Trip Back To Ipoh (18 Oct 2017)

I got up at 4:45 a.m. on a very lovely Wednesday today. We have a mission and that’s to reach the KL Sentral station by 8 a.m. to have breakfast before catching the 8:30 a.m. ETS to Ipoh.

After 2 rounds of laundry and some house chores, I woke the girls up to get them ready.

I could not resist the magnificent colors of sun rise splashed on the sky and snapped a couple of pix. Can you spot the crescent moon and star? The moon and star are aligned beautifully for us today.

 

Thank God we were on time and managed to hop onto the train at 8:28 a.m.  The train departed at 8:30 a.m. on the dot.

We were warmly greeted  by my dearest papa and mummy who were already at the train station half an hour before we arrived.

My papa took us to Thean Chun @ Ipoh Old Town for lunch.  This part of Ipoh is the most popular place in Ipoh where tourists and locals flock to savour the best ‘ngar choi kai’ (bean sprout chicken) in the world.  Bean sprouts from Ipoh are the crunchiest, freshest, fattest and juiciest in the world.


Beef balls, beef belly with radish, satay, ‘kai si hor fun’, bean sprouts…

 


Wanton mee with chicken fillet (best in the world!) and ‘sui kow’ (meat dumplings).

Beads of sweat were dripping down our head and body while we tucked into our piping hot bowls of ‘kai si hor fun’.  The weather today has been scorching hot and the sea of people at the coffee shop and the entire stretch of road made me dizzy. It’s definitely not a good idea to visit this place during public holidays.

After a satisfying and sweaty lunch, we adjourned to Concubine Lane, located just opposite Thean Chun coffee shop. It was our first time visiting this  tourist hot spot.

Concubine Lane on Lorong Panglima is known to locals as ‘Yi Lai Hong’. Rich Chinese tycoons in the past were known to have kept their mistresses on this lane.

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Concubine Lane is a 120-year old lane in Ipoh Old Town. It is part of Ipoh Heritage and one of the icons in Ipoh. Concubine Lane is most vibrant on weekends and public holidays where many pop-up stalls sell souvenirs, candies, desserts, refreshing drinks, toys, handmade crafts, etc.

Below – Drama Queen shopping for souvenirs of cute pencil cases for her school’s upcoming canteen day.

Below – dream come true for Drama Queen and Cass when they came across a stall selling DIY dream catchers.

Below – the ever indulgent koong koong bought these fruit popsicles for his precious grand daughters. At RM8 each, these ice fruit popsicles sure don’t come cheap.

Below – I spotted this concubine wannabe walking down the Concubine Lane.

Below – Cass and Drama Queen checking out drinks packaged in light bulb bottles. And no, I did not succumb to Cass’s plead to me to buy her one bottle to try.

 

Our 2nd Day Of Hari Raya 2017

On the second day of Hari Raya, we left our house very early in the morning, so that we could avert the horrendous traffic jam leading to Sunway Pyramid and easily get a parking spot at the car park. During weekends and public holidays, it’s quite a feat to inch your way into Sunway Pyramid and if you’re lucky, get a spot to park.

We reached the mall at 9-ish a.m.  Our friends were already there and their kids were already skating.

When our girls first went into the skating rink, they had totally lost touch of their ability to ice-skate. The last time that they went ice-skating was 3 years ago in Auckland, New Zealand.  It was in Auckland that our girls learned ice-skating.

For a start, the girls had to hold on to the side railings to walk. 

After about 5 rounds walking round the rink holding on to the side rails, they managed to walk on ice without holding on to anything. But they weren’t gliding and skating just yet. The big girl found ice-skating to be such a bore, haha!

Cass was lucky as she got free lessons from strangers at the rink!  She was a happy camper when she could finally walk on ice unassisted! Cass was very enthusiastic right from the start. She loves sports of all kinds. She watched in awe a group of young Malaysian team figure skaters strut their stuff while practising her own walk-on-ice.  I’m pretty sure that with another session, the girls will be able to glide on ice and do the real thing.  IF only Sunway Pyramid were nearer to where we stay, I would have sent Cass and Drama Queen for lessons as they love ice-skating.  I find it very therapeutic to watch those little kids as young as 4 years old skate so well during their lessons.  But it’s a pain to drive to and fro the mall and then drive round the mall to find a place to park. That in itself takes up 1.5 hours.

