Friday, 30 October 2009

Hello Big Time!

Mr. Happy and I are saying "Hello!" to the Big Time. That's right, we have crested the Malaysian social ladder and I have the glossy proof!


Prestige Magazine keeps it readers abreast of all the going ons in upper crust society. And, low and behold, Mr. Happy and I have just discovered that we are among that crust.


Recognize anyone you know?



No? Well, come a little closer, dah-ling.



Mr. Happy is dangerously close to the fold. He needs to keep a firmer grasp of my coattails!


Friends of ours snagged this copy while holidaying by the sea. For those of you less photographed than I, heed my warning, you never truly appreciate your anonymity until it's gone. Fame can be taxing, but I am confident my relationship with Mr. Happy will remain strong despite this unexpected thrust into the spotlight.

Must dash. Jeeves just walked in with the caviar.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Happy Birthday Loppy Lou!

Today is my little sister's birthday! It is most likely her last birthday as a single gal. Enjoy it! Here's an old time shot of her when she still had many, many years of singledom ahead of her.


Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Diwali Dinner

Happy Diwali (aka Deepavali) everyone!

Mr. Happy and I raised the roof by throwing a dinner party on Friday night.

Chef Happy created a delectable menu of Indian delicacies that included: Chana Masala, Chili Paneer, Palak Rice, Naan, Golbi, Samosa and Dahi vada.


Yum.

Despite a noticeable lack of enthusiasm in these shots, our guests were duly impressed.

I think one guest is trying to avoid the photo and blend in to the sofa.

Not sure what Diwali is? Don’t let me tell you…let President Obama!
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By the way, Saturday was the real Diwali and we went with some friends to Spice of India in the Pavilion. What a MISTAKE!

This dining experience was awful! We ordered their "special" Diwali set menu. They must have meant "it'll take a 'specially long time to get you your food!" We were there THREE HOURS.


The portions for four people were criminally small and the service was abysmal. No one filled our water glasses (despite repeatedly asking), it took more than 30 minutes to fill our drink order, no one ever cleared dirty plates between courses (despite our requesting this THREE times), and they ran out of certain items though, as I mentioned, we'd ordered them three hours beforehand. Actually, to be honest, we ordered the day before because they asked if we would be having the Diwali menu when we made our reservation. No excuse.


It was such a disappointment as we were looking forward to have a nice Diwali meal and they had advertised they could provide one. They told us they were shorthanded, but there were 5 waiters and 2 "managers" and only 5 tables of people. From our experience, I'd guess maybe no one was working in the kitchen.


Most of the time the waiters stood around gossiping and texting and ignoring our requests. They seemed to have a system where they could only do one single job. So if I asked one waiter to clear my table he wouldn't do it. He'd claim he'd ask someone else to do it. I actually didn't see a single table cleared of its dirty dishes and glasses the entire night and we were the last to leave. I should have taken a photo. One waiter was just sitting on a box popping bubble wrap!? Come on people! Get with the program! You definitely lost me as a customer and I won't bring Mr. Happy back either! We should have stayed home and eaten leftovers...

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Happy Birthday Mr. Happy

Ok, I plead guilty. I have been a lazy blogger the past week and a half. Things have been busy in the life of MerBear and my time for daily public reflections disappeared on me. So, without further ado, please allow me to catch you up!

First and foremost, Mr. Happy celebrated his birthday!


The years march onward for Mr. Happy but who would know??? We kicked off the day with a glass of fresh juice.

Made with his new birthday juicer!!! This thing sucks downs whole apples. (What a great gift idea MerBear!)

This will be a healthy year for Mr. Happy...starting tomorrow. Today, we celebrate with decadent eats!

Our dinner plans began in reverse order. We went across the street to Delicious.

Here we ordered up a big slice of mango cheesecake.

From there, we cabbed it down to Changkat Bukit Bintang to Frangipani. This is supposed to be the tres best French bistro in KL.

The dining room is quite chic with tables set up around a central water feature.

We both went for the three course tasting menu. Here’s a look at some of our treats. Apologies in advance for the fuzzy pics.

Our amuse bouche:

A complimentary starter. Mine was of the chicken variety.

Mr. Happy's was of the potato variety.

The first course.

For Mr. Happy: Mozzarella, zucchini, aubergine, and tomato jelly with ratatouille coulis

Crab and Prawn bisque with crab quenelles, prawns poached in beurre noisette with a trail of Italain lemon oil. This was DELICIOUS!

Second course: Truffle spiked confit pigeon ravioli with sage caper beurre noisette and "egg yolk". This was pretty rich.


Corsican brocciu stuffed beetroot ravioli with fresh and dried tomato slices in olive oil (beets are one of the only foods I-do-not-eat!)

Granite of the day
The birthday boy's main was black risotto with sauteed vegetables.

Slow roasted wagu beef. This was nice, but not as good as I was hoping. It was fatty and didn't have a lot of flavor.


Since we started off with dessert, we decided to end with dessert. Mr. Happy chose the French toast with rum raisin sauce and freshly baked apple. I was initially not excited because there was no chocolate involved in this dessert. But it won me over. It was very, very rich and very delicious. We managed to snap one out of focus pic before we gobbled it up.


Happy Birthday Mr. Happy! I love you!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

A New Guest

Mr. Happy and I have a new guest staying with us. I'm slightly suspicious of him because we once loaned him a dvd and he never returned it. Now I wonder what else he wants to take from us. He mentioned he bought a ceremonial stone ax on his recent journey in Indonesia. The Indonesians use it to chop off their fingers when important family members die. I am locking my bedroom door.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Wedding Memories

This weekend Loppy Lou and her fiancee Tex went to visit my parents in Cape May and get BizE with the wedding planning. She also got her ring! Yay! Can't wait to see it!!

All this wedding hoopla makes me reminisce about my own wedding (& Mr. Happy's of course). I thought I'd share a beautiful little video from our special day. Enjoy!

video

Friday, 9 October 2009

Kampong!

Last weekend, friends invited us to a Hari Raya celebration on their kampong! It’s basically Malay for ‘our country estate’. It was great to get outside of KL and breathe some fresh air!

They have a river.

And a pond!

There were terrific eats, but I was busy babysitting and forgot to photograph.

Mr. Happy got his feet wet.

As well as his whistle.

Great weather. Great people. Great day.


Let's Get it Started

Kuala Lumpur recently got rocked – Boom Boom Pow! - when the Black Eyed Peas came to town. You may have read about the controversy-laden concert. It was sponsored by Guinness to celebrate Arthur Day (aka Mr. Guinness). But, um, Malaysia is a Muslim country, and the concert was taking place during the most religious time of year, and Muslims supposedly do not drink.

So officials said, “No, this beer concert cannot happen!” Whoa, Hey Mama, Where is the Love?

So lots of people got mad. So the officials said, “This beer concert can happen, but Muslims can’t attend!” Shut up!

So then the kids of the officials got mad. So then the officials said, “This beer concert can happen, but beer cannot be drunk inside the concert area.”




What a bunch of Monkey Business.

This meant: 1) You had to be scanned to see if you were a Muslim.


2) We had to wait in a reallllly long line to get some beer. Mr. Happy bought everyone in our group two.

But then Mr. Happy got his hands on a VIP pass! This meant free beer. But actually, it’s hard to drink a lot of Guinness.

I can’t imagine these kids ever finished this mountain of suds.

Before we knew it the concert started. We guzzled the rest of our Guinness (choke!) and headed out into the crowd. Malaysians are great. We just had to say “Sorry!” “Excuse me!” a few times and suddenly we were up front!

I Gotta Feeling, that tonight’s gonna be a good good night!

‘Twas!
(Ed. note - OK, who believed they were really screening us for "Muslim"??? They were actually taking our temperature to see if we had H1N1)

Friday, 2 October 2009

Chiang Mai - Fresh Jungle Air

Following the Big Engagement, we still had one day left in Chiang Mai and the fiancées were craving adventure. We decided to book a trek with Buddy Tours (800 bhat/pp) which would take us into the jungles and riverbeds of the province.



We were lead by a guide named Mr. T.

No. Not that Mr. T.

When he wasn’t leading or enjoying folk music, he practiced for a big slingshot competition he’d entered.

He needs the practice.

Our trek started out, as all good treks do, with us finding ourselves on the backs of elephants.

Luckily, we brought some treats which we shared with the elephants after Mr. Happy had eaten his fill.
Our arms were ill-equipped to feed the hungry beasts. Our bananas kept falling short and landing on our elephant’s head, making him look the fool!




We soon discovered that a bunch of bananas does not stretch far when trying to curb the hunger of a two ton animal. Some elephants don’t know when to say when.

video
The next part of our trek included us rafting down a river in a bamboo raft a la Huck Finn. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take our cameras along for this portion. But we looked a lot like this:

Next up…lunch!

Enjoying the local cuisine, fiancees?

Following lunch it was time to visit a small Karin village. This is where they tried to lure us to buy woven goods we didn’t need.

More interesting than the textiles, though, were the terrifying animals living inside the village.

We hiked through some rice paddies.

And emerged at a waterfall.

We were sweaty and tired. The temperature on the day was approaching 104 degrees. But, like a true Englishman, Mr. Happy craved nothing more than a nice, piping hot cuppa tea.

Our last adventure for the day was a rubber rafting trip down the river. This was when an unfortunate incident occurred. As Mr. Happy walked over a bridge carrying our boat, the bridge collapsed! Once again we were not able to bring our cameras, but this should give you an idea.

He got away with only some hurt toes. Too much tea, Mr. Happy? We then climbed into our raft for a leisurely drift downriver.

We did it!

Before we knew it we were back in KL.

Loppy Lou and I went out for some quick pampering.

Then it was time for them to pack up.

And ship out.

We miss you Tex and Loppy Lou! Come back soon…honeymoon perhaps???