Monday, July 28, 2008

Bukit Hijau up close

Just last month, I visited Bukit Hijau again with my good friends and Saucer. I know, I wrote about Bukit Hijau quite a while ago but during my first visit there, I didn't manage to snap many pictures. Mainly because I was busy playing in the water and we didn't stay for long because we reached there late in the evening.

So for this second trip, we made plans ahead and even prepared our little mini picnic of curry chicken, bread, sardine sandwiches and pork dumplings! Of course, we also went there early in the morning so that we could spend more time with the breathtaking scenery and the glorious sound of waterfalls. More pictures were taken along the way up to Bukit Hijau, just to show you we had to climb up many many stairs!

This was the starting point before the ascend up.

Starting point

Before long, we came across a waterfall just at the foot of the hill. We were lucky we went there on a weekday, so we practically had the whole waterfall to ourselves, wherever we wanted to sit!

Waterfall at the foot of the hill

2nd shot

Almost there

Later on, we came across this mini bridge.

Mini bridge

That led us to more stairs!

More steps

Getting closer to yet another bridge

I saw some very tall bamboo trees... Bamboo, do you hear me? :P

Bamboo plants

Finally, we've reached the highest point that our feet could bring us to. The water on that morning was amazingly loud and cold.

Waterfall at the highest part of hill

Look at Wai Lian having fun in there...

Wai Lian under the falls

It was no easy task taking pictures with so many fine water droplets splashing everywhere. Even my vision was blurred from the glorious waterfall.

Witch in front of the falls

Candid Witch

There was a reason why I didn't submerge myself in the water, and if you're a girl, you would know what I mean. :P Anyway, luckily I was smart enough to bring along my Ipod and newspaper to relax on the rocks with my feet in the freezing water. Of course, the curry chicken and sandwich helped tremendously too! :)

Poser Saucer :P

For the record, I actually got my hair and my back wet from this shot. *LOL*

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Kirishima Goodness

This is a post about one of the best Japanese restaurants available in Penang, Malaysia. In fact, ask any Japanese food lovers about where they think serves the best Japanese food and more often than not, the name Kirishima would come to mind. Kirishima is situated in the Cititel hotel, Penang island. If it were not for the steep pricing, I would have visited it more often. :) Anyway, I was there a few weeks ago for dinner. It is recommended that one should make a reservation before going there since this place is hugely famous especially among Japanese themselves.

The settings of the restaurant exuded a certain quiet, Japanese charm that was very comforting. Most of the tables were nicely secluded from each other so rest assured of a private conversation or date. ;)

Private seats

Toothpicks and seasoning

This was my third or fourth time frequeting Kirishima and I have never failed to order this particular salad dish which is absolutely amazing! I don't remember what it is called in Japanese but I usually told the waitress that it's the salad with a half-boiled egg on top. And she would know what I mean. In fact, during my last visit there, this salad was not in their new menu anymore! I was so disappointed, that was until I beckoned the waitress to further confirm it. Thankfully, the waitress said that they could still prepare it for me. :) OK, so this salad is really one of its kind. Maybe it's the egg. Maybe it's the sauce. Or maybe, it's just the whole combination of it all which made me craving for more every time even after the plate is licked clean. I think you will never go wrong with this as a starter. :) It has a very healthy combination of fresh vegetables, some Japanese thin noodles, fish eggs, some crackers, traces of meat and of course the amazing half boiled egg to top it all off. Just make sure you mix everything well enough, especially the egg yolk! *salivating*


Now, starters aside, we ordered two different bento as our main course. Each bento came with the usual side dishes such as the chawan mushi (steamed egg), small plate of salad, potato salad, pickled vegetables, fruits, beancurd and tempura. Well OK, the tempura may not be classified as one of the 'usual' sides, only applicable for Kirishima.

Chawan mushi is one of my favourite in any Japanese set that I order. I like it because of its smooth texture, its aromatic fragrant and of course, the fact that it doesn't have much fat in it! *LOL* Kirishima certainly didn't fail in this simple yet delicious dish. It was served piping hot and the texture was akin to that of 'tau foo fah', which to me, is a compliment. :)

Chawan mushi

This is the beef bento that we ordered. With all the side dishes as well. I was full to the brim after finishing this set!

