Friday, September 30, 2011

Weekend Eats

Picking The Best by williamnyk
Picking The Best, swiped from williamnyk on Flickr.
After a long hiatus, SK rejoined mum and I on our Saturday morning sojourn. For the third week in a row, mum chose to go to NSK. For some reason, it wasn't very well-stocked that day, with lots of rotting produce put in the bargain bins. Breakfast was at one of the old coffeeshops at Taman Naga Emas, Salak South. Rivalry among the adjacent shops stopped me from trying pan mee from another stall, so I just stuck with our regular. Seeing some delicious Hainanese chicken, SK ordered a portion to be shared. The skin was super yellow and glistening, hinting at a delicious taste and an explosion of fat and cholesterol. But that was nothing compared to the side of chicken liver. Hehe. Scrumptious. The pan mee was great as usual. I like the torn variety because it's very thin, with zero flour aftertaste. And the soup was clear with little hint of flavour additives. For lunch, we headed out to Serdang for dishes at Leong Ngar. Cheap food but the YTF wasn't impressive. The fish paste didn't taste too fresh. Better bet at Serdang Sisters just a few shops away. On the way back, we saw the long queue at one nasi kukus stall in Taman Equine. Wanted to know what the fuss was about (with people willing to line up in the hot sun), so we tried one packet. Just MYR5.50 with a whole thigh of ayam goreng berempah! The owner even gave us a whole packet of curry chicken legs because she wanted to close shop. The fried chicken was crispy and moist. Not too salty. Definitely a good match for the steamed rice. However, the curry was a bit watery and lacked spices. Just tasted salty. Whacked the whole packet with a hot bowl of dessert from the Mat Tou Lou dessert truck. Later that night, we had a BEC gathering in Kuchai Lama with more makan-makan and fellowship. Chatted till nearly 11:00pm with the young-at-heart aunties. Amazing right? Start till end just stuffing my pie hole. LOL.

Torn

Chicken-y Goodness

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Salt and Pepper

SK discovered my first white hair during a BEC gathering in Kuchai Lama. At first she thought it was paint, then after further examination, we found it to be otherwise. =_=. Quickly, she pulled out the hair for me to see. The hair was partially-gray at the tip. Quite peculiar don't you think for the melanin to stop being produced at the start, then jump-started again at a later time. The engine is failing! Boo-hoo. Turns out that getting gray hair at the age of thirty is considered as premature graying! How can!? Sniff-sniff. Time to start eating black sesame tong sui in large amounts. Jom! But truth be told, my first gray hair actually sprouted up in my left nostril. Hehe. That was perhaps about a year ago. And guys... please don't talk about gray hair in the nether regions! Can't imagine... =_=

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Siam!

If you take the LRT frequently, you would know that on the escalators, one should stand on the left to let those in a rush to go by. It's not exactly an unwritten rule because certain stations do have signs instructing commuters to do so. However, many non-KL natives descend on Kuala Lumpur every day and they might not be aware of this arrangement and the freshness of the whole situation may cause them to 'miss' the signs. They would stand on the right, zombified with their luggage or children causing those on the morning or evening rush hour to be stranded behind them. And the problem is worsened by the fact that we Malaysians are a shy lot. We wouldn't say anything, just fume at the back. Very rarely does one see a light tap to advise the 'road block' to move out of the way. People would rather shut up, be red in the face and tap their fingers impatiently. People in London are a different story altogether. I was too used to standing on the left, so I did that on the Tube. Unfortunately, I contradicted their rule. In London, one is supposed to stand on the right! The person behind me practically tried to bulldoze through me. That was quite rude really. A middle path needs to be found. Perhaps Malaysians need to carry around recordings of "Excuse me, please stand on the left" since they're so reluctant to chastise their fellow Malaysian. Useful right? I would set mine at maximum volume. :). As the Chinese like to say, "a good dog does not block your way"!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Preserving Petaling Street

PetalingStreetLantern20111 by williamnyk
PetalingStreetLantern20111, swiped from williamnyk on Flickr.

