Final Night at Melbourne, Australia

Before we knew it, it was our second last day, which was also the last night in Melbourne, Australia! We woke up to a cold morning and had a hearty breakfast. :)

Melbourne Australia

Eggs, bacon, toast, baked beans and tomato – Saucer’s favourite :)

Melbourne Australia

English muffin with ham, bacon and egg – does it look like a smiley with a tongue? :P

Melbourne Australia

Seafood linguine

We went to the Brighton beach previously but I forgot to post the pictures so here they are. It was a cold, cloudy and rainy morning so the pictures looked really gloomy even though it was the morning. The Brighton beach had really soft and fine sand, and the stretch of beach went for a really long way. Since it was drizzling, we just stopped by to take a few pictures before leaving.

Melbourne Australia

Brighton Beach, Melbourne

There’s a famous row of colourful shacks along the beach, which is a popular photography spot.

Melbourne Australia

Colourful shacks along Brighton beach

Melbourne Australia

witch at Brighton beach

Melbourne Australia

Saucer at Brighton beach

During our stay in Melbourne, we were deeply indebted towards Kendal and Tracey, the kind family who let us stay at their place for 2 weekends. :) They were extremely hospitable and I grew very fond of their 3 children – Luke, Ben and Will. :)

Melbourne Australia

witch and Will <3

Apart from the kids, we were also acquainted with their family pets! This is Ally, Kendal’s beloved cockateil, which apparently only likes males. :P Whenever Kendal or Saucer placed their fingers by the side of the cage, Ally would come jumping towards their fingers to be stroked. *LOL*

Melbourne Australia

Ally the family’s cockateil

Melbourne Australia

Ally getting some affection :)

For our final dinner, Tracey and Kendal prepared an Italian feast for us – we had Lasagna! :)

Melbourne Australia

Table settings

Melbourne Australia

Garlic toast

Melbourne Australia

Our dinner – fabulous lasagna

A group picture with our host family! Too bad Saucer wasn’t in it since he was the one holding the camera. :)

Melbourne Australia

Group picture with Kendal, Tracey, Luke, Ben and Will

The next morning, which was our final day, we had to return our rental car to Hertz. A final picture of the comfortable car driven by Saucer before returning it. :)

Melbourne Australia

Our rented car

Along the way, I spotted something interesting! It was a 7-11 store, not selling groceries but selling petrol! It was my first time seeing a 7-11 petrol station so I couldn’t help but snap a picture of it. :)

Melbourne Australia

7-11 Petrol Station

Later in the morning, we went to witness Luke and Ben play in their respective basketball matches. They had these matches every weekend and it was pretty fun to watch! In fact, it triggered the basketball bone in us that we went ahead with a little game of our own! *LOL*

Melbourne Australia

Playing basketball with the family

Here are some shots of the gorgeous house that we stayed in for 2 weekends.

Melbourne Australia

Kendal’s house

Melbourne Australia

Lovely white flowers in the garden

Melbourne Australia

Love the mailbox!

Melbourne Australia

Kendal and Saucer

Melbourne Australia

The majestic but homely house :)

Before long, it was time for us to leave for the airport. :( It was a sad and heavy feeling but one that we had to go through anyhow. We took some group pictures before we left!

Melbourne Australia

Us with the kids and one of the kid’s friend :)

Melbourne Australia

Group picture with the family and their kids #1

Melbourne Australia

Group picture with the family and their kids #2

Overall, this was one of the most enjoyable and longest holiday trip that we’ve had so far. The adventures and misadventures, the laughter, joy and most importantly, the friendship we gained, it was priceless. We made bonds here that could last a lifetime. We’d definitely be returning to Melbourne for a future visit! :) Kendal has promised to make his famous chocolate pudding whenever we visit him! ;)

Melbourne Australia

On my flight back

Melbourne Australia

Goodbye Melbourne!

Photography Project: Brother-in-law’s ROM

Last month, a very special event happened in our family – Saucer’s elder brother Soon got married! :) With his long-time girlfriend Ling. The event was held all the way up north in Kulim, since both of them are working in the northern region. Saucer and I were there, together with the rest of my in-laws. The registration was scheduled to be at 10am, so we reached there 15 minutes earlier.

