Friday, January 31, 2014

Jalan Chui Yin Night Stalls

Jalan Chui Yin Night Stalls
Jalan Chui Yin
28700 Bentong
(Coordinates: E101° 54' 25.1" N3° 31' 23.6")

Right after Koay’s we made a short journey north to the neighbouring town of Bentong, in Pahang to pay my parents a visit. After saying our hellos, we headed down to Bentong town where my sister Virginia booked us into a brand spanking new hotel, the EV World Hotel.

brand spanking new
the 'dust' had hardly settled
our room
quaint and cosy (Brendan had a room to himself next door)


Checked in and settled down, we decided to explore this sleepy town to see what it had in store, food-wise. We stumbled upon a night market along Jalan Chui Yin where we found a stall selling soybean milk. Walking further down we found a roadside stall selling the local delicacy, Yong Tau Foo (stuffed bean curd) combined with an assortment of glutinous rice and noodles.

this was how you secured your premises way back when
lovely soybean milk
Brendan had some homemade jelly too
glorious roadside food
can you see what's cookin'?
Cat's suitably excited
homemade glutinous rice


Brendan had the glutinous rice with fried fish cakes; Cat tried an assortment of Yong Tau Foo with fried noodles while I had my assortment of Yong Tau Foo with the same glutinous rice as Brendan. For beverages (even right after having a round of soybean milk) we tried the local herbal tea which is quite unlike what we’re used to have in Kuala Lumpur.

Brendan's glutinous rice with fried fish cakes
Cat's yong tau foo with soy-fried noodles
my glutinous rice with yong tau foo
roadside food frenzy
uniquely Bentong herbal tea


The verdict? Roadside food never tasted this good! We suppose it’s due in part to the good clear fresh air that Bentong has in abundance, and in part due to the fact that it appears pretty much homemade. And with it all weighing in at under RM20, we had little complaints in the ‘damage’ department.

what's in store the next time we come here



We’ll definitely be back in these parts soon to try out the stall nearby that’s selling Pork Chop Steak, we can hardly wait!

Chinese New Year @ Koay's

It’s that time of the year again. Although the Chinese Lunar New Year is not as big as Christmas, being Chinese Malaysians we try to observe its customs as best we can. As always, Cat will receive a call from her close friend Helen inviting us over for their Chinese New Year open house held at her Auntie’s house in Jalan Ipoh.

Cat and Helen met all those years ago when Brendan and Wei Xin (Helen’s nephew and Brendan’s classmate) were in Standard One. Helen, a Peranakan (are descendants of early Chinese migrants who settled in Penang, Malacca, Indonesia and Singapore) is one mean cooking machine and we always look forward to the feast that she usually prepares with loving hands.

We made it a point to be unfashionably punctual and were promptly at Helen’s at 1:00 PM. To mark the auspicious event, a long stringed firecracker was lit in keeping with the legend of nián.

As legend goes, in ancient times there was a monster called nián . Every spring, during New Years Eve, nián would come out to eat villagers, destroy their homes and farms. One year, the villagers were burning bamboo to keep themselves warm. Nián approached a village and was frightened by the cracking noise of the burning bamboo. The villagers then discovered a way to drive away nián and keep themselves safe. As time passed and technology advanced, firecrackers were invented and replaced the burning of bamboo.

Today, lighting firecrackers is a major custom performed to scare off evil spirits and celebrate the coming of the New Year. Interestingly, nián, the name of the monster is also the word for year in Chinese.

Okay, enough with the words. We’ll let our photographs paint our words from this point onwards. We’re quite sure you’ll be salivating at the end of it all!


the customary lanterns
one long firecracker
quickly scampering away after lighting the firecracker
bang!
bang!
bang!
bang!
it was deafening indeed
the host, Wei Wen with Cat and Brendan
we watched him grow into a young man
the feast before us
more to come!
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a large family gathers
one last shot
okay, okay... it's the last one
serving black glutinous rice in coconut milk and palm sugar
marvellous
the matriarch of the family
more goodies
Wei Wen/Wei Xin's dad
happy aunty
finally, a shot with the chef
we'll be back next year, for sure!

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