Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ulam @ The Malay Salad....

The traditional Malay food is simple. It consist of its staple, rice eaten with fried or roasted fish [pangang], a bowl of  fish stew [kuah] and the Ulam [salad] taken with the traditional sauce like Sambal Belacan [Shrimp paste sauce] or Budu or Cencalok or Tempoyak. Sambal Belacan remains the choice of most Malay and now Malaysian when enjoying their Malay food. Before the introduction of vegetable by the Chinese in the early twentieth century the Malay takes their vegetable mostly raw or lightly boiled or steamed. The assorted raw vegetable is call the Ulam. It mostly consists of young shoots of leaves or freshly grown greens. Most are taken from their own garden around the house. In those days it is normal to seen the Malay enjoying their rice with just one dish like Ikan Singgang or Asam Pedas or the like with their Sambal and Ulam. Before the coming of the refrigerator most vegetables are picked just in time before eating, thus it is always fresh and full of nutrition. Image above shows the Ulam eaten by the Malay with their foods.

Thanks to the wisdom of their forefather the Ulam provides them with a balance diet for a healthier living.

Have a nice day.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

In Harmony....

Above is an image of harmony in my little garden. It seeing the plants grow that makes me happy. Gardening is a passion of mine from the time I was a kid. With the little space I have turn that corner of my house into a garden where I planted various plants. With tending it does grow well indeed as seen in the image above. Have a nice day.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Asam Pedas - a Malaysian Delight...

The Asam Pedas above look simple but it is not that simple to get a perfect one done. It is one of the Malay dishes that everyone knows and likes to enjoy with steamy white rice, anytime. This traditional cuisine of the Malay had its humble beginning in the kitchen of Kampong folks.  It is one of the dishes that are often prepared for dinner or lunch. It is not spicy since it does not contain any spices. It main ingredients are of local herbs other than onion, chilly and ginger. The [Kuah] gravy is of plain water with juice of Tamarind which gives it that sour taste. It is the right pinch of this and that which includes salt and sugar in traditional Malay way of cooking that creates its distinct flavor. It is call Asam as in Sour and Pedas as in Chilly hot. With its traditional ingredients it has a special taste of its own and no other dish could be as equal even with that famous Thai Tom yam.  Fish is often use in Asam Pedas but at time especially in Malacca, beef or chicken is use too but fish is still the preferred meat to use in a good Asam Pedas.  I love it when Ikan Tenggiri or Mackerel is use especially the Head and the Tail parts of the fish as well the Roe. Vegetable especially the Lady Figure or Bendi or Okra is thrown in to add flavor and taste. My spouse Asmah has perfected it for the family taste and it is finger liking good folks. 

Have a nice day.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Of Swiss Food @ Arab Street, Singapore....

Well folks after an overdosed of Biayni at two restaurants at Arab Street we decided to try something different. Our daughter who had live and work in Singapore for four years quip that we should try the Swiss restaurant at the end of the street. That sound great to me so we decided that we should go there and try what they have. She has been there before and told us the food is good. So without much ado we set our mind to enjoy our dinner there. We arrived at the Fika Swedish Cafe and Bistro and found it to be of a different setting with the rest of the other eating places around it. I thought it was a clever idea to create space using the concept of white with large glass windows. Its simple yet elegant. It gives a fresh and clean look, thus creating a peaceful atmosphere for one to enjoy their food in tranquility. I felt at home and like the place.

We placed our orders and then set to admire the deco of this Swiss restaurant that seems out of place in this part of the city and yet it has managed to be part of it. It has indeed blended well with the other traditional eating places there. It boasts of halal Swedish foods. 

Our orders came served by polite and friendly staffs which is rather rare now. More often food is just laid on the table without even a smile. That to me is a plus sign to this restaurant. As seen on the image on the left the foods does taste as great as it look. As we were about to finished eating chef Iskandar came out of the kitchen clapping his hand for reason only known to him. He came over to our table and we chat and joke about dining.  I told him that we like the place and did enjoy the foods. 

On hearing the good words he decided to offer a complimentary dessert which tastes excellent. We later met the Assistant Manager Hairul Ameer.  Personally I found Fika Swedish Cafe and Bistro is well located amid the traditional restaurants that one get at this corner of Singapore. It does add color to the spreads of foods that one could enjoy at  Kampong Glam.

