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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Kong Kong Tai Son Seafood Resort (2nd time)

The drive to Kong Kong Tai Son Seafood Restaurant isn't that difficult when done during the day, unlike in the night. In fact, it is quite a pleasant drive with a goat farm along the way and scenary like the one below (took it out of the car window). One has just to head in the direction of Pasir Gudang and from there follow the signboards that say Masai, and then, Kong Kong (if both options appear, choose Kong Kong) - you know you are headed in the right direction when you pass the ScienceTek (science tech, I suppose but that's how the word is spelt in Msia) Park.

It was a blazingly hot day when we turned right at the end of the long stretch of dirt road towards the direction of the restaurant. The restaurant looked relatively empty at about 12pm but it quickly filled up around 1pm with large groups of families (including Malay familes so I suppose this restaurant is halal). We asked for a table in the air-conditioned area but were told that we could not have the same unless we spent RM300 at the restaurant. Bugger that.

So we ended up sitting on the outdoor deck with a fan blowing directly at our table and enjoying the view from our table per the pic below.

First up, the sambal kang kong. The Slog Reviews: 8/10. A rather generous helping of fresh greens for just RM6. However, nothing remarkable about the dish. Will try another veg dish the next time.

The next dish, my food companion's favourite - herbal prawns. At RM 8 per 100gm, we ordered 400gm of prawns which they caught before our eyes and weighed. The Slog Reviews: 9/10. A must order if one loves fresh succulent sweet prawns. No wonder prawns make such effective baits - a sweet morsel for both man and fishes alike! This dish was done so well that my food companion has been bugging me to go back for more but alas, my weekends are fully packed.

The only dish which we were entirely not satisfied with was the mantis prawn. The restaurant insisted that we had to order 2 of the creatures as the kitchen would not cook one. Having no choice in the matter, we selected 2 mantis prawns, each about 150gm and asked the restaurant to cook them in the style they deemed best. And this, this below is what they came up with. The Slog Reviews: 6/10. There was so little meat in the mantis prawns and this method of cooking the prawns did not bring out the flavor of the prawns at all. In fact, having the prawns steamed brought out the hideous purple color of the creatures which was quite an appetite killer. So far, the best way of cooking mantis prawns seems to be the way this restaurant cooked it for me at Kota Kinabalu which made the dish (fried with salt or chilli) a delight.

There was a promotion for the lala at only RM 8.80 so we had those fresh out of the tanks too. The Slog Reviews: 8/10. Order these if not anything else if you are a shell lover. We had them fried with chilli and they were so fresh and mouthwateringly good!

And no, I'm not done yet. It's amazing how much 2 people can put away but my food companion being a fellow seafood lover wanted to have crabs too and at RM8 per 100gm, we ordered 2 of the crabs cooked in black pepper. The Slog Reviews: 8/10. Freshly caught from the tanks, stir fried with spicy black pepper, white soft sweet flesh contrasting with the slightly fiery taste from the pepper - just one word. Order!

Below, a pic taken (as usual with my Sony Ericsson W995) of all the dishes that 2 of us put away that afternoon - note that 4 out of the 5 dishes were live seafood dishes.

And the price of the seafood feast which was fresh right from the tanks? See the receipt below inclusive of 3 cans of coke, fruit juice, rice, peanuts and towel - only, and I mean, ONLY RM 141.60 which equates to SGD 60. Msia Boleh indeed! :D

Eating everything I've caught at a go - Ebek, Sotong and Prawns

If anyone wondered what happened to the large GT that I caught (click here for the catch report), it has become the bane of my fishing existence. I'm not kidding. My mum has found a way to punish me for the loads of fish I bring home and stack in her freezer past midnight - like a Santa Claus with a sack of wet smelly fishes. No matter how late it is, I clean up as best as I can, quite fearful of my mother's wrath. But there is no escaping - she has been complaining that she is sick and tired of eating fish. At first, I could not understand, my mind failed entirely to comprehend how any human being could possibly be tired of this wonderous gift that God had given to mankind - fish! And then, my mother started to feed me fish every single day and on the weekends, fish for both lunch and dinner until, thick as my skull may be, I am enlightened as to why my fellow anglers give away their catches quite willingly!

