Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Beef Noodles @ Kedai Kopi Lai Foong - KL, Malaysia

If you were to ask me where you can find the best beef noodles in KL, I would have to tell you that, in my opinion, nothing beats the beef noodles in Lai Foong. I know quite a few people who thinks that the Ngau Kee beef noodles in Tingkat Tong Shin is the best ever, but I beg to differ. Sure, it's good. In fact, better than good. We would usually head out there in the wee hours of the morning, right after a night of clubbing and partying. A big bowl of beef noodles usually hits the spot! However, I still firmly believe that the beef noodles in Lai Foong is way better than the Ngau Kee beef noodles. Yup, Lai Foong wins hands down! :D

Kedai Kopi Lai Foong (Lai Foong Coffee Shop) is located at the corner of Jalan Tun H.S. Lee and Jalan Tan Cheng Lock, right smack in the heart of the city. Amidst all the smog, dust from the busy main roads and loud constant honking from the crazy KL traffic is where you will find this little piece of heaven. We would make it a point to head down to the city every time we are back home in KL, just for the beef noodles. Something like my very own beef noodles pilgrimage :P As you can imagine, parking can be a problem. So, there are two ways to go about it. One is to take the LRT (Putra Line) and get off at the Pasar Seni (Central Market) station. Just cross the road and walk up a few blocks and you are there. The other option is to drive to Central Market and park at the Central Market parking lot. Option two is a little bit more expensive, cos parking in the city doesn't come cheap. However, it's more convenient. What we would usually do is, drive to Central Market, walk around for a bit (while picking up a whole lot of souvenirs for the folks back in the States), walk over to Lai Foong for a late lunch and continue down the street to Chinatown/Petaling St after lunch. Yup, that's our usual "Beef Noodle Pilgrimage". LOL!
Kedai Kopi Lai Foong is a pretty cool coffee shop. Walking into that coffee shop is like taking a step back in time. With it's dated tile floors and wall to the marble table tops and wooden chairs, it's definitely from a whole different era. I was told that this historic coffee shop is almost 60 years old. Wow, it's even older than Malaysia! Even though it's really old, it's still bustling with activity. It gets really packed during lunch hour, so the best time to go would be just before lunch or after the lunch crowd. As you can see from the clock on the wall, we went around 2:20pm and managed to get a table without having to fight for one.
Ahhhh, this is the famous beef noodle stall. The guy with the hat and red apron is Thomas, the beef noodle man himself! His dad started the beef noodle stall in Lai Foong back in 1956 and he took over after his dad retired. After all this years, the beef noodles still remains as good as it was back then. The stock is still made with the same 80 year old Hainanese family recipe that was passed to his father from his grandfather. No wonder those beef noodles are so mmm mmm goood!!!
Here is it! The famous beef noodles from Lai Foong. Mannnn, what I would do for a bowl of that now! Tender slices of beef and tendon, yummy beef balls, chopped salted mustard greens, cilantro and noodles in a hearty flavorful stock. Soooooooooo goood! It also comes with a side of home made chili sauce. What I would do is just pour the whole dish of chili sauce into that big bowl of noodles. It definitely kicks it up a notch. The price starts at RM5 (approx US$1.50) for a medium size bowl and it goes up til RM8 (approx US$2.50) for an extra large with a whole lot of extra toppings. It's so good, it's worth every cent! Maybe even more :P So, the next time you are in KL, go check out the beef noodle stall in Lai Foong. Trust me, it's the best beef noodles in KL, hands down!

Kedai Kopi Lai Foong - KL, Malaysia
138 Jalan Tun HS Lee,
50150 Kuala Lumpur,
Tel: (603)2072 8123

Monday, August 30, 2010

Get Sold Out Tixs at Affordable Prices!

Boy, I just love the summertime up here in NYC. There are just so many things to do. I love how the weather is so nice and warm, we can just go out and do stuff without having to bundle up in our thick coats. How's your summer been so far? It's been a fun summer for us. We managed to catch a few concerts, had some BBQ...the usual summer stuff.

