Tuesday, April 22, 2014

SUNGKAI HOT SPRINGS - PART 2

Have you been waiting for part 2? Sorry to keep everyone in suspense... have been busy and my computer again is giving me problems.

After buying the paus, we got back to the bus and were soon on our way to Ipoh.
The next stop was to a temple in the cave. It is one of the lesser known cave temple around Ipoh.
The guide told us its a temple with crystal cave.   There is no entrance fees for the temple grounds but to view the crystal caves, we have to paid RM4.00 each, but this goes towards the maintenance for the place as well.

I did (managed to climb up) and did not do it(the graffiti behind that is)!

This is a limestone cave and the formation of the stalagmites and stalactites created some astonishing and amazing art of nature.... as you can see. 

Of course the eyes were painted on.. but imagination my friend.  And imagination is much needed (about 7%  out of 10%) as we view the numerous formation throughout the cave with the help of the temple keeper who pointed out and quoting the names of each to us.    

Like this- just to quiz you (sorry no prize for guessing right)?

There are actually many interesting structures but I am unable to upload the photos. So maybe you should personally take a trip to enjoy  them.    

As we left the temple, it started to rain heavily and we were caught in a traffic jam all the way to Tanjong Malim.
Finally we arrived at the restaurant at almost 7.30pm instead of 6.30pm, feeling hungry and cold!

Thank goodness for this - the star of our trip!

Heart-warming and utterly delicious - Buddha Jump Over the Wall Soup... 
socalled because the monk cannot resist the tantalizing aromas while the pot of soup was cooking next door that he jump over the wall to taste the soup- accordingly to myth!  It is indeed a very aromatic, enriching and revitalising soup- with the mini abalone, scallops. fish maw, conch, mushrooms etc etc.   

Big succulent fresh prawns - baked with salt and pepper

Another rich and flavourful Seafood Hotpot. (sorry for the blurred photo)
There is also a steamed fish and steamed chicken- all of which we could not finished and have to takeaway.

I loved this Fried Rice with Yam - as you can see it was a big serving and again have to takeaway.
Finally after dessert of sea-coconut and longan and red dates drink, we were truly satiated and ready to go home.   A word of thanks to the guide and the bus driver who delivered us safely home. 







Wednesday, April 16, 2014

DAY TRIP TO SUNGKAI HOT SPRINGS

13/4/2014
SUNDAY

It was a nice balmy day (right till late afternoon before it started to pour!), just the right time to go for a dip at the Hot Springs in Sungkai. There were only around 30 of us in the group today and it was a smooth ride all the way. Entrance fees has gone up and to make it worth your money there is now a shuttle train to take you right into the hot spring area. There are ice-cream/drinks stalls around the area besides the caferia.     

The open swimming pool - its just mountain spring water here, but who needs hot water when the sun is shinning! 

Practising with the camera that my son gave me - 

Now you are not allowed to bring in eggs but instead you can purchase from the stall here- costs around more than 50cents each. We were told  that previously  those who brought in the eggs, could throw the shells around  and even into the pools after boiling and eating them, thus it was too messy and dirty around the area.   Still you are discouraged to bring in your own food, which is  good as far as cleanliness can be control and bad because the inflated prices in the caferia.  

Stag-horn ferns-  lots of greenery now.

the "love-birds" again.... the hot water at the pool here is around 35C to 40C.  There are another 3 pools with temperature from 30C and the hottest being above 45C!.  

This pool is not for dipping - too hot 


A reflexology path surrounds the pool.... you are advised to dip not more than 10 minutes at a time, after which you can walk this path to relax. 
This time we did not booked any private chalet as firstly they were not open yet and secondly the price has gone up to RM120 for 2 hours!  Anyway we were here to enjoy for only an hour before departing for our lunch at Kampar. 

Lunch at Kam Leng Restaurant at Kampar which is famous for its Baked Bread with Curry Chicken (mein pau kai).   Our main purpose for this trip, besides the hot springs, is to savour the Buddha Jump Over the Wall. So this was just a "simply lunch" as the tour guide told us... but as you can see from the photos, it is nothing simple but very tasty as well.  

Steamed Kampung Chicken with ham - tender and tasty morsels.

Deep Fried Fish braised Sing Kong style- very crispy fish and equally tasty, slightly  tangy gravy from the salted vegetables. 

Braised Pork Belly with Yam - both belly fat and yam so soft that it  melts in the mouth!
There was also Braised Mushroom with Chicken feet; Taufoo Thai Style and I was too busy eating to take photos.. hahaha!
After this delicious lunch, we were taken to buy the  Kampar "chicken biscuits"  and other foodstuffs. The tour guide also took our orders for the Salted Chicken and Duck as well. I have yet to try the boneless salted duck but those who have tasted it before recommended it heartily.  
From Kampar, its a detour back to KL vide Bercham. 

 Tea-time and its freshly made and steaming hot paus and more paus

These staff making fresh paus on the spot! 

Have you seen so many steamers at a time... the "mai lai goh" in front is soft and tasty.  

Bought some of their famous Pumpkin paus- its more a rolled mantou with pumpkin puree filling rather then pau, but its soft even the next day.  

Back onto the bus for our next destination.....


continuing part 2..





Monday, April 14, 2014

BACON, CARAMELISED ONIONS AND CHEESE FOCACCIA

6/4/2014
SUNDAY
Saw some posts featuring the 3 flavours focaccia - adapted from Jamie Oliver.
This is my version.

