Thursday, May 31, 2007

Commercial Break: I'm officially a Bonjuker now

I need more energy today...I slept a little later than planned last night. So, what's my solution?

2-in-1 Old Town White Coffee :D As my sister said, after drinking it, she felt like jumping around, dancing and singing. Just what I needed for my last day of work before going on study leave. Luckily I drank that. I had to carry boxes of bottles of water today to the office(short distance only, I used the trolley to push those heavy boxes).

I still think that the instant coffee that I make is not as nice as the one sold at their outlets. There's something missing...I must pay Old Town Kopitiam a visit soon (this is probably the reason why the coffee made from their instant coffee powder that they sell at the supermarkets isn't as good as the one they make at their outlets).

But anyway, I'm now officially a Bonjuker! Uh, no, there's no such thing as Bonjuker, I made that up myself. I had my lunch at Bonjuk today. Yay! Actually, there's 15% discount for Yoga Zone and True Fitness members, but I'm too impatient to wait for my True Fitness membership card. Only God knows when the branch at Section 14 would open its doors to their members.

I had wanted to try the Seafood Combination Porridge but since I was going to boil Prawn & Squid soup for dinner, I opted for Mushroom and Oyster Porridge, M size.

Three side dishes and a small bowl of soup. I guess the empty small bowl is for you to scoop the porridge into, in case you want to share food with your friends. Since I went alone, I set that bowl aside. Side dish from the right, I THINK it was kimchi. I'm actually quite clueless when it comes to Korean food/dining Korean style. To the left of kimchi...I have no idea what that was. It was meat, most probably chicken. Err...I might be wrong. Ok, the last one tasted like chilli pounded with other stuff. It wasn't as spicy as the kimchi though.

And then, to my dismay...I saw the super slim chopsticks!!! Oh my most avoided type of chopsticks. Since I do not know how to hold the chopsticks the right way, I have problem holding chopsticks that have weird and fanciful designs/shapes. I can only use the normal ones at the coffee shop or those I have at home. Oh, and I have a personalised pair of chopsticks too!

This pair is a gift from Australia from Darke and Micchy, but I digress.

I was disappointed at first because it didn't look as if it had the same texture as the congee I ate during my China tour. I really missed that. However, it doesn't mean that Bonjuk's porridge wasn't delicious. It was good. I had three big, succulent oysters in my bowl of porridge. As I was chewing the oyster slowly, savouring the taste, I smiled...hey STEFFI! Stop smiling to yourself before others think that you are nuts! :D I thought that I wouldn't have touched the three side dishes, but I wiped the food off those tiny little dishes too...I just took a few sips of the sour soup though.

Lunch was satisfying albeit a bit embarassing as I made "clinking" noises due to my clumsiness with the chopstick and spoon (not used to using spoon with the left hand).

Bonjuk's brochure:

and the menu:

Dinner time! Decided to make something simple. Prawn & Squid Soup using dried anchovies as the base.
I poured a bit too much water this time though. Unlike sauces, I like my soup to be quite concentrated.

And the unplanned dish for tonight:
It's called, Strange Egg Mixture. Initially I called it Strange Omelette, but I don't think it's one. Hmmm...But anyway, it tasted quite good! Surprisingly...afterall, I have forgotten the salt, AGAIN and I just threw in whatever I could think of into the pan...There's swiss white mushrooms, 4 eggs, milk, bread and cheese sausage. Pan fry with butter.

The bread I used was:

Gardenia Breakthru!

Add McCormick's Mixed Herbs and Black Pepper...
Voila! My dinner.

And the best part of the day...
On the English label, it said "Bourbon Blanchul". Japanese label was Buranchuuru. Same a way.

Hmmm...cookies only right? No biggie...

Must check where the product was manufactured at. Nowadays, there are many products with Japanese names and labels, but aren't from Japan itself.

Packed in individual tiny packets too...


Heheheheh, it's in English this time...


and thin. So delicate.

Steffi takes a bite...
As Steffi told Jyrenze...she has just eaten heaven! Good things really come in small packages. The white filling? Since it was written "Howaito choko & Rangudoshakunkii (<---dunno what the heck this means)" it has to be white chocolate. :D

Can...biscuits/cookies actually taste this good? Oh maaaaaaaaan, I'm in love...

Bourbon Buranchuuru - RM9.60, 12 individual packets in a box.


Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Commercial Break: Breaking the sugar limit...

