Life is a jigsaw puzzle. Every segment of the puzzle is formed by different elements of life. I cherish all my felicity elements, what about you?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Life is never perfect.
There are always highs and lows.
There are always laughters and tears.
There are always happy and sad moments.
There are always desired cheers and unwanted encounters.

No matter what, at the end of the day, we'll remember the cheerful one, more than the distress events.

At least this is how I want my life to be.

Yes, there are times where things can get extremely frustrating, but instead of throwing any temper tantrums, or let the hysteric inner-personality be the commander, I would try my best to divert my attention to something cheerful.

As aforementioned, I wish what's in my mind will be the positive elements, not the reverse.

To me, ranting will not help me in solving problems. Ramblings can merely give temporary relief, but nothing beyond.

So, I will try to recall happy moments, and will try to uplift myself with those blissful ideas.

This is what this blog can help me, to help me in recalling joyous emotions, that is.

No, this is not a food-blog in the making. But I must admit that to some extent, cooking will heal my sadness, my anxiety...

So I carefully jot down these jolly moments...

For they do belong to the subset I regard as felicity elements.

Once again, welcome to my felicity corner.

Portuguese Egg Tart 葡京蛋塔

If you ask me what is the most crucial thing a M'sian gal can't live with when staying far far away from home, right away I'll tell you it has to be Okay, I know it's a website, not a 'thing' per se, but you get the idea. There are uncountable fantastic recipes, especially recipes that say 'authentic Malaysian cuisine' provided from the website. Kudos to one of the best chef available in our country, Amy Beh, for keeping the site updated regularly. I am really grateful for her generous heart as she is constantly sharing so much wonderful recipes with her fellow readers/fans. With a great source of recipes like, 'home' doesn't sound so far away, anymore.

So, what's cooking in my kitchen this time? Portuguese egg tarts came into my mind the other day so I thought it would be fun to give it a try. Needless to say, I turned to for help. Only after a few clicks, I managed to find the recipe I needed. And so, I started looking for the necessary ingredients.

For the puff pastry, heh, I 'cheated' a little by using the ready-to-bake puff pastry sheets I bought from grocery store. Yeah, it was easier this way because someone did warn me before that puff pastry is something rather challenging to make. Perhaps I will try to make the pastry myself next time, perhaps not too as the packaged one really did come in handy, and 'satisfaction guaranteed'. Well, we'll see.

Ready-to-bake puff pastry sheets readily available in grocery stores placed in the frozen product aisle. A great product I call it.

So, I defrosted and rolled out the pastry sheet and fit them into my mould. Then I poured in the filling and baked in the preheated over at 350F for around 30 minutes.

My home-made Portuguese Egg Tart in various shapes, from the more classic pie-shaped, to rectangular, and heart-shaped.

I simply love my tarts! They taste real good, but I still wonder why my tarts don't look exactly like those you get from the bakery stores like the Baker's Cottage or King's Confectionery. The tarts I remember would have a darker glaze on some part of the tarts, whereas mine will be almost the same entirely. No big deal, just some random thoughts.

Now, will you please let me get indulged into something homey ... Hmmm, delicious!


I plan to make heart-shaped Portuguese egg tarts like these as gift for my relatives when I distribute my wedding invitations in the future. Traditional Chinese custom will give '*Gah Nui Baeng' (嫁女饼), but I thought I can bring in something unique into my future nuptial. What you say?

* means 'daughter-getting-married-biscuit' in Cantonese, it's like a wedding favours you give away when you announce the wedding to close friends and families.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Braised Chinese Mushrooms with Hard-boiled Eggs in Fragrant 5 Spices Sauce

You can actually make this dish with chicken feet, pig's trotter, pork ribs, or even pork tenderloin. But I cooked mine meatless.

