Sunday, March 21, 2010

CNY - 2010

i know i'm very cacat when it comes to blogging, i blog on events that happened months and ages ago.... hehehe well, isn't this one way to freshen memories? hahaha i know i know, it's all excuses! LOL... well, whether u like it or not, here's one - my how-i-celebrated-CNY post :P

it started as usual with a MyviC TT on the eve of CNY. but this time it was different, it was a combined TT with BLM club (and i think WajaClub as well). we met up at Starbucks New World Park and headed off to Esplanade for some pics, but there was no parking space there - too crowded (know la.. CNY eve + V'day Eve + by the beach = packed with people). then we headed to the clocktower opp the jetty/QEII for a while and in the end we ended up at a place called "gurney 4" (i've no idea why they called it that). this time there was only 4 of us from MyviC, sad but true, 2 PPK us (we thought they were dating each other) and well the others, MIA. but overall, we had some great laughs which is a good thing :)

now this year, CNY falls on Valentine's Day, weird but true. double celebration? well depends on the individual. i asked #1 out (unfortunately i asked very casually) but he balik kampung.. so yea, then i asked #2 out, he said ok (maybe not knowing it was V-day, he agreed...) but in the end something came up which he had to go outstation AND also he kinda FORGOT that he agreed to go out with me... so yea... bummer... sigh...

so the ONLY man i could rely on in such situations is my one and only dad - whether he knows it alot, i love him! though it was just an ordinary dinner out, i was glad i was not home, on the couch going through the 6 national channels that we have on tv...

surprisingly dad wanted to try something new, and we saw Iciban Ramen and thought we'd give it a try. i've tried this place once with BC, it was so so, but it's good to hear that my dad wanted to try something new :D

2nd day of CNY, was the usual gathering of the 3 at BC's house. i fetched Sharon and headed to BC's place and started to catch up, eating CNY goodies (eventhough i had a very bad cough) and stuffed ourselves with lovely lunch :D we were there most of the afternoon and i got 3 angpaus!!! heheheheh

then later at night, i met up with Thi, we always say that we'd meet up but always our schedule clashed.. how come we all so busy ah? ahhaha... so we met briefly over some snacks and did some catching up too, bout how sucky our jobs are and news on our fellow CBMers (if there were any news). also during drinks, Franklin dropped by to say hi for a lil while, it's been ages since i saw him too! :D

dad was itching to have yee sang, so we invited my mum's goddaughter, Melanie to join us and we went to dad's fav restaurant. a teow chew restaurant in Chai Leng Park - dimsum in the morning, choo char at night. their food is quite ok, it's one of our usual makan places. surprisingly what we had this year was quite similar to what we had last year - except this year we had pai kut ong! LOVELEH!

so after lohsang-ing the yeesang and makan-ing dinner, we were itching for some ice-cream!! again dad surprised me - Haagen Daaz!! my my! yummy!! but we were soo stuffed that all we could take in was a single scoop each... damn.. was hoping to try the fondue... good to have u with us Melanie, it was something different :) (in a good way! heheh)

now, what i was looking forward this year was this dinner with the Dugongs! 1st time we gathered for a CNY yeesang/lohsang dinner, too bad UncleB couldn't make it :( anyway, it's my first time dining at this place - the chinese restaurant at 1-Stop or some calls it Midlands Park. we made sure that the place we wanted to go had roasted duck and suckling pig!! so yea!

this is the BEST yee sang ever!!!

anyone drooling yet?
~ duck skin in sweet sauce ~

u can pity the cute lil piggy on the plate all you want but we whacked it! yum!
(it could do with more meat though - was kinda skinny)

Dugongs (missing Uncle Ben)
after dinner, Becks said she got an ice-kacang machine at home and all the ingredients and asked us to join her to make some ice-kacang. half of us went and had a lil fun! :) we had some great laughs and "wedding" chats (yea, 2 of em are getting married this year) and everyone all getting excited :) we finished of the night with some Turkish tea in and English tea set - how diverse we are!! lol!! lovely night out ladies!! (and guys! heheh)

this year, somehow i had 3 sets of yee-sang and the final one was with the CHOICE team. we managed to gather 2 tables of CHOICEes and Fr.Dominic for a course dinner. it was in Coconut Palm (or something like that), a chinese restaurant infront of the ex-IPG college in town. i don't know what was wrong but i was not too hungry, didn't really have that excitement to eat (which i usually have when it comes to trying out new places), so maybe it's me or not but i thought the food was so so... sad to say the yee sang was quite, well, sad... it looked like it was out from a box - it was full of keropok. the dishes though, some were good, and i can't believe myself, i couldn't finish the soup!!! argghh.... something was definately wrong with me that night.

