Saturday, December 31, 2016

Interview

Starbucks Reserve

Thirteen years at the same company-- not many people can do that. You can say that I am a super loyal employee. In those 13 years I had been involved in three different subsidiaries but all in the same group of course. In my current position, I'm kinda left high and dry. All the middle managers had left and the original director who seconded us over has also since jumped ship. All because of one person. A megalomaniac who behaves like a God King in the company. After a major exodus of employees from a combination of transfers and resignations, he even blocked future attempts for internal transfer. A real vindictive bully. Long story short, I am now looking to leave. From time to time, my ex-boss hands me some job opportunities from his contacts. The first two didn't work out. On the third try, I got a call from HR and an interview was arranged! Goodness, my first interview in 13 years. And my first interview wasn't even really an interview at all because all that I was asked was where I lived and how many siblings I had!

Naturally, I was a little anxious with so little experience on the matter. Went digging for popular interview questions on the internet. From those questions, I framed my answers and rehearsed in my mind. Also readied a clear folder with all my important certificates, but in the end it wasn't referred to. The interview was on a Friday afternoon, so I wore my formal clothes to work that day. I don't think any of my colleagues suspected because I do not always practise casual Friday. At noon, I took the LRT down to Bangsar and hitched a ride to Midvalley City with Grab. Just grabbed a quick bite to eat at Wetzel's Pretzels (Auntie Anne's is better lo).

I think the interview went well. It came naturally to me. Maybe cause the interviewers weren't daunting. The techie threw me some real world scenarios to test my thought process while the other director asked more soft-skill related questions. The whole thing was wrapped up in exactly an hour as scheduled. Heaved a big sigh of relief. Hopefully I will be shortlisted. Could finally feel my hunger. Went to lunch at Ichiriki with Wai as my lunch partner. Some time later, SK joined us and we went to Starbucks Reserve for coffee and cake. Sat and chatted till it was time to join the Friday evening traffic.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Jolly with Jasonino

Pho Bo

Did my usual Sunday routine of church and Paradigm Mall-ing. Christmas decorations weren't up yet in the mall, but the retail shops are already displaying their Christmas wares. Lunch was at Phostreet, a new kid on the block. Felt some trepidation because it wasn't that long from my Viet Vomit episode at Lucky Quan. Hehe. Anyway, I was delighted that they serve pork. Tried their mixed beef pho and a pork chop rice. Must say that the portions don't quite hold up well to the pictures in the menu. Decent taste. But I must say that the sauces were very spicy. Mum and I directly went hunting for cendol to douse the fire in our mouths. In case you didn't know, Teochew Chendul has durian, chempedak, and white coffee varieties for their cendol now.

KH and I had received an invitation to Jasonino's housewarming later that evening. His new place was located in Kajang, in an area that I had never visited before. Took us about an hour to get there. For some reason, I never remembered having met Jasonino before. In actual fact, I had met him some time ago while the Thai Nicky was in town. My bad. Nyanyuk. The party was a potluck and we brought roast duck. Other stuff on the table was fried rice, fried noodles, fruit salad, satay, pizza, and cookies.

I did not know anyone in the party with the exception of Kit and Yves (TSG organizing chairman). Too bad I did not get to meet their significant others and Jasonino's boyfriend was absent too. Among the guests were some veterans who are big names in gay activism. From my observation, the party was split into two groups. One group sat in front of the TV with Masterchef Korea running. The other group (which I was a part of) congregated near the dining table and had raucous conversations about Little Fresh Meat in Jasonino's dragon boating group (seems to be all the rage now). At one point, Rick (KH's friend from TSG) brought up a topic of two guys who like each other but were too afraid of the future to initiate a relationship. We unanimously decided that they should just screw each other until the fear goes away. We didn't stay till late and imbibed little of the alcohol. Thanked our gracious host and left by 10:00 PM.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Mid-November Quickie

New Breakfast

How times have changed... al fresco kopitiam breakfast of salmon sashimi with kopi. A normal scene at OUG morning market.

Curry Noodles

Call me an old fart, but I prefer thick curry noodles for breakfast!

Bags and Toys

An old man looking for a gift for his grandchildren. He must be so confused by all the Disney princesses.

