Monday, April 30, 2007

Bet that we all miss something fundamental at home that is never found overseas...

The ubiquitous stalls at night selling mamak street food with your all time local favourites: mamak mee, Ramlee burgers, indo mee, pasembur, nasi lemak ... and of course the kazillion different types of Roti from A-Z. You can read more about mamak here :)

So, this is the closest I could get to satisfy that random mamak craving of mine yesterday ... Thank god for the wisdom of buying a frozen pack of roti canai in Chinatown long ago, it certainly proved useful in "emergency" situations like this, hehe

The ready made ones are really easy to prepare, just dry pan fry them in a hot pan till fluffy and crispy ...

Accompanied by homemade 'dhal' which I substituted with chickpeas in kurma sauce, but that's just fine :D

Yummiest dinner ever ... I'm a happy bunny :P

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Curry Cravings

So here's a nasi biryani with chicken curry I had some time ago. Put in sweet potato instead of normal ones for the curry. Typical student 'grub' back home, but I must say it's a bit of a luxury to have it here.

Meanwhile, term has finally started, too many things to do in too little time *HELP!* Once again, I am drowned in endless ASS-says, which thankfully I am learning to ignore at the moment ;)

In dire need of something to look forward to (no, it's obviously not this term), at least Spiderman 3 is coming up! :D

Saturday, April 21, 2007

100th post! :D

Wow, little did I realized that I'd reach that number so quickly... Hope you all have been enjoying the posts as much as I had posting! :)

So this means that this post has to be of something special, and here it is!
This was my dinner during Easter itself, simple stuff, but might stir up some curiosity ...

Nests of squid ink pasta lightly stirfried with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and seafood mixture of mussels, prawn and squid. This precious pasta of mine was bought from Rome, costs about 4 Euros for 500g. Totally love it :) I wanted to buy some squid ink to add in for more 'omph', but sadly even the Market Square butcher in Cambridge doesn't carry it.

We had this Austrian bread for dessert, it's basically a huge cinnamon bread with raisins and chopped hazelnuts, not too sweet and just right, baked till crisp perfection.

*Sigh* meanwhile, pressure is rising as term starts, with already 4 supervisions lined up :S I don't like this 'disturbances' to my freedom in scheduling my days... Ironically, the CMS library had a power cut suddenly last night, and we were locked in the library as the security system to swipe yourself in and out the library had power failure too! So it was really amusing trying to find a way out. Was 'rescued' by a bunch of security guards later, haha, through the emergency doors..... Probably signs that I am not been concentrating that should camp more in libraries, LOL

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Tastes heavenly...

Discovered this melt-in-your-mouth dark choc when I got it as a lovely present. I suppose it's good for exam destress hehe :P. The best part of it is not the chocolate itself (though it's amazingly bitter sweet, my type :D )- it's the back cover, if you'd click the picture below to know what I mean...

Definitely lifted me to heaven :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

MY List


Calling all bloggers!

I've decided to join MY LIST, a campaign to gather all Malaysian blogs under the banner of unity and creating a huge bookmark. The list is expanding every minute and it ends on 31st May before there is an official list out of blog links. If you're keen to join, just check this out and follow the very simple instructions. :)

