Saturday, September 26, 2009

Meet Downunder

TODAY I GOT TO MEET SENG KIAN AND HIS FAMILY AT KIN FONG'S HOUSE. They have been in Melbourne for one week and today's BBQ was to farewell them back to KL. Although it was pissing rain the whole day it did not dampen our spirits (I hope) as we gathered to watch the AFL Grand Final between Geelong and St Kilda.

A record spectator crowd of 99,000 gathered in the rain at MCG to see the exciting game and Geelong won 80 to 68.

Lots of food and hospitality from Foong Peng. Steaks, lamb chops, sausages, chicken wings, Greek salad, fruit cheese on biscuits, nuts, Moon cakes, and truffle; and of course, Crown Lager for the 3 of us 1978ers.....

We wished you were here but.... never mind; we will eat and drink on your behalves this time.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Seems like only yesterday... Contribution from Wong Sir

BARBIE DOLL has her 50th birthday this year.......

Tweety Bird is
years old!

And what about all our other ....




Wonder Woman (touch of menopause here I think?)

Batman and Robin


"Life is short, break the rules, forgive sooner, love with true love, laugh without control and always keep smiling.

Maybe life is not the party that we were expecting, but in the mean time, we're here and we can still dance....."

Growing old is not for wimps.....Jock Smith & Bette Davis

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nasi Padang in Ipoh

I cut and pasted this post from Motormouth From Ipoh. Nasi Padang, who fancy going there for a lunch??? Tali care to give us your food review?

Nasi Padang @ Restoran Simpang Tiga, Ipoh

J2Kfm | September 18, 2009

Restoran Simpang Tiga is a famous chain of Nasi Padang restaurants originating from Indonesia, with five branches operating over in our neighbouring country. Nasi Padang resembles our very own Malay rice with dishes, or “Nasi Berlauk”, albeit with a little tweaks here and there. The Nasi Padang moniker actually pays tribute to the origin of the food;, whereby Padang is in fact a city in West Sumatra of Indonesia.

Bergedil, Tempe Kacang, & a Clean Environment for Dining

Clean & spacious ambience, with decor reminiscing of Minangkabau influences. Even most of the staff are from Indonesia. The Bergedil is a potato patty with minced meat, while Tempe Kacang is an addictive side dish, yet supposedly pose healthy benefits

Nasi Padang is the epitome of Minangkabau cuisine, but most of the dishes have already been incorporated into the array of Malay dishes commonly found in rice stalls all over Malaysia. The spread of dishes at Simpang Tiga was mind-boggling to an extent, with not less than 20 dishes being offered on the afternoon we patronized the outlet.

The huge space occupied by the restaurant (at least 4 shoplots in Greentown Square of Ipoh – a new business centre in the heart of the city) allows a large seating capacity, perfect for functions, or dinners to be held at the premise. The design of the restaurant exudes a traditional, rustic charm, with two main seating areas being Indoor (with air-conditioning) and Outdoor (al fresco style).


Nope, they ain’t truffles. Nor any variants of the fungal family.

The restaurant is opened from 11am until 11pm daily, and you can either order from the menu, OR choose to have your plate of rice with dishes served together, ala typical Nasi Berlauk style.

Restoran Simpang Tiga was launched with much hype and fanfare, with the utmost honour of being officiated by the Sultan of Perak, back in August 2009. My guess is that this restaurant may seem like a promising chain,with high possibility of branching out to other towns, or even states in the near future.

Collage Simpang Tiga

Steaming white rice served in the rattan basket lined with banana leaf, the signature chicken dishes, Tempe Kacang (Fermented Soybeans stir-fried with Peanuts, Chillies and Onions) and Daun Ubi Tumbuk (Ground/Pureed Cassava Leaves)

They serve Ayam Kampung, or free range chicken which is widely acknowledged as the superior choice when it comes to chicken, for the meat is prized for its naturally firmer texture.

A total of seven ways of serving the chicken are available at Simpang Tiga, with the signature Ayam Bumbu Kampung, Ayam Goreng Pop Kampung, Ayam Goreng Gebok Kampung and even Ayam Penyet being highly recommended choices. Sad to say, the latter two options were not available on the day we had our lunch there, hence we settled for the Ayam Bumbu and Ayam Goreng Pop instead.