After 3 hours of ice-skating, we had McDonald’s ice-cream and Tokyo Secret cheese tarts and then adjourned to have lunch of curry noodles and chicken rice at a restaurant in Happy Garden.

After a long and leisurely lunch, the whole jingbang arrived at our condo for swimming, table tennis and basketball.


Cass with her favorite uncle Kevin


The gang of 6 kids playing basketball at the court.

Dinner was at New Sek Yuen Restaurant @ Pudu.  No pictures were taken as I found it too much of a fag to aim and shoot when everyone else looked impatient, waiting to dig into the dishes 😀

It was another long day for us and we only reached home way past 10 p.m. Thank goodness the hubs didn’t plan any activity for the next day as all I wanted to do was to sleep in, saunter around at home and complete some chores.

 

New Year’ Eve and Happy 2017

Our New Year’s Eve on 31.12.2016 was a peaceful and quiet one at our cozy home, unlike previous years where we would either be counting down in a hotel or be gallivanting  the streets of Bukit Bintang joining other rowdy revelers. Our girls and I prefer a quiet New Year’s Eve where we could watch fireworks display from KLCC, Mid Valley and other parts of KL at the comforts of our own home in our jammies.  Two families from our usual group of friends had some emergencies at home, thus we didn’t have our usual New Year’s Eve count down. Nonetheless, we had a sumptuous lunch at Overseas Restaurant, Jalan Imbi on that day.

Below – backdrop of KLCC and KL Tower taken just before the fireworks were released at the stroke of midnight.

On 1.1.2017, we were at the Gardens Mall. Hubs, the mil and the girls watched Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at the premium cinema at Gardens while I did what I loved most – retail therapy 🙂

Below – Cass enthralled by her favorite author, killing time while waiting for the movie to start…

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On 2.1.2017, we hung out with our usual group of buddies. After a light lunch at The School, we adjourned to a Japanese eatery and German pub and snacked on grilled saba and pork knuckles with crackling skin while sipping on beer and sake – chatting and laughing over everything.

2.1.2017 marked the end of the girls’ 6 weeks of school holidays. Today we are back to reality, back to structured days and me, I started the first day of ‘work’ feeling zombified and crabby, no thanks to my Aunt Flow. My darn alarm clock died down on me this morning. Thankfully I had my phone alarm as back-up!

 

Weekend Getaway In A Jungle

In  under an hour’s time, we will be off to Ratu Rening (near Genting Highlands / Batang Kali) for a weekend getaway with our usual group of buddies and their kiddos. Hubs and I have been friends with these group of friends since we were teenagers. Our girls and their kids have been friends since they were infant. Our girls look forward to this ecological retreat in a forest reserve very much. Errr, but not me. I used to be a sucker for the jungle, camping in the wilderness, swimming at the waterfalls, bathing in the streams and rivers but ever since having kids, I have morphed into a clean freak haha!  Well, guess it’s time to un-morph myself back to what I was when I was a kid. Who knows I’ll love the wilderness and adventurous life once again. I’ve stashed away bottles of lemon grass essential oil, tea tree oil, lots of mozzie repellent and band aids in our bags for our jungle adventure! ha ha ha!!

 

 

 

Our Deepavali Holiday Weekend (29 – 30 Oct 2016)

On Saturday which was Deepavali, we spent our afternoon at Mid Valley and Gardens Mall.

Hubs the epicure wanted to try something different and we settled for An Viet @ The Gardens. Good choice made as we enjoyed the delightful and very flavorful authentic cuisine of Vietnam, comprising mainly of fresh aromatic leaves, flowers and vegetables.

Ãn Viet’ translates into ‘Eat Viet,’ and its aim is to encourage people to truly eat their food and to curb wastage. Serving portions of noodles and rice can be customized so that patrons order only what they can finish; plus, for everyone who finishes his or her entire meal, the restaurant channels RM0.10 to KOTO, a social enterprise that helps disadvantaged Vietnamese youths gain access to skill development opportunities.

