Friday, February 27, 2015

Birthday Brother

Front Desk

On my birthday, my brother treated me to dinner at Wild Rocket. A hidden little gem at Hangout Hotel, Upper Wilkie Road, right next to Mount Emily Park. Met my brother at Bugis MRT and we walked together to the place. As we walked, I can't help but notice many familiar landmarks along the way. It was actually quite near my hotel, but one had to go uphill and traverse a long flight of dark stairs before arriving at the place. When we got there, our backs were wet from perspiration! According to my brother, the place just recently reopened after an 8-month hiatus. They had planned to move to some where else more accessible, but their landlord lowered the rent. And so the place was 'reborn' with a lot of wood accents. Love the geometric, interlocking pieces of wood framing the whole side of the restaurant. I had did all my homework on Foursquare and HungryGoWhere and had a pretty good idea of what to order. However, I should have known that they would revamp the menu too. LOL. Comparing the current menu to the reviews, I must say that I prefer the old menu. Stranger. Took a long look at the list of Mod Sin (Modern Singaporean, a term coined by Chef Willin Low) dishes and nothing jumped out at me. In the end, we shared the pomelo salad with tiger prawns and a frozen coconut dressing. Obviously the interesting thing about the dish is the frozen coconut dressing. Basically coconut cream ice cream with bird's eye chilli surprise inside. My main was a dark charsiew creation that was blanketed with Vietnamese rice paper. Very unconventional plating. Dessert was their famous de-constructed strawberry cake. All I can say is sangat strawberry. The servers were friendly, but they seemed to have their heads in the clouds. Even forgot my brother's wine. And in case you go there and go looking for the cutlery, don't bother to ask because its in a drawer under the table. Another weird thing. Later in the night, KH gave me a call and revealed that he had a surprise for me. Told me to guess. It was something that I REALLY wanted for my birthday. Hmmm. I normally draw a blank when you ask me what I want. Finally he told me-- he was gonna be in Singapore over the weekend! So what I REALLY wanted for my birthday is birthday sex. LOL.

Wild Rocket

Pomelo Salad

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Lapse II: Early Birthday & New Archbishop

Happy Birthday William

I had a birthday do at my sister's place since I couldn't decide on a restaurant. Had it on the 5th, four days before the actual date. Mum cooked a big dinner, with special contributions from my sister, SK and Apollo. Sis made a huge pan of seafood paella yang tahap dewa. The surface was so thick with seafood that one couldn't see the rice. SK recently returned from Vietnam, so she made rice paper rolls with grilled pork neck. Yum! Apollo made dessert, which was an impressive Oreo cheesecake. Love the crust! And I had a surprise guest for the dinner too-- Cutipie and her darling son Cam. Of course KH was there too and he brought a big apricot butter cake from Suanson. A very traditional choice of cake. :P. Had a merry dinner especially since I whipped up a large jug of Mojito. Ended the night with an Instax photo shoot, so everyone had a souvenir from the event.

Vietnamese Rice Paper Rolls

Seafood Paella

Stir-fried Clams

Thai Style Tofu

Oreo Cheesecake

Happy 34th from Mel

Hari Raya Haji marked the episcopal ordination of Most Rev. Julian Leow, the Archbishop of Kuala Lumpur. Took over the reins from Archbishop Emeritus Murphy Pakiam. The ordination was held at the Church of the Holy Family, Kajang where he was a well-known priest. We joined the throng in Kajang town early in the morning. Managed to secure parking at one of the many suggested parking lots away from the nexus of activity. There were lots and lots of people (ferried in by lots and lots of buses) and most of the seats were already taken. Luckily we found seats with shade and a decent view of the big screen. And a problem with the huge turnout was the lack of toilets. Although there were port-a-potties, it wasn't really enough. Even the guys had to queue for long, can you imagine the ladies? The solemn ceremony ran for four hours! But it was very grand with a large number of bishops from all over giving their blessing. Among the interesting parts of the episcopal ordination were the Apostolic Letter (a mandate from the Holy See), Book of Gospels (the Gospel is held open above the head of the Archbishop), Investiture with Ring, Miter, and Pastoral Staff and Seating of the Bishop (the Archbishop is invited to sit in the bishop's chair). At the end, the newly-appointed Archbishop went around giving blessings to the congregation. We didn't stay for the speech and escaped the crowds.

