Tuesday 27 June 2006

Roast Chicken ala Chinese

I've made this quite some time back... just saw the pics in my flickr album. After my successful attempt previously I had wanted to make another roast chicken but this time a Chinese style one instead. Can't really recalled what I put in the marinade but it should have some ginger juice, light and thick soy sauce, cooking wine and white pepper. I've even butterflied the chicken! It's a total disaster I would say cos the colour came out uneven and there were some burnt spots too, most probably due to the caramalisation of the thick soy sauce, so I won't be using it anymore heh! This time round I've also used a non-free range chicken... big mistake ok cos the breast portion is wayyy too thick and it's really tough.

This was how the chicken looked like after coming out of the oven. Didn't even bothered to plate it hahaha cos we just dug into the chicken devouring every single bits except the breast parts. Taste wise it was quite all right but somehow it doesn't look very pleasing.

roast chic

For the leftovers of the breast, I've shredded the meat thinly using my fingers. I've used some of them in a fried rice. Just scrambled some eggs in oil and scoop up once it's done. Heat up some oil and place chopped garlic in it. Next stir in the shredded chicken meat, mixed vegetables and day-old-rice. Stir to mix and add in light soy sauce and white pepper to taste. Lastly add in the eggs and stir till mixed.

roast chic fried rice

For the remainder, I've made a stir-fry loh shue fun (rat tail noodles literally translated, it's actually a type of rice noodles). Very simple as well, make some scrambled eggs and set aside. Heat some oil and add in garlic. Fry till fragrant before adding sliced onions and fry till translucent. Next add in shredded cabbage and chicken meat. Pour in some oyster sauce to taste and add a bit of water. Place in blanched loh shue fun (blanch with hot water to wash away the grease and such) and stir. Add more oyster sauce if it's not salty enough. Lastly add in some white pepper and scrambled eggs. Stir to mix and dish up.

roast chic loh shue fun

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Sunday 25 June 2006

Sweet Potatoes Onde-Onde

I've bought a lot of sweet potatoes while we were in Cameron Highlands. I've steamed them, baked them and boiled in ginger syrup but yet I've so many left to rot. I had to think fast what to do with them and I suddenly remembered having read in SeaDragon's Cafe of the East that he have used sweet potatoes to make onde-onde. Onde-onde essentially is made of glutinous rice flour wrapped with gula melaka (palm sugar) fillings and coated with freshly grated coconut.

I did not followed the recipe strictly but basically adding the flour until the right consistency (soft and does not stick to hands) and I did not use any additional flavouring or colouring. They turned out soft and tasted fabulous, far superior than the normal plain ones without sweet potatoes.

These are the shaped onde-onde before cooking.

onde-onde b4

These are the cooked ones complete with freshly grated coconut coating. Just remember to ask the shopkeeper for younger ccoconut and not to grate deep into the shell. Usually if you tell them you want to make kuih with it, they'll know what to do. Add a bit of salt into the coconut and store them in the fridge before usage to prevent the coconut from turning rancid in our hot weather.


I'm not going to reproduce the recipe here, so go on to Cafe of the East to find mouth watering cakes and Asian delights with the onde-onde recipe done step-by-step with photos as well. Thank you SeaDragon for sharing the recipe.

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Friday 23 June 2006

IMBB27 + SHF20 = The Joy of Soy

Yippeeee two-in-one-event again... saves a lot of time. Thanks Reid for being so thoughtful ahahaha. This round of Is My Blog Burning? and Sugar High Fridays is hosted by non other than Reid of 'Ono Kine Grindz. It's ingenious to match both events with the theme of soy. Soy is so versatile that it can be used for savoury or sweet dishes. It is so commonly used in Chinese cooking ranging from soy sauce, soy milk, beancurd in all sorts of types, bean sauces etc.

