Tanoshii Dezato – Japanese Taiyaki (Fish Cake) Ice Cream

Tanoshii Dezato

Tanoshii means enjoy, so this ice cream cafe literally means Enjoy Dessert in Japanese,” I proudly declared to my better half. It seems that my years of watching anime during college in university had paid off at last. smirk I could only piece together the two words, hardly enough for our trip to Hokkaido in a month’s time but sufficient for our dessert pit stop.

Tanoshi Dezato

We had come across Tanoshii Dezato in Tropicana City Mall, which offers the intriguing creation of a taiyaki (baked sea bream – the Japanese style fish cake) filled with custard, topped with ice cream and a fruit.

Custard Taiyaki

The Signature Taiyaki costs RM 12.80 and you can customize it with a stuffing, ice cream flavor and fruit of your choice. There’s everything from red bean to chocolate for the filling and several ice cream flavors in addition to peach, kiwi, strawberry and banana as the fruit option.

Freshly Made Taiyaki

The interesting thing at Tanoshii Dezato is that the taiyaki is freshly baked on the spot! This mean it’ll be crunchy and warm and we were looking forward to eating the unusual Japanese themed ice cream “cone”.

Taiyaki

The woman manning the counter had two small fans to cool the taiyaki cone so the ice cream won’t melt when it’s inserted. The custard is baked inside the fish cake (see previous pic) and the fruits are all fresh!

Taiyaki Ice Cream

We went for a custard filled taiyaki with matcha ice cream and fresh peach. It tasted wonderful! The taiyaki is stuffed with the custard filling so there’s something for you to eat with the “cone” and the ice cream goes into the taiyaki cone too. I like how the fruits are fresh instead of canned.

Black Sesame IceCream

My dear also wanted another scoop of black sesame ice cream by itself. The ice cream costs RM 7 per scoop if you want it a la carte. Tanoshii Dezato also sells taiyaki by itself for RM 9.90 but the combo of the two with fruits just cost RM 12.80 so that’s the better option unless you’re too full to eat the taiyaki.

Signature Taiyaki

Tanoshii Dezato just started serving soft-serve ice cream. The signature taiyaki ice cream dessert with the soft-serve ice cream will be only RM 10.80. I asked why that was cheaper and the friendly lady there told us that it’s coz the soft-serve ice cream is made in-house while the other ice cream is imported from Japan so it’s RM 12.80. It’s worth a trip if you’re into new and unusual ice cream concepts.

6 Rakuten Shopping Hacks for Ultimate Value!

Kit Kat Baked Cheesecake

I have been fascinated with Rakuten ever since a friend of mine told me that she got a pack of Kit Kat that’s exclusive to Japan from the site. These are the awesome bakeable (!!!) Kit Kat bars from the Land of the Rising Sun. They’re actually called Baked Cheesecake Kit Kats and they’re mini Kit Kat bars you can bake in the oven!

Snickers Square

You actually have to put them in the oven before you can eat them. I bought a pack for my better half to try.

Taiwan Apple Milk Tea

There’s all sorts of wonderful discoveries to be had on Rakuten. In a sense, their tagline “Shopping is Entertainment” holds very true for people like me who likes to discover new snacks which can only be purchased in certain countries.

Ritz Smoky Bacon

There are specialized shops in Rakuten that offers Japan exclusive products. You don’t have to fly over there to get something which is localized in Japan anymore, for example their Rose Wine Pocky, which is only available in Kobe. You can find it on Rakuten within a click of a mouse or a search string, which brings me to my first hack:

1. Browse often for the best deals

You have to go through your favorite category (mine is Food & Drink) to discover the latest exotic Japanese products. They have a lot of seasonal, limited edition and new items being listed all the time so if you miss going on for a week, you might completely miss out on a certain limited edition item.

2. Become a member and shop for free

Signing up as a member on Rakuten is free. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t become a member since you get rewarded with Rakuten Super Points. Rakuten Super Points is an alternate payment method in Rakuten – it is equivalent to cold hard cash so if you accumulate enough, you’ll be able to buy (redeem) something for free using your Rakuten Super Points!

3. Take advantage of the 5X Rakuten Super Points Giveaway

Rakuten is now giving away Super Points in the form of a 5% rebate! This is equivalent to 5% of your purchase being given back in the form of Rakuten Super Points. 1 Super Point is worth RM 1 and these points are available 24/7 – there’s no limit on the amount of rebate you can get. Yes, you can use this like cash to offset your next purchase!

