Friday, 29 February 2008

What a busy week.. and crappy internet at home

I had some pictures to post from Sunday actually. I cooked lunch and dinner.. and made tiramisu.

Sunday lunch (for 4):
One tenderloin steak 300g, shared between my parents, Rommel and myself.
6 lamb cutlets marinated with garlic, rosemary and some olive oil.
Linguine with mushrooms, garlic, olive oil and a dash of cream.
Homemade mushroom soup.

Sunday supper (for 3):
Stir fried scallops, enoki mushrooms and bacon with rocket leaves and lettuce.
Leftover mushroom soup from lunch.

Pics to come soon (as long as the house internet doesnt act up again).

SO - what have I been doing the whole week? Work work work.. and class. Been averaging 13-14 hours work days and on days when I am not working til late, I'm off to class.

Busy busy.. and so back to work now.. More tomorrow night hopefully.. after 6 hours of class.. :(

Saturday, 23 February 2008

My kitchen collection's expanding! And more foodie pics..

Boy, I've been happily snapping pictures in the house these past few days. Finally have time to post them here!

First, I complained to my mom about how old and dirty our measuring cups and spoons. Also hinted that I wanted to get a nice red set... preferably the one in Pavilion shop in Gardens. And so she got them when she was there sometime this week!

Here's what she got: Measuring cups, measuring spoons and a bottle opener (cos we always seem to be looking for bottle openers in the house).

Here's what my "red" collection looks like now:
Am so happy... the collection is slowly growing..

And here's how they look like in my drawer:

We went grocery shopping at the Village Grocer, Bangsar Village a few days back cos we almost ran out of meat in the freezer. As usual, I had to browse and got other things too. Here's what I found!

Above: Pure chocolate syrup (I'm not sure what I'll make with this yet but I'll think up of something when I have the time) and Organic Madagascar pure vanilla extract - RM45 for this tiny bottle but I'm sure it's worth it. Can't wait to make plain vanilla cupcakes to taste it!

Below: My vanilla collection... I'm thinking of getting the rest of the range in the Village Grocer. Should I?

Below: Mixed herbs with a built-in grinder (I have no idea why I bought it but yea I thought it looks nice, and I do use quite a lot of these dried herbs when we have western food. I dont buy fresh herbs cos I sometimes can't get the ones I want. Like once, I needed rosemary for my lamb and I couldn't find it in Cold Storage in BSC!). On the right is a salad sprinkle - I can replace my usual sea salt and herbs part in my salad dressing with this. Rommel was the one who noticed that this spice brand (Robertsons) was something we've not seen before which is why I decided to try it.

I also finally made my EasiYo yoghurt. It's so so so easy and so so so nice! I first tried the strawberry one which was the same pink as the bottle and the flask! Hehe... talk about super-bimbo. It was slightly too sweet for me though. But I made the Greek yoghurt one last night and tried it just now. Yummm... Just add a spoonful of good honey and maybe some muesli or Grapenuts. I might just make some crumble to go with it.. read a recipe for it in Nigella's How to Eat.

My colleague Tracy gave the candle and flowers arrangement below for our open house. So nice! And it went superbly well with the kitchen!

Here's some pics of our dinner on Wednesday night, cooked by Evelyn. We had stir fried four angle beans with belacan, fried chicken marinated with ginger and omelette. And of course a soup. Simple meal.

The next day's dinner was more elaborate. We had godsister Stella come over for dinner so we bought chilli crabs from Tian Tian Hot Wok Restaurant in Kuchai.

Here's the spread (the chilli crabs, fried mantau to go with the crabs, balitong fried kam heong style, deep fried pork ribs with marmite sauce and hokkien fried meehoon):

Shen, since we are not able to send the cookies to you this CNY, here's pics of some! Notice most of them are already half empty... Hehe..


Wednesday, 20 February 2008

CNY 2008 pics - part 2

I took some pics this evening and when I was uploading them onto the laptop, I found more pics from CNY that I'd forgotten about!

