Monday, January 31, 2011

Pasar Malam (Night Market) @ Brinchang, Cameron Highlands

 (Pictorial Post)

The night market (Pasar Malam in Malay) is a must-go attraction in Cameron Highlands and most travellers plan it in their itinerary for a visit. 

Even for me, patronising this weekend pasar malam as-and-when-i-like is a strong enough reason for me to stay in the little town named Brinchang, instead of the nicer and less crowded resort hotels further away.

Though we have pasar malams in Singapore that offer a larger variety of products, the general feel is different. The weather is a major contributing factor and freshness is another!

 Imagine a temperature of merely 16-18 degrees celcius and you are munching on an ear of hot, grilled corn that was freshly plucked in one of the many plantations nearby!

Daddy Teo is against most things grilled and barbequed so i had to settle for steamed corn instead. =_= nothing too fascinating on the taste; i am just thankful it was served hot from the pot.

In Malaysia, strawberries are synonymous to Cameron Highlands and you can find a few shops selling nothing but strawberry-related products! The stall above sells aprons with damn cute strawberry prints!

Deep fried products should taste damn blissful and heart-warming in this weather right? I didn't try because Father Teo was keeping an eye on me. :(

These were the eventuality from the pan of searing oil! Deep fried vegetables, deep fried prawns, deep fried mushrooms etc! A note of advice; buy from a stall that has a queue.

Healthier products are available too! Mind you, all of them were fresh from the farms!

The freshness was obvious the moment my eyes set on them! Sighz, mom wanted to buy two white radishes back to Singapore!!! Ya, by personal courier via a 10-hour coach!

Fruit keychains for sale. These were must-buy souvenirs 20 years back! It seems that time progresses very slowly in Cameron Highlands. Not that i am complaining though.

Small, adorable cacti that were so irresistible even for plants-killer like myself! I didn't buy anything despite a good bargain of RM10 for 8 mini pots!

Unpredictable weather didn't seem to deter the visitors! That was weird since most attractions, hotels and restaurants were pretty empty. God knows where they came from!

Other deep fried products on sale. If i remember correctly from a year ago, most of the items were cold and tasteless. You might have better luck for all i know.

Shoes that catered for the locals who have gotten accustomed to the cold spells in the highlands. My mom wouldn't be caught dead in them!

Strawberry bolsters and pillows. For those ladies with a kiddish, girly streak, these should be the stuff you will grab with no further consideration!

Beautiful, vivid flowers that boyfriends MUST buy for their girlfriends! *psst, not as expensive as the flowers in Singapore*

Crunchy looking fried chicken that looked so tempting...... but daddy teo was watching... Sighz.... should have sneaked out at night!

The bright green preserved guava was sold in many fruits stalls even though it was actually from Thailand! Each bite had a sweet-sourish-salty sensation that proved to be very addictive for many people.

Dustbins were uncommon and the drains were choked with rubbish!

Kids clothes that included sweaters for tropical dwellers who cannot adjust to the 10 degrees celcius difference.

From afar, i can see smoke originating from this particular stall. Not buying anything here was my biggest regret from Cameron Highlands!

I tried a stick in Singapore on a rainy day and it was so deadly oily, it was tasty!

You can buy teas with flavours like Strawberry (obviously) and Chocolate in the night market. With the exception of peppermint tea, i agree with my tour guide that tea without any flavours is the best.

Fruit magnets that should look real good in my office!! Argh, another regret i have lived with until my next trip to Cameron Highlands!

How could i not include a picture of fresh strawberries for sale? Depending on stalls, it can cost as high as RM8 for one box or as cheap as RM10 for 3 boxes!


Additional Information
For those who are bad with maps, just remember that the pasar malam is right opposite this majestic hotel known as Star Regency.

I mentioned above that my mom had that intention to buy white radishes back to Singapore (like what she did to that huge golden pig)! She did not buy any on that day we visited the pasar malam because we have another evening to go.

The above scene was a big disappointment for my mom.... whereas i was secretly screaming with joy! Cannot imagine how many radishes she will buy lor and there are always the optional corns and sweet potatoes!

Lesson learnt: the pasar malam in Brinchang is available only on Friday and Saturday. The grapevine has also informed me that it is available every night during Malaysia's school holidays.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Western Breakfast @ Han's Cafe and Cake House

Chinese New Year is coming next week and a haircut for Rubee is necessary before i can show him to my friends and relatives!

The grooming will take two hours and i took the chance to have breakfast at the original Han's outlet near my old kampong in Nee Soon!

A major renovation was completed just a few months ago and resulted in a doubling of seating capacity in this 24 hours self-service restaurant.

An alfresco area has also been set up, which was my preference in view of the unstoppable rain and cooler weather. The pitter-pattering of the raindrops sounds like a great suggestion when i am sipping my cup of hot coffee!

