Sharing more outtakes from the earlier leg of the road trip. Saw a man plucking cikus (sapodilla) on top of a tree during exploration deep inside a village in Ulu Yam. I will continue with the journey after the long holiday weekend.
Someone asked me: Why carry the very expensive Sony A7R and its heavy arsenal of Zeiss lenses when it is safer, easier to use lighter, less expensive mirrorless systems?
The answer is simple. I do carry two other mirrorless cameras but a day will come. This was such a day. The day when a scene will cry out for the brute resolution of the A7r. The camera will clearly define every leaf and every fruit.
It will pick out the details right down to the ash on the tip of the cigarette or make out the motifs on the man’s shirt. Its fine tonal rendition will separate the leaves from the fruits. The excellent dynamic range will keep everything in check, from sky to face, even under the harsh sun.
I can think of more but the most important reason is that this is also an archival mission. Many of the old surviving buildings, towns and lifestyle documented on this journey will soon disappear forever. So why not capture it at the best practical quality for future generations to relive and to appreciate.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/800 sec.
I’m still in Kuala Kubu Bharu town and at a shop famous for Ulu Yam ‘Lor Mee’. It is a Hokkien dish of yellow noodles cooked with a thick gravy of corn starch, spices, meat and eggs. It also tastes sour as vinegar is added for the distinctive flavour. What is special about authentic Ulu Yam Lor Mee?
The yellow noodles are hand made or hand-pulled. According to chef and owner Lim Kwee Hock there is no artificial colouring, flavouring, preservatives nor is brine added. Brine creates the familiar love or hate pungent smell.
Now that you know, you may want to check out Restoran Xin Yuen Kee (non-halal) when you are in Kuala Kubu Bharu town. Lim’s grandfather opened the first restaurant in Ulu Yam Lama. A 2nd generation successor opened another shop in Batang Kali. Their grandson is operating this outlet in KKB.
It is not that common to see a third generation descendent interested in a family business enough to inherit the recipes and to cook. Young Lim and his wife Elaine operates this simple eatery by themselves. The Lor Mee and other dishes taste very good and prices are reasonable.
Photography Tip: Sometimes, the best food shots aren’t just on the table. Ask for permission and go for some unconventional or less seen angles in the kitchen. Traditional Chinese kopitiam kitchens are usually dark, moody and full of character.
Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 320, f4, 1/60 sec.
This is one of my favourite pics and was captured during a previous trip. Autumn at the Sungai Liam Waterfalls in Ulu Yam.
The lonely spot is only about 15 to 20 minutes from Federal Route 1 via Ulu Yam Bharu. It is literally the backyard of Klang Valley.
Olympus OM-D, ISO 125, f5, 1/200 sec.
Chinese folks from elsewhere go to the Ulu Yam area for one main reason. To try the famous Hokkien ‘lor mee’ there. It is a dish of yellow noodles cooked in a sourish vinegar broth. Although the dish originated in Ulu Yam Lama, several other restaurants at Ulu Yam Bharu serve it.
Apart from the now third-generation original shop in Ulu Yam Lama, the other popular ones are Aik Koon and Hock Lay in Ulu Yam Bharu. The former was closed when I was in town looking for food, so I settled for the latter. Fermented acetic acid isn’t exactly my cup of tea; so I asked for another recommendation besides lor mee. The head waitress suggested their signature dish of Shrimps In A Coconut, which she claimed is their creation.
The prawns are cooked in coconut juice (coconut water) and not santan (coconut milk). As a result, the mild curry prawns have a very distinctive fragrance and unique sweet taste. It comes with a tom yum-like dip that is spicy and sour. Excellent fare and reasonable pricing from Hock Lay Restaurant.
Waitress is also talkative, informative and cooperative. She helped me move my food and gear to a darker and cooler corner after I finished photography at a brighter side. Although this dish has no pork in it, the restaurant is not halal. Sony Alpha a7R, ISO 100, f4, 1/250 sec. The nearest decent hotel is The Leverage Business Hotel in Rawang. Available from MyCen Hotels at http://www.mycen.my/
Sitting by a roadside tea stall somewhere between Serendah and Ulu Yam, I thought for a moment I was on Pangkor Island. There was a golden sunset, a coconut tree and a pack of motorcyclists.
Nevertheless, there was also a telltale sign to remind me of my actual location. Those are electric wires that overhang the track of the Electric Train Service. It runs parallel to Federal Route 1, for most parts, between Rawang and Tanjung Malim.
Along the way, I might look at some of the new stations, remnants of a few old ones and its historical impact on the landscape.
Panasonic GM-1, ISO 250, f5, 1/500 sec.