Thursday, November 30, 2006

*&@$%$ Road Runner! I lost my post

I spent one and a half hours of precious time writing a post and it got eaten up by the evil internet connection failure. Frustrated does not even begin to describe how I feel right now. Damn you stupid road runner!!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

State of the Art Hot Dog Cooker

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

This post is not for the faint-hearted or easily offended people. Warning, potentially offensive material below. I received this picture from a forwarded e-mail and was caught off guard when I saw the pic. The title of the e-mail was the same as the title of this post. I was laughing so hard, I almost fell off my chair. If the bf had been around, he would have thought that I was mad. Okay-lah, who am I kidding, the bf knows that I'm mad.

Without further ado, I give you the creative achievements of some really bored people......

With ref to above quote from Brillat-Savarin, "Hot dog anyone?"

Best of all, the email was forwarded to me by my dad!

p/s I would like to give credit to whoever took this picture. It's brilliant.

Thanksgiving Teaser

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

I was invited to celebrate Thanksgiving with my god-sister's in-laws last Thursday. Boy, it was such a magnificent feast! Her in-laws are both very creative, artistic, gracious and most importantly NICE people that I felt so honored to be invited. I was a little apprehensive about asking permission to take pictures because I did not want to be rude but the spread was so beautiful that I finally had to ask. Little did I know that Mrs. A* had already read my blog and she okayed the Thanksgiving post. Unfortunately, my camera's batteries died.

I was so bummed out until my god-brother offered me the use of his camera and I snapped tons of pics. I'll post them up when he sends them to me. It will be worth the wait.

My stomach was so happy after that huge meal. Thanks so much Mr and Mrs A.* It really feels great to be a part of such a wonderful family.

*Names abbreviated for privacy purposes

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Casino Royale

The name's Bond, James Bond.

Went to watch the new 007 movie last night with the bf and my godparents. Despite my initial skepticism, it was really good. And the airport scene also explains why I temporarily lose my suitcases every year while flying home. @%#* you, terrorists and secret agents.

My initial reluctance to watch the movie stemmed from my inability to digest a blond Bond. However, shortly after the opening credits, I saw him in action and my jaw dropped. This guy is good. And HOT. He makes Pierce Brosnan look like a sissy-boy. And I like Pierce Brosnan! I have always wanted to see Hugh Jackman be cast as Bond but then again, I'm totally biased. I'd see Hugh Jackman in anything...the man can sing, act and dance. More importantly, he kicks ass, sprouts metal blades from his knuckles and kills vampires. Can you beat that? The only way to defeat this hero is by proclaiming, "I am a Scientologist" This trumps everything.

Jumped on couches lately? It's okay, just say, " I'm a Scientologist"

Insulted any depressed post-partum women lately? It's okay if you're a Scientologist

The press hounding you for making stupid, chauvinist statements after CCTV operators focused on the thighs of female journalists instead of the Penang Municipal City Council meeting proceedings? "If the dress was not sexy, the incident would not have happened" Instead of blaming the decently dressed journalist, the Penang Municipal Council president Datuk Abu Bakar Hassan should have replied, "We're Scientologists" Would have worked out better for him, I think.

Okay, I am getting out of hand. Back to the Bond movie.....spoiler alert. Stop reading now if you have not watched the movie.

This Bond is more testosterone laden and athletic compared to all the other Bonds, barring Sean Connery's. He's quick to react, unafraid to take risks but most impressively, pauses at times to assess the situation and THINK. Beauty and brains= I like. Craig's juggernaut-like Bond contributes to propelling the movie's momentum from the get go. It hit the ground running, so to speak. Just look at this man, he gets my blood running.

I particularly enjoyed the clever dialog, especially between Eva Green's Vespar and Craig's Bond. The scene on the luxury train to Montenegro was well crafted. During Vespar and Bond's verbal exchange, we witness a crack in his impassive facade and catch a glimpse of vulnerability as well. Vespar uses her sarcasm and beauty as armor and could have come off as a total bitch if not for her ready smile which comes off looking sincere. She laughs at others but more so at herself, as though she was only playing a role. We later find out that she is.

