Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ficelle Boulangerie Patisserie

When I asked if they would like to go to Ficelle, they went, where? Hm, okay, have you heard of Levain? Oh, yes, yes. So yea, Ficelle is actually a smaller version of Levain. Oouuhhh...

And that was how we ended up having lunch at Ficelle, three of us 38 girls, before I head off Down Under again.

For mains, we ordered a plate of Aglio Olio and a Valentine's special pizza to share.

Then, as we finished up mains, Rhyann arrived with Aeris and Kingston. My two 38 colleagues then went in to order dessert. I got the shock of my life when they both came out with a trayful each of cakes and what not. How are we going to finish all of THAT!?

The texture of the macarons was surprisingly 'just right'.

This passionfruit and peach macaron was a little too sweet for my liking, though.

I really enjoyed the orange chocolate pyramid, though. So did Aeris, who had half the pyramid.

The durian cheesecake was a pleasant surprise, too. I am no big fan of durian (I don't hate it but I won't have it on my own accord) but this was nice. I actually bought a slice to bring home for Dad.

I love the place. The ambience, the service, the selection of food, the clean washroom, everything. If there was one thing I would pick on, it would be how the menu is only available at the counter for us to decide on our order.

Ficelle Boulangerie Patisserie
Lot 11-0-12, Jalan 3/109F, Danau Business Centre, Taman Danau Desa, 58100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel: +60 3 7983 0211
Open daily 8:00am to 9:00pm

Thursday, February 21, 2013

100ºC Steamboat, Teppanyaki & BBQ Restaurant

It was by chance that we ended up having dinner at 100ºC Steamboat, Teppanyaki & BBQ Restaurant. He initially wanted to take me to the restaurant next door but it was not open. Well, we were not sure which places would be open on the third day of Chinese New Year. As this was just beside us, we thought we could give it a try.

We were quickly ushered to an empty table and took some time to browse through the menu. As I hardly eat at steamboat restaurants, I was a little unsure of how to go about ordering but I did enjoy looking at all the food they had in the menu.

He taught me what to do. And so, I decided on my soup base first. He then suggested we order a double value set to share and I agreed. When he ordered his Tom Yum Goong soup base, the waitress informed us that they had ran out. So, I suggested to order the Thai Style Spicy and Sour soup base.

I was really happy with my Bak Kut Teh soup base when it arrived. Thankfully, his soup base turned out to be a good one, too, so phew, not a bad choice. However, I found his soup base a little too spicy for my liking. He, on the other hand, seemed to really enjoy it.

Other than the cleanliness of the place (we saw a baby cockroach scurry across the table), the service and the food were apt. Price was affordable, too.

100ºC Steamboat, Teppanyaki & BBQ Restaurant
3 & 5 Ground Floor, Dinasti Central, Jalan Kuchai Maju 18, Off Jalan Kuchai Lama, 58200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel: +60 3 7980 0899 / +60 12 645 2221; Fax: +60 3 7981 8669

Monday, February 18, 2013

Bai Tian Gong

Bai Tian Gong (拜天公) literally means praying to the Heavenly Grandfather. After some research only did I find out that actually the Heavenly Grandfather refers to the Jade Emperor (玉皇). In Chinese folk culture, the Jade Emperor is the ruler of Heaven and all realms of existence below including that of Man and Hell. He is one of the most important gods in the traditional Chinese religion pantheon. However, in actual Taoism, the Jade Emperor governs all of the mortals' realms and below but ranks below the Three Pure Ones.

The worship of the Jade Emperor, or bai tian gong takes place at the strike of midnight of the 9th day of the Chinese New Year. Mainly practiced by Hokkiens, there are two legends that relate to the origins of this practice, one of which I am more familiar with.

During the Ming Dynasty, the coastlines of China were often raided by Wokou or Japanese pirates. There was one Chinese New Year when the Wokou plundered the coastal region of Fujian. As the villagers ran for their lives, they prayed to Tian Gong for protection and came across a field of sugarcanes, where they hid. After the Wokou left, the villagers returned to their homes. This day was the 9th day of the Lunar New Year and since then, the Hokkiens offered prayers of thanks to Tian Gong on this day of the Chinese New Year.

This year, for the first time in my life, I joined in to bai tian gong. I did not realise that it was such a big deal for the Hokkiens.

The whole of OUG was in war, a war of fireworks and a war of whose offerings were more elaborate.

Normally, there would be offerings of roasted pig, duck, fruits, incense, mock gold paper and such. This year, the Kohs decided to go vegetarian.

Sugarcane stalks tied together with red ribbons or paper strips are always included as remembrance of the protection provided by the sugarcanes.

At the end of the prayers, the mock gold and elaborate mock mansion are burnt to be 'sent' to Tian Gong.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Valentine's Day

For the first time in many years, I feel pampered on Valentine's Day. I've not 'celebrated' Valentine's Day in I don't even remember how long. As if to 'make up' for all the uncelebrated ones, I had two dates this year. 

Hm, well, technically, I would consider it one date because the lunch date was purely just lunch. However, it was pretty awesome roast duck gonlo mien (干捞麵) at Yummy Duck Roast House (鸭味无穷) over  at Kuchai Entrepreneurs Park. And no, he did not pay for me, I paid for my own portion.

