Saturday, April 29, 2017

V Day 2017: Take Two

House Turned Restaurant

KH took me a little too seriously when I complained about La Risata being a little too noisy for our Valentine's Day dinner. My silly hubby actually arranged a second dinner on Friday night at Changkat Bukit Bintang. Originally, I wanted to take GoKL Hotel Istana, but the bus left before I could board it, and the roads were bloody jammed. Ugh. I walked. But for some reason, I took the bus route instead. By the time I arrived at Hotel Istana, my back was wet with sweat. Waited a while for KH to arrive and we went hunting for the French Feast. We went through the gauntlet of bars with over-zealous beer promoters on Changkat Bukit Bintang, but the French restaurant wasn't there. Referred to Google Maps again only to realize that its actually on Tengkat Tong Shin. Think I had walked for an hour to finally reach the destination.

Gingham on Gingham

Monkfish Stew

The French Feast is actually a reincarnation of La Vie en Rose, a French restaurant where we celebrated our 7th anniversary in 2014. At the door, we were greeted by a waiter in a tight shirt and jeans. KH said he looked familiar, but he couldn't put his finger on it. We were the first customers for the evening. The interior of the restaurant was simple with a bar at one corner, and the rest of the interior was filled with small tables with white table setting. Behind the bar, a door opened out to small inner courtyard where the restrooms were located.

Rabbit Stew

They gave us the menu and a piece of paper with the chef's suggestions. "Chef's suggestions"-- try saying that with a French accent. KH kept imitating the waiter. Chef's suggestions, Chef's suggestions, Chef's suggestions. Rolls off the tongue. Fickle as we were, the French lady there (head waiter or manager I suppose) helped us to hasten the process. She suggested the Monkfish stew to start which we both enjoyed. The fish had a nice firm texture and we mopped up the buttery stew with bread. Both our mains were also from the chef's suggestion. I went for rabbit stew while KH chose crispy duck. Truth be told, one could mistake rabbit for chicken if not for the bones. KH and I were satisfied with the chef's specials and toasted with a couple of house pours. By the end of dinner, a few more tables were filled, and we ordered profiteroles. Couldn't help but exclaim, "That's big!" when it arrived-- so much vanilla ice cream, cream, and chocolate sauce with the choux pastry. Delicious.

Crispy Duck

Thoroughly enjoyed myself that evening. Definitely a dinner to remember. And who could complain about celebrating Valentine's Day twice in a year?

Profiteroles

Saturday, April 22, 2017

V Day 2017: Take One

Early Diners

Valentine's Day is not something that KH and I celebrate religiously. No need for romantic dinners, heart-shaped balloons, chocolates, gifts, and 'illicit sex' as the Muftis put it (though I welcome 'illicit sex' on any day).  This year, we had the opportunity to celebrate it a tad earlier, on the Sunday of the 12th. KH made reservations for La Risata in Damansara Heights, at the area where Victoria Steakhouse is located. According to an online review, La Risata is one of KL's oldest Italian restaurant. The interior of La Risata is quite homey with bare bricks and wooden furniture. At 6:30 PM, only two tables were occupied, but that didn't mean it was quiet. Strangely, this Italian restaurant prefers a rock playlist and I could hear the cacophony from the kitchen. At the front, the head waiter was briefing the staff about the preparations for upcoming V Day diners. Yes, she was that loud. Not a place for romantic dinners.

Ravioli

The chef's recommendations were quite spot on. To start, we had the aubergine parmigiana which in my opinion could very well have been a main. Order that if you have at least four persons at the table. My favourite was the salmon ravioli. In my opinion, it was well-executed with no overly-cloying fattiness of the salmon. The other house specialty we ordered was the baked seafood spaghetti. Definitely value for money judging from the portion and generous serving of shellfish. At the end of that we were too full for dessert. Plus, I would rather go somewhere else.

Where the Coffee is Brewed

Both of us wanted coffee so we went hunting at nearby Jalan Batai. I used to go there for CKT while I was working at Bukit Damansara four years ago. Imagine my surprise when I found that the whole area was revamped into Batai Village with all things Ben's and other more atas restaurants. Even parking wasn't free anymore. Inside there was a popular cafe named Yellow Brick Road, the sister of Red Bean Bag at Solaris Dutamas. True to its name, there's a winding yellow brick road winding through it. From what we saw, it was enjoying great business. Many of the tables were occupied. The friendly waitress gave us a table next to a couple of college students. Apparently the place is so good that students spend their ang pao money there. We had a couple of coffees and some of their famous pancakes.The Banafogatto pancakes we ordered didn't taste of coffee or bananas, but it was still quite delicious. Haha. The place has pretty good credentials-- Malaysia Barista Champion 2017 and Malaysia Master Brewer Champion 2017, not like it makes any difference to me.

