Cassandra’s 6th Birthday – 9 April 2014

10 Thoughts

This year will be the final year Cass gets to celebrate her birthday in school with her classmates. When she goes to primary school next year, it is serious business, seriously no birthday celebrations in class, what more in a Chinese school. What to do, hubster is 101% resolute that all his kids MUST go to a Chinese school, haiz…

After a super hectic morning running errands and doing the laundry (had to wash everything that needed to be washed as today is the 2nd and last day of water-on day. Tomorrow and Friday are water-off days), I managed to collect the birthday cake from the bakery and zoomed to Cass’ kindie, reaching there at 9:40am, just on time to coincide with the recess break.

So here’s Cass’ selection. Whatcha think? Cute?  I don’t know what made her choose Snoopy. When the baker could not find a picture of Snoopy in her album, we asked her to choose other characters but she was downright steadfast and said she wanted no other but Snoopy. Whose stubborn character did she inherit, I wonder, hmmmm!


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After 15 minutes flipping through the baker’s album and not being to find a sample Snoopy character cake, the baker had to use her son’s iPad to Google for a picture of Snoopy and she chose a dancing Snoopy, which I find too cute. Snoopy the Beagle was once my favorite cartoon character too :)


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When the entire class sang Happy Birthday to her, Cass got a tad emotional and I think she almost wanted to shed one or two drops of happy tears…

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After school, I brought Cass to the Japanese restaurant at our condo and treated her to lunch.  She chose a potato salad, a cup of Chawan Mushi and a bowl of sweet tofu Udon, which were all her favorite Japanese food.   And I chose a grilled giant squid, which I could not finish and had to pack it back for Alycia to snack  on after she returned from school.
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The birthday girl rules.  Her wishes were my command today :D

I pray that God will bestow Cass with an abundance of good health, wisdom, happiness and a wonderful personality.



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On The Eve Of Turning Six

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Here’s my baby girl on the eve of turning 6.  Yes SIX finally!  God, please bless this very adorable fighter who is the light of my life.

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This afternoon after school, her daddy and I brought her to the bakery, for her to choose the design for her birthday cake. She requested for a birthday cake to bring to kindie to celebrate with her classmates tomorrow. Guess what cartoon character she chose? You would never have guessed. You may think it’s the latest Anna or Elsa from Frozen or Minion, Princess Sofia or Monster High but no no no… none of these. She did not even like Dora, Hello Kitty, Teletubies anymore!

After choosing the cake, we went to the coffee shop next door to have lunch.  And I think we will do lunch again with her tomorrow.  Just the three of us, as both her che che would be in school.

You’ll see the cake tomorrow… provided the bakery owner does a good job in drawing the character on the cake, hehe…


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Touch & Go Weekend in Ipoh

7 Thoughts

We went back to Ipoh for a short weekend stay yesterday.  Within 24 hours, we managed to celebrate my 21st birthday and brought the girls to the graveyard for Tomb Sweeping day early this morning… and of course got roasted under the ferocious sun when we reached the third and last tomb to pay respect to hubs’ late dad.  We  stayed in Ipoh for exactly 24 hours and much as we would like to stay longer, we had to rush back to KL early in the afternoon to beat the bumper-to-bumper crawl on the highway.  The girls week-long holiday has ended today.

Here’s my birthday cake from Ipoh’s well-known JJ Cakes and Swisssroll.  My dad got me my favorite cempedak flavor sponge cake. But we were all disappointed with the cake this year as the quality of the cake has dropped!  In the past, JJ’s swiss rolls and cakes had generous chunks of flavorful cempedak flesh.  This time, all we got was only cempedak paste which definitely lacked the cempedak oomph power.  I hope JJ polish up their recipe, or they will loose their long-time loyal customers.



Here’s my loving papa lighting up the candles on my birthday cake.   Moments like this is priceless. My dad is 71 this year and we only get to see my parents 3-4 times in a year. My girls love going back to Ipoh to bond and rekindle their love with koong koong and granny. I pray that my girls and I get to do this for many, many more years to come.