  • a few hard-boiled eggs
  • 3 cups of Chinese Mushrooms, soaked, remove the stems
  • 2 star anice
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 clove of chopped garlic
  • around 10-15 cloves of garlic, unpeel
  • 1 tsp of 5 spice powder
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1.5 cup of water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • a pinch of white pepper
Thickening: (combine both)
  • 1/2 tbsp of corn starch
  • 1/4 cup of water
  1. Soak the chinese mushroom, remove the stems, slice the mushroom into half if the size of the mushroom is rather large.
  2. Prepare some hard-boiled eggs. Click here if you need the recipe of hard-boiled eggs.
  3. Heat oil in a wok (or pot) and lightly fry the chopped garlic, star anice, cloves, and cinnamon sticks until you get the aroma.
  4. Put in the mushrooms as well as the unpeel garlics and continue to fry for a few minutes. Fry until well combine.
  5. Put in the 5 spice powder, oyster sauce, light and dark soy sauce. Continue frying for a couple of minutes.
  6. Add in the hard-boiled eggs, pour in the water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat. Cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes. Then add in the seasonings.
  7. If you prefer to have thicker sauce, add the thickening. Otherwise, this step can be omitted.
  8. The dish is ready to be served. Goes really well with rice.
I am a big fan of mushrooms, and I love my mushrooms to be cooked this way. In this dish, mushrooms are tender, succulent, and flavourful. Yummy!

Sweet Dessert: Air Mata Kucing (罗汉果冬瓜龙眼水)

If you're not a Malaysian, don't bother to ask what does 'Air Mata Kucing' mean. The direct translation of these 3 Malay words to English would be 'Cat Eye Drink'. Doesn't make sense to you? No worries. It's just a name. As long as you know what does it represent, good enough.

Air Mata Kucing (AMK) is a beverage made popular by a vendor stall located at Petaling Street, or more commonly known as 'the Chinatown' at Kuala Lumpur.
[Sidetrack: actually calling Petaling Street the 'Chinatown' of M'sia is sort of an insult, as this place resembles nothing too oriental but heaven of imitated products, sigh] If you're curious to know how does the AMK stall looks like? Look no further. See below...

Air Mata Kucing at Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Photo source from here.

Ice cold AMK is always a great beverage to quench your thirst, especially when you're in a hot and humid country like Malaysia. That's why it is such a best-seller in Petaling Street. Actually, it is not tough to make AMK out of your kitchen yourself. It only requires 5 main ingredients, which are Buddha's fruit (loh hon guo, 罗汉果), dried longan, winter melon (can be fresh one, but I always go for dried winter melon strips, easier), brown sugar (or rock sugar), and water.

Some of the main ingredients: dried longan (upper left), Buddha's fruit (lower left), and dried winter melon strips (right).

The method to make this beverage is simple. Bring a pot of water to boil, then add in the Buddha's fruit first. Half a buddha's fruit is sufficient for 2 litre of water. Let the water simmer for a while before adding in the melon strips and dried longan. After boiling (over low heat) for around 15 minutes, you may add in brown/rock sugar to taste. Once the sugar has dissolved completely, they're good to go. Serve hot or icy cold.

A bowl of Air Mata Kucing from my kitchen, to your PC. See the melon strips and longan? The beverage is brownish-black in colour due to the Buddha's fruit.

If you have a blender, you may make it as an ice-blended drink too! *cooling*

Always a great summer drink!

Greenapple and Tomato

Yes, greenapple is my chosen nickname. I started using such nick during my senior high school years, for I was (still am, indeed) too fond of the yellowish-green colour of greenapple. That colour has always been my most favourite colour. There were two instances where I would use such nick: 1) when I wrote letters to a radio station for the DJs (Anonymity is important, isn't it?); 2) when I made my cards for my fellow friends (Yes, I would prefer making D-I-Y cards, rather than purchasing commercial cards. Aside from the fact that ppl would appreciate self-made cards more, it's fun to make things yourself!), I would normally sign 'Greenapple ® Studio' at the rear page of the card. Cool huh? Then I would add another line like 'A proud product of Greenapple ® Studio', or 'this card is specially dedicated to xxxxx', something like that. Ahhh, thinking about this made me wallow in nostalgia ... High school years were almost a decade away now. Where are those friends now? In addition, where are the cards that I made? Oh well, no matter where they are, I hope they're not in the trash bin! Heh.

As for Tomato, yes, this is my fiancé's chosen nickname. I did not come out this name myself. Actually it was a nick he used to use in high school too. We weren't studying in the same high school back then. I did not know the exact scenario about how did the name come about, but I was told that it is a nick given by his fellow high school mates due to the similar 'sound' of his name. The relationship goes something like this: Mr.Tomato's real name ≈ Franco ≈ fan keh (tomato in Cantonese) [≈ means similar to], so finally he settled at the name Tomato as nick ...

