Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Huat Kee Fish ball @ Jln Loke Yew

If you like fishball noodles like Ah Koong or Tang's House of Fish ball, you might want to try Fatt Kee (Cantonese pronunciation)/Huat Kee (Hokkien pronunciation) at Jalan Loke Yew :)

I am not that good in giving directions but here goes... I only know the federal highway route, drive all the way along the highway (you will eventually reach Mid-Valley and automatically linked to Jalan Syed Putra) until you reach a roundabout. Taking a left at the roundabout will bring you to Merdeka Square, on the right will be towards Sg. Wang, Lot 10, etc. After turning to the right, keep left and follow the road pass the traffic lights, it's illegal to keep right at the traffic lights. You will pass a temple (on your left), keep right and enter Jalan Kinabalu. Keep going straight and go under the underpass entering Jalan Loke Yew. Upon seeing a flyover, keep left and make a U-turn under the flyover. Be careful here as you will need to make a left turn about 15m from the U-turn. Fatt Kee is the corner shop on the left :)
This shop used to open during day time... maybe the boss is nearing his retirement therefore only opens from 6:00pm to 2:00am now :)

There is an air conditioned room which we prefer to eat in since the shop is just beside a busy main road and next to a flyover. We managed to snapshot the menu:
Also the mobile number and opening hours:
What is special here is the soup, the sweet as it's boiled with the Sai Dou fish's bones, and not much MSG added. We usually go for the dry kuey teow (hor fun) mee and kuey teow soup. The fish balls are bouncy and sweet and yet not artificially made:
So... if you happen to pass this area and wanted to eat something light and not too solid, you can give this place a try, enjoy :)

banner at night:
Updates 18/8/2014:
Have not visited this stall for quite some time, passed by last Friday and got a glimpse of it... can't see the boss and his 4-wheel drive... seems like its being sold by the boss's workers instead... pity...

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Snow lotus yeast enzyme (天山雪莲)

This is an enzyme drink was recommended by my wife's colleague, Ms. J. It contains most, if not all of the characteristics of any enzyme drink (the sourness, alcohol taste due to fermentation, etc). In addition to that, the Snow Lotus plant is said to contain medicinal properties and was used for centuries by medical practitioners in China and Tibet to cure diseases and enhance health. Most of the information on the net are available in Chinese (unfortunately I can't read Chinese) though.
One fine night on a rainy weekend, we followed Ms. J to Mr. A's house to have a look on how this enzyme is fermented and harvested from the so-called yeast of the Snow Lotus. We got some yeast from Mr. A and made it at home.

Some basic tools/instruments that you need for the entire process are listed below:
1. Big plastic bucket/container (for temporarily storing the enzyme)
2. Smaller plastic bucket (for mixing brown sugar with filtered water)
3. Plastic filters
4. Cloth coffee filter (for filtering diluted brown sugar)
5. Wooden/plastic spatula (for diluting brown sugar with filtered water)
6. Rice bowls
7. Glass container with plastic, screwed on cover (for fermentation)
8. A funnel (for pouring the enzyme into glass bottles)
Below are the ingredients and procedures (Mr. A already made one for us so what we did was to harvest and make a new one):
1. Pour out the fermented yeast (enzyme) into a clear plastic container by filtering the yeast and the enzyme
2. Clean the glass container
3. The ingredients should be mixed in the following proportions depending on the size of your glass container (note that there is no strict ruling that the ratios below have to be exact, you may adjust according to preference, e.g. if you accidentally added more than 3l of water, you can add more sugar and yeast to balance up again):
  • 6 bowls of Snow Lotus yeast
  • 2 bowls of brown sugar (Thai brown sugar cost around RM28 for 7kg, preferably use Indian brown sugar at RM21 for 7kg)
  • 2.7-3 liters of filtered water
Mix 2 bowls of brown sugar with 3 liters of filtered water. The brown sugar is hard, the wooden spatula is for stirring and crushing the sugar while mixing:
The brown sugar solution will contain some dirt, pieces of cane, etc therefore a coffee filter is needed for extra filtering:
Upon finishing the above procedures, the last step is to close the lid. You need to close and tighten the lid once, open it then close and tighten in again. The fermentation process should take place is a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight for 4 days (e.g. you start on Sunday night 9pm, next harvesting day will be Thurday before 9pm) until the next harvest.
After every 5th harvest, you should rinse the yeast using filtered water. If you plan to stop the fermentation/harvesting for a short period (say you have holiday plans, etc), you can store the yeast in the refrigerator up to 3 months.

