December 29, 2009

Photography Excursion @ Sekinchan Part 4

Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!!

Well, hope that everyone had a great Christmas or still enjoying the Christmas break.

I was still working on all my photos during the Christmas break. It is a great pain to edit these photos as the damn perfectionist in me wants to get the photos perfect with the right effects done.

Anyway, aside from the lovely beach around Sekinchan, we managed to take photos of a small fishing villages nearby too. According to a friend, these villages are slowly disappearing as the land around gets converted into commercial property or housing for the locals. So, such picturesque scenery are getting fewer around Selangor.


We spotted this village on our way out to the beach and so, we decided that we would drop by before we left Sekinchan for Ijok.


I apologize for the saturation quality of the photos. I'd guess I took the photo using the wrong settings and didn't quite see it until I got back into the car. By then, it was too late...


This is probably my favourite shot in the series. Golden hour was fast approaching and standing in the shade, I pointed towards the horizon and just kept snapping.


It was still low tide and I was lucky to capture the scene where the boats were docked near the houses. It was quiet around the village as most of the fishermen were resting and waiting for the tide to come in so that they can go out to fish. It's a hard life...

We left Sekinchan to head out to Ijok for our dinner. The organizing team had booked a table at this Beggar's Chicken restaurant a few days in advance to make bookings for the beggar's chicken. You have to call a few days in advance to book for the Beggar's Chicken/Duck/Fish/Pork. We opted for the traditional chicken.


We also had seafood (again) and throwing cholesterol caution to the wind, we just indulged ourselves after a long day of "work".


The prawns were HUUUUGGGEEEE. We could only take 1 piece as we were stuffed with the glutinous rice, pork stomach soup, vegetables and fish. For dessert, we had chilled honey-sweet nangka. The nangka cost RM10 per kg but it was worth it. It was sweet and fragrant.

Sorry, no picture of the nangka as everyone quickly "sapu" (consumed) it all when it was put on the table.

Anyway, my apologies for not providing directions as I was a passenger and so, didn't have any directions with me. However, Googlemaps gave a good set of directions & I believe the drivers were using that as a guide to get to Sekinchan and Ijok.

*sigh*.. Now, I'm yearning for another photography excursion but I've yet to complete my other Christmas photos.. ARRGGGHHH!!!!

December 24, 2009

Merry Blessed Christmas & Seasons Greetings

I'm taking a break from all the Sekinchan postings...

Anyway, it is that time of year again where hedonistic consumerism may consume us all, or the spirit of giving redeems us... Yes, it's Christmas.


I didn't have a lot of time to make my way around the malls to photograph all the merriment and decorations. So, I'll just post up what I have.


I finally did put up my Christmas tree. Although it isn't as big and as lovely decorated as this one, the tree gives a warm glow to everyone in the house.

Here's wishing everyone a Merry, Blessed & Joyful Christmas! May you enjoy the festivities & good cheer with your loved ones around you...

Photography Excursion @ Sekinchan Part 3

After a great lunch, we all had quite a number of hours to "kill" before we could head towards our final goal - to have a great dinner at Ijok. So, based on the directions of the restaurant captain, we set off to find a lovely beach nearby.

We drove on and finally heard the sound of waves hitting against the shore... We were near a beach!


It's a slice of photography heaven as the beach was quiet and the sky was clear of any clouds... We jumped out of our cars and happily snapped away.


My only regret is that I don't have a lens hood and so, some shots appeared to have quite a bit of lens flare. However, I managed to incorporate that effect nicely...


When we walked on the beach, we noticed that we were not walking on sand but on shells!! Shells were just scattered around the beach.


Most of the shells were intact and absolutely beautiful. For those who loves to collect shells, it was a great find. Luckily, I brought some additional plastic bags to pass around everyone who were collecting the shells as the photographers were busy with their work.


We also saw that there were a few fishermen by the shore. We're not sure if they were locals who just came to fish for pleasure but this kid sitting by the beach offered a great subject for a photo.