When VK asked me two days earlier to choose between Wednesday and Thursday to catch up, I chose Thursday because Wednesday was totally booked out. When he asked where I would like to go, I told him I had no idea but I would like to watch the Aniu movie, The Wedding Diary 2 because I watched the first installment last Chinese New Year. So when he suggested to catch up over dinner and do the movie, I thought why not, since I get to kill two birds with one stone.

He bought the tickets online and he came to take me from home to Pavilion. Along the way, there were many ad hoc stalls selling flower bouquets, which got him wondering. I went, "今天是情人节呀..." and his reply was, "是吗?我完全都忘了..." Haha, I did not think he'd realise, anyway. 

After some window shopping, we had dinner at Tonkatsu by Wa Kitchen on Level 6 of the classy (and not to mention crowded) shopping complex. He and his usual trick to get himself out of making a decision on what to order for himself: You choose the two dishes that you would like to have most and I'll share with you lor....

After dinner, we shared a green tea soft cone (which by the way, was orgasmic and I don't know why I did not take a picture of myself indulging it!). Then it was off to enjoy the movie. Then, it was more catch up over drinks downstairs at Malones.

For some reason, he decided to try a blend of Guinness and ale. He does not like ale so no surprise he did not like the mixture.

I, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed my red Sangria. Lots of fruits for me to chew, so I slowly took my time to enjoy it.

I ended up looking just as red as the drink after that. When he got me back to my doorstep, he quickly dashed out of the car to open the back passenger door. He handed to me a little silver box wrapped with a big flower ribbon. 

I was very surprised, "I thought you said you didn't realise that it was Valentine's Day today?!" 

A cheeky smile flashed across his face, "Happy Valentine's Day..."

Sigh... such friends are hard to come by and I thank my lucky stars for friends like you. 

VK, thank you.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Friends are like family

For the first time, I sent out invitations to friends who have given much meaning to different parts of my life. The invitation was for Chinese New Year, and also to catch up with them given my short stay in KL this time around.

To all of you who came, a very big thank you!

The Koh family: Xin Wen, we finally get to be in KL at the same time for Chinese New Year after so many years!

Dave, thank you for coming and glad that you are enjoying yourself in Malaysia.

My AsiaWorks buddies, Henry and Evon, thank you for coming all the way from Klang just to catch up. You guys are the best!

Uncle Wong and Miss Yong, thank you for coming and for your angpau.

Miss Lew, I am so touched! You came alone, driving in the dark with a bad flu, all in the name of 'love'.... hahaha... thank you so much! Muaks!

My CPUian buddies, Alan, Lian Shien and Mong, thank you for making your way over. Alan, thanks for organising. So happy for you and Shieny with the baby on the way. And oh, thank you for the angpau :P

My Perdanarian juniors, Pin Kean, Siew Ching, Kah Fai and Yun Hau, thank you for spending some time at our place. You guys seem to have really enjoyed the board game. Pin Kean, you really enjoyed the prawn crackers, yea? Haha... Siew Ching, congratulations to you and How Ran. Kah Fai, congrats to you, too. Yun Hau, continue to work hard la, ya? Haha... and we know your office is surrounded by good food but you really 'fat fuk' ady leh... :))

The 'reunited' lovebirds, Chee Kit and Sandra. Okay, that sounded a little wrong but I think you get what I mean. Thank you for making it. Chee, all the best with your part-time studies and Sandra, we sama-sama gambate, ya?

Primary and high school friend, Yuen Chai, thanks for coming all the way, too. Always nice to meet up with you to catch up and laugh over stuff.

Kean Giap, thank you for all that you have done for me during this trip. Really appreciate all your help!

My besties, Max, Jeunn and Cat, thank you like always. I know you love my house, I do, too. Will inform you on how much it will cost to rent my place to you for your photography shoot... lol. Love you guys!

My Perdanarian juniors Guek Ming, Hwee Lee, Jwu Hoe and Chai Ling, thank you for visiting. Your interest in the house, especially Jwu Hoe, was apparent. Must be an architect thing. Ray and Aunty Cindy, thank you for the Martini.

For all who could not make it this time, no worries, there is always next year!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Happy Chinese New Year!

Chinese New Year has got to be the event I most look forward to every year, after our annual Concert and Graduation. I really enjoy the balik kampung feeling each time I board the plane to KL. Perhaps due to the distance and also my long absence, I really appreciate family reunions.

Reunion dinner is always on the eve of new year. This year, the Temerloh peeps came to put up a night at our new place - would be the new kampung, as we are the main house now.

After dinner, it would be catch up over beer and tidbits, and also long cousinly chats into the night with a background of fireworks. I normally stay up till midnight to literally usher in the new year.

The next morning, we (very single and very available young adults) go through the ritual of receiving angpau packets from the elders before enjoying a plentiful vegetarian breakfast. 

There is also tangyuan or glutinous rice balls, symbolising reunion and not to forget the endless supply of cookies and Chinese New Year delicacies of sorts!

The first day of Chinese New Year is never complete without a trip to the Buddhist Maha Vihara in Brickfields. Every year, we come to pay our respect, give offerings and receive blessings for a peaceful and healthful year ahead.

Here is to wishing everyone a very Happy Chinese New Year! 恭喜发财,新年快乐!