Purple has now turned blue... purple is joy, yet blue is hope!


Sunday, August 26, 2012

DIY - Homemade Salted Duck Egg

Bought these duck eggs from Balik Pulau's fresh market some time ago. It was relatively cheap there, about RM0.60/each, as compared to here for about RM1.00/each.

I remembered browsing through the newspaper before, for some recipe involved. Searched through the internet (again) for a recipe to follow, as I could have misplaced those newspaper cuttings. Roughly found some quick one to follow, rather stumble la!

Apparently they are many method in making, be it dry or wet type. I choose the wet and soak type.

Quick steps, which I could still remember:

1) Wash and brush the eggs clean, keep them to dry
2) Boil about 1 litre of water. (there are many times and spices you could use to prepare the salted liquid). I choose to use English breakfast tea with red chili for its flavoring. Boil them with rock salt (I used 2 small packet of rock salt, it was slightly too salty. Perhaps 1 packet of 100gm salt is good enough).
3) After boiling for 5min, cool them down.
4) Prepare a glass container to place the egg.
5) Once the salted liquid has completely cool down, pour them into the glass container with eggs.
6) Keep them in cool dry place for about 3 weeks.

Here's my result. It was perfectly made. Except for the slightly over salty to my taste, and its look! ;)
Texture after cooked was alright. The egg skin was rather brownish, all thanks to the tea color. I would change other flavoring next time.

Brownish Eggs

After Boiled

Going with my fried rice

Ta-da, ready for my meal
Some Recipe I went through (in Chinese):-

Happy trying :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Dive trip to Perhentian Island, Jul 20 - 23 2012

Another dive trip for the year. I have been dragging in completing my Advanced Openwater Diver license for the past several years, this time round I finally found a buddy to complete the course with.

I didn't prepare well for the tests at all, in such I was little disturbed during the exams. To be exact, I didn't study my course material until the night I camped at my friend's house. We were all camped at her place, as we took an early flight in to Kota Bahru the very next morning, 630am.

We settled ourselves at Arwana Resort, Perhentian Besar. We didn't have much expectation of this resort, though they have better facilities. In fact I was told the facilities were much better 3 years ago. Oh well, Malaysian service and maintenance always stayed at the same level of expectation. Meals were not included of the stay, except for breakfast. We need to grab our food from nearby stalls, be it lunch and dinner.
View from Arwana Lobby
From our room

Oh.. back to on my dive test. Some of my test went well, except for buoyancy which I had earlier confessed to my instructor which I may not do it well, indeed that happened. I was disturbed with a deep dive planned earlier, as I could not gt down into the water, God knows why...

Fortunate enough, my night dive was good and I did my navigation well. Though it was total darkness during night dive, but the use I torch was kinda interesting. Only down side was the inability to sense your surrounding.

Overall, the trip was good, mainly because we choose to fly. That safe lots of energy and made us less tired.

I didn't have many picture taken during this trip. Unlike my other dive mates in which they all have UW camera with them to play with. I don't as I am yet to master my UW handling skills.

Some pictures were taken while waiting for our meals, particularly dinner.

1st nite BBQ dinner
Candle lighted dinner
Satay was nice
Overall dinner
I could not remember what we had for dinner the 2nd night. 

But I can definitely remember we had BBQ eat-all-we-can dinner for RM29ish/each on the last night. We had our dinner at Flora Bay's restaurant, and was told the place been newly renovated. It was clean.
On the way walking to dinner place
Dinner buffet - all grilled

That marked the end of my dive trip. The visibility throughout the 3 days dive were not good, barely 5M. However, the experience was good. We went Sugar Wreck for wreck dive, and Tokong Laut for deep dive. Terumbu Tiga (T3) was pretty interesting, where I was asked to go through many 'holes', its was in fact the many gabs in between the stones area. We basically hang on to the walls, and my buddy almost lost his GoPro camera when I was struggling for a second while air trapped into my pocket BCD. In fact, I wasn't not comfortable with the rented BCD I had from the dive shop in KL, but what to do as I have to hang on to it throughout the trip. Sad. 

Getting ready for my next deep dive trip... Hmmm... can't wait and count down to it. It will be a lovely heavenly and romantic place to dive. :)

Singapore, Jul 15 - 18 2012

Month of July wasn't easy, in can be exciting either way. I have been rushing a few spots, piled at work, study cum training, and lastly a stressful dive trip.

Nevertheless, I made it through! Am glad time had passed. This trip to Singapore was rather lonely, oh no.. I should say I didn't engage anyone except a couple. Hence, my day was rather filled with training and work.

Capturing here, will be all foods I managed to rip over this trip. I was rather adventurous this time , though I have been dining alone most of the time, except the first day.

