Aug 16, 2017

8 Pasar Malam TTDI Eats

Night markets are my kind of food safaris. There's so much to explore. I tend to skip the area where things such as clothes and household items are sold but occasionally, I spot interesting stainless steel tableware from nearby stalls that later drive me sleepless with excitement because it is cheap! I have so far resisted the temptation to buy it.

"Keep calm and go to sleep! " I tell myself.

Pasar Malam TTDI

The night market in Taman Tun is one I quite enjoy visiting because of this glass noodle stir-fry. It's got black-eyed beans, tofu and tempeh. The bits of dried chilli flakes make it a pretty hot dish that usually has me reaching out for chilled water. Still, I top mine up with sambal sotong (spicy squid).  Are you drooling yet?

Stir-Fried Glass Noodles with Spicy Squid

Hubs had this tasty fried kueh teow for dinner. The preserved green chilli put the oomph in this one.

Stir-Fried Flat Rice Noodles

We also ordered string hoppers (putu mayam) thinking that it would be nice for supper.

String Hoppers (Putu Mayam)

But there is this yummy fried popiah slathered with sweet chili sauce that we find hard to resist. So this came home with us too!

Fried Popiah

You see what's happened? It is all too easy to get carried away at a Pasar Malam. I told myself I needed these crispy mini apam baliks (pancake) for tea. 

Mini Apam Balik

As we crossed the road to the car with plastic bags of food, we passed a food truck selling Tauhu Bakar (Grilled Tofu). You'd think we would be wise enough to ignore it but noOooo, we ordered a packet.

Grilled Tofu

There was no way we could eat everything in one evening so I kept what we didn't in the fridge for the next day ...days!

The best time to visit this market is from 3.45PM onwards when many traders have gotten their makeshift stoves roaring. It's on only Sundays, along Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 2, Taman Tun Dr Ismail (near Sinaran TTDI).

Aug 9, 2017

19 Motivated To Walk To Sunway Velocity Mall

Admittedly, if not for the MRT stopping nearby, I would never have found it attractive to come here considering the distance from home. After my first visit however, there are a now a couple of reasons I am excited to include this into the list of places I take relatives shopping!

Sunway Velocity Mall, Cheras

One, the walk from MRT Maluri Station to the mall is entertaining. I brought my aunt and she was tickled all the way. It was a short distance, but we spent so much time taking photos with the motivational signboards along the covered walkway that we were perspiring from the humidity of the morning sun by the time we reached the steps to the pedestrian bridge.

Motivation To Walk

Two, the food! There's a quaint street food haven on the 4th floor decorated in the style of kopitiams in the 60s or 70s. I am attracted by the good vibes ambiance.  The colourful ceiling lights lent an air of cheerfulness.

Street Food, 4th Floor

Great Spot For A Selfie

Teochew Chendul was the first shop I tried because I really needed a refreshing drink after exploring several MRT stops earlier with Hubs. We sat by the window. Cendol is a an iced coconut milk dessert with red beans and green rice flour jelly - it is sweetened with palm sugar.

Teochew Chendul

Delicate, soft and slithery, this cendul jelly is really good. I remember the one I had once at KLCC's food court long ago; the jelly was frozen!

Teochew Chendul

On my second visit to Sunway Velocity Mall, which was with my aunt, we popped into the same food court for breakfast. Tea Garden Restaurant offered a great view like Teochew Chendul. I like that it's located by the window. We settled here and ordered Mee Rebus (Noodles).

Tea Garden Restaurant

Tea Garden Restaurant - Mee Rebus (Noodles)

Tea Garden Restaurant - Golden Lava Bun

Makan-Makan by Parkson looks like a great place to eat. I have made a mental note to include it on my must-try list.  We passed several restaurants on each floor. I can't remember the names. To be honest, it's not that there are no amazing eateries at the other malls I frequent. It's just that I love how this mall makes me feel - bright, airy, easy access and most of all, the excitement of being somewhere other than where I regularly hang out.

Makan Makan By Parkson

Sunway Velocity Mall, to me, is a new place to bring my relatives and say, "What to eat, arh? You chooselah."

Aug 5, 2017

17 Jalan-Jalan MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line

I hopped onto the MRT for the first time two Sundays back with Hubs from Kota Damansara. It was an enjoyable experience that made me think twice about driving - the jam, the flash flood when it rains, the parking, the price of petrol, the craziness that comes with short-tempered drivers!