The Chickens, and the Chocolate Avocado Drink

Ayam Bumbu Kampung, Ayam Goreng Pop Kampung, and Avocado Juice with Chocolate Syrup (Jus Apulkat)

Both the chickens are priced at RM5.50 per piece, and much to our chagrin, had similar resemblance amongst them. Both were deep-fried, but the Bumbu version was served with the ‘Bumbu’ (or paste I think) made up of strands of ginger, chillies and spices, almost like meat floss. The firm yet tender meat was thankfully moist enough to be eaten without accompanying sauce or sambal (which by the way, is NOT complimentary with the dishes, and every small plate cost RM1 each).

The side dishes of Daun Ubi Tumbuk (RM3.80) and Tempe Kacang (RM2.80) completed our lunch ensemble, with the former outshining the latter, for the rich, creamy and rather raw concoction reminded me of Palak Paneer (Indian dish of mashed spinach with cottage cheese). The pungent, green and raw taste of the ground cassava leaves may not suits everyone’s tastebuds (eg. my lunch companion, Mr Z for one), but personally I felt the spoonfuls of greens grew on me as I got accustomed to the flavours.

The Tempe, or Tempeh (fermented soybeans) fared not too well in my books, with the pre-cooked tempe kacang lacking in the freshness department, the peanuts softened and offered not much of a bite.

Restoran Simpang Tiga

The front facade of the Nasi Padang restaurant – Easily located, with ample parking spaces around the vicinity

Most of the other dishes are meant to be shared amongst, say, a table of four and above. Ranging from the average Gulai to various seafoods cooked in a myriad of ways. A definite hit amongst the lunch crowd due to the strategic location of this restaurant, plus the ample parking spaces (Greentown Square charges parking fees from RM0.60 and above, if I remember correctly).

Restoran Simpang Tiga

D-G, Greentown Square,

Jalan Dato Seri Ahmad Said,

30450 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.

Tel No : +605-255 1220/1180

Here’s a GOOGLE MAP for easy reference.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Words Of Wisdome From Our Wong Sir .....

HOW TO RETIRE - 4 Pre-Conditions for Retirement

You can retire only when you fulfill these 4 pre-conditions:

1. Your children are financially independent (e.g. they have jobs),

(Those like me, Ek Kok and need to worry lah huh!)

2. You have zero liability (all your borrowings are paid up),

(A lot of 1978ers no worries lah!)

3. You have enough savings to support your lifestyle for the rest of your life, AND most importantly,

( Aiyah we have a lot of multi-millionaires amongst the 1978ers)

4. You know what you would be doing during your retirement.

(This one maybe a problem for 1978ers the way we are NOT communicating more often!)

DO NOT retire till you meet ALL 4 Pre-Conditions. And of course you should not retire if you enjoy working and are getting paid for it!

Most retirees who have problems are those who failed to meet Pre-Condition#4.

When asked, "What would you be doing during your retirement?" Some replied, "I will travel/cruise and see the World". They did that, some for 3 months and then ran out of ideas. The golfers replied, "I can golf every day." Most could not because they are no longer fit to play well enough to enjoy the game. Those who could, need to overcome another hurdle - they need to the find the "kakis" to play with them.

It's the same with mahjong, bridge, badminton, trekking and karaoke - you need "kakis"! Most could not find others who share their favorite game and playing/singing alone is no fun. AND when they do find them, a few of them found that they are NOT welcome like my obnoxious neighbor whom everyone avoids. Thus if you are into group sports or games, you must form your groups BEFORE you retire. You need to identify your "kakis", play with them and discover whether they "click" with you.

The less sporty "can read all the books bought over the years". I know of one guy who fell asleep after a few pages and ended up napping most of the time! He discovered that he did not like to read after all. We do change and we may not enjoy the hobbies we had.

Routine Activities to Fill Your Week

For most people, your routine work activities are planned for you or dictated by others and circumstances. When you retire, you wake up to a new routine - one that you yourself have to establish as nobody else would do it for you!

The routine to establish should keep your body, mind and spirit "sharpened". A good routine would comprise:-

a) Weekly physical sport - you need to keep fit to enjoy your retirement. If you are the non-sporty type, you should fire your maid and clean your home without mechanical aids. Dancing and baby sitting are good alternatives.

b) Weekly mind stimulating activity - e.g. writing, studying for a degree, acquiring a new skill, solving problems or puzzles, learn or teach something. You need to stimulate your mind to stay
alive because the day you stop using your brain is the day you start to die.

c) Weekly social activity - choose one involving lots of friends/neighbors. Get yourself accepted as a member to at least 3 interests groups. Unless you prefer to be alone, you do need friends more than ever as you get older and less fit to pursue your sport.

d) Weekly community service activity - you need to give to appreciate what you have taken in this life. It's good to leave some kind of legacy.

