Fatt Bakery – best kompia in Sibu!

fatt bakery

Well, or so my dad says. Haha! Everyone has their favorite kompia stall. The humble kompia is a bagel-like pastry that supposedly was strung around the neck of soldiers back in China (coz they have a tiny hole in each of them, like a donut) and eaten for sustenance in the battlefield.

flavoured kompia

I don’t know about that but people in Sibu have been snacking on them for ages. Fatt Bakery still does their kompia the old school way – slapped around a brick oven. It’s cooked by the ambient heat from the brick/stone oven – a lot of places uses a regular, modern oven now and it tastes totally different.

buttermilk kompia

Fatt Bakery does have one tasty new innovation though – buttermilk kompia! The sweet filling is placed inside the regular kompia and it sells for about 30 cents each (RM 2 for 6 pieces). Look at how it’s made to the left of the photo above! They also have pandan, custard and coconut flavors.

making kompia

Kompia actually only refers to the sesame seed covered, slightly salty variant. The larger and sweeter version is called chu nu piang. I loved this as a kid while my sister preferred the chewy kompia.

kompia sibu

Fatt Bakery does a brisk business though. There were people waiting in line to get the kompia while the husband and wife team prepares them in the open bakery. I had to walk around a bit to find it but it’s *opposite* the Sibu market, near the pork section. My better half loved the buttermilk kompia too!

I should have gotten more – we got a whole bunch back for her parents too! :)

New Capitol Restaurant, Sibu

gold tablecloth

I just came back from dinner with my parents! I brought my better half along, we just flew in this morning – it’s been a while since I’ve visited my mom.

new capitol restaurant

She just went through another killer bout of radiotherapy from tumors spreading to her scalp and it’s been impeding her movement and cognitive systems a little so I thought I’ll drop by and say hello.

blended ice lemon tea

My mom is usually in Singapore but my dad convinced her to come back for a 1 week sojourn to eat the chicken over here. Apparently, it’s more nutritious. ;)

raw vegetables

I was thinking about where to bring them to dinner tonight when New Capitol Restaurant came up. This is a very old establishment in Sibu – look at the display case with cognac bottles and the old school gold tablecloth!

sliced century egg

We wanted to have the signature Claypot Mutton but unfortunately it was sold out, so we ordered:

fried kampua
Fried Kampua
This is for my dear, who has eaten a lot of different incarnations of Sibu’s most popular noodles – except fried. New Capitol Restaurant does a pretty good rendition.

sweet sauce chicken
Sweet Sauce Chicken
This is quite good actually – it has cashew nuts and other goodies inside. I ate the most of this dish.

fu kui
Fu Kui Vegetable
I have no idea what this is. The New Capitol Restaurant waitresses came up with a platter of raw vegetables (see above) for us to choose from. My dad went with this one.

Tofu Soup with Oysters
It’s tofu, I ate half of my bowl just for the sake of eating it but I don’t like tofu as a general rule. It’s so funny, I just realized that I didn’t even take a photo of this dish coz I don’t like tofu! Haha!

foochow wine duck
Red Wine Sediment Duck
This is the famous Sibu Foochow cuisine condiment known as “hong zhou” – literally the remains of home made red wine. It’s slathered over a duck and deep fried. I’m not a huge fan but it tasted alright.

huai yee

The bill came up to RM 66.70 – it was cheaper than our extravagant lunch! It’s good to talk to my parents and spend time together with all my loved ones over dinner though.

red wine duck

That was worth the price of the flights back home! :)

Think Blue. World Championship 2013

think blue championships

3.48 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers! That’s how much the winners of this year’s Think Blue. World Championship 2013 managed in Germany for the finals! The father and son duo drove down the designated 592 kilometer route from Berlin via Wolfsburg and Weimar to Frankfurt am Main. I’ve been to most of the cities in the route during my trip to Germany last year with Volkswagen and it’s hard to imagine such fuel efficiency but they did it!

