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Sunday, August 30, 2015

10 Things to Let Go to Make Rooms for Self-Improvement

In life, we have many ambitious desires which are achievable and we persevere stoically to achieve them. We usually have a long wish list such as building a wonderful family, have a supportive lover, a big house, to be a rich billionaire, trips to overseas and etc. Sometimes, things do not come towards our expectation and it feels like the world has turned upside down. I've recently read an meaningful article that we have too many things that we need, want or desire, but we could never make room to own the rest without letting go some things that we shall eliminate. I hope to give myself a birthday gift this year by letting go these 10 things for a healthier, happier and more successful life.

Clear the negative things to make space for things that're worth holding onto.

10 things that cause pain, suffer, unhappiness should be let go to make life less complicated and make rooms for happiness and self-improvement.

1. Prioritize others' thoughts/ opinions over your own self

We spend too much time worrying and thinking about others' thought and opinions or craving for others' attention. We often being influenced by people that we care of and some of them would like to change us to become whom they wish we are. We take the comments, critics, opinions or others more serious than our own inner voice. A change of better self is for our own, not to impress others. Also, we used to think of ways to please or impress others, yet we forget that the true happiness is created by us, not depends on the others' approval/ thought. We shall not forget that the price tag (value) of ourselves depends on how we create for our own. A quote I like very much," Don't make somebody a priority if they only make you as an option".

The purpose of life is to please our own selves and create own "price tag".

2. Grudges

Time and tides awaits for no men, life is short to be spent for grudges. There's often sound advice from surrounding people that we should forgive the wrongdoings and the enemies. Some people do not deserve the forgiveness, however the decision to make a closure for nursing the bitterness is still on our own hands. If we keep overwhelmed with the thought of condoning the enemies, I think it's easier to let go the grudges although struggles happen during this process.

Don't live in the silly drama.

3. The ideal belief of "forever"

When we hold onto some things, we used to have the belief of owning them forever. Neither richness, health, happiness,time, luck, opportunities nor love, none will be there forever. Pretty often, we tend to forget that things are change over the time. In fact, life is full of dramatically changes and almost everything is temporary. Just like there's often sunshine after the thunderstorm. Similarly, the same goes to the downside of life, nothing is as painful as staying stuck somewhere you do not belong. The ideal belief of things will stay forever should be let go, I often remind myself to hold onto the present and appreciate the people who stay around me now.

Live in present and appreciate the current moment.

4. Self-defeating

Psychologically interpretation of self-defeating is a self-protection method after being hurt or when face with difficulties. As the sayings from Eckhart Tolle "The mind is a superb instrument if used rightly. Used wrongly, however, it becomes very destructive.”,self-defeating could prevent us to face the realities stoically. Problem exists and will not lose no matter how much self-defeating talk/ thought are sounded nicer.It's bona fide to say that it's more realistic to acknowledge and admit the weak part of ourselves, pick up the pieces of broken self, re-compile and stand up after the fall.

Storing too much negative things, there's no room for happiness.

You may lose something good, but you could gain better in the future.

5. Procrastination/ lackadaisical attititude

Procrastination is the worst habit I want to let go as the action towards the goals always being delayed. A trainer once told me that the more days you procrastinate, the more days you delay being the one you want to be. This relates to my goal of achieving 50kg weight and it seems so hard to achieve as I am the procrastinator.

Don't take another day of blessings for granted, make use of it!

6. Toxic people

As the word "toxic" sounds, these circle of people which brings negative thought, hatred or uncomfortable feeling, it's best to detached from these kind of people. It's a norm where we used to have these toxic people around us, either in workplace, friend's circle, neighborhood, relatives and etc. There's a book worth reading i.e. " Toxic People: 10 Ways Of Dealing With People Who Make Your Life Miserable" written by Dr. Lilian Glass, with 10 proven techniques for successfully dealing with them, including: Tension-Blowout, Unplugging, Direct Confrontation, Humor, Giving Them Love and Kindness,Mirroring and other techniques. Well, a simple way for us to let go of these toxic people for a simpler life is unplug.

