Gluttony trip to Kuching

So, one random day I suddenly decided to buy tickets to Kuching. That was how my amazing trip began.

Gelang Patah Seafood Hunt

One of the best seafood place that I have tasted (in Johor).

Yummy Laksa Johor

The famous Tampoi Laksa that would make anyone's salivary glands working.

Trip to Palmerston North

So, from Dunedin, I flew up to Palmerston North for about a week for my placement in Palmerston North. Though it was meant to be strictly business only, I managed to have fun and as usual, just hang out with friends I cherish most. :)

Pancake Rocks

Popular stop for tourists when they are travelling along the West Coast of South Island. These rocks are actually limestones that were heavily eroded by the mildly acidic rain, wind and seawater formed about 30 million years ago from minute fragments of dead marine creatures and plants that landed on the seabed about 2km below the surface.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Of ham, meatballs and lamb

Well, just as mentioned in the title, this post is going to have some mouth watering dishes and we shall start off with one of the dishes that tasted fantastic.

Ham!!! Yummm... It wasn't thanksgiving or Christmas but we had yummy ham but to be honest, I didn't contribute to the preparation of this amazing dish. The ham was so well done and there was no secret. The master-chef said all he used was apricot jam and there's no need for fancy garnish on it. :)

Dinner was amazing. The ham tasted so good and we really enjoyed the night. :)
 After seeing pictures of food prepared by other people, I think it's time to see what I am capable of preparing (haha. I'm not that good at this actually. :) Haha)

So, after exams, I just suddenly have this urge to cook so I decided to make stuff up. These are totally random dishes because I went to the supermarket to get ingredients and just bought what I felt like. :) I didn't follow any specific recipe and just chucked whatever I thought would taste good in it but these really taste great. :)

This is the eggplant plus meatball dish during the preparation process. Just before I chuck in the sauce. It's a relatively simple dish to make but don't be fooled by the presentation. Eggplants actually soak up a lot of oil and I fried both the meatballs and the eggplant so this dish is not as healthy as it may seem. Owh well, getting on with the dish, for the meatballs, I marinated the pork mince with cajun seasoning and soy sauce. Simple yet yum. I also added some mushed up mushroom into the meatballs just for some flavouring, rolled them up into balls and fried them.

This is the end product of the dish. After frying the meatballs and the eggplant, I made the sauce from black pepper, oyster sauce, soy sauce, chillies, green peas and onions. The ingredients made it really oriental but tastes really good. The sauce was quite thick and really goes well with the meatballs. :)
Right, then after making the eggplant dish, I went on a cooking frenzy and decided to make sweet and sour prawns and steamed peas. This is quite healthy except if you discard the amount of uric acid in the prawns. Haha. I totally cheated on this dish. I used instant mix of the sweet and sour sauce but still, it was really yummy. :)

A week later, I was walking in the supermarket thinking what should I have this week and I came across this lamb rack that really caught my attention. God only knows why it was so tempting but I bought a whole rack and grilled it. I marinated it with mixed herb (some mint and whatever dehydrated herbs I could find in my cupboard) and some soy sauce, stuck it in the oven and let it grill for about 20 minutes. The results? It was so good. It wasn't overcooked so I really enjoyed it. I had steamed asparagus with it and some Greek Yoghurt to go with it. Loved the dish. :)

Since I bought a whole rack, for dinner, I pan fried the lamb ribs. It tasted awesome. I didn't use any oil and only used the oil from the lamb itself to fry it and gosh, the taste was so good. I had it with sesame buns (which I got from the supermarket) and Greek Yoghurt. Such a great blend of taste. The sesame bun tasted so good when I pan fried it in the lamb oil... Oooh la la~~ I know it has high cholesterol but I can't help it. Haha.

That's the few dishes I was keen on sharing with everyone on my blog. Haha. Now I'm hungry. :)


Matamata Part 2

Here are more pictures of my trip to Matamata. :) I was in Matamata for my placement and I absolutely fell in love with the place. It's a small town but quite busy because many tourists stop by to jump on board in the Hobbitton tour. Here are some pictures I took during this awesome trip but don't be deceived. The pictures I took may be amateur but the view was definitely breathtaking... :)

Founder's park not too far away from the motel I was staying
(it was Horse and Jockey Inn).
 Nice place to stay and you get really nice view too. :)

The path towards the Tower. It was funny how the walk up to the tower took so much longer than the trip back. Haha. Probably because I was so fascinated by the surroundings that I did spent a lot of time having photo stops. :)

Shot this from my window in the motel. Such an awesome scenery after a long day at work. :) I love sunset. :)

This was the starting point of an amazing walk. I really enjoyed the walk. The pictures I took during the walk will be up soon in a separate post. :)

