Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Our Graduation Partay @ Viva Stage

 *pic courtesy of Tracy - one of the Pole Fitness student*

the above was the aerial silk dance, now gaining popularity in Malaysia. Its technicality requires one to have a strong core body to hoist urself around the semi-elastic silk fabric a few metres high. But when I saw pics of my instructor performing for Partay of the Century a few months ago, it was really scary....at least 5 floors high???

  *pic courtesy of Tracy - one of the Pole Fitness student*

see how each move is so elegant, smooth and beautiful - despite the pain, u can't pull a grimace on ur face but to go on and perform. I guess this is wat u call skills and showmanship.

So monkey, enuff of climbing trees, wanna challenge urself to Aerial Silk??

about a month ago, it was me and my classmates very first performance....in public. Okie technically it's not public public per say. It was a graduation performance, admired and watched by other students of Viva Vertical Malaysia.

But the thought of having to perform in kinda public really scare the shit out of us. I guess I was the worse in terms of mental strength and positivity. My classmates took up the challenge with glee and coaxed Monkey to perform together. And so I accepted this and played along with so much of nervousness in me I swear it could move and shake any mountains!!! Wahahahahahaha.
 *pic courtesy of Tracy - one of the Pole Fitness student*

and so me and my classmates did the graduation performance, to mark our passing of a phase. The phase of complaining about doin our spins, our warmups, our hectic schedule, and all the so-called difficulties in beginners' level 1.

Looking back, those were just baby steps and child's play now that we've moved onto intermediate. No longer we complained about conflicting schedules but we make time for it. Bruises on our bodies were marks of victory, pain and more pain and even more pain were tolerated with smiles after we've managed some new tricks.
the 6 of us came quite a long way....embarked in a journey of discovery every week. Discovering each other's strength and weakness, being pillars of support at every classes. Took on a buddy system to be a "spotter" and "Crash mats" bahahahahaha. Yeah it's still kinda quite a dangerous fitness routine I say.

The above was pic of our pose at the end of our routine. It wasn't a difficult routine but to get everyone in sync was actually the difficult part. Each and every of us has some form of strength and our instructor capitalize on that in order for us to showcase it. *and hide our weakness* bahahahaha.

I guess that's life too. Build on your strength and work on ur weakness.
  *pic courtesy of Tracy - one of the Pole Fitness student*

Monkey and her partner Ann....she gave such a beautiful smile while I was trying to smile despite the pain on my inner thighs. Yeah try that at home and hold ur own weight up there.

Oh nvm...this was just the beginner's level. Have some faith in us and we will be better as we move up and up and up the pole. Hahahaha. Height is seriously a problem for me, for fear of heights is something that I need to conquer. It's all in the mind.
  *pic courtesy of Tracy - one of the Pole Fitness student*

Who said Pole Fitness is just for gals?? We have a few performances by guys too. And mind you, it's a solo performance OK??? and he's also moving from beginner to intermediate. 

beginner/intermediate can already do that then we seriously gotta work harder gals!!!!
in fact guys have got stronger arms and core body so certain moves proved to be easier for them. Having said that, there were also some not so easy ones for the guys.

   *pic courtesy of Tracy - one of the Pole Fitness student*

She's so graceful and beautiful isn't she? Her performance was strong and passionate at the same time. Powerful and soft along the line. It's all about control, technicality and love for Fit Pole. U gotta love it to enjoy it!! it's really painful~~~~

*pic courtesy of Tracy - one of the Pole Fitness student*

another strong performer. We were taught this trick last week and oh my....did we crash land?? I don't really know...my fear for heights was so strong I couldn't overcome it yet....just yet...haiizzzz....whehn will I be like these amazing students????

*pic courtesy of Tracy - one of the Pole Fitness student*

after numerous showcasing and performances in Pole Fitness, Hoops, Aerial Silk and different genre of dances...it was the closing performance by Nicholas. He's so so so so so good having won so many accolades and competitions in the region.

Monkey had the opportunity to be taught under him for just one class. It was really an honor. Those were the exact words from me to him before the class started. After the class ended, I text-ed my instructor and said, I don't want Nicholas anymore.

It's not that Nicholas is no good. He's AMAZING!!!
just that Monkey felt that she's such a terrible student, she doesn't deserve Nicholas. He has got such discipline and stalin style methods, I am scared of him. If you are into the competition type and trophies collector, please go to Nicholas. He will ensure that you achieve your objective. Nicholas has flown to HK to be based there, yea he's that good hence he has gone international already. Good luck there and look forward to more amazing performance from u at international level. Do Viva Vertical proud!!!
What's a graduation about if there's no cert/awards presentation???
Monkey was so ecstatic when she received her "paper" from Instructor Angel that she threw a ribs crushing hug to her!!!! Angel received the near-death not so warming hugs with giggles.

