Mar 27, 2018

16 This And That, The Stuff We Get

Would you believe that my plastic Chinese New Year tree of pink and red blossoms is still up? I am reluctant to take it down because I love how it brightens up my home. Not that it isn't bright enough with yellow and orange walls, and no curtains to block the sun out. It's thoroughly cheerful but I figured more is better? Lol. Minimalism is obviously not my thing.

Anyway, we received this gift from a business associate recently. A classy men's briefcase out of a James Bond movie? Not so. It's a wine case - a complete set with glasses, wine and accessories. Since I have never owned one before, you can imagine my excitement - like a kid opening up a shiny new toy. 

Wine Case

Wine Case with Accessories

I'm not big on alcoholic drinks. I cook most of it off in meat dishes, like a can of beer in braised pork or half a bottle of wine in a stew. That's how I use up all the alcoholic drinks in my house, rarely enjoying it as is.

The next time I go on a road trip, I will bring this case along complete with bottles of sparkling grape juice. Livening up my holiday, non-alcohol style! ;)

Then, I got these awesome 100plus golden bowls that came with a spoon each from buying F&N canned drinks. We bought two cartons of sarsi and two cartons of orange at RM13 each to give away to relatives for the festive season. I'd almost walked away without knowing about these free items. It was by chance that I bumped into a salesgirl who told me about it.

So I loaded two lovely sets into my shopping cart and told hubs that I was going to enjoy bubur cha cha the Datuk--Datin way. Bubur Cha Cha is a soupy coconut based sweet potato, taro dessert.

100plus Golden Bowls and Spoons

There you go, I'm practically hopeless at resisting cool stuff like these. High 5 if you're like me!

Mar 22, 2018

22 Penang Eats

There's good food in every corner of Penang island - at least I think so. And I'm really glad I don't live there because you'd never find me cooking in the kitchen then. Haha!

These are some of the yummy food I've enjoyed over a couple of trips there. I didn't note down exactly where or which stall we ordered from so forgive me for leaving out accurate location details.

Macalister Road's Char Kway Teow. Good wok hei (that wok charring taste) here. The Chee Cheong Fun is delicious too with silky strips of rice noodles and thick gravy. Couldn't shake the image of rat glue out of my mind though.

Char Kway Teow (Fried Flat Rice Noodles)

Chee Cheong Fun (Rice Noodle Rolls)

Bali Hai Restaurant on Gurney Drive is one of our favourite dim sum hangouts. I love the place because of the ambiance. The waterfront view and sea breeze makes the experience of eating here so satisfying.

Bali Hai Restaurant - Dim Sum

Bali Hai Restaurant, Gurney Drive

Hameed Pata's Mee Sotong. This is the stuff of legend in Penang. Fried noodles paired with super spicy squid that's guaranteed to draw out beads of sweat. I consider it a great achievement to finish a plate of this.

Hameed Pata Mee Sotong, Fort Cornwallis Food Court

Edgecumbe Road's Fried Noodles. It was ok-ish. Satisfying but not something I would purposely make my way here for.

Fried Noodles, Edgecumbe Road

The pork belly and pickled veggie dish at a hawker stall in a shop along Jalan Burma. This was served with plain rice and an egg on top. It's the kind of meal that says comfort food, Asian home-cooking style. I totally enjoyed this one.

Pork Belly with Pickled Vegs

Finally, the famous Penang Road Teochew cendul! An iced jelly, coconut dessert that will always be the perfect thing to have in Penang because of the humid weather.

Penang Road Teochew Cendul

What's your favourite Penang food? For me, Batu Lanchang's jelly fish pasembur (not pictured here) takes top spot. I'll try to take a pic of it one day.

Mar 14, 2018

19 Penang : Gurney View Inn

With a waterfront view, Gurney Drive is one of the most happening places to hang out in on Penang island. It's a stretch of road known for high end condominiums and pricey hotels. There are many eateries offering authentic local food along it, modern shopping malls and even a local products center for the tourists . Across the road is a promenade lined with trees and tiled benches.

