Friday, July 30, 2010

how 10+ years changes things

usually if you're talking about being friends for 10 years, and u're constantly in touch with them, u won't feel it. u won't feel 10 years is passing you by. or even with your family, it's the same, u see them practically everyday or every week, when 10 years pass, u don't feel it.
this is a lil moment i experienced while helping out at the ice-cream stall at St.Anne's feast.....
ok, before i start, i left school in 1998, which makes that ... omg, 12 years ago.. damn... ok anyway yeah, at the stall, as usual, there were mostly girls who were there helping out. the guys were off and on showing their faces at the stalls. so this girl, i noticed was sort of incharge of the stall, who had a walkie talkie with her, having keys hung round her neck and practically calling the shots around the stall. i shall call her lil boss. so since i'm the noob who just joined, i was feeling awkward standing around and not knowing what to do. so she approached me, introduced herself and got to "training" me... hahahah hey! scooping ice-cream got a way u know, u can't simply just scoop like that... hahaha
so, yea, as we started to talk and make friends, i found out she's just 20 and is still in the youth in church and is working with her aunt... yada yada yada... (and she has an iPhone... malunye for me). then the other helpers got into conversation and i realised it was mostly about school, about exams, about hating teachers and History and Science... then i realised that these girls were still in school! (lil boss obviously has left school but it was only 2-3 years for her and she was much more in sync with them.. nice girl i'd say, very humble) hahaha i'm hanging out with school kids!
at 1st glance, i didn't know they were still in school! hahahha... kids nowadays, do not look their age.... not because of the way they dress (well, yea, it is ONE of the points) but because of how they converse and ... some how, the air that they give out, gives u the impression that they are older than their age, well at least 2-3 years older than they are.
anyway, fine, they were in school, one was still in Form 3 (15 years old) and another was in Form 4 or 5, was not too sure (16 or 17). and what i was impressed with these kids was that they were so active in church, in the choir, helping out, and it seems theat the youth group in this parish are about 40-50 of em!! my my... my time, we were a lazy bunch, u could barely get 20 to organise or join an event! lol... so that's good to hear that about them...
now to my main point, these girls came from my old school and i was curious to find out how my school was doing all these years. it seems now, 90 % of the teachers were Malays and well maybe about 60% of the students as well. they don't really use blackboards anymore, but projectors with power point slides and white boards!! what else, school discipline was not that great either, lots of L cases, until the extent of having CCtvs at the toilet area, alleys, corridoors.... O_O yea, sometimes i wonder, what happened to my school. they even send the student to a "counselor" for talking to a boy outside of school (who was infact a friends brother or something - story i heard). also they would have demerits for using the 4 letter words and finger gestures...!
compared to my time, we didn't know what L was, we only knew bout having crushes on other "athletic" girls, there was no such thing as CCtvs, or power point slide (the most changgih was the projector where words were writen on a piece of plastic over a bulb), and we were scared of boys!!! and i don't think we had such "counselors" in school. 4 letter words? what's that? middle finger? what's that? hahahhaha... such innocence...
i guess my days, eventhough it was in the 90's, there was still some discipline in the students and control in the school but now.... hmm....
so if this could happen after 12 years, how would it be like in the next 10 more years?
helping out at that ice-cream stall did really give me an eye opener, and in some ways, i'm glad to have known lil boss, and some of these girls, they're a funny bunch, which reminds me of me 12 years ago when i was somewat active during the feast. funny how 12 years brings one back to their roots?
weirdly, i felt i had lil sisters around me, and i kinda like it.. too bad it's too late to ask mum for one! HAHAHHAHA..