I converted the photo to black & white for more impact... Luckily, the boy and the fishermen were not bothered by us. They were busy with the business of catching fish.


As I walk along the shoreline, I noticed a great tree which became a perch for some sea eagles flying in the area. I wished that I had a superzoom to capture their majestic flight around the beach. They did not approach us and as I neared the tree, they hid in the mangrove plants nearby.

We spent close to about 2hrs around the beach before moving on. We had another location to shoot before we headed off to Ijok for our dinner.

December 23, 2009

Photography Excursion @ Sekinchan Part 2

A friend just commented about why I didn't post any good close-ups of the rice plants. So, here is the best shot I have so far...


We were really grateful for the wonderfully hot weather we experienced during our trip. It had been raining for quite a bit since it's the wet season.


The blue skies against the green/yellow paddy fields painted a beautiful picture. Too bad that I was only armed with my kit-lens & 50mm only. I would have loved to have a wide-angle or zoom lens to capture some details. Anyway, I'm shopping around for a reasonably good zoom lens with a reasonably good speed so that I can do some low-light photography too.

Nevertheless, I am grateful that I did bring my external flash to take photos of the people who posed amongst the fields. The itty-bitty in-built flash would not have been strong enough for such work.

We started our session a bit later than planned, so, lunch was around 2:30pm. We shopped around for a good place to eat, where we wanted to try some specialties like shark meat but the restaurant we wanted to go to had closed down. In the end, we opted for some simple seafood...


I won't bore you with the details of the type of vegetables we ordered. We opted for seafood since we're supposed to be near the sea... The size of the mantis prawns was just shocking! The meat was sweet encased in its seasoned shell. I just had to have a couple of those prawns despite the diet restrictions.. Kekeke...


We didn't really wanted crabs as we were expecting to have a bit of seafood later that night but after the captain's sales talk, we bought into ordering about 1.5kg of crab. It was very fresh and was not salty as I expected.


I enjoyed the steamed clams in Chinese cooking wine. The clams were succulent and not at all rubbery. The sauce went very well with the rice.


No meal is complete without another round of prawns. LOL!

Again, we did not want to order this but after seeing plates of large prawns being sent over, we just fell into the temptation of ordering it. It was the best decision made that afternoon! I took just one prawn for taste and it was heavenly. Except for the head, I gobbled up the entire prawn - shell and all. Yum.

Once we were well fed, we decided to head to the beach. We asked the restaurant captain about any nice beaches around and she pointed one out which was just down the road.

So... once we got our camera settings ready, we were off to our next photo shoot location!

December 22, 2009

Photography Excursion @ Sekinchan Part 1

I apologize for my belated post. It's been a hectic couple of weeks for me.

As well as wrapping up some documentation for the project before the end of the year, I had to get some stuff ready for Christmas.

Anyway, some ex-colleagues and myself decided to embark on a trip to Sekinchan for a photography excursion. Now, my geography isn't so great but Sekinchan is northwest of KL, towards the border of the state of Perak.


When we arrived at Sekinchan and spotted the lovely fields of green paddy fields, we didn't know what to do... We stopped the car at the side of the main road and had a short discussion to see where we can go. So, we drove into the fields and began our session.


As we drove into the fields, we noticed that it was close to harvest time. Lots of other friends have mentioned that we may not be able to photograph the lovely fields during this time of year. But, luck was on our side - we had fantastic clear weather and GREEN fields!


As I looked around, I noticed that there were no scarecrows (contrary to popular belief) but there were plenty of grey buildings dotted all around the fields for the swallows to nest. These buildings are where people can harvest birds nest which is great for Chinese herbal medicine and delicious as a dessert.


We were lucky to still spot that some parts of the fields were harvested, which provided us great photography opportunities to capture the entire process.


Rice is a grain and once the rice is extracted from its husk, it needs to be polished. So, what we have on our table is essentially processed rice.


We drove deeper into the fields and managed to capture some very good shots of some people at work as well as a rare sight of the harvester coming around to harvest the rice. Can u imagine the amount of effort it took to harvest a large paddy field of rice?


We were backing out of a small lane when we spotted the harvester from far away. Not wanting to miss this opportunity of watching the machine at work, we stopped to take lots of photos. This shot was taken through the tinted window of the car, which acted like a "filter".


It was cool watching the machine work. In the distance, other parts of the paddy field were already harvested and they had done some back-burning to prepare the soil for another round of planting.

We also spent some time around the fields taking lots of different photos. I brought my 50mm lens and was quite happy with the effect. As for the exposure settings, since were under direct sunlight, we were using f/stop f/22. When we photographed our "models", we used a fill-in flash to illuminate the face. Thank you Digital Camera magazine for those tips!

Psstt... I'm not at liberty to post pictures of the "models"... So, it'll only be pictures of food and rice fields for now. LOL!

December 15, 2009

Kickstart of a Photography Excursion

I needed a good cup of coffee just before we started the photography excursion last Saturday.

So, while waiting for a friend to pick me up, I had a cup of coffee from McDonald's.

I know.. I know.. In my condition, I should not be taking caffeine. But then, I was just too sleepy and also, a bit hungry while waiting for her. Besides that, I had to take a bit of medication and I can't take it on an empty stomach.

The excursion was fantastic and we had a great time. We were very lucky on all fronts as we managed to take some really great photos (timing was everything) and we all got home in one piece despite driving on some really dark roads that night.

The weather cooperated with us and we had a fantastic time.

Will post some photos up in the coming few days... When I'm done with my dark-room work.

December 10, 2009

Upgrade Exercise - Phase 2: 90% Completed

Finally.. The HDD was installed in the laptop. It took me a while to get the pin slotted on the HDD connector pins as I "forgot" that I had to swap it from the old HDD to the new one. Kekeke...

Anyway, my laptop is not really a Vista, it's just made to look like Vista. :P I did try out a transformation pack to convert it to Windows 7 but found that there were some graphic glitches whenever I played videos or started some applications.

As you can see, I was still trying to install some photo-editing software but my DVD-drive is acting a bit funky and so, couldn't get the installer to run off the DVD properly. Grrrr...

So, that leads me to the next part. Now that I've upgraded my laptop, I suddenly heard a loud whirring noise from the fan... which means, I still need to clean the internals of this laptop!!!

Reading the manuals and some sites, it will not be an easy feat. Not only that, I've got to get a can of compressed air to really clear all that dust and grime accumulated for the last 5 yrs.. :P

I'm tired....

December 07, 2009

Upgrade Exercise - Phase 1 Completed


Not that the laptop upgrading exercise was so hard to do but I always feel a tinge of excitement and fear whenever I touch my PCs or laptops. Hence, I often break out in a cold sweat for the first 2 minutes or so. :P

I finally got my new 2GB RAM and 160GB HDD under budget. I spent RM352 for both pieces of hardware - which is great!! I had expected to pay > RM400 as it was hard to get a notebook IDE HDD these days as most of the notebook HDD sold are SATA.

Anyway, the easy part is done. The next task on my list is to change my hard disk and re-install all the stuff I had.

I think I will do that another day, as I've got to compile the updates and drivers.. *headache*

December 05, 2009

Christmas Came Early for Me This Year

I'm pretty exhausted now although it has been hours since I got back from the hospital.

Well, I just got a great early Christmas prezzie... One of my doctors, i.e. the cardiologist is quite happy with my echo-cardiogram which I did this morning. According to him, my heart looks to be back to normal with the treatment I'm undergoing.

It was a very busy day at the hospital, with a lot of folks coming for their check-ups and etc. I had to wait for almost 1.5hrs to get my blood drawn for tests. Some kids had to get their blood drawn and being so small, I pity those kids who had to be pricked by needles.