think blue malaysia

This is the culmination of the Think Blue. regional preliminaries which our own country participated in. I wrote about the first Think Blue. – National Challenge 2013 held in Philea Resort, Malacca in Malaysia earlier this month which saw Mr Ong Ling Kern coming up top and going to Germany on an all-expenses paid trip to participate in the Think Blue. World Championship.

think blue dresden

The regional competition in Germany were different – in addition to quiz questions and fuel efficient driving challenges (which were the tasks in Malaysia too), they had challenges like building miniature energy plans for renewable energy and cooking regional dishes with locally-sourced ingredients.

mavis kitchen

I thought the last one was quite interesting! It’s a concept that’s taking hold in a lots of places, like Byron Bay in Australia. In addition to the surfer culture there, there’s a lot of emphasis on low-food-miles and locally-sourced produce. The menus at the best restaurants like Mavis’ Kitchen (gotta remember to write about that) has large gardens and only cooks with ingredients that are in season and from surrounding orchards and farms!

think blue world championships

I thought that was a really good concept for the environment – very in line with Volkswagen’s Think Blue. philosophy which is a holistic approach to foster environmentally compatible mobility and sustainable individual action by raising awareness about sustainability and eco-conscious behavior.

think blue contestants

Back to the Think Blue. World Championship 2013 in Germany, the results on 12th September goes to Volker Muller-Tonnissen (52) and his co-driver Jorn-Luca Muller-Tonnissen (16) who is also his son! They averaged a mere 3.48 litres per 100 kilometres on the 592 kilometre route using the new Golf TDI BlueMotion. What’s more impressive was the set-up – each car competed with three occupants plus balance weight so it’s a full load! Each vehicle has a load of exactly 294.4 kilos so no one has an unfair advantage from size and built over distance (due to the balance weight).

winners tb

The most efficient performance driving father-son duo were also the winners of the German national preliminary contest. There were also 16 other national winners competing (including our very own Mr. Ong Lin Kern from Malaysia) and the second place went to the team from the Canary Islands (3.63 liters) and third was snagged by Russia (3.67 liters).

malaysia results

Mr Ong’s team representing Malaysia came in at 13th for an average consumption of 4.08 liters per 100 kilometers.

united states team

That’s not too bad considering they came in ahead of teams from Argentina and the United States (which came in at last at 17th with 4.57 liters/100 km).

think blue volkswagen

All the participants visited the International Motor Show in Frankfurt am Main after the event, where Volkswagen had a stand showcasing several efficiency models. They also got a very unique experience at the Volkswagen test centre in Ehra-Lessien where cars like the diesel-powered Golf TDI BlueMotion, the natural gas powered eco-up! and full hybrids like the Touareg Hybrid were shown. To cap it all off, they are among the first ever drivers to get the opportunity to test drive the Volkswagen XL1 (the highly anticipated most efficient series vehicle in the world) as well as the first purely electric high volume production Volkswagen – the new e-up!

e up

This is the third year of the Think Blue. World Championship and Head of Marketing at the Volkswagen Group quoted that they almost doubled the number of participating countries and motivated several thousand people from around the world to find out about driving efficiently. It’s the perfect embodiment of the Think Blue. philosophy which aims to inspire people and contribute to significantly reducing fuel consumption and emissions by adopting a more intelligent driving style.

malaysian team

Find out more about Think Blue.

GAB Oktoberfest Malaysia 2013!

Oktoberfest Malaysia Germany

Oktoberfest is kicking off this year with celebrations throughout the month of October! I’ve always hit a couple each year to get the limited edition beer mug. I have one from every year gracing my shelves – some are even unopened and still in the box! I’m also keen to drink the Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier, brewed exclusively for the Oktoberfest season!

Oktoberfest Malaysia Beer Mug

The 2013 1 liter Oktoberfest Mug is ceramic and comes with a limited edition metal lid. It’s the first time this is done and it’s more in line with the Oktoberfest celebrations in Germany! The metal lid is originally a device to keep flies out of your brew! :)

Oktoberfest Malaysia Mug

I’m keen to add this to my collection of GAB Oktoberfest beer mugs – the 2010 edition even has the outlet printed on the beer mug, which makes it all the more collectible.

