Friday, November 30, 2012

Some cute signages that I saw

sometimes the difference in culture and languages give different meaning in words
the moment we touched down at Madrid airport from Paris, we were changing from Bonjour to Ola

searching for an exit...we switched from Sortie *French* to Salida *Spanish*
but before we can get our asses out from the airport we need to retrieve our luggages and this was what I saw
Cinta = Loading belt

Yes I know u very "Cinta" me but where's my luggage????
it took some time for it to make its grand appearance with me breathing a heavy sigh of relief

then I google-ed translate the word Cinta
it also means Band, tape, cassette, headband, film, ribbon

As we were traveling down south to Andalusia by train, JS and Monkey were joking
JS: "They said no pasar here, means no operating your goreng pisang nasi lemak etc stalls here"
hahahahha oh my, u were's so clean!!!!!

Pasar = cross, skip, go, pass

But the best culture and language and word reference indifference happened in Seville
Monkey: "Hablas ingles???"
Waiter: "uhhh a little bit...."
Monkey: "Okie buen. Agua minerale sin gas uno botella."
tried to sound her best in spanish which she learnt during the 2 hours Plane ride
but totally failed dot com
however Monkey managed to order yummy good food all the time
worse to worst just describe with hand gesture, finger pointing and sounds mimicking a certain animal. Yeah now u laugh but it works every time in ever single country.

so.....the story was...we saw some really huge ass Langoustine on display
the size of my hand + wrist + palm
price goes according to kilos and it was about Euro 140 per kilo. We ordered 3 huge ass ones
before it goes onto the grill, the waiter put the fresh seafood onto a stainless steel plate to show us

out game 3 huge ass TIGER PRAWNS

Monkey and JS were in horror
"Langoustine!!! not gambas!!!"

Waiter then was ku-li-ku-lu in spanish which we totally don't understand and being smart enough to know that Langoustines don't emit any sound, hence I can't mimick its sound to give him the correct animal or seafood...watever -_-

I'm hungry....go to the kitchen and show him wat we want!!!

Finally, JS did wat needed to be done
ku-li-ku-lu waiter then came to me: "senora!!! ku-li-ku-lu ku-li-ku-lu CIGALAS!!!!"
ok ok ok I got's called Cigalas not Langoustine

how would I know the same thing in France is Langoustine and in Spain it's cigalas
and u call your prawns langoustine
and u call your shrimp gambas

later....when asking for recommendation on dessert
Waiter: "Ku-li-ku-lu ku-li-ku-lu"
Monkey: "What was that???"

Waiter: "it saaaa a bacon from heaven....from the sky..."
it doesn't sound like an interesting dessert at all -_-

whatever I'll just try your bacon from heaven bestowed by your angels, trust me u'll be surprised by its bacon from heaven kekekekekeke
will post about this place's fun to travel and learn new things from locals. really fun and hilarious :))))))

I promised myself I will download a translator the next time we go to Spain

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

From the Vine to the Glass

We have been visiting champagne for the past 3 years
every year at the foot of the 800 years old Notre Dame Cathedral in Reims, Monkey will bid farewell bcoz I've alwiz thought....I won't be here for the next many many years to come?

and every time 12 months later, I found myself standing at the foot of the 800 years old cathedral looking at it, in awe.

Visiting Champagne had alwiz been great joy for us
not so for the drinking *ok ok ok drinking is JOY too*

we were more intrigued by the grape growers, wine and champagne makers
it's a very very educational process in every single visit to every single maker
each has its unique terroir, style, blending, methodology, principles and believes.

Getting an appointment may seem easy, only for commercial maker but not for artisans
in this case, we needed all the help from reputable wine merchants cum FRIENDS with BENEFITS

Took this pic from the wall outside Vincent Laval's home
another true champagne artist

because each and every of them is so unique, I will do separate posting about each and every visit we have....from growers who produce 30,000 bottles each vintage to those in millions

*Moet & Chandon mass produced about 35 million each year and this number is still under-rated*
for JS, this is his playground

on a separate note....wat nonsense it has become...
he lost 4kg from this trip and I've gained 3kg
I soooooo hate my metabolism rate

am not gonna look at my scale anymore for the time being coz it's so depressing especially the thought of us travelling again soon and me stuffing my face with FOOOOODDDDD

JS been already looking for jobs here in Champagne
yea he offered himself for free in return to be able to work on the vineyard and for free drinks
-_-" x 1000000000000
it's tough job
when everyone thought all the hardwork happens during the winemaking..
in actual fact 70% of the work is out there....with the soil and the plant
and if you are a bio-dynamique has got to do with cosmo....
the positioning of the stars the moon and planets...*OMG where is pluto now???*

People said it's crap but I'm a believer
they say if u believe in Biodynamic you cannot believe in Science
and if you believe in Science you cannot CANNOT believe in Biodynamic

to me Biodynamic is science, just because we the human race can't find any answers for that yet
doesn't mean it's not happening
Whatever you believe in, as long as it works and yield the results u wanted then practice it

Happy Wednesday there folks
We alwiz strived to be happy for one can only find joy in happiness

watever you are seeking today, I hope you will achieve it :)))))

If you are still looking for more reads,
u can *click here* for the previous visits we did in Champagne

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Rocky Mountain

I don't know if this rock is qualified as a hill or mountain
but it's one hell of a huge ass rock that our train had to go around it
the train went really fast so all my pics were blurry so pardon me for that

as the train turned around the rock, I got slightly different angle of it....
esp when the Sun shone on this rock and unveiled its terrain
those were olive trees at the foot of it

there were too much of reflections on the pics....very sorry
but I can assure u the view was really stunning

after making a 270 degrees turn around the rock, we got a different view
cool huh?
so totally different fr the first pic

there are different types of mountain - Fold, Volcanic, Dome, Plateau and Fault-Block etc
guess this was a Fault-Block Mountain :D
I wasn't a mountain person but a sea-person
now I am beginning to fall in love with mountains :))))

Monday, November 26, 2012

We are HOME!!!!!

From a cloudless sky and beautiful historical view to......

*the view from our balcony*
to another beautiful view at home but slightly overcast sky :)))
I'm not complaining tee hee hee
it's good to be home

Monkey, JS and the contingent of hobbits touched down yesterday
Vacation had been amazing and we look fwd to the next one
yes very very soon say in a few weeks time?

I better hurry up and get my ass back to work
if I want another peaceful work-free vacation

stay tune, more pics coming up tmrw
Happy Monday folks!!!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

La Geode

*pic taken from momeld.wordpress*

Never thought of coming here we are just gonna do that
with the hobbits of coz :))))))

Happy Weekend!!!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Eiffel Tower

Back here.....lazing around......

Do u know that the tower was named after the engineer who built it - Gustave Eiffel???
and it was meant to be a temporarily structure for the World's Fair in 1889?
imagine all the work and efforts put in for something meant to be temporarily
but I am glad they kept it intact, bcoz it's the icon of Paris :)))

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Andalusia, Spain

Never cross my mind that we will be Andalusia....but we did :)))
crossing the country from west to east in Southern Spain was a beautiful journey
like a postcard pictures for hundreds of miles
olives tress, persimmon trees, orange and lemon trees, vegetables plantations, maize, cotton tree and so many other pretty plants
it was fun guessing what were there :P

so our journey goes down to South of Spain to Seville and stayed at the most fabulous hotel ever
*ever ever ever*
okie I will do a separate posting on this historical fabulous beautiful hotel :)))

visited the world most gothic cathedral, where Christopher Columbus tomb is
and had a run around the most preserved Bull Ring
*yes u got it, I ran with my hands on my head depicting horns of a bull charging*
**well I really dun care what other visitors are thinking but I had an amazing time :D**

