Archive for April, 2010

When you are in Kelantan, do not miss the opportunity to visit the numerous Thai/ Buddhist temples. It might amaze some of you that in Kelantan- seen as a state dominated by the Malays,  a PAS stronghold – would have that many Thai/ Buddhist temples , but we have ‘em in Kelantan , and some of them in gigantic proportions too.

Wat Mai Suwankiri ( locals refer to the temple as Wat Mai) is probably one of the more picturesque and elaborate temple in Kelantan. Info extracted  from a plague at the temple grounds ‘the original temple is said to have been constructed 400 year ago by expert craftsman from Thailand, the present day structure was built at a cost of RM300,000 with funds coming from public donations and the Buddhist associations of Malaysia and Thailand. An object shaped like a dragon boat decorated the inside of the temple, thus earning it its nickname Ketik Perahu Naga ( dragon boat temple). The design is Thai, which is hardly surprising given the area’s proximity to Thailand

This is the main building with the main hall

 

a closer look ..

At the entrance to the  main hall, you will  see a big tree laden with fruits (a fig tree)

 

A Buddha statue inside the main hall

 

One of the attraction in the main hall, a wax statue of Tharn Di ( Monk Di) -who had since passed on, Tharn Di was a charismatic abbot , revered  by the community. The figure was so life like , even up close !! The texture and colour, the pores , the hair, the tattoo, wowww, amazing ! We stared at this for a long long time, expecting it to blink.

 

The main hall -in gold and red is grand and magnificent, part of the door

 

The elaborate red and golden windows

 

The main attraction of Wat Mai …the Dragon boat…

 

It’s an ‘actual’ boat surrounded by water

 

The dragon boat has 4 nagas ( 2 at the front and 2 at the back) watching over it.

 

The hall in the boat – ‘Dewan ( Hall)  Wi Han Nawatham’ was officiated by Datuk Foo Chow Yong on 17th May 1984 . A Buddha statue in the hall, shown here with the many headed nagas providing shelter

 

Life story of the Buddha are drawn along the ceiling. The bottom panels tell  the story of  Prince Siddaharta leaving the comfortable life in the palace , cutting his hair and joining a group of ascetics in his quest to seek the truth

 

 There is another interesting building, as you walk up the stairs, a glass compartment will come into your view and in this compartment , you will find the preserved body of Tharn Di. You can see the darken body- gnarled toes and all plus quite a handful of cobwebs . It wasn’t eerie at all , rather interesting really. But if you are a bit chicken one..don’t look lorrr..

 

At another hall – The statue of the Buddha with rows of bronzed monks ( err..not Baywatch kinda bronzed )

 

Brahma – or probably more widely called  The 4 faced Buddha  

The main hall from a different angle –note the bell tower

 

 The main entrance to Wat Mai

 

Address: Kg. Bukit Tanah, 16200 Tumpat, Kelantan
Telephone: 09-7257673

Directions :

 Wat Mai would be about 25km from Kota Bharu. Head towards Tumpat, when you come to Kampung Sedar, watch out for  Bomba ( fire station), you should see some road signs pointing the way to Wat Mai ( if you come to a junction and see a traffic lights ( and also another  beautiful temple ( Wat Pikulthong , read here, with the statue of the standing Buddha, you have overshot already la, turn back !) .Turn right into the road behind the Bomba and go straight ahead , turn right when you come to a T-junction , go straight ahead you will come to a ‘Bukit Tanah’ road sign and it will be somewhat elevated and proceed maybe 500m , watch out for a sharp junction ( really really sharp) on your left, turn into the junction and it will be a downhill drive for maybe 200m and you will come to Wat Mai . Enjoy your visit !!

