Friday, May 29, 2015

Recent Work trip to the land beneath the wind

The moment Monkey landed, it was straight to the resort....Shangri-la Rasa Ria that is :))) There are 2 Shangri-la in Kota Kinabalu and this one is about 1 hour away from city centre. But...I wasn't here for the stay...*I really wished I could* that just brought back sweet memories of my stay here just 9 months ago :))))

Anyway it was a chop chop zoom zoom meeting with the Shangri-la peeps. I alwiz thought it would be nice to work in a hotel industry especially if you are based at the resort...but again long hours require a lot of passion, energy and dedication.
I was lucky enuff to catch a glimpse of Mount Kinabalu....Hello there!!!! remember me??? I did a token climb on you just a few months ago with Kindy Chai!!
*click here to read about our 2.5km climb outta 8km*

It's alwiz good to be back here even for work :))) pretty laid back with lots of good food.
when I was shown the venue for the future event, I feel in love :))))
but sometimes what u like and love doesn't mean it can be executed. There's a lot of considerations from matters beyond ur control, namely the weather. Yes it would be nice to have champagne tasting on this gazebo :))) over sunsets and swaying palm trees. Oh well not this time but maybe for the next and the next and the next events :)))
and on the very same nite it was a launch event from my portfolio. It's really fun to party with Sabahans. They are hyper and really appreciative of life. Think I konked out and went home earlier than the hundred odd party goers.
The next morning.....the weather was so stunning!!! Monkey was picked up by Susanna to the yacht club for breakfast. I know...I hardly sleep so pardon me if u see some eye bags soon appearing on this blog. Susanna has picked up sailing for quite a while and she will take Monkey out to sail to one of the beautiful islands soon. Woohooo~~~ another item to add into my check-list :)))
We were lucky enuff to be offered a piece of this special Chinese Rice Dumpling from Keningau. 90% of populations here are Dusuns and Muruts hence the influence on this chinese rice has got crushed peanuts innit. A huge piece of organic salted duck egg yolk, as golden as the sunsets in Kota Kinabalu....but most of all pieces of sliced local organic free range pork. The pigs here in Sabah is of a different species, it has got a different taste and flavour - don't believe me? Try their pork noodles!!!

This rice dumpling uses glutinous rice planted by the mountain and got a really good texture. It's so good to be able to enjoy all the local produce here :)))
and the best drink to consume here in Sabah apart from their locally made alcos *I should stop blogging bout alcohol all together....even before joining this company, friends labeled me as alcoholics and now colleagues said I'm an alkie -_-" *

is this drink called "Kit Chai Pink" in hakka. Oh chinese here speaks perfect hakka, from the market to the noodle shop. But most of the time, all I heard was Kadazan's language.
After breakfast and picked Eve up from the airport we had lunch :)))))
The famous Tuaran Noodle...made from fragrant locally handmade noodle, fried with roast pork and vege...and lotsa eggs before a generous dash of locally made rice wine was being poured all over it. Slurp~~~~~ *ok confirmed I'm a lover for any alcohols :D*

best-est fry noodle has the breathe of fire, the chewiness, the egg-iness. All the elements and ingredients to make any tummy happy :)))
and in the afternoon, Monkey went back to Mr. JS's mommy's home for the day....and saw these bunch of hobbits there...They looked so sad....I snapped a pic for him to see.

Monkey: "Hey look, ur mommy's home has got hobbits too."
JS: "Eeyerr why they looked so kampung one?"
Monkey -_-"
coz they never been out off home!! these hobbits are for Cookie the dog!! such lucky doggie to have so many toys at home and 2 comfy fluff beds for pets. All thanks to Susanna and Eve who spoilt Cookie to the max.
and when dinner came....the maids cooked my favourite fish!!!! to the locals here, these are cheap fish. Bahahahaha....sorry I am a cheap person, very easy to satisfy. The golden one is called Pisang fish or banana fish....scientific name is Banana Fusilier. These u can't find in Peninsular Malaysia. It has got great sweetness and texture. Yumssss. Fried and then eaten with maids' secret recipe raw mango salsa. *which i tapao back home here*

The other dish I was looking fwd from the maids was Pumpkin cooked with local potato leaves and dried shrimps...but this time around it's not in season. I lurve it so much till the maids called me Miss Pumpkin :D
JS's mommy slow boiled papaya and pork bone soup with longans. Garnished with springs onions from their herb garden. I can live it forever I think....but JS insisted that Sabah is too boring.

and bcoz I could eat so much, the maid re-heated homemade banana and sweet potatoes fritters which was such a hit....bcoz there's some secret ingredients innit. Think she could set up a stall outside the home and make some brisk business.

the next morning......cold pressed beetroot juice with ginger. It has to be cold pressed to maintain the vitamins content of the jus. Am so blessed to be well taken care of here in Sabah. :))))

Kids playing by the beach overlooking the islands. Trails of storm clouds coming the way. Aaaaaaa I don't mind coming here more often :)))

So am looking forward to my arrival here again next month :))) It's the weekend folks, what do you have in plan?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ipoh Stadium Food Centre

Wok fried Rice noodle aka beehoon
Where's the noodle??? hahahaha we just lurve the beans sprouts from Ipoh. Fat, juicy and crunchy!!! One can go crazy at this food centre next to the stadium. It has many stalls with a variety of food from malay chinese indian. Not only it's cheap but really good, definitely value for money.

