May 26, 2011

0 i-City @ Shah Alam - Lights Wonderland

I have always been intrigued with i-City, ever since photos of the place flooded my Facebook News Feed. Newsworthy it was with abundant eye-catching visuals of man-made trees adorned with colourful lights that graced the dim evening sky.

Arriving early has it priviledges - we were not made to pay for parking and we had the opportunity to compare what the place looked like in the day and at night.

Quiet, but not without its own charm. There're horse rides and romantic couples sitting in carriages passing by. A BBQ steamboat restaurant in the corner, the famous Gasoline Cafe in another and fair-like game booths.

A huge TV screen with seats made of cement and an unfinished open-air stage still in gravel state take up a huge empty field nearly. I wonder if this could be where Malaysia will host the much awaited MTV World Stage 2011.

The visit was worth it. I leave i-City enchanted. Just 40 minutes out of Kuala Lumpur, that's not too far a journey. 

Flying horses and Reindeers

Panda Bear

Swans, Frogs abd Pelicans

Trees

And more trees

Bottle brushes

As night approaches

Glowing in the dark

Plastic beauty

Giraffes

Cactuses

Captivating

The big screen

May 22, 2011

0 Baked Chicken Wings in Thai Mango Dipping Sauce

Everything used to be in the kuali. Well...that was until I found convenience in my little oven. Now it's just me and the oven. We go way back, like more than a decade.

Anyone would understand why I cannot part with it just like that although the timer has gone cuckoo and I'm not even sure if the temperature is right, but I'm so used to it that I just leave things to bake without really depending on these. If it looks right and it's cooked, the food comes out. Simple.

I was rummaging the fridge for something different for my chicken wings the other day.

"Honey? Nope... Soy sauce? Boringgg!"

"Hah! What's this.. mango ..mmm"

Tadaa..dinner is served.

Mm- mm..succulent
(That's how the chefs say it)

Pea sprouts, Potatoes and Chicken
(The vegs, the carbs and the protein)

The secret sauce revealed: Thai mango dipping sauce with chilli (MSG free). It's sold in Cold Storage, Malaysia.


Thai Mango Dipping sauce with Chilli

The exact ingredients are somewhat hazy, but I'll do my best. I just grab things as I go and I don't pay too much attention to exact measurements. Well, that's what happens when you decide not to cook by the book.

Ingredients:
- Chicken wings
- Mango dipping sauce
- Melted butter
- Salt and pepper
- Dried rosemary herbs

Todo:
1) Poke chicken wings lightly with a fork. I do this because I like to get the juices in, especially those meatier parts which tend to dry easily.

2) Marinate chicken wings with mango dipping sauce and a bit of butter. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix in dried rosemary and give it a good rub.

3) Line baking tray with foil. Glaze with oil.

4) Put your chicken wings on top of the foil (like you didn't know) and bake for about 40 minutes at 180c. In between, I glaze the wings with more Mango sauce and a wee bit of butter while it's still cooking in the oven.

I do this about 20 minutes into bake time and continue doing so every 10 minutes or so until the chicken is done. It adds flavour..me thinks.

The taste: Sweetish, with just a tinge of sour.

May 21, 2011

2 Snowalk @ i-City, Shah Alam - in 5 minutes!

That's right - that's how long we (the happy family), *sheepishly*  lasted in the RM$20million man-made freezer. Our snow adventure quickly became a rescue mission out after just a minute in, when Mama raised the white flag.

Chilled to the bone and caught on slippery path, we had no alternative but to move along slowly to the exit, which we assumed was at the other end. I trekked ahead of the rest to check things out when a suspicion gnawed at me .."Where's the exit sign.." I muttered.

I grabbed hold of a passing employee. Imagine our horror, when we found out that OUT was really behind us. We had to turn back! Mama was in a laughing fit by this time. The whole scenario was just too funny. Indeed it was, with two of her children holding on to her tightly, like a criminal being escorted into prison. She had been tickled since the moment she cried surrender.

Although in the midst of hurry, I stole a couple of moments to take in the surroundings. There were slides to play with, an igloo house which kept some of the cold out, scenic ice sculptures and lighted displays. 

Be warned that there are large air-conditioners lined in many corners of the wall. Blast it all, I'll never forget those blasts of cold air. Now, I know how frozen meat feels like.

Phew! That was an enjoyable 5 minutes...or so

The entrance

Tickets @ RM15 for adults 10AM to 6PM,
RM25 after 6PM

Decorative statues on display

BrrRrrr...our moment of fame
(that's what the ice-box looks like inside)

Launched last Christmas

Ice sculptures

Games just outside
Jackets are provided with the purchase of an entrance ticket but everything else comes with additional cost.

It's RM10 for a pair of rubber boots and thin socks which does not serve its purpose. On top of that, there's a RM20 deposit requirement. If you need gloves, that's RM10 for a pair too. Wise to have if you intend to stay and play longer.

All these extras are paid and managed at a different counter. That's an inconvenience we can do without surely. It makes the whole affair somewhat inefficient and is a reflection of bad management.

