Dec 20, 2016

20 Croissant Taiyaki, Pavilion KL

Right, I had envisioned a quiet December to reflect on the year but it turned out to be my busiest month, not that I'm complaining since I'm having a lot of fun!

My cousin flew in from East Malaysia days ago. I alerted the rest of the relatives in KL and we decided to all meet for lunch at Pavilion, a mall just opposite the hotel she was staying in.

That's how I came to know about this cute looking croissant. I was checking out for places to eat!

Croissant Taiyaki, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Taiyaki Pan

Croissant Taiyaki

We ordered green tea custard and ham with cheese. One sweet and one savoury. Both were really delicious.

A little googling told me that Taiyaki is a Japanese fish-shaped pancake. This was made with a little twist and hence the name - Croissant Taiyaki.

Croissant Taiyaki

Cheese and Ham (Top)
Green Tea Custard (Bottom)

It costs around RM7 per piece.

Croissant Taiyaki
Level 1 (Pavilion Elite), Pavilion Kuala Lumpur

Dec 16, 2016

16 Hands-On Cooking Workshop With Alce Nero

When Alce Nero Malaysia offered me a spot on The Malaysian Women's Weekly Hands-On Cooking Workshop, I was quick to respond with an affirmative.

Five minutes later, I was kicking myself and cursing over this quote by Richard Branson that had me signing up for things on the spot without thinking things through or asking for the details before I do : If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!

Whilst I was excited about going, I had a small case of the jitters because it was my first time at a hands-on workshop and I hadn't done any stove cooking in years. Years! I whip my meals up in a simple no fuss multi-purpose electric cooking pot. So I went to the workshop with my fingers crossed that I wouldn't be defeated by how-do-I-start-these-things and the fiery flames that would follow.

No such thing happened, of course. The Cooking House (where the workshop is being run) uses induction heating cooktops and blunt knives. I believe the knives were intentionally left unsharpened for safety purposes.

Hands-On Cooking Workshop With Alce Nero

The first thing we did was to register our attendance.

Registration In Progress

This is what the cooktop looks like. We were gathered in teams of five.

Cooktop

These were the dishes Chef Pei Ling taught us to prepare. Baked prawns topped with cheese, salted egg pasta and jam-filled hot cakes with poached pears. Our food presentation was amateurish but this in no way affected the taste of the food - pretty delicious! I'm going attempt cooking these at home soon. If you're on instagram, follow me at 'snoringsheep' for my food adventures.

Salted Egg Pasta, Baked Prawns and Jam-filled Hot Cakes

By the time I walked out of the workshop, I had gained new friends and a confidence that said, "I can do this stuff ..haha!" I had also totally forgotten that I was down with the cough. My itchy throat behaved during the 3 hours I was focused on the workshop.

Finally, a group picture taken by the organisers of the event. We left the cooking house with an Alce Nero goodie bag in hand.

Photo credit: Women's Weekly Facebook


Dec 6, 2016

16 My New APTITLIG Chopping Board

I am elated with my new purchase. It's a large chopping board from IKEA!

IKEA - APTITLIG Butcher's Block (Front)

Made from bamboo and pretty heavy. It is, I would say, solid stuff.

IKEA - APTITLIG Butcher's Block (Back)

My regular-sized wooden board, although good, receives less appreciation from me when having to deal with long stemmed vegetables and raw food in larger quantity or size. This new chopping board allows me enough space to do all I need. Imagine not having meat and vegetables spill over the sides ..and being able to chop with abandon.

Just so you know, I only went to get this chopping board after the old one gave way from daily abuse. I didn't rush to replace it. I took my time since my mind was set on a larger board and I didn't want to get something for the sake of it.

I did some surveying at my regular shopping haunts but couldn't find anything that really called out to me. I finally turned to the internet and was intrigued by this APTITLIG piece that was being sold by a third party. It was going for about RM100 after a discount of almost 50%. This didn't include shipping charges. The huge price reduction excited me but I have a thing about seeing the items I'm about to buy firsthand, so I held off my purchase and went direct to IKEA Damansara to check it out for myself.