Here they are:

The quintessential Chinese New Year - alcohol and gambling.
Patrick, here's what's happened to the stash we kept in your room during Xmas:

The fridge was full of beer - but this was for the party. We still have quite a bit of it though. Hehe..

Below are pics from the Day Four gathering in our house with the Charismatic team, Fathers Simon and Albert. We served teochew porridge. Porridge, salted eggs and century eggs cooked by Evelyn, the other condiments by Aunty RubyAnn.

The table all laid out.


London restaurant reviews - from my sis

My sister and brother went on an eating spree it seems. Patrick was in London for his half term holidays so they pigged out!

Here are Priscilla's reviews (and my comments):

Restaurant: Richoux
Location: There are several branches. The ones I usually go to are across the road from Harrods and in Piccadilly Circus, just down the road from Mitsukoshi, so yeah, it's really convenient!

Ambience: Quite cosy, very Victorian-esque decorations - really a plus point with me! Gotta love Victorian stuff! *heart* Lighting is alright, but true to Victorian style, it can be a little dim at times.

What they serve: A variety of foods, mostly British, French or American. I usually have the kedgeree (actually Indian, but adopted by the Brits), or the lasagne, but the main highlight is the Traditional English Tea. Comes in that typical three-tiered serving dish, with pastries, sandwiches and SCONES!!! The scones are the family's favourite!! The ones served in Richoux are baby scones, warm and with raisins in it, and served with fresh clotted cream and jam! Ooooh sinfulness.... I didn't have it this round, and I soooo regret it :(

Service: It all depends on the waiter. This time, the waiter was really friendly, and chatted with us and everything. Nice guy. Service can be slow depending on the time of the day, but usually it's alright.

Price: Well.... I don't really know how to judge prices, but it felt kind of pricey to me. Not very much more expensive, but higher than average, I guess.

Petrina comments: This is my mom's "must go to" place in London and we never fail to make at least one trip there each time she visits. I love the kedgeree here too.

Restaurant: Ed's
: Excellent location!! It's right down Piccadilly Circus (anyone realise how much time I spend in that area?), behind Troccadero. There used to be another one beside Abeno Too (somewhere along Charing Cross Road), but they've moved to inside Trocadero.

Ambience: Quite nice. "Quaint", I'll call it. It's usually very bright, and it's decorated just like any diners you see in American movies, 60's and 70's style! It even has juke-boxes around!

What they serve: True to its theme, it serves all-American style burgers, hot dogs, fries and shakes! My favourite is the vanilla malt - tastes just like thick, cold Horlicks! They serve huge portions too - one portion of a shake is equal to two glasses of shake! When Patrick and I came here after Lord of the Rings (the musical), we had a malt each, and shared a bowl of chilli cheese fries. Really good fries, with a gorgeous cheese sauce and chilli (the kind with ground beef in it). Yum!

Service: To be honest, I don't really like their service. They can be nice at times, but I dunno... I just don't like them o_O They did kind of rush us out when it was about closing time, but I can't really blame them.

Price: Quite reasonable. It costs less than £3 for a vanilla malt, so I think it's really worth it!

Petrina comments: I first went to the outlet in the O2 centre on Finchley Road. I prefer that one because less people and better service. But it's too far from where Shen lives now so no point going!

Place: Borough Market
: It's at London Bridge tube station. I used to view it as a major inconvenience to get there, but just this Saturday, Patrick and I discovered it was within walking distance from my flat!! Granted, it did take us about 45minutes to get there, but hey, a whole load less troublesome than changing buses and trains and all that rot!

Ambience: Well, it's a market, so there aren't actually any decorations, apart from banners hanging from the ceiling, and some signs. I do love the feeling of being there though - imagine being in a market full of foodies, where everyone's eating and enjoying themselves! It's like a festival, really.

