Friday, June 29, 2012

Snorkeling in Pulau Kerengga Besar @ Redang Island (Episode Three)

That morning snorkeling in Marine Park proved to be so exhausting; i was considering seriously if we should continue with the afternoon session in another location.

Despite the risk of being stung by jellyfish, we decided to go ahead since the trip was included in our package and it would be such a waste in the mind of a person who controls finance in the Department.

And i am damn glad we went for it.

Pulau Kerengga Besar - an island with a head-shaped rock as its marker and the destination for my last off-island snorkeling trip in Redang.

Instead of the open sea, the significantly smaller group was brought to a shallow section that borders the rocky shoreline of the small island. The lack of massive human activity on the isle means that you can find a comparatively intact marine ecosystem .

Time to jump!

The depth was a comfortable two meters and it was great to be so close to the corals and marine fish.

In terms of number, i didn't see that many fish. However, i personally thought that this area offered the most variety (among the three areas i visited in Redang).

It could be a matter of distance; things appear clearer when they are nearer. A whole school comprising of hundreds of fishes could mean that it is harder to segregate them in a few seconds, especially when they are almost the same size.

Alex attempting to release as much bread as possible in order to attract the fishes.

They were not sold on Alex's exaggerated movements and preferred to nibble the algae off the rocks!

Disappointment was written on the asshole's face as he had the impression that bread was the favourite food for all fish! For a short period of time, i think he took the fishes' snub personally! haha.

All the pictures you have seen so far from my snorkeling expeditions in Redang came from the Olympus underwater camera that i purchased for a mere S$198.

Quality wise, it was alright although i realised, when i am back in Singapore, that there were red, purplish flares in quite a number of pictures.

Thankfully, most of them turned out alright. Blur maybe but generally usable.

Anyway, back to the topic! I paddled to the rocky shoreline where i can practically touch anything i want!

It's quite fun to look in between the corals and rocks even though i am only an amateur who could hardly identify any species or genera.

A true professional would be able to point out any slight movement and identify any sea creature that could be lurking around.

Could you spot the alien-looking fish that was so well camouflaged? I almost missed it.

There was a video on this! I am still trying out the video editing programme as certain portions would likely result in giddiness and would be best cut out.

At this point, the water was around knee high and my itchy hands could not resist (gently) picking up a few seashells. It was purely an act of curiousity and the shells were not harmed in any way.

Sea cucumbers - unlike a typical Chinese, i don't eat them even though they have supposedly medicinal properties in relieving tendinitis, arthritis and enhancing male sexual health (which i don't need at the moment)!

Velvety-red sea cucumber! Mom loves sea cucumbers and always asked me why i didn't bring a couple back. I reiterated, a couple of times in fact, that it is illegal and his beloved son could be jailed in a foreign country!

As you can see from the above, the inconsiderate touch of human was still very much in play. Please, it doesn't take much effort to bring the rubbish back to your hotel for disposal!

While i was basking in the beauty of the underwater world, something at the corner of my eye caught my immediate attention.

Jellyfish!!

Everyone knows jellyfish can give a pretty nasty sting but many of us also agree that jellyfish has a captivating grace in its movements.

And for those who have never been stung before, it's a hard to beat urge not to touch it. There is a technique to touch it though; avoid the tentacles!

The sight of a jellyfish usually means that the trip would be cut short. 

And i was right; all snorkelers were soon recalled back to the boats and i bade goodbye to Pulau Kerengga Besar with a heavy heart.

You think this is the last post on snorkeling? 

Fret not, we found another area within redang to indulge in possibly my favourite activity while overseas. Maybe i would also include some videos in that final post.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Egypt Mr Kebab Wrap @ Yishun Temporary Pasar Malam [Night Market]

Every time i walk past the temporary pasar malam in Yishun, it's a tense fight between mouth and brain; my brain was telling me to lose some weight while my mouth was urging me to stuff something (edible that is) down the throat.

My willpower has never been strong when food is concerned but this time, i tried to 'negotiate' for a healthier deal. That's why i decided to have chicken kebab from Egypt Mr Kebab!

At first glance, i admitted it was a thick skewer of raw chicken meat that might not look appetising for the stomach and frankly, would likely give you a bad stomachache if you even attempt to scrape a bit and put it in your mouth.

Wait a few hours for the edible edition!

The slow moving rotating spit would ensure that the meat was evenly cooked with the delectable meaty juice locked in-between the layers. And boy, you would not want to catch a sniff of that whet-the-appetite fragrance should you wish to abstain from meat. 

From my experience, there are many different types of kebab and the one usually sold in pasar malam are known as donar kebab served in toasted pita bread. 

Why did i say this is a healthier choice? Raw vegetables were added and the meat was roasted; a more nutritional process as compared to for example, deep fried (which is the common standard for most pasar malam food). 

I love mine with mayonnaise and chilli sauce! Not exactly healthy condiments yet without them, you would be unable to appreciate its true taste! No one is expecting you to eat it like this, with the pita bread as a plate.

Served as a kebab wrap, it was really handy and the wrapped ingredients were relished in almost every bite!

To be honest, my last kebab wrap was easily more than two years ago. Although i still find this delicious (like my mom and dad), i thought the pita bread was a tad too tough, giving me the impression that it might not be that well toasted afterall.

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Location
At the pasar malam right outside the main entrance of Yishun MRT Station. The stall is located right in front of the train station.

Period of Operation
Till 15 July 2012

Price
One for S$5
Three for S$10

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Supposedly My Favourite Oyster Omelette (蚝煎) + Grilled Stingray & Satay @ Jalan Alor, Kuala Lumpur [Malaysia]

When it comes to oyster omelette, i have always insisted that the best can be found in Kuala Lumpur, along a renowned food street known as Jalan Alor.

For the uninformed, Jalan Alor is a 300-meter long street located very near to Bukit Bintang (the shopping belt of Kuala Lumpur) and is very crowded at night when food stalls, selling mainly Chinese food, open for business. 

As a point of reference, the above picture was taken at 10pm! 

Coming back to my favourite or jian; i don't make a point to remember the exact location of the stall because recognising the boss (aka the chef) is so much more easier. For the benefit of my readers, please try to save this in your memory! 

Fine! It would not merely be an order of oyster omelette. A plate of grilled stingray might just complete the supper.

Despite the black, charred look, it was filled with chunky meat but could do better if there was a thick spread of appetising sambal chilli on top. 

We could not help but order ten sticks of chicken satay (more than half the price when compared to Singapore)! Hot and fresh from the charcoal stove, the marinated meat was generally too dry and too tough for my liking.

Finally, the oyster omelette! I was anticipating its bite after missing it for close to two years!

One word: disappointing. The taste was not even close to the ones i had in my past visits even though it was fried by the same man.

I know i am making excuses here but there were obvious changes from the past; the sizable oysters used to be diced up, hence releasing their rich delicious flavour into the omelette, followed by the partial mixing in of sweet chilli during the frying process.

Sigh..... Nuff said, i am now sad to declare that the spot for the best oyster omelette is now empty. :(

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Location
For those who could not remember the face of the chef and would still want to give the oyster omelette a try, please visit Restaurant Meng Kee Grill Fish (Charn Kee Tasty Corner) at No 35, Jalan Alor.

Price
Grilled Stingray Fish - RM20
Chicken Satay (10 Sticks) - RM8
Oyster Omelette - RM15

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