Interesting fact: All Oktoberfest beers must be brewed within the city limits of Munich and conform to the Reinheitsgebot (Bavarian Purity Law) which limits the ingredients which can be used.

Oktoberfest Malaysia Paulaner

I’ve had the Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier before and this isn’t something that can be had throughout the year. This is a brew that’s specially made for Oktoberfest and it weighs in at 6% alcohol – slightly higher than the usual beers which comes in around the 5% alcohol point.

Oktoberfest Malaysia Paulaner Bier

Paulaner is usually known for their wheat beers but unlike the rest of the range of Paulaner beers, the Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier is a lager! It’s very good too, and I like the fact that it can only be had during the Oktoberfest season.

Oktoberfest Malaysia Beer

The main Oktoberfest celebrations in Munich, Germany is a huge one and beer breweries have tents to provide a different drinking experience. Paulaner is famous for three of their tents:

Armbrustschutzenzelt – This derives from the word “armbrust” (crossbow) and this tent has been providing a large crossbow shooting range for more than 110 years!

Kafer’s Wies’n-Schanke – This tent serves signature gourmet food like “Kafer-Duck” and a roast saddle of venison.

Winzerer Fahndl – This tent is home to the iconic tower with a gigantic mug of Paulaner sitting on top of it and has the celebrated oompah band called “Nockherberger” playing some tunes while you drink!

Oktoberfest Malaysia McDonalds

I’ve been to Germany before and love the fact that all their beers has to conform to the German Purity Law, even the ones in McDonald’s! Yup, the McDonald’s in Germany serves beer!

Oktoberfest Malaysia 2013 Mug

Even though the Oktoberfest celebrations in Malaysia won’t be physically as big as the main Oktoberfest celebration in Munich, it’s quickly catching up with lots of good food from around the world, exciting contests, fun activities and promotions on GAB’s selection of award-winning beers like Tiger, Guinness, Heineken and of course, the official Paulaner Oktoberfest Bier.

Oktoberfest Malaysia Food

I’m personally looking forward to the authentic limited edition 1 litre ceramic Oktoberfest 2013 mug with a metal lid! You have to reserve yours in advance to avoid missing out, so check out all the fun themed parties going on around Malaysia at the Oktoberfest Malaysia Facebook Page!

Homemade Creamy Broccoli Pesto with Pasta

homemade creamy broccoli pesto

My better half wanted to make pesto – in particular, a creamy pesto with broccoli. I told her pesto needs to have pine nuts, Parmesan cheese and basil leaves for it to be properly called pesto but she showed me a recipe and talked me out of using the nuts. I won out on the cheese and basil though – we actually have a nice herb garden with basil leaves.

broccoli florets

…so that’s what we did over the weekend. I must say it’s quite a success, although this isn’t a traditional pesto with pine nuts but more like a creamy broccoli sauce.

This is actually from a recipe that we adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

steamed broccoli heads

There’s a head of broccoli that’s starting to turn yellow so we steamed that for about 10 minutes and cut the crown into florets. I chopped the stem almost down to the head. I *did not* use the stems at all, some recipes call for that, I only use the broccoli florets.

ingredients broccoli pesto

This is what we put into the food processor:

  • 1 small broccoli
  • 2 cloves raw garlic
  • 50 ml heavy thickened cream
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

I would say the most important thing in that creamy broccoli pesto sauce is the garlic. It’s no good without the garlic! I almost forgot to put it in.

adding fresh basil

Our herb garden is just starting to flower so we just picked a few fresh basil leaves to throw inside the food processor. I pulsed everything and processed it for about 30 seconds until all the ingredients were meshed well together.

cooking linguine

This is our first attempt in doing this so we just cooked some linguine and tossed it with our home-made creamy broccoli pesto.

