Monday, May 21, 2018

Canine CNY II: Family and Food

Anson CCF

On the second day of CNY, we made a trip to Perak to visit relatives. Supposed to start our journey bright and early, but we were delayed by an hour because mum overslept! A very rare occurrence. In usual cases, she would be so worked up over the trip that she would hardly get any sleep. The whole night long she would be going up and down, packing this and that. Our first stop was at my maternal uncle's place in Pekan Baru, Teluk Intan. Had my breakfast there of yummy Anson CCF.

And as luck would have it, my maternal cousin from Bagan Sungai Burung came in an Estima filled to the brim with my boisterous nephews and nieces. Definitely livened things up. My aunt prepared lunch, and we ate before leaving to visit my mum's younger sister. I don't remember ever going to her house. By that time, the heat was so unforgiving that we nearly melted.

Old House

The third house we in our list was my dad's sister-in-law. Whenever we visit her, it's usually in the morning, but this year, we appeared at her door step in the afternoon. That change in timing was great because it coincided with the arrival of my paternal aunt (with her hubby and son whom I have not met in a decade), and also my cousin sister and her big tribe. My cousin brothers were also there, so it was nice reunion. Been a very long time since the old house had such a big reunion of relatives. Just like the old days, we would huddle in the kitchen munching and talking. My aunt had made a big pot of choi keok, and there was Anson CCF, and Nyonya nasi kunyit.

Nasi Kunyit

Before leaving town, we stopped at Sam Siew Yeh to pack some Anson CCF. Our timing was just right as they had just opened shop at 6:00 PM. Never before had we visited that shop. Normally got our Anson CCF fix from Liew Kee. Left there with twenty packets. Huhu.

Sam Siew Yeh

The last stop for the day was Bagan Sungai Burung to visit my mum's brother-in-law. My cousin had prepared a seafood steamboat dinner for us. Fresh fish and squid, minus the preservatives that you get in markets. The kids there are so sick of fresh seafood that they preferred processed stuff like mini chikuwa. When you get too much of a good thing... Before we called it a day, our car boot was loaded with a big box of frozen fishes and prawns. From my cousin's personal stash. Probably would last us a month. Got back to KL at about 11:00 PM. No jam, but plenty of roadworks along the trunk road.

Cuttlefish

Steamboat

Frozen Fish

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Mall Celebrities: Wefie Winston

Selfie Siblings

Spotted cutie Wefie Winston at the Gardens Mall, taking a wefie with his sister during the first day of CNY. Fair and lovely, no? And a loving sibling with a smile that lights up his face. Wouldn't mind taking a wefie with him in bed. Bwahahaha.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Canine CNY I: Church and Chow

Altar

Bright and early on the first day of the Lunar New Year, I put on my new red Private Structure briefs, red gingham shirt, and a pair of black slacks. Went downstairs to greet my mum and brother with Chinese New Year greetings, and got first few packets of ang pao. We got to church a bit earlier than usual to help out. Mum was with the liturgy group preparing for the Rite of Commemoration of Ancestors, while I was with the hospitality group, getting ready for the distribution of mandarin oranges. The turnout was huge too, so we added many chairs outside of the church. With the cooperation and coordination of all the ministries, the mass went smoothly, and it ended with a lion dance at the entrance of the church.

Celebrant

Ancestral Tablet

AngPau Time

Getting the Green

All Smiles Again

We went looking for lunch at Midvalley Megamall because most of its shops are usually open, even on the first day of Chinese New Year. As it was already late, and we just chose the first restaurant that looked decent-- Enoshima, along the boulevard. Not expensive, but the portions were kinda meh. But I did like their Iced Coffee Cendol. Sounds weird, but is actually pretty good.

Iced Coffee Cendol

Next up was cam-whoring with the CNY decorations. Midvalley's centercourt was decked out with giant flowers, birdcages, and oriental gazebos. The Gardens Mall on the other hand always went with the multitude of dioramas stretching the whole length of the mall. There were so many of them that even mum got tired of snapping a photo in each of them. That aside, their creative team really did a good job as usual. Also managed to catch a lion dance performance on stilts.

Knotting Art

Lion Dance on Stilts

And thank goodness that mum found a suitable qipao at Robinsons for her upcoming Huazhong CNY event. Definitely a daunting task to find the right outfit at the right price, especially when its something so seasonal like the qipao.

Apollo and his mother met us for dinner that night at Impressoul Gastrology, Sunway Pyramid Hotel West. An obnoxious name if you ask me. The brains behind the restaurant are two Korean chefs. In the menu, Chef S.K. Choi is touted as a handsome Iron Chef (Hottest Chef in the Kingdom 2013 whatever the heck that is). The story goes that he used to be a prize-winning bodybuilder before injury dashed his dreams and led him to pursue a career in the kitchen. Anyway, he wasn't at the restaurant. Probably in Thailand opening another noodle bar. The restaurant was dark, with a modern flair. My biggest dislike was the cowhide chairs that were really itchy. Nothing much to say about the food. Mostly Korean-Japanese fusion.

Heads

SK wanted dessert, so we walked all the way to Snowflake at Sunway Pyramid, going through some weird areas that I've never visited. Didn't know that Sunway Pyramid had a huge retail space dedicated to toys and edutainment. Pretty dead, that place. Funny thing happened at Snowflake-- SK put in the orders and took the UFO beeper back to the table. When the beeper started flashing, she went back to the cashier to collect. Rolling my eyes, I went to the collection counter to get our desserts. The cashier told her, "Your son has already collected.". Ketawa sampai pecah perut! Even the staff started laughing when they realized the faux pas. That really put me in a good mood. LOL.

