Here In My Home - Malaysian Artistes For Unity

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

Lest We Forget

I just found out....there is no easy reference for decommissioned RMN ships before and after Merdeka. So for those interested, check this out.


The Royal Malaysian Navy has her origins from the Straits Settlement Naval Volunteer Reserve (SSNVR) which was established with 54 Malay volunteers to assist the Royal Navy in the defence of the Straits and Malay states territorial waters. The SSNVR was formed in Singapore on 27 April 1934 and was initially located at the Singapore Volunteer Corps Headquarters. On 18 January 1935, the British Admiralty presented her with a WW1-era Flower-class escort sloop, the HMS Laburnum, to serve as the Reserve's Headquarters and drill ship that was based at Teluk Air Basin, Singapore. This unit was later expanded with a Penang branch established in 1938 and was subsequently renamed as the Malayan Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve (MRNVR).

HMS Laburnum - The pride of the MRNVR

As World War II approached, the British quickly formed a Malay Section of the Royal Navy with the absorption of MRNVR members and fresh recruits. Established on 4 September 1939,it was called the Royal Navy Malay Section or simply as the Malay Navy. The section was based at HMS Pelandok training camp in Sembawang naval base, Singapore. The Malay Navy expanded rapidly from 400 men in 1939 to 1430 men in 1941. However, at the outbreak of the war, only 158 British officers and 650 local seaman remained as the others had finished their contract by that time. When Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942, only about 150 men of the Malay Navy were safely evacuated to Ceylon (Sri Lanka), East Africa and India. These men later returned with the Liberation Force in September 1945 and a total of 650 men reported back for duty after the war. Unfortunately, due to post-war financial constraints, the Malay Navy was disbanded in April 1947.

HMS Test became the nucleus ship of the Malayan Naval Force

At the outbreak of the Communist Emergency, the Malay Navy was reactivated on 24 December 1948 when the Malayan Naval Force regulation was officially gazetted on 4 March 1949. The main function of the Malayan Naval Force(MNF) was coastal patrol in order to stop the communist terrorists from receiving supplies from the sea. In addition, the Force was tasked with guarding the approaches to Singapore and other ports. The MNF was based at an ex-Royal Air Force radio base station in Woodlands, Singapore. that was initially called the 'MNF Barracks' but was later renamed as the HMS Malaya.

HMS Pelandok of the MNF

The MNF was firstly equipped with a River-class frigate, HMS Test that was used as a training ship but by 1950 had in service an ex-Japanese minelayer HMS Laburnum, a Landing Craft Tank (LCT), HMS Pelandok, motor fishing vessel HMS Panglima, torpedo recovery vessel HMS Simbang(Erratum) and several seaward defence motor launches (SDML). The vessels of the Force were later renamed with the prefix Malayan Ship(MS) to differentiate them from Royal Navy units.

The main patrol units of the MNF are SDML's like above

In May 1950, the deactivated Battleship HMS Malaya ship's bell was presented by the The Royal Navy to the MNF as a mark of honour and appreciation for their service. The Malayan Naval Force was again honoured when in August 1952 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, bestowed the title 'Royal Malayan Navy' Singapore to the MNF in recognition of her sterling service in action during the Malayan Emergency. The navy's ships now carried the prefix Her Majesty's Malayan Ship(HMMS) and subsequently flew her own white ensign on 31 December 1956.

HMMS Penyu was one of the larger vessels in the MNF fleet

The Royal Malayan Navy Singapore that was then still part of the Royal Navy, was eventually transferred to the independent Federation of Malaya on 12 July 1958 and renamed the Royal Malayan Navy(RMN). With the hoisting of The Federation naval ensign eleven days later- the White Ensign modified by the substitution of the Union Jack with the Federation flag in the upper left corner- the RMN was thus made responsible for Malaya's maritime self defence. The new navy bravely shouldered the responsibility with only an operational and training base at HMMS MALAYA and a small coastal fleet of 1 LCT, 2 Ham-class inshore minesweepers, 1 coastal minelayer and 7 SDML's on free transfer from the Royal Navy. In the first year of independent service, it was decided to rename all the ships in the fleet according to the names of the Malay states. On 3 November 1961, the young navy was again honoured when it was declared that her ships were now to be called with the Malay prefix Kapal Diraja(K.D.) as a mark of her independence since the use of HMMS was considered as a relic of colonialism. The new prefix also established the navy's national identity for the first time.

KD Hang Tuah was the first frigate class warship the RMN had

With the formation of Malaysia in 1963, the Royal Malayan Navy became known permanently as the Royal Malaysian Navy. However before the new navy had a chance to be strengthened, it had to face her first conflict in the confrontation(Konfrontasi) with a superior-equipped Indonesia over its objection to the formation of Malaysia. Fortunately, the Royal Navy maintained a massive deployment throughout the conflict as a shield in defence of her former colony. To face the challenges posed by the Indonesians, the RMN was further developed with the assistance of the British. Therefore in the mid-Sixties, the modest Royal Malaysian Navy's inventory comprised entirely of British-supplied ships: one ex-Royal Navy Loch class frigate, four Ton-class coastal minesweepers, four Ham-class inshore minesweepers, 10 Kedah/Sabah class Vosper patrol boats and a newly delivered LCT, in addition to the remaining 3 ex-MNF SDML's. These ships put the RMN in the forefront of the defence of Malaysia by securing her territorial waters and assisting the land forces in their operations against the Indonesian infiltrators.

The KD Sri Langkawi was the forerunner of the navy's amphibious force.

The RMN continued not only to develop her assets throughout the Konfrontasi but also gained operational knowledge and experience from the conflict. This resulted in the RMN being entrusted to assume the responsibility of patrolling Sabah and Sarawak waters from the Royal Navy in 1966, one month after the conclusion of the confrontation with Indonesia. Having now learned of the need for constant preparedness, a gradual process of development was begun in order to ensure the navy is sufficiently equipped to face any challenges. To expand the range and firepower of her naval assets, the RMN purchased larger Kris class patrol boats and a squadron of Perkasa class torpedo fast attack craft (FAC-T) which all entered service by 1968.

Minesweepers like KD Brinchang also played a patrol role for the navy

However, the gradual development program changed following regional turbulence and the strategic withdrawal of the British Armed Forces from the region in the early 1970's. These events resulted in the implementation of the Armed Forces Special Development plan whereby the RMN operational strategy changed from one of coastal defence and law enforcement within territorial waters to a strategy of sea denial to the enemy, long-range patrol, monitoring, ensuring safe navigation against low-level threats (piracy) and escort and strike missions. The navy duly began a rapid force level expansion where landing ships, frigates and FAC squadrons were added to the Fleet. The RMN had also at this time entered the missile age with the retrofitting of the Perkasa FAC's with Aerospatiale's SS-12M missiles in 1971 and the acquisition of one Exocet missile armed fast attack craft squadron a year later.