Casino Royale allows its audience to see the man behind the mask that is James Bond, to see that for all his amazing abilities, he is only a man. This Bond feels, he loves and he screams in pain as his family jewels are walloped over and over again. As soon as I figured out what Le Chiffre was going to do with the rope, I could not stop a very loud, "OWWW" from escaping in the theater. This prompted laughter from some members of the audience. Sorry people. In this situation, the usual silent stoic Bond would have been unrealistic.

Besides the great scenery and background locations (hello, Mr White's castle in Montenegro), those were the best parts of the movie. They kinda lost me a little during the sappy falling-in-love scenes.

Also disturbing was the realization that I was more upset upon seeing the destruction of Bond's Aston Martin (what a gorgeous car!!) than watching people get killed. I was like, "Noooo...... don't harm the car" This is a testament to the prevalence of violence in movies, mirroring the escalation of violence in today's society. I am reminded daily at work.

I also like to pick apart movie plots and nothing bothers me more than loose ends or gaps in the plot/logic. Pleasantly, there were only a few things that bothered me while watching the film:

  1. The scene where Bond goes to the Bahamas to track the originator of the 'ELLIPSIS' text message. He has the exact time when the message was sent so he goes to the security room of the beach club and searches the security camera archives for the suspect. Clever no? Then he correctly picks the one camera that was focusing on the driveway of the club. Wow. Then he fast forwards the film to the exact time that the message was sent, and sees the suspect coming out of his car and handing the keys to the valet. Brilliant right? Wait, how do you send a text message and valet your car at the same time? I'm not that talented personally so I think this scene's logic is flawed.
  2. After Bond was poisoned with digitalis (we were informed in the movie), he was instructed to use the defibrillator to shock himself. Unless, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) guidelines changed on me, you cannot shock unless you are in ventricular fibrillation (V-fib) or pulseless ventricular tachycardia (pulseless V-tach), at which time you would not be talking. It's called a cardiac arrest for a reason. And he was certainly not there yet according to the scanner rhythm shown, so the machine would not even work! This is to protect people from getting shocked by accident-something that can actually trigger cardiac arrest. It definitely made more sense when Eva Green shocked him when she found him unconscious. I'm sure there were at least a few ACLS instructors, paramedics, nurses, physician assistants and doctors that cringed at that scene. This is also why the bf does not watch medical shows with me.
  3. Why did Vespar have to die? If she was innocent and was coerced into betraying Bond, why didn't she fight to live? She knew that Bond loved her and proved it by struggling to save her even after she betrayed him. That's just selfish man.

All this aside, it was still a great movie and I'd definitely watch it again. I would give up 4 plates of Char Koay Teow (fried noodles) for this movie. Five plates of Char Koay Teow for Mr Daniel Craig. Yummmy!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Fun times at Fujiyama

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

Every weekend, I look forward to Monday night. Why? Am I mad? Don't I get the Monday blues? No!....thanks to Fujiyama's Half-Price Sushi Night. I got excited last Sunday night at work and told my co-worker about my gastronomic plans to which she replied, "Oh no, it's going to gastroenteritis night" Haha...maybe for the weak but my Penang-trained cast iron stomach is strong. And also, Fujiyama serves very fresh seafood. Trust me, I'm Asian :) God, I love that line.

So, the bf dutifully makes a reservation for two persons after I crashed into bed at 10:30 am. I had the worst nights ever at work and came home two and a half hours late. I awoke with a start at 6 pm after sleeping the day away and panicked, thinking that we were late for our reservation. The bf kindly told me not to get my knickers in a bunch and that our dinner reservation was for 8pm. Apparently, Fujiyama does not take reservations on Monday nights from 6pm to 8pm.

Fujiyama Restaurant

Despite having reservation, we had to wait a little while to be seated. The restaurant was crowded as usual. Woe to you if you do not have a reservation. You need to wait your turn, competing with other walk-ins as well as wait for the people who have reservations to be seated first. When finally ushered to our table, the bf and I pounced on the menu. Our attentive waiter appeared almost immediatly and took our order. As usual, we ordered too much. We used to order a lot of individual nigiri pieces off the half price menu (USD 1 to1.50 per piece) but the brilliant bf figured out that we'd get a lot of bang for our back if we ordered the rolls (priced at USD 3 to 6 per roll-usually cut up into 6 pieces). I started ordering first. After I was done, the waiter asked, "Anything else? This is to share right?" I shamefacedly told him that this was only my order. The bf had yet to order. The look he gave me was priceless.