drove to the Sherry producing province and had sherry tasting
walked through 2,600 barrels of sherry aging with music on the background
*yes they put on music bcoz happy sherry needs happy sounds to age happily and produce excellent sherry*

then off to the river mouth in Sanlucar de Barrameda where Ferdinand Magellan set sail to find the New World back in 1519. As though we haven't had enough of history, we headed down south to Cadiz a beautiful small town with a star shaped fortress by the Ocean
Berr, Sheep Sheep & Labbit watched sunset on top of the fort facing the Atlantic Ocean
don't think I've seen the Atlantic Ocean yet
there's alwiz a first :)))))

not as ambitious as Magellan our lil "expedition" then headed East to find the beautiful Palace built by the Nasrid Dynasty in the middle of 10th century
the said palace is Alhambra :))))))
*i am sure u've learnt this in history*
looked like something out of 1001 Nights or the Arabian nights
right? right right right???

I felt like an Arabian princess with a veil on her face walking through the Courts of Lions
the entire palace has got fountains and water features everywhere
it sure felt at peace with the sound of water trickling all the time
aaaAAaaaaaa we lived the life of royals for a few hours...kekekekeke

so our journey has yet to end
we are heading back to Paris for *u know what*
and of coz more museums visit
will keep u guys posted :))))

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Hobbits want......

2012 marks the 20th anniversary of Disneyland Paris
and nope I didn't snap this pic
it was JS
he told me they want to go
I was thinking....prollie it was JS who wanted to go
there's alwiz a small lil boy inside that grown man
u think so?
I do :)

Aqueduct of Segovia, Spain

even the mention of this name sounded so noble and grand
indeed it was a grand ancient city

only 27 minutes by high speed train from Madrid, Segovia is not to be missed
and once we arrived, the huge and great aqueduct greeted us :))))
It was my first...
I've seen aqueduct on the tele and books but not like right smack on my face
it's HUGE!!!!!

makes u wonder how the heck they stacked the huge slab of stones on top of each other for kilometers and kilometers
and it's not only about stacking stones....aqueduct transports WATER, the source of life from the mountain to the town centre
so not only it must hold is also the only water supply for the people in the ancient city
Built in the 1st century with no machinery and computers to do all the calculations
it looked pretty perfect to me
and still standing tall until today :))))))

I will do a separate posting on the ancient city of Segovia

In the mean time, yep we are still traveling *with the hobbits of coz*
and dearie JS been bz snapping beautiful pics for your eyes

Friday, November 16, 2012

Chef Yuichi Kamimura for Cilantro

Chef Kamimura is a friend of Chef Kimura and was flown in for a special 3 nite dinner
currently based in Niseko, Japan....Chef Yuichi Kamimura worked for the famous Tetsuya in Sydney before relocated back to his own country.

We were very lucky to secured a table *private room* to enjoy and savor his creation
never before Cilantro Restaurant has done this kind of format - a collaboration with another chef

once all the hungry guests were seated.....dinner started with a simple, clean, fresh oyster
just to whet our appetite :))))

Hokkaido ocean trout with cumin
this was presented so beautifully with some fish roe

according to Dr. Epicurean, after his feedback and input the nite before....the food has became even more outstanding
yeah he had the same menu for 2 nites in a row
so I can imagine any restaurant establishment would be so stressful to have him as a client :P

Salad of Kegani with broccoli and dash jelly
kegani is a Hokkaido hairy crab, those with long legs

the meat was pretty creamie hence it was paired with fresh ingredients like the tip of the broccoli and even fresher dashi stock jelly :))))

Seiichi San and MW Maho
if this japanese couple said it's good...then it's really GOOD

we met them at Dr. Epicurean birthday dinner a few months ago
relocated from Tokyo, Malaysia is now their 2nd home

