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Chinese New Year 2012 - Day 1

>> Monday, January 23, 2012

My 1st day of CNY will always begin with a simple tea ceremony at home. My sister & I will serve our parents a cup of tea each, while wishing them the best in all that they do (in flowery Cantonese phrases!). Our parents will then present to us an ang pow each along with some well-wishes for success in our career & life. It's only after our little tea ceremony that we'll leave the house & head out to the "family house" for breakfast.

A vegetarian meal for breakfast is the norm for the Wong family on every 1st day of the Chinese New Year. Before/After the meal, everyone will be busy serving tea & speaking well-wishes to each other to wish them the best of health, wealth, & success for the new year. Not to forget, ang pows (red packets) will also be given out by aunties/uncles who are married to those who are still single! :)

It has also been a tradition that the family will then head over to my grandaunt's house right after breakfast for her famous home-made prawn crackers & cookies (and of course to "bai nin"). The whole house will be filled with people catching up with each other, sharing stories & laughing, & exchanging mandarin oranges/cookies as well. Ah, such is the tradition & culture. I'm proud to be a Chinese & a Malaysian - 'Tis the season to be jolly (as well)!

The only disappointment for the 1st-half of today is lunch at Hoi Thong in Taman S.E.A. I reckon the standard of food at this restaurant has dropped quite tremendously. Interestingly enough, there's still a crowd! Perhaps this is the only non-vegetarian restaurant that's opened on the 1st day of CNY *sigh*

Thankfully the company at the meal table was good. We managed to share some laughs over the not-so-appealing taste of the dishes ordered...I doubt I'll bother coming back here again until I have gathered my courage to give this place another chance.

Dinner will be back at the family house, after which we'll adjourn for snacks & tea at my cousins' place ;)

In the eating-season!


Retrenched Rabbit

Yes! Our rabbit, Kiki, knows it's the end of its year! And she didn't like the fact at all....

Here's a funny video that's fresh from the "crime scene" (around 1 minute long):
Hope you had some good laughs as you exit the Year of the Rabbit!

Yours truly,


Chinese New Year Eve 2012

>> Sunday, January 22, 2012

Today is the final day for the Rabbit year as we'll welcome the year of the Dragon tomorrow!

As of every Chinese New Year's Eve, the family will gather for dinner to celebrate the goodness that we've been blessed with throughout the past year. We'll have loads of food & laughter as well :)

I was walking down memory lane through this blog to do a comparison of what my family had since the year 2007-2012 on CNY Eve. (seems like I've been pretty religious in posting for CNY eve!) Here are some findings:

  1. Out of the 6 years (2007 - 2012), we only did steamboat ONCE in year 2010. Every other year, each family will bring over at least 1 home-cooked/bought dish to the family house.
  2. The sour cucumbers have appeared in 4 out of 6 years!
  3. EVERY year, we'll have a soup - usually the lotus root (lin ngau) soup.
  4. Chicken, prawns, duck, & fish are "staples" (just like rice) during CNY eve.

So what did we have this year? Here you go...

Charcoal-boiled soup (always..a MUST have)

Aunty Anne preparing the family's traditional sour cucumber dish

Stir-Fried Sour Cucumbers with Chicken Gizzard & Chicken Liver

Deep-Fried "Ma Yau" Fish in Sweet & Sour Sauce with an OVERLOAD of Garnish :D
Doesn't it look like "yee sang" now? Well, we have the vegetables & the fish, so technically, it could be called a "yee sang"! This is a joint-effort dish by aunty Anne & yours truly (I cooked the sauce & did the garnishing of the dish).

Aunty Anne's Hakka-Style "Zha-Yoke" (Braised Pork with Black Fungus)
This is my all-time favourite :)

Aunty Mary's Special Home-Made Chicken
I'm not sure what style it is, but it sure tastes good ;)

Aunty Irene's Roast Duck from Loong Foong Restaurant
You'll see this in almost every family dinner; we're somewhat creatures of habit!

Aunty Jenny's Braised Abalone with Mushrooms
Lovely & flavourful dish!

Aunty CT's Tangy Sambal Prawns
So good...even better if it goes with nasi lemak...ahahaha...

Dad's Stir-Fried Cauliflowers & Broccoli with Mixed Mushrooms

Table-Full of Scrumptious Food!

