Visiting Malaysia 2014-15

Work has been really crazy for the past couple of weeks. I finally have some time to take a breather and post a long overdue update on our trip back to Malaysia! In the interest of time, this post will contain mostly pictures and less words since a picture speaks a thousand words right? So I have tens of thousands of words worth in this post. :D As mentioned in my previous post, we made a trip back to Malaysia during the year end holidays with Little J for the first time. If you haven’t already read, I also shared some tips on flying with a baby, which might be handy to you some day should you face with the same situation.

Char Kuey Teow from Kampar market

Char Kuey Teow from Kampar market

As expected, a trip back home wouldn’t be the same without the familiar food from the familiar places! Our first stop was back in Kampar where my hometown is, and breakfast was at the market without fail almost every morning! It’s just amazing how things were still the same after so many years. More expensive, no doubt, but generally still the same food, the same style and the same people. Some hawkers even recognised me as the daughter of so-and-so even though I had not been back for years. Anyway, that’s the beauty of a small town. Enough of that, let’s see some of the pictures of the food we had over the course of a week there. I really miss the variety of food you could get just for breakfast alone back in Malaysia. Over here in Sydney, the most common breakfast is bacon and egg roll, toasts or pancakes if you like at McD’s. Can’t even think of much else!! Even those HK congee and noodle places only start at 10am, which I think is too late for breakfast.

Roti canai

Roti canai

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Nasi Lemak

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Fried noodles

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Nasi Lemak bungkus

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Char Kuey Teow #2

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Apam balik

Of course, we also had plenty of home-cooked meals by my dear grandma. It still amazes me at how she could whip up dishes after dishes for close to 10 people every day and night! And all of them so yummy too! Sigh, looking at this picture just makes me feel miserable now. :(

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Home cooked dinner

After a few days in Kampar, we made a road trip to Penang, just the 3 of us, for a little getaway of our own. We chose to stay somewhere near Gurney so that it’s easy to travel around and close to the sea. The cheapest hotel (if you could call it that) that we could find was the Apple1 Gurney, which cost RM120 per night. It’s located just next to One-Stop shopping centre, which was a good landmark. The room was reasonable – clean, decent-sized and had a clean bathroom. It’s similar to Tune Hotels I would say, except that there’s no extra charges for air-con, towels, TV, etc. So, I guess we’re quite satisfied with it considering we’re only there for sleeps and out most of the day. It was small but had just enough space for our portable cot!

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Chilling in Apple1Gurney Hotel Penang

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Little J’s OOTD

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Ooh, is that a button?

What did we do in Penang? Honestly, we spent way too much time in the malls here because of the hot and wet weather! The first day was spent at Queensbay Mall since Saucer had to get something from his friend there, and then we went to check in to our room. After that, we went to Gurney Plaza because it was raining, and had dinner at Dragon-I. Next morning, we wanted to have the famous Super Hokkien Mee at One Corner Cafe Penang, but it was sold out! :( So we ate whatever the other stalls were selling, and went to Gurney Paragon because it was still raining. Little J had a blast at riding all the different cars in the amusement park there. When the rain stopped in the afternoon, we decided to go to Kek Lok Si temple so that our Penang trip was not all about shopping malls! Luckily it wasn’t crowded and we managed to get there quite easily. Left Kek Lok Si and went back to hotel for a rest, before coming out to Paragon again for dinner with friends. On the last day, we had breakfast at our favourite kuey teow thng place in Taman Sri Nibong, went back to Queensbay Mall to meet Saucer’s friend, did some shopping and visited Saucer’s brother before we left to Kampar.

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Hmm, should I get into this car or the next?

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Next one it is!

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What’s that green thing?

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A bigger car!

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With the Christmas tree at Gurney Paragon

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With daddy at Kek Lok Si

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Learning to pray

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At Kek Lok Si temple

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One for the album

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With our niece!

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Busy with toys

The next few days in Kampar were spent chilling out with family, going out for breakfasts and eating home-cooked food. It was awesome not having to worry about cooking, cleaning, chores, etc. Feels nice to be pampered once in a while eh? :)

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Start ‘em young!