The linguine was mixed with a huge chunk of butter. I reckon that since there’s olive oil in the pesto sauce, the pasta would taste better with butter. It did! We also had a simple poached egg with the pasta dish.

creamy broccoli pesto

It tasted really good! The heavy cream combined with the Greek yogurt makes a very nice base for the interesting textural experience of having millions of tiny broccoli florets rubbing against your tongue with every bite. The creamy pesto paste isn’t too heavy and rich either – we were surprised to find out it’s actually very light.

creamy broccoli pesto pasta

It’s not a traditional pesto but I’m keen to do one next time with our own basil leaves and some toasted pine nuts. As for this creamy broccoli pesto, it’s simple and delicious, a wonderful alternative to the heavier pasta sauces we’ve been using lately!

I’m wearing Hoya BlueControl lens!

Check it!

eye test

I bet you didn’t know I have problems with my eyesight. I have shortsightedness of -2.50 on my right eye with astigmatism of -1.25. No, I don’t wear spectacles. I’ve never done any form of vision correction surgery. I don’t wear contacts either. It has constantly been puzzling people how I can function visually.

aud hb

It’s coz I’m heavily left eye dominant and my left eye has close to perfect vision. However, I do experience a lot of eye fatigue and dry eyes especially since I’m in front of a notebook almost 16 hours a day! The worst thing is, I didn’t even realize the eye irritation and general fatigue until I started wearing my new ByWP frames with Hoya BlueControl lens.

Tips & Tricks for Healthy Eyes #1: Staring at your screen for too long will cause your eyes to water. Remember to blink!

I’ve already known about the -2.50 myopia and -1.25 astigmatism on my right eye. I just came up during an eye test when I was a kid and my mom forced me to wear specs when I was 12 years old. I didn’t want to coz they made me very dizzy so I stopped wearing them after less than 3 days.

Fast forward 19 years later (yes, I’m 31) and I decided to drop in to get my eyes checked. I’m a heavy user of digital media – I’m on computers most of the day! I decided that having BlueControl lens will help me in my eye troubles.

prescription lens

I was torn between the Reykjavik Eyes MR 12 (RM 1,100) which is a frame made out of a solid piece of titanium so is just a single piece and the ByWP BY11031MB (RM 1,280) which is handmade with stainless steel in Germany and uses a hinge instead of screws on the side and finally went with the latter after viewing it through one of their machines which photographs you with different lenses so you can choose what looks best.

frames camera

It came back in just a few days. The Hoya BlueControl lens actually has a bluish-purple coating on it that can be seen at an angle. I thought that was really cool. I have worn it for a week and I’m glad I finally went in to get my vision fixed. The Hoya BlueControl lens works very well if you’re a heavy user of digital media. I’m probably the one of the heaviest digital media users around!

Tips & Tricks for Healthy Eyes #2: Take regular breaks! Looking away from your screen at something green for 20 seconds every 20 minutes will make a *huge* difference.

BlueControl is actually an anti-reflection coating that reflects part of the harmful blue light emitted by flat screen displays, indoor energy savings lights and sunlight. I am exposed to either of the three during my 16 wakeful hours per day. Blue light is also known as High Energy Visible (HEV) light and comes from the blue end of the visible spectrum.

reykjavik eyes

It’s known as the strongest light as blue light passes through the cornea and crystalline lens directly into the retina. I have LCD and LED computer and television screens, smartphones, tablets and GPS devices. I didn’t realize how tired my eyes were before wearing the BlueControl lens. It’s one of those things that you realize in hindsight.

old team

It’s a “Hey! I’ve been missing out on all this comfort!” moment.

hoya bluecontrol

It not only neutralizes the harmful blue light from the digital media world we are in now but also reduces glare. I found out that wearing my ByWP frames with the Hoya BlueControl lens makes me *a lot* more comfortable. It requires a double affirmation technical grammatical error coz I feel wonderful now when I’m in front of the notebook.

