My Partner’s Birthday: Hakuto Jelly, Japanese Snacks and Valrhona Feuilletine Cake!

Happy Birthday

My better half just celebrated her birthday yesterday on the 13th of April. I got her a huge box of presents and we had sushi and birthday cake before going out shopping for Japanese snacks. She told me she wanted to get Japan imports for her birthday and we spent a few hundred dollars on that alone. However, I also packed her a gift using back the box she gave me on my birthday (which I originally gave to her).

Birthday Yee Ling

Happy birthday dear!

Birthday Card

I found a hilarious birthday card that goes “Old Already Lor“. smirk

Typo

It was from Typo in KLCC. I always get her serious cards so I thought I’ll go the funny route this time.

Liquid Soap

I also got her liquid hand soap since she has been using the same one for over a year.

Bath Body Works

I got two different ones from Bath & Body Works.

Handmade Soap

There was a booth outside selling fancy handmade soap and I thought they smelled really nice. The promoter told me you can also hang the soap-on-a-rope in a car so it acts like an air freshener so I got one sliced like a mango for her. She likes things like these.

Hakuto Jelly Shop

I also went to Isetan to get Hakuto jelly (白桃ゼリー). This is a dessert they make with hakuto peaches from Okayama and the mineral rich spring water there. We’ve seen this before but my better half didn’t want to get it coz it was quite expensive. Hakuto jelly is costly due to the price of the peaches which are used to make it.

Hakuto Peach Jelly

The smallest box of two goes for RM 85 while a box of 4 goes for RM 170. You can also get a 3 piece box for RM 127.50.

Sakura Mochi

I also managed to get sakura mocha. Haha! We ate this exact same thing in Hokkaido and it was very good. The ones here are imported from Japan and made using sakura cherry blossom flowers and leaves too but my dear didn’t like them as much. She much preferred the ones we had in Sapporo.

Shopping Basket

Oh, I got so many things that I took the shopping basket from Isetan to my car. I didn’t even realize I inadvertently took it out until I almost got to my car. Oops!

Birthday Present

I got home and packed all the birthday gifts into the box – the mason jar she likes, a jar of Reese’s peanut butter and chocolate spread, matcha chooclates etc.

Birthday Gift

The box!

Birthday Candles

I had gotten a row of candles that goes “Happy Birthday” for RM 13 too. I thought it’ll go well with the cake.

Bisque Cake

The cake is from Bisque. I had ordered it a week before and this one is called The Michelangelo. The base price is RM 218 but you can customize it as you wish and the final bill will be sent to you. I added a lot of fondant writing.

Valrhona Birthday Cake

The cake is really good! It’s made with feuilletine, Valrhona Jivara chocolate and hazelnut paste as the base so there’s a crunchy textural element. The top is vanilla bean cake with chocolate pearls and there’s also Valrhona Dulcey blonde mousse mixed into the layers. I like how they put gold leaf together with the chocolate pearls.

Feuilletine Cake

It tastes like Ferrero Rocher as the base, with the same texture sensation. The fluffy and light vanilla bean cake is a nice pairing since the base is really sweet. The blonde chocolate mousse makes it very rich and easy to eat. It’s one of the nicest birthday cakes I’ve had and we all enjoyed it, including the kids. I even had some for supper.

Hakuto Jelly

She unwrapped the presents (the Shimizu Hakuto Jelly was wrapped really nicely) and we headed out to Okashi World with the kids to buy Japanese snacks. They have a promotion where you can buy up to RM 200 on your birthday and get 50% discount so we took advantage of that. I ended up spending RM 380+ there but it was worth it coz she really liked the Japanese imports and the kids loved the candy too.

Japanese Snacks

It was a great birthday that we spent together with the kids at home. Happy birthday dear! I look forward to making more great memories with you. Love you always! <3

Happy Birthday: Realistic durian cake, Nobu KL omakaze dinner, and presents!

