November 13, 2011

Here’s a thought

It has been stormy. As things are trying to settle itself in this new environment, emotionally life was shaken by the few takes. Over the weeks, while I’m swamped with work and maneuvering the unusual, surprises bite me. Few times.

But before that, the last gastronomical adventure took me around Pengkalan Weld. The place is famous for the houses in stilts, built along the straits and and categorized by clans and Chinese surnames.
Walking on the wooden planks, every steps creaks and to the residents it became daily rhythm of life. The creaks vary by speed, weights, walking style and of daily routine sorts. (ahem!) And while I walked out from the neighborhood, I spotted this little restaurant, Kar Bee Cafe with a line of people waiting. It is a seafood place servicing noodles and porridge, where you pick your choice of seafood, carb, soup base (or porridge) and wait.

That evening I feel like having Tom Yum with thick beehoon (rice vermicelli), prawns, fried fish and squids. Using the plate stacking system, I’d say they are pretty fast for a restaurant with just one cook. And the continuous buzzing gas-flame that whirrs loudly, a sign of a good ‘wok hei’ (a very hot stove, to a point of slight burnt, significant in Chinese cooking).

So I slurp away my noodles, and first thought it felt like under salt. Or not. Second slurp, I could taste the sweetness of the fresh seafood. And later it all came in harmony it was perfect. Perhaps over the years, I have gotten use to stronger stock that it somewhat camouflaged the freshness of ingredients used. Here, it reminds me of the ‘just-right-subtleness’ stocks and it brings out the seafood flavors better. Kinda like my grandma’s cooking, slightly under salt but the protein taste better.
So the meal came up to about RM 15++ with generous portion, definitely fresh and wholesome. Twas a good meal!

Kar Bee Cafe,

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And about the emo-surprises.
1) I missed an accident by inches on one of my drive back from Penang to KL. Mr. Sleepy 3 tonne lorry decided to sway to my lane at 1am. My massive honking woke him up or otherwise, catastrophic.

2) I had fever, and I pop in aspirins, thinking it would go away. But it didn’t, next day woke with a woozy feeling strange metallic taste in my mouth and sores on my tongue. Couple of hours later, my tongue hurts and it bleed. Then I lost my sense of taste for few weeks. Doctor couldn’t find anything wrong about it and told me about tongue cancer and ask me to observe for and anomaly. Tongue cancer!? Thankfully, the sores went away 2 weeks later and I regain my taste bud again. But during that period, it’s was depressing. I didn’t even know how to share it and kept it to myself for that 14 over days. Depressing shit.

3) The passing of an inspiring musician that I had briefly work with, Brian Tan of pancreatic cancer (during my 2 weeks of tongue/mouth observation). Depressing that he had left and more depressing thinking about what will happen if it I had cancer. Sounds silly, but I couldn’t escape thinking about death, funeral, love, family, friends and all.

Geez, it’s far off the usual foodie post, but it did wake me up on life. Still recovering from the depressing thoughts, but have set some priorities right too. Stay tuned !


Ciki said...

great post dear! Glad you are exploring Penang thoroughly.. lovely pix!

Paranoid Android said...

It was a surprise bumping into you today. I hope you didn't find me too unfriendly or sullen. I have not spoken more than 10 sentences today and sudden physical confrontation with another human being that required social skills was a shock to my system, especially in a large crowd.


Tony Vacation said...

Explore, explore, I am sure you will discover other interesting places that you can share with us!

Regina House said...

I am crazy for noodles, this is the food I can eat every day without a single complain!

Babe_KL said...

Wishing you a New Year filled with bright new beginnings. Happy New Year!

Kenny Mah said...

Sorry to read about your nasty emo-surprises; glad two of them ended well. It's at times like this we are reminded about what really matters to us.

Hope you feel better soon, bro... and life will kick us in the ass to get moving and living again, surely. :)


Office Cleaning said...

Aw that shot of the counter overfilled with temptations...Oh, its just too much for me. Want want want!