Whenever I think of summer time activities, baseball always comes to mind. Kevin loves baseball and enjoys watching baseball. We have been meaning to head out to the Yankee Stadium to watch the Yankees play a home game but we never got around to it. It's not that we do not want to, it's just that it's really hard to get good tickets (since most of the games are always sold out!). Actually, I wouldn't even mind going to Citi Field to watch the Mets play. Maybe even catch one of those subway series, where the Mets play the Yankees. Of course we know that just going and hoping to get tickets is almost close to impossible. Big games like those always sells out months before. Let's not even talk about big games. We all know that our hometown team, the Pittsburgh Pirates are not exactly the best team around. So, when we were back in Pittsburgh a while back, I tried to get tickets to watch a game at PNC Park. Guess what? All good seats were gone too!! I guess Americans really love baseball. Come to think about it, most tickets for high demand games and concerts get sold out the moment it goes on sale. Stuff like tickets for concerts, MLB , NFL, NHL and especially NBA games. Try getting good tickets for a Knicks or Rangers game in Madison Square Garden. I can assure you that your chances are almost close to none.

So how does one get good tickets anyway? Well, I don't know about you but we would usually get ours from TicketAmerica.com. Ticket America is a licensed ticket broker that offers all kinds of tickets, from sporting events to sold out concerts. What I really like about Ticket America is that you can pretty much get almost any tickets that you want, even for hard to find seats in smaller venues and theaters. Not only do they have one of the largest selection of tickets but they try to offer tickets for the lowest prices possible. Unlike some of the other 'dodgy' ticket brokers that takes your money and you don't hear from them for days, Ticket America has a 24 hour hotline, so that we could get in touch with them if we have any questions about our tickets. So, the next time you are looking for that hard to get ticket for a sporting event or concert, check out Ticket America. Don't let the excuse of not being able to get good tickets ever stop you from enjoying your favorite games or concert ever again!

Chicken & Brown Rice Pilaf

I found this recipe behind a box of Minute Instant Whole Grain Brown Rice and decided to try it out. It looked simple enough and I was pretty happy with the outcome. Not only was it really simple and fast to make, it turned out to be really yummy too. So, I figured that I should share this recipe with all of you.
Start off by cutting up about 1 lbs of boneless skinless chicken breast into large cubes. I marinated them with some Chef Paul Prudhomme's Poultry Magic Seasoning (boy, I love this stuff!) and allowed it to sit in the fridge for a couple of hours. Of course you could marinade the chicken breast with pretty much any marinade that you like. Even some basic salt and pepper will do. Once your chicken is fully marinated, heat some oil in a large skillet. Then, add your chicken breast and allow it to cook for about 4 mins on each side (or until cooked through). Remove chicken breast pieces from the skillet and set aside.
Using the same skillet, add in 1 can (10.5 oz) of low fat chicken broth and 1/2 cup of water. Mix it together and bring it to a rapid boil.
Then, add in about 2 cups of instant brown rice followed by 1 cup of diced green and red peppers as well as 1 cup of diced onions.
Next, add in about 2 cups of fresh mushrooms that has been cut into cubes. Mix everything together and allow it to cook for a bit.
After allowing it to cook for a few minutes, add in the cooked chicken breast that we browned a little earlier. Cover the skillet and allow it to cook for another 5 minutes or so.
After 5 minutes, stir everything together and allow it to sit for an additional 5 minutes. There you go! A nice large skillet filled with yummy chicken and brown rice pilaf. It's just so easy and quick to make. The best part is, everything is cooked in ONE pan, so I only have to worry about washing up one pan after our meal. How nice is that? :D

Surviving Mesothelioma: A Patient's Guide

Remember me blogging about my primary school friend from Singapore visiting us last weekend? Since she was only here for about two and a half days, we had to do a 'speed tour' of the city and I was actually pretty surprised that we managed to cover quite a bit of the more popular NYC tourist attractions in those two days. Among some of the places that we visited was the World Trade Center Memorial and Preview site. While walking through the exhibits, I overheard a lady talking to her husband about the firemen and the other people involved in the rescue effort. She mentioned something about wondering if all that exposure to the debris and other stuff would have an effect on their health in the future. Her husband said something about that being possible, and maybe that might increase their risk in getting mesothelioma or some other types of cancers. Hmm, mesothelioma. I have heard of that before but I am not really sure what it is really all about. So, I decided to look it up after I got home.

