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Monthly Archives / September 2015

Sunday Fun with Jazz

September 15, 2015 12 Comments

While I’m pretty active with badminton and futsal, I’ve also taken mountain biking as another weekend hobby not too long ago. There’s something about peddling like mad around the lush green trees in the rain forest that sooth the mind.

packing up my mountain bike in Honda Jazz
packing up my mountain bike in Honda Jazz

We started in the morning by packing my old trusted mountain bike in the Jazz.

While the car may look pretty diminutive from the outside, it has some pretty neat trick up its sleeve. For one, the rear seats can be arranged in several configurations according to your need.

I folded it down into utility mode and threw my mountain bike in with ease. In fact, it’ll take 2 full size mountain bikes without breaking a sweat.

loving the bluetooth enable in-car entertainment system
loving the bluetooth enable in-car entertainment system

first pit stop - lemang stalls by Karak Highway (before Genting exit)
Lemang stalls by Karak Highway (before Genting exit)

Along the way before we reach Janda Baik, there stopped by the lemang stalls by Karak Highway just a short distance before Genting Highland exit  (GPS: 3.325877,101.748323).

For RM 14 we got ourselves a whole tube of lemang and a container of serunding. Add a couple cans of cold soft drinks and you got yourself a pretty awesome brunch.

a bit of Mountain Biking at Janda Baik
a bit of Mountain Biking at Janda Baik

We got to Janda Baik, I unload the bike, affixed the front wheel, and spent some of time cycling around the trail a bit. Nothing beats the fresh air up in the hill if you’re sweating.

"Refresh Mode" - best for a bit of in-car snoozing
“Refresh Mode” – best for a bit of in-car snoozing

After cycling, the “refresh mode” came into play – by removing the headrest and fold the front seat all the way down, you can actually “join” it to the rear seat to form a sort of “Business Class” horizontal bed for a bit of snooze fest. Why wouldn’t anyone thought of this earlier?

Sekinchan paddy field, it's 2015, year of selfie?
Sekinchan paddy field, it’s 2015, year of selfie?

After resting for a while – we decided to drop by Sekinchan for a while. Because, why not? Some 120 km later, we reached Sekinchan, a place so tranquil and serene it almost seem impossible that it is actually within the state of Selangor, just an hour or so’s drive from the bustling PJ, or Bandar Utama. I always love the vast expanse of flat land and the seabreeze.

The 1.5 litre i-VTEC engine with CVT gearbox proved to be pretty frugal in fuel consumption. With around RM50 spent on fuel, I am impressed with the area that we have covered for the day.

We spent about half an hour or so recharging our souls by the paddy field before continuing our final leg of the journey.

this car would look good at our new crib
this car would look good at our new crib

Another 50 km or so later, we reached KEN Rimba, our future new crib (still under renovation), and I think the Jazz sure look pretty good here, don’t you think?

For more information on Honda Jazz and other models, head to Withdreams.com.my

Earlier this month on the 1st of September 2015, Malaysian Airlines officially welcomed the start of its new company Malaysia Airlines Berhad. As with many of you, my first ever flying experience was with our national carrier, with what has happened in the past 18 months or so, I personally felt that this is a significant step to the right direction for the company to once again proudly graze the Malaysian skyline.

Flying with Malaysia Airlines Berhad on the first day of business
Flying with Malaysia Airlines Berhad on the first day of business

Together with a few other writers, I was invited to take a short day trip with the new MAB to Penang.

To be honest, last I flew back to Penang was almost two decades ago when I took a flight (and was upgraded to business class, my first business class experience!) back to my hometown, down with dengue.

To commemorate the occasion, the customers on this particular flight was given a cute little pilot bear.

Malaysian Airlines Berhad CEO Christoph Mueller on Sept 1st, 2015
Malaysian Airlines Berhad CEO Christoph Mueller on Sept 1st, 2015

The CEO of Malaysian Airlines Berhad, Christoph Mueller, was on location to make sure everything runs smoothly, and to salute the aircraft before we take off, it was a proper sent off, albeit only to a location 45 mins away.

breakfast at 1977 kopitiam, Paya Terubong, Penang
breakfast at 1997 kopitiam, Paya Terubong, Penang

Upon touch down in the Pearl of the Orient, we first took care of the most important business – breakfast!