 I found this clip on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0U799x3doCM

S had some issues at her office, and need to unload her grouses, so we decide to meet up for a  teatime-dinner meal ( is this called  Teaner ? ). Cafe Libre seemed a good place for chit chats, cozy,  not so crowded, with a choice of non air-conned or air-conned dining area. ( plus wi-fi). This seemed like a good place to talk about insurance policy, mutual funds and grouse about colleagues 😛

 Cafe Libre offers varieties of teas, fruit smoothies and coffee. For meals the selection include , salads, pasta and lighter finger food like sandwiches, fries, curry puffs are available.

S wanted something light and decided to go for Caesar  salad with roast chicken ( the other option is with anchovies) and I wanted some carbo and went with beef lasagna .

 

The Beef Lasagna (RM18.90) was laden with minced beef heavily seasoned with tomato-ish flavour. I find the tomato flavor a bit heavy and  slightly sour-ish . Some parts of the lasagna were a bit tough. This was average.

 

Caesar salad with roast chicken (RM12.50)  – rather large serving, from the size of this, this is a meal on it’s own.  Big leafy lettuce lined the dish, tomatoes, well marinated cubed chicken , bits of hard boiled eggs, cucumber were  seasoned with cheese, mayo and pepper. Oh ya, and the bits of crouton . This was rather nice, although I found the chicken cubes a bit dry.

 Overall, I found the food average. Service was good  plus a  cozy environment

 Location

18GF, Jalan 5/109F,

Plaza Danau 2,

Taman Danau Desa.

58100 K.Lumpur

Tel : 7983 8550

This seemed to be Cafe Libre website , click here   location map is available as well as a glimpse of the menu

Whenever we visit the OUG pasar pagi on weekends , we will pass by this particular vegetarian shop, at the corner of the street and made a mental note that we will have a meal here one day, days passed, months passed and years too….then finally !

Apart from ordering dishes ( to eat with rice) , there are also standalone meals available on the menu. On the day of visit, it was the 15th day of the lunar calendar and the place was packed. Service was rather prompt – the waitresses cleared the table quickly after meals and passed us the menu and was ready to take our order .

The first dish to arrive – Fried yau mak with beancurd preserve(腐乳) (RM 8), the vegetable came topped with some crunchy bits . The taste of the beancurd preserve taste was just nice and not overpowering,  the stir fried yau mak retained it’s freshness and crunchiness and the crunchy bits added an extra texture to the dish. We enjoyed this tremendously. Good !!

 

Sizzling beancurd (RM9) – I had to contain my saliva when this dish arrived, it was so full of promises  and YES, it didn’t disappoint. The blocks of tofu were bathed in rich, thick and ( slightly) sweetish gravy with cubes of (frozen) vegetable immersed in the matrix. ( minus Neo) .No lah, the vegetable cubes weren’t served frozen , they  were probably frozen prior to being cooked, you know lah, those type that are packed in bags at the frozen food section, with the frozen chips, filament sticks, hotdogs etc ….blah blah blah.. but I digest..err..i mean digress  . This dish is immensely tasty, but after a few mouthfuls, it appeared to be a bit too flavourful and i kinda felt like I need a break from the rather strong and dominant taste of this dish. That is what they say about too much of a good thing…

 

Mutton curry (RM10) – I would have preferred  the gravy a bit thicker , the texture of the ‘mutton’ was a bit ‘loose’ and a bit dry and the pieces were too small. ( I guess I preferred Mama Sayang’s chunky version) . Potato was melt in the mouth ,  soft and mushy .

Total bill came to RM31.40 including 2 rice and a pot of Chinese tea. Which was rather reasonable priced. Overall, an enjoyable meal. I would like to pay Tian Xiang Yuan another visit soon.

 

 Location :

65, Jalan Hujan,

Taman Overseas Union,

58200 KL

Tel : 7784 2348

(go towards OUG, do not turn into the BP petrol station leading  to the OUG market), go straight ahead towards the next traffic light ( before the lights, you will see an open area – MCA activity centre on your left), turn left at traffic light and you should see the restaurant as your turn in, as it occupies the corner lot on your left)