Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

I had the opportunity to celebrate Halloween in the States a couple of years back and had the most fun ever. Mrs Pitt and friends brought me to the "famous" Castro Street in San Francisco where they had the Halloween Street Party. There were signs plastered everywhere that no weapons were allowed and there were policemen at every corner. I must admit I was rather thrilled, a bit scared initially but amazed with the crowd and my surroundings. After soaking up the fun, I was more relaxed. Surely, you can understand why I felt a bit nervous in the beginning, right?
Not sure where I was, but I felt burning hot! Ha ha ha...."Girls" Just Wanna Have Fun!
Guardian Angels or Devils In Disguise?

There were cute and funny costumes too. There was this particular group of "medic" wheeling this "lady" laying on a hospital bed who was screaming and seem to be in pain. When I got closer to them, this was what I saw.
The "lady" had given birth! It's a girl! LOL.....
Animal Farm?
The REAL cowboys from Brokeback Mountain

Well, there are some pictures that I can't post as I don't want my post/blog to be flagged by some conservative folks. Let's just say, there were also some guys that wore a costume that was a replica of a certain part of a male anatomy. They were literally a giant walking ....! Talk about being a ....head, LOL! Oh well, for my last pic, I was really partly amused and scared at the same time. This guy must have been about 7 feet tall! I know I'm short but I'm not THAT short! I was really wondering whether he was going to let go of my neck after the picture was taken. Ha ha ha...But since I'm blogging right now, I did live to see another day.
The crowd made up of people from "all" walks of life were well behaved and it was fun outing. Well, to me it was, I didn't see or hear anything unpleasant but it seems to have some ugly incidents every year. Apparently, some people in SFO are trying to put a stop to the annual Halloween Street Party this year for all sort of weird reasons apart from security related ones.

Let's hope Halloween celebration catches on over here on a grander scale. But knowing the crime rate in Malaysia, we might have more crime that night as criminals would take the opportunity to strike since it's would be okay to walk around in a Halloween costume and not be able to be identified! Oh well, que sera sera, HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

I bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween. ~ Author Unknown

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fun Treats!

Celebrating Deepavali and Hari Raya this month, there is yet another day which is I find special for my own reason, Halloween! I only wished it's celebrated here on a grander scale, it's so much fun.

I found out that there are many cute recipes out there for such an occasion through some websites I subscribed to. Check out BrightIdeas.com, the M&M's website and you'll find lots of recipes for all sort of occasions (Valentine's, Easter, Christmas, Birthdays, Back To School, Summer and of course Halloween!).

I love to be a kid again (wait a minute...some people say I'm still a kid! LOL...) and sink my teeth into such cute goodies. No doubt cavities will be waiting for me and I'll probably have an early start to denture wearing "Could you please blend that for me?" days. Ha ha ha...But who can resist these treats? Actually, they are just too cute to be eaten!

(Photos from BrightIdeas.com)

Another website to check out would be KraftFoods.com. This is another colourful and wonderful source for recipes albeit some recipes uses ingredients which are not available here but I'm sure one can find substitutes for them.

Boo Cups/Newton Monster Pops

Ghosts in the Graveyard/Skeleton and Brain Dip
(Photos from KraftFoods.com)

We celebrate most occasions with food and Halloween shouldn't be any different! Will post more Halloween related pics soon...

This Halloween the most popular mask is the Arnold Schwarzenegger mask. And the best part? With a mouth full of candy you will sound just like him. ~ Conan O'Brien

Friday, October 27, 2006

KL Food (Non-Halal)

Whenever we eat in KL, that would usually be in the vicinity of Jalan Tong Shin area. There are about 5 places where we would eat from in that area and I'll be blogging a bit on three this time. Coming back to this place always brings back fond memories. I had lived in this area for the past 20 plus years since I came out from my mother's womb before I shifted up to Petaling Jaya.

When it comes to dinner or supper, we would usually adjourn to Ngau Kee Beef Noodle Stall. I had a short conversation with Ngau So (Ngau Kee's wife) who was doing the cooking the night we were there. Ngau So would been cooking once in a while (it would be once in a blue moon to see Ngau Kee himself) and this usually means tastier noodles since they are the ones who started this stall back in 1972~gosh! The stall is actually 34 years old! Most of the time though, it would be some other helpers cooking, still good, but not quite the same.