I found out that Mesothelioma or to be more precise, Malignant Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops from the protective sac (known as the mesothelium) which covers many of the bodys internal organs. It is commonly found in the pleura, which is the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall but it can sometimes occur in the peritoneum (lining of the abdomen) or the pericardium (sac surrounding the heart) too. Some of the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma that effects the pleura is chest pains, fatigue, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing up of blood.

So what are the causes of mesothelioma? Here in the United States, exposure to asbestos is the only accepted cause associated with the development of mesothelioma. Before actually knowing the dangers of asbestos, it could be found in thousands of different products back in the day. Many people are also exposed to it at their workplace. We do not really know how long it takes for exposure to asbestos to be actually harmful but studies show that exposure to asbestos causing mesothelioma can be short. It sometimes only takes as little as 1-3 months of exposure!

While reading up on mesothelioma, I also found out that if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, you could file for a claim and receive compensation. The best way to go about that is to hire a Mesothelioma Lawyer. Many people don't, thinking that it will be an easy process and that they can 'save some money' and do it themselves. However, it is not exactly as straightforward as it seems. Many don't know that they are only given a limited amount of time to file for a claim and the clock starts ticking the day you are diagnose with this disease. Also, it would really help and speed up the process if you hired someone who has done this before and knows all the in and outs of filing for a claim. With that said, I also do not think it's wise to just simply pick any Mesothelioma Attorney that you see. Take some time to search for somebody that you can trust and somebody who posses an excellent track record. After all, they are the ones that will be your closest partners in filling for that lawsuit.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Nuts 4 Nuts - All Natural Honey-Roasted Nuts

We had a visitor from Singapore over the weekend. My primary school friend from Penang (she now works in Singapore) was in Charlotte last week for some training and she stopped over for a few days for a brief visit before heading back to Singapore. I cannot believe that we have been friends for 24 years already! =) Since it was her first time in NYC, we tried our best to bring to her as many places as possible, in that short two and a half days. I will be blogging about all the places that we went to and the stuff that we did in the next few days.

After a long day out walking around the city, we were heading back to the World Trade Center PATH station when I smelled something really yummy. It was the nice familiar scent of roasted nuts that I would only usually smell during the winter time. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the black and orange Nuts 4 Nuts street cart parked near the PATH station! You see, both Kevin and I loveeeee the Nuts 4 Nuts honey roasted nuts and it's really difficult to find those street carts during the summertime. They are just about everywhere during the winter but there are more ice cream trucks, smoothie trucks and other 'summer food' trucks around during the summertime. So yeah, we just had to go get ourselves some nuts!
Boy, I must say that the smell of those honey roasted nuts are just so intoxicating! You can smell them from blocks away, especially on a crisps and cold winters day. When I asked the street vendor if I could take some pictures, she was more than happy to pose for pictures. She seemed pretty excited that we are taking pictures of her cart. LOL!
Ahhhh, a close up picture of some freshly roasted honey nuts. There are four types of nuts available and they are all honey coated. There are peanuts, almonds, cashews and small bits of coconuts. A small bag of nuts (no mixing allowed) cost $2 and it's $3 for a mixed bag. How I wish they would add in some macadamia nuts into their menu. Honey roasted macadamia nuts would taste oh so yummmy!!
We bought a bag of cashew nuts to share. As usual, they were greeeatttt! Nice plump yummy cashews with a crunchy coat of honey. It was still nice and warm (since she was just done roasting them a few minutes before we walked up). So so so gooood. Eating those yummy nuts from Nuts 4 Nuts makes we wish that winter would come just a little bit faster this year. Nothing beats a warm bag of roasted nuts on a chilly winters day.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Our loot from CSN Stores

