Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Lunch at Wang Chiew Seafood Restaurant, SS2

We stumbled upon Wang Chiew Seafood Restaurant recently, much to our pleasant surprise. After years of living in PJ, I don't know how we could have missed it. It could be because it's hidden in this single row of shophouses smack in the middle of the SS2's residential area. Now that we've found this gem of a restaurant, we're sure to be visiting more often.
For our lazy weekend lunch, we ordered several dishes such as Deepfried mantis prawn with salted egg yolks and cereal, Claypot seafood, Crispy pig intestines with dried shrimps, Butter sotong and stir-fried vegetables.

The deepfried mantis prawn with salted egg yolks and cereal is a definite winner. Wang Chiew's version is coated with mashed salted egg yolk and Nestum. The slightly salty egg yolk and sweetness from the cereal makes this a very addictive dish. I can't stop popping this into my mouth.

Next up is the Fried pig's intestines with dried shrimps. I've never eaten this dish before and although I do like pig's intestines I thought this dish is too simple. The intestines were crunchy but otherwise tasteless although the dried shrimps did add a little saltiness to the dish.
My mom loves sea-cucumber and fish maw so the Claypot Seafood is her favourite must-order dish everytime we eat out. Wang Chiew's version is quite tasty and comes with big chunks of sea cucumber, fish maw, mushrooms, baby sweetcorn and brocolli.
We ordered the Butter Sotong because it seemed to be on every table on the day we ate at Wang Chiew. The reason is evident when I popped the first morsel into my mouth. The sweet creamy sauce enveloping the crispy sotong is a clear winner. Absolutely delicious!
Our bill came to about RM50+ including drinks for 3 adults and 1 child. Wang Chiew's address is 30, Jalan ss2/103, 47300 Petaling Jaya,Tel: 03-7223662. Business Hour: 11.30am-10.30pm

Monday, December 14, 2009

Humans vs Monsters

I don't know where to start......
I am speechless. Horrified. Frightened. The source of this? The report in yesterday's papers about beggars in our midst. Not just any beggar, but beggars belonging to syndicates .... and highly disfigured with acid and missing limbs. I'm not afraid of the beggars, no. I'm horrified at the prospect that these might be victims of human trafficking.
These beggars were so badly disfigured that if their family members met them, they'll never recognize them. Beggars who lost their fingers to avoid detection by their authorities. No fingers means no fingerprints. It's the saddest thing. How did we, as humans, ever come to this stage?
I am horrified at the cruelty that my fellow human beings are capable of. Distraught for the family members of the victims who lose a loved one, never knowing where they are. Saddened for the lives of the victims who will now become slaves for a lifetime.
I wonder why we go on labelling mythical beings as monsters and fear ghouls when what we should really be doing is fear our human brothers and sisters for the cruelty that they are capable of. They are the real monsters in our midst.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Bookworms unite!

I went to the Big Bad Wolf books warehouse sale last week with my daughter and had such an interesting time. If anything ever gets me excited, it's a book sale. Book sales are my retail therapy equivalent to shopping for clothes and other girly stuff. For a time I actually wondered if I'm the weird one out but last week's experience at the book sale put that thought to rest. I met many, many bookworms while waiting for the book people to open their doors to us into book heaven. You know who the bookworms are - we are the ones who are there right at the front of the gates excitedly straining our necks to see what's inside and planning all our strategies. Quite ridiculous, actually. We'd compare notes and share stories, and I was very pleased to find similar-minded people who actually thought nothing of spending huge amounts of money on books because we think it's worth it. Like they say, birds (or in this case, should it be worms?) of a feather flock together ... and there were many birds (worms?) that day. Not only that, we all practically had the same thoughts on lots of other topics too - shopping for clothes, for instance. To us, it seems that if a shirt fits - great! Now can we have all five colors of the same shirt and get this shopping over with! It's so different when we talk about books. The mood changes entirely - everyone gets excited and we're all suddenly talking like old friends. Someone commented that bookworms are not environmentally friendly since trees have to be cut down to feed our habit. That's true, but a bookworm will never give up the joy of holding the book in their hands. Oddly, we just don't find the same joy by reading a book over the computer screen. It somehow takes away a very substantial part of the fun of reading a book. We bought lots of books at the book sale but it just never seemed to be enough. We are eagerly waiting for the next sale again and next time I will be even more prepared! For the time being, I am eager and happy to just lose myself in the books that we purchased last week.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Living with dyslexia

