Prosperous Mee Sua

Okay, it’s listverse time! What do you need to do before Chinese New Year kicks down your door and sprays you in the face with FOX 5.3 million SHU OC pepper spray?

sibu haircut

Well, the obvious thing is to (as my grandma would put it) GET A FUCKING HAIRCUT. I’m totally down with that, I totally understand that an untamed mane is a liability when all and sunder gathers around during CNY eve a.k.a. The Reunion Dinner (TM).

I still haven’t figured out what to tell them when they bug me about not being hitched when I’m 30 but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. smirk

jeanie movie

Anyway, I’ve been hanging out with Jeanie the past couple of days and last night we ate this super sized portion of Prosperous Mee Sua (longevity noodles) for RM 18.50++.

It’s pretty good – there are lots of goods in the middle – squid, prawns, mushrooms etc etc but what makes this dish from Tanahmas special is the way it’s served. Mee sua in Sibu is usually soggy and drowned in chicken broth – this version is a crispy and soaked in gravy and it’s very tasty!

mee sua sibu

The portion is a bit too large though coz my stomach has shrunk during my hibernation (not eating for 24 hours) so it took us quite an effort to even make a dent in the dish.

I told Jeanie that according to custom, you’re not supposed to break the strands of mee sua lest the Powers That Be/God/Sol Invictus/(insert deity) frowns upon you and casually strikes off a few years from your lifespan in His righteous anger (at least according to my paternal grandma).

jeanie mee sua

I reckon we sacrificed 20 years (cumulative) of our lifespans coz we couldn’t finish the generous portion but still it was a good dish and I loved the goodies in the middle.

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

Guilin Mi Fen with Horse Meat

There’s no horsing around in this outlet. smirk

guilin mi fen horse meat

Okay, the first thing on the agenda when I arrived in Guilin is to eat the famous Gui Lin Mee Fen (rice vermicelli) with horse meat. However, that proved harder to find that I initially thought. Rats too for that matter, but that’s another post.

guilin mee fen

Anyway, after walking 1,000 miles and nearly getting run down by several cars and buses (it’s left hand drive here in China) I decided to consult a person from the industry that knows everything about anything obscure or illegal – hard to find cuisine, the oldest profession in the world, substances, basically The Travelers Guide to a New City (TM). Your friendly neighborhood taxi driver.

gui lin mi fen eat

Within minutes (and a RMB 10 fare, which is RM 5, pretty damn cheap cabs over here) I was on my way to the oldest Guilin Mi Fen with Horse Meat establishment in town. It has reputedly been around for about 40 years (as told by two different sources) and caters to the locals instead of tourists (just the way I like it).

gui lin mee fen

Alas! How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! In the past, horses were used for transport, war machines by knights, riot control by mounted police, and prized stallions on the racetrack. It has now been relegated (at least in China) to food. Heh!

gui lin mi fen horse meat

The Gui Lin Mi Fen is not rice vermicelli as we know it, it looks more like rice noodles to me. You are free to add as many condiments, pickles and spices as you want. I highly recommend their chilli flakes – Guilin is known for its spicy food so go wild with this one.

gui lin mi fen

Gui Lin Mi Fen with Horse Meat is a soup dish, which is not what I usually eat, but since it’s the local specialty, I tasted it and pronounce it GOOD. The spring onions adds a lot to the taste of the soup while the peanuts contribute that additional texture to this dish. Best of all, it only costs RMB 6 (RM 3) for a large bowl.

guilin mi fen

I love it, mostly coz of the horse meat. Horse meat can best be described as something of a cross between beef and lamb. It’s sweet and has a nice gamey aftertaste and it’s surprisingly lean.

guilin mee fen good

Mmm…equine meat!

Posted: 7:19 am China Time (Guilin is in the same timezone as Malaysia)

Rhu

rhu

Rhu is the flagship fine dining eating establishment in Tanjung Rhu resort. There’s a dress code and I can’t pronounce most of the items on the menu. It is one of three restaurants in the resort and offers a great view of the sunset in Langkawi.

rhu sunset

The ambiance is unbeatable…imagine dining al fresco, sipping wine as the sea breeze whets your appetite while you listen to the haunting refrains of a great string quartet playing in the background.