The first fish that my mother cooked was the GT/Ebek in curry. This is a close up pic of one quarter of the fish (head portion) chopped up and cooked with coconut curry. After having cooked the cobia, tripletail and parrotfish to date, my mum likes the Ebek best. And it is indeed delicious - and guess what - it isn't for sale in Singapore or even JB markets - oh well, even if it was, my freezer is quite stuffed with Ebek meat still.

My mum also took it upon herself to cook the sotongs which I'd caught earlier (click here for the catch report) but since I absolutely detest the taste of squid, I didn't have any of it. It's strange why I like catching sotong even though I don't eat the same - sotongs never put up much of a fight either - it's just a dead weight at the end of the jig. And the mess they make! I just bought a squid jig for RM 44 and it's going to be my deadliest weapon in the squid killer arsenal when I go eging again with my fishing shifu - the weapon of last resort. The last fishing trip at Rompin, I had no problems landing 2 sotongs on a SGD 4 orange (that's the color to use at Rompin) jig but because the set up was different (a very heavy weight was used), jigging got too tiring for me and I went back to just bottom fishing.

But I digress - my mother, in addition to both the fish and squid, also cooked the rest of the prawns which I'd caught in my earlier prawning/prawn fishing forrays. Gosh, it has been some time since I've felt the urge to go prawn fishing but even if I get struck by the urge, my mother's method of making me eat all my catches is quite a deterrent indeed. Bah.

And here is a pic of my mum's cooking for dinner - all the different categories of catches (fish, prawns and squids) at a go including a pork meat dish and a veg dish.

I love my mother and her cooking but I do say - anyone wants any fishes? I'll keep you in mind the next time I go fishing!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Tripletail - Dirty fighter!

There is no doubt about it - what I am holding in my hand is one of the dirtiest fighters I've come across. And the what happens to be the largest TripleTail of this fishing trip which took my bait - we didn't have a boga with us so we could not get the exact weight of this fish but our experienced boatman and deckie estimated this fish to weigh at least 3kg. 3kg of pure muscle.

Now, I would not have managed to land this triple tail at all if not for the man in the picture below - the deckie whom we addressed as "Abang" (brother, in Malay). He is without doubt, the most hardworking and experienced deckie that I have come across. There was a mild feeding frenzy going on at the rear of the boat when I felt the tap tap on the end of the line at the bait and after counting silently to 8, I struck hard to set the hook. Immediately, the reel starting singing as the line peeled off and despite tightening the drag on Mr Brad, I kept losing line to whatever it was at the end of the line. I was tempted to set full drag but at the rate the line kept peeling off, to do so might be folly as the creature on the other end appeared to have enough strength to snap off the line. And while I was debating whether to set full drag or not, the singing stopped abruptly and when I tried to retrieve the line...only to find out that it was STUCK. As if sungkot (stuck between rocks/corals or caught on the ropes in the water). I was all of like, damn damn, and even the deckie agreed that this was a lost cause. Because of the expensive leader and complicated knot used to join both leader and line, I asked him not to cut line but to retrieve for me as much of the line as he could. So using a towel, he slowly retrieved the line for me by pulling the line towards the boat by hand while I cranked Mr Brad. Guess what, my set up ( 50lb leader and 40lbs braid and 2 knots (main to leader and leader to knot) was amazingly strong enough to withstand the pressure to pull the entire boat towards the spot where it appeared that my hook was sungkot. When we peered at the area where it appeared that my hook was, we realised that the triple tail was actually among the unjung (ropes in the water) and it had lodged itself firmly amongst the ropes and leaves in the water. Everyone hushed as the boatman used the landing net to scoop up the complacent tripletail which was snug in the unjung. Hah! We beat the fish!

Dirty fighter indeed, much like groupers which head straight for the holes in the corals once hooked! However, combined with the fight and strength of a seabass (kim) (unlike groupers which mostly give up once you get them out of the hole and do not go for runs), the tripletails are great fighting fishes if not dirty fighters towards the end. Do not estimate the strength of a triple tail ever - it has more fight in it than a cobia!