Lunch at Home

Nothing beats a home-cooked lunch by your mum. Red wine residual chicken is something that mum and I really like to eat.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Day Off Paktor

League of Captains

Another Friday, another day off for paktor with KH. Started the morning at League of Captains, The Row. Many years, that stretch along Jalan Doraisamy was known as the Asian Heritage Row, but it has been reborn. Things look different there with extensive renovations. Pestle and Mortar is behind the cafe with such an eye-catching name. The interior doubles as a mini showcase for its products. Took advantage of the B1F1 coffee offer, and ate a packet of super spicy nasi lemak and a sandwich from Tommy Le Baker. They don't do proper mains, all pre-packed. Out of a whim, we messaged Sharky that we were at the cafe and in under fifteen minutes, he turned up! Coincidentally, he was at work for some computer game tournament. His next shift didn't begin in a hour so he joined us for breakfast.

Busy Hands

Next on our schedule was a full body massage at Healthland, Renaissance Hotel. Quite a challenge to book a slot for this place, but it's worth it. For some unknown reason, we were given male masseurs. So uncommon, Myanmarese I think. KH's masseur was quite cute, and had nice eyes. Easily escort material, except that he's a bit short. The massage was pretty good, and was a different style from what I was used to. No happy ending. Made a mental note to request for male masseurs if we ever revisited.

Silver Tree

From there, we took the monorail to Pavilion for lunch. Instead of the usual choice of Quivo, we ate at The Barn instead. Ate at their 1MK branch the year before. Took two of their express lunch sets-- pork ribs and pork burger. Value for money. But service was kinda icky. Too few lethargic staff manning a huge floor space.

Lunch Time

Pork Burger

No paktor session would be complete without watching a movie. The choice for the afternoon? "Trolls". So unlike me to watch something like this, but I was sold when I watched the trailer featuring vibrantly-coloured felt trolls, glitter, and catchy music. Can't get Justin Timberlake's "Can't Stop the Feeling" out of my head.



We didn't spend much time roaming Pavilion. The Christmas decorations weren't up yet, with the exception of the giant tree outside. KH bought me a cup of green tea ice cream from Matcha Hero Kyoto at Tokyo Street and I totally fell in love the hojicha ice cream.

20161111_164840

By dinner time, we traveled to Nu Sentral to meet up with JJ, Bunny, and SimonLover. No, we didn't eat at Sushi Tei. It was Pasta Zanmai. I wouldn't describe the menus as dog-eared. The corners had practically disappeared. Basically, they looked like toddler's books that had been chewed up and abused for years. Ordered what we could make out. Kopi-ed at Pappa Rich after that. We were so fickle about the tables. Too little space. Too cold. Kita memang banyak hal. It was great catching up with the guys, but it was sad to hear about JJ's dad's medical problems.

Teriyaki Chicken Rice

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Scrumptious Sunday

Roti Jala

Spent Sunday at One Utama. The mall was so crowded that even the One World Hotel parking was more filled up than usual. Went down to LG to look at the multitudes of restaurants and cafes. Most of them were bustling with customers. Walked till we finally found something that appealed to us-- Little Cravings. Food-wise, its's similar to Nyonya Colours (tiny pieces of Nyonya kuih at RM1+ per piece), but I must say that it tastes better. I recommend the Roti Jala with Curry Chicken. The rolls were freshly-made and the curry chicken was really creamy and thick. A whole bowl of it for you to slurp! The Asam Laksa ain't bad too, but it was really spicy. Minus points also for the super bitter coffee. Did a lot of walking around the mall, but we didn't buy much at all. It's not quite pleasant to navigate without a motorized scooter. Too big.

Kuih-Muih

Letter by Hand

Kobe beef was the highlight of the evening. SK brought some back from her recent trip to Osaka, so she organized dinner at Jyu-Raku. To complement the beef, KH brought along a bottle of sake. Other items on the table were unagi, various sashimi, salad and grilled salmon. Continued our evening at Haikara Style Cafe and Bakery. Lifebook didn't join us because it was past his bedtime and Bless was burned out from the earlier Viper Challenge. Haikara was quite an interesting place run by a Japanese husband and wife team. The seats were very bouncy and the whole place was wafting with the aroma of Japanese curry. The Curry Frank was quite delicious using minced lamb and black eyed peas with a homemade hotdog bun. Their Haikara siphon coffee is also recommended but I wasn't impressed with the Matcha Tarik (too weak and flat). KH like the Haikara Cheese Cake so much that he took home another slice. Will definitely return to try their curry rice.

