Monday, 29 September 2008

The weekend is over, but the feasting has not ended...

On Saturday afternoon, I continued my feasting with a yummy lunch with the parents in Celadon, the Thai restaurant on Level 6, The Pavilion.

I've eaten there a couple of times with Aunty Lena and so pretty much expected that my mom would like the place (which she did). However, my dad has always had a great dislike for Thai food so it was a bit more difficult to convince him to eat there. But we managed to convince him and I think he actually enjoyed the meal too.

We had their papaya & mango salad and their betel leaves with various condiments as starters. Then the tom yum kung for the soup. Main course was green curry with chicken and blanched vegetables with some thai sauce. And we of course ordered the waterchestnuts and jackfruit in coconut milk for dessert. Wayy to much food for just 3 of us!

Saturday's dinner was Ma's birthday do at Max! Fine Food and Wines. I managed to take pictures of some of the dishes but have yet to upload them so I'll leave this for a separate review.

Sunday brunch after Mass was at Oriental Cravings in 1 Utama. Since it was Ma's birthday, she wanted to go shopping (what else!?) and we decided to go to 1 Utama since we hadn't been there in ages!

At Oriental Cravings, Ma had her rice wine chicken with mee sua (enough to satisfy our cravings but not as good as Grandma's), Rommel had the fried tong fun (not too bad) and I had my usual Roast Pork Curry Laksa (always good but I couldnt finish the whole portion). Pa, as always, had a hard time deciding and was recommended the steamed mantou with char siu. This was not too bad as well but really oily.

At 1U, we did a bit of shopping:
- 2 pairs of shoes for me and 1 pair for Ma at Bimba & Lola (Shen go google this Spanish brand up! It's my new favourite brand for shoes!)
- some shirts from Raoul for Ma (I dont remember how many)
- Visited Craft Haven and bought some cool new stuff (pics to come)
- A Wedding Anniversary present for Uncle Max and Aunty RubyAnn - it's their anniversary today and so we're going over for a party tonight (i.e. eating again!!)
- A belated birthday present for godsis Celine.

Sunday dinner was my Concord friend Wee Ben's wedding dinner. This was held in Restaurant Fortuna Palace in Taman Kajang Prima. And I actually remember the directions on how to get there!

From the KL-Seremban highway, turn off at the Kajang toll. Pass 2 more tolls and exit at the second toll to Semenyih. Turn left after the exit and you will get onto Jalan Semenyih. You'll soon see the restaurant amongst a row of shops on the left.

Food-wise, it was so-so, typical wedding dinner fare (four seasons, soup, steamed fish, roasted suckling pig, deep fried prawns, fried rice, dessert). But I enjoyed the company. It's been such a long time since I met up with fellow Concordians. Although there were just a few of us (Liling, Benjamin, Pai Pin, Chee Chow and Jun Wei) but it was great to see them again, especially Liling and Benji since we've known each other since we were in primary school!

Needless to say, I woke up with a fairly bad hangover this morning and had difficulty driving to work with a splitting headache. This is what I get with too much Hennessy I guess. Whoops!

Short knitting update:
Finally finished Jilly's stole/shawlette on Saturday night. It's now being washed and blocked by Evelyn so hopefully it dries by tomorrow.
And now that it's done, I'm glad to get on with my knitting life. Am continuing the front part of my Grandpa's Cardigan....
But I'm itching to start on a new project.... Shall I make something with the new baby blue cashmere laceweight I got from the Plucky knitter?

Friday, 26 September 2008

Binge eating is bad for you

And how do I know? Because that's what I've been doing for the past few days.

Client lunch at El Cerdo, Tengkat Tung Shin
Client buka puasa dinner at Latest Recipe, Le Meridien KL (rather disappointing)

Mihun goreng for breakfast
Client lunch at Pantai Seafood, Kg Sg Kayu Ara
Client buka puasa dinner at Lemon Garden Cafe, Shangrila KL (was there last week for our company buka puasa, one of the more reliable buffets in KL)

Today (Friday):
Kari Mee at the stalls behind Menara Boustead for breakfast
Client lunch at Mizu, TTDI Plaza

Mom's birthday dinner at Max, Tengkat Tung Shin

Concord friend's wedding dinner (can't remember where though)

Now can someone tell me, how on earth am I supposed to lose weight!?!?!?

