Super duper Shanghai noodle

Shanghai noodles always bring back fond memories. :yes: The first time I tasted an authentic bowl of steaming hot shanghai noodles was during my trip to Jiangnan with my cousins and sister in 2003. :)

We were strolling outside the hotel at night in Shanghai City, hoping to do some late night shopping at the stalls when we chanced upon a tiny shop doing a brisk business serving steaming hot shanghai soup noodles. The night was cold (about 8°C ) and with the wind blowing whiffs of tasty soup smack into our face, was simply too irresistible. :whistle: Wow wouldn’t it be heavenly to warm the stomach with some hot noodles in such weather. So four of us filed into the shop and crammed ourselves into a 2-seater table (biggest table available) and wasted no time in placing order for 4 bowls of “suet chai noodles“. :naughty: Our 1st bowl of noodles arrived. It was such a big bowl. 8O No way any of us could finish it alone. We apologetically cut our orders to 2 bowls and luckily for us, the “lau barn neang” (lady boss) was very accommodating and understanding.

We shared out the 2 bowls amongst the four of us. Only when we started to eat did we realize that we didn’t even have any elbow space to eat but that did not deter us from enjoy slurping down those long stringy steaming hot noodles, right down to the last strand. 8) The shanghai noodles were simply “super duper” :up: so soft, smooth and fine in texture with clear broth topped with some “suet chai” (a type of preserved spinach which until this day I just could not get locally). And all it costs was merely 4Rmb! :o So here’s a classic example of great tasting food without paying a bomb for it.

So when I caught sight of this Shanghai noodles place called Crystal Palace located at Lot 10, Jalan Bukit Bintang, with the impressive spread of menu displayed on the glass windows, I was all excited to try it out. :arrow:

They had an open kitchen concept to showcase their kitchen staff preparing the shanghai dumplings and pulling, stretching and occasionally smacking the dough ever so loudly on the table to make their presence felt and remind their patrons how much strength and effort went into making every strand of noodle. Despite all the fanfare, we came out disappointed. :| The noodles were a far cry from the those I had in Shanghai. In fact even those mass produced packets of dried shanghai noodles or mee suah that we get from the supermarket taste better. But price-wise, it’s 10 times higher. :roll: One may argue that the price difference goes to the ambience, decorations and the life demo. But the best dacor and most expensive tables and chairs can never compensate for mediocre food. :x

The Good, the Bad & the Ugly Camera Salesman

Yes, after much consideration and verification from reputed websites on camera reviews, we decided that the Canon PowerShot A570ISCanon PowerShot A570IS fits our needs and budget for now. :)

Next, of course is to go over to our regular shopping haunt, the Sungei Wang Plaza in Jalan Bukit Bintang. It is a great location to shop for digital cameras, besides mobile phones, fashion, souvenirs and a host of you-name-it-they-have-it sort of stuffs all under one roof, which makes it ever so popular both to locals and tourists despite being one of the oldest shopping complex in town. :cool2: There are numerous camera shops to check out a bargain and leading brands like Canon, Nikon, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, Pentax are sold in all the shops. In fact most of our cameras were bought there in Sungei Wang Plaza.

The first shop offered us RM860 cash term for the Canon PowerShot A570ISCanon PowerShot A570IS with a 1GB memory card (which was actually a 20th anniversary gift from Canon). The owner (an elderly man who’s an old timer in this business) was rather standoffish. :x He didn’t seem too interested in our business neither did we feel we have struck a good bargain yet so we moved on. :wave:

We were contemplating to approach this 2nd shop when I was stoned for a moment in my stride. 8O One of the shop assistants who was a middle aged man wearing a jacket with Canon logo (probably the boss or supervisor as the rest were young chaps) was literally shouting angrily at a group of customers “Buy already don’t ask-lah! STUPID!:evil: His atrocious outburst made me backed off from his shop. Whew! I think whoever witnessed the scene would be scared away. :whistle: From his outburst, I assumed the customers bargained with him only to tell him in the end that they were just checking price as they had already bought elsewhere. If so, the customers were really very “‘stupid” to say so and to have wasted his time. :| Any sales person would be annoyed by such shoppers. Nevertheless, that was no justification for his hostile outburst. :mrgreen: Potential customers would be frightened off – just like me. Whatever the reasons, I’ve written off that shop (Jaya Kamera). So in actual fact both parties, the shop owner and the customer were equally stupid! :mean:

Moving on, we passed a few more shops before I decided on Foto Shangri-La. It occupied half a shop lot at the lower ground floor of Sungei Wang Plaza but important thing was the sales person inside looked quite pleasant and approachable. :) After testing out the Canon PowerShot A570ISCanon PowerShot A570IS camera we asked for the best price and he quoted us RM880. We tried to bargain but he said that was the best he could offer. We knew we could push him further but decided to play delaying tactic and told him we wanted to think about it first. :naughty: As we prepared to leave he offered “RM850 for cash payment”. Obviously he sensed our interest and didn’t want to lose the sale, especially with the keen competitions around Sungei Wang Plaza. That was a good deal but we told him we would come back later. :sneaky:

To further satisfy ourselves we checked out a couple more shops but none could beat Foto Shangri-La‘s offer. In fact there was this shop called Bintang Maju at Low Yat Plaza who priced the Canon PowerShot A570IS way above Canon’s recommended selling price. :mean: The sales person was only eager to push the model he wanted to sell. It was apparent that they were trying to clear stocks of that model. Worse still, when I highlighted that A630 did not come with IS, he brushed aside that IS function and said it could be done by adjusting the aperture. :roll: Ha! whom he thought he was talking to, cooking up a cock and bull story. When I asked for the best price for the Canon PowerShot A570ISCanon PowerShot A570IS, he quoted around RM1,050. I was on the verge of asking him why the price was way above the manufacturer’s RSP but decided not to waste my time over such unproductive debate. :yawn: So we just thanked him and walked out ..with no intention of patronizing their shop again.

When we were done for the day, we happily back tracked to Foto Shangri-La to buy the Canon PowerShot A570IS. We were happy dealing with that sales person called James. He might not be chatty but he was pleasant and straightforward. For sure we will go back to them for future purchases. :yes:

Good sales people build customer relationship and retention, making them a valuable asset to any business. :up:

Foto Shangri-La is an established company who has been in the photography business for decades. They have branches in Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya.

After we bought the Canon PowerShot A570ISCanon PowerShot A570IS, we found the following product demo on YOUTUBE which gives a pretty good overview of this camera :

World wide web to my rescue

Is the Internet good or evil :?: Well it all depends on how people use it. Similarly like money – some say it’s the root cause of all evil while others may think otherwise. In fact this same principle applies to most things in life. :yes:

The internet is a real wealth of info source, provided people don’t abuse it. The type of info and knowledge that can be sourced from the internet is practically limitless. However you will also need to exercise your wisdom to single out the good and factual info from the questionable and fictitious one. Personally I felt enriched with the many tips and knowledge obtained from the internet. :idea: Just to share some of the valuable learnings I’ve gained:-

1. I inherited a very old singer sewing machine from my mum-in-law. The stitching was giving some problems. It was not easy to get a repair man to do such jobs so I tried fixing it but without much success. I went to the Singer website and….. Bingo!…they have a great customer support website with comprehensive info on troubleshooting, type of parts and availability, down to any singer sewing machine models that cross referenced to serial numbers, year of make, quantity produced and manufacture location! If not for this I would never guessed that I actually have a half a century old singer sewing machine sitting in my house! :roll: So there you are…just a few surfs, clicks and browse on the PC and managed to solve my old singer sewing machine problem plus a new discovery of an antique! :wink:

2. Few months ago I was “blessed” with bees problem. :omg: They seemed so determined to build their bees hive on the ledge of my backyard gate. I sprayed water to shoo them off, scrubbed the gate numerous times with all sorts of detergents, sprayed insecticide but all to no avail. :mrgreen: Finally, I thought of searching the web for help. There weren’t specific websites dedicated to such problems (as in the sewing machine’s case). Nevertheless there were some tips from forum discussions that suggested use of moth balls. I hanged some mothballs around the gate and Guess what!… The worker bees and the queen bee came several times to inspect the place but after a couple of days the bees must been overwhelmed by the pungent mothballs because until now they’ve never returned. :wave: If not for the internet, by now I probably have some fresh supplies of pure honey just in my backyard but may end up having to protect myself with face shields and gloves all the time! So with the world wide web, don’t worry “bees” happy haha! :D

Thanks to Sir Tim Berners-Lee and all those unsung heroes who helped build the World Wide Web
……. And my appreciation and thanks to the people who have so generously and magnanimously contributed their time and effort to put together the information for the world to share. :up: