I've had a few readers asking about the Jon Gabriel Method and I thought I'd share my experiences in a post.

I liked the book very much, and it's not about a strict diet that wouldn't fit into a regular lifestyle. To a large extent it is not just the food but also about emotions and how they do play out physically (as a 'spare tyre' for example).

How I've incorporated Jon Gabriel's teachings into my life

- I have my probiotics first thing when I wake up in the morning. If you're in Malaysia, I recommend getting the Bio-Life brand one (the one which they keep in the fridge). This is with a huge glass of water (at least 500 ml). This tends to help me also 'go' almost immediately. Even without the probiotics, I aim for the water first thing when I wake up and this really gets the system 'moving'.

- For bread, I only eat sprouted grain bread which is difficult to find but I have managed to the get the Adventist Bakery ones at places like Cold Storage. The bread keeps for abour 3 months if you freeze it so I normally get a couple of loafs and freeze it.

- I'm aiming for a mainly vegetable diet and as much as possible, raw. The idea is to get as much vegetables into your diet as possible. This is not as difficult to achieve as it sounds.

At home, it's easy, I prepare salads; as colorful as possible. I'm not a huge fan of the leafy veges like lettuce, cabbage so I use a lot of cucumber (the japanese ones), peppers (I love the yellow and orange ones), tomatoes (normally baby tomatoes), carrot (which I normally grate), celery (cut into fine pieces), and if I can get them, baby spinach, corn, etc.

As for dressing, now this can be a mine trap if you love dressings like 1000 island, and all those fat-laden ones. I normally get the Japanese dressings. They're much lighter, especially the ones from soya, it's very liquidy and will flavour your whole salad with just very little.

Of course, I'm Malaysian, so we can't live with salad all the time and I also don't want my mind to think I'm trying to starve it and so that it goes into starvation mode. One of the main 'tricks' I use is to purchase my favourite curries, normally the ones which are drier like rendang. Chicken rendang, mutton curry (from the indian shop), beef rendang, etc. I buy one serving, normally about 4 -5 pieces of meat. I use about 2 chunks per meal and what I do with this is cut up the meat (using a scissors) into small chunks and then mix it into my salads. It gives a nice local flavour; my taste buds are appeased and the flavour of the meat and sauce acts like my salad dressing!

Other times, what I do add to my salads are tuna (in spring water), salmon and bacon. It all gives flavour. You can also add half boiled eggs to a salad and the runny texture acts as a dressing too.

- Flaxseed. Jon Gabriel talks about getting flaxseed into the diet as it contains a high level of omega-3s and also protein and fibre. I get the organic ones from the supermarket and grind them up every week or so and in most of my meals (at home), I add about a tablespoon. There's no strong flavour but it gives a nice nutty crunch.

- Sugar. Of course, the idea is to minimise your intake of sugar, especially the refine kind. Jon is OK with Xylitol, which is a sugar substitute. Personally I don't like sugar substitutes so I'd rather cut down on the sugar intake. This means the teh tarik kurang manis (less sugar) or NOT ordering the teh tarik but going for something like fruit juice with no sugar. The best alternative I've found, especially at the mamak is ordering fresh coconut which is as natural as you can get.

- Visualisation. I listen to Jon's CD almost every night before going to bed. I also celebrate all the nice parts of my body, instead of focusing on all the not so nice parts. You can also use teachings from the Law of Attraction to help with achieving "My Ideal Body". Visit for more information.

I have also incorporated other learnings into my lifestyle i.e. food combining. Basically, the rules are:
Vegetables + Meat only
Vegetables + Rice, noodles or carbos only
Don't mix meat and carbo.

Yes, difficult as it sounds, I mean nasi lemak ayam is about rice and chicken, but I cut down the portion of rice and increase the portion of cucumbers. This is the reason why when I eat out, it's normally rice and veges only.

When I make lasagna, there's only 1 layer of meat and the rest are vegetables. Or I've sometimes substituted the meat for mushroom.

Eating Out and the Jon Gabriel Method
At the Indian shop, I go for the capati or thosai, no more roti canai as much as possible. I would eat this with the chutney and curries but as much as possible, no meat. Tandoori and naan are out of the equation now as it's the worst possible combination for me. I also try to avoid the fried stuff as much as posssible. Fried food is never good as we don't know what oils they use.

At the Chinese hawker, I either go for the rice or porridge and you can choose all the various vegetable dishes to go with it or noodles, eliminating the meat. No more fried kueh teow, etc.

