I went online and did quite a fair bit of research on various designs that people came up with, some even complete with cutting list for home DIY projects. At the end, a particular Danish design caught my attention. It was elegant, fairly simple, and the salvage wood I have should suffice without too much effort.
Also, this bench is priced at 1,250 EUR, yikes.
writing it all down, measure twice, cut once
Many hours spent on familiarizing myself with SketchUp 3D software later, I managed to figure out the various length and angles of the cut list.
Sketch the result and list them all on my trusted wood working notebook and proper wood working job officially began.
drill, dowels, and trust the Titebond glue
Half the effort spent was actually not shown here – removing nails and sanding away previous paint job on these salvaged wood. I also used putty to patch up the nail holes as well.
Cutting was done with miter saw as well as a table saw, and joinery was done mainly with wood dowels reinforced by Titebond 2 wood glue (my trusted brand). I did make a mock up to ensure the dimensions are right before finalizing everything.
you can never have too many clamps
Almost a whole week’s worth of clamping and gluing job later, the bench was in shape. It was then sanded a couple rounds with a hand held sander and finally coated with non shining wood varnish for weather protection, and also to bring out the natural dark color of those beautiful Merbau wood.
finished product – wooden poolside bench
Final products is as above, Jean as the model for scale. Top of the bench is 2 plank wide and served as double duty for hand rest as well as coffee “table”.
Last weekend after a morning hike at Taman Tugu (best jungle trail in the city), we decided to stop over in KL for breakfast prior to my afternoon futsal session. Initial plan was ICC Pudu but alas, the place was way too packed, and this is when I recalled I’ve always wanted to check out San Peng prawn mee, which coincidentally is just a few minutes away from Pudu.
San Peng Prawn Mee stall, KL
San Peng Prawn Mee is located in a make-shift semi alfresco “shop” right in the middle of Jalan San Peng (hence the name), the old school stall has been around for a long time, and is among the rare one that is fully operated by locals (family probably?).
Over here prawn mee and lam mee are their two most popular dishes, but they also offer kai si hor fun, fish ball soup, and various other combination you can think of.
Since this was our first time here, we decided to try the two dishes on the trademark.
The old lady who took our order had a very convincing sales tactic, which led to us ordering both dishes with extra prawns (RM 25 each). And as it turns out, it’s not a bad idea if you have enough cash, the prawns were huge, fresh, and absolutely delicious.
Prawn Mee & Lam Mee with extra prawns
The prawn mee is slightly different from the more famous Penang version. While both soup base involves prawn shells, chicken instead of pork is used in this interpretation. Apart from that, there’s also kangkung, fried shallots, smaller (normal size) prawns, mee + meehun, and chunks of perfectly poached chicken.
The soup was slightly lighter but packed with sweetness from prawn. I also like the fact that the big prawns have it’s head (the best part) attached, while the shell is otherwise removed from the body.
these prawns are fresh and super delicious
The lam mee is similarly delicious and came with similar ingredients except for the use of thick noodle that’s not entirely unlike udon and a thicker soup base. Personally I prefer how loh mee, but this version is pretty good too.
This is just the two most popular dishes here, I’m going to go back again and try some of their other dishes (and side dishes & extra ingredients). If you’re a fan of prawn mee, this version should be one to try out as well.
A few weeks ago, we decided to venture up north (still within the state of Selangor) for a hike to Bukit Batu Pahat. This was partly due to Suan not being able to go back to her home town Batu Pahat due to MCO so .. the bukit as replacement, or something like that. It was a fairly easy hike that ended with a great view, would recommend.
at the peak of bukit batu pahat
If you’re the hiking type, one of easier starting locations for this trail is from Taman Tasik Millenium, Kuala Kubu Baru. There’s also paragliding from the same bukit too!
Anyway, the more important thing about hiking is always the meal after, for this, we first headed to the sleepy town of Kuala Kubu Bharu. A short chat with the uncle at KKB bakery then led us to driving some 10 minutes to Ulu Yam for Teo Kee Restuarant.
Teo Kee at Ulu Yam, with the old chef
The baker told us that Teo Kee was his favorite restaurant in town when we asked for a recommendation, and suggested that we should skip the offerings in KKB and make a (very slight) detour to Ulu Yam for Teo Kee, for they serve the best stewed pork with mui choy (preserved mustard green).
So we did.
Teo Kee is located within a housing area (thank you, GPS), with the restaurant itself located at the side of a single level corner house, semi-alfresco dining, with a purpose built small kitchen as well.
The menu is simple yet comprehensive (see below), it is in Chinese, however, there are also photos and helpful servers.
chef’s signature dishes
To make it simple, we decided to go with all four of their recommended dishes, plus an additional bitter gourd with roast pork dish. You then either opt for rice or porridge to go with them.
Food took about 10 minutes to arrive, and they arrived all at once!
The stewed pork with mui choy (潮州卤肉) was indeed quite special, tender fatty pork with tofu, hard boiled eggs, and mustard green that gave it a very balanced taste, sour/salty + savory & sweet.
Braised tofu fish (豆腐焖鱼) is another one of our favorite dishes, it was soft, well flavored, and had just enough ginger without overpowering the seafood.
we added bitter gourd with roast pork
Steamed salted fish with minced pork (咸鱼蒸猪肉) here is as good as the version I’ve had from any restaurant, and I do like the addition of soft tofu to give it a softer texture.
