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Chinese New Year, Day 2

>> Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Date: 27 January 2009, Tuesday
Venue: Family house in Sea Park
Occasion: "Hoi Nin" (literally means "open year")

Every 2nd day of CNY marks the "opening of the new Chinese year". My whole family will gather in the family house for our 1st meal of the new year. Without doubt, we will have a soup & there will be some "annual CNY day-2" dishes like the waxed sausages, waxed duck, "zha yoke" & leak with roast pork :P *yums* Thinking back on these dishes makes my mouth water...

This soup is actually just radish boiled with dried oysters & pepper corns. It's quite a simple, yet mouth-blowing! XD

Waxed pork sausages are very delicious when fried. It's crispy on the outside & "juicy" on the inside :P It's best when drizzled with dark soya sauce mixed with the oil that was used to fry the sausages...the oil-mixture goes very well with white rice!! *drools* We can just have that sauce with rice alone... :P (super unhealthy)

This version of sausages is best steamed. You can fry it, but it may turn out slightly burnt. It's much softer in texture as compared to the version above. Not everyone likes it though...it's duck liver after all...I kinda enjoy it...it has the fragrance of rice wine *teehee*

Waxed duck is one of the more famous items during this season. It's like salted duck....and is best served steamed. What my family does is to place slices of arrow shoots ("chi ku") below the waxed duck & steam them together. The slices of arrow roots, which taste like potatoes, will absorb the salty-oil...and it makes those boring slices of arrow roots yummy :)

"Zha Yoke" is actually fried pork (3-layers...fat fat + thin) cooked with black fungus in fermented beancurd ("lam yue") gravy & dark soya sauce. The pork is marinated with 5-spice powder & cooking rice wine before it is fried to perfection. After that only will it be cooked with the black fungus :) This is one of my favourite dishes. I always look forward to it & can just eat this dish alone with rice!

Surprisingly, this humble dish is very tasty! I think it's due to the chicken stock or some "keng" stuff that was added to the dish :) *yums*

Leaks, to me, are a delicacy. It's either you love it or you don't like it at all. I love it when this veggie is stir-fried with roast pork in dark soya sauce. Super fragrant :P

Simple, easy, very delicious way of preparing prawns :) Just fry them in their skin 'til they turn orange, & it's ready to be served...sprinkle some salt upon dishing out...yums!

Not only were the dishes #1, even some of the stools were nicely 'decorated'! I was very amazed & amused...I wanna get these for my house next time! My aunt got them from Hong Kong...aiseh...I want!

Looney Tunes Series

Doraemon Series

At night, the family actually met up for dinner at a restaurant in Section 17, PJ. The restaurant's a corner shop, on the same row as Caring Pharmacy, opposite the Section 17 market.

The food there is pretty good, & it's one of the few places that my family frequents :)

- Ruth


Chinese New Year, Day 1

>> Monday, January 26, 2009

Date: 26 January 2009, Monday
Venue: Family house in Sea Park

If you think that having a vegetarian meal for the 1st day of CNY is boring, do come by my place to savor the delicious & very different vegetarian dish! Every year, without fail, my family will have this dish to go with the rice.

What's so special about this dish? The taste & the variety in the entire dish itself ;)

I've blogged about this same dish 2 years ago (wow, that's long!!) & I've listed out the ingredients as well. You can check it out at the link that I've included :) All it takes is ONE dish for a wholesome meal....*yums*

We had this for breakfast, so it was a good-enough meal to last us 'til after lunch ;) After breakfast, we went visiting to my paternal grandaunt's & my maternal 6th aunt's. Driving here & there was good enough to tire me out...hahaha...my family went home to rest for the day after visiting just 2 houses :D More to go in Day 2!

- Ruth


Chinese New Year Eve 2009

>> Sunday, January 25, 2009

Date: 25 January 2009, Sunday
Venue: Family house in Sea Park

Happy Chinese New Year!!!