At the Malay shops, it's much easier. There's normally ulam (malay salad) somewhere and that becomes my best friend. It's either ulam and rice or ulam and meat, normally I opt for ulam and rice and other vegetables / tofu dishes.

Other shops:

Last night I ate at a steamboat restaurant where you can order your own individual portions. I opted for the vegetarian meal which had loads of mushrooms and veges and ordered another portion of vegetables.

At places like TGIF or Chilli's, I opt for the salads with the dressing on the side. This can be with or without meat. If choosing a meat, opt for the ones which are grilled vs the fried.

For me, the aim is to eat as much vegetables as possible so think like a vegetarian but you can add some meat here and there.

I've minimised my consumption of rice, noodles, pasta, etc. If I eat rice at home, I have the multigrain or brown rice, no more white rice.

Eating Times
Get as much heavy eating as possible done during the early part of the day. A heavy supper is evil. Years ago, I used to eat supper almost every night; the mee mamak washed down with teh tarik (not 1 but a couple), sharing satay or a roti tissue as well .. it's no wonder that in that one year I put on about 10kg!

Now my 'supper' is limited to a drink with friends, normally a lime juice or coconut. I do get a craving for teh tarik which I don't stop myself from having but not every time.

The idea is not to 'starve' your body and block the cravings, just find creative ways to give in to your cravings. But, you will find that the more veges you consume, eventually, you won't crave meat so much or other sweet stuff.

I'll be the first to admit I'm not a huge exercise person. So I'm 'cheating' and going to sit at the FIR sauna every 2 days. If you want to know more about the sauna, go to They have about 30 branches around Malaysia and each sitting is about RM12-15. Might sound costly but since I've minimised the Starbuck's coffee, that's where the 'coffee money' is going to! In half hour, I'm sweating bucketloads, burning 900 calories, get my Vitamin D from the Far Infra and also some time to myself. There's a CD in the cabin, which I use to play visualisation or meditation CDs.

Since embarking on this new lifestyle (about 3 months ago), I haven't really lost weight, only about 1.5kg but I can feel my body being stronger and all my clothes are getting looser, which is the most important part. Friends have commented that I've lost weight (which I haven't really but I guess the fat is either turning into muscle or being re-allocated around my body).
I recommend reading the book if you haven't already. I can't find it in Malaysia so I got a friend to get it from Australia. Or you can buy it at Amazon. Click on this link for the book.

Hope this helps. Do drop me a note if you want to know more. And do share with other readers if you are also practicing this method.
As i'm going to be away next week, I had to finish up all the perishables in the kitchen.
What I had ..
- garlic
- onions
- pumpkin
- potatoes
- tomatoes
- carrots
- purple cabbage
- parsley

OK, so a salad was out of the question; can't eat raw pumpkin ...
Was thinking of roasting all the veges - but can't really roast cabbage ...
So I decided on a quick vegetable curry stew

It's simple
chop up all the veges
Oil into the pot, adding garlic and onions and fry till fragrant
Add chopped tomatoes
Add 1 tablespoon of curry powder and some water
Add carrots, then pumpkins and potatoes - boil

Later, what I did was put the chopped raw cabbage and parsley on top of the rice and then pour the hot curry/stew on top. Yummy and pretty healthy too!
One of the foods that Jon Gabriel talks about in his book The Gabriel Method: The Revolutionary DIET-FREE Way to Totally Transform Your Body , is breads (p89). That we should be eating, as much as possible, sprouted grain breads.

So I decided to check out if I could find sprouted grain bread in Kuala Lumpur.

Just my luck, a few days after reading the book, when I walked into the Jusco / MaxValue near my place, I spotted Anzen Sprouted Organic Grains bread with 18 organic grains. It's RM4.50 for a loaf of 360g.

Ingredients: Hulled Millet, black bean, mung bean, yellow and black soya bean, adzuki bean, brown flax see, golden flax seed, black sesame, sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, barley, buckwheat, oats groats, oat bran, regular rolled oats, instant rolled oats and wheat bran! Phew what a long exhausting list. It does use white flour in it too.

