One-cancelled-LHR-KUL-flight, a-Failed-Boeing-747-engine, 300-very-Confused-Passengers, Several-even-more-confused-Airline-Ground-Staff and A-Whole-twentyfour-hours-of-twidling-thumbs-in-Heathrow-later, I’m finally back home in the Motherland… scarred with having to spend both Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner AND Valentine’s Day at the sterility of the ParkInnHotel somewhere in the middle of Heathrow’s vast abyss. Thankfully, I had the company of a certain Dr. Aaron Ng and many equally stranded passengers to b*tch with about the shambolic mess of a company which is Malaysian Airlines. I didn’t think such grand disorganisation and miscommmunication in the aftermath of a cancelled flight was possible. (M)ana.(A)da.(S)istem indeed.

Hoo Peow Th’ng

Anyhoo, despite my rather unfortunate start to the Year of the Tiger, at least there was a very warm, wholesome bowl of Hoo Peow Th’ng (Fish Maw Soup) to come back to…remnants from the previous evening’s Chinese New Year Family Reunion dinner which I never got to attend. I’ve been blissfully enjoying this Chinese New Year Speciality for years on end and have always been under the impression that it was the fish’s stomach I was eating. For those as ignorant as me (yes, I had to look this up), here’s what it really is:

Fish Maw: (n.) a spongy, internal gas-filled organ, often referred to as the “swim bladder”, which controls the buoyancy of a fish

Sounds a little bit foul when the word “bladder” is thrown into the mix, but I promise you its delicate seafood flavour and sea-cucumber like texture is like no other. When slowly simmered with pork ribs, sea cucumber, home-made minced prawn balls, white radish and carrots, its a once a year treat that’s worth the pain of a 12 hour flight + 24 hour delay.

Keong Hee Huat Chye to all and may you have a better start to the year of the Tiger than I did.


p.s. Look out for posts as I eat my way through most of K.L. and some of Ipoh over the next couple of weeks. I’m on +6013-2023914.