Sashimi Moriawase

Curry Frank

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Second Time at Thirdwave

Duck, Waffle and Ice Cream

I sniffled the whole of Friday until I stole a tab of Loratadine from KH. That night, I pengsan-ed from midnight till 9:00 AM. By that time, my mum had gone out with my The Tribe. Little Monster had to be at The Gardens Theatre for his concert rehearsal. KH knocked on my door at 9:30 AM. Initially, we were supposed to go out for breakfast, but our morning horniness got the better of us. At 9:35 AM we were both naked in bed and furiously kissing. Unfortunately, real life sex is not like a porn video. I just woke up, so I had to go get cleaned up before we continued to more serious business. I excused myself to the bathroom while KH fiddled with his phone. Once I got that out of the way, we went full throttle. He humped me good till I spooged on the sheets (opps). Nothing feels better than ejaculating while your man is inside you. Both of us were exhausted after that session and we were feeling super hungry.

Grilled Raclette Cheese

Drove over to Nexus Bangsar South to try out Thirdwave's savoury stuff. Quite a shock when we ascended the stairs from the basement carpark-- someone actually used a book as a door stop ("Road to Health" obviously didn't deliver). KH had the Duck, Waffle and Ice Cream, which uses duck confit, crispy waffles and ice-cream (egg and beef bacon infused but I thought it was vanilla!). An interesting combination is it not? KH chose the Grilled Raclette Cheese for me. Basically an open sandwich with melted cheese, egg and sausage, served with a side of pickles (not like it was necessary IMHO). SK went to great lengths to explain her customized fettuccine dish but ended up requesting for chili flakes in it although her throat was infected. Ended with a slice of Key Lime Pie and off we went to The Gardens Mall.

Book as Door Stop

Seafood Fettuccine

Water

Traffic into the mall was quite smooth and more than a thousand parking bays were available at The Gardens Mall. The main reason we were there was for KH to collect his Road2Marathon race kit. Met up with Sis, Big Monster and mum at Nana's Green Tea for some refreshments. Big Monster had some allergies, so he was sneezing a whole lot. However, that did not stop his determination to attend his brother's concert. At 1:00 PM, they left to attend the concert while we continued with our shopping. Finally got a replacement pillow for myself after sleeping on a folded blanket for two weeks. Thanks baby!

Teriyaki Chicken Rice

Felt bored after spending hours at the mall, so we left and regrouped at Gridz Cafe, Taman Danau Desa (Le Lapin's replacement). The menu was small but full of pork. We had a late lunch there with a trio pork dishes-- Moo Ping, Seasoned Pork and Porkie-Pine. The Moo Ping is slices of pork marinated grilled with sweet sauce. Seasoned pork is fried battered pork belly with fries. Lastly, Porkie Pine is two slabs of pork belly on a bed of mash, diced pineapples with beetroot sauce. Porkie-Pine is delicious and value for money at just MYR19. Their coffee is decent and they have a selection of flower teas where you can mix match. In my opinion, they should also offer some tried and tested pre-mixes to make things easy.

Moo Ping

Porkie Pine

Seasoned Pork

While lazily flipping through Men's Health Malaysia's September issue, caught sight of an interesting ad by Air Asia-- "Love is for All: Celebrate equality with our low fares". Going for the pink dollar it seems. The ad was complete with a rainbow and two guys taking a wefie. According to Air Asia, gay men love to fly to Phuket, Krabi, Bangkok, Manila, Cebu and Kalibo.

Air Asia Ad

Mum arrived home earlier than me. Rested a while before I had to go out again for a BEC committee meeting. Bah. Didn't have dinner, just snacked on some cakes and pineapples at the meeting. It was a long-winded meeting and by the time I got home, I was already half asleep. Early morning sex sessions always does this to me. Hehe.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Osaka's Bounty

Osaka Fruits

While we were sweating it out in KL, SK was freezing her ass off in Osaka and Shirakawa-go. As it is her custom, she arrived back in Malaysia bearing a lot of local products from Japan. Most impressive was the collection of fruits-- Kyoho grapes (King!), Muscat grapes (Queen!), red apple, yellow apple and peach. Just the grapes were around MYR100 a bunch. She also bought a lot of snacks but my favourite was the sake Kait-Kat. Love the aroma. That woman can even come back with a bowl of unagi rice and katsu sandwich in her hand carry luggage. She really knows how to bring the experience of Japan with her. ありがとうございました!

Kit-Kat

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Dear Dad on Deepavali

Mee Java

A clash between Little Monster's graduation concert and our annual All Soul's Day roadtrip saw the latter being brought forward from November to October. Made the trip on Saturday, which happened to be Deepavali. KH tagged along, but SK didn't as she was in Osaka. We departed KL at 7:00 AM with TMNT playing on the in-car entertainment system. Kept the grumpy and groggy kids happy for a while. For most of the trip, I just slept. When I woke up, we had already arrived. Great! Just in time for breakfast at Jalan Maharani.