I did a short advertorial for CSN Stores a while back and they sent me a $80 voucher to thank me for it. I could use it in any of the 200 online stores that CSN maintains. Wow, seriously, we didn't really know where to begin. There were like over a million products to choose from. It took us quite a few days to go through the website and pick out the stuff that we wanted. Our master plan was to pick one 'big' item and a few 'filler' items, so that we could get as close as possible to $80, without going over the amount.
After picking out the the stuff that we wanted and placing our order, the first box arrived via UPS in 2 days! Mind you, it's just regular shipping, not express. Really really fast! Oh, another good thing about CSN Stores is that they offer free shipping on most of their products, so that's really cool.
The first item that we got was a box of 100 Orange Pekoe and Cut Black Tea teabags. Yeah, CSN Stores also carries foodstuff! Well, mostly mixes, tea, coffee, shakes....things like that. No, this is not the big item, just a filler. However, this will go pretty well with the big item that we ordered.
This box arrived via UPS the very next day. Hmmmm, I wonder what's in it? Is this the main event or just another filler?
Here's what's inside. A Cast Iron Fajita Pan, complete with Wooden Tray and Hand Mit! Boy, this is something I have always wanted. Not only can we make fajitas at home now but also all kinds of other stuff like sizzling black pepper steak, sizzling lamb chops or even those hot plate yee mee noodles!! I really can't wait to experiment with this.
The next time the UPS guy came around (by now, he already knew me by first name :P), he brought me TWO boxes! This is it. The last two boxes from our order. Yay!
Let's open the small and light box first. Two stainless steel egg rings! Yes yes, another filler. LOL! We have always wanted to buy egg rings but never got around to doing so. We were so 'eggcited' about the new rings that we immediately tried it out the very next day. We made our own home made Egg McMuffin for breakfast! Maybe I'll use it to make pancakes this weekend. At last, we will get perfect round pancakes, all in the same size instead of wacky shaped pancakes.
Ahhh, the main item that we have been waiting for. A 3.6L Stainless Steel Hot Water Pot with Multi Temperature Function! For those of you who don't know, this is pretty much a fixture in every Asian house. Don't believe me? Just go to the kitchen of any Asian household. I bet you that there is a very high chance that you will see a hot water pot! :P We have been looking around for a good hot water pot since forever, so we are really glad that we finally managed to get one. Apart from it's multi temp feature, another thing that I really love about this model is that it has a nice sleek stainless steel exterior. Most of the hot water pots are either white or beige and comes with really 'aunty' looking flowers or patterns. Don't ask me why, that's just how it is. So yeah, the stainless steel exterior is really cool.
Here is a picture of all our loot from CSN Stores. Two stainless steel egg rings, a fajita pan with it's wooden tray and hand mit, a box of tea and the hot water pot. I guess now you understand why we bought that huge box of tea. Yup, with the hot water pot, we can have a nice hot cup of tea anytime without having to put the kettle on the stove and wait for it to boil. With our new hot water pot, we have been drinking a whole lot of Milo too (we love Milo but we are always too lazy to boil water just for that)! Thanks CSN Stores for giving us all this new toys!!! :D

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New Malaysia - Chinatown, NYC

We were out shopping at the 33rd St Macys in Midtown til pretty late a few weekends ago. By the time we actually left Macys, it was already 9pm or so. We still haven't had our dinner, so our choices were to either settle for some bad greasy pizza in some random shop nearby, head over to Koreatown, walk uptown to Times Square (decided that it's a bad idea, too many tourist on a Saturday night) or take the train downtown to Chinatown. No prize for guessing where we ended up :P

Of course we ended up in Chinatown! Both Kevin and I totally loveeeee going to Chinatown. The good combo of cheap and yummy food always works for us :D By the time we got to Chinatown, it was way past 9:30pm. Most of the shops on Canal St were already closing for the day but we knew that if we walked along the smaller winding streets, we could find many all nighters still open. It was pretty cool actually (maybe a tad bit foolish too) and kinda exciting to walk along the dark, quiet and narrow streets of Chinatown in the middle of the night. It was a way different feeling than walking amidst the hustle and bustle during the day. It felt as if we might run into some Chinatown triad gang around the corner :P While walking down Elizabeth St, we saw a sign that caught my attention immediately. New Malaysia Restaurant. Hmmm, I wonder if it's even open.