This time, the technician somehow "chose" a small vein and it was difficult to draw blood out. -_-"

So, I was in a bit of pain. Funnily though, I'm not too scared of needles or blood. But then again, at one point, I did seriously think about taking up medicine but in the end didn't when I decidedly loved Physics more than Biology in pre-U.

Luckily, there was no queue at the diagnostics services but the echo-cardiogram took a really long time to complete. After all, the test was to scan all 4 chambers of the heart. I had forgotten that it was cold and by the time I finished, I was freezing.

All that time I did not have time to take my breakfast as I had to fast before my blood test. So, I only had a late breakfast/early lunch by 11:30am. After a quick bite, it was off to see the other doctor too.

The doctors did warn me about side-effects of the medication and should I experience any of the symptoms, I was to go back and see the doctors.

Other than that, I'm now free to do a bit more stuff at the gym... in small steps. That means, I can't start doing 20kg bench presses or dead lifts so soon but to do so gradually when I'm strong enough. It'll be mainly cardio and some light strength training to tone those muscles. I'm looking forward to doing some running soon.

I'll still need to see my doctors in about 2-6months time.

Meanwhile, I'm just glad to be able to celebrate Christmas in good health this year.

Thanks to everyone who kept me in their prayers and thoughts. (^-^)

December 04, 2009

Teo Chew Food @ Chao Yen, 1Utama

My laptop still has some life left and so, I'm taking the opportunity to blog about something before I embark on my minor upgrade exercise.

It won't be much, I'll most likely just upgrade my RAM from 1GB to 2GB and the HDD from 100GB to 160GB. My old laptop takes only IDE and so, I can't take advantage of the lovely SATA drives... Besides that, I can't seem to find those 320GB or 500GB IDE drives in the market anymore. :(

Oh well....

Anyway, it has been over a month since I had my little life-changing event... One of the first places I went to eat with EV was to a little restaurant in 1Utama. It was the Teo Chew restaurant called Chao Yen.

We've been curious about this place ever since the banner went up some months back before it opened. Both of us wanted to indulge in our Teo Chew heritage food and gave the place a try.


EV and I love vegetables. In fact, I have to thank her for "teaching" me how to appreciate vegetables. We used to cook a lot back in our university days in Australia and so, she, being a "cow" would love to cook vegetables while I, being a "lion" loved my meat. I requested for little oil and low salt which was just nice.


This brings me to the only meat dish we had. We ordered a set (which included a bowl of rice) of the braised Teo Chew styled chicken. The skin was a bit salty but the meat was just sweet. I do not recall my grandmother making this and EV's mom only makes the duck version for Chinese New Year only.

Chao Yen also serves other Teo Chew dishes such as the Teo Chew style Bak Kut Teh, i.e. pork ribs/meat in a tea-like broth and also "Or ni" which is the yam dish.


Due to health reasons, I'm "forced" to take brown rice and was glad that this restaurant had an alternative option to white rice. It tasted yummy and chewy.

Anyway, these days, my rice intake has dropped significantly as I'm taking more vegetables in proportion to rice and meat. A higher fibre diet is what the doctor ordered and if I do take rice at home, it has to be brown rice and the most I can take is probably 2-3 tablespoons worth.

Chao Yen is pretty pricey. Our meal for 2 persons came to a total of RM 54++, which included a pot of fantastic Pu Er tea. The taste though is quite mild as there are not much spices or sauces to overpower the ingredients. Anyway, Teo Chew food tends to be quite "pure" and simple.

Not sure if I would recommend folks to try this place due to the price but Chao Yen offers a variety of Teo Chew cuisine which is not very Malaysianized and so, can be said that the food is more of China Teo Chew style...

November 24, 2009

Will Be Quiet For a Wee Bit...

Hi all!

My little blog will be quiet for a while until I sort out some issues with my laptop's HDD (hard disk drive). It's currently making some funky "knocking" noises after a certain amount of time and so, am doing the necessary backup just in case something happens. Aside from that, I'll be upgrading the HDD from 120GB to 500GB... since I may need to replace the HDD.

