Sunday, June 26, 2016

Kandy (Rambukkana/Mawanella/Kandy) - Sri Lanka

Negambo to Kandy. Indeed, the clear route for the day, but its not gonna be none more except just straight, all the way to Kandy straightaway. Two stops already plotted on our itinerary, the main highlight for most people who embark on the same route is definitely Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. Pinnawalla Elephant Orphanage, as far as I know, has already been crowned as a clear winner. Recognized as a must experience. If you are asking me, if my opinion matters to you, whether you should include Pannawalla Elephant Orphanage, you might as well. Why hold yourself back or what should by the way hold you back? Coming this far and not covering this world known and world famed tourist spot? To those of you who potentially will be tour travelling Sri Lanka, do make it a point in checking if your trip is inclusive of Pinnawalla Elephant Orphannage. I somehow reckon it will be. Unless your travel agent is a nut case. 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Negambo - Sri Lanka

Taking my time for digesting the fact that I actually, truly had my moment to one of the best travelling prides in South Africa (Pretoria City Tour & Cape Town), prior to that travel conquering Thailand as well (The Golden Triangle & Chiang Mai), within the next few months, I decided. Money was still sunny, so, why not, I had already allocated the cash aside, I ventured on my own again. However, I had no clue whatsoever where it should be. I went like, where should I start. Of course, what are travel agents for? For us to opt between the choices to all paid for packages. After weighing the pros and cons, I made up my mind. Sri Lanka my paradise. Already been said, countless times as a must do, primarily by Indians. Whether Sri Lanka is a popular destination amongst our Malaysian Chinese or Malays, I really can't affirm, but Sri Lanka, without a doubt, sincerely have been ranked as one of the number one spots by Indians. Why not? I too have been toying with the idea of Sri Lanka venturing. Can't be all the time lending my ears to others who can't stop blowing hot air on literally Sri Lanka everything instead of me myself finding out if Sri Lanka is as sensation as said to be? 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Pretoria City Tour - Gauteng Province (South Africa)

South Africa! My-my! Never in my slightest moment, honestly, would I have thought South Africa will be an absolute travel wonder winner. Not at all. I actually had no clue whatsoever what to expect in South Africa. Neither did I bother to imagine, nor did I read up prior to flying the distance. Of course, like many of you who keep abreast on world issues, I knew who is Nelson Mandela. The legendary man of history who struggle for South Africa's independence. 27 years of spending his life in prison and known as the longest serving political prisoner. Salute him till this day. What a man of the century. Besides Nelson Mandela and looking up at him from Malaysia, I was quite alien to lo and behold South Africa, until I stepped foot in Cape Town (Cape Town Part 3, Part 2 & Part 1), followed by Johannesburg & Sun City, and on this day, we embarked on Pretoria City Tour. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Johannesburg Travel Guide - (South Africa)

 
Cape Town (Part 3Part 2 & Part 1) and Lion Park conquered, subsequently, its gonna be here we coming to get you Sun City. Where we will spending the hours at our leisure or at our whims and fancy, free and easy fullest. Into the coach after breakfast for the estimated two hours journey to north-west Johannesburg, our lunch break in between took place in "Upper Deck Restaurant”. Another similar ambiance to Kirstenbosch Garden Moyo Restaurant, boosting a laid-back rustic, huge lively garden and live music, Upper Deck Restaurant on the other hand is a grill restaurant. Wow! Impressive for someone like me who have always been fond of dining in a garden setting, shaded by trees and plants. Taking our seat at the already reserved outside dining area, thank god, instead of being cramped in the inside, noisy and packed to its rim dining area, we tucked into our meal consisting of soup, salad and opting between the seafood, steak and lamb platters. Washed down with canned drinks, some preferred chilled beers, whereas the sweet ending of the extremely and overly sweet local delicacies were too much to handle. All in all, I must say it was an appreciated meal. That's about it. Nothing sensational nor spectacular or something totally new to me and honestly, this kinda of huge portion meal will go down well for big eaters and not for small eaters. Basically, such a waste when you can't finish up.        



