Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Onn Kee Chicken Rice in Penang

This might seem almost sacrilegious but each time we're in Ipoh, we never go for nga choy kai (chicken with beansprouts) mainly because it's almost always packed to the brim with locals and out of town visitors alike plus it's incredibly hot and stuffy there. So when my ex boss, who hails from Ipoh and holds the view that food there is always more superior, was exalting about how Onn Kee (a proud Ipoh establishment) has opened a chicken rice branch in Bukit Mertajam, Penang, it piqued my curiousity.

The newly opened Onn Kee Chicken Rice at Bukit Mertajam is located in a nice, very clean and air-conditioned shop lot just across from Tesco Alma. We were a little taken aback at how sleek and modern the premises were.

We weren't exactly sure what a bearded chicken (RM25 for 1/2 chicken) was and the waitress assured us that it was what most people in Ipoh ordered. The taugeh (beansprouts) were definitely a must have (RM3) and Hubs opted for a portion of dry koay teow (RM2) as it's not on the menu at most Penang chicken rice joints.

The chicken was unbelievably good. Very moist and succulent, it didn't require a lot of flavouring other than light soy sauce topped with a dash of pepper, chopped spring onions, cilantro. Look past the grease spots on the sauce and if you want, discard the soft chicken skin on top.

The beansprouts added some nice crunch - almost like an Asian salad - and its fresh, zingy taste was the perfect accompaniment to the tender chicken pieces. I think Hubs almost had a look of ecstasy on his face as he was scoffing them down with the springy noodles ;)

Onn Kee Chicken Rice
Address: 7, Medan Seri Impian 3, Pusat Perniagaan Seri Impian, 14000, Alma, Bukit Mertajam Business Hours: 11 am to 9:30 pm. Daily.
Phone Number: 6012- 431 7086

Saturday, April 25, 2015

As Quiet as a Mouse

With the crazy, after school/work rush to get the laundry completed, tidying up done and dinner on the table, I've been leaving Bubs to his own devices. In the beginning, he'd try to tug on my heartstrings by calling out "Mummy, can you please come here and look after me? I'm lonely ...". Lately, he has been surprisingly cooperative about playing with his toys by himself while I beg him for just some time to get things done.

There was once where he had been silent the whole time that my mummy senses were tingling.

"Bubs, what are you up to?"
"Bubs, are you there?"
More silence.

I ran to the study only to find ...

Bubs surrounded with piles of books, quietly focused with his reading. Previously, even though he likes reading, he goes through maybe just a couple before he loses his patience and moves on to the next activity so I found this to be such an amazing sight.

He has been showing greater interest in sketching and colouring. This is his version of Baymax and Fed from Big Hero 6.

And something that surprised Hubs and me. Bub's school doesn't teach any reading or writing at this age. While we've been reading primers and practising letters at home, we've never done spelling so Hubs eyes widened when out of nowhere, Bubs started writing some words for his drawings :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Hike to Pantai Kerachut

My choice of exercise is a long, leisurely walk at the mall. Cardio? A brisk jog to the nearest sale. Sweltering under the blistering hot sun? Peddling on a bike that doesn't go anywhere in the gym? Pffffffft. In fact, I'm getting tired at the mere thought of exercise. Pass me the bag of chips please :)

You should have seen the incredulous look I gave my team mates when they announced that for this team building, we were going on an hour long hike to Pantai Kerachut, one of Penang's most remote beaches located within the National Park. Naturally, I tried to weasel my way out of it by inventing sudden business critical reasons why I'd to remain in the office, I'm allergic to sweat, what if I get eaten by a bear ...

"Cut the crap, we're going this Friday and you're coming together with us." Siew bluntly told me.

Armed with loads of mossie repellent, water and assurances that they wouldn't abandon me despite my many whines, I found myself strangely excited about a hike through wilderness with some very fun company. This is us, all in buoyant moods and chirpy. In case you were wondering, yes, I'm the one wearing Birkenstocks on a hike while others were sensibly clad in sports shoes.

The hike was looooooooong to say the least; the steps were covered with tree roots, wet leaves and most of the path was a simple dirt road. Some parts were very steep and I'd to carefully grip the sides to not lose my balance. At some points where we were trekking uphill, I peeped down the terrain and gulped, praying hard that I wouldn't take a wrong step and tumble down. The humidity was crazy, we were all sweating buckets and mosquitoes kept darting close to us.

The fun part of a small group was that we took frequent breaks and grateful for the picnic lunch that we packed. Who knew that sausages and fried egg sandwiches could taste so egg-cellent? We met a few other hikers and the most interesting was this guy, who looked as old as my Dad, hiking bare chested and bare footed!

I've to say: my Birkenstocks were amazing during the hike even though everyone kept saying I was nuts for not wearing proper gear. They had really good grip, a comfortable sole and the raised sides protected my uncovered toes. I'd to constantly re-apply mossie repellent and make sure I didn't accidentally kick any jagged stones/sharp twigs but these were minor gripes. Given that I bought these when I was pregnant with Bubs, the Birkenstocks have been such a fab purchase.

What was supposed to have been a 60 minute turned into 2 hours and we were more than elated when we reached this bridge: signalling the end of the long and arduous journey.

So doggone tired ... At this point, we were all craving for a cup of Starbucks.

The views were stunning and in a way, I felt that it was well worth the hike to reach such a pristine beach. The sand was powdery soft, free of litter and scattered with tiny pine cones from the casuarina trees. My only regret? We were all too dehydrated and tired to truly enjoy ourselves here.

Yayyyy, we made it!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Fashion Friday: This and That

As always, I can't resist popping into Zara during each KL trip and no matter how my wallet tries to reason with me, the devil sitting on my shoulder hisses "you'll regret it if you return to Penang without it ..." :)

A couple of my latest acquisitions.

