28 February 2011

Life at a Bak Kut Teh Restaurant

One of my uncle on my father side runs a Bak Kut Teh restaurant in Sitiawan. We pretty much go there for lunch everytime we head back to Sitiawan. This time around with my camera I decided to take some pictures and show you what it takes to make a good bowl Bak Kut Teh.

To make a delicious bowl of pork bone soup (Bak Kut Teh), the first thing you need is some protection. No not protection money but protection from the gods you believe in.

It doesn't replace hardwork but it is still good to have some sort of belief that you are protected from unnatural disasters. Next of course you need the main ingredient which is the herbs to make the soup. I barely made out of the shop alive with this picture. My uncle's family is still trying to hunt me down to delete this picture so as I do not reveal the secret to their delicious bowl of Bak Kut Teh. However for the greater good I shall show you what it is.

See the big barks on the top right hand corner? Initially I thought it was just some chinese spice but when I picked it up and took a whiff, it was actually cinnamon. Never seen such big cinnamon sticks and never knew it was used for Bak Kut Teh. Next very important thing you need is...

Yes you need a very big cleaver and a sturdy chopping board to cut through all the pork meat and bone. The chopping board looks like they just chopped a section of a tree and used it as a chopping board. One of the favourite extra to make a good Bak Kut Teh is what I call spare parts.

If you are wondering what that is, well basically that is a basket full of pig intestines and pig stomach. My cousin will boil them in hot water and cool it down first before cutting it to be put into the Bak Kut Teh for people who like to have some "spare parts". Last but not least of course you need the human touch to take all the ingredients and put them into a pot and make a good bowl of soup.

That is my cousin which is in charge of boiling the soup and making the important soup for the Bak Kut Teh. All of this activities of course takes place in the kitchen...

Took some pictures around the shop as well...

If you are ever in Sitiawan, let me know and I will give you the direction to my uncle's shop and you must order steam fish which my uncle cooks. It is very unique and I have not had it in any other shop before.

22 February 2011

Chinese New Year at the Wong Family Residence

I think you can ask any of my friends and the first thing they say about me is that I am loud. This I attribute to my Fuchow heritage and yes all my relatives on both sides of the family also get pretty loud most of the times. One thing I realised is I also talk very loud on the phone. Along with this loudness, I always tell people CNY in Sitiawan especially at the Wong Family Residence (my mum's side) is the best and noisiest experience you will ever see. There are kids running around all day long, minimum 2 tables of mah jong playing at all times, TV will be on with CNY songs and the rest will be playing in-between or black jack or ginrami. Just imagine 50 or so loud people like me all under one roof.

The best thing about CNY is of course CNY eve where all of us gather at my aunt's place not to have a family reunion dinner but to collect Ang Pow. Year on Year the theme is the same, wear red or your get castrated for it. So this year is no different.

Let me introduce all of you to some of my relatives on my mother's side, of course we will start with the head of the family and also the person who has worked hard to bring the family up. Just bear in mind she brought up 9 children with very little money and formal education.

My Grandma I call her Nge Mah
Next is my uncle whos house we usually gather during CNY or any big celebration. He is my mum's second eldest brother.

I always say he looks like Richard Ng a Hong Kong actor in the 1980s.

What you think? Any similarities? Next is my mum's 2nd youngest brother and his wife. Ah Ping Uncle (that is what I call him) breeds the most amazing German Shepards I have ever seen. He imported the first generation of his German Shepards from the Germany and at the moment he is breeding them local at his kennel HardyHaus. If you are serious about getting a serious German Shepard for guard dog purposes and not pet dog purpose, I seriously suggest checking out HardyHaus. I had the pleasure to once take care 1 adult female, 2 junior and 9 puppies. They were really a joy to take care off and that time I was doing my internship in Motorola and everytime I come back from work, I would play with the dogs and all my stress will evaporate just like that.

Last but not least for my mum's brother is her youngest brother who I call Uncle Jimmy. He works in Australia and while I was over in Australia he took care of me. He was the one who actually got me into jogging. One day he asked me and my cousin to go for a jog and we followed . After that I realised hey I actually can do this and continued till this day.

Now for the ladies side, we start first with my mum's eldest sister, I always remember going to her house. There is one part of the house that is design to look like a pub and even had a drum which they have turned over to use as a table. We used to go to their place alot but now the entire family has migrated over to Australia.

Aunty Mee Lang
I didn't take a picture of my mum's second sister because she was late but she is in the short movie clip later. Next is my mum's 3rd sister who I call Aunty Tracy, I stayed in Aunty Tracy's house when I was studying in Perth, Australia. It was great because we would always come back to really good food as Aunty Tracy's husband Uncle Simon (didn't come back to Malaysia this time around) is a seriously good chef. We always have good food no matter when.

Aunty Tracy is followed by Aunty Swee Lang which is my mum's second youngest sister. She bakes DA BEST cookies in the DA world. Every chinese new year we will be given bottles of cornflakes cookies, peanut cookies and almond cookies which she bakes. At one stage I was super crazy about her cornflakes and peanut cookies.

Last but not least of course is my mum which is the youngest in the family. She used to tell me that because she was youngest she was made to do all the work. She tells me stories about how my Nge Mah and her will go and tend the pigs that my Nge Mah kept.

Now for some couple and group pictures.

My bro and his wife

My recently wedded cousin

Ladies of the family
Guys of the Family
Since this is the last CNY I will ever get ang pows from everyone, I had to make the best out of it.

Next year I will be like my cousin...

The Ang pow session at the Wong's family residence is usually pretty crazy. We will line everyone up and then the kids will start to have fun.