We looked down the long dodgy looking alley way and saw some lights at the end. I guess it must be open. Wonder if it's safe? The alley way looks kinda errr scary :P We decided that it should be safe, putting into consideration the that 5th Precinct Police Department was just located directly opposite this Chinatown Arcade place. Oh and for those of you wondering where exactly this is, it's actually on the same road, just a few shops down from the super famous Jing Fung (some say it has the best dimsum in the whole of Chinatown) restaurant.

Ahhh, the restaurant at last. Looks pretty decent. In fact, it looks more than decent. There were all kinds of awards/articles/write ups pasted on the window, raving about how good this restaurant was. Hmmm, looks like we might have stumbled upon a hidden gem! You could actually also enter the alley that leads to the restaurant from the other end, via the 46-48 Bowery St entrance. I later found out that there is a little bit of history behind this particular address. It was actually the site of the 18th century Bulls Head Tavern. It is said that it was George Washington's regular watering hole, back when he was living at 3 Cherry St. In 1826, the Bowery Theater (America's first gas lit theater) opened at this site and in 1827, the first ballet performance ever to be held in America was performed here. Cool, eh?

When we walked in, we were surprised to find it packed! Let me remind you that it was already almost 10pm and the place was still packed! We were pretty lucky to get a small table by the side, cos the people that walked in a few minutes after us had to wait for a table for quite some time. About 90% of the customers were Malaysians (well, maybe Singaporeans too, I don't know...but definitely from South East Asia). The other 10% were either friends or spouses of the Malaysian customers :P The decor also reminded me of a typical Malaysian eating place. No frills, nothing. Just tables and chairs packed close to each other and a counter at the front of the shop. You can also see them making drinks there, just like a regular Malaysian coffee shop.

When we got the menu, I took a quick glance at it and was pretty impressed to find all types of Malaysian dishes that we usually cannot find in other Malaysian restaurants. The price were pretty reasonable too. I saw things like Grilled Stingray in Banana Leaf, Curry Noodles with Duck Blood, Sabah Mee, Yam Ring...just to name a few. I also checked out the Claypot Curry Fish Head that the guys from the next table ordered. It looked sooooo good. I must try to gather a bigger group of people and return the next time around to order rice and dishes. Since it was just the two of us, we shared a Pataya Fried Chicken (6.95) and had a noodle dish each. The Pataya Fried Chicken is actually mamak style fried chicken. Chicken pieces marinated with turmeric and deep fried. It was so so so goooooood. It really tasted like it was served fresh out from a Malay stall or mamak. Very very nice.

No prize for guessing what Kevin ordered. Yup, of course the Char Koay Teow inspector must order his Char Koay Teow ($6.50). Depending on how good the Char Koay Teow is, that will be his benchmark in rating how good a particular Malaysian restaurant is :P The CKT here didn't look all that yummy, so I initially didn't even bother to try it. Kevin asked me to try a mouthful and wow! It was good! It doesn't look that great but it tasted so good. Really really authentic.
If Kevin is known as the CKT inspector, then I would be known as the Fish Head Noodles ($6.95) inspector. First off, I must say that the portion was huge! Not only that, there were lots of fish and salted vegetables in the soup. Yummmmy yummy stuff! The noodles didn't really stand out as extraordinary but it was good. Nice creamy soup with the the right amount of saltiness from the salted vegetables. Definitely on par with the Fish Head Noodles from Penang Restaurant (currently my fav place to go for fishhead noodles). I am really glad that we found this hidden gem, deep in the heart of Chinatown. Authentic Malaysian food, at a reasonable price. Will definitely return to try their rice and dishes. The only downside was that the service was really slow. Oh well, maybe they were having a bad day. Who knows. I guess we would have to return to find out.

New Malaysia - Chinatown, NYC
46-48 Bowery Street
Chinatown Arcade #28
New York, Ny 10013
Tel: (212) 964 0284/2257

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship

* This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Woodrow Wilson. All opinions are 100% mine.

