Thursday, 28 May 2009

Selamat Datang! (Welcome)

Selamat Pagi, Everyone! (Good morning).

Last night was my final Malay 1 class. I'd signed up for a 30-hour course at the YMCA in the Little India section of KL - Brickfields.

Our class included a baker, a water executive, and a musician with the Malaysian Philharmonic.

We received our final exams (I got an A! But, to be honest, I'm more Malay book-smart, than street-smart.) And we also received certificates of completion.

Mr. Happy did not receive a certificate. He missed too many classes because of business trips. As a good wife, I will try to assist him as he struggles to communicate his thoughts, feelings, and desires to people in Malay.
Here is our class celebrating our achievement. Our guru (teacher) is so short!!!

Selmat Jalan! Jumpa Lagi!

Flower Power

I picked up these cheerful little gems in Chinatown on Wednesday. I've never seen two-tone gerber daisies. I love them! I also picked up a bunch of orchids. All for about $3 US. When I got them home, I realized that no vase had made our relocation to KL. Luckily, my Ikea pitcher worked just fine. I gave the flowers to Mr. Happy :)

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Suzi's Corner

Holy Cow! We just devoured some of Malaysia's best steak at Suzi's Steak Hut in Ampang Point. It's slightly more upscale than most of the hawker centers in town, and boy can she cook a piece of meat.
I opted for the sizzlin' tenderloin with garlic sauce (on the side). The meal came with fries, some veg, and a roll (bread in Asia!!). This was the top priced steak at RM 32. Our table also ordered another tenderloin with pepper sauce and a rib eye with garlic sauce AND pepper sauce.
The meat is served on a cow!
Mr. Happy indulged in some onion soup, a salad, and a bowl full of thousand island dressing. He also had some roti, but I forgot to take a photo. There was a good amount of vegetarian food on the menu, so no one has to starve.
A Tiger at Suzi's will cost you RM 6 and you can bring your own wine (corkage fee RM10). You may see the odd rat roaming around the parking lot, but hey, this is KL!!!

Friday, 22 May 2009

Our First Visitors!

Someone finally came to visit us! Mr. Happy’s aunt and uncle from Perth had a 30 hour layover in KL on a flight from Thailand. We made sure they enjoyed a true KL experience – eating, drinking, and shopping!

First stop – Chow Kit Market. This is the wet market where the locals shop – fruit, veg, chicken, fish, spices, clothing, cakes, you name it! We enjoyed a jug of coconut juice and the Aunt bought some shoes.

Next stop, Sungei Wang Plaza, the bargain hunters mall on Bukit Bintang. Be forewarned, you’ll probably need to ask directions for the exit because you get LOST in this maze like shopping mall. We bought some clothes, wine glasses, and a tea urn. Yes, a tea urn.

After lunch we hit our roof deck for happy hour.

We enjoyed an early dinner of Indian food at Ghazal on Changkat Butik Bintang before our guests caught their plane back to Australia.
It was mostly a carefree evening. But some of us did have to make some tough decisions.

Cape Town is Calling

My friend DMWT (Don't Mess With Texas) – who you might remember from my postings Me-like-a Malacca or Kickin’ it in the Kitchen – found out she's leaving KL! Her husband is being transferred quite unexpectedly to Cape Town. Their five years in KL has now been whittled down to three months! We are very sad to see them go, so we decided to drown our sorrow in cocktails and food.

The Baker invited a group of us over to their place for some gin and tonics. We took a group shot on the balcony which has a view of the KL Tower. Unfortunately, the photo only has a view of us.

Then we headed down to Jalan Alor - which is the hawker heavenly paradise just off Bukit Bintang. There are dozens of small restaurants with outdoor seating to choose from and they all compete for your business. We ended up at the very end of the road. I'm not sure what the actual name of the place is, but we call it the Mickey Mouse restaurant because Mickey is on their sign for some reason.

We ordered food until we ran out of space at the table.
Hopefully DMWT and Mr. DMWT will visit us soon for another meal. Good luck in Cape Town!
(Slow down, Mr. Happy!)

