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!
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. 😦
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.
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.
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! 🙂
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.
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? 🙂
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A breather from updating about Taiwan! Got a call from C over the weekend while I was still recuperating from staying up late gaming:
C: Ey woman, can help me paint my house?
C: Paint my house.
Me: Okay sure.
I find it rather funny that other girls usually ask their girlfriends to go out shopping on a weekend. I wouldn’t have it any other way though. 😀
C came to pick me up and we had a quick breakfast at a food court nearby. Dish of the day: curry chee cheong fun, ie flat rice noodles swimming in a spicy broth and topped with various fried/boiled items such as fishball, meatball, pig’s skin and fried beancurd.
Got to the apartment, which she rents out. She was planning to rent it out to a new set of tenants so we had to clean up the mess left behind by the previous ones – dirty walls with handprints, double sided sticky tape, nails, etc. My ‘job’ was to help repaint the rooms with a nice fresh coat of white. Sounds easier than it looks, but it was a good workout! Took us a few hours, the prospective tenants came to have a look; then we sat around watching some Chinese DVD on the TV. By then it was already 6pm so we went to hunt for food.
Ended up going for Japanese at Sushi Zanmai in IOI Mall, Puchong. This is my second visit here, and like before, business seemed to be booming, with a queue of patrons waiting to be seated. We got seats fairly quick. C ordered garlic fried rice, which was fragrant but rather tasteless. Like many Malaysians, she peppered it with a mad amount of wasabi lol.
I was in the mood for some cold noodles; so went for the tempura soba. A popular summer dish, these buckwheat noodles are bouncy with an al-dente texture, usually served with a small bowl of soy sauce broth.
This is how you eat it: pour in the spring onion/shredded daikon into your soysauce-y broth, grab some noodles, dunk them in, and slurp them from the bowl. Apparently you are also supposed to slurp all of the strands in one go, and make a loud noise while you’re at it. It’s ‘polite’. 😀 Culture is a strange (and fascinating) thing.
For the finale, we had a Sukiyaki (hotpot) to share. The sweet broth was loaded with vegetables, mushrooms and tofu. We waited for it to boil before adding in the thin slices of beef.
Fresh egg is whipped and used for ‘dipping’. Some might find the idea of eating raw egg with cooked meat weird, but trust me, it’s awesome. The egg gives it a silky smooth texture, and also helps in ‘cooling’ down the piping hot meat.
The meat was just the right thickness to cook quickly, and was well marinated: flavourful, juicy and tender on its own. Possibly one of the better hotpots out there. Although, for someone used to free flow, the few pieces of beef weren’t enough 😛
G18A, IOI Mall,
Batu 9 Jalan Puchong,
Bandar Puchong Jaya,
47170 Puchong, Selangor.
Business hours: 10am – 10pm (daily)
Previous blog post: Here
Hey guys! After all the reveling/partying over the holiday season, it’s time to get back to reality 😀 Here’s what I did on the last day of 2016. 🙂
Met up with Jo and Mabel for our New Year ‘countdown’! We had dinner at Super Kitchen Chilli Pan Mee in SS2. The place is famous for their chilli pan mee – thick hand-kneaded noodles topped with a sunny side up egg, fried onion shavings, chilli flakes, anchovies and minced meat.
Jo’s chilli pan mee.
I had the Hakka fried pork pan mee. The noodles were tossed in a savoury sauce, served with fried foochuk (beancurd) and slabs of meat. Wasn’t the best item they had, but decent tasting nonetheless. Especially liked the fried beancurd because it was crisp and crunchy without being too oily.
SUPER KITCHEN CHILLI PAN MEE (SS2 branch)
42, Jalan SS 2/10, SS 2, 47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Open daily: 9AM-10PM
Went to Snowflake dessert shop to kill time while we waited for our 10.30PM movie, The Great Wall, at Paradigm Mall Kelana Jaya.
Matcha (green tea) shaved ice with red beans, tapioca pearls and chewy sesame flavoured balls.
Kelana Jaya 2F-33, Level 2, Paradigm Mall, No. 1, Jalan SS7/26A, Petaling Jaya, 47301, Malaysia
Open daily: 10AM-10PM
How did you spend your New Year’s? 🙂
I had a big fight with my M on Saturday. The usual shit.
