Saturday, May 30, 2009

I have moved!

Hello everybody! Apologize for the rather long period of silence from me. As most of you already know, I was busy moving from Penang to KL. It was an entirely exhausting process and something I would not ever wanna do again. Ever. Or maybe in the next 5 years. *LOL* I took 3 days to pack all the things in my old room and apartment into uncountable number of boxes and bags. My parents and Saucer came to help me load them into TWO cars! It's amazing how one girl can accumulate so many items in the span of 4 years. *phew* I can't imagine how it would be if I didn't sell of my washing machine, TV and TV cabinet. I wouldn't have been able to fit them in at all.

Anyway, we drove from Penang to Kampar first to stay overnight before continuing to KL on the next day. Thankfully, the whole journey was pretty smooth, except for a few idiots crossing my lane without warning and causing me to brake forcefully when I reached KL. The unpacking part was another headache! But I love the new place that I'm staying in. I'll show you the picture in my next post after I upload them ok? :)

Yesterday when Saucer was out working, I had the whole apartment to myself. Since I was bored, I tried to be brave and ventured to the nearest Tesco to do some grocery shopping for dinner. Truth be told, I was pretty nervous driving alone in a foreign area. Armed with the hand-drawn map by Saucer, I started driving and realised that it wasn't that difficult at all. The fact that I went out during working hours was probably helpful as well to avoid traffic congestion.

I bought a lot of stuff from Tesco, but the most significant item was the wok. I wanted to get a good quality stainless steel wok like Dory's but Tesco had very limited choices available. There was only one type of stainless steel wok available and I grabbed the size that I thought would be suitable. It was only RM26! When I got home after that, I started preparing ingredients before cooking.

The wok was washed first and then heated up over the gas stove. When the wok was hot enough, I poured in some olive oil and guess what? *Pop* It was the loudest noise I ever heard! I was so shocked! Then I thought maybe my hand was a bit wet and the water and oil mixed over the hot fire. Fine, I dried my hands and continued cooking. Everything went well for my first dish of stir-fried mushroom chicken. After completing the first task, I carried the wok to the sink to clean it before moving on to my second dish.

After cleaning, I placed the wok over fire again. After a while, I noticed something weird on the base of the wok. I suppose the stainless steel was too thin that under heat, part of the base bent inside! Can you imagine how it looked like? Imagine squeezing an aluminum can. The base was internally bent under the heat hence, it was not flat. That wasn't the worst. After the wok was dry enough, I poured oil into it again. And this time... *POOOOP* It was MUCH louder than the first time I heard. And I actually screamed because I thought the base of the wok exploded. The whole kitchen was filled with smoke. I almost wanted to give up then and there, and then I noticed the wok was still in one piece. It was the heat that caused the bent base to expand OUT this time and back to its original position. It was really scary. And I hated that the smoke filled up the kitchen with droplets of oil and smell everywhere. *sigh*

When Saucer came back, I related the whole incident to him and we agreed that it must have been the thin steel wok. Dory's wok was multi-layered and hence didn't face this situation before. We are going to return the wok later on to Tesco, hopefully they'll allow us to exchange for other items. Really, never trust cheap stuff if it's too cheap to be true. *LOL* The experience gave me a phobia towards stir-frying with wok now. I think for the next few weeks, I'll stick to boiling and steaming. Maybe I should get non-stick pans to avoid the explosion sound. What do you think?

It's my 3rd day here and I welcome everyday with an open heart. New challenges in the form of driving without a GPS (Saucer needs it) proves to be more stressful than it seems. In another 2 days, I'll report to my new company. I'm excited! :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Things I will miss the most

Thank you everybody for your warm wishes and good luck comments on my previous post. Most of you have successfully guessed where I'm going, and probably why too. ;) It's a big move on my side, and it's a move I hope I will never regret. This move marks a first on a lot of experience that followed, such as
  • the first time I had to type a resignation letter,
  • the first time I had to keep a secret for so long (almost 2 months) before announcing it to my friends,
  • the first time I had to deal with many sad faces of my colleagues and friends (even though I put up a strong front, deep inside, I am just as sad but why make the situation worse right?),
  • the first time I had to let strangers into my apartment to view my room, and more strangers to view my furniture before they purchased them,
  • the first time I had to pack my things into boxes and bags that could fit into 2 cars (that is the part I hate the most - one will be surprised the amount of things that could be kept in 1 small room),
  • the first time I had so many farewell lunches and dinners in one week,
and many more.