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Buddhist Association of Kulim

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Family members getting excited

Notice my title of Photography Project? :P Well it’s not a project really, just my attempt to shoot people instead of food. ;) They already had an official photographer hired for this event, so you could see that in most of the shots, they were not looking at me. I didn’t interrupt them for fear of getting scolded by the official photographer. *LOL*

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Cute flower girl – my niece-in-law

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Prayer hall at the Buddhist Association

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The Buddha statue

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The groom getting nervous?

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Couple shot before the ceremony

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Close up of the couple

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The bride

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With the bouquet

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How sweet :)

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Their wedding bands

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Gold wedding band

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Wedding bands carrier

Soon, it was time! The registrar was ready, and all of us went into the room to witness them signing their lives away. *LOL* It was quite a relaxed smooth process, since there was only one other couple waiting in line. They could take all the time they wanted for photography and posing. :)

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Signing the papers – it’s official!

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My mother-in-law as the witness

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Ling’s father as another witness

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Happy family!

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Look at the happy groom! :)

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Aww…

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Looking serious now as the registrar gave them a word of advice

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The wedding band  bearer getting ready :)

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Take a picture with me or no rings for you! :P

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Ring exchange ceremony

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And a kiss from me to you <3

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What was she surprised at?

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A red packet to the Registrar as a gesture of thanks

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The newly weds with mother-in-law

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The newly-weds with Ling’s father

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Our official videographer ;)

The next couple was already getting ready after the signing process, so we took the chance to take a group picture of them together.

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The two lovely couples

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Prayers

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Wishing for a forever after? :)

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Joss sticks

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Burning incense sticks

More pictures with the family ensue. :)

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Receiving a gift from the mother-in-law

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Another gift from the sister-in-law

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Red packets from second sis and brother-in-law

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Time for them to give red packets for the first time! :) – Too bad I wasn’t eligible to receive :P

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Angpow to Ling’s little sister

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Ang pow to some kid :P

Then, the official photographer asked the couple to do lots of poses for photography. As usual, I was just standing by the side, trying to capture them without interrupting the photographer in charge. :)

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Couple shot #1

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Couple shot #2

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Couple shot #3

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Couple shot #4

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Couple shot #5 – showing off their rings :)

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Couple shot #6

And last but not least, a group picture with the family members.

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Couple with the bride’s family

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Couple with the groom’s family

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All together now – say cheese!

The whole event lasted about an hour and a half, with photography taking most of the time. :) So what do you think of my attempt at shooting people? Constructive comments appreciated! ;)

The Celcom Xplay Shout! Party!!

Remember my previous post about the Celcom XPLAY Shout event? Well, it happened yesterday night and may I say the crowd was awesome!The party was held at Library at e@Curve, one of the hippest and coolest club in town.

Celcom Xplay Shout

Library at e@Curve

Look at the crowd outside waiting to get in!

Celcom Xplay Shout

Outside the Library

Celcom Xplay Shout

Waiting to get in

And you wonder what’s the deal there eh? Free flow all night long baby!

Celcom Xplay Shout

Free flow all night long!

Celcom Xplay Shout

The line-up for the night

Saucer and I reached in the midst of Disagree performing and the atmosphere was just hot and wild! It was my first time seeing and listening to Disagree live, and I have to say that I was impressed! :)

Celcom Xplay Shout

The performing stage

Celcom Xplay Shout

Disagree performing

Celcom Xplay Shout

Such concentration :)

We had a table outdoors where the atmosphere was slightly cooler with flowing air. But just look at the crowd! The place was packed even at just 9+pm!

Celcom Xplay Shout

The crowd in the club

Celcom Xplay Shout

witch at Library :)

Some shots with friends and strangers we met that night. :P

Celcom Xplay Shout

Saucer and Mark

Celcom Xplay Shout

witch and Saucer

Celcom Xplay Shout

Free Flow of beer!

