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I don’t normally go for Western fast food items whenever I’m travelling, especially so when I’m with my Dad. We prefer eating the local specialties than eating food that we can readily get here in Manila. During my recent trip to Malaysia, I had to go against the practice that I’m so accustomed to when our group stopped by KFC en route to another tour site. Most of the items looked familiar, but what caught my eye was this poster below:

KFC photo 01-colonel-latest-seafood-290813_zpsb39c7cf6.jpg*Photo above borrowed from KFC Malaysia’s official website.*

We definitely don’t have that in Manila! I don’t even see the dinner rolls in the Manila menu boards anymore (although I’ve heard that you could still request for them if you wish). All five of us in our group decided to go with the Oriental Set. It came with two pieces of fried chicken (original or hot & spicy), Colonel Chicken Rice, the Chili Snow Crab Sauce, two pieces of Shrimp Stars (not in photo above) and soda of your choice.

KFC Mountain Dew photo KFCMountainDew_zpsc274f41f.jpgMy soda for that afternoon was this ice cold cup of Mountain Dew.

KFC Oriental Meal photo KFCOrientalMeal_zps29f9002b.jpgWhen this plate was placed in front of me, I was amused. Malaysia‘s serving sizes were way bigger than the ones in Manila and they serve two chicken thighs with your set. Here in Manila, you wouldn’t be able to do that since the staff will always tell you that they are required to serve “1 small part and 1 big part” (example: 1 wing and 1 chicken thigh). I enjoyed eating (Hainanese?) chicken rice and smothering those fried Shrimp Stars with the spicy chili crab sauce.  Honestly, I was thinking this meal wouldn’t work without the endless amount of gravy served, but thankfully, it did!

The only down side to this? I ordered the hot & spicy fried chicken version and it wasn’t spicy at all. It tasted like regular chicken to me.

**Visit KFC Malaysia’s official website for more information. 

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Since we were only staying at Malacca for one night, our tour guide (who also happened to be the owner of the place we rented) brought us to Capitol Satay Restaurant. He said that it’s the most famous satay celup place in Malacca and is said to be the original. Long queues are the norm here, much like the one we experienced at Chop Chung Wah. This place opens as early as 5pm, so it’s really recommended you arrive early so that you could secure a table as soon as possible. We were informed that the line during weekends and holidays could get very, very long.

 photo CapitolSatayline_zps5030df09.jpgWe were already there before the usual dinner time and we already had to wait in line with these people.

Capitol Satay_sign photo CapitolSataysign_zps11611664.jpgI think Capitol Satay really take their stuff seriously. Check out those signs!

Capitol Satay_selection photo CapitolSatay_selection_zpsa2728f12.jpgSo how do you get started? Once you’re assigned a table, you can proceed to this huge chiller containing trays of different edible things on sticks.  You’re free to choose whatever you want and there’s no limit to the quantity of items you are allowed to get. Just remember that each stick is equal to RM90 cents, regardless if you got the seafood, vegetable or meat ones.

Capitol Satay_beancurd skin photo CapitolSatay_tofu_zps382059f1.jpgRight beside the chiller, you can also get these tao phe, or dried beancurd skin.

Capitol Satay_sauce photo CapitolSatay_sauce_zps5ec9bcd5.jpgA pot of Capitol Satay‘s signature satay sauce is placed at the center of the table, where it sits on top of a flame. As you can see in the photo’s background, you get small dishes of sliced bread and vegetables which you can also dunk in the sauce. Those are given to all customers for free.

Capitol Satay_sauce with sugar photo CapitolSatay_saucemixed_zpsff4dd929.jpgOne of the place’s servers will come over your table and put a huge ladle’s worth of brown sugar and other ingredients into the boiling pot. They’ll mix it all for you and when they’re done, the cooking / dunking can commence. The servers will randomly appear every once in a while to add more ingredients and/or adjust the flame. Be careful with the sauce since the hot liquid has a tendency to spew out of the pot, especially when it has already thickened and the heat is way too much.

Capitol Satay_our choices photo CapitolSatay_ourchoices_zpsd84d4f00.jpgHere’s a look at the stuff we got from the chiller.  We decided to go with Chinese sausages, pig’s ears, quail eggs, vegetables, dried bean curd skin and a variety of seafood balls.

I didn’t get to take a photo of it, but a few minutes into the meal, one of the servers gave us another tray containing shrimp, squid, abalone, etc. and they also cost RM90 cents per stick. Our tour guide said that these were not on display since they were considered to be “special items”. It’s up to you if you wish to consume or ignore them.

Capitol Satay_fish balls without sauce photo CapitolSatay_fishballsample_zpsf4e6bfee.jpgJust to give you an idea: here’s a photo of a fish ball we were able to get from the chiller. This was before it went inside the sauce pot.