Wantan Noodles

CCF

Some disappointment that morning. The wantan noodles were too sweet and the yellow glutinous rice too soft. The Liew Kee CCF was also sold out. Thankfully the curry laksa and Mee Java was decent. Moved on to the wet market to get flowers and fruits. Surprised that the public toilet there charges RM0.50 per entry just like Lot 10.

Pasar Besar

The cemetery was quiet except for a caretaker who was weeding some graves ahead of All Soul's Day. Thankfully, the weather was downcast so we didn't have to worry about the sun. Mum unfurled a large picnic mat and the kids lounged there under a couple of umbrellas. That kept them out of our hair of the adults who were busy cleaning and preparing for the short prayer ceremony. Put some incense on the burner (borrowed some from the Indian family behind us) and prayed the Chaplet for the Dead. Even Little Monster put his hands together and tried to join in his own way. Once done, we poured tea and made our bows. Made a short stop at St. Anthony's Church and we were off.

St. Anthony of Padua

St. Anthony's Church

For the first time, we didn't need to make any home visits because my aunt was out of town and my uncle was recovering from a hernia operation in KL. As a result, we had to find things to do in Teluk Intan. First stop was at Sin Joo Heong to buy biscuits. Think we spent a few hundred there, but still not enough points to redeem an umbrella. Lol. Business was brisk because it was a public holiday. Many other cars from KL were parked outside.

On our way out, we stopped at a small pier to watch the water hyacinth float by in the murky waters of Sungai Perak. Several men were sitting on the concrete steps with their fishing rods out in the water while a fat cat lounged nearby. Classical Indian music drifted to where we were from a nearby Hindu temple. Small town charm.

Fishing

The most touristy thing to do in Teluk Intan is to visit it's leaning clock tower. It doesn't lean as much as Pisa so there are no people making weird poses. Here's a little history: It was built in 1885 by a Chinese contractor. Originally, the tower was purpose-built to house a water tank for water supply and fire-fighting. The pagoda-like structure looks like it has eight floors, but it actually only has three floors. It leans to the Southwest due to the soft ground it was built on and the weight of the water tank at the top. After years of neglect, the tower is now open to tourists who want to take a look.

Leaning Clock Tower I

Inside the Leaning Clock Tower

The next thing on our to-do list was to visit the goldsmith. SK wanted to trade in her old rings for something new but unfortunately they were closed. Oops. Had to scratch our heads on what to do next. Oh well, might as well just eat again. The excuse? Lunch. Walked into Kafe Xin Asia where they have great curry noodles. CKT's quite good too. Asam Laksa was meh though.

Curry Noodles

Asam Laksa

What's after lunch you may ask? After-lunch snacks of course! Teck Kee's always a good place for kuih and Liew Kee CCF. The weather was starting to get to us, so we went out of town for something cold-- Shake Shake Ice. Tried the mango flavour and it was really good. Surprisingly their rojak buah (ada kangkung kat dalam jugak!) is delicious too with a thick gravy.

Mould

Old Photos

Rojak Buah

After all that food, we went back to town for more food! Rojak again at Rojak Ah Chai, just a stone's throw from mum's alma mater--Chung Chen Public Free Night School. That place has been around since my mother's childhood. She said that although she ended up with a tummy ache every time she ate it, she still went back for more. So shocking. They serve a heaped plate of rojak. Perhaps I was too full to enjoy it properly, but I didn't find it that great. The stuff was a little soggy and the gravy more watery than I preferred. If you order the coconut water there, do tell them to hold the sugar.

Chung Chen Free Night School

Ah Chai

Rojak Ah Chai

Reading up to this point, you would think that we are bottomless pits, but truth be told, we had reached our limit, so it was time to drive back to Kuala Lumpur. Until our next food fest!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Impressive Isetan

Breakfast Place

Once in a while, KH and I like to take leave leave to just spend the day together, roaming around KL. For our October session, we stopped at Pudu LRT to have breakfast a cute little joint called A Toast. From the station, just walk down towards Sek Yuen (believe it or not, I have not dined her yet!) and keep going. A Toast is located where a bus stop meets a pedestrian bridge. Much needed human traffic here for a healthy business. The place really reminds me of those breakfast joints in Bangkok, where little shops hug the busy streets, making use of limited urban space. Although the shop's built-up area is small, it's extensive use of glass makes it seem airy and more spacious. To maximize space, they use Hobbit-sized furniture, so it can a bit of a squeeze. I got their wholemeal toast that's a combination of hash brown and sunny-side up. The best way to enjoy their sandwiches is to eat with your hands. No worries about making a mess because they provide you with plastic gloves. The hash brown gives each bite a satisfying crunch, but I wish they weren't so heavy-handed with the mayo.