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Free rides in Giant

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With great grandpa!

On the last day in Kampar, we decided to bring Little J for a hair cut at the local barber. He was all fine and still when the barber was shaving the back part of the head off. Then, he started to use scissors to trim the front part, but Little J started moving frantically and was crying too. So the barber said he had no choice but to use the trimmer to shave the front part off as well, since that’s the fastest method. That’s why poor Little J ended up with almost ‘botak’ head. LOL! For the record, it was only RM5, which was less than AUD$2, so it’s well worth it still. :)

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Oh no! Where’s my hair gone?

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Tom yum soup in KL

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Just chillin’, don’t mind me

We spent the last few days in KL with Saucer’s family, where Little J fell in love with this egg-shaped chair. He loved to sit on it and to have us push and rock him. Maybe I should get something similar here so that I could have a few minutes of peace when he sits on it. :) We spent the last few days doing a lot of shopping!

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No daddy, I want to stand here on this piece of glass!

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Hui Lau Shan for tea

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Waiting for us to finish our Chilli Pan Mee

Overall, I think it was a pretty great trip! Flight was good on both ways, Little J was generally good too, except during meals with extended family members where he got very cranky, maybe because of unfamiliar faces? Otherwise, he had a great time there and we also managed to meet with lots of family members and relatives and did lots of shopping! So that’s a lot of agenda ticked. :) We should probably do this more often! :)

5 Tips for Flying with a Baby

We have just recently returned from a 2-week holiday in Malaysia. Before the holidays, part of me was really excited in getting the chance to meet family and old friends after 2 years but part of me was also very nervous about the 8-hour plus flight back. For the first time, we will be bringing our almost 1.5 yr old son Little J on board. Being the super active, enthusiastic and stubborn child that he is, I was really worried about his behaviour during the flight. Will he sleep? Will he scream the whole plane down? Will he be running up and down the plane? I worried about the flight so much I was almost missing out on the experience, the adventure and the joy of a child going on his first flight! Luckily, just before I realised it a little too late, I told myself, it’s just 8 hours! In the grand scheme of things, that’s not a big deal at all. Instead, I reminded myself that it was my son’s first flying experience, I would be excited, overjoyed and curious if I were on my first flight too!

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Happy Little J waiting for his first flight

All things considered, I think we had a pretty good flight experience overall! We survived the 8+hours to and fro Sydney-KL, with Little J causing no dramas at all! Our flight from Sydney was at 10pm and he fell asleep a little while after the plane took off and continued sleeping right through deplaning, customs, luggage collection, right to the car park! He only woke up when we transferred him to the car seat! And coming back, we had an 11.35pm flight. He fell asleep when the plane was taxiing and woke up about half an hour before it landed (when I transferred him out of the cot for landing). So I think it worked out really well because then he actually managed to experience the plane taking off (during SYD-KUL flight) and plane landing (during KUL-SYD flight). The gentleman sitting next to me on the returning flight even told me what a good baby he was for sleeping almost the entire way of the flight, and even made sure to bid farewell before he left the plane.

Now I’m sure I don’t fly enough with a toddler to claim that I know the best way to do it, plus every kid is different. But I’d sure like to document down the 5 tips that I thought were useful for us during both flights and hope that they would be useful to you somewhat, some day.

1. Book a night flight

If possible, book a night flight. I’ve got opposing opinions on this but for me, the night flight really worked. Try not to let your baby sleep/nap before the flight, so that he’s tired enough to doze off during the flight. Also, the baby’s circadian rhythm or body clock would make sure that he’s sleepy when it is night time. It helps if you have a good sleep routine that you always follow (see point 4).

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Keep your baby awake before the flight

2. Bring a travel stroller/pram

We decided against this at first because with all the big luggage and a car seat that we’re bringing home, the last thing we wanted was another piece of big luggage to lug around! But we ended up bringing a travel pram anyway and it was the best decision! Imagine going through customs or luggage checks carrying a baby in your arms. It will be difficult just to search for that all-important passport or the boarding pass that’s somewhere in your bag which is held by your only free hand. Also, there’s going to be a minimum of 2-hour wait from checking in to boarding so you’ll thank yourself for having that pram to help you out. Plus almost all airlines offer free allowance for the pram anyway so why not make full use of it?