After all the ang pow session and all the craziness subsides a little, we all gather again and take a family portrait. This gives you kind of a feel on how big my mum's side of the family is.

There are actually some people not present in the family photos. I still have 6 cousins not present with their wifes/husbands and 5 of the cousins have 2 kids each and the other has one. So in total we are missing 23 more people in this picture.

As with all CNYAng Pow we get...

Use it to make even more ang pow from everyone. Hehe.

Every year it is almost the same for CNY and after so many years I still love it.

11 February 2011

Secondary School CNY Meetup 2011

One of the great things about Chinese New Year is that it is a time for everyone to meet up. It is not only family but also friends. Sometimes people do not meet for the entire year but during Chinese New Year, people make the effort to meet up with each other. This year is no different because most of my secondary school friends are back in Subang for the Chinese New Year so we decided to meet up.

We first met up for lunch at Rakuzen Empire. The only reason why we were at Empire was because Jacinta told me that she couldn't park in Subang Parade but she is able to park in Empire. When I heard that I told her she finally turned into a full Singaporean. It was lucky we got a private room at Rakuzen because we had 9 people coming and we were able to close the door. We made so much noise I think people in Subang Parade can hear us. :)

After lunch we adjourned to Coffee Bean for coffee because my Citibank Clear card has buy 1 free 1 coffee.

All of us ordered coffee and I accidentally miscalculated, I thought we only had 6 drinks but in actual fact we ordered 7 drinks. When the cashier tallied up the drinks I said we only have 6 and he only charged me for 6. I only noticed it after we got all the drinks and Kel was asking me where was his drink. When I told the cashier that he under charged me for 1 drink he said nevermind Chinese New Year bonus. So kind of the fella.

Ee Von went to get some cakes but cannot remember where from.

She got a chocolate cake and also a red velvet. That is currently her favourite cake as she will go everywhere and if they have it, she will order it. See how happy she is to eat the cake.

Check out the cute look and Dr Ooi said he could do better...

But a little fail lar. So instead of fighting they just took a picture together.

I tried to take a picture of Juin Wei but he said do not need to take picture of his ugly mug. Then Kel said well lets take a picture together so there are 2 ugly mugs.

After that they recruited another member into the ugly family.

From ugly guys we go to pretty ladies, first of them all is Jacinta. Haven't seen her for a freaking long time already. Everytime she comes back to KL, I am busy with something. It was great catching up with her again.

Next we have the newly engaged Mei Foong. We all eagerly waited for her to tell the story about how Simon proposed to her in Japan.

After we listened to her story and also Juin Wei's story, Dr Ooi got a little worried that the bar was getting set higher and higher.

Another long time friend I have not met for a while is also Sherry.

Finally of course the lovely Amy and the useless photographer.

It was great to catch up with everyone. We just sat around and chit chat and talked the day over. We met up at 1pm and only left Empire gallery around 5 or 6pm. We need to do this more often gang.

10 February 2011

Final Set of Film Prints

This is the last set of film prints I got for now. The other roll which I shot, was way worst then this roll. So I am not giving it any high hopes there is any good pictures in there.

Amy and Saw Wen wanted to head to Hartamas to check out some wedding dresses and being a good person, I drove them there. Of course I won't stay in the wedding boutique, so I brought my camera along and walked around the area.

First thing I notices is what a dump Hartamas is now, the buildings are not maintained at all. The place we went, the button for the elevator wasn't there anymore. There was rubbish everywhere and basically not really what it used to be. However this is the older part of Hartamas.

What did catch my eye was there were quite a few graffiti on the walls.

I am surprised that even when the films were so super underexposed, the colors were still very vivid. This is the power of film. I think if it was shot in digital, there is no way I would be able to recover these shots.

The shot above is a shot looking towards the newer part of town. Up ahead is Mont Kiara where I guess is more happening now.

Last shot of the roll...

These were the lights and fan fixtures at Burger King. Fingers crossed for the other roll of film.

09 February 2011

Being a Lil High Crass

Couple months back while Juin Wei was in town, we decided to be High Crass and go for some High Crass food. We all first gathered at Kissaten Jaya One to gorge on some delicious Terikayi Pork Burger. I can safely say it is still one of the best pork burgers I have ever eaten.

Big juicy pork with a telur mata kerbau and some sweet sweet teriyaki sauce. Even Juin Wei agrees...

Once we were done with lunch, it is quite customary for us to go for dessert when Ee Von is around. Since it this is her vice, we asked her were she wants to go. We finally ended up at...

Ignore my finger print on the film

Gourmet is this really shick cafe + bakery + spice market + winery. They sell all kinds of cool stuff from loose expensive tea and coffee (they even have blue mountain and kopi luak) to cheese and also a nice section for wine.

Wine Rack

Biscuit and payment counter

Loose Tea selection
Most importantly of course is they also sell gorgeous looking cakes.

Banofee Pie

Cannot remember name but I think it is Chocolate Cake

Strawberry Cheese Cake
The cakes were simply superb tasting and look pretty good as well. The gang was getting pissed off waiting for me to finish taking the pictures.

We topped everything off with some pretty good but pretty expensive coffee. Unfortunately I couldn't afford the Kopi Luak as it was going for something like 200-300 bucks per 100g. I highly recommend this place to some good cake and coffee. Just be prepared to spend a pretty penny on it. I think 4 of our coffee already cost like 50 bucks or something like that.

The place had some mirrors around and I decided to take a picture of the lovely Miss Ee Von.

When there is nothing better to do, I also take picture of crap. :)