Archive for March, 2012

March madness

So it’s officially the last day of March. The year seems to be crawling and yet speeding by at the same time. Even this year’s My Kitchen Rules season is over.
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This was my ode to MKR. One of the contestants made this glutinous black rice pudding on the show and my colleague at work said she would really like to try it. So I made pulut hitam for our morning tea one day. I’ve decided that I like pulut hitam, the chewy bite of the black glutinous rice,richness of coconut cream and salty sweetness of gula melaka.
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I’ve had a productive Saturday. This is loh bak with tofu puffs and egg lunch bento for the next week. But there’s only need for two lunch bentos this week because come Tuesday night, I’ll be flying out to Bangkok! I’m really looking forward to this holiday. 2012 has been tough so far, I’m hoping this holiday will give me a chance to reboot and start over again.
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The best thing about 2012 so far, is the new addition to the family. This is baby Kaka, you will be hearing a lot more about her in the future. There is really something magical about being an aunty. (*___*).

Singapore Day 4 : The last breakfast

Sob, it was the last day in Singapore. Not even a full day since our flight was in the afternoon. But we made the most of it foodie wise and had a massive breakfast at Albert Food Court.
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I love this food court, so much choice and a kopi stall in every lane! HC and I had a kopi everyday (^__^).
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HC’s brother joined us for breakfast. He was still suffering from the aftermath of a bad cold poor guy.

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My mum’s roti canai with curry sauce. This looks yummy.

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Jo’s second Lek Tao Suan in Singapore. For some reason she developed a craving for this sweet mung bean dessert in Singapore, best eaten with lots of yew char kuey (fried dough sticks) on top. I used to love this dessert as a kid, hmm, maybe I can make this at home!

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I don’t know who’s char kway teow this was, was it mine? I think we might have shared this.

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I can imagine Jan shaking her head at this photo. Instead of her favourite vegetarian beehoon I bought vegetarian kway teao instead! I miss vegetarian stalls in Singapore.

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No prizes for guessing what my dad had for his last meal in Singapore. What else but the famous fishball noodles? We also bought a huge pack of fried carrot cake to share. So good. Gosh, we are such gluttons but what a happy life (^___^)Y. If you haven’t guessed by now, it was a fantastic Singapore holiday.

Quick food

For some reason the food that I cooked last week all look bland and yellowy.But luckily they didn’t turn taste too bland *I hope*

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This is my cheat Chicken rice meal. I used a spice pack for my rice and didn’t do a whole chicken but rather chicken pieces. It turned out alright but it would be so much better if I did it from scratch, chilli, stock and all. So I bought a whole chicken and will be making Hainan chicken rice soon. Maybe after Bangkok?

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A pack of Hokkien noodles is always handy when you want  a quick meal. Fried Hokkien noodles with chicken and mushrooms.

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This is Hokkien noodles with chicken soup, topped with chicken, bok choy and egg.

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There’s a story behind this chicken marsala dish. My sister Jan told me that they were having chicken and brocolli with madeira sauce for dinner. It just happened that I was wondering what to do with the chicken breasts at home, I was sick of cooking my normal stir fries. So I researched madeira sauce, realised I had no madeira and switched to chicken with marsala sauce instead. Hehe, it turned out pretty well, I shall try this on HC soon, he likes marsala sauce a lot.

I know it’s only Monday but I’m so ready for the weekend already.

Singapore Day 2 & 3: Orchard & the Family reunion

I know I haven’t been blogging for a long time. To tell the truth, life is at a low slump now and I just didn’t feel like writing emo posts that I would gag at later. But I’m going on holiday soon, so hopefully things will turn for the better soon 🙂

Ok, back to happier times. Day 2 in fun Bugis.
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This is Bugis Street early in the morning minus the crowds.
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This time we ventured out of Bugis and we went to Orchard the shopping haven. It was Jo and HC’s first time at the ION shopping centre with pretty cool ceilings.
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We met up with my parents at Heeren for a Japanese buffet at Kiseki. Hehe, HC was nice enough to pose in front of the sumo mascot for me.

snacks

It was a fun shopping day but we were glad to get back to our favourite Albert food court for good local food. Snacks included ondeh-ondeh, popiah and pie tee.

