I turned 25 two days ago.
What can I say? I’ve safely turned a quarter of a century: I’m a year older and (hopefully) a year wiser! It was also my first birthday at my new workplace. Since it was a working day, my boss kindly treated me to a nice meal at this chic container-concept Western cafe called Le Gardenz, near our office.
Situated in an industrial area surrounded by factories, I was honestly surprised to see this rather outlandish-looking structure in the middle of everything. Standing at several storeys high, parts of the restaurant were made up of containers which were installed with air conditioning. Visitors go up to the main dining area via a side steel(?) staircase, tastefully decorated with lots of plants. Very steampunk.
Entering feels like walking into someone’s well-maintained garden, with lots of greenery, flowers and shrubs. Cute decos abound everywhere. The kitchen and dining area was spread out across several different sections and can easily seat a few hundred guests.
One of the open-air kitchen areas. You can even watch the cooks in action if you want to
A London-inspired dining area, complete with a replica of a double decker bus (right), which was closed off to the public during lunch hour.
A seemingly random display of Megatron’s head. There was a giant robot structure in a corner which looked like it was still under construction.
It was hot outside, so we decided to pop into one of the air-conditioned dining rooms (a concrete one, not a container). This was European/Middle Ages themed with shields, a wooden and brick bar, wood furniture and accents, and oil paintings decorating the walls.
A cooling Green Tea Latte for a hot day. It wasn’t too sweet, which was good, but was rather clumpy at the bottom.
H had their grilled chicken chop. The serving was humongous – two giant pieces of tender, grilled chicken served with a choice of sauce (black pepper, mushroom), mixed vegetables and mashed potato. The chicken itself without the sauce was already flavorful as it had been marinated. Wasn’t overdone or undercooked.
You can build your own burgers by mixing and matching the ingredients, like this beef burger. I didn’t try this but according to colleague, the patty was burnt and dry.
There were many items on the menu and I was torn between getting a steak and a pasta. Ended up getting one of their house specialties, the Tom Yam Seafood Pasta (RM22), with a choice of either macaroni, spaghetti or linguine.
They were definitely not stingy with the portions – I’ve never eaten a seafood pasta at any cafe in Malaysia that gives you not two, or even three, but FOUR largish pieces of shrimp, two very sizable mussels, and loads of chopped squid. The tom yam sauce was sourish and creamy. It did taste salty halfway through, but otherwise it was pretty good. I couldn’t even finish it because there was so much.
Thank you awesome colleagues! It definitely made my birthday more memorable, even though I had to work OT in the evening. I spent Saturday hanging out with the family and we had another round of eating lol (it’s just this week of cheating, okay? .__.)
As I grow older, I’ve realised that family is what really matters. Last year, I spent my birthday working the entire day, because I left early in the morning and only got home after midnight (had an event). I remember feeling sad because I couldn’t even spend time having a simple meal with my parents. It was a lifestyle I chose, being a journalist, and I found that it wasn’t what I wanted, especially with my parents approaching their twilight years and not being in the best of health. I feel happier now even though the pay is lesser, coz I’m learning lots of new things and the people make it fun, and there’s more work-life balance. 🙂