My baby girl surely knows how to capture my heart.  She knows that I love prawns and crabs but HATE the peeling job.  Since early this year, she has taken over my role and she told me that I do not have to do the prawn and crab shell peeling and cracking job anymore.  She does all the dirty job and then feeds the nicely peeled flesh into my mouth. These days, she will tell me “mummy, let me peel for you and feed you so that your hands will not be stinky”    When she’s good, she is no doubt a God-sent angel and definitely good enough to negate all her monster torment  on me!


Cass feeds me prawns


I was totally taken by surprise when I unwrapped a shoddily wrapped present (with exercise book papers LOL!) to find this hair clip.  My oddball Sherilyn made this for me using an old black hair clip with recycled bling bling flowers that she she has been collecting from dunno when!  But I love it for it was made with love.

Bday pressie fr Sher

It has been a very tiring weekend for me and I look forward to a new week. As usual, I always welcome back the new school term. Though sleeping hours will be lesser, it’s A OK. What’s more important are my ME TIME, my QUIET TIME, some kids-free sane moments to re-allign my state of mind  and I definitely need to reboot my daily morning exercise regimen again!

And I was just kidding. I ain’t no 18-22 or 21 anymore. Check out the  number of candles on my cake ;)

Have a great week ahead peeps! :)


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Sherilyn’s 9th Birthday Celebration With Her Besties

4 Thoughts

For weeks, Sherilyn’s bff, B has been persuading her to have a joint birthday party at the pool-side of our condo.   B’s birthday is on 15 February and Sherilyn’s on 16 February.  Sherilyn’s other buddy’s birthday is on 17 February. So the girls wanted to have a joint pool-side birthday party.

But I wasn’t keen at all to have a party at home. I do not have the time to plan the games, the invitation card, the RSVP, the food and most of all, I did not want to be held responsible for the lives of over 10 girls.  A pool-side party for kids is almost every child’s dream but the parents would have a very heavy responsibility to shoulder.  I have heard of kids drowning at swimming pools during parties and I never want this sort of thing to happen.  Plus, Sundays are no-maid days, so all the cleaning up will be upon me. So no pool-side party or party at home.

We settled for a birthday lunch for Sherilyn and her 3 besties at iCook Italian Gastronomia @ Plaza Damas.  After the Italian lunch, we went home to have the cake-cutting session.

Here’s Sherilyn with B, her bff since pre-school days…

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We told the girls not to undress yet but the girls were all too excited to head to the pool and the minute we reached home, they all changed into their swimming attire.  So the girls were all dressed in swimming suit during the cake-cutting session…

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It ain’t no joke having to watch 4 hyper active 8-9YO girls swim.  Hubs and I reminded each other not to have our eyes glued to the phone but glued to the girls instead. We took turns doing head-counting.

Though yesterday was a partially cloudy day, the noon was scorching hot.  And despite sitting under the gazebo watching the girls swim and play, I was drenched in sweat in the 38 degrees Celcius heat, as if I was in a sauna.  For 1.5 freaking long hours!

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After swimming, the girls went up to shower, then came down to the pool side to have sushi, ordered from the Japanese restaurant at our condo. They also cycled and played tricycle before the party ended.  At night, Sherilyn called B to continue chit-chatting.  These 2 girls are only 9YO and they are already behaving like they are teens!  After the party ended, I had to wash 2 loads of towels, bathrobes and clothes and clean up the mess the girls created at home and in the bathroom.  Sherilyn was one very, very happy camper yesterday and that’s all that matters :)


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A Glimpse of Chinese New Year 2014

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On the second day of CNY 2014, which was a Saturday, we took the 9am ETS (Electric Train Service) from KL to Ipoh. I woke up at 4:45am to get the girls ready and the taxi came at 8:30am to fetch us to KL Sentral to catch the train. So glad we were not late! We still had time to pack McD to eat on the train.

The ETS’ timing was impeccable and we reached Ipoh at 11:30am sharp. I reached my parents just in time to meet all my aunts, uncles and cousins from my dad’s side. After a gathering and photo session at home, we adjourned to Kok Thai Restaurant for a reunion lunch.  The below dish, which is the Four Seasons is my all-time favorite dish.  All the dishes that my dad ordered were scrumptious!