Petaling Street isn't exactly my cup of the tea with its haphazard alleys and crowds, but I do admit that it's a photographer's treasure trove of heritage sights. Having read about the Petaling Street Communit Art Project in the Star Metro, I was tempted to go take a look. It was jointly organized by the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall and the Lost Generation Space to preserve the historic value of Jalan Petaling and Jalan Sultan. It has become a priority with the MRT project casting a dark cloud of gloom over the area. Mum was also excited to go as it was ages since she was last there. SK picked us up at 5:00pm and we parked the car at Central Market before walking over to Gospel Hall Church (stopped to have air mata kucing first). The church was very generous to have borrowed out their whole compound as the focal point for the activites. Lanterns were everywhere-- Ultraman, Sailormoon and Angry Birds. Haha. According to reports, eighteen NGOs helped out to make things run smoothly. In Gospel Hall Church, a multimedia presentation was going on, crew were hand-stenciling T-shirts on the spot, asking people to sign petitions to save Jalan Sultan and giving out free lanterns and durian mochis. Activities were a little delayed to the rain and the organizers decided to move some of the performances to the stage inside the Yan Keng Benevolent Dramatic Association building. since the second floor was made out of wood flooring, only two hundred people were allowed upstairs to watch Cantonese operas and a choir of senior citizens. They were quite good.

PetalingStreetLantern20112

PetalingStreetLantern20113

Soprano I

By that time, the rain had let up a bit, but it was still drizzling. Still, everyone had to move out to the roadside to watch the next performance. Soprano Angela Chock amd tenor Lim Cheng Hock sang from the second floor window of the building opposite Yan Keng. It was a bit chaotic at first trying to make sure that the crowd didn't surge onto the busy road. Halfway through the singing, a pale, eerie gitl appeared at the third window, acting all sombre and reflective. Many in the audience felt that she looked like an apparition. :S. After the singing, there was an arty mime from the window. The artist was painted all white with a matching opera headdress complete with wedding veil. In the performance, she moved with jerky movements and exaggerated facial expressions accompanied with a jazzy French tune. Tersangat atas. Then a band of traditional Chinese percussionists from Confucian KL performed some numbers. From there, the crowd moved to the parking lot that used to be the Petaling Street chik sien tong. The stage was set at an old wall with images of old Kuala Lumpur projected on it. I loved the effect. First up was another soprano performance-- Chinese and Spanish numbers. The singer wore an evening gown, but held alof a traditional Chinese paper umbrella. Talk about contrast. To lighten the atmosphere, there was also a crosstalk performance by two guys. Very funny how they compared the economy of words for different Chinese dialects.

Soprano II

Umbrella Art



The highlight of the evening was a moon worshipping ceremony from a troupe of artists (led by Chong Keat Aun, an AIFM DJ) with half-painted faces, clad in batik and clogs. Started off with a guqin, flute and singing in multiple dialects. With things fired up, out came the traditional Chinese puppets for a song of worship accompanied by cool drumming and gongs. The drummer ended everything with a flourish and it was very cool watching him play. Wonderful vocals paired with projected images. After that, students from ASWARA performed the Minangkabau Randai dance with intermittent humourous sketches of the founding of Kuala Lumpur. The weird thing about the dance was that at certain intervals, the dancers would bend over and drum their hands on their sarongs. A rare sight. Haha. We watched up till a bunch of Confucian KL kids did a rendition of MJ's "Thriller" all dressed up as Chinese vampires and ghosts. But their dance had a twist with "Rasa Sayang", "Sorry, Sorry", "Nobody", "Jai Ho" and "The Moon Represents My Heart". The crowd was really worked up. Even after the performance, they lumbered off into the night. One of the ASWARA people shouted:

"Oi, jalanlah betul-betul. Jangan senget. Dah tamat la. Nanti betul-betul jadi baru tahu!"

Randai

On our way back to the car, we stopped for San Kao Yu beef noodles. Yummy stuff. Second on the list was Kim Lian Kee for their famous Hokkien mee. It was cooked with charcoal, but the chef was a migrant worker. The noodles were dry, but were too soft and lacked proper cooking time. Banned. While turning back, we turned into Jalan Hang Lekir and saw the famous mixed pork soup stall. I wanted to eat there years ago, but seeing how everything was exposed with the busses puffing out their diesel fumes, I chickened out. This time round, I gave it a try. They were already closing shop. Generous serving of pork, pig tongue, blood cake, silky beancurd, intestines and tripe in clear soup with preserved vegetables. Good stuff! That ends our night of gorging on culture and food! Save Petaling Street! If not for the culture and heritage, then for the FOOD!

