Sunday, March 31, 2013

Breakkie @ Antipodean Cafe, Bangsar (Finally!)

I have been wanting to pay Antipodean Cafe a visit for a long long time, ever since everyone has been saying how much they enjoy the food (which is supposed to be Aussie) there and how crowded it could be especially during weekends for breakfast. So, I finally made it there and it kinda like the time to decide if it is overrated or is it really that good! *stretch fingers~*
Deardo and I arrived at the cafe around 12pm after being refused entrace at Grand Imperial, BSC so naturally I was quite worry that it will take us a while until we can get a table for our late brunch. Luckily we got our table in less than 10 minutes. 
You get to read Aussie and UK newspapers here! 
Fresh flowers freshen up the dining table.
The cafe has quite a cool but simple design which I really like but Deardo and I both have a little problem with the 'very green' menu - they wrote everything on a blackboard and it can be very difficult to see it when you are sitting outside. We had to literally walked into the cafe to choose what we want to eat from the long list of choices they have. 
Choose your dish from the big-ass menu!
Well, since they are well known for their breakfast, Deardo and I decided to stick to that. I had the All Day Breakfast with Bacon and Deardo had the Big Breakfast with Sausage. Just to try out something different, we ordered a Mixed Salad with Cous Cous to share. Drinks are not included with the breakfast so we had to order drinks separately.
Big Breakfast with pork or chicken sausage at  RM19.
All Day Breakfast with Bacon at RM19.
Mixed Salad with Cous Cous at RM18.
Iced Latte at RM10.
Cappucino at RM9.
We were both very impressed at how fast their service is. It is quite obvious their items for the breakfast are pre-cooked to answer the high demand during the peak hours. Okay, now the verdict... Both breakfast are super big in portion and I think in a way worth the price, which is a very reasonable RM19. I personally love the bread, sauteed mushrooms and the very special (I suspect handmade) hash brown.The hash brown is really different compared to commercialised frozen ones and I think they added mustard seeds or something which made it really yummy! I'm not a fan of the whole load of very plain-tasting baked beans and the bacons which I prefer them to be crispier.The salad was average lar, nothing special except for the few pieces of cheese which I literally eat them all up without thinking much of the calories factor. :p
I looked too excited compared to Deardo? Ha...
The total bill, including service charge came up to RM82.50, which I supposed still slightly cheaper compared to other more commercialised cafes. Taste wise, it's not the best breakfast I've ever had yet I would definitely go back for the hash brown and the bread. We were both super full too after the meal so I think it was very much value for money. Overall, I wouldn't scream out and say hey Antipodean has the best breakfast but it is quite a good and reasonable option! Be there earlier though! :) 

Antipodean Cafe
No. 20, Jalan Telawi 2,
Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-2282 0411

Friday, March 29, 2013

Looking Back...

I have been collecting some old photos at home over the past two trips home in preparation for a possible slides video for our wedding. It always make me laugh looking at those old photos (actually I always laugh at my sisters' photos instead of myself lar, haha). 
Such a poser, thank to my 4e and Ah Ku! 
The truth is when I was in high school, I didn't know how to appreciate everything I had back then and was a very rebellious girl and looking back, I know I was very silly. I actually grew up in a family full of love, care and laughter not only from Papo and Mamo but from my aunts, uncle and cousins. That is why nowadays I find that my sisters and I laugh at every tiny matter super easily! I think that is cool cos that just made us all very happy-go-lucky and could find happiness the simplest way! In other words, we have more positive energy than others! :)
I certainly went through different stages of fashion sense... LOL! 
When I was still quite slim and Ducum was so big! Check out the stuff I've added on my t-shirt myself! Didn't I tell you I wanted to be a fashion designer back then???
I truly enjoyed my childhood and if I could turn back time, I'll probably want to be less rebellious and be closer to Papo, especially. He has been there for me when I needed money, when I was so stubborn about studying overseas he gave up a lot of stuff to send me off (knowing the risk is to see me not returning from Australia), and was even there for me when I was a silly crazy fan who wanted to travel to see my favourite swimmer back then! I can never really utter how much I am thankful to have him or how much I love him because you know, it's just not what we typical Chinese children do. So yea, Papo, I know you know can already lar! :)
Phew, I see part of my wedding speech done! LOL!
Back when we were younger Mamo would buy birthday cake for Papo and we would make birthday cards for him and in turns Mamo never had any birthday cake! LOL!
Since it is such a random post, I'll just share more random photos of myself more recently... 
Photos from Sin Fei's wedding photographer and hey I think  the Miss Emcee looks good! :p
Very recent photo of me at work with my students who were the emcees of the night.
Have a good weekend ahead guys! :D

