musang king tambun biscuit

This is probably one of the most interesting coffee I’ve ever had. It’s durian coffee and my dear got it for me on our trip to Penang last weekend. I’ve had kopi luwak (civet cat coffee) twice in Indonesia before but this 4-in-1 (the other being powdered durian) instant coffee appeals to me coz I love durians.

durian white coffee

It comes in gold foil packaging and has a wonderful nose. It’s like nothing I’ve ever had. The durian taste and flavor is so intense you can practically taste it. I guess that’s the point, eh? Haha! I can easily drink two cups of this, a wonderful find by my better half.

tau sar pneah

We also got lots of Tambun biscuits (heong pneah) and tau sar pneah for relatives and friends and one of the more interesting finds was one filled with Musang King durians.

musang king biscuits

It comes in a pack of 12 and retails for RM 7.20. This is supposed to be the first ever in Malaysia – Tambun biscuits double filled with Musang King durian pulp. It tastes really good, if you like durians.

white coffee biscuits

There’s also different flavored tau sar pneah (which I guess doesn’t make it tau sar pneah anymore, since “tau sar” translates to red bean). Coffee is one of my favorites. There’s a lot of manufacturers in Penang nowadays, the old school ones made with lard and the newer ones that’s halal to appeal to a broader market.

durian tambun biscuits

We made several trips to buy these and I pronounce them good! It’s been a while since we’ve had these! :)

pork chicharon

Chicharon is pork crackling or deep fried pork rinds in Tagalog. I got this pack in Manila for 30 Philippine pesos (about RM 2). This is sold as a snack in ’90s style popcorn packaging. Well, at least popcorn was packaged that way in my hometown of Sibu at that time and sold in bakeries (!!!).

The price for chicharon can range from 10 PHP to either side, depending on the brand. Also, the price can change from vendor to vendor for the same thing depending on how much they reckon they can rip you off for. The different brands mostly looks the same, with the manufacturer slipping in a small paper insert to differentiate their products.

chicharon

This one is called Angelo Special Pork Chicharon and comes with a smiling pig, very much oblivious to what he’s about to become by the looks of it. smirk

You can see that it’s slightly wet – the street vendors in Manila will offer to open and douse the packet of chicharon generously with vinegar from a dodgy recycled bottle with a hole at the top. It’s apparently the local way to eat it. I found it quite nice but there’s only so much pork crackling you can eat before you get sick of it.

7fresh

7-Eleven in the Philippines also sells a microwavable chicharon under their 7Fresh store brand. The price is heavily inflated but you can actually bring it back home – I brought back 2 packs, one for my family and one for a friend of mine. I think some people actually do eat it like popcorn!

The fresh ones packaged like the one I had in Manila doesn’t keep too long though – it’ll start to become stale after a couple of hours. You can usually find it where they sell balut. It’s quite tasty though but very, very oily, so if you don’t adore pork, this is probably not for you. :)

1. Two feet long aloe vera

huge aloe vera

It’s called lidah buaya in the local parlance, except these monstrosities grow up to 2 feet long (!). The shortest one is easily 1 1/2 foot and the girth is pretty impressive too.

2. Sukkari dates

sukkari dates

The appearance of dates means the fasting month of Ramadan for Muslims is around the corner. Sukkari dates hails all the way from Medina in Saudi Arabia and it’s hard, dry and intensely sweet. The appearance is conical and Sukkari dates are considered a delicacy – premium items that’s very much in demand according to the people at Hero (a grocery store chain in Jakarta). It retails for IDR 35,000 (RM 12) for 100 grams and I ate a couple thanks to the person manning the place.

They also sell Anbara dates – the largest date species in the world, and the polar opposite to Sukkari dates texture-wise. I had Anbara dates a couple of years ago and it’s soft and chewy unlike the “grainy” mouthfeel of Sukkari dates.

3. Short bean sprouts

short bean sprouts

This is something I’ve never seen before despite trawling the specialty grocery stores back home. It’s simply called “short taugeh” and you can see the bean with just a hint of sprout. The unusual retarded sprouting process is pictured next to regular bean sprouts for comparison. It looks like an adolescent trying to grow facial hair. smirk

Posted: 1:55 am Jakarta time (GMT +7)

ghee hiang tau sar pneah

Picture this. We just arrived in Penang and naturally, one of the things you get in Penang is Tau Sar Pneah (red bean baked pastries). I have no idea why it’s spelled pneah, I would have gone with the shorter phonetic pia. Anyway, that is not the point of this.