People come into our lives to serve some sorts of purpose, as blessings, as lesson, as a seasonal "Santa Claus" .
Some come into our lives to teach us how to let go.

7.  Setting High Expectations

Have you ever find yourself suffering from the expectations that you set for your own self? The expectations you set have plagued your life, causing sorrow, disappointment, frustration, forlorn and etc. We used to persistently maintaining the expectation even we have clearly understood that these expectations are unrealistic. Also, we usually repeat the same mistakes over time i.e expecting too much from the ones we care. Somehow, I noticed that I used to bewildered by my own expectations, consequently losing confidence and positive mindset whenever the expectation goes against the life-flow.  My dad; a wise man's words "Be in the moment of choices, then value and discover the opportunities rather than trap in the squares of expectations that you have set for yourself.".  On the side note, do we make S.M.A.R.T (Acronym for  Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely) expectations?  Back off to protect ourselves if the expectation (goal) is unattainable.

"Expectation is the root of all heartache"~ William Shakespeare

8. Waiting 

Good things don't come towards yourself. You have to seek for it rather than wait for it to happen. Same goes to opportunities and pursuit of happiness. Although there are articles mentioning that good things are worth waiting for, however the recent tragedies of MH370, MH17 and unexpected accidents have changed my mind. We do not what will happen during the next second, why should we spend time to wait for something that might not happen. Rather than waiting, it's advisable to live in the present, utilize every seconds, minutes and hours now for improving own self or for the important ones such as family and those we love and care.

Always be prepared to reach for the stars!

9. Unnecessary Insecurity

Maslow's hierarchy of needs has portrayed the fundamental needs ranged from physiological needs, safety needs, love and belonging, esteem and self-actualization. With basic needs of food, shelter and clothing are relatively satisfied, we will prioritize on safety needs such as personal safety, job security, health security and etc. Unnecessary insecurity often come from our own judgment, own doubts over ourselves, guessing games and silly drama we created in brain. The consequences of unnecessary insecurity often jeopardize relationships and detrimental to our health. I personally agree that if there's something that causes insecurity constantly, perhaps it's not belonged to you.

Have faith and be positive!

10. Negative Comparisons/ Judgment

One of the most self-blinding and defeating habits that many of us have is the tendency to compare ourselves to others. During young age, the people surrounding used to say" X has better results than you", " your height is lower than Y" , " Z enters a better school than yours" and etc. When age grows, I've the tendency of comparing myself with others via these metrics such as job function, income level, job title and etc. Sometimes, I feel proud of myself for doing better, yet these kind of comparisons used to jeopardize the self-esteem, providing much more fear that " I did not perform better that I thought that I could be".  During the recent training I attended, the trainer had taught us to transform the comparison process to self-evaluation process by learning and taking up the other person's qualities, strength and talents. The self-evaluation process could help reducing jealousy and learn to admit own weaknesses while acknowledging others' accomplishments.

Learn to accept imperfections.

There's always a light shining in the darkness.

We confine by the walls we build ourselves,
let's step out from comfort zone
to grow, to be happier, to free ourselves from negativity, to be successful.

Other articles worth reading: http://thoughtcatalog.com/heidi-priebe/2015/08/7-harsh-truths-that-will-make-you-a-more-powerful-person/ 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Malacca Food Trails- List of Malacca Delicacies that I Tried

Malacca city is the capital of the state of Malacca at the West Coast of peninsular Malaysia. This historical and cultural background of Portuguese, Netherlands (Dutch) and British had contributed this city as a multi-cultural heritage. Malacca had been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in July 2008. Similar to Penang Island, Malacca has many attention-grabbing attractions as well as hosts most of the scrumptious cuisines in the region.

As the Epicurean Journey for Malacca of mine had increased, I had the thought of listing the delectable Malacca cuisines I had tried before. Oh well, I am not an expert foodie that could have elucidation of each food I had tried, but I would give my best description for the following foods later.

Have a peep first!