Chinese New Year is a time for families & friends to gather....and eat, eat, eat!! It's a time of 'prosperity' (shows in the size of the enlarging tummy), joy, & love :) CNY eve for my family this year felt a little quieter as some of my family members weren't around. This year is also the 1st year where we are celebrating CNY without my grandpa, who was called home to the Lord last March.

Each CNY eve, my family will gather for a "pot luck" Chinese dinner, where every family will bring one dish to the family house. Each year, without fail, we will have at least 2 'traditional dishes' :) This year, we had the sour cucumber with chicken gizzard & the lotus root soup. What I miss was the 'zha yoke' (stewed pork with black fungus in fermented beancurd sauce), which wasn't present this year! :(

Here's what we had this year... I'm very thankful for the 9-course meal laid on the table for the family [when out there in the world, so many people are living each day in hunger]...

Home-Made Roast Chicken

Stir-Fried "Nga Ku" (something like Arrow Roots...a mini version of it) with "Siew Yoke" (Roast Pork) & "Kan Choy" (a variant of Chinese celery) in Dark Soya Sauce

Stir-Fried Sour Cucumbers with Chicken Gizzard - family's traditional dish

Stir-Fried Mixed Vegetable with Prawns

Stewed Chicken Feet with Chinese Black Mushrooms

Braised Pork with Dark Soya Sauce *lip smacking*

Sweet & Sour Dory Fish Fillet (too much greens on top :P )

Dinner Spread (minus the Lotus Root Soup)

What else can be better than to sit down with the family for reunion dinner? :) I'm blessed....and putting on MUCH weight with the many blessings as well!! *wergh*

- Ruth


Sunburst, sunset

Date: 9 January 2009, Friday
Venue: Cyberjaya...on the way to the Elite highway, heading towards Shah Alam

I've a great love for sunrises, sunsets, "puffy" clouds -- scenery/nature on the whole! It was one of those Fridays where I was driving back to my house from work in Cyberjaya that this beauty of nature struck me in awe. Yes, I was driving...pretty much at 100km/h on the highway towards the toll gate, but I just HAD to capture this "wow" moment with my camera!

Thank goodness I had my camera nearby...in my bag, I think, that I could fish it out & quickly capture the moment before it passed me by *awe* All I had to do was hold my steering wheel with one hand, slow down the car, & place the camera on top of the steering wheel while I get the best shot! Hahaha....siaoness... I reckon, if I have a DSLR with me, the photos would be SO much sharper & nicer, but a compact camera is just very handy for a 'fish-out, point, & shoot'. I love my camera.... :D

I love it when the sun rays just burst from behind the clouds! :D

It felt as if Heaven was opening up...

Driving was not as boring this day since the sun played "peek-a-boo" with me :D *lol*

I was waiting at the traffic light, feeling a little bored, when I saw the sun setting from my car's side mirror! Eeekk....sooo pweeeetiiie....

- Ruth


Equine Park Restaurant, Seri Kembangan

Date: 9 January 2009, Friday
Venue: Equine Park Restaurant, Taman Equine, Seri Kembangan
Occasion: Olivia's & Kryslynn's surprise birthday celebration
Overall comment: Taste of the food served was quite good. The only thing is the portion, which I thought was a 'lil small. Service was definitely quite efficient & the lady boss was quite friendly as well :) Price-wise was good on the overall.
Halal: No

Okay...I know this post is LONG overdue....really sorry for the delay in posts :( I've been very busy of late & only now that I have the time AND mood to sit down to blog...anyways...

It was one of those times where we planned for a lunch gathering to accommodate 20+ colleagues. This time around, we had around 25 persons, taking up 2 large tables. We decided to try out this restaurant instead of the usual Ma Poh at Equine Park as well since it was recommended by Toby; he calls this place the "RM8/fish"...hahaha...the cheapest fish-dish (small red Talapia) does cost only RM8.00/fish :) We paid a total of RM200+ for all the food & drinks, which I felt wasn't too steep a price lah...can be considered as a decent place for a meal.