When I came across his nick when we first met, I thought Tomato was a cute nick. Later on when we started dating, I thought greenapple and tomato would make a perfect match. Haha. At least both are fresh produce, both are healthy food, and both are similar in size. The green colour apple would make a good contrast with the red tomato. You think?

Monday, September 26, 2005

What Colour Should Your Blog Be?

Your Blog Should Be Blue

Your blog is a peaceful, calming force in the blogosphere.
You tend to avoid conflict - you're more likely to share than rant.
From your social causes to cute pet photos, your life is a (mostly) open book.
What Color Should Your Blog or Journal Be?

I saw this little test from this blog, and I gave it a try. Well, the test only ask a handful of questions, so might not be as accurate. Anyhow, it's somehow fun to participate.

Just wanna share.


karsoon兄那里看到一个有趣的测验,署名 MBTI职业倾向测验。看似好玩,我也去测验了一下下。以下是我的人格类型报告:

您的人格类型是: ESFJ(外向,感觉,情感,判断)

  ◆ 有很大的精力和动力来完成任务
  ◆ 能够和别人有效合作,并且和他人建立友好和睦的人际关系
  ◆ 处理事实和细节问题时,具有客观的态度和得天独厚的天资才能
  ◆ 善于培养和帮助他人,对于别人良好的行为举止能够给予肯定和赞扬,并且能够帮助他人保持和发扬
  ◆ 果敢坚决,稳重可靠
  ◆ 能够维护组织一向的价值观念和工作原则
  ◆ 灵活的组织技能和明确的工作道德
  ◆ 信奉工作在一个传统的,稳定的组织里有其自身的优点和长处
  ◆ 乐意遵循已经制定的例行公事和工作程序
  ◆ 通情达理,视角现实

  ◆ 不愿意尝试接受新的事物,和没有经过考验的观点和想法
  ◆ 对于别人的不同意见和批评耿耿于怀,不喜欢在紧张的气氛中工作
  ◆ 可能只关注眼前的需要,而对长远利益不够重视
  ◆ 难以适应新的情况,在不同工作任务之间来回切换时有困难
  ◆ 容易表现得过于敏感,逃避难堪的场合
  ◆ 不愿意长时间独立工作,很想和别人在一起
  ◆ 会轻易表露自己的喜好
  ◆ 可能会由于情感方面的负担而疲惫
  ◆ 在掌握的信息和资料还不够的情况下便草率做出决定
  ◆ 只关注具体的细节,而不能整体地把握一个情况或者事物地长远影响
  ◆ 容易固执己见,武断地做出决定
  ◆ 不愿意听取反面意见
  ◆ 得不到赞扬或者欣赏之辞的时候,可能会灰心
  ◆ 只考虑眼前的需要,不愿意为事情做长远打算



May you have fun.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Omelette Rice 蛋包饭

Omelette rice (蛋包饭), or more commonly known as Nasi Goreng Pattaya (nasi=rice in Malay, goreng=fried in Malay) among Malaysians, is a type of hawker style food that you can get from almost all the mamak* stall or mamak restaurant in Malaysia. If you aren't in the mood of having rice, you can always ask for mee (noodles), instant noodles, or meehoon (thin vermicelli). The chef can always stuff different ingredients underneath the thin omelette to suit your taste.

I've always wanted to make omelette rice myself. In fact, I had actually made a few attempts, but none of them could be regarded as successful trial due to the fact that I would fail to wrap the rice nicely with the omelette. Either the omelette was too small, or the omelette would break, etc. I managed to pull off one today, finally.

How did I make it? First of all, I fried some rice.

Ingredients for the fried rice:
1. 1.5 cup of cold rice
2. 1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables
3. 1 egg
4. 2 tbsp of raisins
5. salt, pepper, and soy sauce to taste.

I love to put in raisins to my cooking lately. Raisins would go well with many dishes, like fried rice, curries, even vege stir-frys.

Then, I scooped all the rice into a bowl, and inverted the bowl over a plate.

This way, the rice would be nicely plated on the plate.

