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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy 4th Anniversary

Dear Jenn,

We have known each other for the longest time. Well, I don't really count the exact days but until 2011, both of us has been friends for more than 17 YEARS, dated for 7 YEARS, and married for 4 YEARS.

There were times when I wished that we dated each other sooner. But it made sense when you told me "we might not have lasted that long if we started the relationship earlier". Both of us were so young then and what we wanted could be different after a while. That is why I thank you for being my best friend for 10 years. Even though we had our own lives during that period, we never failed to keep in touch with each other once in a while - we SMS-ed just to say Hi, we met up for sushi just to catch up with each other's life, we called when we want to know if each of us is doing OK.

I would have never thought that we could be a couple after so long. In fact, I think that it was fate that put us together when we were single again. Sparks flew and all in a sudden, we were flirting with each other once again :) I was the happiest guy the first time I got to held your hand after several attempts of courtship. Of course like every other relationships, ours was bound to have ups and downs. I had made you cry but somehow we managed to make up after that. I knew that I could not afford to lose you.

Imagine my reaction when you said YES when I popped the ring & asked for your hand in marriage. Our marriage registration on 22nd April 2006 marked the beginning of us as husband & wife. And our wedding ceremony on 27th January 2007 was witnessed by all our family members and our friends.

After 4 years of a beautiful marriage, you have given me Sher Ryn and Keith. Not only that - you have been my best friend, my closest confidant & my wife! And I thank you for that :)

P.S: I'm looking forward to many years to come as we strive to raise our children together. Although it will not come easy, I know that I'll pull it through. Simply because you are always there by my side... I love you!

whoopsie... spent too much time writing this instead of working! HAPPY 4TH ANNIVERSARY my dear...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 3 Finale - Foh San Dim Sum, Ipoh Old Town & Funny Mountain Taufu Fah!

Most of my friends were either drunk or too tipsy on the wedding dinner! Somehow I managed not to get drunk :) as I wanted to utilise my last day in Ipoh by taking Jenn to taste some of the much mentioned about food in Ipoh. Initially I wanted to ask my friends to join me on the excursion but looking at their states yesterday, I knew that it was impossible. Both Jenn & I woke up early in the morning and walked to Foh Sam for breakfast. Oh yes... we stayed in Excelsior Hotel which was near (I mean.. very near) Foh San. As a matter of fact, I could see Foh San from the hotel room that we stayed in.

at 8.30am, the street was already bustling with activities. Some tried to make $$$ by selling balloons in front of the restaurant. If Sher Ryn was here, she'd beg me to buy one for her :)

The new Foh San was huge! Occupying at least 4-5 shoplots, the proprietor has done a great job in renovating and turning the whole place into a very modern looking and grand restaurant. Even Jenn commented on why there isn't such place in Klang Valley. She loves this place!

Clockwise from the top - Foh San's sign; Chinese tea (a must for us everytime we eat dim sum) & reception table in front of the entrace. Personally I think it's useless to have the reception table because it didn't serve any purpose at all. Lucky for both of us that we arrived early as there were still some empty tables, as the restaurant became chaotic 15 minutes later when every table was taken and those who arrived late would literally stand next to you (if they noticed that you almost finished the food). It was hard to enjoy our tea after the meal which we usually did in KL. The people at Foh San should have started the numbering system in order to be more systematic.

The selection of dim sum at Foh San was extensive. When we arrived, the waitress would push the cart to your table and asked you to pick your choice. And when the place reached its full capacity, I had to literally shout but everything fell into deaf ears. So I took everything into my own hands - when the fresh dim sum(s) were rolled out from the kitchen, I just walked over with the order chit and picked those that I wanted & brought back to my table.

Most of their dim sum(s) were good! Fresh from the kitchen, I love the fact that they were still hot and smoking! clockwise from top - steamed HK style CCF (smooth skin and fresh prawn); juicy and tasty char siew bao; must-order siew mai; and crispy Wu Kok with delicious pork filling!