ByWP-BY11031MB

It’s the small things that you notice – chatting in Whatsapp on your smartphone doesn’t fatigue or strain your eyes too much. Watching movies on the LCD screen doesn’t make your eyes dry. I found out that it actually helps regulate sleep too! I’m always up late and staring at the notebook and the excessive blue light can cause sleeplessness.

blue control

Tips & Tricks for Healthy Eyes #3: Keep your distance!

There really is something to this BlueControl lens. It’s like the movie Hackers where the main character Zero Cool wears shades to cut what he calls “razor burn” (more like CRT glare). This has actually come to effect with the LCD and LED screens of computers and smartphones today

rach vanda hb

Wearing my BlueControl lens makes me feel much more comfortable with none of the eye fatigue I have actually *gotten used to*.

bluecontrol

It’s the best RM 600 I spent! Those are for the ByWP frames, the BlueControl lens are kindly furnished by Hoya for review. You can’t change the digital media world that we’re in so maybe these lens would help you too. Get more tips & tricks on healthier eyes at the BlueControl website.

Cars, travel and banking tips!

old cars

I was looking at the various cars that evolved throughout the history of automobiles in Germany last year. It was quite interesting, they have a car museum in Wolfsburg that a lot of enthusiasts go visit. There is a car museum with old cars dating from the early 1900’s to the latest offerings by luxury car manufacturers like Bugatti.

germany

It was my third time visiting Europe. The question I also get a lot is how I can get to travel so much. I also went back to Melbourne earlier this year, where I spent my college and university years and it’s all about savings!

(and a few travel tips and tricks)

mini cooper s miniature

RHB Bank is celebrating it’s 100th year by giving away 2 Mini Cooper S Coupe and other attractive prizes. On top of that, the first 300 eligible participants to do so will walk away with a Mini Cooper S Miniature!

Step 1: Open a new RHB Bank Current Account/Savings Account or RHB Islamic Mudharabah Current/Savings Account-i with a minimum deposit of RM 500.

Step 2: Send them a text message at 36266 with the content “MINI Account number” (remove quotation marks e.g. MINI 12345678901234

That’s all there is to it!

I personally have an RHB Bank Savings Account that ties in to a RHB Bank Debit Cash-Connect Mastercard that gives me 0.5% unlimited cashback on all my purchases.

bangkok

This suits my needs as I travel a lot and I wrote a post once about how I used the debit card as a way to control spending when I traveled to Bangkok earlier this year. I like the 0.5% cashback too!

Travel Tip: I always keep an eye on the foreign exchange so that I can buy key currencies (USD, Euro and Australian Dollar) when they’re at a low point. This helps a lot when you travel!

However, if you’re a college student just starting out, your saving needs will be different so you’ll want a different Current/Savings Account that most suits your lifestyle.

police

Back in the days, people just stored their money at home but that’s a really idiotic thing to do. My grandma’s house got broken into and over RM 30,000 was taken from her alone – and that’s just from the ang pow money she gets. It just illustrates that when you have a large amount (or even a small amount) of cash, the best place to put it is in the bank – use a Cash Deposit machine if the bank isn’t open.

germany tram

The awesome thing about the RHB Let’s Save Miniature Giveaway Campaign is that any account from RHB Bank and Mudharabah accounts from RHB Islamic Banking will be eligible for the 300 MINI Cooper S miniatures. There will be 150 units for RHB Bank and 150 units for RHB Islamic Banking and the first 300 people to open a Current/Savings Account will get these very collectible miniatures!

Tip: You can always open a new account at RHB if you find the old offerings at your current bank is not keeping up with your lifestyle now. That’s another thing I do – the Current/Savings account I had when I was a college student is out-of-tune with my current needs so I open new ones as I go through life. Banks like RHB has different accounts based on what your aims and desires are at any stage of life.

germany cafe

It’s open to all new sign-ups so you just need to be 18 years old and open a new RHB Bank Current/Savings account and deposit RM 500 inside. Remember to send the text message if you want the cool MINI miniature! This campaign runs from 15th September – 15th November so hurry up and open one now so you can get a MINI collectible of your own! Find out more *here*. :)

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