Birthday 2016

It’s my birthday today! I turn 35, and it’s been an awesome day so far. My better half surprised me with dinner reservations at Nobu KL. I didn’t know she had already planned this and was about to tell her I was feeling like Japanese food. She sounded a bit reluctant (which was strange) and I found out that she had *already* booked a table for us.

Nobu KL Dinner

Dinner was great! I had the Special Omakase (RM 455 per pax) which is the most expensive item on the menu. I felt a little bad about how costly dinner was (the bill came up to almost RM 1,000) but my dear asked me to go for the most premium omakase since I didn’t want a smartphone. Yup, she originally planned to buy me a smartphone.

Dinner Nobu

I’m more of an experience person than a material goods person. I’ll rather have awesome trips and meals than phones, clothes, etc. It just makes me happier and I value the experiences more…and recent research suggests that I’m right! The happiness you feel from experiences lasts longer and is more fulfilling than material goods.

Kids

The kids made me something for my birthday too! I got a hand-painted picture and a card! :)

Birthday Present 2016

My better half also got me a birthday present, despite me telling her not to. She packed a big box full of Japanese candy. It’s the perfect gift for me coz I love Japanese stuff. It contains:

Baskin-Robbins Popping Shower Very Berry Chocolate

Baskin-Robbins Popping Shower + Very Berry Chocolate
This is a nod to one of the first times we met. Baskin-Robbins is very popular in Japan and these two flavors are awesome. I like the Very Berry Chocolate which also has bits of real strawberry inside, as well as a thin layer of crunchy cone. However, the Popping Shower one took the cake – it’s an intense popping candy that’s so energetic, I thought it was going to come out of my mouth.

Baskin-Robbins Japan

Explosive stuff! These are only supposed to be sold in Japan (due to licensing issues) but she managed to get one for me.

Pocky midi Gudetama

Pocky midi x Gudetama
Haha! I love Gudetama. He’s a humanized lazy egg with bacon for a blanket. The theme song keeps repeating in my brain when I see it. This is Pocky’s collaboration with Sanrio (who created Gudetama). Pocky midi Caramel Latte Gudetama is the result and it’s too cute to eat.

Pocky Strawberry Latte

Pocky midi Strawberry Latte
This is another one in the Coffee series that’s exclusive to Japan. The Gudetama one is Caramel Latte and this version is Strawberry Latte. I haven’t opened it yet, I’ll eat this with my dear.

Pocky Winter Melty Chocolate

Winter Melty Cocoa Pocky
This is a rare seasonal limited edition Pocky that comes out only in winter. It’s thicker than a regular Pocky and has rich chocolate dust that melts in your mouth into a beautiful creamy goo. Unfortunately, the low melting temperature means that there’s a reason this is a winter-only special – the chocolate dissolves in our temperature.

AEON TopValue CalorieMate

AEON Japan’s CalorieMate
Yup, this is AEON Japan’s attempt to create a Calorie Mate like energy bar. I had the original in Japan (was looking specifically for it) and I quite liked it. This tastes different from the original Calorie Mate (Cheese) though. AEON’s store brand is a lot sweeter while CalorieMate is a lot more savory. They’re both good, in different ways. This is more of a meal replacement than an energy bar, they’re the pioneers in Japan.

Oreo Rum Raisin Chocolate

Rum Raisin Chocolate Oreo (0.4% alcohol)
These are made with 70% cocoa! Just like Kit Kats, Oreo has a lot of different flavors and types in Japan. And just like the recently released Sake Kit Kats, the Oreos also contain alcohol inside. They put powdered alcohol (yes, it’s a thing) that boosts the adult treats to a 0.4% alcohol content. These are definitely not halal Oreos (would be funny if people couldn’t read or if there wasn’t a “Contains Alcohol” sticker on them).

Gudetama Chocolates

Gudetama chocolates
I also got a few Gudetama chocolate treats (shaped like an egg) and a Japanese amulet she got for me at a Shinto temple in Hokkaido.

Moonlight Cake House

My dear bought me a birthday cake at Moonlight Cake House. She had ordered this way in advance and it was a beautiful durian cake.

