Monday 31 March 2008

Hari Kraf Kebangsaan 2008 (National Craft Day 2008)

Welcome to Craft Expo

Last week hubby was at his client's place at Kompleks Kraf and noticed there is an expo going on. He went round and saw many interesting stuff so we decided to bring our city boiboi to check things out. They have allocated some free parking lots around. The one we parked were behind Prince Court Hospital which was labelled C which is a huge place but its kinda the rough it out kind. They just dumped gravel stones on a few parts to level the ground and have many pot holes. It's one big mess after a heavy down pour when we left. There are a couple more A and B but A which is within the complex has limited space and B is a bit of walking distance away.

There were numerous huge tents set up for the displays and each tent has a theme of some kind ie. crafts made out of forest sources, batik, international crafts etc. The layout of the displays are prominently display all around the huge complex.

There were many traders displaying rattan wares and all these items are on sale. I noticed the price here is very reasonable and you can bargain for a fair price.

Baskets and all sorts of ratan weaving More baskets and weavings

There are even modern design handbags for fashionistas.

Modern bags done by weaving mengkuang leaves

There is a stall displaying gasing, a type of traditional top which fascinates my boiboi. There's a man displaying how to spin the top. We got boiboi the starter version at only RM5.00! Get the man to test out the top first before walking away with one cos you'll need one that can balance properly. There's one displaying various traditional drums.

Gasing - traditional top Various traditional drums

Flowers fashioned out of dried leaves

Then there were flower stalls fashioned out of dried leaves and so forth. Very colourful indeed.

Flowers fashioned out of dried leaves - close up rose Flowers fashioned out of dried leaves - close up sunflower

As we walked on, I heard a very sweet familiar music. As I got closer, I saw a man playing angklung (is this how it's spelt?) which is a traditional musical instrument fashioned out of bamboos. I tell you this guy is good!

Man playing angklung Man playing angklung - view from back

This is how they looked like individually which one can play just like that instead of rows of them shown above.


Colourful beadings from East Malaysia.

Beadings from Borneo More beads<

This lady was seen weaving a rattan ball.

Ratan ball weaving

Fancy some old school coin box made of bamboos???

Fancy some traditional coin box made of bamboo

This piece of wall display is fashioned out of tree roots.

Wall hanging crafted with roots

Wood carvings.

Wau carvings

These flowers were made using fish scales!

Flowers made of fish scale Flowers made of fish scale - close up

This man is seen resting after working on his kuda kepang, a type of horse weaved out. Kuda kepang is used in a Malay dance from Johor.

PakCik taking a rest from making Kuda Kepang

The larger tents have stage in them showcasing various traditional dances and for this instance there was this keroncong session going on.

Keroncong session

In tent number 10 (I think or could be 11), there are a few crafters around showing off their skills. Other than that you can paint your own batik or clay FOC.

The making of labu air

The lady is chiselling away making congkak

Students painting clay Batik painting

This man is moulding the batik mould Batik painting - woman drying our master piece hehehe

You can also have your portrait sketched.

Fancy having your potrait sketched out

The man on the left is carving sand stones, on the right, the man from Semporna, East Malaysia was crafting wooden ships.

Man from Semporna carving out ships Stone carving

Over at the smallish international showcase, there is only a handful of crafters and all of them are Asian crafters ranging from dyeing cloth in natural dyes and materials from India; inlay crafting from Iran; embroidery from Bangladesh and stone carving from Nepal. Sounds rather pathetic huh?

Natural dye from plants etc are used together with mud which result the cloth came out with those cracked like prints.

Dying shirts using natural dye and mud from India After the mud is dry, can see the natural cracking

The most interesting of the lot is this Inlay craft from Iran. The man saw pieces of wood and join them all up to form pictures.

Mr Mehran from Iran showing his Inlay skills. He's sawing the wood piece to fit into the painting. Mr Mehran from Iran showing his Inlay skills. He's fitting the sawed piece by hammering lightly.

Inside the main complex, there are rows and rows of traders displaying batik! Quite boring actually cos they looked kinda similar except for a couple. Also on display were Malay keris and pedang (sword).

Modern batik robes Keris


What is expo without food haha... There is a huge tent that serves all sorts of food. Most of them are Malay stalls but I think there's one Nothern Indian cos there's a tandoor oven there. Since we just wanted some snacks, we have some very yummy cucur udang (the stall next to the Northern Indian one). From one of the stalls, I tried their bubur chacha and kuih talam. Both I have to say are superb!!! I haven't eaten such a nice creamy bubur cha cha in a long while, the creaminess is totally not over powering. They did not stinge with the ingredients for the kuih talam definitely. It's so hard to find soft, fragrant ones these days.

Food tent

Bubur Chacha Kuih Talam

Overall, I find the expo quite disappointing. There were more traders than crafters. This is like a huge bazaar hahaha. I thought it would be more appropriate for them to showcase the experts' skills. Such a pity else my boiboi's generation will be totally at lost with all these beautiful crafts that we have in the country.

Anyway, it's still interesting to pay them a visit. The expo is on from 23 March till 7th April 2008. Opening hours is 10.00am till 10.00pm. Location is at Kompleks Kraf, Jalan Conlay, Kuala Lumpur. Map can be found here.

Friday 28 March 2008

Pak Tong Koh (White Sugar Sponge)

Yozora asked one day if I happen to know how to make Pak Tong Koh, a type of Chinese traditional sweet cake. I told her that I've never made any before and neither does my mom knows how to make one. I went searching in the net and found this recipe by Florence, seems to be the easiest. This one only need 2 hours fermentation as compared to some - overnight!

