Saturday, November 29, 2008

Noodles and cakes

Chiaoju and I planned to meet up for dinner one fine day, but we were out of ideas where to go. In the end, we decided to visit a relatively new restaurant in E-Gate called Noodle Station, simply because it's situated in the middle of both our homes and we had not tried it before. The place was rather empty when we reached there at 6.30pm on a weekday. Well, the good thing was we could sit anywhere we wanted without having to wait. :)

Noodle Station at E-gate

The environment in Noodle Station was chic and quiet, perfect for friends to catch up or for business deals.


The menu available was rather extensive and it took us quite a while to figure out what to order. Frankly, their menu dishes all revolved around their signature springy noodles. So, it's either dry noodles or soup noodles, noodles with fish balls, noodles with wan tan, etc etc. As for me, I always have the tendency to order spicy soup, I still do not know why. Perhaps they look more appetizing? Anyway, I ordered the Spicy Trio Wantan Noodle Soup, which had a combination of crabsticks, fishballs, fried wantans and prawns. The soup was moderately spicy, and I liked that they did not scrimp on the toppings. There were plenty of prawns, wantans and fish balls within the noodles. However, I did not quite like the springy noodles' texture. It's different from the normal wan tan noodles that are found in hawker stalls, and stiffer. Perhaps it's an acquired taste?

Spicy Trio Wantan Noodle Soup

Chiaoju ordered dried garlic noodles with fried wantan and fish balls. I liked the aroma of the garlic with the noodles. Even though the noodles looked plain, the taste was pretty good. Of course, the noodles used were of the same type as above.

Wantan Noodle With Fried Chicken Dumpling

Apart from noodles, we also ordered the Honey BBQ chicken wings. The chicken wings were well-marinated with a thick layer of honey but I thought they were overcooked. Some parts of the chicken were burnt!

Chicken wings

After dinner, we stayed to talk for a bit more before we headed for, guess what? Dessert! *cheers*

Chiaoju and witch

Kind Chiaoju had this birthday voucher from Starbucks, which included a glass of coffee and a free slice of cake of choice. Since Starbucks was just a few doors away, we proceeded to go there and chose our cakes! I chose the chocolate and cappuccino cake (can't remember the name) while Chiaoju highly recommended the Apple Crumble.

Starbucks cake

And after tasting the apple crumble, I totally agreed with her! The exterior of the cake was hot from the re-heat, and the crust just crumbled in my mouth. Blend it with the baked apple and warm gravy inside, and I just reached heaven. Yum! Another piece, please? :)

Apple crumble

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Haagen Dazs chocolate brownies

I miss ...


Glorious chocolate syrup

Satisfaction guaranteed

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Italiannies and cheap books!

Last month, I went to visit Saucer again in KL, only to find out that the same weekend coincided with the MPH warehouse sales! What's more, the warehouse sales location was extremely near to where Saucer stays, so we decided to pay it a visit first thing on Saturday morning. However, our 'morning' was actually past 11am, considering it's the weekend. :P By the time we were there, the whole stretch of road leading to the warehouse was parked with cars left and right. As expected, we saw crowds and crowds of people carrying big boxes of their selected books. I did not miss out too, and I bought some books at extremely big discounts!

MPH books

The cheapest book from my loot was the Da Vinci Code, fully illustrated version by Dan Brown. Guess how much it was? Only RM10! OMG! I couldn't believe it when I first saw it. I just had to buy it. :) The book by Jodi Picoult only cost RM15, while John Grisham's and Nicholas Sparks' novels cost RM20 each. During our visit, the cruisers came over to the warehouse entrance to give out goodies. Of course, these goodies did not come for free. One would have to either answer simple questions or play simple games to get the goodies, and I managed to get an MPH book from the game. The free book would be 'You Said What', which is at the top of the book pile in the picture. I have yet to read the book but it looks pretty interesting judging from the summary at the back.

After MPH, we went for lunch, before we headed to The Curve for movie. I was in the mood for pasta that night, so I asked Saucer to bring me to the Italian restaurant nearby, called Italiannies. I have heard a lot about how Italiannies serves extremely big portions of food, enough to feed two persons if you order just one plate. Therefore, to be on the safe side, we only ordered one portion of each from the appetizer, main course and dessert.

