Thursday, July 12, 2007

What Happened to Putrajaya Wetlands?

I was at the Putrajaya Wetlands recently. It was a far cry when it was when I visited it several years ago when it first opened. There was an air of busyness over the area with friendly guides manning the main area of the lake running about the place, attending to visitor's needs. I also remember taking part in one of the social acitivities there, a fishing competition for families, if I am not mistaken. And the fun day drew me back again and again, just to enjoy the serene atmosphere and maybe go for a boat ride.

This last trip, I sensed something different. The place looked deserted. Of course, on a weekday, this was to be expected. But even so, during the past, small groups of people could be seen enjoying a cup of tea at the restaurant overlooking the lake. This time, it was different - the restaurant had closed. Upon enquiry, it had been closed for a month. Is it going to open again? I asked of a a staff working there. Not sure, I was told. I was also told that the management of the Wetlands had been taken over by another. Which explained why I did not see the usual troop of guides and caretakers that I once spotted.

Whoever the new managers are, I hope they will pay some attention to maintaining and promoting this place. Putrajaya is already begging for visitors; another tourist spot left to rot will not help boost its popularity..

Saturday, February 24, 2007

An Honest Seafood Restaurant Operator in Pasir Penambang, Kuala Selangor

Pasir Penambang used to be an exclusive seafood haunt known only among the regulars. Not any more today. The fresh seafood are also not cheap any more as more restaurants sprout overnight to tap into the tourists' hungry bellies.
As such, whenever I am there with the family, I will go to the less popular ones on the left side of the road as you enter the township. On my recent trip there, I checked out this shop called Sin Hai Ping.
We ordered several dishes including sotong fritters. As the food were served, the lady boss dropped by to apologise, saying she could not serve the cuttlefish because they were not fresh. I rarely see this honest trait in city restaurants. Perhaps small town business people are different. Fresh or not, most of them just serve it. If your stomach is strong, usually you won't be the wiser. If not, then you will remember what you ate and where.

But this shopowner took the trouble to explain to us. Because of the New Year Holidays, they could only stock seafood in their fridge. Because the flesh of the cuttlefish was no longer fresh, she decided that she would not serve us. And she apologised.

We paid RM28 for three dishes - shark meat curry, one plate of beehoon fried with fish flakes, and vegetables - as well as rice and tea. For four persons, this was reasonable.
What what came with the food was her honesty. And I won't hesitate to go back there when I am in Pasir Penambang. And may I be so brave as to recommend it to you here.
So, if you are in Pasir Penambang, after reading this, check out her humble shop. I have included a picture of it here. tell her you read about her shop here. It will encourage other restaurant owners like her to be just as honest as she was.