Stone grilled beef bento

The beef was served on a burning hot piece of stone. So we, as the customers actually had the fun of tossing the meat around and observing it while it changed color. We ordered it to be done medium well, so the kind chef had already cooked it to the way we wanted. However, if you want to experiment on your own, you could probably request for the chef to prepare it rare, so that you could play around with the stone grill and get it done to perfectly the way you want it to be. :)


Although the presentation was quite impressive, I must say the beef was not exactly great. Don't get me wrong, the meat was indeed tender and juicy, but it lacked a certain flavour to it. I guess I could loosely describe it as being bland.

On the other hand, the second set we ordered, which was the teriyaki chicken, was served on a hot plate and it tasted very good. You could tell that the chicken was fresh from the tender meat. And the sauce was very flavourful, a perfect accompaniment to the Japanese rice, which was also delicious. :) I certainly ate more chicken than the beef.

Stonegrilled chicken

This is the tempura that was served with the set. Well, I guess there's nothing much to say about tempura except that it's crispy and the prawn was succulent. Have you ever wondered how the Japanese fried their prawns such that they ended up straight instead of curved?


The salad side that came with the set paled in comparison to the half-boiled egg salad. I think I was too full to eat anymore salads by the time I was done with my main course. :)

Salad side dish

Overall, my verdict is above average for this place. The service was top-notch and there was just attention to detail in every dish that they served. The way each piece was placed and arranged, it made the customers feel that they're very valued and appreciated. Of course, quality was also not compromised when it came to food. Plus, the ambience was perfect for a quiet but cosy meal either with your loved ones or with good friends.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Sex or making love, does it matter?

Just two days ago, I came across an interesting article with this question: "Is sex important to you?". Of course, most of the male respondents in the article answered affirmative, whereas the minority said that as long as there's love, it doesn't matter. So, I took it upon myself to make a mini survey of my own, by asking close friends on their opinions of sex.

First of all, do you think sex and making love are the same? Well according to my respondents, they're not. Loosely speaking, sex is just for own, personal, selfish pleasure, whereas making love means ensuring both parties are having a good time on bed. A good 'sex' example would be a man satisfying himself with a woman, without regards on whether the woman is having a great time or not. In fact, as long as he is satisfied, he feels happy. Yes, this is nothing different that hiring a prostitute!

On the other hand, a gentleman who is 'making love' tries his best to ensure both parties are enjoying the whole process thoroughly. He will put his woman's satisfaction on top of his own. Furthermore, most of my male respondents stated that their woman's satisfaction will make them happier than their own. Talk about ego indeed. It is just something that men feel, that they are ABLE to generate such pleasure in a woman, that they have the power and capability to do so. Yes, egoistic indeed, but if we're the women shouldn't we feel happy that our happiness is prioritized? *winks*

Well, now that we're clear on the difference between making love and sex, my question would be, is making love important to you? For this question, ALL of my respondents said yes! In fact, most of them said that it's a natural human being feeling, without which they would feel that something is missing in their lives. Love has an emotional and a physical part to it, so even though you love your partner with all your heart (emotional part), but you're not able to enjoy great sex (physical part), it will still not be complete. One of my friends even said that if he can't have a satisfying sex life, he will be prone to having affairs just so to satisfy his inner desire. I guess I can't blame him for that, because this is after all, natural. If you have it all, why would you look elsewhere, right?

But, as a girl, I think it is somehow rather shallow to place so much importance in sex. Sure, it is part of our natural needs as human but I read from Cleo that some girls indeed don't enjoy sex! In fact, they find it painful and avoid it. So does that mean these girls will never find someone who could accept them? I don't know as well. Dilemma. What do YOU think?

