Saturday, May 23, 2015

Shop & Save

Jicama, Sweet Potato, Chilli

Just after five days, I was back in KL. In the morning, went to the market with mum. Things were a little busier in the market but not quite the last minute frenzy yet. But those who sold clothes brought in tents as makeshift changing rooms to meet the demand. Had a simple breakfast of pan mee and was a bit surprised when the seller didn't leave after I gave him a MYR5 note. He was waiting for another 50 sen. Inflation. Pre-GST adjustment. Ouch. Back at home, I cleansed the house of roaches. While I was mopping upstairs, mum started boiling some porridge. Halfway through cleaning the rooms, I smelled something burning. I ran down to find that the porridge had turned into a black rice cake. Took the pot off the flame and switched on the cooker hood at full blast. Found mum sleeping on the sofa. Opps. I continued spritzing all the nooks and crannies with lemongrass oil. When mum woke up, she started cooking replacement mee suah.

Biscuits For Sale

Chinese Sausages

Pan Mee Breakfast

Mee Suah Lunch

What better to do on a Saturday afternoon if not shopping? I had not been to IOI City Mall, so I suggested that we go. Checking Waze, I never realised that it was just 7 km from my place. That's bloody near. However it was annoying to note that on the way home, I would be caught in a nasty crawl up the 16 Sierra overpass. Hate those traffic lights there. There should be a dedicated route. Found parking easy enough, but the elevators were limited and slow. Super slow. On first impression, the place felt a little like Nu Sentral with its huge spaces. The retail selection wasn't bad and there were quite a lot of food choices. Went shopping at two huge lifestyle stores, HomePro and Index, both from Thailand. Got myself a twist mop. Happy. Later on, SK, Apollo, Brian and QueerRanter-D joined us for dinner. Ate at Dubu Dubu, a place that was frowned upon by Lifebook because it was chain restaurant. The whole night we made fun of that but truthfully food was commendable, with the exception of the bingsu. Trust me to find something to complain about. A most uncomfortable dessert to eat, like swallowing cold sand.

Space

Gorilla

Beef

And we found the ridiculous Tesco offer that was going around in FB. Thought it was a joke, but turns out that it's not. Feast your eyes on the fabulous MYR0.001 savings.

Save MYR0.01

Planned to have coffee at Piccolo Cafe, but due to the screwed up nature of the mall, it took me an unnatural amount of time just to get to the car. Gave up on the elevators (not only were the elevators slow, the people were too! It timed out at every floor! “Eh, dah sampai ke? Nak keluar ke ni?") and the stairs were hard to find. Really should park at the areas with the travelators instead. Arrived at the cafe forty five minutes later thanks to the 16 Sierra overpass. Quickly got a latte to calm me down. Got some finger food too. Quite a number of tables were occupied that night. And they were nice enough to snap an Instax group photo for us. Hopefully they will survive as it's the closest decent coffee place near my place.

Funny that I received a call from Cutiepie late that evening after I had just been discussing with KH about visiting her. Been wanting to see her latest bundle of joy and I had hoped not to give her 2014 birthday present before her 2015 birthday. Coincidentally, she was also at IOI City Mall and wanted to swing over to get some design inspiration from my sister's place. By that time, the Monster were already asleep. Her baby Bell was so adorable with her huge eyes, long lashes and curls. So friendly too. Let me carry with no fuss. But she would wail if you talk bad about her. The next day, I felt the effect of her weight on hands. Lenguh!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Pandas

Drink Coffee

It was the final week of the "1600 Pandas" in Malaysia. So after Sunday mass, mum and I headed to Publika. Met up SK, KH and QueerRanter-D at Journal by Plan B for lunch. Nothing on the menu spoke to me. Just had an average-tasting Pho Bo. The queue circling the Pandas was a bit crazy, so we just circled on the outside looking for lulls in the crowd. Found some good photo opportunities. The long corridor design of Publika made it a wonderful choice to exhibit the pandas. And the overhead walkways gave the perfect POV. Truth be told, the Pandas were just Pandas. The merchandise was quite obscenely priced. Selfie sticks at 120 a pop. Umbrellas went for MYR80 while T shirts were just ten ringgit cheaper. The plush toy was an amazing MYR100.

Panda Assembly II

Panda Assembly I

Panda Siege

Sitting Panda

Chatting Panda

Caught sight of a cute kid manning the Grabit kiosk. Coincidentally, KH had the app and went to redeem a free magnum mini. Cute to have the Japanese kid explain things to us. Sweet smile. The bad coverage there made the interaction longer than required. Plenty of time for me to take pics. Hehe.



After sending KH home, mum and I went to Giant for some CNY supplies shopping. I stopped the cart at the frozen food section and was delighted by a siew keong making its rounds at the hash browns chiller. Bought a whole bunch of arrowroot, not for cooking, but for planting. Big Monster has a green thumb and loves seeing things grow.