The most important thing when fishing for tripletails is having a boatman experienced enough to have his own private spots (where he plants unjungs) and who knows what kind of bait triple tails take. I read on the net that tripletails take shrimps but not the tripletails at these spots. I used shrimp to test out the theory and got no hits at all but the moment I used bloody fish meat from certain bait fishes (tripletails can be fussy eaters), the takes by the fishes came almost non-stop. There is the tap tap one would feel on the bait, then one should count to 8 and strike hard to set the hook. We caught almost 3 bags full of triple tails (see pic above) - talk about fantastic fishing!
We? Yes, the 4 of us here on Mike's boat - my colleagues and one honarary member (nephew of 1 of my colleagues) who is holding the large triple tail I caught and who has therefore reduced me to holding one of the smaller triple tails pulled from the 3 sackfuls. Talk about great fishing indeed at Rompin! :) When it came to fish distribution time, I specifically requested for the largest triple tail I caught so I could bring it home to show my mother. And here it is at about 2am in the night. The fish was so big that it could not fit into the sink properly and had to be laid diagonally across. The nokia phone in the picture was placed there to give an idea of the size of the fish.

And below are some of the other triple tails I brought back too after the fishes were distributed amongst the 8 of us anglers. If you have been wondering why the fish is called a triple tail, just look at the position of the fins on this fish - doesn't it look like a 3 leaf clover ie triple tail?
I'm hoping to get more of these fellows on the next fishing trip which is next week but it's off to Bali first until 1st June 2010!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Shrek Forever After (2010) Movie

This movie is the fourth and final movie in the Shrek series where a new villian, Rumpelstiltskin is introduced, aided by broom-flying witches and an assassin, the Pied Piper. Rumpel wants to take over the kingdom of Far Far Away and Fiona's parents almost sign away the kingdom away to him in exchange for Rumpel breaking Fiona's curse (orgre by night) but Shrek saves the day. The movie then cuts to Shrek leading a domestic life with Fiona where life seems to be a routine of baby burps, farts and entertaining friends and family. It gets all too much for Shrek one day at his children's first birthday party where the pigs have eaten the cake, and he loses his temper, pounding a giant fist in the substitute birthday cake. Fiona follows him as he stalks out and reminds him that he has 3 lovely kids and a wife who loves him. Rumpel who is hiding in the bushes then stages an accident where Shrek rescues Rumpel and they share a drink or two in the carriage. Rumpel then offers Shrek the chance to be an ogre for a day in exchange for any day of Shrek's childhood. Shrek agrees without thinking and is seen to enjoy letting his orgre self out and terrorising the villagers. However when he reaches back home, he finds that Fiona and his children are gone. He is then captured by witches who take him to Rumpel in a carriage drawn by donkey who clearly doesn't recognise Shrek. Shrek confronts Rumpel who is now king of Far Far Away and Rumpel admits he took the day that Shrek was born which meant that Shrek never saved Fiona and he never had kids. Also, at the end of this day, Shrek would dissolve into nothingness. Shrek refuses to back down, breaks free, hops on a witch's broomstick and snatching donkey, flies out of the palace. Donkey tells him that there is a way to break the contract signed with Rumpel and after folding the paper that the contract is signed on, discover that it forms 3 words "True love's kiss". They interpret that to mean that Shrek and Fiona must kiss for the contract to be rendered void. Quite co-incidentally, both of them are captured by a band of rogue ogres when Donkey is unable to resist eating a plateful of waffles dripping with honey in the middle of the forest. The band of rogue ogres is led by Fiona who does not recognise Shrek and spurns all his attempts to get her to kiss him. Fiona plots an attack on Rumpel who will be passing by the forest but Rumpel sends a decoy and the Pipe Piper who plays a tune rendering all the ogres helpless. Fiona and Shrek too dance to the tune but Puss in Boots (whom Shrek meets at Fiona's tent) and Donkey carts them away. Shrek tells Fiona things about her that only he would know and she allows him to kiss her. However, at the end of the kiss, nothing happens. Fiona walks away and is eventually captured by Rumpel together wtih the rest of the rogue ogres. Shrek surrenders himself to Rumpel in exchange for the freedom of the ogres but Rumpel does not let Fiona go because she is not a true ogre. He also gets her nemesis, the fire breathing dragon to attack both Shrek and Fiona. Both of them coordinate spectacularly to chain the dragon and capture Rumpel. Shrek then falls to the ground, his body fading to gold because the 24hrs are almost up and he is to fade to nothingness. Fiona kisses him and the curse is broken because this is indeed true love's kiss as opposed to a kiss without love. Shrek is then brought back to the day of the party just before he smashes the cake and he doesn't smash the cake this time but appreciates everything that he has.