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

Thanks for the yarn, Shen!

This is what greeted me when I got home today...

And when I opened it...

Thanks a bunch Shen!! I really like the iKnit ones! And now, what shall I make with them??

P/S: Apologies for the lack of words. Am suffering from writer's block at the moment. I have a report to write and have been staring blankly at the screen all day in the office! So take your time and drool over the yarn.

Friday, 19 September 2008

I wish I was on holiday...

I come into the office on a Friday morning, jubilant because it's the end of the week, but also exhausted from a stressful week at work. Then I open my inbox and find...

Sunaina is currently sunbathing and bumming in Hawaii. She decided to taunt me with a picture of the ocean. Just staring at it, I can smell the salty sea air, feel the slight breeze on my face and I can hear the comforting sound of the waves lapping against the sand.

It made me remember one of the best beaches I've been to - a small island off the East Coast of Malaysia where the Russian version of "Survivor" was filmed. Here is a picture of me when I went snorkeling there a couple of years ago.

I need a beach holiday. Can't wait to go to Bali next month!
In the mean time, this weekend will hopefully be relaxing one. Valerie is coming up from Singapore to visit and destress. What better way to destress than to bum around, go shopping, watch a movie and of course, get a 2 hour massage.
All together now.... Ahhhhhhhh.......

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Piggin' Out: Buka Puasa at Lemon Garden Cafe, Shangri-la KL

Amidst the political uncertainty our country is facing, we the rakyat are trying to lead normal lives. And during the holy month of Ramadhan, what can be a more commonplace occurence that to have buka puasa dinners?

So yesterday, we had our office buka puasa dinner at the Lemon Garden Cafe, Shangri-la. The food was not too bad, pretty much like how their buffets are at non-Ramadhan times except a larger selections of curries. What I especially liked were the cheese-baked oysters.

My next buka puasa session is tonight at Seri Melayu so more to come!

Monday, 15 September 2008

Sanma season has begun!

This is the time of the year that my dad looks forward to. Sanma (saury fish) season. Only at this time of the year can you get fresh sanma fish. The rest of the year, it's frozen sanma that's defrosted and served to us.

The highlight of the fish is its belly which, when fresh, is slightly bitter-ish but leaves a lovely lingering taste in your mouth. I'm not a very big fan of the belly (it's an acquired taste) but Pa and Rommel enjoy it... A Lot.

Sanma is best served shioyaki-style, i.e. rubbed with sea salt and grilled to perfection. Drizzle some lemon juice on it and serve accompanied with good Japanese rice... and a bowl of miso soup would be nice too.

For this year's sanma season, we recommend going to Ninja Jones at Northpoint in Midvalley City. Although it's at only RM39 per fish (special offer, normal price RM55), the fish was grilled to perfection on the two times I had it this past weekend (Saturday lunch with the parents and Sunday lunch again with Rommel). So much so that Pa went again today (i.e. Monday).

Pa brought a couple of friends there for lunch today and found that they'd run out of sanma! He then told them to call up Yuzu, Ninja Jones' sister restaurant at the Gardens but they didn't have anymore to spare either. But, luckily the restaurant managed to get their supplier to rush over with a fresh supply so Pa managed to get his sanma fix for today. Hehe..

We usually have the sanma at Kampachi, Hotel Equatorial and this year, the fish is going for RM59 per fish. We haven't had time to try it yet but I'm certainly planning to. Maybe for tomorrow's lunch.... Yum.

P/S: Shen, thanks for the Misti Alpaca yarn!! (At least I think that's what you got me). And my baby blue 100% cashmere yarn arrived today! So soft!

The Other Boleyn Girl was nice! And we watched it in Gold Class in the Gardens and we were the only ones in the cinema! It's as if we booked out the whole cinema. Have I read the book before? Maybe I did which is why the movie was so familiar. Can't remember now. I must have read it ages ago!


Sunday, 14 September 2008

Kitty-mania = headache


No this is NOT about the white kitty whom I happily took photos of yesterday.

It's about the cats outside.

2 stray cats decided to have a fight in our garden early this morning. The two dum-dums woke me up at ~6.30am. ON A SUNDAY!