because father like tasting wine, and few of us too, we sort of brought some bottles. we had about 5 bottles or so, and a Malibu! hahaha and at the end of the night, lets just say some were very red, lots of laughing and nonsense! :D yup! all bottles were empty (well except for the Malibu - not supposed to mix wine with other types of alco)... bottom line, we had to sober up at a mamak stall near by before we could drive back... lol

finally, wat way to end the CNY is by a short visit to the local clubs. met a friend at Soho's for a lil while after the dinner and surprisingly met these two!! was so good to see them again - fun crazy girls! lol.. over all, it was a good start to the year of the tiger :D cheers!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Amelie's Cafe @ Armenian Street, Penang

Amelie's Cafe is a lil quiant cafe on Armenian Street, just few meters down from the famous Edelwise Cafe. even the road is one way just enough for one vehicle to passthrough. it's in the heart of Georgetown, around the corner of many art galleries, the famous Khoo Kongsi and other Kongsi's around town. it took a while to find this cafe as the pics in other sites seems to give an idea that the cafe was bigger and easier to spot. but infact, it was actually cute. :D

the cafe used lots of recycling things for their deco and kitchen things. even the deco outside the cafe was made from old planks of wood cleverly painted and decorated with lots of potted plants. inside, you will noticed the walls are not really patched and i personally think that what they did was clever, it gives a cosy, homey feeling to this place - that it's not PERFECT. there's a part of the wall that they made it into a black board - smart! and they tables and chairs are all recycled, repainted and fixed. lovely, just lovely. there are some things in the cafe that are for sale, like some potted plants, paintings and of course Penang souvineers, baju and etcs... sometimes i wonder who is exactly Amelie... and is she the artist for the art and pieces of this cafe?

we didn't know there was an upstairs when we came in. only when we wanted to make a reservation, we were asked if we wanted it to be upstairs or downstairs - only then we knew that there was an upstairs! so being sibuks we went upstairs :D to our surprised, the tables and chairs are like those we had in school!!! sweet!!! memories all came rushing back when i saw those tables and chairs!! oh my!!!

the window was filled with lil potted plants and guppy fishes - not too sure if they had fighting fish. was interest me was the flooring, there were hand painted designs and i loved it!! very personal, sweet and simple.

just a lil draw back about this place - if u came in the middle of the afternoon-ish.. i believe it's gonna be really hot and stuffy. we went in the morning so it was not as bad, but i think it'll be much hotter in the afternoon - i may be wrong though, i've yet to experience this cafe for lunch.

so as i said earlier, we came for breakfast. we thought this place opened at 9am.. we reached at 9.30am and the door was closed. but was not too sure, we peeked in and found out that it's opened. we came to find out that they had the cafe opened at 8am before for breakfast, then it changed to 10am... it's just a 3month old cafe and i think they're just getting used to the crowd preferences.

back to breakfast, i had a hot mocha, the girls had cold latte and i think hazelnut coffee, i think. drinks was quite good. it took a while for our food to come as there were only 2 staff in this cafe to cook/make drinks. lil reminder - don't patronise this cafe if u have appointments to keep.. come with an open schedule and someone to chit-chat/catch up with or with a good book if u're planning to come alone, or if u're high tech - come with your BB or iPhone (or any phone) with internet connection! lol! not too sure if they have wifi though.. hmm.. forgot to ask.... OR for those who like to day dream, look outside the window type of person, this would be a good place :D

when they mentioned toast in their simple menu - i was thinking toast of slices of bread like from Gardenia or High5... and i made 2 orders of Amelie's special toast (pic above) and double toast with eggs.... what we got was rhye bread - very thick slices.. i was struggling to finish the 4 slices i had! no more bread for the next week! lol

Amelie's special was toast with a spread of yogurt with banana and a dash of cinnamon powder. lovely, not too sweet, not too sour. very healthy i'd say :) the half boiled eggs were just nice, not too watery and not too cooked - so that's a thumbs up. and we decided that the jam was of a branded brand of jam... but not sure what brand, as the shop had lots of jam bottles.. of DIFFERENT brands! lol

the black board had the menu for that day's lunch. it seems the menu changes daily, so if u wanna try everything on their menu - sorry to say, u got to go there everyday! LOL hahahah...

anyway, that day they had portabella mushroom soup, my cousin said it's very think but it somewat lack of taste - maybe just needed a lil bit more salt or seasoning. but overall was good. then she had the tuna sandwich - kinda big portion as it came with potato salad and caramelised pineapple. that's one hearty and healthy lunch there!