Perkasa class signalled the modernisation of the Navy

This decade also marked the diversification of naval assets procurement away from Britain, the navy's traditional supplier when the French, Germans, Swedes and Americans also managed to supply their vessels and equipment to the RMN. The trend away from dependence on the British was further advanced by the assumption of full operational control of the navy by local personnel during the period. The RMN now faced the challenge of proving the capabilities of her local crew in running their own navy without expatriate commanders. Nonetheless, through a historical quirk the RMN still faced a unique problem of a sovereign nation who's navy and her major command and training facilities were stationed in another sovereign's territory, Singapore that had seceded in 1965, and not within Malaysia itself. In concert with these developments, the RMN established her own major base in Lumut in 1979 and fully shifted her fleet operations from the leased facilities in Woodlands, Singapore two years later. Next, two German made FS1500 Frigates, two Multi-Purpose Combat Support Ships, two Off Shore Patrol vessels and four Mine Countermeasure Vessels(MCMV) entered service in the 1980's, contributing to the enhancement of the RMN's fighting capability. However, the economic slowdown faced by the nation in the middle of the decade forced the cancellation of the planned acquisition of a follow on order of two each of FS1500 frigates and MCMV's. As most of the major vessels in the fleet are helicopter capable, a naval air wing was also established in 1988 with Wasp ASW Helicopters, making the navy one of the few in the region to be so equipped.

With an improving economy and a shift in strategic requirements, the RMN from 1991 changed their operational objective from a threat-based force to a capability-based force. Therefore in the nineties the RMN took delivery of four Laksamana class Corvettes and two UK built 'stealth' frigates to enable the navy to play a more offensive role in three-dimensional warfare. These programs were carried out as part of the process of transforming the RMN from that of a brown water navy into a navy capable of performing and carrying out extended blue water operations. The reason being Malaysia's geography requires the navy to have sufficient reach and capabilities for offshore surveillance and coastal defence. This is to ensure her effectiveness and the continued relevance of the navy in her dual function as a fighting force as well as a maritime law enforcement agency. As such, even though the Royal Malaysian Navy has had a chequered history of development, she can now face the future with confidence as the navy has been sufficiently modernised to face the challenges of the new millennia. The RMN can now stand proud as a navy to be respected, that can give as good as he gets.

Friday, 25 May 2007

The Wait Is Finally Over

Finally the wait is over to receive the first two units of the RMAF SU-30 MKM after four years the purchase agreement was signed. The puzzle concerning the fighter's camouflage scheme has also been answered as a light blue on grey colour scheme has been displayed. Whether the RMAF will adopt a similar gunship grey colour scheme similar to their other fighter assets we will see later. And finally we have confirmation from the PTU himslef that the MKM will be armed with a BVR missile the Amraamski that has been a point of conjecture by the project's keen observers since some of the region's air forces has such BVR armed fighters. And it looks like the AEWC aircraft purchase may be put on hold since the fighter's AEW capabilities has been strongly featured by the PTU, possibly as a salve to soothe fears that the RMAF has no organic AEW capabilities.

Anyway it looks like Gong Kedak Air Force Base near the Kelantan will be a favourite spot for aircraft spotters once the first two birds lands there next month. I am all for it so that photos of the birds will now populate the cyberspace as they have been very difficult to spot in deed, Anyway for those of you interested to view the video the MKM roll-out, point your browsers to this link

Thursday, 24 May 2007

If They All Come from Chennai

Nasi Ganja Ipoh

Recently my auntie passed away in Ipoh and as part of the ritual for my immobilised uncle, I went and bought their favourite murtabak at the Ipoh Godown Kanteen in front of ICT. While waiting I heard one of the brothers has gone back to Chennai and that got me thinking, if the mamaks basically come from Chennai why are their recipes so different from each other. Case in point is their murtabak which is one of the rotis i missed out on my previous posting, maybe because it is easier for me to find good ones still. Their murtabak is still done in the old way, a mix of curried meat with onions and eggs, poured onto a piece of dried roti canai and let cooked on one side, before being turned and then the balance of the mix is poured onto the other side before being wrapped in roti canai and at the end brushed with ghee while cooking before being served. Quite different from the way it is done nowadays and this way you get the murtabak in layered form, a bit like lasagna and more filling than that of a grandised roti telur.

Talking about nasi kandar, I don't really eat this other than outside of Ipoh maybe because there are many other food options for me there. I only go to the mamak shops near my house but if the appetite strikes me, then I will go for the famous 'Nasi Ganja" in new town. This is unlike typical nasi kandar as they serve old style nasi kandar with coconut sambal/chutney. Where can find like this nowadays eh. My brother likes their ayam panggang but my hantu dish is definitely their daging masak hitam. The funny about me is I prefer to tapau their nasi than eating at the shop. You want to know why? It is because for me all the lauk and nasi becomes 'mesra' after being packed for some time, so the taste becomes one heh!heh!heh! The last time time i was there, I packed a few ayam panggangs, daging hitam and three udang besar and it only cost me less than RM50. No way I can get such pricing in KL. But anyway the fact is that in a town like Ipoh, there are so many ways nasi kandar is served, and that is not even talking about the various nasi kandar in Penang itself, where everyone has their favourite spot. So I do not want to go there :) And the most obvious thing to me is that nasi kandar in Malaysia seems to have two versions, the northern style starting from Perak onwards, and the rest like they have in KL southwards. I must say that I find the southern style less spicy and with less kick, and the only nasi kandar stalls that I really like are at Medina Restaurant in BB Plaza rooftop food court and previously the stadium nasi kandar(i do not know where they have gone nowadays, bummer). The other nasi kandar places I go only because it is near or because they serve good fish head curry, but this can be a talked about in a different post right.

What I will write about though is the pasembor. In the old days of Ipoh Padang, you can find many pasembor stalls bawah pokok manned by mamak chennai with different recipes , and it is up to you to choose which preparation you prefer. Again I personally like those available near my housing estate, but to this day only one stall has survived and that is because the owner has put down roots in Ipoh rather than balik kampung with his sons now taking turns manning the stall. Their mee mamak is also excellent. If you do not know, mee mamak is basically fried mee where they add chilli paste, vinegar and the pasembor gravy to the fry mix, that also includes the pasembor kueh or fritters and boiled potatoes. I prefer the dark version with extra soy sauce but usually you get the red version due to the chilli paste and gravy mix. But again the recipes seem to differ in the north and south. Most mee mamak south of Perak seems only to use chilli boh or paste in their preparation and only add light soya sauce. You can only find the fritters or boiled potatoes very rarely and there usually is no vinegar bite. So here usually you find red coloured mee mamak instead.

Well I believe you will notice that my main grouse between the northern mamak food and the southern version seems to be ingredients, or rather the lack of ingredients. In that case you have hit it on the spot and on that note I shall end, Ok.

