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Vietnamese Coffee

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Pour hot water into the phin, the French drip filter where the coffee beans  are; and watch the water trickles into a cup. It may seems too long sometimes, especially  when you need to quench your thirst but your patience will pay off. Just get the condensed milk ready; pour enough into the brew of thick brown coffee to sweeten it and voila, you have a cup of ca phe sua or Vietnamese coffee.I had my first cup of Vietnamese coffee surprisingly not in Vietnam but in a Chinese eating shop in Gua Musang, Kelantan, Malaysia when my nephew drove me to the east coast for the year end holidays.


At Grandma's

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One cat, two cats, three cats, four,
Four cats scratching
at my gran's back door.
John Kitching's poem, Cats, is delightful but I can't imagine being at grandma's and scratching at her door, gate or bee-hive even. But then, I'm not a cat and especially at Grandma's in the biggest city in Southern Thailand, Haadyai,  I can just sit back with my friends and to the accompaniment of the lilting tune of old Chinese evergreen songs, enjoyed a variety of dim sum. That's also probably the only place where one can find salmon among its dim sum menu. Now, where is the salmon?









Treat for Treat

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Treat or trick? No, I mean treat for treat. Just the other day, Swee Ling and I had wanted to go out for lunch. The lass had wanted to treat me to a Korean lunch but I was game for something Japanese. 'Fine', I said, 'Korean, your treat. Japanese, my treat.' That day, we had sushi at Tenko. Yummy!








In Hot Soup

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One of the must buy items in Cameron Highlands , I presume, must be the sweet, succulent Cameron Highlands  maize. My niece, her mom and aunties were in  Cameron Highlands not too long ago and there were plenty of maize to eat on their return. I remember boiled maize sold in the night markets during the 70s used to be more orangy and hard unlike the new varieties. The latter, some of the more expensive ones especially, are even still palatable in their raw form.  Talking about maize now,I can't help but be reminded of the simple yet tasty lunch I had with my friends in the Dongchuan Redlands 紅土地 in Kunming, China. There for the first time, I found  big chunks of maize in my hot soup! Now, guess which item/s in the photos come/comes from Cameron Highland?





Cupcake Cheer!

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Cupcakes are American in origin but their popularity have spread far and wide. Quite often, my niece would bake them for the whole family and they were there on the kitchen table when I was getting ready to make a visit to the hospital. I figured I pinched a few and packed them for the young patient who broke his ribs. Cheer up!

An English Tea

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When you have a diet of Enid Blyton's books, you can't help but wonder how it feels like to have an English tea. Oh, how nice would it be to be a member of the Famous Five, to be able to solve a mysterious case and come back home to be served tea by mother. When in the United kingdom, I suppose I had my first English tea. It was on a summer afternoon when my friends and I visited Ah Chuan and his housemate, Joe. I saw the latter, busy pottering in the kitchen, and the next instant, we were all in the garden, enjoying Leighton's cool, crisp air and tea with what else, but scones and hot cross buns!






A Favourite Fruit

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A sweet, pungent overpowering smell wafted into the nostril. There was the king of fruits on the table, inviting a bite; never mind that it wasn't the musang king, D24, Ling Fong Chiao or even  C-3PO or  R2-D2, if you are a Star Wars fan  and care to name the South East Asian fruit after the lovable astromech droids. The durian is a favourite fruit to many and don't you believe it if you've read somewhere that it has a terrible smell unlike that of rotten onions or raw sewage.  It simply isn't true. Period.