The experience is new and exciting, yet it's scary. It's no surprise that the current economic conditions could be better, and yet I'm taking a risk by not only moving to a new company, but also to a new environment. I still remember the first ever time I stepped foot to work in Penang, I felt so foreign (I still do), mainly because of the language barrier. I knew not one sentence of Mandarin and don't even mention Hokkien. Until now, I still can't converse in Hokkien after almost 4 years here. I could probably survive with my limited Mandarin but still, I don't feel as much as home compared to my hometown where I could speak Cantonese and people would not look at me blankly.

Oh and don't forget the roads and the driving experience in Penang. It's one-of-a-kind! I still remember seeing motorists practically snaking their way through in the narrow roads, and seeing with my own eyes, cars that entered a no-entry junction! What an eye-opening experience it was. But they have all helped to build me into a stronger and braver person. I no longer fear driving in Penang (probably because I've become one of those crazy Penang drivers! LOL). One of the roads that I detest driving the most was this one-lane road just in front of a primary school near Bayan Bay food court. When it is the end of a school day, the road would be side-parked on both sides, making the one-lane road narrower than it already is. When it's also raining, you could see inconsiderate cars stopping in the middle of the road while the parents went down to look for their kids! I don't see why these motorists have to impose on others discomfort just for their own convenience.

That aside, there are also plenty of things that I will miss from this little island and my company...
  • my lunch gang at the company, especially Doryfish and Bamboo. I don't think I will ever find friends and buddies like you guys in my new job, people that I can be around with and still be myself. You guys have truly played a big big role in my working life. Sometimes, the thought of having you guys for me to vent in the middle of a hectic working day would really brighten up my mood. Thank you so much for always being there (literally - for lunch!), for not being afraid to point out my mistakes and for just being who you are. I will miss you guys very very much!
  • my quaint and nice apartment with a sea view, goodbye to you. I will never have the privilege to look at the sea whenever I view out my window or my balcony. Not to mention my very reasonable (cheap) rental, which I will have to more than double in my new place.
  • the cafeteria just downstairs of my apartment. I have been such a frequent and loyal customer that the owner knows me by name. I can just call her in advance directly to order and pick up my food without having to wait.
  • cheap hawker food in Penang. I have taken you for granted. There will not be delicious char kuey teow or coconut water easily available anymore. Especially coconut water. :(
  • subsidized lunch at company cafeteria. Where else can you have a plate of rice with 3 dishes at a mere RM1.30?
  • my journey to the company in less than 10 minutes. If I can achieve the same in my new place, it would be a miracle.
  • my mechanic, the boss who's on a crutch. You are so very kind. I will always remember how you never said no whenever I asked for a discount. :)
  • my sickawans - Chiaoju, Yen and Stan. Having you guys around made my weekends in Penang more exciting, and made me a less boring person. :) Hopefully we could still have our gatherings down south. ;)
There are many more things that I will certainly miss from Penang. But I'm looking forward to my new life excitedly. I am scared but I am strong. I will embrace the changes with open arms. And if all else fails, I still have my good friends to fall back on, you know who you are. ;)

Tomorrow will be my last day here. Goodbye dear old Penang. I will miss you.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Just when I...

.. start to understand more conversations spoken in Hokkien,
.. get used to the Friday after-work traffic jams,
.. am comfortable with conversing in Mandarin,
.. fell in love with the fresh coconut drinks that are vastly available everywhere,
.. become more familiar with the roads around Georgetown,
.. signed up a new facial package with the beauty parlour here,
.. booked a couple of cheap tickets from Penang-Macau,
.. discovered the awesomeness of Penang's fruit farm and buffet,
.. visited the gorgeous seafront pub at QEII,
.. became the regular customer of the cafeteria below my apartment,
.. begin to love the beaches and the Penang sea breeze,
.. rediscover the greatness of Penang laksa and char kuey teow,
.. learnt to eat outside alone,
.. embrace the warmth that is Penang air,

I am saying goodbye to it.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Sushi Tomo at SS2

Sushi Tomo is this Japanese restaurant located in the heart of SS2, just nearby Wong Kok Char Chan Teng. We passed by this place pretty often due to its strategic location, until one day Saucer decided to give it a try.