Thursday, 17 May 2007

Then and now – Roti Edition

Some of you may have noticed that I waxed lyrical on some nostalgic Malay dishes in the Malay language in several of my previous postings. The reason for this is that only by writing in Malay can I do justice to their memories but I hope that now I can do the same for this topic in English.
Now I know many people especially the younger set may not know that their favourite roti canai or parathas as some may call it was originally prepared with ghee in the dough and then fried with a mix of liquid ghee and vegetable oil, bringing the taste of the humble roti canai to the Nth degree. When prepared this way, the roti canai becomes so flavourful and fluffy, very unlike the stiff rotis masquerading as roti canai in some places these days that if thrown at a brick wall, a dent is the result. And what’s more, if the ghee roti canai is tapaued in banana leaves like my father used to do in my childhood days or served on one, I can guarantee you that the taste and smell is so heavenly that even eating it cold with just sugar is syiok enough. No need for the usual curry, dalcha or parpu and definitely you will not ‘banjir’ it to soften the hard rotis as so often the case is nowadays, as that defeats the point as you lose the taste. Aha I see some of you scratching your head wondering what the heck is parpu. Well in the north where you can still get fluffy roti canais but alas without the ghee, parpu is the simple yellow lentil curry that has been subtly spiced to perfection. A very good ‘training’ condiment for the kids. Although you can still find parpu in the Klang valley in shops that betray their northern origins, like the ghee roti canai both have gone the way of the dodo. This methinks is basically due to economic costs as I suspect by replacing the parpu with dalcha curry allows the shop to offer a dish that can last till dinner and the morrow perhaps. However I was lucky enough in one of my recent balik kampung trip to the wife’s village in Rantau, the mamak shop proprietor there was kind enough to make the roti canai with ghee after hearing me reminisce about how it was prepared in the old days. The funny thing was that although he initially wanted to charge extra when I made the order, he forwent the surcharge when he revealed he was also a displaced northerner and pined for the old ways. I suspected as much since he had parpu anyway but at least my family managed to get a taste of what I have told them many times before.

Next I would like to remind you of a dish that supposedly originated in Singapore but now is found everywhere locally, a fact that I shall not contest because I personally first tasted it over there umpteen years ago. This is the Roti John, basically sliced baguette halves topped fried with a mix of egg and spiced minced meats, reassembled and served with cucumber slices and chilli sauce. I have no idea if the roti john over there remains the same nowadays, but the version we have here is a far cry from the original. What we have now is to me just French toast made with hot dog rolls, and some sweet rolls no less and usually there is no meat at all. Although there are still pockets of holdouts if you are lucky enough to find them, the bread used are still hot dog rolls. (Come to think of it, the large roti john rolls would be perfect for foot long hot dogs don’t you think). The closest to the original taste I had recently was at restaurant Apple Burger in Bandar Baru Melaka, but unfortunately I failed to see if they still make it the original way in Klebang, as it seems it now only opens at night. But I will try my best to have this the next time I am in Melaka, as Melaka is reputed to be only the other place that used to serve real roti johns and I hold out the hope that the bread shall be baguettes.

As it is I am glad that traditional style kopitiams are now making a comeback and I pray that it will not be a passing fad. At least I can get again real roti bakar, made with roti benggali, butter (no margarine mind you) and seri kaya, albeit at inflated prices. You have to pay the cost of progress I guess. Now to those of you who think that roti bakar made with sandwich bread, margarine and factory made kaya is the real thing, you have my sympathies. Real roti bakar must be made of thickly sliced fluffy bread or roti benggali, grilled on the pan or charcoal grill if you are lucky. Those toasted in toasters are just that my dear, plain old toasted bread and undeserving of the moniker roti bakar. And you better make sure it served with butter cut from the block and homemade seri kaya, otherwise you will not be in roti bakar heaven. You can see the butter peeking from the photo, and that is how it should be made.

While we are at these most Malaysian Chinese of bread, shall I touch on the difficulty for a Moslem like me to get good halal cakoi that I can get easily in my hometown? Over here the ones made by the Malays are not as flavourful or fluffy, something to do with the air kapur that is usually deleted in their recipes methinks, and once cold becomes pitiful chewy things. How I salivate when passing pass Chinese cakoi stalls that over here I do not dare to buy from, as they are not as sensitive to Moslem needs as in the north. There used to be a good one sold by a Malay man hailing from Taiping, but he no longer sells at the old location so it is a lost cause for me. So if you know of one, kindly drop me a line okay.

Have any of you heard of cream horn? This is a hard pastry shell shaped like a spiral horn with the most delicious white cream filling. In Ipoh when the roti man comes around these will be bought as a treat, either as a reward by my parents or with my hard earned savings. Fortunately my own roti man does bring some around if I am lucky, and I will buy a whole pack of five to savour or share it with my sister in Bangi. Yet our kids do not seem to take to it though, so it may be that cream horns will only be comfort food for my siblings. Continuing the theme of now and then, those that my roti man brings are quite true to the original version, but again the buttery taste of the pastry is quite negligible, another victim of economics. And the most common ones available nowadays usually have custard fillings instead and shouldn’t these be called custard horns instead right?

Well talking about custard fillings, custard puffs or romsus as my family calls it is another extinct species of roti. I remember that each time a family member travels to Penang, a box of romsus is a compulsory souvenir as we consider the best comes from there. But these started disappearing in my teens and nowadays is a hit and miss affair to find them. The funny thing is that cream puffs are now easy to find, so it seems cream horns and custard puffs have switched their fillings. Nonetheless recently I had my fill of custard puffs at my dear friends’ barbecue party as the wife comes from Penang and she made it right, oh so so right. That should appease my longings for a while.

I cannot think of other roti to finish on but I would like to end by saying that if you have the time and find yourself traveling the Cherating trunk road northwards in the evening, once you pass the resort area do keep a sharp look out for a small crude sign that says “roti panas” in front of a decrepit wooden house along the road. If it is your lucky day, it will be baking day, as the alternate days are the days when the baker makes his own seri kaya. This is used as the filling for the most utterly delicious wood baked buns filled with the aforementioned seri kaya, red bean paste, coconut candy or sweet milk buns. Bite into one and you are biting into heavenly roti and would now understand the loss I feel for roti now and then. But hurry up, the baker is old and his treasures may be lost to mankind anytime soon.

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

Is it so wrong to build the new frigates at LSE

In the month of July last year, the Malaysian Government announced that they were negotiating with BAE to build two additional Lekiu class frigates in upgraded version optimised as Air Defence ships to be called Batch 2. The Defence Minister announced that one of the conditions negotiated was for these ships to be built at Labuan Shipyard Engineering (LSE) to provide employment opportunities for the are and also to develop shipbuilding skills of the nation. Even before the announcement has died down, many critics voiced out their opinions that the Kedah class building debacle will be repeated, that is the program will be in fits and starts especially since the Batch 1 program itself was delayed in their delivery for several years. This forced the Minister to issue a statement that (sic) " Malaysia will learn from the previous experience in implementing the construction project of the two new frigates" a week after the announcement.

