Friday, May 29, 2015

Sites : Loke Yew Memorial Kuala Lumpur

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                        Footsteps - Jotaro's Travels                       
Desa Tun Hussein Onn, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - January 2015
Loke Yew (borned Wong Loke Yew, 1845-1917) was a famous businessman and philanthropist in British Malaya. Many of us from generations after his time would probably hear of him as Jalan Loke Yew in Kuala Lumpur is named after this famous man. His greatness goes beyond the road; he was one of the founding fathers of Victoria Institution in Kuala Lumpur and Tan Tock Seng Hospital in Singapore. He initiated the endowment funds for the University of Hong Kong. Loke Yew Street in Singapore is also named after him.

Yes, this great man has many things to his memory, but what most don't know is that he has a memorial in Kuala Lumpur.
This memorial is located at what was once know as Hawthornden Estate. This is the Loke family graveyard which sits on a hillock and with the tombs aligned in an axis facing west. At the top-most is the grave of Loke Yew with a bronze statue designed by Mr. Frederick J. Wilcockson. Below his grave are that of his wife and two children.
Access to this memorial is not easy, we came in through the Kementah Camp and then from Jalan Rosli Buang a short climb through secondary jungle up hill. There should be another access, probably through a secondary road from Jalan Laksamana as we saw a vehicle approach from that side. The place must have been periodically maintained as it is not overgrown with trees or bushes.

Stone lion guards the entry at the top and bottom.
It will be good to say a pray of respect when arriving at the place and a thankful prayer before leaving.

To one side of the graveyard is a prayer pavilion called the Tsui Lan Memorial Hall.

Loke Yew Memorial
Desa Hussein Onn, Kuala Lumpur.
GPS: 3.183551, 101.733065
For more info from other sites click here.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

YummY! - Bangers & Mash @ The Queen & Mangosteen

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               Jotaro's Food Review              
Vicocity, Harbour Front, Singapore - May 2015
Ever since reading those Beano cartoons as a kid, I have been hooked on sausage and mash. Whenever I see this on the menu of outlets, my imagination goes back to the cartoon of those towering piles of mash filled with banger sausages. To cut a story short, I love those since young, and whenever I see them on the menu, I will surely go for them. The thing is not many foodie joints serve them; many associating them with pub grub, even then very few pubs here sell them. So while on a cycling back-packing trip to attend the Singapore 3rd Annual Brompton Day, I got to savour them again!

It was our last day in Singapore, our bus back to Malaysia was at 4:00pm. We checked out from our accomodations, the Five Stones Hostel and headed for the Harbour Front Bus Terminal. With time to spare we did some last minute shopping at Vivocity, come lunch time it was food hunting time. A few of us dropped into The Queen & Mangosteen Gourmet British Pub
I am not sure how they got their name or how the British Queen from a cool land far away is associated with the tropical mangosteens. Nevertheless, the place was cozy and pride themselves as being a gourmet British Pub. A pub and a gourmet dining place? Hmmm... an interesting combo. They did have a fairly extensive menu but when my eyes dropped onto the listing "Bangers & Mash"; those other gourmet stuff just dropped away, the decision was put - pub grub it is for me!

First some bitter to start off with to cool down on a hot afternoon and work up our appetites.

The main order came: three large and thick sausages enclosing a large scoop of mash with golden-brown onion rings and topped by a green sprig. I cut open one of the sausage...

... inside were pork that had been ground but not to an extent where they become too fine like those sausages from the supermarkets. Here is a solid sausage with coarser meat that was good to munch into - flavourful and juicy.
The onion rings were perfect, with crunchy batter around a good thick ring of onion.
The mash? It was my only disappointment, not because it was not good but because there was not enough of it; I had imagined a big pile like those in the comics!

For desserts, I ordered coconut ice-cream that came in a coconut shell and topped up with some slices of sea coconut. Although beautifully served, there was some real disappointment here. It was not coconut ice-cream made from fragrant santan (coconut milk) but milk ice-cream with coconut shavings inside. This had happened to me before; when will I learn that coconut ice-cream the Western way is just this, and not the santan ice-cream the Eastern way.

Their menu (click on photo to enlarge).

