Happy First Birthday!

Sometimes I can’t believe it myself. Has it really been a year? 12 whole months? Since I gave birth to Little J, that is. Well, now he’s not so little anymore, and definitely much more cheeky and active. Little J officially turned ONE more than a week ago, and he was so lucky that a few of our good friends from Malaysia happen to be in Sydney to celebrate his first birthday with him. :) At first, I just wanted to have a simple lunch with our friends at home, seeing how with a baby, it’ll be difficult to organize and cook without help. But Saucer suggested getting takeaway food instead, so we decided to invite a few of my relatives over as well.

Jared 1st Birthday

Birthday cake

Our initial plan was to have the little lunch party at the park just down the road from our house, and we even went on site to mind map where our balloons and banner would be placed there. However, when the time came, the weather was just turning dark, windy and cold, not very ideal for an outdoor event. So we had to change the venue last minute and have it at our very own deck. Luckily we didn’t invite too many people or they wouldn’t have been able to fit! :) Thanks to the guys for blowing up the balloons and decorating our humble deck.

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Food and decoration ready

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The little boss of the day

Little J was in a happy mood that day. He woke up from his morning nap just in time before everyone arrived for the lunch. I wonder how he felt seeing so many new faces at home that afternoon. :) While waiting for everyone to arrive, we took the opportunity to take some pictures with the food still intact. :) And also while baby was still in a good mood!

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“Daddy, what big teeth you have”

For food, I made pasta with pork sausage and Saucer prepared a lovely salad of lettuce, spam, feta, olives and tomatoes. We placed some fish fingers and chicken nuggets in the oven for the little ones (Little J loves them!) plus also ordered some pizzas and bought KFC for everyone. On the side, we had some crackers, chocolate bars and of course, the cake!

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The food spread

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The happy birthday boy

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Caroline, Eric and Grey all the way from Malaysia

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 Everyone celebrating J’s birthday

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Our little family of 3

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Saucer and Little J

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Sweet smile from Little J

It was great fun to meet up with everyone that day, including my cousins and their kid/spouse. Little J received lots of attention from everyone wanting to hold him, take pictures with him or play with him. He was certainly one happy boy that day. Once everyone was done with eating, we had the cake ready and sang a birthday song to Little J. The cake was a combination of a white chocolate mud cake on top and a chocolate mud cake at the bottom. And yes, I decorated it with M & M’s to make it less plain. :) The cake itself was really yummy and moist! I especially loved the chocolate mud cake which was super chocolatey and dense.

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Birthday cake for the 1-year old

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Cake-cutting!

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Yummy and moist chocolate mud cake

Then, it was time to open up the presents! Of course, the first one had to be from his parents. :) We got him a giraffe car that he could sit on and ride. He was so excited seeing the box that he would not let go of it! We had to pry the box from him to open it and start assembling the toy car.

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First birthday present for Little J

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“Give it to me!”

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Riding on his giraffe

All of us had lots of fun that day, so much so that Little J only had his afternoon nap an hour later than usual. As he grows older, he’s becoming more fun to play with, and definitely more interactive. Here’s to many more fun birthdays to come, Little J. We love you very much!!!

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 Happy birthday cutie pie!

The Original Din Tai Fung

A visit to Taipei would not have been complete without dropping by the famous Taiwanese restaurant chain, Din Tai Fung. According to resources online, this chain that has various branches around the world including Thailand, Malaysia and even Australia! However, their roots began in Taiwan, with their first restaurant in Xinyi Road. Therefore, we decided to visit it together with our friends Nino and Lily from Taipei. A drawback about this branch is that it’s not easily accessible via MRT. We took the train to Da’an Station and then a cab to the restaurant. Thankfully, it didn’t take too long and I remember paying around NTD70+ for the cab ride (~RM7+). It would be quite impossible to miss this restaurant since there was an extremely long queue at the entrance! Thanks to Lily and Nino for arriving earlier, we spared ourselves the need to queue up and went straight to our table.

