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Bak Kut Teh

Did I tell you I made some bak kut teh the other day, and it was awesome!! Missing the real deal but this is as close to it as I can get for now. It was really good too. Managed to get all the ingredients too. All hail the Asian supermarket.
I took me close to 3 days to get all the ingredients. Apart from the laziness, it is the fact that parking would be a nightmare where I first intended to go and with a baby in tow it would have been most inconvenient having to park by the roadside bundle baby up and rush in and out and put groceries in the car as quick as possible and try not to get run over whule trying as fast as possible to un-bundle baby back into her car seat. So I tried to out it off as long as possible but the craving was strong. 

In the end, my babysitter saved the day. She told me of another new shop which I also thought would be impossible to get to, but she told me a day later when I lamented on the lack of parking that this place has its own carpark area right behind. Now I only have to look for that entryway. Which I did easily thanks to her great and way to follow instructions. 

Thanks to her my craving was satisfied. Albeit after 3 days. I don’t cook often. Just wanted to share it. 😀

Night! 

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Useless ramblings…

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I really should add a new category called “Useless ramblings at odd hours”. I have had so many useless ramblings at the weirdest of times and if I don’t write it down here, I might be in danger of thinking of them out loud which might be quite inappropriate at times.

Today’s useless rambling is this…because I fee like having a beer right now, that I should go to bed instead. The context is, that it is 1.31 in the morning and I am already in bed. Besides writing this, I should be or should I say should have been asleep some time back. It is late, so before the urge of having a beer overwhelms me, I should finish this post and get some shut eye.

Urrghhh…the struggle is real…the beer ‘s calling my name…help….

Signing off grudgingly….I can’t hear you, beer! Go sleep, beer! It is very late now…shush!

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Singing praises for….

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Ok…the photo has no bearing whatsoever with what I want to write about. The photo was taken in flight onboard Turkish Airlines as we were approaching Istanbul. It is the first leg of my journey home to Malaysia for my last trimester. Oh..and clouds always remind me of my sis. Whenever is see beautiful clouds I always think of her. She loves clouds! And I love her!!

I want to sing praises for Turkish Airlines’ amazing business class lounge! It is not my first time here but it was my last experience here that made me choose to transit here instead of somewhere else. Plus the fact that it is cheaper and I still get points cause they are a Star Alliance partner! 3x score!!

In this amazing lounge, which I get to access because of my SQ gold card and this time cause I flew business, they have thought of everything! And I mean everything! Free wifi for one. You can say that most lounges have that…true but they have more. A little library corner with a pool table. Cinema area with reclined lounge chairs complete with a popcorn machine in a corner. Bet the others don’t have that!

Then, they go further by having an area dedicated to children! My absolute favourite is their food buffet stations! They have a dedicate coffee and tea area separately. At the coffee area there is a barista that makes your coffee fresh! Whether it is an espresso or a cappucino or a Turkish coffee! I love it! Can’t go near it at the moment. I used up my  daily quota for coffee this morning. 😦 sucks! I know…

They have other stations too. Dessert lovers rejoice. There is a whole station dedicated to that sweet sin! An area for salads, another for bread that at different times you can see them baking or making fresh bread. The lounge smells heavenly! Aaahhh…bliss! Then there is he hot food section where the chefs are in full view preparing the buffet. For breakfast, there is even a station for the eggs or omelets like any respectable hotel 4 or 5 star hotel. And just like in the supermarkets,  you can find the drinks area on either side of the lounge where you can choose your drink. Be it just water, sparkling or still, coca cola, juice or beer and etc. How can you not love this lounge?

We just discovered that there is also a massage service. Haven’t gotten round to find out the rates but a treat for the weary traveller! There is also shower and prayer rooms and computers. The restrooms are also very chic! They also have an area where you can keep your luggage or other small items. Fully transparent cubicles locked by your own 4 digit pin code so that you don’t have to worry about your things being unsupervised while you grab some food or drink or some shut eye. I am truly bowled over by this lounge even if my layover is about 5 hours I think I will still choose to transit here.

It is comfy, it has everything and I love their design and decor. Whats not to like? Has anyone else tried their lounge? I am a frequent traveller and this lounge had me at “hello”!

Oh, and their inflight service and seats has improved leaps and bounds since I first flew with them 6 years ago. I am glad they took this step forward and even more that they added Genoa as a destination which lets me fly from my home city instead of making the 2 hour car journey to Milan for my flight home. Either way I still transit but how can I pass transiting here in Istanbul? Their lounge ROCKS!!!

I leave you with another shot of their interior.

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Mascapati – Presicce, Apulia

The Mascapati’s wine list

So, I have been back for a few days now. Since I came back I have been quite busy and when I am not, I just wanted to do nothing. 😛 Oh, by the way, I found out that the Region of Puglia is known as Apulia in English. I is supposedly a Greek name for that region. Hence, I changed the title this time from Puglia to Apulia.

October is on us now and before I forget all the fabulous food I ate in Apulia I am going to blog about the restaurant I mentioned in my last post. As you can see from the title and this photo it is called Mascapati. Since we were in Presicce at the end of September, most places were already winding down from the summer frenzy. The restaurant at our hotel (which will be my next post 🙂 ) wasn’t open for lunch as the chef was not in that day. So, our friend AM took us to a few other restaurants and this was one of the few still open for business. I saw its ad in a travel book on Presicce and I thought to myself, “wow! This looks like a great place!”. It wasn’t the only thing that surprised me. There were so many beautiful looking hotels and restaurants for a town so small. Presicce has only 5,583 inhabitants! The hotels are so beautiful and so well equipped it feels like we were in another world. okay, maybe I am just not used to seeing the south of Italy in that state. Can’t blame me, I have personal experience. Which I shall expand further in my next post on the hotel.