RM100? No way!

Fortunately I did, because the exact model was priced at just RM59 in the store itself. I picked out what I believed was the best piece.  In total, I forked out only RM37 for this chopping board after using up a couple of IKEA gift cards I'd won from earlier giveaways. I call that a bargain!

The care instructions are easy-peasy! It had to be treated with food-safe oil for a day before use.

APTITLIG Care Instructions

This is my chopping board - freshly greased with sunflower cooking oil.

IKEA - APTITLIG Butcher's Block Getting The Oil Treatment

I've been using it for a week now with a satisfied smile and a happy feeling.

Nov 30, 2016

19 Melaka : Chop Chung Wah Hainanese Chicken Rice Ball

It was the longest queue I'd ever seen outside a kopitiam ; that made me curious. I crossed the triangular traffic island at Jonker Street to get a peek inside. Hainan Chicken Rice was written on the signboard.

"They're lining up for chicken rice balls!" I told my partner, rolling my eyes in disbelief. And that was that or so I thought.

We were up and about Jonker Walk early next morning looking for food. The skies were gloomy and it started to drizzle. Under the cover of a newly purchased tourist-priced umbrella, we scoured the quiet streets of quaint historical buildings for something to eat. We could tell we were in the wrong corner of town when it came to breakfast. Deciding to walk back, we passed Kedai Kopi Chung Wah again and this time, there wasn't a queue.

Chop Chung Wah, Melaka

It was 8am-ish. The shop had just opened. The rain was getting heavier so hubs and I made a dash for it, both agreeing that it was best to wait it out here. Only four tables were occupied with customers. We were welcomed in with a lovely smile and our order was taken - which was simply us showing a V sign with our fingers indicating we wanted food for two persons.

Whilst waiting, we watched an adorable child of not more than four years, possibly a relative of the shop owner, ambling up and down within the confines of the small building, greeting people she knew.

Two plates of rice balls and chopped kampung chicken was placed in front of us minutes later. I couldn't wait to tuck in! The chicken was tender enough and it was tasty. I almost asked for seconds but stopped myself from getting carried away.

Chop Chung Wah Kampung Chicken Rice Ball

Hubs and I enjoyed our meal in our own thoughts blissfully unaffected by the brisk activity around us that comes with the typical kopitiam style ambiance. It was cosy with us watching raindrops fall gently from the edge of the roof through an old side door that had been barred with a metal railing. The shop wasn't full so we sat awhile and enjoyed our drink.

Chop Chung Wah, Melaka

We left when the rain slowed to a drizzle. It was a yummy meal and a wonderful start to the day. We had a satisfied grin on our faces, plus a warm fuzzy feeling about the whole experience. It is another memory to be cherished.

This is what the whole place looks like coming in from the entrance.

Chop Chung Wah, Melaka

Below are photos I snapped whilst looking for a place to eat. The streets of Melaka on a chilly Monday morning.

A Morning Walk Around Jonker Street

Chop Chung Wah
is located across from this traffic island.

Jonker Walk, Melaka

The 'Don't Mess With Melaka' slogan is meant to be a stern reminder for people to keep Melaka clean. We saw these banners all around Melaka's tourist spots.

Don't Mess With Melaka

Chop Chung Wah
Address : 18, Jalan Hang Jebat, 75200 Melaka.
Phone: 06-286 0121

Nov 21, 2016

10 Melaka : A Night At The Wonderful Quayside Hotel

This is the hotel you'd want to stay in if you like rooms with a balcony to unwind; the view overlooks the scenic Melaka River. I was enamoured the moment I walked into the hotel lobby. No, I was hooked at the thought of staying here from the time I saw the photos on TripAdvisor.

Days Earlier

Haziq attended to my phone call to reconfirm the details of my room booking. He's that person who smiles over the phone. I felt it although I couldn't see him.

Fast forward a couple of days later, Hubs and I arrived at the heart of the heritage area in Melaka. My heart thumped with excitement and my eyes glowed with a happiness I cannot properly describe. Two people attended to me upon check-in, a young lady, possibly in her 20s, and an older woman. They were extremely helpful and friendly.