With that fine dine at Fika we took a stroll along Haji Lane and watch that place warmed up to their business into the late night. I could see some folks already enjoying their evening on the side cafe. I thought that it is indeed a good idea to allow other form of business activities on the roads comes evening. The space of  which would otherwise be left to wastes come night. We then took a taxi to the Marina Bay Sands to watch and enjoy the water display there; an enjoyable evening indeed.

Have a nice day.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Of Foods @ Arab Street, Singapore.

Arab Street Singapore is a food heaven if you love Biayni or any foods that are of Middle Eastern and Indian cuisines. These food culture were brought to this part of Singapore by the early Arab and Indian settlers at Kampong Glam. The cuisine is spicy and may look alike but more often than not it does taste different. Even the Prata [Roti Canai] comes in various filling and sizes.

At the end of Jalan Pisang there is a Malay restaurant [Hjh Maimunah] that one must try where a combination of many traditional Malay cuisine are served. We did frequent it many times before and found it to be splendid. It is indeed one of a kind. Comes lunch the place would be throng with folks enjoying their foods careless of the crowded surrounding where one had to squeeze around just to get a comfortable seat. [the image on the left is taken from the Internet.]

This time we did not go for the Malay food but instead tried the Biayni in two restaurants one of which is a restaurant call islamic. In both places the Biayni Lamb tastes great and worth a repeat. 

Come evening Haji Lane comes alive and became sort of an outdoor cafe serving various kinds of foods and drinks. It look like a Lepak place for Singaporean and foreigners alike to while the evening away. After coming back from watching the show at Marina Sands bay we went to have a drink and some snack there. The place was already thronging with folks enjoying their evening with friends. We sat to enjoy the drink and while the time away in this corner of Singapore.

Well folks we like the places since it is near to the hotel that we were staying and would if time allow be here again to enjoy the hospitality of folks at the Dot down there.

Have a nice day.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Enchanting Singapore...

We was in Singapore last week and while there went to have a look at the Light, Sound and Water Display in front of the Marina Sands shopping complex. It was a gorgeous evening, we took a taxi there and then went to look for place to sit and enjoy the evening to watch the display with the background of the majestic skyline of Singapore. Above is an image that I took before the show start, a magnificent sight indeed. Enjoy it folks. 

Have a nice day.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Rambling again...

I am tired, the reason been many. One, age is catching up but been me whose mind is always active and can never keep quiet, I am always into doing something to fill up my times. Last few weeks have been full of activities. One of which was that our youngest daughter is moving out to live in a new home that she just bought. With that I offer to help in some small way in doing handiwork at the new place. I am happy to help for I love DIY and enjoy spending my time doing the little works like fixing curtain rails, fixing new lamps for the house lighting and doing a new garden at her place. I love to get all the works done like a professional. So I do it slowly the way I like best. At time simple works like fixing the railing for the curtain takes me two days but I do enjoy doing it. She had ask me to create a garden for her at the balcony and yesterday I spend the whole afternoon doing it and I am happy with the result. Image above shows the mini-garden at the balcony.

Last Sunday we went to our Malacca condo to take most of the furniture and electric appliance that are hardly used there and transfer it to our daughter new home. That take much works like disassembling the items, packing it and got a lorry to transport it to KL. When all those items arrived in KL it has to be sorted out. Some I give to relative since our daughter does not need it.  We were happy to give it way since we already got such items and it would be a waste to left it in storage.  

Then I decided to redo my own rooms to give it a new look. The books had to be taken out since I am replacing the bookcase with a new one which I had bought sometimes ago and been use to put our daughter books. Now that she is moving out and taking all her books, the wooden bookcase is empty and now I could put some of my books there. Anyone who has books knows pretty well that it is not that easy to rearrange all those books again but it had to be done. I am taking my time to organize the books now, would do it slowly at my own pace. 

I have already decided to give away all the old books especially novels that I had read. I had call a friends and she say that she is willing to help to take the books and send it to some charity NGO for fund-raising events. I told her that once I have sort out all the books I would call her to come and collect it. 

At our youngest daughter new place there is a huge Swimming pool. Image above shows part of the Swimming Pool. Since I love to swim I am now making it my regular place of swimming. It is one of the best ways of keeping my faculty healthy at this age. Besides it is a relaxing way of doing exercise and enjoying it. I have always love swimming for I grew up near the sea where I would go on the weekend to swim. Now with this Swimming Pool which is close to our home I would make it my regular swimming place. Yesterday afternoon after getting the minigarden done at the balcony I went to have a swim and felt really good. 

Have a nice day.