06 June 2016

Shīfu

Lorong Bentong Makmur 25
Taman Bentong Makmur
28700 Bentong
Coordinates: 3.518023, 101.922779

Over the weekend a friend of Brendan took him to a trampoline park. As a result of being both overly excited and an absolute novice he badly sprained his ankle, to the point where he could only walk with the aid of a walking stick.

Thankfully my parents knew a master masseuse (who’s known as Shīfu) that operated from a house in the vicinity of their quiet neighbourhood in Bentong.

The weekend after that we made plans to visit Shīfu so that he could have a look at Brendan’s ankle.

the examination

and diagnosis

The treatment is not for the feint of heart, apart from the usual massage to clear the ‘blocked’ blood vessels (the best we could translate from Shīfu’s explanation) Shīfu will also prick holes in the affected areas to drain the ‘bad blood’ in order to allow for the swelling to recede.

getting ready

the first few pricks

the darker shade of red are what's know as 'bad blood'


more pricks


all done

Even Cat was not spared his treatment, since Shīfu noticed that she walked with a gait that immediately caused him to suspect that the length of her legs were not even. True enough, after an examination gait Shīfu demonstrated to us that her left leg was shorter than her right, and recommended a 'realignment' be done!

'bad blood' from Cat's knee

After the treatment Brendan could walk unaided. Cat also felt a certain 'lightness' in her lower back which Shīfu attributed to the burden counterbalancing her weight on uneven lengths of her leg.

Both are supposed to report back to him in a month for follow up treatment.

02 May 2016

Restoran Makanan Laut Zhen Liew Siang 正留香海鲜楼

30 Jalan 14/48a
Sentul Selatan
51000 Kuala Lumpur
Coordinates: 3.184609, 101.692111

It was the Labour Day weekend and we decided to treat ourselves to lunch at a so-called seafood restaurant. Since the name of the restaurant contains the word “Makanan Laut” which literally means seafood, we found it pretty amusing that none of its signature dishes were actually seafood based.

in the heart of the 'new' Sentul 

seafood joint?

a lazy afternoon, they do rip-roaring business at night
 
If you were to check online people normally come here for Belacan Fried Chicken, Roasted Pork Knuckle and the such. We do admit however that the Curry Fish Head is what draws the crowd too, but since the emphasis is on the curry and not the fish head you could argue that the attention is not on the seafood?

Our apologies for digressing. We placed an order for a Hot Plate filled with Banana Leaf Squid, a bowl of Salted Vegetables & Tofu Soup and a steaming ceramic bowl of 1Kung Pao Chicken.

1a spicy stir-fry Chinese dish made with chicken, peanuts, vegetables, and chili peppers

banana leaf squid

omelet for the seafood aversed Brendan

salty vege  & tofu soup

kung pao chicken

let's give this a go then?

Truth be told we were none too impressed with the dishes served. The squid was passable, the soup too MSG-laden and the chicken fell short of expectations. Take nothing away from Zhen Liew Siang though, since we did not order their signature dishes. Lesson learnt, the next time we’re here we’ll be sure to order their signature Belacan Fried Chicken, Roasted Pork Knuckle and Curry Fish Head. For now we’ll reserve judgement.


Since our meal (and all future meals that we intend to order the next time) runs in excess of RM50 sadly Zhen Liew Siang does not fall within the category of the everyday food for the everyday person.

30 April 2016

Kang San Ea

C5 Jalan Ampang Utama 1/1
Taman Ampang Utama
68000 Ampang
+60342512598
Coordinates: 3.155336, 101.751444

In keeping with my desire to lose weight but not deprive myself of the simpler pleasures in life I caved in and took the family for a night out at our all-time favourite Korean restaurant.

B.B.Q. heaven


in the heart of Korea town, Ampang

As always we ordered the customary 1Samgyeopsal and 2Dwaeji Galbi; and not night out here would be complete if did not Brendan order his favourite 3Kimchi Jjigae.

1a popular Korean dish commonly served as an evening meal, it consists of thick, fatty slices of pork belly meat similar to uncured bacon
2pork ribs seasoned with a typical ganjang-based sauce or gochujang-based sauce (chilli pepper condiment)
3a variety of jjigae, or stew-like Korean dish, made with kimchi and other ingredients, such as scallions, onions, diced tofu, pork, and seafood

While waiting for our order to be served we sat glued to the television set while a musical show was airing. The proprietress had installed an android box that streamed Korean channels direct from South Korea, and despite the absence of English subtitles we enjoyed the show, catching a few words that we were familiar with here and there.

refreshments

we put our phones away

The generous cuts of meat and pork arrived, and the stove was fired up. After that there was nothing much else to do but wait till the grilling was done.

the customary side dishes

grilled pork bellies 

ever helpful

then it was the turn for the pork ribs

feasting on the side dishes

Brendan's kimchi stew

devilishly

fermented

delightful

kimchi

salad to wrap it all up in

Suffice to say tonight’s dinner is beyond the realms of the everyday food for the everyday person but we find ourselves coming here time and again on every special occasion and every chance/excuse we get. That’s how much we love Kang San Ea, sa-rang-he-yo-kang-san-ae!

15 March 2016

A Birthday Wish

Since my last post in January about weight issues, after two long months I do not see an improvement (or shall I say reduction) in my weight.

Culpable to my inability to lose weight is the fact that I have a condition called hypothyroidism. It usually leads to weight gain from a buildup of salt and water in your body. Much of my life past forty I've lived with hypothyroidism and adrenal fatigue. Like many people with untreated hypothyroidism, my symptoms included weight gain, high cholesterol, mild depression, blood pressure issues, feeling tired, cold hands and feet, brain fog, hair loss, dry skin, low energy, and so much more. It was only a few years ago that the condition was diagnosed, and treated with daily medication.