Italiannies at The Curve

First of all, we're served with complimentary bread and olive oil while waiting for your orders to arrive. There were two pieces of white bread and two pieces with wholemeal grains. Nothing special about these, but I was grateful because I was starving by the time we reached Italiannies. Having to eat bread before our orders came was a blessing to my poor stomach. :)

Complimentary bread

Happy witch!

Our appetizer would be the minestrone soup, which was Saucer's favourite. They had two sizes for the soup, either a cup or a bowl. The size of a bowl was enough to feed at least 4 persons!

Minestrone soup

Then, I chose the seafood marinara pasta with tomato base sauce. I'm telling you, the picture that I took below definitely did not do justice to its sheer size! The plate was huge and deep and it was full of pasta, it scared me! Since we were sharing the pasta, we were given individual plates for our own servings.. and I actually had 3 servings from the big plate. I believe Saucer had 4! And the serving size I took was probably 3/4 of a normal size you would find in an Italian restaurant.

Seafood marinara with angel hair

The bottom line is, I almost choked myself with pasta, or too much of it! *LOL* Anyway, size aside, the taste was pretty awesome, especially if you like tomatoes. Of course, the amount of seafood was probably not proportional to the pasta size, but they were still delicious and fresh. I was grateful that we did not order another main course or we would have stuffed ourselves to death. Joking!

Unfinished pasta

Finally, Saucer kept pestering me to try the Cappuccino pie because he tried it before and loved it! It looked like a piece of cake but it's actually 2 layers of vanilla and coffee-flavoured ice-cream. The presentation was also cute, although there was a little bit of distortion with the smiley face. :) The size was big, and I believe one person would not be able to finish the whole serving. However, I must say this was the perfect end for a glorious dinner! I'm definitely going back there again when I visit KL the next time.

Dessert with a smiley face!

Italiannies at The Curve
The Street,
The Curve,
Mutiara Damansara.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Twisted neck

It was Saturday morning when I woke up, only to realize that I couldn't turn my head around without causing immense pain. I tried to tilt my head up and it was painful. I tried to turn left but I could barely achieve 10 degrees. I could only turn right or tilt my head down. It was really a bad day for me to get a twisted neck because I had plans with my friends to spend a day at the beach and sightseeing in Penang. *sigh*

When we were at the Batu Feringghi beach, I thought of trying out a neck and back massage, hoping to soothe my pain. During the massage itself, it was comforting, probably because of the ointment used which was minty, and it distracted my mind away from the pain underneath. However, an hour later after the massage, the same old pain crept back. I guess the massage provided only a short relief.

And the worst thing was I woke up the next morning, feeling more sore than before! Now I could barely turn my head +/-10 degrees on ALL directions, up, down, left or right. And it's miserable. *sob* I am really wondering whether the massage actually aggravated my neck pain or whether I made it worse by sleeping on the wrong angle again. I miss my flexibility! *sob*

Zhong Hua Dim Sum

Somewhere along Midlands One Stop in Penang, there lies a Chinese restaurant by the name of Zhong Hua. Truth be told, I had never even heard of this restaurant before during the more than 3 years I stay in Penang. My friend highly recommended this place for dim sum, so I decided to go and give it a try.


One of the highly recommended dishes would be the fried radish cakes or cubes, however you want to call it. This dish was fried just nice, and especially not too oily. In addition, you could even smell the aroma of this dish once it's served on the table. I dare say, I would order this dish every time if I visit Zhong Hua again. :)

Fried radish cakes

The manager of the restaurant recommended their chicken herbal soup, which was apparently home cooked and their specialty. I thought it was weird to drink soup for dim sum, but anyway, the taste was above average. Maybe I was more interested in the dim sum instead. :P

Chicken herbal soup

Finally, real dim sum at last! Shrimp dumplings or har kau, were meticulously wrapped and presented to us. The size of these dumplings were larger than usual and were filled with several fresh and succulent prawns! Certainly well worth the money.

