Mar 18, 2017

8 If It Is Free, Would You Not Take It?

"Hey ..." I called out to the man who had walked away from the shelves with two Dove shampoos. He seemed not to hear.

"Excuse meEe..," I said louder, now reaching out with my hand. He turned around. Hubs and I excitedly showed him our plastic-wrapped pillow and informed him that he qualified to get one free too. I pointed to where he could collect it.

He smiled, nodded 'yes-yes' and walked towards his shopping cart. I looked on in bewilderment as he continued his shopping elsewhere.

Dove Jigsaw Piece Pillow

"Why wouldn't anyone want a free pillow. Perhaps he thought me out to scam him!"  I ponder in amusement.

It was comical, really. Here I was, thrilled to get a free cute pillow for purchasing over RM30 worth of Dove products. I wasn't even buying it just to get the freebie. I use Dove shampoo and was already aiming for two large bottles when I noticed a promotional sign on top of a large metal wire mesh container with the pillows and details how to redeem it. As easy as picking one out for yourself and putting it in the cart. Nothing more. 

Here this guy was, sauntering away without looking back. I wished I had thought of it then. I would have asked cheekily -- if you're not taking it, could I have it instead ?

That's the thing about shopping, with me at least. I'm always on the lookout for bargains. In some supermarkets, freebies are self-collect. It's easy to walk off with a packet of Milo and not realise that you get a free container with that. It only takes a bit of my time to read the promotional notices that are usually displayed around the shelves.

In the case of Milo, there was a triple promo going on the weekend I was in Tesco! One, the price had gone down! Hubs was quick to grab a few 2KG packs. Two, we qualified for freebies - mugs and a large container. I don't quite remember the details as it was weeks ago. Anyway, as one product promoter placed the items into my cart, another one stopped to pass me some forms. "You're eligible for a free Milo jacket," she said.

My Awesome MILO Container

I thought the day was going way too good. Before I knew it, we'd paid for the items and driven home, completely forgetting about the jacket! I let it go, kicking myself every time I thought about it.  

MILO Mugs

I gave my dad the pillow. The milo container? It now stores delicious made-in-Brunei prawn crackers which I deep fried the day before - still crispy, which means it's airtight. 



Mar 14, 2017

17 Seremban : The Eats And Experiences

Pasar Besar Seremban, a wet market famous for its food stalls on the first floor. It's authentic local eats in an environment that goes a generation back. One can balk at the unhygienic state or embrace the experience with fingers crossed 'here goes'. For me, it's an adventure of a different kind, one that will disappear once modernity catches up with air-conditioned supermarkets and aisles of food stuff that carry no soul.

Pasar Besar Seremban (Seremban Wet Market)

Old School Marketing at Pasar Besar Seremban

As I took in the sights, smell and sounds of the market, I was enamoured to see many senior citizens enjoying a cuppa over breakfast with their buddies. I soon forgot the earlier incident of queuing behind several people wearing black Phua Chu Kang boots at a run-down toilet with no working flush.

The Food Stalls at Pasar Besar Seremban

Stall no. 748 is famous for its Dry Beef Noodles which is served with preserved vegetables, peanuts and sesame seeds. The beef gravy is starchy smooth and pleasant on the taste buds. The different textures and flavours thrown together made it stand out from the beef noodles we usually have in Kuala Lumpur. Hubs and I enjoyed this thoroughly. It was a fantastic combination.

Stall 748, Pasar Besar Seremban - Beef Noodles

We also ordered a bowl of beef soup to try. Delightful, slurp after slurp.

Stall 748, Pasar Besar Seremban - Beef Soup

Stall no. 753 serves up a simple but delicious soupy plate of Mee Hoon Sotong (Rice noodles with squid (sotong kembang)). This is more of a dish that reminds us of home and the simplicity of mom's cooking that never fails to comfort.

Stall 753, Pasar Besar Seremban - Mee Hoon Sotong

Stall 748 & 753, Pasar Besar Seremban

Just a little away from the food stalls were these, which I believe, are old electrical meters or switches. It was interesting to see.

Pasar Besar Seremban

Pasar Besar Seremban
Address: Jalan Pasar, Bandar Seremban, 70000 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.

We had dinner at Medan Selera Sejahtera later on, a food court in town. Hubs ordered clay pot chicken rice. I went with a steamed chicken with preserved vegetables rice dish. It was an ok meal that has become a fond memory because the rice was splashed with soy sauce which resembled a heart. A coincidence that made us feel warm and fuzzy inside. 

