Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Miss Merdeka 2005!

Today is Merdeka Day or Independence Day in Malaysia. It is also the 48th Merdeka Day since gaining independence from the British in 1957.
So I would like to take this opportunity to wish all Malaysians around the world a happy Merdeka Day, sorry I can't join in the celebration because I'm not a Malaysian anymore...

Nevertheless, I've put together a small poster for all Malaysians for this joyous occasion with Miss Malaysia-Universe herself; Angela Gan! Hope she brightens up your day!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

D24 Premier Malaysian Durian

I've always love eating durians, the king of fruits! No other fruits in the world can compare to it, indeed it lives up to it's reputation with it's pungent aromatic smell some would compare to the smell of garlic, gas or even worse; shit!Nevertheless, I reckon only people growing up in Southeast Asia would appreciate this delicacy, it is just undescriptably tasty, an acquired taste only few could appreciate. The texture of it's mashy flesh swirling in my mouth as I devour it just send me to heaven. I'm drooling just writing about it!

But living in Australia is a disadvantage for durian lover like me; you can't get decent durians here, I used to have to buy frozen ones imported from Thailand but they were never as nice as the ones you eat by the roadside in Malaysia right there where you buy them from the durian vendors!

So imagine my surprise when a friend of mine introduced me to D24 Premier Malaysian Durian! I was a bit skeptical about how tasty this brand of durian at first but I was soon converted, this has got to be the best durian I've ever tasted in Australia! The colour and texture of the flesh is right, the smell, oh the smell of it is intoxicating! And the taste, I give it 2 thumbs up!
Where has this D24 Premier Malaysian Durian been all these years?! I heard not many people know about it just yet but I'm sure it won't be long before everyone is selling them. At the moment you can only get them at The Straits Malaysian Restaurant in Doncaster but I hope to see it in my local asian store soon.

Trust me to go get some now and taste it for yourself, I had most of them that day, the others just don't stack up when eating durians compared to me!

Monday, August 29, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy Birthday to Me! Yes, it's my birthday today so I'm taking a holiday off blogging yesterday to celebrate the day with Terese and friends and today being the official birthday, I'll be resting so no blogging either!

Normal blogging will resume tomorrow so in the mean time, go do something else...Thank you!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Melbourne's own Twin Towers

Melbourne has it's own Twin Towers; it's the Bolte Bridge linking traffic to the Westgate Freeway from the Tullamarine Freeway. It is part of City Link Tollways. The six-lane bridge, subcontracted by City Link head contractor Transurban to Baulderstone Hornibrook, is one the largest balanced cantilever cast in situ box girder bridges in Australia. The superstructure is built as two independent bridges of variable depth, prestressed concrete box girders, separated by a 1.15 m clear gap in the central median. It is supported on five land-based piers, with central pier 3 located on a manmade island. It has four spans with two main spans of 173 m and side spans of 72 m, giving an overall bridge length of 490 m.

The Bolte Bridge is undoubtedly the most glamorous bridge in Australia eventhough it's not as well known as it's Sydney's counterpart; the Harbour Bridge.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Spanish Donuts

There's a trader at the Queen Victoria Market that is doing a roaring trade selling Spanish Donuts.Customers have to queue up for a few minutes before they even get served, the donuts get sold quicker than they can make them. We had to queue up for about 15 minutes because they ran out of donuts and we had to wait for new ones to come out.

Finally the waiting paid off, we bought a bag of seven donuts for $6.00 or you can get one for $1.00 They're sprinkled with icing sugar to sweeten it up and crunchy when it's fresh off the oven. They are a little oily but I'm not complaining, it's nice to have a bit of a treat every now and then.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Queen Victoria Market

The Queen Victoria Market is reputed to the southern hemisphere’s largest open-air market offering a variety of fresh farm produce and, on Sundays, a wider range of merchant items which turn the market into a modern Arabian Nights bazaar.
The Queen Victoria Market is an historic Melbourne landmark and a Melbourne institution dating back to more than 120 years ago.
It hasn’t been just a market. At different times in the past it has been a cemetery, a livestock market and a place to sell fruit and vegetables wholesale. Here we have a huge varieties of cheeses.
More lollies to sink your teeth in.
And fresh fruits and vegetables at low low prices.
There are stalls selling plants like cacti here...
Street performers like this band here from South America...
Playground for the kids...
Sheds full of traders selling anything from clocks... framed pictures; classical or...

The Queen Victoria Market is sited on seven hectares located in two city blocks, the Lower Market bounded by Elizabeth, Victoria, Queen and Therry Sts, and the Upper Market by Queen, Victoria, Peel and Franklin Sts.

The Queen Victoria Market trading hours are 6am to 2pm on Tuesday and Thursday; 6am to 6pm (with the general merchandise section closing at 4pm) on Friday; 6am to 3pm on Saturday; and 9am to 4pm on Sunday.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Satay Inn

Satay Inn is one of a few Malaysian halal restaurants in Melbourne. It is situated on Victoria Street across the road from Queen Victoria Market.We've only been here once last year when my sister and her family were here. I thought the food was quite good then and we thought of having my birthday lunch here this Sunday, so we went and try out the lunch again.
The premise is spacious with 2 shops' spaces combined to be quite comfortably seated.
Terese ordered the curry laksa which was quite good.