I usually order Lo Shee Fun (dry) and beef ball noodles. That night CC decided to get a mix of beef ball and tripe while JC have the same as CC but without the noodles. I like the generous mince meat and spring onion topping on the noodles. The tripe is tender and the soup is nice. I prefer this one to the Jalan Silang's version, and of course, there are those who prefer Jalan Silang's to Ngau Kee. A small bowl of noodles with your choice of beef balls/tripe/meat is about RM4. Oh, just a mention here, if you ever come here at night, check out the stall opposite Ngau Kee. It serves all sorts of fried noodles, and it's quite good too (prepare to wait if there's a crowd as they are quite slow-this stall has been around as long as Ngau Kee too!). They serve a mean Fried Min Sin (mee suah), lots of cabbage and eggs with short crispy pre-fried min sin along with the usual prawn and squid! Lovely!

Next would be the truly potent pork noodles, this stall is located at the Adik Beradik Chua Coffeeshop which also houses the famous fish ball noodle stall. For someone that does not really like pork, this is about the only place where I would order mince pork noodles (no, I don't do spare parts!).

It comes with crispy lard bits and lettuce and piping hot (as in temperature!). Believe it or not, still warm down to the very last bite of your noodles! They also serve the noodles loh mee style if you want and porridge is available too. The lady use to have the stall in the Blue Boy Coffeeshop but relocated after the coffeeshop started serving vegetarian food only.

When we are in this area for lunch, we normally pack RM10 worth of caramelised roast pork (char siew) from the famous Meng Kee stall and eat it here too. Once in awhile, they get it just right (half half) but once in awhile, it has too much fat! If it's too lean, one would have a tough time chewing! After a visit to the pork noodles stall and eating the char siew, I usually lay off pork for a while as I do not want to overdose! Well, that is until my next visit here!

Do vegetarians eat animal crackers? ~ Author Unknown

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur

It's great to know that my fave act, URB Band has been back in Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur for another 6 months since early Oct. They have been playing at the Lobby Lounge every 6 months, alternating between Shang KL and Shang China (and recently Shang Cebu) for the past 3 years. We have become regulars and the band members have become our friends, informing us when they are back in town.

With this recent holidays, we (CC, JC and I) decided to chill out in Shangri-La KL and catch them in action again. This time round, joining Marlou (keyboard, vocals) and Sarita (lead vocals) is a new member, Jan (also on lead vocals). They perform on a stage, a level above the bar area. It's quite a feat for the girls to sing and dance on such a small area. They have a very wide repertoire; covering English, Malay, Mandarin, Tagalog and Spanish songs. Sarita also dances very well and most of the time, leave the men in the audience breathless and/or their mouths open and drooling with her moves! The ladies will be envious and/or worried about their open-mouthed partners! Ha ha ha.....
Cheeky Sarita smiling for the camera!
We ordered an assortment of drinks and that night I decided to have Kawa, a mixture of coffee with kahlua and cream. It was quite potent! Hee hee....Nibbling away at the chips, we sat back and were entertained by URB, who plays about 4 sets each night (with short 15 minutes break in between) starting from 8.30pm till 12.30am. Note, go by 9pm to get good seats as the lobby lounge will usually be packed anytime later than that and you might end up sitting behind the pillars with no view of the band or not being able to get a table at all. We had reached there at about 8.55 pm that night and managed to get ourselves a nice spot.
By the way, after 8pm each night, the Lemon Garden Cafe in Shang gives a 50% discount off its pastries. Good stuff I must say.
They sell sweets too, cute marshmallows and lollipops. They even have giant lollipops, being sold at RM120 each (about USD35)! One can turn diabetic overnight with one of these! LOL...
Cute marshmallows! Too cute to eat actually...
This is one of my regular spots to hang out only when URB Band is in town. Nice place to unwind, catch up with friends or simply be entertained!

Music has been my playmate, my lover, and my crying towel. ~ Buffy Sainte-Marie

Monday, October 23, 2006

Deepavali Do

Without fail each year, the group of us look forward to V's invitation as she and her family celebrate Deepavali. I had gone there earlier to take some photos before the it gets crowded. V's really amazing, she cooks everything herself and baked the cookies too. The only time her maid help out with the preparation of food is when they made the thosai and roti jala (batter mixed by V herself earlier). I had offered my help but she said that all is well and so I took photos instead. When I first arrived, she was busy making the achar which was really good. Actually ALL of the food tasted good.
The Making Of : Thosai (Left) and Roti Jala (right)
After getting out of the kitchen area, I proceeded to take photos of the food before there's no food left for me to take!