Steamed Chicken Rice with Preserved Vegetables

Next, we walked towards the other stalls looking for something light to eat which we could bring back to the hotel. We had planned a session of late night munching and chatting. We noticed a frail looking elderly man selling fried popiahs (spring rolls) and other snacks. It tugged at our hearts and so the decision was made! We ordered some fried snacks and even tried leaving a big tip.

He stopped us, gently and with warms words.
"I can't accept this. We all make a living. This is your change. I am still able."

I was awed and it made me teary-eyed thinking about the people out there who are eking out a life for themselves without being dependent, no matter how hard. They could have chosen to put their palm out for a handout, they could have taken the extra change. No, here was a man of integrity, a man who made do without complaints or self-pity. A humble man.

Turned out, his was the most delicious fried popiah I have ever had. Why? It was filled with Lap Cheong (Chinese sausage) - my favourite food!

Medan Selera Sejahtera ~ Claypot Chicken Rice and Lap Cheong Popiah

Medan Selera Sejahtera

Address: Jalan Hj Abd Hamid, Taman Unian, 70200 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia.


Other delicious foods I tried in Seremban : The reasonably priced finger-licking banana leaf rice with eight side dishes at Curry Leaf Restaurant  and the yummy giant curry bun at Lucky King Bun. I blogged about these places here.


Mar 5, 2017

14 Seremban : A Warm Stay At Sun Lun Yik Hotel

Travel with your heart; it makes a world of difference and a difference to your world.

As I climbed a flight of stairs to the check-in counter of Sun Yun Lik Hotel, I was awed by the quaint and cozy feel of the interior. Red brick and grey cement walls, it perfected the olden day feel. The hotel has been around since the 1950s. It was recently refurbished into a boutique heritage style hotel.

Sun Lun Yik Hotel, Seremban

A short, elderly Chinese man, dressed in worn clothes, attended to me. I was instantly drawn to his warmth as he showed me old documents and pictures tied to the hotel. His eyes lit in pride as he took me around. There were several antique items too. We conversed in Malay since I spoke no Mandarin.

Sun Lun Yik Hotel - The Lobby

Sun Lun Yik Hotel - The Corridor, The Rooms

I knew I was too early for check-in but took my chance anyway. At 11.30AM, the room wasn't ready so I went back out to where Hubs was - across the small road, at the carwash. The car had been splashed with an oily substance the evening before during a heavy downpour. Aah..but that's a story not for here.

After a bit of sightseeing, Hubs and I headed back to the hotel. This time, a lady wearing the hotel uniform greeted us. We were given a key to Room Lapan (eight in Malay). This air-conditioned room comes with a double bed and an attached a bathroom. The windows face the carpark below.

There were towels, toilet paper, shower gel, cloth hangers, two bottles of mineral water and a small TV. More than enough for a comfortable night.

Sun Lun Yik Hotel - Room Lapan (8)

Sun Lun Yik Hotel - Room Lapan's Queen Bed

The best thing about the hotel is its location - smack across the road from Pasar Besar Seremban, a wet market with food stalls on the first floor. I cannot imagine anything better than that. It's authentic local food. There are many other eateries nearby too. In short, you can never go hungry.

Several sightseeing spots are within walking distance but with the afternoon heat, we decided that driving was more convenient. We visited Galeri Diraja Tuanku Jaafar, Seremban Lake Garden and two abandoned historical buildings, one which was previously a library and another, a handicraft centre. We also visited Sri Balathandayuthapani Temple.

The hotel itself houses a mini art gallery along the corridor. For RM10 a night, you can also rent a video game to play. Me? I brought a book along. The best thing to do when all is still outside - read and fall into a world of imagination.

Parking is limited and requires reservation.

Sun Lun Yik Hotel

Address: 19, Jalan Tun Dr. Ismail, 70200 Seremban, Negeri Sembilan.
Telephone: 06-763 5735
Website: www.sunlunyik.com

Sun Lun Yik Hotel - The Reception Area at the top of the staircase, an old typewriter and other old items.

Will I be back? Of course. Have you seen the room rates? It is very reasonable!

