Monday, April 28, 2008

Exotic Enigmatic Egypt! Part 1

Sorry, I just have this need to rant!!! I am not through sorting out my Egypt pics and amidst my sleepy days and wide awake nights (I have yet to "tune" my clock back to local time!), frustration sets in! I lost one of my thumb drive on the way to the office (thanks to my "blur" state!) and came back yesterday to find my old PC monitor acting crazy as if it was a prop in "Poltergeist". My new PC also gave me problems when it suddenly wouldn't respond anymore; same old story with Windows Vista and incompatible drivers which are not updated. I've been busy troubleshooting PC problems for 1 1/2 days now and just finished downloading some updates (that took me almost forever!) I had drafted part of this post earlier and putting this up is taking me 10 times longer than it should as the problem is still not really solved yet. Sigh...Ok, enough of this for now! Here's a short post...

We arrived for a 6 hour transit in Dubai International Airport before flying off to Egypt. This was about about 2 in the morning. Blurry eyed and sleepy, we entered the airport, a first for me and I became wide awake when I saw the surroundings.

Dubai International Airport

Dubai International Airport
These were taken at around 2 plus a.m. and yet Dubai International Airport was pretty busy. Still very much a hive of activities with lots of people still shopping away.

Arriving in Cairo, Egypt in time for lunch, we were whisked to a restaurant nearby to the Sphinx. Understandably, lunch was eaten in a zombie state like and I didn't take photos of the food! We had some grilled chicken as mains (I remember vaguely that they were tasty! Actually, all the grilled chicken in Egypt tasted good and was full of smoky flavour). Before the mains, we helped ourselves to loads of pita bread. However, I did manage to take a pic of the kitchen as I walked passed.

A lady making pita in an old fashion fire stove; we really ate a lot of bread in Egypt.
Egyptian Museum Of Antiquities
After lunch we dropped by the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities where the remains of several pharaohs are kept and where we saw the famous artifacts of King Tutankhamun. This was the only shot I took as they did not allowed photography inside.

Dinner Day 1

We were then driven to the hotel to freshen up and off we went for dinner an hour later. More pita bread! See what I mean? It's the standard serving at meal times as a starter. At this point I was "still" enjoying eating the bread with hummus and other sort of assorted stuff like chili eggplant, potato salad, cheese and yogurt (somewhat like an Egyptian "tapas"). We had meat dishes like chicken and lamb kebab style but everyone was hungry and I didn't take anymore photos as we all couldn't wait to tuck in. I was told that meat is actually a luxury in Egypt, I guess that's why there is so much bread and rice around. Oh, the rice here is really nice; big grain and have an added herbs to it, sometimes with added bits of capsicum or peas.

To be continued...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Mamma Mia!

Aiks! I can't wait to catch this....Saw the musical back in San Francisco about 4 years back. Counting the days away till July 18, furthermore my fave Colin Firth is in it! Yay!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

I'm Back!

I'm back and busy sorting out my pics...but for those who didn't know where I was for almost 2 weeks.....


I was in Egypt! Stay tuned ...

P.S. Thanks for those who left comments while I was away, will get round to replying them soon!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Nasi Lemak, SS2 - Makcik Yan & Pakcik Wahab


I am away from April 11-22. Jason has kindly offered to assist me in republishing some old posts (back at a time when only a handful of people read my blog. Hee hee hee...) for this period. Comments are still and always welcomed but I will only be able to reply when I get back after the 22. Thank you all!

While I was waiting in UMMC recently for my monthly eye check up, I sat next to a makcik and we both started chatting. Turns out that she, Makcik Yan, sells nasi lemak in my area, SS2 and she has been doing it for the past 30 years! She and her husband, Pakcik Wahab drops by the stall over the weekends which is usually operated daily by their 3 boys. She told me that her stall has quite a lot of customers and the best time to drop by was about 9am (opens from 7am till 10 plus am, close on Sundays). I was surprised as I didn't know of the stall and promised to try out her nasi lemak.

