Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Top 10 Malaysian Eats

I'm having a special someone visit from faraway at-the-other-end-of-the-world...Canada this month. So I decided to compile a list of 10 Malaysian foods that I absolutely HAVE TO let him eat.

The more culture-shock there is from the food- even better! (゚∀゚)

Despite being Malaysian, I must admit I have not had authentic Malaysian food in a while...I'm the kind that's somewhat particular about what I eat (in the recent years I've embraced the healthier side to eating) and I have not laid a finger on most Malaysian hawker staples. My staples include home-made salads, low-GI sandwiches, tofu dishes, home-made Japanese dishes and I occasionally nom on fruits and I'd treat myself to some sinful items once in a while. So when he comes, I'd have to eat whatever he eats because I can't like...order a flour-free wholemeal low-GI pita with cottage cheese, romaine lettuce and smoked salmon at a Char Kuey Teow place, can I? (´∀`)

So now, in no particular order...

#1. Won Ton Noodles or Wan Tan Noodles, however you spell it

When I used to be really chubby, I'd occasionally have Wan Tan noodles for breakfast before heading for afternoon classes in high school. If available, I'd ask for the thicker, flatter "Cho Mee" in place of the stringy Wan Tan noodles. And I'd opt for just Wan Tans with no Char Siew on the side as I'm not a fan of the fatty layers on the meat- super lean Char Siew is acceptable though :D

#2. Nasi Lemak

One of the most sinful but hellishly delicious foods ever! The rice infused with coconut milk is so good you can eat it on its own or just with the accompanying sambal. I used to eat 2-3 packets of Nasi Lemak on the spot- it's that good! My favourites were the RM 1 packets that used to sell on the streets.

#3. Char Kuey Teow

I believe they say the best comes from Penang but I reckon there are Char Kuey Teow places just as good, if not better, in KL! I think there's a stall that's really good located in Taman Desa, which is where I live. I have not had this in almost 3 years now (and I've been in KL all my life) so I guess I'm gonna reunite my taste buds with Mr. CKT soon!

#4. Satay

The best Satay I've had is still from Kajang. There's a restaurant in Kajang with "Malaysia" in its name and I love the Satay there because they only use very lean chicken meat, absolutely chicken-skin-free! Which makes it easier for me to eat because I wouldn't have to gag on that one piece of disgusting, oily chicken skin. ...ew (*´Д`)

#5. Chicken Rice/ Hainanese Chicken Rice/ Chicken Rice Balls

Blogspot messed up the pic making it two-toned...

I adore those cute round rice balls that they have in Malacca. When I was there I ate 'em like they were marshmallows, haha.

The secret to good Hainanese Chicken Rice is of course, the rice. I prefer having mine with Roasted Chicken or if it's steamed chicken, without the skin. I love the ginger and chili sauce and I'm still trying to make my own, teehee.

#6. Roti Canai (his fave!)

The Mamaks are just so creative with their Roti names! The last time he and I went to a Mamak, I tried Roti Tissue and Roti Bom. I kinda freaked out when I saw the amount of sweetened condensed milk and sugar the Mamak dude was adding to the Roti Bom! That fat little Roti Bom thing that ended up in front of me had a layer of sugar glistening on top and in between every layer was ghee, condensed milk and more sinful I'm even getting goosebumps thinking of it! ...I'm sticking to just plain roti now :D

#7. Prawn Noodles

One of my staples back then, I loved having the combination of bee hoon and hor fun in my Prawn Mee. The soup never ceases to make me crave for more and the little bits of lean pork, prawn, hardboiled egg, kang kong vege and bean sprouts made it so much fun to eat! I like having variety in a dish so I can take my time and pick at different ingredients- just seems fun. I'm odd that way, haha.

#8. Hokkien Noodles

...makes me proud to be a Hokkien. Not that I could speak Hokkien though- just a teeny bit maybe. NEVERTHELESS, Hokkien Mee is the bomb! There are so many stalls out there selling Hokkien Noodles, claiming to be the best in the area and stuff but I know for a fact that there is one guy in Taman Desa who makes Hokkien Mee so good, it'll make your taste buds cry. OK, taste buds can't cry but they might when you eat his Hokkien noodles! I'm not bullshitting you either because my grandpa who's had his share of Hokkien Mee all over KL for the past 60 years told me that this Taman Desa Hokkien Mee guy's noodles are one of the best he's had, ever! With the other good one being in Petaling Jaya but I don't like that one...meh.