(i was kinda stuffed with my breads that i missed lunch that day! lol, so.. i got to go there again to try they lunch menu...)

i'm a sucker for desserts, so when i saw choc almond cake with ice-cream, the kid in me made me order it... lovely though the cake was abit dry and thought it was a brownie.. :) but overall it was a nice finish to our lil breakfast/brunch outing!

would definately come back again, (maybe with a date? heheh who knows...) to try their other offerings in this lil cafe in Penang!

for more reviews, check out Cheryl's blog or knowing Google is everyones best friend - i'm sure u can find more reviews on Amelie's cafe there! :D

Tarbush @ Batu Ferringhi, Penang

Tarbush is a Lebanese restaurant that started in KL (as usual) and eventually made it's way to Penang, Batu Ferringhi to be exact :) (next to The Ship) i haven't tried this place before (in KL or in Penang) cause i never heard any of my friends going there, and i wasn't too sure of Lebanese food.. so then recently i got to know from a friend that he went there like twice or so, i thought one day i should pay them a visit. and waaalaaahh!! the foodie of the Dugongs suggested we try this place for our monthly "meeting"... so yeay! managed to try this place out.

*if you don't want to waste time reading the menu and being all confused, here's their online menu or easily, ask one of the waiters to recommend the dishes for you...

the interior was quite nice, it's a fine dining place and yet it's not really a fine dining place.. so it's kinda half half.. if u get what i mean. the service is quite ok, you don't have to "try" to catch their eye if u needed something, so that's a good thing in my books :)

now, because the names of the food is kinda hard to remember, i'll have to refer to their menu and hopefully i can match the names to what we had... bare with me...

this is complimentary
~salted/preserved veg, half of us liked it, half didn't, given with thin naan bread - we were not sure what to do with this AND the naan bread, so we just picked on it.. lol ~

~cottage cheese, olive oil, olives, mint - kinda salty-ish, even the cheese-lover was not too keen on it, though one other sort of liked it, me.. not so~

Lamb Soup
~it was curry-like, where it also goes well with rice, quite nice as you can taste the spices and it had good portion of meat~

Ox-tail Soup
~this was LOVELY!!! - big chunk of tendy ox-tail, it had a tinge of cream and again, you could taste the spices, goes well with the complimentary naan - i practically cleaned this bowl!~

~Ta(k)-boleh for us.. hahha nah, it's very healthy for you - LOTS and i mean LOTS of parsley, tomatoes, cucumber with lemon juice and olive oil, very "greeny" for me, i'd prefer to eat it with rice and other dishes but not as an appetizer/salad dish, but it was ok, u'll get used to it ;) ~

Dawood Basha
~meatballs with tomato gravy - nothing to shout about, there's a hint of spice and chilly and the meatballs are nice and tender, abit small though~

Tarbush Mixed Grill & Shish Kebab
~the mixed grill has chicken, lamb and beef (i believe), stuffed minced meat naan and cream (or was it yogurt/cheese dip?) and the kebab, if u see the menu has different, but similar shish kebab, not sure which one we took - the smell was great, meat was tender, just lovely!!~

Biryani Rice
~rice cooked with many types of herbs and spices, nice but could have been softer/fluffier~

Cheese Naan
~i can't seem to find this on the online menu, so i'm not sure what's it called, anyway it's naan with cheese stuffing, lovely, u can eat it on its own or with the other dishes that you ordered, just nice, not too strong, not too mild~

Maklouba Lamb
~i think it's what we ordered.. heheh.. the meat was really tender, falling off from the bone, taste wise not too strong, just nice, the rice too, was cooked with special herbs and spices, goes well with the cream based dip and the salad that came with it was fresh too (it had some seasoning), nice hearty meal for an individul, though it can be shared with 2+ people if your stomachs are small~

Arabic Coffee and Tea
~nice finish to a very hearty and meaty meal, though the coffee was something different, really thick and had spices in it, depending on ones taste buds, you may or may like the coffee. however the tea, was lovely!! the tea was brewed with a hint of mint so it had a mild minty taste :) ~

~ pastry with nuts - famous middle-eastern dessert, i kinda like it IF its not too sweet, but it usually is, so for those with a very sweet tooth, u'll like it :) ~

~Mahal-labia, that's what we call it! hehehe - it's milk cream pudding with a hint of jasmine (scent) and pistachio nuts, i love it, very creamy yet light and not very sweet as well, it somewhat removes the meaty taste from your mouth to a lovely finish to the dinner - YUM!!~

so that's all folks, that's all we had for our dinner - 5 of us came up to abour Rm200+ or so. i think the price, looking at the location (tourist destination) and the interior and service would contribute to the above average pricing. lovely place for family/friends gathering for special occations or simply to cari makan like us! :D yup, if u're fedup with the usuals, try Tarbush, Lebanese food!