Arriving there on a Saturday, I was greeted with a long queue at her stall. It's located at the lane between BHP petrol station and the police station, at the end of the row of stalls (there are several nasi lemak stalls there. If in doubt, just look for the one with the long queue! Ha ha ha...)
This is not your restaurant type of eatery but one with zinc roof, cement rendered floor with plastic tables and chairs. Eating here reminded me of my childhood days when I used to follow mom and my dear ol' dad and eat at the old Bukit Bintang market which has made way for KL Plaza/Lot 10 donkey years ago. To further remind me of that, there is also a drink stall here operated by a Chinese auntie and an elderly man (he's around 80 years old, I think). He will take and deliver drink orders in his slow but orderly manner. Not that many drink stalls such as this type are operated by Chinese nowadays. Maybe they have been around for 30 years too. So, yeah, I felt like a kid again!
Makcik Yan was not around but Pakcik Wahab and his boys were expecting me to my surprise. Wonder what Makcik Yan told them! Well, the rice is scooped from the wooden container (a plus point for me - Makcik Yan had earlier told me that it costs about RM300) and the customers tell the boys what they would like from the array of deep tray dishes.
Well, apart from the fried chicken, almost everything else was spicy! I asked for sambal petai ("smelly" green beans with chilli) and sotong (cuttlefish). Lyn, who went with me, had beef rendang. Even if one is eating there, the food is served on the brown paper. Makcik Yan had told me that she had once tried changing to plates after starting out that way earlier. However, customers complained that it wasn't as nice and chicken pieces flew out easily from the small plate. Ha ha ha....So, they will hand you the rice in a cone shaped brown wrapper with a fork and spoon "planted" into it!
I tried to unwrap it gently to take a nice photo but messed up the presentation when I failed! Ha ha ha...But nevertheless, it tasted good.
I must say I do like the nasi lemak here. The sambal and rice is nice (not soft, but separate grains) and the beef rendang was tender (thanks Lyn for letting me steal some beef!). The sotong was good and easy to bite (not the rubbery type if you know what I mean). Our two packs came to RM8.80; didn't get a breakdown. Well, I now know where to look for good nasi lemak in PJ (I eat at Tang Lin's when I'm in KL). As a matter of fact, I had already gone back to eat again with my other friends.

My friends and I call nasi lemak "fatty rice" but that has never stopped me from eating it!
- wmw

Friday, April 18, 2008

Kafe Delectables, Tesco Mutiara Damansara


I am away from April 11-22. Jason has kindly offered to assist me in republishing some old posts (back at a time when only a handful of people read my blog. Hee hee hee...) for this period. Comments are still and always welcomed but I will only be able to reply when I get back after the 22. Thank you all!

I had been deprived of sleep for awhile and when Euro called and woke me up from my nap, it was already 8.30pm! We were thinking of where to eat since it was quite late by the time she picked me up. I remembered this small shoplot in Tesco Mutiara Damansara called Delectables which faces The Curve (the walkway connection between Tesco and The Curve).
I've had recalled seeing it still opened pass 10pm during my trips to that area. This cafe serves food like nasi lemak, prawn mee, curry and clear soup noodles etc. etc. (along with other snacks like tong sui). Managed by a friendly mother and daughter team along with some hired help, this small place has eye catching colours though the interior deco was kept minimal. Sitting outside, we found it pleasant as it was a breezy night. We ordered a plate of har ko (prawn paste) chee cheong fun as a center plate (that is what we call food that are to be shared). The prawn paste sauce tasted adequate enough for me, whereas some folks might prefer a more overpowering taste of it.
When my dry curry kuay teow(flat noodles) arrived, it didn't look like dry curry as they were quite generous with the gravy. Euro had a taste of the thick curry gravy and agreed with me that it tasted good.
Euro's prawn meehoon came next and she enjoyed it too. By this time, we were already talking about how we were enjoying the food and saying that we would definitely come back to eat here again.
It was at this time, another group of people sat down and we overheard them ordering Rice Cakes (woon chye ko). Euro and I looked at each other as we both love rice cakes and we decided to order a set (2 Rice Cakes) after I asked and found out from the daughter that it was home made.
The rice cake was nice and soft (yet not too soft) and the toppings were tasty unlike some of the salty ones that I have eaten before. I actually felt quite at "home" eating here as the food tasted nice and home cooked. Furthermore, the prices are reasonable. We'll definitely be back!

Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.
~ Mark Twain

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Dim Sum - Chynna, KL Hilton


I am away from April 11-22. Jason has kindly offered to assist me in republishing some old posts (back at a time when only a handful of people read my blog. Hee hee hee...) for this period. Comments are still and always welcomed but I will only be able to reply when I get back after the 22. Thank you all!