#01-106/107 Vivocity (Lift Lobby F), 1 HarbourFront Walk, Singapore 098585.
Phone: (65) 63769380    |     Fax: (65) 63769384
Hours : Sunday-Thursday: 12pm to Midnight; Friday, Saturday & Holiday Eves - 12pm to 1am

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Here's a look at the perennial favourite Filipino dessert/drink. One from a posh airport restaurant, the other from a humble Batanes shop.

Curry Laksa Noodles @ Phnom Penh International Airport
Suprisinlgy pretty good curry laksa noodles and not too pricey by airport standards. Taste Of Asia Restuarant, Phnom Penh International Airport, Phnom Penh.

Kati Fish Roll @ Dal Roti
An interesting Mughal meal of Kati rolls & Thali combo curry meals - Fort Kochi, Kerala, India.

You are at - Jotaro's Blog / FootSteps / YummY! / Western & Fusion Food / Bangers & Mash @ The Queen & Mangosteen
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Monday, May 18, 2015

Sites : Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Singapore

You are at -  Jotaro's Blog  / Footsteps / Sites / Buddha Tooth Relic Temple Singapore
                        Footsteps - Jotaro's Travels                       
Singapore City, Singapore - May 2015
Our friend LK took us on a mini-cycle adventure around Singpore City after the morning's Singpaore Brompton Day event. After lunch at the Maxwell Hawker Centre, we popped over to the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple & Museum. Now, that was a name that intrigued me and drew me in. I had previously visited the Ounalom Temple in Phnom Penh which is purportedly suppose to hold Buddha's eyebrow. Now here we have one that have that holds a relic of Buddha's tooth. This I must go in and see.

Main entrance to the temple.
The temple is located at South Bridge Road within the China-town area of Singapore City.
The following excerpts from Wikipedia gives a brief introduction to the architecture and history of the temple:
"The temple is based on the Tang dynasty architectural style and built to house the tooth relic of the historical Buddha. The ground breaking ceremony was conducted on 13 March 2005. Costing S$62 million and 2 years later, a soft launch was held to coincide with the 2007 Vesak Day celebration (it was officially opened in 31st May 2007). It is claimed that the relic of Buddha from which it gains its name was found in 1980 in a collapsed stupa in MyanmarSince opening, the temple has become a popular attraction within Chinatown. Simple vegetarian fare is served in the basement of the temple, though donations are accepted."

Right at the entrance stands two tall fierce looking temple guards. Although they may take different forms at different temples, these are the Dvarapala that one will find at most Buddhist temples.

A close up view of one of the temple guards.

The roof eaves and column header shows the distinct style from the Tang Dynasty.


The entrance to the Main Prayer Hall is preceded by an open foyer courtyard.

The roof architecture above the Main Prayer Hall as seen from the entrance open courtyard.

Just at the hall's entrance is this niche that holes a colourful porcelain statue of Buddha. Here, devotees start an acknowledging prayer before continuing inwards for further prayers.

The Main Prayer Hall.
Tables have been laid our for chanting and offerings.

The main altar and offering table.
Buddha is flanked by two hand-maidens.

Close up view of the golden Buddha statue sitting on a throne with a stylized peacock tail.

Near the entrance into the hall, candles and flowers are offered in prayer for devotees' ancestors.

A simple cup candle prayer offering.

On the two side walls are niches holding statues of the Buddha in various meditating and praying poses. Above them are rows of golden dragons.

Devotees praying.


Chinese-style lantern chandeliers.

Closer bottom-up view of the lantern chandelier. The motifs look like Chinese paper cuttting.

Another lantern-style chandelier. This one with peacock motifs.

Closer bottom-up view of the Peacock lantern.

A red lotus flower giant joss urn.

Asymmetrical lines of roof rafters.

Detailed embossed entrance signboard with small Buddha statues.

Wind chime, do we see an owl there?

Lotus flower drain covers.

Red timber temple entrance door with brass studs and lion door handle.

Lion door handle, this close up also shows the detail of the brass studs.

Buddha Tooth Relic Museum
288 South Bridge Rd, Singapore 058840
Tel.: +65 6220 0220
Hours: 7:00am to 7:00pm (Everyday)
GPS: 1.281327, 103.844620

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