Mixed Pork Soup

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Stitch In Time

fancy hem stitch by miriam.klaassen
fancy hem stitch, swiped from miriam.klaassen on Flickr.

My mother is a very panicky woman. The smallest of things can set her on edge. Looking for an entry in the phone book can make her tense and snap at you. So, the other day, while my mum was driving Cyan home from pre-school the other day, he created a scene. The kid screamed that he needed to pee pee. My mother being my mother, got all flustered and stopped by the side of the road. As she got out of the car and slammed the door, she actually flattened her index finger. OUCH! Did you feel your balls shrink after reading that? The skin at the top and bottom of her finger actually split open. She got four stitches at the nearby clinic. Quite an episode huh? She got her stitches removed today. Just the other day she was telling me that the doctor asked her not to move her finger so much. But my mum being my mum, she went on a cleaning spree, cleaning stuff that hardly get any attention during other times. I can only smile.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Flying the Flag

Flying the Flag by williamnyk
Flying the Flag, swiped from williamnyk on Flickr.

Does this constitute flying the flag upside down? A quick check on the internet reveals that flying the flag upside down is considered a distress signal.

"...not a mark of disrespect, and in fact is considered by many to be the highest form of patriotism."

Ye ke? How about the fella who met Najib at his open house dressed in the Malaysian flag from head to toe? I thought the flag was not supposed to be made into clothing? And yet we see the fella with a big grin on his face shaking hands with our Primer Minister. And it's not supposed to be draped on your car bonnet unless you're driving a coffin. And even if you were driving a coffin, it's only allowed for state funerals. For more information, looks at this flag ethics guide.

Love your country. Love your flag. Don't mistake loving your country with loving the government of the day. :D

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mooned

Jicama by williamnyk
Jicama, swiped from williamnyk on Flickr.

Sis organized a Mid-Autumn Festival party at my place on Sunday night. A small affair with two of my sister's best friends from Kuantan, their kids, Mel and SK. Mel had actually arrived earlier to have a talk with me. It had been ages since we met up for a bitchin' session. Haha. For several times I had to cancel due to scheduling clashes. Sorry dear! But the best part was she brought her baby Cameron along. He's a splitting image of his mother. Cute with anime-like eyes. And such a restless little worm! Wriggling here and there non-stop! Quite impossible to sit still. Seems that motherhood really agrees with Mel. Later in the evening, I fetched them to SK's apartment. They had their girl talk while I went swimming downstairs. The whole pool was filled with dried bamboo leaves... it's so not a good idea to plant Japanese bamboo near the pool. On the way back to my place, we stopped by the neighbourhood Chinese medicine hall to do some milk formula shopping. Milk is not cheap! Few hundred gone in the blink of an eye.

Swim S'more

The party was quite chaotic with three toddlers and a baby. Quite a challenge to sit down quietly to enjoy the curry noodles (with chicken, long beans, eggplant, fu chuk, dried tofu, fishballs and prawns), fried noodels and popiah. It's always fun wrapping your own popiah. Mum prepared stir-fried jicama, scrambled eggs, dried shrimp, bean sprouts, salad, french beans and carrot. SK also brought over the can of goose liver pate compliments of Grat and a baguette. And what's a party without alcohol? Poured a can of fruit cocktail into a pot, some ice cream soda, Bacardi Black and Bombay Sapphire. Mel and SK kept urging me to pour more liqour into the mix. One of the mums nearly poured it for her daughter to drink. Haha. Brownie with vanilla ice cream, jelly, fish crackers and pineapple were the finale. And of course there were the traditional items-- mooncakes, caltrops and mini yams. Cameron preferred the big boy foods rather than the milk and porridge that his mum fed him. Later on, the kids went out to play with the lanterns. I on the other hand lounged on the sofa with drink in hand and patted little Cameron to sleep. It was time for me to sleep too!

Curry Noodles

Mid-Autumn Munchies

P.S.: Mel, your bottle of Merlot is still in the fridge awaiting a future wine and chocolate session. Hehe.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wedding Bells

Beta carotene & Capsaicin by williamnyk
Beta carotene & Capsaicin, swiped from williamnyk on Flickr.

