Durian white coffee, Musang King Tambun biscuits and other oddities

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! :)

A trip to the SS2 wet market (pasar pagi)

wet market

I woke up really, really early during this long weekend coz I had always wanted to go to the wet market to shop for fresh produce with my dear but never could get myself to wake up in time. I’m glad I did coz going to the pasar pagi (morning market – don’t know why people here call it this) is fun! :)

fresh vegetables

The SS2 wet market is located at an intersecting lane and you’ll see a fair amount of vendors selling all sorts of stuff from chicken to vegetables (and everything in between). Pork butchers, fish mongers, they have it all!

fresh flower car

There’s even a car that’s filled with flowers – for sale!
(the fresh flowers, not the car, I presume)

fried dough

We got some piping hot yu tiaw (fried dough) to munch on while doing our weekly grocery shopping at the equivalent of the local market (instead of the supermarkets we usually go to).

yu tiaw

The deep fried dough is awesome when eaten straight out of the boiling oil! :)

bak chang

I also got two bak chang (glutinous rice dumplings) – the Dried Oyster Rice Dumpling has dried oysters, mushrooms, pork, salted egg, dried shrimp and chestnuts for RM 5.50 while the Salted Egg Rice Dumpling has all the above except for the dried oysters and with the addition of lintel / green bean for RM 4.50.

rice dumpling

It’s really good when we ate it later in the day. However, there is only 1 small oyster about the size of my index fingernail so I thought a RM 1 premium isn’t really justifiable. I wanted to try their Pillow Rice Dumpling too but it’s a 3 day order wait. This stall has been featured in the papers and for once it’s worth the hype! Highly recommended! :)

soy milk

My dear also bought this huge take away bag of soy milk for just RM 1. There’s about 1 liter of soy bean milk inside and the queue for this is insane – not because it’s good (it’s rather diluted) but coz you get a lot of bang for your buck.

live fish

We also looked at the fresh fish stalls – some of them had specimens that are still alive and kickin’ (or rather, swimming). smirk

fresh fish

I was interested in this huge eel that we later found out was called yellow conger eel. It’s RM 8 / kg.

eel

I bought two generously long slices for RM 9. We later cooked them three (3) ways and it was really good! I didn’t know it was an eel at first, I thought it was a fish. Ling insisted it was an eel and I still thought it was a fish so we Googled it and discovered my better half was *right* – it’s a seasonal eel!

kampong chicken

We also bought two chicken legs for RM 16.50 which I thought was a total rip off! It’s kampung chicken (free range chicken) and I was appalled that just one (1) chicken leg costs RM 8+. My dear told me the price range is about right. I’m used to supermarket chicken prices (the ones reared in stacked cages PETA types are always honking on about). Hot damn, that’s expensive!

I also found a vegetable which I thought was rather interesting so I got that and lotus root, which we haven’t cooked before. It made for a nice meal with the eel done 3 ways.

pork butcher

We also bought some pork ribs (to be cooked tonight!) before we headed to one of the food stalls located right inside SS2 wet market.

hakka curry mee

I had the Hakka Mee (RM 4) while she had the Curry Mee (RM 4). Mine had a bucket-load of MSG, which made it taste really nice. The owner/cook manning the stall is one grumpy lady though. I could tell she was slightly irritated when I ordered but for some reason or other, she didn’t take the piss out of me.

food stall

The woman who ordered after me was half of a middle-aged couple that just finished jogging and the owner raised her voice and was so rude to her that I wondered why they didn’t just walk away. We didn’t get the nasty treatment so I was thinking that this must be real good food for the other couple to take the abuse. The food wasn’t anything to write home about but it’s decent and cheap.

fresh coffee

It’s the coffee that really takes home the cake though – home brewed old style with muslin cloth sieves blackened after ages of filtering the coffee grounds and with a sheen of grease (from the frying of the coffee beans with butter, lard, margarine or ghee). It’s a perfect cuppa hot strong brewed coffee that kick started an awesome day of fun in the kitchen and quality time spent together during the long weekend.

us wet market

I’ll go to the local wet market again! The prices aren’t necessarily cheaper but the produce certainly is a lot fresher! :D

Breakfast at POP Restaurant, Hardware Lane

hardware lane melbourne

Breakfast at Hardware Lane is one of the greatest Melbourne institutions. Hardware Lane is filled with tiny little sidewalk cafes that crowds into each other, every one vying for your attention and crammed with people eating and drinking coffee.

