Spoon included

spoon

There is no a spoon! smirk

This is a pleasant surprise, albeit a rather funny one. I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw the spoon.

She actually packed a home-cooked dinner for me – complete with prawns, beans, and a fried egg at the bottom of the rice. It’s very nicely done, packaged and delivered.

I opened the paper bag and saw the Tupperware containing the dinner.

…with a spoon.

Me: You even packed a spoon!
Her: Haha! Used to it dy.

I do have spoons at home, contrary to popular belief. I do appreciate the effort though and seeing the spoon made me laugh.

homecooked rice box

I love you dear. <3

You can have your cupcake and eat it too

cupcakes

Waiting is something I’m traditionally very, very bad at.

I think most Aries do not wait. It’s just not in our dictionary.

(we leave that for the other star signs)

I could eat the batter of the cupcake. However, won’t it be nice to wait until the cupcake is done?

I have run out of analogies. Honestly, today has been one of the most emotionally draining experiences I’ve had.

Emotional highs and lows – it’s like the roller-coaster ride from hell.

It’s the constant “What if” game:

What if I didn’t see you today?
What if I have behaved differently?
What if I made you less nervous?

Well, you get my point – Would things be different?

There’s honestly no answer to that. Time only flows in one direction (unless massive breakthroughs are made in fringe physics) so a better question to ask would be:

Am I happy with this?

It’s a bitter-sweet answer. I keep thinking of The Longest Line (it’s a NOFX song) where the lyrics go “I think of Chinese food when I think of life. It’s sweet and sour.”

I’m happy and sad at the same time.

However, if that’s what I’m feeling, I can’t imagine how you must feel.

You must be feeling a million times worse.

I know it can’t be easy.

I really hope I can be there for you. I really hope that I can earn your trust. I hope for a million things but above all I hope that you’ll give me a chance.

I’m sitting here eating your cupcakes and I couldn’t bear to eat the last one, not knowing when I’ll see you next. They’re delicious (no chocolate chip “surprises” inside smirk).

love

I have three cupcakes. They’re all packed nicely into a 3-cupcake box and I didn’t even throw away the paper on the two that I’ve eaten, knowing that you put so much effort into making them, and knowing that it’s handmade by you.

I *do* think you’re worth the wait.

We’ll do it right. :)

Listening to: Alanis Morissette – Head Over Feet

The best burger in Sibu (and possibly Malaysia)

burger sibu

Secret Garden Grill. Hands down. I was rather unimpressed by the place but damn, does the kitchen come out with one fine and juicy burger!

secret garden grill

I went out with Arthur to have dinner here. I was thinking burgers or Ming Mei Shi and went for the former coz we were just talking about Maple Leaf’s burger.

dayak

Secret Garden Grill does have a rather interesting photo wall though – there are photos of local happenings dating back to when the local Dayak tribe didn’t wear bras (which, if you’re interested to know, doesn’t happen any more unless you’re in a bedroom smirk).

secret garden sibu

Back to burgers, they have a double cheese, double beef patty version that I was tempted to order but since it doesn’t have egg (which can be an add-on), I went for the Secret Beef Burger (RM 14.90).

arthur wee

What makes it so special? It’s the handmade juicy patty which is easily an inch of dribbling juicy beef, the perfectly done egg, and the buttery grilled bread that’s just right.

secret garden burger

I had trouble stuffing this into my mouth but it’s a very rewarding and slightly orgasmic event to chew and see the juices from the rare/medium beef patty squirt out.

best burger sibu

Mmm…

fish chips

Arthur had the Fish & Chip (RM 12.90)

caesar salad

…and we shared a Caesar Salad (RM 8.90) for some greens to round off the meal.

yoghurt drink

I also had the Mixed Fruit Yoghurt Drink (RM 3.80 – marked down from RM 7.50). I thought it was alright, though this place seems to have slashing prices right, left and center. The burgers are awesome though – best in Sibu, and I’ll call it out on KL too.

hb arthur wee

Dessert was Mille crepe at Noodle House – we had two versions, the Double Chocolate Mille crepe and the Rum & Raisin Mille crepe.

mille crepe

I prefer the former coz it tastes chocolatey, I couldn’t taste the rum in the latter, probably coz I’m desensitized. Haha!

horlicks dinosaur godzilla

Horlicks Dinosaus vs Horlick Godzilla

noodle house

Noodle House was packed as usual – bumped into an old classmate there (Hello Peter!). It’s a nice place for food and drinks.

hb burger

Thanks for dinner and desserts before I go back Arthur! It’s truly an epic burger. :)

Cafe Ind – Indonesian and Indian food

cafe ind

I’ve wanted to come here for ages but it was always closed when I was out. I heard the food is good and they serve both Indonesian and Indian cuisine – thus Cafe Ind. My good friend Arthur came over and dropped off some of his muesli cookies…

(which I’ve almost finished, eating them as a midnight snack)

cookies

…and we headed out to check out the curiously named Cafe Ind(dehouse).