For now, Mascapati. From the outside it looked like any other facade but with a huge board with their name. But as you step in you are transported into a very modern and chic restaurant that you can find in places like London, New York, Milan or even Paris. Their website has a 360 degree virtual tour. Have a look for yourself. Their photos are way better than mine.

Entrance wall that greets the guest

The honey-comb divider wall

The inside of the restaurant is also very modern and sleek. I really felt that we were somewhere else. And this is all before we even got to the food.

The restaurant interior

As if I wasn’t impressed enough with the place, the food blew me away too! We ordered 3 antipastis. 2 “land” based and 1 seafood based. While looking through the menu, I was already thinking of what to order for my main course but was advised (which is usually the case) to have my antipasto first and they will take my main course order after. Grudgingly, I obliged. In the end, it was for the better. We didn’t get past the antipasti. We divided the antipasti among us and we were so filled! There were so many dishes and I took a picture of most of them before they ended in our tummies.

Here are the photos so that you can have a better idea of what we ate. While captioning the photos, I realised I really didn’t take a photo of ALL our dishes. It was only part of our meal. So you can imagine why we didn’t have any more space for the main course. I must have been too busy eating and missed out a few. Quite a few. I think we had at least another 4 dishes missing. 😛

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If you are ever in Presicce, do visit this restaurant. I highly recommend this place. The ambiance and food 5 stars for me. The service was also very good but I can’t really be the judge of that as we were the only people there. Let me know how it fares if you are ever there at the height of summer.

Now that I have penned this, I am off to bed!

Goose night people!!

 

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Gastronomic delight in Bitritto, Puglia

I tried to blog everyday but I failed. Since we left Sunday for Rome, we have had full days and by the time evening rolls by, I am dead tired. I am now too. But I told myself that I had to, just HAD TO blog about this evening’s meal before I forget the names of everything. So here goes.

Have you heard of Bitritto? Neither have I till today. I knew that we have cousins here but I was always told that they were in Bari. Well, technically they could be in Bari as Bari is only a mere 6kms away. I like Bitritto for it size and relative suburban feel. Also for the fact that it is a mere 6kms away from the big city. We have been busy catching up with the cousin and his family so no pictures of the town. Anyhow, you should come to visit it on your own too. Not a city like Bari. Just a small centre. Its centre and surrounding houses remind me of the back streets of Siracusa, Sicily.

Luckily I insisted we get to the gym today and our cousin’s son was so kind to arrange for us a day pass for a really nice gym or rather a fitness and health centre called Villa Camilla. Exceptionally beautiful. If you are ever here in this part of the world for business or holiday get yourself to Villa Camilla. Indoor, outdoor pools with indoor, outdoor jacuzzis, deck chairs dotting the pool area, hammams, saunas and the gym of course. Then, they also have all the massages you could ever want to relax and forget the day’s worries. Beautiful place. While there, I ran 5.25kms in 40 mins. Writing this down because I chose by mistake an old treadmill that doesn’t have the Nikeplus+ settings, so my run was not recorded. Dang it! And I have just signed up for the “3 runs a week” challenge.

Ok, ok. I realise I am getting carried away. The result of having so much to say but not blogging. I am sure you are looking forward to what the title of this post is supposed to be about. I am getting there! 😛

So, after gym we came back to our B&B to shower (we didn’t bring anything to shower there) and get ready for dinner. Finally got picked up at 9pm. Yes, they eat late here in Italy, especially in the south. We made our way to Ranch, the restaurant way out in the middle of the olive tree fields. But they were closed. Which in the end worked in our favour. We made our way to another little restaurant in the town centre know locally as “Il Papillion”. Hopefully that is the correct spelling as there are no signs outside this restaurant to indicate that it is even a restaurant or that it is even there!

We were greeted by Stefano the amazing chef and owner of the place. Because we are almost family, the feast began!! First and foremost, fried olives!! @_@ OMG!! They were so good! Never have I tasted fried olives! Then came plate after plate of amazing stuff. There was also a plate of ricotta cheese with orange marmalade! Yes! you heard me right! Orange marmalade! And homemade too!! Yummeh!!! The other dishes were different versions of parmigiana. One was with zucchini in white sauce, zucchini covered in cheese and oven baked. Another was a “fritelle con tonno” basically fried eggs with tuna covered in cheese, tomato puree sauce, oven baked. Normal parmigiana which is made with eggplants sliced thinly and layered like a lasagne (all parmigianas are layered like lasagne) covered with cheese and tomato puree and oven baked. A plate of mozzarellas which is a staple together with a huge plate of “prosciutto crudo” which is smoked/cured ham. There is also a plate of tripe in tomato sauce.

Then came the chef’s infamous coffee pasta. It was tagliolini type pasta in white sauce with coffee. I don’t know where he added the coffee but the aroma of coffee permeates throughout the dish. It was amazing!! To top off the already exploding (my stomach, of course) dinner, the chef tops it all with a homemade dessert. A amaretto, tiramisu like dessert! It was out of this world good! Like our cousin says, we should start all dinners with desserts and work our way back. 😀

I had to take a coffee to help my digestion along. I was already exploding before the pasta came along but greedy me had to try everything. I am now typing this in bed with my laptop on my lap but the tummy protruding and resting on the edge of my computer. Huge mound that is so hard to ignore. 😦 I hope tomorrow’s hotel has a gym. I should check.

Before I go, I will leave you a few photos of today’s dinner. Thought that I would leave you to your imaginations? Nah…the photos are coming right up!

Here you go!

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Toodeloos people! I now have to somehow try to sleep and not have nightmares from a full stomach. urrggghhh! But, no regrets!