I first experience an unexplained change in weight a few years ago. It was at first attributed to the belief that a person's body starts to lower its metabolism rate once he reaches forty. From a plateau of the mid 80s my weight suddenly shot upwards of 90 kilograms. This I later found out is one of the most common signs of a thyroid disorder. Weight gain may signal low levels of thyroid hormones, which is hypothyroidism. Because patients with an underactive thyroid tend to have a very low basal metabolic rate, one of the most noticeable symptoms of hypothyroidism is weight gain and naturally after that, difficulty in losing weight.

Oh well, enough with the excuses. Onwards and upwards (or downwards, as the case may be).


By the way today is my birthday and this year marks a new chapter: no birthday cake!

20 February 2016

D'Border Delights

26 Jalan 3/69
Seksyen 3 Bandar Baru Bangi
43650 Bangi
Coordinates: 2.937587, 101.773942

Brendan is in his final year of secondary (high) school and faces a daunting final exam at the end of the year. Called the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM for short) it is the equivalent of the GCE O-Level exams.

His school had arranged for an overnight study camp at an institution of higher learning in Bangi for the next two days and being the ‘helicopter’ parents that we are we found ourselves having dinner nearby.

Driving around Bangi town for a bit we finally settled on a restaurant with a very East Coast vibe.

big bright red signboard

hard to miss


Quickly scanning the menu we settled on the signature dish, a plate of sizzling Roasted Beef, a large bowl of 1Sup Ekor and a plate of large omelet. Since this restaurant hails from her home state of Kelantan she fancied a chance with their 2Nasi Kerabu.

1Oxtail soup in English, rich, savoury and flavourful soup made with oxtail and various other herbs and spices; stock that contributes to the soup filled with gamey goodness, with minty herbs and spices overtones, meticulously boiled to fused all flavours together
2blue-coloured rice (a result of cooking with butterfly-pea flowers) usually eaten with fish crackers, pickles and other salads

roasted beef

sup ekor

large omelet

nasi kerabu

freshly squeezed green apples

bon appetit!

What can we say? This restaurant serves Thai delights with fresh flavours and we had no complaints whatsoever. The roasted beef was juicy and tender, the Sup Ekor divinely infused with flavours both sweet, sour and spicy all at the same time, the omelet light and fluffy and Cat especially enamoured with her Nasi Kerabu.

With dinner costing us under RM30 D'Border Delights definitely sets the bar for the everyday food for the everyday person.

01 January 2016

New Year’s Resolution

I am 170 centimetres in height and 97 kilograms in weight. My Body Mass Index reads 33.56 which plain and simple means I am OBESE. Losing 11 kilograms will mean I will have progressed from OBESE to OVERWEIGHT; losing another 14 means I will have a NORMAL Body Mass Index reading.

That’s a whopping 24 kilograms to lose, and if I embark on a modest plan to lose one kilogram per month I will only be able to achieve my ideal weight of 72 kilograms in about two years’ time.

I have a waistline of 38 inches, and simple tasks like bending over to tie my shoelaces now leaves me breathless.

I however take comfort in the fact that muscle is a denser tissue than fat, and an abundance of lean mass raises weight on the scale -- which means I’m bound to have a high BMI. However, because my excess weight comes from muscle, not excess fat, theoretically I won't have the related health risks associated with carrying too much body fat.

I have a mini gym at home and carry weights when time permits; I have accumulated both fat and muscle (for the moment its more fat, less muscle). BMI Mistakes Muscle for Fat. BMI uses your weight in the formula but doesn't distinguish if that weight comes from an abundance of fat or from lean tissue. Gym enthusiasts who carry a great deal of muscle may seem heavy for their height or overall size, but that's because muscle is denser than fat

That being said, I have set a more realistic goal of weighing in less than 90 kilograms and a waistline of between 35-36 inches. To achieve this, besides engaging in usual and strenuous cardiovascular activities I will need to be very mindful of what, how much and when I eat. A direct impact of this would be the drastic reduction of posting on our blog.


Wish me luck!

31 December 2015

Cat’s 40th Birthday!

Tengkera Hotel
56 Jalan Tengkera
Kampung Empat
75200 Melaka
Coordinates: 2.198619, 102.242566

In case you didn’t know we always put up here at Tengkera Hotel each time we come to Melaka. But for an occasion when we were swayed by the offer of a cheap room on an online booking site Tengkera Hotel is our default (budget) hotel.

After finding out that today was Cat’s birthday Suukee (the proprietor), Amy (day innkeeper) and Uncle Teo (night innkeeper) ran around frantically trying to arrange for a birthday party. Our best efforts to dissuade them from troubling themselves were to no avail.

We gave in but on condition that they were only allowed to get Cat a cake; I will foot the bill for everything else.

the most convenient thing on such short notice


pork satay (what else?) for Cat's birthday

the pineapple-laced pork satay

simple  and practical yet inviting

Being in close proximity I decided to spring for a hundred sticks of Pork Satay from Xiang Ji while Suukee hunted down a delightful raspberry cream cake.

thanks Suukee


elegant cake

What started out as day celebrating Cat’s birthday by ourselves soon turned into a right proper party, thanks to the kind and generous people at Tengkera Hotel.

making a wish
having her cake and eating it

Be it as it may Cat still miss our son during the celebrations, however the gaiety and merriness provided by Suukee, Amy and Uncle Teo more than made up for it. Bless their souls!

thank you Uncle Teo!
 
thank you Amy!

thank you Suukee!

Shīfu

Lorong Bentong Makmur 25 Taman Bentong Makmur 28700 Bentong Coordinates: 3.518023, 101.922779 Over the weekend a friend of Brenda...