An awesome pork loin dinner at Kim and Gareth’s

dinner kim

It’s a wonder to see Kim in the kitchen. She’s got everything down pat (even has a system for cleaning up dirty dishes).

kim kitchen

I was there for dinner on Friday, she had a pork loin going in the oven and I puttered around a bit in the kitchen doing nothing particularly useful until she sat me down in front of the awesome 55” TV with a beer in hand.

baked pork loin

Fruit of the loin. The beautiful pork loin with apple sauce. It was marinated for two days!

baked carrot garlic

Baked carrots and garlic. This is awesome! The baked carrots *looks* burnt and dried but it’s actually super juicy and wonderfully sweet. The garlic bursts with flavor too. Very nice.

kim potatos

You say potato I say potatoe.

buttered peas

Peas with slabs of butter.

yorkshire pudding

Yorkshire pudding.

kim dessert

Kim also made this dessert with molasses (?) – it had a bit of a crater in the middle, which I don’t think was supposed to be there but it tasted just fine.

kim dinner

However, the pork loin with apple sauce was the piece de resistance. I really enjoyed hitting that oink. It’s a good cut, nice marbling and tender to boot. The apple sauce does wonders to it.

pork loin

It weighed in at slightly more than 2.3 kg and the six of us (ST, Kim, Lainey, Fresh, Sin Loo and me) finished the entire pork loin. That’s about the equivalent of each of us eating a 400 gram steak…not including the other dishes.

That’s how awesome it was.

Glen Grant 16yo

There was Ben and Jerry’s ice cream brought by Sin Loo and some Hokkaido cakes from Lainey and we spent (well, at least me and ST did) the night drinking Scotch and beer. I got a bottle of Glen Grant 16 year old single malt and thought it would be funny to text Kim while stuck in a jam about bringing a 16 year old but she didn’t get it until several hours after. Picture nicked from ShaolinTiger’s Twitter.

Thanks for having us over Kim and Gareth!

party

It was a fabulous dinner and I totally enjoyed talking about everything from the good ol’ days of rave music to the murder of Canny Ong (I know right, diverse range of topics). We all ended up leaving at 8 am in the morning. This could be a start of a tradition, first time that happened was at Lainey’s birthday – just chilling, drinking and talking till the break of dawn coz that’s how we roll yo. ;)

hb kim

Kim’s a *great* cook. A delicious dinner with awesome company, you just can’t beat that. I had a laughing fit twice that night, can’t remember why but I haven’t laughed that hard in a very long time. Then someone said: You know you’re laughing at *yourself* right. It just made it funnier. Fantastic way to spend a Friday night even though I only woke up at 8 pm on Saturday. Totally worth it. smirk

Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival 2011

bukit layang layang

I went on this trip to Pasir Gudang in Johor to catch the World Kite Festival 2011 a few weeks ago. It’s called Festival Layang-Layang Sedunia 2011 in Malay and I was surprised to see a lot of international participants. I also witnessed an awesome 400 meter long kite being deployed (that’s almost half a kilometer) which is pretty impressive.

kite fest

It seems that the Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival is a big thing amongst kite enthusiasts around the world. I’m amazed that people actually travel to Johor just to fly kites for a couple of days. I used to play with kites as a kid too but never really got into it.

kite assembly

These people however are serious kite enthusiasts. I saw gravity defying contraptions being flown over the weekend and got a lesson on kites around the world while at it.

Here’s a video of the action at Bukit Layang-Layang.

flying kites

The passion of the international teams is infectious. I ended up talking to some of them, trying to understand their love for the sport. These are people who lug their kites from various countries to Malaysia just for a few days of fraternizing with like minded people and showing off their carefully made kites.

japanese

The Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival is held at the appropriately named Bukit Layang-Layang (Kite Hill) and it’s a tourist attraction which the government has capitalized on. A lot of hotels have promotions for this and there’s even a kite museum at the venue.

kite array

The kites come in every shape and size. I saw everything from giant alligators to statue sized clowns being flown.

german

The larger kites require a small “pilot kite” to be raised before the actual kite can fly.

The pilot kite is a small parachute that gives enough lift to enable the main kite – in this case a gigantic squid by the team from Germany – to fly. It takes a lot of skill and effort to get this one afloat.

line kite

I found this one particularly impressive too – it’s a dragon kite that measures over 250 meters (!!!). This is from a team in Taiwan and there was a bit of controversy over which category in the competition it can go into.

