Mum’s 70th Birthday Celebration

My mum celebrated her 70th birthday in KL this year.  My parents and younger brother, Roy arrived from Taiwan on Friday afternoon. They had earlier gone on a week-long cruise from Taiwan to Okinawa in Japan.  Thank God they survived a nauseous and choppy ride on board a cruise liner amidst Typhoon Meranti when she lashed out on Taiwan last week!  On Friday too, my elder brother and his family arrived from Singapore to join us in the 2-day celebration.

To be able to turn 70 and celebrate it with your spouse, children and grandchildren is a blessing from God and indeed an occasion that must be celebrated with grandeur.  I wish I can do that too when I roll into the big 70.

Hubs got mum a sumptuous black sesame chocolate cake from Les Deux Garcons.

The birthday dinner was held at Unique Seafood Restaurant, PJ.   Hubs booked a room with karaoke coz mum wanted to serenade and dance the whole night! Yep my mum and dad are still sizzling hot even in their 70s. They occasionally dance and sing all night long at parties.

Fresh blanched prawns was really succulent and juicy.

Braised house-made tofu with fish maw and seaweed.

Juicy Scottish clams / razor clams with garlic and glass noodles.

Patin fish caught from a river in Pahang.

The gourmand hubs bought this RM400 fish from his friend.  As the Patin was really huge, we had half the fish that night and brought the other half to our regular restaurant and had it steamed for lunch the next day.

Baked crabs with salted duck’s eggs.

Claypot crabs.

A birthday dinner will never be complete without the longevity noodles dish.

And steamed ‘sau thoe pau’ (pau in the shape of peach) which signifies longevity too.

May God bless my dad and mum with many, many more happy birthdays.

Dad and mum belting out and twisting to the tune of Gangnam Style by Psy. I never knew dad could twist like someone in his 20s though he’s already 73!!

Alycia and Cass made cards for their granny but Drama Queen who has a little Picasso in her decided to paint something  on canvas for her granny.  And I think her painting is just awesome! Oh, did I also mention that Drama Queen also baked an awesome strawberry gluten-free cake for her granny? I shall write about it in another post.

 

 

Cassandra’s 8th Birthday

On the eve of Cass’ 8th birthday on 8 April 2016, we had dinner of Italian food at a neighborhood cafe.  It was celebrated with the girls’ grand aunts, grand uncles and their little aunts and little uncles (hubby’s cousins).

It was a joint birthday celebration with R (Cass’ little uncle) from the UK.  R and Cass’ birthdays are in the same month and they both turn 8 in April.

Cass got a real BIG surprise from her daddy.  Her birthday gift from daddy was 2 big packs of the latest Shopkins — Cass’ latest obsession.  Her daddy bought the first pack from KLIA and the second pack from a toy shop at Bangsar Shopping Center.  Cass also received ang pows from her grand aunts and grand uncles.  I have never seen Cass so happy.

That night (eve of her birthday)…

Cass – mummy, this is the ultimate birthday celebration for me, the best ever for me. I got all that I wanted. I am so happy!

On Cass’ actual birthday on Saturday, 9th April, we had dinner at Koyaku Japanese restaurant @ Faber Tower.

 

 

As we were seated at the bar and open kitchen, I had a spectacular time watching with awe how the chefs rolled out a wide array of exotic and mouth-watering sushi swiftly and adeptly.  Their skills are really admirable. Within the 2 hours enjoying my dinner and observing the chefs intently, I have learned some sushi-making techniques as well.  After dinner at the Japanese restaurant, I felt really motivated to dig out our  Japanese bamboo mat to churn out some sushi for the girls. Well, I doubt my sushi will look as good.  The chefs make it look really easy to roll out different types of sushi but I know that when I try it out myself, it may turn disastrous. I had tried it once and I gave up.

See the Sakura sushi in pink below? It looks pretty easy to churn out by pressing all the ingredients together with a bamboo mat with a change in maneuvering the bamboo mat to make it into a triangular shape.  But then again, easy as it may look, it requires skill and lots of practice.

 

As always, I pray that God will continue to bless Cass with good health, happiness and wisdom. I pray that she will be 100% healed from her bladder issues soon.

 

Easter Sunday – 27 March 2016

Cass seems to have a thing for Easter Day. She’s really obsessed with those colorful Easter eggs. She used to make them in the toddlers Sunday School and still misses making them.

Cass has had a fun-filled and EggCiting Easter this year!  She got to do everything that she wanted to do on Easter this year 🙂

We almost missed Easter Service in church yesterday as I thought that there were 2 services – one at 9am and the other at 11am. When my friend replied my email at 8:45am to inform me that there was only 1 service at 9am, OMG, we rushed as if we were trying to catch a flight that’s about to board!!  Thank God for the smooth traffic and I sped like an F1 driver on Federal Highway 😀  Thank God, we were only slightly late, albeit having to walk quite a distance to the church (as all parking bays had been taken up by early birds) under the blazing El Nino heat.

