Gasoline... a place to refill friendship.

"Brother, I am thirsty!" Fong, our Project Manager went to my room screaming about a tough day's work.

"Go get some water in the pantry, my friend." I teased him.

"I don't think water will work. I am exhausted, need some gas also."

"Hahaha... I know you. Its time to refill in our Gasoline."

Happy Hour, it is really the happiest hours for most of our kind of Kuli. After a long day fighting in the field, we all badly need to get loosen. We are mentally drained and badly need to refill before going back to face the bed.

Beers, jokes and crazy stories after a hard day's work really heal us emotionally and make us a better person back home. So wifes, listen to our side of story, will you?

This small cafe in Sri Kembangan has some unique interior design. Although it is meant for the young, but I kind of like the name, Gasoline. It is at the shops behind South City Plaza.

What do you get in Gasoline? Of cause drinks with gas laa....

Beer with chicken wings. A wonderful mate!

Of cause, cannot live without my favorite fried sotong too.


In Search in Segamat

Have Wikipedia will search: Segamat.

Is life just a coincident? Or, is there a purpose for us to be in this world? If it is not a random coincident, then what is the reason behind for me sitting here writing my blog and you reading this miles and miles away? If there is slight variance in time and place, we will not connect to each other. Is this coincident?

Generations, people searching the purpose of life. Two weeks ago, I went to Segamat search my another part of life.

I am from Kuantan, and there is a highway link both important town in my life, Segamat and Kuantan. I met this girl, who follow all my steps I had been, is this just a coincident?

Sometimes I rather believe there must be a purpose for us to meet and change each other's life. Everything must have a purpose, causing by another incident. It's a bless to live in this life, and I am bless to know you.

In search in Segamat, in search of my other life!

First stop in Segamat, must try the all time famous dry noodle (干捞面) from 新益记. Very firm texture, springy and elastic noodle. A good noodle, based on my years of eating experience and scientific knowledge of noodle. I did my final year thesis on yellow noodle. Good noodle mixed with fine meat stock topping with tender white chicken meat and Char Siu (叉烧), it is in deed one of the best I have eaten.

The same shop also sell Ginger Wine Mee Sua (姜酒面线). I sensed very high proof of alcohol content with very sweet and tasty soup. The entire bowl finished without a drop.

Next, a traditional kopitiam since before Merdeka, 南洋茶室 (Nan Yang Kopitiam) a must to visit. I was told it was THE PLACE for people exchange information (a.k.a. gossip). Half an hour there, I can see most of the people know each other and the boss was perfectly act as the information exchanger.

Loaf of breads keeping in the cabinet. Beside act as a display, they also shows how popular the bread they serve.

"Kopi Kiam Si Ping" refreshing yet waking me up.

Traditional Kopi-O, average quality, I think.

Oh! Baked bread with very think homemade kaya and butter. Not an ordinary jam you can find out there.

Drink in kopitiam, must have half boil egg!

Another stall near by served this special drinks call Six Taste with milk (六味稀). It contained six type of substance (jelly, barley, macaroni, longan, etc) in warm milk. Strange but tasty that pretty new to me.

Mee Longkang (龙江面) is the signature food in Tampin. The stall can be found beside AmBank, a backstreet in the town center. It only open at night and normally people takeaway the noodle, keep in fridge and eat in the next morning. Picture taken the two old brother busy preparing the food, never fail.

Texture extremely hard. As the color slightly dull, I predict it was made from high protein flour. The stock was very sweet and nice. No wonder when keep overnight, after all the little soup sip into the noodle and soften the texture, it taste wonderful. Char Siu and minced meat was just alright only.


Duanwu Jie... a date to give our heart out.

Today is Duanwu Jie or Dragon Boat Festival. We eat zongzi (Chinese rice dumpling) and we enjoy dragon boat racing. We offer friends our home made zongzi and we are happy because we like the special delicacy. But how many of us know the meaning behind each and every dumpling we eat?

Have time to take a look in Wikipedia: Zongzi?

Malaysia will be celebrating its 50 years of independent. We are glad that we have educations, jobs, plenty of foods and warm and friendly neighborhood. Although sometime we suffer sudden flood, day light robbery and deep night raper. But those are rare. "Compare to the worse country out there, we are still okay and we should not complain much."

