Thursday, 19 November 2009

MerBear's Birthday - Let the Eating Continue!

Earlier this week we enjoyed the annual celebration that is…my birthday!

We kicked things off the night before with an extravagant Whiskey Tasting at Duri-Ann and Duri-Andy’s place.

The whiskies were really top shelf. I wish I’d kept a paper and pen with me and taken notes. My fave? I hope I don’t sound too pedestrian, but Johnny Walker Blue Label won in my book for its smoothness.

Now, on to birthday festivities. My favorite cuisine is Japanese. Unfortunately, I don’t get to indulge in it too often because it is generally too restrictive for Mr. Happy’s condition…vegetarian.

So with a gang of people willing to eat whatever I chose, I pinpointed Joyoga in the Starhill Gallery.
It’s reportedly the best Japanese buffet in KL. I can confirm the reports. Feast your eyes on this:

Even Haagen Dazs!

We all went to town!

The meal was topped off by a delicious chocolate birthday cake.

I think excess calories hampered my lung capacity. Or perhaps excessive candles???

The cake was courtesy of none other than the very talented Baker. Thank you!

It was complimented by a bit of cognac.

This buffet is HUGE. I think the staff was mighty surprised to see us bring our own food. Prepare yourself for an upcoming posting of MerBear's Workout Guide.

The day was so much fun. I couldn’t have been happier.

This was also the first birthday I ever celebrated where Christmas season was in full swing.

KL is decorated from tip to toe.

I’m feeling colder already.

And when I got home, it was Christmas! Mr. Happy knocked my socks off with a new Canon Rebel EOS. Prepare yourselves for killer pics soon to come.

People in Glass Houses...Should Eat!

Before D-Man left to go back to London, we celebrated with one last road trip. We rented a car and drove to Serendah. It’s a jungle retreat about an hour outside of KL.

The house was amazing!

We took a quick dip in the pool.

And then we started preparing for a BBQ.

Ok, they started preparing for a BBQ and I relaxed with a drink.

The caretaker came over and lit our fire pit, so we could BBQ our meal.

The food attracted a little friend.
It was delish!

The next morning we strolled out a nearby waterfall.

Where we got very, very wet!

Go figure…

It’s the Malaysian Philharmonic…Take off all your clothes!

Once a month, the Malaysia Philharmonic holds a “happy hour”. For just 10RM you can attend an abbreviated concert. Several us decided to turn out to the one held this month.

Unfortunately, some of us weren’t turned out well enough.

The Philharmonic has a strict dress code and some of our ragtag group were forced to undress…

And then redress…in someone else’s clothes. I guess the music sounds sweeter…

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Penang - Time to Eat!

Last week I had TWO friends in from out of town. My college friend, Howdy, from New York and D-Man from London! We decided to take a group holiday and headed to Penang on the northwest coast of Malaysia.
Penang is the food capital of Malaysia. But before we tucked in dove the lovely pool at the famous Eastern and Oriental Hotel.
We took to relaxing quite quickly.
And a bit of snacking.
Penang isn't known for it's pizza. It's also not known for its Mexican.
But it had been SO long since we'd seen any Mexican food we couldn't help ourselves from digging in to a veggie burrito.
And a veggie quesadilla.
Once we'd lined our stomachs we were ready for some Penang specialties.
More Mexican, anyone?
Penang isn't known for it's beaches, but we were on the coast and Howdy and D-Man wanted to feel the sand between their toes. We took at taxi (50RM) to the National Park and then chartered a boat (100RM/rt) to Monkey Island!
Howdy got quite comfortable for the speed boat ride.
Oh how we frolicked on the beach that day.
After a day at the beach we headed for the hills - Penang Hill to be exact. A Swiss made funicular s-l-o-w-l-y carries you up the mountain.
The views are nice and you can grab a drink. This bit of the trip really wasn't for me. I think the others will agree with me, there was nothing "fun" about this ickular. The funicular made me want to pull my hair out. It takes 30 minutes each way and we had to wait 1 HOUR in line to catch one going down. Apparently, the lines aren't too bad during the week and reportedly a new funicular is going in for 2010 and it will shorten the trip to 10 minutes. You can try it...but be warned!
Next up? Eating! We headed to the famous Gurney Street Hawkers Market.
The fried oysters were my FAVE.
My sis LOVES cuttlefish and couldn't get enough of it when we visited Spain.
I'm not sure what the Sis thinks of Convolvulus...
On our last day in Penang we did a bit of sightseeing.
Our favorite spot? The Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion aka La Maison Blue aka the Blue Mansion.
It's had a top notch restoration and tours are given at 11am and 3pm. You can also stay here if you book several weeks in advance.
With all the touring we worked up an appetite. We stumbled on to Teik Seng. This place is FANTASTIC.
We ate a little something called double cooked roast pork which can more accurately be referred to as candy bacon. Go. Order it!
We polished everything off quite quickly.
I can't wait to go back again!
And when will next time be??? No idea. So we consulted an expert.
We had Aunty Sim read our future (5RM cards/15 RM palm)
It's alllll good...
Penang was a blast. The more the merrier!