What they serve/sell: They sell alot of food, but there are a few things the family must have whenever we go there! First off, the scallops. They're grilled on the spot, and served on half a scallop shell with stir-fry and bacon bits. We usually have them with a good squeeze of lemon, lots of pepper and tabasco sauce. £4 for 3 scallops, but I think they're worth it, given how large the scallops are!

Another favourite would be the chorizo sandwiches. The sausages are grilled in front of you, then placed in toasted ciabatta that's been drizzled in olive oil, with preserved red pepper and rocket salad. Yum! The line's usually quite long, but it moves fast.

I don't eat it all the time, but there's a stall that sells burgers - the best burgers ever! True, this time, my lamb burger was rather dry, but the onions and mustard more than made up for that!

Ever since Patrick and I found it, we always have to buy this cheese from Borough Market - It's called Comte cheese. Very good quality, the taste is gorgeous, slightly nutty. Anyone we've introduced it to has loved it! We never fail to buy at least £10 worth of cheese everytime we pass by.

Let's not forget the brownies! The brownies from this place are sinful. So deliciously chocolate-y, not too chewy, not too cake-like.. Perfect for sinking your teeth into!On a small note, the vegetables and fish here are really fresh! Slightly more expensive than some other markets I've been to before, but the quality here is good, all the same.

Price: Depends on each stall. Generally quite well-priced, but the fruits and vegetables are slightly more expensive than some other markets I've been to.

Petrina comments: I love Borough market, love the scallops, the chorizo, the BROWNIES. I first tried the brownies when they had a food bazaar in Covent Garden. Loved it so much I bought a dozen and spent the next couple of days eating only brownies. And I don't even like chocolate!!

Restaurant: Carluccio's
: Before Saturday, I had only ever been to the one behind Selfridges. This time, we went to the one at Covent Garden, which was just off St. Martin's Lane.

Ambience: Great!! The one at Selfridge's is rather cramped, but the bright lights make it seem really lively. The one at Covent Garden, on the other hand, is nice and spacious, with decorations really befitting a romantic dinner, with long draping red curtains and candlelight. The seating areas were divided into small parts, so it was quite quiet.

What they serve: Italian food. Really really REALLY good Italian food, I might add! I always have the pasta while I'm there, half portion if I take an appetizer too. This time, we had an antipasto platter that had mozarella cheese, beans, artichoke, bread, olives, salami (not sure, actually, some preserved ham) and this aubergine thing. It was all cold, but very delicious! I especially loved the artichoke - it was our first time eating it. (I went with Patrick, Mel, and Patrick's friend Felix)

For the main, the other three had steak, while I had a half portion of spaghetti vongole. The pasta is the best! Always perfectly cooked, with just the right amount of sauce in each dish. Gorgeous. Patrick's steak was slightly overcooked, but alright otherwise. The potatoes that came with the steak were really tasty!

For dessert, Patrick had some coffee on ice cream thing, while Mel had a chocolate pudding and I had a tarte di limone (lemon tart, if you didn't get it). Ahhhh I LOVED the lemon tart! The ones we usually get are very sour, but this one wasn't! It had just the right level of sourness so that it doesn't pinch your face, yet you taste the lemon and not sugar. The base for the tart was also good; firm enough to hold its shape, yet not too hard that it was hard to break through with a spoon.

We all shared this odd thing, where there was a glass of sweet wine on a plate with some honey and almond biscotti, and you dip the biscotti into the wine. The wine was good! Not so much when you drink it as when you dip the biscuit into it. There wasn't a lasting after taste. In fact, it was more like a very thorough palate-cleanser! Great feeling to it.

Service: It's usually just okay, but Saturday's waitress was really nice! She chatted with us (i.e. treated us like humans) and teased, and was generally very good. Prompt service too!

Price: Usually quite reasonable, particularly if you have the pasta. Unfortunately, this time we all had 2 lemonades each, so that brought up the price! Also, the steaks were rather pricey. However, this was just a one-off thing, and the next time I go there with Patty, we'll probably just have pasta.

