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?

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A trip to Hee Been Restaurant.

A few days ago, a few friends of mine decided to drive to Northern Virginia (a few minutes away from Washington DC) for Korean food. I tagged along for fun. The driving distance from Richmond to DC is approximately 1.5 hr. Yes, we went there only for food.

Things turned out to be, that was the best Korean food I've ever had (although I've only dined out in Korean Restaurant 3 times). You'll never go wrong if the place is highly recommended by Korean.

Name of the restaurant: Hee Been Restaurant. Picture showing the first page of their menu.
They claimed that their food is MSG-less.

I've always wanted to dine in a restaurant have settings like this. Very Japanese kind of seating arrangement.

You can ask for a room if you want more privacy. Good for a bunch of people having a blast.

The conspicuous colours at the bottom of the toothpicks caught my attention instantly. As well, the steel spoon is covered by a cover. I've never seen things like these before.


Ample servings of Korean side dishes are definitely some of the key elements in a meal. These elements are crucial in making a Korean meal go from good to fantastic. Picture shows (clockwise, from upper left) potato (kimchi style), bean sprouts, sweet mash potatoes (very Americanized, indeed), sliced lotus roots, something-like-kuih with bean paste, pickled scallions with pepper, two types of sauces, kimchi, and zucchini.

On the table, having the griller ready to go. We had bulgogi on one grill, and kalbi on another one.

Kalbi, grilling in-the-process.

Ready to be served.

Rice. Notice the steel bowl with lid. So unique (well at least I haven't seen anything quite like that before).

We had a few more dishes.

How can you ever go to a Korean restaurant and not have Japchae? This is my forever favourite Korean food. Hee Been did a great job in making this dish. The glass noodles was the superior type (it's wider than the normal one), and the flavour was superb!

I can't recall the name of this dish, but it's actually sweet and sour beef - the Korean way. Very similar to Ku Lou Yok (Sweet and Sour Pork) in Malaysia.

Complimentary dessert: Korean Cold Cinnamon Tea. This sure is something exotic for me. It was sweet (not overly done), cold, and aromatic (how can you go wrong with cinnamon and pine nuts?). Very interesting.

We all left the place feeling contented.

So people, if you're ever visiting Washington DC in the near future and planning to have authentic Asian food, this is the right place!

Daylight Savings Started

Have you noticed the current time difference between Richmond, USA and Malaysia?

Previously the time difference was exactly 12 hours, but now, due to daylight savings, we have to set our clocks an hour backwards ... meaning we can have an extra hour to sleep tonight ... wee! So my time now is 13 hours slower than Kuala Lumpur's time.

Well, that isn't really a fun thing, though. That just means that the nights are getting longer, and shorter day time. During the shortest days of the year (which falls on Dec), the sun will set around 330-4pm, and will rise only around 8-830am. I remember I was so depressed the first year when I was in Canada because of such short day time. It's like you haven't done anything, yet it's already night time.

Fall is here, afterall.

How far will winter be?

Heh, there will be no more days like this. Not at least until next April.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Fall (Archived Photo)

I was browsing my photo albums, and I bumped into these photos that I took last fall when I was still in Canada. Ahhh, nostalgia it is. Halifax is the place I always miss fondly. I had tons of wonderful moments in this school, this city. The people are incredibly nice, the sceneries are breathtaking ... It certainly was a divine experience.

Gwailo will love a sunny day like this. But to me, it's always a 'no thanks'. Hey, I come from Malaysia you know?

Something green, something yellow, something orange, something red. Colourful nature!

A view from a taller building.

Viewing the leaves on the ground.

Breathtaking ...

Maple leaves in red.

Fall foliage.

Oak leaf with acorns.

A closer shot.

I found this on the net. Cute, huh!

Last weekend's Garfield comic. I had a great laugh. So true, yet so funny.

This is the main admin building of Dalhousie University, the uni I attended. During fall, this is how it looks.

This look doesn't last long. A few months later .... (please scroll down)


Monday, October 24, 2005

韭菜煎蛋 Green green egg*

*Initially I called this post 'Q-choy with egg', but I thought the name used by Twinsmom's daughter is more adorable. So, green green egg it is. =)

I am unsure about the English name of such vege. In Chinese it is written as 韭菜, pronounced as jiu3 cai4 in Mandarin, and gou choy in Kantonese. Chinese often fry this vege with egg, or mix with minced meat and make dumplings (primarily gyoza, or sui gow).

Self-explanatory enough.

I call this the vegetarian version of Oh-Chien (oyster omelette).

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Peanuts & Sliced Ginger Congee

I love to cook my congee (US different slang of porridge) this way. It is comforting, soothing, especially during the chilly days. I simply love the aroma and the spiciness of ginger, and the soft and tender peanuts would make the congee perfect. If garnishes with spring onion, shallot crisps, a dash of pepper and Sesame oil ... heaven!