The most angelic instructor ever!!! Always supporting me and be my crash mats!!! She may be petite but has a huge heart and strong arms!!! hahahaha but most of all thank you for your patience with my nuisance of almost-to-tears-i-dont-wanna-do-this. Yeahh why do u even pay for something that u don't want? If u are investing time and money innit, u better put ur 300% into it.
Me and classmates with Instructor Angel
beaming with pride holding our certificates :)))))
with classmates Ann and Beautiful CS

ppl usually ask why do we have to wear so little. In fact you need all the skin u have on your body. The friction between your skin and the pole is needed to "stick" urself there. Else u gonna fall.

Pole Fitness or Fit Pole is a very popular form of exercise these days. It's fun trust me, u'll have an amazing time with your friends and really tones ur body up!!! I've seen how my body changed over the months and I don't really care about diet. I lurve my food and calories too much!!!
Brian C and Sally Betty were here too!!! It was really nerve wrecking when u have friends among the audience....bahahahaha. But then I was really tired, must be from the endless clickin from the shutters, definitely not from Fit Pole.
All the really happy students who graduated on that day, in their own discipline and strength. Yes u don't have to have certain form and conformity to start this. Just go and try and have some fun :)))

I know it may just be a piece of paper but I'm still so proud of it.

when I got home....
does it worth it?
Totally...every single millimetre of bruises on my body is worth it!!!

and a few weeks ago, a journalist from Malaysian Digest wanted to interview me on Fit Pole and so i directed him to my instructors...do take some time to read his experience. I am so proud that he tried it on first hand to have further understanding. Great Job there!!!

Click here to read

If you would like to find out more info on my dance school:


Monday, March 30, 2015

Kaiseki dinner at Beniya Mukayu, Yamashiro

Kobako female snow crab with jellyfied sauce and a lot of eggs :)))) Notice the pieces of flesh fr its legs all dissected and presented back nicely onto the this single shell? It was orgasmic-ly yummy, if there's such word to describe it.

Layers and layers of meat and eggs and roe were stacked beautifully here. We were so amazed by the culinary skills and freshness of the ingredients here. After all it's winter, and crabs are at its peak season and in abundance.

a cute hand drawn and hand written menu for us - since we were the only non-japanese I guess they needed to re-write a simple menu for our understanding.

When all the flesh and eggs were gladly dancing in our tummy, theres another bomb. Hahaha I didn't know female crab has got nothing else but roes in its body.

JS selected a bottle of white to pair with our crab dinner. No complains for Monkey as long as there's alcohols. :))))

Some ryokans serve dinner at your own room but having it at a common hall or dining room isn't uncommon either. Here all the guests were seen wearing the same yukata with an additional over-coat due to the winter chill.

Mischievous JS inverted the female crab shell so she's looking back at him angrily!!! You ate my legs and all my eggs!!! >.<

ohhh madam crab, u were some awesomely delectable!!!!

Next was a consomm√© of vegetable soup with a lotus root bun. The roots were grated finely to almost powder form before being prepared this way. The soup was so so clear. This is another style of kaga cooking focusing on their local vegetables and produce. 

Next course was served in a long and raw looking granite slab. Beautifully decadent pieces of food laid in a very zen style. Remember we feast first with our eyes

According to our South American room attendant, everything is edible except the pine tree sticks that's holding the ginkgo. Hahahaha

Let us bring you through pieces by pieces. Here we have the japanese green herbs, sweet aubergine/eggplant that has been slightly fried, roasted ginkgo on pine tree sticks with such beautiful nutty aromas, lotus root chips.

continuing on were sushis fr fishes of the season. all prepared in beautiful bites size. A piece of sweet japanese potato from this region.

They were too pretty to be eaten, instead both of us were admiring it. The handiwork and craftsmanship of chefs at Beniya Mukayu. :)))

This is very very localized delicacy. Karasumi sandwiched in between crunchy turnip, such a good balance of savoriness of the karasumi *mullet roe* and the sourness of the pickled turnip which give a really delightful crunch. 

Next were slices of sashimi of the season - Buri the amazing seasonal fish from Ishikawa and aka-ika also known as the red flying squid famous for its creamy texture, also from this region.

Next were 2 pieces of sushi of Maguro Tuna and Shiroebi shrimp.