CNY dishes


On the for fourth day of CNY, we took the ETS back to KL.  This time, we almost missed the 10am train, no thanks to the 2 Miss Dilly Dally. We hopped onto the ETS just in the nick of time.  As we were running to Coach F, which was almost  at the very end of the train station, we could hear the train engine huffing and puffing, all set to choo choo away.  Gawd, with heavy bags all lugged on our shoulders, we ran as fast as our legs could possibly lift and the moment we hopped onto the coach and found our seats, the train started to move, phew!  But know what?  My almost 70-year old mum, who is a Facebook addict, was so agile that she managed to hop into the train with us to quickly snap our pix before hopping out of the train ahahaha!


Phew, almost missed the train! *cold and hot sweat dribbling down our foreheads!*


This was our brunch on the fifth day of CNY, which is today, at Han Room @ Gardens.

The lap mei farn was delish, albeit not the healthiest of choice.
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We have been having loh sang almost everyday. The stir-fried baby french beans with salted duck’s egg from YMCA restaurant in Ipoh was super delish! It was my first time eating french beans cooked in this style.

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After brunch at Han Room today, we walked around Gardens to do some CNY photography.  The decor at Gardens is very impressive this year.

On a side note, the chilly weather forecast for this CNY is darn inaccurate. It’s been prickling hot (so hot that I can feel the sun rays pierce through my skin!) and dry this CNY, with temperature rising up to 36 degrees Celsius or even higher!

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Tomorrow school will re-open and we will be back to the grind. My pre-dawn morning jog will resume again tomorrow.  But I needn’t have to exert extra hard as I have been good throughout and did not binge at all, despite being back at the hawker’s haven in Ipoh :)


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Chinese New Year 2014

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We broke our tradition for CNY this year. Every year if the MIL is here, she would cook ‘jai’ (vegetarian food) on the first day of CNY. There would be a stir-fried vegetarian vermicelli and a  ‘jai’ dish (dish made up of Chinese cabbage, wood fungus, mushrooms, golden needle mushrooms, glass noodles and fermented red soy bean). This year, we did not have all these but spent our ‘chor 1′ at the mall… and had Japanese food :D

Our brunch at Yuzu Japanese restaurant.

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I wanted to take a picture of my Charlie’s Angels in red but Alycia the camera-shy one just refused to have her picture taken! I managed to steal a picture of them whilst they were playing…

… and stole this candid snapshot when she was caught off-guard haha!

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We had sashimi, udon, cold soba…

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… and a steamed beef dish on a wooden crate.  Beneath the wooden crate are some lemon slices, which impart a zesty aroma onto the plain beef, when steamed.   Under the beef slices is a bed of cabbage. The beef slices are to be dipped into a bowl of specially prepared sauce before serving.  This is a simple yet unique way to serve beef.  Beef lovers who love the natural taste of beef would like this dish. I did not quite like it as the beef had a strong smoky taste, imparted from the wooden crate.

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Sukiyaki has always been one of my favorite Japanese dishes as I prefer food that is non-oily and non-fried.  Check out the Kobe beef slices in the pot of delish soup, yummeh!

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After lunch, the foodie hubs brought the girls and the mil to Espresso Lab to enjoy their favorite cuppa coffee and his favorite Milicrepe cakes.  I almost wanted to puke when he suggested cakes and coffee but to this foodie, being able to enjoy good food is orgasmic to him :P   As usual, while they stuffed themselves even fuller, I did the activity that gives me the most pleasure – my 2-in-1 hobby of retail-therapy cum exercise :D

Oh yes, did you know that shopping can help you burn quite a bit of calories?

Check this chart:

Estimated Energy Burned

for a 160.0 lb person
Light Activity


5 Minutes 15 calories
10 Minutes 29 calories
15 Minutes 44 calories
30 Minutes 88 calories
1 Hour 175 calories
2 Hours 351 calories
3 Hours 526 calories
4 Hours 701 calories

I think I burned all the calories from the cookies that I ate on ‘Chor 1′ after my 2-hour shopping marathon!