Petrina comments: I went there only once, to the one behind Selfridges. Never been back but that's really cos I dont fancy Italian food all that much! Nothing much to say.

Restaurant: Misato
: Just off Shaftesbury Avenue, a little down the road from Chinatown.

Ambience: Cheery place, bright lighting. Rather cramped at times, though, especially during peak hours!

What they serve: Japanese food. I don't pay attention to all that they serve, but I do know they serve some sushi, bento and rice. I always, without fail, have tori karaage rice when I'm there. Not sure why, but the next time I go back, I think I'll have the beef rice instead. The salad that comes with the rice is very nice, particularly with their garlicky cream sauce. Yum! The rice is usually perfectly cooked, sticky yet not too mushy. The chicken is succulent and soft, as always. For drinks, I quite like the mugi-cha (Japanese Iced Tea) and Pear Juice.

Service: This is a place with a fast turnover, so expect hurried service and people expecting you to eat quickly and leave quickly. There's almost always a line waiting to eat, so it's better to do so!

Price: Literally best value for money in London for Japanese food! HUGE portions for less than £6.50! I can get two meals out of one order! Be warned though, that every customer has to order at least one dish and spend at least £4.

Petrina comments: I miss MISATOOOOO....... One of my favourite places to get a good, fast meal. HUGE portions, not expensive and it tastes really good. One order of tori karaage rice or katsu curry rice for me please!

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

All drugged up...

No I do not mean the narcotic kind...

It's a Tuesday late morning. I'm at home. And that means... I'm sick! Finally succumbed to the evil flu bug that has been terrorising the office these past few weeks. Mine started a few days back but it wasn't full on yet. Perhaps the lack of rest and the overeating during the weekend made things worse..

Went to work feeling a little better this morning actually. Felt worse last night and took some Panadols. Then the headaches returned and brought with it the cold and the cough.

I visited Dr Shanta over in Klinik Menara.. It's been a year since I last went there. I guess that means it's been a whole year since I last got really sick. I only go to the doc's when I'm really sick.

Other than my current bug, we also talked about my allergies.. and I realised that these allergies of mine might just be more serious than previously thought. Not life threatening or anything, but I just have to be careful.

Major allergy incidences over the years:

  1. Most recent - ulcers in the mouth over the weekend. I didnt attribute it to an allergy. Just thought I havent drank enough water or lacked sleep. Dr Shanta said it can happen when I eat something with sulphur in it.
  2. The Rick's Cafe fainting, a few weeks back - Lobster and white wine are apparently a no-no for me.. Luckily I'm not that big a fan of either.
  3. The Pineapple juice incident, early 2006 - My maid made some juice with pineapples and carrots. My brother and I each took a glass. Half an hour later, I've developed a bad rash all over my neck and I start wheezing. Another midnight trip to the hospital for me. We thought it might have been the meat at first but my maid made the same juice again the next morning and again the same thing happened. I cant figure this one out though cos it's not like I've never had carrots or pineapple before. Perhaps it was just the combination.
  4. Fainting in the shower at home, sometime in 2004 - If I remember correctly, I also had just one glass of white wine that night. Can't remember what I ate though.
  5. Fainting again in London, sometime 2003 - also in the shower and after a few drinks. And it's not like I can get drunk on just a few drinks!?!
  6. Fainting in Telawi, Bangsar, sometime summer 2003 - this wasnt really fainting. More like I saw everything blood red, I couldn't breathe and my friends tell me my lips were blue. I'm not sure if this was an allegic reaction though cos all I had that night was half a bottle of Kampai.. alcohol content in that is pretty much non-existent. We also suspect my drink may have been spiked. No proof though and luckily, I had great friends who took care of me.
  7. Wheezing after playing with the cat - yes I am allergic to cats. Like really allergic to them. I once carried my cat, started sneezing and wheezing and had to immediately take anti-histamines. So now all I ever do is maybe use my feet and pat them. Or just dont go near them.