Nonetheless the critical voices continued, especially when it was announced that BAE has signed an MOU with the company Realmild, owner of LSE for the project. They said that this is another political project headed for trouble as they claim that Realmild is a subsidiary of the politically linked Media Prima entertainment local giant and has no shipbuilding experience. Hello everybody, do you know that Media Prima's management board has been successful in turning around a company that was at land's end due to the economic crisis and has now become a corporate giant again. And this was a management group that had no media industry experience in the beginning but with striving efforts they did it. That's just it, in business you need able management, not expertise in a particular industry as such expertise can be learned and LSE foremostly needs turning around and thus I am confident that this project will work out.

Some also says that the nation cannot afford to have two naval shipbuilders but do they understand that we actually do not have any naval shipbuilding specialist. Boustead Naval Shipyard also builds civilian vessels to ensure good revenue as no one can survive by just depending on MAF purchases only. Anyway, with two dockyards that can support naval shipbuilding at both ends of of maritime nations divided by the South China Sea, it would certainly help the RMN to obtain support services for the vessels but this fact is also disputed. But can anybody deny the fact that both our premier front-line vessels has been dry docked at the same time?

The best thing, there are also accusations that this project was not properly planned and done hastily. They cannot accept the fact that the project has been well planned by all parties to ensure it is sustainable and viable. One thing I really like is that part of the conditions in the LOI awarded are that BAE must establish sufficient facilities and ensure transfer of technology is carried out BEFORE the purchase agreement is concluded. This is different than before where TOT is usually an afterthought or even neglected that many such manufacturing programs faces problems as the seller may stop the transfer of capabilities, especially if there are delays in payments. In other words, this is not business as usual, because if the conditions in the LOI is not followed including preparing sufficient facilities for local construction, the sale itself will not be pursued. This is why I believe the project will go well. Don't tell me that Datuk Shahrir will keep quiet if there are any hanky-panky in such a high profile project.

Kisah Mee Rebus

Mee Bandung

Berbincang dengan geng kat forum MPSA di Cari, aku terfikirlah apa bezanya mee bandung (samada Muar punya version atau tidak), mee rebus biasa dan mee jawa. Ketiga-tiga mee ini adalah mee rebus yang berbeza pada asasnya cuma pada nama. Baik kita tengok apa dia orang katakan sebagai mee bandung. Mee bandung yang biasanya aku makan ialah mee di mana kuahnya disediakan dalam kuali dan kemudiannya meenya dimasukkan ke dalam kuali untuk dimasak bersama sebelum dihidangkan. Kuahnya itu biasanya berasaskan sos tomato dan sos cili botol yang dicampur air rebusan, bahan perencah seperti daging, udang sotong dsb dan sayur mayur sebelum di masukkan mee. Variasi utama mee bandung ini ialah mee bandung muar yang selalu diperkatakan as the best. Aku difahamkan cara persediannya adalah sebenarnya serupa dengan mee rebus yang aku akan perkatakan selepas ini cuma kuahnya itu dicampur dengan kulit udang digiling untuk menambahkan kicknya. Aku pernah makan dan memangla berbeza rasanya kerana mee bandung muar terasa kemanisan kulit udang itu. Tapi bagi aku baik namakan ia sebagai mee rebus muar kerana lebih mirip mee rebus dari mee bandung dari segi penyediaan, bagi akulah.

Mee Bandung Muar

Mee Rebus Stail Utara

Kenapa aku katakan sama. Both mee bandung muor ni dan mee rebus ini kuahnya disediakan berasingan dan dituang ke atas mee yang dah dicelor tetapi bahan asas kuahnya berbeza. Mee rebus ini berbeza kerana kuahnya berasaskan keledek walaupun ikut resepi masing-masing ada jugak campur ayam, daging maupun udang dan sotong. Dan apabila dihidangkan, mee rebus ini biasanya dihias dengan hirisan tahu goreng, telur rebus, kekadang hirisan kentang rebus dan kalau kedai mamak, ada yang letak sedikit cucur rojak. Yang best pulak kalau letak sedikit kicap manis.

Mee rebus yang biasa boleh didapati ialah mee rebus versi mamak dan mee rebus versi melayu di mana perbezaan pada mata aku ialah tahap penggunaan cili, jadi versi mamak baisanya lebih terang dari versi melayu yang banyak menggunakan cili. Pada pendapat aku, versi melayu lagi best kerana kena tekak aku dan ini adalah versi yang mak aku buat tapi ada jugak yang sukakan versi mamak.

Mee Rebus Hj Wahid Johor Bahru

Ok Sekarang aku nak cerita fasal versi terakhir mee rebus ni iaitu mee jawa. Tapi nak senang cerita, aku cilok posting dari Alaf21 yang bagi aku menerangkan dengan bagus perbezaan mee rebus dan mee jawa ni. Ini kata mereka :


Apakah perbezaan di antara mee rebus and mee jawa?

Di sebelah Utara Semenanjung, Mee Rebus berkuah pekat tetapi di tempat-tempat lain, Mee Rebus adalah serupa dengan Mee Sup. Mee Jawa pula mempunyai banyak ramuan giling dan tidak dimakan dengan Cucur Udang seperti Mee Rebus. Di sini ada kedua-dua jenis resepi untuk tatapan puan (& dibuat perbandingan?):


Bahan Sampingan

350g mee kuning, dicelur
150g taugeh, dicelur
2 biji telur, direbus
2 keping tauhu, digoreng & dihiris
2 biji kentang, direbus & dihiris
bawang goreng, cili merah, daun bawang
hirisan limau kasturi, jika suka

Bahan Cucur Udang

20 ekor udang hidup
80g tepung gandum
¼ camt serbuk kunyit
air secukupnya
minyak untuk menggoreng cucur

Bahan Penumis

3 cm kulit kayu manis
1 biji buah pelaga
2 kuntum bunga lawang
2 ulas bawang putih, dikisar
5 ulas bawang putih, dikisar
2 cm halia, dikisar
7-8 tangkai cili kering, direndam & dikisar

Bahan Kuah

4 camb minyak
200g daging, direbus dengan 1.5 liter air & dihiris
2 biji tomato, dibuang biji & kulit, dikisar
1 biji keledek kecil, direbus & dilecek
garam & gula secukupnya

Panaskan minyak, masukkan bahan penumis dan kacau hingga terbit bau. Masukkan air rebusan daging dan tomato kisar. Bila mendidih, masukkan keledek lecek. Tambah garam, gula dan renihkan hingga pekat. Sajikan dengan bahan sampingan, hirisan cucur udang dan hirisan daging.


