Sunday, November 29, 2015

Post Thanksgiving Lunch

My boss was nice to offer to buy lunch since we had to work on Black Friday. I chose something light from Panera lentil quinoa bowl with chicken. The picture on their website looked pretty good but the bowl that I got was lighter with less quinoa. But instead I got some french baguette to go with it. What a shame. If the bowl turned out as thick as the one on the picture one could have gone without the baguette and cut the carb amount.

The soup was pretty tasty but very high in sodium. The chicken on the soup was drier than any chicken breast I have ever had but it was organic chicken. All in all the broth bowl priced as $9.79 was okay. Not something I would want to jump on it again anytime soon.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving : Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprout, and Bread Stuffing with Apples

Original recipe by Gene Hamshaw and the link is here. The one posted here is my version which is adapted from that recipe. I left out bread, pecan, a few herbs and added mushroom instead based on another reviewer comment.

Ingredients :
1 pound butternut squash, cubed
1 pound brussels sprouts, halved
1 medium gala apple, cut into a 1/2 inch dice
2 shallots, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided into 2 tbsp and 1 tbsp
1 cup onion, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1/3 cup dried cranberries
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Method :
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the squash, brussels sprouts, apples, and shallots in 2 tbsp oil and season well with salt and pepper. Put the mix veggies on an open baking tray and bake for 15 minutes. Take the tray out and cover with aluminum foil and put it back in the oven. Lower the oven temperature to 375 and bake another 15 minutes. By now the veggies should be tender. Take the tray out and set aside.

Heat other tbsp oil in a large pot. Sautee the onion and celery till translucent (about 5-8 min). Add a dash of salt and pepper. Remove from  fire. Add the mixture to the roasted mixed veggies. Put in the cranberry and stir all to combine. Serve hot.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Penang to Kuala Lumpur : First Day in Kuala Lumpur

Flight from Penang to Kuala Lumpur was 1 hour. We spent most of it sleeping - still jet lag and catching up on sleep. Most of the times in Penang I woke up early around 5, looking at itinerary for the day and making last minute changes on our plan.

KLIA Express
So by the time we arrived at KLIA 2 we were both fresh and ready to go. The walk from the terminal to the KLIA express station was quite far. Since we were not familiar, I was worry that we went the wrong direction. But then every so often another sign would show up pointing a direction to the KLIA express. That was helpful.
Inside KLIA Express

Food of Penang

Our first trip to Penang this time was more focused on food. Our itinerary was built around where to eat and what to eat. Then the sightseeing part was just the filler.

Char koay teow
Char koay teow is a stir fry rice noodle almost similar to the thai rad na. But Penang char koay teow usually served a bit spicy. So if you don't like it spicy as not to put chili in it.

Talk about char koay teow everybody has different opinion on which was considered the best char koay teow. So this time we decided to try a few especially the recommended ones. We had chance to try four different locations and these were the verdict by hubby :

#4 Kimberley Street char koay teow
This stall was located in front of  Sin Guat Keong coffee shop and popular as the char koay teow with the mantis prawn. When hubby ordered though he declined the mantis prawn. This char koay teow was on the wet side with only egg, bean sprout and 1 prawn. No chives.

The stall was busy when we were there. They employed 2 additional persons other than the chef and the sous chef. But our order was delivered pretty fast. I think a plate set us back RM4.50.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Day 3 : Last Day in Penang

One of the famous Penang street art
Our last day in Penang wasn't exactly a full day. So more pressure to make the most out of it. As usual in Asia, it's always a good idea to start your day early when it's not hot and humid yet. By now we were pretty good at catching bus. For short distance each ride only cost RM1.4 (hardly USD 0.35). And where our hotel was located which was just off Jalan Dato Keramat seemed to be the major road passed by so many different bus route.

Breakfast at Chowrasta Market
Our plan that morning was to get to Chowrasta Market and get some fruits for breakfast. Just something light to get us going and catch something a bit heavier later on. So we got a vegetarian potato curry puff and a pack of jackfruit. The jackfruit was sweet and juicy and gave us energy to continue walking.

Street Art of Penang
I was too busy thinking and planning on our food itinerary and didn't really plan too much on sight seeing other than Kek Lok Si Temple (for the assam laksa actually). So now that most of the items on our list have been fulfilled I decided to venture out and check out the famous Penang Street Art. Just google Penang Street Art and you'll be able to get a list of the street art including the map of where they are located.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Day 2 : Around Georgetown

Wonton noodle at Kheng Pin Cafe
We woke up in the morning and looked out the window to see that it was raining. Yiipee. We hoped that the rain would wipe the haze away. But it didn't help much. Mean while we were still wondering if we needed to get masks to protect ourselves.