Next, I made the thin omelette using a non-stick skillet pan. The recipe of the thin omelette: 1 egg + 1/4 cup of milk + a tiny pinch of salt. Beat this mixture, thoroughly if possible until a smooth mixture. Then, pour the mixture on the skillet pan and swirl the pan to ensure an even distribution. The larger the skillet, the larger the omelette you can make. Make sure your egg mixture occupies all the flat spaces on the pan, if possible. Cook the egg over a low heat. When the egg is 'movable' when you gently shake the pan, the egg is almost ready. Carefully use a chopstick and flip the base side over and check out the omellete. If the egg no longer sticks to the pan, and is golden brown in colour, you may switch off the heat.

I normally would take out the egg right away, but the omelette would still be so warm that my hands would not be able to tolerate the heat. Yes, you may use a spatula or chopsticks to lift the egg up, but in my humble opinion, nothing would beat my agile hands. Please bear in mind that the omelette is reasonably fragile to handle. Consequently, I would wait a little for the egg to cool down before transferring the omelette to my plate.

I laid my omelette over my rice, and nicely slip the edges into the rice. This is how it looks like:

I tried to decorate my omelette rice with some hoisin sauce and ketchup, but I think I might have screwed up the design. Aiyah, the opening of the sauces' bottle were too wide, so it was hard to manipulate. Anyhow, please have a giggle.

Despite the poor 'drawing', the omelette rice was yummy! Finally, I have a successful omelette rice out of my kitchen. Oh, I'm happy.

By the way, Mr. Tomato said this omelette rice reminded him of Wilson the volleyball, from the movie 'Cast Away'.

They do look alike, eh? Haha, so funny.

I will like to dedicate this food specially to Annabelle and Isabelle, angels of Twinsmom. I think kids will love this dish.

* Please click here to learn more about the 'mamak' culture in Malaysia.

The Era of Hurricanes.

If you've resided in North America long enough, you'll get familiar with the word 'hurricane' so much. Hurricanes happen from late summer to fall each year. Sometimes hurricanes will downgrade into tropical storms before making any major landfall; sometimes they gain strength to a higher category when approaching main land. Regardless of the different categories, hurricanes are always indesirable.

Okay, Rita came, made its landfall, and remains to be a Category One hurricane as of now. You can get your news from,,, etc. I don't have to elaborate on the latest news.

I had actually been through a major hurricane once when I was in Halifax, Canada. It was a Category 2 hurricane, namely Hurrican Juan. We were not evacuated. The truth was I did not know it was gonna be a hurricane, until the last minute. No, it was not that the authority did not inform the citizens, but I had no TV, no radio, and the weather forecast website that I relied on so much was merely telling me that we were gonna get lots of rain, with strong and sustained wind up to 170km/h. Having no experience about hurricane, I did not know that strong wind was the indicator of hurricane. Hence I was not aware of the arrival of possible calamity, at all. The weather forecast website also indicated that there would be a risk of power outage due to the gusting strong wind. During that time, I was living on an apartment which has 11 floors, and my apartment was at the 7th floor. The minute I heard about power outage, I thought about no phone, no internet, no elevators, and no cooking. Just FYI, the fixed-line phone that I had was cable-generated. Without electricity, the phone connection would be gone. As for the matter of cooking, we were using electricity-generated stove to cook. Without power, there would be no cooking, at all, as both stove and microwave would not be functional.

Next, I started worried about the giant windows in my apartment. The window was actually facing the ocean, so I wondered whether could the glass withstand the strong sustained wind. Being the only person left in the apartment as my fellow housemates were away to other provinces for their work-terms, I began to feel jittery. Luckily my friends who were living not far away offered me to stay-over, for companionship sake. So I quickly packed my stuffs and went over to my friends' place.

While I was there in my friends' cozy house, we were watching the television closely about the upcoming hurricane. Only then, I knew, oh, hurricane. That was the first time in my life I got to understand this term fully. The hurricane was known as hurricane Juan. All the news channel were giving warnings saying that it would be something rather severe. We followed the news closely, watching the hurricane approched the mainland bit by bit. The storm surge was terrible, as it would double my height, or even triple. Some callers from other areas would call-in to inform the authority that they had experienced power outage. Very soon, we had the same fate. The entire Halifax soon fall into absolute darkness. It was around midnight I remembered. So, we did what we could do the best, go to bed, that was. Although we were in indoor, we could feel the gusting strong winds. The house was practically trembling. Of course it was frightening, but we managed to fall asleep later on.