DTF

Drunken Chicken

Since Lily had already ordered, we didn’t wait too long before our first dish arrived. The Drunken Chicken was served cold, with a strong Chinese wine aroma. The chicken was smooth and tender, bursting with wine flavour upon each bite. It was the perfect appetizer dish that got us wanting more food.

DTF

Xiao Long Bao (Steamed Dumplings)

Of course, dining in Din Tai Fung is synonymous with eating Xiao Long Bao. I have heard multiple stories of how the Xiao Long Bao in Taipei is different from the ones in Malaysia, but both Saucer and I thought they were actually pretty similar! The skin was thin, they were meticulously wrapped and there was no leakage of broth. I’d say their quality control is across borders because we certainly enjoyed the Xiao Long Bao in KL too. I could never get over the fact of slurping warm and tasty soup enclosed within a delicate pocket, topped with some slices of ginger and vinegar. We could easily finish a few baskets on our own!

DTF

Fried Rice

For something more substantial, we shared a dish of Fried Rice as well. Even though fried rice is a simple dish to prepare, it takes a lot of skill to make it outstanding. The rice was fluffy and delicious, with every morsel evenly coated with a sheen of golden egg yolk. It’s amazing how a simple dish like this can satisfy even the most picky eaters.

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Hot and Sour Soup

Our final dish from Din Tai Fung was the Hot and Sour Soup, which was a nice welcome during the cold and rainy season of Taipei. While I enjoyed the sour and slightly spicy flavour of the soup, Saucer didn’t quite like the starchy texture. To me, the starchy texture gave it more substance and a creamy finish, which my stomach didn’t mind at all during the cold weather. The soup was filled with plenty of bean curd shreds and mushrooms, making it a good candidate for comfort food.

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Strawberry Shaved Ice Dessert

After dinner, we took a walk nearby and Lily brought us to a street food stall that sold desserts! I was absolutely attracted to the Strawberry Shaved Ice that was displayed in a poster in front of the stall and had to order it even though it was freezing cold that night. I was amazed by the generous amount of strawberries used in the dessert, most of which were sweet and juicy! They were topped on finely shaved ice drizzled with what I assumed to be condensed milk. Yes it was a sinful combination, but one that I did not regret!

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Herbal Jelly dessert

As usual, Saucer with his health-conscious mode went for the hot Herbal Jelly dessert which looked quite similar to the ones offered in Snowflake. It was filled with taro balls, sweet potato, kidney beans and longan, among others, soaked in thick and concentrated herbal jelly soup. The portions served were so huge that we couldn’t finish both our desserts in the end!

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with the gorgeous Lily

That night, we talked and talked without realizing that it was getting late. It’s incredible how well we clicked considering it was the first time we met each other! The power of blog and twitter have certainly made the world smaller and the people closer. We would like to thank Lily and Nino for their amazing hospitality and the delicious dinner at Din Tai Fung that night! :)

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Group picture (Nino is shy)

Din Tai Fung Taipei Xinyi Restaurant
No. 194, Sec. 2, Xinyi Rd., Da-an District,
Taipei City (entrance of Yunkang St.), Taiwan.
Tel No.: 02-2321-8928
Fax : 02-2321-5958
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri (10:00~21:00), Sat & Holidays (09:00~21:00)
Website: www.dintaifung.com.tw

*Note: Read the rest of my Taiwan Escapade here!

Happy Hour at Al-Amar

Being working professionals, it’s without a doubt that after work hours is the time that you look forward to the most. What could make after work hours even better than they already are? Fancy cocktails? How about beer? Or even wine? Al-Amar Express has recently launched a brilliant promotion called “Let’s Meet up after work”, from 4pm to 8pm daily. During these hours, you get to “Buy 2 cocktails and get 1 Free” or “Buy 2 beers and get 1 Free”. Now,isn’t that reason enough for you to ask that cute girl out for drinks after work, by using this promotion as an excuse? :P

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“Let’s meet up after work”

And so we did meet up after work one day, a big group of us too, and sampled almost every cocktail on the menu. Some of those that I tried were pretty good, especially the Frozen Margarita! It was clearly a favorite among the group as I could see it being served over and over again throughout the night. The prices of the cocktails were quite reasonable too, ranging from RM24-28 each.