Shrimp dumplings (har kau)

They had something special in the menu, which was deep fried crab meat and mango roll. Since I am a fan of mango, I ordered this dish, but I was deeply disappointed. Firstly, the crab meat used was actually just the instant crab sticks that you could find from the supermarket. Secondly, the combination of crab stick and mango was utterly weird! Not for me.

Fried shrimps with mango

Ahh.. fried radish cakes again. This time, they're fried with one whole piece instead of chopped into cubes. I loved these as much as the earlier version.

Stir-fried radish cakes

Chee cheong fun lived up to our standards as well, judging from how each piece had its own fillings. The flat noodles were soft and smooth, and most importantly for me, they're piping hot. I don't get how some restaurants served their chee cheong fun cold! I think the temperature of a dish makes a whole lot of difference to the taste of it.

Chee Cheong Fun

Next up was char siew pau also known as meat buns. Sometimes chicken meat was used but most of the time, pork meat was used instead. Typically, char siew pau is one of the most basic dishes to be prepared in dim sum, and if it is not good, it's similar to having failed your primary school exams. Thankfully, the dumplings here passed with flying colours. :)

Char siew pau (meat buns)

Fried yam cake with meat fillings were not too bad, although I do not really enjoy yam.

Yam cake with filling

We also ordered siew long pau or Shanghai dumplings. The appearance was really cute, with a green pea on top. The taste and quality were still lacking compared to Dragon I, in my opinion. Probably the skin was a tad too thick.

Siew long pau

And let me introduce to you the star of the morning! Apart from the fried radish cakes mentioned above, one simply must order the siew mai/meat dumplings. Usually, the siew mai is filled with pork meat, but Zhong Hua got creative and added a big piece of succulent prawn on top of it. The size of the siew mai was also much larger than the usual. Trust me, you wouldn't regret ordering this.

Siew mai

Finally, as you could very well observe, I never missed to order the egg tarts. :) The egg tarts here did not disappoint!

Mini egg tarts

Look at what we had for the morning! Definitely lasted me until dinner. :)

Hearty breakfast

Zhong Hua Restaurant
488D-G-19 One Stop Midlands,
Jalan Burma, 10350 Georgetown,
Penang, Malaysia.
Tel. no.: 04-229 9818

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cookout session

About a month ago, Bamboo and I planned to have a cookout session whereby we could 'show off' our cooking skills. Apparently his legendary honey chicken was to die for. Since both of us did not have a proper kitchen, we kindly asked for dory's kitchen to be used as the competition ground. Haha... I was just joking! It was not really a competition, more like a potluck session where each of us cooked a dish for dinner.

So Bamboo started with his chicken, posing with it before he began cooking.

Bamboo with his chicken

Apparently, he had marinated the chicken well before he came over to dory's place, complete with massage even! Without further ago, bamboo started frying the chicken as the first step.

Fried chicken

Thank god for the suction hood, or else the whole kitchen would be filled with smoke and oil! Anyway, now that the first step was done, he proceeded with the cooking of the sauce. Did you know that the 'honey' used in the honey chicken was not honey at all??? I only found out during that cooking session that the fake honey could be cooked by using soy sauce, salt and sugar! Just continue cooking under small flame until it thickens and it'd look just like honey itself! Brilliant eh?

Bamboo cooking

Tadaa! Look at the final product! I bet you wouldn't know it's not honey if I didn't tell you. The taste was very similar too, of course the sweetness depends on the cook himself. :)

Honey chicken

As for me dish, I planned to cook pork chops, using pork fillet. I bought the pork fillet from the nearby wet market in the morning, so the meat was fresh! Onions and garlic were used for the sauce of the pork chops.

Pork fillet, onions and garlic

Firstly, the pork fillet was chopped with the blunt side of the knife, to soften the meat. The pork fillet was then marinated with salt, soy sauce, oyster sauce and some sugar, for 30 minutes. Then, they're cooked under medium heat, because you wouldn't want to burn the outer layer of the pork while undercooking the inner part. I thought the stir-frying of the pork was the most tedious job because it's extremely time consuming.

Witch cooking!

