Sharing our discoveries with you as we travel this journey in life…
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Have you ever heard of an XXXXL size Chinese steamed bun or bao?
If you live in Klang Valley, I bet you have heard of Cheras. Little that I know that Cheras offers an incredible super size steamed bun. Until one day, an old friend brought us a specialty food from the town of Cheras.
Thank you God for blessing us with good friends. And so, Mr Ong and family drove back this piece of gigantic steamed bun for us to savor. Stuffed with plenty of sliced pork, it also featured a hard boiled egg, chicken and mushroom. The filling is almost exactly typical like the big bao that I would consider as XL. Hence, this giant steamed bun is 3 times larger. Could you imagine that? Truly an experience, at which this super size bun was more than sufficient to feed 2 adults for dinner!
Seeing is believing, don’t miss out the pictures below 😉
Taman Connaught Cheras
In comparison with a 50-cent coin and 30-cm/12-inch ruler ~ phew!
The Best Braised Lamb Shank and Clam Chowder in Town
Not many folks know this little gem despite it serves one of the best western variety in Bayan Lepas neighborhood. I was first introduced by G, when we discussed about western food in Penang. To be honest, western cuisine that is composed of fish & chips, chicken chop and grilled steak option is not my cup of tea. Personally, I perceived western dishes of this variety required minimal expertise when it comes to culinary art. You may call me naive, but there was once I told a friend that the only different in western serving is the sauce, whether you name it mushroom sauce, garlic sauce, oriental sauce or teriyaki sauce. Grilling or deep frying, I don’t need much skill to do that. In fact, today we have the luxury of deep fryer and state-of-art oven or machine to prepare that. Opsh! Perhaps I was too soon to pass a judgment.
Until I found Gathers In Restaurant that tucked away in a commercial row at Sunway Prima, adjacent to Bayan Lepas FIZ Phase 2. If you’re familiar with the main road from Bayan Baru heading to Penang International Airport, Sunway Prima is the commercial zone where EST Hotel is located. Gathers In is not visible from main road however if you could locate EST Budget Hotel, Gathers In is just a few steps away.
Time is running out. We are racing against the clock. It’s the end of 2014, and for Malaysians the exciting 2015 will greet featuring GST by April Fool Day!
In a nutshell, GST is a goods and services tax. Briefly, it means any purchase for goods and services, consumers would have to pay an additional 6% on top of the total cost. Of course, there are exemptions and exclusion scenarios that I am not the expert to preach. Find out more at official website here. The example here is just a naive illustration to describe a layman’s understanding on GST. Pretending that you plan to purchase a brand new, imported handbag, it costs you RM500. With GST, one has to fork out additional 6% of total cost at which is RM30, hence final amount you have to pay with GST is RM530.
Let me give you another scenario. Being a typical Malaysian, we love hawker food from nasi lemak, char kuey teow to mee goreng. I believe their business’ total revenue is unlikely to go beyond RM500K annually, hence they are unlikely to register for GST. Logically, no GST is imposed on hawker food thus the price of hawker food should remain the same. However, these hawker operators obtain goods or raw materials from retailers or wholesalers on the upstream that are registered for GST. Indirectly, hawker operators are the last guys in this chain and naively claim victimized on ‘price hike’. Who do you think the smart hawker operators would transfer this cost to if not to the fellow ‘loyal’ consumers.
If you were to follow my post, I had just invested in a new toy called bread maker machine! And, it brings us lots of joy to my family – we have our daily supply and we do not longer eat the commercial sandwich loaf on the supermarket aisle! In addition, we love the aroma of freshly baked bread that fill up our little cottage in the morning! It is just magically comforting, pleasant and makes one’s mouth to water. Do you know that researchers found the smell of baked bread makes people happier and kinder to stranger? Strange?
Let me tell the story from our castle. For the past 2 weeks, our breakfast is freshly baked loaf. Thanks to the generic bread maker machine, we have a few variety from plain to wholemeal loaf, mixed fruits loaf, fruits and nuts loaf, and even peanut butter loaf. The last one certainly makes one salivating once the aroma is in the air!
Generic Bread Maker – Does it work? I have to confess that I love to work in my kitchen, and I have been eying for a bread maker after hearing lots of wonder of what it can do. Branded bread maker versus a generic one, which is better a option? From my research, the inexpensive bread maker works at par despite of minor shortcomings on size or features. Also, I don’t turn my large investment into a ‘white elephant’ that would be shelved when I was no longer in the mood of baking. So, cost really matters and in fact, the generic works from bread maker reviewers.
Highly recommended by a friend who is making her family’s daily dough supplies, she bought an inexpensive Tesco bread maker and has consistently grateful for having it! In fact, her spouse reaffirmed that after consuming home made loaf, you would not want to purchase any commercial sandwich loaf anymore! Furthermore, one would consume without fear and guilt, when the knowledge on the commercial ingredients are not found and sound. Pretty impressive on how much joy that a simple bread maker can bring into our life!