We headed to Paya Terubong and jumped right into 1997 kopitiam. The restaurant is named after the year in which it was established. To be fair, I’ve never been here (as I left Penang in 1996 for college).

The loh mee I ordered turned out to be more than satisfying, I particularly love the super spicy sambal. and of course the availability of those soft & smooth pork skin didn’t hurt at all. The char kuih teow we shared was pretty decent, and kuih teow soup received positive remarks too. It was a pretty good start of the day.

heading up to Penang Hill
heading up to Penang Hill

After breakfast, we went up to the highest peak of the island – Penang Hill.

There are two ways to head up to the hill – by the new & improved cable car from Ayer Itam, or use the Number 11 bus (your 2 legs) and walk your way up from the road next to Botanical Garden. Of course, we chose the easy way up.

Not to be outdone by Paris’ love locks, Penang Hill has our very own section of the same thing too, I found it pretty cute. If you didn’t bring your own locks, they’ve got a stall manned with traders who are quite eager to sell you a few models of locks, rather enterprising.

the old cannon's still there, but the cable car is now much faster
the old cannon’s still there, but the cable car is now much faster

I walked up to the highest peak and made sure to take a photo next to the cannon, reminiscing a similar picture taken at the same spot when I went up there with classmates at the age of 10 or so, time flies man.

Oh, make sure you take the lowest car on the way down, the faster speed makes for quite a pretty thrilling ride, I love it.

the famous Ayer Itam asam laksa
the famous Ayer Itam asam laksa

After Penang Hill, it was time for lunch, and since we were already at Ayer Itam, the famous laksa right next to the morning market made for an obvious choice.

I’ve had this laksa from when it was sold for RM 1 per bowl, and glad to say that it still tastes the same as it was from decades ago. Check out this old blog post of the place from almost 10 years back.

Fort Cornwallis, where Sir Francis Light first stepped foot on Penang
Fort Cornwallis, where Sir Francis Light first stepped foot on Penang

Fort Cornwallis was our next destination. This was the place where Sir Francis Light, the founder of modern Penang first set up camp on the island. The historical site isn’t overly interesting to be perfectly honest, but if you’re hungry (unfortunately we weren’t), the mee sotong at the adjacent food court is excellent.

Rumah Peranakan, I've never been to this place even though I'm from Penang
Peranakan Mansion, I’ve never been to this place even though I’m from Penang

We then moved to Peranakan Mansion, a typical mansion for affluent Baba & Nyonya from a century ago. This mansion was super impressive and definitely worth every sen of the entrance fee. There are over 1000 pieces of antique & collectibles on display. I am quite embarrassed to be a Penangite who only stepped foot in this building for the first time.

If you go to Penang, be sure to pay a visit to this place.

Masjid India, the oldest mosque in Penang, and the nasi kandar next to it
Masjid India, the oldest mosque in Penang, and the nasi kandar next to it

Continuing the tour of Georgetown, our Muslim tour-mates took the opportunity to pray at the oldest mosque on the island – Masjid India.

As for the rest of us, it was an excuse for nasi kandar. I had nasi tomato from the Nasi Kandar Masjid stall (next to the famous Nasi Kandar Beratur which opens only at night). As with most nasi kandar in Penang, the curry was thick and flavorful, but it didn’t have as much umph as I had wanted, I guess I expected just a bit more.

Penang road cendol and rojak
Penang road cendol and rojak

For tea break, we headed to Penang road to have some cendol. There are two stalls operating across the road from each other, and to be honest, they both tasted as good as each other. Some may argue that one is “definitely better”, but I can’t tell.

Oh, the rojak is pretty good as well.

a visit to Chew Jetty before we head back to KL
a visit to Chew Jetty before we head back to KL

Chew Jetty was our last destination before heading back to the airport. The famous residential jetty now has about half the houses converted to make-shirt shops of sort. In a way it was perhaps slightly less charming? I don’t really know what to make up of it.

My grandparents stay very close to one of these jetties at Weld Quay, so as a kid I used to roam around the different jetties with no shoes, carelessly side stepping open nails and barely secured planks. There was definitely a sense of nostalgia.

Oh, by the way, I also tapao 10 packs of laksa back to KL, and happy to report that airport security did not think it was a bad idea. 😀

Best of luck, Malaysian Airlines!