Dyslexia is often regarded as a developmental learning difficulty but I would like to think of it as learning difference.

If you’ve been reading my blog, I would never have come across as a dyslexic. The fact is I am. I’ve had to contend with learning difficulties in school because the traditional educational setting just do not recognize the possibility of children learning in a different way from their peers. It is especially so in the Malaysian educational setting where students learn by rote. It was exceptionally hard for me, thus I am almost always among the last in class during my school years. That’s not to say that I’m stupid. Far from it, actually. I won’t blow my own trumpet and say I’m exceptionally intelligent either. It is just that I do better at some subjects, languages and arts specifically, and just can’t understand other subjects. I was always the top scorer in school for English and Bahasa Malaysia so the teachers are always perplexed by the rest of my results. I have never had to sit down and study when it came to languages and arts. It all just came naturally. By the time I was in secondary school, I was helping some of my classmates with their homework. However, being good in languages is not enough to make it in life. My parents, worried for my future, sent me to tuition after tuition in the hope that my results would improve. That didn’t work, obviously, and I hated those after-school tuition sessions fervently. It was such a surprise to everyone that I even managed to scrape through my exams.

At that time, students were put into two categories, the smart ones and the not-so-smart ones. No one had any inkling about learning disabilities then. It’s a different world today, thank goodness because my daughter was recently diagnosed as a dyslexic too. I’m not too worried about her diagnostic because frankly, I don’t see dyslexia as a disability. I see it as more of a gift because dyslexics also happen to be very creative people. At a time when everyone wants to “think out of the box”, no one can do it better than dyslexics. Can you imagine what a boring world this would be without dyslexics? If dyslexic luminaries such as Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Walt Disney, Lee Kuan Yew, Richard Branson and countless others can achieve such great heights of success, dyslexia can only be described as a gift.

When I am confronted by mothers who revel in discussing the number of As their children got in their last exam, I am comforted by what Sir Jackie Stewart said, “You be nice to people with dyslexia because one day you might be working for them”. That just about makes my day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Reasons for divorce

Recently, it was reported in the local dailies that divorce rates were high in Terengganu. The reasons given for divorce borders on ridiculousness. How does boring sex, spouses in old pajamas and whose body odour smells like fish crackers even get into the equation for divorce these days? Boring sex life, maybe, but old pajamas and fish crackers? Call me old-fashioned, but whatever happened to simple old "irreconciliable differences" as reasons for divorce? If we're to believe such ludicruos reasons for divorce, then we'll all soon be expected to go to bed looking like Victoria's Secret models. Don't forget a spritz of a sexy perfume to raise the temperatures! Do we now have such unrealistic expectations for our spouses that a marriage can't work simply because the spouse concerned goes to bed donning old pajamas? The reasons are highly suspect, for it may seem like just an excuse to get rid of wife no. 1, to make way for wife no. 2, no. 3 and no. 4? What do you think?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Weekend buffet lunch @ Oriental Banquet

We celebrated my mom's birthday recently at Oriental Banquet for a weekend lunch buffet. We had originally wanted to try the buffet at Noble House in KL but they are always fully booked, thus we were told to try our luck at Oriental Banquet.

We managed to book our table without fuss for lunch on Sunday. Our reservation was for 11:30am and when we arrived there were only a couple of tables of guests there. The buffet line was not completely set up yet so I managed to sneak in some photos while they set up. There's a decent amount of food there so I will just let the pictures speak for themselves.