Despite literally forcing ourselves, maybe one or two managed to lick the platter clean, but for the most of us, there food went to waste. However, the good thing of it all, instead of leaving behind the portions, we helped our tour guide to pack them for the underprivileged whom we were told dig rubbish bins for food. Sad and heart breaking isn't it? I know. Here we are dining in a classy restaurant and there people are scavenging bins for food. In fact, for the past few days after our lunch and dinner, we packed whatever leftovers for the needy and poor people. Initially, we didn't know what was going. We couldn't understand what our tour guide was up to, but once it reached our ears, we too did our part in lending support to her kind deeds. Sincerely, something that touched us deep into our mind. More importantly, one of the best lessons to our travelling gram for making us realise not to waste food and to appreciate each decent meal we sometimes take for granted or fuss for no apparent reason. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Johannesburg (South Africa) - The Best Out Of The Rest

From Cape Town to Johannesburg (Cape Town Part 3Cape Town Part 2 & Cape Town Part 1). South Africa’s largest and most cosmopolitan city, also commonly known as Jo'burg or Jozi, our two hours flight obviously landed us at the airport. Subsequently, while journeying for another approximately 45 minutes to North West, Lanseria, I made sure I peeped out from the coach for glimpsing at this economic hub of South Africa and capital of Gauteng. At the same time, I gasped the fact that Johannesburg is not a safe haven for wondering around on our own due to its crime rate primarily, as narrated by our born and bred South African tour guide. Nothing really bad so far I have encountered for the past three days, but I must mention that I had a hard time with the immigration officer at the airport who insisted I greet him and I couldn't help but wonder why he was picking on me by asking a string of unwanted questions. I went like, what's going on. Baffled me. Why, why on earth? Trust me, I was so close to giving him a piece of mind when he rudely throw my passport back. Nonsense! A chip on his shoulder I suppose. The other person I must mention is our bus driver who wouldn’t stop complaining how unfair life is in South Africa. Nonstop he went on, each and every time I bumped into him. As if, we don’t have our worst share of unfavorable policies towards different races in Malaysia? Looks like people all over the world do come in different packages, you meet the good and the ugly as well. In fact, I was already forewarned by my social media South African friends what to expect in South Africa. Crime rate, people sulking and unwelcoming behaviour, which by far played on my mind prior to us stepping foot in Lion Park.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Cape Town - South Africa (Part 3)

Another itinerary already lined up and prior being informed (Cape Town 1 and Cape Town 2), more importantly, glad I was that weather, as we were told to get ready, didn't bite deep into my skin. In fact, such a waste to carrying my thick jackets, because by this third day, I felt as though I am in Malaysia. Not cold, neither sweat dripping hot, supposedly the blessings of Cape Town's weather god, our day began once we journeyed for approximately 50 minutes. Luckily, the big rock which flew by to hit one of the back windows of our coach while we were journeying didn't hurt any of us. It did however shatter the glass, we still arrived in one piece in Nederburg Wines. One of the older vineyards in Stellenbosch, my-my, what more could I have asked for. Walla! For someone like me who gets tipsy over wine, like once a fortnight, I was grinning from one end to the other end of my mouth. How aptly, none could have been better for starting off our tour except warmly welcomed to the section where we were briefed, as well as we sampled the different types of wine. Temptation ran wild, mind you. As much as my mind indirectly sounded me, no Nava K, you should hold back, my heart and wine palate nonetheless literally wouldn't let me go. What the hack, I told myself. I went ahead and tasted, albeit, honest to goodness, I couldn't differentiate which is which in regard to the wine varieties. Others I think put on a drama as if they knew, maybe some really knew, yet, I clearly noted there were pretenders too, while the lady was explaining and also wanted to hear it out from us. I of course didn't utter no word. Frankly speaking, lemme tell you that if a wine can get me tipsy, its a fab wine. The best!       

Friday, March 18, 2016

Cape Town - South Africa (Part 2)

Day One in CapeTown was just a gist kick start to what else is in store for us. By two day, it just affirmed that Cape Town is a stunning beauty. Sincerely. For those of you who have already made your mark in Cape Town, I speak no further, but to those of you who are gonna explore Cape Town in the future, I bet you will not at all regret. Believe me. I clearly know what I am talking about. Cape Town by far is a nature paradise. Incomparable to the rest of places I have been to so far. Maybe I shouldn't compare because each is still its own wonder pleasure travelling gram, porn or lust (The Golden Triangle Chiang Mai, Istanbul Turkey, Norway, Fremantle Perth & Phuket Thailand), yet I can't help telling you that Cape Town is class of it own and one which I personally witnessed by the second day. Fun fantastic nature mesmerizing start and till our sightseeing curtains were drawn at end of the day. We started off with the drive from high up and cutting through the mountain slope that unveiled nature bounciness and bountifulness. Eye catching and eye gripping ultimate spellbinding view from the coach for approximately half an hour, in addition to a stop for admiring the beach, shores, ocean, hills and mountains, stretching from Mouille Point to Muizenberg. Chilly and wind lusciously blowing, we almost went berserk. Indeed. Later along the way, we had another stop at Karbonkelberg, a small peak forming part of Table Mountain National Park, a prominent landmark overlooking Hout Bay Harbor and famous for its short treks amongst mountain bikers.  