"Don't spend so much time in the kitchen," says mom. Alrighty! So I had a simple breakfast today.

Sun Sol's Apple & Berry Low Fat Natural Muesli and Farmhouse's Low Fat Milk. Actually, the Muesli reminds me of hamster food.

The pink stuff is supposed to be berry I think. The apple's yellow. Don't worry, there's more than one in that bowl, it's all at the bottom of the bowl.

I also didn't cook for lunch today. So I went to Backofen after taking up the entire morning wondering whether I should go to Bonjuk or Backofen (website not up yet). After surfing the internet to find out whether they have pie (which they didn't) I decided to go for their Rosmarin Chicken as the main dish and Sacher Torte for dessert.

Normally, whenever I go there, I usually take their set lunch, or occasionally the goulash or salmon spaghetti (can't remember their fancy names). I especially love their potato soup, and guess what? It's potato soup today T_T But I RESISTED and ordered what I have planned to order. Must try something different, right?

My Rosmarin Chicken (RM12.00). The thing about Backofen is, they tend to be rather heavy with their sauces. I guess that's fine if you aren't on a less-salt diet. I'm pretty sure the weighing scale would be jeering at me tomorrow. The chicken was tender and not dry...the sauce was nice too. I prefer less sauce though. Now, the potatos...what's with Backofen and potatos?! The way they cooked the potatos...superb! I used to dislike potatoes when I was small, but when it was time for me the shed the pounds, I started liking potatoes, especially baked/mashed potatoes. How ironic!

This was my dessert. Sacher Torte (RM4.50). I stupidly pronounced it as Seh-Cher Torte. The waiter called it Sa-Sha. Ah well, at least I managed to eat it. It was sweet. Not too sweet, but still on the sweeter side lah. The taste, not bad, overall I rate it 7/10. So far, the only two cakes/brownies that got me high was One Utama's Secret Recipe's Walnut Brownie and Bakerzin's Strawberry Shortcake. Totally orgasmic!

What I like about Backofen is their cosy ambience. Oh, and their magazines too. Though they take some time to serve customers, there are lots of magazines to read. But beware of what you choose to read...those ang moh's magazine ah...not suitable for viewing while eating might get this:

Taken from Cosmopolitan's 2003 magazine, can't remember the month.

Then you'll either drool or spit your food out. Or you might come across an article on how to maximize your orgasm. *Rolls eyes*

Overall, I paid RM17++ for my lunch. Oh, I had a glass of skyjuice...the meal's already too rich for my usual diet (A/N: diet here means what I normally eat, not those weight losing diet plan).

Dinner time! Unexpectedly, my colleague gave me popiah from her favourite popiah shop...

Thanks a lot! It was delicious! Therefore, when my dad asked if I was going to eat at home, I told him, "No, no, you have to come back home to eat today. Too much food for me to finish."

So, I decided to make pork ribs soup. My PLANNED ingredients were:
1. Dried oyster
2. Dried strands of cuttlefish
3. Pork ribs of course
4. Groundnuts
5. Light soy sauce & thick soy sauce
6. Salt. I MUST remember to put salt this time.

So I soaked the dried oyster and dried strands of cuttlefish this morning. When I came back home, I took out the two bowls of soaked items. Dried oyster and dried strans of cuttlefish, check. Hey, the strands of cuttlefish have expanded. *Turns back to fridge to take the pork ribs out* WAIT JUST A SECOND! Cuttlefish shouldn't expand until like that! *Checks the bowl again* Oh my goddddddd!!! Banana flower! Once a numbnut, always a numbnut.

No, no, I wasn't half asleep this morning. Dried banana flower looks a lot like dried strands of cuttlefish. Wait...dried banana flower? Hmmm...ah well. They call that Kam Cham in cantonese, right? Ah, who cares. Must hunt for the cuttlefish now. After taking out another packet of "cuttlefish" and looking closely and sniffing it...ARGH, IT"S THE SAME THING. Hey mom, why so many packets of those ah...

I opened the fridge again. Spotted the packet of dried shrimps. Hmmm...OK! SUBSTITUTE!'s kind of weird...does anyone else boils soup using dried shrimps?