Our menu for RM39.00++ per pax consists of a bowl of sharksfin soup with crabstick for each person. The soup was quite mediocre although for RM39.00++ it's decent with real sharksfin.
I liked the appetiser section where the food is served in dainty spoons and shooter glasses. My favourite is the pomelo salad with octopus. The tangy salad and the chewy octopus topped with crispy squid is quite addictive and I found myself going back for more. The crispy fish skin topped with salsa is also quite good.
For the hot mains, there were a wide selection of dishes to choose from such as spinach tofu with mushrooms, moneybags, steamed fish, braised chicken, glutinous rice, yong tau foo and noodles.

There's a section of hot soups too with bak-kut-teh, yellow wine chicken and carrot soup.The selection of dishes are rotated so there is actually a wide range if you stay for longer hours. There's peking duck which I had to queue up for and also suckling pig for which I had to wait for the 3rd round before I finally got a chance to get to it before it's all gone.

I managed to take some pictures of the process for the Peking duck.

There's just a small table for desserts like Chinese pancake, ice-cream, fruits and hot desserts such as gingko and soya.

Oriental Banquet is a part of the Oriental Restaurants Group and is located at 16 Jalan 19/1, Section 19, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel : 03-7957 8488.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fear of .....?

Fear. Now, that’s a word that many of us can relate to. Being human, it’s natural for us to fear the unknown. However, I do think that people go overboard sometimes. Like fearing a bespectacled boy like Harry Potter, for instance.

I am always amused at why books/movies like Harry Potter and Da Vinci Code even warrant a religious discussion. Because to me, these are purely entertainment. I very much doubt that watching a two-hour movie like Harry Potter is going to make people want to join the occult. Surely it takes more than just a movie (a PG-13 rated one at that!) to want to sell your soul to the devil? No doubt the invasion of the vampires will soon get some people’s knickers in a twist again.

How amusing it is that people fear books, movies, setting foot in other places of worship, yoga, sport anything that resembles a dragon or worse, participate in the funeral rites for one’s parent. Did these people honestly believe that by indulging or participating in any of the above their faith in their religion will diminish? Or wiped out? Is it that simple? If their faith can be so easily shaken by something as trivial as these then obviously they need to rethink their faith. And no, I did not just pluck these examples out of the air. It’s unfortunate but I do happen to know people who fear all the above. The last example is most upsetting. I think it's unbecoming for a child to refuse to perform funeral rites for his parent because it is against his religion. Surely God will not begrudge a person a final act of filial piety?

I’ve been to many places of worship, participated in the activities, have had Christian cell group meetings at my home and even pray alongside my children at night (to Jesus Christ!) but I’ve never been tempted to simply rush out and convert to Christianity. My faith in my religion has never been shaken and it will never be.

My point is, do we really need to be told that we can’t do this, can’t watch this, can’t do that? Are we incapable of making our own decisions? It is an inherent part of human nature to be curious about things and being restricted means added curiosity equals to mistakes. Anyway, we don’t need moral guardians, well, at least I don’t need them because they are an absolute insult to my intelligence. I just wish that people have a little more faith in themselves instead of feeling threatened by everything that comes along their path. Life is just not meant to be lived that way.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Best fish paste noodles @ Old Town

