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
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!
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.
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
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 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
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 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!
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 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 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
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
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, a torch is useful
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.