My bad.

Above – Cass in church.

After church, we chilled out at Bangsar Shopping Centre. We were caught by surprise by an eggciting Easter celebration at the shopping centre.

Cass was really eggcited when she saw an Easter Bunny giving out chocolates!

We had lunch at Chilli’s…

 

No prize for guessing what’s next after lunch, eh?

We had dessert of rich cakes, tea and coffee at Just Heavenly. I felt really cloy as we had just finished a heavy lunch.

There was an Easter Day celebration activities for kids where FREE pop-corns and candy floss were given out. Other fun activities were egg painting and colorful sand painting.

Back home, Cass did Easter egg painting while her 2 che ches followed daddy to a basketball match, along with their two little uncles (8 and 9 years old) who  arrived from London a few days back. Later,  Cass cycled and then played football with her che ches and 2 little uncles at the pool area. She was totally knocked out by 8:30 pm and so was everyone. The weather was really hot and humid yesterday at 39 degrees Celcius and we finally succumbed to cooling off the living room area with the air-cond. Heck the RM600 electricity bill!  We just wanted some sanity and enjoy our Sunday at home! 😀

 

Eve And First Day of Year Of Monkey 2016

Eve of CNY dinner was at the girls’ grand uncle’s house as usual.  After a ‘big meat big fish’ dinner  (in Cantonese, it literally means a lavish dinner consisting of mainly meat and fish), which is customary of the Chinese, we had the usual ang pow giving and photography session.

Below – Cass receiving an ang pow from her favorite grand uncle.

On the first day of CNY, it is by custom meat-free for half a day.

My first assignment of the day was to tie knots on golden needle vegetables — a bowl full of ’em!

Golden needle vegetable is just one of the key ingredients in the ‘chai choy’ (Chinese vegetarian dish), traditionally eaten on the first day of Chinese New Year. It is not vegetable but is the edible species of a flower’s bud. It is called ‘gum jum choi’ (written as 金針菜 in Chinese), literally golden needle vegetable.

Below – the mil’s ‘chai choy’.  She woke up very early today to prep the ingredients. This dish is labour-intensive with lots of washing, chopping and of course frying it.  After prepping this, she went for her usual morning swim.  After her swim, she fried a big pot of ‘chai choy’, which would last us for 3 meals on the first day of CNY. We all had our brunch at 10:30am, which is a tradition of the family.

I’d like to wish all my Chinese readers and those celebrating this festival “Koong Hei Fatt Choy”, good health, good wealth and an abundance continuous flow of happiness all year round!

 

Last Day of 2015 & First Day of 2016

Our dinner on the last day of 2015 was at Super Tanker Restaurant with our regular group of friends. The wait for the food to arrive was incredibly long and by the time we finished eating, it was already 10ish pm.  Nonetheless, the food was superb as always. I did not snap pictures of the dishes except for this tiger prawn dish which was pretty fascinating. The  super huge size head of the prawn was pan-fried with Marmite and the prawn body was deliciously cooked in another style. Yums, so delish! I’ll bet this indulgence will move my cholesterol level up a few notches :O

 

After dinner, we adjourned to our friend’s newly moved in luxury condo at Five Stones @ SS2, PJ.

From the 29th floor of his unit, we counted down to the new year….

… and watched fireworks displays released from several locations in the Klang Valley.

We reached home at close  to 1am and by the time we took our showers, blew dried our hair and replied to our friends’ Whatsapp New Year greetings, we all went to bed at close to 2:30am!

Our initial plan for New Year’s day was to leave our house by 9:30am to drive in comfortably into Mid Valley Megamall to avoid the massive traffic jam but as I had expected, everyone was still sleeping like logs and nothing that I did could wake them up! We’ve all been going to bed way past 1am for the past one week. We changed our plan and went to Pavillion instead.

Pavillion was people congested as well. There were long queues at most of the restaurants. Hubs wanted to eat at Din Tai Fung but we were told to wait for 30 minutes. Fish! No thanks. So we went a few floors higher and found Village Duck Chinese restaurant, a restaurant that’s perpetually swarmed with patrons at the Bangsar Village outlet.  Thankfully, we got a table pretty fast.

Seafood fried rice, jelly fish and duck.

The porridge was glorious – came with big fresh scallops, big prawns, crab roe, fish, cuttlefish and yau tiu.

 

After lunch, we went shopping.  Cass waited patiently for her 2 persnickety sisters to choose their sneakers and read a Geronimo Stilton book to kill time.

So dainty and pretty but she should improve on the way she sits, haha!