I don’t know enough about the technicalities of kite classifications to comment, but based on the video, the organizers put them in the “line kite” instead of the “dragon kite” category due to some small design feature which violates the dragon kite specifications.

dragon kite

These type of kites takes a long time to setup and fly – it needs to be packed in a box and guided slowly out before the entire kite is sky bound. The longest one measures over 400 meters (!!!). That’s almost ½ a kilometer and it’s a wonder how they managed to get it up. It must be quite a task to retrieve it in one piece too.

flying kite

Here are some of the other kites that I liked:

box kite

This is a box kite from Australia.

box

It’s hexagonal shape seem to go against every law of aerodynamics but they actually flew it quite easily.

starfruit

Our very own country also came out with a starfruit shaped kite.

spinner

This is called a spinner – it doesn’t fly per se but floats and spins clockwise, thus the name.

eagle kite

It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s…well, it’s not Superman, but an eagle kite that flies like a real bird.

jump

I saw this YouTube video of a dog totally owning a cat and now I can’t get that image out of my head. I had originally thought of this as a tiger pouncing on a shark but now it looks more like the large cat is about to forcibly initiate some inter-species coitus with the shark. It doesn’t help that the shark kite has a shocked expression on its face too. smirk

guitar

Look! A flying acoustic guitar shaped kite!

cupid

An anatomically correct Cupid kite. ;)

rose

One of the girls in the China team has a rather improbable kite – it’s the tiniest one in the festival and it really flies. Yes, it’s the rose she’s holding in her hand. That’s actually a very small flower kite. Nifty! A rose by any other name is a kite. :D

museum

I went with Khairie and Mohd Zaid and got really sunburned over the weekend, but it was fun experiencing something I normally wouldn’t and talking to the kite enthusiasts around the world. It’s an insightful look into the kite flying subculture, one where even 86-year-old grandmothers fly all the way from Japan to participate in.

kites

The Pasir Gudang World Kite Festival is an annual affair in Johor. They have a website with more information here. This is the 16th incarnation of the festival-cum-competition and it’s interesting to see people who are really serious about it gather from all over the world to indulge in their mutual passion.

Here’s another video of the scene at Bukit Layang-Layang during the event.

me

It has a very vibrant ambience and everyone was friendly and eager to help each other out. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and the nature of the activity practically begs for a quote from the bestselling book by Khaled Hosseini:

…for you, a thousand times over. smirk

Bak Chang

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!

Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2008

hari raya header

This is the first day of the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations – the new year for our Muslim friends. In Malaysia, “open houses” are practiced and it is common for different races to mingle and socialize during festive occasions.

hari raya 08

I visited a couple of houses this morning with a bunch of friends. I neglected to pace myself and ate too much at the first house, which resulted in me not being able to eat much at the latter houses. :)

raya 1

This is what I had – pulut (glutenous rice), satay, beef rendang, curry chicken and ayam masak merah.

raya 11

I also had some dessert after that – cakes and this confectionery made out of cornflakes that I really like. :)

raya ketupat

Our group adjurned to the second house after that where there is ketupat (a traditional Hari Raya preparation made out of glutenous rice, but different from pulut).

ketupat

This is what ketupat looks like – it’s made with pandan wrappings (a complicated procedure that traditionally lasts throughout the night) while pulut is cooked in bamboo over a slow BBQ fire.

raya breasts

I was presented this home made confectionery by the host and the following conversation proceeded:

Host: What does this remind you of, Huai Bin?
HB: Hmm…something that should be covered up. ;)
Host: You have a gutter mind la…it’s eyes.
HB: That’s what I meant, it should be covered up with sunglasses. What did you think I mean? Lingerie? ;)

raya feature

It’s fun, with witty banter and general fellowship. I have missed Hari Raya for two years in a row so it’s great to be able to go visiting again. I love this water feature that I saw in one of the houses that we visited.

Selamat Hari Raya 2008 to all readers of sixthseal.com! :)

Borneo Cultural Festival – BCF 2008

bcf 2008

The Borneo Cultural Festival is held annually in Sibu and showcases our ethnic diversity. BCF 2008 has three themed areas – the Chinese, the Malay/Melanau and the Iban/Dayak cultural areas. This post is focusing on the Borneo Chinese Cultural Festival (BCCF) and the opening ceremony. I will visit on other nights to do the other writeups.

The Borneo Cultural Festival (BCF) 2008 opened up with a fireworks display. It lasted for a good 15 minutes and kicked off the festivities.

food stalls

The highlight of BCF is always the food stalls.

food stalls 2

The BCCF has ethnic food stalls operated by the respective clans.

hainan

The food stalls features the respective delicacies of the ethnicity of the clan. This is the Hainan clan, which is not very big in Sibu, which is predominantly Foochow.

bbq pork

The Hainan, who are known for their Hainan Chicken Rice, is also offering one of their other specialties – BBQ pork.

meat mushroom

They also have a traditional dish which I can’t remember the name of consisting of a starchy blend of meat and mushrooms.

free samples

You can actually eat your way through BCF 2008 without paying a single cent from the free samples of food, but that wouldn’t be a very nice thing to do. ;)

mary foochow

The Foochow Association was well represented at BCF 2008. This is Mary posing in front of it. She’s Foochow, although I can speak the dialect better than her. :)

makeshift

There are makeshift seating arrangements on the footpath and inside certain stalls for people to enjoy their food on the spot.