1. Chicken Rice Balls

Would you be missing out chicken rice and bean sprouts when you visit to Ipoh? Of course not! Similarly, Malacca's chicken rice balls shall not be missed out as well! A quick feed of Hainanese Chicken Rice Balls before strolling along Jonker Street or shopping malls is inevitable.The chicken rice balls are unique to Malacca where the rice were made into sphere shape, creating for workers as portable meals originally.

The famous chicken rice balls shop would be Chung Wah which is easily spotted due to the long queue of food patronizers. Apart of Chung Wah's, I had tried the chicken rice balls at Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Shop and Huang Chang Chicken Rice Restaurant 煌昌海南鸡饭. The former one served chicken rice balls which were warm and the chili are perfectly matched with the rice balls. I like the latter one 's scrumptious chicken rice balls which are on the par with the famous chicken rice shop for its food quality but offering at cheaper price.

2. Satay Celup

I thought of dipping the satay into different type of sauces during the 1st time I heard of the name "Satay Celup". Satay celup is a dish where assortments of raw/ semi-cooked/ processed food (meat, seafood, meatballs) and vegetables which placed on skewers are dunked into a hot boiling pot of satay gravy. Aside of the famous Capitol Satay Celup, the local here had brought me to Ban Lee Siang Satay Celup House for several times.  

ben lee hiang malacca

3.  Satays

Satay is one of my favorite dish in Malaysia. It's not easy to find well-seasoned, skewered and grilled meat served with good peanut satay gravy. Sun May Hiong Pork Satay located at Jalan Kota Laksamana, Melaka has one of the best pork satays I had eaten before. What makes the satay different compared to the others is the peanut dip which has mixed with pineapple inducing sweet-sour-spicy taste of gravy. I hadn't tried ordering other meat satays but most people introduced me to try pork meat instead.


Sun May Hiong Satay House @ Malacca (Non-Halal)
Sun May Hiong Satay House @ Malacca (Non-Halal)
RM0.60 each stock is considered reasonable but I do wish them to increase more meats per stick. 

4.  Putu Piring 

The long queue of the food patronizers in front of Jalan Tengkera had obviously proven the deliciousness of Putu Piring sold here. Round, steamed rice cake with a  mouthful of palm sugar and hugely shredded coconut.The sweetness of putu piring was pleasant and obviously this tasty, sweet putu piring was contributed by its high quality gula melaka.

5. Nyonya Delicacies

Nyonya laksa from Jonker 88 Desserts  had the tastiest Nyonya laksa I had tried in Malacca. Nyonya laksa; the choice of noodles (vermicelli) drenched in the curry gravy with sweet coconut milk and topped with some cucumber and onion slices, beancurd puffs, half slice of egg, and a spoonful of tuna. The assam laksa from Jonker 88 Desserts did not suit my appetite as I preferred Penang's Assam Laksa which had more sourness.

Left to right: Assam laksa, Nyonya Laksa

Apart from the Nyonya Laksa of Jonker 88 Dessert, the ais kacang here worth to be tried too. 

Ais Kacang of Jonker 88 Dessert was much diluted and less aromatic.
Aunty Koh Cendol Melaka Best Cendol  would be a better choice for cendol.

Baba Charlie Nyonya Kuih had most of the delectable Nyonya Kuihs such as Lepat Kacang, Pulut Seri Kaya, Ondeh-ondeh, kuih lapis and etcetera. Among all these yummy kuih, my favorite Nyonya Kuih is lepat kacang and Durian Apom. Be aware that Durian Apom which has Durian as its fillings and it could only be kept within a day unless you keep it in refrigerator. The freshly produced Nyonya Kuih following old age recipes should not be missed when came to Malacca yet I still prefer the Nyonya Kuih in Penang.

Baba Charlie Nyonya Kuih
72 Jalan Tengkera Pantai 2, Melaka Tengah

For Nyonya food, it is highly recommended to ask locals to provide suggestions. You may click here to find out one of the best foods cooked by Baba Nyonya that I had tasted. The exact place was unknown as I couldn't find any food blogger had listed it before. Some said that it's located at old Klebang Squash Court Food Stall while some told me that it's nearby the beach along Klebang. Nasi lemak, ikan cencaru sambal, sambal prawns or sotongs, and kangkung sambal are the main delicacies which cooked by Baba Nyonya. 

