Of Office Politics and A Trip to Bintangor

Date:  June 15 2013

Weekends in The Boo makes me realise how much I love to be at work.  There is hardly anything interesting to do nor malls to go.  The TV series and movies on Astro TV Channels are uninteresting and can be made into historical docos, yet they have them on repeat.   I can’t do any outdoor activities due to the heat and haze.  With the rice-planting season coming next month, the farmers are preparing their land by burning the soil.  Burning has the effect of disinfecting the land while also acting as a natural fertiliser.

Today, I went on a road-trip to Bintangor which is about 45mins away.  All the bumping, rattling and shaking tired me out so I took a nap before my planned run in the evening.  Anyway, I got woken up by an email from the office at 4pm (on a Saturday arvo!!  Some serious OT here…), so I had to draft a reply to the retarded email from a director of the company.  He is also a ‘Datuk Pemanca’, that is ‘Justice of Peace’ or some sort of  leader in the Chinese Community in The Boo.  Let’s check out how retarded he is… Here are some of the highlights…

  1. Reading from prepared scripts (in English) in his thick Foochow accent, peppered with pompous, big, unpronouceable English words  – kinda funny trying to catch what he is saying and ask him to repeat;
  2. Reading from well-rehearsed and co-ordinated dialogues together with his accomplices  – totally like clowns putting on a monkey show, I totally dig that!  
  3. Retarded protocols such as telling a director and a shareholder of the company to meet the CFO of the company (who the hell is the CFO?  What is his name?) in the CFO’s office – Honestly dude, you got the hierarchy wrong.  Shareholder pays CFO’s salary, so CFO meets with Shareholder at the time of her convenience and on her terms! 
  4. Telling the Board of Directors that the Chairman and MD only do PR works, go to government and BOD meetings and NOT management meetings because he only reads Management Reports?  – Hell, aren’t you suppose to ‘manage’ the company.  Are you telling me, the MD only manages Directors?
  5. Shareholders and Directors are not allowed priviledged info – Hang on, Shareholders and Directors are to be kept in the dark without any knowledge of what their company is doing???

Hell!  Now you know what I mean, why I LOVE being at work in the office, lots of correspondences to write, tap, tap, tap, tapping on my keyboard and watching bad sketches.  An encounter with  tyrants/ retards/ idiots/ wankers…is FUN and really livens up the otherwise Boo-hoo-hoo Boo Town!

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Yes, I have digressed.  My trip to Bintangor… Can you imagine a bridge toll of RM5 per trip?  The trip is less than 1km long!  Penang Bridge costs less!  Who was the MP with the bad Elvis Presley  permed hair-do living in the ivory tower who approved that?  Let’s get the fact straight – RM10 per round trip is big money in The Boo.  Going by the kompia index, a bag of kompia, or Foochow bagels costs RM1 for 4 pieces and they are really filling…go figure!

So, the highlight of Bintangor is Bintangor Rojak from the famous No.7 Stall Wong Hung Ping at the Muslim food court.  This stall has been mentioned in newspapers as the selling the ‘Best rojak in Sarawak’!  A newspaper report is here

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Rojak:  A plate of pineapples, cucumber, pumpkins, Chinese gourd, deep-fried tofu and Chinese fried dough in sweet pungent caramelised fish sauce.  I especiallu liked the roasted peanut bits on top which gave the dish a wonderful aroma.  It is also very sweet.
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Fresh Coconut Water:  At RM3, very expensive.  This is old coconut, so the water is sweeter, with thicker,harder and creamier flesh

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Bintangor Oranges:  Sweet juicy oranges in green skins.  The size of grapefruits

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Bintangor Mandarins:  Sweet juicy mandarins in green skins.  The size of mandarins
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Read more on Bintangor here:

Up-Scale Malaysian Street Food @ JP Teres, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

JP Teres. What a weird name.  Seems to me Malaysians love abbreviations and it takes a local KLite to make the association.  When I first arrived KL, I was told to go to BB Plaza, where’s that?  Oh, Bukit Bintang Plaza, duh!  Then there’s  SSJ, SS, etc, etc, … don’t ask, I’ve no idea!  Besides, I don’t have a ride to venture out of KLCC  (another one!) and if I do, it’s chauffer driven in the un-metered taxi!