My List Participants

Erin Nurjenna [B][E][A][U][T][I][F][U][L] Fluffy's Day Off My Fairy-Tale Once Upon A Time Money Making Blog Bubba Stuff Little Raymond's quaint melody Seraph Chronicles Route Brumeuse Coder's Talk Reggae And SKA Art Of ApOgEE THE VEGEMASTER LIFE Boonage Coretan Pengalaman Mat Silverhorsegunnysack BLUEAPPLE scribbles Diet & Detoxification Karma Kameleon Hsien's Dirty Little Secret The Rojak Blog keeyit My Life Online Fun Stuffs Donny's Bits Nicholas Chan's Blog dream of's DESIGN strike freedom 115 Truly Malaysia It's another new day Lisan's Scribbles Ramblings of a 22 years old The Towering Joe Life's a Breeze Life's Roller Coaster AceOne118 In His Time in His time The New Sanctuary a life full of surprises Sketches of Life Shannon's Old Space Pikey Dude SEO & Online Marketing Blog Snapshots kahpengBlog I am Who I am yung . silent whisper Simple Life One blog.One girl.One story The World Through My Eyes Why Malaysia? Etcetera~Etcetera Giddy Tigers Make Money Online: Exploring The Dark Side of Blogging Xilly's Blog Malaika Xiao Yu My Home Recipe SQKIKI’s Simple Tech Nukilan Jejari Azhad ITCHY HANDseng Just My Lil' Organic Life Oooh La La... Weird World of MerapuMan Fibre Art The World at My Fingertips Organic Income Organic Parade Shopping Flavor Daily postings of a chung ling student Something about LAI KennyP’s Technology Blog Women Mumbles Lyon & Wien Under The SUN Crumbs In Life SotongZai's Flow In the Ocean allthingspurple Christene's Kitchen [ Wood ] [ Earth ] [ Cheap ] [ Flight ] COMtech Ah Ling's blog ~WoOLaLA~ vivivava Design My Mothering Corner Shoppingmum’s Home Office My Filling Station Shopping Mum All about Beauty Shoppingmum and Kids datotalrandommessy.grey Notes from my heart Joy Montessori wahlau's online hut Cedric’s Asylum mott’s mutterings Just My Thoughts delephant Incoherent Ramblings HOT STUFF Make Money Online with Malaysia Love AGLOCO MONTESSORIMUM.COM Funky Cookies Earn Money Online PabloPabla's Whatever Make Money with Blogging Paris Beaverbanks Free Links Giveaway Free Blogger Templates Blogsreview.Net Making a Living 5xmom How to be a Better Blogger My Women Stuff Hochiak! Delicious Asian Food Best Recipes Champagne Tastes on a Beer Budget Daryl's Discovery Journey The fluff must go somewhere

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Ville de Conde

This is my favourite day in Porto, simply because we are visiting the beach/seaside, a place that I grew up with :) This is a relatively new place, in the sense that it's quite unknown to the mass tourists and there isn't much of them trampling the whole place down, which is good, as the last thing you would want to see after escaping from Cambridge town is more people. LOL

As a 'ritual' before going home and not seeing my beautiful egg tarts anytime soon, it's something to start the day with, fresh, warm and crispy :P

Next, we wandered around town and found a local supermarket, with eye catching wine prices. Seriously, for 3 Euro's you'll get a really decent wine here. We saw this cookie medley and just had to try it as I thought I was just blinded by the egg tart as Portuguese's only famous pastries. Really interesting mix, especially the one with the burnt bits on the top, shaped like a inverse cone, rich yellow color (there's 3 of them in this pic). That caught my curiosity first and it turns out to be a rich coconut and eggy mixture baked in the over till crispy on the top. Too sweet for my liking, LOL. And no, we did not finish this pack all in one go, let's just say 80% :P

We ventured around town and found the good bakery listed in the mini guidebook. It wasn't hard to find, the town is really THAT small. Besides the egg tarts (again), we tried some odd looking ones which are basically a variant of the egg tarts. Since no one spoke English there, there's no point asking what it is and just try it :) I remember the one on the right with a dust of icing sugar on top, it seems to be less sweet with a richer custardy taste to it. Note that I'd sprinkled some cinnamon on top of the tart on the left. Was on egg tart high that morning, we ate all of that pastries within 1-2 hours of arrival in town -_- talk about binge eating ...

Feeling slightly guilty and quite 'jelak' (sick) of sweet stuff, the beautiful beach was next. It was slightly out of town, and took a good 15 minutes walk at least. The beach is just right next to the residential area, I'm so envious of the ones facing directly to the sea! There is a really exclusive hotel that looks like a some sort of a forte with really high walls and and a bell, facing the sea. The beach is almost unbelievably deserted, except with a really patient man fishing and some (two) sun tanners lying about. Just strikes me how underrated this part of Portugal is...

Especially when you have lunch facing a sea like this, with a good book facing the breeze ...

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

It's gettin' hot here

Weather is gonna breach 20C end of this week, woohoo!
Can't wait for exams to be over :S

Monday, April 09, 2007

Porto Part III

I can't believe I forgot to mention how the Portuguese have 'terrorizing' morning greetings. Every morning, everyone goes 'BOM DIA!' and you think there's a war going on or something. For those who are unfamiliar with the Malay language, bom=bomb, dia=him/her, literally. LOL

Anyways, we're up on exploring Ribiera in the day today, it's the place where we had 'Vacky' for dinner. The port is really beautiful, complementing the weather :) This is an initial view of the river, with the familiar Rabelo boat. The Rabelo Boats were the old system of transporte of Port Wine from the mountains to Porto. It's a pity they are not used anymore for this purpose, but they are still constructed on the old fashion way for tourist travels all along the river Douro.

