Thursday, October 23, 2008

Catch and Release (2006)


A woman struggles to accept the demise of her fiancé and the secrets he kept from her as she rebuilds her life.

Boring with a capital B.

Rating: 1/5.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Syawal Homemade Spread

Bihun sup (rice vermicelli soup) with beef, fried anchovies, sliced coriander leaves and thick soy sambal.

Fried anchovies

Thick soy sambal for rice vermicelli soup

Mum's laksa utara. Laksa utara is a fish–based 'curry' noodle cooked with ground shallots & galangal, lemon grass, dried asam/tamarind slices, bunga kantan (torch ginger buds) & salt.

Each state/region in Malaysia has its own version of laksa. Some use fish as the curry base, some use coconut milk (laksa lemak), some add pineapples, etc.

Garnish the laksa utara with sliced cucumber, onions, red chillies, daun kesum (Vietnamese mint leaf) & bunga kantan (torch ginger buds).

Nasi tomato with acar timun, ayam masak merah and kurma daging (tomato rice with cucumber and pineapple pickle, chicken in chilli and tomato sauce, and beef kurma).

Beef kurma

Daging masak merah (beef in red sauce)

Prawn fusilli and farfalle carbonara

Little niece's garlic bread

My sister's kerapu masak lima rasa (garoupa in 5flavour sauce)

Bawal masak merah (pomfret in chilli and tomato sauce)

Prawn curry

Prawn tempura

Butter prawns

Fried chicken; marinated with turmeric and salt, then fried with curry leaves.

Mixed vegetables

Prawn and petai (cluster bean) sambal

Prawns in turmeric sauce

Steamed ulam (herbs), mengkudu (noni) and jantung pisang (banana bud/blossom).

Sambal belacan (shrimp paste sambal)

Lepat pisang (steamed banana cakes)

I have been spoilt with homecooked dishes throughout the months of Ramadhan and Syawal. These were all cooked recently.

Georgia Rule (2007)

The film is about a rebellious teen who was sent by her alcoholic mother to spend the summer with her grandmother. Secrets were revealed during her stay and all three began to understand one another.

Never liked Lindsay Lohan. Thought this would be another teen
angstkindoffilm. With Jane Fonda, Felicity Huffman and Dermot Mulroney, it was better than expected.

Rating: 1.5/5.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Idyllic Islands Part VII

One of the few final shots of Kampung (Village) Selat Bagan Nyior on Pulau Dayang Bunting

Some oitment bought at a gamat factory in Kuah, the capital of Langkawi. Langkawi is well–known for its gamat emas oil among the Malays. Gamat Emas (Golden Sea Cucumber) is a marine creature used by the Malays since a long time ago. Gamat is able to treat and defend itself biologically. It's said that if you cut gamat in half and then throw the halves back into the sea, the gamats will bind itself back into one.

Historically, women have used gamat emas as medicine after childbirth and surgery, wound healing, ulcer, chest pain, pneumonia and asthma. Scientific research have shown that gamat can be used as a painkiller and generate wound healing. Read more about this magical creature here:

Pretty seashells

Mid morning water by the beach, taken from the veranda.

We had a blissful break. We have been to Langkawi many times, but this trip was different than the rest. We experienced being coastal villagers first–hand; caught some seafood – cockles, crabs, fish, prawns, and even birds. Wasn't too keen with the humidity on the islands, though.

Farewell, idyllic islands of Langkawi. God willing, we'll definitely return. Squid scooping on a moonless night and a quest for island honey on our next visit, perhaps? I'd love to get more gamat products as well.

Idyllic Islands Part VI

A kelong in between Pulau Tuba and Pulau Dayang Bunting. Kelong is a form of offshore platform built predominantly with wood. Kelongs are built by fishermen primarily for fishing purposes, although larger structures can also function as dwellings for them and their families. They are built without the need for nails, using rattan to bind tree trunks and wooden planks together. Source:

The new bridge connecting Pulau Tuba and Pulau Dayang Bunting

Pulau Dayang Bunting (left), Pulau Langkawi (middle) and Pulau Tuba (right).

Part of Pulau Tuba from the bridge

Views of the islands from Kampung Selat Bagan Nyior on Pulau Dayang Bunting

The ample chalet ground

High tides kicking in

We went for another bike ride around the islands before we left.

Idyllic Islands Part V

The sea during low tides

Looking for bronok in the evening. There were some scattered showers on the islands.

Bronok, a sea creature living in the shallow waters of some Langkawi islands. Bronoks shoot/spray liquid from its front to swim in the water and to escape your grasp. Its texture is rubbery.

Bronok kerabu (salad), a local delicacy. The bronoks are cleaned and sliced before herbs and onions are added to make kerabu. No cooking involved.

Steamed cockles. We caught the cockles ourselves.

Another bird trapped on the net. This little one was fiesty.

Sunrise on Pulau Tuba. Took these shots from our veranda on Pulau Dayang Bunting.

Fishing on the beach. Yes, beach!

Some fish, shrimps and crab.

Big prawns bought on the island. These were about the size of one's palm. They're sold between RM24 RM27 per kg compared to the mainland; RM30++ RM50 per kg. The prices on the mainland would go as high as RM90++ per kg during Chinese New Year. Some companies and individuals based on the mainland would order these direct from the fishermen for events and such. Current exchange rate: US$1 = RM3.525.

More activities on the second and third day before we left the islands.