Thursday, November 30, 2006

Ais Krim Goreng

I first heard of "fried ice-cream" a couple of moons ago.You know how it is, someone mentions it..and immediately the brain goes into over-drive with all the possible questions..such as..

1) how do you fry the ice-cream?

2) Won't it melt?

3) Who thought of it?

4) Does it taste good?

5) Can it be home-made or must it be done in a special way only possible in high-tech kitchens??

For lunch ( which was a wet affair seeing as the cyclical rain decided to pour just as we were parked making the manouvre out of car dodgy) We had fried ice-cream.Sharing one single umbrella with 3 other human bodies of various shapes and sizes isn't easy. We made a couple of trips in pairs and just as we sat down for lunch, the sun came out and the rain ( magically ) stopped. Apparently this isn't at all surprising in Kuala Trengganu. How unlike our capital city, where rain once it starts refuses to ease off for hours on end.

I had fried ice-cream for dessert during lunch. It was lovely...brought back childhood memories of chomping down ice-cream before it melts. Memories are triggered by taste as much as the sense of smell.

Bora Ombak restaurant

For good food, some poeple would travel quite a bit. For a free meal ...some people would go to the ends of the earth..almost. I've only just realised, the area surrounding Ampang Point is scattered with restaurants.Ampang is an area alien to me. ( Apart from visiting the RSPCA, a friend, a friend's wedding and the second hand bookstore at Ampang point...I rarely venture this far from home). We had dinner at Bora Ombak virture of its name, one would assume its an Indonesian restaurant. Surprisingly, the menu had steaks and pasta dishes. I opted for the safety of Indonesian food. ( Would you order Pasta in a chinese restaurant??)

It had a Balinese theme scenery. We arrived around 7pm and opted to sit outside. It proved a tad humid and when the thunder started rumbling ...we moved indoors. The ambience is one of serenity and calm. Our initial waiter was slow.....but the second waiter proved attentive and courteous. The service ....I thought was a little slow considering we were ( at one point in the evening ) the only customers at this restaurant. Looking around, there were ample seats which made me wonder how well they would have cope if they had the entire place filled with customers.

The background music was a peaceful petiticious piece....which proved soothing. Not many customers so we had loads of privacy. And another plus point was the fact the waiters kept a safe distance from our table allowing us time to savour the food and gossip.

Bora Ombak Cafe & Restaurant
Bora Ombak Cafe & Restaurant
G1, Kompleks Sukan Ampang, Persiaran Memanda 1, Taman Dato' Ahmad Razali, Ampang, 6800068000 Selangor, Malaysia
Tel: 03-4251 6303
Fax: 03-4251 6302

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Keropok Lekor

This is what Trengganu is famous for. And this is what we bought on our last day there. Its made out of fish paste grounded and mixed with sago. The inferior ones have less fish and taste more of flour. Its long and chewy and dipped in the right chilli dip, its a perfect snack. It also comes in thin slices which are called "keping".


The word batik describes prints made from the resist-dying method. High quality hand-made Batik is expensive, but there is still considerable market for it.Most batik is done by machines. Trengganu and Kelantan are famous for their Batik where the artistic people go to great pains to produce some of the loveliest liveliest prints you've ever set your eyes on. As you go further down South, the prices of Batik gets higher and the choices more limited. Government servants are encouraged to wear Batik prints on the 1st and the 15th of every month. We nearly almost always forget.
Last weekend, we travelled 6 hours to Kuala Trengganu to visit a dear friend. Not only did I not contribute to the driving, I slept shamelessly throughout the journey. Only waking up at the designated stop for food. There were the usual taunts from the others when we stopped. I woke up in the outskirts of KT with a creaky neck and a numb left third toe.
It was scorching hot the following morning. Unlike KL with its humidity, the minute them beads of sweat start forming, they've wooshed up. I drank three wholesome glasses of water and not a drop of pee came out of that.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Everyday scrunchies!

What are the accepted rules of scrunchies?? Just to be clear...a scrunchie traditionally is an elastic band encased in cloth which may be satin, cotton, patterned or otherwise. Up-market scrunchies are available from Evita Peroni. Be warned...when jazzed up, the prices escalate exponentially. Here's my collection. A meagre one. I don't have all the colours possible...and on bad days ( where depression rules ) I have been seen wearing a pink floral emsemble with a ( shudder) GREEN scrunchie.