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dinner the Old School Way @ Sek Yuen Restaurant

Few months back after cousin Sin Fei's wedding, she and Ivan and the families had a thank you a.k.a farewell dinner for some family members before they flew back to Perth. Yea I know right? This is so extremely outdated! :S
Anywayz, before I open my mouth open my claws and type about how work and other commitments have taken up my blogging time, let's move on to the happier note of having free dinner at Sek Yuen Restaurant, a restaurant that I heard is about 60 plus years old! And sadly, I have not even heard of them before! What a terrible food lover am I? Gah...
The entire restaurant looks damn old school! I can imagine this is the kind of restaurant my parent had their wedding banquet at, all the neon lights, old school staircase and old school tables and chairs! Even their staff are middle-aged poeple! They all suddenly look so cute to me! 
I was very fascinated by the staircase and chairs!
Since it was a free dinner, all dishes were pre-ordered so we just basically came all the way to Pudu to wallup all the food! :)
Five Happiness to start the dinner with.
Very different looking shark fin soup.
Roast Duck.
Stir-fried Kailan with Sang Cheong (Intestines).
Sweet & Sour Pork for the ang mo-ish Ivan. Ha! 
Some chicken.
Steamed fish with ginger. 
Stir-fried Yao Mak that Deardo can make better one. 
The Five Happiness comes in an old school way, or at least that was what Sin Fei's FIL said. Supposedly not many restaurants out there nowadays make the Five Happiness entirely a cold plate. So yes something different and I must say, quite delicious too. The Shark Fin Soup here is also very interesting as I've never seen any shark fin soup looking and tasting like the one at Sek Yuen before this. In stead of a clear or slightly dark coloured soup, this one is in white like it is mix with milk! Well, whatever colour it is, it tastes fantastic! In fact, I think that was the best shark fin soup I've ever tried in my life! Think about how the best shark fin soup can be found in a not-so-5-star looking restaurant! 
My other favourite dish of the night has to be the Stir-Fried Kailan with Intestines (Sang Cheong). Forgive me if I'm being Suaku but that was the first time I've seen anything like that and it is freaking yummy! Love how the intestines tastes so crunchy yet you can feel they were all cleaned throughout! Yummy and unforgettable!!! 
Nop, the one at the right isn't Papo! 
The roast duck and Sweet and Sour Pork were pretty good too but the rest of the dishes were just average. 
I obviously didn't pay for the meal so I don't know how much was the meal but I must say I really enjoyed the meal a lot! The entire old school atmosphere and the very interesting yet home-cooked style of cooking really made the whole experience a cool one! If it is not the parking problem, I think I would love to go back to Sek Yuen soon to try their other dishes too! :)
Just to proof I was there! 

Sek Yuen Restaurant
No. 313-1 & 315,
Jalan Pudu,
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-9222 9457, 9222 9457

Friday, March 15, 2013

Travel Smart with My Pocket Net!

Whenever I go on an oversea trip, the one very important concern I have is whether or not Wi-fi is provided free in the hotel because sometimes it hurts a lot (to the wallet) when you need to actually make long distance calls or even sending SMS from a foreign country. Of course, the last thing you want to do is to find out that the wi-fi at the hotel that you are staying in is totally chargeable, most of the time at a ridiculously high rate. Trust me, this is especially very common in Malaysian hotels. So freaking annoying! 

But if you are actually traveling to Malaysia very soon, either for a work trip or just for holidays, you do not need to worry no more! All you need is to rent yourself a portable Wi-fi device with My Pocket Net! It's like a bloody genius idea to provide those who are visiting the country on a short trip where Wi-fi-less is unacceptable but to get a permanent data plan or an internet line would be too fussy and too long term to spend on. Most importantly, the whole process can be done so easily!

Register with myPocketnet as a new user.

Choose your rental period, data plan, delivery location (any homes, hotels or offices) and pay online!

Once you have received the device, turn it on and ta da~ You are connected! :)

Return the device at myPocketnet drop box located at the airport (and that means both KLIA and LCCT) within 24 hours at the end of the rental period.
I heard you can easily find these boxes at the airports! 
So from now on, you can browse the internet as much as you can regardless of locations when you are travelling to Malaysia! It's so convenient! Like if you just had an awesome bowl of Laksa at a hawker centre where there will be no internet access, you can still post a photo of the bowl of Laksa onto your Instagram, FB or Twitter with My Pocket Net! Suddenly your boss or your wife is looking for you while you are enjoying your Laksa, instead of paying heaps for the expensive roaming charges, get connected to the internet with the My Pocket Net and talk to them through Whatsapps, Facetime or Skype! I checked out their rates and they are totally affordable too, especially judging from how convenient it will be for those who need to be on-line most of the day!
So yes, travelling to Malaysia isn't that bad anymore (robbery cases aside) because you do not need to pay the hotels extra money just for some super snaily-slow internet! :) 
Log on to My Pocket Net to find out more! 