So what does JP Teres stands for?  It’s a cafe serving authentic Malaysian cuisine at Grand Hyatt Hotel at Jalan Pinang, duh!  JP!  And ‘teres’ I was told is a Bruneian spelling of ‘terrace’ as the Sultan of Brunei owns the hotel.

With overseas city-slickers in town, I wanted to show them local Malaysian specialties without too much walking or melting under the sun,  Madam Kwan’s at Pavilion near the fast-food court came to mind, but it is extremely noisy and not an impressionable entertaining spot.   Since  I have eaten at JP Teres a few times and also at its Western-Asian fusion sister, Thirty8 (my review here), I decided on lunch there.

The interior is a up-scale trendy cafe divided into Chinese, Malay/ Indian and Dessert show kitchens so you don’t get to miss out any actions at the local hawker stalls on the streets.  The waiters and waitresses are super-friendly and highly efficient. I’m loving the quirky blue jeans which is rather mod.

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BBQ roasted chickens lining up to be chopped for Hainanese Chicken Rice at the Chinese station

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So here’s how I introduced the Malaysian specialties. With a vegetarian amongst us, JP Teres did well to accommodate a vegan.

Fresh coconut:  We all got excited by coconuts.  Naturally in an Asian country, you order a coconut to quench your thirst.  It’s natural electrolytes and the young pulpy flesh is almost jelly-like.  I saw that locals ordering Iced Longan Tea… wonder how good that is…

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Satays:  Sweet meaty bites of beef and chicken to be dipped into sweet peanut sauce. Beats the gamey satays served by MAS hands down, I must say. I enjoyed the ‘lontongs’, which are compressed rice and a very traditional Malay delicacy.

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Beef Rendang:  Also know as ‘caramelised beef curry’.  This is my favourite dish of all, beef simmered for hours on end in rich spices and coconut milk.

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Chicken Mughlai:  A rich, creamy, thick Indian curry dish originating from the Mughal Dynasty in India

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Kangkong Belacan/ Kangkong Garlic (Vegetarian):  Kangkong is also known as ‘morning glory’. I’ve been advised not to eat too much of this veg from the swamps as it aggravates arthritis. Belacan is dry shrimps paste. We also ordered Kangkong with garlic for our vegetarian friend and that tasted marvellous as well.

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Nasi Biryani (Vegetarian). This is an aromatic rice fried in saffron with an Indian origin.  Perfectly cooked with the individual rice grains separate.

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Plain Roti Canai (Vegetarian):  An Indian-influenced specialty, also known as ‘roti phrata’.  Flat, fluffy on the inside but crispy and flaky on the outside.  Came with 3 dips – dhal, sambal ikan bilis (small fish in spices) and curry.

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Our conversation turned to Central Market which my out-of-towners wanted to go.  I have been there many years ago before the refurb, but did not find any local souvenirs nor handicrafts worth buying.  Needless, to say  the  whirwind trip at the Market finished in under 10 minutes!  There you go!  (Can anyone suggest a place to shop for local Malaysian souvenirs? – Thanks!)

Chiffon cake wtih Soft-serve and strawberries:  The glossy soft-serve looks invincible under the watchful eyes of our table.

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Sago Gula Melaka (Vegetarian):  A sago pudding in ‘santan’ (coconut milk) and ‘gula melaka’ (palm sugar).

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JP Teres is definitely a winner.  The pungent aroma of  Assam Laksa which I smelt on my way to the Ladies’ – gosh, you should visit the Loo, the door  slides open by pressing a black button – makes me want to try the laksa next time and also the Rojak Buah, both famed Malaysian local dishes.

Here are pictures of the outdoor bar/ alfresco terrace dining area.

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