I looked out my window to see where they were (It sounded like they were just below my room really), but couldnt find them. I went downstairs, looked out all the windows on the front. Then I couldnt take it, I went outside to "hunt" for them. Ma and Pa had already left (some RCIA thing at IJ Convent Cheras today) so I also looked out from their window and Shen's window. After about 10 mins of hunting, I gave up cos I couldnt find them.

Later, while on the way for Mass, Evelyn said they'd actually started earlier in the morning but were at the back of the house (which would explain why I didnt hear it initially). She tried to shoo them away by throwing slippers at them. Ma and Pa tried shoo-ing them but it didn't work as well (and you know how cats know that Ma hates them and so they run away).

Sigh... at times like these I wish we had dogs. But then the neighbours dogs were all going mental as well cos they kept hearing the cats wail. At one point, it sounded like a baby was crying. Or someone mourning.... a long sad wail.

Whatever. I'm off to Gardens to catch a movie. Want to watch The Other Boleyn Girl.. And if it's boring, we're watching in Gold Class so that it's nice and comfy so I can sleep. Ta..

P/S: Shen if you want Sushi okay you can have it..... Want more hats too? Really easy to knit and done in just a few hours!

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Knit update: Current WIPs Sept 08

And now..... here are just some of my WIPs... mainly those I've not posted pictures of before.

First up is my crochet bag, made with Rowan Biggy yarn in a nice neutral beige. The body is all done but I can't decide what sort of handles would go with this. And also, since it's so simple (i.e. plain), I'm thinking of some embellishments... So until I make up my mind, it sits in my WIP basket.

And here is my Geometric shawl. A simple knit pattern using the Jaeger merino aran yarn I bought for S$7.50/ball in Golden Dragon, Singapore. And using Clover takumi 5mm bamboo circulars, also bought at GD.

I was in Sg Wang one day after work while waiting for the family to come pick me up for dinner. As always, I somehow got encouraged by the nice people at Jet Sun to purchase 4 balls of Katia Chantilly. Super super squishy and soft acrylic yarn, perfect for a baby blanket. I dont know who will be giving birth around the time when I finish this but I guess it'll go to whoever that person is!

And finally, my latest WIP. Jilly's stole. It's a bit too skinny for a shawl, but I dont want it to be a scarf so I figured that it's actually pretty flexible. You can use it as a light shawlette/wrap with a simple dress, or tied around the waist as a belt, or around the head as a headband type of thing. I dont know.

But my problem was that I only have 1 skein of this yarn - The Plucky Knitter's BFL superwash in.... Her Ladyship. I love the name! So this is now known as Her Ladyship stole. I just love the colours.... It looks better than in the pictures by the way.

A sneak peak at my next project? Possibly. Just bought these at Golden Dragon as well. 6 pretty balls. So pretty that I'm contented by just looking at them instead of knitting with them. So what should I make? I bought this with the intention of making a vest/tank top. Perhaps perhaps...

Knit FOs: The White Cat models

You may wonder if I really had that much free time today. Perhaps I did, but it was all taken in less than 5 mins.

Here is Kitty in my Carousel poncho:

And here it is in my Green Fairy shawl:

And yes I know that this is not Kitty. It's Shen modelling the scarf I knitted for cousin Melissa ages ago as she was going to the US to study. Now Mel's back and so we took a picture of it when we were in her house last month.

Simple fuzzy garter stitch scarf.... I cant remember the details (like what yarn etc) since I made it years ago.

* Foodie note: Shen's eating Melissa's "Nutella wantan" - deep fried wantan skins filled with Nutella. Is there any wonder why we never lose weight??

Knit FO: Sushi cap

Shen, remember the 3 skeins of super soft alpaca wool that we bought in Loop? The ones from Misti International? Well, I made the salmon pink skein into a nice warm cap. I later saw on a website that this colorway is called Sushi hence the name Sushi cap.

You can tell I had fun taking pictures of the white kitty.

Yarn: Misti Alpaca Chunky by Misti International in Sushi. (100% baby alpaca, 100g, 108 yds.)
Pattern: from my Chinese pattern book which I can't read and therefore can't provide details. Sorry!!

I still have about a quarter of a skein left after making this so am trying to decide what else I can make with the leftover. Suggestions?

Knit FO: Rommel's scarf

Shen, don't mind if I use your white kitty as my model for the next few posts. I felt it was kinda lonely, sitting all alone in your room so I brought it over to mine for a visit/photo shoot.