The next day we woke up, the sun was already up there giving us a big smiley face. It was so shiny. As we walked on the street, we could not believe what came into our views. There were so so so so many fallen trees. The fallen trees were over those houses, cars, power-line, or lying completely on the floor. Some places got flooded a little. In the waterfront of Halifax, the boardwalk was completely destroyed and the debris were everywhere. A few yachts, and even ships were blown onshore, when they were supposed to be on the water. Fallen trees were everywhere. Most of the trees were at least a hundres years old, but those old trees with strong roots still could not endure the sustained wind, and got struck down. And because most of the power-line were destructed by the trees, there were no electricity for most parts of the city.

Schools were closed for entire week, so did most of the stores. Everyone was eager to purchase non-perishable food as refrigerator wasn't functioning. Breads were the item that would sold out fast, if any available. Many people relied on barbeque when it came to cooking, or gas if you were lucky. That was the lives of Haligonians after the hurricane. Candle lights were everywhere, but it was dangerous at the same time because most of the houses were made using wood (hard to imagine by fellow Malaysians, eh?). Many places needed repairs; many places needed restoration; many elderly people needed assistance. Everyone was friendly to offer a helping hand, if requested. There was no looting, no fighting, except a little whining, a little rambling ... People tried their best to stay calm nevertheless, be patient, and had faith with all the authorities. The transition period was bitter, but at the end of everything, most people tolerated it well.

Hurricane Katrina was a monster disaster because it hit New Orleans, a city that is below sea level. Levees play an important role in defending the city. If the levees are destroyed, the city will go under water, something you may see now. It is gonna be a tough job to repair the levee, pump out the water, and dry up the city.

I seriously wish that this is the end of this year's hurricane season.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Rita is coming!

Oh my God, another catastrophe is on its way! Hurricane Rita is more severe/intense then the previous Hurricane Katrina. Can you imagine how disastrous will it be? And now it's targeting Texas. Many evacuess from New Orleans to Texas were saying it seems like the hurricane is following them! Ahh, isn't that heart-breaking?

I seriously dunno what to say ... just, God bless America.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Cora's in Halifax, Canada.

Recently, I've come across the pancake store known as Paddington's House of Pancakes located at The Curve as blogged by fellow bloggers (see here, here, and here ). Well, it appears to me that the pancake store has a rather impressive menu, which most of the bloggers found it luring. However, the services provided by the store were somewhat disappointing. I hope the store owner is aware of this fact. Otherwise, regardless of how extensive the menu can be, customers would still be driven away as no one would like to pay for a lousy service.

Speaking of pancakes, that reminds me of a breakfast restaurant known as Cora's in East Canada. This restaurant is phenomenal among the locals. I said East Canada because you can only find this restaurant in the Maritime region and Quebec. Well, you can actually have your breakfast, brunch, or even lunch in Cora's because the opening hours are usually from 6am-3pm, but it is categorized as a breakfast restaurant due to the food selection. What's on the menu? Like bagels, French toasts, smoothies, crêpes, fruits, different types of egg dishes, from sunny-side up to omelette, from egg benedict to quiche, or bacon and sausages, etc. Okay, you might start to wonder, what's so great about this restaurant. Cora's is famous for the ample servings of fresh fruits along with your main dish. As well, your meal in Cora's is complemented by colourful, cute, child-like self-drawn illustrations on the wall, on the menu, and even the place mat. You'll get what I mean in a sec.

The inner decor of the restaurants:

If you pay close attention, you'll see drawings like these throughout the restaurant.

The open-styled kitchen. See the fruits?

A view from another corner of the restaurant.

There's even a rooster (okay, a fake one) above the counter. Another hen on another side of the wall, hatching eggs. Heh. That does sound very 'breakfast' to me, no? Ha.

The menu:

The cover of the menu. The drawings is really cute, isn't it?

Fresh fruits, yogurt, oatmeal, waffles, delicious French toast ...

A variety of crêpes. (crêpes=A very thin small pancake, Taiwanese call it 可丽饼).

You may have open-faced style crêpes, or rolled crêpes.

You can opt for lunch menu too if you're not in the mood for breakfast.

The menu is unique, eh?

Even the place mat is cute.

Okay, the food. (Drums rolling...)

Mix-berries smoothies. Yummy and nutritious.

