Toh Soon Cafe

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The constant mutter of Toh Soon by friends intrigued me. Never have I made a deliberate attempt to visit a food establishment just to try out toast. Lucky for me I manage rope a human into my little escapade. As we walked down the wee alley I knew it could not go wrong. With the smell of coffee wafting in the air, the eatery was bursting full of life The set up was simple, no frills, just a bunch of plastic chairs,tables,and the permanent kitchen fixtures ; shelves, kitchen bench, one oil drum rigged into charcoal stove just enough to boil water at the same time doubles up as a toaster.

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Take note; the eatery/kopi-tiam (literally translated as coffee shop) is rather small, you’ll need to be patient, there’s always a wee bit of a wait. I don’t mind it, it gives me a bit of an excuse to just stand around and get mesmerised watching how the place operates. I’m not entirely sure of the Toh Soon history, it’s always been busy, I never get the chance to ask much. You find yourself a spot, order the standard – Kopi,toast, eggs. Have your time with the place then happily scoot off.

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Every slice of toast ordered is delicately grilled over charcoal with care.

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Crust cut, heavy coating of butter and coconut jam/Kaya to finish with. Spoil much?!

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Can’t confirm just yet, but I’m pretty sure the coconut jam is home made. It has a distinct caramelised flavour, and the texture to it is perfect.

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None to waste, left over bread are made into toast crackers. Made perfect to dunk into coffee as a mid-afternoon pick me up perhaps?

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I’m often corrected when I say coffee.. It’s KOPI IVY!! Malaysian coffee, is more commonly known as kopi. I appreciate good coffee, but I don’t know all that much, I’ve got a fair bit to learn. From what I know, Malaysian brew is usually steeped with a sock like mesh, is very dark and usually made up of Liberica or Robusta beans roasted with a tinge of butter and sugar.

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Set up is simple, yet effective.

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South East Asian staple!

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While waiting for the breakfast standard one can easily get carried away with one, or two lots of Nasi Lemak

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and of course my lust the ever so addictive Curry Puff.

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The breakfast standard!

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Toast made to perfect perfection, crisp on the outside, chewy soft center, slathered with a perfect combination of butter and coconut jam.

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I like eggs, the only down fall is that this isn’t free range. Something I couldn’t resist, but attack in moderation.

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One can’t help but wonder what stories these bottles would tell if they could speak. They look like they’ve been around for ages. Btw- the dark liquid is not to be mistaken as balsamic vinegar, soy sauce is used as an alternative to salt in Asia.

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Kopi!

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Parting is always the hardest. I usually take my time with the last few bites.

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Kiwi x German ingenuity

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Place the gummy cola in a vessel big large enough to comfortably fit at least double the amount of gummies you have (expect the lollies to expand as it soaks up vodka).

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Pour enough vodka to cover the coke bottles completely.

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Cover and place the bowl in the refrigerator. Allow the gummy cola to infuse for at least 2 days before serving.

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By the second day you would notice the coke bottles absorbed most, if not all, of the vodka. Remove the gummy coke bottles from the bowl and serve up as soon as possible.

Warnings!

  • Vodka soaked gummy bears will produce an effect in the body quickly. They have a very high BAC (Bear Alcohol Content). Pace yourself while eating them.
  • You get no points for eating a gummy worm at the bottom of a bottle of tequila.
  • Obviously, these are not candies for kids. Keep them well away (the kids, not the candies).

Resourced from Wikihow

Dining Chairs Reupholstered.

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I remember sighting this fabric at vintage store in Auckland. I didn’t know what I wanted to do with it at the time, but somehow I was compelled to leave with a cut off.

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A few weeks back I picked up a couple of old chairs with the idea of reupholstering them.Finally a perfect opportunity to pull out the piece of  fabric that been stored for the last five years. Unfortunately, due to my excitement I forgot to take shots of the chair prior to taking it apart. Here is a link on how to reupholster instead.

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A flat head, Phillips, glue, and a staple gun later…

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A perfect match is formed.P1130205I now get to dine at home in a civilized manner instead of slouching over the coffee table.

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Good things take time I suppose :)

Breakfast Buzz#32


A new year brings on a perfect excuse to kick out old habits. It’s all about adding on a healthy exercise regime and moderation of what, and how much I eat… Determined for the first quarter at the very least.