I was amazed by their talent – they had me at cello. ;) I was walking around the first day when the wind carried the violinist’s soulful rendition of Phantom of the Opera over. I could not help but be mesmerized.

dinner at rhu

Okay, back to the food at Rhu, they have a set gourmet menu priced at RM 195. I had the pleasure of dining with the manager of Tanjung Rhu – Melvin, and his daughter Isabell. I was there with Douglas and Alice (their daughter Louise was with the babysitter coz the Rhu does not allow children).

banana flambe

I opted for the a la carte menu instead of the gourmet meal. I wanted to eat seafood since that’s what you do in Langkawi! Hell, I had seafood for every single meal while I was staying at Tanjung Rhu.

Crab Kerabu Ketam

This is the Crab Kerabu Ketam. It’s served on a bed of fresh mango and avocado salad with ketta caviar and sweet spicy dressing. This cold appetizer weighs in at RM 58 and it’s well worth the price tag. The shredded crab meat goes very well with the mango, a contrast that dances across your taste buds.

Fresh Canadian Lobster Cream soup

I also had the chef’s specialty – Fresh Canadian Lobster Cream Soup (RM 49). It’s flavored with fennel and served with baked sesame seed puff pastry. I love the thick and creamy texture of the soup – it’s heartwarming, a broth for the soul as well as the stomach.

Grilled Lemongrass Lobster Tail

For the mains, I went for the Grilled Lemongrass Lobster Tail (RM 147) which is served on a seafood dumpling and a side of sauteed kai lan and mild curry sauce. I like the cuisine fusion but found the curry sauce to be a bit overwhelming for the lobster tail. I prefer the natural taste of the grilled crustacean – slightly charred on the outside, but juicy when you bite into it.

Chocolate Mille-Feuille

The dessert rounded up the meal nicely – this is the Chocolate Mille-Feuille, a concoction served with mini apple, nougat ice cream and raspberry coulis (RM 39). I would highly recommend the banana flambe, which is prepared with gusto right beside your table. True to all gourmet restaurant, the portions are small at Rhu and you won’t be hard pressed to find space for after dinner drinks.

isabell

It was a night of good food and great conversations, ranging from psychology to literature, a delicious end to the trip to Langkawi.

Nuffnang Bloggers Dinner @ The Apartment, Downtown

apartment downtown

Nuffnang invited several bloggers to The Apartment Downtown @ Suria KLCC for dinner. It’s more of a meet and greet social dinner as a prelude to discussing some Serious Issues (TM).

apartment starters

We were served Cranberry Juice (great for UTIs) and a variety of starters which includes stuffed squid, pita bread with a curious combination of butter and cheese, stuffed eggplant, and chicken liver pate.

apartment pamsong

I think the last one scarred Pam a little…she’s a very PETA type person. I hesitate to label her as a tree hugger coz the reason she doesn’t like pork and stuff like that is due to the offense it instigates to her olfactory senses.

apartment mains

The main dishes arrived after that with highlights being the lamb, creamy melt-in-your-mouth cous cous, salmon with udon noodles and mussels cooked in curry. I notice a distinctive apprehension at my table whenever I took a mussel. I realized it’s due to my poor motor coordination in opening up the shell and spearing the flesh inside. Pam actually warned me not to send the poor crustacean flying. I think she also mentioned something detrimental to my well-being if any landed on her. ;)

apartment dessert

The dessert was individually served with chocolate mousse, meringue (reminds me of Pavlova actually), and some peanut butter infused creation. It was great!

