Saturday, November 28, 2015

Cavalock and The Obligatory Penang Food Collage

Here's something I was looking forward to. After every trip, it's time to indulge in the obligatory food collage that I always have a blast putting it together. The centrepiece has a reason to be there. Stingray in assam curry on our first night in Penang, what a way to kick off a vacation. Won't be a complete Penang trip without stopping for their famous assam laksa and chendol either.

Just so many Penang foodie pix I gotta put them somewhere right? Malaysian street food has so much more soul than the food we have here. Why? I have some theories about why the sanitised food sold at our monotonous government approved food centres all taste alike. Maybe I'll write bout it one day but be warned that it'll likely be a series of unsubstantiated ramblings. Hah!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Cavalock and The Breakfast Zombie

Braaaaains! Probably or hopefully the closet I'll ever get to being a zombie. Yup, it's another dish from my recent Penang escapade that I suspect would virtually impossible to find back home. and even if I did, it'll never be as cheap as couple of bucks like in Malaysia. Never imagined I'll be having brains for breakfast but there I was at Hon Kei Food Corner, 45 Kampong Malabar George Town tucking into a bowl of noodles and pig organs!

Extremely flavourful broth and delicious organs cooked to perfection. Check this out, you got your minced pork, liver, kidneys, heart, intestine, tripe and brains. One of our most memorable meals in Penang.

And now this. The quaint balcony getaway just next to our little room at the top floor of Campbell House. Pity we didn't really have time to make any decent use of it. I can definitely picture it being a cool place to unwind after an all-day eating marathon.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Cavalock and The Green Tin Vexation

One way of finding good food in a foreign country is to always look out nor just long queues of locals, but also for newspapers cuttings and whatever kinda food awards plastered all over the stall. Granted that it's all subjective but so far it has kinda worked out for us in Penang.

Well, a couple streets down from our little hotel Campbell House is the bustling morning Chowrasta Market where we found the famous Uncle Lim churning out traditional popiah skins faster than a popiah roll disappearing at a weight-watchers' meeting. Seems like this master craftsman has been at it for 50 years. Throughly enjoyed the one filled with peanut candy.

And now this. My ultimate impulse buy (don't ask how much I paid for it) for the trip and I don't even like M&Ms that much. It's just that the green tin looks so damn attractive. The moment I saw it at the airport, I was already contemplating what gaming miniatures or Lego pieces to fill them with. Had quite a shock when I found our local shops here selling the yellow and red ones a lot cheaper. Fingers crossed that the green tin doesn't show up here. ;)

Friday, November 20, 2015

Cavalock and The Final Fate of the Jawas

Damn! Even the eggs are way bigger in Penang! Check out the size of them yolks. All that eating certainly made the trip all the more memorable. Rustic, lively and more importantly, absolutely scrumptious. I suppose that pretty sums up our little trip to the island. The picturesque architecture, the breathtaking scenery, the slow pace of life, it was like time stood still for those few days.

Seems like every time I visit a foreign country, I come home with some new Star Wars merchandise. This time, it was a First Order Stormtrooper from the upcoming new movie. An almost impossible-to-find-action-figure at retail price in Singapore.

And now this. Something that only true diehard Star Wars fans would appreciate. Poor little Jawas. Bet they taste like chicken.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Cavalock and The Chee Cheong Fun Conundrum

One of the best things we had in George Town, Penang was one of our last meals there. Blazing hot Sunday morning just before heading to the airport, we chanced upon this chee cheong fun stall near our hotel so I figured 'hey, why not?'. The last one I had there a couple days ago was just so-so and this one looked pretty popular judging by the number of newspaper cuttings plastered across the stall.

So good and different from what we have here in Singapore. The rich blend of sweet sauce and hae koe aka shrimp paste or better known as rojak sauce was exquisite. Which brings me to the all-important question of why the heck can't we have this here?!? Why do all the chee cheong fun in Singapore taste the same? No one here thought of enhancing it by adding rojak sauce?

Proof we didn't just stuff our faces all day long in Penang. Some pix of random places where clouds gather and the air is as fresh and clean as you can get.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Cavalock and The Charcoal Wok Wonder

All right, as I was saying in my last post, the presence of duck eggs enhances the flavour of Penang's char kway teow to a level I never thought possible. We visited the popular red hat auntie char kway teow at Kafe Heng Huat along Lorong Selamat. Most memorable part of it was the charred wok flavour that I have yet to enjoy back home here in Singapore.