Mrs Pitt spent the night with Zahara in KL Hilton, mom was there too. Will blog about the stay later but today's post will be on the dim sum lunch we had in Chynna, KL Hilton. We have had dinner there before and have been wanting to do dim sum there for some time but never got round to it till now. Now that we have, Mrs Pitt wants to make sure she goes to Chynna for dim sum again before she goes back to USA. The dim sum, ambiance and service were good - I'll just let the pictures do the talking! I know some of you will tell me that my blog is making you all hungry! Ha ha ha...

I eat merely to put food out of my mind. ~ N.F. Simpson

Monday, April 14, 2008

Avillion, Port Dickson


I am away from April 11-22. Jason has kindly offered to assist me in republishing some old posts (back at a time when only a handful of people read my blog. Hee hee hee...) for this period. Comments are still and always welcomed but I will only be able to reply when I get back after the 22. Thank you all!

After our Singapore trip, Mrs Pitt, Zahara and I went to Port Dickson and stayed in Avillion. Mrs Pitt had stayed in Avillion's water chalet when they first opened in 1999 (I could be wrong about the year). At that time, we managed to get a cheap intro rate for the water chalet at RM150/night. Fast forward 7 years later, the water chalet is going for 3 times the rate. Talk about inflation!

Anyway, Mrs Pitt wanted to have a quiet retreat in Avillion, knowing that there really wasn't much to do in Port Dickson itself. On arriving there, we checked into the room and stayed in till it was time for dinner. We ate at Crow's Nest, one of the few F&B outlets in Avillion. It's a two tiered restaurant and they had a 3 piece band performing light and easy tunes on the spiral staircase. By that time, we were so relaxed and if we were to relax any further, we'll be dead! LOL....

We then retired early as we really enjoyed staying in. The water chalet had a king size four post bed and another queen size bed by the window. It rained that night and I woke up to the sound of the loose wooden panel windows banging against the frame. The problem was rectified with stuffing some folded paper to ensure that I would not be awaken the next night.
We woke up around 8 am (though it was really hard to leave the comfortable bed!) and had breakfast in Village Court. The buffet spread consisted of nasi lemak, roti canai, sausages, hash brown, omelettes, porridge, fried noodles and the usual spread of salad and bread with different spreads. What did we do after that? We went back to the room and stayed in again. It was really hot outside and we had fun playing charades till about 6pm where Zahara went to the pool for a swim.
We then had our dinner and retired early again, checking out the next morning after our breakfast. Gosh, time sure flies! However, I did spend some time taking some photos of the place earlier, pretty much the only other thing I did do!

I took some night pics without a tripod, trying my best to keep still for up to 15 or 30 seconds. It's slightly blurry but it turned out quite okay considering that I had no tripod (by the way, went to PC Fair and got myself a tripod for RM19.90 - WoW2 said to be careful about the light tripod as the tripod might fall over easily!) The moon was out that night and it was just picture perfect. Sadly my pictures weren't. Ha ha ha ...

So, we really spent most of our time in the water chalet, not doing anything at all (except going out to eat). It was nice to just sort of really have some R&R, we need some vacations like that once in awhile.

How beautiful it is to do nothing, and then to rest afterward.
~ Spanish Proverb

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Waffle World @ 1 Utama

Well, I tried the waffles here for desserts a couple of times but have never had my main meals here until a few months back (make that many months back!). So, when I was out with some friends and they wanted to have dinner here, I went along with them and ordered some stuff to share. And how did Waffle World fare?
Italian Meatballs
The Italian Meatballs - was a tad dry and the gravy just didn't cut it. I cut the meatballs into quarters and made sure each quarter was fully covered with gravy before I ate it. My friend thought it was okay though but then I could be comparing it with Ikea's version where the meatballs are more tender and the gravy was more creamy and flavourful. I definitely prefer Ikea's version.

Hawaiian Chicken Ham Sandwich
The Hawaiian Chicken Ham Sandwich - Definitely a very healthy sandwich to eat. But sadly, healthy food = bland food to me! Note : There isn't any dressing, hence healthy! The whole combo didn't work for me as it was too dry to eat. I had to pour lots of ketchup onto it and only then was it better.

Peach Belgian Waffle
Thank goodness we only had two disappointments, the desserts came and saved the day. The Peach Belgian Waffle came with slices of...what else but peaches and with a scoop of (insert your choice of flavour here) ice cream.

Chocolate Waffle
I forgot the actual name of this waffle but it was a chocolatey waffle and was very nice. The sweet offerings from Waffle World are quite good actually. The waffle being crisp on the outside and soft on the inside. Eaten with ice cream, the meeting of the warmth from the waffle and the cold ice cream literally generates "melt in your mouth" moments :o).