3 camb minyak masak
150g daging, direbus & dihiris (air rebusan 1 liter)
120g udang segar, direbus, dikupas & tapis air rebusannya (0.5 liter)
2 biji tomato, dihiris kecil
1 camt tepung jagung, dicampur
150ml air
2 camb air asam jawa

Bahan Sampingan

350g mee kuning, dicelur
120g taugeh, dicelur
2 keping tauhu, digoreng & dihiris dadu
2 biji telur rebus, dihiris
1 biji cili merah, dihiris
1 biji cili hijau, dihiris
daun bawang, daun sup & bawang goreng
hirisan limau kasturi

Bahan Kisar

½ camt serbuk ketumbar
¼ camt serbuk jintan putih
¼ camt serbuk lada hitam
1 cm kunyit hidup
1 camb kacang tanah goreng
1 cm lengkuas
½ labu bawang besar
1 cm halia
1 ulas bawang putih
2 biji buah keras
2 camt rempah kari daging

Panaskan minyak. Tumis bahan kisar hingga wangi dan terbit minyak. Masukkan air asam jawa, air rebusan udang dan air rebusan daging. Bila mendidih, masukkan campuran tepung jagung dan tomato. Bila kuah mulai pekat, tambah garam dan gula. Sajikan dengan semua bahan sampingan.

Amacam boleh terima tak. Cuma dalam keluarga aku penarik mee jawa ni kuahnya ada campur kacang tanah sebagai pemekat, itu yang kasi kow. Korang perasan tak dalam resepi mee jawa memang ada kacang yang telah ditumbok sementara mee rebus tu tak ada. Sebenarnya bagi aku semua mee rebus ini adalah variasi kepada mee rebus jawa sebagai resepi asas. Cuma resepi sudah diubah mengikut selera setempat. Di Sabah dan Sarawak aku perhatikan tidak ada istilah mee rebus, diaorang cuma panggil mee jawa sahaja. Jadi buat pengakhir kata aku kasilah definisi mee 'rebus' dalam keluarga aku...

mee rebus : mee yang kuahnya di buat berasingan dan kemudian dicampur kepada mee. Mirip mee rebus mamak dan mee bandong muor

mee bandung : mee yang kuahnya dimasak dalam kuali dan kemudiannya mee dicampur dan terus dihidang. Mirip mee bandong kedai siam.

mee jawa : mee yang kuahnya dibuat berasingan dan berasaskan keledek dan ditambah kacang tumbok sebagai pemekat. Dicampur kepada mee tetapi mesti ada kentang rebus. mirip mee jawa di kedai walaupun ada yang panggil benda tu mee rebus.

Makanan Ku Rindu- Salad Nusantara

Kali ni biarkan aku bercerita pula tentang masakan sayur kita yang berkuah atau lebih tepat ditambah sos berasas kacang yang walaupun pada dasarnya patut mudah disediakan tapi amat sukar untuk dijumpa dalam bentuk atau ramuan yang asli. Benda pertama aku nak ceritakan ialah fasal pecal yang biasa terdapat kat kedai-kedai kita. Bagi aku kebanyakanya mengarut dan tak layak dipanggil pecal. Yang sedihnya biasa yang ori cuma boleh didapati kat restoran2 hotel aja. Kenapa gamaknya? Jawapannya mudah aja. Fasal bumbu benda ni banyak bahan dan mungkin melebihi harga boleh dijual, ramailah ambil jalan mudah buat ala-ala kadar dengan mengurangkan bahan. Janji ada rupa sudahlah. Kalau mak aku buat memang cukup rasa, gula melaka dan belacan mesti ada disamping kacang mestilah ditumbuk. Jadi bumbu yang mak aku buat mesti jadi likat atau shiny cakap orang putih. Rasanya tak payah cakapla dan bila dibuat kuah pekat dan menyelerakan. Cuba korang tengok gambar sebelah ni, lebih kurang begitulah rupa pecal ori yang mak aku buat. Cuba banding dengan yang selalu kita dapat. Sedihkan. Bila digaul dengan ulam-ulam ikut selera masing dan lepas tu ditabur keropok yang dah dihancurkan, bestnya bukan main. Aku juga suka gunakan kuah pecal ni sebagai cicah atau dip untuk keropok ikan. kalau setakat kuah pecal biasa tu lupakanlah fasal mesti tak jadinya nak jadi cukup pekat nak dijadikan cicahan. Cuma aku sedih sedikit buat waktu ini bini aku belum ambik ilmu buat pecal ni fasal side family dia kurang makan, cuma pak mertua yang keturunan jawa aja suka. Tu aku kesian bila sekali-sekala aku jumpa pecal best untuk ditapau, biasanya kami berdua berlumba-lumba menghabiskan pecal tu.
Lepas ni aku akan cakap fasal satu lagi bahan makanan berasaskan kacang iaitu gado2 tapi aku terpaksa mengaku yang keluarga aku memang dah lama tak buat dan memang tinggal sebagai a distant childhood memory. Yang aku ingat gado-gado yang keluarga aku buat dulu agak elaborate dengan bermacam bahannya. Gado-gado ini bolehlah juga diumpamakan seperti pasembor mamak cuma rasa dan persediaannya yang berbeda di mana gado-gado tidak menggunakan cucur. Kat KL ni gado-gado yang pernah aku jumpa yang mirip dengan cara mak aku buat ialah di Natrabu dekat Sentral, tapi aku tak pasti restoran ini beroperasi lagi ke tidak. Restoran Sundanese pun ada juga gado-gado ni tapi versi mereka versi sunda yang bagi aku memang berlainan dari gado-gado sumatera yang family aku buat.Selain dari dua restoran ini gado-gado memang sukar nak jumpa, mungkin fasal penyediaanya tidak memihak kedai-kedai makanan minang kerana berbanding pecal yang memang lebih popular, ramuannya tidak tahan lama atau cepat basi. Keluarga kami ada juga versi gado-gado mudah yang kami panggil salada yang cuma menggunakan daun salad, tahu goreng dan kuah sahaja.

Percaya atau tidak tauhu juga menjadi masakan kegemaranku bila dijadikan tauhu goreng tapi jangan dikelirukan dengan tauhu goreng sumbat maupun tauhu bakar, walaupun ada tempat yang gunakan kuahnya yang dipekatkan sebagai sos tauhu bakar. Sos ini basically dibuat dari petis, gula melaka, kacang ditumbuk, cabai dan lain-lain lagi. Tapi seperti biasalah tauhu goreng yang aku pernah jumpa kat KL ni menggantikan gula melaka dengan gula pasir semata-mata lalu mencacatkan rasanya. Jadi kicknya kuranglah! Walaubagaimanapun, aku terkejut juga yang kedai nasi ayam si Linda Onn ada menyediakan masakan ini fasal waktu pertama aku order dulu, aku ingatkan dia buat stail tauhu bakar. Tapi bila sampai, terkejut aku yang rupa-rupanya memang seperti yang aku idamkan. Masalahnya bagi aku dengan cara diaorang ialah mereka tak ada kuih cucur macam kuih rojak buah cina dan ikut cawangan mana korang makan, ada yang buat kuahnya mak ai pedas benar dan kurang manis, so tak ada umph! Satu lagi tempat yang aku pernah jumpa ada jual tauhu goreng ni ialah di medan selera Great Eastern Mall tapi rasanya walaupun boleh tahan, lebih tawar dari di kedai Linda Onn dari segi pedas dan manisnya fasal kuah tu nampak jenis eveready aja. Jadi aku dengan yakin boleh khabarkan yang bagi aku, tauhu goreng tersedap tetap yang keluarga aku buat fasal selain dari sosnya yang power, kitaorang tambah hirisan senkuang dan timun di samping kuih yang aku cakap tu.