I found the bread texture somewhat like wholemeal bread with quite a fine texture. Perhaps it's because of the white flour. And it's also cut very thinly, which I'm not too crazy about. But it keeps well in the freezer and toasts well after. More info at

A few weeks later, I was at Cold Storage at The Curve and found the Adventist Bakery Sprouted Life Grain Bread with 7 grains. It's RM6.60 for a 450g loaf. When I was younger, we used to buy bread directly from the Adventist Hospital Bakery and it was so yummy. I'm glad that they've decided to also 'export' it out for Penang.

Now this one, I like. Texture wise, there's a nice bite to it and I can feel the whole grains and fibre. It's also sliced not so thin and tastes really nice toasted.

Ingredients: Millet, wheat, corn, oats, rye, soya and lentils. There's no flour in their recipe but they have honey, molasses, corn oil and yeast. The fact that there's no flour is a plus point and probably accounts for the nice 'rough' texture.

So, my recommendation is the Adventist Bakery Sprouted Life Grain bread.
Received this in the mail today ...anyone been there???

Greetings from Ribs@Oasis. We are a small non-halal western restaurant
located in the friendly neighborhood of Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya.
Nested between the famous 1 Utama shopping complex and the community
shopping centre of Centre Point, the restaurant is housed within the BU4
Oasis complex situated next to the BU4 residential entrance. In spite of
the prime location, parking is a breeze as there are abundant parking
spaces in and around the complex.

On the food we serve…For the starters, we have the Classic Ceasar Salad
where crispy romaine are tossed with anchovy dressing and topped with pork
bacon, croutons & grated parmesan. For the soup lovers, we have the Wild
Mushroom Soup where they are made from fresh mushroom and herbs blended
and concocted to perfection. In addition, we do offer a spread of
appetizers and side orders range from the mushroom lover’s – Sautéed
Mushroom, Garlic Bread and many more.

Ribs@Oasis as the name implies, serves juicy western style baby back pork
ribs and Belly Pork Ribs on a bed of roasted or mesh potatoes. Of late our
juicy Pork Burgers and the Pork Loin has also move up the ranks and have
become our best sellers. In addition to the pork dishes, we also serve a
variety of Pasta including Carbonara, Olio, white wine Vongole, Pomodoro,
Leeks and Shrimps and the all time favorite Bolognaise. For the seafood
lovers, we have the traditional English style Fish & Chips (butter fish),
Pan Fried Butter Fish and Seafood Platter which consists of a selection of
fresh seafood…prawns, lobster slippers, scallop fish fillers and squids
drizzled with lemon garlic butter sauce.

No meal is complete without a taste of our dessert. For the chocolate
lovers, we have the best Chocolate Molten Cake and our Apple and banana
Crumble which comes with a serving of Haagan Dazs ice cream.

As for drinks, we have a few in-house concoctions to quench your
thirst..Coke infused with passion fruit extract – Riblicious, blend of
Mango and Blood Orange with Sprite – Ribstropic, Blue Curacao, lime juice
with soda – Ribsdelight. In addition, we also serve a range of Lipton teas
and Nespresso coffees.

Visit us for a memorable tantalizing taste of western pork cuisine …you
have tasted the rest, now taste the BEST!

Ribs@OasisAddress: Lot 1-1, BU4 Oasis, 2 Changkat Bandar Utama
47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
Phone Number: 03 77298921
E-mail :
So, LN managed to get a copy of the The The Gabriel Method: The Revolutionary DIET-FREE Way to Totally Transform Your Body for me while she was in Sydney. The author, Jon Gabriel, was supposed to have come to Malaysia a few months ago but didn't quite make it. I was curious about his book, but couldn't find it in Malaysian bookstores.

Anyway, got the book and found it a very interesting read. There's no mention of a diet anywhere! He talks about eating healthy; making your body crave healthy food instead of junk food, about eating food with 'life' in it i.e. raw/lightly cooked to retain nutrients, etc.

I found this very close to my beliefs about food (after having gone for the 10 day Fasting Program at Spa Samui and all) so after weeks of boiling everything into a soup (so I was craving soup!) I decided to go SALADS!

One of the things he said was that not everyone likes salad but in order to get more veges into your body, try turning everything into a salad. I decided to take on the challenge!

My staples for salad:
- Purple cabbage
- Carrots
- Yellow Peppers
- Cherry Tomatoes
- Japanese cucumbers

The above veges make for a lovely salad which has beautiful colours and I read somewhere that it's good to have many different colors in you food.

Occasionally I'll add some boiled eggs, potatoes. If i feel like some meat, depending on what I have at home, I may add bit of sausage or pepperoni, etc.