Oatmeal, with banana, paw paw with a little bit trim milk. Looks dull, but it’s sure comfort.


I’m all about using as much local produce as possible. This was a smoothie blended out of dragon fruit (how cool is the name), spinach,chia seeds, hemp seed, oatmilk, and bit of manuka honey.


First coconut jelly. Easily addictive!


I can never get sick of oatmeal, there’s so much variation one can play with. It turns out banana,Thai mango, coconut, quinoa, and buckwheat makes a beautiful marriage of flavours combined. I’m loving tropical fruits!

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Yeap, apparently this is what health looks like; spinach, coconut, chia seeds, and a bit of manuka honey.

Treasured Moments 2012

2012 was a year of self discovery. looking back now I’m very pleased how the year worked out. I’ve spent the last part of the year doing things I’ve always wanted to, and gently kindled great friendships along the way. Sometimes it may not feel like it, but deep down I’m very thankful for the blessing the universe has given me.

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There were times I felt like my limbs had been severed, everything seemed impossible, and all I wanted to do was to be in my own cave. I know now sometimes it took a lot of persistence. I’m very grateful l that I had help picking up some broken pieces along the way. Again thank you so much!

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Love was definitely in the air, and I’m very happy to know the best of the best merged. While others have much thought seeking for another to love and be loved. I’ve learnt that the most important love of all is self-love.

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January 18th, I knew it was time to let go. Sitting outside the store I felt very bitter-sweet about the last five years. The business was nurtured like it was my very own child. It was hard letting go of my blood, skin, and bones, but in retrospect it’s been good for me and safe to say Qubic is good hands.

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Aotearoa will always be home. I miss the place, but the change of pace and environment is just what I need right now.

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I love being outdoors; camping out, star-gazing, the air, and just walking in general. Last year I officially camped out more than I ever have, and loved it every single time.

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Straying  the east coast with Rosie and Jason while they ran their tour was an incredible opportunity. The thought of meeting their baby girl for the first time warms the heart, I cannot wait to see her.

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Seeing the ruins of Christchurch after the big shake snapped things into place for me.I don’t mean to put a damper into things, but we all know ; life is uncertain, the only certainty is death. It’s important to take moments to appreciate, action, and live the now.

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Learning to make best of my solitary time. Rekindling with the “wish I had more time for ” list. I’ve always wanted to drive around the south New Zealand. So I did.

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One of the few self applied rules I abided by during the road trip – If there’s a vegetarian pie at a bakery stop, eat it! Needless to say I managed to pack on an extra spare tyre because of it. This slightly tubby Asian girl will need to work off the access this year.

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A year ago I thought it was very progressive of me to watch a movie at the cinema alone. However, I top it off when I dined Monteith’s over seven glasses of beer, and two ciders  (it’s not weird at all if you’re at a brewery right?).  At the end of  the night I was quietly amused with myself as I stumbled my way back.

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Still, and will always be thinking of Mexican Sundays , and Tuesday Quiz with the lot back home.

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Finally made the effort to visit Lentils for the first time, after 5 years of wanting to. It’s funny how quick time fly’s, and how far one is able to push something down the track until really doing it.

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Homegrown with my home girls.

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Those who know, knows. This photos ignites far too many funny moments, most of which inappropriate to share.

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Baking mum’s 60th birthday cake, and being around for the first time since 11 years.

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I took a moment to bid a sweet farewell to my favourite magnolia tree as spring approached.

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And managed to squeeze time to watch my favourite rugby team play for the last time in 2012.

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Easter weekend… Ah yes Easter weekend! One my favourite, having Black Friday and Easter Sunday as  religious holiday, I’m usually forced to shut down and just go with the flow. Lindt milk chocolate sandwiched between a warm hot cross bun, a cold glass of oatmilk, and a mini get away to Coromandel Peninsular was the perfect way to wind down.

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I know I have a knack for stupid ideas. Running to the beach in the cold at 3am for a swim definitely makes the list.

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Family, it’s where life begins and love never ends. Being able to spend time with family and reconnecting with my roots.

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Seriously, I cannot piece together words to describe India.  The place is truly incredible, and I recommend a trip if you can.  Mother India had taught me so so much; Patience,finding comfort out of my comfort zone, putting trust in the world and to let go of control was amongst what I learnt and still learning.

