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Merry Christmas!

Christmas has always been my favourite time of the year. Although I don’t celebrate it religiously, I just like the cheer and excitement that comes with the season – the beautiful Christmas decorations, the splendid feasts and festive dishes, the gifts and the gatherings.

The pandemic has certainly put a damper on things, as many people are unable to celebrate the holiday season with their loved ones due to safety/health concerns, work, or travel restrictions. I had been looking forward to my first proper Christmas with N, but since he’s still stuck in the Philippines, we have no choice but to be patient and hope things get better soon. The important thing is that we’re both healthy and safe.

While I wasn’t able to celebrate Christmas with the husband, I still got a bit of low-key celebrating in with a couple of friends. So here’s what I’ve been up to!

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I met up with some ex-colleagues for Christmas brunch, and bought them some pampering items from The Body Shop as gifts.

My office used to have a tradition where we’d all go for a Christmas dinner – usually a buffet at a hotel – where we’d eat and exchange gifts. It’s true what they say about not knowing what you’ve got till it’s gone – I never realised how much I’ve come to enjoy them. It feels a little weird that the company started off with 11 people this year… and now I’m left all by my lonesome. 😦

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More gifts, but for a different group of friends.
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Also took the chance to grab some pampering masks: ChrisZen was having a sale – only RM1 per mask!
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Also, finally managed to clear out the office a couple of days before Christmas. My ex-colleague was supposed to help before he left, but he dropped the ball so I was left to do all of it alone lol.

The main problem was the boxes of electronics and files I had to ship to our main office in Singapore. There were two huge Apple monitors, and I couldn’t find boxes that were big enough to fit them (lesson learned: NEVER throw away your original box). Custom-made boxes are expensive, and it would take time to make them to the required specifications.

In the end, my ex-designer was a lifesaver – she came to the office with two of her friends who do prop-making on the side. They basically cut and put together smaller boxes to make a big one so that the monitors would fit. They also helped to dismantle the wooden cupboard and shelves we had in the office, so I didn’t need to get a lorry service to cart them away. Thanks guys!

I still had to throw a lot of stuff away; 10 boxes of keychains, luggage tags, old magazines, cardboard boxes and stuff. I’m not young anymore so it was torture lugging all the stuff to the big dumpster outside the mall, four floors below. A good workout but my back was killing me for days after lol.

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Rewarded myself for all that hard work @KFry, 1Utama
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Met up with a high school friend, G, who’s back from Ipoh for the holidays. She has three adorable cats. They’re triplets, so they have the same orange and white pattern.

Cats are like people and have unique personalities: which is the case with these three. The oldest, Big Bean, is friendly, playful and affectionate; she loves pets and rubbing on your legs. The middle child, Zhong Fen (Mandarin for ‘centre parting’ – because she has a pattern in the middle of her forehead) is quiet, haughty and antisocial: she shot me a distrustful look when I put out my hand for her to sniff, then promptly turned around and showed me her butt. She also dislikes being manhandled, and protested loudly when my friend’s son tried to hug her.

The youngest, Small Bean, is calm and cool, and likes to observe. The first thing she did after being let out from her cage was jump on top of the fridge, so that she’d have a good view of the surroundings.

I think G’s doing an excellent job with her cats, despite being a first-time owner. They’re all fat, fluffy and clean.

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Zhong Fen
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“Gib pets”: Big Bean
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Christmas Day was spent playing with my DIY candle kit, which I ordered from Lazada. Now, I’m not very good with arts and crafts (or anything that requires working with my hands lol). But the process was actually fairly simple, and I’m happy with the result. Will detail this in a separate post! 🙂

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And finally, I met up with another friend, H, for lunch. It was good to catch up and walk around the mall. Felt almost normal again. The mall was surprisingly empty (we went to Sunway Velocity) – a far cry from how Pavilion KL was over the weekend. The crowd there was crazy. I think people aren’t even worrying about the pandemic anymore. You can’t blame the government when they announce 2,000+ cases if you’re not even practicing social distancing.

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H said: “You’ll probably laugh when you unwrap my present”. Sure enough, I did. It was just really funny that she gift wrapped the Super Rings But it was this simple gift and gesture that, to use the old-fashioned idiom, warmed the cockles of my heart.