Clockwise from top - delectable har gao (prawn dumpling); bouncy and fresh tasting fishballs; full of wok hei stir fried radish cake; and something similar to har gao (but with mango slice and other filling which I have forgotten). At the end, we left our tables to a few polite ladies who had been patiently waiting for us.

We checked out of our hotel shortly after that and drove to Ipoh Old Town (No! not the chain) area in search for a good cup of famous Ipoh White Coffee! In fact, my friends and I wanted to sip coffee at one of the restaurants here but my Garmin didn't recognise that some of the roads had been converted into one-way-street. This time I had to rely on my sense of direction again! Arriving at Jalan Bandar Timah where most of the famous coffeeshops were located, we could not find any parking and those available ones were guarded by touts trying to make easy money.

I didn't want to let them profit so easily and therefore, I parked along Jalan Bijeh Timah where a number of Indian shops were located there.

Jenn & I strolled along this small lane that led to Jalan Bandar Timah where most of the old school kopitiams were located. Love this shot as Jenn didn't even realise that I was photographing her :) my lovely wife!

My destination?? Kedai Kopi Nam Chau as I have read rave reviews on their dry curry noodle as well as white coffee. The place was packed with people as we arrived. Somehow we managed to secure a table located almost at the end of the shop.

Clockwise from top - the task of preparing noodle was given to the foreign worker (indication that we are getting lazier); plump & juicy bean sprout; and the interior of the coffeeshop.

As both of us were quite full from having dim sum earlier, we couldn't order much here. The iced white coffee was normal even though it was packed with flavour. Reading j2kfm's blog, I had high expectation on their coffee and that's why I was disappointed in the end. It tasted like they had brewed the coffee earlier and just poured into the glass and served immediately.

However, their dry curry noodle wow-ed me! Opting for the normal sar hor fun, the dish came with chicken shreds, char siew, and a few plump prawns. Doused in rich curry gravy, all you need to do is to squeeze the lime in order to enjoy the combination of spicy, sour and sweet flavour gravy that enveloped all of the hor fun. One of the best dry curry noodle that one can find in Ipoh!

Slightly oily but it really didn't matter at all!! The taste trumped everything else.

Jenn & I were practically full after the meal but we wanted to end our trip in a sweet note. So what place is more suitable than the famous Funny Mountain taufu fah? Now here was where the story took a funny twist. I punched in the street name (Jalan Theatre) into my GPS and it led me all the way to Pasir Pinji area. Apparently there was a street by the name of Jalan Theatre in that area too :P anyway, we made it back to the town area where the stall was located after realising our mistake!

All the cars that stopped to ta-pao or just to enjoy a bowl of taufu fah in the comfort of their cars.

Operated by a few family members, they were enjoying brisk business as the customers kept pouring in. All of them seemed very busy running here and there just to serve the sweet desserts.

However, they were very friendly and accommodating when I asked them questions. They even let me took pictures despite blocking their path :P

Both of us sat on the small stools provided near their stall and enjoyed the silky smooth taufu fah that was doused in ginger-flavoured sugar syrup in the hot weather! Of course, you can opt for gula melaka syrup or any combinations that suit your taste.

whoops! Caught in the act!

Leo's verdict - after the dessert, we started our 5 hours++ journey back to Pahang as we missed Sher Ryn very much! This was the last time that both Jenn & I got to spend time together before little Keith finally arrived one month later!

Restoran Foh San
51, Jalan Leong Sin Nam
30300 Ipoh, Perak
Tel: 05-2540308
*Closed on Tuesday

Kedai Kopi Nam Chau
54, Jalan Bandar Timah
30000 Ipoh, Perak
*closed on Saturdays (weird huh?)