Then, he managed to catch himself and said that I was a good thing that we were ordering a lot because the new rules set by the management didnot allow add-on items after the initial order had been placed. This, I thought was rather strange but apparently it's to dissuade people from lingering too long at a meal. What if I was still hungry? I did not worry too much about the new ruling as it seemed rather improbable, if not outright impossible that I would be hungry after the mammoth amount of sushi I just ordered. While waiting for our meal, I played around with the camera. The bf just whinged about being hungry. See, if he ate as often as I did, he wouldn't be starving all the time. Sheesh....

The impressive menu, which we ignored that night

Trying to be artistic. The bf and I had a chopstick holder folding competition.

The half price menu on the left vs the normal menu on the right

Close up of the ninja roll, accompanied by some pink pickled ginger. Does anyone know why it's pink? (forgot what's in it)

This is half of the bf's order. Clockwise from top:
  • 3 pieces of tako (octopus)
  • California roll
  • Spicy tuna roll
  • Eel and avocado roll
  • Boston roll

Followed by:
  • Spider roll
  • Dragon roll
  • Ninja roll
  • Rainbow roll
And then my order came:
  • Spicy tuna roll
  • California roll
  • Dragon roll
  • Inari (beancurd skin)
  • Masago (flying fish roe)
  • Ninja roll
  • Spider roll

And we ate it all.

Ok, I lied. We tar pow-ed (doggy bagged in Cantonese) it home. I had sushi for breakfast and dinner. I think the bf did not eat lunch the next day :)

Oh yes, we also had green tea ice cream for dessert but I was too full to reach for the camera. The ice cream was okay only but due to the lack of availability of green tea flavored ice cream, I gave in to temptation. The best green tea ice cream is made by Haagen Dazs but is unavailable here in the US or at least, the Midwest. This is a real shame.

What can I say? I love eating and sushi.

Fujiyama Restaurant
2916 S 108th St

Milwaukee, 53227

(414) 755-1988

Sunday, November 19, 2006

I Can't Wait To Go Home

I have been running around for the past few days, partially in preparation to go back to Penang (please read: buying presents) I had the past 3 days off, will work one day tomorrow evening and then have three days off (including Thanksgiving day). After that, all hell will break loose and I will be working like a fiend to maximize my shifts before flying back to Penang. Yes, I'll be working right until the day before I leave. Then I am going to collapse into a comatose state until I reach Singapore. I will be determined not to eat on the flight, okay, will tell the truth, determined not to eat a lot on the flight so that when I land in Penang soil, my family can cart me to the nearest hawker center and shove food down my gullet to revive me.

Last year, on my Singapore to Penang trip, I declined the 'generic airplane crap' that MAS serves and caught incredulous looks from the passengers sitting next to me. They probably thought that I was mad because I didn't even take the food that I had already paid for. I thought that they were mad because they were wasting stomach space on crappy airplane food when delicious Penang food was only minutes away. I will be saving my stomach for your culinary splendor, dear Penang Island.

For those of you who are not acquainted with this charming little island, it's my beloved hometown, located off the north-western coast of Peninsula Malaysia. See Penang on Wiki. Penang is a food paradise and has spawned millions of food snobs, including myself. When I was living in Penang, I would rather skip the meal than eat bad tasting or sub-standard food. Living or rather, eating there was a real luxury. Living in the Midwest has brought me down a peg or two. But I would still rather not eat 'Penang' food at all than to cheat my tastebuds with non-authentic fare. Anyone can identify with this quirk? I'd rather wait a year and then hentam the real thing.

The typical greeting when meeting friends and strangers alike is, "Have you eaten yet?" or in Hokkien (the most commonly spoken chinese dialect), "Chiak pa liao boay?" If you answer in the affirmative, it would inevitable lead to an interrogation of what, where and when you ate. Many discussions that have started out amiably have ended in arguments about where the best places to eat are. Say no and your friends/hosts/strangers would either tell you the best places to eat or simply drag you off for a meal.