P/S: I did not get paid to write about this. I'm just helping a friend (relative?) to promote his latest business venture. I mean, I myself is impressed with this brilliant idea because duh... I remember even Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre doesn't provide free Wi-fi until last year when our students did a survey with the conferences attendees and they requested KL Convention Centre to have Wi-fi within the centre! That is how bad Malaysians are in providing free Wi-fi to the public! So Eric, well done mate! :) 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Shirlexia, the Bridezilla

It is now approximately seven months away from our wedding date and while the feeling of becoming Mrs. Wong hasn't really kick-in, preparation for the wedding has been forced to start as early as last year. And with much surprise, the bridezilla in me has already showed  up! Follow my story below to know why...

Wedding Date
This was an easy one. We wanted to not have so many anniversaries so we have decided that it should be on our anniversary. And since it will be a Saturday... Perfecto!

Wedding Banquet Location
Deardo and I went to one hotel, and that's the one and only place we went to. So location: checked!

2nd Wedding Date
While my initial plan was to have a small and simple wedding in KL with only close family members, friends and colleagues, it has been made clear that wedding isn't really a two-person thingy. So we let Papo and Mamo, Deardo's dad and mum celebrate our wedding with their relatives and friends in Taiping as well. I mean, although I might not know majority of those people at the wedding banquet in Taiping, but I figured hey I'm the first one in the family to be married, I'm sure dad wants to share the joy right? So yea, it's best to let them have some fun! :)

2nd Wedding Banquet Location
My parents and Deardo parents had a super short discussion and decided that we should only have our wedding banquet at the best restaurant in Taiping. So this is totally checked too!

Bridal House
I did all the research on this one simply because we girls are more anal about it. While Deardo only needs to come into the picture with his suit and all, I need to freaking make sure the photo quality is good and the fashionista in me is extremely anal about the gowns that one bridal house can offer.
Bridal House 1: Super bad service that although I love their gowns heaps, we've decided to boycott them. 
Bridal House 2: Love their photos like crazy but when I stepped into their gowns room Deardo can see my very obvious reaction - I don't like them. Plus, they are more exclusive, charging you a lot but offer you very little in the package.
Bridal House 3: Average photos, great services and not stingy when it comes to exchanging stuff in the package. Best of all, I saw some jaw-dropping gowns! Deardo and I were really happy to sign up on their package. But we shall see how's their professionalism when we go for gowns-trying and photo-shoot in the next two months.

Custom or Not?  
My original plan is to skip 'chu men' (better known as morning session) because duh... Told you I don't fancy playing games on the heng dais and all. And that's when relatives need to come in and say oh no, it can't be like this, it's against the Chinese custom, blah blah blah... That was the first time I felt really angry and helpless about the wedding. I mean, seriously? Is this my wedding or your wedding, huh? Anywayz, after some black-mailing discussions, we've decided to do a very simple 'chu men' without all the lame games.

When I was at the bridal house a lot of the gowns I saw and love were pretty much made for smaller size brides. I know it will be tough to slim down too much in less than a year but I'm seriously working hard on it. I'm not going over board as I know I want to look healthy too so don't worry, I'll just try my very best. After the wedding, the first thing I want to eat is: Chicken Rice!!!

Wedding Gowns
I figured some of you who know me well know what I'm going to wear will be the most important part of my entire wedding. I mean, while I still haven't really feel the excitement of the wedding, I've already been feeling super excited about the gowns. I admit, I'm anal about the gowns. I want them to be unique, with details in the designs, can be of different colours, make me look slim and don't make me look old... Which can only means, more and more pressure on myself...
Some example of Vera Wang's unique designs.
I love Vera Wang's design a lot simply because her wedding gowns are so extraordinary. So much of details and so vibrant in colours. The moment I went to her website and saw her wedding gowns I couldn't stop screaming to myself oh how nice, oh this is so cool... So while I got some gowns and dresses in my bridal package, I've gotten a green light form Deardo to custom-made a gown, which is totally Vera Wang inspired. I went through a short bridezilla moment too because Deardo said he doesn't like the colour right after I paid the deposit to the tailor. So the colour is slightly different compared to the original one and if it doesn't turn out nice I'll have Deardo to blame for! Of course, finger-crossed for the best!
P/S: Not showing you how the gown looks like until maybe nearer to the wedding date, so stay tuned! :p
Because of the small 'chu men' and ROM in Taiping, I'm still looking for a short, unique and cute dress, which has to be a little casual that I can still wear after the wedding. I may just buy or custom made another one if it is not too expensive. Do you guys have any recommendations where I could get it? 