Before I left Matamata, I decided that I have to go for a stroll around the place. Hence, I had a good 2 hours walk up to the Tower and then spent the rest of the day just walking around town (because my legs were so sore from the long walk and I had a sore knee which made it worse). Haha. Nonetheless, I had a really good time just enjoying the scenery around me. The outskirts of the town was mostly farms and gosh, they have one of the loveliest views of nature I can possibly imagine. :)

If given a choice, I wouldn't really mind staying in a serene place like this and be greeted by the sheep every morning from my window. Haha. I love country homes. :)

Here's another picture of how the farm overlooks the mountains ahead. Words just cannot describe how beautiful the place was. It is something that I have always thought exist only in photos and paintings. :)

After a long tiring walk, I finally arrived at the
Firth Tower. :) Firth Tower was built by Auckland
 businessman Josiah Firth after acquiring 56,000 acres
from his friend Wiremu Tamihana, chief of Ngati Haua.
The 18m concrete tower (1882) was a fashionable
 status symbol rather than for defensive purposes.
 It’s filled with Maori and pioneer artefacts and
around it are 10 other historic buildings,
including a schoolroom, church and jail.
It’s 3km east of town. (got these information
from lonely planet)
Firth Tower Museum Entrance.

After the long walk to the Tower, I decided to just walk
 around town to spend the rest of my day in Matamata.
This is the other end of the Centennial Drive. :)

It was the end of winter and beginning of spring when I was there.  The flowers were blooming and these magnolias really looked pretty.

One of the statues situated in the middle of the divider. I think this is quite symbolic of the town because it shows how the whole family is united and I really liked the statue,

Here's another pretty one. :)

A huge landmark welcoming visitors to Matamata. This is found in front of the Matamata Primary School.

I felt really sad to leave Matamata partly because I really liked the place and I did not want to get back to the reality of life where assignments, tests and exams await me. Haha. All the memories I gathered throughout the trip are memories that I will treasure. Especially when my preceptor and everyone there were so nice to me that it did not feel like an alien place to me. :)


Saturday, 3 November 2012

Matamata Trip

Here are some awesome pictures to share of my trip to Matamata. I know this happened about a month ago but I still wanted to show you guys this amazing place. :) Hope you'd like it. :)

  Matamata is a lovely small town in the middle of the New Zealand north island. It is about an hour drive away from Hamilton so it is quite accessible. Just fly in to Hamilton and catch a bus from there. The people in the town are lovely and they are quite used to having visitors around as it is the hub to the Hobbitton movie set tour. If you are visiting, New Zealand, this is definitely one site that you never want to miss. :)

One of the decorations in the i-Site building. This whole town is filled with influences from the Hobbitton because tourism is a big source of income for the businesses in this town. These lovely carvings portray some of the Maori culture unique to New Zealand. :)

Not far away, here's a statue of Gollum holding a fish. It is not uncommon to get statues and sculptures of him around town. This is because the Hobbitton is one of the major movie setting for the movie the Lord of the Rings. :)

A little puppet hobbit sitting around casually at the top of the shelf. :)

This is what I was talking about. :) Hobbitton movie set tour decoration just outside i-Site. :) Just while I was waiting for the bus to pick us up for the tour. For the records, the bus was late because it broke down half way through and they had to send a few smaller rescue coaches. Haha. It was a cute scenario. Plus, because it was getting late, I didn't get my farm tour but owh well, can't blame them I suppose. :)

That is a big Gollum sitting in the middle of the divider welcoming people into town. :)

That's another decoration outside i-Site. :)

A closer look at Gollum. :) Hehe.

That's Gollum from the front. I really like the way how the architecture of many parts of the town revolved around the movie. :) Plus, everybody seem to love Gollum's presence here. Haha.

Classic signature horse representing Matamata. :)

One of the lovely scenery of the town. :)

This is a cute sculpture just outside a vet clinic. I found it really interesting and quite symbolic as to what sort of services the place offers. Very smart marketing. Haha.

Just one of those moments when you take a picture and decided to put some logic into it. Haha. :)

The whole town basically was filled with beautiful landscapes like this. I think everyone in town just loves their gardening. :) Not that I'm complaining. Not at all actually. I really love the place.

The signature clock tower welcoming visitors just as they step into town. The tower changes colours at night. Magical isn't it? Haha. It's just the light shining on it that changes colours actually but owh well. I'll just be dramatic. :)

In one of the parks.

Just outside i-Site. :)

One of the pretty murals that we saw on our way back from the Hobbitton tour. I really loved this mural. :)

Well, that's it for the first post back from a long drought but watch out for more. :) I'm on holidays now and that means lots of blogging (I hope). :)