A Good Weekend In Melaka: Chendol From QQ Ice

Photobucket

We ate our first bowl of chendol in Melaka at QQ Ice, a shop located somewhere along Jonkers Street. After walking around in the burning afternoon heat, this bowl of chendol heaped with gula melaka was a wonderful respite and thirst-quencher. I finished my bowl in double-quick time.

Not totally satisfied, I ordered a bowl of mango dessert, which turned out to be even better than the chendol!

Peekture: A Great Friday Afternoon

Photobucket

^ Carrot cake. I just realised from looking at this photo that the cream cheese piping on the cake as well as the strawberries on the side are shaped to resemble a carrot.

I took this afternoon off. Had sushi lunch with two of my colleagues. Did a manicure. Had coffee and carrot cake with two friends at Culina in Dempsey. Did a facial at MASK and trimmed my eyebrows at Browhaus. Ate Teochew porridge dinner with the husband and a friend at Beo Crescent.

Came home and set up the broadband at my new place. Finally, I have proper Internet connection and no longer need to rely on my iPhone hotspot.

It was a good way to end a rather busy week.

Jeju: Jeju Museum of Art

Photobucket

We visited Jeju’s Museum of Art, and spent one morning wandering around the museum grounds.

Photobucket

Honestly, I don’t remember what exhibits we saw in the museum, but I remember very well the architecture of the museum.

Photobucket

I like this sort of architecture: cement, glass and steel in simple, clean lines.

A Good Weekend in Melaka: Masjid Selat Melaka

We drove to this mosque – also known as the Floating Mosque – after our Lin Heng breakfast.

Photobucket

The mosque makes a stunning picture, jutting out of the coastline of a man-made island in Melaka. The scenery must be gorgeous during sunrise. Unfortunately, we were not appropriately dressed to enter the mosque, so we just hung around outside, under the burning hot sun.

Photobucket

Photobucket

I am a little fascinated by the architecture of mosques; the ones in Singapore are very nice too. They have such colourful and interesting exterior designs, and I haven’t seen two mosques that look similar.

Sometime back, I gave myself a small photography project, which is to take photos of all the mosques in Singapore. I have managed only two so far.

A Good Weekend In Melaka: Kaya Toast At Lin Heng

Photobucket

Lin Heng is a Hainanese kopitiam in Melaka which sells kaya toast, kopi and wantan mee. I visited it for the first time in 2009 and was really happy to see that it is still around.

The coffeeshop looks ancient. Hanging out in very old pre-war, high-ceiling coffeshops like Lin Heng is one reason why I like visiting Melaka. It has been decades since the coffeeshop has been renovated and the place looks like it is falling apart.

Everything in Lin Heng seems to belong to a bygone era. The coffee-shop still uses charcoal to heat water for making coffee and grill slices of bread. I think the only new things in the coffeeshop are the green plastic chairs. It is as though modern technology bypassed this place. But who knows, the coffeeshop might just surprise me and be wired to the Internet. So I tested to see if it had wi-fi connection…and there was none.

Photobucket

It is difficult to find such kopitiams in Singapore these days.  Many of the old-world coffeeshops have made way for the cookie-cutter, air-conditioned, modern foodcourts that are everywhere in this island.

Chin Mee Chin at Katong and this coffeeshop in Lengkok Bahru that I visit from time to time for its steamed bread are about the only places that I know which have retained that old-world charm, but I don’t know for how long a time will they be around for.

Photobucket

Photobucket

The coffeeshop owner told us that he had to get a craftsman to construct the charcoal-fired boiler that the coffeeshop uses to heat up water, he feels that it might be difficult to replace it when the boiler conks out. He also said that Lin Heng is the only coffeeshop in Melaka that still uses charcoal to boil water.  Water that has been heated by charcoal tastes better than water that has been heated up by gas…?  Perhaps. I cannot really tell.

Photobucket
^ That’s our inquisitive friend asking all sorts of questions about the charcoal-fired boiler.

Photobucket

Photobucket

While toasted bread with butter and kaya is a favourite with most people, I personally prefer steamed bread with only butter. I am not a fan of kaya, and I usually scrape it off my toasted bread whenever I eat this.

I hope Lin Heng will still be around the next time I visit Melaka. I cannot quite remember the exact address of Lin Heng but I know it is somewhere along Jln Munshi Abdullah, across the road from a lantern shop.

Photobucket

Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack

Photobucket

I have read nearly all 17 volumes of Osamu Tezuka’s well-known manga, Black Jack.  I don’t yet own all copies of the English-translated manga, but I aim to get there some day. I like Tezuka’s art. His characters are quite Betty Boop-ish in style, and they are drawn in strokes that are bold and clear. It is very easy to follow the story through each frame.

Recently, I started watching the anime on Youtube.  The anime has over 80 episodes (almost like a long-running Hong Kong or Taiwanese soap drama), and I have watched approximately 15% of the episodes so far.

Photobucket
^ Photo from Vertical, Inc.