Didn’t feel like staying at home on Sunday, so I picked Evelyn up from her apartment and we went to her boss’ house to feed a fat cat. The name of the cat is Why Why…. appropriate, since I wanted to ask Why it was so unfriendly. Tried to scratch me when I put my hand out for it to smell…so I laid off any sort of petting. It then went to hide under the bed. Silly fat cat.
Headed to IKEA for lunch. Note to self: Never go to IKEA on a Sunday afternoon. Wasted a good half an hour circling the area looking for a spot, and a further half hour lining up to get our food, then another 15 minutes looking for a clean table.
We got loads of food though. Salmon Gravlax with baby potato salad, warm, hearty cups of cream of mushroom soup, buttery croissants, and soft rolls.
The gravlax got overwhelming salty after a bit, so it was good that there was bread so I could make it into a sandwich. The rest of the platter was delish – greens were fresh and crunchy.
Two girls can put that much away? Believe it.
Went to watch a Musical in KL (which I’ll blog about in another post), then headed for dinner at Taman Paramount in PJ. Evelyn is on a vegetarian diet, so she had the customary salad.
The meat eater in me wouldn’t abate, so Beef Don it was. The generous bowl was topped with purple cabbage, onions, tender teriyaki-drenched slices of meat, poached egg and pickled radishes.
19, Jalan 20/13, Taman Paramount,
46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
There was still room for sweets, so we went to the much hyped about Kaki-Gori, along the same row. Here, they serve giant Japanese shaved ice desserts, in flavours such as matcha with red bean, and roasted soy bean. It looks impossible to eat, but when you’re two girls with a tooth for sweets, the mountain of ice depletes pretty fast.
KAKI-GORI Japanese Shaved Ice Cafe
25, Jalan 20/13, Taman Paramount,
46300 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
Tue – Thu (1PM – 10PM), Fri (1PM – 11PM), Sat – Sun (1PM – 10PM)
Phone: 03-7865 8999
On a normal day, I wouldn’t buy anything from Typo (its a branded arts/crafts store) coz everything so bloody expensive, but Mabel and Jo got me a box of DIY Mini Dream Catchers as a birthday present recently, so thank you, guys! ❤ Had some free time over the weekend to assemble it…
The box said there were ‘instructions’ on the inside.. yeah right. They were basically useless and told me nothing about how to make anything beyond looping and tying random pieces of string on the hoops. I ended up looking for tutorials on Youtube. A useful one here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vmtkc7FOWLw
Anyway, there were two mini plastic hoops, some twine and smooth string, lace, decorative blue/white/teal feathers, and matching beads. Quality of the lace was the best; the feather tips were flaky and the bead openings weren’t complete – still had to poke a hard object through them to get the string through.
Tada! The web looked a little retarded coz the hoop was too small and I couldn’t follow the tutorial exactly, but hey, not bad for a first timer. Spent about four hours on it and felt a sense of accomplishment.
*While working on it, my mum comes into the room and was like ‘why spend so much time and money on making that? wouldn’t it be easier to buy it?’ lol, it’s not the same, mom..
The left is a store bought one, vs mine. I’ve run out of places to hang my stuff btw.
Also got this cute Totoro Powerbank from Carmen, Simon and Elyss, who treated me to a Korean BBQ meal.
A big thank you to everyone who has taken the time/effort to make my 26th birthday a special one. I appreciate every one of you. ❤
Hey, guys! I haven’t been blogging as often as I’d like to since starting my new job, coz travelling/work takes up most of my time – but I’m trying my best to squeeze in some blogging time. It’s 10.45 now, which leaves me about 15 minutes to write this before I hit the sack. I try to get 8 hours of sleep these days, or I feel really washed out in the morning…part of growing old. 😛
Speaking of old, I turned 26 recently. Yay, mid 20s….not. I don’t feel like a prune yet, but I don’t feel like a spring chicken either. Things really mellow down as you age. You might have had a lot of ‘friends’ in high school/college, but once you hit your mid 20s, the time you have for people just dwindles, and you’re left with the small circle that really counts.