I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all my dear readers a very fruitful and happy 2016. Stay fit and healthy 🙂

 

Hubby’s Birthday – 30 December 2015

Pix taken over dinner today at Koyaku Japanese Restaurant, to celebrate the man’s 44th birthday 🙂

The ume and strawberries steeped in alcohol in big transparent jars lining up the bar caught my attention. I casually mentioned to the hubby that I love drinking Umeshu and before I knew it, he ordered a glass for me. Half a small glass cost RM25!

The pictures are a tad yellowish and blur caused by the dim lightning at the restaurant.

Below – my light dinner today, after a week of meat-heavy meals.

Teppan salmon and a small glass of Umeshu on the rocks, shared with the hubby.

 

Below – Cass waiting impatiently for the food to arrive.

Below – veggie teppan and an assortment of sushi.

Below – tempura prawns for the birthday man, shared with his angels.

Below – super sized chawan mushi @ RM12 a big bowl. It comes with a medium-sized prawn, mini abalone, chicken slices and mushrooms. Very yummy!  And the drama queen sucking on sour lemon *face palm*!  LOL!!

Happy New Year’s Eve to all my dear readers! 🙂

It’s 12:20am now but I am still wide awake! But I’m going to drag my arse to the bed now. Gotta wake up early to go to JPN to get the big girl’s My Kad application done.  Nite nite world 🙂

 

 

Big Brother’s Birthday and Dong Zhi Dinner at Kok Thai Restaurant, Ipoh

We had big brother Ray’s birthday dinner cum Dong Zhi dinner at Restoran Kok Thai @ Ipoh Garden East on 22 December 2015.

Kok Thai is our most favored restaurant in good old Ipoh.  It’s just a stone’s throw away from my parents and the food is cheap, pretty, awesome (translated from Cantonese, i.e. pang leng cheng to English) ha!  Since aeons ago, we’ve had almost all our celebrations held at this restaurant.

 

Here’s the poof of my claim on how awesome the food is from Kok Thai. We ordered these dishes that night. Looking back at these pix now is already making my tummy growl. I’ve got to wait for another 3-4 hours before I can tuck into a nice BBQ X’mas Eve dinner, prepared by the hubby at the girls’ grand uncle’s house.

Below: 5-dish platter, which is my absolute favorite. Of all the 4 or 5 platter dishes that I had sampled, Kok Thai’s multi-dish platter is still the best, in terms of choice, taste and most importantly, price.  I just love the mock sharks fins omelette – it’s the tastiest ever!

Close-up of the yummy dishes for you to drool…

Second dish that came was deboned ‘loong tan’ fish (king grouper) steamed with Ipoh chee cheong fun. This is the restaurant’s new creation and I gotta say that the combination was per-fish! The fish was perfectly executed – texture was smooth and not tough. There wasn’t any tinge of fishy odor. The chee cheong fun texture was super smooth too. And the sauce was out of this world. I must  find the secret to making such lip-smacking fish sauce for my own home-cooked steamed fish! I never like to venture into steaming fish at home coz I can never seem to get rid of the fishy odor from the fish and coming up with the perfect sauce that goes with the fish.

Below: loh hon jai (vegetarian dish) and mutton in hot pot. YUMS!!

Below:  Kok Thai’s signature longevity noodles with shredded chicken, mushrooms and uncut kau choi (chives is called kau choi in Cantonese. It is an auspicious dish which signifies everlasting and longevity)

Dessert was mar thai kang (water chestnut sweet soup with gingko)

Ipoh is no doubt a food haven for foodies, next to Penang and Hong Kong. I am already missing these 3 places now that I am back in KL.   KL has the tastiest char-grilled char siew, siew yoke and pork noodles in the world, right smack in my neighborhood, which are even yummier than the char siew and siew yoke that I had tasted in New Zealand and Hong Kong. And I have already satiated my craving for them today for brunch 😀

Kok Thai Restaurant
No. 56-64, Lebuh Medan Ipoh,
Bandar Baru Medan Ipoh,
31400 Ipoh, Perak.
Telephone: 05-5468407 ; 05-5478581 ; 05-54569916

Happy Eve Of Christmas to all my dear readers.

Bless 🙂

 

Winter Solstice and Early X’mas Celebration In Ipoh – 21 & 22 December 2015

We went shopping for X’mas pressies on 21 December 2015 in Ipoh. Also got our girls their extra pairs of school shoes. Now, I’m going to have a problem lugging the bulky shoes back to KL tomorrow as we are taking the ETS (electric train service) without the hubs around to help me. I’m going to get the girls to carry their own shoes since they reassured me that they will lug them back to KL!

