Monday, September 29, 2008

What do you do on a stranded island?

What should one do when they are "stranded" on an island with their other half? Where although theres wireless internet, you do not want to know what is work or when you have to do work but the only aim is to do nothing and stone like the hours where you had to suffer after a big lunch.

So you decide you shall sleep in the comfortable bed till the latest of hours, but you realise all 3 meals are provided, so how can you skip a meal if it is paid for? Oh, thats too sinful so thou shall eat breakfast and lie on the deckchairs to nap away the morning sun away.

Fancy being classic and western? Theres a variety of cheese and dried fruits to munch on.

If the China man inside you wants to eat something chinese, theres HK chee cheong fun or porridge if you like (items change daily)

How can we leave out the majority of the visitors who are well; foreign? Western breakfast with an egg station cooking eggs any style you like, sausages, croissants and bacon.

How about freshly fried noodles on the teppanyaki station? Chinese style with a hint of mamak.

Fret not if the above doesnt tickle your fancy, thosai or capati anyone, made upon order?

Fancy a sweet breakfast? Crepes or waffles (on the first day)? Done beautifully eventhough it is buffet.

The only regret is not spotting any nasi lemak but by then, breakfast was a fulfulling experience and off we went to the beach.

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You will be amazed how hungry or greedy you can get when all you do is laze at the beach and swimming pool. In fact even without a single clue to the time, we still managed to go over to the Royal Bay Beach Club promptly for lunch.

Another breath taking view before lunch was served

Starting off with a smoked salmon caesar salad. Blame the weather, the croutons were stale and the leaves weren't chilled enough and failed to refreshen us up considering the hot sun.

Going on salad galore, since it was after all an ala carte buffet, we had a grilled prawn mango salad along with smoked salmon. The tangy flavours with a tinge of spiciness from the chilli padis failed to tie in with salty smoked salmon that laid at the bottom, perhaps just give me another of that huge lonely prawn?

The medley of mushrooms was served surprisingly chilled eventhough the mushrooms were cooked, it tasted quite good and was wiped out by the Girlfriend who enjoyed it more then me.

Then to finish things off, a green beef curry served with white rice. As authentic as some Thai restaurants i have tried in KL, this was good as i poured the sauce generously on rice before slurping even more with the doses of beef.

To finish things off, a banana mango roll served with some really thick chocolate fudge/ice-cream. Heavenly.

Cost of that lunch if done ala-carte style? Well not much, just a tad under RM300.

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*Yawns*. Should i go sun tan a tad more, take a swim or a proper nap? By now, the bed would have been made nicely, my bottle of sea salt refilled for my bath tub. Why not have some beer that i bought into the island while soaking in hot water? So it was.

Take a nap after that and before you know, it is time for dinner. How time flies when one is sleeping in bed.

Included in the places for dinner; Feast Village and Uncle Lim Kitchen.

Tough choice? Well not really, there were 2 nights.

Uncle Lim first shall we? Which is closed on Wednesday nights.

For 2 pax, you are entitled to two starters, 3 courses and 2 desserts (well not exactly ala-carte but i am not complaining)

A Sichuan Hot and Spicy Soup with amongst other things; fish maw.

Peking Duck rolls, done using cheong fun instead of the usual egg roll. Just as tantalising, well eating duck somehow does give that feeling.

Salt Baked Prawns that came out like salt n pepper deep fried prawns. Not the first encounter with prawns in the resort, there were juicy and fresh. The texture was not mushy and were really crunchy.

The Asparagus with Scallops or more like Scallops with Asparagus done in a XO sauce. The big scallops played the main role instead of the supporting actor here. Big and juicy again, and came aplenty, no fighting here!

Apparently Uncle Lim Speciality steam fish ala Assam style. Sourish and spicy, we walloped it all quickly when it was served hot.

Fried Banana with Vanilla ice-cream. This reminded me of the kind of desserts that we order in Australia rather then in Malaysia.

Mango Pudding with some fresh chunks of fresh mango.

Desserts definitely cooled us down from all the spicy stuff we ate.

The scary bill i initialled on was a tad under RM600.

After dinner 1, lets run through dinner 2, shall we? I hope you still got place for another meal.

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The Feast Village where we had our breakfast, also serves dinner. With a menu that comprises of local as well as western dishes, my aim personally was to get my money's worth after that heart attack.

So it was, choosing items based on face value (menu's prices) instead of thinking that it was included in my stay.

A Fritto Misto, deep fried seafood done italian style.

An onion soup with big meat balls hidden deep within.