Every Penangite thinks that they know where to find the best food. Ironically enough, nobody can come to a consensus. The bf and I often disagree on where to eat the best Char Koay Teow on the island. My favorite stall is at Song River while the bf likes the one in New Lane. This time, for the sake of my blog, I will attempt to find the best places to eat authentic Penang staples and complile a 'best of' list (which will probably be challenged by most Penangites) I don't care, get your own blog if you disagree with MY list. I will work hard, sacrifice my figure, grow fat and appear gluttonous for the sake of getting to the truth. And this is going to be my excuse when people ask me why:
  • I am so greedy and eat so much
  • I eat more than one dish per meal (e.g. roti canai and nasi lemak for breakfast)
  • I am getting so chubby or fat (this is from the truly rude)
  • I am eating like there is no tomorrow. People, I am storing up gastronomic memories to sustain me for a year. By now, I cannot remember what laksa tastes like.
  • I spend so much money on food
  • I take pictures of every dish before eating it
  • I prevent people from eating before I take pictures of the food
  • I am always talking about food, asking during lunch, "What's for dinner?"

30 more days to takeoff!!!!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Noodle House

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

The bf and I went to dinner at Noodle House on 35th and National with a group of good friends. The restaurant serves Vietnamese/Chinese/Thai food and is run by a Hmong family. It's a typical mom and pop joint and the food has a homemade feel to it. Compared to my favorite Vietnamese/Chinese restaurant, Phan's Garden, it's only so-so. Nevertheless, we like to go there because it's one of the only restaurants in town that serves stir fried frog legs and curried catfish.

I was not feeling too adventurous that night but supremely hungry so I ordered a huge Combination grilled chicken, pork and shrimp salad, which came with a spring roll (popiah) and the bf ordered Thai Iced Tea and Mussamun Curry with rice. We also had an appetizer dish of summer rolls (the ones with the clear skin) but due to aformentioned hunger, I did not have time to take any pictures. The bf sensing sustenence, immediately pounced on the poor roll and devoured it. I followed suit. If you can't beat them, join them-la.

Mussamun curry: It had fried potatoes and chicken meat in a curry sauce and spring onions. I thought that the curry was too sweet and watery. Furthermore, the onions were raw. I like raw onions but they were cut too thick to be eaten raw and did not enhance the taste of the dish. I gave it a D+ but the bf must have liked it because he finished everything.

Combination Grilled Salad: I took a look at this dish and though, "Hey, in the picture, the shrimps were grilled" But I sucked it up and decided not to make a fuss. Go watch the movie 'Waiting' and see if you ever dare to send anything back. If I have a problem with the food, I tell them AFTER my meal so that they can improve things in the future and not have the chance of spitting in my food. Think I am paranoid? Go watch the movie. I dare you.

So, I poured the sauce into my salad and mixed it all up. It was delicious. The barbecued aroma of the pork and lemongrass flavored chicken was enhanced by the accompanying sauce (made of fish-sauce, chilli and vinegar). The softness of the vermicelli was balanced by the crunchiness of the julienned carrots and cubed cucumbers. Finally, the oiliness of the meat was countered by the crisp, fresh taste of the vegetables, making this dish not only great tasting but rather healthy as well. I enjoyed every bite. And so did the bf.

A friend had this dish...forgotten it's name but the grilled pork was similar to the one in my dish. This dish came with some stirfried vegetables to compose a balanced meal of carbs, veggies and meat. Except that the proportions are whacked. See food pyramid for correct recommended proportions.

Another friend ordered the Curry Catfish with rice and it was rather good. The catfish was deboned, cut into cubes and then deepfriend before having curry sauce poured on top of it. I took a small morsel and was prepared to encounter a mouthful of fishy mush. Surprisingly, it had no fishy odor and was permeated with the aroma of the lemongrass based yellow curry. Yes, I think turmeric was a main ingredient in the sauce besides lemongrass and pepper. The bf liked it as well but if you are going to order this dish, tell the waitress right away as it takes a while to cook. Fish is not my thing, unless it's sushi or sashimi, so I give kudos to this dish as I did not gag at all but I certainly won't be ordering this in the future.

