KL Series: Airline Meals on EVA Air

Nanzaro and I flew Economy on EVA Air from Seattle to Kuala Lumpur to attend my father’s funeral. It was the cheapest flight we could get at such short notice. Man, I know that airline meals are bland but we did not expect it to be this bad. I tried eating anyway but Nanzaro hardly took a bite of the meals.

The flight took almost 20 hours with a 3 hr stopover in Taipei. During the flight, there were a total of three meals.

The first meal (served at about 2am in the morning!) was fish and rice. The rice was soggy and mushy. It was terrible. I took two bites and just gave up.


The fruits and salad looked colourful and that’s about it. I only took the fruits and did not touch the salad at all.


They also served Russian Ice-cream — Macadamia Nut and Vanilla. The outer side of the ice-cream was very soft and almost melted. This looks nice but melted ice-cream is just urgh!


I was not particularly hungry anyway. So I tried to sleep but simply can’t. So, I just watched the inflight movie and did some reading.

Breakfast is even worse. They asked me if I wanted rice soup. Rice Soup? Sounds OK to me but what I saw was far from what I had pictured it to be. It is a horribly looking glob of overcooked porridge with some slices of beef. I took two bites and decided I had enough.

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Singapore-Malaysia Trip: Zipangu Japanese Restaurant at the Shangrila

Thanks for enduring my many postings on my trip to Singapore and Malaysia. This is the final posting in this series. From tomorrow I am gonna take a long rest from blogging and pass the baton over to Suanne. It was just a 2 week trip but did manage to blog 28 entries in all. Wow, Suanne had not blogged for 4 straight weeks — that’s not fair!

Joyce treated me to dinner at the Zipangu Japanese Restaurant in the Shangrila Kuala Lumpur. The Shangrila KL is perhaps still the No 1 hotel in KL. It used to have been voted as the No 1 hotel in the world. Joyce had a corporate membership in the hotel. For that she gets 50% off.

We were deciding over whether we should go for the RM$98 (US$ 25+) Buffet or try something different. We opted for the Japanese restaurant because there were a long queue at the buffet restaurant waiting to break fast (it was Ramadhan then).


The entrance were grand. We had to wind our way along walls of wine. Pretty amazing and I was thinking … gosh! how much is this meal gonna cost!!


The restaurant were impressively laid out. We could see the kitchen at work from where we were. This is so authentically high end Japanese restaurant. The service were prompt. They must have the best waiters and waitresses in the entire city. They not only looked pretty/handsome but they do come across as very intelligent and professional.


Joyce and I could not recognize most of what was in the menu. So, we opted for the Set Dinner. Each set dinner costs RM98, same price as the buffet. I went for the Tempura Set Dinner while Joyce chose the Salmon Set Dinner.

What came first was a tea pot for each of us! I initially thought that it was tea.

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Singapore-Malaysia Trip: Red Door Nyonya Cuisine

On my last full day in Malaysia, I brought my niece and nephews for brunch in the neighborhood shopping mall. It was only about a 5 minutes drive to the Jusco shopping mall in Kepong. There were a lot of choices at the mall and it took us a while to decide where to eat.

We came across the Red Door. What enticed us was the big poster of their menu. They serve mainly traditional Malaysian food, specifically Nyonya cuisine.


Oh yeah, I had always wanted to say this. In Malaysia, the standard cutlery is a spoon and a fork for almost all food except for noodles. When I first came to Canada, it took me a while to get used the cutleries issued, which is just a fork and knife. We got to ask for a spoon. Canadians used a fork even for rice where in Malaysia, the spoon is used to scoop up the rice and the fork is to push food onto the spoon.


I ordered the Sambal Fish Rice. This dish came with two fish about 8 inches long. Don’t know what type of fish this is though. The chilli sauce is a bit sourish and certainly spicy. The okra (known better as ladies fingers in Malaysia) and eggplant (or Brinjal) adds a good balance to the spicy-sourish taste to the chilli.


The Sambal Fish Rice came with prawn crackers, fried peanuts, eggs and the sambal. I like mixing it all up before diving in. This dish costs RM9.80 (less than USD $3).

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Singapore-Malaysia Trip: New Ipoh Chicken Rice in Jalan Gasing

Met up with James over lunch in PJ. He suggested Chicken Rice near his work place and so I made my way to PJ after spending the morning in KL downtown and the Central Market. I wanted to post yet another non-food entry but decided, no, I should just stick to food!

If I recall correctly, this restaurant is called the New Ipoh Chicken Rice. In chinese, it’s better known as nga-choy-gai (chicken with bean sprout), This is a typical Hainanese Chicken Rice dish.

The bean sprout is a specialty of Ipoh which produces beansprouts quite unlike those you find elsewhere in the country. Ipoh people believes that this is because the hard water in Ipoh makes their beansprouts particularly tastier.


We had a choice of the normal farmed chicken or the kampung (village) chicken. The kampung chicken are leaner because they are not couped up in dens and are left to run freely. We ordered the kampung chicken to share.


I ordered their “oiled” rice (yow-fun). It’s steamed rice and mixed with the chicken fat. It give a really nice aroma and flavour.

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Singapore-Malaysia Trip: Mum’s Birthday and Dinner in Leong Ya, Serdang

It must have been a special birthday for my mum this year. It had been many years since she had all her three children present to celebrate her birthday. I can see the gladness in her eyes that I was there this year.

To me, my mum had gone through a lot. I did witness some ups and downs. She was never a person who would let us know her problems — I wish she would be open. I will always remember her sacrifices for me and making sure that I had what I needed over her own needs. She does not ask for much at all.