The first item that arrived was a hot bowl of beef Pho Bo.  I love Ãn Viet’s concept of curbing wastage and order only what you can eat. You can order an amount of noodles based on weight – 80gm, 120gm, 160gm or 200gm – all for the same total price of RM18.90 per bowl.

The coconut ice-blended creation is simply delightful, aromatic and refreshing. It will surely tantalize the taste bud of any coconut fan. We all fell in love with it, even the hubs.

I ordered a glass of lemon grass & ginger drink and it was really refreshing as well with the aromatic fragrance of lemon grass.

Deep fried rice paper wraps.

A Vietnamese meal is never complete without Goi Cuan (fresh spring rolls).  As expected, the girls hadn’t quite acquired the taste just yet just like I did when I was much younger. Hubs and I polished off this dish.

Grilled chicken with lemon grass is another mouth-watering aromatic dish.

Banana flower salad – this salad is highlighted by the hot-tart play of chili and lime off the crisp rings of the banana flower.  It is a very refreshing and aromatic dish with such fresh and healthy ingredients as lime juice, julienned banana flower, julienned carrots, roasted peanuts, raw shallots, cucumber strips, mint leaves, basil leaves and prawns.

The girls loved this Vietnamese baguette pork chop the best.  Cass didn’t even want to let me have a bite of it until I growled at her, ha ha ha!

The big princess enjoying every bite of the pork chop baguette.

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And Drama Queen had takeout fish congee from Canton-I (just next to An Viet). She is recovering from inflamed tonsilitis.

 

Sunday, 30 Oct 2016:

Sundays are maid-free days.  Today I taught Cass to mop the floor with a magic mop and wet floor wipes. She was pretty thorough I must say.  My condition set on the girls before they are allowed to use any e-Gadgets is that they have to help out in house work. They will be very thankful to me one day for all these domestic on-the-job training 😀

Awal Muharram Holiday – 3 Oct 2016

One of the best things to happen on a weekday is to have Monday off – off goes all our Monday blues 🙂  And we had just that yesterday. It was such a LUXURY to sleep in on a Monday morning of a school-going week. Total bliss.

We spent our holiday at Avenue K. It’s been more than half a year since we last visited Avenue K.  The one restaurant that we craved to eat at was Tokyo-based Bankara Ramen.

Bankara Ramen serves one of the tastiest ramen in town. If you have tried their pork-infused creamy and luscious broth that comes with each bowl of ramen, you wouldn’t want to have ramen anywhere else.

Check out the spoonful of spicy bean paste chilli. It was so spicy that we wouldn’t eat it but when hubs told us that it costs a frigging RM2 (or maybe RM2.50) as add-on, Drama Queen quickly poured some onto her noodles.

If you are not into ramen, try their Oyakodon, soul food of steamed rice with succulent chicken, soft-boiled egg and shredded seaweed.

Ramen (volcano) egg and Onsen egg.

Deep fried baby fish.

As we walked out of Bankara Ramen, we saw the newly opened Hokkaido Cheese Tart stall at the concourse.  Being the foodie that he is, hubs wanted to try this much raved about baked cheese tart from Hokkaido.

The baked cheese tart craze started in Hokkaido, Japan, took over the country and eventually invaded Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore, before making its way to Malaysia.  The mousse centre is made with a blend of three different types of cream cheese, piped into a crunchy shortcrust pastry base. To ensure freshness and perfection, each tart is baked fresh daily at the outlet.   With a crumbly exterior and warm, soft, meltingly cheesy filling, it is no wonder this treat has taken the world by storm.

Each tart goes for RM5.80, and there is a six-for-RM29 promotion going on currently.

So are the cheese tarts really worth a whopping RM5.80 each? If you are a cheese and tart fan, then it is absolutely worth the price. I would give it a 5-star rating for taste and quality. I ate one this morning right out of the fridge and the tart still tasted heavenly.

 

A few steps away from the Hokkaido Cheese Tart stall were some token-operated kiddie rides. Guess who wanted to ride on it (without buying the tokens of course)? Hahahaha! I guess the big girl missed being a kiddo again.  Once upon a time, she used to love riding them.  I remember hubs and I once collected so many one Ringgit and fifty sen coins just so we could use them for such rides during the weekends.