We filled up our bellies and moseyed over to Potawatomi Casino, hoping for lady luck to smile on us.

Noodle House

3433 W National Ave

Milwaukee, WI 53215

(414) 672-6693

JuJu Necklace

Haha..this post is not about food. It's about a GORGEOUS necklace that I had my eye on for a while. Okay-lah...a months. I could not stop thinking about how pretty it was, especially on moi neck. Those of you who know me would probably pray that I go get the damn thing now because I will obsess about it forever....and end up buying it anyway (after whinging for a protracted amount of time) Lucky for you isn't it, bf? I am faithful to the things and ones I love.

I stumbled across this adorable little store during a 'girls day out' with my godsister and was very impressed with the line of jewellery that they carried. A second stake-out with the bf (hunting for a Christmas present for his mom) yielded this fabulous 5 stranded Liz Paiacious necklace that I absolutely loved. Alas, I told myself, no more spending money on frivolous non-necessities. Christmas time is for spending on other people. If I were a Christian, then I would have said that Christmas is about Jesus and God. But I am not, so to me it's all about love, family and presents.
I was told on my second visit that there would soon be a sale and if I signed up for the mailing list, I would be invited. Ha! there was the excuse I needed. I said goodbye to my necklace and waited patietly for my invite. Happily, I received a postcard yesterday from the store about their Holiday Preview Weekend and stupidly assumed that it was the sale that the proprietress was talking about. I cajoled the bf into dropping by the store today to purchase said necklace. I think that the dissapointment must have shown on my face when I was told that the sale was some time ago and didn't I get the email. The store owner, Nichole Nikolic decided to give me the sale price today as I did not receive my email about the sale. What a wonderful woman! I got MY necklace and it's beautiful. Merci beaucoup to Nichole from JuJu.

Nichole Nikolic, Owner

Store interior

Creative paper snowflakes

And finally, my necklace:

JuJu Gifts, Accessories & Decor

Milwaukee WI, 53202

Phone: 414-221-9580

Fax: 414-221-9589

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Fake Ark Thooi Mee Suah

This morning, as I drove home from a gruelling 10hr shift, I started thinking about food. It was too early (6:35am) to wake the bf up for breakfast and too late to eat anything before going to bed. Suddenly, a vision of a steaming hot bowl of ark thooi mee suah (duck drumstick rice noodles) came to mind and I was overcome by a ferocious need to eat that dish. It's times like this that I desperately miss home. There is no way that you can just walk or drive to the nearest hawker stall and just buy whatever you want to eat on demand. The nearest Chinatown is 2 hrs away, in another state...hello. Whatever you want to eat, you have to make.

Now, I have no clue how to make this dish so I did the next best thing; I called my mother to complain and whinge. My hope was that she would have an easy to prepare recipe. No such luck. My mom sympathized with me for 2 mins and then told me to use my imagination. This is what ensued:

I used one packet of Pepper Spice soup mix ( I swear it tastes like too-tor th'ng/ pig stomach soup) and prepared it as per instructions on the back. Ok-lah, I tore open the packet and added the sachet to 1500ml of water in a slow cooker, set to low. I then set aside 4 pieces of frozen chicken thighs with instructions for the bf to add to the slow cooker when completely defrosted and then I went to bed.

The bf popped the chicken thighs into the pot at 1pm and by 6pm, the whole apartment was filled with the delicious aroma of pepper soup.

10 mins before serving, I added 1 can of baby straw mushrooms (drained) and 1 can of drained quail's eggs (CHOLESTEROL!!!!!). The bf force fed me 5 fish oil pills tonight because of that. Then I boiled some mee suah and voila! dinner is ready. Not ark thooi me suah but not bad either. I did not add any extra salt but it still tasted delicious.

Luan Luan Lai Mee Suah

Close up shot

The bf's verdict: Not bad.
ONLY??? Cheh, next time I'll let the food critic make his own dinner.