Nasi Pecel (RM 14)

Nasi pecel is one of the unique Javanese rice served with pecel (cooked vegetables with the classic Javanese spicy peanut sauce) and warm plain rice (nasi putih). It tastes best when eaten with fried tempeh and the traditional cracker called peyek. In reality pecel has a lot of versions and ours has it’s own uniqueness. It’s served with chicken satay on a lemongrass stick and herbal boiled egg.

nasi pecel

I got that from the menu liner notes and it doesn’t leave much to the imagination. It’s a really good dish where every single one of the sides tastes good. Arthur ordered this one and I tasted the tempeh, which I didn’t think was tempeh at first.

It’s not deep fried but cooked so flavourful that it made a convert out of me. I like the way they skew the chicken stay onto lemongrass stalks too!

Nasi Tumpeng (RM 15)

Nasi Tumpeng is traditional Indonesian rice platter served during special events such as birthdays, weddings, or any other occasions. It’s somewhat a Nasi Lemak for big occasions. Our aromatic rice, served on a bed of banana leaf, is complemented by several different which varies daily. You have the honor to have the Tumpeng as the mark of an achievement!

nasi tumpeng

That semi-garbled bit of liner note in the menu describes my dish perfectly. It’s santan (coconut milk) rice with with a nice hat made of banana leaf on top – cute! :)

There’s a side of kangkung, which goes very well with the peanut sauce from Arthur’s Nasi Pecel. The chicken kurma is superb too! Choice, tender cuts in a flavorful and creamy curry. I also like their spicy beef and the otak otak that’s made in-house.

Indian Ginger Tea (RM 6)

indian ginger tea

This is an iced ginger tea which is rather diluted from the vast amount of ice they put inside. It would have been much better if it had been thicker.

Butter Curry Chicken (RM 14)

butter curry chicken

This is something we ordered from the Indian menu. They have three menus – one for Indonesian food (which is what we had for mains), one for Indian food, and one for beverages. There are three (3) pieces of chicken inside, including a drum. I thought it was delicious!

mulu ice cream

We also went to the new Payung Mahkota and had the Mulu Ice Cream. It’s the best ice cream I’ve had in Sibu! Very complex textures with the cake, ice cream and muesli sprinkled on top. I said this would be national level ice cream – it’ll be great even in KL! One of the best ice creams I’ve ever had. It’s hands down the best dessert on their menu.

kahlua ice cream

The liqueur ice cream is pretty good too. There’s Kahlua and Blue Curacao. The former needs to introduction, being the most popular coffee liqueur around but if you’re not familiar with the latter, it’s used in cocktails for it’s blue color. The refinishing citrus taste from Blue Curacao comes from the laraha fruit, which is a predecessor to Valencia oranges.

blue curacao ice cream

The orange juice I drink back when I was studying in Melbourne uses Valencia orange concentrate around winter if they have a severe shortage of Australian oranges – it’s 100% orange juice squeezed daily otherwise and they’ll tell you when it’s not by stating it on the label – a very transparent move I love in Australian products.

payung mahkota

Dinner at The Cafe Ind is great! I had a lot of fun talking to Arthur about everything. Thanks for getting the desserts! :)

waitress

I like the service there – the waitresses are knowledgeable, speaks English and will take the initiative to ask if there’s something they don’t know (which a lot of Sibu and KL restaurants don’t do).

I asked her about the tempeh, which doesn’t seem like the usual deep fried ones I’ve had. This is much better.

peeping tom

The Cafe Ind charges for water though – RM 2 for a glass of RO water and RM 4.50 for mineral water. However, the meals are very reasonably priced and dinner came up to a little over RM 55 for the both of us. I love the ambiance too, Cafe Ind would be perfect if they turned off the flashing lights and pop music.

cafe ind sibu

You have the honor to have the Tumpeng as the mark of an achievement! smirk

Daytime fireworks colored smoke salute cakes!

color smoke salutes

Okay we have a fireworks post today but it’s not just any regular fireworks post. These are daytime fireworks e.g. fireworks you let off at daylight coz you *wouldn’t* be able to see them at night.