#9. Assam Laksa

Best Assam Laksa I've eaten is near a temple in Air Hitam, Penang. I ate every noodle, every peppermint leaf, every onion slice, every piece of fish, drank every last drop of soup- everything. Why must Penang be so far from KL...damn it.

#10. Popiah

Had a bit of a hard time thinking of the 10th food to pick but I thought back to when I was little and I remembered the Popiah! My grandpa used to buy me this every time we went to a Pasar Malam (night market). Back then, the fillings of the Popiah were rich and flavourful compared to the ones now that are lacking in the most basic Popiah ingredients. A good Popiah should have thin slices of Lap Cheong (Chinese waxed/cured sausage), shredded egg omelette, French beans, tofu pieces and the other basic ingredients like steamed/braised grated turnip. The commercial ones now like the horrendous "Crispy Popiah" kind are a shame! They only have grated cucumber, the radish filling, a lot of crushed peanuts and all the crispiness that comes from deep fried batter pieces. Lacking in flavour-a shame. I've had really good Popiah with crab meat (real crab meat ok, lol) at Gurney Drive at the Gardens, MidValley but the place has ceased operating.

Well I've certainly made myself hungry at 3 a.m. and am looking forward even more than ever now to go all "foodie" with him. (´∀`)

If you're reading this, what's your fave Malaysian food? ^__^

Note: The above pictures are not mine. They were sourced from Google. If any of these pictures are yours, I'm sorry for "stealing" them and would take 'em off if you want me to. OH the CHICKEN RICE BALL PIC IS MINE! :D

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Made Red Wine Risotto last night :D Been in the cooking mood lately *__*

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Paella for Dinner!

I made dinner today and I tried cooking Paella for the first time. Looked at a couple of Paella recipes online and decided to improvise with the ingredients so it's a modified paella :P

For all you curious ones, Paella's a Spanish rice dish that originates from Valencia. It's famous for being cooked in a Paellera (big, round, shallow skillet/pan that varies in size- it can be hugeee) and for the rice being a bright yellow/orange in color. This is probably one of the more popular non-Asian rice dishes out there, alongside the Risotto from Italy.

Looks yummy doesn't it?'s not mine xP

Instead of using calasparra or bomba rice, I used Japanese rice, lol. I bought a whole bag and used only 1 cup for sushi last time. Hence, the balance in rice that I have to start cooking! But Japanese rice is similar to bomba rice as they're both short-grain, so can lah.

This gloppy mix is a Sofrito, a Spanish onion & tomato base for dishes like Paella

I prepared the sauce base, fish stock and other ingredients first before adding the rice to the pan.

Added stock to the pan after removing the Sofrito. Allowed all the yummy caramelized bits on the pan to melt into the stock. Added tumeric powder for that bright yellow color as I don't have Saffron (which is hella expensive and also turns things yellow)

Sautéed red onions, garlic, diced tomatoes and 100% lean bacon in a teeny bit of olive oil

Alas, preparation- done!

Added rice to the Sofrito

Added the sautéed ingredients

Squeezed some lemon juice over

Voila! Still in the pan :) Didn't have parsley so I used shredded lettuce.

You know your paella has passed if you get just the right amount of charred rice (known as the highly-prized Soccorat) at the bottom!

Pan-fried some fish fillets (seasoned with salt, pepper, cajun seasoning, lemon, olive oil) to go with the Paella

I'm glad the dishes turned out. Not bad for a first-timer, eh? :D

Hope I made you hungry! ^^

Pampered pooches

Nowadays it is not uncommon to see ladies in and around Asia donning toy pooches that they pamper, dress and even bling. I would say the trend picked up its pace when fashionable ladies and celebs in countries like Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan began adding a new accessory to their everyday do- toy pooches. A good reference from the West would be Paris Hilton and Tinkerbell, her pet Chihuahua.

Ms. Hilton even carries Tinkerbell like she would a clutch! As such, Tinkerbell makes the perfect "accessory" to complete Ms. Hilton's look dontcha think?!

But of course, Tinkerbell is not just some "accessory", she's of course, family. Tinkerbell Hilton even has her own book published and you can get it on (if you're totally batshit crazy, that is lol)

Tinkerbell does look really flirty...and Paris looks...a little crazy. Sorry, Paris. Tinkerbell outshines you on this one.

Coming back to Asians, this whole toy dog thing has really taken over the streets of Tokyo, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Some would even say KL and Singapore.

