Tuesday, 31 May 2016

What did we do in Ipoh?

It was already past midnight ( 3 a.m.) when our Ipoh friend, Jenn suggested an impromptu road trip to her hometown. So, off we, Team Spontaneous went! We departed from KLCC in Men Yew's car. Well, he's not only a seasoned hiker and good swimmer, but also a professional driver! I immediately fell into a deep slumber when the 2.5-hour journey started (I could only fall asleep if the ride was smooth). The other friends, on the other hand, kept engaging the driver in conversation to keep him from sleeping. LOL

We arrived at Jenn's place at 5:30 a.m. Her parents were awakened to a phone call from their daughter, and they were so surprised to see their daughter came back home with 3 little cute boys. Of course, we were kicked out of welcomed into the house (so nice of her parents!). Jenn's mum swiftly neatened up a bedroom for 3 of us to stay in. *Lights off and we (excluding me) could finally get a nice sleep*

We had our breakfast in the late morning at one fairly renowned (not the best according to most food reviews and critics I read from the Internet tho) Dim Sum eatery, Chooi Yue Dim Sum.

Chooi Yue Dim Sum 翠月楼点心  @ Ipoh Garden South

Image courtesy of www.hungrygowhere.my
There were quite a number of patrons on that day (Sunday if I'm not mistaken) but not full to the brim probably because we came a bit late (around 11 a.m.), and there were not many choices available from the Dim Sum menu.

Ernest was excited to indulge in Dim Sum 点心!

There was a trolley carting some Dim Sum dishes for us to pick for. We did not really bother whatsoever and just simply picked a few dishes that came into sight since we would have lunch at Jenn's parents' restaurant after that.

I have to say that we did enjoy some of the Dim Sum dishes at Chooi Yue like this dumpling

 and this.

CaterBest Restaurant @ Jalan Bercham

We made a beeline to Jenn's restaurant, CaterBest Restaurant after our pleasant light breakfast at Chooi Yue. CaterBest is one of the few certified Halal restaurants serving Chinese cuisine in Ipoh, and it has been in business for over 15 years. Jenn's dad is the chef.

Take a glimpse at what we had! *Excuse my bad photography skill! I was busy eating so I did not make it a point to take decent photos!*

If you asked me if the food was nice, I would probably tell you YES because after all, it's free!

AIS KEPAL a.k.a ICE BALL @  BITS & BOBS, Kong Heng Square

Well, this famous ice ball was literally a huge ball of compressed shaved ice drizzled with flavoured syrup of your choice.

I opted for Sarsi flavour. For the uninitiated, this huge ice ball has a long history in Ipoh, making it one of the fondest childhood memories among the baby boomers and Gen X in the good old days of Ipoh. Today, located in the heart of Ipoh old town (Kong Heng Square), Bits & Bobs brings back the joy and reminiscent of this childhood dessert at the price of Rm 3 each (it used to be 10 sen 20 years back!).   

However, it was nothing too fancy; in fact, it would be quite messy to eat as the ice ball would melt in no time!


White Coffee is the icon of IPOH! And I urge you all to travel to Ipoh to sip on a nice hot cup of white coffee with old-fashioned toasts by the side before you die! I used to think that people were just exaggerating about how different the white coffee in Ipoh is from other places; but believe me, it's really different in terms of the coffee aroma! *I have no idea where this coffee shop was* By the way, I did not really enjoy the egg caramel custard.

Take a closer look...

That froth tho...


Now, this place is very very famous for their Tau Fu Fah (Soy Bean pudding)

We bought 5 bowls for 5 of us and had it in the car.

Rm 1.20 for 1 small bowl. I would say that it was very nice considering that it had a very nice silky texture, perfect to wash down our meal.

Kai see hor fun & Nga choy @ Onn Kee Restaurant 安记芽菜鸡沙河粉

This was our last stop before heading back to Sunway, Selangor.

Another signature dish in Ipoh is Nga Choy Kai (芽菜鸡Bean Sprouts Chicken), but we did not bother to order that when we were here at Onn Kee because we just wanted to have something plain and light since we were still full. So we ended up ordering Kai See Hor Fun (鸡丝河粉 flat rice noodles in clear broth) and Nga Choy (Bean sprouts dressed in light soy sauce as well as sesame oil). This restaurant seemed to be very popular among some celebrities from the film industry but in my opinion, they should improve some of their workers' attitude towards their customers.  

From the left, Jenn and her friend

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Fish Culture Cafe II 鱼玩食家, Sibu

The other day, I had lunch with my mum at Fish Culture Cafe II. Their first shop around Medan Mall has operated for some years now and it seems that they enjoy brisk business most of the time so they decided to expand their business to this new place here in the vicinity of Wonderful Supermarket.

Their signature Foo Chow Fish ball (Rm 4.45)

Well, one fish ball had been eaten by my mum before I could even take a photo so the price stated here is actually for 5 fish balls. Traditional authentic Fuzhou fish ball is made by beating the fish paste repeatedly until it completely turns into a nice mush. Then, the mush is used to make a wrapping for a variety of fillings.

