Crustacean Bliss

Apart from being an Ubi-holic, I’m also a self-professed Udang-holic and Katam-holic ~ just can’t get enough of prawns and crabs!

So as I subjected the people of Bangkok (again) to the terror of my umpteenth visit recently, I simply couldn’t resist the beautiful blushing grilled prawns on the streets – trapped by unmistakeable wafts of burnt prawn shells (a bit like burnt hair, at times) slowly grilled over charcoal fire that meandered their way up my pollutant-filled nostrils, sending signals of unbridled craving and drooling to my tiny brain.

A kingly portion for a measly 150 Baht (about $6), served with tongue-paralysing hot green chilli sauce – homemade, no doubt.

Fantastically simple, yet superbly delicious!

But why can’t I get the same thing here in Brunei? Ada pulang, but kadang-kadang saja. We have prawns, don’t we? It’s just a wee bit curious that simple and honest foods like this aren’t as easily available as they should be. Allupurinol is just a Doctor’s visit away, afterall.


Dimsum at last!

You’d think with a sizeable Chinese community here in Tutong I’d be reporting on the grand opening of the 30th dimsum restaurant- but no, it’s in fact the first dimsum I’ve ever had in Tutong, and it’s not even a restaurant. It’s actually a foodstall in the Huaho Foodcourt.

Me and the usual gang went there when it first opened some time before puasa, I think, and ordered a fair bit. The usual Siew Mai was there, Chicken feet, Yam basket, Seaweed and all sorts, actually.

But I only ordered Paus or Steamed bread with filling.

This is the standard Pau with Red Bean Paste filling. It’s the equivalent of the Times New Roman in Font-Dom, probably the most boring Pau ever, but I like it.

But I Iike this one more.

This is the Yam Pau, filled, of course, with Yam Paste. This one’s particularly good as it wasn’t too sweet. As an Ubi-holic, this was enough to reduce me to a palpitating maniac, macam baru pernah kejumpahan dimsum. I am easily enticed by colourful foods! *sigh*

I didn’t try any of the other Dimsum dishes that my friends had ordered, mainly because I didn’t feel like it, but also because we’d just had late breakfast at another bloody restaurant down the road. Yet we still ended up in the foodcourt. Must have been the ‘eat-yourself-silly’ belief we hold just before puasa, padahal boleh jua lakat makan tu lepas sungkai.

But anyway, glad to have a dimsum place in town, finally. This pau was quite light yet tasty, although at the back of my mind, I imagine it to have come out of a plastic packet of six, and simply shoved onto the bamboo steaming tray to mask it with a genuine home-made appearance. But I’ll choose to simply enjoy the moment.

ps/ pictures were taken with my new Nokia E72 5.1mp macro. Not half-bad eh?

Of Weird Tastes and Tongues

I don’t really know why I chose that title, nor do I know what the feck it means. But here’s the thing: you come into work, you get drowned in work, you skip breakfast and lunch, get back home at 5pm, but you gotta be at a work-related event at 5.30… you get the idea.

You’re obviously suffering from a severe lack of sugar and whatnot – shaking uncontrollably like a leaf hit by monkey piss . Nantan sa’ buyon! Only one thing to do – raid the fridge!

So, with 20 minutes to spare before I clock in again, I manage to devise what is possibly the worst tea-time combo ever! New York Raisin bagels, toasted and then coated with a generous layer of yeasty Marmite (which I later discovered to be 6 months past the expiry date), washed down with Lemongrass infusion tea. Results: very confused tastebuds, but a fuller belly.

As I speed-eat, and occasionally choke myself to near-death, I am reminded of a comment made by a baju-kurunged Australian colleague of mine where I used to work just a couple of years ago. Irene (which she insisted was pronounced ‘Ai-ri-ni’, and not ‘Ai-reen’) remarked on her bemusement at Bruneians’ weird foods and tastes… this as I gasped in horror as she stuffed herself with Sour Cream Pringles dipped in her mug of morning tea. I could only manage a meek but polite but also puzzled ‘hmm’.

To this day I still don’t fully understand what she was on about…