Saturday, May 24, 2014

Crab Factory, SS2

I'll be honest here, I have not been to the actual restaurant yet, but I did have a taste of what Crab Factory has to offer. A group of my colleagues went over to check the place out, and because they ordered so much, they had to takeaway some of the leftovers and brought them to the office. So a few of us benefited from the free lunch, WIN.

What you see in the picture above is some spicy squid (bottom right), some king crab with mushrooms (bottom left), regular mud crabs with corn cob (top left), and lemon mussels with herbs (top right). All of the above dishes were cooked using Cajun style, gaya Louisiana, which is what Crab Factory's concept is all about. The owner missed Louisiana cooking so much, she brought the cooking style to us. To embrace the Southern American cajun style, yee-har! Whoops, wrong movie.

How is the food? Well considering it's leftovers, beggars can't be choosers, right? Just kidding, the food is pretty decent, although for me, I much prefer my seafood steamed. I mean yes, cajun style is alright and all, but when you deal with fresh seafood, it is such a waste to cook them will all sorts of herbs and spices, than you can taste the real fresh saltiness of the seafood anymore. All that herbs and spices is just too overpowering. Unless of course, your seafood isn't fresh, then you will need all that spices to cover things up.

I'm pretty sure the seafood at Crab Factory is fresh, and cost quite a far bit too. I mean, look at that king crab shell, it's almost the size of the bowl, and that is the biggest bowl I could find in the work place! I was told that if a party of 6 dine there, prepare to cough a few hundred ringgit for your meal, because that's how much it's going to cost you to eat there (not for tight pockets).

As much as I love seafood, it's a little expensive for me, and I can't bring my parents there because my dad will complain until the cows come home at the sight of them cooking seafood cajun style. It goes against his principle of cooking seafood, it's almost sacrilegious hahaha!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Surviving The Flu

Image from Google
Yup, that pretty much sums up my week this week. It all started last Friday evening, my throat started feeling a little scratchy (if that makes any sense to you). So I left the office early and headed home to get some early rest. Popped a couple of vitamin C and went to bed early. Over the weekend, the throat was still feeling scratchy and I was making myself some honey ginger tea to soothe things, and it worked for a while.

Monday I decided to stay home to work, also because the air in the office can get a little stale (happens in most offices, since we spend so much time indoors with the air-conditioning on and windows shut). I was starting to feel better, but by evening a fever had kicked in, and I was burning up. My regular GP only comes in from 8am to 6pm, so I had to tell myself to hang in there for a few more hours. Popped a couple of Panadols and tried to get some sleep, which proved to be quite difficult because my entire body was beginning to ache as well, a cough was building up, and I was sweating buckets.

By morning, hubby drove me to the GP and was prescribed medication and MC, and was advised to stay in bed and get a lot of rest, plus a reminder to take more fluids. I went home, took some plain bread with Milo (my mantra: feed a cold, starve a fever), before taking the meds and plonking myself to bed.

For the next two days, the fever subsided, and I was slowly getting some strength back. The cough was still lingering though, and phlegm had built up, which annoyed the hell out of me. I went back to work on Thursday because I had scheduled a 10AM meeting with a vendor, so I figured it was better I chaired the meeting since I was in charge of the project management. My boss took one look at me and said "Don't push yourself, if you have to go back and get more rest, please do it."

My colleague took one look at me and told me "GO HOME LA!"... So I decided to head home after the 10AM meeting, and continued working from home (had tonnes of emails to clear, zero inbox here I come), which promptly got me another scolding from a colleague when he saw me still online at 3PM.

It's Friday, and I'm feeling a lot better, thought I chose to stay at home to work because I didn't want to spread the germs around, and the office is not a good place to be in when you're not feeling well, simply because the air can be a little stale, and I don't want to make others feel uncomfortable around a sick person. but I at least I got some work done, some work in the progress, so my mind can be at ease and I can rest better without worrying.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

What Is Happiness?

“Nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so.” ~William Shakespeare

Happiness is merely an emotion. Or is it? What is happiness to you? Is it scoring an A in your examinations? Is it landing the job of your dreams? Is it closing the million dollar deal and securing a big fat bonus at the end of the year? Is it celebrating your birthday with your family and friends? Or is it welcoming a newborn?

I've been having some emotional cycles lately, partly because it's hormonal, and partly because of a decision. I don't really know how things will work out, I can only hope for the best and pray the Gods are willing to look past my faults and give me another chance.

Last week Buddhist devotees celebrating Wesak Day, known as the birth anniversary of Buddha (his real name is Siddharta Gautama). As usual, hubby and I went to a nearby Buddhist lodge in SS 24 to do some prayers. The lodge was already crowded despite it being only 10.30am, and the crowd was expected to swell later in the day.