Here’s wishing all my readers a year full of high horse power and a very happy neigh neigh year! May you succeed in everything that you undertake and may you gallop away with lots of good fortune!


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Chinese New Year Shopping… Again

4 Thoughts

This morning, after sending my car for a wash, hubs and I went to do our CNY shopping at a nearby mini mart. I love shopping at this mini mart as it carries a wide variety of fresh produce, organic food stuff and Japanese food stuff. Prices  are reasonable and the fresh produce as well as dairy products are fresh.

Here’s part of our loot in the car – total of 9 boxes of ‘gold’ (Mandarin oranges)

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Part of our loot at the check-out counter…

The oranges in the rectangular box are from Japan and they are so joyfully sweet and juicy! The best that I’ve ever tasted thus far.  But a bit pricey at RM64.88 a box for 12 oranges.  Whatcha expect, flown in from Japan what. But it’s OK la, we only eat this once a year.

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Mandarin oranges and fresh fruits galore. So many to choose from, I so wanted to buy all the fruits there!!  I LOVE fruits and can survive on a fruits, veggies, nuts and eggs diet. One day, I’ll turn into an ovo-lacto vegetarian (vegan who eats eggs and dairy products), yes I will! Lately, I am cutting down on meat quite a bit.

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These pretty big apples printed with auspicious Chinese meanings caught my eyes and I bought some to be given away to the girls’ teachers.   They are sold at RM10 for two.

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CNY is the best time to reap some quick big profits for shopping malls and supermarkets while it is the worst time for us consumers. Many of us are still recovering and reeling from the year-end celebrations and back-to-school expenses and now, money is flying out again inevitably! Hopefully the God of Prosperity will pay us a visit this year and reward us with a big bonus! I promise I’ll do good, lots of good deeds :D

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New Year’s Eve & Happy 2014

7 Thoughts

Though I had a very turbulent time in 2013, I must say that the last few days of 2013 were one of my best for the year.  I’ve had innumerable depressing days contributed by the kids, online business and family matters but I’m glad that I managed to surmount them all and my head was above the water during these turbulent times.  Patience and acceptance of fact are the key to happiness.  Though many of the problems seem to be dormant and subdued now, I know that they will erupt again, without warning. But since I have handled them countless of times, I think I should be able to deal with them as and when they spew out again :D

On New Year’s Eve, we checked into Best Western Dua Sentral Hotel with our gang of friends.  Upon check-in, the kids could not wait to join their friends to have some splashing good time in the pool.


After a dip in the pool and a shower, we went to Unique Seafood Restaurant to have dinner.

With good food, good wine and good friends around us, what more can we ask for on the last day of the year?

I love the grilled squids and that plate cost us a frigging RM80!  Abuden, but it was New Year’s Eve, so just whack only la and recover later, haha!

The total damage for this seafood dinner was about RM2,400 for 12 adults and 8 kids.

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We ordered crabs cooked in 3 delish styles — spring onions and ginger, sweet and sour and salted duck’s eggs.  I like the duck’s eggs one the best and it’s the most fattening one too o_O   The surprising thing about this holiday is that though I had indulged in so much sinful grub and slackened in my exercise so badly, my weight remains unchanged!! :D

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After a scrumptious seafood dinner at Unique, we went back to the hotel to count down, with more wine.  From our room, we could watch fireworks display at the stroke of midnight from various spots.  For over 10 years, this same group of friends and us would count down and celebrate the New Year together.  Before we all had kids, we used to  celebrate in pubs and discos. Now that most of us have kids, we would count down at either our condo or at a hotel.

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After breakfast at the hotel on 1.1.2014, the kids headed for the pool again.  What’s the best thing about a holiday to the kids? The pool of course, and nothing else! They were not even hungry when they were in the pool, though it was way past their meal times.