Blogger in Beta

After days of deliberating, I switched to Blogger in Beta. I hope I did not make the wrong move. Anyone running into problems with the Beta version? Please let me know.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Chinatown Foray and Joy Yee Noodles

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin
Our gastronomic foray to Chicago’s Chinatown was a triumph and we came back laden with delicious food. As we approached my apartment, the bf suddenly said, “What’s that smell?” I sniffed the air cautiously and an image of tauge (beansprouts to all the non Malaysians) fried with soy sauce materialized in my mind. The bf was amazed by my fantastic olfactory abilities...I told him it’s because I am Chinese and can sniff out Chinese food anywhere. Then it hit me, hmmm..fried tauge today, the aroma or stink (whichever rocks your boat) of fried kiam-hoo (salted fish) last week, the faint scent of incense...our neighbor must be CHINESE. Hah! Must arrange a stakeout to confirm my suspicions.
Anyway, back to the Chinatown trip, I must say that we take a drive down south pretty often but I haven’t in the past been able to get decent pictures for a blog. Today we visited Joy Yee Noodles ( and Feida Bakery. Due to it's large size, I am going to split this blog into two parts.
Walking along the shops of New Chinatown
Joy Yee’s has always been a favorite of ours and we had eaten there many times in the past. They serve a wide variety of asian fare and although I cannot say that each dish is authentic, I can certainly confirm that it is GOOD! To detractors that complain about the lack of authenticity of the Chinese food, it is not a Chinese restaurant. Now, shut up and eat. It’s been a while since we’ve been there because we found a new dim sum restaurant that took over as THE favorite. I’ll save that for another blog.

Joy Yee’s has always been a very popular restaurant and it is always packed when we’ve tried to eat there. Patrons go through this ritual where they push past a sea of people standing in front of the front door and put their names down on a waiting list to be seated. Then you either stand waiting along the wall, in the restaurant, where mobs of people continually push at you to get to the list or you can wait along the wall outside, where is it pleasant in spring summer and hell in winter. No matter the time of the day, there was always a line.

It was a pleasant surprise to walk right into Joy Yee’s today and immediately ushered to a table. Actually, the ever vigilant bf spotted a crowd nipping at our heels and rushed into the restaurant to secure a table, whilst gesturing to me to hurry up and come in. I was taking pictures-lah, damn kiasu. Ok-lah, I admit that I was grateful for his speedy reaction because every table in the restaurant was filled after that. It seems that the congestion at the original Joy Yee’s in Chinatown has eased due to the opening of 3 other locations in the city (see list below)

The service was quick and efficient and within minutes, we had already placed our order. Our drinks came shortly thereafter. Joy Yee’s is famous for its bubble teas, fresh fruit freezes and smoothies. I ordered the Watermelon freeze with tapioca balls. The bf had green tea smoothie with tapioca, which was marvelous but contained a generous amount of half and half (not for weight watchers or people with high cholesterol). My watermelon freeze looked rather anemic but it did not compromise the taste. I love the crisp, fresh taste of watermelon as it reminds me of home.

We had Butter Fried Squid as an appetizer. Entrees were Malaysian Style Seafood with Baked Rice (the bf) and Korean BBQ short ribs (me). Here are the yummy pics:

Green Tea Smoothie and Watermelon Freeze

Butter Fried Squid. I did not like this dish because it was too buttery for my tastes but the bf loved it. The batter was crispy while the squid was tender inside.

Malaysian Style Seafood with Baked Rice

Korean BBQ short ribs

What a whole lot of food. The hungry bf is already digging in.

Korean BBQ short ribs AFTER I was done with my meal. The only complaints I have about this dish is that it is not something you can eat politely in public. I prefer to eat this in the privacy of my home where I can scrape my teeth againts the bone to got all of the meat. Which is what I will be doing for dinner tonight.

The bill, USD 35.94 without tax. Not bad for a huge meal like this. Plus we will be fed for then next two meals.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Feida Bakery and Old Chinatown

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

After the meal, we moseyed over to Feida Bakery to pick up weekly supplies. Previously, walking into Feida was a scary experience because the lady behind the counter would yell at you if you did not rattle off your order fast enough, if you hesitated between orders or added new items to your completed order. Strangely enough, the ladies behind the counter were so pleasant during our past 3 visits. The first time it happened, the bf asked if we should stop at a gas station to buy a Powerball ticket. Being Chinese, we did get the ticket but didn’t win.