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Welcoming my last year of being in the 20’s with excitement as I ate my pancake stacked cake.I can just feel good things bubbling away on the surface moving forward.

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Completed the Penang Marathon. This was something I’ve always wanted to do since dad did it when I was a child. Going across the bridge I felt a shiver going down my spine with a sense of euphoria and just pure joy. This was the last on run on the existing bridge since it was first held in 1981. It was very symbolic having made the cut, I feel like I’m the right path.

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Channeling my energy into passion.

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I’m being doing a fair bit of volunteer work. Working with children was one of the greatest highlight, it required excess of energy, patience, sensitivity and love. But at the same time it was most rewarding.

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Finding comfort in old comforts.

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Best food binge and spending time with genuinely awesome humans all over.

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Recalibrating the mind and soul. I’m loving 2013 already!

Living Goals.

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According to conspiracy theories, the world may end in little less than a week from now. As I candidly watch people scramble taking “just in case” actions. I think about my life journey.

I hear people nervously giggle at the possible dissolution of this planet. Bubbling on the surface, I sense we all fear just the same. We wonder if we’ve been true to ourselves, and what happiness truly means from within. We’ve all dreamt about things we wished we could, but then shrug it off with the reality of battling upstream. Knowing what makes us happy is easy, it’s innate!  Making decisions based on happiness on the other hand can be a hard thing to do. Often we humans complicate things with by thinking happiness depends solely on monetary success and possessions we mask ourselves with. But in true we will all depart, and return back to earth with non of that to take with. As far as I know, tomorrow’s are never promised. With that thought in my head, I’d like to live a comfortable life, rich in good company and experiences. This year with I’m very glad I finally found the courage to honor a life true to myself, and not live life to what others expect of me.

For years now I’ve been mentally jotting down my living goals/bucket list. I feel like in order to align my life better, I need to have it lodged down. It will register better in my brain this way. I’m trying to shape my life into an adventure full of mini challenges instead of pondering. There is no particular order to my list, nor is It a complete absolute must. After all life is sweeter when some things are slightly out of reach. Like life itself, the list will be ever-changing, but the core will remain the same.. I’m all about connecting the smaller dots to create a bigger picture.

