Category Archives: food

Hello from KL!

(Most of this post was written when I was in KL.)

Despite being accustomed to the slow and lazy island life of Bali, I am enjoying the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur a lot. It’s fantastic being in a big city where there are hundreds of food options. I feel like a recovering addict suddenly thrust in the drug of my choice – food. My belly will definitely agree with me when I say that I am overdosing on eating. I’ve eaten a lot of Chinese food, Indian food and fast food. In fact, the McDonalds food here is pretty bang on – a hundred times better than Bali. I’ve also fallen in love with a coffee chain called Old Town. Mmmm, the steamed bread with chicken curry is to die for (picture below).

Claypot chicken with Chinese sausages -from a cart on the side of a street in Chinatown

For you Ros…

Roti Canai w/ 3 different curries – Heritage Row

@ KLCC

Teh tarik – Jl. Alor

Curry chicken w/ steamed bread – Old Town @ Pavilion

Lamb rack – Shook @ Star Hill

Besides the food, KL also offers a lot of malls – no surprise there. However, it’s different from Jakarta (read my review on Jakarta here). The malls are definitely nicer (more attention to detail) and it seems there’s a larger concentration of them within the downtown core – all within walking distance. That brings me to my next point: transportation. KL is a city set up multiple forms of transport. Besides driving, you can take the extensive train system (composing of 4 or 5 different lines), walk, bus or taxi. I’ve forgotten how nice it is to walk around a city since I’ve spent the last 4 months on a bike.

Medan Tuanku monorail station
Star Hill Mall – amazing!

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in KL. I found the food choice excellent, the city planning efficient and the people incredibly friendly and intelligent. I’ll definitely be back.

Petaling Street – Chinatown

Petronas Towers at night

Hindu Temple – Chinatown

These things are amazing. They flip you on your back and have over 30 different kinds of massages. 70% off – only $3000 CAD

View from the Skybridge (66th floor) of the Petronas Towers. The 86th floor view is even crazier

Batu Caves

It’s 272 steps up to the top (where the caves are). Even this guy is tired

Skybar – Trader’s Hotel

KL Skyline – slightly touched up in Lightroom
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Craving home

It’s been 3 months since I left home and I can genuinely say that I am sick and bored of all the food in Bali. Because I don’t have a kitchen (or fridge), every single one of my meals are eaten out. You quickly figure out what places are good and what places you’ll never go back. The problem is that you continually frequent these places until you’re bored! Then, the challenge is to try and found another place to eat at.

Coming from a foodie mecca, the culinary scene in Bali is depressing. I don’t care what anybody says, Vancouver has the best food in the world – at the best prices – hands down. Despite the abundance of ‘5 star chefs’ at various restaurants around Bali, I’d still choose Van’s scene any day. Plus, I’m 90% positive that the food in Van hasn’t been cleaned/cooked in ditch water…
I’ve developed an intense craving for lots of food dishes back home. This is just a small selection…




And yeah, I’m well aware that the Tuna Poke doesn’t exist anymore but a gal can still crave for it right?
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你好 – nihao pt. 3

Check out some pics (thank you image uploader for working finally!)

In front of the entrance to the Forbidden City

Playing the ‘tourist’ in the courtyard of the Temple of the Heavens

Before the great trek at the Great Wall

The Summer Palace
A few of the tasty treats at a food market in Beijing
My cousin and my niece
Of course we had some. In fact, we had some everyday we were in Shanghai – about 5 days worth… yum
The Canada Pavilion @ the Expo. If you show Canadian ID, you get to bypass the crazy lines! Definitely worth it as the line was about 2 hours long.
Similar looking to the rice terraces in Bali… except these are tea trees and we’re in a city outside of Shanghai.
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Jakarta adventure…

On Wednesday, we left beautiful Bali and headed to Jakarta for a few days. Ever since I started planning my Bali adventure, I’ve wanted to go to Jakarta to explore the city so I was pretty excited to be able to fit in a trip before I went home. My thoughts? Read on..

We landed Wednesday night and met up with Rollan’s dad for Kwetiaw Sapi – a beef noodle dish that is covered in a glue-like gravy. It tasted alright but all I could think of was that I was eating something that’s similar to the goo that covers an alien as it bursts out of a human stomach. Ugh.

I quickly learned that Jakarta is quite known for a handful of things – malls and traffic jams being a couple of them. There are approximately 100+ malls in Jkt – everything from your super high-end shopping cities (literally) to your rinky-dinky Chinatown building. On our first day (Thurs), we hit up 2 of the larger malls – Grand Indonesia and Plaza Indonesia. Geeeze, the level of luxury in these places is ridiculous – more suited to a high end hotel than a shopping center! Over the remainder of the trip, we probably visited another 4 malls? Sigh – no more malls! And, no more traffic! I thought traffic in Bali was bad – boy was I wrong. One day, we sat in traffic for more than 4 hours!!! And that’s normal! Yikes, thanks but no thanks.

@ GI
3 lane bumper to bumper traffic. Nbd

One of the more popular food dishes in Jkt is bakmi – a thick, ropey like noodle that is tossed in a secret (delicious) oil sauce and served with a side of clear broth. It was very good but we pretty much ate only that our entire trip – it’s good, but not that good. And it wasn’t just one place that we kept coming back to either. We ate it in a variety of places – from your chain restaurant, to a stall on the side of a street next to a sewage ditch to a tiny warung with cockroaches running around on the tables. I think I’m noodled out.

Rol, his dad and I headed out to Taman Mini one day. Taman Mini is basically an amusement park of sorts that features the architecture and culture of all the different provinces in Indonesia. And it wasn’t just each province that had it’s own little plot of land – the different regions within the provinces were able to showcase their culture as well. I’m glad I was able to experience a tiny snapshot of all the different place Indonesia has to offer – must come back and explore some of these cultures more fully!