So, while that takes place, I'll be looking at upgrading my laptop's RAM as well from 1GB to 2GB. It isn't much but that's all my little Dell Inspiron 6000 can take.

The estimated amount of $$ I may need to fork out is RM400 for the parts. Labour cost is RM0 as I'll be doing the upgrade myself.

I am tempted to upgrade to Windows 7 but I don't want to fork out the additional $$ for the software.. I've been playing around with the idea of a mini portable (Mac, Windows, Linux???)

Anyway, I'm wondering if I can wait until PC Fair hits KL in order to get the hardware... Hmmm...

November 20, 2009

Sleep Troubles... Again!!


Snoopy doesn't like it when I disturb her "beauty sleep"

Of late I've been having difficulty sleeping...

It is frustrating as I've been experiencing great sleep at night for the last couple of weeks after I got out from the hospital. I'm not sure if it is due to the fact that I've started to go back to work since last week and that the stress is coming back, or it's due to the medication I'm taking.

Anyway, I've been trying to apply the correct sleeping habits as follows:
  • No caffeine/food 2 hours before bed-time
  • No exercise 3 hours before bed-time
  • No TV/laptop activities while in bed or before bed-time
  • Going to bed as soon as you feel sleepy...
However, it does not work. I tend to wake up at 4 or 5am feeling quite alert! Whenever I try to go back to sleep, it is not restful and I wake up feeling more exhausted at 7am.

Grrrrr... Also, I find that when I accidentally fall asleep by 10:30pm and not go to bed soon after, I'm wide awake until 12 or 1am!!!

Sleep is very important and we should try to get at least 7-8hrs per day to stay healthy. If we have not enough sleep, we can put on weight easily and also tend to crave unhealthy foods! My insomnia for the last 3-6mths also played a big factor in my being sick too... So, I'm worried about my sleeping patterns now...

Any suggestions??

November 19, 2009

Chicken Rice @ Restoran Satellite, Petaling Jaya

I can't believe that I did not blog about this particular chicken rice place despite having taken photos (and edited it) 3 months back!!!

Anyway, this chicken rice place has been at this location in PJ ever since I could remember. My family has been going to this shop for our chicken rice fix for many many many many years... Yes, ever since I could remember...

The restaurant's name is called "Satellite" and it is situated in PJ, near the KWSP building. It is the last corner coffee shop next to the road junction. If you are familiar with PJ, the shop is located opposite the AOG (Assembly of God) church at Jalan Gasing, PJ.


I love the bean sprouts served at this restaurant. The bean sprouts variety is fat and short, much like the ones they serve in Ipoh. It tends to be sweeter and has more of the bean sprouts taste.


In recent years, my Dad always like to order to minced pork meatballs which the restaurant serves in a soup. The meatballs are pretty large and I think they make it at the premises.


Finally, the "star" of the restaurant; the steamed chicken. The chicken is pretty sweet and fresh always. The sauce they drench the chicken in always seem to be so delicious, despite it being quite oily.

Of course, no chicken rice is complete without the "yellow" rice (rice cooked in chicken stock and other spices/herbs) and chilli sauce. For some of us, the chicken skin is the best part of all!! However, due to cholesterol concerns, we all don't eat the skin now.

Strange enough, when I spoke with my dietitian, she did say that I can still take chicken rice but remove the skin and not take too much of the sauce and avoid the "yellow rice". Besides that, portion control is important when it comes to how much protein and carbohydrates to take in this meal.

This restaurant also serves the "Hor Fun" or flat rice noodles cooked in soup or dry sauce, i.e. soya and oyster sauce which also goes very well with the chicken. ;-)

Just looking at these photos makes me drool.. Hehehe

November 17, 2009

Healthy Pasta Recipe - Chunky Tuna

Here's another healthy recipe idea... This time, I happened to have some fettuccine and tuna left over and decided to have a quick pasta dish.