Things to note during the process are as per below:
1. The enzyme should not have any contact with metal
2. The bottle storing the enzyme should have a screwed on cap so that it can be allowed to breathe
3. Instruments should never have any contact with oil
4. The longer you ferment, the more sour the enzyme.

Things to note for consumers:
1. This drink can be taken before or after meals, more than once a day (Gastric patients should consume after meals)
2. Consumers that has coronary diseases and asthmatic patients should dilute the enzyme with water before drinking.
3. Not suitable for pregnant ladies but can be taken 3 months after labour
4. Enzyme should be drank 4 hours later after consuming tuber crops (such as potatoes)
5. This drink is some what "heaty" therefore drink lots of water. Coconut water helps as well.

Updates as of 23rd Aug 2010
Click for larger image :)


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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hong Kong - Day 6 (Epilogue)

We asked for late checkout, but the best that the reception can do is 1:00pm... We woke up early as usual and went to Central hoping to get some famous dim sum... we were really really unfortunate that Yung Kee (famous roast goose and listed as one of the top 15 restaurants in the world) was CLOSED on that day!

A word of advice... NEVER EVER choose to go to Hong Kong/China/Macau on China National Holiday, Mid Autumn Festival, etc...

We went over to the other street where Luk Yu Tea House is located. This restaurant was also listed in some websites and tour books... at least its open :)
Kinda surprised to find out that most of the patrons are tourist... the environment is pretty cozy, air cond is cold, there was something different with how the dim sum was served... initially the waiters came out with a tray, but after like 10:30am or so... dim sum was served only if we ordered, and we had to ask for the menu... and it took quite some time for them to serve the order too... we had some commmon dim sum, and also ordered some special ones where we never tried before:
Red bean pastry, usually pastries like this at home is filled with char siew, this one is filled with red bean paste, not bad :)

Carrot cake, now this is very different from what we had before... the carrot cake is steamed in a porcelain bowl, and before eating, the waiter poured in some soy sauce! We liked it very much :)

Siew mai, steamed pork and prawn dumpling (har gao) pretty much the same :)

Should be called egg cake (gai dan gou), the difference with this and the normal cake is, this cake is made with additional ingredients, parsley and bits of egg yolk! Though the combination sounds odd, it tasted pretty good :)

The bill came to about HKD200... actually its really pricey since its located in Central Hong Kong... we will try to find some other reasonable yet delicious dim sum shops in our next visit... maybe not in the near future but we do hope to visit Hong Kong again :)

After breakfast, we took MTR back to our hotel, had shower and packed our bags ready for checkout :(
Since we had some time in our hands and not wanting to get sweaty and stuff, we placed our larger luggage with the concierge and only limit ourselves to walk around the nearby shopping complex. We explored all the levels and found an interesting one selling miniature clay animal figures, they were really cute... especially the bunnies! Too bad we were not allowed to snap photos :(

We had lunch also in the complex, Ajisen Ramen! The first time I had this was during my employment in China a few years back, one of the best ramen I had, and it was during winter, simply amazing :)
The soup is pork based and very sweet, the needles we hand made that time :)
When I got to know that this restaurant is finally opened in Malaysia, I was thrilled! I had lunch in the 1 Utama branch and was extremely (again... extremely, extremely) disappointed... maybe because it's halal, no offense... but it was horrible, I don't even want waste time bringing my wife to try it...
The Singapore Taka branch we had was a little better but the Hong Kong one brings back the good old memories. My wife liked it very much :)
Below is the Char Siew Ramen, apologies as we only realized that we have not taken the photo after started to eat :P

We also tried the Kimchi fried rice, good but not as good as the ramen :)

After lunch we went for dessert, we pass this small shop every time we go out and return to the hotel :)

The skin is not crispy enough, a bit on the plain side and a bit thick... but the inside is a nice mixture of strawberries, cream, custard, chocolate ice-cream and chocolate sauce... costs HKD38 :)

We took an early cab to the Kowloon Airport Express station. The taxi driver was not very honest as we think he over charged us... there will be a fixed charge of HKD 5 or 10 (sorry, really forgot...) from the hotel to the Airport express station and vice versa. The cab driver will press a button and the meter will bump up the fare by a fixed amount... in our case, my wife noticed that the guy pressed the button twice and when we were about to leave, he verbally added another HKD10 to the fare displayed on the meter! We didn't suspect anything until we recalled the fare that we paid the first day we arrived in Hong Kong... so fellow tourist/travelers, do take note on this :)
Alternatively, maybe you can try out their complimentary shuttle bus service for Airport Express Pass holders, maybe I'll try this one out in my next visit :)

