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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Tag / lunch money

In my previous job, I had the opportunity to travel to East Malaysia on quite a few occasions, and one thing that stuck in my memory is that there are whole different sets of restaurants and popular dining areas in Borneo than what I’m used to in Peninsular Malaysia, and one of the more prominent one that I remember till today was the ubiquitous SugarBun.

SugarBun Borneo Asian Food at Menara Hup Seng
SugarBun Borneo Asian Food at Menara Hup Seng

Well, now you can find SugarBun right here in KL at Menara Hup Seng (opposite Shangri-La KL & behind Mercedes) to get a taste of what Borneo’s most successful franchise restaurant has got to offer. They are also opening their second outlet in Klang Valley at Ara Damansara on 15/10/2016. So if you’re into some no-nonsense Borneo cuisine, keep reading.

Sabah Giant Garoupa Mee Hoon Soup
Sabah Giant Garoupa Mee Hoon Soup

While started out as an ice-cream parlour back in 1979, over the years SugarBun has expanded its offering to include many dishes sought after by Sarawakians & Sabahans alike. On the outside it looks a little bit like fast food joint or even a food court, but what they offer is rather different from what you may expect.

I had the opportunity to try some of their dishes a couple weeks ago, and I gotta start with my favorite – Sabah Giant Garoupa Mee Hoon Soup (RM 28). Cooked with generous portion of Sabah giant garoupa slices, the deceptively simple dish carries a broth thick with seafood sweetness that will satisfy anyone who loves seafood. The fish slices too were perfectly cut and came with chunks of those springy garoupa skin that I really enjoy. At RM 28 it is certainly not a “fast food” friendly price, but this is not fast food and you definitely get a more than decent value from the quality of seafood offered.

You can also order this as a soup to go with rice.

Sabah Giant Garoupa Fried Rice
Sabah Giant Garoupa Fried Rice

Another rendition that utilise the same awesome seafood is the Sabah Giant Garoupa Fried Rice (RM 20). Deep fried giant garoupa meat is served on top of pretty fragrant fried rice, very simple and satisfying. I think a few chili padi with soya sauce should come with this, but they do offer sambal, which compliments the dish quite well.

authentic Sarawak Laksa
authentic Sarawak Laksa

Laksa Sarawak (RM 12) is arguable the most famous streetfood from Borneo, and at SugarBun Borneo Asian Food, they have a version that is authentic and true to its origin. You get the shredded chicken, prawns, strips of omelette, bean sprout, and of course, those thick meehun. Haze loves it, and she’s like the no. 1 fan of any type of laksa.

If you’re looking for a certified halal version of authentic laksa Sarawak, this will definitely fit the bill.

Fish Burger
Fish Burger

For those who wants something on the go, SugarBun’s fish burger (RM 9.50) should fit the bill. The patty is made from pollock and together with their blend of sauce and slices of fresh cucumber, made for a pretty satisfying meal you can enjoy while being vertical. I also thought their bun was pretty soft and airy too, which is a plus.

the classic - Borneo Eco Fish Meal (tilapia)
the classic – Borneo Eco Fish Meal (tilapia)

Another notable fish related dish is the classic Borneo Eco Fish Meal (RM 20). Here you get a portion of rice, some acar, and a properly deep fried tilapia fish with some sambal and dark soya sauce on the side. This felt like something  you get from a mom & pop restaurant than an air conditioned chain restaurant, in a good way, of course.

This was actually the first dish I had at SugarBun many years ago when they came to West Malaysia (at PJ SS2 if not mistaken), and I’ve always enjoyed it.

Chicken Mushroom Claypot Meal & Broasted Chicken meal
Chicken Mushroom Claypot Meal & Broasted Chicken meal

If comfort food is what you crave for, the Chicken Mushroom Claypot Meal (RM 14) should be on your short list. You get a side of rice with a clay pot full of chunks of chicken and black fungus in herbal soup, not entirely different from grandma’s kitchen.

To complete their almost-fast-food image, SugarBun offers broasted chicken (RM 12) with or without saucy kano (RM 15). I had to google a bit, but broasting is a cooking process that combines broiling and roasting, which is distinctly different from deep fried. The result is a lighter crust and less oily product. I thought they taste pretty good.

If you want to get a taste of what Borneo has got to offer right here in KL, this is definitely the place to go.

P/S: this post is brought to you by SugarBun

map to Menara Hap Seng

Address:
SugarBun Borneo Asian Food
Level 1, Menara Hap Seng,
Jalan P. Ramlee,
Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.152761, 101.707296
Tel: 03-2022 0003
HoursMon – Fri 7.30 am – 8 pm, Sat 10 am – 2 pm

Several months ago, I wrote about how putting in the time and effort to invest your money can sometimes make your smaller (or bigger) dreams or life goals become true.