So anyway, here is Rommel's scarf. Completed, washed, blocked and ends weaved in. I used 4 balls of Rowan Luxury Cotton DK (50g, 95m/104 yds, 50% cotton, 45%viscose, 5% silk) on 5mm straight needles that came as part of my Cath Kidston knitting bag set.

The pattern in a simple stockingnette basketweave. I casted on 45 stitches and did 6 rows of moss stitch as a border. Then:

Row 1: K5 then *p5, k5* until the end.
Row 2: P5 then "k5, p5* until the end.
Row 3: K5 then *p5, k5* until the end.
Row 4: P5 then "k5, p5* until the end.
Row 5: K5 then *p5, k5* until the end.
Row 6: P5 then "k5, p5* until the end.
Row 7: K5 then *p5, k5* until the end.
Row 8: P5 then "k5, p5* until the end.
Row 9: K5 then *p5, k5* until the end.
Row 10: P5 then "k5, p5* until the end.

These 10 rows were the basis of the pattern and I continued until it was about the right length. This is followed by another 6 rows of moss stitch border.

A great simple knit, it felt really nice after it was washed and blocked. Now all we have to do is go somewhere cooler for a holiday so that Rommel can wear it!

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

The stars say I should spoil myself

Today's horoscope in the New Straits Times:

It is about time you spoil yourself as you tend to be a little too mean and strict with yourself. Spending money on oneself is a sign of having a positive and healthy self-esteem.

My interpretation: More yarn!!!!

Shen, I really wonder if my horoscope is indeed correct. Or maybe I really do have a positive and healthy self-esteem since I am always spoiling myself. Even better, I get others to spoil me! ( I hear Pa in my head going, "Hah! So that's what I'm for?")

But then again, all 3 of us siblings have mastered the art of shopping from Ma. You with your kimono stuff, Fatteh with his flashlights, me with my yarn. And Ma..... well, Ma buys everything and anything. She can shop anywhere (not an easy skill, I must add).

Oh speaking of Ma and her shopping, she bought a new LV bag again. This time it's called Halo Peach. The latest limited edition bag, blah blah blah. Found someone on ebay selling it for US$2295 but I assure you we didnt buy it for that much. The pictures can't do it justice, really. It's much nicer that the pics and the leather is oh-so-soft.

On the work front, I've been busy and so less time to knit. Traffic in the evenings are pretty clear by the time I leave the office (which is about 7-8pm these days), so I can't knit during traffic jams as I usually do. But, working the 12-14 hour days are starting to take its toll on me and so I have trouble waking up at 5.45am nowadays.

I managed to find time to scour Ravelry for lace shawl patterns. I've wound up my 1 skein of The Plucky Knitter's Her Ladyship as I plan to make a shawlette for Ji-Lian's birthday. Haven't taken a picture of the new Plucky yarns yet but this has really nice burgundy-reddish hues to it. Hopefully, I find a suitable pattern soon and start on it because I dont have that many days to finish it!

I'm also on the hunt for a crochet shorts pattern. Suennie bought a pair of Armani shorts that were crocheted and she loves it but says it's really pricey. So I've been given the task of either looking for a similar design or coming up with my own. Haven't found any patterns that resemble it yet so will attempt to create my own version of it.

So there, that's what I've been up to. Oh and I have been having this really annoying headache which keeps coming and going. (It's coming right now, I feel it... ow) Maybe I should go home early today? I don't know. I've been saying that for the past 3 days but still I leave at the usual time. Sigh...

Friday, 5 September 2008

SFX Family Day 2008

Okay I know this is way overdue. The SFX Family Day was held in July but somehow I never posted about it!

Here is "Kampung Maranatha" which is mom's theme for this year. Maranatha is a retreat house in Janda Baik which is maintained solely based on charity and fund-raising activities. Mom is part of the fund-raising committee and so every year at the SFX Family Day, they'll have a stall selling various items and food to raise funds.

In keeping with this year's kampung theme, we sold an assortment of kuih, rice, lemang, curries, rendang, sambal and veg etc. We even got Father Simon to fry the pisang goreng which were sold at for RM1 each.

In the next picture, Shen, myself and Evelyn are preparing his "cooking area".

Here I am getting ready to do my "rounds". We had so much mee siam left towards the end (people preferred the nasi lemak so that was sold out really quickly), so I had to take around a tray of it to try to sell. RM1 only a packet!

