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.