Hubs and I were too lazy to get wet in the pool and shower again, so we got J, who is still a bachelor and with a girlfriend, to babysit Cass in the pool haha!  He passed with flying colors we told him :D   While J entertained Cass and the kids played among themselves, we adults sipped coffee and juices by the pool.
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Awesome view of the KL skyline from the 6th floor of the hotel…

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And the hardest part about a holiday with this group of friends is to get the kids to get out from the pool!!  They seem to have selective hearing and no matter how many times we hollered “last 5 minutes kids”, no one seemed to have heard us!
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After checking out from the hotel, hubs brought us to China Town (Petaling Street) to hunt for street food. I almost wanted to strangle him for making me walk for almost an hour under the hot sun, looking for street food on a scorching hot sweltering day, aaargh!  Didn’t he even know that his wife is allergic to the sun meh?? Abuden, couldn’t strangle him nor complain too loudly, lest I appear like a spoilt brat in front of our friends muahahaha!

First stop was at this unassuming and dilapidated stall that sells pretty good chee cheong fun.  We had to sit on filthy chairs with sticky stained tables to eat. Some of us had to sit on an old wooden structure (as shown in below pic) to eat.  The stall is located opposite the famous Air Mata Kuching stall and a stall that sells Hello Kitty merchandise.  And our final stop was at  Nam Heong chicken rice — finally a place with air cond to cool me down!   The hubs had wanted to bring us for beef noodles but the stall was closed so we had to walk all the way back to where we were from under the HOT SUN!
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That was how we spent our New Year’s Eve and first day of 2014.  The kids enjoyed themselves to the max this school holidays. I am so glad that we are back to reality and back to the grind.    Holiday = money.  Oh yes, he also spent a few thousand bucks for the girls’ return-to-school fees and expenses as well as the usual monthly tuition fees and all that jazz in the first week of the new year.  Hubs needs to recoup all that was spent.  This year, hubs is planning for an overseas trip in November 2014!  I’ll see if this materializes…


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Dong Zhi Festival 2013 In Ipoh

6 Thoughts

The girls woke up very early this morning, despite hitting the sack past midnight last night. They were looking forward to follow koong koong and granny to the wet market @ Kg. Simee. Though the wet market has never been a place that I like to go to, I want my kids to get used to going to and to get used to eating at such places. Surprisingly, my 3 fussy city gals did not complain a wee bit! Not even when we passed by the stinky and wet section where raw chicken and fresh seafood were sold. After doing our marketing, I brought the girls to our regular hair salon to have their no-frills cheap and good hair cut, which cost me only RM22 for their hair-cuts :D

We had breakfast at a popular fishball noodles stall and had to wait for a long time to be served. After breakfast, we bought some fruits, snacks and tong yuen / tang yuan dough.  It is very rare that the girls get to celebrate Dong Zhi in Ipoh with my parents. This is the second time that they get to do so :)

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Check out Sherilyn and Cass with some life chickens in coops, waiting to be slaughtered.  Poor birdies :(

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We had dinner at Kok Thai restaurant tonight. Actually, we did not know that this year’s Dong Zhi festival falls on 21st of December.  Normally, it falls on 22nd December, which is my eldest brother’s birthday. I only found out that Dong Zhi 2013 is celebrated today (21st Dec 2013) in Facebook at around noon.  As my dad was busy cooking kaya (coconut jam) the whole afternoon and did not have the time to cook up a feast for us, we ate out.  Also, I spent the entire afternoon with Alycia at a shopping mall and was her Santarina, buying her shoes, swimsuit, clothes and books.  She felt so loved and special.

Here’s wishing all my friends and blog readers a very happy Dong Zhi festival!  Did you indulge in tang yuan this year?  We will only have our tang yuan and home-cooked feast tomorrow :)


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Dad’s 70th Birthday Celebration

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The girls had a great time bonding with their youngest cousin, Raelyne when we were in Ipoh last weekend to celebrate my dad’s 70th birthday. Raelyne is my eldest brother’s only daughter. They live in Singapore.

Cass used to be the youngest and most pampered member in the family but this ‘baby position’ has since been filled by Raelyne.  Everyone is now focusing their attention on Raelyne but Cass is not the wee bit jealous. In fact, Cass is smitten with Raelyne!