breakfast hardware lane

It’s more of the coffee culture and the breakfast (they also serve lunch, of course) that I go for. POP Restaurant is one of the most well known nowadays, offering modern Australian cuisine. Part of the ambiance of Hardware Lane is the people stuffed into small tables and chairs on both sides of the narrow lane.

pop restaurant melbourne

I wanted Ling to experience this so we took a tram to Elizabeth Street and walked over to Hardware Lane. I remember making this very same commute 10 years back. :)

cappucinno

POP Restaurant has their POP Breakfast from 9 am – 3 pm on weekends. It’s basically an all-day breakfast or close enough to make no difference.

Atlantic poached eggs, salmon and hollandaise (AUD 14.50)

atlantic poached eggs

There are various sides on offer – bacon, hash brown, sausage, mushroom, spinach, baked beans, ham, avocado, grilled tomato, salmon, prosciutto, parmesan and hollandaise sauce. You can add one for AUD 3 for choose a package of 2 or 3 sides for AUD 5.50 and AUD 7.50 respectively.

bacon avocado salmon

I added on bacon, avocado and ham but they forgot my ham and I didn’t want it by the time it came out. Thus, this breakfast set me back AUD 19.50 which isn’t too bad if you don’t convert. It’s almost RM 63 if you do. ;)

French Toast with rhubarb and almonds (AUD 14.50)

french toast rhubarb almonds

This is what she ordered from the Sweet Tooth menu. I thought it was pretty good – I like the rhubarb jam on top of the nicely done French Toast and the sprinkling of almonds but she thought it was the worst French Toast she ever had.

poached eggs

My bad, dear. I gave her some of my breakfast instead.

pop restaurant

It showered slightly (as weather in Melbourne tend to do) in the middle of our breakfast so we shifted slightly inside so the patio covers the worst of the rain.

pop restuarant bill

I like the service at POP Restaurant, I’ve always had positive experiences at Hardware Lane in Melbourne. Granted, I only go for breakfast, but that’s the most important meal. ;) The waitress apologized for messing up my order when I asked for the bill (they forgot the ham) and told me the other two sides I ordered are on the house. I thought that was a really nice gesture.

hardware lane breakfast

I ended up tipping her just about the same amount so the karma balances out. smirk

Kopi Luwak

luwak coffee

Kopi Luwak or Luwak Coffee is the infamously extravagant coffee that comes out of a civet. Well, you know what I mean.

civet cat

Civet cats like this one eats the coffee beans, supposedly these felines have a taste so refined that they’ll only go for the good ones. They’ll crap it out and people dig the coffee beans (which isn’t digested by the civet cat) from the dung and roast it.

kopi luwak

It’s surprisingly aromatic and very smooth coffee. I liked it, although we paid quite a bit for that small cup. How much?

luwak coffee price

That’s about RM 20. We went to this place quite far from the touristy areas too, we saw it go for IDR 150,000 (RM 50) in airports. Yes, that’s the price for just one cup.

kopi luwak bali

Very expensive coffee, one sip will set you back a couple of dollars. :)

Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation

drinking

Coffee is arguably one of the essential items in the food pyramid. It’s the first thing most of us drink in the morning, especially if you’ve been out and indulging in alcohol the previous night. The entire global economy would probably collapse without coffee – problems waking up and staying alert is detrimental to most tasks. ;)

I used to massacre the system when I was in university. I lived on campus and we’re allowed one drink per meal purchased. However, the drink station is unregulated – it’s based on the trust system. My usual beverage back then probably had enough caffeine to kill a small elephant.

slops

The coffee dispenser deals out one teaspoon of instant coffee per turn and I would turn the knob 10-14 times into a small Styrofoam cup and fill it with hot milk. This evil beverage is drunk in one shot and is enough to keep me awake and wired for the entire night.

I would love to say that I used the time to study or catch up on assignments, but more often than not, that massive dose of caffeine is used to fuel all night sessions of Counter Strike or reading books which has nothing to do with my major. -_-

books

I pretty much continued this after I graduated and joined the rat race, except at a much lower dose. I would drink 2 sachets of instant coffee first thing when I wake up in the morning, just to jolt myself awake.

The sound of people trudging into the office in the morning is often followed by the long trek to the hot water dispenser with a packet of 3-in-1 instant coffee in hand. It is the cornerstone of the workforce – men and women just can’t function before their morning cup of Joe.

