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Oft misunderstood soul. Shy, reserved, likes to stay in the background, but inevitably mistaken as not shy, extrovert etc. Originally meant to be a culinary blog, but in due course discovered man does not live on cake alone..hence the waffle.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Happening 40 Year Olds

Stands to reason that since I am in that age bracket, I should have a 40th birthday to attend every week, almost. The recent celebrant to hit the big four was none other than our dear Khaw Si Lai, whom we've seen evolve from a happening party animal, popping tequilas, telling dirty jokes, some 15 years ago, to now, a 40 year old happening party animal, popping tequilas, telling dirty jokes...well, at least they tried to relive the tequila pops at the party, albeit all of one round.
The ladies trying to recall how to do a tequila pop

Venue, BOND, in Avenue K. Well, whoever wants to check it out better do so quickly, coz if Friday night was anything to go by, then its days are sadly numbered. However, it suited OUR purpose fine, as we could hear each other talk, and it was smoke free, and we had the place almost to ourselves. The crowd comprised of us, her old friends, the mandatory tai tai's PILATES crowd, and some other old friends. She and suave hubby, soon to be restaurateur, polished the dance floor with the remnants of the moves from their ballroom dancing days. Trying to snap a decent dance photo is like a filming a natural geographic documentary waiting for some rare almost extinct species to mate.

Anyway, it was a fun night, regardless of the fact that the venue was a tad quiet. Afterall, with the company of goof friends, some alcohol, you could be on a desert island, and still have fun!!!

Happy 40th KSL!!!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

My Wasted Public Holidays in, I spent the first day of the holidays wasted, and subsquently, wasted the rest of the 4 days, coz I fell sick.

Champagne brunch on a public holiday is always a hoot. Nothing like that feeling of holidayness as drinking in the day time. And nothing like some bubbly to really get you into that state of light headedness. I have to say I am getting more and more efficient at mass preparation of food. The usual brunch spread comprised of Bacon, Sausages, Smoked Salmon, Sauteed Mushrooms, Creamy Mushrooms, Sauteed Onions, Corned Beef, Baked Beans, Eggs, Salad, and enough bread to feed 5000 thanks to the Yeohs. There was a wide assortment of bubbly as well, one in particular that King of England picked out (but brought by someone else) cos it had "by appointment of her majesty the queen". We ate, we drank, we played articulate and taboo, and true to form, someone had to break a wine goblet. No party is complete without the shattering sound of crytal.

Anyway, 6 hours, 11 bottles, later, the rest of the day was a blur; and on Sunday, I paid the price as I lay bedridden with fever on Sunday night. (but not after going for dinner with the kids etc etc).

1kg of Sauteed Mushrooms

12 bottles of bubbly, and 1 bottle of kickapoo

Wild women

Friday, October 20, 2006

What A Great Picture

Photo courtesy of Maz of RB, during a buka puasa dinner at Alexis, BSC. Of course, the quality here has been reduced, but don't you just love the expressions on the faces of the people. It is so reminiscent of the sitcom FRIENDS.

Actually, what happened was, Mr Roadbuilder has this fancy smancy camera, and had to assist the waiter in taking the pic. All of us with cheapo cameras had our group photo already taken. But with all his fancy lens etc, he had to keep moving further and further away, until Red Planet remarked, "are you going to Esquire Kitchen??" It's one of those situation comedies, whereby it doesn't sound funny on the retelling, but it was HILARIOUS at that moment.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Another One Hits the Big FOUR

Well, it stands to reason that I should a lot of friends hitting the big four this year, as I myself will be doing. I hear that the day you hit forty, you need reading glasses. In survey forms, 40 is in a category of its own. Usually its 20 and below, 20-25, 25-30, 30-35,35-40, and 40 and above. So we slip into this cosmic age ocean where there are no longer anymore distinctions, be it 40 or 100....

Last night we celebrated old school mate's birthday. SYY together with LYMC own a chain of successful restaurants in town, but opted to host the birthday dinner at neutral grounds, mainly so we could attack a hapless piglet, I suspect. Made a new acquaintance of fellow flogger, who was amongst 6 of the very honored guest. Actually, 4, cos 2 comprised birthday girl and husband. SYY, LYMC, DK (no NY) and I all went to secondary school together, and I was rather chuffed that I had the honor of being invited.

Dinner was at Neroteca, apparently the non-halal sibling of Nerovivo, further down the road. It's a rather nice set up, located in the Somerset Service Apartments. As Paprika says, the picture of the main meal is not for the squeamish and die hard animal lovers. Even me, who's motto regarding animals used to be, "I only like them on plates", felt a twinge of guilt, but was placated when LYMC told me, oh, don't worry, it's made of marzipan.

The meat was juicy and tender, and accompanied by roasted potatoes, grilled vegetables with a lovely grilled smoked cheese, but the skin wasn't crispy enough, so later on we sent it back for crispyfication. As usual, I seem to be the main consumer of bubbly. My culinary contribution to the affair was the Lemon Meringue Pie, which I didn't know earlier on was also meant to be the birthday cake. Superstitious chinese would probably find a lemon dessert taboo for a birthday, but I decided that I am going to promote it the following way:


The crust represents the firm foundation you have established after 40 years.
The ZEST in the lemon curd is the Zest that we have for Life.
The mildly sour curd layered with the sweet meringue is representative of reality, we all have our sweet and sour moments in this life.
The rising meringue shows the risen and established career. The whiteness shows the purity of heart. And the golden brown glaze an overall wealth of life.

