Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / September 2008

Finally processed the pictures taken from my Krabi and Phuket trip organized by Seetho Holidays some three months ago. Here are some of what I saw through the lens from that 5-day vacation that seems to have happened so long ago.

Krabi beach reflected on Sun Glasses
Krabi beach in reflection

The reflection on Andy the photographer’s sunglasses. The crystal clear water and soft sandy beaches of Krabi is now as much an optical plaything on the lens as they are in my memory. Welcome back to reality 1.0

fancy a BBQ banana?
want a BBQ corn you corny tourists?

There are stalls on the beaches along areas most popular with tourists. The more imaginative locals sell handy crafts, fabrics, cloths, and accessories, while some stick to the simpler offerings such as this one.

the Giant of Krabi
Giant of Krabi town

There’s a legend at Krabi about these gentle giants from the surrounding jungle. So far as I know, they only exists at a junction downtown tirelessly carrying the traffic lights these days. I guess they were supposed to be docile cousins of Yeti and Bigfoot.

Colourful Sweetness
Am I sweet or do I just look pretty?

The afternoon market at Krabi offers many different types of food, you can find BBQ fish, fresh fruits, juice, roasted chicken wings, and all sorts of other traditional dishes. This colorful plate of candy captured my attention most.

where do you want to go today?

Traditional fishing is very much alive in this part of the world, with custom made propeller shafts and colorfully painted wooden boats floating on crystal clear water. This photo was captured on the last bridge we crossed on the way to Phuket.

Royal fish farm, krabi
the Royal fish farm at Krabi

The Royal fish farm is an attempt in marine conservation, there are many species of salt water fishes from reef sharks, angel fish, to Nemo. I almost felt guilty by thinking how great most of them would taste after a short trip to the kitchen.

hot spring waterfall
the hot spring waterfall

A small waterfall at the end of Klong Thom hot spring where we soaked ourselves in the mineral rich water. The hot stream joins a cold river after the waterfall, you can actually jump between the two completely different water. The hot spring reminds me of the onsen experience in Japan, if only we could do something about the tropical weather…

A city that doesn
bustling nightlife at Phuket

The bustling night life at Phuket reminds me of Bangkok‘s red light district. Go-go bars, foreign tourists, peddlers, discos, t-shirt stalls, and plenty of alcohol serving joints. Patpong Patong never sleeps.

Boy or Girl? Phuket, Thailand
a frown and a smile

The street is also populated by many female lookalike beings selling their companionship or peddling for the particular go-go bar they represent. As with anywhere else in Thailand, gender confusion is paramount here.

fly boy at Phuket
Fly boy assisted

When the sun rises, Phuket returns to a sort of normalcy expected from any beach vacation spot. Para sailing, jet skiing, and banana boat tours are all available. Kids who slept through the sin city’s night time activities get to do what their parents promised them.

look ma, I found this!
look ma, a shell in my bucket!

Can’t wait to go on another trip.

On most “by invitation” food review sessions, there are PR representatives or the restaurant owner joining myself and other reviewers. Most often than not, the conversation will initially revolves around the food they serve, their restaurant, the company; but eventually to food in general and ended up with information exchange on the best food secrets in town.

The same thing transpired on the review at Dragon-i Pavilion. The PR couple Mr & Mrs Kong claimed to be the pickiest wan tan mee eater this side of Klang Valley, I told them I thought the wan tan mee at restuarant OK, SS2 is pretty good, while their recommendation was this place at Hock Lim kopitiam, PJ State.

Wan Tan Mee at restuarant hock lim, PJ State
this kopitiam doens’t even have a banner

The very same weekend after the review, Kong sms-ed me and said the wan tan mee I recommended was not up to their standard. It was then I decided that I must try this place, so Rachel and I went over to PJ State on Merdeka Day for breakfast.

Wan Tan Mee at restuarant hock lim, PJ State
ohhh, glorious char siu and wan tan mee

We ordered two medium plates of wan tan mee with the standard ingredients: char siu (bbq pork) and wan tan (dumplings).

It took a while for the noodle to be served, as the stall was apparently the busiest among the lot. However, true to Kong’s recommendation, it was really very good. The noodle with just the right amount of sauce, the pork wan tan with very soft smooth skin giving it a very nice texture and taste. Best of all, the char siu was really excellent, complimenting the noodle perfectly.