The Slog Reviews: 10/10. A typical feel-good movie filled with laughs ("Ri="don"culous) and where it is clear that good will prevail over evil.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Superfreakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

I was #47 on the reservation list and I picked it up only...erh, 3 weeks ago? Now the book is due tomorrow and I can't renew it because other people have reserved the same and I am barely through with it. Not that it isn't as great a read as Freakonomics which I reviewed here but because I have been, to use then law-firm parlance "swarmed". With work of course but also with all the fishing and travelling - and it's going to be this way till October.

The Slog Reviews: 10/10 for this book's contents and also for the writing which engages the reader with its light, friendly and informative style. In its explanatory note, the authors said that their previous book had a unifying theme afterall - "People respond to incentives". In this book, using statistics/accumulated data, the authors present theories/conclusions which may change or at least challenge the beliefs and norms that we hold dear.

For eg, from this book we learn that

1. Drink driving is safer than drunk walking in USA (except that a drunk walker isn't likely to hurt or kill anyone other than himself cf drunk drivers)

2. There is good reason to be skeptical of data from personal surveys. There is often a vast gulf between how pp say they behave and how they actually behave (declared preferences and revealed preferences).

3. When the solution to a given problem doesn't lay right before our eyes, it is easy to assume that no solution exists. But history has shown again and again that such assumptions are wrong.

4. Women earn lesser than men. Even Harvard women. Further, a considerable amount of research has shown that overweight women suffer a greater wage penalty than overweight men. The same is true for women with bad teeth. However, there is one labor market which women have always dominated: prostitution. Since time immemorial and all over the world, men have wanted more sex than they could get for free. Wages are determined in large part by the laws of supply and demand which are often more powerful than laws made by legislators. The greatest competition to a prostitute is a woman willing to have sex with a man for free and sex outside of marriage was much harder to come by and carried significantly higher penalities than it does today. However, the prostitution market still thrives because men hire prostitutes do do things a girlfriend of wife would never be willing to do.

5. In the business world, to price discriminate, some customers must have clearly identifiable traits that place them in the willing to pay more category and the seller must be able to prevent resale of the product, thereby destroying any arbitrage opportunities.

6. A realtor and a pimp perform the same primary service: marketing your product to potential customers. The Internet is proving to be a pretty powerful substitute for the Realtor.

7. While gender discrimination may be a minor contributor to the male-female wage differential, it is desire - or the lack thereof - that accoutns for most of the wage gap. 3 main factors: Women take fewer finance cources. All else being equal, there is a strong correlation between a finance background and career earnings. Women work fewer hours than men. Women take more career interruptions than men. Female MBS with no children work 3% fewer hours than the average male MBA but female MBS with children work 24% lesser.

8. It is no exaggeration to say that a person's entire life can be greatly influenced by the fluke of his or her birth, whether the fluke is one of time, place or circumstances.

9. Mastery arrives through deliberate practice. Deliberate practice has 3 key components: setting specific goals, obtaining immediate feedback and concentrating as much on technique as on outcome. When it comes to choosing a life path, people should do what they love because if you don't love what you're doing, you are unlikely to work hard enough to get very good at it.

10. What are the characteristics of the best doctors? An excellent doctor is disproportionately likely to have attended a top-ranked medical school and served a residency at a prestigious hospital. More experience is also valuable and oh yes, you also want your ER doctor to be a woman.

11. Human behaviour is influenced by a dazzlingly complex set of incentives, social norms, framing references, and the lessons gleaned from past experience - in a word, context. We act as we do because given the choices and incentives at play in a particular circumstance, it seems most productive to act that way. This is also known as rational behaviour which is what economics is all about.

12. Most giving is impure altruism or wam glow altruism. U give not only because u want to help but because it makes u look good or feel good or perhaps feel less bad.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Driving to Rompin and Restoran / restaurant Rompin Bahru

The last fishing trip, I took 3 and a half hours to drive from Singapore Customs to Mersing (7 to 10.30pm) and another one hour to get to the fishing chalet at Rompin. The reason was because of the heavy traffic jam in JB going in the direction of Tebrau City and also the number of cars on the road heading to and fro Mersing. However, when I drove back on a weekday night (not Fri), the traffic was much better and I took only 2 hours and 15mins in my vios to drive from Kuala Rompin to JB Customs despite the winding road, 3 pax and 2 large ice boxes in my cars and never having seen the road before in the day.