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Ennai Kathirikai Kuzhambu (Brinjal Curry)

Ennai Kathirikai Kuzhambu! In layman's terms, Ennai Kathirikai Kuzhambu is a kind of brinjal curry. Simply as that and let's keep it that way instead of complicating our food cooking matter. And when I speak about brinjal or even aubergine on the whole, pretty much quite a regularity in my house. Brinjal can be considered as our favourite and any which way it is cooked (Thai Style EggplantJapanese Saute Eggplant, Eggplant Tikka & Brinjal Stir Fry), we love it. But seemingly, its like a habit of mine in adding brinjal into curries or gravies (Nadan Meen Curry, Goan Prawn Curry & Vegetable Kurma). Of course, the stir fried styles (Terong Balado, Bengali Begun Bhaja & Baingan Bharta) does come into our food picture as well. Today, obviously, brinjal in curry. A vegetarian curry. Overall, a spicy, tangy, attractive, vibrant and exciting to your palates curry. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Cape Town - South Africa (Day 1)

Another love rekindling travel of ours, trust me, I didn't expect South Africa will be where I will be landing (Copenhagen & Bergen). Never, not at all in my slightest moment I would have imagined I will be stepping foot in South Africa. Oh-my! What a joy. A joy which kept playing on my mind for the last one year or so, ever since we started planning for here we are coming to get you South Africa (Rome & Verona/Milan). By the way, lemme tell you that exploring South Africa was not bestowed because we knocked on heaven's door. Knocking on heaven's door may have gotten to god's ears, but without us relentlessly working our butts out, South Africa most probably would have remained unshaken forever as our life long travelling mission. Basically, we saved as much as we could. Saving and not by fluke shot for this rather pricey South Africa 10 days 7 nights holiday. 

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Pulut Inti (Glutinous Rice With Sweet Coconut)

It is one thing for cooking, the other is whether you must have all the ingredients? What then? What happens when you can't get certain specific ingredients? You are going to ditched aside the idea of making the dish? Or my question is, are you still going to go ahead by making do? Making do basically meaning, are we going to go ahead with the dish. If you are asking me, I am quite a good cooking runner. I always make do. Take this pulut inti for an example. By right, you need banana leaves, then again? So what? What about re-looking at how can we still make without the leaves. I definitely did fine. My pyrex showed me the way and I hand-crafted Pulut Inti for the serving style. See, I already told you? Nothing is absolute and you can still be a food hero in your own way. What is Pulut Inti? Clue already given. Glutinous rice with sweet coconut which must placed alongside our kuih-muih or local delicacies (Chrysanthemum Goji Jelly, Kuih Kosui & Malaysian Sago Pudding). Our Kuih-muih (Bingka Pisang, Bubur Chacha & Honeydew Sago Dessert)? The treasures of Malaysia and will forever remain as our propelling sweet treat, sweet delight and our sweet moment  (Wajik PulutKuih Buah MelakaKuih Sagu Kukus & Pumpkin Sago Dessert).

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Chrysanthemum Goji Jelly

Have you heard of Chrysanthemum Goji Jelly? You know? Or you don't know what I am talking about? If you are Chinese (Honeydew Sago), I think you should know. Nevermind, if all of us are as blank as each other. But I am not blank. I quite know it. Otherwise, how could I have made? Back then, years ago, Chrysanthemum Goji Jelly was a popularity. Don't know if it is still, but I can still remember and today, my food and cooking mission is to show you how we can make Chrysanthemum Goji Jelly. Actually, come to think of it, I don't think I should dwell too much. Everything you need to know and see? Clearly listed below. Follow me and you can't go or do any wrong. Chrysanthemum Goji Jelly. The yesteryears sweet delight. Outstanding for its uniqueness.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Vazha Koombu Thoran

The last time we meet, we hit it at Sri Lanka cuisine (Miris Malu). Today, we are hitting back to another round of Kerala cuisine. Kerala cuisine (Mathi Achar, Nadan Meen Curry, Meen Puttu, Parippu Pradhaman)? I quite know it right? Well, I must admit I quite have it at the back and in front of my cooking hands (Malabar Fish Curry & Kerala Fish Curry). What is Vazha Koombu Thoran? Vazha Koombu is vazhaipoo, or banana flower or banana blossom. How about thoran? Basically, a stir fry (Tuna Thoran, Beans Thoran & Cabbage Thoran). To make Vazha Koombu Thoran? All clearly listed below and quite a simplicity, but cleaning the banana flower? You better get ready with time and some oil for rubbing and removing its stickiness while, maybe at removing the flowers and thereafter for cleaning your hands and fingers. Other than that, Vazha Koombu Thoran is our yesteryears and forever appeciated by my generation side dish delightfulness alongside rice (Carrot Poriyal & Tapioca Stir Fry).  

