Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Reason #4

Before we left I posted this. The pic was taken in Kuala Lumpur when we passed through five years ago. This guy and his wee coal bbq is where our satay infatuation all began, so it was fitting that on our last night in the city we stumbled across him once more. He was in the exact same spot, we weren't even looking for satay but we absolutely had to stop. I'm so happy he's still cooking up a satay storm!He can be found on Julan Sultan, on the left just past Julan Hang Lekir as your heading towards Julan Cheng Lock.I can't remember exactly how much it was but it was cheap as chips - like 50sen a stick or something.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Four excellent reasons to stuff your face in Kuala Lumpur

Reason #1

Exceptionally cheap, mouth watering South Indian food.

When Bighead and I set foot in India years ago we were expecting to go crazy on a whole lot of malai kofta's and butter chicken's. Little did we know that there's actually a whole range of other regional delights. In New Zealand the main style of Indian cuisine is Northern (which is fairly expensive) but if you hunt it down, you can find some well priced Southern styles.

Here's just a small selection of the delights we sampled in KL (take me back!).
Puri Bhaji

Vegetarian Thali

My Fav - Mango Chutney

Vada Sambar

Masala Dosa

Paneer Uttupam

Chai Masala

Reason #2

Malaysian Roti. We certainly don't get roti like this here in little ol NZ (Well I can really only speak for Wellington). It's surprisingly light, crispy on the outside, stretchy in the middle and just plain yummy!
Check out all the different types and check the prices! Oh my giddy Aunt. That's Malaysian Ringgits (half that for NZ$).

Reason #3

The multitude of Chinese food on offer.

The Gourmet Food Stall on Jalan Petaling in Chinatown has a range of different counters offering all types of Chinese food. This counter in particular is exactly like a little restaurant we went crazy at during the Vegetarian Festival in Phuket, offering buffet style meals where all dishes are completely vegetarian. One plate served with rice costs about 5MR (NZ$2.50). Love it!

Reason #4

Can you guess? There's a clue in my early posts.

Monday, November 17, 2008

How long has it been?

You know what, I've been feeling quite guilty about not having blogged in so long. I didn't even finish my rant about KL. The western world has sucked me in and sapped me of any spare time I once had... gone are the endless days of daydreaming in the hot hot sun... ah who am I kidding? I've just been plain lazy.

I'll have to get back to KL later because what actually inspired me to write again was this:
We bought this wee bbq for just NZ$40 and she's a little ripper. We've been spoilt with a few extremely calm, sunny days of late (not all that common in Wellington) and Bighead has been chomping at the bit to crank up the old barbie. We had two problems with this, the first being that we no longer own a bbq (problem solved with said ripper), the second being that the few friends we have left in Welli are all vegetarians! A vege barbie is all good but I must admit we were keen to have a taste of some good old kiwi beef so I called up my trusty old carnivorous bro and we were set.Doesn't it make your mouth water? Nice job boys.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Mmm... Indian Sweets

When they're out on the street like this in massive piles, how can one possible resist?
We have Indian sweets like this available in NZ but I've never tasted any as fresh and light as these. Absolutely scrumptious. It certainly brings back fond memories of travel through India where dedicated sweet shops could be found on every corner.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Perfect Timing

We struck gold with the timing of our visit to KL this time round. The whole city was decorated with lanterns and lights as the Muslim community had just celebrated the completion of Ramadan (Islamic month of fasting).

Alongside this, Little India was a buzz with the build up to a major Hindu holiday called Deepavali, also known as Diwali or The Festival of Lights - the lights signify the victory of good over evil within the individual. The whole area was set up with market stalls, stages and dazzling lights. Shops were shining with decorations and 'Happy Deepavali' banners. Delicious treats from a range of cuisines beckoned to be sampled.
Beautiful rangoli patterns could be seen all over town.
You could really sense the excitement surrounding the event and as you can imagine we went a little crazy on the food!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Three Cheers for Kuala Lumpur!

Our recent stop over in KL was completely unplanned. We were umming and arring over Vietnam or Laos but weren't too sure whether Bighead would be able to work properly in either (Cambodia had been difficult in this respect), besides, the lure of roti was too much to bare.

KL really impressed me this time round. The city seems to have cleaned up its act quite a lot and we certainly had no trouble finding things to do and food to eat (in fact we could have stayed another two weeks to explore more of the delights on offer!).

The population consists of mainly Muslims, with the remainder being Hindus or Buddhists. Gorgeous mosques and colourful Hindu and Buddhist temples can be seen all around the city.

The mish mash of architectural shapes and patterns is a feast for the eyes.
There are some really cool buildings and such a range of styles. Old, new, rounded, pointy, styly, garish, shiny, rough, clean, dirty, stunning, ugly... you name it.

My eyes were wide every time we traveled across the city. The small-town-New-Zealand in me must have been glaringly obvious (I mean like, even more than usual) as I couldn't help but point to every architectural delight I saw. I loved it!

Being a modern city there is also a large selection of shopping malls to choose from. Shopping malls that aim to be one stop shops. Mini cities. Internal towns. They have everything from food, clothing, and entertainment to furniture, crafts, and electronics.

There is one called Times Square, which along with its gazillion shops, it has an 18 theatre cinema and... wait for it... an indoor amusement park, complete with roller coaster! I still can't get over the size of it.And of course with the range of cuisines on offer, Malaysia scores quite highly on my foodometer. But that's next.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


After a total of...

eight hours on a train, two hours in taxis, twelve and a half hours on planes, thirteen hours waiting in transit, three boarder crossings, four airports and far too much airline food...
WE'RE HOME! In good old Wellington, New Zealand.

It's 5:30pm, I'm sitting in bed under the covers with my hood pulled right up over my head, it's blowing a gale outside and the rain is horizontal. It feels strange because I'm wearing jeans and have socks on. It's cold.

To be fair though, yesterday was an absolutely gorgeous Wellington day with clear blue skies and no wind. We had a great time surprising a few different people and I've had a much anticipated, lovely long cuddle with a cute wee newborn.

WHAT ARE WE DOING HERE? Aren't we supposed to be setting up camp in Thailand?

We've come home (sooner than anticipated obviously) to sort some things out regarding Bighead's business. It's growing even more rapidly than we'd anticipated which is great! We're not sure how long we'll be back but it's looking like it'll be at least until March/April next year.

Even though we've known for a while that we would be heading home, I'm still quite shell shocked that we're actually here. The last few weeks were such a whirlwind that I'd not put much thought into our return. It feels very strange.

The next few posts will be about our time in Kuala Lumpur, where we spent five days eating up a storm... mmm roti. After that? Not sure, perhaps I'll write some stuff about Welli. You'll just have to wait and see!