MRT Malaysia

But mostly, I love it so much because it stops at most of my favourite haunts -- Ikea Cheras/MyTown Shopping Mall (Cochrane Station), Sunway Velocity (Maluri Station), 1Utama (Bandar Utama), Ikea Damansara/TheCurve (Mutiara Damansara Station), Sunway Nexis/Sunway Giza (Surian Station), Central Market (Pasar Seni Station). Another plus? My cravings for Satay Kajang will not be left unattended for long; I've yet to go all the way but I hear that the MRT station stops within walking distance from Hj Samuri's famous Satay restaurant. 

MRT Station Bandar Tun Hussein Onn with Carpark

Bright, spacious and air-con cool, I found the MRT comfy. It was widespread in the news that the facilities had been subject to vandalism and misuse. I was too much in my own world to notice anything other than the scenery we passed and the people around me. There were many senior citizens getting on and off - I found them enigmatic and cute. How excited they were in their chatter with similar-aged friends! 

MRT Malaysia

We had our Touch 'n Go cards with us so we used that to get in and out of the station. The signboards are clear and easy to understand. Finding our way was a piece of cake.

MRT - In and Out with Touch n Go Cards

I love that there's a glass divider between the track and platform. These platform screen doors make it much safer for commuters. Years ago, when I depended heavily on the LRT to get to work, I sometimes worried about people falling onto the track which had an open concept. The morning rush, an impatient crowd - the risk is there.

MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line - Every 9 Minutes
MRT Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line Platform Screen Doors

The underground stations are well lit.

MRT Malaysia - The Underground Station

There were benches for people to sit and wait for trains. This colourful one was born out of a design competition.

MRT Bench

Peeking through a glass door into the restricted area, I was thrilled to see the train tunnel. Several movie scenes played out in my head - Ninja Turtles fighting the bad guys, tens of walking corpes making their awkward way forward, a huge wave of water rushing in ..

The Dusty MRT Tunnel

Bridge to MRT - The Surian Stop

We wanted to try out the feeder bus but the long wait got to us so we decided to postpone the experience to another time.

MRT Feeder Bus

Days later, I took my aunt on her first MRT ride. She enjoyed it too! We gallivanted from Sunway Velocity to The Curve, shopping and window-shopping to our heart's content.

With this new line, getting around has just gotten easier for me.

Jul 25, 2017

20 Guinness Bright - Love At First Sip

Guinness crafted a stout beer specially for the Malaysian market marrying it with ginger, lemongrass and coffee. Light and pleasant on the taste buds, it had a familiar flavour that this person (me) recognised. Having regularly worked with these ingredients in the kitchen, it's no surprise that I liked it at first sip!

" Ma'am, would you like to try this new flavour from Guinness?
" a pleasant salesgirl at Cold Storage approached me, holding out a small paper cup.

" Sure. Just give me a moment. " I waved towards hubs.

" You get a key chain and a free glass if you buy a pack of six, " the girl explained. My non-Spidey senses were tingling at that. Purchase seems imminent.

I took a sip and was thrilled by the refreshing taste. I'll get just one. Hubs gave me a look that said, "Really..? " To cut the story short, we all know I went home with a pack of 6 cans.

Guinness Bright

Instead of enjoying the first can as is, I cooked it off in a pork belly dish. A beer-pork belly pairing is something I can never resist since I've tried it several times with much success and satisfaction. I gave the aroma more punch with a fresh lemongrass thrown in. The dark soy sauce dish tasted really beery before salt was added to round the flavour  - and then it was all delicious and addictive. I was tempted to throw in a bit of jaggery but decided against adding that bit of sweetness in the end.

Guinness Bright - The Beer, The Pork, The Number 6

A '6' was embossed at the bottom of the can. Checking the rest, there was one with a number 4 and three 5s. I wonder what these numbers mean.

Anyway, Hubs and I enjoyed our meal it so much that I imagined us patting our tummies with a satisfied grin.

Lemongrass Guinness Bright Pork Belly

That ends my first adventure with Guinness Bright. Are you into Guinness? Do you think you'll try this new flavour?