People get hurt is because they are careless and unlucky. We should be thankful to have such a good place to live and should continue our routine as long as there is food and shelter?

It is hard to imagine if worse come to our country we will stand out and protect our nation. Can we feel our blood, which is so warm that even when it drains we still alive?

If you love your country why you run away to have your life? Or you are out there gathering enough to come back to serve us one day when you ready?

We never die for our nation but for the money we chasing.

I am half lost, Anak Malaysia.


Mark goes... Vegetarian?!!

There was once I heard an old lady said she is practicing 30 days of vegetarian because of honoring her wish to God. I saw her will and felt her sense of determination. Weather she did that for her family or her own self, I am pretty sure someone out there must have touched.

Many years ago when I did my industrial training in Kepong, I had two vegetarian colleagues. I had every breakfast and lunch the vegetarian way for more than 3 months and it was such a heavy experience. They said that clear their body and calm the emotion down. I thought I was having some emotion problem then. Still remember my breath got chocked and heart stopped when I saw my mum cooked vegetables at home that time.

I am not against vegetarian and I strongly believe it is something really meaningful to do that. I might even be a full vegetarian one day. But of cause my friends will never believe that day will come for me.

Actually it is not a necessity for Buddhist to be a vegetarian. And I do think it is not very appropriate for a man to eat only vegetable because he has something looking forward for. Being a vegetarian because one seen the suffering of killing, feel the pain and sorrow. Vegetarian hope to reduce the pain and bring happiness for all beings.

Too ambitious statement? I read it somewhere and I truly believe that.

Buy hey, go tell a lion to eat carrot and prove Darwin's theory stupid then. Everyone has its own food to survive, and mine is chicken feet, bak kut teh and sotong.

As long as I don't waste my food and think of the poor and needs. I think I am still okay. Keep our mind simple and live this life the fullness!

This vegetarian restaurant situated at Subang Jaya, opposite Metropolitan College, across the main NPE road. Easy to find, nice food to eat.

Three dish in a plate. Normal for any formal course meal in Chinese. But those were all non-meat.

Tofu with mussels like mushroom. Not bad.

This is their famous dish, curry mutton. Its my favorite too! Strange that I did tasted mutton flavor in those cube. Very thick and creamy curry.

Oh! Its a fish, with the taste of fish derived from seaweed.

And this is something puzzle my head since long time ago. It's called roasted duck. But no matter how I look at it, I could not imagine any duck. I would just call it deep fried "fu jok", enough.

Picture taken a "real" vegetarian food. Sweet potato leaves in fermented tofu. Don't you think vegetarian should serve greens instead of imitation of fish, meat and duck?


Journey to the Center of Food Heaven #15, Final

Final post, keep it simple.

Picture taken in a "Yun Nan" restaurant in Zhongsan. We were having few dishes. Price damn cheap. Five person ate about RM50, with chicken, fish, vegetables, tofu, pancakes and this Bridge Crossing Noodle, "Guo Qiao Mian". A typical Yun Nan cuisine.

It started with very hot clay pot with soup inside.

Then the waitress added those vegetable, seafoods and other ingredients. As the pot was very hot with boiling water, those stuff cooked instantly.

Finally, rice noodle was added into the pot and hualaa... A pot of special cooked rice noodle with seafood was prepared instantly in front of our eye. Taste not bad also.


Journey to the Center of Food Heaven #14

Dim sum is one of the essence of Chinese cuisine. So, had to try it out at every place for benchmarking.

My friend brought us to the International Hotel of Zhongsan and I am so appreciate for his hospitality, second to non.

Picture taken after the breakfast. The hotel looks classy among the rest.

Stuffed cheongfan looks delicious . Taste second to the one in HK.

Oh! Gorgeous presentation. Crystal clear skin roll with vegetables and mushroom slices. I though they were real crystal!

These "kuih" very familiar to me. I thought I ate it here before. Crushed peanut inside.

Oh! Their siu mai was up to my standard.

How can we take dim sum without char siu bao? Although it taste "ma ma" only.


Journey to the Center of Food Heaven #13

Even though you know sugar makes you gain density, it makes you happy.