An upgraded economy class seat on MH

Food hunt started right after touched down. Met up with a couple which we earlier intended to grab dim sum for tea. We tried East Ocean restaurant at Shaw but later noticed they had shifted to Ngee Ann plaza. Alright, by the time we reached there, it was then closed between 3-6pm something like that. We then headed to PAUL instead. A French tea place, I was rather excited since I don't really have the chance to dine French in KL. I had coffee with Macaroon set, plus fruit pies to share, as well as a savoury to share. It was good!

Coffee & macaroon set
Fruits Pie
Takashimaya was our next stop, and ta-da... what's this?
Biker's helmet in pink
Our plan wasn't fix. As we were planning to dine at a Japanese restaurant , we ended up stumbled into a ramen shop at Raffles City Mall - Menya Mushashi (food blog here), it seems famous for its black ramen, but none of us went for that. Soup base was alright, noodle was nice, somewhat better than KL's ramen. With that we ended the met up, and I had to get ready for my 3 days headache with study.

Menya Mushashi @ Raffles City Mall

Menya Mushashi Ramen
Upon checking in to Grand Hyatt Singapore, I was disappointed this time round, as I was given the back building, without the usual split rooms I used to have on the front building. I wasn't comfortable on the 1st nite though. Slowly adjust to the room on day 2 onwards.
The room

My lunch during training was rather simple, every meals in the nearby food court. My course mates were very friendly, mostly Singaporean and one Arabian.

My breakfast was rather plain most of the time, as I don't really like dining alone for buffet. So, I rather hit to nearest McD for breakie, or grab some buns on the way to the training center. There was once I sat myself in a cafe nearby my training place. Had a bagel and coffee. This coffee shop named Black, decorated with many old-timer sofas, especially those seen in the 1970s or 80s - interesting.
Bagel with coffee
1st dinner - Tony Roma's which supposed to dine with a traveling colleague, I ended up alone. Baby pork ribs was tasty, the portion went just nice for me. Yummmy!

Dinner @ Tony Romas

Baby Pork "ribs" - before & after
2nd dinner - Ippudo ramen @ Mandrin Gallery. This was superb too! Soup and noodle was so tasty, topped with an egg too. No wonder it's one of the famous ramen in town.

Ippudo @ Mandrin Gallery
Ippudo's classy interior
The Ippudo Ramen

3rd dinner - alright, heading home and grabbed some salad at a Sport's baron Changi Airport.

Simple salad
There goes my nice meals. Oh no! I'm hungry now! Till the next time... Singapore, I have yet visit Marina Sand Bay and Universal Studio!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Chiangmai Trip, Jul 7 - 9 2012

Many teased me why would I bought a 3D2N return ticket to this 1st ever exploring place, wouldn't it be too rush for a trip? Oh yes indeed, especially when AirAsia rescheduled its boarding time 2 hours later from original time, we boarded the plane only at 230pm that afternoon, basically 1/2 day had gone.

Nevertheless, a trip without expectation usually turns out great. I didn't do any homework, fully relied on my partner. What I had in mind was just food, night market and massage.

I did browse for information through a printout during my boarding wait. Found that Chiangmai or northern Thailand has been famous for their coffee bean, and there are many cafe along their streets. Hooray! Since I have been exploring with coffee making lately, I got excited with that.

First surprise - Chatime onboard on AirAsia!
RM8 Chatime
We got out 3D2N accommodation deal from Groupon for RM299 at Empress Hotel. Didn't had much expectation too, though it is a 4 star hotel. Experience wise, I wouldn't rate them well with their service attitude. Not responsive at the front desk, plus an annoying incident we had with their poor ownership of their concierge service, where the night shift attendant including the manager didn't want to coordinate a misunderstanding we had with the motorcycle rental person, a call to their arranged rental service company need to cost us 71baht/min! Of course we didn't pay. Lessons learned here is, pay more attention in communication with the locals, as they are not well verse in English, unlike the city locals in Bangkok. Our experience was basically collecting out deposit and return of the rental bike, supposingly 9pm but they understood it as 9am the next day, while we have a 9am flight to catch that evening, 2000Baht of deposit was a huge amount, ok!

Empress Hotel lobby
Overall, the hotel was alright. It's famous among the Westerners, and it's quite occupied. And, free buffet breakfast was good. Served with peeled fruits on the table.
Buffet breakfast
Pancake + Bacon combination

With some quick help from our meet and greet driver, we hit to the nearest night market after checking in, that itself needs 15min walk, not too bd. a tuk-tuk ride will cost 60Baht.

Anusarn Night market, seems to be a local night market, less foreigner. Understand the place is famous for cabaret show, saw some of them around the corner when we about to hit out from the place.

Souvenirs are generally unique compare to Bangkok, and price wise is cheaper too. Managed to grab myself some here, lucky enough as this place is much cheaper compared to other weekend commercial night markets.

Anusarn Night Market
Local food - Dinner
We had our dinner here, at the local stalls. Served nice pork fried rice (khao pad), which I am glad I ordered that. My partner order tom yum and it was terribly spicy! Northern spicy level is greater than the Southerns, mind you if you have less spicy tolerance.