Black Jack is a gifted but unlicensed medical doctor who operates on patients in the back of his house.  He is not accepted in the mainstream medical society, yet he is sought after by doctors and patients for his superhuman ability to cure almost any illness.  He is a bit like Batman or Robin Hood, someone who goes around helping the poor and needy while teaching the rich and arrogant a lesson. Regardless of one’s background, Black Jack asks for exorbitant medical fees, not because he is greedy, but because he wants to make sure that patients who seek his help understands that the value of life is worth far more than dollars and cents. He is a physician who doesn’t just cure people’s bodies, but mends their souls and hearts as well.

The anime is good fun to watch. While it follows the manga pretty closely, the anime feels alot lighter, and more humourous than the manga, which has a sombre undertone and at times, comes across as dark and depressing. The anime expanded the role of Pinoko-chan, and introduced a new character called Sharaku, as her close friend as well as a pet dog. I don’t recall characters such as Sharaku and the pet dog appearing in the manga.

Each story in the manga/anime is a standalone one, so you don’t have to start right at the beginning to be able to follow the story, but they are all full of warmth, and focuses on the messages of human decency, compassion and the value of life.

Good stuff.

A Good Weekend In Melaka: Restoran Aunty Lee

Last weekend, we drove up with some friends to Melaka. We had a really good time *over*indulging in gastronomic delights and catching up with our friends over big, calorie-laden meals. We drove up to Melaka with the same bunch of friends in late 2009, and had such a good time together that we promised to do this again another time. Which turned out to be more than 2 years later.

This time, I went to Melaka with a list of recommendations from various friends on where to go to find the best nonya food, wanton mee, chendol, crabs, zichar, etc. I will need at least 5 stomachs to eat everything that is on that list.

I wanted so much to try this Teochew eatery called Teo Soon Long Chan, a hole-in-the-wall place off Jonkers street, but it was fully booked all weekend!  *Sniff* So I turned my attention to nonya food.

We decided to check out Restoran Aunty Lee, a small, humble eatery located some distance away from the city center at Ujong Pasir. The GPS brought us to this place, with a very colourful exterior wall and lots of little red lanterns hanging from the ceiling.

Photobucket

Unlike the bright, purplish and slightly garish exterior, the interior of the eatery is quite old-fashioned, and looks like the living room of someone’s home. It is a small place with just enough space for 6 tables. It was a good thing that we got the hotel to make a lunch reservation for us a day before, because it wasn’t possible to get a table had we walked into the restaurant without one.

Photobucket

To ensure that food is freshly prepared and that there is no wastage, the eatery required its customers to place orders at the time of making a reservation. As it was the first time that I was eating at this restaurant and without a menu in front of me, I didn’t know what dishes to order!

So I named some of my favourite nonya dishes off the top of my head: ayam buah keluak, chap chye, itek tim, otah and grilled eggplant. The lady who took my order also recommended ikan cili garam, their signature dish, which I said okay to. She also recommended cincalok omelette which I declined, thinking that it was an odd-sounding dish. In my haste, I forgot to order beef rendang and assam pedas!

Photobucket

My friends and I loved Aunty Lee’s food. It is good, simple and hearty, home-cooked food.

We regretted not ordering more food because we wolved down everything so quickly, and still felt hungry. We couldn’t have another order of ayam buah keluak and chap chye, or beef rendang (darn…!) because it was too late for the kitchen to start cooking another batch for us. But we were told that we could place orders for cincalok omelette, which turned out to be the fluffy-est and the most delicious omelette that I have eaten, and stir-fried beef with spring onion.  The beef was superb,  tender and flavourful.

It wasn’t possible to wait for all the food to arrive before taking a photo. All I managed was this.

Photobucket

We managed to squeeze in some chendol at the end of the meal, by which time, our tummies were on the verge of exploding from too much food. I would highly recommend the cincalok omelette, ikan cili garam, otah, stir-fried beef with spring onions, nonya chap chye and itek tim. Disappointingly, Aunty Lee’s ayam buah keluak – my favourite nonya dish – didn’t quite hit the right spot.

9 scrumptious dishes for 8 persons cost us only $16 per head.

Restoran Aunty Lee
385 Jalan Ujong Pasir,
75050 Malacca, Malaysia
Tel: 606-2831009

Photobucket

Seoul: Korea’s Cool Public Privies

I said Seoul has an artsy vibe. I correct myself: I should have said that the artsy vibe is not just in Seoul, but can be seen in many places throughout South Korea.

Just look at their public lavatories! Definitely not your run-of-the-mill, nondescript, and in some cases, very ugly, buildings, but they are attention grabbing. At least, they grabbed mine.

Photobucket
^ In Gyeongpo Beach, Gangneung, Gangwon-do. My jaw dropped when I saw it.

Photobucket
^ In Okjukheon, Gangneung Gangwon-do.

Photobucket
^ In Hangang Park, Seoul.

Photobucket
^ In Dosan Park, Seoul. I have posted this before, but I cannot resist repeating myself.

I am always on the look-out for public toilets in Korea that have an interesting design, to add on to my photo collection! I believe there are more in Hangang Park which I haven’t sighted yet.

error: Content is protected !!