  • 2 cups rice, washed
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, wash and soak in water for 30 minutes
  • 1.5 litre water
  • 1/4 cup of sliced ginger
  • Sea salt
  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of spring onions
  • shallot crisps
  • soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • pepper/black pepper
  1. Cook (bring to a boil and simmer) the peanuts with 1 cup of water for 30 minutes.
  2. In a big pot, pour in 1.5 litre water and rice. Bring to a boil, bring the heat to low and let it simmer. Add in the pre-cooked peanuts (with the liquid that you used to cook the peanuts beforehand). Also, add in the sliced ginger, and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil. I normally do not cover the lid completely. Leave some space between the lid and the pot.
  3. Continue to simmer. Check occasionally with a ladle. Add more water if required, or if you want your congee to be more liquefied.
  4. Cook until rice is soft, and liquefied in texture. Add in some sea salt to taste.
  5. Dish out and serve hot congee with garnishes.
  6. Enjoy your hearty bowl of congee.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Roti Canai.

We found packaged Roti Canai from the frozen aisle of a local Indian grocery store, and guess what, it's Buatan Malaysia! As a proud Malaysian, of course we must give it a try...

Each packet consists of 5 roti, and costs us US$1.99. So one roti costs US$0.40=RM1.504. Okaylah, the price is considered as reasonable.

It's really easy to make. Too bad I didn't have curry to go with it. Will definitely have curry with my roti next time.

Another mamak food from my kitchen.

Heh, who say home is far away?

Happy Family.

Dearest Santa, these are the items I wish for my Christmas present ...
Are you out there taking care of my wish?
Heh ...

心心相印 Lovey-dovey



[Heh, just wanna illustrate a fun way to make good use of the cookie cutters ... =) ]

Friday, October 21, 2005

Halloween II

I am so tempted to buy one of these inflatable Halloween balloon to put in front of my apartment ... especially the first one ... But I won't be at home* that night. Will wait till next year ...

We shall see ...

* Generally speaking, houses with Halloween decor at the front yard of the house would imply that they're indeed readied for the treat-or-trickers.

Maggi Mee Goreng (easy version)

When it comes to instant noodles, I like mine either dried, or fried. Occasionally I'll go for the soup, that is, only occasionally.

This is what I often make using instant noodles - maggi mee goreng. It is very similar to mamak style cooking, except mine is simpler, in the sense of complexity and number of ingredients.

Ingredients: (for 2 person)

  • Instant noodles 2 packets.
  • Vege (can be beansprouts, sliced cabbage, sliced Nappa, sawi ... ). If you have tomatoes on hand you can add them in too.
  • 1 egg
  • curry powder 1 tbsp
  • sugar - a pinch
  • crisp shallots
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped.
  • half lemon, or 1 lime
  • oil
  • (optional) chilli powder
  1. Cook the instant noodles till soft. Drain, and keep it aside.
  2. Place wok over medium-high heat, lightly fry the chopped garlic.
  3. Add in the vege (if you're using bean sprouts, do not add in now, see step # 7), stir fry for 1-2 minute.
  4. Add in noodles. Continue frying.
  5. Add in curry powder, (chilli powder, if you like it spicier), a pinch of sugar, and half to entire packet of seasoning (that comes together with the instant noodle) to taste. You can add in a lil' bit of soy sauce if you want to.
  6. Push noodles to the edge of wok to create a 'well' in the middle of the pan. Crack in the egg. Stir them around to scramble them and when the egg start to set, combine with the noodles.
  7. Add in bean sprouts, fry on high heat for another 1-2 min.
  8. Squeesh in the lemon/lime juice to the noodles. Garnish the top with crisp shallots.
Tada ...

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Bread Story - the USA version.

In Malaysia, there is a hip, trendy, and rather upscale bakery chain store known as the 'Bread Story'. I love that store; the aroma of the bread is so remarkable that everytime I passed by the store, I would be welcomed warmly by the incredibly nice smell of bread. However, I could rarely afford one of those cate for myself. When a piece of bread equals the price of a bowl of noodle, I'm sorry, I'll definitely go for the latter.

But hey, you don't have to rely on the store. You can always make it yourself.

That was what we did yesterday.

Well, it was an event organized by a friend. We called it 'bread-making' party. Haha. It was basically a cooking class for a bunch of friends. But what was so neat about it was that right after the hardworking session, we all got to eat the bread we made, together.

It was fun. I finally learned how to knead a dough properly, and the troubleshooting techniques if the dough does not rise properly.

The Bread cookbook, our source of inspiration.

Before baking.

After baking.

Our Bread Stories, the Richmond version.

We made a variety of buns. Polo bun, sardine bun, kaya bun, cocktail bun, Chinese sausage bun, chicken meatfloss bun, cheesesticks, and garlic bread. We also made a variety of shapes ... from bun to braids, from rectangular to envelope-like (minus the stamp), and from Swiss roll style to open-faced ...

That was way more fun than cooking ... =)

Hawaiian Papaya

Papaya is considered as something rather unusual in ordinary grocery stores here in North America. But I saw these a few days ago! I was so tempted to buy, but look at the price! US$5 for 3 papayas ... I think with RM5 I can get almost a kilogram of them.

Homesickness does come with a price tag.

Friday, October 14, 2005


In North America, people usually refers the season 'autumn' as fall. Just a different slang they opted.
(Please click on the picture for a larger view.)

It's the season of Fall again. Gloomy, rainy, breezy, misty ... To be honest with you, I love fall. I love to see the colour changes in maple trees, the fall foliage, the breeziness ...

With this very reason, I am not readied to return to the forever-summer home country yet.


Tomato & Greenapple's 8th Dating Anni.
Daisypath Ticker