So that was my Christmas! I initially wanted to bring a little festive cheer to the house by suggesting we get each other gifts, but was promptly shot down by the Moo. Not giving up though… there’s always next year.

How did you celebrate Christmas? 🙂

Yohoho!

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Celebrate the Festive Season at Hilton Kuala Lumpur With Scrumptious Feasts

Christmas is a time for friends and family – and although the pandemic might have changed the way we celebrate, that doesn’t mean we can’t keep the spirit alive, or show thoughtfulness, gratitude and love to the ones that matter in our lives. 

This festive season, Hilton Kuala Lumpur presents the Joy of Giving with heart-warming feasts and gift boxes. All of the festive menus are designed to be shared and savoured together – because more than the usual fixtures of the holiday season (delicious food, beautiful decorations, gifts) it’s the people you experience it with that make the occasion truly memorable.  

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Hilton KL’s Festive Gift Boxes make an ideal surprise for friends, family and business associates. Starting from RM180 nett, the gift box comes with delectable homemade treats like fruit cake, chocolate pralines, chocolate Santa, cookies and Stollen, alongside spa and F&B vouchers to complement the personalised touch. There is the option to takeaway and dine in the comfort of your home on selected items with Bring Hilton Home. 

For those who are able to travel and are keen on experiencing a Hilton Christmas first hand, Hilton KL will be hosting a 20-foot-tall Christmas tree at the Lobby, adorned with ribbons and ornaments to celebrate the festive season in style. Plenty of gastronomic pleasures also await, with a dedicated culinary team keen to bring to guests the world on a plate – all while keeping strictly to SOPs to ensure a safe dining experience. 

Christmas Lunch & Dinner at Vasco’s

Take your taste buds on a gastronomic journey with a curated selection of local and international feasts that celebrate the joyous season. Prepared by an award-winning culinary team, expect festive dishes that you won’t get at any other time of the year, such as Boston Lobster Mornay, Honey Glazed Spice Brined Roast Turkey with Cranberry Sauce and Grass-fed Australian Beef Sirloin Mini Steak. Other Christmas specialties to look forward to include Wagyu Beef Scotch Egg with Hollaindaise, Crisp Duck Leg Confit and Waffle with Mustard Maple Syrup, Salt-crusted Salmon Trout with Fennel, Signature Yule Log, Pan-fried Stolen with Berries and Homemade Blackcurrant Ice Cream and more. 

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The Christmas Eve Dinner Buffet on 24 December 2020 (6.30pm – 10.30pm) is priced at RM248 nett per person. Lunch and dinner buffets on Christmas Day are also available, priced at RM248 nett and RM228 nett per person, respectively.  

You can also usher in the New Year with a Seafood Galore buffet on New Year’s Eve, priced at RM248 nett per person, or enjoy lunch and dinner on New Year’s Day at RM228 and RM188 nett, respectively. 

Special London Duck at Chynna

Known as the ‘wagyu of duck’, the London Roast Duck was popularised by Cantonese immigrants to the UK, making a name for itself as an iconic dish of the city. The good news is you won’t have to travel all the way to London to get it, as celebrity Chef Lam Hock Hin works his culinary magic to present Chynna’s immaculate version; the duck’s smooth texture and succulent flesh sure to leave the most discerning appetites craving for more. In addition, diners can dig into his Cantonese-inspired turkey creations such as Pan-Fried Turkey Meat with Thyme Leaf, Turkey Dumpling with Black Truffle and Hot & Sour Soup with Shredded Turkey, which displays a masterful grasp of classic meets modern cooking. 

Chef Lam’s Special London Duck is available for order from 1 – 31 December 2020, from 12 to 2.30pm and 6 pm to 10.30pm. Price start from RM159. 

Grilled Festive Specialties at Chambers Grill 

Traditionally, meat is a quintessential part of many Christmas celebrations around the world. Chambers Grill’s Festive Carnivore Platter is sure to satisfy meat lovers, with highlights such as Monster “Bull Head” Steak, Lamb Cutlets, Black Angus Prime Rib Butterflied, Port Wine Braised Australian Beef Cheek and Turkey Roulade stuffed with Mushroom and Chestnuts. Plus, there’s a show-stopping Flambé Traditional Pudding with Brandy Sauce to cap off a convivial evening. 