4. Get additional 5% discount on Wednesdays with Mastercard

Wednesday is the new shopping day coz you’ll get an additional 5% off if you use Mastercard to make your purchases! This little known trick will allow you to stretch your budget further. Here’s a tip for you – hold off your purchases until Wednesday, just remember what you planned to get and pay for your shopping cart when the next Wednesday rolls along for maximum value.
For example, you can get this limited edition Japan exclusive Nestle Kit Kat Red Pepper for RM 69 from Okashi World.

Nestle Kit Kat Japan Red Pepper

You need to pay RM 69 usually but after Mastercard 5% discount on Wednesday, you just need to pay RM 65.55.

You also get 3.45 points from that via 5x points!

5. Grab their weekend coupons

Rakuten gives out coupons every weekend and this is a great way to get more value out of your purchases. Each weekend comes with a different coupon value so check in every weekend and claim your coupon for discounts on top of your purchases.

6. Save on shipping

Look at the shipping options closely. Some shops have free shipping built in, others have a minimum spend, some have free shipping for certain couriers, while some have multiple courier service providers which vary in price for the same product.

Pringles Multi Grain

Do you have any more Rakuten Shopping Hacks? Let me know in the comments and we’ll see how well it works. The best ones going around now are the 5X Rakuten Super Points giveaway!

Cadbury Shortcake

Have fun while shopping for the latest stuff from Japan, whatever your interests are in Rakuten!

Australian Yee Sang Dinner @ Celestial Court, Sheraton Imperial KL

Australian Yee Sang Dinner

I just came back from my second yee sang dinner of the year. It was a Tourism Australia event for partners and media and this is a dinner I try to attend every single year. It’s always a blast to meet up with the tourism reps and the food at Celestial Court is good. This year had an ingredient for every dish (usually seafood) brought over all the way from Australia.

Abalone Yee Sang

I thought that was a brilliant idea!

Prosperity Yee Sang with Tasmania Ocean Trout with Truffle Sydney Green Lips Abalone

Prosperity Yee Sang with Tasmania Ocean Trout with Truffle Sydney Green Lips Abalone
The highlight of the yee sang is the Sydney green lips abalone (something I’ve been seeing a lot in yee sang this year) and the Tasmanian ocean trout. The plum sauce and acidity of this raw salad is spot on. I’ve never really enjoyed yee sang for the sake of it, it’s more like a tradition for me, but Celestial Court’s yee sang is quite yummy.

Double Boiled South Australia Mini Abalone Soup with Fresh Ginseng

Double Boiled South Australia Mini Abalone Soup with Fresh Ginseng and Wolfberries
I love abalone, especially in poon choy, and this year we’ll have another abalone filled poon choy too. The double boiled soup was done really well, with lots of ginseng goodness and a nice baby abalone in the clear broth.

Jasmine Tea Marinated Northern Territory Barramundi with Melbourne Vegemite

Jasmine Tea Marinated Northern Territory Barramundi with Melbourne Vegemite Soya Sauce topped with Fruity Dressing
This is my favorite dish of the night. I’ve had barramundi in Australia before and it’s always with crispy skin. However, barramundi cooked Chinese style with soggy skin is even more fabulous! I like the umami sauce, it’s made with Vegemite and goes very well with the flaky tender barramundi. I saw an extra piece on the table and didn’t hesitate to help myself to seconds. The hint of smokiness from the Jasmine tea marinate is just irresistible. smirk

Wok Fried Queensland Scallops with Celery and Flower Fungus in Premium Scallop Sauce

Wok Fried Queensland Scallops with Celery and Flower Fungus in Premium Scallop Sauce
The fresh scallops were really awesome too. There were two Malay guys sitting beside me (this is a pork free restaurant) and one of them told me this is his favorite dish due to the spiciness. The scallop sauce is actually a hot sambal and it goes surprisingly well with the soft and moist scallops. Very nice.

Stewed Bean Curd and Bean Puff with Dried Oyster Sea Moss and Darwin Broccoli

Stewed Bean Curd and Bean Puff with Dried Oyster Sea Moss and Darwin Broccoli
I am usually not a huge fan of soy bean and tofu byproducts but I was quite hungry tonight since I skipped lunch (was too busy and had to rush to make dinner in time). It turned out that this was quite pleasing to my palate, but no one could finish it, unlike the other dishes.