Then there’s the pulpy mess of fried spicy brinjal (香辣茄子), a dish that won’t win any beauty contest, but the spiciness within those mushy sweetness was quite a good mix.
The last dish we had, bitter gourd with roast pork, was competent as well, even if it lacks the uniqueness of those signature dishes.
The five dishes, 2 rice, a porridge, and a big bottle of herbal tea cost us RM 67.60 (year 2021). A very good value and certainly an awesome meal, will be back again!
When it comes to Klang, almost everyone will talk about bak kut teh, but if you look beyond the whole “I MUST HAVE PORK” mentality while exploring this part of town, there are actually other options that can be very appealing.
Today, we’re going to look at one of the old establishments that is the antithesis of the image of Klang many of us perceive – Cathay Hailam Kopitiam, for this place is actually pork free.
Cathay Hailam Kopitiam, Port Klang
Cathay Hailam kopitiam is located at the far end of Klang, if you are from PJ/Subang on Federal Highway, it is basically just one straight road until basically the end of the road, the very last junction. Take a left and the kopitiam is just a few shops on your left. You’re walking distance from the Pulau Ketam Jetty and Port Klang KTM.
The place is as old school as it gets, with vibe very similar to that of Chong Kok kopitiam, another one of my favorites. The menu is quite extensive and conveniently displayed on an LCD TV on the wall. If you’re like me and not sure what to order, the server can suggest as well.
For the 4 of us, we’ve decided to go for a chicken chop, some bread, 3 noodle dishes, and a tofu bakar. I also had their black iced coffee (it was too hot) but regrettably did not have their classic Hainanese hot coffee.
steamed/toast bread, Hainanese chicken chop
The steamed & toast bread came first, a bit into these revealed the reasons why these bread were stacked high by the side of the counter. They were superb, with generous amount of kaya & butter. If I have only one choice of breakfast for the rest of my life, this would be in the short list.
The Hainanese chicken chop had a visual only the chef could love… however, it hits all the right spots when it comes to taste. A blind person would score this 10/10, and he/she will be absolutely right, the sauce, the crispiness of the chicken, even those potato, they were all perfect.
yin yeong, Singapore meehun, Hailam mee, tofu bakar
The three noodle dishes – Yin Yeong, Singapore Meehun, and Hainanese mee were all very competent dish on their own. They were properly seasoned and executed properly, I thought the person was quite generous as well, tho perhaps I’d have wanted pork in them instead of chicken.. but those chicken thigh meat did a good job as substitute.
For those who loves a slight kick to the sense, the tofu bakar here is as good as any, not overly spicy but with a strong dose of sweet and sourness, it is a side dish that offers a good change up to the noodle dishes.
Over the last decade or so, Kota Kemuning has slowly transformed from sort of a backwater township to one that is rather mature, and with that, comes a slew of pretty interesting dining options we often associated the more “hip” places like Bangsar, Subang, or PJ area.
Today, we look at one of the more interesting offering at Abanico Your Deli Restaurant.
Abanico at Kota Kemuning
For those who love to indulge in some porky goodness, it may be quite a common knowledge that Iberico pork are some of the most sought after type of pork there is. Iberico, as the name suggests, is the meat from Black Iberian pigs that are originated from Portugal and native to the Iberian Peninsula.
Much like Wagyu for beef, this type of pork has a higher percentage of intramuscular fats, making it more tender and have higher marbling. Additionally, the pigs are often fed on acorns, giving it a distinct taste that is quite unique and often said to be superior than normal pigs we get.
Anyway, what I really wanted to get to is that Abanico is actually the spare ribs of Iberico pigs, so by the name of the restaurant they really do tell you what is the specialty here.
abanico, pinchos, clams in white wine pasta
Abanico operates like a deli, pick your choice of meat from the glass chiller, and the kitchen will prepare and serve you there after. Additionally, there are also a selection of dishes not displayed on the chiller, but clearly stated on the blackboards just above the cashier.
We ordered a piece of abanico (pork ribs, RM 52.90 per piece), a stick of pinchos iberico (RM 26), pasta with clams in white wine sauce (RM 35.90), and Portuguese seafood stew (RM 38.00).
Portuguese seafood stew
The ribs were served in a very straight forward, simple manner, grilled just right to retain the natural flavor and came with their homemade (who’s home?) black pepper sauce and mustard sauce. To be honest I actually liked to savor the meat as is, without any sauce, but there’s no wrong way to enjoy it your way.
The pinchos iberico were our favorites of the day, the skewer was properly marinated and carry a hint of sweetness coupled with the savory taste from iberico pork that were so delicious I wished we had ordered more.
menu on the wall at Abanico, Kota Kemuning
The other two non-meat dishes we ordered held up the standard as well. The pasta were filled with plenty of clams (lala actually, although I’d much preferred the bigger clams) infused properly with enough white wine to compliment the seafood sweetness.
Portuguese seafood stew too is a dish worth ordering, packed with enough seafood in the dish to satisfy anyone. I also liked that they gave a generous slab of garlic bread for you to go with the stew.
I thought the food were as good as anywhere, they could perhaps improve a little by having served the meat with a bit of sides instead of a few green leaf. Additionally, the prices are perhaps on the higher side for the service quality rendered, but it is something that usually happens in smaller townships. The services wasn’t bad, it just could have been better.
Overall, the experience was a positive one, Abanico is certainly worthy of a visit, especially if you’re closer to this part of Klang Valley.