For me, I'll continue to stick to the desserts if I drop by here again. Reasonably priced desserts and moreover, it hits the spot too. Do share which you prefer, pancakes or waffles? Sweet or savoury?

Waffle World
1 Utama New Wing,
High Street
2nd Floor, Lot S343A

By the way, I'll be flying off tonight and will be back on 22nd late night. I hope to be back to blogging land soon after that. Meanwhile, I have decided to "dig up" some old post (back at a time when only a handful of people read my blog, hehehe....) and Jason has kindly offered to assist me in getting them posted here on certain dates while I am away for this period. So do come back while I'm away. Comments are still and always welcomed but I will only be able to reply when I get back after the 22nd. Thank you all!

A waffle is like a pancake with a syrup trap. ~ Mitch Hedberg

Monday, April 07, 2008

Rakuzen @ Hartamas

Many years ago, I've been to the 1st Rakuzen outlet in Subang Jaya and enjoyed the food there. So, it was great to see them doing so well with other outlets opened in Hartamas and Chulan Square. One of the outlets that I go to is the one at Hartamas Shopping Centre. This place is packed during the usual lunch and dinner time. So, do make reservations, else be prepared to wait!
Rakuzen Hartamas

Rakuzen's Setting

Grilled Squid
Surumeika, Grilled Squid (RM18/USD6) was fresh, eaten after squeezing lemon juice over it and dipped into the shoyu. It was a tasty snack, Mrs Pitt would agree with this dish here :o).
Hama Sashimi
Something which I obviously didn't eat, hehehe...Hama Sashimi (RM45/USD15) which had salmon, octopus and would Japanese sashimi lovers fill me in on the other three and the rest below???
Rakkaku Bento
Now this is just one part of the Rakkaku Bento my friend ordered (shared by two). The scaly fish was interesting looking and reminded me of a snake! I tried some of the braised radish on the right was not bad but I didn't like the sweet miso paste on it.
Rakkaku Bento
The other main part of Rakkaku Bento (RM55/US18) was a pretty sight. The salmon roe was laid onto the sashimi and looked like a sunny side up egg to me :o). This Bento set was huge and came with the usual rice, chawan mushi (steamed egg), bowl of miso soup, salad and slices of watermelon.
Yakiniku Zen
I'm not one to eat raw meat, so whenever I go for Japanese food, I'm usually the least adventurous one. I ordered the Yakiniku Zen set (RM35/USD12) which also came with the usual side dishes. The beef slices was tender and really tasty. I sprinkled lots of shichimi toragashi (mixed chili powder) on it to kick it up a notch, something which I usually do on most of my Japanese food!

Prices are a bit on the high side but the good quality of food makes it worthwhile. I like the ambiance here though service can be a bit disappointing at times due to the crowd. The place still remains busy despite this shortcoming.

Rakuzen Hartamas
P-17, Plaza Ground Floor
Hartamas Shopping Centre
60 Jalan Sri Hartamas 1
50480 Kuala Lumpur

Tel : 03-6201 2060

Here are some of the reviews on Rakuzen by other bloggers. Check them out :-

KL People KL Food

Da Wheel Of Life & Happiness

Memoirs Of A Chocoholic

In Mexico we have a word for sushi : bait. ~ José Simons

Friday, April 04, 2008

Daniel Henney Made Me Cry!

Am down with slight cough and cold, will make this post short and sweet. I came home last night after my usual meeting and was elated to know I could catch "My Father" starring my Daniel Henney on Astro Box Office movies. I thought seeing Daniel would make me feel better. I WAS WRONG...

I watched the movie and cried and cried at the end, making me sad and and feeling none the better but worse. However, that's goes to show one thing though. Daniel Henney's acting has improved by leaps and bounds. I'm not saying that because I adore him, the critics say so too and "My Father" came in at No. 1 at the Korean Box Office! I'm so happy for him. This sentence wasn't here earlier but I thought I should add that Kim Young Cheol deserves a mention too for playing the role of the "Father" as he also gave a strong performance. Do watch "My Father" if and when you get the chance.
Gosh! What are the chances of having someone who looks like this who's also a great actor???
Gees, you're such a heartbreaker! You made me cry, Daniel!
I am so looking forward to seeing Daniel Henney in his first international movie role in "X-Men Origins : Wolverine".... 1 May 2009. I've already blocked that date in my schedule! ;o)

After putting up this post, I feel better and I'm going off to bed with a smile. Have a good weekend ahead everyone! During this weekend, I will definitely be watching the repeats of "My Father" on Astro Box Office for sure (I'll record it too!). He he he...