3. Book/Pay for the bassinet!

Again, something that we debated for quite a while, only applicable if you’re booking no-frills airline. For full-cost airline, it’s a no-brainer to book the bassinet seats of course, since they are free of charge. Firstly, you get the extra legroom that allows you to stretch your legs when you’re too tired carrying the baby to sleep. Secondly, you get the bassinet that you could let your baby to sleep in, even though he only sleeps in it for short periods of time. That gives you at least some time to go to the wash room or have your in-flight meals without having to worry about carrying the baby in or waking the baby up in case he’s sleeping. And thirdly, in case he sleeps in your arms, you don’t have to worry about the seat in front reclining and cramping you even more than you already are.

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Free your arms!

As I mentioned earlier, we hesitated with the purchasing of bassinet seats for our no-frills/low-cost carrier (AirAsia) flight back from KL. The main thing that was deterring us was the cost really, which was around RM120 per person! In the end, we paid for it anyway and boy, were we glad we did! Little J fell asleep on my arms when the plane was taxiing, then when the bassinet was setup after take off, I transferred him into the bassinet. He continued sleeping in there through the whole flight, with occasional stirring but went back to sleep with patting. The only thing I didn’t like was whenever there’s turbulence, I would have to take him out of the bassinet to strap him to me. I know it’s for safety reasons but I really hate to transfer him/wake him up unnecessarily when he’s sleeping so soundly. Otherwise, the bassinet allowed me to dine in peace and to go to the toilet as well. I was so glad that he could still fit in it (just!) even though he’s actually longer than the bassinet itself. :)

4. Sleeping routine

Try as much as possible to stick to your baby’s sleeping routine. Does he have a bottle of milk before sleep? Does he wear a sleeping bag? Does he have a favourite blanket, toy? Does he use a dummy? Make sure you have everything that he usually uses on hand, so that he knows it’s bed time. For me, I made sure that Little J had his bottle before bed time, because that’s what he usually has at home. So I brought with me a small thermos mug with hot water, his milk bottle and a packet of cow’s milk and warmed the milk up before his bed time. Of course if you’re breastfeeding, that’s even easier since you don’t need to worry about packing all these stuff! I also dressed him like how I would dress him to sleep at home then sang him lullabies and patted him until he slept. It’s all about familiarity. If you do the things that you usually do when he goes to sleep, he will get the message.

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Stick to your baby’s sleeping routine

5. Plenty of water

Last but not least, make sure you prepare a bottle of boiled water for your baby (once they are old enough). The air inside the plane is very dry, so it’s good to always keep your baby hydrated. It’s also good to let them suck on the water bottle during take off and landing to help them equalize their ear pressure. So it’s a win-win situation!

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Getting comfy for our first flight as a family

There you have it! My 5 tips for travelling with a baby. Again, every baby is different so what worked for me might not work for you, but I sure hope that you try to enjoy your flight regardless! Have a safe flight!

Quick Gourmet Meals

When I was just started working right out of university, I remembered feeling really excited about the new life and the freedom it brought. It was the first time I truly lived on my own away from my family, the first time I made my own money and the first time I spent my own money too. It was liberating to say the least. After a couple of years, I then started to get bored with my mundane lifestyle and began to envy people who didn’t have to go to work, namely stay-at-home-moms. I’ll be the first to admit that I used to think SAHMs have the best jobs – they didn’t have to wake up with an alarm clock, didn’t have to endure peak hour traffic, could run their errands (banks, groceries, etc) when everyone else was working and best of all, could have their hair/nails done on weekdays.

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Gourmet dessert at home

So, when I got married, I told Saucer that one day, I’d want to be a SAHM too. And guess what? I had a taste of that after Little J was born, and boy, oh boy, was I wrong! On so many accounts I was wrong. Yes, I wasn’t awaken by an alarm clock anymore, but I was awaken by a human clock who blared at random times of the night or the wee hours of the morning. I didn’t have to drive but that’s because I was too busy/tired to get out of house! Groceries were done during the weekend when Saucer was around, so there was at least someone was looking after the baby when the other was pushing the trolley. And manicure? What manicure?