Wholemeal Toast

Toast

Definitely not a suitable place to linger, so we continued our journey to the city center. Our highlight of the day was Isetan the Japan Store that had just opened its doors in Lot 10. Well, Isetan only opens at 11:00 AM, so we still had more time to kill. Spent an hour at Hedge and Snail by Newens of London. As we were sipping our flat whites, we could see that most of the crowd gathered on the ground floor were just waiting for Isetan to open!

Snail

KH and I were already forewarned about the atas-ness of the place, but what we saw still managed to make our jaws drop. As customers filter into Isetan on the ground floor, they are presented with a showcase of product highlights. There was no shortage of staff at every corner, offering a greeting and a bow. There were many Japanese, but also an equal number of locals to help help them bridge the language barrier. Must have bulk hired Japanese language students.

The ground floor has a mix of fashion and art and probably houses the most expensive items. During our visit, Honda was demonstrating their UNI-CUB, a so-called personal mobility device which I think was designed for the elderly in mind. There was also an exhibition by Kazumi Morose, a Japanese National Living Treasure skilled in the art of Urushi, specializing in gold lacquer art (makie). I saw an item for sale with a price tag of MYR350,000!!! The theme here is intricate metal stencils in black and gold. Very classy.

Fashion

To catch our breath, we quickly headed downstairs to the food section. The whole floor is a haven of food islands (decorated with rings of colorful glass cups), each serving different type of Japanese cuisine. On the fringes are snacks and bakeries from Japan, so you can get your favourite munchies there. At the back are imported fruits and vegetables, and also a section dedicate to food technology. Currently, they are showcasing special juicers, super foods and flash-frozen sushi (I would not pay MYR70 for a plate of frozen inari!). In my opinion, the food floor would be the most popular and profitable.

Cups

Placemat

Hokkaido Farm

We ventured back up, straight to the first floor where it was mostly fashion. Expensive collections from Yohji Yamamoto and other Japanese designers. There was also an exhibition of Sailormoon accessories, and other Japanese pop culture paraphernalia. The fashion floor is decorated with numerous metal huts. Upstairs is the lifestyle floor with giant woven 'eggs'. The floor features designer furniture, terrariums, custom bedding, and other knick-knacks. A lady offered me a drink barley shoots with green tea that was selling for MYR270 per pack. I drank it up and quickly made my retreat.

Sailormoon

Cafe

Nest

Air Vase

Bouquet

The third floor has a book cafe, and classrooms for Japanese arts and etiquette (fancy some ikebana or Japanese tea ceremony?). Unique wooden structures reminiscent of temple roofing dominate the floor. There's also more space for art installations and photography collections. As though the rest of the floors weren't premium enough, there's a premium dining floor that still work-in-progress. Should be interesting.

Wood

Ikebana

Plan A was to have lunch at Isetan, but the overwhelming crowd made us change our plans. Ate at Quivo, The Pavilion instead. A simple meal of mussels and risotto. As usual, we watched a movie-- "Dr Strange". Interesting visuals and plot. Walked around after that, and in the late afternoon stopped at Starbucks for an affogatto. As we were about to leave, bumped into EJ's boyfriend, Buttias (yes, his asset is his butt). We rushed back to Sri Petaling where Sharky was supposed to pick us up for dinner. When we told him that we had arrived, he had not even showered! Budak tu!

Kolam

Affogatto

Anyway, we had dinner at Eatomo, Taman Desa to celebrate his graduation. Eatomo is a very casual place for Japanese food,  bordering on hawker style (but with restaurant prices lol). They are located on the second floor with windows open wide and a canteen-like setting. We ordered some sashimi (not very good), mussels (love the gravy), ceviche (not bad), grilled sanma, and sake. That obviously wasn't enough for our Sharky (ini appetite macam Great White Shark).

Casual Dining

Ceviche

Kanpai!

Supplemented dinner at Little People, Avantas. The cafe is very spacious and minimalist. When we arrived, there was only one other table occupied. Guess we intruded on the lesbians' pak tor session. Sharky was very interested with the selection of single origins coffee. He chatted up the friendly barista and walked away with two cups of coffee and two slices of cake. In addition to coffee, they also have a selection of fine teas. Once we were done, Sharky dropped KH off at his condo and he agreed to send me back to Bandar Kinrara. Unfortunately, we got stuck in a massive jam at Bukit Jalil due to the Deepavali fair there, so I just took the LRT to Bandar Kinrara instead. Yikes.

Minimalist

Coffee & Tea & Cake