While I brought the girls shopping, the hubs went for a Thai massage to kill time.  We went to H&M and were pleasantly surprised that there was a sale going on. Lucky us as we managed to grab some real good deals. We also popped by Popular Book Store and Daiso before meeting hubs at Franco Japanese French restaurant for a very early dinner at 4pm!

While waiting for our food to arrive, we sampled the Hokkaido cheese tarts. They were SO good I think I walloped 2 tarts! Drama Queen whacked a tall glass of matcha ice-cream milk shake. Gawd, I would have puked had I put this entire cup of creamy milk shake into my tummy.

Hubs ordered a squid ink rice with mushrooms, squids and omelette which was really rich and delish.

Ham, cheese and egg on a super thick slice of toast.

Warm and soft chocolate pudding.

After stuffing myself with so much rich food, I felt really cloy and had the familiar overeating stomach discomfort. For someone who eats very little food each day, my stomach had a hard time digesting so much high calorie food.  But I think I burnt off all the calories  by this morning. Before I plonked myself onto  bed last night, I did 80 bicycle crunches on the bed. This morning I brisked walked for 40 minutes and back home, after downing a packet of Izumio, continued with a few sets of Swiss Ball crunches on my fitball.

 

Hari Raya Holiday- 6 July 2016

Today we intended to spend our holiday at Mid Valley Megamall and Gardens Mall but we made a detour to Bangsar when we saw the long horrendous queue of vehicles lining the highway leading to the mall.

We went to Bangsar Shopping Complex instead but had no idea what to eat. Finally we settled for Japanese food but I had forgotten to take mental note of the name of the restaurant.  After lunch we walked around the mall and had Morelli’s gourmet ice-cream. We also checked out a glitzy Hari Raya Open House lunch that was held at the concourse of the mall, catered by Dorsett Hotel.  We so wished we were invited too as the buffet line of traditional Malay food was SO sumptuous!

After we left BSC, we went to Les Deux Garcons as the gourmand man of the house wanted to have gourmet coffee and cakes to de-stress. He’s had a long and tiring day working at a client’s function last night. Tonight he has another Hari Raya Open House to cater to and it will be another late night for him.  His way of de-stressing is to indulge in food >.<

Today the 2 older girls are a little co-operative during photography.  They usually drive me potty when it comes to getting them to pose for a photo or two. Their dad would have to holler at them to pose for the camera!  If not for bribing them today, they wouldn’t have been so cooperative.

So I took the opportunity and snapped the camera away, before they change their minds and dodge when they see my phone 😀

Something really funny from Cass to her Alycia che che today:

“Che che, can you let me hold your hand? I’ll give you RM1 if you let me hold your hand”

That’s how much Cass adores her Alycia che che.  But sometimes Alycia thinks that Cass is annoying when she hugs and slobbers all over her with wet kisses.

And yep, Alycia allowed Cass to hold her hand on condition that she behaved well.

 

In the evening, while the hubs was at work,  I brought the girls down to flex our muscles outdoors and then to the gym.  Dinner was takeout sushi.

Tomorrow will be another day at the mall for us 🙂

 

Expedition At Aquaria KLCC

It was definitely a day for my family to spend time together bonding and sharing love across. Our 2016 father’s day was well spent at Suria KLCC. But prior to our trip, we attended a sumptuous lunch party, courtesy of our condo Management as get-together for the residents.

While the hubs brought our 2 older girls to watch Warcraft: The Beginning, Cass and I went for a fun-filled expedition at Aquaria KLCC organized by Wyeth Nutrition to reward their S-MAMA Club members.

In this family-day outing, we were treated to a tour around Aquaria KLCC to learn about the underwater world and how we should preserve it, followed by catching ‘Finding Dory’ at TGV Cinemas. To begin our journey in Aquaria, members of the S-MAMA Club gathered for a group memento taken with LEX the Lion.

Can you spot Cass and me? We donned on mother-daughter outfit with matching flower hair ties too, heeeh!

It was Cass’ first visit to Aquaria and she was really excited! What a great opportunity this is.

Below – we found these Moon Jellyfish really fascinating as the body is translucent. With the interchangeable neon spotlight above the water tank changing colors and highlighting the jellyfish every few seconds, these sea creatures look really magical.