I met up with my ex-UK flatmates Mabel and Jo, as well as another college friend HP at Sunway Pyramid for dinner recently. It was to celebrate my birthday/new job + HP’s farewell as she’s leaving for a work/travel holiday to New Zealand soon. It was so sweet of them to plan it, even on a Friday evening where they had to rush there from work.
All the restos were packed. Mabel suggested a Taiwanese resto called Fong Lye. Service was quick and efficient; while we waited for tables, we placed our orders and most of the food was ready by the time we got a seat.
Hot tea for two.
I had a craving for noodles, so I got the innards meesua. It’s good to have noodles on your birthday in Chinese culture, it represents long life 😛
Meesua came in a thick broth. The flavour was just so-so though. Too salty, and the intestines weren’t cleaned well and still had a gamey smell to it. The meal came served with ‘banchan’-like side dishes of marinated eggplant, a sweet potato ball and tofu.
Jo had rice with deep fried pork chop. The chop was marinated with namyue (fermented bean curd). It tasted weird to me xD
HP also had pork chop, but hers tasted better as it was cooked in a sweet sauce topped with fragrant sesame.
Mabel had dumplings and hot/sour soup. Dumpling skin was pretty thick and there was more chives > meat ratio. It tasted better with the soup.
The real winners of this meal are their snacks. The deep fried mushrooms were thick and chunky, seasoned with spiced powder. Crispy on the outside, but moist and juicy on the inside without being too oily.
Sweet potato balls were divine. Wish they had more, even though the serving was already pretty huge. Chewy and light, it had a porous texture with just the right amount of sweetness. Not too oily either.
FONG LYE TAIWANESE RESTAURANT (Non halal)
LG1.43A, Lower Ground 1, Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall,
No. 3, Jalan PJS 11/15, Bandar Sunway,
46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
Of course, everywhere we walked through the mall was held up by three people playing Pokemon Go.. myself included. Jo doesn’t play lol.
Dessert time was at Caffe Bene, a Korean bingsu (shaved ice) chain.
Pricey imo, and the texture of the shaved ice isnt really like the original bingsu, which is very soft and fluffy just like fine snow. This was chunky like our local ais kacang lol. The chocolate one was very sweet but it was offset by the ice. It was good for Instagram pictures though.
Would just like to say thank you to the girls for taking the time/trouble to celebrate my birthday with me. I got a neat present from them, but that’ll be for another post. Way past a 26-year-old’s bedtime. 😛
So my college friend Evelyn was in KL for a job interview recently. The last time we met was last September, so we met up for some catchup and dinner at IOI City Mall, Putrajaya.
After walking around for some time, we finally settled for Franco because they had vegetarian options (Evelyn is vegetarian). Now I can understand how difficult it is for vegetarians to find food, even in a big shopping mall!
Franco serves Japanese-French fusion food. Prices are pretty steep (RM20+ for mains) coz they offer ‘fine casual dining’. Okay, it’s not casual fine dining lol. They are actually better known for their desserts, such as their thick toasts and parfairs. The savoury menu is pretty limited.
Evelyn’s vegetarian pasta (RM28). While the portion was big and it was loaded with vegetables… RM28? Really? One can have a huge, meaty steak at Steak Shack with RM28. Tastewise, it was decent and felt healthy as it was tossed in olive oil, shimeji mushrooms, slices of cucumber and topped with poached egg, but pricewise, I don’t think it’s worth it to pay that much for vegetables. I could cook this myself for a fraction of the price.
My Carbonara pasta (also RM28) had an egg yolk, slices of chicken ham over a bed of pasta swimming in a light, creamy broth. The sauce was more liquid than solid, but it gave the dish a light feel (usually with cream-based pastas, you get full/tired of it really fast). Again, a lot of pasta, only a few slices of ham – not worth it.
Since the bill was already whopping with just the mains and drink, we decided to skip their famed desserts. Would not come to Franco again for the mains, and only if I had money to splurge.
LG-80C & 80D, Lower Ground Floor, IOI City Mall, Lebuh IRC, IOI Resort City, 62502 Putrajaya, Sepang.
Tel: +603 8959 3928
Second round of drinks – was feeling in the mood for some Thai iced milk tea. I love that stuff. Of course, it’s nothing like the authentic 20baht ones you get from streets in Thailand, but the ones from Cha Tra Mue are good enough.