Anyway, the "modified ingredients":

Clockwise from top left:
1. Groundnuts
2. "Banana flower"
3. Dried Shrimps/ Har Mai (must remember to wash)
4. Dried Oyster (don't throw away the water)

5. Thick Soy Sauce and Light Soy Sauce

Pour about 3 big bowls of water into the pot (MOM! What happened to the clay pot?!) and boil it. After that, add groundnuts, dried shrimp, dried oyster (together with the water) and salt into the pot and simmer for 45 minutes. Add pork ribs, "banana flower" and thick/light soy sauce to it. Simmer for another 45 minutes.

While I was boiling the soup...
Dad: Eee, what are you cooking?! Why so smelly wan!
Steffi: *Peeved. GO...just go out and eat then. Hmph* You'll know afterwards. I'm going to bathe. DON"T ADD WATER AH!
Dad: Eh, is it ok to leave it alone like that?
Steffi: Don't worry, I've set my timer.

Finished cooking...
Dad: *Peering into the pot* What's that?
Steffi: Banana flower
Dad: Who taught you how to make this?
Steffi: was an accident. I thought it was dried strands of cuttlefish.
Dad: You sure it goes well with the pork ah?
Steffi: Should be ok. *all smelly things go together, right?*

After he took a sip...
Dad: *mumbles*
Steffi: Huh? What?
Dad: Nice...
Steffi: *Nose up in the air* Of course. Should be nice...
Dad: Eh, got groundnuts also...
Steffi: Mmm, yeah...

After 5 minutes...
Dad: By the way, girl, this is kam cham, not banana flower
Steffi: Really ah?
Steffi: Yeah, I thought it could have been kam cham too (A/N: actually ah, Steffi thought that kam cham = banana flower, so, she's not all that wrong, right? Hehe...)

After finishing meal.
Steffi: Hmm...I should finish up the leftovers
*Turns around and sees pot in the sink*
Steffi: AIKS?! Finish already? That's surprising...

SO! It's NOT banana flower. It's kam cham (don't know what you call that in English) and kam cham is NOT banana flower.

The soup, is therefore named Accidental Pork Ribs Soup.

Tonight's snack:

I can't read Korean, so I don't know what it says. The only thing I could read was MSG, so I supposed it says no MSG. Seems to be quite a popular label on food nowadays. Cute packaging though.

I supposed it means "tear here".

Eeee, it smells like Mamee!!! Not a good sign, Mamee has MSG.
It really has MSG! I supposed the label's warning the consumer that there IS MSG. So it shall be called Korean MSG Snack from now onwards.

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Commercial Break: Charlteok Pie and others

After reading Micchy's blog on Korean snacks , I couldn't resist paying a visit to the Korean Supermarket, Lotte, near my office. I got myself a box of Charlteok Pie:

7 packets altogether in a box, for RM8.90.

One pie in one packet, which is just nice. Stops you from gasaking the entire box at one go.

Chocolate filling. Mine, unlike Micchy's, isn't too sweet. It's just nice. Oh, it has a slightly salty taste too. I don't mean the ikan masin kind of salty lah.

Would I buy this again? YOU BET! I'm so hooked onto it now T_T...
Where did I buy it from? Lotte supermarket at Desa Sri Hartamas, same row as Warong Uncle Don and Fotozoom.

Mommy's in Singapore. Sister too. EATING GOOD FOOD, I must say. How about ME?

Ginseng Herbal Promfret.

This is called, "make do with what you have in your kitchen". Spotted mom's herbal packet for boiling soup and decided to use those for the fish. Dump in the following:

1. Gou Qi Zi/Kei Chi/ Wolfberries
2. Huai Shan/ Wai San/ Chinese Burdock
3. Dang Shen/ Tong Sam (I think)/ Codnopsis pilosula
4. Red dates
5. Yu Zhu/ Yuk Chuk/ Solomon Seal Rhizome
6. Ginseng

into a large pan/pot and boil for an hour. I only boiled for half an hour (after discovering that the fire wasn't on although the gas was! ABUNAI! When I started the fire again, it came out with a WHOOSH!!) and well, the Yu Zhu wasn't as soft as I wanted it to be. Oh, and remember to rub salt onto the promfret. I had forgotten to do that. I only added the salt later. Can add soy sauce also, but I didn't do that (so called healthy eating habits).

After that, put the fish in and REDUCE the fire immediately. Let it simmer, not bubble like a witch's cauldron, otherwise the fish would look ugly like mine...hahaha. Boil until cook lah. Just cucuk (poke) the fish to check whether it's cooked or not.