One of the most expensive item on the menu, the chilled Rib Eye (RM 180!!) with a very salty bernaise sauce. Coupled with heavily salted when grilled, this was salty to the max. Then again, just brush away the sauce, and voila, settled.

The Barramundi served in a bed of risotto that was closely second, retailing around RM160. You must give credit to their huge servings, as two slices of fish was piled on top of each other. Taste wise, it was ok, must be the salty bernaise sauce that spoilt my tastebuds.

Clean the taste buds with a scoop of ice-cream. Do note that those signed under the "package" are not entitled to any other desserts then ice-cream, damn!

Still the meal was another ridiculous RM500++.

So after dinner, take a stroll back to your room, proceed for another shower, watch some TV and read a book and rest your head on that pillow.

Blissful holiday, i am still suffering from the hangover.

Bummer.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Chapman's Bar @ Emerald Bay, YTL Pangkor Laut

Monday morning, as i put on my pair of pants and secured the button, i immediately felt my face turning white. My lungs were breathing away but i realised the congestion started at the waist. As i stared at the love handles climbing out for air (apparently someone's favourite past time), god forbid how did i do this to myself?

Then i realised, just last week, all i was exposed to, were this kind of scenery.

Taken at Chapman's Bar towards sun set. I just realised a couple is swimming in the seas, are they really JUST swimming?

A killer and at the same time it whets your appetite like a whale.

With ridiculous price tags that would give you a heart attack and make you regret that you didn't take any cup noodles to the island before consoling you when you are at your last breath (or so you thought) by telling you that it is all included in the exorbitant package you already (or in my case the Girlfriend) forked out.

For once, numbers didn't mean anything as it was free for all during lunch.

But when that memory of that soft bed and pillows pops out like the girl did from the TV in Ju-On, you hurry up the meal and tell yourself dinner is in another 4 hours time.

Messed up but who cares? You get someone to make your bed twice a day!

Taking the van to Emerald Bay, the beach where people swim and laze around with story books, we had our first meal here. The people just seemed overfriendly compared to people in KL but we took it with good faith (i mean after all not everyone is like that right?) as well as i was starving.

RM 50 for a Hainan Chicken Rice? Well what would you expect? To be served in an isolated island, you must remember. Then again numbers don't mean anything. It came in a huge portion (the whole breast with the chicken wing) and was quickly devoured along with the ginger and chilli paste. The rice was well flavoured with chicken stock and i started to feel like i was truly in paradise.

The Girlfriend had something light; a Lamb Pita. The Pita Bread was stuffed to the brim with lamb pieces, capsicums and a mayo based dressing. Served on the side was fresh guacomole (avocado pulp/mash), we added onto the brimful pita bread and ate along with the chips. Oh yeah, RM45 if you want to buy it outright without the package.

By now, i gave up on dessert as i looked forward to dinner and my bed.

Fine, its more like the pictures are still crawling their way onto my Flickr as i shall try in my next entry; 3 meals a day on Pangkor Laut.

Till then.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Did the moon cake festival just came and went?

Every year before the softest mention of the mooncake festival coming (usually 1-2 months, although it seems to be getting earlier), you get to glimpse at the preview of round colourful mooncakes in any shopping centre.

Then the indulging begans before you ask when is that special day that we call the "mid-autumn festival night"?

The ridiculous amounts one spend on mooncakes, some with regrets, others without a blink of an eye like the durian paste from Shangri-La. Just ask my sister as i was munching on the whole piece while driving back home from dinner. I think i must have spent hundreds of dollars trying this and that (and i wonder why i am not losing weight and saving money)

Fast forward, when the moon turns full, you shed a tear and regret that you haven't stuffed yourself silly long enough (a month long) with different kinds of mooncake except the ones that created the festivall; a baked mooncake with lotus paste and a sinful eggyolk.

Suddenly the day pasts and the shopping centre is no longer filled with lanterns and colourful mooncakes.

It hits you that you realised not a single picture of a mooncake was taken to share with you all (noticed the lack of mooncakes on blogs too!) until i glimpse (in the same manner as i did a month ago at the display of mooncakes) into my fridge and found this..

Something to fill the space while i gather my ahem not so secret pictures from my trip to Pangkor Laut (Breakfast, lunch and dinner).

One of those funky ping pei mooncakes from Nikko Hotel

Did you guys miss mooncakes or had too much for comfort?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Pun Chun @ Bidor

Maybe by now, you would have known where i went, or maybe you don't have a clue. In any case a bigger clue to where i went is the requirement to stop by at Bidor for some serious noodle.