erhu band

There is a traditional Chinese group playing erhu and other classic Chinese musical instruments as part of the program.

me erhu

Thus, naturally… ;) What did you expect, you’re on sixthseal.com. :)

teochew

The Teochew group also made their presence felt at the Borneo Cultural Festival.

teochew delicacies

This is their portfolio of delicacies…

pork

…and their pork offerings, which is rather impressive.

hakka dumpling

This is a variant of meat dumplings wrapped in square leaves instead of the triangular shape.

henghua dumplings

We compared the Hakka version (previous) to the Henghua version (above).

chinese opera

There was a traditional Chinese opera going on at the Chinese Cultural Festival.

I shot a video of it, it’s pretty good and surprisingly entertaining for a dying art.

heng hua pride

I would be remiss if I didn’t take a photo at the Heng Hua booth, being a Heng Hua and all. Heng Hua Pride! =D

beer stall

We stumbled upon a stall where we could enjoy our food within a booth. It serves alcohol which is always a plus point. RM 12 for three (3) cans of beer.

me promotor

I was immediately asked to drink by the promoter. The beer kept flowing for free after that thanks to one of the kind association members.

traditional beer

The beer was poured into an authentic Chinese pitcher and then to bowls instead of cups for The Real China Experience.

me mary beer

I didn’t even remember how much I drank, have to ask Mary for the figures. ;)

dumplings comparison

This is the comparison between the Hakka dumplings (RM 6) and the Heng Hua dumplings (RM 6.50).

hakka dumplings

The Hakka dumplings were wrapped in brown leaves and is completely white. There’s no soy sauce in the glutenous rice, which is different from what we always get. It contains pork, mushrooms and peanuts.

henghua dumpling

The Heng Hua dumplings are the ones that I’m used to eating. It’s dark from soy sauce and contains more generous and juicier chunks of pork, mushrooms and peanuts. We all concluded that the Heng Hua one tastes better, and I assure you, I didn’t skew the results due to being of Heng Hua ethnicity. ;)

amber fluid

The amber fluid floweth throughout the night…

flow 2

…and floweth

flow 3

…and floweth

overflow

…and it seems like the cup (or bowl) almost overfloweth.

group photo

I think it was the rowdiest booth in the whole of BCF 2008.

association

Thanks to the association for giving us a good time (and free beer). ;)

Dragon Boat Festival – Duanwu Jie

dumpling work

The Dragon Boat Festival (more commonly known as Duan Wu Jie) is one of the traditional festive occasions for the Chinese. It falls on the 8th of June this year and our company’s social club took the liberty of distributing rice dumplings (called zhong zhi) to everyone in the office on Friday (since Saturday is a gazetted public holiday).

dumpling meat

There is one with meat filling (which may also contain chestnuts, peanuts or egg yolks in addition to the chicken)…

dumpling red bean

…and the other with red bean paste. These are the two popular fillings for rice dumplings. I’ve also seen pure peanut fillings but the meat (which can be pork or chicken, but never beef or lamb) and red bean paste fillings lead the pack in popularity.

dumpling faye

Faye’s grandmother also made some for her family and she insisted I consumed one right in front of her in the car just now. I like the meat dumplings (preferably with chestnuts, mushrooms and egg yolks – ate a huge one the other day given by another friend) but I don’t really enjoy eating red bean paste. I don’t even like the stuff in my cendol or ice kacang.

Happy Duanwu Jie to all the readers of sixthseal.com!

Ghost festival procession photos, Bukit Bintang

pulling.JPG

Here are the photos from the Bintang Walk procession. There was a
“ghost festival procession” of some sort in Jalan Bukit Bintang
yesterday, I heard the participants are supposed to be possessed by
certain old spirits. Not sure if I got that right, but it’s a good
excuse to carry weapons and take drugs and act in a wild manner that is
above the soceity’s norms while in public and within view of law
enforcement officers. I kid! Sorry, jokes about religion are sensitive,
my apologies if I offended anyone, it was meant strictly in jest.
Anyway, please don’t flood my inbox with hate mail, you know I’m not
like that, it’s a joke, I couldn’t resist. :)

Anyway, back to the procession, it was very interesting, the photos speak for themselves, here you go:

long1.JPG
This is a long one

long2.JPG
Gets a bit unwieldy at times as you can see

prayer.JPG
Mobile prayer lorry

bloody.JPG
Bloody

Don’t mess with them:

dunmess1.JPG

dunmess2.JPG

dunmess3.JPG

This is the youngest participant:

trance.JPG

care.JPG

pacsaw.JPG
My favourite guy – he was wielding two saws and sucking on a pacifier.

Well, if you ask me I think it was a datura/belladonna like substance in their tea. ;)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...