Marmite sandwich

Did you know that marmite is made of...

Yeast Extract
Vegetable Extract
Vitamin: Niacin
Vitamins: B1, B2, Folic Acid, B12 .

Fancy that! I 've reaquainted myself with the joys of marmite. It's yummy. I dun have a toaster so I've made do with plain ole marmite sandwich every morning. This natural by-product of brewer's yeast taste salty and it gooey when you dig it out of the yellow-lid jar. My secret to getting just the right amount on your bread slice is simple...use a teaspoon...dip it in...and then let it trickle down....until just 3/4 of the spoon is covered in marmite. Then you spread it ...thinly. Here's the dodgy part....too much marmite will leave you thirsty and crabby. Too little and you wonder what the fuss is all about. Just the right amount ...teamed with hot coffee is my idea of a perfect breakfast.
( use a separate utensil for butter/marg and marmite...nothing is more rude than leaving crumbs in the marmite jar. )

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

We live for coffee breaks

I did a very stoopid thing two days ago. After a carbohydrate laden lunch, I drove home in an extremely sluggish state. Have you ever driven in such a state? Its a horrible feeling. Your eye-lids feel like lead. To counter-act this, I talked to self in the car, looking like a mad woman. ( WHo cares!!! In the name of road safety..I think this is justified)

Anyway, I parked the car at the carpark and walked down a few flight of stairs. I thought the journey shorter than usual. Slept like a baby. Woke up at 5pm with a dry mouth ( ahem) and a nagging right-sided headache which was a great excuse to NOT do any work.

The next morning, I beeped the front door of the condo and proceeded to car park. The thing is I couldn't find my car. At the very spot where it should have been....there was this huge empty spot. I had the usual tachycardia and cold sweat and an overwhelming sense of doom. Mentally I ticked off the list of things in car which was precious. I calmed down when i realised..apart from the car itself..I had nothing else of value in it.

For 10 seconds I saw my world spinning around me haphazardly. Let me just say ten seconds is a mighty long time. The thing is, I'd parked my car at an identical carspot ONE FLOOR below. I walked down two flights of stairs to find it sitting where I'd left it yesterday afternoon.

Now isn't that just about the silliest thing to have done?? And the picture above is our coffee mugs...lined up. Usually somebody does the job of pouring them instant two-in-on coffes in before the hot water. Our coffee break ritual. Maybe I should have taken coffee that day. Sure would have saved me a lot of bother.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Vanity thy name is woman

I've finally found some missing ( misplaced) files stashed deep in the hard drive...the same hard drive which died on me about a month back. It's nice to find things which you've misplaced. I'm still enjoying the euphoric mood.

The picture is so obviously not of me. Taken at my previous home ( yes some of us still move houses ). For those of you ignomarous folks out there, this here is TIGGER. the stuffed dog featured in the background is nameless. the white cushion has sentimental value...aged 10 years it was a birthday gift and has helped cushion the ole bum for years.

I've been obsessing over what to wear on Toosday. nothing special happening then, just a weeny viva session whereby you've vulnerable to being humilliated by being exposed as an ignorant person. ( Exams bring out the vulnerability...and crabbiness ) I've decided that black should be the theme. It is subtle if not a trifle boring.

Here's the theme on missing things, I've misplaced the bottom part of my suit. I'm taking this as a sign from higher authorities to wear something else. ( still staying on the black theme naturally ) This afternoon...I have a perfect excuse for going shopping. ...for some sheer black stockings. Yes even in the tropics ...with sweltering temps....bare legs are perhaps not the best thing to expose.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A wedding dinner

We travelled a far bit on Sunday for a wedding dinner. Anticipating a couple of wrong turns, we left a full hour and a half before the due time. This proved to be useful when a wrong turn ( not my fault ) took us all the way to One Utama, when in actual fact we were heading more towards Subang Jaya. It is right that weddings be held on Sundays, that way, friends and relatives from far don't have to wade through endless traffic in an attempt to get to the dinner area.

I stuffed myself into last year's cheong sam, which proved snugger than the last time I wore it. I looked decidedly like a sausage with a thick waist and tapering legs ending in my dainty feet. ( I'm a size 4 folks ).Manouvering the arms to drive, I imagined life in the 1900 with us poor women being stuffed into corsets. No wonder they fainted at every little reason.