Feb 20, 2017

15 Eat Out : Ji De Lai San Ding (JDLSD Seafood Restaurant)

On the second day of Chinese New Year, we had an amazing dinner at a seafood restaurant nearby, alfresco with fingers crossed that gloomy skies and windy conditions were not a sign of rain. It wasn't, bless us.

What excited me about this meal was the pig stomach dish, a specialty of Ji De Lai San Ding (JDLSD Seafood Restaurant). Yummy? It was good or should I say an acquired taste? I like it because it was oh-so-interesting. The stomach or hog maw was stuffed with a whole black chicken filled with ingredients like dried mushrooms, dried scallops and lotus seed. It is a nutritious soup dish.

Hog Maw stuffed with Black Chicken Soup

Hog Maw stuffed with Black Chicken

A short clip of it being cut up:




The rest of the dishes are common but no less delicious. I enjoyed the sweet, sticky pork ribs the most (no picture because it was served late) ; addictive, finger-licking stuff.

Vegetables, Tofu and Hog Maw

The restaurant and its surroundings - a laid-back, old style ambiance.

Ji De Lai San Ding (JDLSD Seafood Stall)

Neighbouring Food Stalls at Taman Hijau 3

Ji De Lai San Ding (JDLSD Seafood Stall)

Address: 14-24, Taman Hijau 3, Taman Green Lane, Jelutong, 11600 Penang.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The next morning, we had breakfast at Maxim, an extremely popular dim sum restaurant. It was crowded but fast moving so we got our table within minutes. The eatery runs on a self-service concept where you go to the counter, select the food you want and bring it back to the table yourself.

Dim Sum at Maxim

 Restoran Maxim spreads across several shop lots to cater for their huge breakfast crowd.

Restoran Maxim, Penang

I really like this place. The food is delicious!

Maxim Dim Sum Restaurant

Address: Bangunan Lip Sin 2-G-11 & 12, Lebuh Pekaka 1, Taman Pekaka, 11700 Gelugor, Penang.
Hours: 6AM–2PM
Telephone: +6 04 - 656 0915

Is that the end of my festive feasting? ... NoooOo. Wait 'til you read my next post.

Feb 14, 2017

15 The Love Is Big In February

Happy Valentine's Day! πŸ’•

There was Chap Goh Mei aka Chinese Valentine's Day last Saturday and then there's today, February 14th, which is celebrated worldwide. It is a day for love and romance. For me, the celebration includes everyone I cherish in my heart - spouse, family, friends online and offline, and even you who's reading this.

Anyway, Chap Goh Mei which falls on the 15th day of Chinese New Year marks the last day of the festival. Traditionally, we eat a sweet dessert called Bubur Cha Cha or Pengat on this day. I do not know why exactly. All I can guess is that it could be wishes for a sweet year ahead for all of us. It is also said that Cha Cha is taken to mean Che Che which means abundance in Hokkien.

This year I attempted a simplified version of Pengat. Yams were sold out so I made the decision not to stick to the recipe. I got myself some honey sweet potatoes instead - just one variety.

I also made my own tapioca starch jellies this year. Tapioca jellies are really easy to make; only tapioca starch and hot water is needed! This, I have to say was a fun affair. I totally loved how the tapioca flour flowed through my hands and spread across my cutting board like molten lava when I added a little too much hot water in it.  Rolling the dough out to cut shapes out of it was the tricky part for me. I used a cookie cutter. The dough wasn't what I was used to but I got the hang of it soon enough.

And produced this pretty version of a sweet dessert.

Pengat with Handmade Tapioca Jellies
I am mighty pleased with it and will probably make it again. πŸ’“ That said, I have yet to decide what to cook for tonight's romantic dinner..am I late? Will I be rushing it? We'll see.

With that, I leave you with warm wishes of love and happiness for the day.

Feb 11, 2017

15 My Chinese New Year

'Tis the season for feasting, they say. The term 'Eat and Be Merry ' applies to many families during Chinese New Year. We really eat and do it non-stop!

This year we had our reunion dinner at Copthorne Hotel, Penang. The atmosphere was lively with cheerful chatter from every table. Service was good too and the food was delicious. They had someone dress up as the God of Prosperity to go around the hall stopping at each table to give out ang pao packets filled with a chocolate coin and lucky numbers for 4D.