One of the hardest things that I had to accept was that my life was never going to be the same anymore. I used to love cooking very much, and found passion in trying new dishes every once in a while. As with any other hobbies, it requires time and dedication to make it work, both of which have been given to Little J. So I was a bit upset that while I was (trying to be) a good mom, I sort of neglected my duties to provide great meals to the family. I wanted to prepare delicious and healthy meals for the hubby who’s hungry after a hard day’s work but I could only manage sub-par dishes with the limited time and energy I had.

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Next day delivery

Recently, someone told me about dish’d! It’s a site that was just launched this year, and create delicious frozen meals with the best ingredients. Of course, I was all up to try them out. Ordering from the website was easy, and best of all, delivery was done the very next day! Frankly I was a little skeptical with the next day delivery, but true enough, a big box of goodies was waiting in front of my door when I got home from work the next day. Very impressive!

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Frozen meals with dry ice

 

Since they’re all frozen meals, they’re packed with dry ice to keep them frozen. I received a text message saying the box was delivered at 12.30pm that day, but I only reached home before 6pm. And the boxes were still nicely frozen with plenty of dry ice intact! I ordered plenty of items so I’m going to go through some of my favourite ones that were tried and tested here.

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Seafood Bouillabaisse

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12 GIANT SQUID SKEWERS

I loved the Seafood Bouillabaisse! It was really easy to prepare too – just a few minutes in the microwave is all you need. There were several thickly cut fish fillets, prawns, mussel and vegetables in the soup, making it a complete and wholesome meal on its own. I can definitely eat this on a cold winter night as comfort food! For something that will appeal to both the adults and kids, the Giant Squid Skewers would be a hit. You just need to pop them into the oven, take a nice shower, and come out to a gorgeous smelling kitchen. :)

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BASIL & PINE NUT MEDAGLIONI

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RICOTTA, SPINACH AND LEMON ZEST MEZZELUNE

For pasta lovers, there’s a great deal to be chosen from – from pappardelle, mezzelune, canneloni, medaglioni or tagliolini just to name a few! We tried the Ricotta, Spinach and Lemon Zest Mezzelune and the Basil and Pine Nut Medaglioni. Between the two, I enjoyed the latter more because I love anything with basil, and this combination was really like pesto pasta. Yum!

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MARINATED SCALLOPS

Apart from complete meals, dish’d also sells frozen seafood items on its own. For example, I ordered the Marinated Scallops because I know how expensive scallops can be and the price at dish’d was really reasonable. Add to the fact that they’re marinated and ready to go, so I was sold! From the freezer straight to the pan, I just needed to sear them for a few minutes while my pasta was cooking. I then mixed the scallops with other seafood and vegetables I had and came up with my delicious version of scallop linguine!

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Scallops and prawns linguine

Apart from that, we also had a go at the Cod en Papillote and Squid en Papillote, where the latter had squid rings mixed with tasty vegetables in an equally tasty gravy. We ate this with rice and loved how the gravy complimented the rice so well. Again, they were really easy to prepare too – just place the pouch on a baking tray and place it in the oven. I was really pleased with how the usually busy dinner hours were transformed into a relaxed affair.

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SQUID EN PAPILLOTE

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COD EN PAPILLOTE

Last but not least, to cap off a great meal, we always leave room for desserts. I had a go at the 2 Love Apples and the Heritage Raspberry and Pistachio Frangipane Tart. The love apples looked really gorgeous! I loved the combination of different textures in this dessert – smooth creamy mousse, juicy poached apple in the middle and crumbly biscuit base at the bottom. Decadent! Saucer, on the other hand, absolutely adored the raspberry tart. Just look at the tart – it’s almost crowded with raspberries on top, giving it a sweet and tart burst of flavour that complemented the pistachio base very well. He finished more than 3/4 of this tart on his own!

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2 LOVE APPLES

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HERITAGE RASPBERRY AND PISTACHIO FRANGIPANE TART

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Lots of raspberries!