Bagaimanapun kalau korang tak perasan, aku nak ketengahkan yang ketiga-tiga masakan di atas ini sebenarnya salad orang Melayu. Alah macam iklan Astro yang nenek tu cakap bukan ulam tapi salad.Terus-terang aku cakap, kalau aku boleh dapat mana-mana salad ini waktu aku makan, aku dengan senang hati akan tinggalkan masakan gulai, daging-maging dam masakan melayu lain yang menggemukkan aku macam doktor aku cakap. Ini kerana salad-salad ini tidak berapa sesuai dimakan dengan lauk-pauk itu. Cukup dengan ikan goreng, keropok, tempe goreng atau lain2 benda bergoreng sebagai saing lauk ini sudah cukup menyelerakan. Entahlah, masakan melayu sihat sebegini yang aku yakin kalau diketengahkan boleh menyaingi salad-salad mat salleh di arena antarabangsa diabaikan. Tinggallah aku menjamu selera dengan masakan melayu lain yang boleh menggemukkan. Tidak hairan kalau kita tanya kat doktor diaorang cakap masakan orang melayu tak baik untuk kesihatan apabila masakan sihat tapi leceh nak disediakan semakin dilupakan.

Makanan Yang Ku Rindu - Gulai Warisan

Ini pulak cerita masakan malaysia, basically dari perak yang susah aku nak jumpa yang best punya lagi. First of mestilah masakan agung negeri perak yakni besamah ataupun pesamah. Yang aku heran tu ramai jugak orang perak tak tau amende besamah ni, diaorang cuma tahu rendang tok ja. No wonderlah masakan ni makin pupus sampai ada orang cakap aku kat board perak forum cari bahawa tempat dia jumpa besamah ni kat majlis kenduri-kendara aja. Rugi2 dan aku lagi rugi fasal yang ni memang confirm mak aku dah lupa cara memasak dan wife aku kena modify resipi yang dia dapat dari mak aku dengan bantuan akak aku, barulah dapat balik hampir semua rasa original dia. Versi yang ditunjukkan oleh gambar ni hanya dibuat dari daging dan bagi aku agak berminyak sedikit. Mak aku punya version kering sikit dan kurang berminyak sambil berwarna lebih gelap. Ini kerana biasanya kami akan mencamporkan samada lempong/paru,hati lembu atau limpa tapi limpa tu susah sikit nak dapat. Besamah ni jugak boleh disimpan di dalam peti ais di mana lagi lama disimpan lagi mesra rasanya. Kalau yang dah disimpan ni aku suka buat sandwich roti, pergh rasanya memang best.

Satu lagi jenis gulai pusaka yang aku nostalgiakan aku sendiri tak pasti nama sebenarnya. Periksa buku2 resepi wife aku nampak macam opor tapi rupanya lain sikit fasal gulai ni lebih berupa macam gulai kuning. Kitaorang macamanapun panggil gulai ini sebagai gulai opah fasal arwah opah aku memang terer buat gulai ni. Macam aku cakap gulai ni secara asasnya macam opor ayam tapi cara membuat macam gulai cili api tanpa cili api. Cuma instead of cili api, kita guna serbuk buah keras untuk memekatkannya tapi tak adalah sepekat opor maupun khurma dan tidak berempah. Kami memang gunakan ayam dan kepingan kentang sebagai inti dicampur cili merah dibelah sebagai hiasan tapi selain dari itu rasanya cuma bersandarkan serbuk kunyit, lengkuas dan buah keras sebagai perasa. Gulai ini menjadi comfort food keluarga kami dan kebetulan family wife aku pun ada resepi yang lebih kurang so wife aku cuma perlu modify sikit ikut citarasa kitaorang. Seperti soto medan dalam bab sebelum ini, kuah gulai ini juga aku kekadang makan begitu saja atau dicicah dengan roti tapi paling best makan memanglah dengan nasi.

Photo Below With Compliments to to Silvie Gill
Bercakap fasal resepi family wife aku, satu gulai yang aku suka yang mak mertua aku buat ialah gulai pindang dagingnya tapi cuma dapat diperolehi waktu hariraya ataupun bila ada cucunya balik kampung dari luar negeri. Memang mencari deme akan gulai ini terutama waktu hariraya fasal ia dimakan bersama nasi impit ataupun lemang. Tapi aku biasa balik sebelum raya so aku dapat makan dengan nasi waktu berbuka siang-siang lagi. Gulai pindang ini secara asasnya ialah gulai berempah tapi bukan seperti kari biasa maupun rendang basah. Aku memang tak pernah jumpa kat mana-mana kedai dan sebelum aku kahwin dengan wife aku aku ingat telur aja yang berpindang . Jadi aku bersyukur jugaklah aku dapat merasakan masakan ini sebelum ia hilang dari warisan kita dan Alhamdulillah bagi gulai-gulai orang Melayu ini, masih banyak jenis yang tetap diperjuangkan iaitu masih biasa terdapat dijual di kedai-kedai makanan umum. Walaubagaimanapun, aku masih merasakan yang masih ada gulai-gulai warisan yang telah lenyap dihanyut usia tanpa kita sedari.

Makanan Yang Ku Rindu - Citarasa Sumatera

Tidak seperti makanan minang, masakan mandailing memang teramat sukar nak jumpa di mana-mana kedai makan kat Malaysia ni. Jadi kalau aku rindukan nak makan yang aku gemarkan, terpaksalah aku suruh isteri aku masak atau bila balik kampung, mak aku masak. Tapi terus-terang aku cakapkan yang rasa masakan tu adalah kurang sikit bagi aku fasal mak aku pun dah ingat-ingat lupa akan ramuannya, so bini aku pun mungkin resepi dia belajar kat mak aku tak lengkap.
Benda pertama aku paling miss ialah gulai daun ubi tumbuk. Orang pulau jawa cakap singkong tumbuk. kalau tengok kat tenet memang ramai orang perkatakannya dan siap puji-memuji lagi, tapi semua cerita kedai kat indonesia daa. Meleleh air liur teman.. Tidak seperti gulai daun ubi biasa, cara sebegini cukup best kalau makan 'semalam punya' ala-ala kari mamak fasal semua bahan-bahannya dah meresap ke dalam daun ubi tu. Lagipun setelah ditumbuk, komposisi dan rasa daun ubi tu dah berubah dan tidak seperti gulai daun ubi biasa, tidak terasa bergetah pada tekak aku. Kalau dicampur dengan ikan masin lagi power tapi mimpilah nak jumpa kat kedai makanan kat sini.