My bowl of lotus root soup
It's symbolic to have lotus root soup during CNY eve dinners as lotus root symbolizes abundance. I'm indeed blessed with an abundance of food & everything that I need!

This is just the beginning of the Dragon Year for PerutBesi. I began my Rabbit Year 2011 with loads of good food & I've ended it with yet more good food. How am I to loose weight...? :S

CNY Eve stories:
Year 2007
Year 2008
Year 2009
Year 2010
Year 2011

Here's wishing all my dear readers a wonderful new year with abundance in EVERYTHING!

GONG XI FA CAI, everyone!

In the mood for food,


Step into the Golden Dragon Year 2012!

>> Saturday, January 21, 2012


Living up to PerutBesi's tagline - Food, Adventure, Friendship

>> Thursday, January 19, 2012

Welcome to Singapore! 
I managed to capture an almost perfect "panoramic" photo from the Esplanade area - combination of 2 photos :) So proud of myself! Hahaha....my hands are quite 'stable' after all :) I love the calm, relaxing, night view, & not forgetting the lovely breeze! Ah, a great way to end a long day of work & loads of walking.

I was in Singapore last week to visit my uncle & cousins as I could not make it for my aunt's memorial.

Since I was in Singapore, I took the opportunity to also catch up with 3 close/best friends, whom I miss dearly :) I had loads of food, fun, & lovely memories with family & friends during the very short work + holiday trip there. I'll keep the words at minimum & allow the photos to speak the remaining words :)

My 1st "meal" upon arrival at Singapore - Chocolate goodness at Laurent Bernard, Robertson Quay
I've never been to this place before & oooh, the hot chocolate (Gayas Equador - $9.00) was very rich! I had fun sharing the Rum & Raisins Souffle ($14.00) & Warm Chocolate Cake ($9.80) with 3 wonderful friends :)

Family Dinner at a Chinese Restaurant in Sembawang Shopping Center
It's my 1st yee sang for the year 2012! Plus my FIRST time having the huge Sri Lankan crabs!! :D Food was lovely & the warmth of fellowship with family members is much cherished.

Gifts of love & random meals
Jie's dad bought us yummy egg tarts (I LOVE egg tarts!!) & char siew puffs one morning for breakfast! 

Dinner with bestie at Raffles City Mall
Delicious Chinese meal - to me, any meal is better with good company ;) Lip-smacking "xiao loong bao" & beef brisket la mian....ah....awesomeness...

Cookie-Tasting & Tea, The Cookie Museum, Esplanade Mall
Yet another 1st: Cookie-Tasting!! *woots* We sampled a total of 14 different types of sweet & savoury cookies, ranging from the fruit+nuts variety to floral to Asian delights like "Nasi Lemak", "Hae Bee Heam", "Sambal Ikan Bilis" & "Chicken Rice"! I'm such a jakun....I was over-excited!! Not to forget, the aromatic tea that we each had: my bestie had a hibiscus+lemongrass+mint leaves tea, while I had a peach & sunflower tea :) SOOOO relaxing & fun to be there. I felt like a "queen" for the 1+hour while we were there enjoying our cuppa hot tea & gigglish conversation :D

Gifts for Self from Self/Family :P 

Food, Adventure, Friendship - PerutBesi
This short trip captured an overload of lovely memories that no words suffice to describe :)

I wanna go to Singapore again! Not that I love Singapore & how life takes place there, but I just miss my besties, close friends to share laughter & stories with, & warmth of extended family.

Missing my family & friends,


Arisan Taiwanese Fried Chicken & Dessert, Subang

>> Monday, January 16, 2012

Venue: Arisan Taiwanese Fried Chicken & Dessert, Subang SS15
Overall comment: The chicken is their one saving grace. The desserts that I've tried were below my personal expectations. Truly, nothing beats Snowflake yet!
Halal: Yes

As I've never tried the Arisan Chicken's ice desserts before this, I went on to buy 2 Everyday coupons for RM5.90/set/coupon (value at RM13.80/set/coupon) that comes with a serving of fried chicken & a bowl of ice dessert. On that particular day where I dropped by, there wasn't much of a crowd - probably it's the timing as well.

