Thursday, August 18, 2016

Chitose & Hokkaido (Japan) - Day 1

Time obviously, as far as I can sense has flown by. As if so quickly at the glimpse of my body, mind and soul. Looking back now, I feel, I must actually, feel proud. Unlike our current generation who start travelling even when they are sleeping together without strings attached, I legally tied the knot and waiting patiently for almost 12 years before my love marriage travelling sparked. Touch wood. Trust me, when you are married to a man who is married to his business, I guess your patience is tested beyond. Really beyond until you start questioning yourself if you will ever get a chance to travelling together. Then again, in all fairness, I agreed, I understand and I accept the fact that no money, marriage can rock and fall apart too. Additionally, compared to travelling, building our financial stability for our retirement I believe should be our priority. Basically, its the "Catch 22" marriage reality for women like me in our fifties age era. Nevertheless, call me selfish if you like, I didn't sit around and feel sorry for myself. I actually moved on. On my own towards my solo travelling bucket wish (Colombo Sri Lanka). 

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Cempedak Goreng Rangup

Cempedak Goreng Rangup. Like Pisang Goreng. Almost in fact. Only maybe the fruit. Pisang goreng is crispy fried banana cased in crispy batter. And cempedak goreng is cempedak, if I am not mistaken the aunty or uncle of jack fruit, also cased in a crispy batter after frying. My Cempedak Goreng on the other hand? The traditional frying of cempedak given a tiny bit of new lease of food and dessert life. Why?  I added black sesame seeds in the batter mixture prior to dipping cempedak and frying. Not bad right? Most probably. After all, like I always tell you, we don't have cook like others. We can actually set our selves apart. Even in cooking mind you. In which Malaysian food category must cempedak goreng rangup be placed? Of course alongside our, the rest of our kuih-muih/local delicacies (Malaysian Banana Flambe, Pulut Inti, Wajik Pulut, Pumpkin Sago DessertKuih Kosui & Kuih Buah Melaka). Of course, I can go on, and on, and on, and quote the rest of our local delicacies, then again? Cempedak Goreng Rangup. Natural burst of cempedak sweetness inside and like I have already told you, crispy crunchy batter outside.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Colombo - Sri Lanka (Nava K Seen)

Final league. Final road travelling league for our 2 days in Colombo from Galle. Miles and miles already on the road, starting from Negambo, Kandy, Nurwara Eliya and Katagarama, today, its the final loop. Another road loop. Thankfully. Frankly speaking, if you are asking for my opinion how it has been so far,  let me be out-rightly blunt. Basically, honest to goodness, listen, I must agree and I must salute Sri Lanka as haven paradise. But the thing to hours from one place to the other I think made us the losers to time. I really couldn't get it. Road mode of transport literally taking up our time instead of more on sightseeing. According to our tour guide, he kept telling us there is nothing to see for this route we have opted for. Beats me. We still sense this lazy bum of a fellow is taking us for a joyride. Maybe not his fault. He is we concluded merely a driver, not a tour guide. Nevermind. But he is another person who love to sulk and complain. Like the worst one in our tour group, the rest were not too bad, this fellow is only interested in safe guarding his interest. Sulking about sightseeing spots due to lack of parking, so little knowledge on Sri Lanka and coming with it attractions, additionally, his Sri Lankan ascent, through his thick and thin birth. By the third day, we sort of knew. His tricks definitely didn't work on us. So much so we literally forced him to thirst for sightseeing spots we wanted to visit. Imagine ending up this sort of person? Whatever said, he knew he had to pull up his socks. Good. On our route to Colombo, he made it a point in stopping us at the beaches, monuments and he slowed down to driving as well so that we can peep at the whatever which attracted our attention along the way. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Malaysian Banana Flambe

Banana Flame and obviously from my Malaysian kitchen. Of course, me the Malaysian home chef who somehow will coin even a dessert from our Malaysian ingredients. I suppose the Malaysian in me can't be erased forever and for a fact, I love it that way too. After all, if we are not proud of our mother land, who else will (Malaysian Style Sambal Sandwich) and this is the halal version banana flambe. Meaning, without alcohol, nevertheless, if you feel you want to pour in, go ahead towards the end for flaming up before removing from heat. Ingredients for our Malaysian Banana (Banana Chocolate Cake) Flambe? Clearly listed below (Malaysian Banana Pancakes & Kuih Kodok). Naturally, our local ingredients for this our Malaysian affordable and without compromising on the key crucial dessert delight which is I believe is not sinfulness or guiltiness. Go ahead. Make yourself sugar happy (Easy Banana Bread & Bingka Pisang). 

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. 

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...