Ducks consommé with Foie Gras Ravioli
this one was really really really awesomely good
*smacks lips*

see I wasn't lying...if Seiichi San enjoyed his consommé this way, it's that yummy
Poached Buri with Gribiche sauce and japanese herbs
this one I didn't really fancy but everyone said it was good
perhaps it was or maybe I don't really fancy fish being poached bcoz of the fishiness or maybe just maybe it was the herbs that they used???
Grilled scallop with clam risotto
all those nitrogen freeze-d powder there were prepared in Japan and brought here for this special dinner
White = truffle
Green = parsley
Orange = carrot
Confit of chicken with sautéed vegetables
believe it or not? this simple dish with crispy chicken skin and soft moist chicken was my favorite dish
all the chicken-awesomeness were power-packed in this dish

Prince C & JS
guess who didn't have chicken? hahahahahhaaha
bcoz it was so good....JS actually had chicken!!!!!!

notice the plaster on his finger??
accident in the kitchen :P and nope I definitely didn't bite him
according to him, it was his 1st accident where he cut his finger + hand while opening a bottle of wine
that bottle better worth the pain man :P
Chef Yuichi Kamimura served Roasted amy with potato puree
it must be his speciality
I was waiting for mine to be served but out came.....
Chef Takashi Kimura's famous beef.....nyek nyek nyek
they were so thoughtful to served me beef
bcoz I am not a lamb person

Chef Yuichi Kamimura is quite young
and nope he doesn't look serious like this all the time
just managed to capture this one and only serious pic of him

Most of the time, he's a Happy Man like this

and like this....

when Dr. Epicurean is talking to him
coz Dr. Epicurean is very serious about his food, he continuously contributes feedbacks whenever wherever he dines
Cooking for him is stressful~~~~~~
we had a beautiful excellent La Romanee with the main course
so beautiful that a bottle wasn't enough to be shared

I-Ching & Prince C drove all the way from Ipoh for this dinner
it's the school holiday then, and the children tagged along
nope, they were not at the dinner but at home.....I dun think Cilantro accept kids
do they?

Chef Takashi Kimura & Chef Yuichi Kamimura

Finally a warm Ivory Chocolate with ice cream
guess who enjoyed this the most???

in fact everyone did....
but the one who had double portion was none other than Prince C

the guys
after a happy meal :P

Chef Takashi, JS, Chef Yuichi, Wine Lord ST, Dr.Epicurean
so stuffed someone had to hugged his tummy!!!!

I lurve this pic...
look at Chef Takashi!!! hahahah so cute

our petit four
it was then that JS had to go around showing everyone including the CHEFS pics of his homemade candle -_-"
*we are in France and def gonna lug some canele moulds home*

think we didn't have enuff
coz someone ordered this, u know who....those Carbo KingssssSSSsssssss

then Dr. Epicurean asked Monkey: "U still want more beef?"

never mind that we had our dessert and petit four 
when the beef is so good, we dun mind a repertoire
so out it rolled...plates and plates of yummy beef for everyone
and yes we wolfed them down again :)))))

yes we wolfed them down like this
and when I checked my watch, it's midnite
so technically these 2 last repertoire were meant for supper

Wines for the evening
Did we only have those????
2 bottles of champagnes
3 whites
4 reds
2 dessert wines
the bottle wrapped with a blinding socks was the La Romanee :)))))
MW Maho sat next to Monkey and I got a lot of blinding notes from her
she's pursuing her Master of Wines now
hahahahahhahahaha looked so reluctant to smile
Monkey was bitching about JS to Chef Takashi
"Look at his mise-en-place!!!!! thank gawd he never make me prepare them~~~~~"

I can't remember what time it has to be so late that even the specially flown in assistant chef of Chef Kamimura joined us for "supper"

"After-hours" discussion with chefs
I can see that Wine Lord was half asleep there~~~~~~
then we caught him "recharging" at the cigar lounge

I know.....both of us were so tipsy
we continued to drink until we were chased outta the restaurant
hahahaha no....they didn't chase us out
they almost had to wheel us out bcoz we were all FAT and HEAVY after the yummy dinner
Cheers to the 2 great chefs
it was really an awesome dinner injected with a lot of passion into ingredients, techniques and finesse.