I kinda like this dish. It has a tinge of spiciness, tangy-ness, & the fried cray fish is also slightly crispy, even after cooking with the sauce :)

The lady-boss recommended this style of chicken instead of the usual steamed herbal chicken. Well, it's alright lah...a little bit on the dry-side since it's fried. It's not a dish that I would order again since there's nothing really 'wow' to it...

Almost everyone (if not everyone!) liked this dish. The deep-fried fish was crispy & the mango sauce was rather unique. We rarely come across fried fish served with mango sauce, do we? :)

The sauce could do with a bit more ingredients for a richer flavor. It's a little bit spicy, creamy/thick (I think it's due to the coconut milk or at least evaporated milk), & has a faint fragrance of the lemon grass+ginger taste. We much prefer the mango sauce fish :P

Since nobody wanted to eat the meat on the fish head, the PerutBesi-gal had to do the honors. Gah. It's not that eeky, really. There's not much meat on the head anyways, & I don't 'suck' the meat/juices out of the fish head...I just use my fork & spoon to dish out the fish meat... :P

This was a rather interesting dish. To actually find stir-fried ferns (commonly known as the paku leaves/paku-pakis in Malay) in a restaurant, plus cooked in such a style, is something that I wouldn't mind trying out. Many of my colleagues were curious when this dish was served...some have never tasted this veggie before! *shakes head* I've never eaten this style of ferns before, but it sure tastes pretty good :)

A very common veggie, yet if overdone or under-cooked, would just ruin the dish. This one was just nice.

I must say that this dish is quite good...at least the pork isn't too fat or too lean 'til it's tough to chew. The sauce is alright as well, & I would recommend this dish as a decent pork dish to savor :) Kids would love it!

The beancurd's very smooth...mmm....the dish was finished quite fast! *lol*

The reasons for the occasion- surprise birthday lunch for these 2 ladies! Hahaha...they were indeed surprised. Olivia was told that this is a usual lunch gathering since we haven't had such a thing for quite some time, while Kryslynn was told that it's a surprise birthday lunch for Olivia. Little did they know, it's a celebration for the both of them! ;)

Delicious chocolate cake *lip smacking* Rich, moist, not too expensive! I can't remember its full name though....Chocolate Wonderland maybe? It's Chocolate "something" lah... :P

Equine Park Restaurant
22, Jalan Equine 9E
Taman Equine
Bandar Putra Permai
43300 Seri Kembangan
Selangor Darul Ehsan.
Hp:(6012)646 4363/(6012)557 7133

Presentation: * * * 1/2
Price: * * * 1/2
Environment: * * * 1/2
Taste: * * * 1/2
Service: * * * *


- Ruth


Awesome Threesome in JB

>> Monday, January 19, 2009

Dates: 17-18 January 2009, Saturday & Sunday
Venue: Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru
Occasion: 'Annual' meet-up with my very close friends, Mabel & Fern

17 January 2009, Saturday
The bus left Puduraya at least 20min late!!! *bummer!!* I arrived at the Terminal Larkin, Johor Bahru, around 1.45am...wergh...the bus that I took was actually quite fast already, but somehow we still took more than 4 hours to arrive at JB :( Super sad la...silly bus stopped once at Yong Peng & a few more times along the way to the terminal to drop people off *sigh* The ride was one of the most horrible ones- boring, smelly!! & noisy (the bus)...I've been taking that same bus company since years, each time I travel from KL to JB, but this bad experience kinda puts me off & I may never take the same bus company again *wergh*

Anyways, meeting up with Mabes & Fernie was all good :) The weekend was SUPER relaxing, yet a blast of a time... :D Uncle Victor, Mabes' dad commented 'bout our weekend: "Eat, eat, eat...that's all you girls do throughout the weekend..." I can't deny that truth :P

The first thing that we had when I arrived in JB past midnight- McD's!

