Archive for the 'Daitaoha Travels' Category

The Kuching food post

I seriously wonder whether there is anywhere else in the world besides Malaysia that you can find the dish below, ju hu eng chye meaning cuttlefish and kangkong (water convolvulus).
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can be loosely described as a salad of some sort, with a pungent shrimp paste dressing though, it’s not exactly vegetarian.

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Western style (and yet so not Western) mixed grill dish from your local steakhouse stall in Petanak market.This is what you call a bit of everything.

You know I’m back in Perth when I start posting a myriad of Kuching food pictures. Sigh, it’s back to harsh work reality tomorrow but I’m indulging in one day of post holiday blues. In fact, I had indo mee and a kopi (instant Old Town pack sigh) for lunch to console myself and feel a little closer to home.

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My childhood Moonlight pandan icecream stall has closed in Kenyalang *sob* so had to make do with second best Sunny Hill pandan icecream which Darren’s friend kindly bought for us. I had a couple of scoops of this and it was sooo good. I would buy an icecream maker just to make pandan icecream if I could recreate the same texture and flavour.
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Even though I didn’t post up pictures of durians, it was durian season in Kuching and we pretty much had durian every day! We also had the local mangosteen, which is very sweet and picturesque with its purple hue and white flesh.
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Funnily enough, I remember always having to draw pictures of mangosteens for art class or tuition at school, but I hardly ever ate any mangosteens back then.
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A new discovery of good bbq meats and noodles, well not actually new because my parents told me they’ve been going to this kopitiam for ages, but new for me.
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I’ve never been much of a roast meat fan, but man, we really need good char siew like this in Perth. It was the perfect combination of crunchy charred bits, sweet charsiew sweetness and tender meat.
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No more Yi Ann kampua mee this year, instead I had the kampua at Sin Popo (another popular local kopitiam) which has its own fans. I think I might like it better than the one at Yi Ann.

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Another foochow hawker fare, this is a dryer version of ‘char ju mein’ which was noodles stir fried in fragrant foochow ‘red wine’ (ang chiew) and red wine residue. Speaking of red wine, we managed to bring back a bottle of ang chiew to Perth so I will be making red wine chicken soup in 2015. If I have time, I may attempt to make my own red wine again this year.
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This is a typical home cooked meal at R’s house. My father-in-law is a great cook and whips up these banquet meals in no time. I think R put on 6 kgs in two weeks!
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Speaking of home cooked meals,the ribs that Darren made turned out fork tender. We were probably a bit too heavy with the salt but the spice rub was very tasty, must attempt this at home.
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He’s not going to be happy I posted this (but luckily I don’t think he reads my blog) but this was the day Darren was discharged and returned home, woo hoo. I don’t know why I refer to him as the kid or that boy sometimes seeing he’s a grown man in his *gasp* late twenties, but I guess he will always be my little brother in my eyes. I will miss hanging out with him and wish desperately that we were all together in Perth. Maybe some day.

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Another local fruit the mighty star fruit which is not only pretty to look at but very refreshing. It’s a pity I didn’t get to eat jambu (bell shaped local fruit) this time.

Ok that ends my Kuching food post for the year, hopefully I’ll get to visit before the year ends and will be posting more pics of Kuching food soon. Meanwhile it’s back to the start of the working year for me, so hopefully I’ll successfully switch off my post holiday blues tomorrow. Wish me luck!

 

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A timely rain is worth its weight in gold

So I didn’t expect my 2014 to end this way.

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It started benignly with a visit to Carpenter Street or Ah-tap Ke as the locals call it. A difficult and narrow street to maneuver. As kids, we never used to venture into the street unless we had to visit the goldsmiths which line the street. Or have a very good bowl of fishball noodles.

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The famed fishball noodle stall is located in a unique location where there is a temple inside and also a temple opposite. I remember the location being very stuffy and sweat rolling down our temples as we dug into a bowl of fishball noodles which always seemed so delicious probably due to the rarity of us venturing there for a meal. I’m told the family carries out the fishball making in secrecy and behind locked doors haha.

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Are the fishball noodles still good? Not bad to be honest. But also not as fantastic as I remember. I think I prefer the fishball noodles in Singapore.

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My brother’s next meal unfortunately, was in the hospital. And it wasn’t for many hours later when we were advised that emergency surgery wouldn’t be necessary (phew). Poor fella had to see in the new year in the hospital. My parents and I retired to bed early and there was no countdown to 2015, for me, it was due to a mixture of relief and nerves.