After somewhat forever, the pork chops were finally ready! They're fried to perfection with a tinge of golden brown. Furthermore, you could see that only a minimal amount of oil was used, so it would not be too fattening. :)

Pork chops

The sauce of the pork chops was cooked simply with some mixed beans and onions with seasoning of salt, sugar and a little oyster sauce.

Gravy for pork chop

Last but not least, dory was in charge of cooking the mushrooms, which could be completed in less than 15 minutes!

Dory's mushrooms

And at last! Our complete home-cooked meal, after 2 hours of preparation. Needless to say, everything tasted great! And we wiped all the dishes clean! Are you salivating yet? :P

Complete meal!

Dory had some leftover ice-cream cake from the day before and we had that as our dessert. Yum!

Ice-cream cake for dessert

Enjoyed cooking with you guys. Hope to have more similar sessions in the future! ;) By the way, Bamboo has yet to show us his B-grade dish. Apparently the honey chicken was only good enough to be D-grade. :P

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I did it!


All the suffering for this piece of certificate! I did it in 1 hour and 35 minutes. Nothing to shout about but an impressive achievement for a first-timer. :) *applause*

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Feeling ticklish at Happy Feet

Ever since the advent of fish spa earlier this year, many fish spas have mushroomed even in the small island of Penang. Even as of now, there are two spas in Queensbay Mall, one in Gurney Plaza and one more in New World Park. I suppose the hype was really strong back then, until many people are trying to make money by starting the business. Personally, I am someone who wouldn't spend money for fish to feed on my dead skin. Up till this point, I still do not understand why is it that the prey (our dead skin in this context) should PAY for the predator (fish) to eat the prey?

Anyway, there was one weekend that I was feeling depressed and upset, and my friend suggested to go to fish spa for a relaxation session. Immediately I told him no, but he insisted that it was fun. Plus, he had a discount voucher to be used, and because I wasn't the one who's paying I gave in at the end. :P

Happy Feet at New World Park

We went to the Happy Feet fish spa in New World Park, Penang on a Saturday. Needless to say, weekends are popular for family getaways to do something as a group. The same applied to Happy Feet, because the place was more than half occupied with kids and parents alike during our visit. There was a transparent glass at the side of the pool to display the fish feeding on the dead skin.

Aquarium of fish and legs

After paying, we were shown to an area to remove our shoes and socks, then we walked barefooted.

Remove and keep shoes

After that, we were given a towel each before we're asked to rinse our feet outside. This was sensible because you wouldn't want dirty feet to contaminate the pool and end up killing the fish!

Washing feet

Each pool had either a cushion or a seat for the patrons to relax while being tickled by fish.

Seats by the pool

I had phobia during the first 10 minutes before dipping me feet in the pool. In fact, I think I still have this phobia! I took 10 minutes to dip my right leg in first, after which when the first fish came over to nibble, I took my leg off again. *LOL* I don't know but it was really too ticklish for me to handle! After a few minutes, I started to put in both legs, but when the first fish nibbled, my reflex took over and I kicked the fish away! Gosh! Can you imagine what the other people in the pool were thinking? Silly girl, kicking away the fish when all they wanted was more fish to attacked their dead skins.

Too ticklish

Look at me, it was really too much for me to handle. I couldn't even contain my laughter all the time I was there. And I had to use a towel to smother myself lest I looked like a mad girl.

Towel to the rescue

I realized that as long as I didn't look at those fish, I wouldn't feel that bad, so I asked me friend to take pictures of my feet whenever I felt many of them were surrounding.

A dip in the pool

Oohhh Look at my left heel! My skin must be extremely yummy there because all the fish seemed to crowd at that location. :P Eeewww ... gross!

Crowded by fish

Focus changing to the right foot now...

Right foot buffet

And tadaa! Every one was there nibbling on my right foot.

Geli to the max

At the end of it, I calmed myself down to take this picture. Overall, I guess it's an enjoyable experience although the effect might not be optimized for me, a.k.a. someone who kicks fish away. I don't think I would ever wanna subject myself to such ticklish moments anymore. *LOL*

Witch was here