Satu masakan yang mak aku selalu sediakan untuk persediaan bulan puasa ialah daging dendeng. Jangan silap ini bukan macam daging masak dendeng minang tu, tapi the real indonesian dendeng iaitu daging berempah dikeringkan kat bawah cahaya matahari. Kalau orang putih panggil beef jerky tapi no way as nice as this dendeng. Daging ni boleh tahan lama kalau disimpan elok-elok dalam peti ais. Bila nak di makan, boleh digoreng biasa dengan bawang maupun di goreng berlada, ikut selera at the time. Jangan lupa, ia pembuka selera tapi aku suka goreng biasa lebih kurang macam dalam gambar ni aja.

Cara biasa Soto Medan dihidang

Next aku akan bercerita fasal soto medan. Soto ini pada asasnya adalah sup daging campur tapi yang membuatkannya istimewa ialah adunan rempahnya yang terdiri dari ketumbar, jintan dan yang speselnya serbuk buah keras yang ditumbuk. Jadi instead of berwarna cerah, warnanya menjadi kuning-kekuningan sedikit especially version family aku yang tambah hirisan biji kentang, kunyit ditumbuk di samping sedikit serbuk kunyit. Isinya boleh tepuk dada tanya selera, ada orang buat cuma ayam atau daging lembu tapi bagi kitaorang biasanya guna daging tetel, limpa, perut babat sebelum ditabur lampung(paru) goreng. Lepas tu buat sambal cuka cili padi untuk dimakan bersama rasanya kaw kaw aja. Biasanya dimakan dengan nasi tapi kitaorang biasa lepas makan betul tu still akan makan semangkuk atau dua lagi macam tu aja. Itu yang mak kitaorang selalu marah fasal sebelanga pun silap2 tak cukup sampai malamThose were the days.

Last aku akan tulis fasal lampung goreng di mana mak aku biasa masak dengan ketumbar. Basic recipe ada kat bawah tu tapi yang buatkan bagi aku kasi ummmph in paru or lempong as we call it ialah tambahan gula fasal bila digoreng ia kan caramelise dan menambahkan kelazatan dan kerangupan lempong tu. Memang menjilat jari weh. Tapi kalau nak tukar selera boleh jugak tambah sambal cili bila digoreng tapi itu kitaorang paru goreng berlada. Ini ha resepinya tapi dalam bahasa indonesia eh..

Bahan-bahan :
1 1/2 kg paru sapi
1500 ml air
1 sdm garam untuk merebus
Minyak untuk menggoreng secukupnya.
Bumbu yang dihaluskan:
5 siung bawang putih
3 cm kunyit
1 sdm ketumbar
2 cm lengkuas
1 sdt garam dan lada hitam
200 ml air untuk melarutkan
Cara Membuat:
Rebus paru dengan 1500 ml air dan garam hingga paru empuk.
Dinginkan paru kemudian potong tipis-tipis.
Larutkan bumbu dengan air, masukkan potongan paru ke dalam larutan bumbu hingga tercampur rata.
Goreng paru dalam minyak yang belum begitu panas hingga paru kering, lakukan hingga selesai.

Bawah Pokok

I am sure many kaki makans will know what bawah pokok means. The strange thing is that many of the best eating places are the warung bawah pokok or under the old tree stalls and you will not find it odd that all manner of expensive cars are parked near the premises because their occupants are enjoying the home cooked taste of such warongs, sometimes actually even better than home cooking.

However lately these warung bawah pokok has become like endangered specieslah, some gone because of displacement like the warong bawah pokok along the the side road to juara tomyam in kampung baru, some because of enforcement harassment and some because the owners is retiring or just passed away without having anybody else to pick up the mantle..typical like the story in this article warong nasi lemak bawah pokok in penang...

so for those who thinks that the best foods are only available at cafes or big name restaurants or at hotels, make a change and give in to will be able to taste the good food before these warong bawah pokok just remains jottings in blogs.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

We need to reevaluate our values

Today I am taking the easy way out by reposting an artcle from the Sunday Star which contents i wholeheartedly agree with. I hope fellow Malaysians who read it will get something for you to think over.

Sunday May 6, 2007

Time to evaluate our values


We all love success. We chase after it, we cheer it, we celebrate it. But, should we really be redefining it?

WHEN she won the Nescafe singing competition 12 years ago, I was one of those superficial teenagers who wondered, “How could she win? She’s so fat?” And then I saw Adibah Noor again on Astro recently and I beamed with pride with the realisation that we still have a gem among us, a real gem – natural, original and unpretentious. Walk down any shopping mall these days and you will find young teenage girls walking around looking like sticks with a pair of toothpicks for legs. Talk to them and you will find that most of them are high achievers – they are top scorers in their schools, they play music in the state orchestra, and are probably presidents of their school's uniformed bodies. Talk to them some more and you will find one trait in common – they all come from the upper middle class or even upper class income backgrounds, with divorced/separated/almost-separated parents. They may have siblings, most of whom are high-achievers themselves, but not siblings whom they could turn to in times of trouble.
The unhappy parents (mostly the mothers) have decided that they should live their broken lives vicariously through their daughters. They set out to create perfectionists out of their already almost–perfect daughters. The young girl will totally lose control of her life because of her domineering mother, and the way to get it back is to take control of the one thing which she still can – the way she eats. If she has all the wealth, the beauty, the brains, yet she is still unhappy, surely there must be something else? Perhaps it’s her weight. If only she could look like those pencil-thin models on the glossy magazines, then perhaps she could be happy again (if she can remember being happy at all, that is). I was never an aneroxic child, but I have always battled with my weight. I was never even fat, but I was never model-thin either. To this day, I struggle to fight off the guilt feeling after every satisfying meals. But I have a close-knit family, and that is probably the reason I have not gone to that end. I married a man who tells me daily the good heart never ages but a pretty face and perfect figure will. I am lucky, I tell myself.
But what about those hundreds, maybe thousands, of girls out there who are at risk of health problems either almost immediately or in the near future? Isn’t it time we come back to our traditional values? Why do we have to be high achievers all the time? What is wrong with being a size “L”?