Chinese Village

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Canine CNY 0: Doggy Dinner

Money Trees

The Year of the Dog in 2018 was celebrated with much feasting as tradition dictates. And to feast, one must make preparations. Since the morning of the eve Chinese New Year, mum, Bro, and I were out of the house sourcing for the freshest ingredients. Mum showed me a picture of a cute dog-themed lou sang that she received via What's App, so we decided to recreate that for reunion dinner. Drew up a list of ingredients and went shopping at AEON Taman Equine. Got all we wanted, and then proceeded to the nearby Fun and Cheer to complete our CNY decorations. Dog-themed stuff were already going for 50% off.

Lucky Charms

Back home, mum started on the cooking, and I figured out how to assemble the lou sang. As usual, we had 3 dishes per person:
  1. Snoopy Lou Sang
  2. Stewed sea cucumber with shiitake mushrooms, pig tendon, and pig stomach
  3. Pak cham kai
  4. Fried Threadfin
  5. Salad
  6. Pan-fried prawns
  7. Steamed pomfret
  8. Stir-fried garlic chives
  9. Lotus root soup
Just a little bite from every dish would be enough to fill one's belly. But when it's so delicious, how can one stop at just one bite? Haha. 

Snoopy Lou Sang

Reunion Dinner 2018

In the evening, KH came over with Igor, and they brought along two bottles of wine. We polished off one bottle, and kept the other for another day. 

Wednesday, May 09, 2018

Finding Flowers

Wrapped in Gold

At the last minute, mum and I went hunting for CNY flowers near OUG. The weather was absurdly hot, making the visit to the flower nursery a real enjoyable one. I had no qualms getting out of the car with my hoodie on. For the benefit of the CNY shoppers, the nursery 'augmented the assets' of the plants to ensure a maximum 'prosperity attraction' index. Baby pineapples with gold wrapping; bamboo pyramids topped with choi san; flower pots with all sorts of lucky charm embellishments... You get the picture. Although there were a whole lot of varieties there, we left with the classic chrysanthemums.

Pussy Willow

Dracaena sanderiana

Dracaena sanderiana Pyramid

Chrysanthemum

That short trip for flowers nearly melted the scalp off our heads. so mum suggested that we go for some cendol. Found a decent food truck under a tree, and we got our hit of ice shavings in syrupy santan soup. Couldn't resist ordering a plate of rojak as well. Ah, bliss.

Rojak

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

Pasar Politics

Senator Datuk Mustapa Kamal

With just less than a week before CNY, the  OUG morning market was a hive of activity. Even BN Seputeh tried to 'show their concern' by organizing a community event on Jalan Hujan Rahmat 2. They commandeered half of the road to put up a stage and many tables. The displaced market vendors must have been so pleased. Hampers were given out to elderly residents and those with disabilities. And of course there was free food for the public. Senator Datuk Mustapa Kamal also 'turun' padang to distribute free reading glasses (bet they can detect fake news). He tried to help mum to get a suitable pair but none they had were suitable. Countless cameras were clicking with his every 'charitable' move.

Hampers

Free Reading Glasses

Come evening, I joined SK at a party with her ex-colleagues. A pot luck with lots of food. There was grilled chicken wings, char siew, vinegar pork knuckles, savoury rice, and a birthday cake.  And booze too. Someone brought their kids along, so we even had an 'Art Attack!' session making paper lanterns and canine origami for CNY. At the end of the night, we were stuffed to the brim, but still with enough leftover to tapau!

Grilled Chicken Wings

Birthday Cake

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Early V

Lou Sang

Of late, KH and I never had much time together due to busy schedules. Whatever the case, one must always make time for each other. Used Valentine's Day as an excuse for dinner at Tanzini. I got off work pretty early, so I roamed around Avenue K. When I had exhausted all the outlets, I slowly walked over to G Tower to continue waiting. I nearly fell asleep on the sofa at the lobby. Haha. Such the epitome of a patient hubby. Impressed? :P. Finally at 8:25 PM, we were shown to our table. No hangri-ness that night because I was pretty well-fed in the afternoon. My colleagues had organized a pre-CNY lou sang lunch at Restoran Makanan Laut Zhen Liew Siang, a popular haunt for working adults in the KL area. If you know the place, you'd be no stranger to their oily and 'super-flavourful' signature dishes.

Fried Chicken

Pork Knuckles

After stepping out of the elevator on the 28th floor, we were greeted by a friendly waiter who asked whether we had a reservation. Luckily, they had a table for a couple of walk-ins like us. One would think that the 28th floor would offer a great view, but I can describe what I saw as an Intermark view. Next to us, a straight couple was enjoying the tail end of their early valentine's dinner. The restaurant had made the valentine's set available a little earlier for kiasu couples like us. KH and I just ordered from the ala carte menu-- fish and duck breast, and some wine to toast the occasion. No disappointment from the kitchen and the service staff were very attentive. I suspect our waiter was also trained in smartphone photography as he knew all the best angles. So that was how we celebrated our eleventh year together and an early VDay.

P.S.: No good photos to share due to the 'romantic' lighting.