We love sweet since we can even walk. We then grow up chasing many sweet girls. Why we call a girl sweet? Sweet girl melt our heart just like those sugars growing with us.

... and yes, sugar babies... in ZhongSan.

Please don't fool by my pictures taken in gorgeous, I can assure you that the taste of below desert did not loose any compare to their fine photographed. A heaven desert stall at the Walker's Street in ZhongSan, brought to me by my friends there.

Picture taken a bowl of steam egg tofu, topped with lotus seed. Tofu was soft enough to melt in the mouth and those huge lotus seed contributed fine taste of pureness.

Black sesame with small rice ball "TangYuen". Its really black and warm. Not too sweet, and with very nice aroma. Texture wise, chewy because of the rice ball.

Pure steam egg tofu. Plain and simple, but very soft and smooth.

Water chest nut cake served in hot. Jelly like and springy texture. Giving a very simple yet pure feeling.


Journey to the Center of Food Heaven #12

This post begin with a story, unrelated...

It was a very hot late afternoon. Granny was busy in the kitchen preparing dinner for grandpa and the family. She has been doing this for as long as she can remember, and she loves it. All her children grow with her cooking. She knows her food not only healthy and nutritious, but with love that make her family strong.

A small girl ran and curiously asked her granny:"Where is heaven, Por por? How can we get there?"

The old lady answered:"Its in your heart. As long as you see it, it's in your heart."

... As long as we see it, everywhere is heaven.

... As long as we appreciate, everything is heaven's food.

Picture taken in a morning market at a residential area. There is a stall selling giant "dim sum" for take away. Steamy hot food in a cold morning. The yellow balls were "fu jok" stuffed with rice. Underneath were lotus leave rice, with a large piece of chicken inside. And of cause, beside those were "har kau" and "siu mai".
The auntie selling those curiously looking me taking picture. But she smile when I showed her my taken.


Journey to the Center of Food Heaven #11

Experience and feeling just separate by a thin line. Experienced hunter uses his instinct and feeling to locate his pray. Maybe his experience enable him to analyze the environment and situation and conclude the probability of win. Maybe he is just based on his feel and natural instinct to find his food.

I am not sure which is the one I use, but the more I hunt, the better I can locate good food... I think.

Of cause, there must be some misfiring moment, like the Portuguese Tart story. People said:"No matter how smart a squirrel jump between trees, it will fall down one day." I take that as my learning. So, whenever I hunted a bad food, I will just let myself go as I know: bad things never last, and good things not forever.

This is the table decoration and drinks cover with the shop brand, Siu Hong Mao. A tiny little shop in Macau city center. Youngsters make up the number of its patrons. I was the eldest one.


Journey to the Center of Food Heaven #10

If a person zap by lighting twice, he must be extremely unlucky. But most of the time, good things come twice. Don't you agree?

So, beside the pork chop bun, we all know Macau has another famous food - the Portuguese Tart.

But the problem is, it is easy to identify the number ONE green stall by asking few aunties and follow the queuing crowd (although there is other pirated chops around). It is rather difficult to locate THE Portuguese Tart. The entire Macau is full of cake shops selling these kind of tart. Just like when I went for Kajang Satay. "What the hek, everywhere shows Kajang Satay."

To make my day even worst, we Chinese seems too kind hearted by nature, or like to safe face. Whenever I asked for reference, there must be an answer given. Most of the time, its wrong. The kind Samaritan just simply "hantam". You ask a question, you get a answer, wright or wrong, no guarantee.


"Mnn hou yi si, may I know which bus should I take to go to Tamzai (Taipa)?"

"Oh! Go to that bus station and wait for bus 26."

"Thank you so much!"

After waiting for ages and sense fishy, I asked another one and the result:" Oh! You should take bus 18."


Asked another one to verify, bus No. 24 appeared from nowhere.

Last, I just read the map and follow the sign! Why asking so much?


Back to the Portuguese Tart story. I have no choice but to walked into a shop with a sign stated serving the best tart in town, very near the green pork chop shop. Presume this is THE ONE.

This is the shop, situated in the main road in Taipa, Rua de Cunha. Yes, Portuguese and I have no idea what it means.