With 4 weekly activities, you got 4 days out of 7 covered. The remaining 3 days should be devoted to family related activities. In this way, you maintain a balance between amusing yourself and your family members. Any spare time should remain "spare" so that you can capitalize on opportunities that come your way like responding to an unexpected request to do a job or to take advantage of cheap fares to see places or to visit an exhibition.

Mind stimulating activities

Most judges live to a ripe old age. They use their brains a lot to decide on cases. I am sure MM Lee's brain works overtime. He's 80+ and still going strong. There were reports on 2 inspiring oldies. One is a granny who learned to play the guitar at age 60 to entertain her grandchildren. She's 70+ today and those grandchildren have grown to play with her. Another is an Indian Radiologist who on retirement, qualified as an Acupuncturist. He's age 77 and still offers his services (by appointment only) including free ones to those who have no income. I guarantee you that they are happy people who discovered a "2nd wind" to take them to the sunset with a smile on their faces.

Mind stimulating activities are hard to identify. They require your will to do something useful with the rest of your life, a mindset change and the discipline to carry it through.

Your Bucket List

Despite your busy routine, you will at times be bored. Then it's time to turn to your Bucket List.

Your bucket list contains a list of things to do before you kick the bucket. They are not routine and are usually one off activities. You need them to have something to look forward to. These include anniversaries, trips (and pilgrimages), visits to friends and relations abroad, re-doing your home, attending conferences (related to your hobbies), acquiring a new set of expertise. 4 such activities that are spaced our quarterly would be ideal.


Retirement Is a Serious Business

If you can afford to retire and want to, do prepare to live to your fullest. You need to be fit to enjoy it - therefore get into shape now. You do not want to get up on a Monday and wonder what to do each week, therefore identify your set of weekly routine activities now and try them out to confirm that they are the activities that you will be looking forward to doing each week, week after week. You bucket list of "rewards" or "projects" or "challenges" is needed to help you break away from the routine thereby make live worth living.

Start listing what you fancy and refine it as you chug along in your retirement. You will have so much fun; you would wish you were retired!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Tali (Ipoh Gang) and Ek Kok (Sungai Long Gang), RISE#$%^!!!UP

Our Blog has dwindled to single digit in terms of visitors count.....

And Sam Tet 1978ers dinner dates have trickled to.....ZERO, in recent times!

Time we did something about this......

As a kick-start I have cut and pasted an article of an Ipoh-food-lover on his recent find at Fair Park. Hail, hail! All Ipoh Gang members and Sungai Long Gang members charge to meet at Fair Park!!!!

Szechuan Restaurant @ Fair Park, Ipoh

J2Kfm | September 13, 2009


Szechuan-style Stir Fried French Beans with Dried shrimps & Chopped ‘Choy Pou’ (Preserved Radish) aka “Four Seasons Beans”

Szechuan style of cooking encompasses an impressive variety of styles, ranging from the usual stir-frying and steaming, to the scarcely seen smoking and even ‘water-boiled’ (shui zhu); a prominent method of cooking fish (and other meats, to a considerably lesser extent) in China.

But the string that binds the Szechuan cuisine, the one category that most (if not all) Szechuan dishes fall into; is that they are all bold in flavours, pungent in taste, and fiery in nature. Though take note that I used the word ‘MOST’ in my last sentence, not ‘ALL.’

The liberal use of peppers, chillies and garlic lend an overall stronger flavour to most of the dishes, in contrast to the other simple, and bland Chinese dishes served in the other parts of China. Good thing we’re not served with the fiery Szechuan peppercorns from the Sichuan province, else we’ll be breathing fire before we can even reach for a glass of water. There are several restaurants in Kuala Lumpur that I know of, that serves the REAL deal, meaning to say they really incorporate the most authentic peppers and spices into their dishes. Word of warning; DO NOT order iced drinks to counter the spiciness, they’ll only make it worse.


Ma Po Tofu

In Ipoh, to a lack of fanfare, stands this restaurant in Fair Park that has seen better days but still up and running for more than 20 years now. Szechuan Restaurant is even on the map (!!), to our surprise. We witnessed the lady owner’s equally-shocked expression when a table of Japanese tourists brandishing cameras and map arriving in a cab, proudly explaining to her that the restaurant’s printed in their Ipoh guide! Though I’ve no idea the map is locally printed, or a product of Japan, or the embassy’s.