Liked it so much that we returned for lunch one more time but that's when we observed something interesting on our way out. Next to the famous auntie working her charcoal wok was a younger man, maybe her son, dishing out char kway teow over a gas stove. It appeared that he was dealing with the small and medium orders while she was handling the large ones. No wonder our second visit when we ordered the smaller dishes, it tasted a wee bit lacking of something. Could it be our last dish was prepared over a gas stove instead of charcoal? It's still a delicious dish but maybe if we are ever there again, to choose the large dish or at least to ascertain who's cooking which.

And now this. Looks like in Penang even petty crime needs a power nap. No zoom lens were used in the shooting of this potential Pulitzer Prize-winning photo of the city's dark and seedy underworld. I inched perilously close for my shot, fully aware that one of them could stir awake at any moment and assault me with a massive parang. Three against one, yah I like them odds. ;)

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Cavalock and The Ancient Curry Bloodlust

Guess what, now you can chalk up two a couple more 'contraband' goodies across the border to savour. Yah, I realise they been there for ages and just about everyone already knows about them but since the press is all about hipsters heading up north for vapers, I figured it's time to enjoy that other forbidden delicacy, good ol' blood!

Oh geez, the last time I had me some pig's blood was when I was a kid living in the old family home. Then one day my aunt told me the authorities banned it and that was it. Decades later I'm here in Penang at the famous Tua Pui Curry Mee (23, Lebuh Kimberley, George Town), somewhere between that sweet spot between breakfast and lunch, eyeing a bowl of curry mee. Smooth silky texture not unlike sweet freckin' tofu. Someone remind me again why we can't have this here.

And now this. Duck eggs!!! What I found out during my Penang escapade was that everything tastes better with duck eggs. One more time, will someone please tell me why we can't do this here? Oh, is it cos of some outdated health regulations thingy?

Monday, November 09, 2015

Cavalock and The Cream Puff Throwback

Nothing better than doing it old school. Really enjoyed these 'traditional' cream puffs back when I was a kid. Yah, there's Papa Beard these days but finding these from my childhood was really cool, best part is they are at Lavender MRT station and that's only less than five-minute walk from my apartment.

These babies from Poh Guan Bakery are packed and filled to the bloody brim with my favourite custard cream, unlike the Papa Beard ones which are often 'airier' and lighter. Not a bad deal for only S$1.30 each. Tried to do mine almost a decade and you can see the results here.

I know I haven't been posting much wildlife pix by my 83-year-old Dad for awhile now. Obviously cos of the recent haze situation, there really aren't many opportunities to snap any decent shots. My Dad even asked me last month to go online and find out where the birds are.Well, haze's gone (for now) and the sun's back so bring on the pic.

Yes, he's doing exactly what you think he's doing.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Cavalock Explores Magic in The Middle Ages

Quick round-up of some new grocery goodies I spotted at Meidi-Ya last week. Star Wars cereal sure makes me wish I was a kid again, only problem is I don't think it comes with a toy (like all cereals should!). :( Or if you prefer, there's always the more nutritious version for adults. Never seen this Country Store variety in other supermarkets before.

And now this. So earlier this year I went and took an online course on something I have always been interested in ever since I was a kid. From medieval knights to witchhunts to magical jinn, I just can't get enough from devouring stories about them and I'm not even going to start on my collection of fantasy themed games. Well, I now have a piece of paper which states that I know more about Magic in the Middle Ages than the average Shenton Way office drone. I do I can see it coming in handy when I'm putting together some stories in the very near future.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Cavalock and The Football Club Cookie Challenge

Neither of us are sports fans which made this cookie order more challenging than others. Hours were spent online looking for the correct colors and design. We even considered the possibility of getting 3D printed cookie cutter because of its unique crest sharp. Instead the baker-in-house decided to do it freestyle on regular round butter cookies. As each piece had to be traced and painstakingly hand-drawn, she really had her work cut out for her (pun intended). 

Frankly I can never understand the appeal of being a sports fan. The idea of cheering for millionaire sportsmen from halfway across the world who doesn't know or even care about you is simply beyond my understanding. But I digress. The family who got the cookies all loved them and that's good enough for us.

Great Shades of Storage Wars! It was just like a scene outta the reality show a couple of Sundays ago when I was invited to a private boardgame sale held at one them storage facilities. Only about five of us were allowed in at a time and I spent almost an hour combing the racks in the dark. Yes, it was so freakin' dark that we had to rely on our smartphone torchlight apps. Everything in there was going at half-price! Quite an unforgettable experience and fun too as we went around discovering some pretty cool old games hidden in the corners. Found and bought over S$180 worth of games and expansions.