You can see how we appreciated it from the empty plates at the end of the meal.

map to PJ State
hock lim kopitiam is facing MBPJ building

The stall is located at Restaurant Hock Lim which is situated on the same row as Saito College at PJ State.

Jalan 52/18,
46200 Petaling Jaya

GPS: 3.098789, 101.645132

While having lunch with Eiling the chocolate lady a few moons ago, she came up with an idea of a short trip to Fidani, the chocolate factory she works at. We thought it’ll be pretty neat to emulate Charlie’s method and issue visitors a golden ticket each as invitation.

A couple weeks ago the chocolate lady passed me boxes of freshly made chocolates with just the right stuff in it, and last week a dozen of us danced our way to Shah Alam for a weekend lawatan sambil belajar sambil makan (study & eating trip).

Fidani Chocolate Factory
Golden Tickets!

There were more than a dozen of us: Suanie, FA, Cheesie, Kim, ST, Rachel, Nicholas, Grace, Eyeris, Hsu Jen, David Cheong, Ziling, and Yiling. The last two are younger sisters of Eiling, who affectionately refers themselves as the EZY sisters. *gasp*

Fidani Chocolate Factory
master chocolatier chef Amer explaining on, Eiling giving her speech

A huge box of chocolate was on the table as we entered the meeting room, we attacked the chocolate right away. By the time Eiling came in with the master chocolatier chef Amer, we were already half way through with breakfast, libido building up from aphrodisiac overdose (ok ignore the last line)

Chef Amer then went on and gave us an entertaining and informative lesson about chocolates. On the ingredients (cocoa powder, cocoa butter), the best temperature to keep chocolates (21 c), the history, the difference between good and cheap “chocolate flavored confectioneries” (with loads of sugar and artificial flavoring), and even how Fidani got its name (from the owner’s daughter).

Fidani Chocolate Factory
fine chocolates, made by hand

After the lecture, we were given a tour of the factory, and it was actually the first time the big chef allowed outsiders to enter his well organized workshop.

Pretty much the whole chocolate making process is done by hand over here. From the industrial chocolate fondue fountain machine the melted chocolate is poured into the mould just to be emptied leaving a chocolate shell if fillings are to be added, then more chocolate is poured to complete the process. Other types of chocolates require different treatments, like those that’s covered with crushed peanuts, or the special durian chocolate.

Fidani Chocolate Factory
how do you like my donkey and KY chocolates? =)

The packing and boxing process are done manually too, the only machine we saw other than the chocolate fountain is the expiry date label machine that costs over RM 30,000! That thing can magically spray perfect expiry date on anything passes underneath it. Very neat.

Fidani Chocolate Factory
check out how Grace messed up her attempt

After looking around, it was the time to make our own chocolates! We poured melted chocolate on into the mould and did our own decoration with white chocolate and some bits of other ingredients. I made a dark chocolate and a milk chocolate bar. I think you must find them very awesome.

Some of the noobs messed up majorly and over poured chocolates, spilling it all over the mould. I think you can appreciate that from the collage of 3 photos above.

Fidani Chocolate Factory
ze Joker!

The above photo of Kim just reminds me of the funniest scene in The Dark Knight. Two of the EZY sisters looking ahead while the Joker standing behind, up to no good.

Fidani Chocolate Factory
look at Cheesie so happy with her chocolate bags!

After the tour, we went back to the meeting room to sample some new chocolates not in the market yet and gave our feedbacks. That basically meant we were eating even more chocolates.

Fidani Chocolate Factory
and one for the team!

Before we left, Eiling gave each of us a big goodie bag filled with at least 2-300 ringgit worth of fine chocolates. That’s gonna be my supply for at least the next few week. We headed to ah foong bak kut teh for lunch right after, ahh, it was a Saturday morning well spent.

Fidani chocolates are available at Genting and KLIA, KKIA, Penang IA, LCCT, Kuching airport, and Langkawi airport and Jetty. Excuse me now I am going to have some chocolates!