Capitol Satay_fish ball with sauc e photo CapitolSatay_fishballafterdunk_zps20d0c0da.jpgHere’s a peek at what it looks like after it sits simmering in the pot for several minutes. It doesn’t look very appetizing, but that sauce tasted really nutty, a bit spicy and sweet. It did make all the food taste pretty good. Of course, since there’s nothing on the menu except the peanut sauce, I did reach my satiation point sooner than expected and decided to stop eating. I was craving for something else to cleanse the palate.

Capitol Satay_iced lemon tea photo CapitolSatay_icedtea_zps6a5552d9.jpg

Our drink for the night? Canned ice lemon tea. I liked that it wasn’t too sugary.  Sadly, I don’t see this particular brand in Manila.

It wasn’t my first time to eat something like this, but it was still a fun experience. Is it worth craving for? Not so much, in my opinion. Maybe people who are more addicted to peanut sauce would find this much more amusing than I did.

By the way, it’s not the poshest of all places so don’t expect to be seated in an air-conditioned area and be pampered by any of the staff. Expect to sweat. If you’re obsessed about cleanliness and dining in areas which look spotless, then this place might not be the best match for you.

I’m going to leave you with a piece of friendly advice which we got from a local: if you plan to visit this place, make sure you select the items on sticks that look like they’re new and/or don’t have much sauce stains. I don’t think I need to explain any further; I’m sure you get the point. 😛

**Looking for this place? Capitol Satay‘s address is 41, Lorong Bukit Cina, 75100, Melaka, Malaysia.

I think it was on our second day in Malaysia when our group took a 2 or 3-hour bus ride to the city of Malacca or Melaka. Prior to the trip, I had no idea what kind of place we were visiting. I only knew that it was where Jonker Street was located and that’s where the night market was.  After doing a bit of research, I learned that Malacca is considered to be a “historical city” and that it has been through colonization by the Portuguese, Dutch and the English.

Malacca_Queen Victoria Fountain photo QueenVictoriafountain_zps5420e794.jpgWe were able to roam the city’s streets and were able to check out some of their monuments and statues. Pictured above is the Queen Victoria Fountain, which was said to be erected by the people of Malacca in honor of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

There are loads of museums for you to visit if you want to learn more about the city’s history. Unfortunately for us, most of the museums were closed for renovation during our stay (as you can see in the background of the Queen Victoria Fountain).  We weren’t expecting that and I felt that we were unlucky. There were several places which already caught my eye. 😦

Malacca_rickshaw photo rickshaw_zps2457cf7b.jpgPlanning on navigating Malacca‘s streets riding something a little bit unusual? Hop onto one of these heavily decorated rickshaws, or “trishaws”. There are tons of them and you could easily get one near the Tourist Information Center. Some of them are covered in flowers and lights; some are even covered in Hello Kitty or Barbie dolls! We also saw several of these “trishaws” equipped with these huge speakers, which were blasting a variety of songs. They played anything from Psy’s Gangnam Style to Jessie J’s Price Tag to Indian love songs! They reminded me so much of the Philippines’ Jeepneys. Definitely a sight to see.

Jonker Street, Malacca photo JonkerStreetMalacca_zpsb94e8f8e.jpgHere’s one of the signs to let you know that you’ve already reached the famous Jonker Street.

Malacca_boat monument photo JonkerStreetmonument_zps9c77c997.jpgTravel is never complete without food and since we weren’t allowed to stay inside our rented house until 2pm that afternoon, we were advised by the home owner / our guide to try eating “chicken rice balls” at Chung Wah. He said that it was one of the two restaurants in Malacca which were really famous for that particular dish. We navigated the streets on our own and finally found the place he was telling us about. It took us several minutes to get to Jonker Street from our rented place since we were unsure where to go. If you see this huge boat monument / fountain in the middle of the street, then you know you’re just a few steps away from the Chop Chung Wah.

Zhong Hua_outside photo ZhongHuaoutside_zps9830b61d.jpgIf you still can’t find it, here’s a photo of the facade just to help you out a bit.

Yes, that really long queue leads to Chop Chung Wah‘s entrance. Yes, we actually joined all those people waiting outside (not very typical of me). We were there for more than half an hour and at one point, one of the servers came out and asked those in line for their respective group’s headcount and if they wanted to order half or an entire chicken.

We were lucky we were still entertained!  The group next to the one immediately behind us were politely informed that Chung Wah was already out of chicken and that they were closing soon. If we were unable to secure a slot, I would’ve felt really bad. Everyone was already VERY hungry. (Note: We passed by the restaurant on our way home that night and noticed that it wasn’t open.)

Zhong Hua_inside photo ZhongHuainside_zps845a0f52.jpgA few more minutes of waiting in line and after formulating several theories on what’s so special about the chicken rice balls, we were finally ushered into the place and towards a round table at the corner of the restaurant. Pictured above are the signs hanging inside, facing the entrance.

Zhong Hua_rice balls photo ZhongHua_RiceBalls_zps02ad47bf.jpgWe only had to wait a little bit longer before we were served these little rice balls. They’re probably just as big as golf balls and were very sticky. Each person was given 5 pieces to eat with the chicken we ordered.

Zhong Hua_Hainanese chicken photo ZhongHua_HainaneseChicken_zps03f1052d.jpgHere’s the whole chicken we got for our group of five adults. The chopped chicken was swimming in some broth, soy sauce and a bit of sesame oil (if I’m not mistaken). The chicken was moist and tender, so it wasn’t difficult to eat. I also enjoyed putting a bit of the chili sauce/paste provided onto the meat before eating them, just to make it a little bit more exciting. We managed to clean this platter in a short time and The Boyfriend was thinking if we should have ordered one and a half chicken instead of just one whole. 😛

Zhong Hua_lime juice photo ZhongHua_limejuice_zps1981bdb3.jpgMost of the people in our group decided to order this Cold Lime Juice for our drink. There were several calamondin (calamansi) pieces floating around in the glass. This was a very refreshing beverage and wasn’t too sweet or too sour. I managed to finish half of mine before we even started eating, so I did have some trouble trying to save what’s remaining until the end of the meal. 😛

Overall, it was a pretty decent meal. It was my first time to try eating sticky rice balls with Hainanese chicken, instead of the usual bowl of fragrant rice. I wouldn’t say that it was the most mind-blowing meal for me during our entire trip in Malaysia, but it was definitely one for the books.

**Want to try this? You can find Chop Chung Wah Hainanese Chicken Rice at 18 Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200, Melaka.

On one of our free days in KL, The Boyfriend decided to bring us to one of the other places he and his friends frequent whenever they’re in KL’s Chinatown. It only took us a five-minute bus ride from Jalan Pudu and a couple of extra minutes of walking  to reach our destination. It was around 10:30am when we arrived and most of the stalls selling items were just about to set their stuff up. People were selling all sorts of things there. Food, bags, wallets, clothes, watches…  You name it, they have it there somewhere. We went around the area for a bit and managed to buy some souvenirs to bring home. A couple of minutes later, we decided it’s time for us to grab something to eat.

Our venue for lunch was called Seng Kee. It was a small, no frills place. We went there before the lunch hour rush so we were able to secure a table with no effort. It took us some time to decide on which items to get, but we were able to narrow them down to the ones which sounded okay.

Seng Kee_menu photo SengKee_zps9b4cf82f.jpg

Seng Kee_condiments photo SengKee_condiments_zps969ce7a0.jpgSeveral condiments are available for diners to use with their meal. That red thing inside the bowl looked like it was spicy, but I noticed that it was salty (almost similar to shrimp paste) when I gave it a try. I have no idea what it was for so I didn’t mix it with any of the stuff we ordered.

Seng Kee_coconut juice 1 photo SengKee_coconutjuice2_zps008c12fd.jpgWe all decided to go with fresh coconut juice for our drinks.

Seng Kee_coconut juice 2 photo SengKee_coconutjuice1_zps0d59783f.jpgHere’s the coconut with the “lid” open. The liquid inside was very clear and tasted sweet. The meat from the coconut I got was too tough, though. The Boyfriend got the more tender one.

Seng Kee_chicken mushroom claypot photo SengKee_chickenmushroomclaypot_zpsaa53cc03.jpgOne of the dishes we ordered was this serving of Chicken and Black Mushroom Claypot. When this was brought to our table, I was honestly a bit disappointed. I thought that what we were going to get was similar to the Claypot Rice I love eating in Hong Kong. I guess I assumed too much. 😛 Anyway, this still tasted okay but I wasn’t really impressed.

Seng Kee_bbq pork photo SengKee_bbqpork_zps80b93ab1.jpgThe Boyfriend also ordered a serving of Pork Ribs. I found the sauce for this a little too sweet for me and decided not to eat much of it.

Seng Kee_prawns photo SengKee_MaSongPrawns_zps880a18a4.jpgThe Boyfriend was really excited to order a certain type of dish but couldn’t remember what it was called. He asked for the Buttered Prawns (shown above) because he thought it sounded like the one that he liked. Unfortunately, he realized that it wasn’t the one he was looking for when this platter was placed on our table. We decided to order a chicken dish which was cooked roughly the same way (didn’t get to take a photo of that one), but it still didn’t turn out to be the one he wanted. 😛

The Buttered Prawns cost us quite a lot at 50 Ringgit for such a small serving. It was nice and buttery, but still not something that I found to be spectacular.