One of the friend who were dining with us could not take bacon/sausage because he is a Muslim. So, he ordered this. Double sunny-side up eggs on top of two crêpes and grilled-potato. Okay, not very colourful. The better one are coming, I promise.

Rolled crêpomelette (combination of crêpe and omelette) au gratin. (au gratin = with grated cheese). Anything with cheese is surely something to die for ...
Not enough of colours, still. More to come.

Crêpe with bacons and a sea of exotic fruits.
Looks good?

Finally, I give you, the ultimate: the Eggs Benedicts.
James from loopymeals blogged about this dish before. He mentioned about how tough would it be to prepare this dish. Haha, if you're dying for one, you can always get them from Cora's. You see the pouching eggs on top of the English muffin? Aside from that, the fruits, potatoes, and asparagus are nicely laid out. Isn't it artistic the way they sliced the apples? Who isn't tempted to have one?

Oh man, I miss Cora's so much. Always delicious. Always plentiful.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005




(1) 自家書架上的藏書數量

我 现在不在马来西亚的家。马来西亚家里的书架的藏书数量,少说,也有一百本吧。 我中学的零用钱都使用在很多的中文书上。2002前刘墉写的书我全有(除了他70年代出的整十本的荧窗小语除外)。近几年不在家,他的书我已经不太跟得上 了。刘老师的文笔之优,相信不用我多说什么,大家都已知道他的魅力。刘老师的儿子刘轩的作品,我又怎么会没有呢?再来,台湾作家小野的书我虽然没有 100%,也有近75%吧。我一直很喜欢小野之家里头的那一种互动。除了小野本身,他太太,他儿子李中,与女儿李亚都陆续写了几本书。尤其他太太阿珍的 书,我更是觉得不可错过。侯文咏的小说&散文系列,我都没有错过,应该是有近乎整套吧。另外还有古淑娟、张曼娟、光禹(台湾著名DJ)、陈庆佑、网 络作家蔡智恒等等的台湾作家,到李观发、纪展雄、邓丽丝、文康、阿牛还有一大票的大马作家,尤其是大将出版的,你都可以在我家的书架里找到。当然,不能不 提的是绘本的书,像几米的绘本啦,日籍画家阿保美代的绘本,麦兜与McMug绘本,皆是我书架上的宝物。

至 于现在这里的藏书量嘛,没有很多。哎,不是我不要,是我带不过啊。所以只是带了几本养生的书,哈哈。我现有姜淑惠医师整套的作品,包括了《这样吃最健 康》,《这样生活最健康》,《这样料理最健康》,《点石成金健康法》,等等。还有雷久南的《回归身的喜悦》,林光常的《21天排毒养身餐食谱》。是啦,想 吃得比较健康是现阶段努力的方向。所以啊,就背了这一堆书来这里时时警惕自己。另外,还有蔡智恒的《亦恕与坷雪》,我飞来这里的时候在机上看的。

(2) 現正在看或想看的書

现 在在完成一本英文小说,书名是
‘In Full Bloom’, 有一次在这里逛书店时买的。

作者是美籍华裔,和我同姓,这,是促使我购买此书的原因之一吧。作者在书中尝试揣摩美籍韩国人的后裔的我思我 想,包括了想跳脱自己真正的血统的矛盾与因为语言和父母产生的代沟等等问题,用比较轻松的口吻带出了一些些的隐忧。不是非常棒的一本书,但是基本上不错 吧。


(3) 最後買的一本書


(4) 你最喜歡的一位作家


(5) 有特別感想、印象深刻的五本書


(6) 接下來想傳給以下5個人




Monday, September 19, 2005

Dining Out : Beauregard's Thai Room

In North America, there are two types of South-East-Asia-themed restaurants that are plentiful in existence, which are Thai restaurant and Vietnamese Restaurant. You want Malaysian food? Well, that only exists in metropolitan cities, like NYC, Washington D. C., Vancouver, etc. I always wonder why there isn't more Malaysian restaurant around, for I think that M'sian food are more flavourful and have more varities, thanks to our multiracial cultures. This would suffice to kick up a few notches. However ... Oh well, enough of ramblings. It's not about M'sian food in this post.