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

dum dee dum dum...

here i am staring at this blank white "new post" page in blogspot, wanting to blog (properly) other than write reviews and pics, BUT, i've no idea what to blog about. too much needs to be in consideration, to be censored, to be carefully thought out clearly as to NOT offend my readers. yes, that's the delima i get everytime i want to blog.
*think happy thoughts, positive things, joyful events*
ok ok ok.. lets try this...
again, i won't blog bout work, cause it's not worth it... bottom line, is anyone HIRING??? (yes it deserves the BOLD and the bigger font) and oh yea, i'm now changed to normal shift (can't remember if i've blogged about it or not). i'm now like you normal people, working mon-fri, 9am -6.30pm and yea, i'm now off on the weekends! yeay?? well... i'm missing my 3-4 days off per week... that's what i miss.... and now i have to get up early every day! sigh... ok ok *happy thoughts* (it's quite hard to do that u know)
there's been lots going on in my circle of friends (ok, need to be sensitive here), events have occured, things has been said and done, and that has brought out the hidden side of all of us to see. some may not know how to deal with that "hidden" side, some tend to run away, some thinks it's a no biggie, but whatever it is, we all managed to come around, explained ourselves, and be better friends. mind you, lots of tears been shed but i believe by going through all this, we are better friends and KNOW how to deal better with each other, when it's needed. now, isn't that a good thing? :D *GROUP HUG*
alright so i don't know bout you, but my 2nd half of the year, 2010, is filled with weddings. and it started off with a BANG!! it's one of my longest good friend's wedding, a very unique Peranakan wedding (church wedding in June, dinner in July). then up coming is 2 hens night, and i think 4 weddings (sorry my organiser is not with me - it's in the car... don't ask) all spread out till November. AND..... get this, in between there's St. Anne's Feast, trip to Kuching, 12 year old birthday bash and mini road trips here and there (also maybe a HK trip somewhere as well!!) yup, pretty packed. somehow the universe sort of knew and is taking advantage of me being on normal shift (weekends AND public holiday OFF!!) hahahahha *perasan-nye*
so how am i? i can say that all these hecticness has helped - LOTS. having my mind off "certain things" has helped me to move on. i know i'm better well off now compared to before, i know now more of what i want and what tickles my fancy. it all boils down to the people around me and i'm glad that they are (around me that is). so BRING IT ON! CHALLENGE! (but make sure i have enough sleep la, i'm lack of it now... hahahah)
now how's that for a post?

Friday, July 23, 2010

Manhattan Fish Market, Autocity, Juru

Manhattan Fish Market is a fishy place (no pun intended)... all it serves is fish and seafood... maybe the only thing that's NOT fishy is the mushroom soup? hahhaha... anyway, this place is somewat similar to Fish n Co. (though i personally prefer FnC compared to the market)

this outlet that i've been, is the one in Autocity. the interior is quite ok, afew deco hanging here and there and catchy fishing/fish/fisherman phrases. i've been here once, but that was a long time ago. and again i'm here again. i believe both times the food was as good as i remembered. guess i can say, consistency is there.
oh, did you know Chicago Rib House is the same sister company as Manhattan Fish Market? and also together with Tony Roma's! (TR is not in Penang though... ). the menu in Manhattan Fish Market was a spread, different types of fish, prawns and different ways of cooking and even the appetizers and drinks. kinda of a fusion mix i'd say.
so i knew dad was either a vegetarian or fish day (depending on mood) and i brought him here for Father's Day dinner. if u know my dad, u'd know, a simple guy eats simple food.. so he ordered the coriander fish. it came with rice and a slice of lemon and topped the fish was a coriander sauce like, baked in foil. i thought it's good, but abit too bland for me... :P

i, however was super hungry that night, i opt for the seafood platter for 1... i had fish, squid and prawns together with chips AND rice with grilled topping of cream/cheese like sauce on the prawns...

it works when u're super hungry

there was a promotional drink on offer, lemon mint freeze (or was it ice blend). it's a mix of lemon juice with sprite and hint of mint (for the green and taste) and topped with whipped cream... it's kinda refreshing, but not really my kind of drink, i guess it's because of the mint... other than that, it's ok

so if u have a craving for fish, grilled or fish and chips or even seafood in a pan, head down to Manhattan Fish Market, i'm sure there's something for you... but of course, no tom yam seafood or sweet sour crabs or asam prawns lah.. that one, you go to Tambun.. ok? cheaper somemore.. hahahha