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One of our must-eats in Singapore was Mos Burger. It took us a while to find the Mos burger outlet but it was worth it. There’s just something different about the Mos burger.

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This was our durian stall throughout the Singapore trip. My father made friends with the Uncle durian seller. His stall was just opposite the hotel. HC stopped by on our way back to the hotel to ask him whether there were any good durians that day for my father.

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Day 3 was just all about the family reunion. All the Singaporean relatives gathered at Uncle Richard’s place, some that Jo and I had never seen before. It was a very heartwarming event and I know my parents had a great time catching up with the old folks.

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Guess what I had for dinner?

Jo and HC’s Saturday morning

I actually had nothing planned for this Saturday figuring it would be a good day to sleep in, do some housework and potter around the house. But when I woke up in the morning I felt restless, the weather was gorgeous so I called Jo ‘let’s go out!’. Jo replied that she was watching tv and wanted to stay home. Under my persistent cajoling, she pretended that she was losing connection ‘can’t hear you, can’t hear you, can’t hear you..cccrr…crrr….’. Hahahaha.

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5 minutes later I received a msg ‘picking you up at 9.15am.’ Woohoo!! It’s fantastic having siblings that live nearby, especially nice brother in laws that will bring you out for impromptu breakfasts.

No fancy cafes this time, we had $1 sausage Mcmuffins instead! It’s been a couple of years since I’ve had Mcdonalds for breakfast, in fact I think the last time was when we were in Japan and had Mcgriddles. This sausage mcmuffin was actually quite nice hehe.

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The best thing about going out with HC is that I always have a coffee buddy. For the past few weeks weekend coffees have been pretty disappointing. Maybe I’ve been spoilt by the great coffee in the CBD during working days? But if HC and I want guaranteed good coffee during the weekend, we head to Antz Inya Pantz which is conveniently located in Victoria Park.

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This unassuming cafe is really all about coffee and nothing much else. It’s popular during the weekends for takeaway coffee and coffee beans.

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A typical lazy Saturday morning with HC and Jo involves stopping by the err.. fishing shop (not sure what you call these outdoorsy shops). While Jo and I love shopping in fashion outlets and browsing supermarkets, this is HC’s idea of shopping heaven.

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Haven’t featured my cooking for a while. That’s because I’ve been lazy and haven’t been whiping up anything special. Roasted herbed chicken and buttered sugar snap peas anyone?

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The best kind of simple dinner of fried eggs. Why are eggs so delicious in all shapes and forms? This is one of my favourite ways of cooking fried eggs, crispy around the edges but still with runny yolks in the middle, drizzled with oyster sauce, a sprinkling of pepper and topped with lots of chopped spring onions. Yummy!

Ok, I’m going to enjoy the rest of my weekend now, happy weekend everyone (^___^)Y

Singapore Day 1 : I love Bugis Street

Yeah, another travel post! I like doing travel posts because it brings me back to the good ol’ holidays. Despite the long weekend, I really really need another holiday, sigh, if only holidays lasted forever.

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This is the entrance to Bugis Street. After the intense Kuching trip, it was nice that we could squeeze in a few leisurely days in Singapore before returning to Perth. The best part about this Singapore trip was not staying in Orchard (as we usually do), but staying in Bugis instead! I love Bugis especially Bugis Street and Albert Food Court, it was so nice being out of the tall shopping malls (but the crowds were still there) and eating lots of local food Y(^__^)Y.

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The sight and smell of durians hit you the moment you step into Bugis Street. Best of all, it’s the famous Mao Shang Wan durians. Hehe, my father’s eyes lit up when he saw this gorgeous scene that only a true local Malaysian/Singaporean durian lover would appreciate.

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Packs and packs of luscious yellow sweet, pungent durian flesh lined neatly in rows. Mao Shang Wan durians btw, are very expensive. My ah pa was contemplating whether to buy these from the vendor, but in the end, we found something better.

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Bugis Street with its maze of lanes and little stalls selling goods of all kinds. This was where Jo and I did most of our shopping for clothes and souvenirs.