Jul 18, 2017

14 It's A Nephew!

My aunt nicknamed him "the watermelon" months ago, at a time when my cousin's tummy looked as round as one as she was carrying the little guy.

He popped out two weeks early, whilst I was in the cinema watching Transformers. I had my phone on airplane mode and since I got home late, I didn't bother checking for messages that night. Imagine my surprise the next morning. " By golly! ", I messaged my husband at work, "The Watermelon's out."

I was excited. Weeks before, we ladies had discussed a slumber party at my cousin's place to celebrate the new birth. I packed my bags for a 2-nights' stay. My aunt, now newly crowned grandma, flew in from East Malaysia at the same time to take on the role of 'confinement lady'. We chatted and played games until late while watching over the baby. He was well behaved so it was pretty relaxing. I helped tidy up my cousin's home a bit. My aunt got down to the cooking and herbal baths.

Baby gift? Hah, I'd already gotten my cousin one weeks earlier so that she could prepare in advance - it's a newborn to toddler portable rocker. Would you like to see it?

Tadaa... here it is! 

Newborn to Toddler Portable Rocker

I had, in the beginning, planned on giving the new parents a fully assembled chair, unwrapped with a ribbon tied on top. Thought I'd save them the trouble. After removing all the parts from the box, I struggled to understand the instructions and failed to piece everything together. Haha ..! How come, right? But I gave in since I didn't want to ruin the new gift with scratches. "Aiyahh... better let the parents figure it out ", I consoled myself. 

Alas, the day just wasn't going right for me. It wouldn't fit back into the box so I had to pack the seat pad separately. I then wrapped the entire thing in brown paper. So much for trying to be helpful!

Luckily, it wasn't difficult for my cousin to figure it out.

Baby Damien In His Rocker

Fast forward two weeks since the baby was born, my aunt informed me that the little watermelon loves the rocker so much that he refused to sleep in his crib one night. In fact, he's in it most of the day too. After cracking my head for months over what to get the new parents, I was pleased to hear this. I'm glad baby is happy with his chair

Happy baby equals relieved and relaxed parents. Yes?

Jul 11, 2017

18 Pigeon Tales : Benji's Shenanigans

So cute that I look forward to it! Benji is one of the most adventurous pigeons I know. Remember my previous post on her varied choice of food? I believe she's kind of a foodie, in the bird kingdom of course.

Sometimes she pops in just to hang out, roaming my little green space for close to an hour before flying off again. I had no idea how territorial Benji was until another pigeon tried to land on the ledge. It was so surprising to see my cute buddy flapping her wings with mighty force to shoo the other bird away. The stranger, possibly a younger pigeon, was spooked and it looked like I'm destined to care for two pigeons and no more, that is Benji and Gaston. But inside me was a hope that the little guy will come back. And he did, but cautiously, avoiding the usual time my funny bird would be there.

This is a video of Benji checking out my Pak Choy greens. Yep, she took a bite and threw it away. She also stomped on the 2-week old vegetable. From the internet, I learned that pigeons do eat young leafy greens. No wonder the older plant was left untouched. Luckily, my poor plant survived the ordeal. In fact, it is ready for harvest today. Benji hopped on to the next pot and proceeded to eat my succulents. See? Foodie. She also regularly nibbles on my rosemary plant after each meal of seeds.

More recently, I saw Benji walking up and down my balcony in search of something. She finally settled on my orchid plant which had purple blooms and started tugging on a long root. She succeeded and flew away with it. It was a joy to see but I now had doubts about Benji's gender. You see, I had read somewhere that male pigeons gathered nesting material for the female. Benji was clearly looking for 'stuff' to build a nest! Well, until I know for sure, I will still refer to Benji as a 'her' .

I don't talk much about the other two pigeons who visit me because they're extremely neat and well-behaved as opposed to Benji. They clean up every seed that is put out there, leave nothing behind and fly off. This does not mean that they are not adorable. They are, and have their own quirks too. Benji, on the other hand, is always up to mischief. She eats, she daydreams ..yes, she does. She takes several short breaks to appreciate the sky whilst eating - which is why she takes a...g....e......s to finish her meal.