Breakfast Penang Style
I wanted to check out the Chowrasta Market to see if there was any breakfast material. But then going to market hungry could not be good. So I went down the list on my food itinerary. It's Kheng Pin Cafe which was popular with the wonton noodle and the lor bak.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Day 1 : Jakarta - Penang via Singapore

This is the reason why we stopped by Changi airport : Hainamese chicken rice
Changi Singapore
On this trip we were going to go to Penang and Kuala Lumpur. We contemplated on either Jakarta-Penang-KL - Jakarta or the other way around. Looking at different flight options and different airlines before we decided to fly to Penang through Singapore instead. There were only so many direct flights from Jakarta to Penang while there were more from Singapore. Beside going through Changi gave us a chance to check out some food before we arrived in Penang.

We took the earliest flight offered by Air Asia and arrived at Changi at around 10 am. By the time we got to the employee cafeteria the food was just ready and waiting for us. If you are interested to check it out next time, the employee cafeteria is at Terminal 2 at level 3M. So when you're at Terminal 2 walk towards the parking area and then take the elevator to level 3. Get out of the elevator and take one flight of stairs to level 3M. I believe there was a sign indicating where the cafeteria is. And believe me, the food at the cafeteria are as good as any kopi tiams in Singapore. So if you're just transiting and didn't have time to go out to city but yet missed the Singaporean food just check out the employee cafeteria.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Pop! Hotel Airport Jakarta - Jakarta

View as soon as we walk through the door
Last minute just a day before we left for our trip, I realized it would be too hard to try to get to the airport in Jakarta trying to catch a 7 am flight. So I decided to book a night at any hotel near Soekarno-Hatta airport. Surprisingly there were so many options with very reasonable price between USD 35-USD45.

I finally decided to reserve a night at Pop! Hotel. The hotel picture looked very colorful almost like kindergarten class rooms. Reviews on this hotel were good and the price was very reasonable around USD33 a night which included shuttle pick up to and from airport, free breakfast and one bakmi (noodle) and one spa reflexiology.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Bandung Trip 2015 : Around Bandung

The back ground was the Tangkuban Perahu crater - nothing impressive
Woke up fresh the next morning due to the comfort bed at Mercure Hotel but still influenced by jet lag. Me and hubby got ready and walked down with my parents to the breakfast area. We walked around the pool to enjoy the green scenery and inhaled in the fresh morning air. At the same time we took a chance to check out the fitness center which was towards the side of the hotel next to a children's playing area.

After breakfast we got in our car and headed towards Tangkuban Perahu crater. Drive there was not bad. It was only around 9 when we left hotel so not much traffic yet. We reached the bottom of the mountain where the ticket office was in like 25 minutes. By then I remembered that I forgot to tell my dad that there was a price difference for locals and foreigners. And my cell phone didn't have any bars. Oh crap. A man approached our car and started asking where I am from. I told him Jakarta. He then asked about my mom sitting at the back seat. And proceed to ask about my hubby. I told him we're all from Jakarta. He didn't believe me and started asking my mom. No problem for my mom. But issue came when he asked hubby. His bahasa Indonesia wasn't exactly smooth. So we were slapped with a ticket for foreigner and two tickets for local. Worst for my dad's car. He got my cousin, his wife, my aunt and uncle and they all didn't speak bahasa Indonesia fluently. That was one expensive trip to see a crater ! The ticket for local was IDR 20000 (approx USD 1.48) while the fare for foreigner was IDR 200000 - ten times at approx USD 14.8.

Kampung Daun - Lembang, Bandung

Barbecue chicken served with cone shape rice
I came across this restaurant as I was researching Bandung for our trip. And then a friend also recommended to check out this place at night. But since I wasn't familiar with the area I decided it's better to go there for lunch.

The menu was surprisingly pretty big and covered pretty much everyone's palette. From traditional Sundanese cuisine like nasi timbel to pop cuisine like blackpepper beef. For us that were looking to try traditional Indonesian cuisine, the menu offered other ethnic cuisine like Soto Kudus (Javanese style chicken soup) and gurame with dabu-dabu sauce.