Thursday, February 28, 2013

Maetaman Elephant Camp, Chiang Mai

Elephants having their early morning shower by the river
this was the highlight of my Chiang Mai trip

first of all Monkey had never ever been to Chiang Mai
second of all, I've never ever had the original "Khao Soi" and was so so so good. Read about it *here*

Gentle Might Beings as JS calls them

so JS the organiser wrapped up the whole jing gang early in the morning for a 45-minutes journey to this elephant camp.....instructions were given much earlier to wear comfortable SHOES, t-shirts and pants!!!!!

I guess the whole jing gang was so excited about it bcoz everyone gathered down at the lobby on TIME...and our driver was looking so pleased. :))))))))) coz he didn't have to wait this time around!!! hahahahaha. Maybe he should tipped us on that day for being early hahahah instead of us tipping him :P just kidding.

I am so so GLAD we arrived early bcoz we get to watch them bathing!!!!!!
Monkey was squealing like a lil gal pointing at each and every elephants with JS -_- giving me this expression...

sorry la....I very "kampung" errrrr I mean I'm a city slicker :P
the only elephant I saw before we all chained in their dent at the Zoo. Sad story about our Zoo Negara in Ampang. I sincerely hope they don't do that anymore

This one was a baby elephant
its enjoying a scrub!!!!

The other UP side about being early was.....u get to be up close with the elephants!!!!
I was like...OMG they are HUGE!!!!! actually these were only babies bcoz the MOTHER of all elephants were so huge in comparison I almost pissed in my pants when it came near me.

See what I mean??? they were just BABIES!!!
cute tiny babies and I was so afraid of them....

There were stalls selling sugar canes where u can purchase some to feed these animals. It was also photo opportunities with these gentle giants.

I was so afraid of them and our dearie JS purposely pushed me into the "spotlight"
yeah...he WAS SOOO nice to me -_-"
Ok u wait!!! I will have my revenge next time

I had a SURPRISE after being pushed towards the elephant
the elephant automatically extended its trunk for me to touch

it felt like......a really thick and hard BRUSH
yes that would be the exact those kitchen brush u used to wash the tough stubborn stains off underneath your pots and pans?

the elephant then continued to move its trunk up and down....the trainer told me not to be afraid and that the elephant is attempting to lift me up with its trunk
I was like OMG NO NO...tell the elephant NO!!!!!

You can see how delighted I was hahahahahha and SCARED!!!
this elephant then did a call at me with his trunk.....the noise made with its trunk is called a trumpet!!!

it's like telling's OK!!!! don't be afraid of me...I just wanna make friends. Monkeys and elephants are good friends u know??

Mark was telling me not to be afraid too...see they are really really gentle and harmless!!!!

Andrew the younger is now 6 foot tall as well
oh damn when I knew these nephews of JS, they were just tiny tots!!!
what did your father fed u boys huh? Beans stalk???

After the half an hour petting and snapping pics, we were ushered to the seating area for an elephant show!!!! Again we were so lucky to grab one of the best seats :))))))

Seen here, the elephants were carrying a sign board to welcome all the guests..
more elephants were trumpeting and a baby elephant raised up the flag on the flag pole at the cue of a bicycle horn being pressed by another elephant.

SO CUTE!!!!!

After one circle they came back and took their majestic bows
AAAAA!!!! so cute!!!!! Monkey was jumping up and down her seat, clapping and cheering like a lil gal.....

OMG I sensed that JS was -_- at me being such a hooligans :P
nvm I was having such a great the way those ppl next to me don't know me doesn't matter if I'm being a hooligans :P

Luckily I didn't let the elephant lift me up earlier....
it's gonna be like this and I definitely didn't wanna make a full of myself screaming like a hysteria woman :P

They can play football!!!!
see how they aim with their trunk.....put back the ball on the ground.....reverse...came running and kick it!!!!!

Then the Baby came out to paint!!!!!
OMG!!! is that a poppy flower????

It's unbelievable...he painted everything from scratch!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elephants have got very very good remarkable memory
just like the idiom - memory of an elephant

the papers used on the canvas were recycled from their dung...
yes elephant dung bcoz an adult elephant consumed about 100kg to 200kg of vegetation daily!!!!
so can u imagine the amount of dung? hahahahaha

demonstrating their mightiness


and the other part of them - gentleness
the elephants walked over to the audience and "kissed" us with their trunks

Bernard the Joker, Eve and the boys

After the one hour show, next on our itinerary... Ox Cart Ride!!!

and soon we were riding like the farmers
such a surreal ride I was luffing my head off coz this....I don't get to do everyday
it was bumpy bcoz the wheels were made from wood...

I was pretty worried that it will wear off, not able to support the weight of 4 adults...break apart and eventually all of us will fall unto the ground...alongside the bull dungs on the road...hahahahaha

We enjoyed feeding these Oxes with sweet thai bananas sold along the dirt road. It's like rejected bananas sold for animals...we bought quite a lot...enuff to feed all the bulls on the road...hahahaha coz it's so CHEAP.

Our dearie friend Prince C was so hungry, he was chomping on them
"Hey friend, it's for the Oxes not for you"
Prince C: "U's really really sweet...wanna try?"
wow if these good quality sweet bananas are considered rejects by the Thai, their standard must be really really high.

Very soon the 30 minutes Ox cart ride came to an end at an old village. As bumpy as it gets, I wished it was slightly longer hahahahaha..

The boys then bought more sugar canes fr this lil village...I guess we seriously bought way too much of food for the animals...

This lil village has got very nice view :))))
During the year end till January, weather in Chiang Mai is pretty cooling. Located on the high north of Thailand the temperature hovered around 15*C to 20*C

Monkey and JS waiting for our ELEPHANTS ride!!!!!!!
woohooooo can't wait!!!

Before Monkey can squeal another WOOHOOOO I was at the back of the elephant
hehehehehehehe and I shuddered at the height!!!!!

OMG!!!! It's really really high!!!
how high were we?????
Can u see the ground?????

Monkey is very very afraid of height......she was clutching onto the seat throughout the one hour ride. Yes ONE HOUR!!!!!

Soon we were transported back to the elephant camp from that lil village
:)))))))) now the ride seemed too short but that's not all!!!

We headed down to the river
Monkey was alarmed!!! WHAT????? we are goin down???
JS: "Yes....wait for it....this is the best part of the ride."

Monkey screamed and closed her eyes as our elephant dipped into the cold river
bcoz the slope on the edge of the river was really we were almost leaning 45 degrees downward into the river...

but our elephant knew I was scared...*bcoz I was screaming 9 streets long, think the whole river knew I was scared*
he took it one step at a time, slowly easing himself into the river...

once we were in...our notti elephant splashed chill and cold water into our face with its tell us...hey folks, stop the screaming....we are safely here.

Berr riding elephants....
hehehehehehehe :)))))))))))))

I am sure he enjoyed it thoroughly as much as we did
if u were wondering, nope I didn't bring the rest of the hobbits...:P
they were sleeping in the hotel

Try and spot Berr :))))))))
the elephant has been trained to lift its trunk and pose sideways for camera
oh gawd....whos' the cam-whore now?

Thank you to JS for this trip :))))))))
one of the best adventure vacation ever :))))
*apart from our hiking in Barcelona, read about it here*

I look forward to more adventures with you :))))
Now that u've brought me for Ox and elephant rides hahahaha, I need to think of a better and more interesting ride for you :)))

but this wasn't the end of our trip to the elephant camp.....there was another ride JS brought me...also my first :))) will blog about it another day. promise :))

Maetaman Elephant Camp,
Kuet Chang, Mae Tang,
Chiang Mai 50150,

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mun Choong Restaurant, Ipoh

Lou Hei!!!!!!
I couldn't remember how many lou hei I had this's usually uncountable plus it's not something that I really really's more of an activity to toss as high as u can while screaming as loud as u want :P while making a huge mess on the table without my Mommy snarling at me...

oh yea that's the joy of lou hei for Monkey since she was a lil girl. I don't really actually eat it. :P Such waste of food
However the best yee sang I had was at a japanese restaurant *click here to read*

a highly prized Terubok fish. it's actual name is Toli Shad....due to overfishing it is now only available in Sarawak.

It has got a very delicate meat and a delightful sweetness finish. Terubok fish was steamed together with its scale to protect its the waitress had to prepare it for us before we can consume. However that wasn't the end, bcoz this fish has got bones like nobody's business. Its bones has got "branches" leading to every inch of its body......eating it was a hassle but trust me when it's this delicious u'll have no complain - just like how some ppl enjoyed eating crabs.

my claypot of freshly peeled crab meat, scallops, sharkfins, fish maws...
is there such thing as Eat till u are Scared???
well this chinese new year I was in that mode
for once I was craving for pasta and porridge or at least some bread....or just not eating at all!!!!

Later imperial stock was added onto the individual claypots. It's a tradition that we go back to Ipoh for lou hei with the C family, and Mun Choong Restaurant is in the priority list. It was full house that evening and we don't really fancy eating at a restaurant when it's running this busy.