Pun Chun was around since the days of our fathers and probably ancestors by the look of the run down coffee shop. Despite a bright yellow sponsored signboard that shouts come in here for some of their famous chicken biscuit, it is the long awaited duck noodles that i want when i finally stepped in.

When you see the board with all the noodles they serve along with the prices, then spotting RM6.60 for a bowl of duck noodles, you know they mean serious business when Bidor is anything but a one street town.

For RM6.60, you get a whole duck drumstick, springy al-dente wanton noodles with a herbal broth that wasn't overpowering but packed a decent punch. Crunching on the noodles and slurping the hot soup, it is one of those items that you don't mind eating even if you had a huge buffet spread right in front of you.

If you didn't get the word Crunchy, the wantons were filled with plump prawn pieces and minced pork which really emphasise the word "Crunch".

The infamous Wu Kok served by an old man, RM 1.60 a piece and you know they mean serious business as well. The yam was not dripping with oil, the moist char siew pieces kept everything well lubricated without choking for your life. Nice to have it by your side to munch while waiting for the duck noodles but it isn't mind blowing i suppose.

Address and contact details:

38 & 40, Jalan Besar,
35500 Bidor, Perak
Tel. 05-434-1554

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars for the nolstagia effect. Imagining your parents and grandparents once seating in the same chair slurping the same soup and eating the same bowl of duck noodle

Saturday, September 20, 2008

I am back!


Back from the beach that i so dearly loved, the hotel bed that wraps you around like an omelette and the 5 star service that makes you feel like a star.

On Monday, its back to the dreaded office desk, managers to wrap you with work like an omelette and an non-existent service that you have to receive with a smile.

Thats life..and back to food blogging soon!

Or if you would like to guess, where was the above picture taken from?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Chef Michelle :- Sweet Chilly Prawns and Squid

I think it is a statement of fact or since the trend nowadays is to swear by the God's book, i can also swear by that, is the fact that i can't cook.

So when i see people about eating good food AND churning out good food, desperate times call for desperate measures.

Since of all people i can't cook, i have managed to roped in The Girlfriend's cousin, all the way studying in Melbourne to help me out on this one.

Honoring her skills by having to cook for herself and two very picky males; the Boyfriend and the Brother, i have convinced her to let me in on her recipes for my blog.

So without further ado, my guest recipe blogger! Michelle Ng!

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Hi and g'day to all. Today i would like to introduce to all of you, a simple seafood dish that will get you all fired up, My Sweet Chilly Prawns and Squid.

The ingredients are pretty simple. Here's what you need:
  • Prawns (peeled & deveined) and/or squid
  • Shallots (quartered & sliced)
  • Chillies (sliced)
  • Light soya sauce
  • Sugar
  • Tomato sauce
  • Thai sweet chilly sauce
Well, I would recommend using 250-300g of prawns and/or squids, 2-3 shallots, and probably 1 or 2 chilly according to individual preference.

As easy as ABC.

Step 1 - Heat some oil in a pan/wok until hot, then sauté the shallots and chillies for one or two minutes.
Step 2 - Season it with a tablespoon of light soya sauce.
Step 3 - Stir in the prawns and/or squids.
Step 4 - Sprinkle a teaspoon of sugar over the prawns/squid.
Step 5 - Add 2 tablespoon of tomato sauce and Thai sweet chilly sauce respectively.
Step 6 - Sauté until the prawns/squid are cooked. (You may want to adjust seasoning to suit your taste.)


Yeap, it's that simple. You can serve hot with rice as main dish or can be taken as a side dish.

Thats all folks! Let me know if the recipe works out fine and till the next time!

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I knew i had a way haha..

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Goon Wah @ Off Jalan Kuchai Lama

When you thought only posh places have the oddest and stringent of operating hours like closing on a Sunday, the only day free for most of us and closing for lunch during the weekends (matter of fact,a pattern practiced by many restaurants), then this restaurant must be the epitome of them all.

With opening hours from 10am-3pm, Mondays to Fridays, how could a normal man on the street with a 9am to 5pm job ever get the chance to experience their heavenly dishes, unless they are in heaven of course.

Call us lucky, a country with one of the most public holidays, we finally got the chance to savour the signature dishes of Goon Wah, on the day most were resting after celebrating being a proud Malaysian. I was celebrating too, proud to be savouring the many cuisines that Malaysians have come up with.

Situated next to a coffin shop was no deterrent for the many customers that were snaking their way through the restaurant as early as 10am.

