dim sum house - Yuan Garden


“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh," said Piglet at last, "what's the first thing you say to yourself?"
"What's for breakfast?" said Pooh. "What do you say, Piglet?"
"I say, I wonder what's going to happen exciting today?" said Piglet.
Pooh nodded thoughtfully. "It's the same thing," he said.” 
― A.A. Milne


once in two months or so, Ken and i indulge ourselves over breakfast with some dim sum goodness. there's this dim sum house just 10 minutes away from where we live, and i thought perhaps i'll start a little breakfast series with it. a dim sum house series -- because there's a whole lot of them where we are and it is one of our favorite indulgence. sipping hot tea in the morning, with fresh, piping hot dim sum of our choosing :)

it was Sunday and we woke a little late, just in time for brunch. dim sum is often a weekend rituals for families, and we were lucky that we did not have to wait around for tables this time around.

(photo via my instagram)

i did forget to take a picture of the restaurant itself, though they recently relocated from their previous location and moved to a smaller space, and it seems they're still in the middle of trying to beautify the place a little. we sat at a table at the porch, with enough morning sunshine to bask in. made our order and waited for just a few minutes before the food are served. they used to bring the dim sum push-carts around and let us choose anything we want from the carts, but this time we had to order from the menu. 

'lo mai gai' is one of my favorite dish, it's steamed glutinous rice with chicken, slices of chinese sausage and shiitake mushrooms. this one did not disappoint. couldn't resist the steamed pork bun (char siew bao), i love the black char siew filling, it was cooked they way i like it. the red chili stuffed with fish paste was a rather good appetizer. generous fillings!

one cannot have dim sum and not have some 'siew mai' -- pork dumplings with a dash of fish roe as toppings. a good dim sum house is judged based on their siew mai, i suppose. these were satisfactory, though smaller in size to what we're used to.

steamed glutinous rice, wrapped with lotus leaf. filled with roasted pork, salted egg yolk, dried shrimps and mushroom. it is a special dish, though we got a little disappointed -- the steamed rice was a little dry. i hope we'll find better ones soon, i've never actually tasted this dish before! Ken told me the outstanding ones are usually meticulously prepared, so not all dim sum houses serve these. i imagine it would be so yummy, especially that it's wrapped with lotus leaf, the aroma is irresistible.

overall, the dim sums here are pretty decent for the price we paid, if not a little overpriced -- each dish was a little expensive compared to other places we've been to. though i do love the steamed pork bun and Ken loves their homemade steamed fish balls. also, the prawns in their 'chee cheong fun' (rice noodle roll) are exceptionally fresh! we were so stuffed and made our way home, skipping lunch and had a late dinner. a good Sunday indeed :)

 location: Yuan Garden Dim Sum House, Jalan SS2/24, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

sweet, sweet treats


we brought home some sweet treats from our trip to Melaka last month, and i have been trying my best to make them last as long as i can -- else we'll have to plan another trip soon just for these! whenever we travel, we look for local treats to bring home and it has became a habit, one i wouldn't trade for anything else. instead of little souvenirs, we have more of these, given as gifts to close family and friends too. these are healthy snacks, and i can enjoy them within a few months - such sweet, lasting reminder of the trip itself :)

left - Tan Kim Hock's coconut cookies, made of dried, shredded coconut. fragrant, with a creamy and crispy taste of the savory coconut flavor when eaten. very high in fibre, and perfect for teatime. 

right - San Shu Gong's gula tarik kok-kok, traditional pulled candies made of palm sugar and coconut milk. in the olden days, these candies are made by the roadside, sold by vendor (or candy man) who ride around in their bicycles, selling candies to children. he'll use a metallic cutter and a small hammer to cut the candy into small pieces, making staggering kok! kok! sound. hence the cute name! the packaging itself is spot on. it has a mild, sweet palm sugar taste which i love, it's not overwhelming.

eight shores + why


a photo from our trip to Penang, November 2014. did you know pagodas were used in the olden days to store or seal sacred relics? we love the fact that it somehow relates to why we blog -- storing 'moments'.