Old Kajang

Crowd II

Crowd I



Archbishop's Blessing

Lunched at Restoran Satay Malaysia (Nyuk Lan), which is famous for its crowds, satay and bad manners. While the server was wiping the table, SK in her 'infinite patience' already started to order. The guy snapped, "Cannot wait first ah?!". Fuiyoh. The satay wasn't bad and they had authentic ketupat in woven leaf cases which gives the rice a distinct aroma. The grilled chicken wings were good too and perfect for snacking while waiting for the satay. Cooled off at Alamanda Putrajaya after lunch. Surprised that it has become more upmarket with Mont Blanc and Coach. Banyak orang kaya di Putraja? In the evening, had a gathering with Gratitude (and his mum) and KT at Donutes. A great way to end the long weekend before flying back to Singapore again.

Chicken Satay

Kuah Satay & Ketupat

Grilled Chicken Wings

Centrecourt

Mango Pudding

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Lapse I

Stir-fried Spaghetti

There seems to be a lapse in my note-taking. Comparing my notes and pictures, there seems to be a gap of a couple of weeks that I did not write about. Gosh. And you know how bad my memory is. Worse of all, I'm a bit anal about skipping those events! So I'll just give a short write up based on the pics. Wakakaka. For brekafast, I had a plate of stir-fried spaghetti. No idea where though cause the photos geo-location refused to load on Picasa. Doesn't matter I guess because I remember that it wasn't very good. A tad on the sweet and oily side. But the presentation's very interesting. How often does one see pasta on a banana leaf?

Where's the rest?

For lunch, SK, KH, Apollo and I ventured to Jalan Telawi. Tried a brunch place called Yeast Boulangerie. Had to wait to be seated and I must say that it wasn't really worth the wait. Taste and looks so-so jer. Tapi memang ada angmoh kerja sana.

3 Eyes

For tea, we tried out Doors Cafe at Taman OUG. Found at one of the lesser known roads, it wasn't very crowded. True to its name, the ID hinged on wooden doors (pardon the pun). Even the order numbers were attached with door hinges. In addition to the doors, they had some crazy murals going on. Some fluffy-headed three-eyed characters with a penchant for hats. No idea what that has to do with doors. Coffee was decent, and the non-halal Guinness cake did have a kick to it. Even the tea was non-halal, supplied by teapigs.co.uk. LOL. Bad joke. Until the next gap in my memory.

A Slice of Guinness

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Wai No Battery?

Nissin Kyushu Black

According to my HR portal, I have fourteen days of annual leave to clear, so I came home on Thursday, one day earlier than usual. Immediately did my laundry and went to sleep after hanging up the last piece of underwear. The next morning, I went to warm up my Iswara. The engine sputtered and the alarm went off. Another two unsuccessful attempts later, I made a SOS call to my mechanic. I had forty minutes or so before he came. Feeling hungry as heck (I was supposed to go tapau wantan noodles!!!), I had to dig out my instant noodles stash. Decided on Nissin's Kyushu Black instant ramen. Topped it with a fried egg. Not bad at all. Was eating halfway when my mechanic arrived. When he turned the key, the car actually started up! WTF. The engine must have been too cold and the battery a little weak. Coincidentally, a neighbour of mine was also experiencing car problems, so it wasn't a wasted journey. I went back in to finish my breakfast. Not too long after that, I received a call from my mechanic again telling me that I might as well change the battery since it was already two years old. True that. Might as well. Spent MYR240 that morning.

City

Settled that and drove over to see Little Monster. He was quite excited to see me. Some time before noon, I drove out to NuSentral to meet KH for lunch. Ate at Ozen Zanmai (subset of Pasta Zanmai). We actually just ordered a chawanmushi and a grilled saba. KH completely forgot to order the sushi platter. No wonder the waitress gave me a funny look when I asked for wasabi and shoyu. Supplemented our lunch with carrot cake and coffee at Jeneris by AhRen. Went to the pharmacy after that to buy some RIN enzyme for mum and get some Cialis for a colleague. Really curious as to why he needs that. :P. KH had to get back to work, so I drove back to OUG for a haircut. Got it really short. Then went to RHB to get some clarification on my account. I waited for fifteen minutes without any customer service being able to attend to me. I stood there, dialed their customer service number and got the answers that I wanted. Amazing.