My wet market excursion on Saturday took a modern twist. Instead of the traditional places, mum decided to shop at NSK, Kuchai Lama. That wholesale market feels just like a hypermarket with loads of fresh produce and other groceries. Open twenty four hours a day and hires loads of workers to man the counters and sort out the goods. Air-conditioned and clean with prices that are sometimes even lower than the pasar! Forklifts zip around near the parking lots and they even have Zamboni-like machines keeping the floors dry. After shopping, we had breakfast at the shops nearby. Rushed home to attend a 1:30pm wedding mass. Since the bride wasn't Catholic, it was a half mass and although the rite was predominantly in mandarin, the groom made his vows in English. It was the funniest wedding march I ever saw, with the bride walking slightly like a lurching zombie. During the ceremony, an old aunty asked me, "Do you have a girlfriend?". My mum just smiled. Ugh. Perfect setting to bring these issues up. Just after the priest officated their union, the bride headed out to throw her bouquet her band blue-clas bridesmaids. She threw the bouquet from the top of the stairs, and one desperate girl immediately zipped out to grab it, in the process destroying half of the flowers. And you know what? They haven't even taken photos yet. So much for that.

Desperation

Had a very late lunch at 2:30pm. Ordered a very kesian-looking pork ribs rice at Restoran Ming Heong, Dataran Prima. MYR7.50 for a measly portion. Just a short walk from the restaurant, a Blook warehouse sale was going on, so mum went to have a look-see. It was just beside Keith Kee's boutique so I just hung around outside observing the dolled-up creatures that float in and out of his shop. Back home, I took a nap and at 7:00pm had to send mum out to a related wedding banquet at USJ19 City Mall. On the way out, I picked SK and CK up. While waiting for mum, we had a long dinner at Porntip Thai. Prices were quite fair and the portion wasn't too shabby. Ate seafood otak-otak (came in aluminium fool shaped into a rooster!), green curry, fried pucuk paku (so sweet that I felt I was eating palm sugar with every bite) and basil chicken. The waitress who intially took our order left the table abruptly after four failed attempts. She mumbled, "I don't understand!". O.o. We must have been speaking Thai. Post-dinner drinks were at Ka Fei Tian. Mum's dinner ended nearly at 11:00pm! Very slow. I saw the bride in her evening gown and I found it reminiscent of RTM1 backup dancer styles. :S. More weddings to come!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Minder

Waiting by williamnyk
Waiting, swiped from williamnyk on Flickr.
This kid is all alone waiting for his grandmother outside a shop in OUG. Guess what his grandmother was doing:
  1. Buying groceries in the Chinese medicine hall
  2. Smoking a ciggie
  3. Taking a dump
  4. Buying Magnum 4D
  5. Playing mahjong
  6. Getting her hair done
  7. Gossiping with her gaggle of friends
  8. Tapau-ing breakfast
Truth be told, kids shouldn't be left all alone. Some goldfish uncle could just come by and spirit the kid away. I have heard of horror stories in Disneyland HK where a parent lets her kid go into the loo alone. For a long time, the kid did not come out, so the mother went in to look. In her panic, she asked her other child to wait outside. When she came out empty handed, she found that her other kid had also disappeared... Never let kids out of your sight!

Monday, September 12, 2011

SkyHawk Lands!

Hawk by BradWilke
Hawk, swiped from BradWilke on Flickr.

Out of the blue SkyHawk messaged me and asked about some work-related matters. As quick as can be, he arranged a lunch meeting near my office. Very efficient and decisive. Recognized him immediately. Had an imposing stature (and a face that looks a bit like it was chiseled from stone), but luckily that was somewhat softened by his smile. Quickly ordered and went straight to business. With that out of the way, we talked about lighter matters of love and life. After sharing each other's stories, I find that we have much in common, especially the fact that our lives are very family-centric. Although our circumstances are different, we can actually draw parallels. We both have our commitments and leading a double life in pursuit of our personal happiness can be quite stressful at times. With quality time being a premium, it is sometimes very difficult to juggle things. Most people take for granted the fact that they have much freedom in what they want to do since they live away from home. Whenever KH mentions holiday plans, I would get a bit stressed out, because I would need to start planning ahead. A normal person would get very excited, but I would actually get mixed feelings. Luckily KH doesn't get too frustrated with my unconventional reaction because he understands what is going on in my mind. My bestie used to tell me, go live your life. Your boyfriend deserves all that you can give. But at the back of mind, family is important too and we don't have forever with them, especially in their twilight age. The right thing is always hard to do. But I keep trying to seek an equilibrium. Yes, life should be savoured but it doesn't mean we have to be selfish. :).