The interior of the restaurant was a little on the dim side, hence the poorer quality pictures for this post. One thing we noticed was that the economy really did have effect on some of the mid-range restaurants' patronage. Even though it was a Saturday evening, the place was only probably 30% occupied. Oh well, that just meant more people to serve us!

Interior of Sushi Tomo

I didn't like that they used wooden disposable chopsticks here. With the price that they're charging, I believe the customers deserve something better than chopsticks that are jagged and chapped when they're split into two.

Wasabi and chopsticks

As usual, before ordering we're served hot ocha in this cute little cup.

Hot ocha

Saucer's order was the Unagi rice (probably Unagi Jyu?), that came with a complimentary bowl of miso soup.

Unagi rice with miso soup

The presentation of the rice looked pretty appetizing and attractive, don't you think? But Saucer found the unagi to be below expectations. We just had unagi rice about 1-2 weeks before this and the unagi was a big piece of eel cut into pieces. But the unagi here looked like the toppings of unagi sushi, just placed together on a box of rice. The pieces of unagi were rather thin and not that fresh? At least the sauce was not too bad. I guess you could never go wrong with sweet things. :)

Unagi rice

Anyway, at RM24, the verdict was just so-so. Not something that we would order again.

Unagi rice

As for me, I ordered the Gekikara Ramen ( I hope I remembered correctly), which was ramen in spicy soup with a piece of tempura shrimp on top. Apart from the shrimp, there was almost nothing else inside. Sure, there were some small pieces of pork and some vegetables but that's about it. It was so different from the ramen I had in Nippon Yataimura.

Gekikara ramen

The ramen was also served on a wooden box, pretty traditional. The serving was definitely much smaller than the ramen in most of other Japanese restaurants, as you could see from the size of the bowl. The soup and ramen tasted not bad. It was spicy but forgettable. The shrimp was nothing special too, not especially big nor succulent.

Ramen on a wooden box

Judging from my write-up, I guess you could very well tell that the food here did not meet my expectations. It is just that with the price they're charging, I could very well find better ramen or unagi rice somewhere else. Or probably, their specialty was only sushi, coming from the name of their shop. *LOL*

Restoran Jepun Sushi Tomo
Address : 8, Jln SS2/67, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Tel. No : 03-7877 6485

Business Hours :
Mon - Fri: 12.00pm to 3pm, 6.00pm to 11pm
Sat and Sun: 12.00pm to 4pm, 6.00pm to 11pm

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Fancy the best Nasi Lemak in town?

Deemed 'The Best Nasi lemak in Uptown' by themselves, Village Park opens its doors to full house almost every morning and lunch. It is especially busy on weekend mornings, with plenty of families and young adults alike looking for a plate of glorious nasi lemak and a glass of teh tarik.

I first found out about this place last year through a friend. Fast forward a few months later, I was telling Saucer about it and we decided to pay the restaurant a visit. It's located at Damansara Uptown, same row with the HSBC bank found there. As expected, we had to wait for a while before we found an empty table. For those who have not been there before, there is actually an air-conditioned area next door, which can only be reached when you walk into the main entrance and head towards the back. The air-conditioned area is more comfortable, and possibly less crowded because it seems that not many people knew about this area.

Village Park Restaurant

Anyway, we placed our orders with the waiter and waited patiently. The first to arrive was the toasted bread of kaya and butter (RM1.80). Whenever a toast is ordered, it is vital to ensure that it is consumed first. Otherwise when it is cold, it will not taste as good, with the hardened crust and cold bread.

Toasted bread set

The toasted bread set came with 4 slices of bread with butter and kaya on each pair. They were not stingy with the butter and kaya spread, and the toasts were served warm. Therefore, I have no complaints with this dish.

