One Month in Europe : The Budget (GBP2070)

So, I finally finished compiling everything I spent on while I was in Europe last Christmas, from the moment I land until the moment the plane took off.

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Restaurant at Bled Castle

According to my travel journal, I have spent in total £2070.41 for one month. I went over the rough sketch of my expenditure and I am over the budget and yet under the budget at the same time.

This is the chart, in pounds :

Money spent on mainland Europe (not UK) – 764.11

Money spent on shopping – 235.00

Money spent on accommodation – 324.00

Money spent on transport – 175.00

Return ticket to Europe (bought at 6.5 rate) – 392.30

Money spent on food in London – 93.50

Miscellaneous – 89.50 (shampoo, toothpaste, Ted Baker etc)

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Krakow mall

I allocated £2228.30 for this trip. So basically, I was under the budget by £157.89. Which is good. I was overbudget in the sense that I thought I could go waaaaaaay below this budget. I’d have, except that I went crazy with shopping. You know, in conjunction with my birthday, Christmas, and New Years Eve. I always get new clothes or shoes during the last week of the year and I tend to follow traditions. It was still a good budget. I ate in a castle, went to a pub crawl, ski at one of the most beautiful place in Europe,  dressed up in colonial style clothes, went skating  with a new friend, had coffee at some of most beautiful cafes in the world, ate out mostly, bought plenty of toys, new sweaters and dresses, and had plenty of cakes for breakfast, and last but not least, I went gambling as well.

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If i don’t buy the Ted Baker, the snow boots, the Lacoste shoes or the souvenirs that are now collecting dust in my room, I can easily spend less than RM10,000.

All in all, it was a good trip. I can’t wait until the next one. 🙂

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Setapak King of Chicken

 

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In an inconspicuous shop hidden deep within the belly of Setapak area lies one of the best chicken rice stall ever. I have been living in Setapak for years and I didn’t know about it until one of my ex-colleague took me there for lunch.

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They are famous for their fried chicken legs. If you are nearby, why not hop into the store for a cheap meal?

For the price of RM35, you can get a family sized meal, assuming your family consist of 4 adults. We ordered 2 fried chicken legs, fatty char siew and 2 portions of steamed chicken. It came with 4 servings of chicken rice and 4 portions of soup. If you order the normal chicken rice set, I think it’s around RM5-6 per portion. I would say that’s pretty good bang for your buck. 🙂

Location : Jalan Langkawi, near Kondominium Teratai Mewah, Kuala Lumpur (Setapak area)

Closed on Tuesday and opens from 10.30 am-3 pm.

 

Feast in Europe

Hi y’all!

This is just a post documenting and compiling some of the food I ate in Europe during my travels in Dec-Jan 2017 and May-June 2015. I know that there is Asian food in my photos, but I am Asian, born and bred in Malaysia. I can only go without Asian food for so long.

Well, enough said.

Let the feast begin!  

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Spaghetti Pomodoro and white wine at Campania, London

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Deer Medallion in red wine sauce and dumplings in Restaurant Castle Bled, Bled, Slovenia
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Bled Cream Cake at Bled, Slovenia
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Kimchi Jjigae at Kim 186, Salzburg, Austria
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Tom yum Goong and Stir fry pork at Bangkok Thai, Salzburg, Austria
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Beef Pho at Prague, Czech Republic
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Lasagna set and Mixed Platter set at Hotel Eberl, Finkenberg, Austria
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Cheese fondue at Basel Christmas Market, Marketplatz, Basel, Switzerland
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Gratinated Strukli at La Struk, Zagreb, Croatia
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Fried potato pancake at Christmas Market with Gooka, Hungary
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Stuffed cabbage at Budapest Christmas Market, Hungary
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Chimney cake at Christmas Market, Budapest, Hungary
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Pancakes with Nutella at Zagreb, Croatia
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Oreo Cheesecake and latte at The Sweet, Budapest, Hungary
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Cafe Latte at Massolit Books and Cafe, Krakow, Poland
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Beef Pho at Prague, Czech Republic

 

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Pulled pork with doughballs and sauerkraut at Vienna, Austria

 

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Horse meat with poppyseeds bun, Vienna, Austria
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English breakfast and latte at Kavarna Misto, Prague, Czech Republic
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Trdelnik at Prague, Czech Republic
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Lunch menu at Bistro Gourmant, Colmar, France

 

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Blood sausage, pork and beef sausage, potato with bacon, bread and sauerkraut at Prague Christmas Market, Czech Republic