Monday, July 19, 2010

Ingolf Kneipe @ Tg Bungah, Penang

couldn't get enough of Ingolf, luckily the girls decided to go there. i've already made up my mind to try the other meats (other than the sausages). as usual, because it's a saturday, we had to make reservations first. it was packed when we got there and there were people lining up to get in as well. i understand the situation, ppl love the food (and drinks) here.

when u step in the restaurant, the bar greets you, and mind you, it's a full bar. so u're spoilt with choices! "our friend" was already O_O looking at the bar and she said, she was thinking of what cocktails she could make with all that liquor if she had it at home with her... call that a true bartender or just an alcoholic? hahahhaha *joking*
our table was upstairs (actually felt like sitting on the ground floor to see the action) but it's much cooler upstairs and well.. we sort of chased a few customers downstairs with our noise! lolhow could u NOT resist drinking Paulaner when you're at a German restaurant? u can't! temptations are too great... unfortunately, the beer gets warm fast, and i dun like warm beer, hence i got to quickly finish it before it gets warm = got lil bit tipsy...

beef roll!! it has awesomesauce! i could just lick the whole plate!

set dinner - hash brown, pork chops and mushrooms

Butcher's mix platter (huge portion, need to share with people)
somehow these sausages were better than mine when i came here the first time.
i was SUPER hungry, i needed a meal to myself (the other meals were shared) and i had the Julian's Mixed Grill.... lovely, JUST lovely!

we also had a few servings of sauces, mushroom and onion sauce... it was quite nice, but i think it'll be better with the beefroll sauce or bbq... :) and there was side dish of sauerkraut and mashed potatoes and lots of salads (one can not have too much salads).. we had a difficult time finishing the food but after lots of laughter and chats, we managed to finish it... mind you, we had a cake to cut later!! O_O (we're such pigs!!)
now that i had a bite of the beefroll, my next trip to Ingolf, i know what to order already!! :D

for the many years Ingolf Kneipe has been opened in Penang, i sometimes wonder WHY i've not been to that restaurant before. location? don't think so, company? i doubt... somehow, i never step foot in this place.
so the opportunity came whereby i was given the privilage to choose a restaurant and this time i made it a point that i step in this restaurant. did lots of googling of course and survey with friends on what is best to have there, but, it all depends on you - everything sounds yummy!! (imagine the headache i had reading the menu! hahahah)
i managed to make a reservation (as it gets busy during the weekends) and our table was upstairs, quieter from the noise and crowd downstairs. the upstairs was simple, few tables and chairs, there's a bar as well and lots of photo frames on the walls. scenes of Germany? i wouldn't know

after some difficulty in deciding on what to eat, we had some German beer to start of with. it's my 2nd time having Paulaner (my 1st was in a German restaurant in The Curve). kinda like this beer :) think we had seconds... before dinner arrived, err but... i can't remember now, was having too much fun :)oohh then the soup came, it was Oxtail Soup! mum will love this i tell you! the meat was tender, the cut-up veg was not too soft/soggy and also not too hard - just nice. not too spicy yet not too bland. even the bun that came with it was warm and fluffy (can bread be fluffy? hehhe). again, it was so good, we had seconds... LOL and were full after that already...
now i didn't really take proper pics as we were excited to try these German dishes... we had pork sausages and sauerkraut, with mashed potato and fresh salad by the side also with a blob of mustard. i'm not a fan of mustard but i did try some, it did somehow give the bite a lil "surprise" to the taste. i thought this dish would do better with some sauce... was kinda dry in someways... so i stole some sauce from the other dish we had...