When I was in my teens, I had a serious car accident in which I almost died. Mum was there in the hospital with me every day — even though she had to travel almost a hundred kilometers to bring me lunch. That is because she wanted me to have better food than what was served in the hospital.


My brother bought a coffee flavoured birthday cake for her. My sister came around too with her kids. So did my dad’s youngest sister. I can guess what her birthday wish was for … must have been wishes for others more than for herself!


After the cake at home, we decided to go out for dinner. For nostalgia sake, we decided on going to a favourite restaurant of ours. Leong Ya had been in business since I was really young. I remember that the family took a long drive on weekends every now and then. Back then Leong Ya operated from a shack and their specialty was Yong Tau Foo and Paper Wrapped Chicken. Their business grew over the years until the time when they moved to a building of their own. Their business was so good that one had to endure long waits for a table and then wait for like 30 minutes before they come by to take our orders!

However, Leong Ya had seen better times. They are now operating from a shoplot and a lot more smaller than it used to be. When we were there, there were only four tables of customers. The guy who come around to take our orders (yeah, the one who we had to wait for 30 minutes!), is still there.

We ordered some Yong Tau Foo, which is a variety of fish paste filled food.

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Singapore-Malaysia Trip: Secret Recipe’s Cakes

I met up with Sin Seong, Kok Keong and Terence right after the supper in Putrajaya. They were my Boys Brigade buddies. We had served in the Boys Brigade from our early teen days right up to our twenties. I remember that we used to go out for supper until very late at night, talked during camping trips the whole night … those were the days!

We met at the Secret Recipe Cakes and Cafe. I don’t know where I was really because Terence did the driving. KL had changed a lot and there are a lot of new neighbourhoods. Anyway, it appears that there are a lot of Secret Recipes all over the city.


Secret Recipe’s specialties are their cakes — in particular chocolate cakes and cheese cakes. We ordered some drinks and a few pieces of cakes to share. Sin Seong claimed that their chocolate banana cake is the best around. It was really creamy and has a rich layer of chocolate coating. The banana provides a certain lightness to the flavour. This is really good … hmmm, I wonder what Suanne would say if I asked her to try making one of these. By the way, each piece costs RM5.50 (about USD$1.50).

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Singapore-Malaysia Trip: Old Town Kopitiam

When I young, I remember going out occasionally with my parents for breakfast in chinese coffee shops. Such coffee shops are better known as kopitiam. Back then, breakfast was just simple toast and a cup of coffee served in white porcelain cups. I still remember going to the kopitiams, half-asleep and groggy, and smelling the sweet aroma of coffee and toast.

Over the years, that kind of a breakfast fell out of fashion. There were more breakfast choices — noodles, nasi lemak, roti and such. On my visit, I noticed that such a coffee shops made a come back, albeit in much swankier settings. I made it a point to check out the Old Town Kopitiam one morning and went to the one in the Central Market.


There seems to be one Old Town Kopitiam in every shopping complex. I think it’s a franchise of sorts. The settings is undoubtedly a lot more comfortable and clean.


The tables and chairs are even old fashion white marble tops. They did not spare the details with the decor.


The coffee is served in the old fashioned white porcelain cup and saucer. For a time, it was almost impossible to buy these kind of cups because it was so old fashioned. Today, they are back in rage. Like the coffee I clearly remember, they had to be filled to overflowing leaving a sticky mess on the outside of the cup! The coffee I ordered is the Ipoh White Coffee — it’s rich and made even richer with condensed milk. Those days they were brewed using a sock (well, a sock-like sieve).

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Singapore-Malaysia Trip: Supper in Putrajaya

After the tour of Putrajaya, Terence and Choon Neo brought me to about the only eating place open. You see, Putrajaya, like many new administrative cities like Canberra and Brasilia, is practically dead after 5pm. There is nary a nightlife here.

We went to the outdoor food court of the Taman Warisan Pertanian (the Agricultural Heritage Park). It was very quiet with not many customers, the lighting were dim but the atmosphere was cooling.

We started with ordering drinks. I ordered a glass of iced sugar cane juice. I had been drinking like a fish the past few days. So, I gulped down the entire glass almost instantly. It was really refreshing. Terence and Choon Neo ordered the ABC and young coconut.


For food, I ordered the Mee Goreng which is fried noodles Malay style. Mee Goreng is popular among Malays and can be found in the many outdoor Malay hawker stalls. It is yellow noodles fried with onions, tomatoes, fried tofu, eggs and most importantly chilli. It is a spicy dish.

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Singapore-Malaysia Trip: Putrajaya

OK, I did not keep my promise.

For today, I will not blog about food. I, err, promise that this is the last of non-food blog for this series. This blog is about the new administrative capital of Malaysia, Putrajaya.

I had never been to Putrajaya before and when Terence and Choon Neo showed me around the capital, I must say that it was a jaw-dropping experience for me. The entire city was planned and built from the ground up.

Driving to the the city, it was apparent that every aspect of the city was designed to the minutest detail. The overhead bridge were ornate and the lamp posts were uniquely designed all over the city.


Every great city is centered around waters. So, when the city was built, the government actually built a large artificial lake around the city! The lake were filled by two rivers which were rerouted to it. I was amazed with the design of all the bridges. They were modern and grand.


The Seri Gemilang bridge below is the only “ceremonial” bridge — built with distinctive towers.


All government offices were relocated from KL to Putrajaya. The building below is the Palace of Justice, no less. It’s one of the grandest buildings, perhaps intended as a way to tell the world of the justice administered in the land.

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