Oh my...the tuna....was so fatty and juicy. Melts in the mouth effortlessly with such luscious taste. The rice complement the beautiful sea produce. While the shrimps may looked colorless, it was power packed with sweetness of the sea with a delightful flavor of crustaceans. 

Just check out the marbling of the tuna.....oh my...too good...Now where can I eat this again??? JS, we need to go back to Japan soon!!!!

Our main course arrived in a box, still steaming hot. When the lid was unveiled, the smell was so sweet. It just start our stomachs rumbling again~~~~

Oh mg gawd~~~~ the amazing Snow Crab!!!! 

The crab is named as such bcoz it's only found in northern regions and countries that have got a lot of snow. Other common names that refer to this same crabs are Spider Crab and Queen Crab.

My eyes were transfixed to its single shell fully loaded with roe.....holy shit!!!

The legs were beautifully prepared for easy consumption. This crab was lightly steamed to maintain its sweetness and texture. 

While the flesh from its body has been extracted out, presented on a separate plate. We were taught to consume it either separately or mix them up with the roe. I guess either way it has to go into our tummy hehehehehe.

Oh I can't describe in words the creaminess and richness in it. It has got a good grip on the tongue, almost like a chambertin wine :)))

how could something prepared just be steaming be this awesomely amazing good?? 

JS quickly transferred my portion of snow crab onto my plate. I guess he's afraid that he would consume my portion if it's not being separated right from the beginning. Hahahahaha.

Notice how the shell has been cut/saw out for easy consumption? Aesthetically it looked beautiful too this way. Japanese really thought of everything when it comes to way of living/eating etc.

As JS was bz doin dermarcation on the crab legs, I was more focused on this one. Wahahahaha. Don't worry no one was harm in the war of fighting for whooping share of the snow crabs. 

The beautiful vase for us to dispose the shells. Monkey was bz clipping JS's nose and lips with them instead. Yeah when I'm having so much fun, my table manners seems to be gone.

Just as we thought the snow crab was the bomb and highlights of the dinner...out came a piece of grilled Nodoguro fish. Oh my....the number one and most sought after fish in Japan, the black throat perch fish!!!! We were so lucky to have Nodoguro every meal everyday in Ishikawa :))))

a beautiful saucer of sea salt was presented on our table...and we thought dinner was already over. There's more food???

According to the Kaga cuisine kaiseki's order of servings, the last meal would be a hotpot, usually a duck hotpot but bcoz of Mr. JS the no chicken no duck rulings applied, chefs replaced with something else. Monkey actually didn't mind the duck at all but for JS I will give it a miss and play/eat along.

When it arrived.....-_-" can I change it to duck seriously?
Cod fish sperms.....why do I have to eat so many of these here? Chef was very generous and served me the portion so huge it's as big as a real monkey brain. Don't you think it looked like brains? So you just eat them with sea salt. 

Finally the last of the last were usually rice, soup and pickles. Here we have a rather delicious soup with egg yolks and japanese herbs. I gobbled down the whole bowl despite protesting that my tummy is gonna explode.

So so so delicious. :)))) comfort food :)))

Homemade pickles. Always my favorite :)))) We never seem to be able to buy good quality pickles here in Msia. 

Dessert was simple and zen - homemade ice cream served in thin rice waffle.
It looked simple but the taste was pretty complex. It has a slightly sea salt savoriness innit.

It has to be cows here that gave dairy products in Japan such fantastic quality. Anything to do with dairies are amazingly excellent. When I analyzed the size of this dessert, it's actually a huge scoop being sandwiched in here!!!

The other guests finished their dinner much earlier and headed to the hot bath...while Monkey and JS were still yakking away, discussing much on Kaga cuisine. It's so unique in its own way, seasonally and geographically. 

Dinner fit for kings!!!!
usually dinner, breakfast, room, pick-up transfer service were all incorporated into your stay. That includes taxes on bathing *hot spring*. Oh well of coz exclude any ala carte and alcohols that you order. 

When we arrived back in our room, there was a beautiful basket with more handmade sushis waiting for us. Just in case we get hungry again. Gah!!!

and Monkey dipped herself into the really hot spring bath looking up the starry sky, discussing more on Ishikawa and Kaga Cuisine while JS was happier splashing water instead. Woi!!! who's the kiddo now?

True enough, after each hot bath dip, one tends to get hungry. Hahahaha The water here are alkaline and are said to be good for rheumatism. We had a very beautiful experience here at Beniya Mukayu and would highly recommend it :)))

The focus on the local cuisine and execution of the each dish never fails to delight us. There seems to be layers of texture and flavours on every morsel of food. Though most of the creation may looked simple, trust me it's not easy to execute, instead a lot of thoughts were put in it.

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