Five Grain Rice with South Australia Kinkawooka Blue Mussels and Barbeque Meat Topped with Bonito Flakes

Five Grain Rice with South Australia Kinkawooka Blue Mussels and Barbeque Meat Topped with Bonito Flakes
I ate every single mouthful of this individually portioned dish as well. It was the standard filler but I enjoyed the mussels from South Australia. I generally enjoy all types of seafood and would prefer it to any other protein.

Victoria Frost Berries with Chinese Nian Gao

Victoria Frost Berries with Chinese Nian Gao
The nian gao (sticky glutinous rice cake) is usually eaten around Chinese New Year. This was sliced and pan-fried and it tasted good with the tartness of the Victorian frost berries.

Chrysanthemum Ice Cream topped with Western Australia Macadamia Nut Crush

Chrysanthemum Ice Cream topped with Western Australia Macadamia Nut Crush
Wonderful stuff! We were all wondering what the ice cream flavor was since it was very mild when contrasted with the toasted macadamia nuts. I finally got a hint of chrysanthemum and thought it was ingenious to make a chrysanthemum flower flavored ice cream. It’s a very adult dessert, not too sweet with plenty of texture.

Tourism Australia Koala

There was a picture under the ramekins when they served up the ice cream. It’s either a hot air balloon or a tower and the latter was limited to 68 pieces. You can redeem it for a Tourism Australia koala soft toy while the default door gift was a gold wire mesh kangaroo with two Mandarin oranges. I got the first one but they were kind enough to give me one of each. The kids would love it!

HB Shamila

Thanks for the wonderful dinner Shamila! I really enjoyed all the seafood from Australia.

Lobster ravioli with whole American lobster

Lobster ravioli with whole American lobster

This is what we cooked up for last night’s dinner. It looks real good eh? That’s a whole boiled Maine lobster (which is technically called an American lobster) served with lobster ravioli in brown butter sauce.

Boston Lobster

I wish I could say that I cooked the lobster and it originally came like this.

It did not.

Atlantis Lobster

The lobster came like this. smirk

Haha! It’s a whole cooked American lobster packaged by the huge Atlantis-IMF conglomerate. It came from the US and it’s frozen. The entire lobster cost RM 49.50. I hear that lobsters are getting cheaper nowadays coz the sea temperatures are rising, which makes the crustaceans hatch earlier and grow faster. Also, the overfishing of cod in the Atlantic means there are fewer natural predators to eat baby lobsters.

American Lobster

That means you can get lobsters at a pretty decent price nowadays, which explains why large F&B chains can offer it at RM 50 or so for a whole lobster, dine-in. That’s where the first lobster photo came from.

Three Bridges Lobster Ravioli

The ravioli is also store-bought. It’s made by Three Bridges and comes in a 9 oz (255 gram) pack. It’s just RM 34, made in California and described as 100% natural with “wild caught, North Atlantic lobster with creamy ricotta and vine-ripened tomatoes”.

You just need to boil it for 5 minutes.

Brown Butter Sauce

The only thing I made is the brown butter sauce, with lots of French origin butter and Himalayan pink salt.

Lobster Ravioli

There’s something to be said about just cooking something easy during a weekend. This seems to be a popular brand of lobster ravioli too, there was a lone Caucasian woman who took a few packs, presumably to eat something familiar at home. It tasted yummy though, both of us enjoyed the meal tremendously.

Jumping Bean Café @ Sunway Pyramid

Jumping Bean Cafe

We just had breakfast this morning at this “Japanese style café”. My better half actually wanted to go have xiao long bao but I was craving for my morning cup of coffee and she conceded to go with my choice instead. <3 Jumping Bean Café sounds like a good of a place as any to load up on caffeine and I needed it for our 8 hour Chinese New Year shopping marathon.

Jumping Bean Sunway

The café was quite deserted when we were there and I know this particular lot in Sunway Pyramid has gone through a lot of management and café/restaurant changes. I thought it might be wise to eat here before it closes down. smirk This happens a lot with us, especially in the ultra-competitive Dataran Sunway area, a prime example would be Flaming Melt (shuttered up 3-4 months after opening).