I have been bringing my 2 new groups of fishing kakis to restoran lei huat at Mersing which I was introduced to on the Pekan light jigging trip. Not because the food is very good but because by the time one gets to Mersing, there aren't very many choices left. The restaurant stops serving food about 10.45pm though and the ambiance of the place (no air con) and toilets remind one of a coffeeshop in Singapore in the 1960s. The hor fun at RM4 is pretty edible and filling I must say and is the ideal choice for a quick dinner before going on to Rompin or Pekan.

One knows one is at Kuala Rompin when one sees this giant marlin statue. Be warned though that after Mersing en route to Kuala Rompin, there is a bridge which one has to go across where there are lots of people fishing along the sides of the bridge, and right after the bridge, there is a traffic police roadblock (both times about 11pm on a Fri night) and the police may ask to see one's driving license.

Anyway, I saw this signboard of Restoran Rompin Bahru outside 7-11 and took a pic of it, never realising that this would be the restaurant I would be eating at all the time for breakfast and dinner when at Rompin or Nenasi.

Here is a pic of the restaurant in the day. It opens pretty early apparently about 7+am and they serve toasted bread, kampong eggs, wanton mee, porridge or meat buns for breakfast. The lady boss speaks English, Chinese and Malay fluently and is very helpful and pleasant (pleasant on the eye too!)

On my first visit to the restaurant (for dinner), she recommended the lotus soup. The Slog Reviews: 9/10. Everyone at the table raved about how good the soup was - it came with lotus roots, peanuts and chicken meat (and chicken feet).

We also ordered the fried chicken, sotong dish, and the restaurant cooked the two of the many fishes that we had caught during the day - one grouper and one parrot fish. The sotong dish apparently is a huge draw and all the times I've eaten there with different groups of friends, all of them have polished each and every morsel of this dish. The kangkong is average though and the chicken dish slightly below average.

Here is a close up of the parrot fish dish. Apparently, it is not possible to buy this fish at all in Singapore markets and this was the first time that I had parrot fish. The Slog Reviews: 10/10. Sweet succuluent tender white fish meat. It can't compare with cod or salmon of course but if you think that grouper meat is delicious, we had both grouper and the parrot fish at the same seating and the parrot fish meat tastes 10 times better than the grouper's. This restaurant does a fantastic job of cooking both the grouper and the parrot fish (steamed in the same source) by the way.

So where previously I'd always been most delighted to catch a nice greasy grouper, I'm beginning to hope for parrot fishes each fishing trip. Not that I'm dissing a greasy grouper which is amongst the most expensive fishes but I would sure like the Bradmis to land me one big fat parrot fish the next fishing trip. My freezer currently has about 4 groupers, one of which is this one below which I landed on the Bradmis - time to stock the freezer with parrot fishes instead!

Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice Restaurant near NUS

Lim Seng Lee Duck Rice Restaurant sells the famous teochew boneless duck and I'd been eating there since my law school days in NUS. Almost a decade later, I'm still eating at this restaurant once every 2 months or so because my boss (also from NUS) loves the food there.

The day I was to drive up to Rompin, we went to the restaurant for lunch and as usual, parking there was a real challenge - I handed my keys over to the restaurant's helper who specialises in helping customers to park their vehicles for them. As usual, during lunch time, the restaurant was pretty packed with the lunch time crowd. I'm not sure about accessibility by buses but the restaurant is located at the start of pasir panjang road (one should exit at the Science Park Exit on the AYE, keep left while making the exit and at the first traffic light, turn right to go down the long winding road. The drive is worth it, trust me and one should eat at this restaurant at least once in one's life.

We had duck meat of course. The Slog Reviews: 9/10. Mouth watering boneless tender duck that is served together with fresh slices of cucumber. The gravy is of the right consistency and taste. One has a choice of rice or porridge and one can ask for more gravy which comes in a seperate bowl. While I wouldn't make this my last dish on earth, the duck here ranks second in my books behind Xiao Dian Er's duck dishes.

We also had 2 plates of sambal kangkong per the picture below. The Slog Reviews: 7.5/10. The kangkong is fried light and crispy and not soggy but has quite too many stems and too little gravy. Not a must try item.

The restaurant also sells eggs, innards/liver but this time we decided to have the prawn dish (see pic below). The Slog Reviews: 7.5/10. While the gravy was somewhat lipsmackingly tasty, the prawns did not taste fresh or sweet and were rather shrivelled and small in size. The cost of the dish was prohibitively expensive too for such quality and I wouldn't recommend this dish.

