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Hakka Restaurant, and a recap of 2010

Hakka Pork Ribs

2010 has been a mixed year for me. I had a series of bad luck which included the snatch thief incident and bad decision making when it came to the blog. Helping the Myanmar refugee children was very eye-opening for me. There was so much to do and so many things to learn when it came to dealing with the children. I’m truly thankful for all the help I received from friends and readers.

After three big holidays in July and August (London, Paris and Bali) I came back relaxed and refreshed. I’ve been toying with the idea of changing careers for a few months and when I finally did, the transition wasn’t a smooth one. It was a rocky, uncertain and frustrating one.

Luckily, the last quarter was better for me. I settled into the new job, got my blog back on track, learnt a better software to improve my vlog and got engaged. I think the proposal was the best thing that happened to me this year.

To celebrate the end of the year, I caught up with a friend for dinner at Hakka Restaurant. Over some sparkling brut and spring roll (this was pre-ordered), we talked about everything good and bad that happened in 2010. The spring rolls were packed with ingredients and deep fried till crispy. It was very addictive. Cammy couldn’t join us that day, so we decided to cancel the prawn dish and replaced it with some spare ribs. That girl really missed out — the ribs were grilled to sticky perfection. I used my hands and licked the bones clean, and enjoyed the succulent meat along the way. Another pre-ordered dish at Hakka was the stuffed crabs. This was by far the tastiest stuffed crabs I’ve eaten. The filling was meaty and adequately seasoned, so the flavour of the crab stood out. I found this a lot nicer than the famous stuffed crabs in Kemaman.

Another picture because it’s so tasty!

The crab from the crab beehoon was fresh and firm. I had two huge claws and enjoyed the sweetness of the flesh. If only rif was there with me — he always peels crabs and prawns for me to eat; my father too! The beehoon (vermicelli) could have done with more spiciness, but that was easily rectified with some chopped chilli padi. We only managed 1/3 of this dish; the rest was packed up for my friend to take home. Preserved vegetables and tofu soup was perfect on that rainy day. Savoury, tangy and tummy-warming, I enjoyed every sip. This is one of the soups I wouldn’t mind drinking every day.

Dinner ended with some Moscato from Banrock Station, specially bought for me since it’s my favourite. Some wine experts may claim that it has no body and no finish, but I love it. This was very light and fruity, with a slight fizz.

Ambiance: 6/10
N/A. My friend shouted dinner.
7/10 (non-halal)
Try the stuffed crabs and pork ribs. The spring rolls were also very addictive.

6 Jalan Kia Peng,
50450, Kuala Lumpur
03 2143 1907

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Michelin Star Cantonese Restaurant @ Sitiawan

Wedding dinners in Sitiawan are often held in community halls and restaurants cum budget hotels. At least that’s what I thought, after attending numerous wedding dinners in this small town. Jessey had her wedding dinner at Michelin Star, a Cantonese restaurant I’ve never heard of.

“It’s just further up the road from The Store,”she said.

Picture credit: Michelin Star

She was right. rif and I found the place quite easily. Just drive past The Store (on your right) and head towards Lumut. You can’t miss the restaurant (on your left). The interior was nicely done; I liked the curved staircase going up to the first floor where the banquet was held. Michelin Star serves Cantonese food, which surprised me because I expected Hock Chew cuisine.

Four seasons platter

I’m not sure if it should be called four seasons, because there are five items in the dish. This platter comprised a “loh bak” roll, shredded egg omelette, baby octopus, deep fried pork with a sweetish sauce and “dim sum” at the centre. I tasted salted egg yolk, fish paste, crabstick and carrot in the loh bak – very nice.

Shark fin soup

This shark fin soup was quite good. I liked that it wasn’t overly starchy. Hock Chews tend to add a lot of egg and starch when making shark fin soup; probably to compensate for the lack of ingredients. The shark fin for this dish however, didn’t taste real to me.

Steamed pomfret

The steamed pomfret was very fresh, but the chef could have gone easier on the gravy. It was a tad salty for me. The rest of the table thought it was fine, so I reckon it’s because I’m used to the lighter version mum prepares at home.

Fish paste with chicken skin, chicken wings and prawn fritters salad

The fourth course was my favourite – fish paste topped with chicken skin, chicken wings and prawn fritters salad. The chicken skin was crispy to the T, and I loved how it complemented the firm yet bouncy fish paste. Portion was big so I got to eat more. The poor bride didn’t get to eat her food — she was busy mingling with everyone.Note to self: Make sure my portion of food is packed during my wedding dinner and sent to the bridal suite!

Braised pork knuckle

Braised pork knuckle came with fried quail eggs, bean curd sheets (fuchuk), abalone mushrooms, straw mushrooms, dried mushrooms and broccoli. Unlike the Hokkien and Hock Chew version, the gravy wasn’t too heavy or cloying. Jessey Ding, you really missed out!

Stir fried vegetables in yam basket

I didn’t care much for the stir fried vegetables in yam basket. This was a tad dry because the vegetables didn’t come with much gravy.