Intended to hit to another Saturday Night Market at Walai Street. Somewhat the tuk-tuk driver heard wrongly, instead brought us back to another commercial place nearby Anusarn below Le Meridien Hotel. We took another tuk-tuk to Walai.
Saturday Nite Market @ Walai St.
Saturday Nite Market
Coconut Ice cream potong
Worship the cow
After a simple supper at nearby stall, we ended the half day adventure in Chiang Mai town center. Getting ready for a full day adventure the next day!

Earlier at Anusarn market, we bumped into a Penang couple. They'd been offering many tips around, including renting a motorbike for tour, which is super worthwhile, they rented for 150Baht (RM15)/day. Instead, we paid slight premium of 250Baht/day. We need to fill up the tank. 100Baht of petrol is just too much for a day tour around the town.

Rented bike
Local petrol station
While my partner busy getting use to the bike, touring round and round the city, I was busy hunting for nice cafe to stop by. Other reasons for me to stop by cafe, was for free WiFi! My hand been itchy for the past 1/2 day without internet.

Spotted this nice decent coffee house opposite Petronas petrol station. Siam in Frame, located below a hotel. I was earlier attracted by its English style setup. The internal design was filled with lots of Siamese miniature in frame. I ordered Doi Chaang coffee, did my search on the spot and found its pure local Northern Thailand coffee, mainly found in Chiang Rai. Price wise, it is consider much attractive than Malaysia cafe's price. First of all, we don't have many of such cafe around, secondly, a glass of iced coffee like this will easily cost >RM10.

Siamese Miniature in Frame

Doi Chaang Iced coffee

Iced Latte

Price list
Before this coffee break, we try to hunt for a couple of attraction from the map, but failed. The Warorot market, we went round and round the city but couldn't find any proper dry market place to shop. Instead, we passed by wet market, those stingy places as well as this flower and mainly roses stalls.

Roses stalls

China town
We then hunt for another tourist spot, the Handicraft market. But failed. This time was towards the airport road. We gave up, then headed to a nearby shopping mall instead. Had our lunch, that's where I managed to taste the local egg noodle curry, khao soy. Like it to the max, especially with some crispy crisp on the noodle. We tasted the local duck egg noodle soup too, not bad. A combination of lunch with beer served in the food court, nice.
Khao soy - Local curry noodle
Egg noodle soup
After lunch, we hit to grocery shopping! Yay.. I like local grocery shopping, that's where we could get local stuffs for souvenir, at a cheaper cost of course. Tops Supermarket was located in Central Khad Suen Khew mall.
Cooking paste, local taste
In fact we bought a lot of groceries from Tops, hence we just can't continue other shopping. We were forced to drop our stuffs back in the hotel and we then went for massage! 1 hour Thai body massage + 1 hour foot massage.

After the cheap and nice massage, we head for afternoon coffee once again. Saw this BON coffee shop few blocks from our hotel, seems good. Hence, we made ourself filled with caffeine again. To my surprise, this BON coffee and its beans are all local Thailand made. They even have their cafe academy behind the cafe. Nice setup. Check out BON Cafe Thailand website, they have tonned of good stuffs in there, even with downloadable magazines. If you wish to take up Barista course, suggest to go Thailand, they have many courses to choose. Even able to help you, if you wish to own a coffee shop.

BONcafe shop
Sandwich set + coffee
Pancake set + latte
Coffee bean pack, less than 190Baht
On our way to the next destination. Some public transports photo were captured by me.

On the bike
Seong Teow
There goes our final mission of the day. Ops, it wasn't final yet but we were to hit to the longest Sunday market, they called it Sunday Walking Street. This particular night market is extremely long, the longest of all. All within the walk, you may see a few temples (Wat). I only captured 2 below.

Market in the temple
Golden Wat
Along the market, we could not find many  proper eating place. Hence, without much choice we need to munch something before our dinner time. Found this Siam fried bihun with lard. It was good. 20Baht for one small bowl, sounds kinda pricy.

Siam Fried Bihun
Upon the last market lane corner, we found a decent place to eat. Mainly cater for tourist, the Westerner. Ambience was good, but the food wasn't that great. The curry noodle and green curry wasn't spicy at all. Only good was the beer and mango sticky rice. Oh well, the price was good, it merely cost us 400Baht for all the food we had.

The last stop we had for the night, was in fact another Thai body massage near our hotel. Hihi.. massage after massage in the day? That must be crazy. Nevertheless, it was a great trip with all good walk, good sleep, good food and good massage.

Chiang Mai is rather a place with slow pace, as compared to Bangkok. It is rather a quiet and low density place, no wonder retiree likes here. Good place to visit, if you are a nature's lover. Some Yogi would fly here on purpose, just to attend Yoga retreat course.