We talked 'til the cows come home' after I arrived...and knocked off only around 4am or so :D Siaoness...and woke up only around 11am! Hohoho...the latest I've ever woken up this year ;) The 1st agenda of the day-> BRUNCH! Oh yeah...there's nothing else as good as fooooood *drools* Beef noodles at Cathay it was!

This beef noodles is just as good as the Seremban market one...no doubt it's different in terms of taste & gooey-ness of the sauce, but both are great nonetheless :D Beef slices were tender, beef "whatever else" were juicy, & overall, the noodles was yummilicious! I could eat a large bowl of it!! *lol* But this beef noodles are quite costly le...RM6 for a regular & RM7 for a large!! Eekk....

The other dish that we ordered was the "lou ngap" (duck cooked in soya sauce). Excellent :D Need I say more?

The awesome threesome, as we call ourselves, spent the rest of the day watching a movie (License to Wed...cheesy, but hilarious!), playing the piano/jamming, singing, & chatting...ah...nice nice nice :) *I miss my weekend! nostalgic...* After the movie, we walked out to the nearby Ice Kacang stall, for the all-time lovely ice kacang with chocolate sauce! *drools again* No ice kacang in PJ/KL or wherever else can compete with this ice kacang so far ;)

We'll always go to this one stall...there are several stalls selling the same kind of ice kacang, but this particular stall's is the best! Too bad I forgot to take a photo of the stall *sigh* Anyways, this stall is in the middle, & it sells taufu bakar, rojak, & other noodle dishes as well...

Taman Pelangi's Ice Kacang (RM2.50/bowl)

Taman Pelangi's Ice Jelly (RM2.50/bowl)

Map to the ice kacang area in Taman Pelangi, Johor Bahru

Dinner was at Sa Low Seafood Restaurant (where else? :P) It's THE place to go as 1. it serves good food 2. it's walking distance from the house 3. the service is fast. Fantastic. I love the fried squids there! I could finish up at least half the large plate of fried squids!! *lol* The restaurant is located directly opposite the ice kacang area!!

Here are several lovely dishes that we had:

Snapshots of the Awesome Threesome ;) (psst...i love you both, Mabes & Fernie!!)

Basically, after dinner, the 3 of us just chilled, did more catching up & spent time together, before the day closes. Fern had to head back to Singapore the night itself :( We really wished that we could spend more time together...we only get to do this max once a year! *sigh* What to do? The cow's (Mabes) in Aussie, the plant's (Fern) in Singapore, while the sheep/goat (your's truly) is still in Malaysia...

Mabes & I ended the night by watching "The Bucket List" & chatting til we knocked off. The movie was really moving...made us think of how we are spending every minute of our lives & how we would wanna make our lives worth-living. Saturday passed SO fast :(

18 January 2009, Sunday
Breakfast was nasi lemak & OTAK-OTAK!! *woot!!* We went to this place called Storia Cafe, opposite Pacific Mall, behind Wisma Nufri, in JB :) Awesome otak-otak...fresh some more :D

Too bad I didn't manage to get any photos as I forgot to bring my camera! Bleagh! See la...this is what happens when I've to wake up early for breakfast...sure forget something wan...but I managed to locate another blogger who blogged about this place & its food! Check it out here ;) I'm getting my sister to take some photos of the otak-otak that I bought home. It costs RM0.60/piece. Very yummy!

After breakfast, we attended church service at JB Wesley...it feels like a mini 'home-coming'...my once-a-year visit to this church...hahaha...there were so many familiar faces, but I just can't recall their names...how to recall when I'm only there once a year? *wergh* Oh yes, here I present to you the new church building!! LOVELY!

Before I left for KL again, we went for lunch at some restaurant, which once again I forgot its name....I go there every time I'm in JB, but ergh....The Kuey Teow Soup here is mmmmm....

I miss Mabes & Fern, & the families in JB :( *nostalgic* I'll be back in JB, most probably in March! That time, Mabes won't be around :( I'd be there with the TRAC MYF comm. though ;) Should be another fun time!

- Ruth

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