The other day, I added some chicken - marinated with whole grain mustard and grilled, before cutting in to smaller bit sizes and mixed in the salad.

Today, I decided to clear out my freezer because my fridge is playing up a little. Found a packet of dry mutton curry. At the same time, I was trying to finish up the salad ingredients. Then I thought to myself, why not have a mutton curry salad?

The results were yummy!! As it's a dry mutton curry, I heated it up, cut into smaller pieces and just mixed it through the salad and the little bit of gravy made of a nice salad dressing so I didn't have to add any other salad dressing to it anymore! Perhaps not the healthiest, but hey .. better than having mutton curry with banana leaf rice and everything else :)

In the The Gabriel Method, Jon also mentioned lasagna salad .. that, I've gotta try~~!

The boook is highly recommended, and it comes with a Visualization CD to listen to every night ...

For more information on Jon, go to
To order the book, you can buy through Amazon
*Pigs' feet: the new superfood*

As Britain 's spending on cosmetic surgery soars, Fiona MacDonald Smith suggests it's time that we chopped and changed our diet instead .

The latest anti-ageing food? Pigs' trotters. That's right, you heard it here first.
In New York , the most talked-about new opening of the past couple of months has been a Japanese restaurant called Hakata Tonton, where 33 out of the 39 dishes contain pigs' feet.

The reason for this, according to its owner, Himi Okajima, is that they are rich in collagen, the protein responsible for skin and muscle tone, more recognizable to beauty addicts in the form of face creams and fillers.

"Collagen helps your body retain moisture," says Okajima, who has introduced a chain of restaurants specializing in collagen cuisine in Japan . "Your hair and skin will look better, but it's not just for looking beautiful now. If you begin eating collagen in your thirties, you will look younger in your forties."

Maybe this sounds a little improbable ( "It's news to me," sniffs Lisa Miles of the British Nutrition Foundation. "I've certainly never heard of eating collagen." ) but Okajima believes he is on to something. Figures published last month show that British spending on cosmetic surgery is the highest in Europe , hitting nearly £500 million in 2006, four times more than in 2001.

Isn't there a cheaper solution? Couldn't eating the right foods, in the right way, be a simpler, and ultimately more long-term way to stay looking and feeling younger? "You are what you eat," says nutritional therapist Ian Marber, aka The Food Doctor.

"You can't turn the clock back but you can slow things down. Every cell replicates from RNA and DNA. In order to keep the DNA in good condition, you want to protect cells from harmful free radicals. And for this you need to eat fruit and vegetables, which contain vital anti-oxidants like vitamins A, C, E and zinc.

"It doesn't have to be expensive," he adds. "I know people go on about so-called 'superfoods' which have a greater concentration of anti-oxidants, but two apples a day will give you plenty of vitamins and fibre. You just need to ensure a varied diet."

"The key is to remember we're omnivorous," agrees nutritionist Christian Lee, who is the national trainer for the Dr Nicholas Perricone cosmetics and nutrition empire. "Have you ever noticed how women age more rapidly than men?

That's because they don't eat enough protein. The days you don't eat protein are the days you age. The body can't store protein, but it needs it for cellular production and function. "

At each meal you should be able to hold up three fingers and say 'I've got a good source of protein (lean fish or poultry, nuts, seeds or tofu); an essential fatty acid ( Omega 3 or 6, so that's coldwater oily fish, flaxseeds, linseeds ) and a low glycaemic carbohydrate ( fruit, vegetables, and whole grains like quinoa, buckwheat and oatmeal )'. If you can say that, you're on the right road."

Perricone, a dermatologist, became America's most famous anti-ageing specialist with his "Three-Day Nutritional Face Lift", which extolled the virtues of eating wild Alaskan salmon twice a day, claiming its essential fatty acids would banish puffiness and tighten the skin. Uma Thurman, Heidi Klum and J-Lo are all fans.

In his new book Ageless Face, Ageless Mind, which has yet to reach the UK, Dr Perricone's team assert that up to 40 per cent of wrinkles are caused by dietary sugar. "When you eat high glycaemic carbohydrates like bread, cakes and pasta, they turn into sugar in the blood so fast that the pancreas can't respond with enough insulin and the blood becomes saturated with sugar," argues Christian Lee. "The sugar needs to go somewhere so it attaches itself to the cell membranes.