Yummy Prawns/Mutton Curry

Chicken Rendang/Chicken Curry
The crowd then started streaming in and in no time, the place was filled with guests, enjoying the good food and catching up on old times. Top this with Curry Dahl and Ghee Rice and good company, I had a Happy Meal!

Before & During
Ghee RiceMy Happy Meal

At every party there are two kinds of people - those who want to go home and those who don't. The trouble is, they are usually married to each other. ~ Ann Landers

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Restoran Wong Siong Wong BKT - Sunway Mas


When it comes to eating meat, I'm quite particular as I don't like chunky meat servings. As a matter of fact, roll your eyes at me if you want but when it comes to Bak Kut Teh (BKT), I usually don't eat any Bak (meat - in this case, pork) .

My bro had told me about Wong Siong Wong where I can go for Bak Kut Teh with an option to have a meatless serving. As a matter of fact it's printed on the menu together with the normal BKT and other Hainanese dishes. It's located at the Sunway Mas Commercial Center, with Aman Suria nearby (call them at 03-7805 1576 if you need directions).

While we waited for the claypot vege BKT to be prepared, we kept ourselves busy eating the yu tiao (a.k.a yau char kway or chinese dough sticks) dipped in a bowl of concentrated BKT soup! Lovely! I had almost forgotten to take a pic of it, we ate almost half of it by the time I remembered!

The "vegetarian" BKT version comes with button mushrooms, enoki mushrooms, foo chook (Beancurd skin), cabbage and taupok (fried tofu puffs). I like the soup and so did Euro and KA when we had our dinner there a couple of weeks back. We asked for 2 rounds of extra soup! But then none of us are hardcore BKT lovers so, we can't really compare the taste with others. The friendly owners were only too happy to add soup for us.
We also ordered the lamb stew. It came with slices of carrots, foo chook, black fungus and chinese parsley. The meat is tender and the gravy is peppery (a plus point for me as I like spicy food). We ordered a serving of blanched vegetables too (garnished with fried shallots and oyster sauce).
For those who would like to have some meat, this place serves a number of interesting dishes (which I haven't tried) like curry duck, pork shank and pork knuckles too. As for me, I don't have to feel weird walking into a BKT shop and ask if I can have an order without any meat and because of this, Wong Siong Wong has become one of my fave place to drop by whenever I want BKT without meat.

The cardiologist's diet: If it tastes good, spit it out. ~ Author Unknown

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Seoul, Korea - Part 5

Freedom is Not Free
We next went to the Korea War Memorial. The civil war between North and South Korea took about 2.5 million lives. Read about the war here.
One of the many tablets with names of war casualties
I wandered around takings photos here on my own. It's a quiet place and apart from the tourist, I didn't see any locals. I felt sad looking at some of the endless list of names of lives lost. I am blessed, I guess, to be born at a time when I'm not subjected to the atrocities of war in my own homeland. It got me thinking about the people caught in such "madness" in war torn countries. Stop the war!

From sad memories, the tour took us to the Suwon World Cup Stadium, one of the pride of the Koreans when they hosted the World Cup in 2002. I must say, the stadium was magnificent and so colourful!
Just before that, we had a stopover for some quick shopping at Insadong Street. There are lesser stalls here as compared to the earlier Itaewon but its shops had their own appeal.
A stall selling biscuits and snacks
Aren't these wooden pens and pencils cute???
We then had our first Bibimpap for lunch. Some of us enjoyed it, some didn't. Maybe it was due to the fact that we ate sitting down on the floor and most of us had pins and needles in our legs! Ha ha ha...

Before & After mixing the chilli paste
We then ended up at Coex Mall which was really huge, by the end of the 2.5 hours there, I had only covered a less than a quarter of the 85,000 sq. metres of this underground mall which is the largest in Asia. It was here, I saw the love of my life, staring at me from one of the retail shops, Beanpole International.
There he was, my Daniel. At least I can say that I saw Daniel Henney while I was in Korea. Just don't ask me for details! Ha ha ha...I had seen him on big ad prints on buses and on the city streets but I was in the tour bus and didn't get a chance to take a pic of him till now, on my last night in Korea.
With the mushroom steamboat we had for dinner later, we went back to the hotel. Apparently, my room mate said that I slept so well (which means I snored!) 'cos I must have been so happy that I saw Daniel. LOL! The next morning, we had Udon noodles for breakfast and after some last minute shopping near the airport, we said goodbye to Seoul!

Recaps :-
Part 4
Part 3
Part 2
Part 1

Where is the "good" in goodbye? ~ Author Unknown