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Couldn’t resist taking a photo of these Maneki Nekos. Don’t worry, Jo didn’t buy any.
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Our hotel was conveniently located a few streets away from Bugis Street and the wonderful Albert food court. Every morning we would walk past this building to get to the food court, doesn’t it look interesting? Can you guess what building it is?

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 Finally food pictures. My father’s must order in Singapore is fishball noodles. This one was only average and from the food court in Bugis Junction. We had much better fishball noodles the next day.

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If my father’s must order in Singapore is fishball noodles, mine is chicken rice! I love love love Singapore Hainan chicken rice. Sigh, I could eat this almost every day, ok, I lied, maybe not every day but every other day.

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Supper was the Singapore Hokkien noodles which is cooked with prawn broth for that lovely seafood flavour. My ah ma cooks Hokkien noodles really well actually.

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I love chwee kueh which is another must eat for me in Singapore. Sigh, I’m so greedy, I have so many must-eats in Singapore. So that was the end of Day 1 in Singapore. more next time!

Labour Day long weekend

Oh no, I’m blogging about the Labour Day long weekend which means the weekend is over (T_________T)!
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The long weekend started with brunch at Mille Cafe (1000, Beaufort Street Inglewood). It’s Mark’s little sister Cindy’s first year in Perth, we promised Mark that we would look out for her, so brought her out to try some Aussie breakfast. Unfortunately Mille Cafe’s coffee was burnt and bad, I couldn’t finish it. Sigh, and weekend coffees are usually the best too.

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This is my ‘Boston Beans’ which was baked beans with a poached egg in the middle with a toasty white bun ($12.50). The portion was huge and I couldn’t even finish half of it. Luckily Calvin was there to polish it off for me :). The beans tasted like normal baked beans, but the bun was nice and soft with a lovely crust.
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HC’s ‘Wake Up Call’ ($19.50) was gigantic and had a bit of everything including pork sausage, bacon, field mushroom, slow roasted tomato, herbed potato cake, fried eggs and toast.
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Jo’s salmon and toast with rocket, turkish bread, scrambled eggs, truffle oil ($14.50). She said the scrambled eggs were very nice.
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Cindy liked her oven baked eggs ($12.50 )which were baked with ham, cream, spinach, parmesan, mozzarella. She said they were very creamy and cheesy and filling.

The rest of the long weekend went by in a blur. There was a fishing/crabbing session, a dimsum and movie session. We even had an irish pub dinner at Fibber McGee’s with Wendy and Jason but I forgot to bring the camera *epic foodie fail*.
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Monday was spent grocery shopping, cooking and vegging out in front of the tv. A pot of Malaysian curry always does the trick.

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Diced tofu and minced pork dish.

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My attempt at Aunty Jenny’s signature prawn omelette dish. Not exactly perfect but I will keep practising. If only all these lovely aunties would keep teaching me their signature dishes I would feel so privileged and happy.

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Return of the kuih bingka. I baked a tray of these, half for R’s colleagues morning tea and the other half for our charity morning tea tomorrow. I hope they like it.

And that ends our Labour Day long weekend of 2012.

Kuching Day 16 & 17 : The last days in Kuching

I just watched Jo’s wedding video which has finally arrived in Perth. It was actually a lovely watch except for some embarrassing moments where I was being very bossy and noisy. The video brought back good and funny (Calv doing Gee is classic) memories of the Kuching trip so I decided to blog about the last few days in Kuching.

My second last day in Kuching was my birthday :), and amazingly, also the day that my niece Kaka was born! So now we both share the same birthdays, smart girl, I will never forget her birthday in future and will be a good present buying aunt.

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Such a good start to a birthday, pohpiah! I wouldn’t mind having this for all my birthday breakfasts in future. This was the best of pohpiahs too, from my favourite Jing Fu Ling. Ah ma bought loads so I could share around with my friends. Do you prefer original or fried? I’m a sucker for the original myself but deep fried is really good too.

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Birthday flowers from R. He cleverly asked HC to get it for him, smart boy.