... which was pork braised in special sauce with red cabbage and fresh salad.. also with a blob of mustard on the side. do Germans actually eat mustard? i thought it was an American thing? do correct me if i'm wrong. this dish was much better to my liking, the sauce was awesome - as the foodies say it in the blogs - awesomesauce!!! whatever the sauce is made from, it was just lovely.

i was tempted to be greedy to have desserts after this but we were stuffed, we were porked-out! LOL... so to end a lovely meal, instead we opted for a lovely...
Oh No! beer.... hahahah that's what the waiter told us. it's pronounced as Oh No... so imagine, me = 2 Paulaners (i think) + pork + Oh No! = stupid, lame, Oh No! jokes :D

good times, good times... so, Ingolf Kneipe has a part in my happy-memory bank! so if u peeps out there looking for a nice, casual place to hang out with a good laugh, good food and drinks? make sure u head to Ingolf, u'll feel like home, yet u're not :) enjoy!

~oh btw, it's located in Tanjung Bungah, opposite Sandybay Paradise Hotel and Flamingo Hotel, prices are reasonable for a German restaurant but don't expect anything below RM10... ~

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Balik Pulau weekend

somehow the stars and moon were aligned for us. Carol was down for the weekend from KL, it was the durian season, we wanted to go food hunting, have a sleepover AND have a housewarming party at Maureens.... and we did it all in one weekend! changgih or not? lol

the place? Balik Pulau. yes, the OTHER part of penang, where when u get there, u'd think u are AWAY from penang, cause u don't really feel that u are in penang, hence we felt like it was a lil getaway/holiday for us. now of course, penang is famous for food, be it in georgetown or in Balik Pulau. so, when one is IN balik pulau, one MUST at least try 2-3 balik pulau specialities....
1st stop was supposedly hokkien mee and laksa at a serene outdoor/house place where durians and rambutans were sold as well...

the girls wanted hokkien mee, but it seems it was not sold here (looks like we went to the wrong "house", and since we were there, we tried the laksa instead.... not to my liking actually, it had chilly paste and tasted chilly-ey and not the assam fish soup that it's supposed to be in. we even tried the durians, cause we saw the other tables all enjoying it, but unfortunately, we only had a few good seeds, the rest were hard.... (i guess the ppl from the other tables were NOT penangites? hahahaha)

carol loved the plants and "sink"

... because we were not satisfied with our 1st trip, Maureen managed to find the other "house" that actually sells better hokkien mee, and it's at Jalan Baru, Balik Pulau. now if u can manage to find that jalan in your GPS or map, and able to find that road, then lucky you! u'll sure to find the house that has a stall outside selling hokkien mee and nearer to the road, another house selling lor bak...

the verdict? it was sooo much better than the 1st one we had. i'm not really a hokkien mee fan but i did do some tasting, the girls were better testers and they'd prefer this one, Jalan Baru, than the 1st place we went. now lets see what do they think of the hokkien mee at the market... hmm....

so after sunset mass, we were all looking forward for the housewarming makan, homecooked food potluck dinner. we had mutton curry (OMG to die for), chicken curry kapitan (YUMMY!), fried veg beehoon, briyani rice (both were lovely) and deserts!!! apple crumble and mango pudding.. imagine how stuffed we were tht night!

mutton curry.... yum meh!!

dinner was lovely, and the company was great too, we got to know Maureen's family a lil better and the kids were sweet too. when her family went back, as u can predict, the drinks came out! thanks to Irene, our "bartender-ess" (what do u call a female bartender?). but somehow we were too tired to get wasted after all that walking, driving around balik pulau in the hot sun. so after some chit chat and games... one by one were knocking off to lala land.. hahaah

the next day, we were supposed to get up in the morning to continue with our durian hunt. we somehow got up late (surprise surprise...) anyhow, we still went hunting whether we were late for our appointments or not... :P