Have you started investing since then? If yes, great, otherwise, well, don’t feel too bad. Perhaps you’re like one of the many of us who’ve been busy catching Pokémon at the shopping mall (KLCC park’s got some great rare ones!). But either way, wouldn’t it be great if you could chill at the mall catching Pokémon and still have the time to learn and do some ACTUAL investing?

Well, InvestSmart, an investor empowerment initiative by Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) is making this happen at INVESTSMART FEST 2016 @ Mid Valley Exhibition Centre (MVEC), Kuala Lumpur from Friday to Sunday, 23 to 25 September 2016! And for you Pokémon trainers out there, there are also actually loads of Pokéstops within MVEC!

INVESTSMART FEST 2016 is the third edition of InvestSmart’s biggest ever retail investor event, gathering capital market institutions, associations, industry players and relevant government agencies under one roof. So, head on over to INVESTSMART FEST 2016 to experience a fun investment carnival atmosphere for the entire family, with an emphasis on digital elements and technology.

There’s plenty to do at the event, there’s traditional carnival games such as duck hunt and basketball shoot, to fun photo opportunities with a replica ferris wheel and carousel, there’s something for everyone. Most importantly, there are many acclaimed SME (Subject Matter Experts) who will be there to teach you how to make your money work harder by investing in capital market products such as shares, unit trusts, warrants, bonds, derivatives, private retirement schemes (PRS) and equity crowdfunding. If some of those words sound like new vocabulary to you, this is the place to go and learn more.

With more than 40 booths featuring brokers, fund managers, PRS providers, and equity crowdfunding operators, INVESTSMART FEST 2016 is the perfect platform for you to learn about, discover and invest in a variety of products to expand your portfolio. Best of all, this event is open to the public and entry is FREE!

To make it sweeter, INVESTSMART FEST 2016 will also feature a digital arena, mystery celebrity appearance, lucky and “Mega” lucky draws, a dedicated Play Area for Kids, free popcorn, ice-cream, cotton candy, FREE goodie bags and so much more. I believe this is definitely one of the more interesting, fun and inclusive approaches to investor education, it isn’t one of those old fashioned or boring sort of engagements.

So, instead of just hunting for Pokémon at Mid Valley this month, do yourself a favor by starting to plan for the long term future and learning to invest by checking out INVESTSMART FEST from 23-25 September 2016. Log on to www.investsmartsc.my/isf2016.html and REGISTER NOW to receive easier and faster PRIORITY ACCESS. Alternatively, you can register on their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/InvestSmartSC/

The future is in your hands!

Throughout the years I’ve had the chance to own quite a number of mobile phones, and gotten my hands to try on even more. The one feature that has always interests me is the camera.

Ever since I had my very first “camera phone”, the next phone I looked at has always been the one with a superior camera. So when I had a chance to give the Huawei P9 a test drive, I was pretty excited.

Huawei P9, sleek design, USB C, Leica dual lenses
Huawei P9, sleek design, USB C, Leica dual lenses

You see, the P9 isn’t just any regular Android phone with a camera. It is the first that comes with a dual-camera sensor designed by Leica. For the uninitiated, Leica makes the most legendary cameras & lenses and almost every photographer would love to own a Leica in their arsenal, including myself. By having Huawei tapping into over 100 years of Leica photography expertise to design & optimize, the expectation of its performance is rather high.

The dual sensor set up at the rear is rather unique, one to pick up RGB (color) information, while the other monochrome (B&W) sensor picks up details. Information from both sensors are then combined using Leica’s merging algorithm to create an output that has the best of both worlds.

swiping left, right, or bottom up on camera reveals different options
swiping left, right, or bottom up on camera reveals different options

That is the technical aspect of the camera, two 12 megapixel sensors working together, but what really impressed me more was the user interface of the camera.

Most Android phones utilizes very simple camera UI, with some having a few modes or features accessible in the menu. What Huawei has done with P9’s camera UI is very sleek. Swiping left, right, up, and down reveals different sets of features/short cuts that allows anyone to take pictures just the way they want without having to fiddle with different settings which may require in depth photography knowledge.

film/filter mode, and pro mode
film/filter mode, and pro mode

Swiping to the right brings out the different shooting modes, such as monochrome, night shot, HDR, video, slow-mo, time lapse, and even Huawei’s signature “light painting”.

Swiping left shows the different camera settings, including adjustments for resolution, photo grid, GPS tag, different film modes, and so forth.

Bottom up brings out the PRO mode. This is a feature every serious photographer would appreciate. Here you can adjust shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, ISO, white balance, and even focusing mode. These are features that used to only available on a semi-pro SLR set up.