Starting off with their famous Fish Head noodles, served pipping hot in a claypot, the soup was inviting with its sourish concoction. The pot was served with the thick bee hoon (the only way to eat fish head noodles), chunks of fried fish head pieces, preserved and salted vegetables, tomatoes and a rarer sight, yam slices.

The Chau Bak Kor done Hokkien Style, was loaded with pork lard pieces. I think thats all i have to say.


The Claypot Lou Shu Fun was not oily (things are getting expensive and people want to get healthier) but the minced pork and dried shrimp made up for it and got us ordering another pot when we were done with the first one.

The Kong Nam Mee was decently cooked; the thing i like about this noodle is the century egg pieces. The crunchy noodles soaked in sauce with a variety of ingredients.

The Loh Hon Chai (Mixed Vegetables) was refreshing for a change from the boring green vegetables.

The Coffee or was it Stout Chicken Wings had generous amounts of sauce glazed at every exposed sight. The sauce was good, the meat was done properly and we had everyone licking their fingers clean.

Finish off with a nice big Ais Kacang, comes with a scoop of Corn Ice Cream (something that has been the longest of time since i had some)

Address and contact details:

G13, Jalan 3/115C
Block KP2, Taman Kuchai Jaya
Off Jalan Kuchai Lama

58200 Kuala Lumpur


Tel No: 03 - 7982 0048


Rating: 4 stars out of 5 stars. However the good rating needs to be caveated with the following: 1. Book a table in advance, if you can book the noodles too even better 2. You got to order the Kau Yoke with Yam (the one that we ate so fast, without even taking a picture. Definitely worth a try with their signature fish head noodles and claypot lou shu fun.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Degustation Menu @ Max! Kitchen and Wines

When you get invited to a foodie's birthday, it would be foolish to expect anything less then spectacular. Especially when you are talking of the Queen of DSLR in the realms of food blogging. So despite the heavy traffic and potentially flooding of my car, i must say i am very honored to have celebrated LemonGasp birthday.

Bread with black vinegar and olive oil

So lets roll along now, our 5 course degustation menu that was tailored by Max himself. With extra emphasis on fresh seafood, in this case local produce where ever possible, it was an eye opening experience.

Don't be fooled by the close up. The Amuse Bouche was merely to tickle the taste buds and in our case since dinner started close to 9pm, it got me almost on the verge of rioting for food.

Smoked Salmon, Artichokes and Sun-dried Capsicum with some pine nuts for the extra crunch

The raw scallops gave it a sashimi feel and i loved the vinaigrette and oil that accompanied the texture. Hunger got over tastebuds and before i knew, i finished and i proceeded to the second half the dish. Whilst the anchovies lent flavour to the rather tasteless tuna, it was rather overpowering. I couldn't really taste the crab meat

Sea Scallops marinated in Champagne Vinaigrette and Lobster Oil, charred Tuna Loin with King Crab Meat - White Anchovies Salsa

Although the eel looked and tasted like it came out from a Japanese kitchen, the ragout that tasted like the perfect risotto although in amounts that i could only drool over others when i was done was marvelous to say the least.

Warm Eel Fillet on Truffle Cremed Cuttlefish Ragout with a Melange of fresh Highland Herbs and Sea Trout Roe

The Yabbies was served with a very heavy broth that nevertheless was emptied to the last drop. If no one had told me, i never knew we had yabbies in our local Kluang rivers. Like they say, you will always learn something new everyday.

River Water Farmed Yabbies, chargrilled in a Pernod laced Fennel Bulb - Tomato Broth

One thing that shines about Max is the ability to use fresh local produce and cook it his style or whatever style this is meant to be (french, italian or plain western?). The natural sweetness of the fish was evident despite the awfully pale green sauce coming from the spinach. The clams somehow didnt seem to gel and by now i was wondering if we really were having a seafood tasting menu.

Parrot Fish Fillet on Parsley - Garlic Poached Clams served with Borlotti Beans and wilted English Spinach Leaves

The chicken roulade had a mix of ham and breast meat, the smoked flavours infused. The pumpkin cannelloni was delicious although i had trouble cutting into bite size pieces without tearing the piece apart. Loved the sweet peas, just like they are, very sweet.

Chicken Breast Roulade with Pumpkin Cannelloni, sauteed Sweet Peas and Shimeji Mushroom

How time flies, i remembered the last time we had a meal here was when i was still in my blonde Sony red camera, and now it appeared the flogging community has all leaped to the DSLR bandwagon.

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Well what can i say except that i am very lucky to have known this blogger friend that surprisingly comes from the dreadful number line industry who writes lyrical reviews like no other. A very late toast to her some say 18th, 30th or 40th birthday, Meena.

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