I'm sure all of us will agree that providing our children with the best education possible is one of the greatest thing one can do for your child. How do we do that? One of the most effective ways to get a generation of college ready high school graduates is to have excellent educators in every classroom today.However, unfortunately, this is not the scenario in our classrooms today. Did you know that in high-need schools, as many as 1/3 of all students have at least one teacher without even a college minor in the subject taught? The need for teachers (especially in high need disciplines) continues to grow rapidly each day. If this trend continues, it is projected that by 2015, over 280,000 new math and science teachers will be needed in America’s public school classrooms.

Guess what? YOU could be the answer to this problem and play a part in changing the lives of many young people across America. Are you a recent college graduate? Someone looking for a career change? A retiree or even a stay at home mom. Do you have a strong background in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM)? Are you passionate about wanting to teach and impact lives of young Americans? If you answer is yes to the above, then you might be a good candidate for the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship.

What's that, you might ask. Well, the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowships seeks to recruit, prepare and retain effective teachers for the students and schools who need them most. What it does is provide recent college graduates and career changers in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, or math) with a $30,000 stipend to complete an intensive master’s degree program at one of fourteen participating universities. Among some of the participating universities are Purdue University, University of Michigan, Ohio State University and University of Indianapolis. Competitive candidates would need to have completed an undergraduate degree in a STEM field by June 2011 with a 3.0 GPA or higher. They would also need to demonstrate a commitment to the program and its goals. Once selected, Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows become lifelong members of a national network of intellectual leaders. They would get the opportunity to complete a field-based master’s degree in teacher education. Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellows then will have to teach for at least three years in high-need secondary urban or rural schools, contingent on completing their master’s degree program and attaining their teaching license. They would also receive intensive support and mentoring in the classroom.

Do you think that you would be a good candidate for the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship? If so, head over to www.wwteachingfellowship.org for more information and to fill out an application. Better hurry. Apply now for the September 1 deadline! Remember, you can Change the World by Changing Theirs. Become a Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellow!

Visit my sponsor: The Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship

Simple Chicken & Mix Vege Stir Fry

Here is something really simple and fast that I made for dinner a few days ago. It's an Asian style inspired stir fry that can be whipped up in less than half an hour (yup, that includes prep time too!) Not only is it really yummy, it's pretty healthy too! Check it out.
Start off by adding some minced garlic to a few splashes of oil. I used olive oil but you can pretty much anything that you have in hand.
Once the garlic starts to turn slightly brown, add in some slices of chicken breast. I sliced the chicken breast into thin strips and pre marinated it with some soy sauce, pepper and some corn flour for a few hours.
After stir frying the chicken for a bit til it's almost cooked, add in some shitake mushrooms and some fresh mushrooms. You can pretty much add in any type of mushrooms that you like. If you don't like mushrooms, hey, just leave them out! It's a matter of what you have in your fridge at that time. Remember to cut out the stems from the shitake mushrooms and you can cut the caps into half if they are too big.
Then, stir fry the mushrooms for a bit. When they have soften a lil, you can add in the rest of the vegetables. I added a mix of broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and Italian green beans. Mix them up well with the mushrooms. You can add in a little bit of chicken stock if it's a little bit dry.
Once all the vegetables are almost cooked, it's time to add in the sauce. The sauce is really simple to make. Just add in some teriyaki sauce (some people prefer oyster sauce, it's up to you) with a few dashes of soy sauce and some chicken stock. Then, add in some corn flour to thicken the sauce up. Mix everything together really well and you have the sauce. Pour the sauce into the vegetable mixture and stir fry for a bit.
There you go. A nic big wok of chicken and vegetable stir fly! Now, wasn't that really simple to make? I served it up on top of some brown rice and dinner was ready! A simple home made dinner in less than half an hour :D

Friday, August 20, 2010

Coupon Code: Free Shipping @ Linens 'N Things

* This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Linens 'N Things. All opinions are 100% mine.

If you are a regular reader of this blog, I am pretty sure you would know by now that I totally love shopping. What's there not to like about shopping, right? These days, I notice that I tend to shop more online compared to say, 2 years ago. Shopping online just makes sense. You do not need to fight crowds at the mall (and drive around to find parking spots) and you get access to more choices and designs when shopping online. Also, you do not need to waste time travelling to and walking around various malls, just to find that particular something. With online shopping, everything is at your finger tips!