I’ve never had much experience being in the hospital (thank heaven) but I understand the anxiety, fear and apprehension that comes with a loved one being in hospital. I thought of those people on tv shows such as Fear factor where they’re terrified of spiders, or heights, that’s nothing compared to fear throbbing in your heart when your loved one is sick and you’re not sure what is wrong or how to fix it. The fear when you want him to rest but you’re afraid for him to close his eyes. I don’t believe I have, but this has taught me to never ever take my family for granted.

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On the bright side, my brother is home now and we’re having american style spareribs for dinner. He prepared the spice rub himself, it’s the first time that I’ve ever eaten anything that my brother has prepared so I have high expectations!

In 2014, I finally completed my decade long resolution of getting a driver’s license. So what’s next for 2015? I am going to keep a personal journal (this is something I picked up from my brother and will aid in self reflection and improvement) and I will lead a healthier lifestyle. I am also going to have much better work life balance and spend more time with my family and loved ones! I’ll report back in a year.

Happy New Year folks.

Kuching daze

We’re back in Kuching! Now going on Day 5 but it feels like it’s gone by in a blur because of R’s sister’s wedding. Already I feel sad that we’re going back soon 😦

Darren roti canai love

Darren roti canai love

Spending the last few days with my brother. Here he is digging into his favourite roti canai. He ordered a roti bawang and a roti kaya, both very good!

roti pisang

roti pisang

I had roti pisang (banana) for the first time. It was a bit odd at first eating it with curry, sweet and savoury but very yummy.

puffs

puffs

My favourite ‘sa yong’ puffs sprinkled with sugar for dessert. So good. This will probably be the last sa yong that I eat for a while (so I had three!), *sob* no more sa yong until my next return to Kuching.

teh tarik

teh tarik

Teh tarik which we had with the roti canai. Not too sweet and very fragrant.

stutong market

stutong market

I love exploring the wet markets in Kuching. This is stutong market which had lots of great food stalls.

banana galore

banana galore

Why are the bananas in Malaysia so much better? Makes for much better banana fritters/goreng pisang too!

kueh chap

kueh chap

Kueh chap from Stutong market. This was my mother’s lunch which she said was pretty good.

kolo mee

kolo mee

My first kolo mee in Kuching! Also from Stutong market, it was very good.

Ok that’s all for now, Happy New Year in advance!

Cronut awaits ….

We’re flying out to Sydney tonight ….

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Can’t wait.

See you soon Jaso.

Singapore Day 1 : Seafood feast @ Toa Payoh

It’s May! How time flies, scarf and boots season all over again. I’ve caught a cold too so it’s a pretty crappy start to the autumn/winter season. Which brings me to my long overdue sunny Singapore posts.

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Our first breakfast in Singapore was Ya Kun kaya and toast, with a side of soft boiled eggs.

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YaKun kaya toast is very crispy but a tad dry. We like Killiney kopitiam’s kaya toast more.

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When R and I were in Hongkong, we didn’t get to try the famous Michelin starred TimHoWan. But lo and behold, TimHoWan is now available in Singapore! And best of all, there is a branch conveniently located in our neighbourhood of Toa Payoh.

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Braised chicken feet which was tasty but nothing extraordinary.

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The signature baked char siew buns of TimHoWan, a cross between a polo bun with the sweet crunchy exterior and the yummy charsiew filling. It was very sweet and tasty, but I’m not sure that I would queue for hours to eat this.

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Nice siew mai which we all enjoyed. I think TimHoWan’s claim to fame is consistently good dimsum at affordable prices. Would definitely go ahead providing there’s no long queues.

TimHoWan
Toa Payoh #02-02

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It was really nice being with my parents and sisters together in Singapore. Our first dinner was in our local neighbourhood zhi char stall @Hao Wei Kitchen. We decided to go all out with a seafood feast :). This was our seafood claypot pot.

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I love eating stir fried bittergourd whenever I’m in Malaysia or Singapore because the local bittergourds are so much better than the ones in Perth.

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I can’t remember the name of these local lobsters but they were deep coated in a salted egg york better and deep fried, really good. I even ate parts of the crunchy shell (-____-)”.

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Jo’s favourite dish of the night, Singapore’s signature chilli crab. Believe it or not, it was my first time eating chilli crab and I was impressed. The spicy sweet chill sauce was great especially when soaked up by fried mantou. We liked these so much Jo and my ah pa had chilli crab again a couple of nights later!