We adjourned upstairs to have a discussion about several pressing issues relevant to the blogsphere…

apartment tzia

…before the camwhoring started in earnest. This is Tzia, featured blogger of the month.

apartment audrey

Audrey, of 4 feet nine fame!

apartment pam

Pamela Song a.k.a. my nemesis! We’re just pretending to be nice here one. Posing for the digicam, usually we can be seen disagreeing vehemently. ;)

apartment carol

Carol Koh! I less than 3 you! =D

apartment cindy

Cindy

apartment ringo

…and Rin.

apartment camwhore

Plus a lot of other camwhoring shots!

apartment group

It was a great night of fellowship among the Nuffnang staff and the bloggers. It’s kinda like church and cell group meetings, except we don’t have a Jesus. ;) It’s great for building rapport and all that corporate speak. I’m looking forward to the next one already. :)

Yin Yang Steamboat @ Cameron Highlands

mountain house hotel

A trip to Cameron Highlands would not be complete without the obligatory yin yang steamboat dinner, since the ambient temperature and wind chill factor can be pretty cold at night. We went southbound to Brinchang instead of Tanah Rata but it turns out that both towns were equally packed with tourists.

organic steamboat

There are a lot of places offering steamboat dinners, most of them yin yang style – so called due to the two different broths and the similarity to the symbol of good and evil. We went to Restaurant Mountain House Hotel, which offers “organic” steamboat priced at RM 16 per head.

yin yang

The yin yang steamboat comes with seafood, tofu (urgh…), noodles, rice vermicelli, assorted super processed food, and homegrown vegetables. Cameron Highlands produces a huge amount of fresh, organically grown vegetables, so it’s really cheap there…which is probably why we got an ultra generous portion of veggies.

noodle trick

The yin yang steamboat consists of a chicken broth and a tom yam broth – it’s usually a mild broth with a spicy broth, keeping with the themes of absolute good and absolute evil. Exhibit A above shows the patented sixthseal.com method of ensuring your noodles are cooked.

1. Use your chopsticks to snag some noodles.
2. Apply pressure to the noodles with your fingernails.
3. It needs to be slightly soggier than al dente – you’ll get a feel for it (pun not intended) the more you do it.

It was originally invented a good 17 years ago by yours truly, intended to gauge whether instant noodles are ready to eat when I started cooking Maggi at 10. :)

me doris steamboat

This photo is making the post look dated – I went to Cameron Highlands with my ex last month, but never got around to posting it until today due to a massive backlog of posts. Quickly switching subjects, the vegetables in Cameron Highlands comes in the most vibrant shade of green I have ever seen!

no veggies

Nooooo….no more veggies!

Big Red Strawberry Café

big red strawberry cafe

Big Red Strawberry Café is located in the renowned Big Red Strawberry Farm in Brinchang, Cameron Highlands. The place was packed full of tourists during the long weekend. We went on Sunday afternoon and I couldn’t even take a decent shot without at least two tourists armed with cameras blocking my view. ;)

cafe montage

We headed straight for the Big Red Strawberry Café (the official café of Big Red Strawberry Farm) coz I was famished – we woke up late after sleeping in until 10 am and haven’t had anything to eat since the previous night. The Big Red Strawberry Café mainly concentrates on strawberry products but they also serve a very fresh salad due to vegetables being one of the main produce of Cameron Highlands.

big red indulgence

Behold! The strawberry indulgence (overdose?).
The actual food looks nothing like the photos – this is after all, a tourist trap and they make do with disposable forks and spoons and paper plates instead of the well presented menu pictures.

big red drinks

I had the Strawberry Juice (RM 3.90) while my girlfriend went for the Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie (RM 5.90). The strawberry juice is very sour – Cameron Highland strawberries tend to be small and a bit on the acidic side, but it tasted very fresh. The Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie was better, since the tanginess is diffused by the yogurt.

big red strawberry waffle

The Fresh Strawberry Waffle (RM 5) is a mass produced item made with a waffle iron (I stand witness) and strawberry preserve and jam. It still tasted pretty good though due to the rather frigid temperatures up there. Big Red Strawberry Farm is located on the highlands and the wind chill factor can be quite cold. It’s topped with ice cream AND whipped cream.