  1.  Learn to understand myself more and to be comfortable in accepting differences in others.
  2.  Learn to say “no” without feeling guilty.
  3. Learn time management, which includes time to just do smooch out and do nothing (something I’m not very good at).
  4. Maintain a positive mental attitude (#PMA).
  5. Learn how to take criticism and compliments. I’m better at the former than the latter.
  6. Write a letter to  my nieces/nephews and children (if I every get lucky to have some of my own), telling them what I want them to know about my life and the lessons I’ve learned.
  7. See how much ice cream I can possible eat in one seating.
  8. Visit the world’s smallest national park.
  9.  Ice skate out in the open on a frozen a lake.
  10.  To greet the northern lights, and camp in Norway.
  11.  Become a certified diver.
  12. Polish off a 19″ pizza from Epolitos alone.
  13.  Sail.
  14.  Get a motorbike license.
  15.  Buy a round-the-world air ticket.
  16.  Whale watch.
  17. Have a rooftop picnic.
  18. Join a Muay Thai camp.
  19. Go on a cruise holiday.
  20. To spend more time watching the night sky and learn more about our solar system.
  21. Air boat ride around the Everglades.
  22. Grow my own fruit tree and harvest from it.
  23. To watch a live Pacquaio fight in hope I can stand next to him. I really need to visualize how tall he really is standing next to me. No joke! I’m a real visualizer, I can get real stuck on details like that.
  24. To visit Tibet before it changes a whole lot more.
  25. Start a blog.
  26. Attend the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center one year.
  27. Photo blog for a year
  28. Visit the Myanmar before it changes a whole heap more.
  29. Volunteer at a Homeless Shelter.
  30. Start a charitable foundation to help with child development.
  31. Spend time at a silent retreat. 
  32. Throw tomatoes at La Tomatina.
  33. Visit back stage of a gig/concert.
  34. Roll around in mud.
  35. Make paper.
  36. Learn how to play a musical instrument.
  37. Go on a helicopter ride.
  38. Walk around a glacier.
  39. Get to know my family a whole lot more.
  40. Start a fire without matches.
  41. Service a vehicle myself without supervision
  42. Travel more by land.
  43. Visit Nike WHQ in Oregon.
  44. Camp in New Zealand during winter.
  45. Set foot on all seven continents.
  46. Abseil in a cave.
  47. Hike more often.
  48. Meet an All Black.
  49. Live on a lifestyle block and try surviving mainly from the land.
  50. Go on a Lebovitz dessert tour.
  51. Work in a cafe and learn how to appreciate coffee more.
  52. Brew a decent cup of cuppa.
  53. Wake up next to a lake.
  54. Zip line in Monteverde, Costa Rica
  55. Attend Woodstock.
  56. ‘Dine’ my way through Amsterdam.
  57. Learn how to carve wood.
  58. Restore a classic Mini.
  59. Knit a complete jersey and not give up for the millionth time.
  60. Jump off a waterfall.
  61. Make a trip to Israel.
  62. Eat my way along the floating market in Bangkok.
  63. Visit Redwood National Park.
  64. Crowd surf.
  65. Make my very own jar of sauerkraut.
  66. Open capped bottles with a lighter.
  67. Attend Coachella and stop by Joshua Tree National Park along the way.
  68. Shave my hair off completely and donate it to locks of love. I’ve always wondered how I would look bald.
  69. Jump off a high cliff into the ocean.
  70. Actually travel around Malaysia, especially out east.
  71. Ride in a hot air balloon.
  72. Jump off a skytower.
  73. Enjoy a freshly rolled cigar in Cuba. *Just did in Myanmar, but still not legit.
  74. Write a children’s story book.
  75. Skydive.
  76. Go on a wild safari drive. Which kid didn’t dream of this as child?
  77. Complete a half marathon.
  78. Complete a full marathon.
  79. Complete the following marathons: New York, China, London, Paris, Prague, Honolulu,Auckland, Rototua, Penang.
  80. Lock down duathlons.
  81. Complete at least one triathlon.
  82. Ride at least one of the top 10 rollercoaster and not throw up.
  83. Enter an official eating competition.
  84. Sew my own clothes.
  85. Wake-skate properly.
  86. Learn how to surf.
  87. Work in a vineyard.
  88. Race a Sports Car on the circuit..
  89. Ride the Trans-Siberian Railway.
  90. Travel the Silk Road Trail.
  91. Visit the cookie time factory.
  92. Motorcycle break, traveling solely on bike for at least a week or two.
  93. Swim with fur seals at Abel Tasman Park.
  94. Dine at Voodoo Donuts.
  95. Sleep in a overnight train.
  96. Ride a horse without a saddle.
  97. Spend a day in Disneyland.
  98. Join a Muai Thai camp.
  99. Become fluent in Mandarin.
  100. Float around the Dead Sea.
  101. Visit the Taj Mahal.
  102. Visit Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia.
  103. Be in Thailand during the Songkran Festival.
  104. Make cheese.
  105. Make yoghurt
  106. Visit the Grand Canyon.
  107. See the Pyramids of Giza.
  108. Pay hommage to the Mona Lisa.
  109. See a platypus.
  110. Make friends with a fox.
  111. Tube on the Nam Song River.
  112. Watch all Dr. Seuss cartoons.
  113. Climb Machu Picchu.
  114. Go Zorbing.
  115. Drive on the German Autobahns.
  116. See the Ganges River .
  117. Drive the Great Ocean Road.
  118.  Walk the Great Wall.
  119.  See Christ the Redeemer in person.
  120. Go on a forest expedition.
  121.  Brew cider at home.
  122.  Ride in a police car and ask to turn on the siren.
  123.  Ski down the mount and successfully not take out everyone while at it.
  124. Snowboard.
  125.  Streak and take a dip in sea.
  126.  Hike the Inca trail in Peru.
  127. Wear a Fraggle Rock costume for no apparent reason, and continue to do what I would normally do for a whole day without prior warning to others.
  128. Sing through a karaoke session properly.
  129. Bungy Jump.
  130. Ride a camel.
  131. Perfect egg poaching.
  132. My a legit croissant, yes the proper way!

So here it is, finally out in the open. Have you got a living goal written down somewhere?. I strongly urge you to do so if you don’t already have one. Try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way :)

 

*updated, Friday 20th December 2013.