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Me-like-a Malacca

Just about the time I fell ill with a stray hair, I took a road trip with my friends the Baker and Don’t Mess with Texas (DMWT) to Malacca, a fishing town on the Straights of Malacca.

No, my friends are real people not cardboard cutouts!!

The Baker & DMWTS - Real live people
The city is large, but we were focused on the Old Town where there is a strong Dutch influence as evidenced by this windmill.

Malacca is famous for its chopped chicken and rice balls. Delish. I could have eaten these balls all day long.

I forced the Baker to mooo-ve down to her knees and pose for this, so I thought I better post it. The cow turned out to be a fake.
They also have great museums, historical homes, temples, beaches, and shopping.

This is none of those things. It is a highly decorated bike!
St Paul's Church...the first Christian church in Malaysia. It was built by the Portuguese in 1521.

The Cheng Hoon Teng Temple is the oldest Chinese temple in Malaysia. It was built in 1646.

We saved the beach for our next trip, and went straight for the shopping.

Malacca is famous for nonya shoes. These are hand crafted with glass beads and Malacca is the only place in the world where you can buy them. DMWT picked up a pair. I wanted to think about it. Hopefully, I will get back to the one place in the world I can buy them now that I've made up my mind.

No glasses! (She's not wearing contacts, we asked.)

Malacca is better suited for a 2 or 3 day trip, but we made the most of our afternoon!

Monday, 18 May 2009

Phang Nga Honeymoon

We're baaa-aack! We are rested, relaxed and ready for a second honeymoon. We had two weddings, so two honeymoons only seems appropriate!

The trip was unforgettable. We stayed at the Aleenta which is a small luxury boutique resort in Phang Nga about 30 minutes outside of Phuket, Thailand and away from all the hustle and bustle of the tourist community there. Conde Nast proclaims it one of the nicest resorts in the world, and so do I! The grounds were beautiful, the service was extraordinary, and the food was out of this world.

Our room was decorated in true honeymoon style!

Mr. Happy was more into the chocolate than the roses.
We spent the first few days relaxing by our private pool and on the beach.

We enjoyed some of the most amazing food we’ve ever eaten.
Each morning we feasted on a gourmet breakfast. The food was presented so beautifully we didn’t want to eat it! They start you off with a three tier tray of goodies.

Tier 1: meat, fish, cheese

Tier 2: fresh fruit

Tier 3: pastries

Another tray of delicacies was also brought out to compliment the first.

Then you selected your main egg course.

Steamed kafir lime and lemongrass eggs with coconut milk:
Poached eggs with roasted sesame seeds served over bok choi with porcini mushrooms.Poached egg with Italian breadcrumbs and prosciutto in a parmesan sauce.Fluffy egg whites over roasted tomatoes with asparagus:The golden egg: Soft boiled egg with dauphinoise potatoes:
And that was just breakfast!

On Wednesday we left the Aleenta for a few days. We chartered a 50 foot sailboat along with a captain and cook and we set sail around the Phang Nga Bay, stopping only for deserted islands and clear blue swimming spots.We enjoyed some onboard massages!

Captain Nick guided our craft, but sometimes Captain Happy and Captain MerBear took the wheel. Mr. Happy was very serious about honing his sailing skills.
The scenery was beautiful. Large cliffs rise out of the ocean and dot the seascape.
It was a perfect getaway on our perfect getaway!

After a few days we returned to the Aleenta for more eating, relaxing, drinking, and eating.
Papaya Salad
Massaman beef currySeared scallops in a citrus vinaigretteThe Classic: Phad Thai
Our final night there – which happened to be our first anniversary – Mr. Happy surprised me with a specially prepared dinner for two on the beach.
It was by far the most romantic dinner of our life. The setting was stunning and – as always – the food was amazing.

It may have taken an entire year to find the time to take our honeymoon, but it was without a doubt worth the wait!

Oh, Mr. Happy, I would say I do all over again (of course I don't think we could convince any guests to come to a third wedding!!).