I have sampled pretty much most of the brands of instant coffee out there. I can’t say I have favorites per se, I usually pick up what I haven’t tried or is on offer. To me, coffee is just a vessel for delivering caffeine.

super coffeemix promotion

Anyway, I was walking the aisles of the local hypermarket doing my weekend shopping when I noticed a promotion with Super. They’re having a offer where you get a free JJ Lin notebook with every purchase of two packets of Super 3in1 Regular coffee. Each packet has 30 sachets of coffee each and at RM 13.99, that comes out to be a pretty good bargain.

free notebook

JJ Lin is the brand ambassador for Super’s Coffee and the notebook has a nice embossed cover with a matte finish. The inside of the notebook contains the storyline of Super Coffeemix’s TVC which aired earlier this year. It’s perfect as a gift for JJ Lin fans or to keep for yourself to jot down notes.

jj lin notebook

I keep mine beside my bed as a dream journal – a new project I’m going to start. :)

Vietnamese Coffee

hanoi coffee outlet

Hanoi does not have a coffee drinking culture, at least not in the Old Quarter. The people congregate and have communion over unsweetened iced tea instead. However, there are cafes around which serves coffee though I would hazard to say that tea vastly trumps coffee over here.

I have walked around the various streets and I’ve never seen the complicated Vietnam drip coffee contraption – except in high end (by Vietnamese standards) cafes. I choose to go where the locals go instead. This is a form of pride, I must admit – I shun all touristy places and eat and drink where the locals go to get a dose of their culture.

hanoi coffee stool

I am a very firm believer that when you go somewhere, you should do as they do, not go on some guided tour. Be a traveller, not a tourist and go about it yourself. I am a travel snob when it comes to this. I can never figure out why people come to eat…steak or drink beers which are available at their home. *snob

Anyway, back to Vietnamese coffee, they don’t put the drip contraption at your table coz there are no tables. smirk

hanoi coffee

You sit on the ubiquitous stools that are available while you enjoy your coffee. It’s served black with sugar over ice but you can also opt for condensed milk. The people there don’t speak much English so I pointed at a guy opposite me and said I wanted that. The coffee here is really good – rich and strong.

It’s a very refreshing drink on a hot day. I paid VND 20,000 (RM 3) for this and I saw the guy opposite me paying VND 10,000. I called them on it and they said it’s a different drink. How can it be a different drink when I specifically pointed and said I wanted the same drink? hmph

hanoi coffee guy opposite

Some places put a “foreigner surcharge” so I purposely waited until the guy paid since there are no menus or price lists over here. I guess they felt bad coz when I was about to leave they called me and gave me VND 10,000.

*thumbs up*

Posted: 7:00 pm Hanoi time

Nam Heong: The Original Ipoh White Coffee

nam heong

Ipoh is well known for their puzzlingly named caffeine export – Ipoh White Coffee. It’s not white, but it certainly is coffee. It has also spawned franchises of Ipoh White Coffee outlets at the speed rabbits breed but the original birthplace of Adam is none other than Nam Heong in Ipoh. It’s like the Bethlehem of Ipoh White Coffee, except I went with three queens instead of three kings.

nam heong ipoh

You have to queue beside tables for an absurd amount of time before seats are available. I’m sure this problem is compounded by the fact that it’s CNY and everyone from Ipoh was back for the holidays. I bumped into Jen there. Nam Heong is also famous for their dim sum which was probably why it was so packed.

nh coffee

We ordered Ipoh White Coffee (someone ordered the unorthodox herbal tea though). I forbid the EZY sisters from saying who drank what under the threat of cruel and unusual punishment. ;) I’m sure someone would tell anyway, Ziling and Yiling has threatened me as much. :p

nh ytf

Yong Tau Fu is also a great dish there – the fish is fresh and good. I think it cost somewhere around RM 13 for the bowl though, not cheap for Ipoh standards, but it was good.

nh kueh tiaw

This is Ipoh style char kueh tiaw, pretty good. I like the taste.

nh dim sum

It would be akin to heresy if we didn’t at least order a dim sum dish in Nam Heong so we went for the egg tarts. We had a quarter each since we were very full from all the eating that we did.

nam heong ipoh white coffee

Wanted: Alibi for the morning of 28th January from 9 AM to 10:30 AM certifying I was in Ipoh consuming genuine Ipoh White Coffee from the original birthplace of said beverage.