Tanzania Kilimanjaro Siphon Single Origin Coffee

Tanzania Kilimanjaro Siphon Single Origin Coffee (RM 15)
A place called Jumping Bean better had good coffee and I wasn’t disappointed. I asked about their Siphon selections and was presented with a Brazilian roast, Guatemala Antigua beans (suspect this is the same one that Starbucks offers) and coffee from Tanzania Kilimanjaro. I like how they actually take the trouble to bring you the coffee beans for choosing.

Siphon Coffee

I chose the final one and it was a good cup of coffee. I would have preferred the Siphon coffee system to be done at my table but I understand the constrains of space would have prohibited that since we ordered quite a lot.

Turkey Cheddar Croissant

Turkey Cheddar Croissant (RM 16.90)
My dear had this buttery croissant filled with turkey slices and cheese. It’s rather good, the croissant is home baked. Also pictured is her order of Iced Royal Milk Tea (RM 12). The side salad is the same as mine, I believe they just make one large portion. Nothing special but the star of the dish shined.

Waffle Breakfast

Waffle Breakfast (RM 15.90)
This was my order. It was described in the menu as the “best pair(ing) in the world” and I’m inclined to agree. I do like sweet, fluffy waffles filled with savory items. Mine had turkey ham, cheese and egg. It was good, if a little small, portion wise.

Chicken Floss Honey Toast

Chicken Floss Honey Toast (RM 19)
We were supposed to have the “Japanese inspired” Mix Fruit Honey Toast (RM 19.90) for dessert but I wanted to try the unique sweet-savory chicken floss honey toast instead. It’s one of those home baked square of bread deals, with the inside cut out and made into 3 x 2 slices of “toast soldiers”. They’re supposed to cut it even smaller, into a 3 x 3 x 3 matrix (from what I gather from the pictures) and I thought it was sloppy that they didn’t.

Giant Toast

It didn’t taste as good as it could have, due to the thicker array of toast soldiers but I did like the honey and mayonnaise and chicken floss combination, especially with the creamy vanilla bean ice cream. The sweet and savory combination isn’t for everyone though – I ended up single-handedly finishing the huge dish – but it tasted nice to me.

Jumping Bean Sunway Pyramid

Jumping Bean Café is not a fully serviced café per se…there are paper chits on the table so it’s more like one of those chain kopitiam places, but since there weren’t a lot of people, the waiters came to our table to serve us. The bill cost RM 78.80 for the both of us. It wasn’t the best brunch we ever had, and it wasn’t the worst either. It was simply mediocre but saved by the fact that we were both really hungry. :)

20 photos from my trip to Kapit

Kapit Boat

I went to Kapit a while back for a 2D/1N stay. Kapit is a town 3 hours from Sibu by express boat. There is no other way to reach it – you can’t drive there and you can’t fly in either, the river is the only route.

Sibu Kapit

This is a uniquely Sarawakian feature, there are a lot of random towns that is connected only via Rejang River and lacks the proper highways or road connections to civilization.

Express Boat View

The funny thing is that you have to fill in a form detailing your name and IC number so they know who’s on board. This didn’t exist before, it was the high profile express boat capsizes and accidents resulting in multiple deaths that initiated it.

Live Chicken

I meant human deaths, not livestock. ;) You can find lots of interesting cargo onboard, including live chicken!

Kapit Sibu Express

Interestingly, they don’t overload the express boats anymore too. This makes it a lot safer compared to previous journeys. Previously, there would be people *on top* of the boat, hanging on to the side rails.

Kapit Jetty

We arrived in Kapit 3 hours later and had to disembark.

Sarawak Express Boat

You do this by walking along the side of the express boat. I’m used to it coz I’ve done it when I was a kid, but new people might find this disconcerting since the river is just beside you.

Kapit Town Square

Kapit is a very small town. You can walk around town in a matter of minutes and that’s what we did. We passed by Kapit Town Square on the way to our hotel.

Star Hill Inn

We stayed at Star Hill Inn, one of the best hotels there.

Kapit Hotel

I took a room and my bro Eddy took another room.

Kapit Shoplots

The hotel is in a shoplot, as you can see from the view.

Kapit Roti Canai Goreng

One of the highlights of the trip was eating roti canai goreng. This is a distinctive Kapit invention, they literally fry the roti canai inside a wok of boiling hot oil. Ingenious, and very tasty too.

Kapit Fair

We managed to have some time off the next day and went to see what was going on in Kapit Town Square. It turns out there’s a lot of games of chance, like an indoor funfair of sorts.