When it does this to collagen molecules in the skin, it causes the collagen to become stiff and immobile and that's the birth of the wrinkle. The bad news is that it doesn't end there - the sugar then pumps out free radicals, causing a double whammy of damage. The good news is you can prevent it - either by cutting out sugar or by taking a supplement of alpha lipoid acid, which is 400 times stronger than vitamin C and E combined."

So ditch the sugar, but don't forget the pigs' trotters.

*Spinach* contains the pigment lutein, present in the retina, which helps maintain the health of the eye.

*Tomatoes* contain the anti-oxidant lycopene, which can protect the skin from UV damage from the sun.

*Purple or red berries* - such as blueberries, raspberries and strawberries - are full of anthocyanins which can help protect against diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and help maintain strong arteries.

*Oily fish*, such as fresh water salmon, herring, mackerel and sardines, and also flax seeds and linseeds, are the main source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can delay the ageing process of the skin.

*Water*: drinking more aids digestion and elimination; drinking too little can harm the complexion.

*Carbonated drinks* - along with tea, coffee, sugar, red meat and alcohol - can push the body's balance towards the acidic, meaning that alkaline minerals (such as calcium) are removed from bone stores to balance it, weakening the bones. Restricting them may help you keep stronger bones.

*Nightshade vegetables* - potatoes, tomatoes, chillies, aubergine and peppers - while often healthy in other respects, contain a chemical that studies suggest can activate pain and inflammation associated with arthritis. Avoiding these foods may help reduce it.

*Refined carbohydrates* - such as white bread, white rice, sugary cereals, pasta and noodles - contribute to the development of type II diabetes, which accelerates the ageing process and, if not controlled, can lead to a wide range of other health problems.
So, when my aunt moved out of her home of like 30 years into a small apartment, there was lots of stuff to clear. As I was moving to my new place, her Tupperware collection inadvertently found it's way to my place.

Amazingly, most of the tupperwares were brand new and even though they were probably from like about 20 years ago, it still looked good and relevant in my new kitchen. I've been using most of the tupperware to store all kinds of condiments. Also found the ice lolly moulds which I will try out one of these days.

Anyway, I was looking to get some more tupperware containers and then I realised, I don't know any tupperware salespeople. So, I turned to Google and found that you can now buy Tupperware over the net from this site Tupperware2u. What great idea! I could order and pay without leaving my home and they delivered it to my home.

From time to time, there's a promotion on and apart from Tupperware, you can also get the Beauticontrol stuff. They are also promoting other non-Tupperware products on it too.
Unfortunately, only available in the USA currently. Wonder if we Malaysians will ever see it here? Or perhaps I could take the 5 ingredients and try it out in my ice cream machin ... hmmm...that's an idea :)
Haagen-Dazs 'Five' - just 5 ingredients
Source: Springwise
As a delicacy with relative affordability and universal appeal, ice cream is one of those products that serves as a barometer of the times. We've covered ice cream innovations at the high end—such as the Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream Company and its locally sourced, hormone-free ice creams in flavours like ginger, giandujia and red currant—as well as convenience-focused novelties like the MooBella vending machine. Next up? Simplicity, if the Häagen-Dazs Five line is any indication.

Häagen-Dazs Five is a new, all-natural ice cream crafted with only five ingredients: skim milk, cream, sugar, egg yolks and natural flavouring. Available in mint, ginger, coffee, vanilla bean, passion fruit, brown sugar and milk chocolate, the Five line also includes less fat than Häagen-Dazs's other ice creams, the company says. It's now available in stores, and an online flavour finder helps identify availability by ZIP code. Pricing is roughly USD 7 per pint.

Pure, natural, simple—in today's ailing economic climate, such adjectives hold a nostalgic appeal. Everyday consumers may not be able to afford the big luxuries, but at least there's still good, old-fashioned ice cream! ;-)

What a great idea! In Malaysia, I had a similar experience with the Westin Kuala Lumpur. When I called to make reservations; immediately after putting the phone down, I received an SMS confirming my reservation. A day before the booking, received another SMS reminder/confirmation. AFTER having my meal there, received a thank you SMS within the hour!

Restaurants page waiting guests on their cellphones
Source: Springwise

Providing a new solution to an old problem, ReadyPing lets restaurants notify guests by text message when their table is ready. The system aims to improve on restaurant pagers, which require a substantial upfront investment plus maintenance costs, and have a limited range. Restaurants don't need to purchase new hardware to use ReadyPing; all that's required is an internet connection and a computer. ReadyPing charges a flat monthly fee of USD 35, which includes sending an unlimited number of 'pings'.