And of course, I had to take the boat cruise for the sake of it! :) Probably not the best idea to do it at noon where the sun shines directly on you. But ah well, need to replenish the Vitamin D deficiency that I've been experiencing in the UK, so sun's up! This came at a price though, as I had sunburn marks on my face due to my sun glasses! And now I look like Baja Hitam or some silly housefly o_Oll

Lunch is up next, haha, finally the food part you say?! We randomly popped to a cafe that was opened which seems to be heavily sponsored by a funny sounding beer brand called 'Super Bock'. Here is a pic of the place with a jug of ice cool Sangria :) Perfect for a warm sunny day...

I finally ordered the Bacalhau, which is a Portuguese specialty - i.e. salted cod. You can call it the Portuguese version of salted fish (ham yu) hehe. This is a really nice starter, a fish ball mini version of it. Crispy, not too salty, and NOT soaking in oil (eeks), good stuff, in small doses only I should think, not much of a big fan of salty food.

The main course is probably the highlight of the day, as I've been reading/seeing pictures of it. Seems to be a local dish, but basically a modified (better + > sinful?) version of the traditional British ingredients of fry ups. Visualize this: toasts, fries, cheese, egg, steak, bacon, chorizo sausage+BEER=Francesinha Especial!

The beer appears to be hidden in the tomato-ey sauce that drenches the fries. Look at that giant pile of thing, it's just an amazing piece of mush. LOL Especially when you are hungry :P Too heavy for my liking, but still an interesting new dimension to the usual fry ups. Just when you think things couldn't be more creative with the traditional English breakfast .....

And finally, after some good food and Sangria, it's time for MORE alcoholic indulgences, hehe. Coming to Porto without visiting the Port factories is just a big SIN, you know. So off we went, walking about 10 minutes just across the bridge, where many famous Port wine brands like Croft, Taylor, Sandeman, etc are situated.

We went for Croft, and had a brief wait before the tour in English was conducted. Not a bad thing, as we were allowed to try their port whilst waiting! Most importantly, we tried something new and not found in the UK --> white port! It IS GOOD STUFF I must say, slightly sweeter than the normal red version (just like white vs red wine) and easier to drink. It's better than a dessert wine since that just extreme sugar overload.

After that, the tour began and the lady in charge was explaining the history of Port wine and Croft to our group. 'Any questions to ask regarding Croft and the wine?' she asked, after reciting lots of numerical numbers of historical dates and random Croft ancestors etc etc. All of us just looked possibly blank as we were not listening. Sensing this, her brilliant answer was 'It's just a story anyway' :P

These are the super old classic, and extremely expensive Late Bottled Vintage (LBV), which is probably decades old Port wine, kept in the cellar. Apparently Croft owners occasionally pop in for a bottle of it, LOL

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Porto Part II

Back to Porto :) This is the view from the bridge of the magnificent river during the evening, separating the main town and Vila Nova de Gaia, where all the port factories are located.

We walked to Ribiera, the street right next to the river, with lots of nice restaurants and shops with touristy stuff. This is another view of it below, with a few biker dudes enjoying the scenery at night.

Dinner, is of course selected from amongst the range of restaurants available there, and ack, I seem to have forgot the name of it at the moment. But it's ok, the food is most important yea? So here we go, I had their traditional dish, Caldo Verde, for starters. It is a simple kale (a type of vege) and potato soup, mild and comforting.

Next, we came for what Porto is famous for: seafood!!! One good way to savor it's freshness is having them deep fried :P Ironically things are always cooked this way whenever the food is less fresh. We ordered Vinho Verde too, which is their local green wine, white this time. There are red ones too, but seems like white is more common. It's slightly sparkly, but refreshing, goes perfectly with the seafood. NICEeee (Quite rare as the only alcoholic drinks I like tastes like fruit juice hehe, e.g. SANGRIA!)

We had deep fried octopus, and a huge pot of rice with kidney beans, which is the common Portuguese way of having rice, they like them soupy. It's the ultimate comfort food, LOL.

We discovered Vacky too, and he has been brutally attacked :'(

This is Vacky, the cute cow. Moments before he perished ...

Hahahaha, can you guess what it is?
It's ice cream within him!
We just had to order it when we saw this on the menu for dessert ...
The Portuguese description did not help either, and the waiter was thoroughly amused (so are we) :P

And of course, their house specialty: caramel cake. It's surprisingly not THAT sweet (not like Caramel Frappucino from Starbucks) with different sponge layer texture. Good stuff :)

The best part is how amazing their restaurant prices can be. Having all that facing the river of Porto, 3 course + wine, turns up to be about 10 euros+ per person only! Nice