Celcom Xplay Shout

Saucer and Bok

Right after Disagree, it was the Battle of the Bands! My the boys really rocked their socks off!

Celcom Xplay Shout

Battle of the Bands

Celcom Xplay Shout

Band Arabella

Of course, there were more bands after, including Hujan and the fabulous Mizz Nina but unfortunately, me being old-er now, couldn’t stand to be in the crowd for such a long period. :P We left earlier before we could watch Mizz Nina perform but I heard she gave an astounding performance! Way to go girl!

Next week will be the real Shout! Awards party! Have you guys got your free passes yet? Find out how here! See you there! :)

Flavours from Bali at Eccucino

I visited Bali more than 2 years ago and surprisingly, I found myself eating mostly seafood and babi guling. Back then, I was not aware of their local cuisine and missed out on a lot delicious food such as satay lilit or bebek betutu. In fact, I always feel regretful especially when I read blogs talking about Balinese food. But no problem now! For Eccucino at Prince Hotel is having a promotion of Balinese food for a limited period!

Balinese food

Balinese food

I couldn’t be happier to try out the promotion which is only available from 8th to 21st of November 2010. Eccucino actually brought over a group of guest chefs from Bumbu Bali Restaurant and Cooking School, one of the best restaurants in Indonesia.

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Dining table and chairs at Eccucino, Prince Hotel

The Balinese promotion focuses on traditional cooking of beautiful Balinese delicacies such as slow-roasted chicken and duck in banana leaves, grilled seafood, tantalizing satays, soups from banana stems, green papayas and mushrooms, Balinese cakes and tropical fruits.

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Buffet spread at Eccucino

I was more than delighted to sample the food there, and I especially loved the sate lilit (Minced seafood satay) and sambal udang (Spiced Prawns in Chili Tomato Sauce). Of course, words are of no use without pictures! :)

Balinese food

Another side of buffet area

Balinese food

BBQ prawns, Sate lilit and chicken sate

Balinese food

Pecelan (Assorted vegetables with peanut sauce)

Balinese food

Balinese food

Balinese food

Papaya salad

Balinese food

Tuna salad with chilli and lemongrass dressing

Balinese food

Balinese food

Bebek Betutu (Roasted duck in banana leaf)

Balinese food

Sambal Udang (Spiced Prawns in Chili Tomato Sauce)

Balinese food

Asparagus

Balinese food

Nasi Kuning (Yellow rice)

In the midst of savouring the delicious food, we were treated with an authentic Balinese dance!

Balinese food

Balinese dancers getting ready

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Balinese fan dance

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Such elegant moves

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Esther and witch :)

Also, we witnessed a short cooking demonstration by the chef himself!

Balinese food

Cooking demonstration by the Chef

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Delicious! :)

We thought that was all, but no, there was a fashion show as well! We were in for a treat eh? :) Some gorgeous models came strutting with beautiful Balinese outfits.

Balinese food

Balinese outfit #1

Balinese food

Balinese outfit #2

Balinese food

Balinese outfit #3

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Balinese outfit #4 – my favourite!

Of course, all of this would not have been possible if not for the Chef from Bumbu Bali Restaurant and Cooking School himself!

Balinese food

Guest Chef from Bumbu Bali Restaurant and Cooking School

Flavours from Bali is available for buffet dinner at RM88++ per person.

For reservations:

Eccucino
Prince Hotel and Residence,
Jalan Conlay,
50450 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia.
Contact no.: +603-2170 8888
Email: restaurants@princehotelkl.com.my

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Apart from the buffet dinner, Eccucino is also organizing Balinese Cooking class!

Balinese Cooking Class
16 November 2010 at 3pm
RM75++ per person inclusive of buffet lunch
Please call +603-2170 8888 to reserve

Balinese contest

Win grand prize of Air Asia return air-tickets to Bali! Dine in at Eccucino, enjoy the Bali’s most beautiful culinary delicacies and win the contest!

Grand prize: Air Asia return air-tickets to Bali with accomodation and cooking class at Bumbu Bali

Consolation prize: Balinese cooking books, Bumbu Bali souvnirs, Mandara Spa vouchers and Prince dining vouchers.