Arrowroot

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Dark Days

Light of Elendil

The electrical problems at my house had reached its peak with the main fuse unwilling to budge. And the electrician that my sister engaged was so busy that he couldn't come on short notice. So when I landed at KLIA2, I directly took a cab to my sister's place. Went back home to pack a few things after I ate dinner. Not a pleasant experience rummaging in the dark. Lucky I had a large LED lantern to be my Light of Elendil.

Nigiri Sushi

The kids had new toys to play with. A stray cat had delivered a few kittens in the store room much to my sister's chagrin. The maid had to hose down the baby stroller where the mother cat had decided to give birth. The mother cat wasn't very attentive, so my sister stepped in to feed them her breast milk! With a syringe of course. The kids had fun with the kittens, but were kinda rough. Little Monster picked them up by their heads. Yikes. In the end, only one survived and the mother cat finally picked up the lone kitten and left.

Gunkan Sushi

On Saturday afternoon, went out to MV with SK and KH. After years of being an unappreciated performer, her boss finally gave her a promotion. Although a notch down from what she deserved, it was better than nothing. To celebrate the occasion, she treated us lunch at Kita no Zen at The Gardens Mall. Did some shopping after that and surprisingly found some good clothing bargains at Muji. Had a coffee session at Encore Patisserie after that. The woman next to us wanted a coffee jacket for her takeaway latte, but when she saw that it was just a makeshift version from paper napkins, she scoffed and threw it away. High class sekali.

Peach Tart

Back home, I found my mother in a bad mood. But my sister seemed to have placated her. Something to do with trying to be a super housewife. My mother started working as a domestic helper when she was 12. And switched to being a caring home maker at 25. Today, she is 69 and has never slowed down. But age has definitely caught up with her and she is reluctant to make adjustments for her flagging stamina. So she gets a little frustrated when she tries to accomplish too much. We do what we can to help her but she's too used to pushing a hard schedule for herself.

In the Changing Room

In the evening, mum and I had a BEC Gathering at church. It was a combined event with two other BECs. A good turnout and the variety of food was good. And there was a tall hunk there that night. Loved to stare at his V-shaped torso. And he had quite a cute smile. Yummy. Did our usual thing and called it a night.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Mall Celebrities: Gardenia Gary



While lining up outside Sushi Zanmai, Paradigm Mall, I had the chance to eavesdrop on the conversation between Gardenia Gary and his girlfriends. He was lamenting about how hard it is for him to gain weight (Boo-hoo! Wait till you hit 30 Gary!). According to his research he needs x kilojoules to begin to initiate weight gain. By his calculations, that meant 7 loaves of Gardenia bread every day! Yikes. He'd sooner turn into Marshmallow Man before turning into a hunk! Good enough to stay a Snow White twink. But a hunk did turn up later, which I will reveal in my next segment of Mall Celebrities. Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Two Williams

William 2 Pax

Been a while since I attended mass at St Joseph's. Noticed that the altar was now draped with four depicts of the Doctors of the Church. It used to be plain construction plastic sheets. And Sir Dr Peter Low the Choir master was missing, but the choir didn't breakdown. Glad to see that the choir of the Risen Christ has backup people in leadership positions. The priest talked about Catholic parents who didn't baptise their children or send them to Sunday school but instead let them choose their religion after their majority. He likened it to not sending children to school and letting them choose what education they wanted when they turn 18. At the end of it, he yelled, "Stupid!". Haha.

Latte

Right after church I went to Tater's place. I had booked him for brunch that day. Early birthday brunch. He chose the venue, a place called Five & Dime Eatery at River Valley Road. Actually, the taxi driver had dropped us very close to the place but we got confused and walked up and down the street looking for it. Reminded me of flight safety briefings-- the flight attended will now point out the emergency exits to you, bear in mind that the closest exit might be behind you. Tater made reservations so there was a cute sign at our table-- "Reserved for William. 2 pax.". It was so right, Tater is also a William. Secret revealed. Lol. Foursquare recommended their Mentaiko Pasta. I was disappointed. Just a plate of sweet nothing. Coffee was quite good though. And what's a birthday without cake? Tater got the carrot cake while I went for the lava cake. Got back to his place for a swim after that. I jumped into the pool but Tater was more hesitant. Slowly dipped in his feet, then sat at the poolside for a while. After I had finished five laps, he moved into the pool, but his upper body wasn't immersed. If I were him, I would be shivering by then, but he seemed fine.