AlAmar

Red Wine – Chateau Musar Jeune Rose Bekaa Valley, Lebanon (RM25/glass, RM135/bottle)

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Strawberry Margarita (RM24)

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Mojito (RM26)

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Cosmopolitan (RM28)

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Frozen Margarita (RM24) – thumbs up!

When a group of foodies joined together, food would definitely be on the agenda. And food will never be a shortage at Al-Amar Express, which specializes in Lebanese cuisine. We started with Grilled Chicken Salad, which used marinated chicken breast served with lettuce and tomato, topped with aioli dressing. This was pretty good, including the grilled chicken breast which I would normally avoid. The chicken was surprisingly quite tender with a slightly crusty outer layer. This is definitely pleasure without guilt.

AlAmar

Grilled Chicken Salad (RM20) 

But I was more impressed with the Haloumi Salad instead, which had watercress, spinach, rocket salad, cherry tomatoes, herb crust crouton and fried haloumi cheese with vinaigrette dressing. Yes, you read it right – fried cheese! Imagine the joy of popping these gorgeous babies in your mouth – crispy and golden brown on the outside, rich and creamy once you start chewing the inside. I never thought I could enjoy cheese this much!

AlAmar

Haloumi Salad (RM20) 

Apart from the dishes we had, we were served complimentary flat bread throughout dinner, which was perfect with their signature Moutabal and Hommos! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if I could have just flat bread and hommos for dinner, I’ll be a very happy girl. The hommos is always my favorite at Al Amar – superbly soft and smooth, laced with chick peas and olive oil. Excellent!

AlAmar

Moutabal (RM12.90)

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Hommos (RM12.90)

While waiting for our mains, we munched on some mini pastries such as the Spinach Fatayer and Lamb Sambousik. Both were very good and delicious. I enjoyed the spinach fatayer that was filled with baby spinach and lemon zest. Served warm, the crispy pastries revealed tasty fillings which were savory and addictive.

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 Spinach Fatayer (RM8.50)

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Lamb Sambousik (RM8.50)

Manakeesh is also Lebanese equivalent of pizzas, and we had a couple of that to share among us. But the outstanding flavor was undoubtedly the Kafta with Cheese Manakeesh, which was a delicious mixture of lamb with glorious cheese and mayo on top. I could do away with the mayo, but the lamb was oh so flavorful and tender. Each bite of the manakeesh was bursting with flavor, so is it any wonder that this pizza was finished the fastest? :)

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Spicy Chicken with Cheese Manakeesh (RM17.90)

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Kafta with Cheese Manakeesh (RM17.90)

We compared the flavors of a Roasted Chicken and Grilled Spicy Chicken, where both were competently prepared, but I was certainly biased towards the spicy version. It also helped that the grilled version had much more flavor and aroma that kept teasing our nose buds. It was so good that Saucer requested for the leftovers to bring back. :D

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Whole Roasted Chicken (RM38)

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Whole Grilled Spicy Chicken (RM38)

Last but not least, how could we miss out on trying their Shawarma, or what we know as Kebab? They had two versions, either Chicken Shawarma or Beef Shawarma, but we found the chicken to be more impressive that night. It was very well roasted with plenty of crispy charred bits but at the same time still tender and flavorful. However, the beef shawarma fell short as we found it to be a tad too dry and tough. The chicken was a clear winner here. :)

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Chicken Shawarma Platter (RM24.90)

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Beef Shawarma Platter (RM24.90)

At the end of the day, food and drinks is always secondary to great company! We had so much fun that night, catching up with old friends and meeting up with new ones, that we talked and talked until we lost track of time. That’s the thing with Al Amar Express, its location right in the middle of the prime Bukit Bintang area was always filled with cars and people at any hour, that we didn’t realize how late it was by then. It was going to be a dinner to remember. :)

