Thursday, September 17, 2009

Joe's Place, The Kopitiam @ Plaza Damas

We stumbled onto this little kopitiam recently whilst shopping at Hartamas Shopping Centre. We were looking for a place for lunch and the shops inside the shopping centre did not appeal to us, so we decided to venture onto Plaza Damas and found ourselves at Joe's Place.

They were having a special that day for Mee Bandung Muar @ RM6.90 per set inclusive of a drink. I've never tried Mee Bandung before but my hubby seems to like it. The yellow noodles were drenched in a sweetish peanut-based sauce and served in a claypot.
I had Fish Head Noodles with a request for them to omit the milk. The thin rice vermicelli were served in a tangy soup made with salted vegetables, tomatores, coriander and deep fried fish head pieces. I quite like this dish. The tang in the soup makes it very appetising. At RM6.90 a bowl, it was quite affordable too.For drinks, we had Black Iced Coffee, Ribena Longan and Iced Barley. The Ais Kacang was nice too, with lots of sweetcorn, kidney beans, cendol strips, sago pearls, grass jelly and topped with gula melaka & rose syrup and milk.Joe's Place, The Kopitiam is at Unit No. 1 Block F, No. 6 Jalan Sri Hartamas, Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur. Tel : +603-62012389.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The most amazing thirst-quencher in Penang!

There's this neat little place that my family have been going to for our thirst-quenchers while in Penang. It's been there for as long as I remember, so long in fact, the first time I was there I was but a little child. Apparently it was started in Penang in 1928 when the owner moved his business from Sri Lanka. The shop is hidden in a little nook on Tamil Street near the Chowrasta Market.
It's called "Ais Tingkap" (I think they came up with this name quite recently coz I don't ever remember it having a name at all!). It's a coconut drink, made with coconut water and topped with olibanum gum resin, coconut flesh, crushed ice and soaked basil seeds and a spritz of their special ingredient. That little spritz makes all the difference! The fragrance that it imparts makes this drink one of a kind. It's the perfect thirst quencher on a hot day.I haven't found anything remotely close to this in KL or any other parts of Penang for that matter. Every time I am in Penang I make it a habit to indulge in this drink.

The ais tingkap stall is closed on Sundays.

Adjacent to the ais tingkap stall is a stall selling hot-off-the-wok prawn fritters and fried tofu. The prawn fritters are to die-for. It's crispy outside, and so soft and chewy inside. The prawn fritters and tofu are served with a home-made peanut based sauce. Who says indulgences have to be expensive? The best food are sometimes found in the most unlikely of places, this being one of them.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

A family of bookworms

Books have always been an integral part of my life, partly stemmed from the fact that as a child, toys were a luxury my family could ill afford. My toys were almost always dismembered remnants of what it should have been so I had no other choice but to look elsewhere for entertainment. My fondest childhood memories centered around my favourite books, books that were everywhere in the house, brought home by my father who was then working for a publishing company. They were not only my source of entertainment, they were also very much a source of knowledge in my growing up years. I remembered reading for the first time the Pharoahs of Egypt and seeing Tutankhamun's gold sarcophagus in all its splendour. I was immediately hooked and my fixation with the ancient Egyptians has continued to this day.

As I grew, it was only right that my fondness for books grew too. I started buying books and soon, I had amassed quite a collection. I loved my books, old as they may be. Each one of them have given me so much joy. They were a form of escapism for me, to escape from the realities of life for a short while. My reality is not at all bad, of course, but I do believe it's healthy to just let go once in a while. You see, it's a little different for me when I read, for the characters from the stories come to life in my mind's eye and for a time even, I lived and breathed the stories that I read. I can see, hear and feel the characters so vividly they almost seemed real. It can be quite disorienting at times, but that just adds to the excitement. I loved books that are very descriptive because it just makes it so much more real for me. I've spent many a sleepless night for that reason.
I am not limited to just a few choices when it comes to books. I'll read anything - be it fiction or non-fiction. My choice of book depends very much on the mood I'm in although I draw the line at "trash". I read on a wide range of subjects - autobiographies by famous world leaders are a favourite. I also like thrillers and conspiracy theories that keep me on the edge. I have no qualms reading horror books either although I'm quite the scaredy-cat. I have always had such a morbid fascination with vampires and I've a collection from Bram Stoker's Dracula to Anne Rice's Lestat to my current favourite, Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga. I guess it wouldn't be very far off-mark to say I'm always well-read.
My love of reading have rubbed off quite positively on my eldest daughter. She was introduced to books at 5 months old and she's loved them ever since. She's 8 now, and not a day goes by without her reading at least a page a day. Obviously I've amassed quite a collection of children's books too. Our collection has many an award winner as well as encyclopedias and children classics. I've recently introduced books to my youngest, who's almost 6 months old. Hopefully, in time she'll enjoy reading with us too.
Recently I gave away boxes of my old books to my hubby's church library. I did it with a heavy heart because those books were such a huge part of my past. I will take comfort that instead of languishing in the store room packed into boxes, those books will now be a part of someone else's life. I hope it will bring immense joy to the reader, whoever that may be, just as it had for me.