nh group

Thanks for the hospitality! More food posts coming up soon! :)

San Francisco Coffee

san francisco coffee

I went to the rather derelict looking San Francisco Coffee outlet at Miri to grab a quick snack before heading to the airport. I’m clearing all my Miri trip backlogs – this is the final one before the Miri beach writeup tomorrow. :)

sfc counter

The decrepit and understaffed San Francisco Coffee franchise didn’t even have a barista at the counter at first. The staff was just lounging around OUTSIDE the premises. I was told that this franchise outlet is closing down soon, that probably attributes to the low morale.

sfc stand

The San Francisco Coffee souvenir stand was unmanned so you could probably just nick some of the stuff if you’re thus inclined. I’m pretty sure the staff would neither notice nor care about anyone doing the Five Finger Discount over here. ;)

sfc interior

There were a couple of other customers besides us but the place exudes a general feeling of barrenness (not in the biblical sense).

extreme buzz 

I ordered the Extreme Buzz with an additional shot of espresso (RM 16). I needed the caffeine to keep awake during the trip back just in case I become an unwitting drug mule from certain people slipping stuff into my baggage during the numerous microsleeps I had. :p

oj did it

This is OJ DID IT – an orange juice fruit frappe that Faye ordered. I just love the wordplay, it’s cracked me up to no end. :)

sfc cheesecake

This is the San Francisco Cheesecake (RM 7.95). It was alright, nothing to write home about that’s for sure.

sfc waffles

The place also serves waffles (RM 4.95). It comes with Heinz marmalade, Anchor butter and honey on the side.

sfc us

I was the only one that was due to fly back that day due to work commitments. I was totally exhausted by the end of it all.

life is good

San Francisco Coffee – Life is Good (except for the staff of this soon-to-be-closed outlet). ;)

Ipoh Town Kopitiam

ipoh town kopitiam

Ipoh Town Kopitiam is a hugely successful franchise that takes the old skool kopitiam (coffee shop) concept and markets it to the new generation. Gone are the rickety stools and chipped marble tables, replaced with air-conditioning and Wi-Fi. I went to the beach during my last day in Miri and we dropped by the Ipoh Town Kopitiam to get a hot cup of coffee before heading back home.

ipoh white coffee

Ipoh Town Kopitiam is plastered with informative wall length displays on the origins of the franchise and introduces Ipoh White Coffee. Ipoh White Coffee is associated with Ipoh and is a mixture of “white” and “black” coffee blended in the traditional Malaysian method originating from Old Town Ipoh.

ipoh town kopitam interior

The franchise serves a wide range of traditional kopitiam food such as soft boiled eggs as well as a variety of tea and coffee. The ambiance of Ipoh Town Kopitiam is reminiscent of the golden old days of ye olde coffee shops, which has been popularized nowadays with other franchises like Cuppa Kopi Roti.

Ipoh Town “Cham” Coffee Tea Mix (RM 2.20)

ipoh town cham

I ordered the Ipoh Town Cham. Cham is the Hokkien word for “mix” and it’s a hot drink consisting of equal amounts of coffee and tea. It tastes pretty good actually and warmed me up after my swim at the beach in Miri (and later being rained on). I was also wearing a wet pair of swimwear under my clothes so I appreciated the heat from the drink.

Ipoh Town White Coffee (RM 2.20)

ipoh town white coffee

Faye had the iced version of the Ipoh Town White Coffee despite the heavy rain (which was what drove us from the beach in seek of shelter in the first place). She later denied ordering it and promptly appropriated my drink…despite the fact that my swimming trunks were still wet under my pants and I was literally freezing my balls off.

ipoh town us

Guess which blog the Pocket PC is logged on to?

The Coffee Bean Hazelnut Ice Blended and Latte

cbtl hazelnut

The Coffee Bean just came out with a new promotional drink (I should
know, I’ve been going there every day for the Wi-Fi) called Hazelnut.

cbtl hazelnut promo

Hazelnut comes in two forms – ice blended and latte, the classic hot and cold beverage options.

cbtl hazelnut ice blended

This is what the ice blended hazelnut (RM 12) looks like.

cbtl hazelnut latte

This is the hazelnut latte (RM 11).

It is basically coffee with hazelnut overtones. It’s nice for a change, coz I just usually go for The Ultimate EXTREME.

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