The cafe/restaurant is located at the other end of Taylor's College area in Subang Jaya SS15. It's not a large area to have a meal, but good enough for proper air ventilation. Apart from the usual fried chicken & ice desserts, this place offers set meals with rice & drinks for lunch/dinner crowds too!

I will usually purchase coupon deals when I want to try out some place, but am not too sure if the food is nice or not. Either that, I will purchase coupons for places which I know serves nice food/services! :D I could safely say that the fried chicken here is tasty. Can't go too wrong with fried chicken, I suppose. As long as the chicken pieces are crispy on the outside & juicy/moist on the inside, I'll give it a passing mark ;)

Chicken Choppo Nuggets (worth RM6.90/serving)
The nuggets are small pieces of boneless chicken. I thought it's quite enjoyable to have bite-size fried chicken to pop into the mouth.

Chicken Choppo with Chilli (worth RM6.90/piece)
This large piece of chicken has bones, so if you're just too lazy to have something with bones, go for the nuggets. I think it tastes pretty much the same, just that the texture may differ due to the thickness of the chicken pieces.

Arisan's ice desserts on the other hand barely passed the mark. Just the looks of the dessert speaks a thousand words that Snowflake is still the champion in this industry of Taiwanese ice desserts :P You can do a comparison of the photos with the one of Snowflake at my previous Snowflake post here. It may be a little unfair to compare their desserts to Snowflake since Snowflake is somewhat the pioneer in the industry, but I think it's a benchmark for future improvements :)

Grass Jelly Ice with Taro & Sweet Potato Balls (worth RM6.90/bowl)

The taro & sweet potato balls at Arisan are not as firm compared to Snowflake's. The grass jelly tasted a little strange as well. Hahaha...on the overall, the dessert is still "acceptable" for the price that I had to pay (with the coupon), so I just ate up whatever that I ordered.

Soya Ice with Yam & Peanuts
I was looking forward to some nicer, softer boiled peanuts, just like the ones at Snowflake, but somehow the taste & texture is quite different, which I prefer Snowflake's.

All I could say is that, thank goodness Arisan lived up to its name for their fried chicken! :D I won't blame Arisan for not having the best ice desserts since their primary focus is on their fried chicken. They certainly have great room for improvement in their dessert section.

I could give a thumbs-up for their fried chicken
Not sure if the shop offers consistently good fried chicken, but I sure hope it does!

Map to Arisan Taiwanese Fried Chicken & Dessert
View PerutBesi in a larger map

Arisan Taiwanese Fried Chicken & Desserts
A7-G, Jalan SS15/8A
47500 Subang Jaya
Tel: (+6016) 384 6368
Business Hours: Daily 12:00p.m.- 11:00p.m.

Yours truly,


"Lou Hei" at Nihonkai, Sunway Mentari

>> Saturday, January 14, 2012

Time really flies; in a week's time, the Chinese community will usher in the Year of the Dragon 2012 with family & friends :) If you're thinking of tossing the yee sang to usher some prosperity, good health, & greater success for your year, Nihonkai, Sunway Mentari is having a Chinese New Year Special to celebrate this auspicious festival with you!

Photo by Nihonkai, Sunway Mentari

Nihonkai, Sunway Mentari is one of my favourite Japanese restaurants due to their good-tasting  & fresh dishes, generous portions, & affordable price. I haven't been disappointed since I had my 1st meal there in the year 2010. In fact, each time I visit this branch, I'll walk out feeling satisfied with the entire dining experience.

Read more about my dining experience below:

You'll have to try it for yourself ;)

Nihonkai Japanese Restaurant
2, Jalan PJS 8/18
Dataran Mentari
46150 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan.
Tel: (+603) 5630 1368
Business Hours: 12:00p.m. - 3:00p.m. & 6:00p.m. - 10:00p.m. daily

Happy Chinese New Year,


Fugu Neo-Japanese Restaurant

>> Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Venue: Fugu Neo-Japanese Restaurant, Damansara Jaya
Overall comment: Lovely meal at affordable prices & relaxing ambiance
Halal: Pork-free

It's one of such random days that I will be out on a weekday for a "lavish" meal. I've passed by this restaurant numerous times & I thought that I should just pop by tonight to try this place out. I'm still quite surprised that not many foodies have written about this place yet...Anyway, I recalled that the word Fugu means Puffer Fish in Japanese, but I don't think I noticed any dishes with puffer fish served! Hahaha...