Milo Dinosaur

One of the highlights of my visit was my drink! I ordered the Milo dinosaur which I had raved about to Saucer every so often. This drink costed RM4 but it was so worth it! The milo was ice-blended and very thick. On top of that, more milo powder was added to the top of the drink, rendering a complete Milo Attack experience! Definitely recommended to order. Oh, please note that the portion is quite huge, so I'd recommend sharing a glass with another friend. :)

Finally, the star of the day - Nasi Lemak! Was it as good as they claimed? Judge for yourself. :) We ordered the Nasi Lemak biasa + ayam goreng (fried chicken) at RM6.90. The fried chicken was different from the KFC type, where lots of flour is used. This fried chicken had very minimal flour and the skin was crispy and well marinated! Plus, all the fried chickens were of the drumstick + thigh part, so no worries on getting the chicken breast or chicken wings that some people might not like. :)

Nasi lemak and fried chicken

As you can see from the picture, a plate of nasi lemak comes with half an egg, cucumber slices, anchovies and the important sambal. The rice was fragrant with the smell of coconut milk, and the sambal was spicy without being overpowering. Saucer preferred those spicier sambal with bright red colour, but I found this sambal to be not bad. It matched the rice very well.


This was the fried chicken that I mentioned earlier. It was crispy on the outside and yummy on the inside. I know, it's not healthy eating chicken skin but I simply couldn't help myself! The portion of this nasi lemak was quite huge for me. Maybe it's because of the Milo drink too, I ended up not being able to finish the rice.

Fried chicken

My verdict? I'd definitely return to this place again for the nasi lemak and Milo dinosaur! But make sure to come early or come really late to avoid having to wait for a seat.

Village Park Restaurant
5, Jalan SS21/37,
Damansara Utama,
47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Tel: 03-77107860
Open from 7 am to 8pm daily, 7 am to 6 pm on Sunday/Public Holiday

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Bharat Coffee House and fresh flowers

Soon, it was my final day in Cameron Highlands and that day turned out to be scorching hot! We went to Tringkap Restaurant again for lunch, since it was reasonably priced and delicious. :) On our way back, we passed by another tea shop by the name of Bharat Tea plantations. Cameron Highlands is so famous for plantations that almost everywhere you look, it's either tea, vegetables or flowers!

Bharat Coffee house

As expected, the coffee shop was deserted when we reached there. Who would want to have tea when the sun was shining as hot as the oven in the middle of the afternoon eh?

Surroundings of coffee house

The famous Cameron Valley tea that you can find from supermarkets, coming all the way from this plantation.

Bharat plantations

There was a tea/souvenir shop just near the coffee house too. A host of different tea leaves were found in this shop. The creative people from the shop also made different hampers using the tea boxes, just to make the appearance more attractive. We didn't stay that long in this plantation because we were already sweating before long! *phew*

Tea shop

Further down the road, my mother suddenly decided that she wanted to pay her relative a visit. I just found out that my mother does have quite a few relatives in Cameron Highlands! All of which I had not met before. *LOL* Anyway, it's never too late eh? After getting directions from the aunty, we finally reached her shop by the roadside. This aunty plants and sells flowers! Oh so gorgeous they were! She offered to take us to the plantations (another jeep adventure) but since it was too hot, we politely declined. Her main crop was gerberas, all kinds of different colours. I fell in love with the bright orange type immediately. :)

Fresh gerberas

Apart from gerberas, there were plenty other types of flowers lying around her shop, most of which I didn't know the names of. There was one interesting flower which was green colour and looked like a ball (see picture below). The 'ball-like' flower was quite cute but it tends to make you to want to pop it open! The interior of the ball was hollow, so if you hold it too tight, it will go out of shape too. Weird type of flower indeed.

Of all colours

Apart from flowers, we also saw those smaller version of flowers that florists use to decorate a bouquet.

More flowers

While admiring the flowers there, I took the chance to do some camwhoring of my own. *shameless* Look I was holding the orange gerberas that I liked! There was also a picture of me with a garland of leaves on my head. *LOL*

Posing with flowers

As usual with all my kind relatives, she asked us to pick any flowers that we liked to bring back home. I think we chose more than 13 small bouquets of gerberas and a host of other different flowers. When we reached home, I gave a try at flower arrangement myself. I think I didn't do that good a job, because I was in a rush. The picture below shows the bouquet that I brought back to Penang. :)

My own bouquet

And that ends my Cameron Highlands trip! Since I missed the chance to go to the flower plantation, I now have a reason to return! :)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

There is still honesty

It was 1.30pm, and my bus ticket showed 4.45pm for my ride back. I sighed, thinking how to fill up the next 3 hours or so, being alone and bored. Then, I recalled I had the name card of the bus company that I bought the ticket from, and called up to enquire whether there were any earlier buses available. Thankfully for me, there were still seats available for the 2.15pm bus, so I jubilantly planned my trip to go back earlier.