Latest Addition to the Family

Haha! I bet some of you who saw the title might have something else in mind eh? *winks* Well, all I wanted to mean was my latest gadget added to my family! :) Yes!!! I finally bought myself a new camera, after selling off my Panasonic Lumix LX3 recently. Why did I want to sell off my LX3, many people asked? The main reason was actually to upgrade it to an LX5! I heard about LX5’s release back in August, when it wasn’t even available in Malaysia yet. I got really excited with the news and I wanted to change mine to LX5 too! But I couldn’t afford to spend another thousand over for a camera, could I?

Panasonic Lumix LX5

My new Panasonic Lumix LX5 camera box

So Saucer came up with a brilliant idea! He suggested that I sell off my LX3 first, before LX5 hits our shores, so that it could still demand a good price. Bear in mind, the LX3 price a few months ago was still quite good at around RM1.5-1.6k for a brand new one! And how much did I get it for last time? Only RM1.51k! Of course, I couldn’t very well sell it off at 1.5k, since I already used it for almost 2 years.

Panasonic Lumix LX5

Inside the box – AV cable, USB cable, battery charger, Software CD, warranty card, manual, Camera, lens cap

Since it’s a good camera, I searched online and found that the second hand price was pretty good! Heck, some were even selling at 1.3k! LOL! I, on the other hand, placed my price tag at RM1.2k, complete with a 4GB memory card. If you read back my previous post, you would know that I had a free gift of a full-sized tripod (worth~RM50) from my previous purchase. I didn’t sell that off, so I guess I saved another RM50 from there. *LOL* I posted my ad online for a few days and very soon, I found a buyer who was keen to buy it for his brother! :) Amazing! I think he was very happy with the purchase too, since I kept all the things intact, including the original box. And I used a screen protector on the LCD, no scratches on the body – it looked as good as new! :) Oh, did I also mention there were about 5 months left on the warranty, so I’d say it’s a pretty good deal at 1.2k. :)

Panasonic Lumix LX5

The new Panasonic Lumix LX5 camera

That was back in August/September period. After I sold it off, I heard that LX5 reached Malaysia from Merryn, but the starting price was way too expensive at RM1,999! My budget was circa RM1.7k, so that I only needed to top up another RM500 max for a new one. Since the price was out of my budget, I persevered and waited, while relying on Saucer’s Canon 500D DSLR. :) I have to admit though, while DSLR does give excellent images, it’s a chore during holidays! When we were in China, both of us didn’t feel like lugging the heavy camera around since we would go out from early in the morning until late night, walking most of the time. It could really be a tiresome thing on your neck! That was when I was getting more determined on buying the LX5 after returning to Malaysia.

Panasonic Lumix LX5

Top view of LX5

We returned to Malaysia last weekend, and saw that there was a PC Expo happening at Mid Valley Megamall. Without further ado, we went there in search of the camera. Since it was a PC Expo, the exhibits were mainly on PCs, even though there were a few stalls selling camera. But we did not only visit the stalls in PC Expo, we also went to the camera stores in Mid Valley itself! That’s how we ended up stopping at Keycolor. :) Saucer got his Canon 500D from there previously so the lady recognized us. Upon asking her the price of the LX5, I almost thought I heard wrongly! I was expecting the price to be around RM1.6k or RM1.55k (cheapest I could find online) but she told me , RM1,499! Did I heard it correctly?

Panasonic Lumix LX5

Bottom view of LX5 – Made in Japan!

She said she’s selling this at such a special price in conjunction with the PC Expo! The normal price that she was selling at is RM1,699. It was also the last day of PC Expo so it was the last day to buy the camera at RM1,499. What were we waiting for? Of course I immediately went to the ATM to withdraw cash and purchase it from her. Did I also say that she threw in an 8BG SD Card for free? Fabulous! I was really happy with my purchase. :) Best of all, I upgraded my almost 2year old LX3 to a new LX5 with just a RM30o top-up! :)

Panasonic Lumix LX5

Front view of LX5 with lens cap

I tried the LX5 on the spot and found that it had less noise compared to LX3, and the zoom was slightly more. Also, this model is available in black and white. Since my LX3 was black, I chose a white model instead! And it’s GORGEOUS! Pearl and shiny finish.