so there we went to the (new) market, where the laksa (both asam and lemak), best hokkien mee, passumbur (only in evening), nutmeg juice...etc were located. now i don't know if the girls were hungry or not, but they said the hokkien me there at the market was the best, AND for me, the laksa lemak was.... mmmm....... they knew not to disturb me when i have a GOOOOOD meal infront of me.. lol

that's not all... after "breakfast", we headed back to pack and then went for the FINAL stop, the smelliest yet the best stop! DURIAN!!!! there was a durian fair at the look out point halfway through the journey to/fro balik pulau. and boy, that place was packed!! packed with families, packed with car clubs, packed with ppl like us.... u could see ppl with their big a$$ cameras as well! taking pics of the king of fruits :D

and we were NOT dissapointed this time, we had good grades and "cheaper" grades and even so, they were all great. it's not a durian buffet fare though, but i believe the prices were affordable as well. what i can say is that i think i got my money's worth. :D

so next time if you see a fare such as this, organised by the goverment or not, don't underestimate it. u'll find good deals at these fairs i tell u. i'm glad we managed to catch the fairs before it ended, with my girls! lovely... just lovely!

Friday, July 16, 2010

St. Joachim's AIDS Centre, BM

CHOICE Pg English #55 organised a day out with the AIDS patients at St. Joachim's AIDS Centre in BM. a few of the senior CHOICEes joined them as well. we got together to collect daily rations, supplies and toiletries for them too. i hope it helps.
St. Joachim's AIDS Centre is located at the old parish house of St. Anne's Church in BM (next to Kim Seng School on Jalan Kulim). it seems they have just moved in to this place a month ago, and we were the 1st official group to visit them! such an honour! :D

and because they have just moved in, we helped them out in cleaning the windows, change curtains, rooms, office spaces, abit of the outside and at the same time spending some time with the patients.
we even played some board games with them when all work was done. after the board games, we had a fellowship tea break, where the Iron Lady of the house gave us a briefing on what AIDS is and explained how AIDS are transferred and that we do not need to worry or stay away or be afraid of the patients. they're just human like us. don't discriminate.

coincidently it was one of the patients birthday! i do hope she's glad that we were around to celebrate her birthday. and of course after all that eating, we had to take a group pic! thank you CEPG 55 for organising this.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

CHOICE Penang #55

once again CHOICE Penang had organised a weekend in May, 2010 for single working adults, ages 21 and above. being a CHOICEe myself, i was curious on what it was like organising a weekend. i knew it would be complicated, lots to arrange and people are needed to work together to make this happen. it's all about team work. so i joined the organising committee and well, all i can say it's a fun, interesting and an eye-opener (if you are the kind to organise such events). preps were done months before the weekend, lots of marketing/roadshow and i believe after the roadshows, people are starting to remember us :) then there's the arrangements for accomodations, food, supplies...etc (don't want to spill anymore beans.. hehehe)
by God's grace, the weekend was a success, though there were a few hiccups here and there, we managed to get through. i do hope the participants had enjoyed themselves and that they have gained something good/new about themselves, God, and the people around them.
upcoming weekend? it'll be next year of course. check out our new blog for updates :D

CHOICE English PG - #55

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chicago Rib House @ Gurney Plaza, Penang

a good place always deserves a second (or more) visits. and that's what i did, a 2nd visit. this dinner was supposed to be a funfilled nite out with the girls, but in the end it became a discussion/meeting type of outing, but that's another story to begin with. ANYWAY, i was excited going back to Chicago again. i could still remember the juicy, tender, meats i had.
so this time, we went in a big group, bout 10 of us and was glad i managed to try the other dishes. we all shared :)

appetizer of chicken, mushrooms, potato skin (with cheese and cream for dip)
asian salad with grilled salmon - yum meh!

they call this the black fish - the fish flesh it not black, just that the seasoning made it look black and burnt, but it's actually not :D though it's a lil bit salty....finally managed to try the other desserts - i'm not a caramel fan, but this was quite nice, just had a bite or two as i was quite full after all that food.. heheheh
(the piece underneath the ice-cream? that's a cookie!)

my second trip was a tad dissapointing. i think it's because it was World Cup month, matches were shown, restaurant was full and lack of staff, hence a lil below par of their quality of food. the ribs were still nice but maybe that day's butcher had a skinny pig/cow, the ribs didn't have much meat on the bones, then as i said earlier on, the fish was abit salty. also the bottomless fruit juices were watered down.. so hopefully service and quality would be better when it's not too busy... i don't know, another excuse to go there again? ahaks!