Deepavali

Carrot Cake

On a whim, I contacted Wai, a college student I got acquainted with on social media. Since I was in the neighbourhood, I picked him up from his place in Kuchai Lama and brought him to yumcha at Ficelle. The poor kid was limping cause he sprained his ankle on the stairs. Hope he learned his lesson and not play phone so much anymore. :P. Quite a chatty kid who in my opinion was quite straight-acting. Would have fooled my gaydar. An avid collector of old notes who knows how to make money out of that hobby. Left after the rain let up and headed back to my sister's place for dinner. Met SK there too where she passed me some early birthday presents from friends. Thank you, thank you.

Bun Aliens

Monday, February 09, 2015

Suddenly Singapore II: Meeting Kenni & Hawker Food Fest

Screwy Alley

Singapore has been a monotonous experience. Wake up at 7:15 am, check my phone, do some squats, crunches or push ups if I feel up to it, freshen up, get dressed and go down for breakfast. Breakfast is also monotonous. Eggs, garden salad, noodles, porridge. Can only vary it so much. But at least its free. LOL. At 8:45 am would walk to Bugis MRT and alight three stations later at Tanjug Pagar to get to my office. Lunch would normally be at Laupasat because compared to Amoy Food Centre, it's easier to get seats for a big group. Although more expensive, one can get discount by using the Kopitiam Prepaid Card. But on some days, we would venture to Amoy Food Centre to try the famous stalls there. Easy to spot, just look for the long queues. In addition to better tasting food, these stalls owe their popularity to their cheap prices. My colleague coaxed me to try the famous fish soup from Han Kee. Came out at 11:45 am to beat the crowds, but that was a myth. Still took me 25 minutes to clear the line. SGD5.30 for big bowl of soup with quite a lot of fish slices. However nice and fresh it was, I don't think I will queue for that again any time soon. For dinner, we usually go to Albert Centre. More choices at cheaper prices, but that place can be a little messy. I try my best to try every single stall, but at times I would go for the familiar favourites like Teochew fishball noodles and ban mian. During that trip I met Kenni, an Instagram kaki and avid doodler. He made reservations at The Flying Squirrel, a small hipster Japanese joint at Amoy Street (the entrance was in a small lane and the sign at the intersection was sooooo small). True to his pics, he turned up in all black clothes with ink-adorned skin. He claimed to be an introvert, but I found him to be kinda chatty. And he imagined me to be louder and more fabulous from his years of reading my blog. We all project an inaccurate online persona I guess. Based on my research on Foursquare, the best choices seemed to be the Chirashi Don and the Signature Maki, which we both shared. The place was really quite small, with the adjacent table just a few inches from our's. Bet they heard everything that we talked about and bar was close enough that I could very well see an ang moh feeling up his lady friend's thighs. Talked about his recent change of career and his art. And he also shared some wonderful stories from his youth and about his impending long trip to Taiwan (go for Taipei Pride!). Didn't stay long to talk and our way out I noticed that he stashed a Hello Kitty power bank in his mini bag. LOL. Walked to the MRT together, and as it reached his interchange, he suddenly remembered the selfie stick in his bag! At least we have an excuse to meet again soon!

SG Hawker Food

TFS

Dining in the Dark

On Saturday, woke up and had the usual breakfast. Didn't join my colleagues for their Starbucks excursion. Had boneless chicken rice at Albert Centre for lunch. Must say that boneless equals to less satisfaction. LOL. Went loitering around Bugis Junction and got myself a cup of coffee. Spied a hot daddy with thick arms (*spycam*) there! Crossed over to Bugis+ after that to take a look in Uniqlo. Think it's cheaper in Malaysia. Heard some commotion outside and went to 38. My eyes were greeted by a very buxom girl (in Cantonese, one would say she 'released half a ball', but I realized later that it was a latex bust) holding a rifle that was nearly as tall as her. Ah, cosplayers. Turns out it was the Capital of Cosplay event. Truth be told, I couldn't recognize most of the characters. LOL. Many soldiers around, most probably characters from Resident Evil and what not. Then there was Naruto and Sasuke, Shishio from Rurouni Kenshin, Princess Elsa from Frozen, Iron Man, Kamen Rider, and miscellaneous guys dressed as school girls with purple hair.