Nasi lemak with sambal prawns

Ikan cencaru sambal
Sotong sambal

nyonya dumpling

The winter melon and coriander powder which caused its taste different compared to the ordinary rice dumplings. Apart from blue color externally, the pork fillings are cooked with different seasonings.
I couldn't find words to describe it, but I could say that it's definitely worth savoring!!

Sin Yong Seng
101, Jalan Laksamana Cheng Ho
75000 Melaka
012 – 681 5858

6. Coconut milkshake with ice-cream

Klebang is well-known for its coconut milkshake. A combination of coconut water, flesh of coconuts, ice cubes were blended together in a mixer, then poured into a glass and topped with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream. The natural sweetness came from the coconut mixed with Vanilla ice-cream had made a refreshing drink. It's a simple drink yet you couldn't believe how attractive it is till you see the long queue of people lining up for this coconut milkshake with ice-cream.

7.  Porridge

粥家村 (粥之家) Res Porridge House
Address: No.291, Jalan Melaka Raya 2, Taman Melaka Raya,  75000 Melaka.

Rex Porridge House is a famous restaurant which has operated for 14 years in Malacca. It provides 12 types of porridge such as fish porridge, chicken porridge, minced pork porridge, scallop porridge and etcetera. In addition to porridge, a large range of main and side dishes are available. 

The porridge with tasty minced pork, pork intestines and meat was the first pot of porridge I tried at Rex Porridge House. For me who disliked the taste of pork intestines had been slurping mouthful of these smooth and consistent texture of porridge. It was really delicious.


Clear, smooth porridge with rich ingredients-fish slices.

8. Hing Loong Pork Chop and Spicy Beef Noodles (兴隆台湾面馆)

It's the ultimate combination of exotic spices and epicurean delights with the famous Taiwan noodles at Hing Loong Pork Chop and Spicy Beef Noodles (兴隆台湾面馆). Nah, if you are drooling over Taiwan foods, you shall not miss this out from your foods list!The shop sells mainly fried pork-chop noodles and spicy beef noodles. The owner of the shop is Taiwanese and she is quite friendly as she has personally topped up two slices of fried pork ribs after we talked with her.

The irresistible pork rib noodles
By the way, I still wonder what noodles they have used. Are these soya noodles? Hmm..
irresistible pork rib noodle
The well marinated, crispy and aromatic pork ribs

9. Vermicelli Soup @ Pin Pin Hiong Foodshop

The big crowds could be seen waiting for the food, but the hawkers remained cooking each bowl of mee sua individually in a large wok. I guess this is the way of maintaining the quality and taste of each bowl of mee sua. It's not easy to cook a bowl of mee sua which is flavorful. I had tried few stall before whereby the mee sua absorbs a lot of stock too quickly causing a glob of fat noodles. I gave up ordering mee sua at hawker stall and Pin Pin Hiong Foodshop's mee sua had definitely the best one I had ever tried.

malacca food
The flavorsome broth which cooked with porks' intestines, minced pork, sliced pork, pork liver and etc. I just ordered minced pork/ sliced pork because I didn't favor pork's inner parts.As I sipped spoonfuls of  mee sua, the deep hearty broth warmed my tummy and it's really tasted like home-cooked food.

10. Mille Crepes

Nadeje Patisserie's Mille crepes and tarts are the famous Malacca delicacies which had attracted most food patronizers coming from Malacca itself and other states. Mille crepes is a French cake made from many layers of crepe with the word 'mille' implying thousand layers. 

Well, Nadeje Patisserie's mille crepes are made of 15-20 layers crepes layered with fresh cream and custard. The top crepe of mille crepe is usually sprinkled with sugar and flambéed until the surface caramelises. I had tried few slices of Nadeje Patisserie's mille crepes and tart before and I wouldn't say it's a MUST-TRY delicacy in Malacca due to its long queuing period and the high-end price ( RM 9.50 - RM 12 per slice of mille crepe. Well, it's worth for a try and it tasted best when dining in.