So before we left, I decided to ta pao (take away) what was good which was the boneless duck and have that for dinner since I was leaving straight from the office to go to Rompin. The cost of the package of duck meat rice below was SGD 4. The Slog Reviews: 7/10. The duck meat needs to be eaten at the restaurant with loads of gravy. The difference between eating warm/hot duck dishes and a packet of duck rice which has turned slightly cold is huge! Do not take away from this restaurant but eat there instead if you want to enjoy the full flavor of the duck.

For those who want to call or visit the restaurant, the details such as the full name, address and contact number of the restaurant is printed on the cover of each takeaway packet (see the pic below).

The Blind Side (2010) Movie

My colleague recommended this movie to my boss and me and by sheer co-incidence I had bought the DVD but hadn't watched it yet. My colleague said that the movie was a must-watch and was about the power of helping others. I lent the DVD to my boss who opined later that the movie was not quite believable. Surprised by the differing views from the 2 legal birds, I decided to watch the movie this weekend.

For the reason behind the movie's title and a really good and concise summary of what the movie is about, click here.

The Slog Reviews: 8.5/10. I'd known that Sandra Bullock had swept a number of prestigious acting awards for her role in this movie so I was watching out for her acting and even I, a layman, was blown away by her protrayal of a plucky wealthy upper-class white woman with a heart big enough to take in a large young black man who hadn't a place to call home. The film contrasted the "haves" and the "haves-not" with the protrayal of a wealthy white family living in a palatial home and being a real family in every sense of the word where the parents are involved actively in the children's lives and the family is shown to spend quality family time together. On the other hand, Big Mike never even had his own bed till he moves in with this family, he was taken away from his drug-using mother and moved from foster home to foster home where he ran away each time to look for his mother. He sleeps on friends' couches for the nights as his mother has been evicted out of the housing projects, and has no clothes except for those that he has in a small plastic bag. When Sandra Bullock's character first meets Mike, he is trudging in the rain heading for the school gym because there is heating there. It truely is heartbreaking to know, that this is the reality for some people out there - that they do not even have a bed, a place, a family, all the basics we have taken and still take forgranted or worse, as if we were entitled ( a sense of entitlement) to all that we have. With this show which is based on a true story, one is reminded of how rich one is (not in terms of wealth alone but in relationships, families) and how we should be reaching out to those whom fate has dealt a harsher hand from birth.

And this part of the movie, an essay written by Michael Oher, stayed me long after I'd finished watching the movie.

"Courage is a hard thing to figure. You can have courage based on a dumb idea or mistake, but you're not supposed to question adults, or your coach or your teacher, because they make the rules. Maybe they know best, but maybe they don't. It all depends on who you are, where you come from....That's why courage it's tricky. Should you always do what others tell you to do? Sometimes you might not even know why you're doing something. I mean any fool can have courage. But honor, that's the real reason for you either do something or you don't. It's who you are and maybe who you want to be. If you die trying for something important, then you have both honor and courage, and that's pretty good. I think that's what the writer was saying, that you should hope for courage and try for honor. And maybe even pray that the people telling you what to do have some, too. "

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Fishes that I have caught since 2009 (This entry will be constantly updated)



- on the Bradmis (click here)
Gar Fish
- in Langkawi on Rapala lure (click here)
Giant Trevalley / Ebek
- on the Bradmis (click here)
- on the Bradmis (click here)
- in Langkawi on Rapala lure (click here)
- on the Bradmis (click here)
Todak (click here)
- on the US Penn Reel "sabiki-ing" (click here)
Triple Tail
- on the Bradmis (click here)
- in Phuket trolling (click here)



Giant Mekong Catfish
- at Bungsaram in Bangkok (click here)
Giant Siamese Carp
- in Phuket (click here)
- in Krabi (click here)
Grass Carp
- in Shenzhen (click here)
- in Shenzhen (click here)
- in Bangkok (click here)
- in Phuket (click here)
- in Kota Kinabalu (click here)
Peacock Bass
- in Singapore (click here)
Red-tailed Catfish
- in Phuket (click here)

Cobia porridge and my first taste of tripletails

After all the fishing, especially last week's, my house's freezer is full of fishes, my car smells slightly fishy and I can't get the smell of blood and fish out of my nose. I've also eaten so much fish that I've got fish coming out of my ears. And all this is after me and my mum having given some of the fish away.