Other allergy issues:
  1. I get rashes around my abdomen and back more frequently these days. Dr Shanta said it could be the detergent or something.. I agree with her and also think the heat in Malaysia makes it worse.
  2. Wheezing after red wine - I get this pretty often actually, and usually if the wine is Australian. Dont ask me why.. but my dad says its because Australian wine seem to have a higher content of sulphur in them. I'm like the sulphur detector for wines. Haha.. All I have to do is take a sip and wait. If all goes well, I can drink it. If not, I just stop. Simple.

Medication I have for this week:
  1. Antibiotics for the flu bug
  2. 2 types of allergy medication - one for day and one for night
  3. Panadol for my fever and headaches
  4. Cough syrup with ventolin - my fav.. I think I can get addicted to this. Whoops..

Okay I took my medicine just before writing this entry so am feeling sleepy now. Ta..

Friday, 15 February 2008

Restaurant review: Al Nafourah, Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur

Restaurant: Al Nafourah
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Address: Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2263 7888
Verdict: Superb service, mediocre food

Okay I know I have 2 other reviews to do but I really had to do this one first.

As you know, today is Rommel's birthday so we wanted to try someplace nice and that we've not tried. It took me the whole day to come up with Al Nafourah.. cos I thought of Prime (also at Le Meridien) but we just had wagyu on Wednesday so I didnt feel like steak. I thought of Japanese but I just had lunch in Kampachi yesterday.

I have heard various comments people have had about Al Nafourah and was really curious to find out.

Here's what I thought:

The Food:
Sadly, this was the most disappointing part. And it's not that we can't appreciate Middle Eastern food. I used to frequent some of the top rated Edgware Road restaurants in London and they were by far, much better. (In fact, one of my favourites was actually Maroush, just off Oxford St).

On Thursday to Saturday evenings, Al Nafourah only has a semi-buffet menu where your starters and desserts are from the buffet and you choose your main course. I was rather disappointed this as I already had in mind what I wanted - just good hummus and some lamb shawarma.

The buffet selection was decent. I liked the hummus. Other than that, the rest was pretty ok but I think I suffered from a case of too much choice of dips and took too many things. Gluttony. Sigh.

Main course - they suggested we ordered a seafood kebab and a beef kebab since they were already serving lamb in the buffet. So we took it. Seafood was not fresh at all. Unbelievably disappointing. The cut of beef they gave was tough (or maybe I'm now too spoilt by wagyu).

The buffet also includes Turkish coffee and Lebanese tea. So we took one of each. I had the tea which was great, freshly brewed with mint. Rommel's coffee was not as strong (they told us it was stronger than espresso). A nice aftertaste to the coffee.

The Ambience:
Great decor, I was telling Rommel that was kinda how I'd like my outdoor garden to look like especially with the Turkish lamps. I feel like flying off to Morocco and shop for those lamps. One day I shall!!

Music got too loud at times, but that's because the belly dancer was making her rounds. A little difficult to carry on a conversation at those times. The belly dancer herself was a bit stiff.

The Service:
This is where Al Nafourah redeemed itself for me. If I'm not paying for the food, at least I paid for good service. Attentive and friendly staff, especially Ammy who served us. The rest were not as friendly but still, service was tops.

The Cost:
The semi-buffet dinner costs RM118 per person. We actually heard the server say RM180 at first at thought that was really steep for the food we were getting. The total bill came up to RM302.45 (incl. my sparkling water, service charge, tax etc..). It was still expensive though considering the food we had but as I said, I guess we mainly paid for the name, service and ambience.

Overall: They asked us to fill up a feedback form and I was pretty blunt about it. Said the seafood and beef was crap but praised Ammy cos his attentiveness towards us. I will most probably not go back in the near future. Ask me in a year's time and maybe I'll give it a try again.

My next place to try in Le Meridien: Prime. I've been saying this for the past 8 months I think. It's about time I went. Time to drag the parents there!