We followed the GPS to Ghee Hiang but when it cheerfully announced that we have arrived at our destination, all we saw was a brick building – with no entrance that the naked eye can see.

There were a couple of tour buses there though, so I thought we were in the right place. After parking, we realized that we have arrived at the factory itself. We walked in through the back of Ghee Hiang and thus caught a glimpse of how they make tau sar pneah:

tau sar pneah 1

tau sar pneah 2

tau sar pneah 3

tau sar pneah 4

ghee hiang

tau sar pneah 5

Ghee Hiang Tau Sar Pneah has only one small facade for doing commerce – the majority of the floor space is dedicated to actually making the pastries. I thought it was funny though, us waltzing in through the back door for employees and plodding the entire length of the considerable factory to the front to buy the acclaimed Penang delights. :)

preserved food in china

One thing I admire the most about the Chinese when I went to China is that they can preserve just about anything and package it as a snack. I love savory food and during one of my eating binges I managed to consume everything that I bought (which is saying a lot considering I brought back a box full of food and liquor).

L-R: Chicken feet with the famous Guilin chilli, hard boiled egg in dark sauce (lu tang), BBQ chicken wings.

Verdict:

The chicken feet was surprisingly good, and the Guilin chilli adds a lot of oomph to it. Delicious!

The hard boiled egg in dark sauce (you can see this is chicken rice stalls) was absolutely delicious! I couldn’t stop eating it. >.<

The BBQ chicken wings should be relegated to food hell. It sucks. The preservation method totally ruined the moisture of the chicken and I felt like I was eating jerky…in MSG laden sauce.

chippy british take away

Ah…I can’t think of anything more sinful than this. I’ve first been introduced to deep fried Mars bars in Australia but we heard there’s a place in Singapore that sells it.

deep fried mars bars

It’s not fried Mars bars per se but what they call “Fried Mars Balls”. It’s SGD 3.50 for 4 pieces with your choice of ice cream.

fried mars balls

Of course I chose chocolate ice cream. You just can’t have enough chocolate despite what Solomon said.

fried mars bars

I was rather disappointed with the serving though. It’s Mars and it’s batter fried but it doesn’t beat a whole deep fried Mars bar from a fish and chips shop. It’s just like pickled eggs I reckon, it’s one of those things that only fish and chips places does right.

canned food

I got this can of mystery food in Busan and had it last night for supper. I call it mystery food coz I still don’t know what it is. I don’t read Korean and since I bought this in Korea, there are no English translations anywhere.

Update: I have found out what this is! =D It’s Beondegi - Korean silkworm pupa. It’s a very popular snack in Korea and can be found in convenience stores in cans, where I got mine.

korean canned food

It looks remarkably similar to cockroach larvae right?

cockroach larvae

Exhibit A

Update: I emailed the photo below to the Korea Air flight crew that I met and she translated it for it – it is Beondegi (Silkworm). Mmm…I’m so glad I accidentally purchased this! =D

Beondegi Korean silkworm pupa

I would have dedicated a longer post if I knew it was silkworm pupa though, but worry not, I have ANOTHER CAN (had the foresight to get two – haha) so I’ll do a cooking post with that one. :) 

It’s crunchy too, just like how cockroach egg casings sound when you step on it. I found it quite delicious actually.

bak chang

It was the Dragon Boat Festival last night…a Chinese celebration of medium-high significance. I just pulled the importance rating straight out of my ass. I honestly don’t know much about Chinese festivals. :p

It’s not as big as Mid Autumn Festival but it’s bigger than the round glutinous rice balls festival. I love it coz I like eating bak chang.

bak zhang

Bak chang is actually a Hokkien term for zhongzi (the proper Mandarin Romanization) and it refers to a very specific type of zhongzi – meat dumplings. It’s usually stuffed with pork, mushrooms and salted egg yolk.