Birthday Cake 2016

It was in the freezer waiting for us and we picked it up to eat together with the kids. The wonderful smell of durian wafted out as soon as I took off the Saran wrap.

Durian Cake

Holy shit, this looks like a real durian!

Real Durian Cake

The durian cake is made up of a wonderfully fluffy and light Angel food cake and has bits of real durian flesh inside. The outside is made with whipped cream spikes so it looks like a real durian. I think they added gelatin or another stabilizer so it can stand but it’s just cream so it’s not sweet. The best part is that the two sides of the durian are not symmetrical (like real life) so one side is bigger than the other. The hand piping is beautiful too – it’s not just one shade of green, there are brown accents so it looks authentic. There’s even a stem made of chewy marzipan to complete the look.

Blowing Candles

I ate the durian birthday cake with my dear and the kids. It was a wonderful birthday! Thanks for all the treats, dinner and gifts dear. I appreciate all that you’ve done for me and for being with me. <3 I'll write about the Nobu KL dinner tomorrow! (╭☞ ͡ ͡° ͜ ʖ ͡ ͡°)╭☞

Shopping for Chinese New Year clothes!

Shopping for CNY

I don’t make a big deal out of shopping for clothes every Chinese New Year. It’s a tradition to wear new garments but some years I didn’t buy anything or just got a pack of red underwear (which turned out to be the best I ever had).

Onitsuka Tiger

However, I wanted to get my better half some clothes so we went to purchase new attire over two weekends.

MUJI

We ended up buying more stuff for me. My dear got me two awesome shirts from MUJI, one long sleeved casual and one work shirt from MNG and a pair of “drop crotch chinos”. I have no idea what that last one was, she just thought I ought to wear something different. smirk

Clothes

I did manage to get her something though – we went to Levi’s for a pair of denims and H&M for more garments.

UNIQLO Disney Chinese New Year Collection

I also got attire for the kids.

Disney Chinese New Year 2016

I really liked this shirt but they didn’t have one in my size. It’s from the UNIQLO Disney Chinese New Year 2016 collection.

Onitsuka Tiger Asics

I spent the most in Onitsuka Tiger. I had wanted a pair of bright blue sneakers from adidas a few months ago but unfortunately they were out of my size. My dear remembered that I liked that particular shade of blue and brought me to Onitsuka Tiger to get a similar pair.

ASICS Onitsuka Tiger

Onitsuka Tiger don’t make their own shoes. They’re actually made by ASICS and branded as Onitsuka Tigers. Interesting, I didn’t know that. It makes sense though, why would an apparel company go into the shoe business when they can just co-opt and OEM (rebadge) from an existing sports company? Pretty smart business move.

RM55 Socks

I do like the brand though and since there was a 30% sale on accessories if you buy footwear, I got two pairs of socks to go with them. Unfortunately, the discount is only valid for one (1) item so I also got an overpriced RM 55 pair of socks from Onitsuka Tiger. Haha.

CNY Shopping

It was fun going shopping with my better half though and I got all my Chinese New Year wardrobe sorted out. The reunion dinner is coming up soon! Have you all gotten all your shopping done?

5 fun things we did for our Christmas Eve celebrations!

Christmas Family Photo 2015

Christmas is just around the corner! The kids have been asking me about our annual turkey since our Melaka trip so I decided to celebrate Christmas early this year. Here’s what we did for the festive season:

1. Christmas shopping

Glenfiddich Mince Pies

Yup, this is one of the highlights of my year. I went out with my better half to look at what we’ll be getting for our Christmas celebrations. I saw this really cool Glenfiddich mince pies. It’s made with their 12 year old expression of single malt Scotch whiskey.

Glenfiddich Whisky Cake

They even have a Glenfiddich Whisky Cake!

2. Christmas turkey

Christmas Halal Turkey

This is a mainstay of our Christmas celebrations each year. The kids like to eat it and I like to roast it. It’s fun and it’s one of the things we look forward to.