I went and did a test run recently, well just to see if I could make one since I'm usually very sceptical about myself making such traditional stuff. They usually never turn out okay especially the first time.

I followed her recipe to the T with the exception that I added 140gm sugar, 10gm more after I tasted the cooked batter. The koh turned out looking like this...

Pak Tong Koh (White Sugar Sponge)

They smelt exactly like those I've bought from the market, looked quite close too hehe... but the honeycomb texture is not so obvious though. Taste wise, quite close to the real thing but not sweet enough for a koh. I think 150gm sugar would be a better bet. Hubby said the yeast taste is a bit over powering but he tried not long after I took out from the steamer.

I kept them in the fridge over night since my mom said it will turn bad quickly. I took one the next morning and somehow can't detect the strong yeast taste but it's a bit hard though.

I gave a tub to my parents which she kept in the fridge. My mom being the rajin (hardworking in Malay) one steamed them the next morning before eating. When I called her, she asked if I really made the koh myself. I told her yes. She told me, they were very nice worrr :P hahaha... wah first time she said my cooking is nice!

I'm reproducing Florence's recipe here for my future reference. Thank you Florence for such a wonderful recipe.

Pak Tong Koh (White Sugar Sponge)

170g sieved rice flour
130 - 150g castor sugar
360ml water

3/4 tsp instant yeast
1 tbsp warm water

1. Mix (B) and leave aside for 10 minutes for use later.

2. Mix (A) together with a whisk and cook over low heat stirring all the time till a little thicken (this process should not be more than 5 minutes otherwise the mixture will have sago pearls forming). Sieve this mixture into a big mixing bowl and cooled it in a basin of water. Make sure it's cooled till luke warm.

3. Mix (1) and (2) together and blend well. Cover the mixture with glad wrap and prove in a warm place for 1 - 2 hours. When the mixture show signs of bubbles all over the surface then it is ready for steaming.

4. Pour the ready batter into a 19.5cm x 19.5 cm greased pan and steam on high heat for 20 -25 minutes.

5. Cut into serving pieces when cool.

Ref: Do What I Like blog by Florence

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Thursday 27 March 2008

Review: Satay O'Mulia

Where to find satay in the city of Kuala Lumour when you have cravings for them in the evening???

Now don't read me wrong here hahaha... usually it's my the other half who will have all these weird cravings. No wonder his tummy is perpectually 4 months pregnant!

As he was throwing me this question, it suddenly dawn upon me that there is indeed one stall in the city that serves satay. Adly of Friedchillies have been telling me about this Satay O'Mulia aeons ago but somehow it never cropped up in my mind. This stall is located at the busy intersection between Jalan Tun Razak and Jalan Semarak. It's opposite Menara Celcom. Parking is certainly not a breeze here, we went round the stall 4 rounds but yet can't find any parking, not even by the road side ok. Sigggghhh so I told hubby to try just one more round and yippeeee we managed to squeezed into one tight space in front of the Indian restaurant a few doors away.

We shared a table with a big fat cat. Too bad boiboi is not around else he will be very fascinated cos he just loved cats. Anyway hubby shooed it away when our satay arrived. He was worried that it will steal his satays away LOL.

OM - beef n chic satay OM - beef n chic satay close up

I'm impressed with the large succulent chunks of beef and chicken meat. There were chicken skins in between the chicken pieces, burnt and caramelised under the charcoal. I'm glad the beef satay stays tender. Both types were well marinaded and went well with the peanut sauce. Loved the way O'Mulia serves their sauce. Just like Haji Samuri, they gave us a large bowl of peanut sauce and a small bowl of fiery hot chilli. We could scoop into our individual bowls to our hearts content without needing to call for the wait staff every now and then for refills. Not the best peanut sauce but hey, I'm not complaining... dunking in the cucumber and ketupat as well.

OM - beef n chic satay peanut sauce

Our only grouses were some of the chicken satay were not cooked AND they seem to have used a lot of MSG either in their marinade or peanut sauce. The first was solved by sending back for another round of grilling but it was the mother-of-all thirstiness that I really can't stand for the whole night. That certainly spoilt everything about O'Mulia.

Other than satays, I noticed there were a lot of patrons ordering fried rice and noodles. If not for the MSG experience, I won't mind patronising again, so at the moment, it's a no for me.

Satay O'Mulia
300-1 Jalan Tun Razak,
54200 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 6019 371 3639
Opens from 6.00pm - 11.00pm

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Tuesday 25 March 2008

Slow Cooked Chicken and Potatoes

Sorry for the silence. Things has not been so bright since yesterday morning, we lost a colleague quite suddenly on Sunday night but thank goodness it was rather a peaceful one. It's not easy with this one as he has 3 young kids as well, just like ST Tee. Got me into thinking mode again...

Anyway, I have this in my draft folder. Enjoy yah.

Since the discovery to slow cook food without water... it's getting easier to have some of my meals prepared. One of the better ones done in a slow cooker is this Slow Cooked Chicken and Potatoes.

Easy peasy but in order to get a more fragrant taste, I pre-fried sliced onions with garlic, soy bean paste and fermented black bean together in oil. Then dump in chicken chunks and brown them. Arrange potatoes at the bottom of the slow cooker. Placed the chicken concoction on top. Cover and cook for about 3-4 hours.

The outcome was fantastic especially so after pre-frying the aromatics!

Slow cooked chicken with potatoes

Check out my two other slow cooked meals:
Slow Cooked Chicken With Bittergourd
Slow Cooked Pork Ribs

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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