I have to say, after trying out the meals from dish’d, my perception towards frozen meals has changed. I’ve always thought that frozen meals are filled with preservatives, unhealthy and do not taste good. dish’d frozen meals have indeed set the bar high with good quality dishes created by reputable chefs from around the work. With ‘delicious food, ready when you are’ as their campaign message, I am now a happy mom who can devote most of her time to her baby without compromising her duties to provide delicious, healthy food to the family.

If you would like to try out dish’d, check out the awesome introductory offers that are currently running on their website!

Only currently delivering to metro VIC and NSW

  • Introductory offer $30 free plus free delivery (when you spend $50) on your first order
  • Value for money bundle offers for as little as $30

GIVEAWAY!

The team at dish’d loves their frozen meals so much that they’d like you to have a chance to try them out for FREE! One lucky winner will get a 1 x $50 dish’d voucher to try out these great dish’d meals in the comfort of his/her own home. Just comment below if you want to win!

*Terms and Conditions apply. Open to NSW and VIC residents only. Giveaway ends 9pm 24 December AEDT”

Update: Congratulations Michelle V! You have been selected as the winner for the dish’d giveaway!

Claypot Crab Noodles

I was going through the photos in my phone the other day and spotted this group of pictures that I took a while ago. Claypot crab noodles! How could I have forgotten about this? We had this once a couple of years back when we had just arrived in Sydney. Ever since then, we would sometimes reminisce about how delicious the crab noodles were and how nice it would be to have that again. With Little J in tow, it wasn’t that convenient to go Chinatown in the city often, but I found out that a suburb close by sells that as well! So for Saucer’s birthday, I decided to surprise him. :) I told him that we would be going for a delicious lunch that he would love, and he kept guessing and guessing but didn’t manage to get it correct. Since I was the one driving, he had no idea where we were heading to, until we reached King Fook Seafood Restaurant in Carlingford.

Claypot Crab Noodles

Claypot Crab Noodles

Even when we’re there, Saucer thought we were going to have dim sum since we went during lunch time. I told him that he was still wrong. Eventually, I had to let the cat out of the bag when the captain came to ask for our order and I asked him if they were serving the claypot crab noodles for lunch (of course I knew they were). About 20 minutes later, a huge claypot was placed on our table, turning heads from neighbouring tables. They must be wondering, how could 2 persons with 1 baby finish up that massive claypot of noodles? I must admit I was surprised with the portion too, but the aroma was just titillating! I was practically salivating when the captain was busy serving the noodles to us. I could tell that Saucer was pleased too from his beaming face. Mission accomplished. :)

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Waiting for noodles to be served

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Strands of awesome and delicious noodles

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After 2 servings each, still more to go!

Since they’re served on a claypot, the noodles were maintained warm throughout lunch, which kept us wanting for more. The noodles used were the glass vermicelli/cellophane noodles type, which appeared to be transparent – also known as toong fun or tang hoon. In my opinion, these glass noodles are the best for crab noodles, since they can absorb the delicious gravy and juices from the crab and are silky smooth, perfect for slurping them in. To be honest, I actually enjoyed the noodles a lot, perhaps a little more than the crabs themselves, simply because they were just bursting with flavour (especially the ones at the bottom of the claypot). All the gravy and fragrant juices were soaked, making them absolutely addictive. Also, slurping noodles didn’t require the effort of peeling crab shells, that could sway my preference a little bit. :)

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Awesome glass noodles

Since we didn’t know the size and portion of the claypot crab noodles when we ordered, we actually ordered an accompanying dish of Signature Home Made Tofu recommended by the captain. Obviously, when we saw the size of the claypot, we regretted ordering this because there was no way we would be able to finish everything on the table! On the bright side, the tofu/bean curd was delicious too. They were topped with spinach and deep fried before they were topped with scallops and mushrooms on top. What a nice combination.

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Signature Home Made Tofu

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Crab meat Glass noodles

At the end of the long lunch, we (surprisingly) managed to finish everything on the table and stuffed ourselves silly. Luckily, Little J gave us a hand with the tofu too! It was overall a satisfying and enjoyable meal, except for having to handle an active baby who kept trying to climb out of the high chair with crab-stained hands. Shell-less crab noodles next time, anyone?