P.S.: SkyHawk, thanks again for lunch! And don't go telling people that you've met me ONLY once... at least not yet. Haha.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September 11th

September 11th Shoes by eyes of disarray
September 11th Shoes, swiped from eyes of disarray on Flickr.

Today marks the tenth anniversary of the suicide attacks on the World Trade Center Twin Towers in New York and three other coordinated attacks. That episode elevated the word "terrorism" into a household term and cranked up the paranoia against Islam. Ten years is a long time, but I remember I was home alone watching TV. My show was interrupted and footage of an airplane crashing into one of towers was shown. Vaguely remember having my jaw drop open and scooting closer to the TV set. When a second plane crashed into the tower, I was really stunned.

Do you remember what you were doing when disaster struck?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Snow Lotus

Snow Lotus by williamnyk
Snow Lotus, swiped from williamnyk on Flickr.

Home-made enzymes are all the rage these days. Here's a documented effort at producing some snow lotus enzyme. My colleague gave me a box of those jelly-like bits as a starter kit. They're lighter than they look and will float. Smelled very much like those oils used by Chinese bone-setters. Most probably alcohol from the earlier fermentation. According to wikipedia, the snow lotus is a type of plant that is traditionally used to relieve inflammation. I don't see how the jelly corresponds to any part of the plant. To kickstart the process, one has to dilute five hundred grammes of brown sugar. Apparently, it only works with the usual brown sugar. Use any organic sugar and it fails. Too clean? Haha. Just dump the jelly into the diluted sugar with 1.5 litres of filtered water and leave it in a big glass jar for four days. Sounds simple right? NOT. My mother was complaining the whole time. The sugar is bloody hard to dilute in cold water. It's full of sediment and impurities. One has to filter the contents, wash the utensils, yadda, yadda, yadda. As the days pass, one can notice the jelly bits doubling in quantity with plenty of bubbling. By the end of the period, the water is filtered out to be drunk (microbe alert!) or used to wash dishes, mop the floor, and other cleaning chores. If you're adventurous, try it as an intimate hygiene wash or personal lubricant. XD. Apparently, it works well against oily stains and guards against insects. But the stuff is a bit sticky due to all the sugar. Ugh. One also ends up with two boxes of jelly. It will lie dormant for three months in the refrigerator. Anyone wanna give it a try?

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Nyonya Sunday

Old Dining by williamnyk
Old Dining, swiped from williamnyk on Flickr.
Right after mass on Sunday, I visited Cahaya Puri to help SK look for a statue of Christ the Redeemer for her altar. They only had one, and the design wasn't very nice. I think she would have to opt for the Sacred Heart instead because Christ the Redeemer isn't a very popular choice among the artisans. Or perhaps anyone here has any idea where I might source for one? Thanks in advance!

Nyonya Fare

Every Sunday I make a random decision on where to eat lunch. My latest whim brought us to Kota Damansara for Nyonya food near The Strand. We were actually deciding between two shops, Kung Fu and The Wok. Both had very attractive interiors and business seemed brisk. Finally chose Nyonya over Chinese. The boss was telling us that his shop was among the first to have opened in the area three years ago and that his neighbour changed every five months or so. Supposedly the best Nyonya food in Petaling Jaya with authentic Penang taste. Lots of antiques were piled into the shop, with intricate wood paneling and screens. Every nook and cranny seemed to hold some knick-knack. Hovering over our table was the autographed boots of Phua Chu Kang and a large signature of Henry Thia (doesn't really help to work up an appetite). Mum and I ordered the Kapitan chicken (gravy was thick and had a strong taste of star anise) and sambal paku-pakis (came with cuttlefish and prawns). For drinks I ordered hot soya bean with gula melaka that was really hot and fragrant. The food came with a complimentary lo hon kor soup (so weird drinking that sweet and salty soup) and mak chuk. The clientele seemed predominantly u lui. Food was better than Precious Restaurant & Bar at Central Market I think. But the latter has more impressive antiques. Practically had a temple feel to it.