Whaaaaaaat? Really?

daytime fireworks cake

Yup!

color smoke salute effect

It’s actually called smoke salutes with a comet tail effect but these are airborne shells arranged in a barrage cake that contains bombettes filled with colored smoke that bursts in the air, creating a colorful cloud. This is the first time I’ve seen it available in a commercial format like this.

smoke salutes cake

I bought this cake of 49 shot colored smoke salutes for RM 200. I was specifically told to let it off in the morning. I found that it’s best to use these daylight fireworks when there’s no wind to make the smoke linger longer.

This colored smoke aerial cake produces a wonderful display of pink, green, blue, yellow, purple, smoke (black) and red. Pink is the most vivid color, followed by purple.

colored smoke salutes

I was surprised that the 1.2” mortars in the cake can produce such an impressive show. It’s quite long too so the shells shoots up quite high.

smoke salutes

Unfortunately, I had set my video mode to Shutter Priority so the sun completely washed out the smoke salute display. :x

daylight fireworks

It’s actually a very nice show and I’ll definitely be getting more of these next year. I’ll remember to film it better next time. The colored smoke lingers around in the air for a while and the vivid colors from the aerial smoke salutes makes for a novel daytime fireworks cake. :)

Chinese New Year 2013

open house

I compiled a list of random photos from CNY open houses, visiting friends and generally doing the things I do each year during Chinese New Year. :D

This is a performance of a yu – a traditional Chinese musical instrument. I don’t know what it’s actually called, I just looked at the list of Chinese instruments at Wikipedia and the yu seems to fit it best. It’s a flute of sorts with a gourd at the back – there’s multiple tubes and it can make quite an enchanting melody.

cny visiting

I also managed to catch up with Ting Chuan, a very old friend of mine. We went through the same class in primary school *and* high school together. Luke is to the other side of me.

ting chuan hb luke

My high school mate has been married for a long time (his wife Siew Ling and their daughter is in the first photo) – was one of his heng tai during the wedding and he’s now the proud father of a bouncy new baby. This is the cute Megan. :)

megan

I’m always amazed and a little envious when see stuff like this. I’ll love to have kids of my own too. Unfortunately, I haven’t found a soul mate yet. I’ll see how things pan out. ;)

romeo steph

I went clubbing three times too – it’s been a while since I drank this much. It was a lot of fun! That’s Romeo and Stephanie @ The Base. I get to see this bunch of friends only once a year since we all work at different places.

cousins

This is 3 Degrees. We made a new tradition of going clubbing with just cousins starting this year. :D

birthday present

I also got my very first birthday present from Patricia Felicia – my birthday is not until 5th of April but she reckons she’ll not see me then coz I’ll be in KL so this is a 2-month early birthday gift. Thanks Pat! :)

chinese 80th birthday

Speaking of birthdays…this is my great aunt’s 80th birthday!

great aunt

She remembers me as a little kid when I lived in Sungai Merah. To be honest, I don’t even remember living in Sungai Merah but that’s what the older generation is for. Haha!

sky lantern cny

Letting of sky lanterns with my bros Eddy, Calvin, Romeo, Ah Tong. This is a RM 2.50 biodegradable sky lantern sold as an alternative to fireworks.

sky lantern

It really goes up high with a 15 minute burn time.

fountain cake fireworks

We also let off a fireworks cake called Jin Se Pu Bu (Golden Conflagration – a classic barrage from the early days way before the ban). This is up there with Colorpeony in terms of multi-tube aerial shots – back in the days (talking about the ’80s here) these are the *really popular* ones.

Two foot long fountains were also lit simultaneously beside it for a better show.

muesli cookies

I also visited Arthur’s house, which is just around the corner. Those are his muesli cookies.

arthur grace

Arthur has been a good friend of mine since I was a little kid. I didn’t have a car (mom’s car broke down) so Grace picked me up.

josiah

It’s has been an awesome Chinese New Year! I’ll be getting the annual fireworks and firecrackers post up before Chap Goh Meh (the 15th day and the end of the Lunar New Year). Hope ya’ll had a great CNY too! :D

The firecracker and the cat

chinese firecrackers

This is a powerful multi-layered braided string of 39,999 traditional Chinese firecrackers – it’s huge, with lots of powder and chalk, which produces tons of red paper. I strung them up around the gate like a snake yesterday for the 7th day of Chinese New Year.

firecracker

It’s really, really loud. I was standing about 1 meter away and I could feel debris and chalk flying right past me.

