8 interesting things I bought for Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year is coming up in a few days! I’ve got all the things I need. I highlight some of the more interesting/quirky/unusual items I’ve purchased each year and here’s the list for 2016:

1. Famous Amos CNY Hamper

Famous Amos CNY Hamper

I bought this for my dear. I always get her a hamper during Chinese New Year and I heard her mentioning something about Famous Amos hampers. I know she likes the Famous Amos cookies so while at Curve one day, I went to look and decided to get her something that she enjoys eating. :)

2. Maxim Mini Egg Rolls

Maxim Mini Egg Rolls

I had gotten the same thing last year but it was the regular sized ones. They didn’t have the miniature size last year. This year, they imported in the smaller sized egg rolls and I bought it for my better half. Maxim is a well-known baked goods brand in Hong Kong (ironically there’s also a confectioners named Maxim in France, where I think they got their name from) and consistently has good egg rolls, although slightly more expensive since it’s imported for RM 68.

3. Sanbanto Bak Kwa

Sanbanto BBQ Pork Jerky

Sanbanto consistently comes up with the best bak kwa (BBQ pork jerky) in town. I always make it a point to grab some every CNY. It makes for a perfect gift as well. This time I bought 5 packs for friends and family while my better half got 2 packs for my dad. They’re a mixture of sliced pork jerky (which is more expensive at RM 69) and minced pork jerky (RM 63).

4. Brand’s CNY Essence of Chicken Hamper

Brands CNY Hamper

This one is for my better half’s parents. Her mom likes to drink Brand’s and I always get them a hamper for Chinese New Year too. Last year I got them a random hamper full of stuff that they might or might not like so this year I thought I’ll go the safer route and give them something I know they’ll consume. Funny story, I actually ordered this online from the Caring Pharmacy ecommerce site. However, I didn’t know it took so long for them to actually send it out and I made a special request to pick it up from Paradigm Mall since I was going to Sibu soon and they kindly accommodated me.

5. RM 20 instant noodles from Taiwan

Foos Kitchen Chili Beef Noodles

This is more like a purchase for Chinese New Year since you’re so busy entertaining guests to cook. I’ve never seen a RM 20.15 bowl of instant noodles before. This is Foo’s Kitchen Chili Flavored Beef Noodle Soup. It contains a 600 gram single serve microwavable bowl that has real beef slices and pork bone broth. I haven’t eaten it yet but it sounds good. There’s also the novelty of eating a RM 20+ dollar bowl of instant noodles! That’s the second most expensive instant noodles I’ve had. The most expensive is still the RM 62.50 bowl of Maggi instant noodles. smirk

6. Scotch Brite Chinese New Year Monkey Pad

God of Prosperity

I didn’t buy this per se. I just happened to be at the hypermarket beside me, stocking up on drinking water, when I saw this guy dressed up as the God of Prosperity walking around the cashier exits. One of the girls came up to me and asked if I wanted a free monkey shaped Scotch Brite pad.

Scotch Brite Monkey

It’s a limited edition sample meant for Chinese New Year so I thought it’ll go well here. It’s the Year of the Monkey, which is why there are so many monkey themed motifs. I gave it to my dear.

7. Starbucks Exclusive Coffee Wafer Rolls

Starbucks Exclusive Coffee Wafer Rolls

This is an interesting one – I didn’t plan for this purchase at all. I had gotten all I needed for CNY and was about to fly back to Sibu when I chanced across this at the airport. It was RM 42 and came with a free drink! I had time to kill before my flight at KLIA2 so I bought one. The barista was kind enough to let me choose *any* drink so I went with the latest Strawberry Red Velvet Mocha Frappuccino under the new Starbucks Espresso Confections.

Starbucks Ang Pow 2016

It came complete with whipped cream. This drink would normally cost around RM 20 for the largest size at the airport so that’s a significant discount from the “free large drink with purchase”. I also got two nice Starbucks ang pows from the barista.