Ingredients for 1 person's portion:
  • Fettuccine - 1 portion
  • Garlic (sliced) - 2 cloves
  • Onions (sliced) - 4 small onions
  • French Beans (sliced) - 1 portion
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Tuna chunks (in water or olive oil) - 1 portion
  • Salt and Pepper - to taste (optional)

1. Mix some sliced onions with the tuna chunks. If the tuna chunks was in water, drain the water first and mix in a bit of olive oil to moisten the mixture. If you like the tuna to be a bit sour, add some squeezed lemon juice.

2. Cook the pasta as per instruction on the packet.

3. Heat the pan with the extra virgin olive oil.

4. Cook the onions and garlic until it is soft. Becareful not to burn the garlic. I find that by cooking the onions first and then adding the garlic, I tend to not burn the garlic.

5. Add the tuna chunk mixture and stir well.

6. Add the cooked pasta and if possible, add in a bit of liquid used to cook the pasta.

7. Add in the sliced french beans. The french beans may be steamed first if you prefer them to be soft; otherwise, the crunchy french beans add a lot of texture to the dish.

8. Season the pasta with salt and pepper to taste. This step is optional if you intend to keep it low sodium.

9. Add some extra virgin olive oil to finish the dish.

This is definitely a very quick dish to make especially when you don't have the time when you're back home from work or school.

Hope you like it!

November 14, 2009

World Diabetes Day

14th November is World Diabetes Day.

The reason why I'm blogging about this is because my mother's sister suffers from Type 2 Diabetes. We don't have any substantial medical history if my mother's parents or other relatives suffers from the disease previously. So, when we heard that she had it, we were shocked.

A lot of folks do not realize the dangers of consuming too much refined sugars in our diet.

There are also alot of myths surrounding getting the disease such as "I'm thin, I won't get the disease" or "None of my family members had the disease and so, I won't get it."

Based on what I've read, it seems that researchers cannot pinpoint exactly why some adults will develop the disease despite being perfectly healthy and active. Of course, being overweight and not having a healthy lifestyle makes us more susceptible to developing the disease.

Some years back, my family discovered a book on the dangers of sugar and we started to cut back on our intake of processed foods. However, I've learned now that cutting back sugars is only 1 small part of the puzzle. The major part of the staying healthy is to be active, i.e. exercising.

My recent health scare has prompted me to take a more serious action on this as diabetes can cause many problems such as heart disease and kidney problems. Diabetes can also destroy nerves which leads to limb amputation and blindness. I learned that my blood sugar was a bit high and so, decided to learn more about this disease.

However, if you get diabetes, it does not mean that you'll need to have insulin injections. There is oral medication if you are found to be insulin resistant. That's why it is important to have a full medical check-up as the doctor would be able to prescribe the right therapy for you.

Besides that, getting diabetes also does not mean that your diet must be entirely sugar free. Diet changes should be to cut back on all foods with refined sugars such as white bread, sugar (obviously), soda drinks, anything which contains "corn syrup or high fructose syrup". Diabetics can still take sugars but in very very small amounts and less frequent as possible. Our bodies still need sugars as fuel.

Get your blood sugar checked. Prevention is better than cure...

November 13, 2009

Life Is Precious

I don't think most of us know how precious life is until something happens to us.


Anyway, as a quick update as I'm sure lots of folks are concerned about how I'm doing lately.

When I left the hospital I had lost 4kg. The nurses were quite shocked when I kept losing weight when they weigh me in the mornings when I was at the hospital. This is all water weight as I was taking some medication to get rid of water.

I had been given some medical leave by the cardiologist and I badly needed it. My BP (blood pressure) had dropped to almost normal and because of that new BP, I was feeling dizzy whenever I stood up. In fact, there were times when I experienced black outs and nearly fainted. So, I had to rest more in order to get used to that new range of BP.

For the last couple of weeks I've been closely monitored by my doctors and from the last visit, one of them decided to increase some medication, while the other has planned another echo-cardiogram scan next month.