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KY, Craig, FBB and Saucer

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with Quaypocooks, Yen, FBB, Ciki and Ralph of Al-Amar

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Al-Amar Express

Al-Amar Express
Fahrenheit88
Lot G44, Ground Floor,
179, Jalan Bukit Bintang,
55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Tel no: +603-2141 3814
Opening hours: 8am to 1am Daily (opens til 5am on weekends)
Email: info@al-amar.com
Website: http://www.al-amar.com/ Facebook Page

***

Side Note:

A continuation on the story where the girl thought her boyfriend cheated on her: After watching the 3 videos from this post, what do you think really happened? Recently, an ad in the newspaper showed a QR code that leads to a website that reveals the true story. The videos showed that the boy was actually innocent! It was a misunderstanding after all, which could have easily been avoided by making a simple phone call.

Don’t wait to make that call

This is a story of misunderstanding that many can relate to, but can be avoided if only a phone call was made! For example:

“If the boy had called the girl to tell her about who he will be spending the day with, the girl might have not have gotten the wrong impression”.

“If the boy had immediately called the girl to offer an explanation, she might not have gotten so angry”.

“If the girl had called him for an explanation, he might not be so distracted that he had that accident”.

That’s the power of a call! One simple buzz to loved ones could bring different outcomes in any situation that you’re in. After all, a call costs practically nothing. While you’re at it, let’s try something fun:

  • Pick 5 random numbers from your phonebook and call them and you’ll get a surprise! Try it!
  • Call your 5 loved ones 5 minutes from the time you receive this message. Pass to 5 friends & don’t break the chain!
  • Give your crush a call today & u could get good news! If you don’t, your crush might slip away!

*This is a sponsored note. 

Mystical Eve Countdown to 2012

Remember the countdown party that I wrote about a couple of weeks before the year 2011 ended? Like you, I had my doubts about going to crowded places on New Year’s Eve, thinking that the traffic would be horrible, parking would be a mess and the sweaty crowd would be a turn-off. Still, judging from the stellar line-up of events in the Mystical Eve concert, I dragged Saucer to go along with me anyway, and boy was I impressed! We were there by 9pm on the eve and surprisingly the traffic was not bad at all – the best part was, we even managed to find a parking space really close to the venue. The night seemed to be starting off really well.

Mystical Eve

The crowd at Mystical Eve Encorp Strand

The Red Carpet Avenue at Encorp Strand was still a relatively new place to hang out, so most of the surrounding shops were new. While we were walking towards the venue, we could already hear the sounds of Mizz Nina singing ‘What you waiting for?’ from afar.

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Little black dress

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The massive crowd

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Mizz Nina performing

In between performances, the two gorgeous hosts Julie Woon and Megan Tan were busy entertaining us, with highlights of the performances and even suggestions on where to have dinner.

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The hosts Julie Woon and Megan Tan

After Mizz Nina’s rocking performance, it was Dennis Lau’s turn with his violin. However, before he began playing, he introduced his partner-in-crime for the night – Shawn Lee the Beatboxer. It was the first time I watched Shawn Lee performing live and I was blown away by his beatboxing talent. Who could have known that such sound effects could come from the mouth? You have to watch the video below to know what I mean! Bear in mind there were no other musical equipment used in the performance, only a violin. So whatever sound effects that you hear (resembling drums especially), were all from Shawn Lee. It was also coincidentally my favourite performance of the night. :)

Dennis Lau and Shawn Lee

Mystical Eve

Dennis Lau the violinist

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Shawn Lee the Beatboxer

After the concert, there were various performances by the aerial acrobats, doing their stunts high up in the air. It was quite amazing watching how they balanced themselves and hung on to dear life by just clinging on a piece of cloth.

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Aerialists doing their stunts

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Hanging in the air

There was also an Illuminating Laserman show towards the later part of the night, another performance that managed to wow the crowd.