PCK

Next up, I drove mum around Kota Damansara to visit the little fashion boutiques scattered all over the place. In the end, we visited Sunway Giza, a much more successful version of NZX. Was quite surprised by their use of giant rotor blades as fans. Nothing much to see nor do there. Spent most of the time at Village Grocer looking at the expensive imported vegetables. MYR30 for a bunch of celery. MYR4 for one onion. MYR13 for a slice of pumpkin. You get the picture. Noticed the shop called "A Loft Of Things" that was recently mentioned in SimonLover's post, but I did not go up to check out their ZOD underwear and swimwear. Went jogging later in the evening. Didn't run much as my stamina was worse due to my flu. Back home, mum cooked some salmon head soup and mee kolok for dinner. The long holiday was officially over!!!


FullHouse

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Eat, Swim, Eat

Fresh Produce by williamnyk
Fresh Produce, swiped from williamnyk on Flickr.

On Saturday, my wet market schedule was back on track but luckily a chunk of the normal market-goers were still out of town so I got a choice parking spot with ease. The pace was easy and mum didn't buy much as well. Noted that "Angry Birds" have invaded the mid-autumn items. MYR8 for a battery-operated lantern. Even paper lanterns cost MYR2 each. I remember when it just cost MYR0.50 for a medium-sized lantern. Inflation! and mooncakes from the usual manufactures cost MYR15-17 this year. That's obscene pricing in my opinion. And to overcome it, discounts of up to 30% are offered even BEFORE the festival. For breakfast, mum and I had soup noodles at one of the side lanes. So ching right? But we couldn't resist ordering a pair of curry chicken legs feet to go with them. Haha. Back home, I mostly surfed the net, read and watched "Fringe". Feeling like a couch potato, I decided to go for a swim. Just as I wanted to go out, SK appeared at my doorstep with KFC and sushi. I just took a bite out of the chicken thigh and reluctantly tore my eyes from the rest of the food. =_=. The pool was devoid of swimmers, so I could do my laps easily and disturb the peace by practising my amateurish freestyle and backstroke. A slight improvement on my part.

Mango & Noodles

SK had a hankering for Hokkien mee after hearing about a good place to eat it near Kuchai Lama. We practically had to guess where it was because the only hints we got from her beautician was-- "it's a place surrounded by a fence. There's a sign out front.". Like looking for a needle in a haystack. And yes, my boyfriend is a guy. But after scouring Google, we managed to come to the conclusion that the restaurant was 金绫记 at Old Klang Road, just before the Jalan Kuchai Lama junction. The Hokkien mee and wat tan hor we ordered were utterly rubbish. I had tasted much better at neighbourhood food courts. Both dishes somehow felt that something was missing. Like an arm or a leg. Don't bother. Also ordered large intestines with pineapple. Not bad. The only thing I was satisfied with was the pumpkin barley drink. Came piping hot and with the right consistency. Post-dinner was dessert at Jalan Kuchai Lama. Chose Dessert Go Go. Hard a hard time deciding what to eat. Finally settled for Mango with Noodles. The supposed noodles were actually milk pudding that was shaved into long strips. Good texture and not too chewy. The noodles were bland enough to go well with the mango puree. Do give it a try. And yeah, I negated my swim again. O_O.

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Raya Ketiga: Laura Ajak Makan!

In the evening, we left for Putrajaya to makan-makan at SK's friend's place. Let's call her Laura. She was SK's coursemate during university. Her parents were down for a month, so she invited us over for a simple open house. With the help of the GPS, it was quite easy to find her house. It was my first time visiting any residential area in the administrative capital. In her area, all the houses were unfenced and identical. Apparently the disallow any external renovations and even the colour of the paint must be standardized. A dictatorship! According to Laura, she even received several warning letters from Perbadanan Putrajaya for not cutting her grass. Haha. The design of the house was quite weird with the toilet right beside the front door. And in the kitchen, there's a small metal door that opens to the side of the house. Laura shrugged when I asked her about the use of the door. Her mother grilled some chicken thighs, whipped up some wonderful beef rendang, acar, ketupat, lemang and nasi briyani. Was so full. After dinner we chatted at the living room and ate again, sampling the cookies and cakes that Laura made. She actually made a layer cake that only had ONE layer. HAHAHAHA. She's the type who can go to work with unironed clothes. And her curtains were left unwashed for two years. She also talked about her years in the civil service. I wasn't surprised at all from her descriptions of her sloth and slug-like colleagues who have no sense of responsibility at all. It was a fun night out of makan-makan dan sembang-sembang!

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Raya Kedua: Fur & Furniture

Minions by noticiana
Minions, swiped from noticiana on Flickr.