Actually my post stemmed from my previous Sugar High Friday: Ginger it Up! entry where I ranted that I've tried unsuccessfully to make steamed ginger-flavoured milk curd. Mike of Foodcrazee sent me a recipe he had gotten from Stefanie in Jamie Oliver's forum shortly after that and I managed to curd the milk successfully on my first attempt. I did not manage to post up the entry until opportunity came when I saw IMBB27 + SHF20 = The Joy of Soy announcement on 'Ono Kine Grindz a few days back. Thank you so much Mike & Stefanie for sharing the recipe.

steamed milk with ginger

Fresh Milk Curd is a popular dessert found in Hong Kong and some parts of China and having tasted them in Hong Kong made me craves for them but sadly I can't seems to find one that tasted as good as those in Hong Kong. Hence my many attempts to recreate the curd came about. Somehow the different variation that I've tried did not manage to curd until I tried this one. This recipe called for the use of soy milk instead of milk, maybe my next attempt I'll try to use fresh milk instead. I would also need to tweak the recipe by adding more rock sugar and ginger juice. The curd was light and silky with a subtle hint of ginger almost like tau foo far (soy milk curd served with syrup. Hubby gave thumbs up.

Here's Stefanie's recipe:

Fresh Milk Curd with Ginger

3 cups fresh unsweetened soy milk
2 large, fresh eggs
1 tbsp ginger juice (I used young ginger)
Seeds of half a vanilla
pod or 1/2 tsp good quality vanilla extract
3 pandan leaves, knotted (I’ve omitted this)
1/4 to 1/3 cup crushed rock sugar

Warm milk up in a pan with vanilla, pandan leaves and sugar. Leave to steep for 1 to 2 hours. Remove leaves, whisk in rest of ingredients and strain into ramekins. Steam over very low heat for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the size of your container. Don't be impatient, and turn up the heat, it will result in a tough exterior.

Thanks Reid for taking the trouble to host both events.

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Thursday 22 June 2006

Cameron Highlands Part 9: Food

This is my last post on Cameron Highlands, I promised. So after viewing all the lovely sceneries and flowers, it's time I should focus on what we have eaten. Since it was raining on both evenings, we ended up having the complimentary dinners that came with the hotel stay which is not too bad but the buffet breakfast is not that great as the selections are pretty poor.

On the first night we have steamboat dinner at Jasmine Garden, a Chinese restaurant. Look at the amount of ingredients that they gave for 2 of us!!! There is another plate that held the noodles and eggs. Err sorry no pics on the steamboat itself as I was busy taking care of my wriggly worm boiboi. So worried that he will hurt himself as he wanna scoop the ingredients out of the pot on his own! They gave us 2 stock base of chicken and tom yum. Hubby and I prefered the tom yum stock as it's more flavourful. I guess if we were to go out to Brinchang for steamboat, it won't be much different from this served at the hotel. Overall, we are pretty pleased with the taste and service was extremely attentive and excellent.

ch - heritage steamboat

Second night, the voucher given was for western set dinner at Rainforest Coffee House. We both have mushroom soup, grilled chicken, a scoop of ice-cream and tea/coffee. I think I would rather stick to Jasmine Garden (hence the small pics shown here hehehe but click on them if you wanna see how they really looked like). The grilled chicken came coated with batter and deep fried instead of being grilled. *blah* I had to removed the coating as it was way too thick. We ordered tuna sandwich for boiboi, they served it with 2 slices of toasted white bread and with very little tuna fillings that my boiboi only had a couple of bites!

h - mushroom soup h - grill chic

h - tuna sandwich rm16 h - choc icecream

I gave my serving of ice-cream to boiboi and he lapped everything up in no time. After he had cleaned out the cup, just take a look at what he did in order to savour the last drop... thank goodness he did not lick the cup clean instead heh :p

h - boiboi ingenuity to lap up icecream

Bala's Chalet's scones and ginger tea. Taste wise the scones are not bad but a bit thin in shape and not as fluffy. Well at least they're not served with whipped cream!!!

bc - scones

bc - ginger tea

We also have scones at Boh Tea Centre. On top of that hubby bought a slice of lemon butter cake and a strawberry jam tart. The scones are pretty good as compared to those served prior their renovation. It's too bad they do not heat up for us and they are served with butter and pre-packed strawberry jam.

boh - sg palas13 tea centre scones

The lemon butter cake was surprisingly good and moist. The lemony taste was just nice and not overly tangy.

