Sunday, November 29, 2009

Bunny Visits Tanjung Sepat

Hunny Bunny and a couple of photographer friends visited Tanjung Sepat or 21 November for a photograpgy cum makan trip. Tanjung Sepat is famous for their Baos (Steamed Buns with filling) and seafood dishes. My family ordered 30 pieces of baos!

We were supposed to meet up at Kota Kemuning's Mc D at 6.45am but we waited till 7.15am because a car was late and drove to Tanjung Sepat (about 1.5 hours). We reached there at 8.15am and headed straight to the Hainan styled kopitiam only to be disappointed that they already ran out of their famous Hainan Toast and soft boiled eggs. Vixen and Sun then disappeared into the nearby market to purchase some fresh eggs so that the shop owner could make soft boiled eggs for us. Then we had their wantan mee and kuih kak (fried radish cake cubes).

I never really had the stomach for soft boiled eggs as I am more of a med boiled eggs girl. Don't you find this a bit too raw for your liking?

After Hunny mixed it up with some light soya sauce and pepper, it tasted good but I only had a few spoonfuls.

The Fried Radish Cake cubes were lacking in wok hei and wasn't that fantastic but hungry beggars can't be choosers.

Chow advised us to try the Hainan styled Char and we ordered Tea (Char) instead of coffee. Hunny and Roger ordered one each but in actual fact they should have ordered Hainan Coffee instead.

This is the famous Tanjung Sepat Bao Factory and shop signage. Wow! I am so excited. My total order plus some of my hunny's tallied at 42 pieces. I actually called them 2 days before to pre-order my baos and this is a MUST if you are going there on weekends or holidays as the tourists comes in busloads then.

As we walked in the road to get to the coffee processing factory, we passed Hai Yew Heng old kopitiam and their new bao processing factory. My baos could only be collected after 1pm as they make the baos fresh everyday.

You must remember to call the mobile phone number if you wish to purchase more than 5 pieces of the 6 varieties that they offer. They have Sang Yoke Bao (Pork steamed with a wedge of hard boiled egg), Mui Choy Bao (Preserved Vege cooked with a lil minced meat), Red Bean Bao, Kaya Bao, Peanut Bao and Vege Bao. The prices range from RM2.00 to RM1.20 each.

This is the kopitiam where the Baos used to made and sold before the above mini factory was built. we walked further in, the villagers are an enterprising lot. They grow their own vegetables! There were brinjals, okra, leafy veges and others.

Ahh...after a short distance, we reached the coffee processing factory.

Joo Fa Trading is owned by Sifu Mr. Lim. He processes mainly 2 types of is black and the other is white. The heavy scent of roasting coffee hits our nostrils as we step in. He still roasts them using firewood.

Here are the coffee beans in their non roasted and unsorted shapes. So many colors!

The workers will sort out the beans by color and size to make the best quality coffee. This is what they use to standardize the size of the beans. Any smaller or not the correct color will be rejected.

After sorting, here are the sorted beans before they are processed. These are the coffee beans for the black coffee. I forgot to ask what type they are.

Here are the unroasted but processed white coffee beans.

The coffee beans are forever spinning to ensure even roasting. I don't dare stand too near because scared a hot coffee bean pop out n burn me...

We reached there just in time for him to add the 2 secret ingredients to make the coffee fragrant and palateable for our Malaysia tastebuds. Scroll down to see what they are


Yup! It's sugar! Can you see how it mixes in with the coffee?

Now for the next secret ingredient....for the fragrance and creaminess....

It's our good ol' Planta Margerine!

After adding the sugar and planta for a few rounds and mixing them around, it's time to remove from the roasting pan and on to a tray to cool before packing in as beans or grinding them to sell. It really looks like the bittumen used to tar our roads. The scent of the roasted coffee assaulted our nose. As the Sifu spades out the coffee beans, his assistant spreads them out to cool and also with the assistance of the fans.

The coffee cools down very fast within 10 minutes according to Sifu Lee. Enclosed is a link for a video of how they remove the coffee beans from the roasting pan.

They also have 2 coffee bean plants at the back of their factory.

What is visiting a coffee factory without sampling their coffees? As I am a non coffee drinker, the others who tasted it said it was very delicious, rich aroma and not sour at all.

Here is their price list for the black coffee.

Next up, we went to the nearby seaside area to the Lovers Bridge & Jetty. It was half concrete and half wooden. Along the long stretch there, boats will dock at the side. I didn't take much photos as my camera died on me just then. My bad, as I forgot to charge it after my Sekinchan trip.

Here are some mudskippers heading towards the sea. They are amphibians as they are half fish but they have legs too. They can live on dry land and in water as well.

A view of the seaside during low tide. Some mangrove trees swaying in the wind.

After that, we left for Sepang Gold Coast about 30 minutes away. It is a beautiful but rather polluted beach. There is currently beautiful villas on sea being developed there and its clubhouse is already up and running. The garden is really beautifully designed. This will be a beautiful place to stay in when it completes.

We made our way back to Tanjung Sepat at 1pm for our seafood bak kut teh but we couldn't get any as they were all sold out. Hence, I went to collect my baos. Luckily I reserved mine as a busload of people just came and bought most of the buns away. I asked the lady manager there how many baos they produced a day and she replied close to 1200 pieces a day! All hand filled by her team of 5 to 8 workers there.