King Fook Seafood Restaurant
Carlingford Court
801 Pennant Hills Rd ,
Carlingford
NSW 2118

Australia
Phone: (02) 9873 6113
Lunch: Mon – Fri (11:00am – 3:00pm)  Sat – Sun (10:00am – 3:00pm)
Dinner: Mon – Fri (5:30pm – 10:00pm) Sat – Sun (5:30pm – 10:30pm)

King Fook Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Easy KL Hokkien Mee

For the longest time, I had been craving for the authentic KL version of hawker-style Fried Hokkien Mee – thick, dark, slippery, sticky noodles with lots of gooey, caramelized gravy and a breath of wok. If you recall, my previous encounter with Hokkien Mee was at Temasek restaurant, which did a terrible job at promoting our Malaysian food. I remember telling myself at that time that I would take it upon myself to cook this dish to my own liking, just so that I did not have to endure second class Malaysian food there again. So when I finally had the time to cook and experiment, I was quite amazed at how easy it was to cook this dish! Don’t get me wrong, of course there are many ways one can cook this dish or even make this dish even better, but if you are a full-time working mother like me, this would be a good recipe as it doesn’t involve much prep work and it really does taste good!

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KL Fried Hokkien Mee / Hokkien Char

I actually looked up quite a few recipes online and found that most of them require flounder powder and pork lard. I can’t find flounder/flatfish powder in groceries here, so my recipe had to make do without. As for pork lard, I know it’s an essential item for Hokkien char but it does take time and focus to slowly fry those fatty pork layers so my recipe doesn’t have that too. So, here goes my easy peasy Hokkien Mee recipe, perfect for busy working moms! :)

Ingredients:

  • 500g Hokkien noodles (I used the Hakka brand noodles)
  • 8-10 pcs of medium sized prawns
  • 1 pc of fish cake sliced thinly
  • Asian greens – choy sum or bok choy or even lettuce
  • 100g of pork or chicken sliced thinly
  • 2 tbs of cooking oil
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped finely
  • 3 tbs of cooking caramel (I used Cheong Chan – refer picture)
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 250ml of chicken stock
  • 1 tbs corn starch mixed with 2 tbs water
Cheong Chan Cooking caramel

Cheong Chan Cooking caramel

Hokkien Noodles

Hokkien Noodles

Steps:

1. Blanch the noodles by pouring hot water onto them and draining it away after one minute. This is so that the noodles would be loose and easy to handle when you cook them later.

2. Heat up wok/pan with oil at medium heat.

3. Add in garlic and fry for about 30 seconds until golden and fragrant.

4. Add in prawns, sliced meat, fish cake and fry for 2 minutes at high heat.

5. Add in vegetables and fry for another half minute.

6. Add in the noodles, then the cooking caramel, oyster sauce and soy sauce.

7. Add in chicken stock and mix well, then reduce heat.

8. Simmer for about 10 minutes until sauce slightly thickens. (You can add water here if you prefer more runny gravy)

9. Finally, add in corn starch + water mixture into the noodles and give it a good final stir. You should see the gravy thicken up and noodles start sticking together.

10. Serve while it’s hot!

Thick and caramelized sauce - slurp!

Thick and caramelized sauce – slurp!

All gone in a matter of minutes!

All gone in a matter of minutes!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Fried Hokkien Mee / Hokkien Char
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Malaysian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 500g Hokkien noodles (I used the Hakka brand noodles)
  • 8-10 pcs of medium sized prawns
  • 1 pc of fish cake sliced thinly
  • Asian greens - choy sum or bok choy or even lettuce
  • 100g of pork or chicken sliced thinly
  • 2 tbs of cooking oil
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped finely
  • 3 tbs of cooking caramel (I used Cheong Chan - refer picture)
  • 1 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 250ml of chicken stock
  • 1 tbs corn starch mixed with 2 tbs water
Instructions
  1. Blanch the noodles by pouring hot water onto them and draining it away after one minute. This is so that the noodles would be loose and easy to handle when you cook them later.
  2. Heat up wok/pan with oil at medium heat.
  3. Add in garlic and fry for about 30 seconds until golden and fragrant.
  4. Add in prawns, sliced meat, fish cake and fry for 2 minutes at high heat.
  5. Add in vegetables and fry for another half minute.
  6. Add in the noodles, then the cooking caramel, oyster sauce and soy sauce.
  7. Add in chicken stock and mix well, then reduce heat.
  8. Simmer for about 10 minutes until sauce slightly thickens. (You can add water here if you prefer more runny gravy)
  9. Finally, add in corn starch + water mixture into the noodles and give it a good final stir. You should see the gravy thicken up and noodles start sticking together.
  10. Serve while it's hot!