When I was first told about The Big Fat Hen Cafe, somehow it just struck my mind as if it is the sister restaurant to TGIF! No thanks to the abbreviation, it perhaps confuses me with 4 letters, composed of T and F of each. The fact is The Big Fat Hen (TBFH) is a new restaurant in town, local family owned business, operating at three different locations in George Town with each less than 1 km away from another. And remember all the three cafes feature a range of distinct variance on their menu. Yes, I am not kidding! What you find at one eatery may not be available at the next TBFH outlet in town!
If you’re looking for something specific in mind, it is worth to note the variety on their menu. Though they are not far from each other, it is wise to know the options before heading in. Continue reading on to find out.
Similar to big scale theme parks in other countries such as Disneyland, Six Flags, Universal Studio, Sea World, Ocean World in Hong Kong or Lotte World in South Korea, Bukit Merah Laketown Resort has its own charming theme – a lake town resort that is composed mainly of an Eco Park, Water Park and Orang Utan Island.
I can pretty sure bet, there is no other theme park in the world that would present you the unique opportunity to visit Orang Utan Island, despite it’s not a glamorous thing to do. Orangutans or Orangutangs are considered the most intelligent primates, of the great apes that currently only found in Sumatra and Borneo. Classified as an endangered species, except for their long hair and arm, most anatomical structures are very similar to human hence giving its name ‘Orang Utan’, literally translated that ‘Forest Man’. If you would like to meet up with Orang Utan upclose and personal, boating tour can be arranged at Bukit Merah Laketown Resort upon arrival.
Aside from Orang Utan Island, Eco Park and Water Park await. If this is your first trip, let me quickly brief you on what to expect from both.
Yam or better known as Taro by some folks are commonly found in South East Asia. Made into cake and dishes, this root vegetable is a favorite of many due to its distinct texture and flavor. Starchy, delicious if one knows the secrets to cook it to perfection. Growing up in Asia, I somehow fall in love with taro since my early childhood. From taro yam cake that my mom used to make, taro bun (only 25 cents) that reminds me of how inexpensive life used to be when I was young to taro pork ribs that obviously added more than a few kilos onto my body!
One fine morning when I arrived at wet market, I couldn’t resist the temptation of a fresh taro. Hence I bought one home after taking a crash course on how to cook steamed yam rice. It is in fact as simple as ABC. For someone who loves a pot that cooks everything, this is a meal that you ought to try. Combining carbohydrate, protein, some vegetable variety, this dish certainly giving you a satisfaction especially if you are a big fan of taro! Happy cooking!!
Despite Hong Kong is very much oriental in character, it offers a taste of a cosmopolitan, truly a melting pot of worldwide influences. Growing as a global city, this means the entry into the country is very much hassle free. If you are unsure on entry permit or requirement for your nationality, look up here for visiting pass or visitor’s visa requirement into Hong Kong. With that in mind, you can start to book for your flight and accommodation.
Homestay – Truly!
Unlike the massive countries like United States or Australia, land prices skyrocket because every square foot in Hong Kong is very precious. Hence, lodging in four or five-star hotels can start from HK$1000-3000 (US$130-390) particularly in town areas or top attraction zones. For the home-stay kind of accommodation, it means you give up luxury and the usual comfort. There are many variety, the one I am referring to is budget hostel that occupied usually more than a decade old buildings. The ground floors are usually happening zone, commercial street and bustling, come with convenience stores less than 10 feet away. Prevalence backpackers areas are Tsim Sha Tsui, Mong Kong and even Yau Ma Tei or Jordon and Austin. Price is inexpensive, space however is tiny, you also have to bear the discomfort feeling when sharing an elevator or lift. It can be suffocating, as it is rather small and slow! But, it offers the real life experience of Hong Kong folks! They cramp into this kind of space, right here day in and day out. No jokes. So, promise you a truly homestead (for Britons) experience! Of course, this is not for faint-hearted!!
Avenue of The Stars Why and why..people keep talking about this place? This the only place in the world that one can see Bruce Lee in action. I am not joking – you would see the scene of this iconic kung fu master movie star is perpetually in action, rain or shine plus the craze of crowd. Forget about selfie-ing only you and Bruce Lee!
As its name per say, it is the avenue to pay tribute to the stars of the silver screen and the people who made the magic happen. Similar to Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, there are plaques, handprints of the stars and sculptures found along the promenade in addition to panoramic view of Victoria Harbour and the comforting breeze.
Aside from a pleasant walk, reviewing the line-up bronze statues, the must see is metropolitan landscape across the sea. Tall sky scrappers that made homes in Central or Wan Chai on Hong Kong island.