Benji's Planter Box and The Mess She Makes After Eating

For the past few days, Benji has been behaving jealously. It's funny, I know but I think Benji suspects that I've been feeding the little stranger behind her back. I've put out more food than usual, and in three different places. Benji goes to her usual spot in the plant container to eat the seeds I have placed there for her. After getting her fill, she pops out, heads to the other corner and starts swishing away the rest of the seeds on the floor in some sort of cute rampage. Yep, she created a big mess on purpose! For four days straight!

I never imagined a day that I would be enamoured by pigeons. Cats, maybe. Dogs, maybe. Not pigeons. It always seemed that they were a flock of characterless birds that I would never be able to tell apart. How wrong I was!

A packet of bird seeds costs between RM6 to RM9 and it lasted two months for me. Just to give you an idea how much I'm spending on my two, now three bird buddies.

I hope you enjoyed reading about my naughty bird. 😉 To end, I leave you with a picture of a beautiful sunset taken from my balcony and wish you a lovely week ahead.

Jun 22, 2017

18 Jalan-Jalan MyTOWN Shopping Centre

Hubs had to meet a client last Sunday so I was left to my own devices for a few hours. Yippee! He dropped me off at MyTown Shopping Centre, Cheras near IKEA's entrance. I hadn't planned on buying anything but committed several shopping crimes, all related to cookware. IKEA does that to me ... aargh! Anyway, it was the earliest store to open. Hence, my adventure began there.

I explored the rest of the mall after that. There was Daiso, Padini, Brands Outlet, Parkson ..pretty much the same brands you get in other malls. I was most amused by the many massage chairs lining several corners of the mall. I had made hubs sit in one of these once when he was feeling grumpy one day - for real. It worked wonders and we often laugh about it looking back.

Massage Chairs

MyTOWN is an odd name for a shopping centre; I wondered why it was named so. Their website offered no answers, hence it remains a mystery to me.

The mall has a nice food court called Food Empire on the 3rd floor. Hubs joined me for lunch. There's Japanese, Thai and local food. We tried Mee Jawa at Malay Fusion and ordered a piece of fried chicken from Nasi Campur Suria to share. The bowl of noodles had a generous amount of ingredients. It was okay taste-wise. Unfortunately, the fried chicken was raw in the middle. Before we could return it, the alert staff stepped forward and offered us a new piece. We thanked her and were touched by her move. May she be blessed in her line of work - she's great with customers!

Food Empire, MyTown Shopping Centre

Food Court at Level 3 MyTown Shopping Centre

Mee Jawa from Malay Fusion

On my walkabout, I saw YL Old Taste Cake House. I would have bought a piece to try had I not baked a luscious chocolate cake topped with Hershey's Special Dark Chocolate a couple of days before. Haha. No cravings for another cake this soon!

Homemade Chocolate Cake

The Raya decor is really cool with slides for children to play with. That said, I can't believe that Raya is days away. Another long weekend coming up for us.

MyTown Shopping Centre

I really enjoyed my time here. So much that I've already arranged a date with my cousin to visit this place again. This shopping centre is bright and spacious with a decent number of shops already open. Good place to hang out.

Well, that's that on my Sunday.

My next adventure - I've tickets to watch Transformers this evening. Can't wait for that. 😉

Jun 13, 2017

24 The Sweet Soups At Ramadhan Bazaars

Another reason I love going to Ramadhan Bazaars -  the warm, sweet soups! There is a good variety being sold. I have yet to try the coconut milk pumpkin dessert which I saw at Jalan Kuching but I will get to it one day. In the meantime, these were the common few I settled for as a long weekend treat.

Yup, it was a public holiday for us in KL yesterday!

I enjoyed lots of 'we' time with hubs. We watched Tom Cruise's The Mummy, which fell short chemistry-wise between the hero and his love interest. I would rate it as 'not too bad-la'. Hubs said, "4 out of 10".

We lunched at our regular chicken rice stall in Taman Tun, then headed to the MRT station nearby and checked out FamilyMart, a Japanese convenience store. I read about the place from a blog I was following. We tried the yummy Matcha ice cream; good stuff, not sugary sweet. I was pleased to see my favourite  Korean mochi buns being sold here. It is cheaper than the ones I usually get at a bakery in DPC. However, the Tohato caramel corn snacks are pricier here compared to Daiso.

Anyway, back to these local desserts. I'm sorry for getting carried away with my weekend activities!