Whenever I am looking for things for my home, the first place I would head to online is Linens 'N Things. Why? Well, I know for a fact that there is a high chance I would find something that I would like, and mind you, in my budget too! Linen 'N Things feels like my own personal online one stop shop, for the entire home. I am not surprised though. Linens 'N Things carries over 200,000 top brand products ranging from bedding to window treatments to kitchen and bath products to home decor! They even have stuff for pets and babies! In fact, I was just on LNT.com earlier today and I totally fell in love with their Asian Lily by Perry Ellis range. The design is so simply, yet elegant. It also has this modern contemporary feel to it. The best thing is, I love how everything matches, from bedding to shower curtains! I definitely have to get that range for my home.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

TaiTong Seafood - Penang, Malaysia

As promised, here is another review of one of the many restaurants that we went to during our trip back to Malaysia earlier this year. We had quite a lot of seafood when we were in Langkawi but we didn't really manage to eat much seafood while we were back in Penang (too busy spending time with the extended family and eating a whole lot of awesome home cooked food!). We were not going to leave Penang until we ate some seafood, so, for dinner during our last night in Penang, we headed out to Teluk Bahang. Teluk Bahang is a quaint little fishing village located on the Northwestern tip of Penang Island. Unlike Batu Feringghi (a major tourist destination and entertainment hub, just a mere 5KM away), Teluk Bahang is a sleepy, quiet, small town. Nothing much really happens in Teluk Bahang. One would say that it somewhat reminds you of Penang, say 20 years ago. However, Teluk Bahang is well known for one thing, and that is it's fresh seafood!
One of the most popular (if not, THE most popular) seafood restaurant in Teluk Bahang is the "End of the World" restaurant. It's been around for ages and people used to travel all the way to Teluk Bahang, just to eat there. Over the years, the quality of their food has declined. In fact, it is now not even located at it's original location and is under a new management. We decided not to eat at the End of the World but at TaiTong Seafood (located really close to the original location of the End of the World). TaiTong Seafood is actually a residential house that has been converted into a restaurant. Nothing really fancy, just a typical Chinese restaurant with handwritten menus and Carlsberg beer posters hanging on the wall :P It's usually at places like this where you can find the yummiest food. No frills, just good food.
After we sat down, they asked us what we wanted to drink. Of course they had the usual Chinese tea, sodas, fresh fruit juices, local coffee, Nescafe, Milo, Carlsberg beer...the usual stuff that you can find in Malaysian coffee shops. I then saw a banner for this drink called "Authentic 3 Layer Tea". I have actually seen that banner quite a number of times before but never got around to ordering it. I believe that it is originally from East Malaysia (Kuching, Sarawak to be exact)and it's really gaining popularity all across Malaysia. So, I decided to order one, just to say that I have tried it. From the photo, you can actually see the 3 layers. The bottom layer is gula melaka (local palm sugar) followed by a layer of evaporated milk and it's topped off with tea. Surprisingly, it tasted really really good. For only RM2.80 (approx US$0.90), it's really a bang for your buck!
Since we were planning on stuffing our faces with loads of seafood, we didn't order any steamed rice to go with the dishes. However, if you noticed, Malaysians NEED to have some sort of carbs with every meal. We believe that you will not be full unless you have some sort of carbs with your meal :P So, we ordered a large plate of Hokkien Char (RM 12 = US$ 3.80) to share. Hokkien Char is actually fried noodles with soy sauce, Hokkien style. It wasn't really the best, but it wasn't bad either. Yellow and rice noodles stir fried with a few pieces of chicken slices, fishcakes, small shrimp, beansprouts, mustard greens and topped with some fried onions. Nothing really to rave about. Oh, we also ordered a small portion of fried rice (RM5 = US$1.60) but I didn't managed to take a photo of it. I can't even remember if it was good or bad, so I would have to say that it was errrr, forgettable?
