How to Make Cassava Cake and Fried Bananas

#TelstraFail Season 2, Episode 3

So right after my  6-dropout broadcast, I called the Westfield Miranda Telstra store where I’d signed up for the service days earlier.  Explained the symptoms to the woman on the phone, who responded –

  • no worries, just bring it back in
  • we can run some tests on it here
  • since you signed up less than 30 days ago, you’re entitled to a straight swap of your modem with a brand new one.

We locked in an appointment for 1pm the next day. Minutes later, I received a confirmation email about my appointment with Telstra’s “Tech Bar”.

telstra-fail-cassava cake fried bananas - jackie-m-blog

This hip Telstra rebranding sounded promising; very Apple store, very Google HQ. Although I had no recollection of a “Tech Bar” on my first trip to the revamped store, I figured maybe it was tucked away up the back along with its high tech testing gear.

Sadly I’d failed to learn my lesson from #TelstraFail Season 1 – ie. that 1) you can never believe Telstra’s promises 2) the definition of “accountability” does not exist in Telstra’s vocabulary 3) Telstra doesn’t care

Next day, after a 25-minute wait at the store, it turned out I’d be seeing the same guy who’d signed me up days earlier. Strange, but maybe Smiley Sales Dude was also a techie, kinda like me the Malaysian cook who is actually a qualified Microsoft systems engineer.

Smiley Sales Dude said – I’ll have to send your modem back to Netgear for testing, because it’s only an intermittent fault. It’ll take up to 5 days and you’ll have to come back to pick up a replacement then.

Erm, hell no. I asked to speak with his Operations Manager.

Two years in a row I’ve been nominated for Telstra’s Businesswoman of the Year award (isn’t that hilarious considering how much I publicly diss them).

Seems madam Operations Manager harbours no such aspirations.

So they told you about the straight swap? Well, that’s just too bad.

They said we could test it in-store? Lol (I’m not kidding; alright, it was more of a snicker than an LOL, but you get the idea).

You made a 90-minute round trip to get here? That’s just too bad.

You lost your entire audience the last time your live broadcast dropped out? That’s just too bad.

You have a sick, disabled kid who needs round-the-clock care and you can’t afford to be given the runaround by Telstra? Well, that’s just too bad.

Finally, calling her bluff –

You want to run a live broadcast right here in our store to show us it’s not intermittent but rather, it consistently drops out? NO, you’re not allowed to do that (with a tinge of suppressed horror).

So, rather than risk being dragged off by security, I left Telstra’s ironically-named “Tech Bar” without handing over the dodgy modem. My hope now rested on dealing directly with Netgear to see if the fix was a simple firmware (ie. built-in modem software) upgrade.

Like I said in this next broadcast, being with Telstra is like staying in an abusive relationship. They treat you like crap, but you’re stuck with them because there’s no alternative.

Cassava Cake (Kuih Bingka Ubi)


  • 450g grated cassava
  • 200ml coconut cream
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp butter


  1. Combine all ingredients and pour into baking tray.
  2. Cover with foil.
  3. Bake in air fryer (I used an Optimum HealthyFry) for 35 minutes at 180°C.
  4. Remove foil and bake a further 15 minutes at 180°C.
  5. Allow to cool before cutting into slices to serve.

Fried Bananas


  • 4 bananas, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 cup glutinous rice flour
  • ½ cup rice flour
  • ⅔ cup coconut cream
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Oil for deep-frying


  1. Combine flours, coconut cream, sugar and salt and mix well. You want to achieve a very thick batter (in all honesty the amount of coconut cream is totally agak-agak ie. my rough guesstimate – I never measure it).
  2. Heat oil to 180°C. Dip banana slices in batter, coat well, then gently slide into oil.
  3. Fry until golden brown; remove and drain.
  4. Bananas should crisp up further once cooled.


*** I used an Optimum HealthyFry for the Cassava Cake recipe in this post. More details on this appliance can be found at Prestige Home Appliances.

tn_Lenovo         Rode Mic   Prestige Home Appliances

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