Cass and I did some good exercise at KLCC yesterday.  I believe we chalked up at least 3km walking to and fro the KLCC shopping mall to Aquaria, walked around Aquaria, then walked to TGV cinema, did some window shopping and then walked back to the car park. No wonder we were both unusually hungry yesterday as we had burnt so much calories.  And guess what? We whacked 2 regular sized cups of caramel popcorns to subdue our hunger pangs and saved some for Alycia and Drama Queen!  The popcorns were complimentary too. They were really addictive. Cass and I couldn’t stop stuffing them into our mouths, ha ha!  It was really an experience to have with my youngest baby.

 

After the expedition at Aquaria, we adjourned to TGV Cinema for another round of photo session (with hand held prop signs this time) and were given hard copies of the photos (complimentary too!).

After the photo session, we were treated to the cinema to watch Finding Dory.

Through this one-day journey, I learnt that S-MAMA Club strongly encourage cultivating family bonds that helps to develop positive familial relationships. Also in our trip getting to understand more about Wyeth Nutrition, I noticed their much efforts in supporting children’s Multiple Intelligence in 3 areas of Smarts – Brain, Body and People. This is accurately important in our children’s growing development where parents are most concerned for.

I’d like to thank Wyeth Nutrition for the enjoyable expedition, addictive caramel popcorns, photos and movie (Finding Dory).  Cass and I had a great time at the event together! 🙂

Website: https://www.wyethnutrition.com.my/en

Facebook: http://bit.ly/Wyeth-Shireen

WeChat: WyethNutritionMY

 

Hello From Pa Loh!

We managed to get ourselves ready and leave the house at 7am to begin our road trip to Ipoh this morning to partake in Qing Ming tomorrow.

Fortunately we started our journey early, traffic on the North South Expressway was really smooth. We reached Ipoh at 9am and tucked into all our favorite Ipoh hawkers fare at our favorite coffee shop in Ipoh Garden East.  Our friend who only started his drive from KL at 9ish am was caught in a massive crawl on the highway.

Weather condition is  hazy and super duper HOT. My room feels like a furnace!

Oh yes, I know the title of this post have stoked the curiosity in some. Ipoh is also called “Pa Loh” in Cantonese and this name is only familiar amongst the aunties and uncles from Ipoh 🙂

 

Chinese New Year Day 2 and 4

On the 2nd day of CNY, we got up very early in the morning. We had a train to catch at 9am! Gawd, that was really early for me as it’s a holiday and I wanted to sleep in! I had to crawl out of bed at 5am, first to bring Cass to pee and then to do my slavery chores. At 8am, the hubby used his mobile app to get two cabs from GrabTaxi. We needed 2 cabs to bring the 6 of us plus our luggage to KL Sentral to take the ETS.

KL Sentral station was jam packed with people and there was a 10-minute delay.

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After a 2-day joyful reunion with my family and relatives, with lots of meat-heavy meals, we headed back to KL on the 4th day of CNY, by ETS.

Once back at our home sweet home and settled down, we went to our favorite friendly neighborhood restaurant for lunch and tucked into our favorite ‘char siew’, ‘siew yoke’, roast chicken and ‘choy keok’ (Chinese Mustard Vegetable Stew)…

 

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Yup, another meat-heavy meal!!  But funnily, we did not get sick or cloy with the food here. This restaurant serves the best ‘char siew’ in the world… even better than those that I had tasted in Ipoh, Hong Kong and Chinatown in Auckland.

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While everyone gobbled down the roast meat to their hearts’ content, I whacked a big bowl of ‘choy keok’ (Chinese Mustard Vegetable Stew).  Yummy, my absolute favorite!

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The mil’s favorite roast duck thigh…

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After 4 days of over loading ourselves with meat, cookies and fried food, thankfully everyone is still not sick.  We have our hydrogen water to help wash away all the nasties and heatiness as well as to alkalize our body.

Yesterday I had a pleasant surprise when I logged into my NP account. I saw RM765 credited into my account. That’s my bonus for this week. It’s only the second week of February and I already have a 4-figure income in my bank account.  Thank you NP and thank you God!  If you want to earn a passive income like I am now, do drop me an email at shireenyong@gmail.com

Gong Xi Fa Cai to all! 🙂