8. Crab Stick Crackers

Crab Stick Crackers

This is the most amazing and wonderful thing I’ve ever seen. Yes, this is the first time I’ve seen it, although I’ve heard rumors of delicious morsels of surimi (crab sticks) that’s been deep fried as a Chinese New Year snack. It has the distinctive red color from the crab sticks, which are actually made from fish paste and crab flavoring. On the plus side, the color is very auspicious too. My dear’s mom got this for our family coz I was so intrigued by it. The crab stick crackers sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it! Happy Chinese New Year, everyone.

8 things I got for Chinese New Year

cny 2014

Chinese New Year is coming up! Here’s 8 things (a very auspicious number) I bought for Chinese New Year:

1. CNY Hamper – Majestic Spring

hamper cny

I got this hamper for my dear’s family. There are heaps of hampers at BIG in Publika and I wanted to get one that doesn’t contain a lot of cookies (coz she already makes them). This hamper is called Majestic Spring.

cny hamper

I like how the hampers nowadays are packaged with this wrap – it makes it look nicer than the old “pyramid” style hampers. Her parents have been absolutely bang on awesome to me and I thought that the least I can do is send a hamper their way as a token of my appreciation.

2. Pineapple Tarts from Maxim, Hong Kong

maxim cny cakes

This is a wonderful CNY metal gift set from the famous Maxim bakery in HK. They have two versions – one contains biscuits and cookies (sold out) and the other is pineapple tarts (there’s only a couple left and I got one). It’s mahjong themed so each pineapple tart is shaped like a mahjong tile and *individually wrapped* with the tile picture! It’s RM 88 per box though.

cny cookies

My dear also baked my family some awesome Chinese New Year cookies! Thanks for that!

3. Jeep Trainers

jeep shoes

No, I didn’t get myself a Jeep! Haha! These are their footware apparel. Jeeps were used during World War II – it played the role that Humvees are playing in theatres of war today. That’s the interesting fact of the day, if you didn’t know it already.

jeep

I got myself a pair of trainers at just RM 149. It’s 50% off from it’s original RM 300 price tag. I reckon it’s a good buy, it’s my footware for CNY!

4. Sanbanto Pork Jerky

sanbanto bakua

I nearly didn’t manage to get the coveted organic Sanbanto pork jerky made from free-range pigs with no added preservatives. It’s RM 48 for the minced ba kua and RM 49.50 for the sliced pork jerky. It sold out real quick!

sanbanto pork jerky

Luckily, I managed to secure myself six (6) packs – 3 of each type. You just can’t get it now, they sell out really fast! The individually wrapped packages you see are already booked and ready for collection. I told my dear I’ll get her these last year and I gave her some this year! :)

5. Arrowhead Chips

arrowroot-= chips

Yup, this is the famous ngaku chips. It’s made from arrowroot. I can never figure out why these are so popular. My dad even got some from Kuching at RM 19. Mine was cheaper at RM 11.

6. Dorothy Perkins

dorothy perkins cny

I *didn’t* suddenly decide that I’m a female trapped inside a male’s body. I’m *not* saving up for gender reassignment surgery. I just wanted to get my dear some CNY clothes! smirk

dorothy perkins

She had bought me my Chinese New Year shirts and I wanted to buy her some too! I wanted to get her shoes as well but she didn’t see anything she liked.

7. Oink Floss

oink floss

Pork floss! It’s a must for CNY! I got three flavors – pork, chilli pork and seaweed pork. It’s RM 16 per can but I got it for RM 45 for 3.

8. Empurau Fish

ikan empurau

This is the (in)famous empurau fish from Sarawak! I saw it on sale while driving my dad and aunties out for a spot of CNY shopping just now. It’s *notorious* for being expensive, the prices are driven up by consumer demand over here since rich tycoons snap them up as if they’re going out of style.

empurau fish

This empurau fish is slightly longer than 1 meter and costs thousands. It’s the most expensive fish here, much more expensive than white cod, due to the unique qualities of the flesh – it doesn’t degrade much after chucking it into the freezer.