boh - sg palas13 tea centre lemon butter cake

This strawberry jam tart was darn pathetic! The pastry no doubt flaky and light but the jam was merely a light coating over the tart case and covered with more pastry in lattice pattern. Soooo stingy on the jam when strawberries were abundance in Cameron Highlands.

boh - sg palas13 tea centre strawberry tart

I had the teh tarik (pulled milk tea) which is absolutely lovely and a great way to counter the strong cold wind blowing at the tip of the tea centre.

boh - sg palas13 tea centre TT

That's about all we had eaten in Cameron Highlands and nothing much to shout about. It hasn't been convenient to bring my boiboi out in the rain scouring for food but overall we're quite satisfied except for the dinner at Rainforest Coffee House. Hoped you have enjoyed my Cameron Highlands series. Biscuit... it's time to plan for a trip ;-)

Cameron Highlands Part 1: The Land of Work Horses
Cameron Highlands Part 2: Sam Poh Chi
Cameron Highlands Part 3: Heritage Hotel
Cameron Highlands Part 4: Rose Valley
Cameron Highlands Part 5: Bala's Holiday Chalet
Cameron Highlands Part 6: Cactus Valley
Cameron Highlands Part 7: Cameron Valley Tea House
Cameron Highlands Part 8: The Sungei Palas Tea Centre

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Wednesday 21 June 2006

Meme - 10 Things I Miss Of Mom's Cooking

Mike of Foodcrazee tagged me with this meme. Sounds simple but then again must we stop at 10? Aahaha sooo many nice goodies that my mom can churned out. After I've shifted away from home, the first few months were the hardest cos there were no homemade meals when I reached home for dinner. Hubby and I always eat out until we both so sien (bored). Since my boiboi is with my parents on weekdays now, I get to have at least 2 homemade meals in a week hehehe... don't miss the cooking so much these days woohooo...

Anyway, my homework said I gotta list 10 things, let's see... (not in order of preference)
  1. There is this dish of cubed dish of potatoes, chicken meat, onions and peas cooked with I dunno what condiments flavoured with loads of white pepper. Wahhh lurrrveee this dish, it's also great to eat it on its own hahaha and I know my brothers and I tend to curi (steal) spoonfuls of it when mom is not looking. Maybe one day I'll cook this dish but I need to ask her what condiments she used.
  2. Hainanese style chicken/pork chop, oh yeahhh, she's not Hainanese but she learnt this dish from her aunt. Wayyy better than Yut Kee's!
  3. Steamed minced pork topped with chopped dried octopus... wahlaueh she cooked this on the day I did not go home but got some leftover last week. I commented on it and suddenly 2 days later I'm savouring this. Gosshhh I love her for this!
  4. Tong shui (sweet soup) in any style... my hubby very lucky to have a MIL like her cos he simply love tong shui. Each time she will cook one big pot and tar pau (pack) one huge container back home for hubby to savour. This is what Cantonese say - YAU SEK YAU LEK!!!! (get to eat and get to bring back literally).
  5. Stir fried Shanghainese Nian Gao (a type of rice cake or pak kor meen in Cantonese). Liked this a lot since it involves a bit of work there. Her version was learnt from her super duper great cook SIL (my dad's sister). It's not dark in colour and it has loads of carrots and cabbages in there.
  6. Her way of pork chop where she will flatten slices of lean meat with the back of a chopper. The meat is cooked in sauce of oyster sauce and thick soya sauce with loads of pepper and dash of sugar. I can't describe the taste... it's peppery but yet slighlty sweet and it's simply delicious.
  7. Assam fish which she hardly cook these days. The taste of this dish has the right balance of tanginess, sweetness and spicyness. I guess she must have lost a bit of touch there since it has been so long she last made this.
  8. Fish (cencaru) stuffed with chilli paste... wahhhh now I'm salivating!!!! She'll need two days to get this done cos the first day she need to prepare the chilli paste of I've no idea what is inside (bad of me huh?) all painstakingly hand pounded and strictly no blender ok! Aiyoh it's lunch time soon, I think I need to find a place that sells this later.
  9. Sambal prawns with petai... I so the miss this now... maybe I should drop by Madam Kwan for a fix soon.
  10. Sambal heibee... err I think it's known as that. Pounded dried shrimps cooked in pounded shallots and chillies (not sure what else) until it's dry like serunding (floss). Ahhhh it's bliss... hehehe shhhh I tend to curi this by the spoonfuls too when she's not looking... shhhhh...
Awww man... there were many more leh... how? Nevermind lah... I'll keep them as it is first. Moms are the best cook don't they??? I know cos I've tasted my friends' mom cooking and they really kick ass too. I won't be tagging anyone, so if you feel like taking up this homework (meme), feel free to go ahead *wink*