We made our way to the first floor where the main hall is located, made some donation and said some prayers before heading down to the ground floor. At one end of the lodge is a tall statue of The Goddess of mercy Guanyin. We both said a silent prayer (I had to switch from Cantonese to English because I express myself better in English, hope she understand me) and walked back to the car after. I had a conversation with hubby along the way, and we both shared our prayers, and smiled :)

I'll be honest, sometimes I really don't know what else to believe in anymore. I've been taking everything one day at a time, because that's how it has helped me managed my emotions better. I still have memories of the pain, and that is something I can never wipe away. But I've managed to embrace and accept the pain a whole lot better now, and even if I go through that emotional cycle once in a while, I let it sweep by me, and tell myself this too shall pass. I look forward everyday to new beginnings, and make the best out of everyday with my hubby.

That, is my happiness :) Not forgetting cooking and trying out new recipes ;)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Braised Pork Belly in Soy Sauce (Tau Yew Bak)

As I understand it, there exist quite a few variants of 'tau yew bak' recipe, simply because each family will have their own recipe and style of cooking. Some recipes I've come across sears the pork belly first, before braising it. While others add tofu,Chinese mushrooms and dried chillies. Which ever recipe you follow, you can't go wrong because the fundamentals are already there, it's really just a matter of preference.

One night, I decided to make 'tau yew bak' for the hubby, since he's been working long hours due to a project, and being a loving wife, what better way to a man's heart than through his tummy? I had to modify the recipe a little and used another cut of meat, as I didn't have pork belly at the time. 

Pork belly (ideally), cut into bite sizes
4-5 cloves of garlic, skin intact
2 sticks of cinnamon (the ones I have were shorter, hence I used two sticks)
2 star anise
2 tbps soy sauce (depends on the type of soy sauce, if yours is watered down, add more)
1 tbps dark soy sauce (tweak it according to the dark colour you want to achieve)
1.5 cups water
A dash of white pepper
2 hard boiled eggs (optional)

If you have a claypot like the one I have above, use it. Otherwise a regular deep pot would suffice. Heat up some oil first, add the cinnamon,star anise and garlic and fry until it is fragrant. Add the pork, soy sauce, dark soy sauce and water (everything will sizzle for a while). If you want to, you can add a dash of five spice powder and a bit of crushed rock sugar, but because I felt the cinnamon and star anise already gave that nice fragrance, I didn't want to overdo on spices so I skipped the five spice powder. Simmer using medium heat until the pork is cook and when the gravy has reached the consistency you want (not too watery, not too thick either). Garnish with some spring onions.

The hard boiled eggs were added at the last stage of simmering, so that the yolk doesn't overcook (if hard boiled eggs are overcooked, the yolk has a greenish crust around it).

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Wiggle Wiggle Wiggle

Made you look! ;D

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Food At The Workplace

Since joining this company, I've definitely gained a little bit of weight :P With all the free food coming in, how not to gain kan? Perks of working in the media industry, though I'm also careful not to over indulge. A healthy weight gain is also important.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Roasted Milk Tea from Chatime

When Chatime first opened its doors in Malaysia, I brushed it off as another bubble tea craze (if you recall, there was a craze before Chatime/GongCha and all that brand name came about, which didn't last very long). I was never a fan of bubble tea, pearl tea, fruit fusion tea etc. To me there were just pure sugar drinks in bright colours and with chewy black rubbery balls. Yes it's tapioca balls, but the paranoid girl in me has this idea some other ingredients had gone in to make those balls so bouncy.

It was also  because a lot of these beverages came cold, very cold. And ever since I completed my traditional Chinese medicine treatment, my body has been rejecting cold stuff, simply because I had abstained from taking cold drinks during the duration of the treatment. Hence the body had adapted and in the process, rejected cold beverages. I can take tiny sips of chilled drinks, but anything more than a gulp, I start getting cramps in my lower abdomen, and they are not pleasant (trust me, I've experimented).

Even coffee is out, and I used to enjoy getting a cup of white coffee from Old Town for breakfast. I had to abstain from coffee as well, and the result is (and very likely some roast have higher acidity than others), can't really take coffee anymore. I was never a coffee drinker to begin with, but the occasional sips of white coffee and latte was something I had enjoyed in the past. Not anymore.

Anyway, when I discovered that Chatime offered hot roasted milk tea, I decided to give it a shot. The hot drink comes in one size only (500ml) and cost RM 5.90, a steal compared to Starbucks of course. And I like it with slight sugar as it brings out the roasted milk tea aroma. I've tried it without sugar before, taste was acceptable, but I think the sugar adds to the fragrant taste. The body didn't reject it, no pain nothing, so it's a go :) Once a while I do enjoy my cuppa, as long as it is hot (and I don't take anything caffeine after 3pm).