Our reunion dinner:

Reunion Dinner (Yee Sang, Prawns, Broccoli with Fatt Choy, Fish, Lotus Rice and the Dessert

Early next morning, MIL made her signature herbal chicken soup to go with mee sua aka longevity noodles. It is our first meal of the new year. Live long and prosper - that's what this signifies.

Herbal Kampung Chicken Soup

Mee Sua aka Longevity Noodles with Boiled Egg and Herbal Chicken Soup

Then, we headed out to see the lion dance. This is said to bring good luck.

Lion Dance

The first day of the Rooster year was spent welcoming visiting relatives and exchanging ang paos. When it comes to giving or receiving ang pao from MIL (in our family at least), we would bow or kneel and wish her well.

Bow, Wish Your Parents Well, Accept

These are the CNY cookies served to the guests. It made our lunch too. I think we ate half of it!

CNY Cookies

In the evening, it was a steamboat dinner.

Steamboat Dinner

And that's just the first day of the Rooster year. Let me tell you about my second day...in another post. Lol.


Feb 7, 2017

19 Dendrobium Orchid Blooms

The last time these orchids bloomed was in 2015. It's been a long wait for me and it had to happen over the Lunar New Year holidays when I was away.

Dendrobium Sonia Orchid

I think these are called Dendrobium Sonia . Please don't take my word for it. I am relying on Google Images to identify this!

At first, one petal stuck out. Just so you know, it takes ages for orchid flowers to bloom and once it does, it stays for awhile too.

Orchids - One Petal Sticks Out

The first to open up and what I saw last before I went away for a week-long holiday.

Orchids

This greeted me when I returned home.

Dendrobium Sonia Orchid

You know what else is great about orchids? They're tough! I can go on week-long holidays without worrying about them. It doesn't require daily watering.

Have you seen my other orchids? I think I have a thing for purple flowers. You may see it in my previous post - here .

Jan 25, 2017

16 A Breezy Brunch At The Red BeanBag

Brisk, bright, windy, blue skies - that sums up the mood for the day. It was a good vibes thing. We got together with the family for late breakfast at The Red Beanbag, a cafe located in upscale Publika. Little did we know how vibrant it would be.

There was a queue, the place was crowded and lively. We waited our turn but barely noticed the time as we chatted and chose what to order from the menu. A cheerful waitress ushered us to a table for six with bench style seating.

" We'd like to order now... " I smiled at her.

" Oh! " She was surprised, but gave us a big grin, pleased with our promptness.

While waiting for the food to arrive, we got down to snapping group photos to treasure the moment. Of course, that was only the beginning of our photo-taking for the day. Below are pictures of the beautiful food we ate that day.

Portobello Mushroom, Poached Eggs, Pancakes - The Red Beanbag RM24

Eggs Benedict On French Toast - The Red BeanBag RM26

Super Awesome Fry-Up - The Red BeanBag RM30

Pan-fried Portobello Mushrooms, Poached Egg, Chorizo, Toast - The Red BeanBag RM24


We talked about a lot of things. One of the topics we discussed was the different experiences people have with food, the eateries and how they are treated from waiter to counter attendants.

Have you met people who are only too pleased to share a ton of their nightmarish experiences  - unsmiling servers, grumpy cashiers, bad food? They would throw it out over Social Media how their plates are chipped or turmeric stained, how the char kueh teow uncle is arrogant, put a low star rating and pass the word to boycott the place...consistently. Well, we've met a couple of people like that.

I don't know if we're just lucky but rarely do 'stuff' happen to us. Perhaps it's because we're generous with our pleases and thank yous. Being nice begets a positive experience? Reminded me of this quote.

A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person.
~ Dave Barry


And complaints about food are extremely few and far in between if any, more of a case of personal preference. So I can be the most boring person to start a food conversation with. "How's the chicken? " "Yum! " . "How are the tarts? " "Extremely delicious! ". "The cookies? " "Splendid."


Hot Coffee and Hot Chocolate - The Red BeanBag


"Is there anything that's not your favourite..? " My husband asks this a lot. Haha.

Finally, below is a picture of the surroundings and of me and my aunt checking out some of the photos we took.

The Red BeanBag

The Red BeanBag
Address: Block A4 1st Floor A4-1-08, Publika, Jalan Dutamas 1, Solaris Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Telephone: 03-2633 5030
Facebook: www.facebook.com/theredbeanbag

Jan 17, 2017

24 Restoran Damai Utama : Stewed Pork Knuckles Noodles

We prepare goodies for our friends and family every Chinese New Year. Sometimes it's a box of mandarin oranges for each. Other times, a bag containing auspicious food items such as peanuts and nian gao. This year, I went with large dried mushrooms and nuts for friends, and cider for the family.