Bacon - just lightly pan fry as I don't want it to be crispy as it might dry out with more baking later
Slowly caramelised onions with some butter and olive oil till golden.


and Cheese... Wasabi cheese which my son gave me on his last trip back in December!

The bread  dough was easy to work with.  In fact, I mixed the dough on Saturday nite and  left it in the fridge to slow rise.  The next morning I took it out to bring it back to room temperature while I walked my doggies.
After knocking it down and then proof for 2nd  time before assemblying the fillings just before baking.    

Drizzle with some olive oil and the bacon goes on first- making sure that each piece will get some bacon. 

Next  the caramelised onions - again try to spread evenly 

and then the cheese-- keep grating them straight on top.. you think this is a lot? Not really because all melted when baking. I did another lot and grated even more which is really delicious! 

Bake at 190C for around 20 minutes.... lovely and golden

cross section- to show you the texture... wonderfully soft, even on the 2nd day. 

Recipe from Piece of Cake. Thanks for sharing. 


Sunday, April 13, 2014

LADIES DAY OUT

5/4/2013
SATURDAY

Time flies and how true and have been busy that I seems to be posting backdated events.:D!


We were out "lepak-ing" on this wonderful Saturday- eating and shopping. 

Japanese bento at Jaya one. 
The portion was rather small - 1 piece of fresh oyster,  2 pieces of sushi, that much of edamame above and a mini cupcake were offered. 

a piece of fresh oyster in tangy sauce- yummy

Salmon terikayi bento - nothing to shout about



Sashimi  bento - only 5 slices of salmon-pretty miserable servings.

Well, this place will be my first and last visit as I am definitely  not satisfied.

After that we went shopping .... I wanted to look around for a piece of good luggage and walking shoes for my coming holiday. However did not get one yet.

Time to rest our legs and to recharge... went over to the 180C Mall Cheras. This seems to be nice entertainment area... there is a beer garden, karaoke, Shabu-shabu  and cafes.

Our choice - Pacific Coffee... nice big space and friendly service and good coffee.

Red Velvet cake - moist (felt wet) but fresh. 

New York Cheesecake- this was creamy and cheesy- delicious



I loved the latte and this will definitely be my future choice. 
I  
So how was your weekend?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

BEND, TWIST AND FOLD


16/3/2014 
Sunday

After her trip to India and assisting in some complex cases of heart surgeries, I felt it must be both exhausting and strenuous for my sister  May. To help her overcome burnout and fatigue by the  time she came back to KL,  we went for a Yoga class on this rainy Sunday morning.   


The studio was uphill amidst a quiet and serene surroundings.   Large glass windows bring the outside into the studio- creating the prefect ambience for the class.  The center offers small intimate class of around 6-10 persons per class so that personall attention can be given to each individual.


 Ice-breaker sessions - looking at the group that came, both of us felt that we could be their grandmothers but don't doubt our agility which is better than some  of them...ahem.! D:

The workshop was organised by the CultureRun  - "learn something new at weekend".   The teacher was a young lady and a dedicated teacher and lead us through a yoga sequence to counter hyperactive anxiety.  After a few bends and twists,  we felt very "released"  from our aching muscles and back pain. This was followed by some restorative poses to "catch our breathe back" as well as to calm our bodies and mind.  
  

At the end of the class, we were served with a delicious and nutritious smoothie - pure and natural fruit/vegetable  juices. 

However, I felt we needed a more substantive breakfast after the workout.      

She wanted something light.... so it's crepes for brunch. 

pretty folds..... the crepes 

Enjoying the latte art before consuming it....

Thin savoury wholewheat (or is it buckwheat)  crepe served with chicken and cheese and side salad

This is savoury wholewheat crepe with chicken and tomato coulis and salad

My sister decided to go vegetarian and ordered this sweet crepe with caramelised apples.

This is indeed a "light"  meal.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

"BIENVENIDO" AND A SPAINISH LUNCH

14/3/2014 

The same morning that flight MH 370 went missing, my sister May was airborne on the way to India.  Both the flights departed from KLIA on the same morning.   While we were all shocked and saddened by the news,  we were also very thankful that my sister was safe and sound.

So after her trip with her team of doctors and nurses to do charity heart surgery in India she enrouted back to KL  for a very short holiday as well to attend a medical seminar.

After a short rest for her, we took her lunch at Mediteca Wine Tapas.

Left: Porchetta and mushroom bruschetta- creamy mushroom on crispy baguette  
Right: Salami with cheese- a bit salty 
served with soft bread  and chewy bread stick with balsamic vinegar/olive oil.  

Fried fish fillets -crispy and not oily at all- delicious

served with the red pepper sauce. 

Scrambled eggs with bacon 

Polenta (front)- rather bland and but the Spanish tortilla (potato omelette) was well done.

After eating these tapas, we were getting full when the Seafood paella was served.

Looks great but unfortunately it was not piping hot!

Of course, we still prefer the one that we tasted in the authentic Spanish restaurant in Melbourne

Finally the Roasted pork shanks served with creamy potatoes- which we have to takeaway. 

So was the dessert - Spanish doughnuts 

The staff were very friendly.  They also served buffet lunch on Saturdays. 
Have a wonderful weekend.