Typically, the fish ball is stuffed with minced pork filling. Unlike machine-made fish ball, handmade one has more smooth and springier texture.

Salty Pan Pau (Rm 4.30) is actually pan-fried bun with salted fish and minced pork fillings. It is a famous Cantonese food you can easily find at most Dim Sum places.

It was not bad though I would still prefer it if it had a crispier skin.

Look at the filling...

They had really nice Lor Mai Kai (Rm4.45).

I was quite surprised to find out that it tasted so very nice to the extent that it could simply beat out some renowned international Dim Sum restaurant chains in the country. They used fish meat which I found it interesting because normally Chicken meat (as the name suggested; kai means chicken in Cantonese) is used instead.

Wakame Salad (Rm 4.45)

Well, obviously this is a Japanese appetizer. I wonder why but you can actually find this at this Dim Sum eatery. On a side note, you can get a whole tub of this from some supermarkets like Cold Storage for how much I have forgotten but definitely for a better price. Anyway, I did enjoy it (Very pleasant sesame oil aroma).

Seasoned Rice Pot (Rm 6.20)

Not too bad but not so good either. The pork was tender but not very well marinated.

Mushroom Mee (Rm 5.30)

They used Kampua Mee if I am not mistaken. It was not bad but just one thing; the fish balls (made from West Saury 西刀鱼 as mentioned on their menu) were a tad too fishy for my liking.


Friday, 20 May 2016

APEX Survival Challenge at Tadom Base

Photo Courtesy of tadombase.com
"A refugee is a person who has to flee their home country due to WELL-FOUNDED FEAR of being PERSECUTED for reasons of religion, race or political belief they hold. Therefore, they have to seek protection in other countries"

Did you know that there are more than 20,000 refugee children (below 18 years old) in Malaysia? And what's more disheartening is they do not have any access to formal education in this country where they seek asylum in. This happens because there is no legal frameworks in effect to help out or even grant refugees in this nation an official status. Worst still, often than not, they are regarded as illegal immigrants in the society; thus being discriminated against.

For this reason, APEX Survival Challenge, an obstacle course event, was held to raise funds to provide a formal education for refugee children in Malaysia.

The Venue : Tadom Base, Banting, Selangor 

Photo Courtesy of tadombase.com
Located around 10 minutes from Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Tadom Base has extremely stunning scenery.

Photo Courtesy of tadombase.com
The place is surrounded by crystal clear lakes..

Photo Courtesy of tadombase.com
and limestone hills.

Photo Courtesy of tadombase.com
APEX Survival Challenge (18th October 2015)

APEX Challenge was priced at RM 80 for early birds while RM 90 for those who registered late. The event was kicked start with a warm-up Zumba session.

The whole event comprised of a 3 Km race on rough terrains and some 30 physical-challenging as well as adrenaline-surging obstacles. 

So the 3 km race was finally flagged off after the warm-up session...

  The participants had to run through terrains like this...

Photo Courtesy of tadombase.com
 and like this...

like a maze runner! We were all dry at first but we started to get wet by the time we trod into the muddy terrain. The swampy land made our progression harder as you could get stuck or even slip in the mud.  

Now this was where the essence of teamwork was enacted.

The participants were required to scramble their way under the rows of closely packed tyres. 

And then, clambering from one end of the monkey bars to the other end. 

What could be really menacing was if you lost your grip in the middle way....

you would end up slumping into a swath of poops. REAL POOPS! Fortunately, I did not drop into the "nasty land of shit" because I managed to clamber across the bars took a detour to the next obstacle. 

This is Ernest...

who had a courageous spirit to pull through the "Land-of-Shit" ordeal.

The next obstacle...

Well, nothing to remark about.

Then, there was this very steep slope...

where participants had to clamber their way up with a rugged rope.

Some photos of the other obstacles...

The participants were asked to pull on a life vessel provided by the event helpers at one of the obstacles...

Here. This was when we got utterly drenched.

Men Yew, the seasoned climber who I had already introduced in this blogpost, happened to be a great swimmer as well..

He even explored around and fumbled about under the water only to make a great discovery --- there was nothing but merely mud down there!

 So he had to rub his hands to remove the mud once he got out of the water.

The last obstacle was the highlight of the whole course!

Participants had to first clamber up to the top of the double-stack huge shipping containers...

And then from high up there..

we slid down at full speed.

Well, look at my left hand. It was awkward. Prior to sliding down the canvas-like slope, I was told to hold my spec tight. However, I misunderstood the instruction; instead of holding it firm in my grasp, I literally just "held" it on my face. When it turned out, my spec was jolted away by the momentum when I splashed into the water.

The feeling of the adrenaline rush while sliding down was more than just thrilling, and all I could feel throughout the few fleeting seconds was solely winds gusting against my body.

You girls rock! Ops, it was so fortunate that I could get my spec back after a long period of painstaking search carried out by some diligent divers there.