Fun Fair Games

I took a spin as well. You pay RM 1 for a can of soft drink and put it at a color of your choice. You get a 1 in 6 chance of winning equal odds e.g. you win 2 cans if you wager 2 cans.

Fun Fair

This works by throwing a tennis ball into a receptacle with 6 possible colors which matches the one on the table. You get unlimited tries, there’s no penalty if you miss or if the ball bounces back up. You simply try again until you get the ball into a color square.

Kapit Gambling

Behold! These are the high rollers of Kapit! smirk

High Rollers

Seriously though, these whales are betting cartons of 24 cans at once. We thought that was quite funny.

Durian Isu

I also managed to get some wild jungle durians to bring home. This is a native durian called durian isu. It’s very different from regular durians, it only has 4 segments. I’ll do a comprehensive review during the weekend.

Maggi Instant Noodles

We had a quick lunch of Maggi instant noodles at the wharf the next day before we departed…

Kapit Wharf

…and caught the afternoon express boat back. It was a really fun overnight trip with my bro Eddy. I haven’t been to Kapit in such a long time!

Titan Raga Moonlight Collection Launch @ Svago, KLCC

Titan Svago KLCC

I have heard a lot of good things about Titan. They’re one of the largest watch manufacturers in the words (5th largest to be exact) and ranked among the top 100 luxury watch companies. Brought and distributed in Malaysia by Chronosoft Sdn Bhd, I’ve seen their timepieces around and when I heard about the launch of their Moonlight collection, I dropped by Svago in KLCC to check it out.

Titan Raga Moonlight

The Moonlight collection by Titan is inspired by the beauty of objects captured in moonlight. Mr Vijesh Rajan (Business Head International Division, Titan Company Limited) was there to share the stories behind the creation of each of the watches.

The Taj

I was particularly impressed by this one. It’s inspired by the Taj Mahal and features Swarovski crystals. This is called The Taj and is described as “a stunning illustration of the iconic monument, these timepieces draw inspiration from the awe-inspiring silhouette of the Taj Mahal on a full moon night”.

Mystic Luna

Mystic Luna is inspired by the moon goddess Luna and I like the beauty and elegance of the design.

Titan Moonlight Collection

Titan only uses Swarovski crystals exclusively in their Moonlight collection. The range is priced between RM 375 to RM 1,985 and there were models there to showcase the timepieces.

The Moonlight collection is under Titan Raga, which is a range of exquisite watches for the modern women. This leans towards the more mature and luxurious target market and often features precious stones and gems embedded into the timepieces.

Titan Edge

I also managed to examine their Edge range, which is the slimmest quartz watch in the world. You can see just how thin each one is. Amazing.

Titan

I also got a limited edition Titan watch!

Titan Watch

Titan creates a range of limited edition watches for the Penang Bridge International Marathon each year and this one retails for RM 525. They’re also one of the sponsors of the event and the official watch for the Allianz Penang Bridge International Marathon.

Watch

This particular watch has a large face with 100 meter water resistance.

Titan Penang Bridge International Marathon

It has the Penang Bridge International Marathon emblem engraved into the back of the watch.

Titan Watch Design

I like how there is a LCD display with digital timekeeping in addition to the regular chronograph and the day of the week is displayed as well.

Titan Men Watch

The leather strap offers a practical functionality and I personally prefer leather straps for versatility but you can swap it out if you want.

Work

I’ve been using this watch exclusively for almost a month now, both in KL and in my business dealings in Sarawak and I love the way it’s appropriate for both work…

Casual

…and play.

Titan Watches

Titan has a range of watches for both men and women and if you’re keen to hear more about it, drop by their website at Titan World or interact with them on the Titan Facebook page.

Dotty’s Café and Bakery @ TTDI

Salted Egg Cronut

This is the home of the famous salted egg yolk cronut.

Dottys Cafe

We dropped by Dotty’s Café this morning after seeing that they were serving hot food for the first time this weekend. It was our Sunday morning brunch option of the week and we weren’t disappointed. I was actually a little apprehensive that the place would be packed considering its their “opening weekend” (of sorts) but it was quite manageable.

Dottys Cafe Bakery

Predictably, most people came here to take away boxes and boxes of their salted egg cronuts. I asked about the availability when we got there at 10:30 am and they were all sold out! I had to wait for the 12:30 pm batch. We ordered breakfast while contemplating whether to wait or not – part of me wanted to just wait for the hype to die down before sampling it but since my better half didn’t mind, we sat there until the next batch came out.