To use the system, hosts enter a party's name, number of guests, and their mobile number. When their table is available, the host clicks a button to send a customizable text message.

Launched in January 2009, ReadyPing is currently only available in the United States, but it definitely has potential in other time-strapped parts of the world. Of course, there's no reason why similar systems couldn't be used by other types of businesses. One to brainstorm on?

Spotted by: Judy McRae
I almost forgot that it's Valentine's Day this Saturday! I mean, we're still recovering from Chinese New Year!

Anyway, as I walked pass the Godiva shop at KLCC earlier, I couldn't help but fall in love with the scrumptious chocolates they had on sale. It's gorgeous!

Someone asked me why Godiva chocolates are so expensive. Well, to me its all the high quality ingredients they put into it and of course, the packaging, etc that makes an already great piece of chocolate that more special.

For Valentine's Day, they've outdone themselves - precious little morsels of chocolate wrapped prettily in beautiful heart boxes and don't forget the really really cute teddy bear too!
Actually, if my love presented himself with a box of Godiva chocolate tied around his neck, that would make a pretty good present too ... hmm..something to think about? :)
Learn more about Godiva chocolate at
Godiva has 2 locations in Kuala Lumpur:
1) Level 1, Suria KLCC (just at the top of the middle escalators) Tel 03 2166 5252
2) Level 2, Pavillion, Kuala Lumpur. Tel 03 2142 5252

I received a flyer in my mailbox the other day - about DQ Clean Chickens. It's one of the flyers I didn't throw out as I wanted to read more about it.

So, DQ chickens are not just free-range chickens but they're also grassfed, no hormones, no steroid, antibiotic free, no pesticides and chemical free. I also read with great interest that the chickens are not debeaked and their grazing area is moved all the time. To me, this is important.

You see, chickens are dirty animals and on normal farms, they would basically live and grow in their own waste. Even free range chickens - they may not be caged but then if they're running around in the same dirty area and there's no more grass to eat?

But these people at DQ rotate the hens every few days so that they not only have new grass, but their waste gets dried up and becomes fertiliser.

One of these days I will try one of these clean chickens. To date, I haven't yet bought any chicken to cook as it's a lot of one person. But I have tried out their eggs (only because it's the only pack that sell in 6 - the smallest quantity). The eggs are yummy and HUGE - now I know why they cost double the normal eggs!

Anyway, their website is Do check it out and learn more about the chicken you may be consuming.

They also do home delivery or you can buy from their stockist / agents:

Good4U (home Delivery) 012 331 7173
EcoGreen, TTDI 03 7725 8388
Country Farm Organics 03 7880 9936
Hock Lee, Damansara Heights 03 2094 2807
Villlage Grocer 03 2282 0633
After studying the whole day, decided to have a hearthy dinner. Ended up at Champ's for their Damm Shiok Hokkien Mee. Was delicious but at RM20.90 per bowl it was also Damm Expensive! but I guess was justified with the 2 jumbo prawns and pork ribs.

After, felt like a nice cup of coffee and decided to go to Black Canyon for thier Espresso with Honey. Yum!
When I was young, one of the places we would have breakfast at was at Pulau Tikus. The corner shop that sold Hokkien Mee was a firm favourite but when I was young, it used to be too spicy for me so I would opt for the Wantan Mee and the indian apom.

The corner shop closed a long while ago but the Hokkien Mee stall moved to a shophouse perpendicular to the last location. The Hokkien Mee is still yummy, which probably accounts for why this stall was invited to participate in a Penang Food Festival in Adelaide years ago. The soup had enough body and not too diluted, and you can taste the prawn soup. They don't stinge on ingredients either with lean slices of pork and whole prawns.
Dad managed to get some yummy fluffy Indian apom from the stall outside the shop opposite the police station. Between the hokkien mee and the apom, I felt like I was 8 years also again!
After breakfast, we decided to take a walk around the Pulau Tikus marketplace. I love going to markets; the sounds, the sights, the smells. Seeing it was about 2 weeks before Chinese New Year, the market was bustling more than average.
Some photos from around the Pulau Tikus marketplace ..

A few weeks ago, we made a visit to Penang Island. Penang Island is where I first got inspiration to start Food Safari years ago so going back again felt a bit of a homecoming.