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Monday 19 June 2006

Cameron Highlands Part 8: The Sungei Palas Tea Centre

Continuing with my Cameron Highlands series hahaha I'm sooo behind.

On our way back to Kuala Lumpur we decided to drop by the new Sungei Palas Tea Centre operated by Boh Plantations since the previous attempt was not successful.

The Tea Centre is home to a tea outlet, a souvenir and tea shop as well as an exhibition area with comprehensive information about the tea manufacturing process. The factory is nearby too which you can take a tour and it's free entry to everyone.

As we drove up, we saw the cliff that we've stopped previously before. We decided to stop by again this round and took a breather. This place have a breathtaking view of the whole plantation.

boh - sg palas10b

boh - sg palas10c

boh - sg palas10d

From the cliff, we saw one Defender approaching...

boh - sg palas11a landy

... and it's getting closer...

boh - sg palas11b landy

... and closer. Looks like they're ferrying people down the hill, I saw some of the foreign tourist hitched a ride down too in another Defender.

boh - sg palas11d landy

Look closer and you can see the tea centre and the staff quarters.

boh - sg palas10e

Took these as we were approaching the centre...

boh - sg palas09 tea centre1

boh - sg palas09 tea centre2

boh - sg palas09 tea centre3

The centre itself but we didn't visit the factory as we have been there countless time.

boh - sg palas03 tea centre

boh - sg palas06 tea centre

boh - sg palas04 tea centre

boh - sg palas08 tea centre

boh - sg palas07 tea centre

From the centre...

boh - sg palas02 workers quarters

boh - sg palas01

boh - sg palas10a

We sat right at the end of the cafe... and it's soooo windy.... brrr....!!!! Boiboi took this shot... look how shiny the table is, until can see the reflection of the sky. Actually hor I think he wanted to spyshot the two leng luis jiejies (pretty ladies) hahaha :D

boh - sg palas05 tea centre spy shot by boiboi

boh - sg palas12 tea centre seed on reflective table

It's cool to have bamboos slated as walls as the wind can blow thru them! Yeah this is the ladies...

boh - sg palas06 tea centre - toilet2 boh - sg palas06 tea centre - toilet1

The Sungei Palas Tea Centre is open daily - except Monday - from 9 am to 4:30 pm. Admission to the factory visit is free and information tours are conducted approximately every 30 minutes.

Cameron Highlands Part 1: The Land of Work Horses
Cameron Highlands Part 2: Sam Poh Chi
Cameron Highlands Part 3: Heritage Hotel
Cameron Highlands Part 4: Rose Valley
Cameron Highlands Part 5: Bala's Holiday Chalet
Cameron Highlands Part 6: Cactus Valley
Cameron Highlands Part 7: Cameron Valley Tea House

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Sunday 18 June 2006

Happy Father's Day

Just a short message to wish my boiboi's daddy, my daddy and all the daddies out there, a very very Happy Father's Day!!!

My Versatile Minced Meat Sauce

Another quickie post before boiboi wakes up from his nap... I have a very very versatile oriental style mince meat sauce than I could use for many variety of dishes. I've used it to topped my noodles ranging from fresh noodles, loh shue fun (a type of rice noodles), hor fun (also known as kuey teow is a flat rice noodles) and so on. It's also great to serve with lightly steamed silken tofu or even for the sauce in claypot tofu. The use of this meat sauce is so versatile that you can just get creative in its usage in whichever possible manner. Yeah I've even used it to dip with bread or made a toasted sandwich out of it.

It's very very simple to make and you can use any type minced meat errr except for mutton cause I've never tried with that before. So feel free to experiment. The one pictured here are made of minced chicken breast meat. Usually I'll make a large batch and freezes them in smaller containers.