Firstly, of course, I needed to find someone to fetch me to the nearby bus station. It was barely 2km away so I thought of asking for my neighbour's help. After calling 2 different persons, I was in despair. Both of them were out of town for the long holiday! Time was ticking. I had to act fast. I realized I had exhausted all my options, except for one.

Sighing, I called the taxi company, giving in to my last resort. Obviously, most people try to avoid taking the taxi due to several reasons, mainly cost and safety, especially for a girl travelling alone. However, I really had no other options, plus the journey was so short and in the day time, I told myself that it should be fine. I arranged for the cab to arrive by 1.45pm.

True to its promise, the company sent someone at 1.45pm, with the auspicious number plate of 1333. Without further ado, I cautiously stepped in the cab and stayed alert of my surroundings. The Indian taxi driver greeted me with a cheerful "Hello Miss!". I replied with a Hi and kept quiet for the rest of the journey.

As expected, the journey took probably 5 minutes. It would have been shorter if not for the traffic lights just in front of the bus station. When I reached, I searched for a 10 ringgit note in my purse, but all I had were 2 pieces of RM50. My fare was RM10 so I handed the driver a RM50 note. The driver asked me for smaller notes but I couldn't find any. He then searched in his pockets and wallet for change, but he could only find RM30. Worst, the car just behind us was getting impatient and started to honk continuously. Leaving with no choice, the taxi driver asked me to go and change for smaller notes from the ticket counters. So I got down, while he drove away from the one-lane road.

Luckily, it was only 1.55pm, so I had plenty of time before the bus departed. The ticket counters were situated one floor up, and as I climbed up the stairs, I was thinking to myself "What if I never go back down to pay the driver?". During these bad economic times, I have heard of many cases of people doing things they are not proud of for money. I just thought that if my situation landed on people such as those, I'm sure they would have been happy to get away without paying the driver. After all, it was in a busy area, and I was already on the way to take a bus outstation. What could the taxi driver do?

Of course, being the righteous person that I am, *cough*, I didn't flee. I tried to change at the counters but I knew they would not entertain a non-customer like me. In the end, just to get small notes, I went to the nearby stall and grabbed a packet of nasi lemak with a glass of teh tarik. I couldn't think of anything better to order in a rush. Before the owner even started to prepare the tea, I told him I only had RM50 note. Fortunately, he said "No problem!". He told me to eat first before paying, and he was surprised why I was still standing there holding my note. I asked him whether I could pay him first since I needed the change to pay the taxi driver! He laughed and said, "OK OK". Such a kind fellow, he was.

I hurriedly went down the stairs again, with my luggage and all, looking for the taxi. This time, I did not spot the taxi, but only the driver himself. I swear I could see the relieved look on his face when he saw me holding the red note. I could tell he was really reluctant to trust me at first, but he had no choice. Well, Mr Taxi Driver, may I say there are still kind and honest people in this country, just like yours truly. *ahem*

I felt good to have made the driver's day. When I went back to the stall, my nasi lemak was nicely placed on a table with a plastic spoon and a steaming hot cup of teh tarik. The stall owner, in turn, made MY day. :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Boh Tea Plantation and Strawberries!

Previously, I mentioned that our next activity was having high-tea at a high place, literally. What I meant was having high-tea at the picturesque Boh Tea Centre situated at the mountaintop in Cameron Highlands. The entrance to Boh Tea Centre is just opposite the Kea Farm, with a large signboard on the roadside so you won't miss it. However, the drive towards the tea centre is pretty dangerous because the roads are narrow and winding. You have to be careful and remember to use the horn when you round the corners, so that the oncoming cars can be vary. :) Even though the ride in caused me to be slightly quesy, it was all worth it when I was welcomed with scenery such as this!