Our first stop was at Padang Brown. This place is famous for a 'salad' called "Che Hu" (translation: Green Fish). No, there's no fish in it, but it has jellyfish.
The place also sells yummy popiah (rolls) with crabmeat, and I also like the Penang laksa there. To end the meal, a nice cool glass of fresh coconut water does the trick. The pic below shows the laksa with the coconut water.
As we were eating, there was an Indian man that came walking by with a basket. He told us he was selling curry puff. Now, my Dad is a huge curry puff fan so we had to have it. However, this curry puff was quite unusual. For starters, it was flat and the man put pickled onions (like the ones they put on top of murtabak) on top of it.

The taste was interesting, it was mainly slices of sweet potatoe with curry powder, encased in curry puff pastry. The pickled onions also added an interesting texture and taste to the snack.
This section of Padang Brown (the Chinese section) is opened mainly between 2-6pm. After that, it's closed and the other Indian/Muslim section is opened in th evenings.

There's also a stall which sold some nice looking Nyonya kueh but unfortunately by the time we got there, it was mainly sold out.

The 'Padang' has always been one of my favourite places to eat and it's highly recommended by me.

Dark secret of the Thai glutinous rice
By : Sim Bak Heng


MUAR: Watch out if you're buying black glutinous rice in Thailand. It could be just plain white rice dyed black.

Housewife Tan Siew Sin, of Taman Sri Emas, brought back some black glutinous rice from a vacation in Thailand recently, only to discover its dark secret when she soaked it to clean it."The water became as dark as black ink."I soaked it repeatedly but the water remained black in colour.

"I went to a sundry shop and bought a bag of local black glutinous rice and soaked it in water to compare. The water remained clear," she said.

Tan brought her complaint to Bentayan state assemblyman Gwee Tong Hiang yesterday.She said she broke a few grains of the rice from both batches. The Thai rice was white on the inside while the local version was the same as the outside. She suspected the rice had been dyed to fetch a higher price.

"I haven't cooked the rice from Thailand because I'm afraid it might be a health hazard.

"I'm bringing this up in the press to warn people to be extra careful when buying black glutinous rice in Thailand."

Gwee said the sample of the Thai rice Tan had given him would be sent to the Health Ministry to determine whether it had any harmful additives or colouring.

He urged all consumers to take extra care when shopping for food items outside the country.
For New Year's Eve, a couple of friends and I decided to have lunch at my new pad. As J is vegetarian, I had to crack my head on what to cook as I normally cook using meat as a flavouring, like bacon, for example.

I thought perhaps a simple pasta dish with salad but then I changed my mine when I had some butter rice at a friend's place earlier that week. Seeing I had some lovely organic basmati rice (housewarming gift from SM), I thought I'd like to try making the butter rice.

Butter rice goes well with some form of curry. So I decided perhaps a vegetable curry. I also had some watercress which I turned into a soup (which was another challenge as it's normally double boiled with pork bones but I had to make a vegetarian version).

Anyway, the final menu turned out as follows:

Organic Basmati Butter Rice

Cooked the basmati rice as per normal, then put some butter, unsalted cashew nuts and raisins in and mixed it all up.

Vegetable Curry
Ingredients: Shallots, garlic, ginger, lotus root, carrots, zuchini, aubergine and potatoes.


1. Brown the chopped shallots and garlic in oil. Add ground ginger.

2. Mix 1 1/2 tablespoon of Watch Brand Curry powder (it's actually a product of England!!!) with some water into a paste. Pour into shallots/garlic mixture.

3. Put in the lotus root and carrots. Add some water. Boil

4. After a little while, add in rest of vegetable. Boil.

5. Add salt and pepper to taste.

The final product looked like this:
Watercress Soup

Ingredients: Watercress, garlic, some vegetable stock, Knorr Tom Yum cube

OK, so I had to cheat on this. Brown the bruised garlic in some oil. Add 2 tablespoons of vegetable stock powder and 1/2 cube of Tom Yum cube. Add water and watercress. Wala, instant soup! The tom yum cube (or you can use paste too) added a little sour, tangy flavour which complemented the strong flavour of the watercress.

CM, my other guest, also brought some tofu. Nice cold Japanese tofu with oil, thick black sauce topped with fried shallots.

J brought dessert; some yummy slices from Secret Recipe and Bulla's Vanilla ice cream.
That went very well with the Cambodian coffee we had. J wasn't feeling well, so she had the ginger tea that I double boiled the night before.