Anyway, I got to eat some of my catches today for lunch and for dinner. My mother was intrigued by the tripletails which the boatman had advised that we fillet and fry and which I had read on the net should be fried with batter. As such, she cooked not one or two but three of the many tripletails I'd caught (click here to read the catch report) for lunch - 1 medium sized one and 2 smaller ones. She also cooked a whole bowl of the prawns that I'd caught on one of my prawning trips more than a month ago.

I thought the fishes looked really strange (see the close up pic I took below), nothing like what I'd caught and then I realised why - the triple tails - the anal and dorsal fins as well as the fishes' tails were missing. When I asked my mum about this, she told me that there was so much fish in the freezer and the tails take up unnecessary space so she asked the fishmonger to cut all the tails off. I'm not sure if the groupers and snappers are now missing their tails too!

The flesh / meat of a triple tail is said to be white (see pic below) and without smell (ie doesn't taste fishy). My mother fried both these fishes with curry powder which lent the fish some taste because the meat certainly wasn't sweet or succulent but rather ordinary. The kind that really needs to be fried with batter and eaten with chilli or mayo.

As for the larger tripletail, my mum fried it and put it in some gravy she made out of dark sauce, sugar etc. I didnt like the taste of the gravy very much although she did and as I'd said earlier, the tripletail flesh doesnt have any taste so much depends on the sauce it is cooked in and the condiments.

For dinner, my mother cooked some of the cobia I'd caught in a soup with fish maw, veg and mushrooms. And wow, let me just say that I would rather catch another cobia again than a tripletail if I were catching to eat (the fight of the tripletail, as per my catch report here is better). The meat of the cobia is tender and sweet and although my mum didnt cook the meat in thick warm porridge which is the recommended cooking method for cobia meat, we added rice to the soup and it was extremely good! :)

Lucky by Jason Mr@z

I was at Timbre late last night knocking back a couple of drinks with friends when the live band belted out the song "Lucky" by Jason Mr@z. Everyone at the table, no, the whole place started swaying, humming, nodding their heads or mouthing the words to the song.

And I couldn't get the song out of my head so here I am at 2am listening to it on youtube.

"As the world keeps spinning round
You hold me right here right now

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been"

How romantic is that!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

My first ebek - the Ebek / GT that broke Mr Brad's virginity - and first Cobia

Remember me bringing Mr Brad and Ms G-Loomis together and promising some bashing good times ahead? (click here if you don't) While Ms G-Loomis was sadly second-hand, Mr Brad was brand new and in sore need of having his virginity broken so I paired both of them together and a very powerful and lethal combination they made indeed.

The very first fish that I caught with the Bradmis (short for Mr Brad and Ms G-Loomis) was a big ebek (giant trevally) off the coast of Pahang on an offshore trip. 3 of the 4 people at the front of the boat got hit with an ebek each and I was at the middle of the boat with my line running out almost to the bottom when I felt a powerful take at the end and Mr Brad started to shriek in short bursts, just like a woman. Ms G-Loomis was powerful (she should be, given her price tag) and bent only slightly over during the process but there were times when I could do nothing but hold on to Mr Brad as the line spun off him while the ebek fought in the water to get away. However, the Bradmis held true and we landed the ebek.

Here is a close up pic of the ebek caught by the Bradmis with the boga hanging from its mouth.

And yet another picture of me struggling to lift my prize to the position I wanted in the picture above. The weight of the fish and the fight robbed me of almost all my arm strength...almost, not all.
The gym sessions with the weight machine certainly paid off well enough because I managed to hoist the ebek up per the pic below. This is my first ebek and I've dreamt of catching one since the last light jigging trip up in Pekan where I left empty handed. And the Bradmis realised my dream with its very first fish. How about that! It wouldn't do for Mr Brad's virginity to be broken by something so non-dramatic like a 2kg grouper or snapper or sweetlips which are found in the waters here, oh no, that isn't the Bradmis's style. Talk about losing your viriginity in the biggest possible loudest most dramatic way - with an ebek!

