Welcome to my Kuala Lumpur

This is my way of sharing my discoveries, re-discoveries, memories & experiences

as well as other bits & pieces of information I have of

growing up in Kuala Lumpur.

Your comments & suggestions to make this blog your reference to all things KL would be very much appreciated.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Nasi Kandar Pulau Pinang at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman

It's been a while since I've had nasi kandar, so I decided to have some for lunch. I gathered 2 of my colleagues and took the monorail to the Medan Tuanku station.  From there we walked to Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.

Even at a quarter past twelve, the queue was long.


We joined the queue and inched patiently along.  Photo above is of Aidi and Norman at the front of the queue.

That's what we had.  The green chilli is for that added 'kick' to the nasi kandar.

Of course, don't forget the pappadam.

This used to be a typical 'kopitiam' (Chinese coffee shop) when I knew it in the early 1960's.  There were some stalls selling various food items like noodles and such, with the owner just taking care of the drinks. Then this 'Mamak' set up a small table to sell his nasi kandar in the kopitiam.  

One thing led to another and before long, this became 'Restoran Kudu Bin Abdul'.

In case you're wondering what nasi kandar is, Wikipedia has this entry:

Nasi Kandar is a popular northern Malaysian dish, which originates from Penang. It is a meal of steamed rice which can be plain or mildly flavored, and served with a variety of curries and side dishes.

The word Nasi Kandar, came about from a time when nasi [rice] hawkers or vendors would kandar [balance] a pole on the shoulder with two huge containers of rice meals. The name has remained and today the word Nasi Kandar is seen on most Tamil Muslim or "Malaysian Mamak" restaurants and Indian-Muslim stall meals.

The rice for a nasi kandar dish is often placed in a wooden container about three feet high, giving it a distinctive aroma. The rice is accompanied by side dishes such as fried chicken, curried spleen, cubed beef, fish roe, fried prawns or fried squid. The vegetable dish would usually be brinjal (aubergine), okra (lady fingers or "bendi") or bitter gourd. A mixture of curry sauces is poured on the rice. This is called 'banjir' (flooding) and imparts a diverse taste to the rice.

Traditionally, nasi kandar is always served with its side dishes on a single plate. Nowadays, small melamine bowls are used for the side dishes. Nevertheless, the curry sauce mix is always poured directly onto the rice.

The most famous nasi kandar stalls in Penang are Kassim Restaurant and Line Clear. In Selangor, one chain of nasi kandar restaurants is Restoran Syed. In recent years, several chain restaurants have appeared such as Nasi Kandar Nasmir, Pelita Nasi Kandar and Kayu Nasi Kandar. Purists have disputed its tastiness compared to the original Penang versions. In Perlis, the rice is coloured yellow with herbs and the dish is referred to as "nasi ganja", though in fact no "ganja" (cannabis) is actually used in its preparation.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Kuala Lumpur Tower

The Kuala Lumpur Tower or Menara Kuala Lumpur was built in 1983.  It features an antenna that reaches 421 m, which makes it the 5th tallest freestanding tower in the world.

The tower has a public observation platform and also houses a revolving restaurant.  An annual race is organised where participants race up the stairs to the top.

Skydiving activities are organised from the tower.  Below are some photos taken from my office during a recent function.

One of my colleagues taking a shot with her mobile phone.

Parachuting, also known as skydiving, is the activity of jumping from enough height to deploy a fabric parachute and land.

The history of diving starts with Andre-Jacques Garnerin who made successful parachute jumps from a hot-air balloon in 1797. The military developed parachuting technology as a way to save aircrews from emergencies aboard balloons and aircraft in flight, later as a way of delivering soldiers to the battlefield. Early competitions date back to the 1930s, and it became an international sport in 1951.

Parachuting is performed as a recreational activity and a competitive sport, as well as for the deployment of military personnel Airborne forces and occasionally forest firefighters.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Buddhist Maha Vihara, Brickfields

No account of Brickfields will be complete without mention of the Buddhist Temple here.  The temple or Vihara celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1995, which makes it 114 years old now.

The Centenary Celebration booklet mentions that the Sasana Abhiwurdhi Wardana Society was born out of hardship, perseverance and confidence to make it what it is today.

In the late 19th century a group of 87 Sinhalese applied to the then British Resident, W H Treacher to grant them a parcel of land to build a temple to practice their faith and to bring down from Ceylon a number of monks for the propagation of Buddhism.

When the lotus flower is depicted on the pavements and street lights, you know that you are on the right track to the Buddhist Maha Vihara.

The lotus fountain welcomes all devotees and visitors as we go through the main entrance.

The Shrine Hall is currently undergoing renovations.

This looks like an Ashoka Pillar.

Ashoka ascended to the throne in 269 BCE inheriting the empire founded by his grandfather Chandragupta Maurya. Ashoka was reputedly a tyrant at the outset of his reign. Eight years after his accession he campaigned in Kalinga where in his own words, "a hundred and fifty thousand people were deported, a hundred thousand were killed and as many as that perished..." After this event Ashoka converted to Buddhism in remorse for the loss of life. Buddhism didn't become a state religion but with Ashoka's support it spread rapidly. The inscriptions on the pillars described edicts about morality based on Buddhist tenets. Legend has it that Ashoka built 84,000 Stupas commemorating the events and relics of Buddha's life. Some of these Stupas contained networks of walls containing the hub spokes and rim of a wheel, while others contained interior walls in a swastika shape. The wheel represents the sun, time, and Buddhist law (the wheel of law, or dharmachakra), while the swastika stands for the cosmic dance around a fixed center and guards against evil.

The inscriptions on the pillar.

While generally, this temple complex has a lot of Sinhala influence, other cultures also seem to play a part here like this Chinese lion.

The International Pagoda.

Some religions service is taking place inside of the Pagoda.

Tun Tan Siew Sin, was also the president of the MCA (Malaysian Chinese Association) then.  He is the son of Tun Tan Cheng Lock, founder of MCA.

The temple is not only about the spiritual well-being of devotees but also about providing education for their worldly well-being.

And so ends my walk around the Brickfields area.