Boh tea plantation

Look at how the mountains were covered with green tea leaves all over. Walking across the plantation made me feel so much fresher, not to mention the air was filled with the fragrant smell of fresh tea.

Tea leaves everywhere

Once we parked our cars, we took a short hike up the hill, to go to the cafe which was situated on the mountain top. The hike up took probably 10-15 minutes, but you get to be up close and personal with tea leaves. Try to smell it if you have the chance!

Smelling the tea leaves

Further walking up hill would greet you with more scenic landscapes, especially on a good and cool weather.


Notice the cafe that was situated at the hill top? That was our destination. I liked that the structure jutted out amidst the air. Looks dangerous eh? :)

Cafe on top

On my hike up, I never failed to be impressed with the awe-inspiring views, snapping pictures whenever possible. There were only tea leaves as far as the eye could see.

Beautiful scenery

Before long, we reached our destination! Since it was a weekend, the cafe looked full from the outside.

Boh Tea cafe

Indeed, plenty of tourists stopped by this place to visit the tea plantation and to enjoy a cuppa in the midst of the high mountain. Nothing beats a cup of hot tea in the cold weather with amazing scenery.

Brisk business

witch was here

Upon entering the cafe, I saw many different types of cakes, scones and sandwiches available. Of course, not to forget the many types of tea too, coming fresh from the tea centre itself!

Choices of cakes, sandwiches and scones

We ordered a few types of delicacies to be shared among us, coupled with a pot of aromatic tea. The picture below shoes an apple pie, banana carrot cake, chocolate melt and strawberry tart. I simply loved the chocolate melt! It wasn't too sweet and it was very moist and soft. Not surprisingly, it was the best-selling item that day because by the time we left, the chocolate cake was already sold out! Coming a close second would be the strawberry tart, which was crispy on the outside and yummy inside with delicious fresh strawberry jam.

High tea at the peak

As for the tea, I am sorry to say that I didn't know how to appreciate Boh tea. I'm more of a green tea type of person. :P But one thing to note though. The cafe sells the tea by tea pots for 1, 2 or 3 persons. However, the size of the tea pot for 1, 2 or 3 persons is the same! What is more ridiculous is that once you finish the tea, refill of hot water costs RM1.50 each! We ordered the 3 persons portion and the tea pot was almost empty after pouring into 3 cups. So not worth it eh? My advice would be to order individual 1-person pot instead for each person, because the price is the same (RM3.30 for 1 person, RM9.90 for 3 persons). At least that way, you get to have more tea per person.

Before retiring to our hotel to rest, we stopped by a strawberry farm just outside of Equatorial hotel. It's called Life Light strawberry farm. As with many other strawberry farms in Cameron Highlands, this one allows the customers to pick their own strawberries before purchasing them.

Lifelight strawberry farm

Inside the shop there were several stalls selling fruits and sweets.

Stalls at strawberry farm

We paid a visit to the strawberry picking area just to see the strawberries. In my opinion, the strawberries were not that attractive and they were pretty small. Of course, I saw a big one here and there, but the majority was minute! That's why we ended up not going in to pick. I believe the section for picking has lower quality strawberries compared to those they pack for sale. Most people want to pick strawberries just for the fun of it and don't really care about the quality. :)

Strawberry picking section

And that ended my first day in Cameron Highlands. Needless to say, we were all exhausted at the end of the day, after so much walking and climbing. Thankfully, the weather was kind to us and there was no rain at all. I simply love the high-tea experience at the Boh Tea Centre and I highly recommend it to everyone who intends to visit Cameron Highlands. :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tringkap Restaurant and Equatorial Hotel

Continuing my trip in Cameron Highlands, after the adventurous ride to the tomato orchard, our stomachs started growling. *LOL* Coincidentally, it was already 12pm, just right for lunch time! We left the orchard and went back to my relative's place in Tringkap. Just a few doors away, there was a restaurant called "Restoran Tringkap", how creative. Anyway, my relative highly recommended it and said that he always eats there too. So without further ado, we all walked to the restaurant and found a nice table with cool air.