It was indeed a pleasant surprise to discover that the Japanese-Fusion food at this restaurant is very satisfying & is affordable as well. I kept repeating to my friend, "I'm impressed!". I could only hope that the consistency of the food here remains just like how I tried it today. I'll surely go back again, with a larger bunch of people the next time around! Plus, I would want to try out their more "fusion" dishes ;)

A pot of hot green tea for 2 persons (RM1.00/pax)
The green tea was quite a disappointment though; it tasted like "green tea-flavoured/coloured water" :( No fragrance & "umph" of green tea!

Spider Roll (RM22.00/serving)
If I am to describe this dish with one word, it would be "UMPH!" - yeah, I know it's not even a valid word...hahaha. But seriously, the soft shell crabs were really crispy & juicy at the same time (not crispy 'til it's dry & hard). The avocado bits wrapped with the soft shell crabs gave the maki rolls a good variety of texture - you'll bite into nicely flavoured rice topped with fragrant black sesame seed, into the 2nd layer of crisp seaweed, & into the core of crispy soft shell crabs & soft avocados. Words just ain't enough to describe this...perhaps I'm just hungry? I doubt I'm exaggerating when I say that this is good :P

Tori Teppanyaki Set (RM18.00/set)
I enjoy the fact that the chicken wasn't soggy, but the skin were slightly crispy & very fragrant, thanks to the margarine that the chef used to stir-fry the chicken & beansprouts. Lovely :)

Fugu Special Set (RM45.00/set)
I just wanted to try a little bit of everything & this was the perfect example of "everything"! Hahaha...no regrets in ordering this! The sashimi was fresh & the thickness in my personal opinion was just nice; the pan-fried saba/mackerel  was nicely seasoned, crispy on the outside & juicy on the inside - so good you can actually eat it on its own without having your mouth stuck with dry flakes of fish; the tempura (2 prawns, 1 slice of eggplant, 1 slice of sweet potato, & 1 piece of carrot) was also very crispy & it's so delectable that you don't even want to dip it into the sauce; the unagi was smooth, tender, without bones, & generously served!! Oh my...I'm going bonkers & I haven't shared on the chawanmushi yet. The set comes also with a serving of salad, a bowl of rice, miso soup, chawanmushi, a side dish & 4 slices of fruits. For RM45, I say it's totally worth your money!

The unique side dish
I felt that it's tuna flakes with chopped yellow onions, some lemon juice, sesame seed, & I could smell & taste the fragrance of lemongrass/khaffir leaves...my nose isn't as sensitive today due to a slight flu, but I know there's something special about this appetizing side dish. It has a touch of 'Thailand' minus the spiciness on a Japanese side dish :P Oh so Asian!

I lovelovelove the chawanmushi. It's YH's 1st time having such food as she rarely gets such goodies where she's based. I could see that she enjoyed this to the last bit! We were scrapping every single bit that we could from the cup...you'll find some wonderful treasures of chicken meat, slices of Chinese black mushrooms, a piece of crabstick & 1 gingko amidst the flavourful & smooth steamed egg. Thumbs up!

The interior of the restaurant
We sat at a corner, so I couldn't really take the crowd on a Monday night since they're seated at the other side of the restaurant, nearer to the entrance. On a typical Monday night, I won't expect a great crowd, but it's not entirely empty either. Several tables were filled up tonight :) Quite a modern-looking Japanese restaurant, eh? Fusion, it is...with relaxing Jazz music played on the background as well! Ahhh.....

You've to try it for yourself :)

Map to Fugu Neo-Japanese Restaurant (behind Public Bank)

View PerutBesi in a larger map

Other write-up:
Kuali January 2011

Fugu Neo-Japanese Restaurant
6, Jalan SS22/25
Damansara Jaya
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel: (+603)7710 0076
Business hour: 11:30a.m. - 3:00p.m. and 5:30p.m. - 10:00p.m. daily
(According to a write-up by The Star, they close on Mondays, but it doesn't seem valid for now)
Facebook: Click here

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


My next favourite Japanese restaurant,

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