Good ambiance for tea-time

Original flavor mille crepe which is my favorite among the mille crepes I had tried at Nadeje.
Each bite of the vanilla flavored mille crepe yielded a smoky sugar coat with refined layers of crepe and it was less creamy compared to the rest.

Strawberry mille crepe was nothing much special to me.
I hoped Nadeje would come out with Yam flavor mille crepe.
Tiramisu flavor mille crepe
Cheese tart with berries

11. Naan @ Restoran Pak Putra Naan and Tandoori

Another gem of Malacca is Pak Putra Naan and Tandoori which serves Pakistan (North India) culinary. It isn't difficult to spot good food in Malacca as long queue in front of the shop with many tables and chairs around are proven that there's must be reason for the presence of food patronizers. It was a late night where my friends suggested to bring me to have supper after strolling along Malacca beach. I requested for supper which induced lesser calories / fats. I shall revisit this shop for its famous tandoori chicken.

Restorant Pak Putra and Tandoori
Address: Jalan Laksamana 4,Melaka

Here it goes, Naan at Restoran Pak Putra and Tandoori.

A huge round flat bread; Naan which had crispy crust and tasted yummy by just dipping it with the provided sambal or curry.

12.  Asam Pedas Claypot

A big yellow signboard of the shop "Asam Pedas Claypot" was easily spotted when you came to Kota Laksamana. It's similar to Restorant Pak Putra and Tandoori where many tables and chairs are placed around the parking lots to serve food patronizers. A Minangkabau style of spicy and sour dish usually served with your choice of fish such as stingray and mackerel. Asam Pedas beef is available too.

Address: Restoran Kota Laksamana 1, 86, Jalan Laksamana 3,Taman Kota Laksamana,75200 Melaka

The 1st thing you have to do after finding a seat is asking the waiter for the waiting period and place order if the waiting time is reasonable. My asam pedas stingray came after 40 minutes and my stomach was growling out loud due to hunger. It may not be as good as the hype, but it's one of the Malacca delicacies that worth a try and the price is reasonable.

The main ingredients of the asam pedas claypot include my choice of fish i.e. stingray, ladyfingers,  is fish/seafood, ladyfinger, eggplants and tomatoes cooked with asam (tamarind) juice that had condiments of chilies and herbs.

The rice was served with stir-fried cabbages, salted egg and sambal. 

13. Cendols

A tinge of sweetness of desserts are needed after toiling with blood,sweat and tears. The Malacca's famous Bukit Rambai 's cendols  (Aunty Koh Cendol Melaka Best Cendol) had been ranked as one of the top cendols in Malacca.

The perfect ratio of coconut milk and gula Melaka makes it not too sweet. The distinctive taste of Gula Melaka matched with substantial coconut milk and the green starch noodles which were redolent of pandan leaves extract- perfect cendols.

San Shu Gong 三叔公 durian cendol came together with a paper-made container which has durian-shaped cardboard. The durian cendol is refreshingly delicious and rich with durian taste, authentic gula melaka and coconut milk. I personally loved it but my mom had commented that this durian cendol was too sweet for her and lacked of durian taste.

San Shu Gong 三叔公 durian cendol

Pinkberry's durian cendol appeared to be my most favorite durian cendols.

A mound of blended ice with fine,smooth texture drizzled with thick and aromatic palm sugar (gula melaka), undiluted coconut milk and topped with a dollop of durian flesh on top.

14. Tai Bak

Tai bak which was similar like cendol and I would recommend to have this at a stall near Jalan Tengkera. Aunty Koh Best Cendol Malacca has Tai Bak but the local had informed that the authentic one was at Jalan Tengkera. A refreshing Nyonya dessert that's different compared to cendol that I had eaten earlier. It was served with shaved ice and only pandan infused syrup, topped with shredded pink and white cendols; and black grass jelly cubes. The feeling was great by quenching your thirst with the subtle sweet and refreshing tai bak.