Pictured below - banana in coconut milk with sago pearls. Some call this Serawa Pisang. This is fairly easy to make, a matter of cooking bananas in coconut milk for a little while along with one or two pandan leaves for aroma. Sago is mixed in to complete the dish. Some sweeten this with plain sugar, some with palm sugar - a personal preference thing.

Pengat Pisang Bersagu

Slices of jackfruit in coconut milk with sago is another delicious version of this local dessert. I gave it a try but admittedly, much prefer the one with bananas.

Bubur Nangka Bersagu

Black glutinous rice dessert is pretty much a regular buy in my household. This sweet soup is actually blackish red. I couldn't get a better shot because of bright sunlight so it turned out pink instead.

Bubur Pulut Hitam

Finally, there's hubs ultimate favourite - mung bean dessert!

Bubur Kacang Hijau

Are you a fan of warm soupy desserts? What is your favourite?

Jun 7, 2017

22 Melaka : Stamp Museum

Once the home of Dutch dignitaries, now a stamp museum. For some, paying RM3 to catch up on the postal history of Melaka may not be an exciting way to spend the holiday but it is different with me.

I was formerly an enthusiastic stamp collector. The hobby slowly slid out of my life as the world connected through the internet and letter writing became obsolete. I stopped having penpals. To continue purchasing new stamp releases direct from the post office seemed a meaningless activity. Handwritten letters, to me, were the heart and soul of stamp collecting. I guess I'm just old-fashioned!

Melaka Stamp Museum

This museum is a simple two-storey setup with information boards and stamps on display. The ground floor houses a stamp store and the ticketing counter.

Information Boards

As you enter the gate, you will see several olden day postboxes displayed within the compound. Pictured below is one of it.

A Postbox

It took us only 20 minutes to explore the place. There isn't much to see if you have no interest in postal history but just as important if you want to show kids how regular people communicate with the outside world back in the old days, before the era of computers and besides using the telephone or telegram. Ticket prices for kids are RM2 each.

For me, this was more of a trip down memory lane and I gladly parted with my money to help maintain this place.

Melaka Stamp Museum
(Around the corner from A Famosa)
Address: Jalan Kota, Melaka 75000, Malaysia.

May 30, 2017

16 Melaka : The Ruins Of St. Paul's Church

Located at the peak of a hill, just a little away from Aldy Hotel Stadthuys is the ruins of St. Paul's Church. Hubs and I walked through a small entrance with an open air staircase leading up. The climb wasn't too steep but we found out later that there was an easier path up, behind the gate of the famed Portuguese fort A Famosa.

It is said that St. Paul's hill was previously known as Malacca Hill by the locals before it was renamed Monti Ali Maria or Mary's Hill by the Portuguese who had developed the place. St. Paul's started out as a little chapel dedicated to Virgin Mary, which later extended into a church with the addition of a second floor and a belfry tower. The place, now no longer what it used to be, was deconsecrated with the building of a new place of worship, that is, Christ Church under the Dutch rule and underwent several modifications to be strengthened as part of a fort.

Next to the ruins is a statue of St. Francis Xavier; he is said to have established a school in these premises. The hand on the statue was severed when a Casuarina tree fell on it.

Left : St. Paul's Church and A White Belfry Tower
Right : A Statue Of St. Francis Xavier

The building has no roof in a large part of its area. It is designed with many arched windows and entrances. I imagine the church to be bright and airy in its heyday. This place is a tourist hot spot, as you can see from pictures below. There are buskers and stalls right outside the building adding liveliness to an otherwise solemn spot.

Inside the Ruins of St. Paul's Church, Melaka

St. Paul's Church, Melaka

Intriguing Dutch tombstones are lined against the old walls. I wondered about the people who once walked here, how they dressed and lived, what 'routine' was for them.

The Dutch Tombstones of St. Paul's Church

The Dutch Tombstones of St. Paul's Church

More pictures of St. Paul's church on my way up the hill that sunny day. We enjoyed touring this place. It gave us a nice view of surrounding areas too.

View of St. Paul's Church nearing the top

Beautiful St. Paul's Hill, Melaka

Finally, this shot of Aldy Hotel just to show you how close the hotel is.

The best time to visit would be early in the morning before the humidity sets in. Entrance is free.

St. Paul's Church

Address: Jalan Kota, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka, Malaysia


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