North-south highway lunch stop – Yong Peng 688 coffee shop

Yong Peng remains the best lunch stop, timing wise, when traveling down to JB from KL. 688 coffee shop is a lively place with 5 stalls, which is considered a high stall count for Yong Peng. There is the drink stall that also sells Bak Kut Teh, Assam fish and porridge. There’s also a chicken rice stall, a Wanton noodle stall, a Tze Char stall and a soup stall (fish balls, pork ribs etc.).

Chicken rice. Notice the coffee is the typical thin type common in the region, and it looks very milky, though it doesn’t really taste milky.
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Taobao product recommendation – Stainless steel ice cubes

Want instant cool drinks but don’t want to dilute the drink with water? Then stainless steel ice cubes are for you. Just cool the cubes in the freezer as you would do with ice cubes, then drop them into your drink to chill it.

Cool your beer without diluting it
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Taobao product recommendation – Bluetooth transmitter receiver

I have previously bought this Bluetooth tranceiver, but ultimately it didn’t work well. In fact, it died. I suspect it was due to charging the battery while it is in use at the same time.

Get a pair of this to enjoy low latency and reliable wireless audio transmission

Well, i now got my hands on a Bluetooth 5 transceiver. It runs on the Qualcomm CSR8675 chip, which is probably the market leader. I ordered a pair so that i can be assured of the most reliable wireless audio transmission possible, but alas, the seller only shipped one unit, and refunded me the payment for the second unit. I will probably have to order another one next time.

Anyhow, i tried pairing this lone Bluetooth 5 transmitter with the built-in Bluetooth receiver on my mixer, and the result was fantastic! The audio quality was really spectacular, despite the Bluetooth receiver on my mixer being at most Bluetooth 4.1 (it is unspecified).

I tried using the Bluetooth transmitter while charging it at the same time and it resulted in some high pitched noise. I guess it is generally not a good idea to do so, the circuitry might be damaged.

I highly recommend this Bluetooth transmitter/receiver. If you need SPDIF input/output, you can get the bigger box and it cost only 20 Yuan more.

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Taobao product recommendation – Sous Vide circulator

Before i proceed any further, i must put forth the disclaimer that i have not purchased the product from Taobao that i am introducing today. I still own and use the Anova circulator i have gotten many years ago.

My Anova still works flawlessly, but the clamp for holding it to the pot has broken off. Having used a Sous Vide circulator, though only on and off, i think it’s actually quite worthwhile owning one.

I managed to cook 10 duck legs at one go
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Breakfast chronicles – French omelette

You can’t go wrong with serving eggs for breakfast. The French omelette style is especially tantalizing. I was actually inspired to do this after stumbling upon this YouTube video by a saucy Chinese lady living in the US.

Well, for my first attempt I would say it turned out quite okay, since I didn’t try hard. I actually bought the rather expensive Boursin cream cheese (S$7) just to try this recipe. Overall, the omelette was a little too creamy for my liking, but I would do this again.

It helps a lot if you have an extra wide spatula to do the flipping
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Taobao product recommendation – automatic coffee machine

This is one of the most expensive items I have purchased on Taobao. As with most things on Taobao, it is cheaper than the equivalent coffee machine sold in the stores. The closest competitor is the De’Longhi Magnifica S which sells for around S$900. At 2980 Yuan (S$605), the Thermos is a no-brainer choice. The pricing fluctuates, but the 2980 is about the lowest i have seen so far. You might want to purchase from the official Thermos Taobao store if the price is the same.

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Taobao product recommendation – household ozone sterilizer

This is another product recommended by Dr Tom Wu. I felt it delivers a big impact for a fairly low cost. Food is becoming less safe in this age when there is tremendous pressure to drive the cost of food down. This inevitably implies widespread use of chemicals in agriculture.

An ozone sterilizer is an effective and convenient way to mitigate the problem. It is convenient because it runs on electricity and does not involve any consumables. It is also actually quite effective in killing bacteria and removing pesticide.

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Taobao product recommendation – high speed blender

I never thought i needed a blender until i was introduced to Dr Tom Wu’s nutritional approach. He advocates consuming the Phytochemical found in plants, and he suggests that the best way to get them is to break down the plant cell walls using a high speed blender. This is a very subjective matter, and nobody has a conclusive say on whether Dr Wu’s claims are true. Nevertheless, i was sold on trying out the blender. For one thing, i know i will be consuming more fruits and vegetables when i make it a point to put something into the blender every now and then.

Another valid point is that when food is already chopped into tiny bits, the nutrition is more easily absorbed. Also, unlike a juicer, you will consume the whole fruit or vegetable, which allows you to get more out of it. It is definitely more filling too, so you can make do with buying less food. Good for mother earth.

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Breakfast chronicles – Prata Quiche

A Quiche is very easy to make (you just need to mix all the ingredients together), especially when you have ready made puff pastry, which unfortunately is not affordably available here. Frozen Prata is a viable substitute. It produces flaky pastry, though it doesn’t taste buttery at all.

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Taobao parcel forwarder review – SGShop

I never expected to have to try yet another Taobao parcel forwarder after i have already gone through Taobao official shipping, ezbuy and 86of. I had to ship a piece of phone battery, which is obviously a sensitive item. Taobao official sea shipping does not allow it. Ezbuy still does not work (and probably won’t for the foreseeable future, unless you use VPN as suggested by Aber). As for 86of, i can’t get a definite answer from them whether they can ship a phone battery.

I have actually registered with SGShop for some time, but didn’t find their rates attractive. Anyway, since the other options are not available, i decided to check them out, and I discovered a major advantage they have over the others: instant response local chat service (ezbuy has chat service too). I was able to get confirmation (they verified with the Chinese counterpart) that they can ship the phone battery via sea shipping.

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