I knew I had arrived too early and wasn't particularly surprised at being informed that no rooms were ready. So I assured them that I was there only to register my particulars and would return after 2PM or 3-ish. They took my number down and said that they would call me the moment a room was available.

"I'm willing to wait for a good room, ya. You take your time. No worries one! " I said in my biggest smile. I was barely out of the door when they waved me back in. Lo and behold, less than ten minutes since I'd been there, I was already climbing up a spiral staircase to Room 205. How exciting!

The design is minimalistic with a large window that slides open to a balcony; I loved it!

Quayside Hotel, Melaka - Premium Room With Double Bed

Quayside Hotel, Melaka - Premium Room

Quayside Hotel, Melaka - Premium Room With A Balcony

Quayside Hotel, Melaka - Basic Amenities

A little about the 3-star hotel; It was once a customs warehouse. Now, it's a two-storey boutique hotel with 39 rooms.The whole concept of the hotel is warehouse-like complete with light bouncy flooring and walls non-too-soundproof. I was hardly affected by the noises made by my neighbours or the chatter from tourists walking past below the room. Guess all those years living in a village near the airport paid off!

Quayside Hotel, Melaka - The Lobby

Quayside Hotel, Melaka - The Reception Area

Quayside Hotel, Melaka - Me On The Higher Floor

The hotel is located smack in the heart of the touristy area of Melaka. It's next to the roundabout at the Dutch Square (Stadthuys), round the bend from Jonker street and is on the same row as the ship museum. Just behind the parking lot is the famous A Famosa fort, plus several museums.
 
Quayside Hotel, Melaka - View From Across The River

The rate for the premium room with a double bed at the time of booking, including taxes, was RM231.06. I had made two requests - on the form, for a higher floor and personally telephoned them to reserve one parking lot.

The CarPark

Parking costs RM10 per day and is located across the road beside the police station in an open air private carpark. The hotel will provide guests with a numbered key to unlock the padlock on the folding parking post barrier. The parking spot is yours for the entire day - this means that you are free to leave and come back to it anytime.

Other Costs

RM2 heritage fee.

Website: www.quaysidehotel.com.my
Address: 1, Jalan Merdeka, Quayside Heritage Centre, Bandar Hilir, 75000 Melaka.


The view from my room balcony; day and night. 

Melaka River Daytime

Melaka River At Night

Hubs and I had an amazing time. It was good to get out of the city to refresh the mind even if it was only for a night. The balcony was our favourite spot - we dined alfresco with food takeaways from Jonker Street's vibrant night market, took in the sights and sounds of enchanting Melaka and chatted about life in general.

How did we find the stay? Fantastic! No complaints! 

Nov 12, 2016

22 Things We Did For The Man's Birthday

I started the day by making hard-boiled eggs. It was then rolled in red food colouring as a symbol of renewed life and happiness. Red is a joyful colour associated with prosperity and all things festive.

Tadaa...here they are:

Birthday - Red Eggs

Usually, we'd buy a small cake to sing the Birthday song. This year hubs asked if I could bake one, so I did ..even though I was skeptical about my cake decorating skills. 

I bought ready-made flowers from a local cake shop. The plan was 'simplicity' and 'fail-proof'. I baked a fuss-free zebra cake in a lovely shaped tin that looked like it was meant for jelly-making. Then poured thick melted chocolate over. It took me just minutes to assemble the flowers on top of the cake.

I was grinning from ear to ear by the end of it because for someone who doesn't do Birthday cakes, this looked pretty decent.

Homemade Birthday Cake

The leftover batter was used to make cupcakes which I gave away to our office peeps.

Zebra Cake

The celebration didn't end here. We had dinner at Thai Garden Village Restaurant in Kepong that evening. It was a quiet, chilly week day. We enjoyed ourselves and were well attended to by friendly restaurant staff. To tell you the truth, we couldn't finish the meal. The waiter kindly offered to pack it up for us to bring home. How nice!