We went to Beauregard's Thai Room a few weeks ago. The reason that this restaurant gained our attention was that they claimed they have the best patio in the city. We figured that it would be a good idea to check out the restaurant's patio before the arrival of fall or winter, as the patio will probably be closed up.

The anterior part of the restaurant, showing the main entrance. There is also a relatively smaller patio at the front of the restaurant, but the main spot of attraction would be the patio at the rear of the restaurant.

The main patio:

The patio does look good, with lots of plants and greenery. There is also a small pond amidst the yard-style dining tables and chairs. No wonder gwailos American loves it. As for a Malaysian gal like me, however, I would still prefer an air-conditioned indoor over the outdoor atmosphere. Ha. The atmosphere was good nonetheless.

There are a few typical Thai dishes you can find from a Thai restaurant in North America, for instance pad thai (Thai style fried kueh teow, with a dash of lemon juice and peanut pieces sprinkle on top), Thai green curry, Thai red curry, Thai Panang curry, Thai Massaman curry, Thai basil chicken, and of course, Tom Yum Gong. Out of all these so-called Thai food, I was only familiar with Tom Yum soup before I left home. I mean, have we fellow Malaysians ever heard of all those curries in different colours? C'mmon, we're loyal to all the curries we have in our home country. We have curries a la Chinese, a la Malay, and a la Indian. If that does not satisfied you, there are still curries a la hawker for all the different curry noodles, from the drier version to the soupy version. I guess there is no room for Thai curries, eh?

Oh well, back to Thai curries. If you ever have a chance to sample Thai curries, they seriously aren't bad as well.

Thai Red Curry, with sliced chicken, sliced bamboo shoots, red pepper, onions, and basil leaves.

Thai Green Curry, with sliced chicken, onions, green pepper (or more commonly known as capsicum in M'sia), and basil leaves.

Normally, rice and dishes are served on different plates in most of the Thai restaurants. I dunno why this restaurant did it differently. This would make it tougher if you'd like to share your food with someone else who were dining with you. The food was tasty nevertheless, and spicy, a special request we made. Often spicy food in North America are too sweet in order to sabotage the spiciness to suit gwailos' taste bud. So it is always relevant to make special request when you order your food.

Will we be back? Eerr, most probably not, unless invited by other ppl for a dinner or something. The price quoted by this restaurant is slightly higher than other Thai restaurant, but the serving size is relatively small. I bet you can do the math yourself. Plus, I'm not a big fan of the patio, so it's not quite worth it to pay for the patio-view.

Not So M'sian Style Fried Hokkien Udon

In a typical plate of fried hokkien mee in Malaysia, you'll see fried lard and thick fat yellow noodles. It is the aroma from the lard while frying the noodles that makes a plate of fried hokkien mee to be so irresistable. Despite the fact that this food will bring no good to one's health, it is it's unique flavour that make this noodle a signature dish of Malaysian Chinese food. Well, sort of.

Personally, I am not a fan of lard. Hmm, preferably not any of them. So, if I'm ever making a plate of fried hokkien mee for myself, it is definite that I will omit this item as part of the ingredients.

This is what I made:
A vegetarian meal it is. I used fresh button mushrooms, firm beancurd, and choy sum to go with my udon. The reason to use udon over typical fat yellow noodles was that, well, you don't get such noodles outside Malaysia as far as I know. So, udon was the closest option I got to have. Let me assure you, though, that udon could still resemble the taste pretty close to the real thing.

Well, how does it look? I was satisfied anyhow as it was the best I could have when I am far far away from home and getting hawker food like this is absolutely impossible.

Cookies Nite II - Lemon Coconut Cookies

Since the first batch was a success (okay, my very own definition of success), I had my hands on on another batch of cookies, namely Lemon Coconut Cookies. Click here for the recipes.

The aroma of the cookies were great, especially the lemon-scent. It tasted good too. But I soon realised that there is a crucial gadget that I lack in my kitchen - a wire rack. It's mentioned in the last step in the recipe that I should leave the cookies to cool on a wire rack, which I did not. The consequence? The cookies turned soggy as they cooled. They would still taste good, but weird in texture wise.

So, a wire rack will be listed on my next shopping-list. Ha. Next time, I plan to use cookie cutters to shape up my cookies. I wanna make gingerbread man cookies! That does sound a lot of fun to me! =)

Cookies Nite I - Cornflake Cookies

I was too bored to be at home alone one night, so I decided to make something to kill the time.

