past few nights on this new mattress, I’m sold. The mattress is firm but not hard, providing good support for the back and offers very comfortable surface to zzz in, the cooling foam does work in keeping the surface temperature in check as well, perfect for our climate.

I was also quite impressed with the way the mattress is delivered in a compressed, space saving format. Simply unroll and set it free from the vacuum seal, a few minutes later and it’s all proofed up like magic. I thought that was very impressive.

founders of Origin Mattress - Shaun and Gee
founders of Origin Mattress – Shaun and Gee
Credit to Express photography

These mattresses are actually designed in Germany and produced locally in Malaysia, brought to you by Shaun and Gee, the founders who bought the patent for its construction.

If you’re in the market for mattress or pillow, do check the – The Best 8 Pillows in Singapore article.

Origin Malaysia

Showroom:
No. 77 Jalan SS2/55 47300, Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday: 10.00am – 7.00pm
Saturday: 10.00am – 5.00pm. Closed on Sunday & Public Holiday

Tel: +65 6977 9637

On my trip to Ipoh when we were in this period of “Recovery CMO” back in August 2020 (yes, 2020 is a strange year), I was introduced to one of the more famous Ipoh hawker offerings by the name of “liu fun” at Choong Kee, or commonly also known as Big Tree, at Pasir Pinji, Ipoh – 忠记大树头炸料粉.

Choong Kee "Big Tree" at Ipoh
Choong Kee “Big Tree” at Ipoh

As it turns out, liu fun is almost entirely exactly like yong tau foo – with stuffed tofu, red chili, bitter gourd, long beans, tofu, and so forth. These comes both in deep fried as well as soup version. The only difference here is that instead of serving with chee cheong fun or rice like most yong tau foo places, in Ipoh, you get to choose your choice of noodle (meehun, yellow noodle, kuih teow etc) instead.

The ingredients (or yong tau foo in this case) = liu 料, noodle = fun 粉. Hence, liu fun 料粉.

Choong Kee is located under a big tree, and hence the name. While there maybe others that claim to be of same origin, this is apparently the one and only Choong Kee in the whole of Ipoh or anywhere else.

do you call it chee cheong fun, or liu fun?
do you call it yong tau foo or liu fun?

There’s close to a dozen different ingredients to choose from, with the price clearly stated on the billboard atop the stall. The SOP is simple, take your pick and place them in a basket, and the operators will re-fry or put them in hot soup prior to serving.

The must-order here is their excellent fried turnip. Imagine a very good, crunchy & sweet version of fried radish, but better.

Pasir Pinji chee cheong fun, tapao only
Pasir Pinji chee cheong fun, tapao only

To kick it up a notch, instead of their “noodle”, we actually stopped by the famous Pasir Pinji chee cheong fun and tapao a couple packs of these delicious carbs  to go with the liu fun.

The chee cheong fun is super soft and carries an excellent texture that is just right, they also come with pickled green chili and a chili sauce that’s spicy and slightly sweetish. It is a must-try if you’re into chee cheong fun.

chee cheonf gun, liu fun, and roast pork
chee cheong fun, liu fun, and roast pork

Pairing the yong tau foo/liu fun with the chee cheong fun proved to be an excellent combination, and if you’re a fan of siu yok (roast pork), there’s a stall at Choong Kee offering that as well, get some!

choong kee ipoh map

Address:
Choong Kee “Big Tree”
1213, Jalan King,
Taman Hoover,
31650 Ipoh, Perak
GPS: 4.582364, 101.085703
Tel: 012-507 1482
Hours: 8am to 5:30pm daily

Address:
Pasir Pinji Chee Cheong Fun
1456, Jalan Pasir Pinji 5,
Kampung Pasir Pinji Baru,
31650 Ipoh, Perak
GPS: 4.578745, 101.08423
Hours: 10am to 3pm, closed on Sunday & Wednesday

Remember when we used to go to the office to work daily? Yeap, I remember such time, and there was even a period where I would make a stopover for a glorious breakfast before heading to office, I mean, what’s a better way to start the day?

mix pork noodle, Chun Heong kopitiam
mix pork porridge, Chun Heong kopitiam

One of my regular breakfast spots is Lucky Garden, Bangsar. The small stretch of shops facing housing area by the roundabout houses three rather excellent kopitiam that offers quite a selection of dishes for the early risers. Today, let’s look at one of my favorite stomach warmer in the morning – mix pork porridge at Chun Heong kopitiam (the shop at the middle).

For those who are not familiar with this dish, mix pork porridge consists of mainly deep fried bits of pork intestine, some sliced pork, pork blood, yau char kuai, and often with salted vegetable. I used to crave for it back in Penang and have my fix at New Lane, but this version at Bangsar is every bit as good.

mix pork noodle in all its glory
mix pork porridge in all its glory

For a few ringgit, you get a piping hot bowl of porridge with all the above mentioned ingredients, I like to add a bit of soya sauce and generous amount of white pepper to give it a bit of kick. Do enjoy it while the intestine are still crispy and not wait till they are soggy from moisture absorbed from porridge. If you love a good bowl of porridge, this should satisfy.

crispy intestine, pork blood, and all
crispy intestine, pork blood, and all

chun heong kopitiam map

Address:
Chun Heong kopitiam
16, Lorong Ara Kiri 2,
Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
GPS
: 3.1274699, 101.66989
Hours: breakfast & brunch

This on-going Covid-19 situation has certainly brought out some kitchen creativities in some of us, isn’t it? Not to be left behind, I think I’ve slightly outdone myself with this … Japanese style Saba Fish Rice Bowl, and here’s how you can make your own at home too.

I use a sous vide machine to prepare the fish, but grilling or pan fry will work almost just as well.

Japanese style rice bowl, with plenty of greens & reds
Japanese style rice bowl, with plenty of greens & reds

Without further nonsense, here’s the ingredients you need for this bowl, you can also certainly feel free to substitute certain items as you see fit, some of these are for optics more than tastes alone.

Ingredients for 2 bowls:

  • 2 pieces of saba fish fillet, frozen will work just as well
  • cherry tomatoes, half a dozen, cut in half
  • a handful of broccoli, cut into thin slices
  • fried garlic, 3-4 cloves
  • a stalk of spring onion, chopped
  • butter, 2 tablespoon
  • Japanese 7 spice powder
  • 1 cup rice (Japanese rice preferred)
  • optional – shiso leaf (I used sweet basil cos that’s what I had), and a tablespoon of fish roe

sous vide style saba fish
sous vide style saba fish, a torch is useful

Cooking instructions:

  • Sous vide fish fillet for 20 minutes at 50 Celsius (122F)
  • in the mean time, sauté garlic till crispy
  • then sauté tomato and broccoli with butter
  • once fish is done, slice into bite size, and use torch to score the skin
  • arrange everything on a bed of rice and then sprinkle on some 7 spice powder

I think this was one of the prettiest rice bowls I’ve ever assembled, was quite delicious to eat as well as it supposed to be somewhat of a healthy meal. I think this calls for me buying more frozen saba fish!

Thank you Noel for doing this interview and featured me on Free Malaysia Today.

I’ve been a contributor to the online portal for the past three years or so, specifically on their Lifestyle section under Food (duh). Some of you may have seen reproduction of my articles on the portal.

If you’re interested to know a little bit about me and my online journey, the article is here.

KYspeaks on Free Malaysia Today

Until next time, stay safe everyone!