During a girls’ play that turned a tad rowdy last week, the baby safety gate at the stairs gave way and it collapsed!  It landed on Sherilyn and Raelyne and all hell broke lose.  Baby Raelyne was wailing on top of her lungs, both from pain and shock.  There was a bump on her forehead. I quickly wrapped some ice cubes in a hanky and asked my brother to rub it on Raelyne’s bump but she was wailing, struggling and pushing the ice wrap away from her daddy.  Having had handled 3 very difficult blubbers myself, I took the ice-wrapped hanky away from my brother and asked Cass to rub it on Raelyn’s forehead and voila, she immediately stopped wailing and calmed down!  I then brought the 2 girls to the sofa and asked Raelyn to lie down on Cass’ lap so that Cass could massage her forehead with the ice-wrapped hanky.  Raelyne obediently listened to me and even posed for me to take a pot shot of them haha! Thankfully, the swell on the forehead soon eased off :)

On the day of my dad’s birthday dinner, we made an impromptu decision to have a family portrait taken at a nearby studio. After the shot, the photographer managed to sweet talk us into taking individual family portraits and then sweet talked us into taking a picture of just the 4 girls! He was such a smooth talker and all of us ‘succumbed’ to this dude with a smooth tongue.

This is one of the studio photos of the 4 princesses, copied from my  mum’s Facebook album. It is a tad blur here as she scanned the original picture on her printer before reposting it to her Facebook page. My mum is getting more and more IT savvy these days.  She even has a Blackberry mobile phone now to Whatsapp us as well as to take pictures and posting them to Facebook!

Dad’s dinner was held at one of the oldest and most popular restaurants in Ipoh – Mun Choong.   If you are in Ipoh and want to dine at Mun Choong on a walk-in basis, you will be rest assured to be either in a long waiting list or be turned down of a table. Even if you do get a table, be prepared to wait till you snooze off before the food arrives!

Here’s what we had….

The first dish was everyone’s favorite – a Four Seasons Platter that cost  RM350 and this platter of starters was enough to fill my small tummy 50%!

Suckling baby oink oink, which pleased all corners except moi.  For the umpteenth time, I had refrained from eating those poor fellas.

A combo of stir-fried and deep fried kailan with brocolli and mushrooms.

My dad had intended to order the restaurant’s signature pan-fried prawns with soy sauce (which is the best dish at the restaurant, bar none) but all the prawns had been fully booked even weeks before the other customers’ dinner at the restaurant!  So we had to settle for a lobster dish, which was just as lip-smacking. It was so delish that even every single strand of Chinese cabbage on the plate was polished off.  We will definitely order this dish again and the next time we dine there, we have to get the perennial prawn dish!

Steamed Soon Hock fish. The texture of the meat was absolutely perfect and tender and not overly steamed, like some restaurants would normally flaw at. An overly steamed Soon Hock would result in the flesh being too tough and rubbery.

Longevity Noodles..


There were also a peach ‘pau’ birthday auspicious platter (with baby ‘paus’ inside the big ‘pau) that arrived first and a ‘tong yuen’ ginger sweet soup  but they were not photographed.

My dad’s fresh and delish cempedak birthday cake from the famous JJ Cakes & Swissrolls.  Though everyone was already burping and probably letting out gas from the other tract from over eating the sumptuous food, we were still seduced by our all-time favorite cempedak sponge cake with thick layers of fresh cempedak pulp between the sponge cakes. For me, I have always had a very delightful affair with JJ’s cempedak swiss rolls. I can always indulge in JJ’s fruity swiss rolls and sponge cakes with less guilt as compared to other calorie laden butter cakes and chocolate cakes.

Though the bill was slightly over a thousand bucks, it was a bang for our bucks as we all enjoyed the food very much. With good food and good company, it was the reunion of the year.  Everyone was happy.

I would like to wish my dad a very, very happy and blessed 70th birthday and may God bless this very kind and generous man with many, many more happy birthdays. His actual birthday falls on the 19th of August. (Views counter installed wef 20 Nov 2013. No. of times viewed = 128)