Breakfast was leftover ketupat and rendang. And as I opened the front door in the morning, I found two tenacious kittens outside dashing for the door. I immediately shoo-ed them! Had to close the door. Guess they were hungry seeing that all their usual benefactors were away for the long holidays. Fed them some bread. Was quite surprised to find that the kittens were quite blur. Had to practically lead them to the food. Later, SK fetched us to IKEA. So much parking available. Such a rare occurance. Mum and SK did most of the shopping, I just went with the flow. I was never very aroused by IKEA. Some steals due to old stock clearance. Put everything in the car and we continued shopping at IPC (it had been so long that I did not know that Ikano was rebranded) and The Curve. Did more shopping at Daiso and Metrojaya after lunch at Pho Hoa. Truth be told, that bowl of beef noodles was quite expensive, but it was really healthy. Could not detect a single drop of oil in the soup. Downed it with a generous heap of sweet basil. At The Curve, SK bumped into an old friend from university. Her father thought I was still in secondary school. Syioknya.... So elated. They invited us to a open house the next day. :P. Coincidentally, also ran into my younger BIL. He was out bringing his future in-laws around. Did a bit more of shopping at Burt's Bees before leaving for home. Back home, mum immediately cooked up a storm in the kitchen. I on the other hand watched "Despicable Me". Quite funny, especially with the comic relief minions. For dinner, we had kot choi soup with pig tail, fried egg with leek tips, steamed fish and stir-fried vegetables. I was surprised by the amount of rice that SK's granny can down! Thought about some alcohol after dinner. Did some research of Bacardi Black and found some very disappointing reviews. Seems that it's only good as coctail base. Will have to stock up on some mixers before giving it a try.

Friday, September 02, 2011

Raya Pertama: Lemang & Ketupat


On the first day of Aidilfitri, we made a bee line for the Selangore State Government Open House at Bangunan Sultan Salahudin Abdul Aziz Shah, Shah Alam. At first, I had wanted to go the Agong's function at Istana Negara, but decided against it after pondering about parking and the short slot for the public. Arrived at the place before 11:00am and walked in through the kitchen area. Heavy duty food preparations were going on and truth be told, better not to be scrutinized before actually eating. Haha. Food was abundant-- nasi briyani, grilled mutton, lemang, beef rendang, rojak buah, fried noodles, fried bihun, CKT, cendol, satay and biscuits. Luckily, it wasn't too crowded and seating was ample. While eating, we were entertained by a group of musicians called "Balle Balle". Dressed in straw hats, tie-dyed clothes, sarong and clogs, they entertained the crowd with classic Raya songs thrown in with a middle-eastern song that really got the middle-eastern visitors all worked up. At the end, they wanted to sing a Teresa Teng number, but Ronnie Liu's Raya message cut in and ended their performance early. Was so full.

 Raya Goodies

Woven Rice

 Even before my tummy had the chance to digest that sinful meal, my neighbour handed us seven ketupat's, chicken curry and beef rendang! Aiyoyo! And just the day before, my neighbour had given us four canisters of cookies, a box of chocolates, a packet of groundnuts and two green pau's!!! And they just moved in not more than six months ago. Quite surprised. Mum returned the favour by giving her some cakes and goodies from the local bakery. At about 6:00pm, we went out again. This time to the night market at Seri Petaling. It had been years since I walked the night market proper. Forgotten how it was like. So many new varieties of food these days. Dinner was asam laksa and mango tau fu fah. Was served by a twink with anime-ish hair that clung to his face. I don't see how one can work like that. Had forgotten that the night market was such a treasure of trove of twinks. Too bad it was mostly la-la's bringing their girlfriends out for a stroll.
  Go Together

The night market seems dominated by stalls and stalls of fried chicken. All sorts of varieties. Saw one popular stall that claims to use thirty six herbs and spices. Sounds familiar? Overheard: Mother: Wei! Got friend chicken there le! Aiyoh, so many people! How la? How la?! Other than that, I was surprised that apam balik now comes in a multitude of flavours and Taiwanese sausages seems to be everywhere. Curry fishballs seems to be a popular choice too. Weird stuff that look like Egg McMuffins also make an appearance. So much to eat and so many things to see. But still, I'm not part of that scene. To cool off, we walked into the nearby The Store before calling it a night.

 Gears on Gears