Showing posts from July, 2009

One Night at Ee-Laine Yap's Possum's Nest

Refreshing Greens

Marinated Prawn Entree

Duck Slices on a Rocket Bed, garnished with Lychees

The Mains

The Dessert

A Presence in Paddington, Sydney

Old and New

Just Round The Corner

The First Ever Max Brenner

Street Art

The Iconic Paddington Terrace

Sign for the Optometrist

Window Shopping, Literally

Past Heritage

Catching Up, Three and More

I was so bowled over being able to see my cousin Yin again on July 13. In my opinion, she is an outstanding graphic specialist and advertising-marketer in the extended Yong family. It was so special to me to be able to sit down to share a meal
with her, my uncle and aunt and Yin's sister Honey at the Purple Cane Restaurant at Shaw Parade in the heart of old Kuala Lumpur, the part where its illustrious founder Kapitan Yap Ah Loy and peers congregated in the early historical days of the city.
The food was delightfully light and yet tasty, with tea-infused flavours and attention to detail. I felt revitalised. My aunt had cooked her unique black vinegar dish at home the evening before - another cousin, Lai Wan, and her hubby Shaun, had also brought over delicious satay for an apparently deprived visitor from Wollongong.

Still in old KL, that same Monday morning, I had the opportunity to taste again the traditional south Chinese congee. It may be the character of the place but the taste …

Catching Up Too

Kuan Hong kept me captivated on his tales of the Shenzhen woods. We were there with Mui Na at Spinelli Cafe in Novena, Singapore,where we all had a night cap after a effective degustation at Lao Beijing Restaurant of the Tung Lok Chain. What caught my imagination was that Kuan Hong spoke highly of the entrepreneur-like ambitions of each of his staff, and that each one of them went all out to make the extra effort at work.

The Friday before, Mui Na had shown me some hidden aspects of north-east Singapore Island. Skirting Changi, we had arrived at a well-maintained park in Punggol, within hearing range of the sea waves lapping up the Johor coast and where cycling, skating and running were encouraged. I saw the massive developments at Sengkang, Pasir Ris and Tampines, where new Housing Development Board flats looked more like commercial beauties. After a home made lunch, we went to a nearby shopping centre where the $2 wares at a pretty Daizo store dazzled me with its wide variety of inve…

Catching Up

It is a good idea to drop by and pay a visit to someone we do not get to see on a regular basis. I did that recently with some family members and close friends, including some past university classmates, who all reside outside Australia. True, it dawned on me, only when I reached there, that it was the fruit season over there -and I do love those fruits, especially mangosteens and durians - but more important to me was the opportunity for saying hi and having a chat, face-to-face, instead of the usual telephone, skype and email.

Mum made her jazzy and tasty version of char koay teow - stir-fried rice noodles with prawns and so forth, unique to Penang - and I did not want to eat that dish from the street hawkers anymore. My sister-in-law Sian Kin made bean paste biscuits (tau snar pneah) and I was addicted to them, they being less sweet than those made by the commercial bakeries. I bumped into my aunt Kuchai and my uncle Peter at a coffee shop near their home - and they joined us for an…

The Airline Test

Here are some observations on my personal experience with three different airlines in July 2009.

At Qantas, they do not seem to stock copies of magazines aboard the aircraft, whether for domestic or international flights. This is a far cry from travel expectations on long haul flights or those above three hours in duration. Perhaps the current global financial crisis has dictated cuts in such basic services.
I did love the user-friendly navigation logic of Q on-board entertainment, better than that of Singapore Air (SIA). Your personal remote control for movies, audio and the like also rests in a more ergonomic way than that for either Malaysian Airlines (MAS) or SIA.

The stiff upper lip is still well alive and kicking in some Qantas cabin crew members - some individual staff members have perfected the art of saying goodbye or thank you to disembarking passengers by looking at the ceiling and not at the customers. However, the demographics of the Flying Kangaroo staff in the air are begi…

Scenes from Singapore

Singapore CBD in miniature

Outlet cooking wantan egg noodles at Tiong Bharu Market Food Court

The new Singapore River mouth

National street food of Singapore - Hainan-styled chicken rice, this stall from Tanjung Pagar Food Centre

Planned Sports Hub for the City State

New and old at Raffles City

Equatorial Harvest

Mangosteens and guavas

Hanging durians - the king of fruits - and pomeloes from the grapefruit family

Produce of the Equatorial Belt

View from the highway, travelling north, near limestone outcrops

Jungle string beans (petai), pomeloes, purple coloured mangosteens and sour mangoes

Steamed soft shell groundnuts

Langsat berries, with clear transparent succulent insides after you peel off their thin skins

Winter Nights

Manly Beach never looked and shone better than on a July winter's night. The electric lights of shop signs took centre stage, with Manly this and Manly that. The white foam of a gentle tide matched the silence of the sea side under an almost full moon. The roads near the Esplanade and the Wharf remained narrow, and fitness obsessed runners trudged their way in the semi-darkness on the surrounding pavements.

We just had dinner at Ginger & Spice along Military Road in Sydney's lower North Shore - a motley but rather amiable group from Alberta (Ed and Adrian), Auckland (Shaun and Adelyn), Wollongong, Cammeray (Ella) and Neutral Bay(Doris, Rob and Arlene). I loved the tender and smooth Hainan chicken rice, accentuated in the mouth with three concoctions - lime-flavoured pound chili sauce, dark soy sauce and a ginger condiment. Doris liked the Singapore noodles, whilst most went for sago dessert, bathed in palm sugar and coconut milk, to close up the meal. I could not resist the…