The good news is that I'm allowed (and encouraged) by the cardiologist to start exercising, i.e. to concentrate on cardio more. I could do some resistance training to strengthen my muscles but not heavy lifting. So, until the doctor gives the OK, can I start to do vigorous exercising again. So, I'm limited to walking for cardio but not running on the elliptical trainer, which was what I like to do.

Besides that, no heavy lifting means that I can't really go running around with my laptop strapped to my back; which is what a lot of folks at the office see me do as I move around floors and between the two client sites.

I'm grateful for this new lease of life. To a lot of folks who knew me, I've already started my journey towards good health last year when I joined the gym and got educated on how to exercise and eat right.

All I can say is that, the cause of a lot of health problems was stress. I was stressed out. When I got stressed, I didn't sleep well, eat well or even found time to rest. When stress levels are high, we are drawn to unhealthy habits which would eventually lead us down a dangerous path.

So, from this scare, I'm grateful that God has led me down that path; and with His help and love, I can only get better in time.

November 11, 2009

The Twins Have Grown... A Lot!

The twins celebrated their full moon on 3rd October but I did not have the time (and energy) to organize my full moon photos... :P

Now that they are just past their 2nd month, I'm sure lots of people are curious as to how big my nieces, Charlotte and Olivia has grown.

I can tell you that they are doing very well and I noticed how big they've grown after 4 days in the hospital. It was as though they sprouted overnight.

Give me a "T"!!!

I took this photo at the end of last month when I was resting at home. Both twins had just woken up for their feed and we were waiting for the hot water to be ready to give them their morning bath. As you can see, baby Charlotte (in the foreground) has grown taller. Her face has gotten a bit rounder.

Give me an "L" (reversed...)

Here's a picture of baby Olivia. As you can see, she is almost bursting from her clothes... Yes, she is a bit heavier than her older sister, Charlotte.

According to my sister, both twins are slightly overweight. However, it is not too bad at this stage as they seem to be self-regulating the amount of milk they want to drink. They will stop feeding when they are full and no matter how hard we try to get them to complete their milk, they will refuse to drink.

Anyway, as long as both kids are healthy, that is all we care about at this point. :-)

November 09, 2009

Korean Food @ Kimchi Restaurant, Tropicana City

A few weeks ago, EV had the craving for Korean food. She was shopping at Tropicana City and I dropped by to accompany her for lunch.

I did not have any lunch but decided to take photos of the food she had. I did share a side dish and it was pretty good. :P


For Korean food, side dishes often accompany a main dish and this restaurant had provided a variety of type of dishes which has a taste ranging from sweet to sour to spicy. Aside from the traditional Korean spicy kim chi (top right), the side dishes we got was (from top right to left): sweet omelet slices, cold spinach, (from bottom right to left): sweet and sour tofu pieces, cold bean sprouts and sweet sliced fish cakes.

I'm not sure if the side dishes are refillable but we both could not finish all the side dishes.


I already had my dim sum lunch and so, just ordered a simple Mango smoothie (without milk). It was a bit too sweet for my taste but very refreshing. However, Tropicana City air-conditioning was running at optimum level and so, I was shivering when we left the restaurant.


EV ordered some grilled chicken. It had a hint of kim chi which made it a bit spicy but it was quite good. It certainly will be a good appetite inducer and will warm the tummy for a cold day... at Tropicana City.


EV also ordered some potato pancakes. These pan cakes were just lightly pan fried. There isn't much taste except for potatoes and so, can be eaten as replacement for rice... If you're bored with it. After eating this, I believe my potato-loving friend might enjoy this dish a lot.

As for price, I can't really recall how much everything came up to as EV paid for it. I do recall that the grilled chicken was around RM18+

There are other more interesting places at Tropicana City which both EV and I are curious about. I know with my strict diet I can't eat them all but at least photograph the yummy food...

November 08, 2009

Healthy Pasta Recipe - Tomato Based

Due to my food restrictions, I've been looking out for some healthy pasta recipes which I can cook.