TAH DAH, thank you thank you.....

Anyway thank you LYMC for a lovely dinner, and YWC, nice meeting you, and of course, dear SYY, happy happy 40th.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Hong Kong Revisited

I never expected to be back in Hong Kong again so soon, as we were only there last December, with the kids and family, in HK Disneyland. But when J&D invited us for their wedding reception there, I thought it would be nice to check out HK again without having kids in tow. And the food there is splendid, and food in HK weddings are usually very good too, so we thought, why not.

Stayed at the L'Hotel, which till now, I'm not sure if it was meant to be pronounced Lotel, like the french, or really L as in the letter L. But the HK ppl pronounce it as ELLO hotel. Situated just opposite Tin Hau MTR station, it was a really convenient base. Quite decent, supposedly 4 star, which is why I guess they had the token gym and swimming pool on the roof top.

All plans to surprise the NGXM, aka wonder woman, in the Grand Millennium Plaza Fitness First went down the toilet. See other blog for related story. Nevertheless, that gave us more leisure time before the Roast Goose Dinner at Yung Kee, courtesy of goduncle and god aunt. The latter had brought us to the Louis Vuitton shop, in Landmarks, which was huge, though I dont for my life know WHY she thought it would interest us at all. Everything had two zeroes too many. Dinner at Yung Kee was fabulous. Melt in the mouth century egg, artery clogging roast goose, (some more only wife and I had to work our way through half a goose, as our host didnt eat red meat), deep fried garoupa and the fluffiest sticky rice possible.

Day 2 saw us up bright and early, doing the token sightseeing at the Chi Lin Nunnery, in Diamond hill. Its claim to fame is its architecture, Tang Dynasty, and method of construction, not a single nail. Yadda yadda.

Amongst the topics that came up were the prohibitively expensive costs of dying in HK. Charming isn't it. The costs of cremation and interning the ashes are to die for.

After lunch at the Dynasty Club, next to the Grand Hyatt, we had to make our way to the highlight of the trip, ie, the wedding. First was the civil ceremony at the City Hall.

It was quite a novel experience, coz here people don't wear their wedding gowns for the civil registry. In place of a church service, I guess the civil registry is the most important part, legally. There they were, in their full wedding accoutrements, looking rather dishy. The legal ceremony lasted all of 5 minutes, the registrar feigning a look of remote interest, in what must have been his 100th transaction for the day.

After the registry, we headed for the exhibition centre where the Sotheby's pre auction display was on. Masterpieces from Van gogh, Matisse, etc, commanding USD12million and above, reserve prices, Ming Dynasty Artifacts in the millions, panerai watches, Emeralds the size of blocks of constipated s***, just simply bedazzling. I politely declined the offer to inspect one of the Bulgari pieces, having feigned a little too much interest. The highlight was the bowl of beef brisket noodles after that, in the Harbour Cafe of the exhibition centre.

The wedding reception was at the Park lane hotel, Causeway Bay. This delightful sight greeted me upon arrival.

Nothing like the sight of bubbly to lift one's spirits. And my favourite brand as well.

The toasts and cake cutting are done before dinner. And, YAM SENG is a Malaysian thing, much like yee sang, and bak kut teh.

The wedding cake was elegantly simple, and consisted of a very spongy sponge, interspersed with fresh cream and peaches. Quite light and refreshing, and served as a stomach liner, pre dinner. Dinner was up to standard, of course. Suckling pig, sea whelk gratin, (still dunno what a whelk is), sharks fins, chicken, fish, etc etc. And the best part was, after the initial toast, no one seemed to care much for the moet, and after awhile, the waitress more or less dedicated the whole bottle for my personal consumption. Surprisingly, by the end of it, (which was quite early), I was still sober, which was proven the next morning when I could get up without a hangover, and in time to meet GW for breakfast.

Wife and I had to share a breakfast, coz lunch was a buffet at the Shangrila Island, and we had been warned by hostess, Godaunt, to MAKE sure we came hungry. The spread is somewhat like Lemon Garden's, if not a notch above. The yellow tail sashimi was wonderful. And the desserts.....migoodness. Usually sponges with many layers of colored creams are nice to look at, but bleagh to eat. But these were sublime. So was the souffle.

The debaucherous lunch was followed by another sinful dinner at Godaunt & Goduncle's place. It being the mid autumn festival kind of warranted a major feast. Sharksfins, (I daren't even blog how much fins there were, for fear of WIASO lobbing my head off), abalone, fish, chicken, etc.

After that dinner, we took a walk to Victoria park where the remnants of the mid autumn festival carnival was still happening. Quite an interesting experience.

Saturday morning, finally met up with the newlyweds, Mr and Mrs Ng, for whom I had made the wedding cake. (not the most RECENT newlyweds). Lunched in a dim sum place in Times Square, followed by dessert, a lovely mango puree with pomelo shreds and mango ice cream and sago.

These were my main purchases throughout the trip:
Yup, cookie cutters.

Sunday - hosted a pot luck dinner for Woman I am Scared Of, who is in town for her nephew's wedding, together with her housemate.