Unknown Cosplayer

Unknown Cosplayer

Unknown Cosplayer

Siege at Uniqlo

Naruto and Sasuke Cosplayers

Cosplayer Selfie

Unknown Cosplayer

Shishio Cosplayer

On stage giving an interview was Liui Aquino, playing Hiccup from How To Train Your Dragon. His mother Valka was in the crowd too. His costume was pretty good and he had a pretty boy look. Strangely, he was very secretive about his age and the emcee couldn't take a hint. Stayed around taking pictures for a while. Dinner plans with an ex-colleague were cancelled at the very last minute. With fifteen minutes to spare, I pulled on my pants and rushed to sunset mass. Too lazy to put much effort into dinner, so I just ordered a large bowl of Teochew fishball noodles at Albert Centre.

Hiccup

Teochew Fishball Noodles

The next day wasn't very eventful. The only highlight was dinner with Tater at Aston's Specialty. One had to line up, order and pay up front before being shown to your table. Throat was a bit scratchy, so I went for hot tea and a herb-baked fish. Prices were cheap at sub SGD10, but the fish suffered looking at how thinly it was sliced. As usual, had a short chat at Tater's place before calling it a night.

Herb-baked Fish

Counting meals as a means to pass the time... A plate of soggy noodles from Amoy Food Centre, a bowl of kway chap from LauPaSat Festival Market and a horrible pastry puff from Bricco Cafe later, I was back in KL!

Kway Chap

Soggy Noodles

Puff

Thursday, February 05, 2015

The Run That Wasn't A Run

Allianz Pacer Runfie 2014

Got up at 6:00 am on Sunday morning to attend the Allianz Pacer Runfie. Mum, SK, KH and I had registered to go. Just needed to pay MYR30 per person to join for the 5km fun run at Taman Bukit Jalil. SK picked us up at 6:30 am and we were at the meeting point in fifteen minutes. Plenty of parking was available and the warm up exercises had already started. Strangely, KH had not arrived. A few minutes later, he told me that he had arrived. I asked where he was and he said at a place with tents. Hmmm. No further information was forthcoming. Even after they flagged off, I did not see KH. I called him again. Turns out that he was at the wrong entrance. Funny that he got it wrong although I gave him the information the night before. Even stranger was the fact that the lack of people did not alarm him. Waited for him for ten minutes to walk over from the other end of the park. We ended up at the back of the pack. Nagged him for a good five minutes. Not easy being someone's hubby. :P. We walked together with my mum. On the other hand, SK had walked ahead. Mum could just manage brisk walking and she would slow down at the inclines. But at the easier parts, I would coax her to jog a bit. Along the way, Allianz staff were dressed in costumes waiting for the runners to take pictures with them. By uploading the photos and tagging them appropriately, participants stood the chance of winning prizes. I didn't bother. Among the characters available were Anorexic Mario, Captain America a/l Cicak Man, Banting Batman, Penang Popeye and Captain Jack Spender. Further on the route, there was a bubble station and another selfie station with props. Coincidentally, there was also a walk for Alzheimer's disease going on at the same time. Truth be told, the 5km kinda breezed by with the all the camwhoring. When we reached the finishing line, SK made sure I took a few pics of her crossing it. LOL. For our minimal effort, we got a goodie bag containing a microfiber cum rag, a bottle of mineral water and a banana. Yay! Went home for breakfast after that. Nothing like a nasi lemak + ikan keli after some exercise.

Werewolf, Shrek & Buzz Lightyear

Yummy Morning

Sinful Curry

Right after breakfast, SK suddenly felt sick and went home, while mum and I attended mass with The Tribe. Lunched at Purple Cane, Paradigm Mall. Think the service level there has dropped a notch. Food is still OK, but I think I have tried nearly every item on the menu. That night, mum cooked dinner at my sister's place while I packed for my Singapore work trip then next day... :(

Special Tofu

Braised Chicken with Peanuts