Thursday, July 28, 2016

Galle - Sri Lanka (Nava K Seen)

Bags packed and loaded into the van before our morning meal in Katagarama. The daily standard routine I suppose unless you are staying put in the same hotel. We in fact, from day one, have been packing daily for heading to one place from the other and from one hotel to the next for the past 3 days (Nurwara Eliya, Kandy Negambo). Mind you, I was already feeling it. Bags packing daily, the long hours to road travelling and sleeping while travelling, like I have already told you, is not my best friend. Let alone during this trip, gosh, the group I was with? The senior citizens and their dramas. Not a shocker actually. I have encountered such people before. But this group, by far, is the worst lot. So claiming they have travelled the horizon, over and over speaking about how extensively they have travelled, yet complaining non stop. One moment this, next minute that, blah-blah-blah, so on and so forth, tipping every Tom, Dick and Harry for no apparent reason, as though trying to show off, feeling sorry for every person we came across and trust me, a whole more stuffs I don't think I should waste me telling you. God! The worst part of it all was, two of them shouting and screaming at each other because they couldn't decide which room to opt for, for their night together. Lesson learned from these people? Not everyone is made to travel, it really matters who you travel with, you can have the money, but if you don't have the right attitude, you will ruin other people's travelling joy, maybe its age and grumpiness too and never ever, if you still must share room, make sure you know the person well. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Pork Bulgogi

Pork is my life. Though not in my house. Obviously, for one particular reason. My other half-half and his anti-pork eating. Regardless, to be fair to him, he has no qualms to me cooking (Steamed Pork with Salted Fish). Then again? Cooking a dish for yourself? I can in fact for a matter, yet? I just feel its a waste of time because there's no short of pork meals outside. Of course, every once a blue moon, really once a blue moon mind you, a pork dish is rolled out from my kitchen (Siew Yoke & Char Siu) and on this particular day, I decided. I made Pork Bulgogi (Moo Gook/Korean Radish Soup). Paired alongside a Korean style cucumber tomato salad and as usual, my style of cooking is my own style. Pork Bulgogi made from the ingredients already stocked up in my pantry and fridge instead of, I mean, why bother buying ingredients when you can make do with what you have? Pork Bulgogi. The honey, soy sauce, sticky spicy style. I did it. I bet you can as well.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Kataragama - Sri Lanka (Nava K Seen)

Morning, like every other daily, must, yes, be broken by breakfast. For this Nava K, call her a nut case or whatever. I'll leave it to you. Its entirely up to you how you wanna address people like me who give reasons like laziness and crisis to time managing for skipping breakfast instead of accepting the fact to, of course I am aware breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yet? Pathetic right? Skipping breakfast for lame excuses? But strange or peculiarly, I really look forward to breakfast while travelling. I make sure I pack my tummy with food. Well, what can or should I say? Breakfast is included in tour packages, breakfast is needed for energy me primarily on my legs and breakfast is served, instead of me preparing a morning meal for myself at home. I guess breakfast is also one of the perks to travelling I yearn for by virtue of my hard earned money.  

Friday, July 15, 2016

Vegetarian Nyonya Laksa

Vegetarianism! Seemingly, for whatever reasons maybe, is a big trend these days? Why, if you are asking me? I think we did speak about this before, but nevermind, sometimes its good I repeat myself like a parrot. Personally, I really don't have the answer, but I think for health reasons or reaching out to god. What about me? Me vegetarian? I am definitely not a vegetarian. Of course, into our food picture, the once a week being a vegetarian due to my other half-half. He believing in vegetarianism for his religious belief and I? Like what? No point rocking the marriage boat just because of a vegetarian meal right (Mee Siam Kuah Vegetarian, Maggi Goreng Mamak Vegetarian, Chinese Vegetable Noodle Soup, Vegetarian Chow Mein, Vegetarian Mee Hoon & Chinese Vegetarian Noodle Soup)? What's there to fuss about anyway? No point. I am the chef at home, and can you imagine cooking a vegetarian meal and then cooking a non for yourself? Duh!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Nuwara Eliya - Sri Lanka (Nava K Seen)

Gosh-Graciously! I slept through like a little baby for at least 4 solid hours. I did. Sincerely. Previous day of heading from one place to another (Negambo & Kandy), and for all the walking I did, inclusive of van travelling, trust me, hours in the van, sitting still or slouching till butt stiffness, can get to you as well, I think socked me up for my lullaby time. Up from bed, by 6.00am, an hour of my pleasure to showering and ensuring I am not leaving behind anything. Checked, rechecked, over and over again. Sometimes this memory failure or non-thorough checking of mine is scary. The last thing I want is forgetfulness. Especially, trust me, hand-phone, camera, laptop and for them their gadgets are the most important. Luggage locked and carried with me prior to handing over to our tour guide, and breakfast tucking in. Tentatively by 9.00am, we hit the road again on this third day.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Thai Green Crab Curry

Thai Crab Curry. The green style crab curry. The dry style curry. And when we speak about Thai green curries, much we have already spoken and I have shared as well? Remember? Otherwise, maybe best you flip to the recipes (Thai Green Fish Curry & Thai Chicken Green Curry)? Will be good as well because you can actually find out that, there are also the different types of Thai green curries. In fact, you can even make a vegetarian or vegan style by, of course, giving a twist and turn to the recipes, and you would have maybe coined your own version (Thai Vegetable Curry & Thai Yellow Chicken Curry). 

Friday, July 1, 2016

Indian Style Crab Soup

Don't give me the crab. No, no, seriously, its obviously a crab food story today and definitely an Indian crab story. By the way, have you heard of the Indian crab story? One Indian or the whole lot of Indians pulling down another Indian because he or she is more successful than you? Think about it and I am certain you must heard of this Indian crab story. Quite known amongst us Indians and the whole moral to the Indian crab story? Sadly, we Indians always want to be the best and we, somehow, even to the extent of back stabbing or front stabbing, we will bring down those who are more better than us. Oh Boy! Suppose to be a recipe and I took you around the Indian crab story. Then again, in tandem right because its really Indian Style Crab Soup today.

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.  

Monday, March 14, 2016

Penang Mee Udang (Prawn Mee)

The truth must prevail. Of course. If you have peeped into other peoples' recipe, you must admit. You must also credit (balannambiar). Pretty much says it all? But no. Believe me. I didn't wholeheartedly copy. My style is always my style. Though the idea came from the source I have already linked and I actually, I quite know it as well to a Chinese style mee udang (Hokkien Hae Mee). Maybe both in tandem or a distance from each other in terms of the gravy. Yet, prawn shells are the crux. And for Penang Mee Udang, making the gravy is quite a time taking technic. Yet it's all worthiness. Me and Penang cooking (Penang Acar, Penang Curry Mee, Penang Asam Laksa & Penang Hokkien Mee)? Me and prawns as well (Sambal Udang Pete & Prawn Curry Laksa)? Me and noodles dishes too (Maggi Goreng Mamak & Mee Goreng Udang)? Overall, Penang Mee Udang is simply splendid. Really and really mouthwatering. Trust me. Believe you. I bet you won't be disappointed despite, the list of ingredients and like I have already told you, time may be the other.   

Eco-Friendly Delights on Banana Leaves: Nava's Zen Culinary Harmony

I feature my culinary creations on banana leaves, courtesy of the cultivated banana trees in Nava's Zen ( Cultivating Sustainable Living...