Seng Kee_Thai Fried Grouper photo SengKee_ThaiFriedGrouper_zps682de978.jpgWe also decided to go with a fish dish and ordered this Fried Grouper topped with green mangoes, onions and chili. The sauce used was from the strong Thai influence in the Malaysian food scene. It was sweet, sour and a bit spicy. This was very similar to the catfish salad I always order at Thai restaurants in Manila, so this was good enough for me. I just wished the grouper actually had more meat.

A lot of the locals started coming in when the lunch hour arrived, so I guess this place is pretty popular. There’s a probability that we didn’t get to order the right items on the menu that’s why the meal wasn’t too memorable for me (or maybe for all of us?).

Three days out of our one-week stay in Malaysia were spent on day tours. We had the privilege of booking a fantastic tour group with Kannan being our personal tour guide/ driver. I haven’t participated in a lot of tours since most of my travels consisted of navigating the streets and sights on my own, but I was definitely impressed with how Kannan kept us company in those three days. He was one of the friendliest and most patient people I have ever met.

One of the activities he had us attend was the Fireflies Tour in Kuala Selangor. The location for that was roughly an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur. Prior to that, we were ushered to Kuan Hwa Seafood Restaurant, a seafood place overlooking the river, to make sure we have a full stomach before heading to the boat.

Kuan Hwa signage photo KuanHwaSignage_zps854d2f75.jpg

Kuan Hwa Seafood Restaurant_reserved sign photo Reservedsign_zps9e3219ff.jpgThere were a lot of these signs on the tables located in one side of the restaurant. It’s so obvious that these were all for the tourists who will be participating in the Fireflies Tour.

Kuan Hwa Seafood Restaurant_Fried Fish photo KuanHwa_friedfish_zps602df777.jpgWhen we were finally seated comfortably, Kannan informed us that our meal for the night has already been pre-ordered and all we had to do was wait for the dishes to arrive. I, for once, was glad about this since it meant that I had some time to appreciate our surroundings instead of debating on what to order.

One of the dishes we had was this platter of fried fish. I honestly had no idea what kind of fish they served us since the wait staff were all in a rush and simply dumped most of the dishes on our table. It didn’t help that the ones we spoke with all seemed so shy. There was one who was able to quickly converse with us in Mandarin, but it was just to ask us for our drinks.

Kuan Hwa Seafood Restaurant_Nestum Prawns photo KuanHwa_NestumPrawns_zps9c28eb4a.jpgOne of my favorite dishes for the night was this platter of Cereal Shrimp. I really enjoy this dish anywhere I go; mainly for the sweet-spicy flavor and the texture of the cereal. I plan to recreate this dish here at home.

Kuan Hwa Seafood Restaurant_Fried Crab photo KuanHwa_FriedCrab_zpsed26649c.jpgA crab dish was also part of our meal for that night. Although these crabs were a bit on the small side, I think everyone was still able to try some of it. The Boyfriend was really nice enough to get his hands dirty and smash open a claw or two so that I could get the meat easily.

Kuan Hwa Seafood Restaurant_Mixed Vegetables photo KuanHwa_MixedVegetables_zps94c5a47c.jpgThis Mixed Vegetable dish was nothing too extravagant but I found it to be pretty nice.  I liked how the vegetables weren’t overcooked and still had that nice crunch to them.

Kuan Hwa Seafood Restaurant_Fried Rice photo KuanHwa_friedrice_zpsd2b98636.jpgI also had quite a big serving of the Fried Rice and really didn’t mind if I no longer got to eat more of the other dishes (cereal prawns excluded!). I found this one to be strangely comforting; it’s like being at home and eating the stuff that my Dad makes.

In all honesty, I thought we had a pretty decent meal at Kuan Hwa. It was nothing mind-blowing but it did make us full and ready to go through the Fireflies Tour. We ended the meal around 7 or 7:30pm and were just in time for the next boat that would leave for the tour.

The tour itself didn’t take very long, and sadly, there weren’t a lot of fireflies out and about when we were there. I was expecting them to be flying all over the place, but they were mostly stuck within the trees. I think I may have watched too many cartoons and expected too much. 😛 It also didn’t help that some of the people we were in the boat with kept on using flash photography while trying to take photos of the insects. They were at it for quite some time despite the tour guide telling them to stop using their flash. 😦 Overall, it was an okay experience, but I most probably would not sign up for something like it again.

**Kuan Hwa Seafood Restaurant’s address is No. 1A, Jalan Bagan Sungai Yu Pasir Penembang 45000 Kuala Selangor.


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