And later that afternoon, to prove that the ebek wasn't a one off chance and that the Bradmis was capable of having a go at it, the Bradmis landed me another of the largest fish of the fishing trip when I was using my other rod and reel to get some bait fish with the sabiki. I'd left the Bradmis on the rod stand when Ms G-Loomis bent sharply as if she was seasick and hurling and then Mr Brad started to sing his high pitched song. I dropped the other rod and reel quickly and struggled to extract the Bradmis from the rod holder (the pressure of the fish taking off caused the rod to press against the holder). And then it was a good short fight with the first and only cobia of the fishing trip. The Bradmis held firm and true and the cobia gave up after 10 mins. Here's a pic of me and my first cobia. They say that the meat of the cobia can be used to cook one of the sweetest and best porridge around. Looking forward to that!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Mother's Day 2010 - Restoran Pekin at Tmn Sutera

My mother had mentioned that she wanted to go Genting and I was all ready to take her to Genting for Mothers Day during the Mothers Day weekend this year given the number of points I'd chalked up playing the jackpot machines the past 2 times this year.

As it turned out, my mum changed her mind at the very last minute and so I decided to take her on a weekend jaunt to JB instead and buy her Mothers Day lunch at Desaru. However, because I needed to get some fishing tackle for the fishing trip and I wanted to buy durians, I ended up taking her to Restoran Pekin at Tmn Sutera which I'd been for dinner once before.

I hadn't realised how big the restaurant is until that day because I usually park near Carrefour at Tmn Sutera and walk to the restaurant from the mall which is connected to the restaurant. This time, parking was full so I parked near the restaurant and I realised that the restaurant has tanks full of live fishes (including one huge grouper) outside. Service was very good and even though there were 3 of us only, we were quickly shown to a table big enough for 8 because we were next in line. The restaurant was relatively crowded with large families but the restaurant managed the customers' needs very well and the servers were very attentive.

At the recommendation of the server who had waited on us, the first dish we ordered was the bbq pork ribs which was amongst the specials of the day. The cost was RM 5 per pax and the dish below cost RM 15. The Slog Reviews: 9/10 for presentation and taste. The meat was fresh and the skin gently warm and slightly crispy. What gave the dish extra oomph was the sweet sauce that came with it. The restaurant was most obliging when we asked for more of the sauce to go wtih the bbq pork ribs. Thumbs up.

I also ordered the same dish that I had the last time with a friend - the speciality egg but a medium sized helping for the 3 of us given how much my companion loves egg dishes. The restaurant maintained its standards and like the last time, this dish was awesome (and made even more awesome at only RM 15). The Slog Reviews: 10/10. This dish is full of chicken, mushrooms, eggs all cooked to tender perfection with the right mix of moisture to the dish. A must order, esp for egg lovers!

I had initially ordered cereal prawns but my mum vetoed the idea and said that we should have drunken prawns if we were going to have prawns. And, Mother was Right. The Slog Reviews: 10/10. The soup that the prawns came in was the best I'd ever had for for this dish. Although the dish was a bit pricy at RM38 for a small portion, the prawns were so fresh, firm and sweet and the soup tasted fantastic with a capital F. I would order this dish again without a doubt. The only drawback is that like all good things in life, there wasn't very much soup and when we asked for more, the restaurant explained nicely that they could not give us more soup.

While I am not a chicken lover (not a white meat gal), my mother's favourite meat is chicken so we had the cheese-baked chicken too. I can't remember if we ordered a small or medium portion but the cost was RM18 and there wasn't very much of it (See the pic below). My mother claimed that this dish wasn't challenging to cook when it came but after she'd eaten a bite of it, she said that this dish was cooked to cheesy perefction - not a single burnt part of the cheese which was spread and melted evenly over the tender chicken. The Slog Reviews: 9/10.

After the meal, we were a bit thirsty because the weather was boiling hot and I suggested dessert. The mango sago was RM 5 while the honeydew sago was RM3.50. The Slog Reviews: 7/10. A bit too sweet for my liking - one can almost taste the sugar. Would advise trying another dessert.

Below is a pic of all the dishes we had on the table :)

And guess what the total cost of the meal was....seriously...my jaw fell when I got the bill! I think I'm going to move to Malaysia already. For a meal at such a nice restaurant with such good service and food, the price is unbeatable. Do go to Restorant Pekin at Tmn Sutera if you are around the area. I think it is one of the places with the best Chinese food in JB. However, be warned though that they do not serve dim sum at all, not even for lunch.