I’m neither rich nor a tycoon so unfortunately I didn’t get it. I was sorely tempted to but we don’t even have a steamer big enough to cook it. Happy Chinese New Year everyone! :D

Sanbanto Premium Pork Cafe, SS2

sanbanto

I just came back from dinner at Sanbanto in SS2 with Cheryl, Kah Wheng and Lainey. Cheryl is in town for the holidays, the last time we met was earlier this month in Penang at Agua Mediterranean Restaurant.

sanbanto ss2

Well, Cheryl’s been wanting to go to Sanbanto forever. I bought a voucher from MilkADeal specifically for the SS2 branch (which has very limited seating). The original branch at SS2 is the genesis of the Sanbanto story – a cafe and purveyor of fine pork products. They have their own farm and there’s a deli in front that offers everything you’ll want from a pig.

sanbanto deli

The most interesting thing about Sanbanto is that they have a butchery right on the premises. Discard your notions of the dirty ones you’ve seen – the one is Sanbanto is almost like a clean room – it’s highly sanitized and super chilled to keep the pork fresh.

sanbanto cold room

Sanbanto is one of those places that prides itself on high quality pork – they rear their own pigs and the dishes they cook at their restaurants is made with love. In fact, most of the stuff is freshly made – I can see where my pork meatballs came from just a few minutes ago.

sanbanto Pork Belly Salad

Pork Belly Salad (RM 13)
This lettuce, onion and cherry tomato salad is liberally sprinkled with pieces of crispy pork belly. It’s delicious when dipped in the honey mustard sauce.

sanbanto Cheese Baked Pork Meat Balls

Cheese Baked Pork Meat Balls (RM 10)
Divine is perhaps the best adjective to describe this appetizer. The cheese is so thick that it leaves a sticky trail like what you see when you pull a slice of pizza apart.

cheryl wee

The pork meat balls are really delicious too – it’s firm and goes very well with the cheesy sauce. I saw the waitress cum butcher work on a new batch of pork balls when this dish was ordered – you just gotta love freshly prepared meals.

Sanbanto Double Bacon Cheese Burger

Sanbanto Double Bacon & Cheese Burger (RM 32)
The one we got in the voucher has a double patty instead of a single one – the beauty about this gigantic burger is that the patty is home-made. It’s flavored nicely too – I expected to be disappointed with this (it is after all just a burger) but it surprised me by being one of the best dishes that we had. It’s the juicy and well-marinated patties combined with the bacon that elevated this common menu item into something special. I highly recommend this.

sanbanto Pork BBQ Ribs

Pork BBQ Ribs (RM 38)
Heavenly. Yes, I know I’ve used two celestial adjectives in this post but there’s no other way to describe it. It’s high on the fat content (as all good pork ribs should be) – don’t worry about getting a drab piece of lean meat when you order this in Sanbanto. It’s amazingly tender and practically falls right off the bone and the sauce that goes with it?

sanbanto pork

Mouth-watering nirvana!

sanbanto fresh pork

Sanbanto, SS2 also has the benefit of having excellent service in addition to all the porcine delights you would want. The seating is very limited but I think that’s a plus point – it maintains the ambiance of a small cafe with great service and delicious food! Thanks for the dinner Cheryl and Kah Wheng! :)

Want more awesome deals?

siam 62
RM 25 instead of RM43 for Authentic Royal Thai Cuisine Buffet for 1 Pax at Siam 62, Palm Spring@Damansara. Pork Free [42% OFF]

This looks really good. I actually get the vouchers that I find interesting so you’ll hear from me soon! You just can’t argue with RM 25 for an all-you-can-eat buffet at Siam 62 – it’s one of the few authentic Thai cuisine places out there!

sanbanto us

…now can someone tell me what the Chinese words for Sanbanto mean? We’ve been wondering but forgot to ask the people there.

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