From fashionistas in their LV/ Dior/ Chanel/ Gucci/ Fendi sunglasses donning toy dogs in designer outfits like Burberry, to even the market Aunties in their shorts and slippers, a pampered toy pooch is something they have in common.

A spoof on Burberry dog coats, this is Furberry

Louis Vuitton Monogram Canvas Dog Bag

So you have a lotta money to spend. You buy the cutest pooch money can buy. You give it dog manicures, you buy it a Burberry collar and a matching coat, you feed it caviar. Then you buy another pooch so the first one won't get lonely. When will this cycle end? Never. It's addictive.

Enter the world of the Pampered Pooches.

PawsPaws Urban Retreat, a posh pet hotel in Sydney, Australia. Your pooches will get manicures, belly rubs and a personal nanny. Forget the dogs, I want in!

In Tokyo, you will find a variety of Gourmet Dog Cafes and Bakeries to ensure your dog only gets the finest in life- just like its owner.

There are also dog boutiques where your pooch can play dress-up.

If you don't have a dog, never ever step foot in any of these stores. They will make you want a toy dog really badly.

Dog onsen (hot springs) in Japan where your dog can relax after a stressful day.

Fido's dog house? So yesterday.

Enter: The Dog Mansion

These can cost between $900- $100,000 each! Holy...

Which looks nicer? I would say the dog's because it has a nice lawn xP

Having pet toy dogs is also common among famous asian models like Janice Man & Angelababy from HK and Nozomi Sasaki from Japan.

Janice and her toy poodle

Nozomi and her chihuahua and toy poodles (<- clicky)

If pampering their pooches ain't enough, Japanese dog owners can now get their hands on a dog translator too- Tomy's "Bowlingual voice" (I hope this comes to Malaysia! :D) I was gonna say "so I can use it on my turtles but I realized that turtles don't make any sounds...FTL.

All this dog pampering makes me glad I chose a no-frills pet...

Peggle :D

Nah I still want a toy poodle puppy. T__T

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Malaysian Drivers

I have lost all faith in the majority of Malaysian drivers.


I was driving back from university this evening and got caught in the infamous "rush-hour" traffic jam on the Federal Highway. There, I experienced the wrath of the many types of Malaysian drivers and that proves Malaysia really can "Boleh".

From what I can observe, there are these types of Malaysian drivers:

#1- The No-Signal

Whatever this person does, he will never signal when he's changing lanes or making turns. He assumes you see him and will expect you to give way.

#2- The Diehard

Beware of this one. Very stupid, very impatient and very daring. Not a good combo.

When in a traffic jam, Die Hard finds every way to get out.

#3- The No-Give-Way (a.k.a The Kiasu)

This one gets on my nerves. When you signal to show that you want to switch lanes, he should ideally slow down and let you in but he doesn't. Instead, he speeds up! Just to make sure you have zero chance of getting into his lane. (This one, die also won't let you in)
I waited for 5 mins next to him, signaling, slowly nudging my way in because the gap was getting bigger and bigger BUT in the last second, he sped up to block me out. (Mr. No-Give-Way who drives a Proton, you won't give way b/c you jealous of my Toyota, ah? -__-)

#4- The Honker

This one will take every chance he has to...honk. You're at the front of the lane...After the light turns green, you take 2 seconds to switch gears to Drive then *BEEEEEEP*. He will then speed up to get really close to you just to show he's angry you took 2 secs to move.

#5- The Box-Hogger

This one would not know what the "yellow box" is. Even if he does, he will drive up to the yellow box and...move inside, thus blocking whoever needs to pass through.

#6- The Squeezer

Doesn't care who's around him. If there's an opening into a lane, he will nudge in and WILL NOT STOP squeezing in! Everyone will be forced to give way or get their cars scratched. Squeezers usually do not signal. Just like the Diehard, also very stupid. Common among KL bus drivers.

#7- The Racer

This includes the Mat Rempits and the cheap-looking cars with the 10 feet tall spoilers and the volcano-mouth exhaust pipes. They find every moment to speed up and rev their engines.

#8- Combining all the above, you will get The Malaysia-Boleh Driver (This one is the most dangerous)

I even put the M'sian flag on the car :D

So today I met #1,3,4,5,6,7 in that 1 hour I was stuck in traffic. I beeped all of them, many times. (Do not let them have their way! If they're in the wrong and are offending you, beep 'em.)

So have you met any today?

(Whoever meets #8, ........die.)