But ultimately, I should think that if there's still something that can be done to improve a couple's sex life, it should be done. See a doctor, a gynae, even a sex therapist. Go for all means to see if things can be improved. You deserve it! :)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A taste of Thailand in Prontip

Just a few weeks before Saucer left, we went for an impromptu Thai dinner at a random restaurant. It was a Sunday, after his classes as usual, and we were heading to town to eat. Several suggestions came to mind but were not appealing enough, until I suggested Thai food. Then it occurred to us that we've never really eaten in a Thai restaurant before. I mean, Japanese, Korean, American, Italian, Chinese, even Indian food, we've tried, but not Thai, even though it's so common. Hence, since we were already in town, we picked a random Thai restaurant that we saw along the way. :) This place is called Prontip, and it's at the end of Macalister road, which you will find difficult to miss because it's so prominently situated at the corner of a junction.

We were there early so there was still no crowd, which was good because we were famished! We started with small dishes of pandan leaves chicken and belacan chicken. The pandan chicken fooled me by its simple appearance. Once you remove the leaves, the strong aroma of marinated chicken attacked your smelling senses, building up the momentum before your first bite... and then, bliss... :) This dish is an appetizer all right, and you have to make sure you have rice ready in front of you, because it goes very well with rice! Did I mention that Prontip provides free flow of rice as well? Splendid!

Pandan chicken

The belacan chicken was a little ordinary, though not to say bad. It's very similar to deep fried chicken, except smaller pieces. :P

Belacan chicken

Next, being in a Thai restaurant simply means you MUST order the tom yam soup, without excuses. I don't know about you, but I personally judge a Thai restaurant by their tom yam soup, just like how I judge an Italian restaurant by their garlic bread. It's just their signature dish and if they can't do that right, I have no reason to return. But Prontip, my dear friends, did not disappoint at all. :) I'm proud to say that the tom yam soup they had was extremely tantalizing and appealing to the taste buds. It has the correct amount of sourness and spiciness, without overpowering each other. Some tom yam soups are just SO sour that you could not taste anything else. They also put in extra effort to use proper claypot with slow burning fire underneath to keep the soup warm for a longer period. Plus, I loved the fact that they used really succulent prawns in the soup, together with fish meat and cuttlefish as well. *salivating* Must order this again if I go there next time. :)

Glorious seafood tomyam
Juicy prawns

Another dish that Saucer ordered was the Thai curry crabs, just because he was craving for crabs that night. This was a chef's recommendation and the green curry was unique to the Thais. I personally don't really enjoy crabs because it's so difficult to eat them! And after so much hard work of peeling their shells, you only get to eat one small piece of meat. Definitely not worth it. :P But I did enjoy the taste of the green curry though. Not too spicy and very aromatic. Saucer told me the crabs were pretty good though a bit small.

Green curry crabs

We're already full to the brim at this point of time, and getting ready to leave, when suddenly, the waiter came bearing these desserts and placed them on our table. They're no other than the famous Thai dessert of water chestnut coated with red flour and jackfruit stripes in sweet coconut milk. I just found out from my aunty that coconut milk in its original form is actually healthy, and does not contain cholesterol. Only when it's subjected to high temperature, like when it's added in curry or in 'tong sui' that it becomes cholesterol-laden. So, that means you can eat this dessert guilt-free! Did I mention it turned out to be complimentary? So nice of Prontip, yes?

Complimentary dessert

Overall, the restaurant definitely serves good quality food with reasonable prices. For all the food I mentioned here, it costs approximately RM50 for 2 persons. That being said, it is wise to come early to guarantee a place because by the time we left (7.30pm), the place was already packed to the brim!

Prontip Thai Restaurant
2 Lebuhraya Peel (Yesterday Club),
10350 Penang, Malaysia.
Tel: 04-2282234
Mobile: 012-4788376
Fax: 04-2282235

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Kerachut and Baby Turtles

It was the month of June, and I heard from Wai Lian that there would be turtles laying eggs at this month of the year, in no other than Kerachut itself! It was the perfect opportunity for us to go hiking after a long week of stressful work, and also to admire the beauty and serenity of the beach in Penang. On that fateful day, Saucer and I almost didn't manage to make it, because he overslept! And since I was supposed to wait for his call to wake me up, I overslept as well. :P Luckily for us, the group was kind enough to wait so that we could start hiking together. :)

The trail into Kerachut beach was densely covered by tall trees. I love the fact that they helped to protect us from the harmful UV rays of the sun!