Eat

Coffee and YBR

Banafogatto Pancakes

Coffee and Tea

Before leaving, we explored Batai Village a bit, even going into the B.I.G. there for a little grocery shopping. Really had to walk off a bit of those calories. On the way back, we made a detour to Thean Hou Temple to look at the decorative lights. Every CNY, the place would be fitted with loads of red lanterns. Because it was already a little 'off-season' and near closing time, neither did we have a hard time finding parking nor did we have to brave jostling crowds. It was perfect for us to go around camwhoring. Sent KH back to Kuchai Lama after that. And what's romantic than giving each other a romantic V Day beej in the car? Bwahahaha.

Lighted Temple

CNY Lights 2017 I

CNY Lights 2017 II

CNY Lights 2017 III

CNY Lights 2017 IV

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Chung Kwo Again

Chung Kwo Hall

Nearly every year, I will be at SJK(C) Chung Kwo for a CNY charity event organized by a Chinese-speaking Christian organization. Invitations were sent out charities dealing with the disabled, single mother's, and the marginalized. Basically, it was a big lunch event with performances, goodie bags, lou sang, and red packets.

Anthem

Taichi

Later that night, I had dinner at MaisonSK. In a freak coincidence, the exact same thing happened in 2014, where I had alcohol and cheese after a visit to Chung Kwo during the day. Life is getting repetitive. Haha.

MaisonSK Dinner

Gin

Platter

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Last Look

Crystal Pan Mee

Barely a week after the long CNY holidays, Thaipusam came up and I had another day off. While Hindus thronged Batu Caves, I slept in. After I had enough of lazing in bed, I got up and went to breakfast at Taman Naga Emas. The crystal pan mee there was still good after all these years.

Chicken Altar?

Traveled to Sri Petaling next to visit mum's friend. It was quite difficult to catch her because she was hardly at home, choosing to travel the world every other month. Dompet tak kan kering. LOL.

Nipplefruit

In the afternoon, I went out to Faber Towers to meet up with SimonLover, Khatijah, ForIHaveSinned, and the ever elusive Froggy (Rana serembania). They were having lunch at LDG, and even KH was there. They didn't linger at Taman Desa after lunch, and KH was rushing to his CEO's open house. With nothing much to do, I just did a little grocery shopping at De' Market before going home.

Steamed Fish

Dinner was at home, a simple meal of steamed fish, Chinese sausages, and vegetable soup with prawns. For me, CNY was pretty much over although it wasn't Chap Goh Mei yet. I dug out my red packets from 2016, and extracted the money before I forget about them. Don't want to mistakenly throw out good money!

Big Prawns

Last Year's Red Packets

P.S.: That was the last time I met Froggy.... R.I.P. A very short meet-up, and as usual he was quiet and did not say much. So unexpected. Sigh...

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Event to Event

Booze

The 9th day of CNY was packed day for me. Started off with Sunday mass, followed by a lunch gathering at my ex-director's home. This year, his wife made nasi lemak with mutton curry. Interestingly, the coconut milk in the recipe was replaced with organic coconut oil. Tasted the same to me. Amazing. As usual, there was plenty of whisky to go around, but my throat was a little scratchy, so I just stuck to beer and cider. Didn't stay long at the party.

Menu

Interior

As I drove out of Taman Esplanad, I called KH on a whim. Luckily for me, he was free to meet up, so I swung over to his place. We went to yumcha at Take Eat Easy Modern Bakery and Cafe, Pearl Shopping Gallery. The place has a cool interior with lots of wooden ribs, and comfortable armchairs. Each table lining the side has its own lamp and power sockets, expecting customers to 'camp in'. One can get a cup of coffee there and share a thick toast with ice cream without breaking the bank.