I ordered the Hor Fun but I was quite dissappointed, somehow the experience is not as good as the last time. Unfortunately we had to scrap the idea of lunch here this coming Sunday.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Happy Anniversary Dear!

Today is our 12th Wedding Anniversary! 12 years of marital bliss! 12 years of happily married!12 years of "Yes Dear"! 12 years of getting thumped by the missus! No, just kidding. It's been a good 12 years and looking forward to the next 12. I'm a happier man than before I met Terese, not going into details I wouldn't have it any other way.

So, to mark the occasion we were going to go out somewhere for dinner but at the last minute Terese changed her mind and decided to cook up a nice dinner for us at home...
...something quick and simple; lamb steak.
For entree we had pumpkin soup she prepared during the weekend.
Followed by the lamb steak served with mashed potato and butter beans.

And for dessert we had apple pie with ice-cream. Excellent dinner, I'm a lucky man! Cheers!

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Hung On High

High Street in Preston is one of the busiest streets in Melbourne especially on the weekends.It is so busy that the council had to impose the 40km/h speed limit for the traffics going down here.
Hung Vietnamese Restaurant is situated right in the heart of this busy part of Preston. It specialises in "Pho" a vietnamese soup noodle dish that comes with beef or chicken or the special deluxe version that comes with everything.
This is a typical busy Saturday lunch hour at Hung; choke full of people. Apart from the pho dishes, it also has other good vietnamese cuisine and the price is very reasonable. This is one of our frequent restaurants too but today I've come for a quick takeaway lunch for Terese. I managed to find a park not far from the restaurant so I could quickly dashed in to order... of Terese's favourites, Vietnamese Prawn Coleslaw served with prawn crackers and dipping fish sauce. Excellent!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

How To Clean Your Fish Pond

I have a fish pond made of half a wine barrel containing comet goldfishes and water-lily.Problem I have with it is that it gets dirty quite quickly especially during the warmer months when algae forms very quickly, choking the fishes in the pond like what you can see here.
So, to clean the pond out, I have to remove the fishes from the pond and put them in a different container temporarily while I proceed with the cleaning.
First the aquatic plants are removed, water emptied and the pebbles removed.
Then using a nylon brush, I scrub the inside of the barrel to get rid of the algae and slime that's built up inside....
...until it is very clean.
Next I wash the pebbles with high pressure water to clean them thoroughly.
When everything is clean, I put the plants and pebbles back into the barrel.
Water is then put back in, you may add water conditioner at this stage but I've never bother with it because the comet goldfishes that I have are very hardy and can tolerate tap water quite happily.
Lastly the fishes are put back into the water and we get a crystal clear pond again!
Here's a before and after shots of the pond, quite a difference.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Daffodil Day and The Festival of the Hungry Ghosts!

Today is Daffodil Day and it is a day to support those touched by cancer and to focus on hope for a cancer-free future. At the beginning of last century, people with cancer faced almost certain death. Now, thanks to continuing improvement in research and patient care, more than half of them will be successfully treated. This progress is celebrated on Daffodil Day.

Created by the Canadian Cancer Society in the early 1980s, Daffodil Day is now run by cancer charities in seven western countries. The event has given the daffodil international significance as an accepted and positive symbol for the heroic efforts made by cancer patients. So buy a daffodil today to support cancer research. Coincidentally, today is also the day Chinese around the world celebrate The Festival Of Hungry Ghosts when the gate of Hell is open for one day of the year and all the hungry ghosts of Hell take a holiday here in our world!

The festival is currently celebrated with ceremonies at homes, temples, associations, and guilds. Prayers are offered to the dead and offerings of food such as chicken, vegetables, fruits, bean curd and white rice are placed at street corners and roadsides to appease the spirits. This is believed to prevent the wandering spirits from entering their homes and causing disturbances in their households.

Offerings are also made by burning replica money notes, which are also known as ‘hell money’. Some families also burn paper houses, cars and even paper television or radio sets to give to their dead relatives. The Chinese feel that these offerings reach the ghosts and help them live comfortably in their world.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Van Van

I love Vietnamese food and there are heaps of Vietnamese restaurants in Melbourne to go for a good feed. One particular one that I go frequently is Van Van Vetnamese Restaurant.
Situated in the busy Victoria Street of Richmond, this restaurant is one of the best on this street.
The staffs are friendly and helpful but I think I should get to know their names...
Today, doing my round of delivery to one of our clients in the neighbourhood, I quickly dashed in here to order my favourite lunch...
...grilled pork on broken rice garnished with tomato and cucumber! Yum!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Hint Of Spring

What a beautiful day it has been! 18 degrees celsius and sunshine all day long, make me realised how lucky I am to be in Melbourne instead of Malaysia with the recent haze, smog, heat and humidity...Signs of Spring is everywhere, my roses are sprouting new shoots, bulb plants are blooming and temperature is rising...can't wait, sick of winter blues and long freezing nights.
Blue sky, white clouds and sunshine are the order of the day...tomorrow's another great day with forecast of 20 degrees celsius!