Halal Turkey

Excuse the Islamic script, the turkey I bought is not haram this year. It’s called Midamar Turkey and despite coming from Iowa in the United States, it’s certified halal.

Brining Turkey

The turkey costs RM 348 and weighs 5.8 kg.

Roast Chestnut Cranberry Apple Stuffing

I used a roast chestnut, cranberry and apple stuffing for the turkey.

Jellied Cranberry Sauce

I stuffed our Christmas turkey and popped it into the oven…

Roasted Turkey

…and we all ate it with slices of bread and jellied cranberry sauce.

Turkey Christmas

Delicious!

3. Pistachio panettone

Flamigni Gran Pistacchio

My dear chose our annual panettone. It was a choice between panettone filled with mascarpone cream, chocolate covered and filled, a pandoro, or a pistachio crumb covered panettone with pistachio cream filling. She chose the last one, it’s RM 132.50 for a 1 kg cake.

Pistachio Panettone

This is made by the good people at Flamigni, the individual panettone is actually made by hand in Italy before being filled with pistachio cream and topped with crushed pistachios. It’s described as “Panettone con Crema al Pistacchio ricoperto di Chocolato Bianco e Granella di Pistacchi” which translates to panettone with pistachio cream covered with white chocolate and chopped pistachios.

Panettone with Pistachio Cream

The kids loved it! The white chocolate topping holding the crushed nuts was sweet and the cream even more so. I was very happy with our panettone this year, it’s absolutely fabulous! I can eat it all year!

4. Christmas crackers

Kids Christmas Crackers

This is another one of our Christmas traditions. I’ll go with my dear and buy some crackers for the kids. If you’re not familiar with Christmas crackers, they’re meant to be pulled by two people after Christmas dinner and (traditionally) the person with the largest half gets to keep the party favor or gift inside. It makes a snap / bang when you pull it.

Playing Christmas Crackers

The kids really liked them when I first got it for Christmas so I thought I’ll get them every year. We always give the kids two crackers each and we’ll each have one.

Happy-Clapper

I got a Happy Clapper from my cracker. Haha.

5. Family Christmas photo

Christmas Dinner

This is something we’ll do each year, take a photo together after we’ve eaten our turkey dinner and opened our Christmas crackers.

Christmas Crackers

The novelty paper hats are actually from the crackers. My better half printed the selfie props. This idea came from the stuff that came in last year’s Christmas crackers and we thought it’ll be fun to incorporate it into our annual festive photo. This year’s family Christmas picture has a “White Christmas” theme (coz we’re all wearing white).

Christmas Family Photo 2015

We make it a point to celebrate Christmas with the kids every year. It has become “our” tradition with a turkey, Christmas crackers, panettone and a group photo. This is our 2015 family Christmas photo. Merry Christmas everyone! :)

Restaurant Ole Sayang, Melaka

Melaka Kids

I was in Melaka over the long weekend with my better half and the kids.

Melaka HB Ling

Her parents were also with us and so we decided to have a nice Nyonya dinner at Restaurant Ole Sayang in Melaka.

Restaurant Ole Sayang

This local restaurant actually serves wonderfully delicious food but has often been disparaged due to their bad service. This is primarily due to the fact that the place is constantly packed to the brim with people.

Reservations

The reservation was listed down as “Elaine”. smirk We got rather good service coz the owner’s wife came to attend to us. I believe the staff might be a tad overworked, which is why the comments come in as such but if one of the proprietors serve you, you’ll be alright. She actually told me not to order the large portion of their otak-otak in a warm, friendly and confidential tone. Haha.

Pandan Rice

That’s just a bit of a harmless confidence trick though since she’s actually a very good businesswoman. They even bring their delicious keropok over to each table to see if they want any to take away after your meal. That doesn’t detract from the excellent food though. It may not be for everyone since it’s noisy at times and crowded but if you’re looking for awesome Nyonya chow, you can’t go wrong.

