On Tuesday morning, after I published my blog, we had some pastries as a snack after breakfast. This is a picture of one type that we had. This one is a little flaky bun filled with red bean paste (sweet). There were also ones with kaya (another sweet jam) and a savory one. These are so yummy, and especially delicious with coffee!
Derren and I were playing mahjong with his family, and Derren kept losing, so he blamed it on the fact that we hadn't drank any coffee. So at about 12:30pm, we went for a "coffee run" and ended up getting lunch. We first stopped by a vegetarian restaurant so that I could pick up something for lunch. I was so excited to have all of these choices - all filled with fake meat and fake fish. All I had to do was get some rice and fill it up with what looked good...and only for a couple of dollars!
Here is what I ended up with - some fake barbeque pork on the bottom left, green vegetables with little chunks of fake pork, and fake beef with vegetables. There is a pile of rice beneath it all. Most people don't find the fake meat very good, but for someone like me who doesn't eat regular meat, I find it pretty tasty. At least it has a good amount of protein and is more than just noodles!
After we picked up the vegetarian food, we went to another restaurant to get food for the rest of the family - about seven orders of chicken rice. This is Derren's food in the picture below. It is chicken rice (rice cooked in chicken broth) with chicken cut up on top, and a little bit of vegetables. It comes with a sweet and sour sauce and soy sauce. Oh, and don't worry, we stopped by the coffee shop after we picked up all this food to get Derren and I our coffee! :)
The rest of the afternoon was again full of mahjong and just hanging around with his family. I know this sounds super boring, but it is quite a fun game - and good for people to hang out together instead of just sitting around and watching TV or something. And it definitely exercises your brain!
For dinner we had plans to drive quite a distance to get a handmade noodle soup. Knowing that I probably wouldn't get much but noodles, Derren made me this 2 egg omelette with tomatoes, chives, and spring onions to take with us so that I would have something more substantial with my noodles. (And in my opinion, this was one of the best parts of my dinner!!!)
Here's what my dinner from the restaurant looked like. Noodles. They are very yummy, and thick noodles. We drove about 45 minutes to get to this place because the noodles are so famous. Sorry the picture is so bright...
And this is what everyone else ate. This is another version of the yong tau foo. Family style fish past and bean curd to eat along with everyone's individual bowl of noodles and soup. The fried ones on the left are bean curd skin with fish paste (I think), and the bowl has fish balls and tofu. I actually ended up being able to eat some of the tofu because it didn't have fish paste in it!
And here's what the noodle soup looked like that everyone ate with the fish paste stuff. These noodles are called "rat tail" noodles just because of their thickness and shape.
Then yesterday we ate a very small breakfast with some instant coffee (the REAL Ipoh kind) at home, and around 11am we went for brunch at the mall food court (which actually has really good food compared to the mall food courts that we all think of) with some more of Derren's aunts and great aunts. One good thing about a food court is that there are a lot of options, so there was a "vegetarian" stall with lots more choices of vegetarian food and fake meat. Here's a picture of the food court - it is very clean and nice compared to many of the food centers that we've been eating at!
And here is the plate of food I got from the vegetarian stall. There is some vegetarian fried rice with fake pork, some yams with fake chicken, green vegetables, and some fried thing (I honestly don't even know what it was trying to imitate, but it was good!)
Derren and much of his other family had "sizzling mee" (mee = noodles) with chicken for lunch. The black plate is actually like a hot pot, and the food comes out boiling when they give it to you.
And some of his family shared more "yong tau foo" - more fish paste and fried stuff. I obviously didn't eat any of this.
And then the real reason that we met at the mall food court is to go to a particular stall that makes really good "ice kacang" (pronounced kaa-chong; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_kacang). It's a shaved ice dessert with many variations. This is the one they served - it's a icy cold sweet dessert.
But instead of ice kacang, Derren and I ordered a different variation, called chendol (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chendol). This one has a brown sugar syrup and red beans, and I much prefer it to ice kacang!
After lunch, Derren, Monique, and I stayed at the mall to walk around and window shop for a while. Derren is not used to mall shopping, so he had to stop and take a break...
After we made the mall loop (this was a small mall - only two stories - compared to the malls in Singapore!), we had his aunt come and pick us up. And on the way home, I was craving something cold to drink, so his aunt took us to this little stand on the side of the road to get some sugar can juice (and coconut juice for Derren). They put the entire sugar canes through the machine that you can see in front of this man. Then they just put the juice in a bag with ice (only about 50 cents!)
Yum!!! Sugar Cane juice...so refreshing!
And when we got home, it was time for a couple more hours of mahjong before dinner. Derren's dad took a picture of me drinking my sugar can juice from the bag I had dangling on my chair while playing mahjong - this basically sums up my life in Malaysia right now! :)
For dinner, we finally had some home cooked food!! Derren's aunt and uncle from Australia joined us for dinner as usual, so the nine of us gathered around the small table to share this home cooked food. There was two different Chinese vegetables (the leafy one was boiled/steamed, and the celery looking one was stir fried). Then there was "lap chong" in the left of the picture - this is traditional Chinese sausage, and it's sliced up really thin. Then the two large containers have two different types of leftover curry - one is beef and one is chicken. In the back (or on the right of the picture) you can see salted eggs (basically they sit in salt water for like a month and then are hardboiled. They are SUPER salty). You can also see a bowl of savory rice (leftover from a few days ago, this rice was made with lap chong). Then in the picture on the right was my favorite dish - silky tofu with chives and garlic. It was very light and yummy! We also had rice, and I had a taro root (a starchy root vegetable). All of it was so delicious!
Well you can imagine what we did after dinner - more mahjong! And we also had about three different desserts, but unfortunately I didn't get pictures of any of them. We had a malaysian dessert from a stand on the side of the road called au-bong. It's like a VERY thin crepe and you can eat a bunch of them at once because they're so thin and light. Then we had a couple of little gelatinous rice cakes, and then later his aunt showed up with silken tofu in a sugar sauce. I had a little bit of everything, and as usual, was very full last night!
Then this morning, his aunt went out to the market to get me my favorite dessert for tonight - kaya rice! I will take pictures and explain it in my next blog. But while she was out she picked up breakfast for us - char kway teow (a fried flat noodle with some bean sprouts and a little bit of green vegetables). I had a cup of coffee after that, and for lunch I think we are going to a vegetarian restaurant! And dinner is going to be a "famous" wonton noodle made by this little old man for many many years. I will try to take lots of pictures! I hope you are all enjoying your meals as much as we are!
Ashley & Derren