big red fried ice cream

This is the Strawberry Fried Ice Cream (RM 3.90) adorned with two Cameron Highlands strawberries. The strawberries they serve in the Big Red Strawberry Café is a bit on the minute side, the big and juicy ones are in the farm, where you can pick your own. It’s good nevertheless, I like fried ice cream – despite knowing my physics and heat transfer it still amazes the inner child in me that the ice cream does not melt while being fried. :)

big red yoghurt

My girlfriend had the healthy Strawberries with Honey and Yogurt (RM 3.90) for dessert. Big Red Strawberry Café uses real yogurt (e.g. the very sour kind) and it goes well with the honey (from a bee farm in Cameron Highlands) and strawberries. I pronounce it Heart Healthy (TM).

big red sundae

I, being no stranger to cardiac arrests and strokes, opted for the Strawberry Sundae (RM 5.90) topped with whipped cream. In my defense, it has a plethora of fresh strawberries at the bottom of the sundae…at least a quarter of the dessert consists of fresh strawberries.

big red strawberry cafe us

I think we both felt nauseous after the strawberry themed brunch – I had to eat a healthy plate of Maggie Mee Goreng with a Heart Healthy (TM) cholesterol laden sunny side up egg to counter the fructose and glucose intake.

picking strawberries

The best part about Big Red Strawberry Farm? You get to stroll through the strawberry farm and pick your own big and juicy strawberries. :)

Mango Tango @ Bangkok

mangotango

Mango Tango is a dessert specialty shop in Siam
Square, Bangkok that found it’s niche in mango desserts. Thailand is
famous for its mangos and they certainly like their mangos over here.
Mango Tango offers a variety of mango desserts and is a franchise with
chains all over the world.

mangotango display

Jia Chui had came here the previous night and she brought me and MDC
here coz the Mango Tango outlet was supposedly very delicious – we were
not disappointed. The front of Mango Tango has a nice display of fresh
mangos and replicas of their mango desserts outside the counter.

mangotango interior

The interior of Mango Tango is divided into two floors with seating
arrangements for two and four. Mango Tango is very clean by Bangkok
standards and the walls are adorned with phrases proclaiming the
benefits of mangos. It has a really nice and cozy ambience.

Mango Tango (130 baht)

mangotango mango tango

Mango Tango is their signature dessert and consists of a halved and
partially diced mango served with a side of mango pudding topped with
whipped cream and a ball of mango sorbet. It tasted really good – it’s
THE must try flagship dish.

Mango Delight (120 baht)

mangotango delight

Mango Delight is a selection of tropical and imported fruits served
with huge mango chunks. It’s a great dessert for people who like fruit.

Mango Sticky Rice (100 baht)

mangotango sticky rice

Mango Sticky Rice consists of a scoop of mango sorbet, sliced fresh
mangos and mangos with glutinous rice (sticky rice). It tastes
surprisingly good – especially the mango mixed with sticky rice…it’s
out of this world!

Mango Iceberg (74 baht)

mangotango iceberg

Mango Iceberg is a dish with mango ice cream, milk sago and mixed
fruits. It tastes a lot like cold bubur cha cha except it’s full of
mangos.

mangotango me mdc jia chui

The Thai sure like their mangos (and pork) and mangos are practically a national dish over here. Check out Mango Tango if you’re in Siam Square – it’s worth every single baht to eat the famed Thai mango desserts.

All Stars Sports Cafe review

all stars cafe

All Stars Sports Cafe is a sports themed restaurant
and pub located in Mid Valley Megamall. It also has sports memorabilia
and plasma TV’s dotted throughout the place tuned to satellite/cable
sports channels.

all stars rock climbing

The restaurant presents itself with a life-sized rock climbing
figure hanging from an outcrop on top of the dining area in front.
There are also various sports related autographed photos and posters
adorning the walls.

all stars back

All Star Sports Cafe also has a pool room and seating arrangements
at the back of the restaurant (or front if you walk in via Mid Valley
Megamall). The place serves alcohol and has an emphasis on western
food, but also a menu with eastern cuisine.