(posted in May 2010)

finally i've set foot in Chicago Rib House, now at Gurney Plaza. i like their new menu, before, it was just one piece of cardboard - front and back, now - few pages = more food! lol oh and kids eat for free! wished i was a kid.... :P
the interior is simple, much smaller than their previous outlet in Juru Autocity though. don't be fooled by the lack of customers in my pics. #1 i was there early, #2 it was on a weekday... so by 1pm the whole place was packed!! every single table was full, including the outside tables! so yea, food is THAT good i tell you.

the staff is very friendly, the one we had, spoke to us like we were old friends, joking and teasing, and that's what i call good service. we didn't even have to wait long for our food - or maybe the waiter was distracting us, hahahha... i don't know but i sure didn't feel it was a long wait :)

it was a couple of days before Mother's Day and since i went with my mum, they had given her their Mother's Day drink (it was not in the menu - i think), it was more of a lemon/orange with sprite type of drink. i had some mix of cranberry juice, lemon and sprite. it was ok for me as well.

the soup of the day was Chicken Noodle soup. it's one of those soups where u have them when u were a kid and when u were sick. i'm not that into clear soups, so mum tried it. she said it was quite nice. not that salty and not that sour, just nice.

then came to the appetizers - Potato Skin, not sure why it was on the house but i'm glad that it was! and it was lovely too!! lovely touch to the potato and it goes well with the sour cream which was very light. good way to start the tummy for the good stuff! the veg too was very fresh and crispy - i like!

we KNEW portions were huge, so we just ordered one dish - their famous Combo meals. their Combo meals are Pork Ribs + (lamb or chicken or fish or steak) same as Beef Ribs + (lamb, or chicken or fish or pork...etc) not too sure the exact combination of what they have...

anyway, what we got was Pork Ribs with lamb. my oh my... the pork just fell off from the bone, it was succulant, juicy, fresh and the lamb as well!! luckily they gave 2 lamb chops - if not there'll be a mother and daughter fight! LOL. this dish came with 3 types of sauces - Honey BBQ, Spicey BBQ and i think Smoked Original BBQ (or something like that)... i was too busy enjoying my meal to remember the names of the sauces! i still haven't found my fav sauce!! it goes well with EVERYTHING!!! i kid you not! you just have to go and try it for yourself.

are you still there? or are you on your way to Chicago now? hahahhaha....

now, as for desserts, i would have ordered their famous shot-glass mini desserts, but i wanted to try their new desserts in the menu. now if you like carrot cake - this one is quite nice. it didn't come with the usual cream cheese topping, but a sugary paste/sauce like topping. the cake itself is not sweet and if u want abit of sweetness, u can eat it with the sugary topping, if not just scrape it off. the cake is full of carrots and stuffs (like nuts, raisins...etc) and i thought it was something new which was good, other than the normal choc molten cake, cheese cake and such...

so, convinced yet? hahaha well if you do decide to try them out, make sure u go with a few people, so that you can share a plate or two and share the bill as well, unless you are a big eater and doesn't like to share.. hahaha... whatever your fancy is, do have a try. u'll be wanting for more... i'm just waiting for another excuse to go there again - who's birthday coming? :P

(ooh ooh.. and i heard they'll be opening another outlet at the Marina Park, near the Jetty... don't tell anyone you heard it from here ok?)