Gurney View Inn, Penang

Nestled between impressive tall buildings is the hidden gem that is Gurney View Inn - a small, cheap hotel for budget travelers. It was RM130 per night for a family room. A surprise find considering the expensive hotels along the stretch! Housed in the same building is a Thai restaurant on the ground floor.

Gurney View Inn - Entrance

I was pleased with the compact sized room - one single bed, one double bed. Bath area was clean with nary a hair nor mould. An old rickety aircon kept us cool at night. The bonus was the unobstructed view of the waterfront. 

The only thing that would have been a put-off was the worn out peeling wallpaper, but hey, we're not fussy people! A comfy bed at a reasonable price to lay our head and within walking distance to several tourist attractions is a dream thing for us.

Gurney View Inn - Family Room

Gurney View Inn - Family Room

Check-in was quick and efficient. Arriving hours early than recommended check-in time, I was prepared to be turned away but the hotel staff was kind and accommodating, and we got our room after half an hour of waiting.

Gurney View Inn, Penang

There is a smoking corner right behind the reservations counter.

Smoking Corner at Gurney View Inn, Penang

The view from our window.

Gurney Drive, Penang

Gurney Drive, Penang

A short walking distance away behind the hotel is the famous Thai reclining Buddha temple and a Burmese Temple with an impressive Golden Pagoda Bell Tower. If you're into wet markets, the famous Pulau Tikus wet market is a street down.

To summarise, this is a good place to stay because it's convenient to get around. I saved on taxi fare. It's near several tourist attractions, has great scenery and food is abundant. I loved the sea breeze walks and having my cuppa at Mr. Pot, a roadside cafe that sits under a big old tree that looks out into the blue of the horizon.

Gurney View Inn
Address: 75, Gurney Drive, Pulau Tikus, 10250 George Town, Penang
Telephone: +6 04-226 1668

Mar 6, 2018

11 Two Weeks Into Woof Woof Year

If it were possible for blogs to collect dust - FuuuUuuhhHh ..*cough-cough* .. that's how long I've been away. Life happened and it happened interestingly. Weeks were spent spring cleaning and redecorating the home.

I took my sweet time too, having read at least fifteen books in between, my hands unable to put any down once the first page is turned save for food and the occasional cuppa. It was difficult trying to disconnect myself from tales of vampire romance and sword wielding unearthly creatures.

Then there were meet-ups with close friends and relatives to pass on CNY goodies. We caught up with what's going on with each other. There was the traveling - seven days in Penang! I'm now back in KL and ready to rumble.... at least I think my washing machine is,looking at the pile of dirty laundry I have to do.

Penang Island

I thought to ease into the New Year with some quiet time but phlegmy cough and a runny nose made me miserable for a week. Miserable, but not wholly uncheerful. That didn't stop me from tidying the home and cleaning up the mess left by my partying pigeon buddies - and boy, did they party!

These are some of the food I enjoyed in the early weeks of the Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration. It began with an eight-course Reunion Dinner at Baview Hotel.

Prawn Dish

Reunion Dinner

On the first day of CNY, mee sua (longevity noodles) in herbal chicken soup is a must for us as it is a symbol of longevity. MIL never fails to cook this. It's a family tradition that has been practiced for decades. Long live Sharon!

Mee Sua in Herbal Chicken Soup

We headed out to catch the lion dance after that. It is an auspicious thing for us, all about ushering in good luck.

Lion Dance

Tong Tong Chiang

Days later, MIL treated the family to her famous 'kiam chye boey' - a sour, spicy, moreish stew made from leftovers. Roasted pork belly, roasted duck, chicken, mustard greens, dried chilli and preserved plums cooked in a huge pot until the flavours come together in a rich gravy best savoured with rice or noodles.

Kiam Chye Boey (Mustard greens, leftover meat stew)

To summarise, CNY is mostly about food, friends and family for me. So there you go - my first couple of weeks into The Year of The Dog.

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