all stars beer

Maisel’s Weisse (Dunken) beer (RM 26). This
imported beer is served from a 0.5 liter glass beer flask that pours
into a perfect 0.5 liter glass. The dark beer tastes sweet, with a
strong malt aftertaste – it tastes like Guinness Malta.

all stars beer bread

The beer comes with a serving of bread – hot buns with a German butter and a knife to butter it with. I found that rather odd.

all stars four seasons platter

Four Seasons Platter
RM 40
The ultimate snack! Combining the unique tastes of Honey Crab Balls,
Soya Spring Roll, Hong Kong Sharksfin Egg and assorted Vegetables with
Prawn.

all stars crab

This is the first entry in the Four Seasons Platter appetizer – the
plate is HUGE and long, easily occupying two tables. It’s crab meat and
some other stuff wrapped in a roll.

all stars prawns

This is the second feature of the Four Seasons Platter – prawns with sweet mayo sauce. It’s the best part of the platter.

all stars rolls

The third component of the platter is deep fried soya spring rolls. It’s not that great.

all stars chicken

This is the fourth part of the Four Seasons Platter – chicken. It’s just boneless chicken, but it’s very well flavored. Nice.

all stars salmon

Grilled Norwegian Salmon
RM 32.50
Imported fresh Norwegian salmon fillet served with ratatouille and crusted potato.

all stars salmon dish

The salmon was cooked to perfection – pretty in pink!

all stars sandwich

Grilled Turkey Ham Cheese Sandwich
RM 13.50
Toasted sandwich with ham, turkey slices and cheese.

all stars sandwich dish

It’s a good club-type sandwich, filling and not too painful for healing tongue piercings to chew. ;)

all stars surf turf

Surf n Turf
RM 42.50
Our petite sirloin steak and a big juicy tiger prawn, topped with home made garlic sauce.

all stars surf turf dish

This dish is really good – it’s a medium rare sirloin steak served
with a large tiger prawn on top, allowing the prawn juices to seep into
the steak. The garlic sauce goes very well with this unusual pairing,
bringing out the best in both the seafood and the meat.

all stars eeva cherie

I was at All Stars Sports Cafe with Cherie and Eeva…

all stars midvalley

…and then all three of us got lost while stoned in Mid Valley. ;)

Tuah Baker – Hot from oven

tuah baker

I was walking through Sarawak Plaza half stoned (okay, totally stoned) when I noticed an opening sign for Tuah Baker
with the tantalizingly munchies inducing quote “Good bread is the most
fundamentally satisfying of all foods; and good bread with fresh
butter, the greatest of all feasts.”

tuah baker bakery

The sweet aroma of freshly baked bread ala Rotiboy steered my senses
to their booth in the middle of the food court – the smell of the
piping hot baked goods was strong enough to overpower all the other
proprietor’s offerings in the food court. Tuah Baker – Hot from oven is
heavily inspired by Rotiboy’s concept – except instead of the coffee
cream bun, they also have a chocolate cream bun.

tuah baker buns

The buns go for RM 1.60 each and there are no discounts for more
than one purchase, unlike Rotiboy (which I’m comparing this bakery with
due to the remarkable similarity in concept). It was timely on our
behalf that we got there just as the goods came out from the oven, so
we got the only kind of bread one should eat – piping hot, almost
tongue scalding. ;)

tuah baker bag

I got one coffee bun and one chocolate bun and would have got more,
except they’ll have gotten cold by the time I’ve gotten around to the
third one. This is what the coffee bun looks like – the buns all come
in a brown paper bag, except this one doesn’t have any bakery insignia
on it. The buns are finally put into the paper bag and “baked” for a
short period – so the paper bag feels toasty as well. :)

tuah baker bun

The buns are warm and crispy – there’s nothing like the remarkable
aroma of baked bread smelling of freshly brewed coffee with a crispy
crust around a wonderfully soft and fluffy bun. One of my friends,
being unfamiliar with Rotiboy products, remarked: “This tastes like
cake!”

Tuah Baker only sells the fresh from the oven coffee and chocolate
buns and it’s best to get them while a fresh batch is out of the oven.

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