Monday, July 31, 2017

BSB Birthday 2017


Every year, my cousin would extend us an invitation to his father's birthday party at Bagan Sungai Burong. As it was a Friday, I took a day off to drive down with mum and SK. The venue was changed back to Restoran Yao Kee this year, maybe due to the smaller number of guests. We were lucky to be given a table in the air conditioned room, but the downside was that it was shared with a table of VIPs who were puffing away like a chimneys. My uncle was pretty happy to see us. The more relatives, the merrier. The seafood wasn't all that great this time round, but it did have the yummy fish that SK liked. Once the birthday song was sung and the cake was cut, we adjourned back to the house. More chit-chat while batting away thick clouds of mozzies. As usual, we would leave the village with a huge box of fish that my cousin caught. He kept apologizing for the small size of the fishes because he had not been out at sea.Recently too busy with duties at the village Mazu temple. To us, the fish didn't seem small at all, and would last us months!

Seafood Noodles




Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Mother at MyTown

Mother's Day Blessing

During the Mother's Day weekend, the priest presiding over the mass called all mothers to the altar for a blessing. More than half of the pews were emptied. Felt close to 65%. Amazing. After mass, mum and I ventured to MyTown, having gotten sick of Paradigm Mall. It was quite a challenge for me to get there because my GPS was basically shot. Infuriating. But I was quite lucky because my instinct of following the jam brought me to where I wanted to go.


MyTown is really quite huge. Walking up and down the length of the mall made me hit my step counter goal pretty quickly. Mum and I had a free lunch at Nando's. Redeemed my Pervilege Full Chicken, and they even threw in a free soda drink for Mother's Day. Tried our best to finish the meal, but we could only finish 3 quarters. The mall isn't running at full tenancy with around 40% of the lots still unoccupied. But IKEA was open and boy, it was brimming with people. Had not visited IKEA in years really. Outside is a 'sculpture' that looks like a red version of Inges Idee's "The Drop" in Vancouver.




SK had dinner with us, but our initial plan of eating at a Chinese restaurant was scuttled due to the crazy crowds on Mother's Day weekend. We went to Butter-Up Cafe instead to try their new food menu. I was pleasantly surprised by their cheap combo meals and hearty portions. Definitely worth a visit. Don't bother with the discount bread though. Doesn't keep well at all.


Combo Meal

Polenta Pete


Spent Saturday afternoon with KH after my usual marketing session in the morning. We tried out the brand new food menu at Little People, Avantas. In addition to a seafood pasta, KH ordered polenta again, just a few days after having that at Drift Dining. Truth be told, it did taste better than the one we had a couple of nights ago.

Seafood Pasta

Little People


Although the food was promising, the star of the afternoon was Polenta Pete, a cutie who occupied the table beside us. Decide for yourself if you want to order him off the menu.

After lunch, KH chilled at my house for a while. As usual, he liked to fool around on the couch. Perhaps the risk of discovery turns him on! Mum served up clams for dinner. She bought a really fresh batch from the morning market. And Sis made roast pork! Yummy!

Chives and Clams

Roast Pork

Monday, July 24, 2017

Australian Food Trail

Raw Oysters

Some time in May, The Australian High Commission organized a food fair called the "Australian Food Trail" involving several restaurants in the Klang Valley. That brought us to eat at Drift Dining again for our Friday paktor session. The waitress recommended that we try the raw oysters, which we did to our regret. They were so small, so malnourished. Just gulped it down with our cocktails. Polenta was next, something that KH was craving for. We ordered two mains-- Crispy Skin Barramundi, and Australian Lamb Shank. The fish was better. The lamb shank was just that, lamb shank. Not as lackluster as Secret Recipe's version, but ain't more magical either. So much for the Australian Food Trail. Perhaps next time I'll just go for an Australian Treasure Trail.



Crispy Skin Barramundi

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Very the Wesak

Dim Sum

When I was a little boy, Wesak was the time to go to the Kuantan Buddhist Association to bathe the statue of Baby Buddha with water that was full of flower petals. Mum would then take a few packets of that water to use at home. Before leaving, we would also line up for the free vegetarian food. Every year, it would be the same delicious fried noodles topped with vegetable curry, and faux roast goose. Fast forward 2017, I'm sitting at Foo Hing Dim Sum House having stuff that would never qualify as vegetarian. As expected, it was very difficult to get a table a Foo Hing, but we were lucky that the crowd overlooked a table right at the back of the place. In my opinion, dim sum there is quite decent. According to my colleague, they are pretty famous for the their big pao, but its sold out pretty quickly. Perhaps next time.

Siew Mai

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

You Mean the World to Me

Bro was in town for mum's birthday, so as usual he would arrive on Thursday night and fly back to Singapore on Sunday night. Every Sunday he would join us for mass, and after that we would go for lunch. This year, I tweaked that plan a bit. We went for early English mass to catch a movie at noon-- "You Mean the World to Me", Malaysia's first Hokkien film. Some 'big' names in it-- Frederick Lee (looks oh-so-familiar because he is Christopher Lee's brother),  Steve Yap, John Tan, and Neo Swee Lin (from Phua Chu Kang fame). Steve Yap plays the down-and-out drunkard father who was cheated out of the family fortune by his brother, and yet manages to maintain his hunkiness. John Tan plays the crazy brother who has the mentality of a sexed-up Standard One boy, but somehow manages to be all buffed. See the pattern? LOL. Anyway, the story is based on the events in the life of the director. A heavy theme about social stigma and family ties. There's some interesting themes in the film. Firstly, I noticed that the main actor always sits down at the dinner table only to leave it 30 seconds later without touching anything. Secondly, there's a few subtle gay hints surrounding the main actor. The audience never gets to see or hear main actor's love interest. They argue over the phone. The kiss and make up over the phone.  And the main actor hardly shows any interest when his old schoolmate offers him a grope of his strumpet. All in all, I wouldn't give this a high rating, but it is a great attempt for Malaysia's first Hokkien film. And the theme song is kinda catchy.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cut Out Carbs