This cache comes from @shshshhmoking (yes, I’m a little obsessed with Twitter right now) who told me it’ll give Sibu’s finest a run for its money. It’s delicious! Thanks! :)

Little known fact: I didn’t like eating bak chang when I was a kid. I only started craving for it recently coz I met this girl last year who’s a bit of a traditionalist. She’s the one who got me started on eating rice in the afternoon (as in dai chow, k?) during my lunch break. Mornings too. LOL!

anything whatever

Anything and Whatever is one of the most novel concepts in the beverage industry I’ve seen to date. I’ve been hankering to get my hands on the drinks from Singapore, which was recently launched in Malaysia as well, and finally got the stuff today.

poslaju

I’m supposed to say that it was sent to me from Singapore by the person who sent it. It’s not available over here in the remote jungles of Sarawak yet so my friend sent it in a package to me. She wanted me to be the first in Sibu to try it and surprised me with the package.

alatulis

Unfortunately, she declared it as “alatulis” (stationary) so it got caught up in Customs. I’m sure they were wondering what kind of stationary weighs 0.797 kg and makes a clanking sound when you shake the package with a liquid sloshing echo. ;)

anything whatever box

Naturally, astute readers would comment on the fact that Singapore doesn’t have PosLaju (which a next-day courier service run by the Malaysian government). This begs the question on where it was actually sent from and by whom – both good questions…to which I have no good answer. ;)

anything

Anything is a carbonated drink which can contain anything from Cola, Cola with Lemon, Apple, Fizz Up, Cloudy Lemon, to Root Beer. You don’t know what you’re getting until you open up the can. Fascinating concept, eh?

whatever

Whatever is the non-carbonated cousin to Anything and contains a surprise flavor that ranges from Ice Lemon Peach, Peach Tea, Jasmine White Tea, Apple Tea, and Chrysanthemum Tea. The can is not labeled (except with a huge question mark) and you don’t know what you’re getting until you open it. Fun!

anything me

I got the Fizz Up for the Anything can. It tastes like 7Up and is a fair emulation of the latter. It tastes alright, but the fun with Anything is that it could be…well, anything!

whatever me

Whatever dealt me with the Peach Tea. This tastes like the Lipton Peach Tea. Nice! I just adore the concept of not knowing what you’re gonna get until you open up the can.

It’s just perfect for people like me who loves surprises. Thanks D! :)

kokoberry crepes

Mary texted me the previous night to inform me that the Kokoberry Crepes are now available. I told her I’ll be there right after work the next day so I arrived at about 6 pm at Kokoberry, Delta Mall yesterday evening to check out the crepes. I ordered a Hazelnut Chocolate Crepe (RM 2.80) and a Peanut Butter Crepe (RM 2.80).

kokoberry crepes me

I was initially unrecognized due to my office attire – it seems that I look different wearing work clothes than I do in casual wear. I’ve been told this much by a lot of people. I think it’s a combination of the way I style my hair during work (very conservative) and the long sleeved shirts that I wear (hides my tattoos).

Blue Sky (RM 3.20 / RM 2.80)

kokoberry blue sky

Blue Sky is another one of the Top 9 concoctions of Kokoberry. It’s a bit like a float – it contains Sprite (or 7-Up) topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I honestly don’t know where the blue color comes from. It’s a refreshing drink though, due to the Sprite/7-Up base – perfect for a non-alcoholic thirst quencher after work.

The Making of a Kokoberry Crepe

kokoberry crepe 1

The batter is prepared (it takes about 15 minutes) and poured on a flat heating element.

kokoberry crepe 2

Peanut butter is then slathered evenly on the cooking crepe.

kokoberry crepe 3

Hazelnut chocolate crepes goes through the same process (but with hazelnut filling, of course).

kokoberry crepe 4

This is a close up of the cooking crepe. Kokoberry’s crepes are thin and crispy, with a chewy end – it tastes surprisingly good.

kokoberry crepe 5

The finished crepe is then lifted from the heating element and folded up. I got her to pose for a photograph so many times that I think her cheeks are sore from having to maintain a constant smile. ;)

kokoberry mary crepe

This is what the finished Kokoberry Crepe looks like. The model is none other than Mary, the owner of the outlet.

kokoberry crepe fan

Hmm…it doubles as a fan too! Cool.
(Pun intended)

kokoberry crepe us

The crepes and drinks were on the house again, thanks to Mary. You shouldn’t keep doing this Mary, paiseh lah, next time I insist on paying or else I won’t go. :p

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