Today’s visit was also very pleasant and the lady actually gave us a discount on some buns and exchanged the cup soybean milk (few hours old) that we picked up from the counter for a steaming, fresh off the stove cup. I was so disorientated that I forgot to take pictures inside the store. Here are some pics of the storefront and goodies that we carted home. The soybean milk was completely consumed before we even got home.

Feida Storefront

Pak Thong Koh or Steamed Rice Cake

Paper Cupcakes and Curry Beef Bun

The paper cupcakes are called Zhi Pau Tan Koh (cantonese) and are so delicious that I often inhale more than one in a sitting. Then I found out that the 'special ingredient' is lard. Sigh...things that taste good are often very bad for you.

Feida is also known for their egg tarts but we didn't not get any today. Watching my cholesterol-mah.

Feida Bakery
2228 S. Wentworth Ave, Chicago, IL


Hours: 7 a.m.-9 p.m. seven days a week

Also featured are random pics of Chicago’s Chinatown. Enjoy:

The famous Chinatown Arch

A beautiful example of Chinese architecture and craftsmanship. The intricate carvings are amazing

Another angle of the same building

A beautiful glazed peacock

The bf wanted to know why I was taking picture of everything except for the Penang restaurant. Sub standard food-lah. I am from Penang, how to endorse poor quality food? So I made do with taking pictures of the restaurant. To give them credit, there are some dishes that are very well prepared, like their nasi lemak and kangkung belachan. Don't even try dishes like laksa or hokkien mee. You are just asking for trouble.

  • Lessons learnt:
    Never try to drive to Chinatown on an empty stomach. You may last till you reach the restaurant, but you’ll order way too much food.
  • Always go to the bathroom after a meal and before taking a long drive home. Chicago traffic is ALWAYS congested and Murphy’s Law dictates that traffic will come to a standstill just as soon as you feel the need to relieve yourself.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Continuing with the Greek Theme

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

This is my second entry for today. I finished my yoghurt entry earlier and went to a meeting at 5pm. When I arrived home, hungry again (what else?) at 6:30pm, I found this on the kitchen counter. Apparently the bf went hunting and gathering and came back with sustenance.

Excitedly, I looked into the package and found of all things, Greek food from Apollo. This Greek restaurant is located a few blocks from my apartment and serves pretty authentic fare, tried and tested by my Greek friend. The bf picked up 2 items: Apollo combination plate and grilled chicken souvlaki.

Apollo Combination Plate


  • Baked potatoes-standard-lah, baked with oregano
  • Feta cheese-acquired taste. I used to hate it at first, now I love it. Chau gu-leng bee
  • Spanakopita-spinach fillo pastry pie
  • Gyro meat-mystery meat shaped into a long fat skewer and slow roasted on a spit. You hope it's beef
  • Pastitio-baked pasta casserole with bechamel sauce. Kinda like lasagna but softer with a hint of cinnamon
  • Dolmades-stuffed grapevine leaves with rice and meat. My Greek friend makes it with cabbage leaves and lemon-egg sauce. Yummy
  • Pita bread-self explanatory
  • Tzatziki sauce-yoghurt sauce with cucumber and garlic

Grilled Chicken Souvlaki

The bf stealing a piece of chicken

The answer to my earlier postcript; we are having Greek for dinner! Isn't it such a coincidence that we were on the same page...or rather country? The bf swears that he didn't read my earlier post before hunting down dinner.

MmmmMmmm Yoghurt

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

I woke up today feeling RAVENOUS at 2:30 pm. This is the problem with having so many shifts at work (5 different shifts) and then going to bed hungry when I come home at 7am after a long, long night. It's too late to eat before I go to bed, unless of course I don't care about how fat I get. So I kuai-kuai went to sleep and when I woke up...ROAR. My stomach demanded breakfast but the clock told me it was way past lunch and only a few hours to dinner. What to do?