How was the taste? Not bad, but the ginseng taste was really strong. Why? because that satchet of ginseng was meant to be for one large POT of soup.

Then last night's dinner? Today's lunch? I ate the same thing.

Marina's Beef Balls

Can boil, steam, pan-fry, deep-fry and grill. I boiled it (healthy eating again lah).
Would I buy it again? Probably not.
"No preservatives, colouring & artificial flavouring" was printed on the box. Then, why so cheap? 20 beef balls for RM5++ as compared to Ikea's beef balls, which was, I think RM18++ to RM25, can't remember, for roughly the same amount.

Would I buy it again? Probably not. It made the weighing scale be unkind to me the next morning. So that means there's lots of salt/preservatives - causes retention of water.

And also another thing. Those people with BO problem would probably suffer the next day too. Oh my god, all forms of "discharge" from your body, be it gas or liquid, stinks of beef!(A/N: Jyrenze said the way I put it is obscene. Ok, so shall I replace it with "your pee and fart will stink"?) Funny though, I don't remember tasting such strong beef taste when I ate them. Maybe next time I'll pay more and get Ikea's one.

Suddenly craving for meat pie...


Saturday, May 26, 2007

China Part 7: The West Lake

Presenting, the West Lake, known to be the most beautiful and romantic lake in China. Well, at least the eastern part of China lah.

Sunset at the West Lake or Xihu

Olden style pavillion.

Soldiers at the West Lake, you see them quite often here and there.

At the West Lake, there are tram rides which will take you around the lake. Now this place, Hangzhou is famous for the legend of the "Butterfly Lovers" - a tragic romance tale of Liang Shan Bo and Zhu Ying Tai. Apparently, this is where they lived. So, whenever the trams honk, those at the lake would hear the theme song for the Butterfly Lovers midi-style instead of your normal "HONK HONK". At first it seemed cute. AT FIRST. After a while, it got rather irritating. I found that it's the same with other places. All the trams will have the place's "famous song (?)" as their horn sound. Really irritating.

Willow trees along the bank. The willow trees here release this feather/cottony like seeds (never encountered that at the park here) that irritates the nose...

This was supposed to be a maple tree, I mean it still is, but due to the different climatic condition and environment, it kinda morphed. Well, it mutated actually (that's what the tour guide said).

The parks at China are really beautiful...Or maybe it's because it's spring? Those are peach blossom and willow trees by the side of the lake. The website said that the lake's famous for it's plum blossom but I was told that it's Tao Hua, which means peach blossom, right?

Close-up of the Peach/Plum Blossom

We sat on a "cruise" similar to this...

This is one image I regret not taking. Su Xiao Xiao's tomb.

Image taken from I actually sat on her tomb at the other side. ARGH!!!

Steffi: *sitting on tomb* Heh, what's this thing ah...not a dustbin also, but the middle part is so cute, like an egg yolk
Mom: No lah, definitely not a dustbin.
Steffi: Say, the shape kinda reminds me of the tomb I saw yesterday at the Academy.
Mom: Maybe?
Steffi: Cannot be lah, tomb in this kind of area? (looks at tomb carefully)
Steffi: Say...that...looks like a plaque...
Steffi: *walks to the other side*

-_-||| For more information on Su Xiao Xiao, please visit

View of Leifeng Pagoda from the "cruise" I was on. Hazy dazy...

Actually there are LOTS of information on the West Lake. Here are some of the links where u can find information on the West Lake and its many legends/stories/history.

Two of the three pagodas in the lake.

Colourful flowers, indicating spring. BUT...

Can also pretend that it's autumn.

There were also lots of Cha Hua (Tea Flower/Camellia) at the park. The late Queen Mom's favourite flower. I can see why...

Really love the sceneries here.

Mudan Hua or Peony. Apparently the peony here is not as beautiful as those at Luoyang due to the climatic condition and soil.

The White Peacock

And the Golden Water Buffalo. Hehe!

Siu Chiu Hua, no Sin Chin Hua...argh, this is what happens when I don't write properly. Anyway, in Cantonese it's called Kheng Fa and it's associated to marriage or something like that. That's what my mom said lah.

A model of the West Lake at the West Lake Museum (free entrance).

More flowers :P As you can see, I just love them.

Ancient China

and Modern China, side by side.

Huh...long post. Can't blame me...The West Lake's huge. We went there twice in fact, once in the evening, once the next morning, two different spots of course.