Amidst all the hustle and bustle, Rommel managed to get a shot of my dad slowly enjoying his mee soto.

And here is a pic of cousins Vanessa and Melissa.

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

More Plucky yarn on the way

My horoscope in the NST for today:
You have been very patient with saving money towards that one object you desire. Today, it will be difficult to control your impulses, so be aware that you may splurge your savings unless you keep a cool head.

And so, I splurged. Bad bad Ravelry. I knew there was a Plucky update on etsy over the weekend but was very disciplined to not check yesterday. Then I thought to myself this morning, "All the yarns would have been sold out by now so let's check." And I also checked on the Plucky forum on Ravelry to see what others had scored in the update.

Then I saw "light blue....... cashmere.... still on sale".

That didn't take much encouragement. How can I ever say no to cashmere?

So here's what I got:
2 skeins of Francie Stevens and 1 skein of Morticia.

Great birthday treat for myself! And am gonna use some of the birthday money I received yesterday so if anyone asks, that's where their money went! Thanks a bunch! Hehe..

An adventure in Phuket

Happy Merdeka!

I'm assuming you read my previous post on missing my flight to Phuket because of the protests and airport closure.

Since the parents, Fatteh and Rommel were already there, they went around shopping, getting massages and taking photos with baby tigers and elephants. (Shen I'll try and post a pic of the one where Pot is carrying the baby tiger. So cute - the tiger I mean.) Ma made 12 silk shirts while Fatteh and Pa made 6-7 cotton ones each.

And Fatteh tried out some guns at the shooting range. Rommel said that it was much pricier than in Ho Chi Minh City and the guns kinda sounded more like paintball guns than proper guns (as in it wasn't as loud as the ones we tried at HCMC).

On Sunday the rest of the family had to get a car from Phuket all the way to the border (7 hours, no joke!!), then cross the border on foot (imagine Ma dragging her LV luggage across like an immigrant!), then hail another taxi to take them to the Alor Star airport (half an hour away). They then flew back to KL from Alor Star and arrived just an hour earlier than they would have if they took the scheduled flight from Phuket.

In the mean time, I stayed at home, slept the Saturday afternoon away and was just too lazy to go out that night. Evelyn cooked up a simple meal for the 2 of us and we just watched loads of TV.

Sunday morning, I was woken up at 9am by the sound of fighter jets in the air. It doesn't help that we live near the Sg Besi airforce base so that's where all the jets take off from for the Merdeka celebrations. Couldn't sleep, so headed to Midvalley.

At MV, I headed straight for Bottles and Bottles to get some beer (20 bottles of Weihenstephan - a mix of the 3 types) and 6 bottles of Little Creatures Pale Ale (I just had to try it!). Chong, the owner of B&B was really nice and helped me take the stuff to my car.

In the afternoon, I made 2 types of tiramisu - one with Kahlua and one without alcohol. Also baked a cheesecake (first time trying!) and am really glad it had good feedback from everyone who tried it last night. Just needs a bit of refinement so will keep trying and the colleagues have volunteered to be my guinea pigs.

Yesterday was a busy day. Fatteh wanted to go karting so we picked Godbro Ian up from his place and headed for the Mofaz track in USJ. After a couple of rounds, we all got hungry and headed for the char siew place in Shah Alam which is a sister restaurant to the famous one in Tengkat Tung Shin. Got there just in time to order the last few pieces of char siew. Yumm...

Next we headed to the go-karting track at the Shah Alam stadium so that they could go on the 100cc karts. Apparently the Mofaz track had too many turns and not many straights so it wasn't worth taking the 100ccs on it. I didn't kart though, was not in the mood cos it was so hot. So I just sat around and started on a new project - a crocheted baby blanket.

Evening time: the party! We only invited family members and some close friends so it was a small do. Mom didn't tell anyone it was my birthday so that they didn't have to feel obliged to buy me a present. But of course the family knew and so I still got some presents!

So there, our weekend summarised.

P/S: Hi Chris, yes I should have just made a visit to Daddy's cellar and raided it. Then if he calls, I can go "*hic*... Hi Pa... *hic*... I'm not sure which bottle I had but it said something "Harlan" on it." Hehe... And I know where all the good wines are kept. ;)