Slow Braised abalone with mushrooms and broccoli
the stock was yummy and thick....*smacking lips* and contained a lot of collagen, I know it :)))) coz I saw how JS made imperial stock at home....collagen!!!!! :)))))

Huge prawns deep fried and serve with the famous in-house sweet soya sauce with oil from lard.
I know.....seriously unhealthy food but again we don't eat like this
*clasped hand and prayed my cholesterol level will dip soon for another makan this weekend*

When a bowl of hearty soup of vegetables and dried scallops was served, I was a happy gal again!!!! Telling myself that everything will be OK after eating more vegetables...hahahahaha
denial denial denial....tsk tsk tsk.

Looks like I need to run at least 7km each day to stay healthy and fit
but again not everyone will have such luxury of time to do it. Esp these days when the weather is so shitty!!!

Lap Mei Fan - claypot waxed meat rice is a must have every Chinese New Year
Well my palate has been so discerning, I don't really waste calories eating lap mei fan outside....

The only one I consumed is *this one*
it has to be this cook and all the waxed meat purchased from this exact place in Hong Kong

Monkey and I Ching
Thank you for the chinese new year dinner :))))
looks like this restaurant will be our annual chinese new year hangout hehehehehehe
Read about the lou hei 2 years back at the same place *here*

Mun Chong Seafood Restaurant or
Pusing Public Seafood Restaurant
57-65 Jalan Verasamy,
Ipoh, Perak.
Tel: +605 241 9348

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Shabu Shabu dinner at Fukuyama's Residence

We were lucky guests I know :))))))
MW Maho "smuggled" in high quality Kobe beef from the Imperial Butcher of Tokyo
don't's the very same butcher that prepares beef for the imperial family

Last week, both JS and Monkey got invited over for Shabu Shabu dinner at Fukuyama's beautiful home by the Royal Selangor Golf Club. I've alwiz alwiz forgotten their family name and when questioned by their guard at the entrance I couldn't identify their family name except first names.

sweat!!! must be too excited over the beef I've forgotten.
Now that I've learned my lesson, I will alwiz ALWIZ remember their family name :P

Mugi and Chai Chai

Monkey was early....didn't expect the traffic to be sooooo good that it took me only 5 minutes from KLCC. Hahahahaha. So the moment I stepped in, 2 cute Japanese Akita Inu breed dogs came to sniff at me :))))))))))))

Eden the Maid was frantic at the way the dogs greeted me and asked: "Maam are you afraid of dogs?"
"No, I lurve them!!" and lower her hands to pet them...
before my hands could reach them...Eden the Maid was in horror: "No maam, please don't touch them!!!"
Soon I found out Chai Chai bites bcoz of a trauma *long story*
apparently stubborn guests who insisted they were "Dogs whisperer" all got bitten by Chai Chai...hahahaha.

OK touching the dogs...despite they were so adorable and obedient.
They followed instructions right to the dot!!!! Very well trained dogs who have traveled round the world and resided at more destinations than Monkey -_-

Top quality Iberico ham...."smuggled" in from Spain 2 weeks ago by Dr. Epicurian
Looks like this was a dinner for Mafias with all the smuggling activities
hahahahaha coz I brought a bottle of Bio-Dynamic wines which was not available in Malaysia

But it was definitely an international dinner with guests from UK, Damascus, Japan and of coz Malaysians :))))))

Sweet bell peppers also smuggled in from San Sebastian Spain
really really sweet and paired so well with the tasty waxy ham
mind u these were off from a can. Trust me...most canned food in Spain are excellent hence JS bought like a truckload a few months luggage bags were mostly food FOOD food and more FOOD.....heheheh and of coz my occassional shopping spree..but well they didn't take up a lot of space nor consumed weight in the bag.

OH YUMS!!!! Vegetables Terrine with homemade cured salmon
this was homemade????

So beautiful and so so so sweet with crunchy okras and sweet peas
made by Mean Xer who cooks like a Mean Chef...oh yeah trust me she's really mean. Coz she means what she says all the time. But I really adore her for her personality and charm :)))))

Even the salmon was cured by her much earlier...
On her way out she accidentally dropped the vegetables terrine in a glass bowl....and everything was beyond salvage. Luckily she had a backup terrine and she brought it....

"U mean this was your backup? It looked so so beautiful!!!"
Mean Xer: "Oh yea. The actual one was even better! I lined it beautifully with daikon and peppers!!"