Doughnut Latte

Doughnut Latte (RM 14)
This is a really quirky item that Homer Simpson would absolutely adore. My dear wanted to try it and I was curious too after seeing it on their Facebook. It’s a hot donut that’s topped with ice cream with a pitcher of latte on the side. It works a little like an affogato – you basically pour the latte into the doughnut. This has the magical effect of partially melting the ice cream and making the donut soggy.

Latte Donut

It’s surprisingly good to wolf down bites of the warm coffee-infused doughnut with the colder ice cream as a contrast.

Salted Caramel Latte

Salted Caramel Latte (RM 13)
It’s pretty good but I would have liked the caramel to be saltier. I’m a huge fan of salted caramel and personally always tend to go more savory but there’s nothing wrong with Dotty’s implementation. They also have brews like Coconut Milk Latte (RM 14) which would be ideal for vegans, organic food lovers and hipsters alike. smirk

Baked Eggs

Baked Eggs (RM 26)
We shared this for breakfast. It was one of only three (3) items available on their menu today. I think most of them were sold out, I originally wanted a Salt Beef Sandwich (RM 26) but it wasn’t available. That said, the bread was simply out of this world! It should be noted that Dotty’s Café is also a bakery and all their bread is freshly baked. You can taste the wonderful bread here, there’s sour dough (which goes very well with butter) and slices of brown toast which went perfectly with the baked eggs.

Mixed Berries Pavlova

Mixed Berries Pavlova (RM 10)
I went to New Zealand to study high school when I was 15 years old and have eaten a lot of pavlovas over there. I’ve also eaten a lot in Australia but have always felt that pavlova is more of a Kiwi thing, they do it a lot better. This implementation is also good – there are just three ingredients, the pavlova shells, crème patisserie and berries and it’s a testament to their baking skills that these 3 go so well together.

Making Salted Egg Yolk Cronut

Salted Egg Yolk Cronut (RM 11)
We waited hours for this to come out and finally the floor manager (?) took one out before the 12:30 pm batch and served it to us. I thought it was nice of him to personally do that, and was a bit puzzled when he warned us that it’ll be hot and to wait for it to cool down. It wasn’t hot and I later found out the reason why – it can’t be hot, or the structure of the cronut will be compromised.

Salted Egg Yolk Cronut

The salted egg yolk cronut (which is a combination of a croissant and a donut, texture wise, just in case anyone has been living under a rock for the past few years) was really good. I can see why people would wait for this. The thick and generous amount of butter and salted egg appealed to me immensely – it was mouth-wateringly delicious!

Cronut

The beautiful thing about the salted egg yolk cronut is that the insides are filled with the butter-salted egg combination too. It’s very rich and creamy.

Dottys Cafe Us

The salted egg yolk cronut is something you have to eat at Dotty’s Café and Bakery. You can take away of course but I personally feel it doesn’t taste the same if left to its own devices for too long. They have a wide range of freshly baked goods (and salads) as well as hot food so we’ll be back again to have brunch another weekend to try their other stuff. The meal cost RM 75 for the both of us, which is cheaper than our usual brunch outings. Dotty’s is located at Jalan Tun Mohd Faud 2 in TTDI.

5 photos from Sibu Market

Sibu Market

Sibu Market is a source of a lot of interesting products from the far corners of Sarawak. The traders come from places like Belaga to Song to sell their stuff. The wharf and passenger jetty is within walking distance so a lot of them just hop off the express boats (many towns are only reachable by boat) and come over to hawk their wares. I have acquired a few hundred dollars worth of local durians (called buah pekan and buah isu) and am compiling that for an upcoming post!

Kek Lapis

There are also quite a few people selling the famous Sarawak kek lapis here. Kek lapis is actually of Indonesian provenance but the Malay communities in Sibu and Kuching have claimed it as their own. You’ll find them in the Kuching Waterfront / Padang Merdeka / Lao Pa Sat (Old Market) area. The kek lapis comes in all sorts of flavors like prunes, Milo etc.

Telur Terubok

Ikan Terubok is a delicious fish that is currently only obtainable from Sarawak. The fresh ones are usually sourced from Satok Market in Kuching where they have dedicated terubok sellers packing whole boxes of them to be shipped. These are the dried version which I believe comes from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh – it’s not as good, but it’s cheaper. They also sell the prized terubok fish roe here.