Monday, October 5, 2015

Kuih Kodok (Mashed Banana Fritters)

Modernised, trendy, healthy and the latest trend Kuih Kodok/Mashed Banana Fritters. Why not? Why shouldn't we modify or tweet our back then been existing for years recipes? I have no qualms actually. After all, there is no limit to cooking invention (Wajik Pulut, Pumpkin Sago Dessert, Malaysian Sago Pudding & Bingka Pisang)? Otherwise, we won't be moving forward and we shouldn't praise those who modify recipes in cooking shows? Pretty much. In fact, for this my Kuih Kodok version, instead of frying the mashed banana (Banana Chocolate Cake & Easy Banana Bread), grated coconut and sugar batter in round balls, which by far can be soaking in oil, I decided I will do the grilling on the, over the stop portable grill. Plus, coconut and sugar not incorporated in the batter. Instead rolled over grilled fritters. Basically, for not overdoing it with sugar loading. That's it guys. The grilled and modernised Kuih Kodok. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Kuih Kosui Gula Melaka

Ingredients
1/2 cup gula Melaka/palm sugar
White sugar  - as needed (if you want to add. I didn't)
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
A few pandan leaves - knotted 
Fresh grated coconut mixed with a pinch of salt.
Method
Simmer gula Melaka with pandan leaves and water for a thick syrup.
Remove from heat and cool it down slightly. 
Sift all purpose flour and rice flour over the gula Melaka syrup. 
Whisk and stir so that there's no lumps of flour.
Pour on a steaming tray or individual moulds.
Steam to cook.

Thereafter cut and roll over grated coconut.







Friday, April 17, 2015

Dubai - One Day Tour


Plan all your want for an uninterrupted holiday, whether on your own or in a tour, sometimes somethings are bound to happen for catching us off guard. Believe me. I honestly know what I am talking about, I hope you are not doubting me. Look, I am in no way trying to brag. Of course not, for someone like me who have already trigger started seeing the world, I do come with my share of the interrupted and unexpected. It all started during my first ever, yes, my first, across the sea Italy holiday (Rome 2 Days) with my other half-half whereby the interrupted caught up with us when our coach broke down. By the time help came and coach was back like a transformer, we had to ditch aside Milan sightseeing (Verona & Milan). Akin gone forever, unless I make another trip to Milan. Then came my Malacca holiday (Philea Resort). Another first time ever, yes, my first out of my house exploring another place compared to all the years of staying put on my familiar ground, the couple I travelled with did open my mind on why it is important to travel with the right people. They of course were not, hell, not only I had to spend my money, the worst of it was putting up with their antic (Malacca Malaysia Part 2). Nevertheless, I must thank them. Otherwise, I wouldn't even have considered travelling on my  own. Solo and Nava K.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Istanbul - Topkapi Palace & Grand Bazaar (Turkey)

A full circle from this end to the other, akin we went around Turkey's full moon, for returning to  Istanbul where arrived on the first day (I Conquered Istanbul). In all fairness, its been absolutely a joyous trip-travelling throughout the last 7 days. Indeed. But that packing almost every other day for moving from one hotel to the hotel, trust me, in some way or rather did get to us (Canakkale/Kusadasi/Pamukkale, Cappadocia & Ankara & Bolu) . Tiring. I too was caught in the web of winter. My first ever winter experience, I didn't come prepared because I relied on the tour agent's advise. I was told that thick jackets will do, when in factual fact, let me tell you that winter literally killed me. No other choice, I had to buy two winter coats during our visit to the retail outlet, thank god my credit card saved me. Otherwise, I can't imagine how would I have coped. But fortunately though, winter in Istanbul was rather tolerable. I didn't had to three or four times layer my body.

Vegetarian Nyonya Recipes: Contrasting Flavors

Once upon a time, cooking Nyonya Cuisine ( NYONYA CUISINE: REDISCOVERING HERITAGE ) meant pounding ingredients in a mortar . Today, it's...