Funny Mountain Soybean & Traditional Tau Fu Fah
49, Jalan Theatre,
30300 Ipoh, Perak.
Tel No : 016 595 0369

1) I'm not paid to promote/endorse any particular event, restaurant or person in this blog. ALL are based on my unbiased personal opinion.
2) My reviews are based on my personal taste and preference and therefore may vary for others.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Day 2 - Tanjung Tualang & Ipoh's Wedding Dinner

Both Jenn & I were well-rested the next morning (^_^) Andy brought us to Medan Selera Kampar for brekkie but since our main objective for lunch was to feast on big head prawns in Tanjung Tualang, we only had a plate of curry CCF among ourselves. Since Andy had to work that day, he couldn't join us for the lunch. Therefore, I drove towards Tanjung Tualang leisurely as it was not lunch time yet!

Mention Tanjung Tualang and this place is no stranger to those who can't get enough of dai tao har (big head prawn in Cantonese). Despite the distance between this town and KL, this quaint little town is THE heaven for prawn lovers who do not mind driving for 2 hours++ during the weekend just to sink their teeth on these delectable crustaceans. Some bloggers even organised a Nirvana Bus Tour all the way here :P you know who you are!

Since it was still early when we arrived in Tanjung Tualang, I managed to snap some pictures of this rather quiet! If not for its freshwater prawns, this town would have been deserted! Andy told me that weekends are when all the restaurants here bustling with business. Sometimes you would see buses ferrying tourists from as far as Singapore or JB stopped to have lunch here.

Lung Seng Seafood Restaurant is one of the most popular places to savour the prawns here. If you happened to talk to your friends who have gone here before, most likely they would point you in Lung Seng's direction.

As I stood in front of the restaurants, the sight of the medium to large prawns was too much for me to resist! All of them were like screaming for me to choose them :P

Ever notice the orange-ish roe inside the prawn??

Clockwise from the top - plastic instead of table cloth is used so they can ta-pao everything quickly after the customers leave; Chinese tea is a must to wash down all the oil; and homemade chilly sauce

Not wanting to overwhelm our stomach with food like yesterday, we chose our dishes carefully this time. Stir fried paku-pakis (fern leaves) with belacan was perfect to whet our appetite. The green was crunchy and coupled with the tasty and slightly spicy belacan, we were soon ready to gorge on the upcoming dishes!

Deep fried soft shell crab came next! Super crunchy and not oily at all... coupled with sweet & sour dipping sauce, I was instantly in heaven! And if you are lucky enough, you would find sweet & soft crab roes in some of them!

The highlight was of course - Kon Cheen Har or Pan Fried Prawns with Superior Soy Sauce. To be honest, this version of prawns won my vote on both occasions when I was here. The caramelised prawns plus the sweet & salty soy sauce were really top notch.

We also had butter prawns too - imagine the sinful egg floss which had been infused with sweet tasting butter together with the fried prawns and you'd know how delicious it can be :)

The to-die-for sweet roes oozing out from the prawns' heads! Can you resist it??? Even if the health conscious ones call it artery clogging killer, I don't really give a DAMN!

A young girl came in and promoted her shaved ice with variety of flavours.. I chose red plum & lime but it was normal! Good to cool down the body though...

End of the meal (^_^)

Leo's verdict - Initially, Jenn & I wanted to add Soon Hock fish or aka marbled goby which was prized in its sweet firm flesh but it was not available on that day :( Jenn & I continued our journey to Ipoh a happy and satisfied couple! Our friend, Chi Meng, wedding dinner at New Oversea Restaurant, Jalan Datoh Ipoh was good but since I was busy catching up with friends whom I had not seen for ages... I didn't take any pictures. Hope that both of you lives happily ever after my friend!

Once wacky and crazy gang from University of Otago!

Lung Seng Seafood Restaurant
10 Jalan Besar
31800 Tanjung Tualang, Perak
Tel: 05-360.0735
Open daily from 11.30 a.m. - 9.00 p.m.