We set aside Sunday just to deliver these items, that being the day before. That's how we ended up in Bandar Kinrara for breakfast.

This corner lot kopitiam is bright and breezy, from staff to ambiance. It was clean and new. What attracted me most was the number of stalls selling pork dishes. There was pork noodles, pork chops noodles, pork knuckles noodles and pork ball noodles - yup, I believe I counted four stalls!

I went with stewed pork knuckles with noodles. Pork knuckles is a must-have at our New Year reunion dinner. So, this is kind of my childhood food but without the noodles. Greedy me found it extremely delicious. The meat was tender. The soy sauce flavour was yummy. Thing is, I rarely ever not enjoy my food.

Restoran Damai Utama - Stewed Pork Knuckles with Noodles RM7

Hubs went with a bowl of soupy goodness.

Restoran Damai Utama - Pork Noodle Soup RM6.50

The restaurant, inside and out:

Restoran Damai Utama

Restoran Damai Utama

Restoran Damai Utama

Address: Jalan DU 1/1, Taman Damai Utama, 47180 Puchong

After breakfast, we headed to the next destination - Subang somewhere πŸ˜† to meet a blogger friend. Some of you may know her. She blogs at www.smallkucing.com . I told myself I had to see her before Chinese New Year to pass on the plant pots I had promised in 2016.

I surprised her with a goodie bag ..she surprised me back! See what I got? All the stuff I love! The chicken cookies are impressive. To date, I sapu (wipe) half already, with much control.

Goodies

"Ladies always like that one horr, " Hubs continued with much amusement, "Rajin to prepare things. Men very cincai one - Hey brother, yum cha ..? "

Jan 12, 2017

20 The Magnificent Croissant At Le Bread Days

There was once a huge hoo-ha over these molten salted egg yolk croissants - long queues, shortage, frustrated customers.

Me? I'm late for the party as usual, which is a really good thing. πŸ˜‰  I strolled into the fairly empty  bakery around 10am last Sunday for breakfast. The hype, I guess, was over. It was my Birthday and I thought what better way to celebrate it than to go where I hadn't been before. Google provided me with lots of suggestions but here I was in this neat and cosy cafe getting my hot chocolate fix and trying out the famed croissant. It was the perfect start to my day.

Le Bread Days - Molten Salted Egg Croissant

A long time ago, I told my friend that life was short and we should look forward to planning and celebrating our own Birthdays instead of going low-key. It's wonderful to catch up with close friends and family, aaaand for the past few years, I have also been setting aside an extra day or two for myself to do the stuff I want. Often, I would choose a quiet staycation or getaway.

But back to my pleasurable experience at Le Bread Days - I fell in love with the croissants, of course. They were heavenly. Sweet, salty, creamy, it is stuff that you can easily overeat. The ambiance of the place was amazing. It was serene and I felt a sense of bliss. I liked that it was only us and another customer sitting in the white interior designed cafe.

The enthusiastic Hubs: Naaa..I cut for you to take picture. Here, here!  πŸ˜‡

Molten Salted Egg Croissant

The wife: Uh ..Ling, I do it myself, ok ... (laugh-die-me moment) πŸ˜… πŸ˜† Hubs gave me a sheepish grin that said 'Oh-my-God-I-messed-it-up-so-badly'.

I treasure small moments of funniness such as these. A smile creeping up on our lips whilst we reminisce candid times is the best feeling in life!

This is what we had for breakfast:

Hot Chocolate and Mocha (Around RM10 each)

Molten Salted Egg Custard Croissants (About RM10)

We couldn't resist buying these pastries home. They were yummy too!

Other Pastries From Le Bread Days

The outside and inside of Le Bread Days, SS15 Subang Jaya.

Le Bread Days, SS15

Le Bread Days

48, Ground Floor, Jalan SS15/4, Subang Jaya.
Telephone : 03 - 5612 2780
Open from 8.00am to 8.30pm

I can't wait to come back here! πŸ’—

 

Elephants & Mangoes Copyright © 2005 - 2017 |- Template created by O Pregador Aldenir AraΓΊjo - |- Powered by Blogger Templates