All you need to do is saute some chopped onions in oil till its translucent. Then dump in loads of minced garlic and fry till fragrant before adding the minced meat (marinade with some light soya sauce, sesame oil, pepper and cornstarch for about 10 - 15 minutes). Let the minced meat brown before stirring and flipping to brown the other side. Next pour in some oyster sauce and some thick soya sauce (if you fancy a darker sauce). Stir and pour in some water (amount depends how much sauce you would like). Cover and simmer till cooked. It's entirely up to you whether you want to add in some cornstarch solution to thicken the sauce or not. For freezing, I won't thicken the sauce but to be served with tofu, yes, I'll usually thicken it lightly.

There... as simple as ABC.

Just steam silken tofu lightly before pouring the minced meat sauce over. Do sprinkle some spring onions on top.

mince meat tofu

This is served with those dried instant noodle, a very handy ingredient to keep in the pantry. Who says instant noodle is not healthy? Hahaha... just dress it up a little with some blanched vegetables and topped with meat sauce... voila!

mince meat noodles

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Monday 12 June 2006

Carrot Cake

Mmmm this is one of my favourite no-fail cake recipe. I've been making this carrot cake countless of times and most times I varies it by adding different kind of nuts and sultanas or raisins. This cake pack the punch with the large amount of carrots and nuts in it (but feel free to add more) and best of all it's moist and lovely hinted with spices. This recipe was featured in a Her World Cookbook Vol 49 circa mid-90s. I love this volume as it was themed "Festive Guide". I've tried a lot of the recipes in this book and so far they never disappoint.

carrot cake

Carrot Cake

200g self- raising flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
4 eggs
250g castor sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
250ml vegetable oil (try to use light oil ie sunflower/canola oil)
pinch of salt
300g carrots, grated
150g sultanas
50g hazelnuts/almonds
50g walnuts, roughly chopped

In a large bowl, sieve flour with spices and make a well in the centre. Add eggs, sugar, vanilla essence, oil and salt. Mix lightly before incorporating the rest of the ingredients.

Pour batter into a 28cm greased cake tin and bake about an hour or until skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool before frosting with cream cheese.

Cream Cheese Frosting

250g cream cheese
1 tbsp castor sugar
juice of one orange/lemon
grated zest of one orange/lemon

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients and stir throughly. Chill well before frosting the carrot cake.

This is how it looked like after frosting with the cream cheese. Prefect as a Birthday Cake! (Kindly excuse my frosting skill... I'm a noob in cake decorating heh...)

carrot cake wid cream cheese frosting copy

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Tuesday 6 June 2006

Review: Restoran Makanan Laut Fook Kee

UPDATED 21 November 2007: Fook Kee had shifted to a shop lot opposite it's old location.

10 July 2007: Passed by here recently and noticed there is a change of hands. Will update further.

**Non-Halal Posting**

Restoran Makanan Laut Fook Kee is located along Peel Road. Fook Kee or commonly referred as "Zhui Mao" (drunken cat in Cantonese) has been in operation for ages and it has been one of our fave place for dai zhao (big fry literally in Cantonese) dishes. It's known as zhui mao because aeons ago, the chef drank his way thru whilst manning the woks. If I'm not mistaken, he has since retired. Am not sure how the current batch of chefs are related to him.

fk rm38

Do not mistaken with the restaurant next door that uses Zhui Miao (forgot how they spelt it) as its name, that one is the imitation hahaha... yeah. Long ago the original Zhui Mao was situated in that location but was asked to shift out. So Zhui Mao opened his shop next to his old location. The next operator just literally took his name to be used as his jiu pai (name in Cantonese). How unethical eh?

If you so decided to come for dinner on weekends, do come early as they're packed to the brim. However, their service is superb, no matter how packed they are, your meal is usually served very fast. I've timed them on a full house... less than 15 mins and the dishes start to arrive.

Errr, one word though, don't be misled by the word Restaurant, it's actually a dai pai dong (stall in a shack) that looked decent enough. Parking can be challenging. If you're lucky, you may get a space right in front of their restaurant that came with complimentary traffic warden hahaha yeah... to help you getting in and out of the busy road. Otherwise, park at the opposite mall, Queen's Park, I think. Fook Kee is open for both lunch and dinner.