To be honest Fu Yu Yau Mak, or Romaine Lettuce with fermented bean curd, was not a dish I’m familiar with growing up in Penang. Mom never really cooked this in our dinners, and it was only when I moved to Klang Valley for college did I have my first taste of this combination, and I love it ever since.

As it turns out, this is also one of the simplest dishes to prepare, here’s how:

the ingredients - garlic, romaine lettuce, fermented bean curd
the ingredients – garlic, romaine lettuce, fermented bean curd

Ingredients:

  • Romaine lettuce for two pax
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cubes of fermented bean curd (smashed em)
  • 2-3 spoons of cooking oil
  • 5-6 chili padi (chopped)

fry the garlic first, then everything next
fry the garlic first, then everything next

Cooking Instructions:

  • heat up cooking oil in medium heat and fry garlic till fragrant
  • add in lettuce, chili padi & fermented bean curd
  • fry until vegetable is soft, add 1/4 cup of water or soup stock if you prefer it a little wet

We’ve moved into the new house with a bigger kitchen, so expect a bit more simple recipes coming this way. Happy cooking!

Not too many days ago I found myself at Seapark looking to go for some chicken rice at Hoe Fong, and sure enough it wasn’t open, so we headed for 2nd option – Tong Fong kopitiam at around the corner just behind KFC.

"James Bond" char kuih teow at Restaurant Tong Fong, Seapark
“James Bond” char kuih teow at Restaurant Tong Fong, Seapark

The kopitiam serves pretty good curry mee and beef noodle, but the bright yellow banner that says “James Bond Fried Kuey Teow” caught my attention. Another peek revealed that this self-proclaimed James Bond is at about Sean Connery’s age, so I ordered a plate for myself using my trusted Penang Hokkien, which he understood – litmus test passed!

decent prawn, big cockles, good "wok hei", not a bad plate of char kuih teow
decent prawn, big cockles, good “wok hei”, not a bad plate of char kuih teow

The ensuing plate of char kuih teow turned out to be more than decent. Good size prawn, juicy cockles, and kuih teow fried with some decent fire, it was pretty good. I only wished there’s a duck egg option and that maybe I should have ordered it a bit more spicy. But it did satisfy my cravings and more than made my stomach happy.

map to restaurant Tong Fong, Seapark

Address:
Tong Fong restaurant
Jalan 21/17,
Seapark,
46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

GPS3.110142, 101.621673
Hoursbreakfast and lunch

As we’ve now officially moved to Shah Alam but yet to manage to subscribe to fiber internet line, updates will be still a bit on the slow side, but fear not, here’s another Klang bak kut teh place for you to contemplate – the 155 Bak Kut Teh restaurant at Pandamaran.

Restoran 155 bak kut teh, Klang
Restoran 155 bak kut teh, Klang

Some of you may have come across the 158 Hong Ba post on this site a few months ago, and yes, this house-turned-restaurant bak kut teh place resides along the same road just a stone’s throw away, apparently owned by owners with similar creativity level when it comes to naming their business.

claypot bak kut teh & pork trotter with vinegar
claypot bak kut teh & pork trotter with vinegar

155 Bak Kut Teh actually serves more than just bak kut teh. In addition to the usual soupy version of my favorite pork dish of all time, there’s also the dry version, pork trotter vinegar, and “oily” vegetable. The bak kut teh comes in either clay pot or the traditional China bowl.

Since there was just two of us, we opted for a claypot BKT with soup, and a portion of pork trotter vinegar (RM 11 each). We also tried their yau char kuai as starter.

I always love it when there's unlimited fried shallots|
I always love it when there’s unlimited fried shallots

We chose “kah wan” (fatty meat near pork legs) and was more than satisfied with the quality of the BKT soup with is quite plentiful and still rather flavorful. The meat is tender as any, and for those who favor balanced diet, there’s a few pieces of greens in it.

The pork trotter vinegar though, was superb. It was soft, tender, and absolutely “kao”. The viscosity of the vinegar is quite high with the aroma that’s equally as imposing. I love it.

map to 155 bak kut teh, Pandamaran, Klang

If you want some balanced BKT with some good pork trotter vinegar, this is a place to check out. Spare the yau char kuai though.

Address:
155 Bak Kut Teh Restaurant
155, Jalan Chan Ah Choo, 
Pandamaran, 
42000 Pelabuhan Klang,
Selangor
GPS: 3.010609, 101.419939
Tel: 019-649 2000, 016-354 8982
Hours: dinner