Mentaiko Pasta

Lava Cake

Carrot Cake

In the evening, we both had separate dinner appointments. He walked me to Bugis MRT where I continued on the Lavender. His date was waiting for him at the station. I went over to greet him. Think for a moment there he was afraid that I might kacau daun. My company used to hire a lot of Myanmarese contractors. After the project ended, many of them left to pursue jobs in Singapore. Been a few years since I met this ex-colleague of mine. He got married in Singapore, has one son with another on the way. Dinner was arranged at Golden Mile Complex. Think it was my first time there. Like a little piece of Thailand, full of migrant workers. There was a Brahmin shrine at the taxi stand and a wet market inside selling all sorts of Thai ingredients and herbs. Very happening with plenty of clubs, restaurants and electronics kiosks. Ate at Nong Khai, a popular eatery there. Food was good but the service staff seemed disoriented and aloof. Their tomyum was good and so was the salt-grilled Tilapia. But my favourite was the grilled pork intestines, an item not on the menu. Did a lot of catching up with my ex-colleague and mostly talked to him about old times. And it was interesting to hear how about how expensive it was to start a family in Singapore. The next morning, I spent a good half an hour on the porcelain throne. The food must have been too spicy for my delicate tummy. A fantastic purge.

Grilled Pig Intestines

Friday, May 15, 2015

Susahnya Shopping

Rainbow Loo

The end of the January marked my 8th year with KH, so I was determined to get him something special. Woke up bright and early, had my breakfast and headed out to Orchard for some inspiration. I walked from ION to Isetan to Takashimaya to Robinsons to Sommerset 313. No luck. Didn't see anything that fit into wonderful and affordable. Lol. Shopping in Orchard is not for the faint-hearted. Looked for lunch at Taka's Food Village. Saw 1A Currypuffs and immediately went for it. Chose an uncommon variety-- chilli crab. Find the skin so much better than Old Chang Kee. Supplemented with char siew bao and a pan-fried meat bao from one of the seasonal stalls and that was it. Sat at one of the benches and read "Strange Tales from China" while I munched away on the hot snacks. Before I left, there was another must-eat that I had to revisit-- Rive Gauche Patisserie. Years ago, KH bought me a slice of Guanaja from there. But my eyes caught sight of a more beautiful option-- Pearl of the Tiara (such a gay name kan?). A decadent slice of chocolate ganache with Bailey's Cream, walnuts and white chocolate. Smelled like heaven when I opened the box (amazingly the cake was unscathed though I brought it all over Orchard and into the crowded MRT). My last stop for the day was Tokyu Hands in Sommerset 313. I would describe it as a premium Daiso where generic is replaced with branded. Even a simple coin pouch is designer and costs more than SGD20. In conclusion, I failed to find the perfect gift, but I did get some ideas. Got back to the hotel, showered, wanked and took a nap. Ate dinner with my colleagues and later retreated to my room to savour my cake. Bliss.

Pearl of the Tiara

Thursday, May 14, 2015

2015's Virgin Singapore Trip

Note: Believe it or not, there are no food pics in this post because all the photos were so bad!

On my first day in Singapore for 2015, I arranged a dinner date with Finnegan. Such a coincidence that he was in town for some business. He asked me about food options but I kinda drew a blank. In the end, I remembered a recommendation from my brother about a messy burger at Orchid Hotel, so I looked it up. The joint was called Two Blur Guys. Perfect location cause my office was in the vicinity and Finnegan was hoped up nearby. Met up at Tanjung Pagar MRT and found the place with little fuss. Finnegan looked well, but a little bit thinner from the last I saw him before Christmas season. He assured me that he was well, but just worrying a bit more. When an investor worries (I'm guessing it's about money!) I guess 2015 will not be such a smooth year. The signature dish at that burger joint is the pulled pork burger which unfortunately was sold out by dinner time. Picked an alternative in the form of a Duck Rilette. Didn't taste much duck in that wet tangle of peppery meat, but it wasn't bad actually. Completed the meal with a slice of pecan pie and hot cup of chamomile. Spent three hours there talking about the past year and somehow the topic of art appreciation popped up. Spent a solid three hours there until a sewage problem in the restaurant made us retreat to the sidewalk tables. Guess I can strike off "dining in a cesspool" from my list now.

Later in the week, I had a dinner appointment with MoonlightPiggy at Supreme Tastes Jiangnan Cuisine at Marina Square. A mouthful ain't it? According to her, it her boss' favourite place for a bowl of hot la mian. Good recommendation actually. During our journey, we were standing behind a lady on an escalator. She had a cup of Llao Llao frozen yoghurt in hand. Judging by the queue in front of the shop, bet she invested at least half an hour to get her dessert fix. While trying to dig up a spoonful to eat, she dropped the whole cup. It somersaulted and the frozen yoghurt went splat on esacalator. Luckily my slacks were spared from the runaway yoghurt. To me, that cup was a lost cause. MoonlightPiggy fished it up for her and I saw her walking to the dustbin with it. To my horror, she didn't throw it away, but just dug out some of it and continued eating!!! Goodness. Who would have thought that one would go so far for a cup of over-hyped frozen yoghurt. Back to dinner. Tried the la mian with shredded eel and I was impressed with the unmistakable aroma of the superior chicken soup stock when it arrived at the table. Mouth-watering. Simple and wholesome. Talked mostly about her aunt's ailing health and her boss' love life, topics on extreme ends of the spectrum. And I was the mule for KH's Chia Te pineapple tarts that MoonlightPiggy had bought for him.