Ayam Ponteh

Ayam Ponteh (RM 26)
This is the classic Peranakan dish of chicken cooked Nyonya style. They do it very well in Restaurant Ole Sayang, it was very hearty and delicious. I ate three (3) plates of rice from the gravy alone! It’s a famous local Malaccan recipe and we all loved it.

Asam Pedas Fish Head

Asam Pedas Fish Head (RM 75)
The fish is a species called kurau locally and the spicy broth goes very well with it. I was hesitant about ordering it in the classic style since it can be a bit hot but everyone seemed to like it so that was good.

Itik Tim

Itik Tim (RM 35)
This is half a duck simmered with savory pickled vegetables for a sour and appetizing soup course. It did its job well, which was to open up our appetites. The duck meat and bones isn’t edible (well, technically it is, but it’s not palatable) since all the moisture and goodness has been sucked out to be in the broth but it’s not meant to be eaten anyway.

Otak-otak

Otak-otak (RM 11.50)
This was the only thing which wasn’t up to par. The otak-otak seemed to be a bit off that day. The ratio of santan (coconut cream) to fish paste seem wrong, there was too much of the former so you could only taste coconut milk. Maybe that’s why the owner told me a small portion would do. *shrugs*

Sambal Udang Petai

Sambal Udang Petai (RM 28)
I love petai and I love shrimps. There’s nothing better than combining the two together! It makes for a spicy dish with a oeuvre of “smelly bean” (which is what petai is called in Chinese). It goes very nicely with the pandan scented rice.

Cincaluk Omelet

Cincaluk Omelet (RM 14)
The omelet went down very well with the kids. I liked it too but mostly left it for the kids coz they didn’t eat much from the other dishes. They can be a bit picky with food, kinda like me when I was young. You tend to grow out of these things (personally didn’t touch vegetables until my late 20’s) so it’s all good.

Chap Chai

Chap Chai (RM 22)
This is the Peranakan style preparation of vegetables and our last order from the Greatest Hits (TM) of Nyonya cuisine. There’s transparent rice vermicelli lining the bottom of the dish – I thought that was a very nice way to absorb the flavors of the gravy.

Huge Cendol

Huge Cendol (RM 30)
This is calculated according to the number of people. It’s RM 3 per serving (you can also get individual ones) so if you have 10 pax like us, you can opt for a huge mound for everyone. This was liberally doused with the awesome gula Melaka (palm sugar) and even though the kids made a collective spur-of-the-moment group decision not to have any (eh?) the adults all finished it. I myself had 5-6 servings.

Restaurant Ole Sayang Melaka

I had thought I had over ordered for everyone since we had 10 pax (but 4 of them were kids, so it’s 6 adults) but we managed to finish everything, even the gigantic portion of cendol. There was nary a scrap of meat left (except for the duck carcass in Itik Tim) and the plates looked licked clean. I’ll go again for the food alone. You’ll love this place if you don’t mind a bit of ambience (noise) and you’re looking for traditional Nyonya fare.

Barks Bunnies Café

Barks Bunnies Cafe

The name of the café is an obvious play on a certain WB cartoon. We didn’t actually know this was a “pet café” until we stepped through the doors. I was at the Subang Jaya area with my better half and we just wanted to have a very quick lunch and headed to the nearest place that has parking. That was how we ended up at this rabbit café.

Bunny Cafe

I didn’t take note of the name and it surprised me quite a bit when I saw an enclosure for rabbits to the side. “Dear, it’s one of those rabbit cafes!” I exclaimed. Oh well, doesn’t matter as long as the food was good. This place is pet friendly and some people bring their dogs inside. There was a resident canine on the premises too.

Chicken Pesto Sandwich

Chicken Pesto Sandwich (RM 13.50)
My dear ordered this coz she saw a sign outside advertising this special. It was plated quite decently, with fries on the bottom and the toasted sandwich sitting on top of the heavily seasoned potatoes. I had a bite and it looked better than it tasted. It wasn’t bad per se, it just wasn’t good either. My better half didn’t finish it.

Ellies Cold Pressed Orange Juice

Ellie’s Cold Pressed Orange Juice (RM 7)
This was pretty good though, can’t go wrong with a drink in a bottle.

Ameri-Cola

Ameri-Cola (RM 12)
What sorcery is this??? Described as “double shot of espresso over Coca Cola on ice”, it would shock most coffee purists. I thought it sounded like a potentially nice combination though and went for it. It wasn’t, but I’m glad I tried it. Haha.

Macaroni Cheese

Macaroni & Cheese (RM 14.50)
I had imagined this to be a creamy 3-cheese mac. I had been craving for a nice mac & cheese for ages and this wasn’t it. The dish that came out was excessively watery, with not much cheese to speak of. I didn’t finish it either.

Kafe Barks Bunnies

Barks Bunnies Café is one of those places you go for the pets, not the food. You can actually touch the rabbits and bring your own cats and dogs, which might be a plus point for animal lovers. The service from the college-aged looking girl was quite good, she asked us if the food was alright since she noticed we didn’t even eat half and I told her there’s a lot of room for improvement and she said the chef is new and she’ll relay my comments to him. We won’t be back to see but let’s hope that’s true.

Limited Edition Shell V-Power LEGO Collection 2015

Shell LEGO 2015

LEGOs! I just love them. I started out with the classic LEGO bricks when I was growing up and I’ve always enjoyed building stuff with LEGO bricks. I never lost my passion for miniature toys, when the Star Wars prequels came out in 2005, I bought the Darth Vader sets. It sat on my office desk as a proud testament to my love for LEGOs.

Building LEGOs

My better half and the kids adore LEGOs as well.

Kids

I always make it a point to buy the kids LEGOs during their birthdays (and even when it’s not) so we can all play together as a family since it’s something we all enjoy. It’s one of the few things the kids like to do besides playing with iPads and such so it’s always a good thing when we can spend quality time together.

Build LEGOs

I feel that it’s better than pacifying kids with electronic devices. Playing with LEGOs is a fun and positive family experience and I can’t stress enough on how much it has helped us keep the kids occupied.

Ferrari LEGO

Thus, it is with great delight when I found out that Shell is doing another LEGO collectible run with Ferrari as their partner. I hungrily lusted for them and managed to get the entire set of 7, which we built together as a family during the weekend.

LEGO Ferrari

The Shell V-Power LEGO Collection comes out every Sunday from 1st November 2015 to 13th December 2015 and features:

LEGO Ferrari F12berlinetta

Ferrari F12berlinetta
This is Ferrari’s fastest ever road car, which debuted in 2012. It’s powered by a naturally aspirated V12 engine with 730 BHP output. This LEGO model is built with 44 bricks.

LEGO Ferrari F138

Ferrari F138
The F138 is the 59th Formula One car built by Scuderia Ferrari for the 2013 FIA Formula One World Championship. It’s the last year they used the V8 engine before switching to the V6 and this car was driven to two Grand Prix victories by Fernando Alonso. The name comes from the production year and the 8th and final year they used the V8 engine in F1. This model is built with 42 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Ferrari 250 GTO

Ferrari 250 GTO
This is one of Ferrari’s most legendary GT (Grand Touring) cars. There are only 39 ever produced and it debuted in 1962. The 250 GTO is one of the rarest and most sought after vintage Ferrari models in the world. This Ferrari 250 GTO is built with 42 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Ferrari 512 S

Ferrari 512 S
This 5 litre V12 GT racer was produced in 1970 and debuted that year at the 24 Hours of Daytona before going on to the 24 Hours of Le Mans, scoring 4 overall wins and 2 category wins. There are only 25 Ferrari 512 S ever produced. This LEGO model has 49 bricks.

