KL Series: Poh Ting’s Homecooked Meal

My sister-in-law is a prolific cook. When I was in Malaysia two months ago, she cooked up a storm. This time it was not any different. I love this kind of cooking — it is exactly the same type of food that mum cooks.

I really don’t know what these dishes are called and so I will just describe them. This one below is chicken and mushroom. What I like best about this is the sweet soya gravy. There is only one way to eat this … to drown the rice with the gravy. This is so good that sometimes I just had the gravy with rice only.

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Mum also makes this simple dish very often. It is long beans omelette. The long beans is diced into small pieces and then fried with eggs and soya sauce. The soya sauce give this dish a thinge of saltiness.

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KL Series: Breakfast in Jalan Imbi

First morning in Kuala Lumpur. After the funeral service the night before, it was really quiet around the house. We don’t expect any visitors until around afternoon. So, brought Nanzaro to downtown Kuala Lumpur to look for this place Suanne and I used to go for breakfast in Jalan Imbi. We enjoyed this coffee shop (I can’t recall the name but I do know how to get there) where we normally had nasi lemak.

Unfortunately, the nasi lemak stall is no longer there. So, Nanzaro and I walked across the street to another coffee shop which is much more busier. I reckon that busier means better food.

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Nanzaro ordered the Chow Koay Teow (stir fried rice noodles) — the real deal Chow Koat Teow with See Harm (Cockles). We get Chow Koay Teow in Vancouver — quite nice ones too but we don’t have fresh cockles. This was nice but the cockles were too small.

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For me, I had the Pork Soup Noodle. I had always yearned for this and is one of the top on my list of must eat in Malaysia. I like this with extra soya sauce and freshly cut chilli peppers. Yummy!

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KL Series: Taiwanese Meal in Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport

We had a 3 hour stop over in Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport. The first thing I did when we landed was to find something for Nanzaro to eat. There were not much choice for food except for two small food centres.

Anyway, I got Nanzaro a bowl of beef on rice. It looked very appetizing and I know that these is the kind of comfort food that he likes.

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Nanzaro also likes Bubble Tea. He likes this over everything else in Vancouver. Did you know that Taiwan is the home of the original Bubble Tea? It has chewy tapioca balls in iced tea drink. It is served with a fat drinking straw to suck up the balls.

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It was good to see him enjoying a good meal. He had not eaten much for almost 15 hours.

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If I recall correctly, the above costs USD $5.00.

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.

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

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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!

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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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Kah Hee, 1933 – 2006

Dad passed away rather suddenly a few weeks ago in Malaysia. I had a call from my sister one Friday afternoon that my dad had been admitted to the hospital. They told me that he is doing OK until suddenly on Sunday I had the dreadful call that he passed away. It was a shock to the family here in Canada. I returned home immediately to attend his funeral and brought along Nanzaro.

I want to dedicate this blog here today for my dad, Kah Hee.

Dad was a dashing man when he was young. Even my mum, being a conservative person, always says that he was handsome!

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Dad never told me much about his young days and of his friends during his school days. He sure had quite a number of photos of his friends. They do look like very very close friends.

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He he he … sometimes I think he’s a very vain man. I also had quite a few photos of him with his macho pose, sunglasses and all. I think he must have been a very eligible bachelor during his younger days.

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In his youth, he was very active in sports. He played basketball in high school and does play soccer too. His passion was badminton. I remember that he goes to his boss’s house to play with his friends on weekend nights. He brought me to some of the games night which lasted beyond my bedtime.

Dad played soccer until he was in his fourties! I remember I was so proud watching him in a match and was beaming for days when he won. I bragged about it in school to my friends. Not that anyone would care to know but I just was that proud.

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Dad married mum when he was in his late twenties. It was pretty much a norm in those days where marriages were arranged. Dad and mum’s married was one such arranged marriage. Mum told me that dad was a shy person who not just only did not speak much during their initial meetup (in the presence, of course, of an entire contingent of relatives!) but he also did not walk around at all.

In the first two meetings, my mum only saw my dad seated all the while. She actually thought that this man here is too good to be true … too handsome for her. She told me told she was so fearful that he was crippled and she was too shy to ask!

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Le BonBon Cafe in Richmond

Updated 11 Sep 2009: This restaurant had been closed.

This is our fourth cake meet. Polly and I had to postpone last week’s cake meet due to the snow storm and deep freeze.

This time, we visited Le BonBon Cafe in Richmond. It is located at 170 – 3031 Beckman Place which is on Bridgeport Rd and No. 4 Rd.

Le BonBon Cafe offers a number of cheesecakes and gourmet coffee. It also caters for birthday cakes for kids like ice-cream cake and mud cake such as Portuguese Creme Caramel, sponge cake in various flavour like chocolate, vanilla, coffee and lemon, butter cake and banana cake.