Dung Bo Yuk aka Braised FATTY Pork Belly

Back in the 80’s, when my late grandfather was around, our family used to patronize this restaurant periodically. A long wait for an empty table was the norm back then, especially come dinner hours on weekends. I still vaguely remembered the delightful dishes we sampled, especially the Four Seasons Beans aka “Sei Gwai Dau”, a Szechuan specialty that Szechuan Restaurant cooked with such skills.

Many years on, and this restaurant has clearly lost its novelty and its loyal following. With the emergence of various fusion style restaurants, countless Chinese ‘Dai Chow’ outlets, and even Chinese diners offering meal packages at a fraction of the prices they used to charge for wedding dinners, the foodie community of Ipoh marked Fair Park as more of a residential area, or maybe a street populated with medical clinics. And not the desired location to hunt for food.

Our dinner at Szechuan Restaurant was a heart-warming affair. Arriving rather early for dinner, they were in the midst of preparing the kitchen for the dinner crowd. IF there ever was one. The wait for our food was slightly longer than expected, therefore highly recommended to go at a later hour (7pm+ would be fine).


The stir fried French beans was spot on delicious. The aromatic smoky flavour of the beans shone through, with charred marks evident on the beans; a sign of fiery wok’s heat. And the crunchy mix of dried shrimps, ‘choy pou’ (Chinese preserved radish), chopped scallions and minced garlic completed the ensemble, resulting in a most balanced flavour. If you ever visit this restaurant, this dish is a MUST order.

The other dishes paled in comparison though. The Ma Po Tofu (Beancurd cooked in a spicy chilli and bean sauce with minced pork) is another staple of Szechuan cuisine, but the version being dished out here was a mediocre affair. Bright red in colour, with a faint layer of chilli oil but without the much-relished fiery kick. The Dung Bo Yuk or Braised Pork Belly with Dark Soy Sauce lacked the melt-in-mouth texture, usually owing to skillful stewing of the meat with a generous (yet artery-clogging!) layer of fat. Even the leaner portion of the meat was a little tough, deviating from its usual tender texture.

Szechuan Restaurant serves various other specialty dishes, such as Pei Pa Duck, and Szechuan Prawns. They’re actually moving to a new premise soon, somewhere in the township of Tasek in Ipoh.

Szechuan Restaurant

30, Jalan Kamaruddin Isa,

31400 Ipoh, Perak.

Tel No : 605-546 9788, 6016-531 1666.

Opening Hours : 10.30am – 3.00pm, and 5pm – 10pm.

Closed on one Wednesday per month, randomly.

Here’s a GOOGLE MAP to the place.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Dinner @ Red Bean

STOBA Melbourne hosted a dinner for visiting fellow old boy Wong Wai Loong who hails from Kuching. The dinner was held at fellow Sam Tet old boy's (James) restaurant - Red Bean on Thursday night 3 September.

Wong Wai Loong, based in Kuching, is apparently the opposite number of Ku Chin Wah.

Seated: SM, Khai Yip's wife, Kim Key's wife, Wendy (Fook Kong's wife)

Standing: STOBA President Vincent, me, Chee Seng, Khai Yip, Wai Loong, Jacky, James, Richard, Fook Kong

We had Peking duck (Red Bean style), soft-shell crabs, curry fish head, kangkong belacan, 凉瓜 fish head + tofu + red bean soup + dessert

Redbean Restaurant
430 Burwood Rd
Hawthorn VIC 3122

(03) 9815 2488

Map to Red Bean

PS: Kin Fong and Ivy Ooi are MIA from the dinner because KF confessed to me that he was extremely well received and treated in Ipoh and KL by various 1978ers. So much so he had to be on a diet when he got back from Malaysia.... and he is still recovering from the amount and high quality foods and alcohol he consumed!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

今晚夜 - by Lee Kong Ho

我们的江湖大佬,趁着老友Kin Fong 从Australia 回来,高兴非常,特别献唱了这一首 ‘今晚夜’以表达他的心意 :-


啦啦!啦啦啦啦 啦啦啦啦 啦啦啦!知否明天一到鲜花就会谢 同聚畅饮 今晚夜 莫理今宵星稀月也斜 寻乐趁 万花娇俏 知否明天一过花就会谢。 同乐碰杯 今晚夜 就趁美酒 芬芳香四射 能尽兴 就开心笑 知否明天一到花亦会谢。缘份到 展开欢颜 省得过后 怨嗟 谋共醉 抛开心事 快乐能借得且去些 同渡这 一晚夜 愿你此刻珍惜今晚夜 陪伴你 让心花放 知否明天一到花亦会谢 ...