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I’m usually not a religious person. But for some reason I’ve been feeling very troubled since the Dragon Year. So I requested a visit to the Ling Hua Shan temple. It did make me feel better and I prayed for my family, friends and myself.  HC taught me how to fold these offerings for the gods, mine were pretty flat and ugly, I hope the gods didn’t mind.

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Cheng flew back to Canada that day. This is the last photo I took of Cheng in Kuching. I remember his sister suddenly arrived to pick him up, in his rush he ran around saying goodbye to everyone, climbed into the car and drove off. Then it hit me that he forgot to say goodbye to me! Cheng and I have been pretty lucky to be able to meet again so soon after his Perth visit in 2010. The last gap we had was 12 years! I can’t help but wonder whether it’ll be another decade before we meet again? Either way, I know that when we meet again, the years will melt between us and  we’ll be the same Cheng and Di again. I wish he could be in Perth though and I could see his big smile all the time.

Later in the evening Gill flew back to Perth.

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This picture to me is the epitome of the type of friend Gill is. She was so happy to be able to attend Jo’s wedding and was the ultimate support and best friend a girl (or a bride!) could have. I remember when Jo and HC made the grand entrance into the banquet hall, I couldn’t take any good photos with my camera because I was too far away. Gill who was sitting next to me had disappeared. I realised she had rushed up to the red carpet and was busy snapping photos of the couple. That’s kinda Gill through and through. I’m so glad she made it to Kuching :).

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The house was very quiet that night with Jo staying at the hotel with HC, Gill gone, my brother back in US. It was just me, my parents and dear Jaso. We didn’t have a big birthday bash, instead it was a quiet bowl of birthday noodles topped with the traditional eggs and chicken drumstick cooked by my mum. Jason was still recovering from his serious bout of cough but still had a dnm (deep and meaningful, Jaso’s term!) with me. My mum couldn’t help laughing at him clutching his stomach in pain whenever he coughed, she wasn’t being nasty, she just thought he looked like he was pregnant. My parents really enjoyed having Jaso around and he was the best comfort to have around. I’m glad he is fulfulling his dream and really enjoying life in UK now but I do miss him a lot.

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Jaso’s last day in Kuching and also my last full day in Kuching (T____T). Both of us woke up early for a road trip.Where to? To visit the famous temple Chingsan! This is an annual must visit for the devout Buddhists HC and his mum, Jo usually accompanies them and this year they had the tag alongs Jaso and I as well.

This was also the morning that we found out about baby’s birth the night before. My brother in law had texted Jo to let her know, Jo called my mum and apparently they had sent a photo to my phone. So my mum was banging crazily on my door at like 4am in the morning demanding to see the photo!

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Jaso in front of the entrance to the temple. I was pleasantly surprised at how grand and nice this temple was.

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It was kinda peaceful looking out at the faraway boats.

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The newly wedded couple climbing up the many steps to the temple *puff puff puff*

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My ah pa brought us out for lunch afterwards of chicken rice at a place near my house. It wasn’t chicken rice of the norms though and had a bit of everything. My father was in such a good mood and high spirits, when he called my mum to ask whether she wanted some takeaway he addressed her as ‘nenek’ (grandmother in Malay).

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 My last cup of Kuching kopi *sob sob*

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We also ordered a tomato kway teow to share and it was really good!

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Because it was Jaso’s last day in Kuching, we tried to cram in as much food as possible. Song Kheng Hai was finally open so we went there for ais kachangs. This was Kuching’s popular Matterhorn.

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I can’t remember whether this was ABC or Special. But it was refreshing and yummy.

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This is a must-eat for Song Keng Hai, Foochow Kong Pias! Piping hot meat buns, I can’t explain how good these were, slightly crunchy, chewy texture of the buns, tasty sweet minced meat, really yums.

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Jo and I had been trying to find char kueh for ages, but most of the char kueh stalls were all close for Chinese New Year. This one wasn’t fantastic but still beggars can’t be choosers.

Ok, that’s the end of my Kuching posts, it was one of the most memorable Kuching trips to date and I can’t wait to return!


March 2012
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