What we ordered : Steamed fish, clear tom yum soup, butter prawns, kerabu chicken feet, the greens (kai lan) and red ruby dessert.

Thai Garden Village Restaurant, Kepong

Is that it? Oh nooo... we're finishing the occasion with a short trip out of town which I will blog about once I get back!


Do Something Today
That Your Future Self Will Thank You For
~ Anon

Nov 8, 2016

10 The Malaysian Women's Weekly Beauty Bus 2016

I enjoyed myself thoroughly at The Malaysian Women's Weekly magazine beauty bus event last year. It was exciting to finally meet the Editor of the magazine in person and I took the guts to ask for a wefie. I shared pictures I took in a collage on my instagram account, 'snoringsheep' and was blessed with a lovely prize!

So when I found out that the Beauty Bus was was rolling into town again, I marked my calendar. I didn't go all out like I did last year since I had other plans with Hubs. It was a five-minute thing. Hubs drove into the lane where the bus was parked at IPC shopping centre. I got off, queued for the goody bag and hopped back into the car again!

This is the Beauty Bus where ladies can get beauty tips from the experts first hand.

The Malaysian Women's Weekly Beauty Bus

Not a long queue in the morning. Besides the goody bag, we got to spin the wheel for an extra gift.

The Malaysian Women's Weekly Beauty Bus Goody Bag Collection

The goodies. I use these products when I travel. Sample size is perfect for weekend trips - light and convenient to pack.

The Malaysian Women's Weekly Beauty Bus Goody bag

I enjoy going for events like these. It's something out of the norm for me. Do you?

Nov 5, 2016

22 I Got A Backpack I Love!

Hello, it's me. ♪ Hello from the other side ..

I haven't gone missing. I slowed down on the blogging front for awhile because I didn't have the peace I needed to gather my thoughts for a proper post. I had this and that to take care of - also not the kind of person who would gurgle words out anytime like a journalist has to because it's their job. The piece wouldn't carry any of the enthusiasm I feel if I did. I thought it would be a tragedy to do so even on my mostly-unknown blog. This corner of my world may not mean anything to a lot of people but it's home to my thoughts and my life experiences. It holds my tears, joy, momentous occasions and the things I learned. It is my little online treasure chest.

There's so many stories I wish to pen down so that the future me, the one sitting on a white rocking chair admiring the flowers in the garden with a hot cup of tea, could look back and be reminded of the wonderful life I had led and grin to myself in a silly manner as I recall those moments in my head.

That said, I am really happy to sit down today to tap out this piece on my keyboard. I'd been looking around to buy a backpack for the past few months. The two backpacks I currently own are super worn out; the material has thinned so much from frequent use that you can see pinholes of sunlight coming through when held against a sunny blue sky.

I dragged my friend to a cheap bag store thinking that I could get something there since I wasn't at all a fussy person but maybe I am, balking at the gaudy designs that stared back at me. I walked out empty handed. A couple of months and several stores later, I was still empty handed!

And then I saw it - on Cindyrina's blog , princesscindyrina.com. She doesn't run giveaways often but there it was, a lovely, classy backpack fit for a lady who wasn't into camping out with mosquitoes or trekking through the jungles of Borneo - it was perfect for me, the leisurely weekend traveler! I wondered if the law of attraction was in cahoots with the universe to make this happen for me. Either way, I believed it was a huge sign for me to take part and that I did!

Guess who made the winners list? ..Me-lah. Hehe!

Me and My New Backpack

There was a knock on my door yesterday. A Poslaju personnel stood in front of me; I was looking surprised and confused in an old pair of shorts, messy hair and a t-shirt that smelled of fresh garlic (I was cooking!). I had totally forgotten that the backpack was arriving this week. Haha!

"Ada apa kat dalam?"  The Poslaju guy asked me what was inside assuming I had ordered something from an online store.

"I pun tak tau. Takde orang bagitau pun nak hantar barang.." I replied, clueless as to the contents of the large package.