This plate of fried noodle has got such intense breathe of fire....its wok must be melting from the torch of its stove. Hahahahaha really really good and ain't easy to fry beehoon to this dry texture.
If u are not a fan of beehoon, there's always the velvety flat rice noodles aka kuey teow. A raw egg was added in before they serve this for that extra moist and yummmnesss~~~~~the chili sauce was pretty good too!!

The wan tan noodle is very good here too, just that we didn't have any more space to eat...since this was an interlude between our many breakfasts before lunch which was scheduled to start at 12pm sharp.

 something new that we tried this trip - Pork innards soup.

The broth was pretty intense with sourness from the "kiam chye", some julienned ginger. I'm not an innard person but the crispy fried intestines were so good. You can also opt for fish meat if u are not a pork innards person.

Mixed fruits rojak....with thick yummy and stick shrimp paste...very very balanced, enuff of acidity and sweetness.

Finally to quench our thirst after all these sinful food.....something light and refreshing - shaved iced with lemon juice. By that time, it's already 11.45am. Time to head off for lunch....this was not our first breakfast...some of us had dim sum early in the morning...

and this hakka noodle earlier nearby the hotel.

If u are in Ipoh, u should really pay a short visit to this food centre by the stadium. Parking could be difficult, but the food here is good and cheap :)))

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Catch-up session with the gang

These days, the world just got smaller without borders anymore. You could be at one place in the morning and another by noon and fly over to another destination for the evening. In fact the saying goes of having breakfast at A then late lunch at B before proceeding to C for dinner could actually happen all thanks to the convenience of air travels and globalisation. So the world is really small.

A few weeks ago, we had a gathering of different people from different part of the globe. Malaysians who have been residing in Hong Kong for years, or Shanghainese who calls Singapore her home or a Japanese couple whom traveled endlessly I don't really know where their homes are.

Ellen who enjoys her wines as much as her travels :))))
Madame herself who's half Korean half Japanese but really a globe trotter. I can't recall how many languages she speaks. MW Maho plays golf from beautiful Provence to Nordic Sweden and then back to hot humid Malaysia before flying off to Tokyo to check on her houses. But she doesn't reside there.

Again, Chef Takashi was in his top form again - creating NEW dishes and some of his iconic signature dishes too. I really don't know how he does it, by keeping tab of a database of recipes vs his clients....wat the clients had and their comments + tasting notes. So 80% of the time we'll have new dishes. It's not helping that we are there at least 4 times a month, he must be scratching his head.

This one was special....MW Maho alwiz managed to surprise us with her "Surprises" it's always not what it seems....I know she's wicked. Being a MW - Master of Wines, she has all the access and knowledges to procure stunning wines and basically all the good stuffs which were unheard of. Let's keep it that way to keep the prices down.

A guest brought this beautiful 1982 bordeaux. Considered to be a young label though the history dated from 1725. It was once split into 2 families through generations of inheritance before being re-united again. Again due to globalisation and commercialisation, it is no longer own by the same family. These days, it's hard to find companies being own by the same family after so many generations of savoir faire.

Cote Rotie from the beautiful Rhone Valley :)))
brought back memories of our trip there 6 months ago.

I know, we are really blessed with all these experiences.
of amazing friends, good health, beautiful journeys that we brushed through everyday :)))) Whichever way it is, you yourself gotta make it happen. Agree?

Fat plump japanese rice, served with lobster and a special secret sauce. Being Asian, I need my carbs. hehehehehe.

None of us are really sweets person, so dessert is usually simple and refreshing.

Look at all the contended and happy faces :))) Hahahaha But most of all, everyone was still feasting on the wines at the end of the meal. I look forward to our next catch-up, which is errr...tonite? hehehehehe.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Nasi Lemak Brunch Gathering

Rice boiling in rich coconut milk and coconut water, thrown in some pandanus leaves for that extra fragrant nose. YES JS boils all his rice from scratch and our rice cooker is a bit under-used. He was contemplating to get another high-end Japanese super rice cooker which cost thousands of USD...I dunno wat it does, prollie can make coffee and massage me too bahahahaha

so back to the ain't easy to control the temperature, but according to HIM, it's much easier to boil rice this way to achieve the best texture, consistency and flavours. I guess if he could start some wood fire at home, he would do it....>.<

the amazing caramelised....beef rendang...oh my gawd, this was a bomb!!! It's so rich and intense in flavours with good balance of spiciness, sweetness and coconut cream. I don't wanna know how much of coconut cream and milk went into preparing this brunch :))
The ferocious chef with his Japanese knife, but wearing a cute Kumamon apron :)))))
one of his many Birthday pressie from MW Maho...he indeed looked cute innit. Thank you MW Maho!!

everything was made from scratch including this sambal belacan paste, where Mr. JS had to cut the red dried chilis with his scissors to remove all of the seeds, wearing his gloves and apron....he looked like he's about to cry. HAHAHAHAHA poor thing but the end results was so fabulous so it's totally worth it!!