 

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Sundubu jjigae at Prague, Czech Republic

 

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Old Prague Ham at Prague Christmas Market (obviously not the whole thing), Czech Republic

 

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Wild Boar Goulash at Muj Salek Kavy, Prague, Czech Republic
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Sea Urchin at Borough Market, London, UK

 

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Huge fresh oysters at Borough Market, London, UK
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Belgian Waffle at Brussels, Belgium
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Ice-cream at Lake Brienz (Interlaken), Switzerland
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Bread, Croquettes and Beer at Utretch, Netherlands
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Sashimi at Krakow, Poland
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Oscypek at Zakopane, Krakow, Poland
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Ice cream at Cologne, Germany
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Hot apple cider at Colmar, France
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Coffee at London, UK (photo credit : Daniel Dinesh Thomas)

 

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Lobster at Burger & Lobster, London, UK
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English Breakfast at London, UK
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Bratwurst at Berlin, Germany
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Cafe Latte at Bled, Slovenia
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Starbucks, Salzburg, Austria
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Fresh Strawberries, Krakow, Poland
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Bratwurst, Vienna, Austria
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Blueberry Pancake in London, UK
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Qatar Airlines

Pulp by Papa Palhelta

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PUTRA LRT at 6am in the morning

Hello, people. Sorry for the lack of postings. I’ve been slacking off recently. Well, not really slacking off. I just can’t make myself to write. I guess my mood can be erratic at times, especially when it comes to writing.

As you can tell from my previous two to three posts, the writing style was really bad. I couldn’t get myself into the mood but I still want to generate at least 1 post every week. The result of that is sub-par work.

So, from now on, I’m only going to write whenever the mood strikes me. Pretty irresponsible, but with my full-time job right now, I just can’t find the time to sit down and think properly. about how to write. But I promise, I’d try to post whenever I can and only if the write up is good.

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To start with, my current job requires me to work half-day on Saturday. Given that I am always tired on Sunday, I make it a point to meet up with my friends on Saturday afternoon immediately after work. Once I reached home, there is no way I’d go anywhere.

During one of such afternoon, I went out with Leon for a lunch at PULP. I like the environment at PULP. It’s spacious and their coffee is not that bad. Given that I am slightly claustrophobic, I usually prefer to eat at somewhere spacious. If someone suggested a place which is tight and small, obviously I won’t say no. But I’d have to sit at certain area, otherwise I can’t breath properly.

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So, PULP. A while back, I was tasked with searching for a place for our company meeting. I decided to look at PULP’s menu to see if it is worth it. I’ve been thinking about eating there since then.

Since Leon wasn’t particular about what he wanted, I decided to order the Breakfast For Two which consists of baked chickpea, green peas in tomato based with beef sausage topped with eggs and serve along with hash brown and toast. That was certainly a mouthful! Anyway, what was supposed to be for two mostly ended up in my stomach. It was THAT good! Also, Leon is really bad when it comes to eating. He has the stomach of a 6 year old me.  The hashbrown was alright. Nothing special, so I gave it to Leon (hehehe). The rest was good. I don’t know how else to say that. It was just the right amount of saltiness and awesomeness. The aesthetics was pleasing enough to stir up my appetite. Although…I don’t know what the heck is with that slightly charred lemon. I ended up playing around with the lemon with my fork at the end of the meal.

All in all, I’d definitely go back again for their food.

Soong Kee : Beef Ball Noodle

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Last week, out of the blue, Calvin asked me out for lunch since he has an earlier lunch hour that day. So we went to Soong Kee. Calvin said this is a famous beef ball noodles shop. Previously, I would go to Shin Kee if I were craving for beef noodles. It was easier and closer to my office. However, once I get to know the way around Pasar Seni, I don’t mind going further and further away from the office, and in this case, Soong Kee was just one straight road from my office.

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RM15 for a large bowl of beef noodles with tendons (i think) and a small bowl of beef ball noodles.

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I don’t know if Soong Kee is owned by the same owner as Shin Kee – since they both have ‘Kee’, but I do prefer Soong Kee more. First, it is air-conditioned, something i look for whenever I’m in formal wear. Second, it is more than a hole in the wall which means that I don’t get nervous. (read : fear of being scalded) . Third, the beef balls that I had was large and had a slight chewy consistency, something I like in edible balls.