We also wanted to have some vegetables to go with our seafood.. The waitress suggested Thai Style Stir Fried Mix Vege (RM10 = US$3.20). Eggplant, okra and four angled beans, stir fried with some minced chicken and tom yum paste. It was a tad bit spicy (I expected it to be really spicy but was pleasantly surprised) and it tasted great!! I guess it must be one of the house specialities, since the waitress recommended this dish. Very nice.
Now it's time to bring on the seafood! First up is a type of shellfish called Bamboo shellfish (RM18 = US$5.70). I am not really sure what's the real name of this shellfish but it's commonly known as Bamboo shellfish in Malaysia. It's given that name for the mere reason that it's shell looks like bamboo. The Bamboo shellfish at TaiTong was really hugeee and juicy. It was lightly stir fried in some Chinese wine and topped with some cilantro, green onions, carrot shreds, ginger and red chillies. A really tasty and well balanced dish. Just the right amount of ginger and cilantro to balance out the fishy smell that sometimes comes along with this type of shellfish.
Next up is the the Steamed Sea Scallops (RM27 = US$8.60). A very simple dish actually. Fresh sea scallops steamed with some seasonings and topped with some ginger, spring onions, carrots and cilantro. You can taste that the scallops were really fresh. However, we were quite disappointed with this dish because the scallops were really small! We had hoped for bigger ones. It would have tasted so much better if the scallops were a tad bit bigger. Oh well :(
Ahhhhh Kevin and my mom's favorite dish. Sweet and Sour Chili Crabs (RM87 = US$28)!! This is seriously Kevin's all time favorite Malaysian seafood dish. Whenever we are back here in the States, he would go on and on and on about how yummy the Malaysian Sweet and Sour Crabs were and how he wished he could eat them again. If there is one dish that he really misses from the days when he was living in Malaysia, this is it (well, Char Koay Teow too I guess :P). The Sweet and Sour Crabs in TaiTong was alright. Nothing really great about it but it wasn't bad either. For Penang standards (since Penang is the food capital of Malaysia), I would say that it was only mediocre.
We also ordered some cute mantau buns to eat with the crabs. 5 fried buns and 5 steamed buns (RM6 = US$1.90). Yes, I know. There are only 4 fried buns in the photo. I think my dad (or was it Ashley??) ate one of the fried buns before I had a chance to take a photo of it :P
Now, the pièce de résistance of our meal. A yummy, creamy, cheesy serving of Lobster Thermidor (RM165 = US$52.70). Chunks of fresh lobster meat and an assortment of vegetables, cooked with cream sauce and stuffed backed into the lobster shell. It is then topped with cheese and baked. It tasted great but the downside was that there were a whole lot of vegetables and just a few pieces of lobster. I would say that it wasn't really worth the RM165. However, I would still have to say that it was really really really yuuummmmyyy!
Our total bill came up to RM337.60 (approx US$108) for 5 people. It's not too bad really, putting into consideration that about half of that bill already went to the lobster. Overall, it was a great night. We had a great time eating some really fresh (and relatively cheap) seafood and more importantly, spending time with my parents and Ashley. Ooooohhhh we can't wait to go home to Malaysia again and stuff our faces silly with all that yummy seafood! Oh and of course to see our family too :P

TaiTong Seafood - Penang, Malaysia
4 Jalan Hassan Abbas,
11050 Teluk Bahang,
Penang, Malaysia
Tel: (604)885 1693
Cell: (6019)417 7969/(6016)481 4789
Hours: Mon - Fri (3:00pm - 10:30pm), Sat & Sun (noon - 10:30pm)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Promove - Your Apartment Locator in Atlanta & Dallas!

* This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of PROMOVE. All opinions are 100% mine.

Whenever the topic of apartment hunting comes up, I would have to agree with most people that apartment hunting is not something that we look forward to doing. More than often, people have many sleepless nights, just thinking about it. I remember all the headaches that we went through when we first moved to New Jersey from Pittsburgh nearly four years ago. Since we were new in town, we didn't really know the neighborhoods well. Not only that, we really didn't know which apartment community would fit our lifestyle or how bad the rush hour traffic would be in the morning. Trust me, it's no fun at all. If only there were somebody that we knew back then that could have helped us in our apartment search. Somebody who knows the neighborhoods in and out.


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