Busy weekend ahead.. followed by busy week

Firstly, it's Rommel's birthday today so Happy Birthday Boo!!
And Happy V-Day to everyone else. Sorry I'm a day late. Busy week at work and by the time I get home, my eyes are too tired to stare at yet another screen.

I love making lists, makes me feel that my life is a bit more organised.

My to-do list for the weekend:

  1. CFA L2 class on Saturday - 6 hours of torture
  2. Aunty Lena's CNY party on Saturday evening - need to decide what to wear
  3. Our CNY party on Sunday evening - preparations needed, stress anticipated, lots of entertainment required. I hope I'll be in a jolly mood and not pms-ing. I have already decided what to wear - my lime green full-length dress from Salabianca, bought with this party in mind.
  4. It's Sr Bernadine's last weekend with us before she goes back to Penang so I'd best take her out somewhere for dinner

Doesn't seem like a lot of things but 6 hours of class is killing me. Sigh.

Another list - reviews I have yet to write:

  1. Tin Kam Leng coffee shop, Chukai - went during our Club Med trip. Kari Mee with ikan kembong.
  2. Nerovivo, Jalan Ceylon - went last Tuesday with Godbrother Sunny. Verdict: Disappointing esp after all that I've read about it. I doubt I'll go back. More to come in the review.

I found out Sunny is very much a foodie too and he wanted to try the steak at Angus in Pavilion. Took him there on Wednesday for lunch and he said it was the best steak in KL (Note: in KL... not in the world. For that you will have to either go to Japan, Argentina or Spain - based on my various steak sources).

A short knit update

My shawl: I changed my mind about using the Sublime cashmere merino silk aran since I asked around and everyone agreed the two colours didn't quite match. I settled for the same yarn I used for the shrug, the Sirdar BLUR one but as I went along I realised a few things...

Rommel already warned that the colours also didn't quite jive but I thought it was ok - kinda quirky but ok. Also, the yarn wasn't very nice to crochet since there was mohair in it. so I did a little feature bit out with that yarn and then I changed to the Baby Shimmer yarn (the one used in Suen's scarf).

So there's a burnt orange bit to start, a teal feature in middle and finally off-white for the end. I still haven't decided what yarn to use for the border but I'll see as I go along. It looks nice in a quirky way I suppose. But I like it. That's all that matters.


Tuesday, 12 February 2008

Kitchen renovations - the pictures

Shen, Ma said you wanted to see how the kitchen and garden turned out... Here you go..
First, the "before" and "during" pictures:

And now the "after" pics:
The island separating the formal dining from the kitchen.

The informal dining area

The garden:

CNY 2008 pics

No CNY is complete without loads of food. I spent more time eating than taking pics though. Haha..

Yee sang for the reunion dinner

Lunch at Tai Gu's house - deep fried prawn fritters and chun kuen

Another favourite - pork innards soup with pepper

And finally, my niece Ashley and nephew Nicholas were having a ball in my house. Perhaps too much Patchi chocolates made them sugar high! Haha..

Monday, 11 February 2008

My CNY celebrations in a nutshell

After 4 days of food and gambling, everyone seems to be suffering from the Back-to-Work blues.
I think I've also caught the Club Med bug - quite a number of ppl in the office fell ill last week after Club Med! The celebrations didnt do much to help either!!

Here's what we did for the past few days:

Wed, the Eve -
Went to my Second Uncle's home for the Reunion dinner. Second Aunty cooked as usual and we brought yee sang. Most of my other uncles and their families were also there except Third Uncle and his family who ate in our family home. Pics to follow (they're saved in mom's pink laptop). Food was not as good as it usually is. We can't figure out why. Something was missing. But Rommel thought the pork knuckles in vinegar was good.