Anyway, my advice to visitors would be that you bring your own gloves and wear your own shoes (cos those boots ain't made for walkin') and socks ..proper ones, of course.

May 18, 2011

0 The Sultani @ Flamingo Hotel, Ampang (Sultani Musical Buffet)

It was a bargain at RM40++ and we were amused enough to try it because it was a buffet accompanied by live musicians playing Indian Classical music. Amused not for a lack of appreciation, but because our daily music consumption consists of a more modern playlist, which is largely in contrast to this.

Who were 'we'? A group of friends I gained from an old job I held as an Accounts Executive in an insurance company. We make it a point to catch up annually and this time we settled on a buffet dinner at The Sultani.


We met when our status was still 'single'

Some of us are now married with kids

The Sultani has a nice romantic set-up and a serene view of the lake outside. There were little pieces of artistic elements which gave character to the place, like the wall entrance with tiny broken mirrors, the lights and decorative tableware.


The Sultani is located on the top floor of Flamingo Hotel
(5th Floor)

The view - a lake and fountain

Entrance to The Sultani
20% on StanChart card holders (ala carte menu only)

Expensive and unique tableware on display

Perfect for romance

Service is not too bad. The staff were friendly. Though this welcomeness was not obvious on our arrival, they soon warmed up to our cheerful banter. Our little girl DD was enthralled by the musicians. The charming girl befriended them and we were soon treated to a few songs. We were humoured when the musicians played along to her "twinkle, twinkle little star".

Small matters like these added to the joyousness of the occassion. There's nothing worse than walking into a restaurant staffed by the hoity-toity. This was not the case. I like.


Great music

Foodwise, there was not much variety, but I am by no means too disappointed.  The company of good friends made it less important to criticise. As such, I enjoyed the food thoroughly.

Briyani rice and Naan bread was served with various meat (lamb, chicken, fish) and vegetable curries. I've photos of some:


Peas and potato curry

Chicken

Tandoori chicken

Minced meat rolls

Sweet desserts

 I'm somewhat fascinated by the carving design on this chair. Holy macaroni, is that...


Princess Beatrice's Hat?!


May 16, 2011

0 A lovely Sunday afternoon no more..

I was sure it was 'just one of those rainy days' accompanied by the usual thunder and lightning streaking across the hazy Kuala Lumpur sky.

"It would be over quickly," I prayed, because I had visitors who had just left the building on a bus. A moving double decker under wet weather doesn't fit my ideals of a safe journey home. I worried for their wellbeing though it was unnecessary.

I stayed cocooned inside 1Utama for most part of my Sunday, eating, chatting and sifting through Movie Magic's CD/DVD bargains, very much unaware that Mother Nature had let rip a slew of mini disasters outside. I only counted my blessings that I wasn't caught in a traffic jam that I knew had ensued. Flying roof-tops, trees being uprooted and flash floods had not crossed my simple mind.

When the calmness of the sky reached our ears, we decided to journey home. We had parked our car in the lower basement of the shopping mall.

"Whoaaa..!" I exclaimed at the sight before me. 

Rain water had seeped through the ceiling and the carpark was drenched. I imagined myself walking through the sewers as I tiptoed over the huge puddle of water that had accumulated almost a centimetre high and zigzagged my way through droplets of water above me.

I admit it was fun, but only because no catastrophe had befallen the car. I don't doubt that the adult in me would appear if the situation was otherwise.

Flooded carpark

Wet shoes for sure!
The aftermath of the storm was obvious as we drove by broken branches and muddied roads. When we got home, our neighbour shared that the lifts had been out and his rooms were flooded. The news.

May 4, 2011

0 Veg Fish Farm Thai Restaurant @ Hulu Langat, Ampang

Located just a couple of kilometres past the famous Lookout Point (Ampang), this restaurant promises authentic Thai cuisine at an affordable price. That, it delivers.

Signboard from the main road

I'm excited about this new try because its obviously different from what we city folks are used to. It involves travelling through a narrow bumpy road into the not-too-deep green jungle. 

There are no streetlights in sight. I'm glad we made this a lunch affair. It somewhat eased my worried heart. Travelling in the dark with the sound of thousands of crickets emanating from the trees around is not how I would have imagined a lovely outing to be.

Driving on, we reached a tarred open space, where the resident caretaker roams, a goose with no qualms about telling us off. "Honkkk! honkk!" went the goose.

A man in a makeshift tent got up on our approach. He passed us a receipt, charging us RM2 for "passing through private land". Funny..I had assumed it was for parking.


Restaurant on a fish farm

There's entertainment

Where shall we sit..

Pretty fish below which you can feed.
Fish pellets are sold at RM2 per packet.

Rich and flavourful is how I would describe the food we have ordered. The restaurant is staffed by Thais which affirms their proficiency in Thai cuisine.

Steamed fish in lemon sauce

Large long beans, fried belacan style

Lala-licious

Tom yum seafood soup

Salt BBQ-ed fish. We didn't try this but
they say this is a favourite of many. 

Cooking it fresh

Off to the kitchen

Dessert bar (ABC, Kuih Pelita, Mango rice, etc) 

Fresh vegs sold here

The vegetable farm
  
 

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