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Le BonBon’s cheesecake is all homemade by the owner, Jenny Felgar. Le BonBon’s cheesecake is famous for its rich and intense cheese flavor, yet smooth but not too sweet. Jenny told us that she uses 1 kilogram of cream cheese to make a 9″ cheesecake and it takes 13.5 to 15 hours to make one from preparation to its readiness. Each cheesecake is slowly baked to its perfection with passion and dedication.

We were overwhelmed by the varieties in the display shelves. To name some, Le BonBon’s original. Blueberry Swirl, Strawberry Swirl, Chocolate Truffle, Bailey’s Coffee, Italian Tiramisu, Green Tea, Green Apple, Mango, Pear, etc.

Jenny recommended we try the Le BonBon’s original cheesecake which is the New York Style cheesecake as it gives us the original cheese flavour. It is indeed very rich and creamy.

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Polly ordered the Green Tea Cheesecake which has a very subtle green tea flavour and still very creamy.

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Fruit Rojak

During our gathering at Riverfront park, Jessica made some Malaysian fruit rojak which was gobbled up in a jiffy. I have wanted to make it at home but have been procrastinating it until a recent groceries shopping trip with Ben and he reminded me about it.

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Ingredients

IMG_9430_edited-1The most crucial ingredient in making the Malaysian style fruit salad is the Sambal Rojak. The fruit salad dressing is made up of sugar, water, starch, soy bean, prawn extract, glucose syrup, tapioca thickener, sesame seed, garlic, chili powder, salt and caramel. The Sambal Rojak can be found in many groceries stores which carry South East Asian products.
IMG_9433_edited-1To add extra kick to it, I also added some belacan chili powder. You may substitute this with sambal oelek from Indonesia.
IMG_9434_edited-1The Thai chili adds extra spiciness to the salad.
IMG_9445_edited-1I also added some honey to sweeten and liquefy the salad dressing.
IMG_9438_edited-1The most common fruit used are pineapple, jicama and cucumber. I could not find jicama during that groceries shopping trip, so I substituted it with Asian pear and apple. Other popular ingredients include youtiou (fried dough) and tofu puff.

Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Ellie Tropical Cuisine in Richmond

Update 26-Apr-2009: Ellie had closed. Seems like this place will re-open as a vegetarian place.

Saturday came around again. Suanne does not cook on weekends. She always insisted it’s her day off. This time we decided to check out one of the Malaysian-slash-Taiwanese “cuisine” restaurants in Richmond.

No, no … Ellie is not one of those fusion restaurants. When they say that they are a Malaysian-Taiwanese restaurant, it’s just that they serve food from both Malaysia and Taiwan (beef noodles). Anyway, it’s located at 3779 Sexsmith Road in Richmond.

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We stuck with the simple Malaysian food this visit. Nanzaro is addicted to fried rice. You know, everytime he gets the menu in the restaurant, he will flip the pages and scan if they have fried rice on it.

He ordered a Belacan Fried Rice. The belacan gives a distinctive pungent smell and taste to the rice. It was pretty good, I must say. Cost: $8.95.

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Heong Peah

In my last trip to Malaysia and Singapore, I brought back some Heong Peah. It has been a long, long time since I had this and frankly, I have even forgotten all about this snack until I came across it again in that trip.

Heong Peah is a snack originated from the small town of Teluk Intan (used to be called Teluk Anson). It is a chinese community delicacy. There are others who insisted that Ipoh is where Heong Peah originated.

I brought home the SGT brand simply from the nicer looking packaging. I recall that these things came in very rudimentary wrappings.

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The Heong Peah is basically a biscuit with lightly sweet fillings. It has a very crispy and flaky layer outside. One bite into it and you will have pieces of the flaky dough falling off. So, you are better off eating this over a plate or something to catch the layers.

The fillings is made primarily of flour, oil, maltose, sugar, sesame, and shallots. It is not too sweet which particularly goes very well with a cup of hot beverage, especially hot English tea.

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I was not sure if anyone at home would like it and so just bought one packet home. It turns out that Arkensen loves this a lot and had been snacking through the entire packet.

I felt that this biscuit, marketed correctly, would actually have a good demand in a city like Vancouver. The flakiness of the biscuit is perhaps something that many do not understand. For me, the best part of eating this is picking up the outer flaky layer afterwards. Yummy … got to get more for the home. Anyone know if you could buy these in Vancouver?

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Kamloops Trip: Denny’s – Breakfast

While in Kamloops, we had breakfast at Denny’s. It was the only restaurant we could find nearby which is opened that early. Anyway, Arkensen loves any breakfasts which has hash browns. When we were there, the restaurant were practically empty.

Did you know that Denny’s is largest full service family restaurant in North America? In Canada British Columbia, you can find Denny’s in almost every city and town.

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We sat down and ordered 2 coffees ($3.98 each) and 2 frothy hot chocolates ($2.80 each). There are free refills for the coffee.

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Since 1977, when the Grand Slam Breakfast is introduced, it has been a very popular breakfast at Denny’s. I ordered the ultimate Grand Slam — the Extreme Grand Slam Breakfast. This consist of bacon, hash browns, sausages and a choice of eggs. The price, $8.59.

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