LEGO Finish Line and Podium

Finish Line and Podium
This playset includes a Start/Finish line, winner’s podium, Scuderia Ferrari Engineer LEGO minifigure, pit board and chequered flag. I love this minifigure – it comes in a Ferrari uniform and is a precious addition to our collection. The set has 63 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Shell Station

Shell Station
This playset is modelled after the Shell station at Scuderia Ferrari’s Fiorano track in Maranello and comes with a Shell Fuels Scientist LEGO minifigure. I highly recommend this one if you collect minifigures too. The set has 79 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Shell Tanker

Shell Tanker
Shell Tankers transport fuel to more than 40,000 service stations worldwide each day. You’ve probably seen one on the roads or in a Shell station. This model is a limited release model and it’s the only vehicle in the Shell V-Power LEGO Collection that doesn’t have the pullback motor. This is built with 93 LEGO bricks.

LEGO Race Track

Yup, we built every single model during the weekend. It was a lot of fun, everyone made at least one and we played with them in various scenarios. I even had a cardboard cutout race track with 3D pop-up elements and we tried racing on it. Haha.

Shell VPower LEGOs

This is a great way to build awesome moments with Shell. Get your hands on the Shell V-Power LEGO Collection by popping in to your nearest Shell station. They range from RM 9.90 to RM 13.90 and you can get it with a minimum RM 40 purchase of Shell V-Power or Shell FuelSave or a 4 litre purchase of Shell Helix motor oil.

Shell V-Power LEGOs

What better way to spend the school holidays than building a LEGO race track and Ferrari model cars with your kids?

LEGO Race

You can also share them on social media with #ReadySetBuild – our photos of the building moments and finished LEGO models are there too!

Shell LEGOs

My dear and I have even started up a blog and Instagram account dedicated to LEGO minifigures called TumblingMinis.com – you can read about our Track Days project featuring the limited edition Shell V-Power LEGO 2015 collection by clicking the link! :)

Bintangor: Famous Bintangor rojak, Bintangor orange juice and river travels!

Boat

My better half has never been to Bintangor before. It’s a small and sleepy town which is one of the major transit points to further destinations accessible only by river. We thought about dropping by the last time she was here but went directly to Sarikei instead.

Sibu Swan

Her parents were in town and I thought they’ll enjoy the small town vibe so I drove all of them down from our hotel in Sibu (after snapping a few quick photos at the swan statue).

Express Boat

It takes approximately an hour to reach Bintangor by car. The main feature in town is a passenger jetty with express boats departing to obscure villages and micro-towns like Dalat, Song and other similar places which can only be reached by the large Rejang River which runs along the entire length of Sarawak.

Jetty

The express boats are the only way to go to these places upriver and that’s why you’ll see them packed to the brim (with people jammed in every nook and cranny and even occupying the roof). Boats like these are supposed to carry 103 pax but regularly exceed that and it makes accidents a very real possibility – a capsized boat killed quite a lot of people last year.

Bintangor Me

There are no roads to the towns further down, you can only get there by boat or helicopter.

Bintangor Orange

I like how the major export of Bintangor is featured as a statue in the middle of town. There’s a local orange that features predominantly in the esplanade and the last time I was here, it was in a very sorry state – paint all peeling and unkempt. It’s been maintained better and the colors look more or less like what a real orange would look like. Trust me, it looked a lot worse in the past.

Bintangor Market

We also dropped by the Bintangor Market to check out their produce. They have a lot of interesting local vegetables, knick knacks and other assorted daily essentials.

Wet Market

I made it a point to bring them to the famous Bintangor rojak at Wong Hung Ping. This place is very popular even among Sibu folks, people would make the 1 hour drive to eat rojak during weekends and drive back down again. I ordered a large portion for us to share and my dear’s dad enjoyed it tremendously.

Famous Rojak Bintangor

There are steamed sweet potatoes, cucumbers, pineapples (from the neighboring town of Sarikei), fried crullers and other miscellaneous ingredients tossed in a sweet homemade sauce and sprinkled with toasted peanuts. I think what makes it so good is that everything is sourced locally and very fresh. The sweet potatoes are even cooked to order!

Bintangor Rojak

I also highly recommended the local Bintangor orange juice (RM 3) which is the squeezed product of the fruits grown just on the outskirts of town. You can’t get it fresher than this!