Dense trees

See? I am so proud of myself to have climbed up so many steps. *LOL*

Many many steps

After almost 45 minutes of incessant sweating and complaining, we finally reached our destination. This mini bridge connects the ending point of the trail to the starting point of the beach.

Mini bridge

It was scorching hot when we were there, so walking on the beach barefooted wasn't exactly a nice idea. This was the first sight that befell upon us when we reached. Such peace and tranquility. If it was not for the burning hot sun, I would have laid down here with a good book with chilled orange juice! And my Ipod. And oh, a hammock won't hurt either. :) Total bliss!

First sight

Another angle from where I was standing. The sky was so clear even my point-and-shoot camera could capture the clouds clearly. :)
Beautiful beach

We were then on our way, walking towards the signature pier of Kerachut beach. There is no mistaken identity when it comes to this pier, because it's unique in its own way. There were a couple of times when I spotted wedding pictures that were taken at that very spot as well. Again, walking on hot, soft, sand was NOT fun. The sand kept trying to enter my shoes and my feet kept sinking which each step taken.

Pier at one end

Look at our foot steps! This picture is so cute!

The best part of Kerachut, aside of the beauty, is the cleanliness. One could hardly spot litter on the beach, because the people who visit Kerachut understand the importance of keeping the beach clean. People like us. *wink*

Clean beach

There... We've reached the pier! Oh by the way, there is also another form of transport to get to this beach, which is by boat. Of course, I always think those boat rides are really not necessary and they cut throats, too! The price, I mean.

Famous Kerachut pier

This is me attempting to capture a shot which is similar to that shown in a Kerachut flyer. :) What do you think? No photoshop done ok.

Famous Kerachut pier

Look at how nice this picture is, with just a slight tweak in the background colour.

Black and white

I went around capturing pictures of the surroundings as well. From an unknown, isolated beach, Kerachut has now become a well-maintained camp site. It is extremely popular among students to camp here, what with such a magnificent view of the beach and even public toilets provided!
Camp site

What's more? There's even an area for people to cook! Campers are so spoilt here, if you ask me. I remember during my good old secondary school, I was a member of the St. John ambulance, and our training camps were definitely FAR from this.


Before we left, we made our way to the nearby Turtle Conservation Centre. That was one of the main reasons we went to Kerachut, remember?
Turtles Conservation Center

Look at how they incubate the turtle eggs! They have to be there for 55-65 days before they're ready to hatch. Shockingly, the amount of eggs has deteriorated tremendously over the years. I'm sure it is a well-known fact that turtles are indeed endangered species. Therefore, I applaud centers like these which take the effort to conserve as much as they can, the population of this dying species.

Eggs incubator

We saw a HUGE turtle! OK, it's a fake one, but it does certainly look real here, doesn't it?

It was our lucky day because according to the person in charge, these baby turtles just hatched on the same morning we were there! I couldn't capture a nice picture as they were moving around frantically and we're not allowed to use flash. Here's the best that I could do.

Baby turtles

Extremely adorable!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Kelisa wonder

Never underestimate the power of Kelisa.



Friday, July 4, 2008

Liar and coward

I am angry. No... more like fuming. Furious. How could anyone change his mind SO quickly? One minute he's claiming a whole list of things that have happened and convincingly so, and another minute, he's telling a whole new story! Who does he think we are? Mindless idiots? This is so demeaning and insulting to the point of being rude. If you still have no idea of what I'm talking about, you should go read today's news.

Shocking, isn't it? All the revelations by this Private Investigator called P. Balasubramaniam. In fact, when I read it, I thought the time has finally come. That the people of Malaysia are finally strong enough to come out and tell the truth, and to clear away the barrier that is clouding everyone's eyes. Never did I know, just less than ONE day after the revelation, he retracted it! Read this news. And I quote from it, "I wish to retract the entire contents of my statutory declaration dated July 1 2008. I was compelled to affirm the said statutory declaration under duress." Under duress? That's the excuse given by him! For God's sake, could he have told a better lie?

