Friday, August 31, 2007

Chapel Heelia

My parents are still buying season tickets for UNC football. I dropped out a couple of years ago after the John Bunting coaching era destroyed my enthusiasm. Well, now that we've got a real coach, I'm excited about it again. I don't intend to drive 3 hours every weekend to see football games, but nonetheless, since the folks are going, I figured I'd give Bernie her first American football experience. I've given her two years of football-free wedded bliss, so it's time. She's looking forward to stadium food more than the ball game, of course.

We'll be driving to Chapel Hill in the morning, seeing Ron and Tammie for lunch, going to the ball game at 6pm, and staying overnight in a hotel. We'll be back on Sunday.

Go Heels! Beat JMU!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Conveyor Belt Sushi

Something that is hard to find in the ol' USA is sushi restaurants where the sushi comes around on a conveyor belt. Our favorite place in Malaysia is Sushi King.

You just show up, sit down, order a drink, and pick up whatever strikes your fancy from the belt as it passes by your table.
They have lots of 'non-traditional' sushi as well, which is cool. Stuff like deep-fried boiled eggs, and tuna salad inari, and chicken floss rolls. That's in addition to normal raw fish nigiri and maki.

The color of the plates dictates the price of the dish. Bernie and I come out real well when we eat there. We stuffed ourselves for the equivalent of $8 US.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Rain Delay

For those of you not local, we're in the middle of record heat and drought here in NC. We've had less than a tenth of an inch of rain this month, and we were in severe drought conditions in July.

This morning, I woke up to my clock radio and the station was playing Phil Collins "I wish it would rain" song.

This evening, the sky opens up and it is pouring down, giving our poor dead lawn some much needed moisture.

Good ol' Phil. Better than a rain dance.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Delicious-est Catch - Season 2

Today, I reveal the pictures from the fabulous dinner at the crab restaurant. This was a re-creation of a meal that Bernie's family treated me to the very first time I came to Malaysia. Click on the pictures to enlarge. I've left them in high-res, though a couple are unfortunately blurry.

We'll begin with the appetizers:

Pork short ribs. The only non-seafood dish on the menu.

They call the above "La-la". It is clams in a brown sauce. I'm not much into clams unless they're deep-fried, so I didn't try this one. Looks good, though.

Missing from my photos is the dish of Mantis prawns, which were fried and in a black sauce. They were delicious.

Now for a short public service message:

What you see above is a small dish of sliced malaysian chilis. This is a condiment. This is also the hottest chili pepper I've ever put in my mouth and I wouldn't eat (another) one on a dare. And I like spicy stuff. Stay away.

Restaurants also serve a big dish of chopped raw garlic, which is also used as a condiment.

OK, now for the main course - the crabs.

Check out that menu. If you like crabs, this is heaven. Especially if you can't indulge your crab fantasies in the USA due to the prices. I'd love to go back here again and order the 20 or so crab dishes that we didn't get to try.
Crabs in butter sauce. This was the particular dish I had been dreaming of since my first time trying it three years ago.My favorite way to eat it. Spoon crab meat and sauce onto a slice of fried bread.

Crabs in tomato garlic sauce. Yummy!

Crabs in dry chili sauce. This one is hard to eat, as you tend to lose the sauce when you pick out the meat, but it really is delicious.

Following all that spiciness, Bernie and I wanted to cool down, so we ordered a young coconut.
You simply pry off the top, sink a straw in, and drink the coconut water. Since this is a young green coconut, the liquid inside is water, not the thick milk that is inside old husky coconuts. After you drink all the water, you scrape out the tender meat with a spoon and eat it. Both the water and meat are coconutty-licious.

The Chinese have a belief that certain foods cool the body or warm the body and they will use this method like medicine. Every time someone saw me sweating in the heat, they'd tell me to drink coconut water to cool down. It works! I prefer my coconut to be refrigerated, though (This one was cold and delicious).

It's a shame I'll have to wait two more years to do this again.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Malaysian Eats! Let's Get It Started.

OK, I'm going to milk this subject for a few days, and go into some depth, rather than do it all at once and gloss over all the goodies.

This first posting is about that Malaysian creation, the Rotiboy. Rotiboy is a chain of bakeries that specializes in something they call a "Mexican bun". I've never heard of such a thing, and no bakery in the US seems to know what a "Mexican bun" is, so I think it's their own creation.

The Rotiboy mexican bun is a yeast bun with a dollop of sweet margarine in the middle, with a coffee cream topping baked in. The result is a light, sweet crusty bun with the most amazing aroma when it's fresh baked. The topping sinks into the bun when it is baked and forms that wonderful crust. The flavor combination of coffee and sweet yeast roll with butter is awesome.

This is a photo of the baker swirling the cream topping on before baking. They locate these Rotiboy stalls just inside the entrance to the malls, and the buns are baked fresh all day so that the aroma draws you in. This is the Malaysian equivalent of Krispy Kreme with the "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign. You just can't resist it, and if you manage to walk by without getting one, you feel sorry for yourself.

Some day, they are going to open stores in the US and make a fortune.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

We're Back!

We have triumphantly returned to North Carolina, having survived our trip to Malaysia. Honestly, the flight home was about as unpleasant as I could hope for, and we will be reconsidering our method of travel for our next jaunt to Bernie's homeland.

We've managed to partially unpack, restock the fridge, and eat two meals since we got home. A long nap revived us partially this afternoon, but it's bedtime.

Tomorrow, I'll start on my blog entries on the food and fun we experienced in Malaysia. Despite losing about half our vacation to the flu, we got plenty of pix and stories. After three visits, I feel like I am beginning to understand the country a bit, and I like it a lot. So stay tuned!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Knocked Flat

Bernie's mom and I are both victims of some sort of respiratory infection. Bernie's starting to get it too. I've been to the doctor here and gotten some amoxicillin and various cold meds, but it's taking a lot of time to move on. Anyway, this is why I haven't posted anything since we were in KL. Hopefully, I'll get over the hump on this and be able to enjoy the rest of the vacation.

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