Neglected Feet

I love shoes! Well, who doesn’t? But after having Little J in our lives, I find that I don’t have time to go out anymore, not to mention shoe-shopping. So, my only other resort was online shopping. The drawback with online shopping is that you can’t see the actual product before buying, and when it comes to shoes, you can’t try them out either. And we all know how important it is to try out shoes before buying to make sure it’s the correct fit and comfortable.  So the other day, I bought this pair of Hush Puppies online because I was attracted to the pretty flowers on the soles.

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New shoes

I was really excited to try them out during my weekend outing with the family, but after about an hour of wearing, I was starting to get blisters on my feet. :( But because we were out, I had to endure the pain until we were done with lunch/shopping/etc before I could go home to remove my shoes. At that point, I was upset thinking that I had wasted my money buying a pair of shoes that were not comfortable and that I wouldn’t probably wear again.

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 Blister

Until a few days later, I was sent a love package from Scholl! They seemed to know exactly my problem and had all the right products! First, I took out a couple of the Blister Shield plasters for instant relief of my blisters. Even though I wasn’t going to wear my new shoes again, I still had to endure the pain of my blisters when I wore other shoes. So these plasters were great to provide relief and protection for that. Otherwise, I would have to be wearing slippers to work!

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 Care package from Scholl

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Blister Shield Plasters

Next, I saw the Heel Shields and thought that maybe, just maybe, there’s light at the end of the tunnel for my new shoes! I quickly removed the packaging and pasted the gel shields at the back of my shoes. To be honest, I was quite skeptical that a pair of gel pads would make a big difference to the shoes, but I tried them on anyway. And what do you know? I didn’t feel any more pain or have any more blisters on my feet! It was quite incredible. I was so glad that my new pair of shoes did not have to go to waste now. :)

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Heel Shields

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Invisible gel shields on my new shoes

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I can finally wear them again!

While we’re on the topic of feet, I find that we neglect our feet all too often, especially me. I spend time on my face, my hair, and even an occasional massage on my body, but feet? Who cares. I take them for granted, I do. But we actually rely on and use our feet the most to get from one place to another. These poor babies suffer the most pressure, wear and tear, and bear the most weight being at the bottom of the chain. So it is no surprise that my feet were in a bad condition – dry, almost cracked heels with wrinkly skin. I felt really guilty looking at the state of my feet that I immediately slathered on the Scholl Eulactol Heel Balm Gold on them right after shower. According to the box, I would see results in 3 days. But I didn’t have to wait 3 days! I saw results just after 1 day! Look at how my heel is now so moisturized and smooth. :) I have to get Saucer to start using this too. LOL

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Before and after using Scholl Eulactol Heel Gold

Last but not least, I must not forget about the little one. Since he started walking, he was always happily putting his new skills into good use. We live just a few doors away from a park, so that’s his favourite hangout place every weekend. To keep his feet dry and his shoes smelling fresh after every use, I used the Scholl Fresh Step Foot Spray on his little pair of shoes. It’s anti-perspirant so it helps to keep the shoes dry even when he’s actively playing, which also keeps him comfortable. Of course, it smells wonderful too! Every time after I spray his shoes, even the whole living room would smell nice. :)

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My little man at the playground

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Giving his shoes a whiff of freshness

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Little J playing with the water fountain

Needless to say, I was pretty happy to discover these new products from Scholl, and you bet that from now on, I would slather on the Heel balm religiously to have beautiful feet that are soft, smooth and moisturized just like a baby’s. :)