The platter is good for three to four persons. It is available from 1 – 31 December from 6pm to 10.30pm, and is priced from RM800. 

Delectable Japanese Flavours at Iketeru

There’s no rule book that Christmas has to be about turkeys and log cakes – give your festive spirit a twist and experience authentic Japanese fare at Iketeru. Prepared with the freshest seasonal ingredients, Iketeru will serve two types of tantalizing 6-course menu, namely ‘Wafu Set’ and ‘Yofu Set’ to indulge the palates. Enjoy dishes like Smoked Duck Salad, Wagyu Beef Teppanyaki, Buri Teriyaki, Nigiri Sushi, Assorted Tempura and more. 

The festive set menu is available from 1 to 31 December 2020 from 12pm – 2.30pm, and 6pm – 10.30pm. Prices from RM360. 

Glorious Family-Style Feast at Graze

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Gather friends and family over a spread of rustic-themed epicurean delight at Graze on Christmas Day, as you exchange meaningful conversations (and presents!) with each other. The 12-course menu includes Freshly Shucked Irish Tragheanna Oyster, Tiger Prawn Cocktail, Chestnut Soup with Cranberry Cream Fraiche, Lobster Mornay with Truffle Fries and more. Cut through the meat and seafood with unlimited servings of Caesar Salad. Complete the experience with indulgent sweets and cheese like Hazelnut Mud Cake, Christmas pudding with Brandied Anglaise, Gorgonzola Blue Cheese, and French Brie Cheese served with dried fruits.

The Christmas Day Brunch is available from 11am – 2.30pm from RM268 per person.

Toast to Brilliant Beginnings at Aviary Bar 

Sidle up to Aviary Bar and revel in the year-end festivities with bespoke cocktails crafted by award-winning mixologists. Indulge in a ‘Ring the Bell’ cocktail (RM50 nett per glass), made with Glenlivet Founder’s Reserve and peach liquor, and for the non-alcoholic drinkers, there’s the ‘Peachy Santa’ mocktail (RM35 nett per glass) a bright and fruity concoction that adds festive cheer to any celebration. Guests can order these festive beverages at the bar from 1 to 31 December, from 12 pm to 10pm. 

A Sip of Joy at Oro Café 

Malaysia may not have winters, but the recent rainy season has been pretty cold. Warm up with some classic Christmas Eggnog at Oro Cafe, or order one of their signature concoctions like The Grinch Punch and Pomegranate Spiced Tea, for a burst of fragrant smells and flavours of exotic spices. Make a loved one’s day with a heartwarming takeaway gift box, and choose from either Santa’s Turkey Box which features Roast Turkey with a side of salads, baked vegetables, cranberry sauce and desserts or Festive Gift Boxes which comprise a medley of homemade pastry delights.  

Festive beverages are available from 1 – 31 December 2020 from 12pm – 10pm at RM35 nett per glass, while the Festive Gift and Takeaway Boxes are available from now until 31 December 2020 at RM180 nett. Festive Goodies are priced at RM40 nett. 

Festive Tea Time at The Lounge

Themed ‘Spirit of Joy’, The Lounge offers a high tea menu for guests to indulge themselves in food haven this holiday season. The Festive Afternoon High Tea Set includes a plethora of handcrafted desserts and savouries, including Turkey Cranberry Swiss Cheese Finger Sandwich, Chocolate & Cinnamon Orange Cake, Spiced Mango Éclair, Christmas Plum Pudding with Chocolate Raspberry Mousse and more, served with Pomegranate Spiced Tea. With a majestic view of KL city, this is a perfect opportunity for a glamorous and intimate tête-à-tête session alongside your friends or partner. 

The Festive High Tea is available from 1 to 31 December 2020, from 2.30pm – 5.30pm on weekdays and 12.30pm – 5.30pm on weekends, priced at RM250 nett for two persons. 

For enquiries or reservations, call +603 2264 2264, or email KULHI_CustomerServce@hilton.com, or visit http://www.eatdrinkhilton.com. 

*Photos courtesy of Hilton Kuala Lumpur.

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