The camera feast first before the human can hahaha.

Yes I do know, I've lost too much of weight, it's not the kind of healthy weight lost bcoz 7kg gone in 2 months. So now I need to stuff my face with more food and nasi lemak to gain those back :))) Gimme back my curves!!! I don't wanna be a bag of skeletons!!!!

even the preparation of hard boiled eggs has got its own techniques *rolls eyes*
JS said it has to start from slow boil...bla bla bla give it that full and creamie texture. Before he could finish explaining his methodology, Monkey ady popped a few into her mouth alongside the yummylicious sambal.

We took "orders" from guests the nite they want their eggs and number of pieces. Runny yolks or thoroughly cooked.

The must have fragrant peanuts and crispy slow fried ikan bilis from Kuantan. Oh yes the anchovies must be fried slowly and patiently......ohmmmm ohmmmm ohmmmm, took quite some time and Monkey was bz stealing fr the bowl in the process...krop krop krop yummmsss.

superb beef rendang, garnished with thinly sliced kaffir lime leaves....oh so caramelised and the meat was so soft and succulent :)))))) delish~~~~If there's any rendang that can convert anyone, this would be it....bcoz even those guests who don't consume beef had the thick gravy.

crispy fried fish with turmeric powder. This's my all time favourite, if JS prepares this for dinner...oh yummssss.....dip with sambal or any homemade chili sauce makes my evening :))))

Homemade from scratch.....sambal sotong...

JS was so anal, he insisted that it has to be the yellow sotong, instead of the white one for its chewy texture and it can absorb more flavours from the base sauce and gravy. This whole pot of sambal was gone in 1.5 hours time.

very last minute, Mr. JS prepared a bonus dish - fried salted fish with sugar, fish sauce and drizzled with lime juice and cut bird eyes chili.

Monkey: "Eh I think some of our guests don't eat smellie salted fish lar."
JS: "Nevermind lar, I wanna eat."

in the end, everything gone.......-_-"

Monkey to a guest: "hey hey hey I thought u don't eat salted fish?"
Our Guest YS: "What do u mean I don't eat? I swallow them it!!!"

so...wat did Monkey prepared?
*sheepish smile*
I cleaned and cut the japanese cucumber. Very important to complement the main nasi lemak dish is complete without the cool cucumber...JS insisted it has to be cut in such angular chunks. and I thought doing this task was easy....when u are in JS's household, nothing is "easy"

and oh my......the end results...
forgot to add in beef rendang and fried egg into my final presentation. All the multiple preparation and hardwork was worth it. The grain was so flavourful with coconut milk and juice. Everything else complement each other from texture to flavours, spiciness was balanced with a certain amount of sweetness, the saltiness of the fried anchovies just add some zeng to the dish....but my ultimate favourite was still the sambal sotong....

and bcoz I've cut a huge servings of cucumber...there's a lot of leftover...I just ate them all with sambal :)))

chitter chatters on a beautiful sunday morning :))))
I lurve dining at my own home, no dress code....and so so comfy especially in the comfort and company of my friends :))))

everything was gone including 1kg of rice
I dunno how we could finish 1kg of rice!!!!

JS had to supplement more with the leftover belacan paste and fried a Nasi Goreng Belacan. Spicy yo!!!! He was too generous with the belacan paste.

mini cute sweet and crunchy apples and Teh Tarik and Horlicks ice creams!!!! Yup Nasi Lemak must have teh tarik. Beautiful CS brought a few packets of hot and fragrant teh tarik but we forgot to snap pics.

Lil Monster can't wait for her ice cream!!!

YS, Melvin, JS, Brian C and Eric C
Good to see that everyone had an amazing time and thank you for mopping off all the food. :)))

and the ladies - Beautiful CS with her Lil Monster, Sal, Monkey, Brian C and Eric C
Thank you for your infectious laughters and beautiful friendship.

We ate brunch till 5pm
hahahahahaaha so now it's time again to prepare for the next Nasi Lemak brunch for another group of friends. Now I can no longer eat outside Nasi Lemak for the version that's prepared and cooked with love by Mr. JS is just too yumssss.......

my colleagues still don't understand why izzit that I alwiz rushed home for dinner before coming out again to see them for events. 

Colleague: "Babe let's grab dinner before the event."
Monkey: "Dude, I gotta go home to eat ...."

Boss: "Do you want to dine with me before we head off for the event?"
Monkey: "I am goin home to eat first, so see you at the event boss!!"

colleaguesssss: "What is it about you goin home to eat first ALL THE TIME??? You don't like us izzit???"
Monkey :)))))))))) hehehehehe