Anyway, after my ears stopped ringing I suddenly heard a cat’s pitiful mewling.

Puzzled, I looked around.

No cat.

We searched and searched and finally isolated the mewling to a corner with our temporarily deaf ears. Me and my dad thought it was coming from *inside* the air conditioning unit.

air con

We spent a good 10 minutes trying to pry it open coz the cat sounded like it was trapped inside.

I kept looking in too but I couldn’t see the cat.

My dad went in to fetch a suitable spanner to undo the lugs while I tried to see how the cat could have gotten in but there are no openings.

…and then my dad happened to look up.

firecracker cat
(cat)

Yeah…

We were crouched down and looking inside the air conditioning unit so we never thought it was coming from above. Besides, our hearing was shot.

stuck cat

I think it’s a stray that was walking from the backyard when the firecrackers scared her and in a burst of adrenaline, she somehow managed this amazing acrobatic feat that she couldn’t extract herself from.

I had to get her down.

petting cat

Nice cat, wish it stayed but she haughtily stretched herself and left after I petted her a little and the ordeal was over. Ungrateful. Hmph. action

Viva la Riolution!

globebox cooling

Glove Box Cooling

Arkamys Audio System with 6-speakers

air bags

6 Airbag System smirk

kia rio launch

Haha! I was at the launch of the All-New Rio at The Curve just before I came back for the holidays. I booked my flight tickets the day after so I could be there. It seems like a very promising car, with a rather lofty tagline that got me intrigued.

There were performers using nothing but traffic cones and other day-to-day percussion instruments to do a choreographed intro which I liked a lot.

road rage

…and like a scene from West Side Story, a couple of menacing looking dudes armed with iron pipes came out – and started a hard charging dance of sorts.

percussion band traffic cones

Everything ties back to driving or automobiles so it’s good to see opening gambits that really makes sense instead of stuff that leaves you stretching you head and thinking “So what was that all about?”.

press con

Datuk Syed Abdul Hafiz Syed Abu Bakar also came on-stage before the launch of the all new Rio. He’s the COO of Naza Kia Malaysia and I bumped into him later at the press conference at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Restaurant.

/cue dramatic music

The launch gambit was also impressive in its own right. Having been to more than a few of these, I was expecting the usual and looked for when the car would be driven it. Watch the video! The cars are already there, and there were 3 Kia Rio vehicles that were unveiled to the hiss of smoke and the sound of revving engines.

kia launch malaysia

The all new Kia Rio has a lot of features that you wouldn’t expect to see in a car of this price range (OTR Prices: Rio 1.4 EX (RM73,888), SX (RM79,888)). It really is revolutionary. Or Riovolutionary.

rio front

It’s basically a 1.4 cc compact 5-door hatchback that comes in two variants. However that would be a bit like saying caviar is just fish roe.

kia rio back

Speaking of caviar, have you ever wanted a mini-fridge in your car? At least something that would cool down your drinks? The Kia Rio has it – the glove box is cooled! I think this would be the #1 selling point for me. Perfect for road trips in our weather.

rio back

Other awesome features:

  • LED Daytime Running Light
  • Static Bending Light (provides light where the steering wheel turns)
  • Safety Window (you won’t get your hand nipped when you accidentally wind up before you have your hand in after using Touch N Go)
  • Electric Folding Mirror with LED Side Repeater
  • Tiger Nose Radiator Grill Design (won a lot of design awards, this car)
  • Stylish Sunroof (woot!)
  • Full Air Conditioner with Cluster Ionizer (so you won’t get depressed during traffic jams)

rio interior

There’s also:

  • Arkamys Audio System with 6 speakers
  • AUX/USB/iPod port
  • Bluetooth (for your phone calls)
  • Tilt & Telescopic Steering wheel (so you can adjust to your optimal driving position)
  • Push Start Button & Smart Key

Some of the features are for the Kia Rio 1.4SX variant. You also get a 4-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift gate for those who wants to a degree of manual driving.