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However, there is something that Soong Kee should improve on : Cleanliness of the Vegetables. The veggies that accompanied the noodles were disappointing. I know that people don’t come here for the veggie, but it would be great if they would do something about it. Every freaking piece is bitter to the bite. Calvin said that this type of veggie is usually bitter, but I don’t think so. Despite the fact that I don’t know what is the name of the veggie, I do eat a lot of it and a properly cleaned version would not have the bitter taste.

Despite that, I’d still visit Soong Kee. It’s not easy to a good, air-conditioned, and reasonably priced restaurant.

Weekend 3 : Shin Kee Beef Noodles at Pasar Seni

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I stumbled upon this little restaurant a while back, before I even knew that it was famous. I was on my way to McD, and I thought, ‘Hey, might as well try it.” Let’s just say that I wasn’t too pleased with it. The first time was ‘Ok, a bit expensive but its beef’. The second time, I was like, “This is too average.”

Call me bias, but I still think that the best beef noodle is  Tangkak Beef Noodle from Kluang.

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Omg! Children destroying the school bus!!!

I went to work too early and I found this cute little known mural. Well, maybe not so little.

Weekend 2 : YUZU at Gardens

I went to Mid Valley with LGB and Daniel last weekend and as usual, we are plagued with the dilemma of ‘What to eat’. We went to the Pokemon Cafe at Jusco to buy some Pokemon merchandise. Then we just walked around for 30 minutes, starving yet indecisive. In the end, Daniel told us about this Japanese place that I have never been to. It’s called Yuzu and its located in Gardens. The price tag there is pretty hefty but there was no line and the set selections are pretty interesting.

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LGB and his Sake Oyako Don.
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I had the Sashimi and Beef Yakiniku set. RM52

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If you want to enjoy your meal slowly, you might want to pace yourself with the butter. I didn’t know and I just use all the butter at one shot. As a result, I have to cook the beef all at one go.

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The sashimi was good. It wasn’t spectacular or anything, but it beats Sushi King and Zanmai type.

 

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Daniel had an Ishiyaki Chicken and Tempura set – RM 38

To paraphrase Daniel’s words, the food taste like what it is worth. Nothing more and nothing less. I guess that’s good?

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Ebi Gyoza – RM33
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The decoration?

img20170204183537.jpgJust a side note : Did you know that there is a new Kit Kat custom shop in Mid Valley? It’s like Magnum, but with Kit Kat. I’m not really a fan of these DIY snacks. They are ridiculously expensive and they don’t taste as good as the original.

If you want to check out YUZU’s menu, here it is.

Chinese New Year Week

Hi guys! Sorry for the lack of update. As you may or may not know, last week was Chinese New Year. And yes, we do get our own New Year.. Not only that, we also get a Chinese birthday and a Western birthday.

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New Year Eve’s dinner (Chinese)

For other type of cultural festivals, I can usually control my weight efficiently. However, during Chinese New Year, there is no way I can do that. With all the yummy CNY snacks lying in every room of the house, it is impossible for me not to gain anything.

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Lou Sang

On the eve of Chinese New Year, most Chinese people would go back to their hometown and have the reunion dinner with their family. During the reunion dinner, there would be a ‘lou sang’ where everyone would yell stuff using Chinese proverbs which would have the meaning of prosperity, abundance of wealth, longetivity or having more children. It is believed that the higher you toss, the higher likelihood for your wish of being granted.

For the next few days, we would visit the rest of the family to get Ang Pows / Red Packet (only the married adults need to give red packets). Don’t worry about not having enough time to collect your ang pows. You have 1 month to visit each and everyone of your relatives.

We would also have lunch and dinner with various friends and family, and these aren’t your usual fare. I have had at least 5 ‘lou sang’ sessions, and I have been eating a feast from the Eve until Chor 9 (the 9th day of Chinese New Year). 

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On Chor 8, at exactly 12am, there would be fireworks blasting all over as the Hokkiens ‘Pai Tien Kong’ – pray to the Jade Emperor.

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Lining up the firecrackers
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More firecrackers 
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Making an offering 

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Apparently, the tradition started on the day when the war (not sure which) ended. The day they came out from hiding was the 8th / 9th of the Lunar New Year which coincides with the Jade Emperor’s birthday. Prior to that, the Hokkiens were hiding in the sugar cane plantations. Thus, during the praying ceremony, you’d see houses with sugar cane leaning against the door or at the altar. These sugar canes would have folded pieces of gold paper on it and it forms part of the offering to the Jade Emperor.