Chinese fried rice

The customary fried rice was average, but the English bloke on our table declared it the best dish of the lot. He found most of the dishes too “foreign”.

Fried kaya bun and pandan roll

The fried kaya bun and pandan roll were delicious, but I didn’t like the sweet corn and water chestnut puree. It was too sweet. A lot of people left this untouched, either because it wasn’t good or they were stuffed to the brim.

Sweet corn and water chestnut puree

Dinner was good and the portions were huge. Like any other Sitiawan wedding, we were given plastic bags to take away the leftovers. If my grandmother insists on throwing a small wedding dinner in Sitiawan, I’m definitely having it at Michelin Star!

l-r: Jessey, rif, myself & Shum

Ambiance: 6/10
Price: N/A (it should be reasonable)
Food: 6.5/10 (non-halal)
Verdict: Hearty dishes and portions are twice the size of what you would get in KL.

Lot 14781-A,
Jalan lumut Besar,
32000 Sitiawan
05-692 2833

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December 28, 2010

Paris – July 2010

When rif and I went to Paris in 2007, we took the Eurostar high speed train from London St. Pancras International Station. It took us about 2 hours to reach Gare du Nord, Paris. I wanted to take the train to Paris again (late July 2010) but my brother insisted flying was better. Hate is a strong word, but I seriously hate flying via EasyJet. If you think our low cost carriers are crappy, think again.

Read about my trip to Paris in 2007:
Paris (Day 3)

We departed from Luton Airport around noon and reached Charles de Gaulle, Paris in an hour. Worst flight I’ve taken! The plane felt flimsy and it was so small, I could feel us bobbing up and down in the air. Good thing I didn’t eat before the flight – I would have been sick.

View from our hotel room

Narcissistic moments

Mum caught the camwhore bug too!

We stayed at Timhotel (16 Rue De Cambareceres) near Champ Elysee for about €165 per night (we were there for 3 days, 2 nights, so it’s cheaper) since my parents didn’t want to travel up and down via metro, the way rif and I did. We were travelling on a budget back in 2007, so we got a cheap hotel in Jaurès (€25 per night).

Know your breads

Know your cheeses

This time, the hotel location was more convenient as the metro station was 500 metres in front and Champ Elysee was a 10-min walk away.

Champ Elysee

Saint Augustin

My parents chose to take the metro (Miromesnil) to Charles de Gaulle Etoile and exited at Arc de Triomphe, at the top of Champ Elysee. A day travel pass cost €5.50. Since I somewhat knew my way around (via metro), I took became the “tour guide”.

Lunch at Pépinière Brasserie

Review on the place HERE.

Grilled Salmon

Ham Omelet

Steak Frites

Onion Soup


Pâté de Campagne

Typical tourist shot

I wanted to eat and go sightseeing, but all my parents and brother wanted to do was shop. They spent a ridiculous amount of time in designer shops at Champ Elysee, Saint Honore and Galleries Lafayette. My parents wanted to buy me an LV handbag, but I wasn’t that keen. In the end, mum chose this bag for me. It’s nice, but I don’t like spending so much $ for a bag. Unless that bag can lay golden eggs for me.

Nice or not?

I nearly died of boredom waiting for them in Louis Vuitton; even the queue to enter the shop was ridiculously long. The toilet in LV was so clean, I could lie on the floor and sleep! Seriously, the cleaning lady would wipe the sink, clean the toilet bowl, mop the floor and dry everything after someone uses the toilet. If only the toilets in Malaysia are half as clean…

By the end of the day, they were too tired to have dinner so I went to a Chinese takeaway shop and bought some rice, vegetables, sweet & sour pork and fish.

Arc de Triomphe

Eifel Towel…at the bottom. >__<

Crepe stall along Champ Elysee

Hotdog for dad, and a banana crepe for me

Om nom nom nom…

If you’re planning to visit Paris, NEVER go there on a Sunday. 70% of the shops are closed on that day, so you would end up wasting time. We wasted a day because of that.

I didn’t enjoy the ridiculously expensive dinner at Chez Ly, so dad took me for moules at Leon de Bruxelles. A big pot of mussels with unlimited fries cost slightly less than €20, and I was a happy girl again.

On our last day in Paris, they shopped at Galleries Lafayette for about 4 hours before having lunch at Cafe Opera, not too far away from the shopping centre.

I didn’t like my salmon quiche, it was terribly fishy and bland. The apple tart with sour cream was decent – nothing worth trying. Service was dreadful.

Just before we went to the airport, I bought myself a couple of macarons from a cute little shop near St Augustin. The lemon flavour (green) was the nicest. I know I know, I was in Paris and I didn’t try the famous French macarons from Laduree. *pouts*

Our flight was at 8.30pm but my dad wanted to get to the airport at 6.30pm (I have no idea why since we already checked in online). We checked in our bags and went for a quick bite only to find out our flight was delayed.

It was initially a 2-hour delay. But our flight ended up being delayed for 6 hours. We flew back to Luton at 2.30am. To make the situation worse, they shut down the air-conditioning so the place was stuffy. The airport securities were rude and uncultured.

Charles de Gaulle really is THE WORST airport in the world if you ask me!

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