So here, still more than half a year to go and there are already stuff that are enough to make me feel a little depressed. More things that are not settled yet though... Guests list, flower bouquet, wedding bands, theme colour (should I have one?), editing of photo slideshow, looking for the right photographer and videographer for actual day, deco of the actual day, settling accommodations for friends from overseas (if any of them coming), invitation cards etc. And I thought my wedding is supposed to be small and simple! Phew~! I knew it at some point it will become bigger and more complicated but please tell me I'm not the only bride on earth being so difficult!!!
In this case, I think I need to thank Deardo Wong for being there with me all the time whenever I face any issues. Although I'm normally more positive than him, it is totally the opposite way when it comes to our wedding. Often when I feel helpless about some issues regarding our wedding, he will always be the one who tells me:"small problems, don't worry!". So to Deardo, thank you so much for putting up with Shirlexia, the bridezilla! :) 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Seafood Vol-au-vent Recipe for All!!!

I first tried Vol-au-vent (Voulauvent from now on) at events held at work. I thought these small little finger food not only look cute but also taste absolutely yummy! I've asked some of the students who have learned how to do this and they told me it is super easy to make and shared the recipe and method with me straight away. I've procrastinated for quite a while until Christmas last year when I finally did this French dish for my bunch of cool family members.  
I'm really glad that they turned out well although I think this is really a party/event food so it might take me some time before I make this again. Well, actually if you want, you can make them in bigger size so it can be a main course too! So the size is really up to your preferences!
Anywayz, just in case you are interested, I'm sharing with you how to make this super cute and yummy finger food.

What you need: 
For the pastry - Sheets of frozen puff pastry (unless if you are confident to make your own puff pastry), round pastry cutter of one bigger size and one smaller size, one beaten egg. 
For the filling - olive oil, chopped onions, chopped fish fillet, crab meat, chopped mussel meat (I used only frozen seafood here and you can choose to have whatever filling you want in it), cooking/whipping cream, chopped/dried parsley, salt and pepper, fresh parsley leaves for garnishing. 

What to do:
1) Take out only the sheet of puff pastry needed (if you leave them out of the freezer for too long, they will melt and will become extremely hard to cut), use the bigger cutter to cut the round shape pastry out. Lay it out on a baking paper on your oven tray.
2) Now cut the same round pastry, then use the smaller one to cut another circle in the big circle (see photo for better understanding, LOL!). 
3) Now take the ring (outer part of the two circles out and place it on top of the round pastry that you've cut out earlier.
4) Now brush eggs over the pastry for a little 'glitter' on the pastry. 
5) Preheat the oven at about 180c for 5 minutes or so before sending the pastry in. I didn't really time how long I put the pastry for but it probably take less than 10 minutes to be done. 
6) Remove the pastry from the oven, with a small knife, dig out the pastry in the middle so that you can put your filling in.

1) Heat up a pan with some olive oil, then simmer the chopped onion until they turn brownish.
2) Put in the fish first, stir-fry for a few minutes.
3) Add in the crab meat and continue to stir.
4) Lastly, add in the mussels and fry for another 1 minute.
5) Put some cream in then add in salt and pepper to taste, and some dried/fresh chopped parsley and you are done!

6) Now with the filling, just scoop them into the little hole of the pastry, then place the parsley leave on top to garnish! 

Ta da...
I just love how my Volauvents look in the photos!!! :D
Well I still think there are rooms for improvement especially in making the filling a bit more nicer and creamier. But that was already quite a nice try! :) To me, the dish looks absolutely like some high-end French food which doesn't require a top chef to make!
The pastry can be kept for quite long in an air-tight container and you can practically put any filling you want to make your own Volauvent. For instance, few days after the party, I made some sweet Volauvents with Yut Kee's Kaya and my colleagues enjoyed them so much!
Doesn't look as appetizing isn't it? But because the the kaya was nice and chilled, the dessert received great reviews! 
Honestly, with the frozen puff pastry, it is quite easy to make Volauvent. With bigger size you can make it a main course like a pie or something but with smaller size like what I did, they are perfect as finger food for hi-tea or parties!
Do try making this one day! :D