Sky blue pointy toe heels. I thought the studs add a lil bit of edge to them without being too over the top bling.

Stripes? Tick. Pencil cut? Tick. Asymmetrical skirt line? Why, yes please ;) I loved how classic this dress is and that how the asymmetrical hem makes it look slightly different.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

To KL Here We Go!

I find that no matter how many days we slot for meeting friends, trying out new eateries and stimulating the economy (ahem, mainly my part) ... It was an excellent trip, filled with friends, food and many giggles.

We took up Fairy Godma's offer of staying over at her place for a night (probably something she regrets now *tee hee*) and fell in love with how cosy, whimsical and inviting it was. Bubs immediately pounced upon the many books and jigsaw puzzles she had. Did I mention that she even went through the trouble of even getting different types of milk: fresh/soya and freshly ordered goodies from a home baker (divine lemon rind bread) for us?

Fairy Godma whisked Bubs and me to the famed BookXcess at Amcorp Mall. If you thought I couldn't have gotten anymore books after the heavy damage I did to my Hubs' wallet, that's just plain, wishful thinking ;) I kept squealing to Fairy Godma over how low the prices of the books there and she kept hissing at me to behave.


Hubs always insists on dinner at B.I.G where he's convinced that they serve the best roast chicken with sides such as mushroom salads and creamy chickpeas and interestingly enough, a lamb meatball pizza loaded with chillies.

Being happily entertained by Fairy Godma who has now gotten him hooked onto jigsaw puzzles.

The next morning, she brought us to Selera Wawasan at SS3 for a traditional Indian breakfast. We had poori, dosai and ... *drum roll please* the best drink ever: Bru Coffee. Hubs and I had never heard of it before and with just one sip, we were instantly hooked. It's one of India's largest coffee manufacturers and had a very rich, almost caramel/hazelnut kick to it.

Another notable eat during this trip was Tim Ho Wan at the Gardens. The HK's branch is known as the world's cheapest Michelin starred restaurant so we were pretty keen to try out their goodies. The hype for their famed BBQ pork buns is real: these lil babies were out-of-the-world fantastic with their generous, sticky sweet fillings. Hubs was pretty impressed with their dim sum array, albeit on the pricey side and has put this on the must-return list.

Post dinner shot. Just a disclaimer: I'm not carrying a bun in the oven! That is just the after effects of a very fulfilling meal :)

This was pretty much what we were up to most of the time.

Bubs, on the other hand, went bonkers with all of the toy shops that we went into.

Omigosh, that's the exact Bedtime Care Bear I begged so hard for when I was Bub's age and my Daddy flatly refused to get it for me! In case you're wondering ... no, I didn't get it for him or myself as much as I was sorely tempted to.

Me: Bubs, look at alllllll the cute tutus, aren't they so pretty? Bubs? Bubs?
*turns around to see*
Bubs: I'm Captain Ee-merica!!!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Back to Ipoh

Hubs had a work trip in KL scheduled so we decided to take a couple of days off to extend our trip. This time around, MIL decided to join us so Bubs would have some backseat company. As usual, we had leisurely lunch stopovers at Ipoh.

Each time we stop by Missing Marbles, we're always pleasantly surprised and this time was no exception. All 3 cafes: Burps & Giggles, Missing Marbles and Buku 555 now serve the same menu which is a lot easier for someone as indecisive as me! The staples, such as the yummy-licious crepes and home made ice creams remain. Plus, menus will be re-vamped every couple of months inline with fresh, seasonal produce. 

I've never been the biggest fan of savoury crepes because I've always felt that they should be strictly for dessert. Fortunately for my tastebuds, Hubs persuaded me to take a bite of his lamb harissa crepes studded with beans inside - I literally had to eat my words back: the warm, smoky spices complemented the meaty lamb chunks perfectly. Even Bubs who has a fear of spicy food couldn't resist asking for more of this.


Since I always have a heavy breakfast before going on road trips, I ordered what I thought would be a lighter option: toasted croissant with some avos and smoked duck. When this arrived, I couldn't believe my eyes, it was a huge tower of honey drizzled avocados, delectable pieces of duck along with apples and onions for extra crunch. If that wasn't filling enough, there were also a generous serving of potato cubes. 

And of course, no meal at Missing Marbles is ever complete without dessert. We opted for their home made ice cream with caramelized bananas.

We were more than delighted to spot an Ernest Zacharevic wall painting a short walk away. The young, Lithuanian artist is famous in Penang for his street art capturing everyday life and we were enthralled to see this charming wall mural of a little girl on stretched toes trying to reach for a cage of birds :) 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Little H's Birthday at Adventure Zone

I've always loved the Adventure Zone at Golden Sands ever since Bubs went there for a school trip. The place is M A S S I V E and adults can go in for free (as long as you're clad in socks, long pants - long sleeves optional but required for some of the scary slides). It is a fantastic workout for both children and chaperons, seriously, your muscles will ache in places that you didn't even know you had them plus everyone sleeps so much better at night. Snores guaranteed :D

As expected, Bubs went off at Little H's birthday party at Adventure Zone like a jet rocket.This time around, he was much bigger so I didn't have to worry about him much.

The toboggan was hands down the most popular with everyone: small and big alike! The bigger kids zipped down fearlessly, whooping with jubilee while obliging parents shared mats with the smaller ones. I'll admit, I'd a couple of goes on this myself and each trip down, I was squealing at the top of my voice.

Little H was such a daredevil and Bubs followed suit. This was the super steep slide that they both went on fearlessly, gliding down at lightning speed.

Wheeeee ... and off they landed into a colourful ball pit.

Thank you so much for inviting us, Little H!
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