Thurs, CNY Day -
The parents woke up early and went for CNY mass in church. They came back to pick me up and we headed back to Rawang again. This time we had brunch in my eldest Aunty's home. Super duper good food!! Pics also to follow.
That evening we went to my mom's eldest sister, Aunty Theresa's home in Ampang for dinner, another CNY tradition. Loads of gambling (I took pics but I think it's best I dont post them!! Haha..) I must comment that my luck is absolutely horrendous this year in terms of gambling. I keep getting horrible cards. Luckily we only played RM1 per round. Still I lost quite a bit of money.

Fri, 2nd Day -
Since Ash Wednesday falls on CNY Eve this year, the Archdiocese decided to move Ash Wednesday to Friday so that the Chinese Catholics could celebrate their Reunion dinners instead of the usual fast and abstinence we practice on Ash Wednesday.

(To the non-Catholics, Ash Wednesday marks the start of Lent and is celebrated 40 days before Easter. It is celebrated during Mass with the marking of our foreheads with ashes in the sign of the cross. The ashes are made from palm leaves blessed during the previous year's Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is celebrated the week before Easter Sunday to mark Jesus' final entry into Jerusalem and is the start of the Holy Week.)

Since we were celebrating Ash Wednesday on Friday, we were supposed to at least abstain from meat. So we pretty much went vegetarian that day. Mass was at 1pm so we had an early brunch of teochew porridge at home. Later I wanted to show Sister Bernadine around Pavilion since she's here from Penang to visit us for CNY. We bought JCo donuts for her to try which she happily indulged in 2 donuts. So much for fasting! Haha..

For dinner, we took my parents and Sr Bernadine to Chutney Mary (since we were supposed to be vegetarian so my dad felt like having Indian food). Sr cant take spicy food so she couldnt take quite a number of the dishes. I dont think my mom really enjoyed it either. I liked the fish tikka starter.

Sat 3rd Day -
Lazy day. Caught up on sleep esp since I caught the Club Med bug.
Went with the parents to Gardens and MV for Mom to do some household shopping. Ate at Yuzu - had Hokkai Nabe again. I think I'm getting bored of that already.
My mom's side of the family came over for dinner and we gambled the night away. I lost quite a lot of money again so I gave up quickly. Spent the evening crocheting my new shawl instead while offering Rommel support. Again, more gambling pics..

Sun 4th Day -
Mass at 8.30am.
Breakfast near home after Mass cos mom needed to eat.
Dimsum brunch with Godbrother Uncle Lee and his family who was in town - we ate at Imbi Palace. There was such a long queue when we arrived but luckily we'd made a booking. Horrendous service, rude waiters and the food was rather disappointing compared to when we first had it!
In the evening it was Aunty Sylvia's open house. She used the same caterer we will be using for our open house next week - Le Oriental. They rarely disappoint.
Later that night, some church friends came over for teochew porridge (thanks to Aunty RubyAnn) and of course, more gambling!

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Knit update: Completed Suen's scarf and started a new project

*Phew* I managed to complete Huei Suen's scarf in time! Passed it to her yesterday and both her and the scarf are now in Hong Kong where I hope it gets put into good use!

Here is a pic of it.

I didnt have any white chunky yarn with me when she asked if I could make such a scarf for her so I used 3 yarns together of my Baby Shimmer yarn from Courtelle. It's the same yarn I used for my baby blanket, bought maybe 4 years ago in Shrewsbury.

The pattern is my own. I decided to do a Celtic cable piece at the ends as a border while the middle bits were in a lace mesh pattern I got from my Knitter's Bible book. The scarf also has a garter stitch border throughout so that it doesn't curl up. Knitted on 10mm needles.

I also had time to complete a long standing WIP - my teal-coloured shrug - knitted with the yarn Shen chose in John Lewis during my last trip to London (Sirdar BLUR in shade 0716). I haven't taken pics of it yet cos I think I need to wear it to actually show how it looks like. Another time.