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Illuminating Laser man show

Of course, all these performances and shows wouldn’t mean as much if we didn’t celebrate the countdown with dear friends. I attended the event with a group of gorgeous bloggers from Malaysia’s Hottest Bloggers, where we were showered with plenty of Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve – a special drink that’s befitting the last day of 2011.

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with the gorgeous bloggers from MHB

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Bottles of Johnie Walker Gold Label Reserve

What’s more? The sweet couple Caroline and Eric who happened to be free that night also came to join us for the countdown. With free flow of beer, endless entertaining performances and wonderful company, we really could not have asked for a better countdown party. Some of the pictures I took with the bloggers that night:

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with Caroline

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Saucer and witch

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with Mei Sze and Brigette

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with Emma and Rachel

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with Kim Ong who was back for holidays from Melbourne

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The 5000-strong crowd

At the stroke of midnight, the skies directly above ENCORP Strand were filled with multi-coloured fireworks, to mark the inaugural launch of ENCORP Strand’s New Year Eve Countdown. It was definitely a night to remember!

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Happy New Year 2012 at Red Carpet, Encorp Strand

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Fireworks at the stroke of midnight

We left the venue by 1am and may I just add, traffic was kind to us too. :) Happy New Year 2012!

For more info on Red Carpet Avenue visit http://www.facebook.com/encorpstrand.
For more info on Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, visit Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve.

Birthday Celebration in Mezze

Today marks the beginning of December, a date which is all the more special for two of my dear friends Foong and Caroline, because it’s their birthday. To celebrate their special day in advance, we had painstakingly planned a ‘surprise’ birthday dinner for them at Mezze. If planning a surprise for one person is hard enough, try planning for two! Both Eric (Caroline’s other half) and I had to come up with different stories to get them out for dinner on the same day, while making sure both of them never got to talk about it. It was quite nerve-wrecking. And finally, the day came…

Mezze

Pictures on Mezze

It was our maiden visit to Mezze and once we entered, our first impression was that the restaurant reeked of smoke, probably coming from the cigarettes and cigars at the bar area which was just next to the dining area. We asked for a table upstairs instead but were informed that the section upstairs was closed on that night (or perhaps there is no dining area upstairs? Can anyone confirm?). We had no choice but to switch to a table further in, in the hopes of alleviating the smokey smell.

Mezze

Carbonara (RM26)

I have heard from a few friends that we had to try the Spaghetti Carbonara if we ever dined in Mezze. What makes it different was the raw egg yolk that it was served with, in a shell. The presentation itself scored some points, even before we started eating. We mixed the whole egg yolk onto the pasta before digging in. Perhaps we shouldn’t have put in the whole yolk because some of us found the pasta to be overly creamy afterwards, almost soggy. I didn’t mind that it was creamy but thought that it lacked flavour. Still I can’t be a good judge of this because I seldom order carbonara pasta. I’m more of a marinara or aglio olio type of person.

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Add in the raw egg yolk for a creamier texture

Foong chose the Olio Bacon pasta, which I thought fared better than the Carbonara. The texture of the spaghetti here was firmer and more al dente, while the generous amount of bacon gave it a nice savoury flavour. This was actually pretty aromatic!

Mezze

Olio Bacon (RM29)

My choice was the Funghi au Truffle pizza, topped with sauteed mushroom, tomato, mozzarella, oregano, rocket and a drizzle of truffle oil. From the looks of it, I’m guessing they have a wood-fired oven, which gave the pizza the occasional charred edges and crispy crust that I love. The crust was sufficiently thin and light, and had the right amount of cheese on top. The addition of mushrooms and a light drizzle of truffle oil gave a subtle earthy taste. I actually enjoyed this pizza and would have had more if we were not sharing. :P

Mezze

Funghi au Truffle (RM28)

Majority of our dining group preferred the Salmon Pizza though, which looked quite similar except that it’s topped with slices of smoked salmon. Again, I loved their thin, light and crispy crust layered with cheese. I also thought the addition of rocket leaves not only made the pizza appear more attractive, it balanced out the savoury and cheesy flavour perfectly.