As if to taunt my already low self esteem, the crowd turned out to be the leanest bunch of women I've seen in some months. the fat ones ( myself included ) were divided into two major groups, the first was the ones who were comfortable in their hefty portions, and the smaller group consisted of us poor sods, trying hard to suck in the tummy and make conversation whilst having evil thoughts of skinny folks who have higher BMR than us.
The picture is of my beaded hand one accessory for the evening.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Reading three the one time

When bored, I recommend a quick trip to the nearest mall, whereby upon reaching destination you take a deep breath in and allow yourself the joy of both window shopping as well as actually spending an obscene amount of money. ( Preferably other people's ) Of course what is also high on the list of "how to enjoy self" is a visit to the bookstore. Second-hand bookstores are preferred, failing which TIME, KINOKUNIYA or MPH would substitute just as well and if absolutely desperate the local newsagent would be able to provide some trashy magazines to entertain self.

Two months back, I found a wonderful way to entertain self by reading two books within the same space of time. Last week, I've stretched myself to three books and they are....

1. A place called here. By Cecelia Ahern
2. The Yummy Mummies
3. Fanny and the monsters. By Penelope Lively.

It's all a little muddled and I especially enjoy reintroducing self to the respective characters in each book. Better than sudoku.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Do you have green fingers?

Cameron Highlands is located 150km north of Kuala Lumpur. It is named after a British surveyor,William Cameron who discovered this place during a mapping expedition in 1885. It is Malaysia's largest tea-producing area.

This picture is an old picture. I don't mean ancient-old but probably about 3 years old. Taken during my first-ever trip to Cameron Highlands. For Malaysians, the cooler climate where the temperature never rises above 25 degrees is too much to resist. And so, despite the winding journey up ....Cameron Highlands will remain a a popular holiday spot.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Amanda Brookfield

The Simple Rules of Love. A beautifully written and heart-warming book.Imagine the rush of joy when you start reading a book, only to find the words describing things and allowing you to imagine and get absorb with the characters. Brookfield has this uncanny ability to keep you interested. I've only just finished this book and already I'm sorry I don't have a replacement. Such emptiness. A short trip to the bookstore tomorrow after work...definitely.

Thursday already?

Char Kuey Teow! The best ones are sold by hawkers at the road-side-stalls. They are a dying breed. If you're one of those namby-pamby ones with delicate stomachs but still insist on a good char kuey teow, I can recommended two places. the first ( nearer home ) is this Indonesian restaurant at Hartamas Shopping center. The second is at this nyonya restaurant ( its all the RAGE now ...but less fashionable 20 years ago ) Ah tuan Ee either at Berjaya Times Square or at the Curve.

This Char Kuey Teow was yummy. And I ate it at the side of the road with no immediate tummy-complications. So Live dangerously and you'ld be amazed by the good food out there. Its yours for the taking.

Oyster omelet

This is known as oh chien. ( It's hokkien for fried oyster ...I'm sure of it ) I'm not sure how or where it originated from but its something which tastes heavenly and depending on where you eat it...may cost an arm. ( your left one only ) It has to be teamed with the correct chilli sauce. Something which is garlicky. I'm going to stop here and look for decent food for dinner.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

How to be a writer...

I suppose, you'ld have to write quite a bit before you get anything worth shouting about. Its a little bit like riding a bicycle, you have to persevere until by sheer determination you actually hang on. ( minus the trainer wheelies I mean ) When I learnt how to cycle, I wore my shoes throughout the process. But in this case of writing...I'll take my chances and do it bare-footed and dressed down.

And so here I am..writing about food. Only because I obscess over it quite a bit and it's always pleasant to brag about what you've eaten. This is crabs in coconut milk.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Is this worth the money?

Jeffrey Archer was born in England in 1940 and he grew up in Somerset. He became the 4th youngest member of the house of commons at the age of 29. His first novel "not a penny more, not a penny less" was inspired by his own misfortunes at that time. Interestingly, he studied PE and represented Britain as a sprinter before becoming famous as a writer.

He is however more famous for having spent time in jail. This is his second novel since being released. False Impression was a fast and furious read. I wonder whether this new book is worth 90 ringgit......