P.S. Mrs Pitt, hope you are reading this post, knowing how you feel about Daniel Henney too!

If I want to be alone, some place I can write, I can read, I can pray, I can cry, I can do whatever I want - I go to the bathroom ~ (Alicia Keys)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Chee Cheong Fun @ Yap Hup Kee, Pudu


I believe I have written quite a number of post on one of my fave food, Chee Cheong Fun (CCF) - Rice Noodle Rolls. I was chatting with Jason and he told me about some lovely CCF he had tried in Pudu. He reminded me that I had another CCF post waiting in my "To Blog" folder.

I was with Glorious Jade in Pudu area for reasons that I have forgotten about (this was sometime Oct last year!) and we were looking for a place to have our lunch. When I came across Yap Hup Kee, I was ecstatic as it serves something that I love.

Yap Hup Kee Pudu
Pick what you want from the Yong Tau Foo spread laid out before you and take a seat.
Curry Chee Cheong Fun With Dried Prawns
The delicious Curry CCF, topped with fried dried prawns. The curry is quite thick and after mixing it all up, I felt that the smooth CCF could always do with more curry gravy ;o).
Sweet Sauce Chee Cheong Fun with Dried Prawns
The sweet sauce version is just as good for those who doesn't like their CCF with curry.
Dry Lo Shee Fun
One can also opt for Lo Shee Fun (short round rice noodle), topped with minced pork and spring onions for a change. Given a choice, I'll go for my yummy CCF!
Yong Tow Foo Variety
Apart from the usual Yong Tau Foo variety, they have some unusual items like the stuffed four angle beans for example. Here are some Yong Tau Foo served in soup.
Mini Otak-Otak Spring Roll
As for the fried variety, there's this mini Otak-Otak Spring Roll which was pretty good but it was too tiny for me, lacking oomph when I took a bite. You can tell how tiny it is as it's resting on the small disposable sauce plate.
Salted Egg Yolk Fried Wantan
Another unusual one is the Salted Egg Yoke Fried Wantan. This is one for lovers of Salted Egg Yoke. You know who you are....Salted Egg Yoke Prawns, Salted Egg Yoke Pumpkin, Salted Egg Yoke Crabs!
Salted Fish "Fishcake"
The Yong Tau Foo here is of the Hakka version, meaning the paste used for stuffing is a mix of fish, pork and salted fish meat. However, the difference in taste is most evident when one orders this, I like eating this "Salted Fish Pork Fish Cake"! Hee hee hee....

For those staying in Petaling Jaya, fret not. There's a branch in Damansara Utama for us CCF lovers which also serves seafood steamboat. It doesn't have the "feel" like the main outlet in Pudu but I'm grateful that there's one nearer to me which I also frequent now and then.

Restoran Yap Hup Kee
(Pudu Main Outlet)
45 Jalan Brunei Barat (off Jalan Pudu)
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 03-2148 9220
Opens 9 am to 5 pm, 6 pm to 12 midnight, Closes every two weeks on Tuesday)

YHK Seafood Yau Tau Foo
(Damansara Utama Branch)
31 Jalan SS21/56B (same row as The Ship)
Damansara Utama,
47400 Petaling Jaya
Tel : 203-7710 8131
Opens 10 am to 9 pm Everyday

Other YHK's Chee Cheong Fun Fans :-

Babe In The City - KL
Lyrical Lemongrass
Julian Si

Also read up on the other varieties of CCF I've blogged about!

Roadside normal CCF in Taman Cheras - loved the ham meatballs here.

Prawn Paste (Har Go) CCF, Kafe Delectables Tesco Mutiara Damansara - a little shop that serves several delights. For best prawn paste Chee Cheong Fun, almost any stall that sells it in Penang! :o)

CCF with sweet red sauce and green pickled chillies, Canning Garden Ipoh - a must stopover!

Anson CCF (with dried prawns and cooked turnip bits) from Ah Keong, Damansara Uptown Hawker Centre - What I like to bring for makan gathering.

CCF at Bee Connection, Low Yat Plaza
- Have your pick! Sweet sauce; soy sauce; curry and my personal fave Sambal Belacan! While you're here, try the special deep fried tofu...

Curry CCF, Wai Sik Kai Pudu - heavenly with pork rind and dried prawns!

Ask not what you can do for your country.Ask what's for lunch. - Orson Welles