Mezze

Salmon Pizza (RM31)

The best dish that we had that night had to go to the Chargrilled Spatchcock Chicken or spring chicken. Our first impression was that the chicken was small – but it was so good! It was skilfully marinated and meticulously grilled to a shiny golden finish that was bursting with flavour in every bite. The skin was crispy and thin with no apparent layer of fats, while the meat remained juicy and tenderly delicious. My only gripe was the small size of it so we only had a couple of bites each. :P

Mezze

Chargrilled Spatchcock Chicken (RM34)

Last but not least, a birthday cake for both the birthday boy and girl. Since the success of the Durian Cheesecake that we bought from Caffe Cino last time, we decided to try the Cherry Cheesecake this round from the same bakery. Unfortunately, I thought that the cherry cheesecake came short of the Durian cheesecake. Somehow the flavour of the cheese was neither here nor there – I couldn’t decide whether it had more flavour of the cheese or the cherry. Anyway, that’s not important because this was not a cake review session. :P

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Cherry Cheesecake

Here they are, the birthday boy and girl! A very Happy Birthday to both of them. Many happy returns and may all your wishes come true! I have said it before and I’ll say it again, that I’m truly thankful that our paths crossed. :) Here’s to more birthday celebrations and many more food outings!

Mezze

The birthday boy and girl

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Caroline & Eric

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Saucer & witch

Although the food at Mezze was rather good, we were pretty turned off at the end of the dinner when the smoky environment became almost unbearable. There was no proper separation between the bar and bistro area, and since the whole place was enclosed and air-conditioned, it meant that the smoke was circulated internally. At one point, a few of us even had watery eyes such that we decided to leave earlier than expected. I really hope something would be done to improve the air ventilation here or at least give diners the option to dine upstairs. I’m sure diners would appreciate this gesture to protect them from second hand smoke.

Mezze

The company that matters

Mezze Wine Bar & Bistro
132 Jalan Kasah,
Medan Damansara,
50490 Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia.
Tel No.: +603-2095 0122
Opening Hours: 12pm – 1am daily except Sunday
Website: www.mezze.my
Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/mezzebarbistro

A Malaysian Chinese Wedding Ceremony

Chinese all around the world practice different customs when it comes to the wedding day. The very traditional Chinese marriage rituals have since been modified according to different countries’ customs especially for the young and modern couples. I would like to take this opportunity to share the Chinese wedding ceremony customs that the modern Malaysian Chinese families typically follow, on the actual wedding day. It was my younger brother’s wedding last weekend and I was happy to witness the whole process that started early in the morning, with both the bride and groom getting ready at their respective houses.

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Bride’s father getting ready for prayers

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Offerings to the Gods

On the actual wedding day, the bride would get ready with her wedding gown and wait in her room for the groom to ‘collect’ or ‘fetch’ her back to the groom’s house, a process fondly known as ‘Chip San Leong’. While waiting for the groom to arrive, the bride’s parents would set up a table of offerings for the Gods to ensure that the couple has a happy and long-lasting marriage, and to bless them on their wedding day.

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Burning joss sticks

According to the auspicious time set by the fortune-teller, the groom and his entourage would arrive, accompanied with loud, blaring car horns along the way, to signify to the rest of the neighbourhood that someone is getting married! The bridal car would be parked outside the house, followed by the groom’s buddies or ‘heng tai’. The groom, however, would have to remain in the car until the bride’s brother opens the door for him.

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Bridal car

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The groom and his ‘heng tais’

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Waiting patiently in the car

The bride’s younger brother (or cousin brother if she has no brother) would then open the groom’s car door, so that the groom could proceed to the house to see the bride.

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Out of the car

But it’s not so easy! The house was locked! And all the bridesmaids (chi mui) were blocking the groom’s entourage from entering. In order to enter the house, the groom and heng tais would have to go through several ‘tests’ set up by the bridesmaids. This was done to make the ceremony more fun, and to make the groom overcome some obstacles before getting to the bride.

