Lunch on a Hot Afternoon

After spending a night in Kota Bahru, it was off to Kuala Terengganu, the capital of Terengganu state in the East coast of Peninsula Malaysia. The Chinatown there has been in existence since time immemorial and it was there in the 90s when I had my first bite of the white steamed keropok lekor. I've long visited it, Kuala Terengganu's Chinatown, long before my nephew who then was just a little kid in school but surprisingly it was him who led me through a back lane to an eating shop that on first sight looked rather a turn off. The backyard of a house there was rather unkempt, the kitchen looked cluttered and where we eat, it was hot and humid. But then, it was a hot afternoon when we were there. You'll forget all that in a minute when food was served and we dug into the fish head curry and crab dish!

Food before Flight

Krabi, a tourist resort in Southern Thailand must be  rather  popular with Malaysians especially those living  up north. I've long heard of people going there on chartered buses and then, out of the blue, a friend got all of us an attractive deal to the very place, cheap air tickets with accommodation and a one-day guided tour to boot. Then, while most of the time our holiday trips started off from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, this one started from the Pearl of the Orient! Getting to Penang International Airport which is less than two hours drive away would be a breeze and Ah Heng could chauffeur us there! On the day of the departure, we were all bundled into his car earlier than usual.  It was not a matter of beating the traffic jam and getting to the airport on time but more of getting to the restaurant near Universiti Sains Malaysia. After picking up his friend in Seberang Prai, we went on to enjoying a dim sum breakfast there before we made off to the airport to catch o…

Authentically Korean

On Friday night, Mau Wei called. How about meeting up with Swe Ling on Saturday? Great! Let's go for a korean lunch. Let her pick up the tab! I remember having a korean meal with Mau Wei and Swe Ling once. For a long time, I yearn for something Korean.  Each time, passing by a Korean restaurant in Penang or Kuala Lumpur, I would wonder what were the dishes offered. Then, Aeon Shopping Mall came to town and along with it, a Korean restaurant. Swe Ling must have loved Korean food. If I'm not mistaken, it was her suggestion that we had Korean food the last time. So, for dinner then, we had steamed rice with banchan, the accompanying side dishes which included kimchi of course. Without fermented vegetable dishes of either napa cabbage, Korean radish, or  cucumber, fermented in a brine of ginger, garlic, scallions, and chili pepper, the Korean meal wouldn't be authentic, would it? Flush that down with a pot of jujube and wolfberry tea;  it was heaven!

At Kalveen's

Where would  you get to have such a spread - chicken and mutton curry to go with idli and tosai and some home made muruku,  and a hot cup of caffein-free coffee to flush the whole lot all down to your stomach? At Kalveen's of course! Early this year, Kelvin wrote:
Thanks teacher for inspiring me to do well in life.
Whatever I have achieved in life is because of you.
Happy Teacher's Day!
Sincerely Frm,
I haven't seen Kalveen for at least two years and when we got connected, he invited me over to his new house. Thank you,Kalveen. Happy Diwali!Now, which is tosai, idli, muruku and which is chicken, which is mutton?

Hard Rock Cafe, Dublin

Someone commented on my Hard Rock Kota Kinabalu T-shirt the other night. The truth was I bought the T-shirt in a night market in Sabah's capital. In tourist spots in Malaysia, Thailand and elsewhere in Asia, I suppose such T-shirts can be bought easily and cheaply too; at RM10 even. I have seen Hard Rock Cafe in Malacca and Penang but have not patronize any, not until I visited Dublin, Ireland in 2016. Mau Wei and I were visiting Yen Yen and her husband ; and one evening, we just strolled into Hard Rock Cafe, Dublin, somewhere near Temple Bar.  It was after all almost time for dinner and Hard Rock Cafe, Dublin looked just like a cosy place. So there we were, Mau Wei, her sister, Yen Yen, her husband, her two relatives and I, having a meal at Hard Rock Cafe, Dublin. The food and drink there were marvellous and the price reasonable; that is, if you were to pay in Euro. Yen Yen's husband picked up the tab. Thanks!

Happy Diwali!

An Indian-theme fair in Taiping Mall attracted a sizable number of Indians; Hindus who were getting ready to welcome Diwali, the festival of lights, and yours truly; who was bowled over by a snack sold there, a round, hollow paper thin unleavened deep-fried piece of bread called puri. Fill that with imli pani, a mixture of flavoured water and an assortment of other ingredients, tamarind chutney, chili, some spice mix called chaat masala, potato, onion or chickpeas and there, you have pani puri, a snack said to have originated from Varanasi, India. A bite of it is like an assault on a dam, breaking the wall to release the water trapped; only now, what gushes out from the puri is a delightful cool liquid that titillates  the tastebuds. Reminds me of 小龍飽 little Dragon bun, only that this panipuri looks like better served cold! Happy Diwali!

Angels Had a Guest

Sabrina had been away to Japan for quite a long time, a month to be exact. When she came back, there was talk about the angels getting together. Then, Quinn, the American lass who had been a colleague for the last ten months was scheduled to leave Malaysia, going back to her home in Maine. So, I thought what would be better as farewell dinner than to have steamboat with the angels at the quite new hot pot restaurant in Simpang. On Saturday, the angels made a pact to meet. Sabrina offered to ferry the angels; so, I let myself be picked up at three quarters past five. At ten passed six, Quinn turned up and before we proceeded to a sumptuous meal of abalone, sea cucumber, pig intestine, pork and chicken all dumped into a bubbling hot pot, I introduced to the guest, fellow angels - the boyish Sabrina and the tall Kelly. Yours truly of course is the sexy Jill. Nice to meet you, Quinn!