Chor 9 officially marks the end of my holiday, and my eating spree. I should watch what I eat for now. Took me one year to lose 2kg and 1 month to gain 5kg. What a life. #notcomplaining 

Weekend 1: Pasar Seni and Feeka

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Last weekend, I had to go to Pasar Seni to get something done. Once I was done with my stuff, I went for a little walk at Chinatown. I thought of buying a new makeup bag but I couldn’t find anything that I fancy. So, I ended up having lunch instead. There are plenty of food for me to choose from, but I ended up in one of the “lorong” (alleyways) to find something to eat. I got a Hakka Minced Meat Noodles with a cup of iced Herbal Tea to cool me down. I can’t say that I like the noodles very much. It was much too salty for my taste. I think it was the minced pork. It is mostly my problem and not the cook. I just doesn’t like salty or sweet minced pork.

You might want to downgrade your expectation when you are eating in alleyways. Not about the quality of the food, but the environment and the surrounding. We are talking about people who talk and laugh out loud like nobody business, and huge rats that dashed around scarying girls (and guys).

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Once I was done with lunch, I started to feel a little peckish. After walking around for a few minutes, I noticed that a lot of people are lining up at a Tau Fu Fah shop. So, I bought some fresh Tau Fu Fah (tofu pudding) to be eaten on the spot. They have three different types of sugar – White, Brown and one that I have never tried before, Ginger Brown sugar. Honestly, I don’t understand why people don’t sell Tau Fu Fah in Europe. It would be such a great hit. It’s healthy but sweet enough that kids would like them. It can be eaten cold and hot. I can only imagine eating Tau Fu Fah with Ginger syrup during winter.  

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By 2pm, I started to feel sleepy so I met up with Leon and we went to Feeka together. The first time I heard of Feeka, I thought of how similar it was to the Swedish ‘fika’ which is a concept in Swedish culture that means “to have coffee and cake/pastries”. Turns out, the cafe was opened with the same concept.

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Feeka is one of the more popular cafe in KL area, so it is always jammed packed with customers. However, the coffee was pretty average for me. I find that the beans used in Malaysia cafe tends to be a bit on the bitter side. I can drink it but I prefer smoother coffees like the one I had in Kavarna Misto. Their Japanese cheesecake was great though. It was so soft that it’s like eating cloud.

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If we were in a colder/drier country, I’d have sat outside. Too bad I’m a Chinese born and bred in Malaysia. That means that I was raised on the motto, “Stay out of the sun”.

Kluang, my hometown

2017-01-14-11.55.27-1.jpg.jpegI love my hometown and it has nothing to do with the fact that it is MY hometown. I love it because of how different it is compare to Kuala Lumpur. People in Kluang are more chill-lax, living expenses there does not make you want to kill yourself, and the food there is awesome. Sure, it’s a tad boring compare to the capital city, but after living in KL for the past 12 years, Kluang has become the place for me to escape from the city.

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Just because the town itself has nothing much, doesn’t mean that you can’t go anywhere else. Kluang is a town situated in Johor and thus, going to Johor Bahru/Singapore for a day trip is the common thing to do. If you are crazy enough, you can just drive down for a cup of good coffee. I think it is quicker to drive down to Singapore from Kluang, then to drive up to Kuala Lumpur.

 

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One of my favorite haunt is the original Kluang Rail Coffee. It is one of the place I’d remember from my childhood, and the place still look the same even though it has been 13-14 years since I last visit. For your information, I hate the idea of going to their franchise in KL. The feel just aren’t the same, nor does the taste of the buns. The original store used charcoal to toast their buns. I doubt the franchise store in One U can do that.

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2017-01-14-11.59.17-1.jpg.jpegOf course, you can’t just eat their soft buns slathered generously with kaya and REAL butter. You must eat their famous nasi lemak, which they still served in small portion wrapped in banana leaves. Definitely a good idea if you are trying to control your food portion. However, I doubt you can stop with just one packet. This is what I’d consider a good breakfast in Kluang Railway Station : 1 pack of Nasi Lemak, 2 Eggs, 1 Roti Bakar (the buns), and 1 Kopi (Coffee).

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When I was staying in campus, my British housemates freaked out when they saw me eating half boiled eggs as shown above. In their defense, I was a little annoyed when I was in Liverpool and they served me a half-boiled egg in an egg cup and it was about 3/4 boiled. I had to send the waiter back with instructions on how to make it Asian style.

So, the question is : For travelers that dropped by Malaysia, have you ever tried half-boiled eggs here?  What are your thoughts on eating them with a few drops of soy sauce and a dash of white pepper?