Panasonic Lumix LX5

Leica Lens as usual

I’m not going to bore you with the list of technical specifications which you could read from here. But the main highlights as listed on the Panasonic website are as follows:

  • f/2.0 LEICA DC VARIO-SUMMICRON Lens with 24mm Wide-angle
  • 1/1.63-inch, 10.1-megapixel High-sensitivity CCD – better shots at low light conditions
  • Venus Engine Full HD featuring Intelligent Resolution Technology
  • HD Movie in AVCHD Lite with Creative Movie Mode
  • Intuitive Manual Control and Creative Option Featuring My Colour Mode
  • Expandability with Optional Accessories

Panasonic Lumix LX5

Back view of LX5

In terms of interface, I found myself going back to familiar grounds. It felt just like the LX3, except for the missing of the joystick, which was replaced with a click wheel. Of course, most importantly is the quality of the pictures taken with the camera. I did a few test shots at home and found it to be significantly less noisy compared to the LX3.

Panasonic Lumix LX5

Scene mode

I’m sure you are keen to look at pictures taken with this camera, yes? No worries! Since I am bringing it with my for food reviews now, you’ll see more of the pictures taken by this gem. :)

Panasonic Lumix LX5

Panasonic Lumix LX5 camera in white

Though the pictures will never be as nice as those from the DSLR, I’d say this camera has captured the best of both worlds – compact in size, customizable features and above-average quality photos! It’s perfect for traveling, when you want to travel light and yet take amazing photos. This is it! :)

Food Crawl in Penang with Samsung ST600 Camera

As a continuation of my camera review for the Samsung ST600 model, the following are pictures that I have taken with this camera. All of them were not Photoshopped/modified but only resized to ease loading. Most of the pictures were taken during my recent trip to Penang, and as you could see, mostly revolved around food. *LOL*

1. Breakfast in Restoran Mawar Gembira, Taman Kinrara

This was taken from our usual breakfast place, very close to where we stay. It has the biggest portion of chicken rice I’ve ever had in Klang Valley, for only RM4 (plain chicken). The portion of chicken given was also large and the rice very fragrant. :) Saucer’s pick would be the bitter gourd noodles, also with plenty of bitter gourd and pork for only RM4.50.

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Roasted chicken and pork (RM5)

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Big plate of chicken rice

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Bitter gourd mee suah

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Delicious soup

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Restoran Mawar Gembira

2. Lunch at Canton-i, Queensbay Mall

Had lunch with my friend Chiao Ju here, since I was craving for roasted goose. But sadly, they don’t sell individual portion of roasted goose with noodles. :( So I had to change my order to Roasted Pork wantan noodles.

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Warm pot of tea

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Roasted pork noodles

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Black Pepper Udon noodles

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Pork ribs dim sum

Of course, one should not miss having their famous egg tarts here. Flaky pastry and smooth egg, not runny enough though.

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Egg tarts

3. Dinner at Lang Sae Lee Thai Food, Tan Jetty Penang

We had dinner at the Tan Jetty Thai Food, situated just by the sea. The view at dusk was pretty amazing, save for the slightly unpleasant smell from the sea. :) Pictures below taken with Auto mode, no modifications done.

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Penang bridge in the distance

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The jetty #1

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The jetty #2

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View of the sea

Some random people shots. :)

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witch and Saucer

I absolutely loved the Claypot crab with Glass noodles here. The gravy was really flavourful and the crab was huge and fleshy. Yum!

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Claypot crab with glass noodles

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Seafood tom yam

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Seafood tom yam

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Pandan chicken

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Fried squid rings (taken with flash)

For the shot below, I had to use very steady hands since the shutter speed was longer to capture picture in dim condition. This was the best that I managed, at least the lights were not blurry. And yes, the moon that night was THAT huge!