While Cheddie paid a visit to KL about 2 months ago, Cheesie and I went for a seafood dinner to commemorate nothing at all. I’ve decided that Lala Chong be the destination since I’ve heard about the place for the longest time but have yet to give it a try.

Lala Chong at Subang
it was very packed

Lala Chong looks to be a halal place with many female Muslim working as servers. However, mud crab is served though, so I guess it would be up to individual’s interpretation on the appropriateness to eat here if you embrace Islam.

Anyway, for the two of us we ordered three dishes. A shiong thong 上汤 lala, baked crab, and a spicy paku pakis (fern) to go with some rice. The place was really packed on that Friday night, but luckily food didn’t take too long to arrive.

Lala Chong at Subang
lala, paku pakis (fern), baked crab, cheesie & cheddie

The shiong thong 上汤 lala was cooked in this herbal soup with some chili padi, it was pretty good but unfortunately the shellfish lacks in size. For a place with the name Lala in it, I think that’s a bit wrong.

However, the baked crab was fantastic. I think only salt, plenty of ginger, and some chili padi were used; but the crab was very fresh, very sweet, and very very juicy. I really liked it. No thick sauce to mask the original taste of crab, and no messy wet fingers to deal with either.

Cheesie’s favorite dish was the paku pakis with canned tuna. I find it very interesting too, the texture of paku pakis is unlike other vegetables, and the taste of tuna, chili, and garlic made it a pretty unique experience. Can’t really have it without rice though.

Lala Chong at Subang
Lala Chong is just opposite Terminal 3, Subang Airport

If I remember correctly, the dinner costs some RM 70 for the two of us. Pretty reasonable for what we had.

A little boy was really amused with Cheddie that night, as evident from that picture. I think he was asking if he could have her baked. 😛

Lot PT 6824, Terminal 3,
Abdul Aziz Shah Airport,
47200 Subang, Selangor

GPS: 3.135145, 101.553626
Tel: 03-7859 1906

KY – Paint it Black

September 10, 2008 16 Comments

Last weekend I finally watched a movie I’ve heard about for a long time: Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket.

Full Metal Jacket
Full Metal Jacket

This movie was released over 20 years ago, a story about transformation of men into killing machines, about friendship, human psychology, and the torment of war.

The story is separated into two very different parts. The first half illustrates the metamorphosis of young men into US marines who are “born to kill”, emphasizes on a particular Private Pyle who dealt with the situation in a very different way. Though heavy, this section also features a very entertaining Drill Instructor who is most awesome with his usage of metaphors. Example:

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: If you ladies leave my island, if you survive recruit training, you will be a weapon. You will be a minister of death praying for war. But until that day you are pukes. You are the lowest form of life on Earth. You are not even human, fucking beings. You are nothing but unorganized grabastic pieces of amphibian shit. Because I am hard you will not like me. But the more you hate me the more you will learn. I am hard but I am fair. There is no racial bigotry here. I do not look down on niggers, kikes, wops or greasers. Here you are all equally worthless. And my orders are to weed out all non-hackers who do not pack the gear to serve in my beloved Corps. Do you maggots understand that?

More quotes from FMJ here.

The second part of the movie reflects the cruelty of war in a very honest and in-your-face way. No romanticism, no heroism, just the very harsh reality of Vietnam war with pain, suffering, death, and pointless revenge being exhibit vividly.

The song Paint it Black by The Rolling Stones is used in the ending credits.

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, grab a copy of DVD, one of the best war movies ever made.

Maybank2u 2.0
Maybank2u 2.0

In another totally unrelated event (except for the fact that Maybank painted their new site black), I attended the Maybank2u 2.0 preview last Monday at Marc’s Residence, KL. Events like this have since became a platform to catch up with friends in similar circle. Suan, David Lian, Erna, Michael, Thomas, Ringo, Nicholas, and more were all there.

Being in an IT field myself, I was actually quite captivated by the approach taken for the requirement study in the site redesign exercise. Very user oriented, and in my opinion, the result shows. A clean, light, and very easy to navigate website. Back end remains the same, but I believe most users will like what they see when they launch this site.

The buffet dinner served by Delicious at Marc’s Residence was, well, very delicious too. As for now, I am going to listen to Paint it Black for the nth time.