Nasi Kerabu

Nothing much of interest happened at the end of April. The only notable thing was mum's decision to start her no-carbs diet. So whenever we ate out, there was always special food considerations. SK's ex-coursemate invited us to her daughter's Upacara Mencukur Rambut, basically a traditional Malay baby shower of sorts. The baby's hair is cut in a ceremony that is observed by family and community members. Anyway, I missed that part. We arrived just in time to eat. Mum ignore the rice and went straight for the fried chicken and roast lamb. Haha.

Chicken Chop

While dining at Kakatoo in IOI City Mall, mum just ate the chicken chop, and left the mash untouched. Their mainstay is actually Nyonya food, but the price range is really a little on the high side. Wonder if they will survive for long. Even when we had cendol at Teochew Chendul, mum could actually resist. At our post-mass lunch the next day, we ate a Purple Cane where we just ordered dishes without rice. An interesting change of lifestyle.


When SK came with chou yip angku the next day, mum also didn't touch it although it was one of her favourite foods. Amazing. In the whole house, only the little ones and I ate rice. The rest of the adults were not. Mum cooked her dishes as usual, but sometimes we would have salad with avocados or feta cheese.

Chou Yip Angku

Salad with Feta Cheese

Even when it came to mum and Little Monster and mum's joint birthday dinner, I had to choose a venue suited for carnivores. KH helped me with some research and came up with El Meson at Bangsar. Easy to order there. Meat platter and some tapas (definitely go for the gambas and champiñones) for the adults, while the kids were very content with the paella pan pizzas. And their red sangria was pretty. I felt light-headed after just one cup! The birthday cake was a chocolate lava cake that Little Monster happily ravaged.



Chocolate Lava Cake

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Mall Celebrities: HBCT Harry

Location: Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart, Avenue K.

HBCT Harry ain't exactly an exceptional looker, but I was attracted by his lean, sleek and tall silhouette. He really rocks that pullover over shirt look. No frumpiness at all. Talking of HBCT, I'm not crazy about it at all. Tried the warm version and I was quite overwhelmed by the pungent taste. Pop it in the fridge and its much more agreeable with me.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Bye Bless


Made a dinner appointment with Lifebook and Bless on a Thurday night at KL Gateway Mall, one of KL's latest addition to the glut of retail space. In case you hadn't notice, it's located opposite the Universiti LRT station. There's even a pedestrian bridge directly linking the station with the mall. Anyway, it wasn't any 'ol dinner, it was a farewell for Bless who was leaving to work in Johor. Another minus one. None of the food choices were very compelling, so we just ate at Tovista. The name actually stands for Touch, Vision, and Taste, which doesn't really represent the brand very well. LOL. Just ordered a couple of mains and coffee. Stayed away from the cakes after seeing Lifebook shake his head vigorously (he and bless had arrived earlier).

Lamb Chop

Took a look around the mall and I just didn't get a good vibe from it. The layout just didn't appeal to me. Wonder if business will pick up over there. Felt kinda dead to me. Perhaps the only reason I would return is to try Fenix Inn, a Chinese restaurant from Bukit Tinggi. Hope it survives until my future visit. :P. That aside, all the best to Bless!

Monday, July 03, 2017

Early Jeremy

Clam Soup

Simonlover organized an early birthday dinner for JJ. We met at Kimiya, Avantas for a nice Japanese dinner. Our conversation was centered on Simonlover's recent adventure in Okinawa. Interesting that he described it as a very un-Japanese place in Japan. Guess that's to be expected from the long years of US military presence there. And he complained about the weather having brought all sorts of super short shorts and tank tops, only to have it cold and windy. LOL. Simonlover was also nice enough to bring us famous Okinawan snacks made from purple sweet potatoes.

Salted Egg Pancake

Right after dinner, we went next door to Inside Scoop for some ice cream. I opted for the salted egg waffles. I was kinda disappointed because its just normal buttermilk waffles with a drizzle of salted egg sauce. They do give some extra sauce in a small syringe, but that doesn't make much of a difference. In the end, we called it a night after a group photo, which was taken by a very helpful sister from the table beside us.


Saturday, July 01, 2017

Serpentine Under the Hood

Battery Indicator

While driving to work one morning, I noticed a loud clunk when turning a bend. I looked up to the rear-view mirror but couldn't see anything on the road that might have caused the noise. The car just ran normally. Thought nothing of it since my Iswara Skyline was already 16 years old!

When I was driving home however, I finally noticed something weird-- the battery indicator light was on. Hmmm.... I reached home with no untoward incident, but I did check with my mechanic to make sure if its something I should worry about. He told me that it was probably a serpentine belt problem, so I went to take a look under the hood. Did look like something was missing, so I took a picture for my mechanic. He confirmed that I was missing the serpentine belt. Mystery solved. So the clunk was the sound of my serpentine belt falling off.

Serpentine Belt Missing

The serpentine belt's purpose is to drive the alternator and water pump. Without the belt, my battery wasn't charging, hence the battery indicator light. And since the water pump wasn't running, my car could overheat. Both situations were disastrous, so I quickly sent it in for a replacement the next morning. Lucky for me, it didn't cost a bomb.