The fried foods like fried banana (pisang goreng), fried cempedak, fried keledek and other snacks were the side dishes you could ordered here.

16. Duck Meat Noodles

Perak is famous for Bidor's Duck Thigh Noodles, Malacca has the famous delicacy which is Duck Meat Noodles  which is located at Kedai Kopi and Makanan Soon Yen. Both dry and soup version of duck noodles were available here. The silky, smooth flat noodles were served with thick gravy, bean sprouts and shredded duck meat which were soft and tender. The herbal duck soup had a tinge of spices and herbs.

Malim Jaya's duck meat noodles happened to be different compared to the Kedai Kopi and Makanan Soon Yen's Duck Meat Noodles. The yellow noodles with shredded duck meats tossed in thick,dark gravy mixed with soy sauce and chili paste. The herbal duck soup was flavorful too.

17. Chicken Wings

The chicken wings of Kedai Makanan Chop Beeng Cheong located at Kampung Lapan; Malacca was bought as light dinner during my Malacca visit during Raya celebration. Most of the shops were crowded with long queues, hence we had filled our stomachs with the chicken wings which were well-seasoned with 5-spice powder and grilled till crispy. I hadn't managed to taste the well-marinated chicken wings in KL hawker stall yet.

18.  Seafood

Portuguese Settlement was the place that I loved to visit 2-3 weeks before Christmas Day to view the decoration of Portuguese's homes. When asked about seafood as dinner in Malacca, most would recommend to go to Sea Terrace Seafood, Portuguese Settlement. I had usually dined at the 1st stall of Sea Terrace Seafood, Portuguese Settlement. The crabs were fresh and I loved the black pepper crabs!

Fried battered squids

 Joe’s Only One Mango Juice  * only at  Sea Terrace Seafood *
A mixture of ripe and raw mangoes with a dried sour plum which was added for little hints of salty flavor. It's definitely a refreshing drink that could made you slurping non-stop.

19.  Pastries

The pastries bought at LW Nyonya Pineapple Tarts House  had received positive comments from neighbors and my family. The service here was great as the waiter/waitresses kept providing the sample of pastries for us to try. The crumb of pineapple tart was crunchy and I liked its balanced sweetness. The other pastries such as 老婆饼 、豆沙饼 and etc. were worth to try as well.

20. Herbal Jelly (龟苓膏) @ Chuang Chun Herbal Sdn. Bhd. 长春凉茶馆

Address: No: 10, A & B, Jalan Merdeka, Melaka Raya, 75000 Melaka.

I had to accurately stated that the herbal jelly is definitely not the Malacca cuisine. The reason I included in this blog post was I used to have herbal jelly at this shop after my epicurean journey in Malacca to relieve body's heat. A variety of herbal jelly is available at Chuang Chun Herbal Sdn. Bhd 长春凉茶馆  such as original flavour, menthol flavor, pearl and etc.

Menthol herbal jelly which helps relieving of heatiness, soothing of throat, alleviating of discomfort of smoking and drinking, and diminishing of pimples and acne. I used to have the original and menthol herbal jelly. The firm yet soft texture of herbal jelly is one of the nicest desserts to queench thirst as well.

That's the end of my list of food trails in Malacca and I'm expecting to include more if I have the chance to try other Malacca delicacies such as Portuguese-style grilled fish (Ikan Bakar), Nyonya's Pai Tee, Popiah, BBQ pork rice and etcetera. Apart from Nadeje Patisserie Cafe, Geographer Cafe; Jonker Street happened to be the only cafe I had visited in Malacca.I hoped to have cafe-hopping at the famous cafes in Malacca including Calanthe Art Cafe with coffee from all 13 states of Malaysia, Khaki Coffee Bar, Mods Cafe and so on.

Side Note: The delightful western foods at Kensington Western Fusion Restaurant ; Wok and Pan were worth the pennies spent and you may consider if coming to visit to Malacca.