Remember the Airport Express Travel Pass what we bought when we arrived? You can return it at the MTR counter at the airport and get back all the cash that you loaded plus a HKD50 deposit, well worth the price, huh? :)
There was nothing much to do at the airport except for waiting... the flight was delayed... typical AirAsia schedule I reckon... tiring day... I can't seem to find the food court area my dad mentioned... lucky we bought some bread at the bakery before leaving the shopping complex... and we shared a chicken rice and Milo on board the plane :)

Oh... on the plane, there was this old lady from Indonesia (kind of guessed from the accent) was coughing and sneezing... what's worse is she sat beside me and we were in the first row! I asked the stewardesses for a mask either for the lady or for us but they said they've ran out... I then asked them to check whether the lady was in the correct seat as she was seated in another row separated from her relatives...
Finally she shifted to the row on my right, the couple seated there was already wearing masks then complained to the stewardesses (of course unable to get masks)... the couple offered the lady a mask but you know what's the shocking part? The lady said, "No, I don't want your mask, I have my own!" and proceeded to wear it... I was like what the f***... you had a mask and you were sick and on a confined area and you didn't want to wear a mask until asked by so many people including the stewardesses! Hello... it's H1N1 season! Talk about inconsideration... this is really unacceptable... I was so furious that time that i couldn't sleep!
Anyway, the couple couldn't stand it and went to the back row after that... man... we all paid extra for the hot seats... she was there just because she was a senior citizen and this is how some people show their appreciation...

That's all for our Hong Kong trip, it has been an amazing experience, both of us loved the food and the wished that we had spent another few more days there! Usually my wife will get happy and all whenever we're heading back home, this time she was slightly moody and told me, "I don't care, we're coming back here again next time!" So most probably we will plan another trip there some other season, maybe during summer when there's less rain and more shopping :)
Also we might also try staying in Tsim Sha Shui area in Marco Polo Prince as recommended by my dad... it's about HKD100-200 per night more than our current hotel. It's nearer to the bustling Nathan Road and saves more traveling time, we'll see how it goes next time :)

Will be back with more photos and food in our next destination somewhere in December, adios and thanks for reading :)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Hong Kong - Day 5 (Macau)

We kind of regretted this short trip to Macau as it was too short and Macau is huge but nevertheless, there's still something to write about :)

We woke up later than scheduled and went for the porridge at the nearby market again. We just could not resist and had to return and have it. Also tried the cheong fun (char siew and shrimp) this time, not that bad just that the flour was a bit thick. There is something special about the soy sauce in Hong Kong... not too salty and had this fragrant slightly sweet taste :)

After breakfast, we took MTR to Tsim Sha Tsui and had a short walk to the China Ferry Terminal located behind the Marco Polo/Marco Polo Prince Hotel/The Gateway/Harbour City stretch. There was also an Esprit Factory Outlet nearby :)
This building is kind of confusing at first, the ticketing counters and departure was located on the 2nd floor. Upon reaching level 2, there were a lot of ferry's going to Macau and a lot of other places in China! We looked for First Ferry Macau counter and bought a return ticket. The ferry ride was pretty long... around 1 hour 15 mins including waiting time... We would like to recommend that you bring along some motion sickness pill in case of sea sickness :)
Upon reaching, you will be able to see a very impressive museum and Sands Macau:

Now... word of advice: Macau is not that tourist friendly as compared to Hong Kong... the place is huge and people there sort of gives you the feeling that you are some kind of "water-fish"... i.e. tourist = $$$... not meant as an insult to anyone, just personal experience with cabs especially...
After arriving at the Macau Ferry Terminal, there was tourist center on the right as you walk towards the exit/entrance of the building. You can grab some maps, though they are not that useful, at least there is something to refer to :)
Getting to Senado Square was not pleasant. There is a bus/taxi stand just outside the Ferry Terminal. The more economical way to travel without being conned is by bus, but remember to bring lots of small change, else you will end up like us taking a very expensive taxi ride to Senado Square...
It was China National... what you can see is only people... people and more people...

OK, I am going to quit complaining for the time being and start to enjoy the trip... Macau's building architectures are very unique, being here is like being in a more modern Malacca :)

We had our first prok chop bun from an unknown shop... when we say pork chop bun we really mean it. It's just a piece of fried pork chop in between bread which tasted a bit like French loaf... be careful of the bones when you feast :)

I don't know why but I have problems reading the maps... they are inaccurate and the scales are pretty off... Anyway, it took us quite some time find out where the Ruins of St Paul were, but we made it... along the way to the ruins, there are a lot of shops selling local Macau delicacies like almond cookies, dried BBQ meat, candies, etc. Now, the Ruins:

We took quite a lot of photos here :)
After all the walking and hot sun... felt kinda dizzy... maybe a little sun burnt too... we saw this crowd of people queuing up for some Taiwanese ice dessert, it was really hot so some ice was irresistible :)

The outlook was appealing just that it was not as tasty as we expected... we ordered the Mango flavoured one, it tasted like... iced Mango syrup... oh well... at least it cold :)

We headed back to the main road and wanted to go to Coloane Island to look for lunch. There was this famous Portuguese Restaurant called Fernando's featured in almost all the Macau tour books and a lot of websites. We even over heard some of the foreigners asking for directions to this island when we arrived at the Ferry Terminal earlier :)
According to Google map, Praia de Hac Sa (aka Black sand beach) was not that far:

We decided to wait for a bus heading towards that direction... after half and hour... still no buses... hungry and slightly frustrated due to the hot weather, we took a cab instead... We passed by the Macau tower while going across the bridge... seems like we were on the right direction:

The taxi ride was was like... man! almost 40 mins! Plus it costs us slightly more than MOP100! We will get to the part on why the price and the duration later...
Now, the restaurant seems pretty normal at first glance, but inside is like... wow... another place with difference ambiance and feeling:

The patrons consist mostly of foreigners... The menu is just Portuguese and Chinese... from my research... the place should be famous for grilled food so we ordered a grilled quarter chicken and a grilled fish. Each customer is given a big bun with butter, it tasted like French loaf (I personally like French Loaf) but the skin was a bit hard:

Frankly, we think that the food was not that great... maybe we did not order correctly because the grilled chicken was like... Nando's without the Peri Peri sauce... the fish was just grilled with salt... not to say the food tasted bad but it was... normal... maybe we set our expectations too high after reading all those reviews on the net :)
Nevertheless, the environment was great, quiet with some soft music, you can feel some cooling sea breeze, it would be a good place for a gathering with some friends, some wine would go great! :)
My wife finished earlier and took some photos of the place :)

The place is really huge as you can see that there are a lot of different settings for different occasions, we reckon that this would be a really happening place at night :)

The meal costs us slightly less than MOP200 as we shared a Coke. We planned to take a bus back to town and since its not here yet, we took a quick stroll to the famous Hac Sa Beach :)

And yeah... the sand is sort of black :)

As promised earlier on the reason for the expensive and long taxi ride... we took a bus back (23A if we remembered correctly) and realized that the taxi actually took us for almost a round (maybe half) island trip! The bus took a shorter route back, passing by Coloane town where the famous Lord Stow's Portuguese Egg Tart Bakery is located.

We have no idea where the place is exactly even with the help of Google Map... we coincidentally saw the shop when the bus passed by a roundabout. We actually overshot and had to walk back. To the left of the shop is (i think...) Coloane Village, unfortunately we did not have the time to venture further...
We forgot to take a photo of the egg tart as we were rushing to get another bus... the pastry is crispy and the filling is smooth unlike those that we had back in Malaysia... it's a little bit on the sweet side (even for a sweet tooth like myself), but overall it's better than the one we had in Senado's Square :)

We initially planned to go to the famous Venetian Hotel, we did not have time and also wanted to find the famous Ruo Do Cunha street for dinner... we seriously walked a lot and the maps... crap... the scale is something they should improve on... totally different from the maps we had in Hong Kong... anyway, here are some photos to took on the way back... very nice architecture :)
Macau is filled with Hotels and Casinos, nothing else...

Above is the Venetian... side view i think

We took another bus back to the Ferry Terminal. It was getting dark and along the way, some of the hotel lights were on, it was a beautiful sight :)  Unfortunately the bus was pretty packed and we had no chance to bring out our camera to snap photos :(
It was a tiring and hot day so we took the earlier ferry back to Hong Kong. We spent some time at the Esprit Outlet just next to the Ferry Terminal. We think that the selection here is a lot newer compared to those in Tung Chung :)

We had dinner in one of the shops in Tsim Sha Tsui, quality was acceptable. We shared  seafood hor fun and a bowl of wan ton:

The seafood hor fun only had salt taste... it did not have that wok taste we expected... yup, acceptable :)
The wan ton was quite fresh but we preferred the one we had in the morning, it had more prawns :)

After dinner we strolled around Tsim She Tsui, enjoying the night life and view. Initially we hesitated going to Arena of Stars as we were really drained... but, it's our last night in Hong Kong, so... what the heck, we decided to go ahead and man, we didn't regret that decision :)
Too bad we were not good in night photography... even with a tripod, most of the photos are blurred due to the strong wind...

The Peninsular Hotel, very grand :)

Well, thanks for viewing, it has been a long day, back to our hotel to rest... it's not pleasant having the thought that we will be leaving the next day though...