Have i mentioned that fried egg with bacon was my favourite breakfast at Han's? You guess right! That western breakfast was my choice!

The buttery toasts were as good as i remember but nothing beats dipping them in the 60%-raw egg yolk and swallowing pieces of them with a dash of chilli sauce!

My determination is weak... i ordered a slice of cold black forest cake! Delicious as expected although more vanilla for the bottom layer would be a better choice for me.


906, Upper Thomson Road

Fried Egg with Bacon (with coffee) - S$6.20
Black Forest Cake - S$3.50

Friday, January 28, 2011

Honey Bee Farm @ Cameron Highlands

(Part 2 of Leisure Tour)

This is the right place should you want to have a closer look of buzzing flying insects!

Housed in hundreds of boxes located at various locations within this apiary (Ee Feng Gu, 玉蜂谷), you will catch glimpses of tiny honey bees busy at work although a safe distance is ensured to prevent any touch or taste (if you dare).

Close up look of the simple, wooden "house!

This bigger-than-life-sized bee needs a new paint job. For a moment, she (a queen bee i guess) does look like she suffers from a bad sunburnt on her nose!

I have never stepped into the bee maze which is supposedly the biggest maze in Malaysia!!! Attempts were made to go in except the door to the maze was forever in the "locked" position.

Honey bees scrambling to squeeze through the narrow gap to deposit the nectar! Certain boxes seem to be more popular - maybe prettier queen bees?

A small exhibition area that was too boring to attract much attention. A live show in a glass enclosure filled with bees sounds more exciting!

Another picture showing the close proximity for some of the bee boxes.

Please refer to the wall behind the cheerful bee! Multiple bee products (honey, bee pollen, royal jelly etc) for sale, which wasn't a surprise anyway. The apiary needs to earn their upkeep since an admission charge was not imposed.

The Teo family could not resist and bought one kilogram of pure honey! Benefits of honey consumption are well-documented but the sales assistant surprised us by saying that a drop of pure honey in the eye can cure conjunctivitis! Any one dares to try?

Freaky adorable dog at the counter!! Heard it is fierce so don't try to touch it!


First Part of the Leisure Tour can be found HERE.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pau Hei Kopitiam (包囍咖啡店) @ Brinchang, Cameron Highlands

Although an entry had been posted over a year ago on this well-hidden kopitiam (包囍咖啡店) in Cameron Highlands, change is usually inevitable - for the better... or for worse.

With my parents joining me this time, i took the opportunity to try other dishes i missed out in the last trip.

When you compare the pictures between now and then, nothing has changed much, in terms of outlook; same layout, same tables, same chairs, same bosses.

Our first order was a cup of hot coffee!!! We were expecting a temperature from 18 to 19 degrees celcius but it was lower than 15 degrees celcius! Brrrrrrrr...... The bane of old age!

Wanton mee was the official first meal in Cameron Highlands and even if it was not as memorable as Oldies and Goodies, it was still comfort food appropriate for the chilly weather.

Have you ever heard complaints from Hongkongers that wanton mee should have only wanton (dumplings) and noodles (obvious from the name)?

In Pau Hei, they took it a step further...... by eliminating the wanton!! When i asked the lady boss, her reply was that they used the kind of noodles for wanton mee!! =_=!!!.

Fishball noodles also used mee kia what...

The above was the soup accompanying the wanton-less noodles. Saltish was what i will describe it and we actually requested plain water for dilution! As you can see, bobbing in the soup was not wanton but ingredients for yong tau foo! And every single one was delicious!

This soft bun by the name of pillow bread had a fluffy fragrant bite and due to its multiple wraps, the tau sar filling was evenly distributed in every chomp!

Dad had this to warm his stomach and from what i deduce, he was impressed enough to have it again the following day! I bet the same wanton soup was used!

UFO buns can be found in Singapore but the version in Pau Hei looked too flat and a bit too dry for my liking.

The insides were another story altogether; warm, moist, buttery and creamy!

Guess what lies within the shimmering aluminimum cover?

Lo Mai Kai (糯米鸡)! Deemed the best i ever had in November 2009, the rice was a tad too disappointing this time. It should be due to the lack of mushroom, resulting in rice that tasted too ordinary.

Alex loved the cantonese style chee cheong fun then. I cannot help comparing it to my favourite sweet sauce chee cheong fun in Yishun! My choice? Sweet Sauce.



Wanton Mee - RM3.50
Dad's Noodles - RM3.50
Pillow Bread - RM1.00
Lo Mai Kai - RM2.80
Chee Cheong Fun - RM3.80

Additional Information
There is a market (pasar) right outside the kopitiam where locals shop! If you are unsure on Pau Hei's location, politely ask the locals.

They should must know where the pasar is.