The all new Kia Rio 1.4L also got a EURO NCAP rating of 5 stars during safety certification. That’s widely considered as the toughest safety standard to pass.

kia rio engine

Of course, there’s also auto defogging and rain sensors for the wipers, which surprised me even more at this price range. The Kia Rio not only looks great – winning the reddot Design Award, Good Design Award and was the abc Design Award Winner in 2011 for the Exterior – but performs well too!

hb-kia-rio

Best of all, it wouldn’t break the bank. It comes in several colors for the 1.4EX version while the 1.4 SX Rio comes in Electric Blue.

kia winner

Oh ya, you remember that Rio Roundabout Contest I was talking about last time? Turns out the prize giving ceremony was held there too.

winner

The dude sure loves his all new Rio! :)

Lady Bug aerial fireworks – launches several stories high!

lady bug fireworks

I came across some interesting novelty fireworks this year. The Lady Bug is a fist sized firework painted like a ladybird that’s supposed to launch several stories high into the air. I thought that was quite an impressive claim so I got a few packs.

It’s sold in a pack of 3 for RM 15, which makes it RM 5 for each of the ladybird fireworks.

ladybird fireworks

Lady Bug fireworks is basically a spinner connected to an aerial shell-like lift charge. I think that’s how it works – I didn’t dissect it to find out. smirk

The ladybird fireworks really shoots up to 4-6 stories. It’s variable – I’ve seen some that goes higher (about the same range as a 3” aerial shell would go).

I’ve seen a lot of people lighting these off – it’s a straight vertical lift after some furious spinning action. I reckon a *report* at the end of it’s apogee would make it more interesting though. :)

I spent last night with the police

police

I just came back from a rather long night. The entire extended family was out celebrating the 80th birthday of my grand aunt. A bunch of us cousins decided to make a new tradition of going out clubbing during Day 3 of Chinese New Year and sent my grandma back.

I ended up hanging with the police instead.

We were about to head out after dropping them off when suddenly my aunts and grandma noticed that the entire house was completely ransacked. It’s a good thing we were still there.

The fucking thieves gained entry by strategically putting a couple of pieces of wood over a large storm drain, unscrewing the back gate with surgical precision and taking out the door with a couple of well put strikes that broke the lock.

…before rampaging through the rooms, breaking beds and overturning closets to find cold hard cash. They didn’t take anything else – the police said it’s probably coz gold and other valuables would be hard to sell without detection in a small town like this.

You know how much they netted? Over RM 30,000!

It’s Chinese New Year and the lion’s share of the damage was to my grandma. :(

She lost RM 20,000 out of the total (rest were my aunts and one cousin from Singapore).

I called 999 and told them not to touch anything. I was a bit taken aback when the operator said “Mr Poh can you repeat the address?”.

It’s the integrated system with telcos to prevent crank calls.

I realized that half a second after the initial surprise. I was out waiting for the police and then called the Sibu Police Headquarters instead to speed things up. They said they’ve already got the call and they’re sending out a patrol car.

The initial cops who came took a look around and said we needed to take stock of the losses and lodge a report at the main station.

Thus, me and my cousin went with all my aunts and grandma to the police station, made a report, went up to speak to someone and then went back home to wait for the JSJ (Jabatan Siasatan Jenayah – Crime Investigation Department) to come for forensics.

dusting fingerprints

They tried to get fingerprints but didn’t get any.

There has been a spate of break-ins at that area for a long time – the neighbor behind had the same MO. My grandma’s house is never empty – there’s always someone there coz 3 of my aunts and my grandma lives there. The only time it was empty, it got broken into.

Same thing happened to the neighbor to the back. The one at the side was slightly more unlucky, two females were in the house when it happened, but didn’t see the thieves coz they were forced down on the ground. Only money was taken, no valuables.

I think Sibu is getting a bit worse each year – one of my friends chanced upon a robbery in broad daylight yesterday.

I feel so sorry for my grandma and I guess it’s a good thing that some people are gifted with the ability to make others laugh (like my cousin) which puts things in perspective.

The silver lining is that no one was hurt coz the last time someone stumbled upon and recognized the thief in Sibu, the entire family was murdered. It was done to prevent them from pointing him out but one of them managed to get away by jumping from the second floor.

break in

I still feel fucking horrible though – I went to sit with my grandma who was there folding clothes after the robbers rummaged through everything and destroyed the beds to see if there was anything hidden underneath.

She told me that was the money she was planning to use for a vacation. T_T

She’s a very nice person, a kind and selfless woman armed with a cheery smile and always putting other people first. That was her entire life savings she has been putting away slowly over all these years you took, fuckers.

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