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That wasn't the end of my day. Another company gathering was scheduled later that night. A potluck of sorts at my colleague's home. I bought a roast duck for the party, and dragged the two monsters with me. There were plenty of kids there to keep them occupied. They played Pokemon cards, watched TV and rough-housed a bit. No trouble feeding them at all because fried chicken and pizza was available. Just had to look out spills and stains. The highlight of the evening was the releasing of a sky lantern out in the field. It zoomed straight up! Before going home, we did the customary lou sang and called it a night!

Tiramisu

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Peng, Pokka, and Porcupine

View from Savanna

Recently heard that one of my Form 6 classmates had moved back to KL from Singapore. She had been working there for a decade. It had been years since I met her, so together with Peng (another Form Six classmate) we planned a CNY get together. We met up at Peng's condo in Bukit Jalil. The security was more stringent than usual. Visitors register at the gate AND at the lift lobby. But that does not gain you access. The host must personally bring the guests up. Leceh. Anyway, the gathering didn't materialize as planned. The friend that we were supposed to meet had to cancel because her mother-in-law was suddenly warded for pneumonia. Whatever the case, we got to catch up with Peng. Basically had our lunch there munching on the biscuits and snacks.



In the evening, had a movie and dinner date with The Tribe. Customary to watch a crappy CNY production. This year we chose "The Fortune Handbook", a horrible export from Singapore starring Mark Lee and Christopher Lee. It only managed to tickle one or two laughs out of me. And the whole thing was just a badly-disguised product placement piece. Might as well have listed Pokka as their main actor. Dinner was at Porcupine Place, Setiawalk, as we were too lazy to go elsewhere. According to my sister, the menu was very difference from what she remembered. Must be a total revamp or a change of management. Average Western and Asian fare.

Porcupine and Friends

Caesar Salad

Korean Chicken Rice

Later in the night, I called KH up for a drink. So far, we had tried most of the cafes near his home. Since Big Bee Pattiserie was the new kid on the block, we immediately gave it a chance. Anyway, don't be fooled by the name as its just a neighbourhood bakery type of place. Haha. At least they have a secluded seating area, air-conditioning and WIFI. At least it gave us the necessary privacy to paktor a bit (means that KH could openly grope my thigh).

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CNY Inflatable

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Trail Celebrities: Under Armour Ulysses



Here's something to alleviate the dry season on my blog, a little surprise from KH while he was at the Hulu Langat Trail Run recently. Under Armour Ulysses here was really easy to spot in his bright green full body compression wear. And from the posterior shots, he definitely fills out those tights pretty well. My only complaint is the pantie line. And sorry, I really don't have the face shots.



Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Anno Ayam V: Gong Xi Gardens

Oriental II

The end of the long CNY weekend was Federal Territories Day. Celebrated the occasion by going shopping at the Gardens Mall. Once again, the mall's decoration wow-ed us. The whole length of the mall was dotted with classy displays of oriental design. Different areas had a different dominant colour which made it necessary to take photos at all the spots! SK bought a backpack at Robinsons so we conveniently put our shopping items in there. The durability of the backpack was truly amazing because it didn't even survive the short journey from the Gardens Mall to Midvalley Megamall. One strap just came off. How cool is that? Promptly got a replacement from the department store.

Oriental I

Oriental III

We lunched at An Viet, a new addition to the Gardens Mall. When ordering noodles there, one can choose a bigger portion at no extra cost. I preferred the Pho Ga over the Pho Bo. The Bun Cha was also good with fragrant grilled mini pork patties.

In the evening, Khatijah called for a BFF lou sang dinner. But not many answered the invitation because most were still out of town. Dinner that night was at Oriental Viva, Viva Home with JL, SK, KH, and Bunny. The mall was much quieter than usual, and not many tables were occupied at the restaurant. Khatijah was a regular there so we let him decide on the dishes. To start off, we had soft shell crab yu sang, a new variant for me. Then we were served Peking duck, with the meat later used in plate of fried noodles. A rack of pork ribs were served next, perfectly grilled and seasoned with sea salt. Best eaten with one's fingers, we were given plastic gloves to work at the ribs. The slab came with a side of vinegared baby romaine, and if that wasn't enough to cut the grease, we were given lime juice shooters. Other than that, we had a tofu dish and some stir-fried vegetables. Frankly, I give the dinner 4 out of 5 stars.

Yu Sang

Duck

Ribs

Right after dinner, we had a little coffee session at Starbucks. Kinda like back in 2007 when I first joined the BFF. How far we've come...

Coffee