On top of the camera UI screen have yet a few more short cuts allowing access to wide aperture effect (my favorite), flash settings, slow-mo video, and swapping for front camera.

wide aperture effect is one of my favorites
wide aperture effect is one of my favorites

traffic at night, Huawei P9

sunset on Federal Highway, Huawei P9
works very well in low light condition too

In all, these make for very fast operation in getting to what you want the camera to do. There’s no fiddling with multiple levels within the menu to adjust one setting. Everything is available within a swipe and a click or two, to me this is the strongest point of the phone, one which I learned to really appreciate.

impactful B&W mode is great for street photography
Impact B&W mode is great for street photography

The photo quality from limited shots I took were pretty good, my favorite features of the camera were the “impact monochrome” and the “wide aperture” mode. The monochrome is very useful taking street photography while the latter allows simulated “bokeh” effect that can make a subject really standout in a photo, similar to one taken with expensive fast professional lenses on an SLR.

egg benedict, close up
close up shots are very good too

Since this is actually a phone and not just a camera, several other important specification you may be interested in are as follow:

  • Screen: 5.2″ 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Battery: 3000 mAh, fast charging
  • OS: Android OS, v6.0 (Marshmallow)
  • CPU: Quad-core 2.5 GHz Cortex-A72 & quad-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53
  • Storage: 32 GB, microSD slot
  • Connectivity: USB-C, NFC, GPS, Bluetooth 4.2, Wifi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Sensors: fingerprint, accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass

 

When it comes to a Malaysian kitchen, soya sauce and oyster sauce are some of the most important ingredients for cooking. I must admit that I used to be one of those people who doesn’t think twice and choose the closest shelve at the grocery store when buying those sauces. What I failed to realised tho, is that these sauces aren’t make alike at all.

Last week, I was given a few bottles of some of our favorite sauces by Bidor Kwong Heng to try out – Angel Soya Sauce, Angel Oyster Sauce, and Angel Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce. These sauces are made from non-GMO ingredients and obtained international food safe certificates.

I’m made a couple dishes with these sauces in their ingredients to try them out. First – soya sauce chicken.

Bidor Kwong Heng's sauces with ingredients for soya chicken
Bidor Kwong Heng’s sauces with ingredients for soya chicken

Ingredients:

  • 3 table spoon Angel Soya Sauce
  • 3 table spoon Angel Oyster Sauce
  • 1 quarter chicken (leg part)
  • one bulb of garlic, peeled
  • 5-6 slices of ginger
  • star anise (optional)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon cooking oil

first, mix Angel soya sauce and oyster sauce in equal portion
first, mix Angel soya sauce and oyster sauce in equal portion

Cooking instructions:

  • mix soya sauce and oyster sauce in a small bowl with 1 cup of water
  • heat up cooking oil and fry garlic, ginger, and star anise till fragrance
  • add everything and simmer for 20-25 minutes with lid cover, flip the chicken half way
  • enjoy while hot!

soya sauce chicken, this goes well with a bowl of porridge
Soya Chicken with Angel Soya Sauce & Oyster Sauce

The dish turned out pretty good, Angel soya sauce and oyster sauce did a good job in adding a hint of complexity with its umami while not being overly salty. The chicken goes best with porridge especially if you mix the sauces all in. Enjoy!

For more about the sauces, check out www.bidorkwongheng.com

After dating for some 5 years, last February, Haze and I decided to put signatures to the paper and completed our ROM. It was followed by a simple luncheon of some two dozen members of close friends and family members to mark the start of the next chapter of life.

ROM KY & Haze

While this space mainly showcases our food adventures from local hawker fare to some of the higher end fine dining establishments, believe it or not we do actually do a lot more than just eat.

hiking at Penang hill
hiking at Penang hill

In a bit to get healthy and stay active, getting a good sweating session is always welcomed. When we were in Penang we took the opportunity to take a hike up to Penang hill via the moon gate trail to #5 station. Somehow got lost along the way and spent 3 hours on some less travelled trail, good fun. This is partly in preparation for our upcoming Gunung Kinabalu hike, which I think will be plenty of fun.

Since we’re not exactly young-lings anymore, it is also in our best interest to have a better journey to wellness. While exercise is an important portion, choosing a healthy diet is also rather important. We cook more often at home, and sometimes do choose a healthier option while eating out.

vegetarian dinner at Setia City Mall

Being available for your loved ones for the long haul is also about staying healthy and protected.

Then of course, there’s the third and often overlooked point – being financially stable and ready for any unexpected events.

We’re fortunate enough to be in the middle income group and basically be able to afford everything we need, and some of the things we want, but adding a little bit of financial preparedness never hurt.

For some of you who may be in similar shoes like us, check out Zurich FlexiLife Plus.

zurich game 

Additionally, head to Zurich Insurance Malaysia FB page, there’s a little game in which you can play to stand a chance and win a grand prize of RM 4000 travel voucher + RM 1000 cash allowance. There’re also other prizes such as 2 iPhone 6s, 2 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, and 3 Fitbit Charge HR wristband (I am currently using one!).

Also, please check out this video.

In the meantime, stay healthy and grow well!