Okay, let's get started with the food... they have plenty of jiu pai dishes... so just ask them to recommend. Those that I can remember off my head are steamed tilapia with special sauce (cheung cheng), deep fried golden beancurd, spicy squid/prawn in small wok and so forth.

This round, hubby and I ordered the spicy squid and prawn that came in a small heated wok. Utmost apetising as the spicy sauce is errr spicy and fragrant. There is a whiff of coconut milk that renders the dish slighly "lemak" (Malay for thick milky flavour). The chef actually cooked the squid and prawns (you can opt for either one but usually we'll order the combo) in the sauce first before placing them in the heated wok. Next, they'll laddle in small scoop of coconut milk. Great with white rice. Actually we always order this dish whenever we come here hahaha.

fk wok chai sotong har sambal

Next came the foo yue yau mak (stir-fry romaine lettuce with fermented beancurd). Fook Kee serves kick-ass foo yue yau mak. One of the best in Kuala Lumpur! The gravy is thick, slightly spicy with the addition of thinly sliced red fresh chillies which is surprisingly not overly salty. I simply love this. (Mike, is yau mak known as romaine lettuce?)

fk foo yue yau mak

Next came the deep fried golden beancurd. It's actually not beancurd per se... it's more like mashed beancurd mixed with fish paste and some other ingredients, steamed, cut into chunks before coated in flour and deep fried. Another favourite. Pretty firm in bite, best eaten dipped in the accompanying chilli sauce.

fk jiu pai dau foo

Did you see the portion served for two of us?? No matter how we remind them, they still give us so much hahaha... so we opted for one bowl of rice shared between us else sure have to dar bao (pack back) the leftovers. One pot of Chinese tea, the three dishes above plus the bowl of rice costed us RM38 only. Very reasonable eh?

Not sure how to get to Peel Road, check out the map here.

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Attention: I think someone who read my blog sent me a mail recently but it went into my spam folder. I didn't see the mail until after I clicked remove but it was too late to cancel. So, if you're reading this, please resend the mail. Sorry about that. Thanks.

Monday 5 June 2006

Cameron Highlands Part 7: Cameron Valley Tea House

CV tea shop

Since Boh Tea Centre in Sg Palas was closed, we decided to check out this Cameron Valley Tea House owned by Cameron Bharat Plantation. Must be new since we never came across this when we last came here errr 2 or 3 years ago. We saw this place on our way up from Simpang Pulai. Just drive towards Kg Raja from Brinchang and you won't miss this place on the right of the road with some signages along the way. We have been to their other Bharat Tea House located along the road leading to Tanah Rata from Ringlet in our previous trip before Simpang Pulai was opened. The view over there is more breath taking.

It's great that they built this tea house next to the tea plantation and allowed visitors to go into the plantation. My boiboi raced up the steep slope with his daddy with mummy trailing behind cos she was busy taking pictures. If you squint hard enough, you can see both of them here...

CV - tea plantation 01

The mummy was busy taking this pic.

CV - praying mantis

View of the tea house from above the slope.

CV - tea house

After all the climbing, it's customary to have some tea at a tea house... we had a pot of chai masala (doesn't come cheap!) which impart a lovely aroma. However, it has rough bits in the tea which I suspected they were using some kind of grinded or powdered spices. My answer came when I visited the tea shop. On sale were bottles of powdered chai masala mix which you could add on to your tea. Why buy when you can make your own? Hubby had a piece of fruit cake which boiboi downed more than 1/2 hahaha poor daddy. I was surprised boiboi actually ate them up since he dislikes raisins! No pics of the tea or cake as I was busy chasing away flies. Duh!

Cameron Highlands Part 1: The Land of Work Horses
Cameron Highlands Part 2: Sam Poh Chi
Cameron Highlands Part 3: Heritage Hotel
Cameron Highlands Part 4: Rose Valley
Cameron Highlands Part 5: Bala's Holiday Chalet
Cameron Highlands Part 6: Cactus Valley

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Blog Revamping

Hello... I'm in the midst of revamping my blog to make my life a little easier. So do not be alarmed as work is still under construction.

16 Oct 2012