It was so delicious, I secretly wished for a second helping but everything got a fair share of a slice. Mean Xer even brought her knife to cut this terrine. Yeah tell me about being a mean chef :)))

Next all the guests were passed on with condiments round the table
from the Goma sauce to the ponzu sauce
followed by more condiments like japanese chili pepper, toasted sesame, spring onions and more daikon....

Since the host and hostess were so bz with the actual shabu shabu....the guests were left to be independent to do the simple task themselves...we somehow ended up doing the wrong thing...

toasted sesame seeds into the goma sauce!!! not the Ponzu sauce!!!
MW Maho was really in horror clasping her cheeks with her palm
"Oh no!!! this is wrong!!!!."

All of us were like....>.<
nvm it's gonna end up in the stomach anyway.

MW Maho: "No no must follow yada yada yada bla bla bla."

MW Maho to the rescue!!!! but the toasted sesame on the ponzu can't be saved anymore

I was too bz watching Seiichi San preparing the yummylicious thinly sliced by imperial butcher Kobe beef. He prepared the clear dashi broth with konbu.

Looking at the colors of his hands, u'll know he's an avid golfer, coz they wear gloves only on the left hand. Oh well if you are right-handed. In fact out of the 8 guests, I was the only non-golfer...and now I'm receiving pressure and coaxing to join the ladies for golf soon.

okie u know wat? If my coach, the most patience man in the world gave up on me...u should know how bad I was at this game. Yes and thus I lost the best coach in the other coach is willing to take me up except JS who in the end I whacked him with an iron 8 on the head while we were at the golf course :P

Oh well....let's not dwell into that or it will be a Tiger Woods and ex wife Elin's case :P

and the freshly lightly cooked kobe soon landed on our respective platter
ohhhhhhh totally outta this world!!!!
everyone were enjoying their beef in silence, to respect the Cow, the Imperial Butcher, the Smuggler aka MW Maho and the Chef aka Seiichi San

Soon we were requesting for a more pink beef from the Chef
I prefer them pink to enjoy its full sweetness
u just need to swish it in the broth for a while and get them out quickly bcoz they were still cooking even after it's outta the dashi stock

After we were done with kilos and kilos of Kobe beef, alternating between ponzu and goma sauce, it's time to cook some vegetables!!!!
Shiitake and enoki mushrooms, sweet leeks and Japanese mizuna leaves

So u put the ingredient that will take longer time to cook first.
Seiichi San was really really sweet to cook everything for us on the sideboard

At the beginning Monkey was insisting that this hot pot to be in the middle of the round table but Seiichi San insisted it has to be on the sideboard bcoz he will be the Commando in Chief/Chef to prepare our dinner.

Well no complain, coz if the guests can't even get the sauces and condiments right, we might as well ruin the dinner. Let the experts and japanese prepare the Shabu Shabu the right way :))))

Perfectly round, juicy and sweet

No meal is perfect without some form of carbos

after cooking so many different types of ingredients, the broth was infused with all the protein from the beefs and sweetness from the's time to cook some udon
not just any udon but a special one which I've forgotten its name *blame it on the champagnes and wines*. I suspected this was smuggled in as well :P

Dr. Epicurean brought some "home-aged" Scottish cheese
yeah he has a special fridge just for aging cheeses
Mean Xer has a special fridge for all her experiments at home *i hope they don't involve human body parts*

Now I want a special fridge too, to keep all my makeup and korean masks
hahaha just kidding :P
Blue cheese are really strong in flavour, really rich and rounded, extremely creamie...esp after all the aging done by Dr. Epicurean in his special fridge -_-

oh yums!!!! I brought back some home and had it again last nite :))))))))))
Happy gal all the time hehehehehehehehe

this cheese cake was made by Eden the Maid
>.< if a maid can produce such a beautiful product, I better go and slam my face onto the wall or ponder on this.

Ok ok ok my next project....cheese cake
Time to dig in some mean recipes!!!!

Thank you to Seiichi San and MW Maho for hosting, also smuggling all those yummy products...Have a safe flight to Tokyo *again* so I don't really know if Tokyo or KL is your home now but I don't mind tagging along either way.

Thank you to Mean Xer for the really really mean vegetable terrine and cured salmon, please hold a masterclass for me :))) I wanna learn. Merci beaucoup to Dr. Epicurean for the appetizer and cheeses. Lovely meeting you Mark and Dany, have a safe flight to Melbourne and enjoy the rest of your holiday which is moving to its 7th week now :)) Congratulations again for the hole-in-one :))))

In the end all of us were so full, we didn't have the Royce chocolates I brought. Sorry la...I can't cook so I'll buy things over hehhehehehe :))))))))
Till our next Eating and Drinking session :)))))