Lunch with my parents and younger brother at Seoul Garden, Jusco Kinta City…

Back home – mum, Sherilyn and Cass continued with round 2 of tang yuan making, which was to stuff the peanut, black sesame and mung bean filling into the dough before rolling them into balls.

 

Dinner was ‘ngar choi kai’ (bean sprouts chicken) and ‘kai see hor fun’ (shredded chicken flat rice noodles)…

 

22 December 2015…

My brother, SIL and niece from Singapore arrived in Ipoh by plane.  After picking them up from the airport, we went to a nearby coffee shop for Ipoh hawkers’ fare.

Back home, we had an early X’mas celebration and birthday cake cutting ceremony for my brother, Raymond.

 

 

Cempedak birthday cake from JJ Swissroll for my big bro, yummeh!

Next, we had tang yuan with red bean soup.

We’re off to a Chinese restaurant for a scrumptious family reunion dinner. For the Chinese, the Winter Solstice festival is more important than the Lunar New Year. Here’s a little history on why this is so…. During the Han Dynasty, the Chinese believed that after the solstice, days became longer and so did positive yang energy. Emperors and commoners alike would spend the day offering to the heaven and to deceased relatives. Today, many of the traditions continue.

I’d like to wish all my Chinese readers a very happy Dong Zhi festival 🙂

 

Precious Bonding Moments

Precious bonding moments pictures of the girls  with my parents and younger brother during my mum’s 69th birthday celebration in KL last week (18 – 20 September 2015)…

The girls played Monopoly with their koong koong for 3 hours on Sunday!  2 hours in the afternoon and 1 hour after we came back from dinner.

 

 

Cass with Roy kau fu (my younger brother)…

Koong koong brought them to the pool area to play  lantern on Saturday night…

Playing lantern by the pool – only a doting grandfather would do this at 10ish pm!

 

And accompanied the girls to Borders to shop for books …

 

 

Cass with her best buddy. That’s what she calls her granny and my mum calls Cass honey bunny 🙂

On the day that my parents were to return to Ipoh, Cass was in a very foul and crabby mood  in the morning as she dreaded the day that she had to bid goodbye to them.  She pleaded with her koong koong and granny not to go back to Ipoh.  She hugged her best buddy and refused to let go of her…

Till we meet again in November dearest papa and mummy. The girls and I can’t wait to see you and spend our holiday in Penang together again!  Cass is already counting down to the days 🙂 🙂

 

Mum’s Birthday Celebration At Hiong Kong Restaurant, Pudu Plaza

It would take other people three to four weeks’ advance booking to secure a table on a weekend and the order had to be placed at least three days prior to the actual meal, specifying the dishes and number of diners, so that the chef could shop accordingly. But for the hubs, he booked a table only a week prior to the dinner as he is a regular at this small-based restaurant. Plus he personally knows the owner of the restaurant.  Mum’s 69th birthday this year was celebrated at Hiong Kong Restaurant @ Pudu Plaza, KL.

This might sound like an exclusive restaurant in one of the city’s finer dining spots, but it wasn’t.  It was a most unlikely location, a small ‘tai chow’ stall located in the basement of a mall in Pudu Plaza, downtown Kuala Lumpur.  There are probably only about 10 tables (about 4 big tables only). Foodies have long known about Hiong Kong Restaurant and the chef who turns out dishes worthy of a five-star Chinese banquet hall.  Hubs had patronized this stall several times with his bunch of basketball mates but it was my first time there.

The first dish that arrived after a long wait was the yam basket lobster combination. It composes of a large lobster (meat steamed and mixed with salad sauce), deep fried yam basket, fried prawns, jelly fish, century eggs and various accompaniments. I noticed that the other 2 big tables also ordered the same dish.

 

Next was an exotic fried boneless ‘chicken’. It’s a combination of fish and chicken dish where the thin layer of meat is actually fish paste. The outer layer is crispy chicken skin.

Next was fish maw soup and sauteed Hong Kong ‘choy sum far’ (pictures not taken).

And the not to be missed Longevity Noodles.

 

Desserts were pretty unique. We had bubur cha cha boiled in whole coconut shell and cooked yam in a caramelised sugar shell.

The bubur cha cha sweetness was not overpowering like most ‘tong suis’ are. There were generous amounts of gingko nuts.

An unusual dessert of cooked yam in a caramelised sugar shell.

 

We were so full that we had to bring the birthday cake back and even planned to cut the cake the next day. But we went to the next venue – Les Deux Garcons to have coffee, tea and cake cutting session. Mum said that since everyone was around, she wanted a picture with her complete family, thus the cake was cut and everyone had a small slice of cake 🙂

HIONG KONG RESTAURANT
Hiong Kong Food Square, LC5
Lower Ground, Pudu Plaza
Jalan Landak
Pudu, Kuala Lumpur