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The sambal squid was fabulous too, we all decided that we were really pleased with our first dinner in Singapore.

April Singapore
Oh wait, there was dessert too! Two packs of different durian species, one was Mao Shan Wang which I believe is the king of durians, the other was another type called creamy butter. Surprisingly, everyone preferred the creamy butter species.

It was a good end to a lovely first day in Singapore.

Singapore Fling

Just a short note to say that we are having a great time in Singapore.

It is turning out exactly how I anticipated it to be, a lot of wonderful food experiences and ample family time. My poor ah pa has had to endure long shopping sessions and our never ending foodie excursions. I know half the time he’s looking at us girls in amazement and thinking ‘how can they eat and shop so much?!’ (*_______*)”

But it’s great even though I know the sisters will be happy when we get back home and they’re reunited with the boys and babies again. It’s always bittersweet leaving a vacation place to know that something lovely is waiting for you back home …

Sydney Last Day: Sydney fish market and Cronuts

I am blogging my final post on Sydney just before I’m about to fly to Singapore for our sisters weekend, woohoo! The daitaoha sisters are all based in Perth now and it’s been pretty amazing…

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Ok back to Sydney. It was our last day in Sydney and probably my favourite day of all. We knew we were going to Sydney fish market for our seafood brunch. It was pretty easy getting there using the light rail system which was located at the Central station.

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A short ride away and we were there! I was quite surprised that we could only buy the light rail tickets when we were on the carriage itself with ticket guards approaching each passenger to issue tickets during the journey. Talk about an honesty system.

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Sydney fish market map. The market looked very big on the map, but really, the retail section of the market that was open to public was pretty small and not what I expected at all.

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The majority of customers were Chinese tourists, trust the Chinese to know where to find good food. You could see many tourists posing with their giant crabs before digging into a giant plate of noodles with steamed crab.

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I loved ogling at all the seafood on display. Giant swordfish for sale.

_DSC3736 (Medium)Prawn galore.

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Our favourite stalls were the sashimi counters, I wanted to buy everything because the seafood all looked so fresh and yummy.

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Lobsters and giant prawns all very popular with the tourists. They also had cooked food counters where many people bought the pre grilled lobsters with cheese.

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Another favourite! Oysters priced by size and variety. They were all quite affordable, around $17 per dozen for rather large oysters.
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Our oyster brunch! These oysters were sooo good, fresh and creamy, we were so tempted to go back to buy another tray but resisted.

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Tuna at $99.99 per kg. This was gorgeous too and even better than salmon.

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We took the lightrail back to the Star Casino. The casino itself wasn’t overly impressive (Crown Perth is better) but the only reason why I was there was due to Adriano Zumbo of macaron, croquembouche tower, V8 cake Masterchef fame.
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Bright, colourful and minimalistic. That’s how I would describe Zumbo’s patisserie which had his famous desserts on display.
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Can’t leave Zumbo’s without buying some boxes of macarons for friends and family.
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I’m not a big macaron fan finding them too sweet but R likes macarons a lot and he enjoyed these.

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Instead of the cronut (croissant and donut hybrid that was all the craze last year), we had the zonut (as in Zumbo’s cronut).

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Behold the Zonut! I had mine with a lovely cup of coffee, it was the ultimate afternoon treat.
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I’m not sure I would line up for hours for these, but I did like the croissant flaky texture and the sugary glazed sinfulness of donut. Best washed down with a smooth cup of hot coffee.
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Afterwards we headed back to Pitt Street for the shopping malls. Where to for an early dinner? None other than the ever popular Chat Thai famed for their tasty, affordable Thai food. We went to their Westfield branch and luckily there wasn’t the usual crowd because were so early.

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I had the gai yaang ($12.50) which is char grilled turmeric and lemongrass marinated chicken with smoked chilli and tamarind relish. It was well marinated and really tasty. I loved the relish too which was great with the rice.
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R had the boat noodles soup ($12.50) which was delicious, full of flavour and packed a punch, very similar to what you would get in Thailand. I was really pleased we managed to get to Chat Thai and happy that it lived up to the hype. Can’t wait to go back and try all the other dishes.

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And that wasn’t even the end to our wonderful Sydney food experience! We bought this pack of sashimi takeaway from the fish market and had it at the airport haha. It was worth it and the perfect ending to what was a glorious long weekend in Sydney.

Yeah, can’t wait for all the good food and family time in Singapore! We will be meeting up with my parents too so it will be wonderful, started to get excited (*____*).


November 2017
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