Food is obviously one of the most blogged about topics on the internet. I’m sure everyday there are new, young bloggers starting their new blogs on food review. I’m not going to be one of those (though I am young) who focus on reviewing food in overpriced, fancy restaurants. On my blog I aim to share with you about food that deliver a high level of satisfaction without costing you an arm and a leg. This does not necessarily mean it’s always about cheap food, it’s about value-for-money food experience. This includes home cooked food, which gives you the highest bang for the buck (and sense of accomplishment).
Simpang Renggam is less than an hour from JB, so it makes sense as a lunch stop when driving up north from JB if one were to leave JB before noon.
There are ample eateries in Simpang Renggam, and we chose Restoran Tai Kai Hock (大家福酒楼) since they are quite highly rated on Google. They are basically a Tze Char restaurant and the standard is above average.
Their signature dish is the crispy duck, and indeed it is pretty good. Overall the food is value for money, and well worth stopping over for lunch.
This was the first trip ever I had to change my itinerary due to adverse weather. It slipped my mind that when we went to Krabi last year, we heard news about flooding in southern Thailand. The weather in Krabi was really good, while on the eastern coast, the monsoon wreaked havoc. History repeated itself this year.
My plan was to drive to Koh Samui from Hat Yai. Hat Yai is too boring for 4 nights, and there isn’t much to see around the region as well. The coastal route would take me from Nakhon si Thammarat to Donsak pier in the shortest time possible. Unfortunately, i had to turn back as the road was closed due to flooding.
Bukit Gambir is under 2 hours from KL and 1.5 hours from JB, so it could work as a lunch stop from either direction. It is a sizeable town, comparable to Yong Peng, and offers quite a few dining options during lunch time. It is very near Panchor, and easily accessible from the Toll booth.
I Googled and found a restaurant that has unfortunately already shut down, but just behind to it, there is a Tze Char restaurant that probably has been operating for a long time – Bee Hiong Guan. It is housed in a purpose-built building, and the high ceiling made it feel breezy and airy. It is very clean too. Continue reading North-South highway lunch stop – Bukit Gambir
The only clue I had when searching for my grandfather’s hometown was my surname. As the Chinese proverb goes, that sounds like searching for a needle in the ocean bed, right? Fortunately, in the olden days, Chinese families, those with the same surname, stick closely together. An entire village would consist of families of the same descent. And so, just by searching using my surname, I managed to find two villages in Fuqing where people with the same surname as mine lived.
To be honest, i felt that my chances were pretty low on actually hitting the jackpot, but it would be good enough for me just to get a feel of the place. Continue reading Tour of my ancestral land – Part 3 – Fuqing and Fuzhou
While my dad is from Fuqing, my mum is Hakka. Specifically, from Dabu 大埔. I didn’t plan for it initially, but after checking the map, i discovered that Dabu is not too far from the Tulou area. Well, afterall, the Tulou are built by the Hakkas. So, i decided to add on an itinerary to check out Dabu, even though my mum wasn’t so keen.
Dabu is located in Guangdong province, just bordering Fujian. Just so that we could do some sightseeing (because there isn’t much to see in and around Dabu, other than ancient dwellings which does not interest my mum again), i chose to visit the terraced paddy fields of Pingshan (坪山梯田).
Enroute to Pingshan, we passed by Pinghe (平和), and they are famous for Pomelo (蜜柚). I have not seen Pomelo, or anything at all for that matter, grown in such a scale. Continue reading Tour of my ancestral land – Part 2 – Dabu and Tulou
For a long time, I had in mind to bring my father to his father’s birthplace. It finally came to pass. My grandfather came from Fuqing, Fujian. Since then, none among my relatives have gone back to visit, so nobody has an idea what the place is like. Not sure about you, but I find it intriguing to get a glimpse of how my ancestors lived.
When I chanced upon a cheap flight (S$280) to Xiamen, without second thoughts, I went ahead to book. If one keeps procrastinating, it will never happen.
Here are some tips on organizing a free-and-easy trip in China: Continue reading Tour of my ancestral land – Part 1 – Xiamen
So, where were you over the long weekend just passed? For a cheap getaway, nothing beats crossing over to neighbouring Johor. This time, we ventured up the east coast which we haven’t been to before (not counting Desaru that is). This turned out to be an excellent choice since the north-south highway was jam packed with holiday makers who ended up getting caught in multi-hour traffic jam.
The islands off Johor east coast, especially Tioman, are the popular destinations in this area, but we avoided those as we wanted to avoid crowds. Instead, we headed to Rompin, where there is a decent beach that is not busy. Continue reading Long Weekend Johor Getaway
We are not quite fond of Pizza, until our visit to Naples. Italian Pizzas are quite different from the typical Americanized version that are commercially prevalent in most other parts of the world. It is quite simple, typically with no more than five ingredients for the topping.
Anyway, ever since tasting the real Italian Pizza, we developed a craving for it, especially the one with Arugula, Prosciutto and Burratta. Burratta isn’t readily available here in Singapore, but one can get the pear shaped Mozzarella from the Supermarket. Does not come close to the real Burratta but it will do. I got my Prosciutto from QB Food. Continue reading Breakfast chronicles – Pizza
Leftover ingredient: Yoghurt. I don’t fancy Pancakes in general, but I thought the extra fluffy Japanese Souffle Pancakes were pretty good. Believe it or not, this was the first time I made Pancakes, and they turned out stellar.
I followed this recipe almost exactly, except I omitted the lemon juice and I used all-purpose flour with baking powder instead of self-raising flour. I was surprised how well the Pancakes rose despite this important change.
Most definitely making this again.
Although you can get seafood from any part of Japan, Hokkaido justifiably lays claim to having a special association with seafood. Prior to visiting Hokkaido, the seafood we ate, when visiting the other parts of Japan, were limited to Sushi and Bentos.
While in Hokkaido, we had the priviledge of trying a few things we never did before, such as Uni (sea urchin) and crab (see part 1). I just found out that the summer months actually fall outside of the sea urchin harvesting season, but you will still get to eat them since they are farmed.
Uni Murakami was the restaurant specializing in Uni that i chose to sample this interesting sea creature. The squishy stuff actually tastes pretty good! It’s like one of those wonder ingredients that a Michelin 3 star restaurant would use.