@ West Sumatra (Sumatera)
Cool ladder @ East Kalimantan
Most of the buildings are built on stilts so the tigers couldn’t eat the people (or so I was told)
@ South Sulawesi
@ Yogyakarta

One day Rol and I ventured out on our own. Our mission? Ride the public buses to Glodok (basically Chinatown of Jkt) and back. While we didn’t ride the super sketchy metro-minis (broken down mini-vans), we did ride the main bus (that had AC thankfully). It cost 3500rp for a one way trip. All in all, the bus ride wasn’t that bad. I had heard bad things about pickpockets and such but I’m happy to report that all our belongings remained intact. It’s kinda cool but the main buses have a dedicated bus lane in the majority of streets – really increases the attractiveness of taking public transport as it’s reliable and quick – no sitting in traffic for these buses! My only real complaint was that a lot of people on the bus decided that wearing deodorant was faux pas. Ugh, it was super smelly in there. Natural BO plus the humidity of Jkt equals a really pungent ride!

@ the bus station
Packed like sardines – smelled like sardines too
Sketchy metro-mini
One of the queues to get on the bus
Exploring a mall @ Glodok – very similar to HK
@ Cafe Batavia in Fatahillah Square – very cool decor. 17 500rp for an ice-tea though!
Checking out the wildlife @ Fatahillah Square

Another thing that Jkt is known for is its party scene. Lots of clubs, bars, and karoke lounges to satisfy any appetite (and if you’re looking for a more seedy scene, lots of brothels too!). On Friday night, we met up with Rol’s 2 friends Art and his cousin Kama and his gf Rica. I actually met Art back during the Olympics so it was nice to see a familiar face. We headed to Blowfish where a friend of Kama’s was celebrating her birthday. Oh yeah, this friend? Her family owns Ayana Resort (where Rock Bar is). Freaking redic. All in all, I had an amazing time at Blowfish – it was so much fun!! The music was the best I’ve heard in a very long time. Mostly hip-hop with a little old-school and top 40 thrown in. I felt like I was in one of my favorite dance movies. Although the crowd was a little wack (very cliquey and snobby) I did manage to meet a UBC student who was trying to get into commerce – random! On Saturday night, we went to Alexis (jealous Ros?) with Art and Kama. The scene is very different from anything I’ve ever partied in. The music wasn’t that great and the crowd was uh, interesting but I still had fun. And I’m glad I finally got to experience the ‘wonders’ of Alexis – although I’m pretty sure I’m of the wrong gender to fully enjoy them. From Alexis, Rol and I headed to Millennium – a pitch black, seedy club that was blaring tribal music. Needless to say, we headed home pretty quickly after that!

One of the bars @ Blowfish
A bottle of JW and a few drinks later… Rol, Art and I
G
etting ready for a night of shenanigans
Outside Alexis

Rol’s dad dropped us off at the airport Sunday night (after a day of hanging out with him in malls – what else?). Our flight was scheduled to leave at 7:20pm but we were still sitting at the gate by 9pm. We finally boarded and everything was pretty smooth until we tried to land in Bali. We were going in for the landing when we hit the ground hard(!) and suddenly started ascending again. The weather conditions (lighting and thunderstorm) were making it unsafe for us to land! Despite that, our captain tried to land again. This time, we didn’t even make it to the ground before we pulled back up. All the ups and downs were reeking havoc on my poor stomach – glad I didn’t chunder all over Rol! We finally headed to Surabaya – a city in Java about a 30min flight from Bali to wait out the storm. Hours later, we all filed back in the plane and this time landed successfully in Bali – at 4am. Our original arrival time? 10:02pm. The price you pay to be back in paradise…

The ill-fated flight

While I’m glad that I got to have a Jktadventure, I’m ecstatic to be back in Bali. It just felt like home coming back here. This place has a very special place in my heart!

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Um, can I bet this child here?

Saturday morning, we started our journey to Permuteran to do some diving at the nearby Menjangan Island, at the NW tip of Bali. We ended up staying at Adi Assri – a pretty posh beach resort with 2 pools, bar, restaurant spa and private villas. All the bathrooms in this place were outside – you could catch a tan doing #2 (not that I did). Because we booked 2 dives for the next day, we decided to take it pretty easy Sat night. One of the locals told us about a night market that was happening about 6km away from our resort so we headed there after dinner. We were definitely the only foreigners there! The moment we drove up, people were gawking at us like we were some freakshow attraction. The night market consisted of a bunch of food stalls, clothing stalls and a few sketchy amusement rides that were manually operated. After sampling a few of the wares, we discovered a gambling ‘lane’ at the back of this market. There were a few different games set up with people gambling cash or packs of cigarettes. There were even little kids gambling! Not exactly the safest place to be and I probably made it worse by snapping photos of everyone. Definitely had to stay pretty close to Rollan.

On Sunday, we headed out with our dive company (Yos Diving) to Menjangan Island (about a 30 min boat rode). There was actually another Canadian in our dive group (from Toronto though – booo) which was cool because he was the 1st Canadian tourist I’ve met in Bali. The diving was amazing – we saw a few sea turtles which was the highlight for me! After our 2 dives, we booked it to Singaraja which is at the very north of the island. After eating at KuFC (good fried chicken) we checked into a hotel and headed out to watch the Italy vs. New Zealand game in an Yamaha parking lot with a bunch of locals. It’s pretty fun how everyone gets together randomly like this.

Count all the piggys – lunch time?
Entrance to the night market
BBQ’d corn slathered in a spicy butter sauce
Illegal gambling – tsk tsk. Check out the kid raking it in!

Adi Assri – our resort
On the way to Menjangan Island
Catching a game in the Yamaha parking lot
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