Every time families gather for a reunion, the small talk remains the same throughout the years.
“Wah, so lucky you, your daughter is already a lawyer.” Or, “Wah, you lost weight, ah? So lucky.” Or “All your kids very sui (good-looking), unlike your sister’s (whispering)?.”
Hey, what about the daughters who may not have graduate degrees but are happily married to honest men with lovely children? Shouldn’t that make the old man happy as well as he can be assured of young children filling up the loneliness of his household every weekend? What about the son who is not a high-flying banker but a small time executive who gives love and attention to his aged parents? And, what is so lucky about losing weight? And, why shouldn’t the plain kids get the same kind of attention as the aesthetically blessed ones? We are so caught up with material and superficial things that we are probably considered preachy freaks if we try to bring people back to the path of God. Material wealth and superficial good looks are considered so important these days. A woman in her 60s is considered “lucky”, or “successful”, if she still has body of a 20-year-old, hair neatly coiffed up all the time, and driving around in a Mercedes-Benz. But to me, my mother is probably more successful. She’s 63 and looks every bit her age. She has a doting husband, five loving children and eight boisterous grandchildren who visit her no less than once a week, without fail. This, plus happy laughter all the time, minus the designer shoes, handbags and hourglass figure. It’s not easy to change our perspective of life overnight. A lot of us may try, but watch out for self-hypocrisy. We may be able to accept “imperfections” in others, but not ourselves. Some of us may pretend to be happy for someone’s child who scored 3As out of a possible seven in the recent PMR examinations, but quietly tell ourselves that next year, our kids are scoring nothing less that straight As. Or a young girl who pretends to tell her slightly plump friend that “You are all right” but quietly tells herself “I’m never going to be as fat as you.” I remember reading somewhere, a child who runs up to his mother after school would prefer to tell his friends that his mother is the most loving mum in the world, rather than to brag that his mom is the prettiest. So, as parents, maybe we should live up to that expectation, and at the same time, emulate a child’s basic, yet most natural definition of “success”. Feel proud to tell others about your daughter’s achievement in helping out with the daily household chores, even though she may not bring home a string of As. Or bask in the glory of your son’s achievement in participating in local gotong-royong work, even though he may not be a heart specialist earning a five-figure income (who then may not have time for such volunteer work anyway).

We have to rewrite the definition of success for the sake of the younger generation. Let us, as adults, do something about this before it is too late. We want more like Adibah Noor among us.

Jalan2 cari makan in melaka

Huh isn't the hotel we stayed in beautiful? Heh2 but the fact is it is just a converted shoplots complex with swimming pool attached so that it can boast itself as an all apartment suite hotel. But for the room price, value for money except it mystifies that a two room apartment has no attached bathroom. So imagine the hassle of me sharing the apartment with the in-laws hehx3. If had known about this earlier, i would have taken two rooms instead, for more privacy.

Anyway that day we arrived at lunch time and because we were too tired to eat out we took the buffet at the hotel's cafe batavia. This was again value for money. For 21 ringgit per person we had a pretty good meal that really satisfied us. Consider also the fact the same buffet was also provided for 4 persons. Thus I need to repeat again that a hotel, I am really satisfied as the worth of the hotel as value for money accomodation. Its strategic location and swimming poolnya that is not crowded makes it an enjoyable place for my kids to swim to their hearts content. In fact that afternoon itself we went for a swim but there is a downer though as there were no pool towels so we went up the room dripping wet. But who cares right as it is not our fault we could not towel off.

The first night as planned all of us when to Sg Duyong for ikan bakar after Maghrib. As usual the restaurant had an endless stream of customers that the fish that was left wa only jenak (or jenahak)/threadfin, pari/skate and siakap/local barramundy. I was lucky that I managed to salvage a packet of lokan(a type of shellfish) but actually ate only one piece as si angah loved it so much that I could not bear to eat more. As usual the food was great but I have to comment that it was pricier than before and their nasi lemak portion is getting smaller. We observed that that the rival restaurant across the ditch seems to be getting more customers and thus we resolved to try them the next time we come around. Before I forget, I need to note a complaint that even to this day the road sign to the place is not lighted, so it is very difficult to locate at night. Is it so hard to invest in a bit of lighting to simplify your customers accessing your place.

Second day after stomach filling breakfast at the hotel, we all headed to the Melaka zoo for sight seeing. It was hard walking around that the inlaws gave up following us. Finally they just sat at the wakaf near the entrance. Most entertaining was when we saw the animal show, the kids was terrified of the snake show in front of their eyes and the elder ran to sit beside me. Unbeknowns to us, they took out a boa from a box just behind my seat and that shocked them awhile. Anyway at the zoo we sweated buckets of sweat tapi it is exerciselah. Consider it as fat burninglah.

Anyway after half a day at the zoo, it was difficult to decide where to go for lunch. So a quick change of plan, we went straight to bandar hilir which we initially planned to go on the return journey the next day. Tried my luck and there was a parking space beside Medan Samudera so I parked there. Thought of taking a trishaw ride to eat at Restoran Selera Kampung to have local delicacy asam pedas, but when I asked about the fare it would have cost me 20 riggit per trishaw so the plan was dropped hurriedly as for the amount of money I could eat at a good hotel. Lastly we ate nasi campor at the mall. To buang kempunan I ate asam pedas pari but though the gravy was okay, the fish was not fresh so potong stim. After lunch we left the inlaws to fend for themselves while we went to the maritime museum across the street. This was the first visit for Angah even though we have gone there many times but my main interest was to see the renovated RMN museum. Not much improvements in exhibits but the lay-out was better. Anyway we settle the souvenir shopping there and then so after returning to the hotel it was ZZZZZ time for the family. We did not even go the swimming pool.

That night because we were tired we had dinner at Restaurant Apple Burger beside the hotel which we noticed the night before when we went to Sungai Duyong. The food was excellent and they specialised in western and asam pedas set. The Sate stall that tenanted the place also had delicious sate but for me their asam pedas was a tad too sourish when I had a taste from the Inlaw's set. Later when I checked the internet, the restaurant seemed quite well known so no wonderlah the food was good. A funny thing was when si along who claimed that she was stuffed when she could not finish her fish & chips set could still manage to polish off the same stall's otak-otak before and after the meal(after returning to the room.) They were only a little bit spicy so that's why she loved it.

The next morning was swimming pool time again after breakfast and later we went on a traipsing trip along the scenic coastal route back to rantau. We passed through klabang and had the famous asam pedas tanjung kling. Since everybody has had asam pedas fish, this time we had asam pedas daging tetel with additional two kembong bakar dan two drumsticks of chicken khurma for the kids. Again we sweated buckets but this time for an enjoyable meal that satisfied us until dinner. Before reaching Rantau, we dropped by at Masjid Tanah market to look for tapai but the people there said that it has been a long time no longer sold there. But our dissapointment was soothed when we managed to buy some out of this world tasting kampong made dodol sold in unmarked packets. I forgot to mention we had already look for this at medan samudra but the sellers there said it is no longer available because the maker died so only factory made dodol were available. That is the pity of malay business, when the patriach dies, the business goes bust for want of an heir willing to continue the business. Luckily the factory made dodol is good enough to be given as souvenir for the office staff.

So next time there is a long weekend, another trip to melaka could be in order. It is not that far nowadays and a strategic hotel has been located, so it is easier to make the short trip from KL.