For instances like this, I stock up on yoghurt. Not the wimpy kind that is watery, full of artificial flavoring and lotsa sugar. No, you're talking to a yoghurt connoisseur, having grown up as the daughter of a dairy distributor. Ok-lah, I am not that atas. It's just that I have a Greek friend who loves the stuff and picked up a few cartons of Fage Authentic Greek Yoghurt for me whenever she visits the Greek grocery store. I instantly fell in love with the creamy texture of strained yoghurt. It is unsweetened and comes with a small compartment of honey. Yummm. I love the tangy flavor of the unadulterated yoghurt, with it's milky aroma combined with the sweet golden honey. Some Greeks eat it with nuts (walnuts, pistachios) or fruit. I personally love it with honeydew melon.

Many people have expressed their doubts about the freshness of the product after being imported from Greece to the US but I have personally encountered not problems. After all, yoghurt is fermented milk la. The most it can do is get more fermented right? To my delight, the health foods store near my house started to stock this item so I no longer have to trek across Milwaukee to buy it at the Greek store.

The downside of this utterly delicious dairy product is its 110 fat calories. Many people are frightened off by the high fat content but this is FULL FAT MILK. And I eat it as a between meal snack or more often as a meal replacement. It also keeps you full for many hours due to the release of cholecystokinine by the gallbladder, triggered by the high fat content.

The USDA recommends 3 servings of dairy a day as part of a healthy diet. See
And the calcium in the dairy helps you burn fat and build strong bones, preventing osteoporosis.

The real bummer, its USD 1.99 per carton. Arrrggghhhh!!!

p/s I wonder what's for dinner.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Taste of Nostalgia

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

My latest obsession is reading food blogs. It started with a blog that I accidentally stumbled upon while looking for a Malaysian recipe online. Soon, I was completely hooked. I was spending more and more time looking into the lives of other people, not through their eyes, but rather through their stomaches. Living in the Midwest is great but I really missed Malaysian food. Reading Malaysian food blogs made me feel closer to home, especially when the writers are from Penang. After weeks of staring at other people's food blogs, the boyfriend (who henceforth, shall be referred to as "the bf") suggested that I start my own, since I liked food so much. I deliberated for a while and the thought, "Why not?" I eat, I cook, might as well write about it. After all, the Malaysian goverment is trying to promote Malaysia through it's food.

My problem with starting my blogs stemmed from the fact that I could not ever remember to take pictures before digging in. Oftentimes, I would be three-quarters way into a meal when I suddenly remembered, "Alamak! Forgot to take pictures for my blog."

Thus today I am so proud that I actually have pictures of 2 dishes I made. I was overcome by a sense of nostalgia when I read this blog about tau yew bak that I actually called my mother in Malaysia and asked her for the recipe. Now, my mother is an awesome cook. The problem was, when asked how to cook a dish, she tells you, "Hah, tumi the garlic and then add light soy sauce and dark soy sauce.." Ok, mom, how much of each ingredients? "Eh, you agak-agak lah"

Not helpful. Yet, today, I managed to make tau yew bak and bang-kuang char. Incidentally, bang-kuang is called jicama in the US. This is pronounced 'hee-kam-mah'. Spanish what.

Mom told me to use hae-bee (dried prawns) and jew-hoo (dried cuttlefish) for the bang-kuang char but I could find any so I used ......drumroll....dried scallops instead. Oohh, the decadence. Here are pics:

Soaking the dried scallops

Cutting veges for bang-kuang char

Julienned vegetable-whew, hard work

When I started to cook this, I didn't know it would take more than one hour!

Starting to cook tau yew bak

Final products

Lessons learned during this cooking session:

  1. Never start a dish that that takes two hours to cook when your bf is hungry, much less two.
  2. If you attempt No. 1, make sure you have something to feed the hungry bf (I had tamales)
  3. The secret to good bang-kuang char is julienningthe veges thinly. My dad exclaimed when he saw a pic of the final product, "Aiyoh, why your veges so chor-loh wan?" My first time make this dish mah!
  4. You can never make food that tastes as good as your mother or grandmother's.
  5. It is also cheaper to go out and tar-pow food than to buy individual ingredients to cook at home. It's true, mom, I swear.
  6. The taste of success is sweet. The bf gave the 2 dishes his seal of approval :) And that is the best reward of all.