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Night view with the full moon

Lang Sae Lee Thai Food
97A, Tan Jetty, Weld Quay,
10300 Penang, Malaysia.
Contact: 014-907 1808 (Madam Lee)

4. Supper at Haagen Dazs

I know, I know, we really can eat huh! *LOL* I told you, we stayed at Eastin Hotel, which was just walking distance to Queensbay Mall. So we couldn’t stop our legs from bringing us there when we had cravings for ice-cream! *LOL*

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Ice-cream fondue at Haagen Dazs

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Side dishes of chocolate chip cookies, sponge cake, love letters and fruits

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16 mini scoops of Haagen-Dazs ice-cream

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Dip into hot chocolate and almond flakes – Heavenly!

5. Next day Lunch at Chou Shun Kan, Krystal Point Penang

Lunch was with ex-colleagues again, this time heading for Korean food. Since their lunch was only limited to one hour, I didn’t opt for BBQ set. Instead, I ordered Bibimbap!

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Bibimbap set (taken with flash)

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with Kwai Lee

Chou Shun Kan Restaurant
Krystal Point, B303-01-06,
Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah,
11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia.
Contact number: 012-4941161/04-6441161

6. Dinner at Victoria Station, Bayan Baru Penang

We visited this restaurant once before when I was still working in Penang. I couldn’t forget the taste of their sizzling steak! So that was what I ordered the second time around. :)

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Self-portrait no flash

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Garlic bread (taken with flash)

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Complimentary salad with steak (taken with flash)

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Minestrone soup

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Sizzling steak (taken with flash)

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Seafood Au Gratin (taken with flash)

7. Dinner at Soon Lai Seafood Restaurant, Greenlane Penang

This was dinner on another day in Penang, with our good friend Wai Lian. He brought us to this hidden gem at Greenlane called Soon Lai, famous for its seafood. My favourite dish here though, was the Roasted Pork Knuckles! It was simply amazing! The skin was crispy, but the layer of fat underneath was melt-in-your-mouth smooth, plus the juicy meat at the bottom – perfect combination!

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Roasted pork knuckles – must order (taken with flash)

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Kam Heong crabs (taken with flash)

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Steamed clams (lala)

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Restoran Soon Lai Seafood, Greenlane

Soon Lai Seafood Restaurant
15, Lintang Batu, Greenlane
11600, Penang
Tel: 04-6589799/012-4773063/ 016-441366
Business hours: 6 pm -12 am (open daily)

8. Dinner at Bella Italia Restaurant, Bellisa Row Pulau Tikus, Penang

This is easily my favourite Italian restaurant in Penang! It’s also the place that I usually chose to go during special occasions (Valentine’s, birthdays), so a trip to Penang would never be complete without stopping by here!

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Interior of Ristorante Bella Italia

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Tired Saucer (taken with flash)

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Fresh Garlic Bread (taken with flash)

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Minestrone soup (taken with flash)

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Grilled seabass – fabulous! (taken with flash)

I never fail to order seafood marinara pasta whenever I dine here. It’s simply a must to me! The gorgeous sauce, the giant and succulent prawns and a variety of other seafood – they just captured my heart from the very first time. :)

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Seafood Linguine – my all-time favourite (taken with flash)

Ristorante Bella Italia
368-1-7 Jalan Burma,
Bellisa Row, 10350 Penang
Malaysia
Tel no: 04 227 2195

9. Pan Mee at Cha Cha Restaurant, Aman Suria

This was the last batch of pictures taken with the Samsung ST600, when we have returned to KL. We visited Cha Cha Pan Mee at Aman Suria, which is Saucer’s favourite pan mee. :)

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Fried dumplings

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Traditional thin pan mee

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Traditional pinched pan mee

Restoran Cha-Cha Pan Mee Original
K-G-1 & K-G-3, Jalan PJU 1/43
Aman Suria
47301 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor
Telephone: 016-660 0971 (Lily)

There you go, 9 sessions of food outings, all taken with the Samsung ST600. How would you judge its performance? :)