Chow then brought us to have seafood lunch by the Lovers Bridge Jetty. It was a wise choice. We had crabs, fish, lala, oyster omelette, vegetables, tofu soup and I forgot what else and it was very yummy and not as oily as our meal in Sekinchan. I have no pictures to show as we were all too hungry and Chow didn't post the photos up for me to loan and use in my blog. This meal cost us RM15 per person. There were 9 of us.

This was a truly enjoyable trip.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Gao Ren Guan, ss15 Subang Jaya

Yesterday was an uneventful day as I was supposed to meet up for dessert tasting at Rui's Patisserie Artisanal Cafe in Mt. Kiara only to find out that they don't open on Sundays. I was still hankering for a good slice carrot cake and I made Hunny drive to Bon Bon Cafe only to find out that they were closed too! Not willing to give up, Hunny drove me to ss15, Subang Jaya to find my favourite cake cafe, A Taste Boutique, and guess what? They were closed too! By that time, can see thunder clouds misting over Hunny's face and I quickly suggested a place for lunch.

That's when we ended up in Gao Ren Guan. Hunny suggested we try this place a few times but I always resisted as I remembered them to be a pricy establishment serving home cooked food.

We ordered 3 small dishes and rice plus drinks.

Our 1st dish was snake beans fried with roast pork. It looked glisteningly oily but it turned out to be starch sauce. The taste was average.

Next up was the hot and sour vege. The sauce was a little starchy but it packed a punch of sourness and underlying spiciness. Hunny enjoyed this dish greatly as he ordered another bowl of rice. The Kale vege was stewed till tender and no hint of bitterness at all.

My vegies...must make sure I eat enough...

Then the best dish came...Nam Yue Pork Belly (Fermented beancurd marinated pork belly)! Very yummy!

The Nam Yue was not overpowering the meat taste...the meat was encased with fats (not too much or too little) and it provided the best tasting pork ever...My Favourite! Even after it's cold, it was still crisp on the outside. Thumbs Up! delectable!

It was RM51.90 for these 3 small dishes plus 3 rice plus 2 drinks and 1 rice dumpling for Hunny. The Rice Dumpling alone cost RM8! I will have to ask Hunny later how it tasted. This is a place I'd come back with my family. I won't be surprise if this restaurant is full during peak dining hours.

Lunch at Kuala Selangor - Chai Lee Restaurant

We adjourned for lunch at Chai Lee Restaurant at 11.30am. The reason why our "tour guide" chose this restaurant was not because of their tasty cooking but was because of the parking space! We were a big group of 30+ members who came in 12 cars.

Our table of 9 people and their DSLRs

We ordered 7 dishes - 5 seafood + 1 Veg and 1 Tofu. We had 100 Plus to cool down and replenish our body salts before drinking iced chinese tea.

The 1st dish was Kung Po Fried Snails. Wow! The snail meat slices were huge! They tasted chewy and wasn't cooked that well as it was lacking in the wok heat taste. The dish was also oily.

Next came the tofu soup that was sta\rchy and when we added vinegar to it, it was really nice and hearty.

Then the best dish in my opinion came - The Claypot Fish Maw Stew....yummy! The fish maw was soaked and cooked nicely. It was tender with some chewiness to it. Really nice and not too salty.

The veggies came next but I was too busy tucking in. The deep fried sotong came next. It tasted good with a hint of salted egg yolk to the rings. Crunchy without too much batter.

The meat crabs came but I didn't eat much of these as I was beginning to feel full. The crabs were smaller, the shell was thin and its flesh was sweet...

Last dish came and it was mantis prawns! It was difficult to eat this as it was deep fried and the shell was stuck on its flesh. Hunny said it'd taste better if it was steamed...

My plate after lunch

We couldn't finish all the dishes as they were quite oily and we did over order...

The spreads not bad for RM20/pax though.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A visit to Sekinchan

Hunny and I joined the Shutterasia group for a visit to the paddy fields at Sekinchan. It was a straightforward journey down to Kuala Selangor. However, Hunny would never bring me down to these places as it is too far and may not be as fun as going in a group.

I have never seen or been up, close and personal with paddy fields before. We left almost an hour late due to some members overslept and when we reached Sekinchan, the sun was up high and might in full source.

The paddy fields were vast and stretched for miles. We were there a lil too early for harvesting as the fields are just turning yellow...

Some of the members taking photographs...

The farmers also grow other crops such as Noni, banana, and other fruit trees, veges such as brinjal, gourds, pumpkins, tapiocas to supplement their lifestyle and income.

As we were walking down the long straight road, I saw some beautiful pink color eggs that were clustered around. One of the members confirmed them as snail eggs. Really beautiful color, don't you agree?

My one and only shot taken with my Raynox Macro DCR-250 lens.

I think this spider just had a feast.

A beautiful water lily. I would have loved to get a closer shot but the land surrounding this lil pond was very mushy.

Next, as we were driving, we found this curious sight. At first, Hunny and I thought the trees were struck by lightning but in actual fact, the trees were deliberately set on fire as the villagers believed that the cocout trees housed some evil spirits.

This is the path leading to the haunted coconut trees patch. It was so hot that I retired back to my Hunny's car to wait in the air cond (oops...till the car overheated and the temperature bar was full and blinking).

It was nice coming here but it would have been perfect if it wasn't so hot. Next entry will be on the restaurant where we ate our cheap seafood lunch.