Lokam Jellyfish

Lokam is one of the local clams that you’ll find aplenty in Sibu. One restaurant in town called Fisherman’s Restaurant is renowned for their stuffed lokam (they take the clam meat and mix it with pork before stuffing it back). It’s quite good if you cook it well. There’s also a lot of jellyfish for sale due to an old wives tale – it’s said among the Foochow that you have to eat jellyfish after a haircut so the hair can be digested (something about the juices in the jellyfish) so it’s common to slice this raw and serve with a sauce of lime and chillis after a trip to the barber. I’ve had it lots of times as a kid at my grandma’s place.

Ghetto Ice Cream

Ghetto ice cream! These are simply satay skewers that’s been inserted into a tube filled with either Milo or strawberry flavored milk. Both are watered down but it’s pretty enterprising of these young boys to sell them for RM 1 each. I bought one last time my better half and the kids were in town for them to try, the “ice cream” is made by physically turning the huge churn (which rests on a bed of salted water with ice cubes) which will slowly freeze the receptacles holding the liquid.

Honesty, integrity and respect for all people

My dad is a firm believer in the rule of law. He doesn’t go against the system, not even for “victimless crimes”.

Mom Dad
My Mom and Dad

Let me give some context to this anecdote – this was almost 30 years ago, when we were living in Kuching. I knew the time and place coz the Royal London Circus had come to town and I was very keen to go and see it. We were living in Kuching at the time since my dad was posted there as a Nazir (translates loosely to Inspector).

Dad

He was on a School Inspector salary so we didn’t have much, but we made do. What my dad did back then was to go to schools and inspect the implementation of the syllabus and the state of educational institutions. If you’ve been to high school in Malaysia, you’ve probably seen someone like him – he was the guy that sat silently behind in classes to watch what the teachers teach and how the students interact.

Family
My family and I on a holiday – from left – my grandma, sister, me, my mom and dad

That’s not how he got his strong ethics though, that has always been there. He always told us to put our seat belts on, at a time when no one did (early 80’s). Since the circus was in town, the roads were jammed due to everyone illegally double parking. It was a long walk to the circus and we were going to be late and I was badgering my dad to just park and go.

He wouldn’t have any of it. With my late mom’s urging, he nearly caved in but he didn’t. Instead, he drove to a Shell station, which was really far away and nicely asked the attendant if he could park there. The attendant didn’t have the authority to say yes or no, so calls were made (this was before cell phones) and we waited almost 30 minutes before someone called back to say we could.

It was only then that we left the car in the Shell station and walked 30 miles (it could have just been 1 kilometer, but still, it seemed far back then) to the circus. My dad had been working all day and was tired and I could appreciate how hard it is to keep up with a young kid like me (I understand this better since I have kids of my own right now). I am all the more appreciative now that he didn’t go the easy way and was patient enough to wait till the proper authorizations were done before taking two hyperactive kids to the circus. I was grateful that they allowed us to park at the station premises after the circumstances were explained.

That incident made a long lasting impression of the good people at Shell.

Fast-forward to today, I always make it a point to go to Shell for my petrol needs. Not only because of the good impression that I have of the company, but because of their superior service. The attendants are very attentive to all their customers, and I can always rely on them to fill up my tank dutifully while I grab some snacks from the Select Store. To up the game – my fuel tank was once filled by the station manager – and she didn’t mind it a bit, even though she could have just asked the service attendant to do the job. This is customer-orientated service. No matter what position they hold, they are dedicated to making sure that customers are well-taken care of.

Grand Old Lady
In front of the Grand Old Lady site, Miri, Sarawak

Shell was the first company to extract oil and gas in Malaysia. The site of the first well producing oil is still here (although it’s no longer functional). It’s called the Grand Old Lady and it’s located in Miri, not too far from where I was born in Sibu.

Shell Station

Shell in Malaysia employs a significant number of people and contributes not just to the economy, but also towards road safety awareness, scholarships for Malaysians, and quality-of-life corporate social responsibility initiatives like the “We Care, We Share” community care programs.

Shell also has core values that my dad can relate to – honesty, integrity and respect for all people as their business principles. Tell me, what are your Shell #StationStories? #ShellKita

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...