Bintangor Orange Juice

Her dad enjoyed the rojak so much that he bought a bottle of their homemade rojak sauce to bring back to KL!

Famous Bintangor Rojak

It’s a really fun day trip to do with my dear and the family. I haven’t been here in a few years and it seems like time hasn’t marred this small town like it has other places. Bintangor is still a serene little place you can escape to if you want a change of pace, to experience a quieter way of life.

Pink shirt guy belts out an off tune (but heartfelt) song

I was at the karaoke last night and asked one of the staff to film this (admittedly horrible) rendition of the ABBA classic “The Winner Takes It All”. Mamma Mia was the first musical I went to with my better half and this song was in it. I think the staff member was quite confused as to what I actually wanted coz I had to use her phone to open the lyrics page while I sang outside.

I told her it was for my girlfriend and she happily agreed to do it. :)

Here it is for your weekend entertainment:

I don’t want to talk
About the things we’ve gone through
Though it’s hurting me
Now it’s history
I’ve played all my cards
And that’s what you’ve done too
Nothing more to say
No more Ace to play

The winner takes it all
The loser standing small
Beside the victory
That’s my destiny

I was in your arms
Thinking I belonged there
I figured it made sense
Building me a fence
Building me a home
Thinking I’ll be strong there
But I was a fool
Playing by the rules

The gods may throw a dice
Their minds as cold as ice
And someone way down here
Loses someone dear
The winner takes it all
The loser has to fall
It’s simple and it’s plain
Why should I complain?

But tell me does she kiss
Like I used to kiss you?
Does it feel the same
When she calls your name?
Somewhere deep inside
You must know I miss you
But what can I say
Rules must be obeyed

The judges will decide
The likes of me abide
Spectators of the show
Always staying low
The game is on again
A lover or a friend
A big thing or a small
The winner takes it all

I don’t want to talk
If it makes you feel sad
And I understand
You’ve come to shake my hand
I apologize
If it makes you feel bad
Seeing me so tense
No self-confidence

The winner takes it all
The winner takes it all

A local durian stall on the road to Bintangor

Durian Sarawak

Sarawak (or at least Borneo) is said to be the home of the largest variety of durians in the world. My better half came to visit with the kids and her parents and I drove them to the rural town of Bintangor.

Bintagor Durian

We had just seen durians in the local Sibu market the morning before and I expected a few homegrown stalls to be selling the wonderful fruit.

Borneo Durian Stall

I wasn’t disappointed – one wooden structure on the road leading to Bintangor had a few cars pulled up and browsing the durians on offer. Her dad (who is also a passionate durian lover like me) wanted to see what the local durians were like so we also joined the fray.

Durians

This man was literally selling durians out from his van. He’s local and says the durian trees were grown by his father. He looks to be in his early 40’s so that says a lot about the age of the durian trees – it’s a lot more mature than most of the cultivars you get in Peninsula Malaysia.

Borneo Durian

The price was RM 100 for 10 durians or RM 15/durian, which is slightly more expensive than the prices we get in KL.

Durian Stem

Keep in mind that these are local Borneo durian species instead of special cultivars and no one really knows what the species is but it tastes quite good. The walls of the fruit was thick and the stem is relatively long and slim like a D158/Ganyao durian. It had the characteristic frayed look of a durian that dropped naturally too.

Durian Flesh

The flesh is creamy and sweet with almost no bitter notes. Significantly, the odor wasn’t very strong too, but that didn’t affect the taste much. The small fruits bore about 7-8 seeds which we all shared. My dear loved the durian coz it didn’t have much fiber, unlike some cultivars like D2 durian.

Durian Us

My better half took this photo of us – she didn’t want her parents to appear on the blog so she asked me to put in her head instead. Haha. I forgot to take a photo with her inside coz my hands were dirty.

Sarawak Durian

It turns out that this was the *only* durian stall around so it’s a good thing we managed to try some during the bridge season. I’ll be back!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...