And to top it off, I started on another project - a shawl. This will be my first shawl. I'm following a pattern from one of my Japanese crochet books Shen and I got from Kinokuniya last Xmas. I am using the Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk in this really light orange. An absolutely soft and gorgeous yarn I bought at a John Lewis sale maybe 2 years ago. I initially knitted my first hat with it (see pic below). Shen do you remember my orange hat? The one that's too big?? Yup, say bye to it. I ripped everything out so that I could use the yarn.

Now when I bought the yarn at the sale, I only managed to get 3 balls so I definitely do not have enough to make a whole shawl. Since it's a triangular shawl and I'm starting from the middle section, I've used this Debbie Bliss yarn first since it's so soft and not itchy at all. At the outer ends, I have decided to use Sublime cashmere merino silk aran in deep blue as a contrast. I bought 4 balls of this in Singapore last August. The shawl looks good so far. Will post up pics ASAP!

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Gong Hei Fatt Choy!!

It's Chinese New Year eve today. The office is quiet, the roads of KL are quiet, in fact, the whole city seems to be quiet. I read somewhere last week that almost 60% of KL's population is Chinese. That explains it..

Traditionally, CNY eve is the big reunion dinner day. Everyone goes home to their ancestral home for dinner. In accordance to that, and following the other tradition that the wife cannot go home but must instead go to her husband's side, we are going back to my dad's hometown for dinner tonight. Cant wait! My aunt cooks bloody well and I always end up over-eating while there!

My dad's hometown is Rawang, which is about an hour's drive from KL so we can just come home after dinner. No major travelling necessary like what we've been seeing on the news about China. *phew*

Tomorrow, I'm not too sure what the plans are but we usually go to my mom's eldest sister's home to spend time with her side of the family and of course, the all important activity during CNY, GAMBLE!!!

Gambling truly is part of Chinese culture. From a very young age, we are all taught to at least play Black Jack. Most of us can play Chor Tai Di (similar to poker) and Ginrami as well. From my youngest cousin to my eldest aunt, everyone gathers round for Black Jack. When all you need to do really is count your cards and pray it adds up to 21, you dont need much skill. Just a lot of good luck and good humour.

If I remember correctly, we are having another gathering for my mom's side on Saturday. This time it'll be at my home.

These are times I missed when I was studying in England. I wasn't home to celebrate the New Year for 5 years. My sister and brother who are now in England would be missing home too I believe (at least my sister I know will be. Not sure about the brother.). Dont worry! I'll collect all your angpao for you! Hahaha..

Speaking of my sis, I got your package yesterday Shen! She sent me a book on Borough market to torture me... along with my dad's birthday card and a CD. I miss Borough market.. I miss the scallops and the chorizo sausages and the burgers and the brownies and the cheese and the cider you only get in winter.... I also miss just being in the market, just taking it all in, people-watching... Ah well, hopefully I get to go back to London in July.. :D

Okay that's it from me. Gong Hei Fatt Choy to all!

Club Med pics - part 3 (my camera)

Finally, I remembered to bring my lil pendrive home to save all my camera pics in it. It's funny, I keep getting all these free pendrives from briefings and such but I can never find them when I need them! I must have at least 3 lying around the house somewhere. Either that or they're in the office as well.. Time to start clearing my junk!

Anyway, here're the beach shots.....

Amanda, Maureen and Alex on the catamaran..

Geraldine, Ellie and Ashraf's turn..

Myself and Ellie (me desperately trying to get a tan but failed. All I got out of this was sunburnt shoulders)

...... and pics from the bar (our favourite hangout of course!!).

Decisions, decisions....

Tom getting ready to strip.

Our favourite bartender, Kyle... He was the one who introduced all of us to Mozambique Iced Tea.. Similar to Long Island but I think it's way better.

Malibu, Havana Club, Bacardi topped off with lime juice, white wine and cola.

Rommel and I are going to try to make this cocktail. Hopefully we succeed in perfecting the mix before my CNY party!

Tom trying out another cocktail: Liquid Cocain. He had to first put sugar in his mouth and then down the drink.

Group pic!