There were plenty of flowers blooming everywhere in Cameron Highlands. Even outside of the restaurant, we saw some pretty colourful and huge blooms. Very beautiful sight.

Pretty blooms

The restaurant is in Tringkap town itself, and you won't miss it if you're using the new road from Simpang Pulai, heading towards Brinchang. Using the new road, it will lead you straight to Bukit Raja, followed by Tringkap, Kea Farm and Brinchang. It is situated just by right road side for easy recognition.

Restaurant Tringkap

Moving on to the food! As our relatives joined us for lunch, they knew the signature dishes to order. We started with this deep fried fish fillet, which was very delicious! The way they fried the fish here was different because the fish meat was cut into pieces before frying. As a result, you need not worry about picking out bones while eating fish! Perfect for lazy people like me. :P

Deep fried fish

Another of their specialty is the steamed 'kampung' chicken. 'Kampung' or Village chicken is usually more expensive in the market. This is because they are bred and raised with traditional chicken feed, in villages with a compound to run about. In other words, they are not subjected to injections or hormone growth pills etc, like those of farm chickens. Therefore, they are more healthy and 'organic' in a way. The drawback is that with all the running around, the kampung chicken meat may be slightly tougher compared to the farm chicken. Nevertheless, this restaurant managed to steam it perfectly! Very smooth and just very slightly tough. I think I wouldn't even notice it if I didn't know it was a kampung chicken in the first place. Maybe it was just psychological. *LOL* I am the type of person who doesn't like steamed chicken. I prefer the roasted variety, but this steamed chicken was really above average. We actually went back to the same restaurant 2 days later and ordered the very same dish! How good is that? :)

Steamed Village (Kampung) chicken

Next up, there was a plate of fried mushrooms served to us. This was something new because we never had mushrooms fried this way. Fortunately, the mushrooms agreed with our taste buds and the plate was clean before long. The exterior was crispy while the interior was juicy and succulent with mushroom fragrance. Pretty interesting dish.

Deep fried mushrooms

Of course, one could not miss eating vegetables in Cameron Highlands. Vegetables are aplenty here that they are dirt cheap! We had the spinach here, which was very young and soft. You know how old spinach is so very tough especially the stems, but the spinach here was really good.


Our last dish was the stir friend long beans with dried shrimps. Needless to say, the vegetables were top-notch, and coupled with the fragrant dried shrimps, one simply could not resist this dish.

Stir fried long beans

After being satiated with our hearty lunch, it was time to check in our hotel. For our trip, we booked 2 units of 2-room apartment for the 10 of us. Lucky for us, my aunt is a member of the Berjaya Holidays and she managed to get the rooms for free! The Equatorial Hotel is a landmark of Cameron Highlands, simply because it stands tall among the rest and it is located near the famous Kea Farm/Market.

Equatorial Hotel, Cameron Highlands

The hotel is situated at 5,300 feet above sea level, as stated on this plaque. The temperature that day was 20.5C, pretty cooling and comfortable. I like not having to sweat while walking outdoors. :)

5,300 ft above sea level

This was the mini fountain pool just outside the hotel lobby.

Mini fountain pool

Besides hotel rooms, Equatorial also has apartments. I personally think that the maintenance at Equatorial Hotel was pretty bad. The paint of quite a number of buildings here was already old and had fungus growing on them. Also, the doors and furniture in our room were of poor quality. Some of the chairs were ripped, exposing the cushion beneath. The beds also had some kind of smell. Worst of all, the hot water was very limited! We were told to wait for 20 minutes after each shower for the hot water to refill. However, during evenings when the hot water was widely used, I didn't manage to get hot water even after waiting for half an hour. The water was freezing cold! Surprisingly, with this type of quality, the price was not cheap at all. The rate for the 2-room apartment that we stayed was above RM500 a night! I definitely would not pay this amount for this type of quality.

Equatorial Apartments

The lobby of the hotel was impressive though, probably the only area that was maintained well. It was spacious and airy, with plenty of leather couches to rest on.

Equatorial Hotel lobby

Some pictures of myself and Angie, my brother's girlfriend. We had nothing to do, hence the camwhore. :)

Angie and witch

Stay tuned for more adventures after this! We took a rest at the hotel before going for high tea at a high place, literally. :)