I had never made any cookies in my life, so I thought it would be a great idea to give it a shot. offers quite a number of cookies recipes, and soon I had my mind settled on Cornflake cookies because I kinda miss this food. I think the last time I had this type of cookies was a decade ago.

Click here for the recipe.

The outcome?

The cookies tasted good. I was so happy to see my batch of cookies. It was my very first time making these tidbits anyway ... I was thrilled.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Virginia Beach 1-day Trip - Part III

Having a delectable seafood meal was definitely the best way to end our Virginia Beach 1-day trip.

Despite the abundance of seafood buffet restaurant around the region, we had decided that we would rather go for an à la carte meal over buffet. We rationalized that buffet meals were too pricey for both of us ($25/person); we could get main entrée at other non-buffet seafood restaurant at a fraction of the price. In addition, ordinary main entrée offered at other restaurant would suffice our appetite as well as our seafood-cravings. Or else, there would be a risk of binge-eating. Yes, we would like to indulge ourselves into a gourmet meal, but we definitely did not wanna overdo it.

We found this restaurant serendipitously.

The cover of the menu of the Dockside Inn Restaurant & Marina:

Some of the inner decor in the restaurant:

You can either sit in the indoor air-conditioned area, or outdoor patio.The view is awesome, eh?

A panoramic view of the restaurant. I took these pictures from the boardwalk. I used photoshop to merge the pictures together. Well, they did not fit perfectly, but you can roughly get the idea of the exterior look of the restaurant.

The food:

I had broiled scallops with vegetables and red-skin potatoes.
The vege was sautéed nicely, not too oily nor mushy. The red-skin potatoes was fantastic! It was my very first time having red-skin potatoes and I like the texture of the skin very much. The taste of the potatoes together with garlic + butter made a perfect combination. As for the scallops, ah, I was speechless. The first thing that came into mind was, I wanna share this wonderful dish with my parents and my brothers badly! Okay, it was so good that you would go Hmmm hmmmm hmmmm hmmmmm hmmmm. The scallops were huge, succulent, nicely done by the chef. I could not figure out the ingredients the chef used to cook/marinate the scallops, but it was tremendously good. Absolutely love it!

As for Mr.Tomato, he had a baked potato and ...

L O B S T E R !

The first chew made me, once again, speechless. Well, it was not that I had not have lobster before. I had tried a handful of lobster when I was in Halifax, also a city famous with seafood, so I knew what to expect. But the lobster we had was beyond our expectation. It was a little bit overcooked I must admit because the texture of the meat was rather dry, but the taste was great! The chef did an excellent job at bringing out the sweetness of the lobster meat, so that outweighed the flaw.

Before we entered the restaurant, I thought the trip to Virginia Beach would be the first and the last. No, don't get me wrong, VA Beach is a nice place, but USA is huge. I thought I would rather visit other places that I have yet visited if we ever have time+money for travelling. But after the superb seafood meal, I know we are so gonna be back. Even if only for the food.

To my parents and siblings at home, I seriously look forward to having you all here. I promise I'll buy you all dinner, wonderful seafood dinner. It's heart-breaking to think about the fact that I could not share such incredible delicacy with you all. When I saw the gigantic scallops in my plate, I thought, how good would it be if you all were there. I managed to bring lobsters home once, and hopefully you all will get to taste fresh scallops in the near future.

Mee Bandung

I brought this packet of 'Perencah Mee Bandung' (Bandung Noodle Paste) from home. Well, I've never come across Mee Bandung before actually when I was in Malaysia, so I am not at all familiar with the taste, or perhaps I shall say, I didn't know what to expect out of it.

But I figured that it wouldn't be bad, so I gave it a try by following the suggested cooking methods on the packet:
The end product:
Hmmm, not too bad I'd say. I could taste dried shrimp out of it, and with chillies of course. But it was not spicy though. I had just googled 'Mee Bandung' on the internet, only to realise that it's a type of noodle that is more commonly found in the State of Johor (a state located on the Northen part of the Peninsular Malaysia). I think I'll try to look for this food if I ever have a chance to visit Johor next time. Otherwise I won't be able to tell the authenticity of this packet of perencah. But as far as a quick and quality meal is concerned, this packet is great. Will definitely bring more of this from home next time.


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