In his earlier revelation, he was apparently forced to sign a police statement that had omitted some of the information provided by him. When asked why he signed it, he mentioned: “If you have experienced being in a lock-up, definitely you will sign the statement." Which means, he was signing a police statement which was not entirely depicting the information that he provided. That should not even be considered as a statement! Where is the transparency in our system? Why are certain people protected from the law? So is this how it's going to be? Every time you're under some kind of stress or threat, you can use that as a reason to do things which you could easily RETRACT later on? You signed a statement which is not entirely complete, and you claim that you did it under stress. And now, you came up with a statutory declaration on what was actually MISSING from the statement and later, you retracted it claiming it was under duress!

To Balasubramaniam out there, I think you're treating people who read the news as fools, by insulting our intelligence and telling us convincing lies that you think we would believe. In real fact, we're immensely pissed off at you, you coward. And that is from someone who's served the police force before. Shame on you! Where is the justice and honesty that the police force apparently uphold? You're really making the whole scenario to appear as a joke to the people of Malaysia. I wish the truth would prevail soon and I would gladly see what kind of excuse you would give if you're proven to be telling lies. Maybe that time, you would come up with another excuse that you were ALSO under DURESS when you were forced to retract your statutory declaration!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Ingolf's Kneipe Gigantic Pork Knuckles

I know I have written about this awesome German restaurant before, but I have never tried their pork knuckles yet!

Ingolf's bar

And what's a German restaurant experience without pork knuckles right? For Ingolf's Kneipe, pork knuckles are indeed prized and rare as they are only served on every Wednesday of the week. It is highly recommended for one to make a reservation beforehand to avoid disappointment as this place is already crowded even on normal days. So on one fine Wednesday, my colleagues and I went to this place hungrily just to taste the famed pork knuckles. Of course, we also ordered some other dishes to make sure all of our hungry stomachs were well-fed. :P

Here's a nice salad that one of us ordered, with fresh and succulent prawns, no less! Pretty good comments from her as well, judging from how the plate was licked clean afterwards. :P


Came with healthy salad sauce, unlike those typical thousand island or mayonnaise *gasp*!
Salad sauce
with the sauce

Next up, there was pork goulash, too. You're right, this place is filled with pork and more pork. I guess Germans love pork very much so we couldn't run away from ordering that here. :) This dish looked awesomely pleasant and definitely palatable. It had the combination of a healthy meal right from proteins, carbs and loads of vitamins from fresh vegetables and peas.
Pork goulash
Pork goulash

The last time I went with Saucer, we were pleasantly surprised with the huge portion of mixed grill with very good variety of meat as well. Therefore, we ordered it again this time, without disappointment. :) It came with pork (of course!), lamb chop, beef, bacon and sausages. Good enough for 2 persons if you're not too hungry. :) And don't forget the wedges! They have definitely converted me into a wedges lover even though I wasn't a big fan initially. *Sigh*

Mixed grill
Mixed grill

Finally, the dish we were waiting for arrived! And it came with two huge servings of sauerkraut (sour cabbage) and mashed potatoes. I remember very well that we did not like the sauerkraut at all! In fact, it was mostly untouched that the owner of the restaurant asked us if there's anything wrong with the dish when he cleared the table. I guess we're all just not used to the sourish taste.

DSCN4773Mashed potator
Side dishes

And the star of the night, here it is! Authentic German pork knuckles! Don't they look crispy and delicious? Well, my humble opinions here... I am not a fan of fatty meat and these knuckles have loads of them, with fatty skins as well, so I didn't manage to savour a big part of the serving. I only picked those slender meat which was not aplenty, but it was definitely enough for me. The crispy skin was definitely delicious, as with all things crispy :P But I guess the meaty part was nothing to shout about. I suppose the experience would have been different if I ate the meat together with the fatty skin as well. Otherwise, my meat tasted a borderline bland. I ended up enjoying the mixed grill more though. *LOL* Anyway, this was definitely a good experience since I've never tried German knuckles before. With such a large portion, it is definitely more than enough for 2 persons!

Pork knuckle
Pork knuckles