Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dance Day for Earth

Being responsible and care for nature does not mean only not littering or not wasting natural resources, although both means so much in keeping the planet cleaner and healthier. There is another thing that is still lacking - love, that includes make connection with mother earth. It is like taking care of our house, or more personally, our body. You not only keeping it clean (hygiene) but also maintaining your body in a tip-top condition at your best and at the same time paying attention to feelings and level of esteem.

In conjunction with World Dance Day, this year Penang is holding it with the title as "Dance Day for Earth"  emphasizing on soul connection - human to human, human to earth, and earth to human - from children to teenagers and adults, caressing the soft grass that is rooted to the soil.

Held at Fort Conwallis Penang in small groups, all workshops maintained the learning process effective by limiting the number of participants.The weather was not too good, big sun all the while and came dark clouds followed by down pouring, but it eventually helped to keep the number of patrons small.

Aida said, "although we received many students last year but it was too crowded and we end up not knowing whether the students benefited or what have they learned".

Different workshops including expressive dance for children & adult, contemporary dance, hip-hop, traditional Chinese dance, traditional Malay dance and improvisation session.


"This year we might not have such overwhelming response but we can monitor the progress and it will help us to do better next".

Sometimes it really isn't about the scale we do things, rather the effectiveness make the difference. To cultivate that awareness of allowing our body to listen to the whisper of mother earth is awakening our natural born instinct to connect with our source.

Before wrapping up the day, the showcase session consisting modern Japanese dance (performed by Ms. Hitomi), contemporary dance (performed by Phor Tay Private and Han Jiang Private), traditional Borneo dance, hip-hop and finally a part of River Project, delivered one very important message - connection happens when we pay attention.

One thing I like very much about the night: the rain put everyone, performers and audience, under one roof on the stage (because that's the only place with shelter) - we all perform and watch at the same time in our lives, thus play that role with people around us and most of all live up to the fullest!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Rice Noodle that Immerse in the Love of a Mother

Soup is the fundamental concern.

Different sellers heavily rely on their secret weapon to stand out of the crowds. After all there are too many hawkers selling the same thing so in order to have their own personality to distinguish themselves from others, they have to put in their signature.

The most common base for rice noodle is chicken soup. I am sure you have heard how cooks repeated "carefully selected fresh chicken is cooked to get the original sweetness of the soup, giving the enriched taste sipping to its last drop". However everybody knows "the original sweetness of chicken" can easily be obtained through something called "chicken stock" today. So how to give the soup a real original touch? This KoeyTeowTh'ng seller has his own personal point.

Instead of ordinary chicken, he uses the ones with wisdom - older hen. This allows the soup to have that exquisite aroma that is totally different from every other chicken soup.

That is not all.

Although what really matter is what the tongue gets, but due to rice noodle has a rather pale look - the white rice noodle in clear soup, it needs something to seduce the eyes.

Combining meat balls and fish balls in different sizes, this bowl of rice noodle immediately provide the stimulation, not only that eyes need but also to our taste bud. 

Now this is a complete dish!

Let the smooth and silky rice noodle intertwine with motherly love slowly sliding down through the throat, and get on your feet to the tempo of munching the dente meatballs.

One and only stall in an alley, but is full of regulars and new comers.Where is it? Clarke Street, just opposite the Wantan Mee. That is how near Penang famous and delicious delicacies distant.

Bon appetite!

Saturday, April 02, 2011

The Dancing Wantan Mee

Ever thought of the food that you put into your mouth actually becomes image in your head when it runs through your tongue and teeth then slide down the throat?

First of all, you have got to love food. Loving in the sense of appreciating its details, including the texture, taste and picture that you see when you are enjoying it (and I mean not taking the place and people into account yet).

It's a heavy down pouring Friday morning. We had a breakfast date with a friend who found this classical and traditional Chinese Wantan Mee that eagerly wanted to share such discovery with us. And so we went.

I'll keep the other details such as the name and the look of the shop secret.

Let us focus on the main topic for now.

The magnificent Wantan Mee.

No stranger to many people in the world, Wantan Mee has been a very trusted Chinese Cantonese Food Ambassador for countless years. So what so special about this one?

The Wantan (dumpling) has to be smooth, that's is the first priority since it is called Wantan Mee (dumpling noodle). So, CHECKED.

The Mee (Noodle) has to be springy and individually separated (that means it has the necessary chewy and cleanly washed away the excess flour with sufficient water). Yep, CHECKED.

A Dry Wantan Noodle is mixed with dark soya sauce and some sesame oil with light soya sauce and sometimes the seller's secret recipe gravy. Things looked as simple as this require years or skill and experience because the moment everything is combined at a nicely controlled proportionate the dish will transform into something extraordinary. Of course, CHECKED.

When the noodle is well cooked and mixed, having the dumpling resting at the side, it needs some other touch up before serving - CharSiew (grilled seasoned pork), boiled green vegetables, and shredded chicken floss.

How often these days you still see a simple dish like this is being treated so nicely before sending down the customer's stomach? It is an art even it is food. Because all the heart in preparing such meal is presented when it is served.

The shiny and shimmering look gives our taste bud a boost and they almost dance in my mouth when my teeth  cut them into smaller pieces.

It is a plate of care-full dish. Because the temperature, the look, and the taste are all carefully taken into account.

Anyway, it would be even better if they can touch up with something very important that will elevate its everything - fried lard, because the aroma that lard creates is totally something indescribable.  Hah, that will be PERFECT!

Where's this shop? Take a little walk near Roti Canai Transfer Road. When you reach Caltex, look for 2 c'clock direction. Across the street by Argyll Road there is a small shop, but filled with people, locals that just sniff out right to find the best things in town.