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Bridesmaids blocking the entrance

Some of the games played that day included finishing up a plate of sandwiches. Now they might look very yummy from the outside, but these bridesmaids had put in various ingredients that made the sandwich taste quite horrible. Perhaps this was a test to the groom so that in the future, no matter what his wife cooks, he’ll have to finish it!

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Sandwiches for the groom and his brothers

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Thick layer of salt! and a slice of lemon among others

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Cheers

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Very salty!

After the sandwiches, they were made to drink glasses of weird-looking drinks. True to their spirits, the guys lived up to expectations and finished the gross-looking beverage.

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What is this?

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Would you drink it?

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Wonder how it tasted

The eating and drinking was just the beginning of a series of tests. Soon, the girls prepared a layer of cling film patterned with tomato ketchup on both sides. The task now was for the guys to lick the ketchup clean, on both sides of the film! And they had to do it simultaneously.

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Cling film with tomato ketchup

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Licking it clean

The guys completed the task well and thought they could enter the house, but no, there was another task in store.

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No entry… yet!

Each guy was to put on lipstick on their lips, and make an ‘I <3 U’ sentence by kissing on pieces of paper pasted on the groom’s body.

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Applying lipstick

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Kiss the paper

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Getting carried away with kissing…

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The final product

Soon, all the bridesmaids were inside the house, a sign that they were ready to let the groom enter, but only after a little reward. This was when the groom’s brothers would help to negotiate a price with the bridesmaids, reaching an agreement such that they would be allowed to enter the house.

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A red packet for the bridesmaids to open the door

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First stage passed!

Little did they know that there were still a couple of challenges awaiting them inside the house, before the bride’s room! The first task was to kiss the word ‘Angie’ on the papers pasted on the wall. Based on their previous experience, the guys were already expert in this! :)

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Teamwork is crucial

Finally, the last task that morning was for the groom to painstakingly peel the skin of some grapes, as a sign that he would do so for the bride in the future – and to be a patient, loving and kind husband.

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Peeling the grapes with concentration

While peeling the grapes, the groom was asked to give “20 reasons why I love Angie” and he had to say it loud enough that the bride could hear it from the room. When she was finally satisfied, the door was unlocked.

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“I love Angie because…”

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Let’s go in!

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Mission accomplished!

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Kiss the bride

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The newly-weds

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with the bridesmaids and groomsmen

After fetching the bride from the room, they now had to go through the Chinese Tea Ceremony, where they would serve tea to their parents as a sign of getting their blessing.

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Tea ceremony

In return, the parents would usually give something to the newly-weds, usually in the form of jewelry.

CH Wedding Kampar

Gold ring for the groom

CH Wedding Kampar

Bracelet for the bride

Tea would also be served to other elder relatives of the bride, with the sequence following their seniority in the family. For relatives younger than the bride, tea would not be served, instead it was a shake of hands or a hug.

CH Wedding Kampar

Hugs for younger relatives of the family

When the tea ceremony was completed, it was time to go back to the groom’s house, where the groom’s family would be waiting to welcome the new bride home.

CH Wedding Kampar

Father of the bride holds an umbrella as a sign of protecting the bride

CH Wedding Kampar

To the groom’s house

CH Wedding Kampar

In the bridal suite

Over at the groom’s family, the same prayers and rituals were repeated. It was then followed by another Tea Ceremony, for the groom’s family and relatives.

CH Wedding Kampar

Tea with red dates for a sweet marriage

CH Wedding Kampar

Tea for the groom’s parents

CH Wedding Kampar

Look at how happy they were – bottoms up!

CH Wedding Kampar

Jewelry for the newly-weds

After the tea ceremony was completed, relatives and friends were treated to a light lunch before they left to get ready for the banquet dinner at night. The whole morning was filled with activities that everything seemed to happen so quickly. My brother is now officially married, and I hereby welcome Angie to the family as my new sister-in-law. :)

CH Wedding Kampar

Congratulations to my brother and his wife, Angie!