it's been almost three months since the change of the blog's name and design. i realized now that i never really got around to sharing a little meaning behind it. i have been getting some questions, so i thought a quick post is appropriate :)

what happened to 'shasummerwine'?
this blog was started mid-2014, out of pure curiosity and to have a little corner for myself on the net where i can share some of the pictures i take and write a little. i did have a blog years ago when i was in college, but abandoned -- life got a little crazy. the name shasummerwine was a 'spur of the moment' decision and as time passes, i outgrew it. 

this blog is more of mine and Ken's now, it isn't just me, it's ours. he take photos too, gives his opinion on things, the one who got my back/read my post minutes after i secretly draft one and hit publish, and more than i could possibly explain with words! he kept me going. the old name didn't really catch-up with that, i think. it was a word made up of half my name, the summer all-year situation we got around here, and the fact that we love wine. simple as that, but we're not. 

the brainstorming for a new name went on and on for a month or so, until one day Ken said - oh, that one sounds good. apparently, there were lots of crazy ideas in my head...

the number 8 = the infinity (∞) symbol, rotated +/- 45°. i love the concept of infinity. limitless. i wanted this blog to be just that in many sense, a place to share, documenting our little adventures, and keep notes of all the things that Ken and i love and are intrigued by. we'll see how it goes!
also, the number 8 is a lucky number for the Chinese. i'm a little superstitious, you see. fact: Ken is Chinese and i believe in more 'nonsense' than he does, or so he said...

we grew up along the shores of South China Sea, about a thousand kilometers away, across the sea from each other -- before we met in 2011. i thought of the sea, and the quietness of the possibilities it etudes. a reminder of sweet escapades and wanderings.

as we find our ways through life changes and cherish the little things in between, i'm glad we have this space. he might post something too every now and then, we'll see! 

The question isn’t ‘What are we going to do?’
The question is 'What aren’t we going to do?’
― Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)

food finds - breakfast in tropicana + black jelly indulgence


my photos archive gets ridiculously food-related sometimes, and when this happens i usually ended up deleting some, and then some. though when they were taken i'm sure i had intentions to probably post about it someday. that don't always happen, i'm a woman of many distractions. in light of trying to document 'now', instead of months after, i'll share some today - here's two restaurants with food that Ken and i enjoyed lately. these are located in Tropicana Mall, where we sometimes run kitchen errands, and watch movies.

1. Kluang Station

there's an outdoor seating section, perfect for breakfast time. our local coffee culture is flourishing recently with establishments like this one, i love the fact that we can indulge in Hainan coffee surrounded by traditional old train station decor concept. having to stay all day long in air-conditioned rooms when i'm at work, i love the morning sun when i'm on leave. so sometimes we opt for eating out, and this place is quickly becoming one of my favorite.

messy hair, don't care. this time i had Kluang Mee Siam, a plate of spicy and mildly sourish Siamese delight -- fried vermicelli noodles served with a piece of lime and a dollop of 'sambal' for that extra spicy kick. also came with various toppings such as beansprouts, red chilies, shredded omelette. i love it.

the riley


it all stemmed from a little desire -- impromptu decisions and everything that entails. i wanted a getaway, a quiet one. somewhere we can feel like we're away from the buzzing city, but a place where we can still enjoy the exotic things Melaka has to offer. it wasn't my first time in Melaka, but i never really had the chance to explore the city at my own pace, instead it has always been a day trip, in and out within hours.  this time, we had a place to rest for the night, hit refresh and explore again the next day, re-fuel, fresh eyes.

The Sterling is hidden in Melaka's Little India, which came to my surprise -- we got lost trying to find it, tucked away in an alley but just minutes away from the center of the old town by foot. also came to my surprise -- the room is larger and more beautiful than i thought it would be. with the price we were paying, and no, this is not a 4 or 5-star hotel, i think the place deserves more attention. it is a colonial-style boutique hotel with polite staffs, clean and beautiful environment.

here's another surprise -- i booked the room online, and it turns out there is a huge private jacuzzi in the bathroom. i wouldn't have expected it to actually be there, although it was listed in the room details online, but for the price, and the fact that we just wanted a place to rest for the night -- this was a bonus! we took some time to actually figure out ways to make the tub work, and finally spent couple of hours in it. after a longggg day of walking, it was heaven. plus some wine ;)