Other lip-smacking reviews from my fellow blogger whom I proud to call friends:
Cumi & Ciki
Precious Pea
Lots of Cravings
Lyrical Lemongrass

1) I'm not paid to promote/endorse any particular event, restaurant or person in this blog. ALL are based on my unbiased personal opinion.
2) My reviews are based on my personal taste and preference and therefore may vary for others.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Journey to Ipoh Day 1 - Bagan Pasir, Teluk Intan & Kampar (Part 2)

I think both of us spent at least 2 hours++ at Bagan Pasir. Continuing our journey after our rather heavy but satisfying lunch, we headed up North using the coastal road towards Sekinchan where I looked for my customer to see if I managed to secure any order or not. A fruitful meeting I'd say as I managed to pry some interesting information from him.. lol!

Initially my plan was to have dinner at Men Lok Seafood in Hutan Melintang, about 20min drive from Teluk Intan. Since it was not really time for dinner, both of us headed to Teluk Intan or affectionally called "Anson" by many people just to walk around. It was at the junction turning into Sitiawan/Lumut that my car was involved in an accident. It totally ruined my otherwise pleasant day :( there goes my car's accident-free record. However, the damage wasn't really that bad as my diffuser was slightly damaged and bumper scratched a little bit. The poor female driver of the Satria, her car was badly damaged and needed to be towed to the police station. I could still continue driving after making police report :)

By the time I finished lodging report, I drove straight to Teluk Intan's town and stopped by its famous landmark, our very own version of Leaning Tower! We spent some time snapping pictures before heading to one of the famous confectionery shop in Teluk Intan.

My customer had brought me here once and I relied on my memory to get here! To those who do not have good sense of direction, please bring along GPS unit and key in the GPS coordinate provided at the end of this post ok? Clockwise from top - famous Tiger Head brand Tau sar paeng, the outlet from the entrance, some of their specialty treats, and The famous Tiger Head brand proudly displayed in their signage.

We bought quite quite a lot of biscuits and pastries from them - for consumption and as souvenirs.

To cut the story short, Men Lok surprisingly did not open its door for business that day and we ended up in Kampar early. This was where both of us spent the night at our friend, Andy's, house. I told him to bring me to a place that serve claypot rice in Kampar town - the one that was featured in Axian's TV show. Located in the old section of the town, it did not have a big signage and only one "Chan Siew Heng" at the entrance.

Sure enough, the place looked exactly the same from what I saw in the show. The place where they prepared claypot rice was located right in front of the shop. According to Andy, they have been in the business in the same location since 1960s.

When the worker saw that I was snapping pictures, she showed me the marinated chicken meat that was ready to be cooked later. FYI - The chicken meat was marinated with sesame oil, oyster sauce and soy sauce.

Inside of the shop was old and rather stuffy due to the heat generated from the process of cooking the claypot dishes.

The rice that was used to cook the claypot dish.

The regular claypot chicken rice that usually found in Klang Valley (those with the chicken thrown in to cook together with dark soy sauce) was normal. Frankly, I had better ones elsewhere. Even though the rice carried a pleasant charred aroma and flavour, I think that the sauce that was mixed into the rice was not good enough!

However, their steamed version of claypot chicken rice was truly different. The chicken meat and waxed sausage slices were separated from the rice with a small plate and steamed. Ingredients such as salted fish and calamansi were supplied separately in another plate. I think that it tasted better to eat this way.

We also had steamed vegetable and steamed chicken feet with mushroom.

Overall our dinner was good but if the regular claypot chicken rice tasted slightly better, my day would end in a perfect note! Oh well! At least one dish managed to stir up my taste bud that night. After the dinner, we went back to Andy's house and chatted until midnight before calling it a day!

Sin Joo Heong Confectionery
830D, Jln Mak Intan,
36000, Teluk Intan, Perak
GPS Coordinates: N 4 1.79579 E 101 1.39679

Chan Siew Heng
47, Jalan Idris
31900 Kampar
Tel: 05-4663200
GPS Coordinates: N 4 18.65784 E 101 9.14747

1) I'm not paid to promote/endorse any particular event, restaurant or person in this blog. ALL are based on my unbiased personal opinion.
2) My reviews are based on my personal taste and preference and therefore may vary for others.