I managed to find my whole wheat pasta and low-salt tomato pasta sauces from Cold Storage. I bought Preggo's Heart Smart Pasta Sauce which is made up of tomatoes, onions and garlic. It has low salt and has been approved by the US Heart Association. The sauce was a little pricey RM12 for a large bottle but I was lucky as I got the whole wheat pasta free together with the bottle!

Anyway, my recipe does not have any added salt or sugar as the sauce would have adequate seasoning.

Ingredients for 1 person's portion:
  • Whole Wheat Spaghetti (I got San Remo) - 1 portion
  • Garlic - 2 cloves
  • Onions - 2 small red onions or as many as you like
  • Cherry Tomatoes - 3
  • Heart Smart Onion and Garlic Pasta Sauce - 5 tablespoons
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
  • Parsley Flakes
  • (optional) - Salt and Pepper to taste

1. Boil the spaghetti in hot water. The pasta will take around 8-10 minutes to cook since it is whole wheat. If you have specific diet restrictions, cook the pasta until aldente, i.e. still chewy and not too soft. Drain most of the water from the pasta.

2. Heat the pan with extra virgin olive oil.

3. Cook the onions and then add the garlic. Garlic tends to burn easily and so, do watch the heat of the pan.

4. Once the onions and garlic look soft, add the pasta sauce and keep the pan to medium heat.

5. Add the cooked pasta and some of the pasta water to make the sauce. Mix well. (Optional - You can add salt and pepper for taste at this point)

6. Add the cherry tomatoes and turn off the heat when the sauce and pasta has mixed well.

7. Sprinkle the parsley flakes.

8. Eat and enjoy. ;-)

There is also an optional step to this recipe which is to add a bit of skimmed or low fat milk to make the sauce creamy. Also, since this is a vegetarian dish, you can also add meat to the sauce too. The important step is to brown your meat first and then cook your sauce in the same pan.

Also, if you want to add more interesting flavours, here are my suggestions:
  • Toasted pine nuts
  • Fresh parsley instead of dried parsley flakes
  • Fresh basil
Finally.. Here is the result of my quick recipe...


Looks good, right? ;-)

November 07, 2009

Dim Sum @ Taman Desa

One of the favourite things which I will miss is having dim sum... Not that I have it very often but just that being on a strict diet (and exercise regime), I don't think I'll be having dim sum so soon.

Anyway, after this dim sum lunch last month, my parents and I agreed that we can't have it too often as the stuff we order makes us feel too bloated after eating it.


We ordered all the usual stuff and we typically like the steamed stuff more than the fried stuff. We even ordered the pork and century egg porridge to share amongst us.

Dim sum is great to be shared with 3 people as the dishes come in threes which is just right.


The "Loh Mai Gai" was pretty ok. It wasn't too oily and I like that there was enough meat and mushroom filling proportionate to the amount of glutinous rice.


BBQ Pork Buns are my favourite. Since there were three served, each pork bun is not too large and just great for a taste. However, since we were already quite stuffed by then, we struggled to finish the buns.


One of my favourite dishes is the Har Gao or steamed prawn dumplings. For me, this is the epitome of a good dim sum. The skin of the dumpling should not be too thick or thin so that the prawns would not be too dry when eaten. Besides that, the prawns must be fresh too or else, the dish will be bland and tasteless.


I love steamed fish balls. This fish ball was quite good as it wasn't too hard and the texture was just right.


For me, no dim sum is complete without the Hong Kong styled Chee Cheong Fun. My parents wanted to try the BBQ pork and so, we had the pork variety instead of the prawn.

By the time we finished our meal, we were really full. Thank goodness we decided to have some hot Chinese tea to wash away all the fat and oil, though, the food was not all that oily.

I can't really remember the name of the restaurant but it is in Taman Desa, near the field where the dogs are being trained.

It will be a very very long time before I can head back to this restaurant again. Aside from dim sum, the shop does sell some noodles too.
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