A Red Backpack From Cindyrina!

The Back of the Bag

Haiyo! I only realised what it was when I tore the sides open and saw it. Gasp! I was so surprised that the bag was this big! It is the most beautiful backpack I had ever seen and am proud to now own. Needless to say, I am excited to bring this along on my Melaka trip. Yup, you heard me. That's my next travel plan.

Before I end, thank you so much for making my day, Cindyrina ! ツ

A little note was attached. Aptly put. If you have to worry about anything at all, let it not be about failures. It is after all, past.


I will be back to blog-hopping next week ...soon!

Oct 17, 2016

21 Projek57 : A Movement Of Hope

Have you heard of it?

I didn't until this Merdeka Day (Malaysia Independence Day) when I joined a 'Raise The Flag' giveaway organised by Cebion Malaysia and was blessed with cool t-shirts for me and four of my friends. I was ecstatic.

Projek57 - A Movement Of Hope

A little curiosity and googling told me these weren't just any t-shirts. It was part of an initiative aimed at reminding Malaysians about the principles of 1957, the year Malaya achieved independence - Progressiveness, Unity, Tolerance, Diversity. A Movement of Hope founded by two guys who wanted to remind Malaysians how amazing our country was and can be if we worked together.

They are reaching out to people through community projects and the sale of t-shirts plus other merchandises that carry messages of patriotism.

Projek57

Then there is the charity part. 40% of profits gained from the sale of these items are used for empowering single mothers and underprivileged children. Neat, right?


Projek57
Facebook : www.facebook.com/projek57
Website : www.projek57.com

Just spreading the word on a good cause.

Oct 12, 2016

22 Eat Out : Salon Du Chocolat, Publika

My aunt was in KL for her medical review at GH. It's a half yearly thing. This was more than a month back, and I was tasked to find a place to 'lepak' (hang out).

Salon Du Chocolat popped into my radar whilst I was googling for yummy food in Publika. I knew it'd be the perfect place to bring my aunt and cousin since it was something none of us had tried before - waffles covered in smooth, creamy chocolate sauce drizzled on with a beautiful design.

These were the items we ordered. The stick waffle arrived first. One of the cheapest items on the menu.

Waffle Stick

The half moon waffle was absolutely gorgeous. We scooped every bit off the plate going, "Dark chocolate, mmmmm!".

Half Moon Waffle with Milk and Dark Chocolate

Then, there is this glorious wrap filled with fresh strawberries and chocolate crispies inside.

A Chocolate Wrap with Strawberries and Rice Crispies

The Inside of the Wrap

Finally, isn't this pretty? Pizza waffle with a small glass of chocolate heaven to dip the fruits in.

A Pretty Pizza Waffle by Salon Du Chocolat

Salon Du Chocolat at Publika Mall is a place that I love for its cosy ambiance but sincerely wished there were private corners where we could have heart--to-heart conversations with friends.

Salon Du Chocolat, Publika Mall

I misplaced the bill so I left the prices out. The waffle stick didn't cost more than RM15. The rest were between that and RM30, if I remember correctly.


~ On a need-to-know basis ~
My aunt shoved me a brown envelope that contained her medical report. "Nahh..." she said. I declined to look at it. "You're fine." I said.

Should I be assigned to cook and care for her again, the details would have been necessary, I thought. Other than that, I have never needed it to help anyone and have always preferred leaving people to decide for themselves if my knowing would really make them feel better. I didn't want her to feel that she had to report everything to me.

Some people are going to come into our lives for information, at times demanding, on the pretext of caring. Once they obtain it, they walk away. Not with any real intention to make anyone feel better. It is only a need to satisfy their curiosity and perhaps to be on the forefront of spreading the news as though they are or had been very much involved in the situation of helping.

The questions I ask myself  - Why do I need this information and what do I intend to do with it? And before I do ask - Will my asking make the other party feel better about themselves?  I do this to stop myself from unnecessarily hurting others. I have learned that some questions are best left unasked if it benefits no one.

As it was, my aunt said that she was in the clear. Happiness!

 

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