Where do you go when you crave for some good old-fashioned noodle soup that's packed with goodness? Me? I go to a little stall at the back of a house in Old Town, PJ. This little stall has no name, hence no signboards and is only known through word-of-mouth. It can't be seen from the road either because it's hidden right at the back of a house. The word-of-mouth advertising must be serving them well because it's packed with customers and waiting time for a bowl of noodle soup can stretch from 30 minutes to 40 minutes.
So, what makes them so different that people are actually willing to wait that long for a bowl of noodle soup? It's the best I've ever had. I usually order the flat rice noodles (kuey teow) and my bowl of noodles come with a very generous amount of vegetables, 3 big pieces of very tasty fish paste (yee wat) and a piece of stuffed tofu skin in a very light sweet broth that doesn't taste of MSG. The amount of vegetables in that one bowl can easily match 3 bowls at any other stall.Of course, if that's not enough, you can also add sui kow (dumplings), stuffed tau pok, stuffed brinjals and stuffed bittergourd. Be warned though, the sui kow portion is huge and is very filling! I like to add the stuffed beancurd skin. It's really delicious.They also serve pork noodles with minced & sliced pork and liver. As you can see below, the ingredients are so much more than the ones served elsewhere. The best thing about this noodle stall is not because of the generous portions of ingredients that they serve. Instead it is the wholesome goodness of the noodle soups that taste like it's home-made that keeps me going back for more.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Restaurant Extra Super Tanker - 2nd visit

This post is a couple of months overdue as I totally forgot about it. We had a farewell for a colleague and since most have not been to Restaurant Extra Super Tanker, we decided to have the farewell lunch there.
We actually ordered quite a lot of dishes but I won't put everything up here again because I've already reviewed those dishes on my first post.
We ordered a whole suckling pig which was delicious! The skin was crispy and although parts of the suckling pig were a bit fatty, it was still very good.
The Steamed Lucky Fish with BeancurdRoll & Bamboo Sheet were smooth and naturally sweet. We liked this dish very much. It's very light and is perfect to offset the cholesterol-laden suckling pig.We also had Fried HK Cabbage with yam in soup. This dish is surprisingly tasty although it looks simple. I didn't think yam and vegetables would mix very well, so I am surprised that it did. The vegetable were cooked with cubes of yam and dried shrimps in a very sweet stock.I'm not usually a fan of fried rice, but the recommended Special Yam Fried Rice was very tasty. It had bits of salted duck egg yolks, ham and yam and was delicious to the last grain. Very yummy indeed!

We were too full to order desserts by the time we were done, but it was a very satisfying meal.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Roasted Goose at Spring 99 Restaurant @ Glenmarie

We were treated to a roasted goose dinner recently with a group of friends. I've never heard of Spring 99 before this, but I was told that it has very good char siew (barbequed pork). So obviously I jumped at the opportunity when we were invited to dinner at Restoran Spring 99.

We were served roasted goose, char siew, steamed chicken and a bevy of other dishes. I was very keen to try the roasted goose as it's not something that's easily available in Malaysia. Apparently the goose is imported from Shenzhen, just like those served in Hong Kong. I love roasted goose from Hong Kong, it's a can't miss dish whenever I visit. The roasted goose served at Spring 99 was very good. I liked the crispy skin and the meat was tender too. If you needed any indication on how good the roasted goose was, I ate a whole plate all by myself. We were also served the steamed chicken but I can't comment on it because I didn't try it. I was too busy eating the goose.The piece de resistance is of course, the char siew. The char siew served were "pun fei sao" and it was totally delectable. It sounds like a cholesterol-laden dish, in fact, it is, but all that caution will be thrown to the wind the moment you pop a piece into your mouth because the char siew melts in your mouth, literally! It was so good! I usually like my meats lean, but I'll make an exception for this one. The char siew were coated in a sweet sauce and were very addictive, especially the slightly charred bits that gave it a smoky edge.
To counter all the oily food, we were served blanched ladies fingers (okra) that were tossed in a lime-based sauce with bird's eye chilis. It's a very interesting way for eating ladies fingers. The ladies fingers were still crunchy and the lime-based sauce were appetizing and certainly helped us clean our palate after huge helpings of roasted goose and char siew.
I also liked their house specialty drink called Seaweed lime. It's a very refreshing drink made with seaweed that gave it some bite.
Restoran Spring 99 takes orders for the roast goose (3 days advance) and also does other dishes on weekend nights.
It is located at 3 Jalan Peniaga U1/35, Hicom Industrial Park, Glenmarie, 40150 Shah Alam, Selangor.
Tel : +6012-302 9698