Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kuala Lumpur 2008!

View from the Tower View Room at Westin Hotel, Kuala Lumpur by Ahazan

Hello Bloggers! Did you miss me? Holidays are always Great but nothing beats the feeling of coming home to your very own abode! The sweet smell of Lemongrass and Ylang Ylang filled my nostrills as I entered our home, my shoulders relaxed as I gazed at the tranquility that I left behind some weeks back. It sure is Good to be home, to finally be in my own bed, to sprawl luxuriously on my lounge. I love to be in a state of 'awareness' like this because I can genuinely appreciate and be grateful for all that God has so lovingly provided for me. Sure, I thank God everyday for all this but so often this prayer is a mere 'template' I use. Feeling authentic about yourself is I really beautiful and humbling, my Friends!

I must really remind myself (and Ming) not to lug our laptops with us when we travel in future! (we would have more hands to carry more Valhrona Chocolate, Vanilla Beans and other baking-associated stuff!) Internet access for us was next to zero and I was so looking forward to keeping you updated. Either that or the speed was sooooooooooooooo SLOW! So, as I'm sure you've already guessed, we gave up after the first few days. I apologize for not answering your emails and not coming by your blogs to say 'thank you' for your comments. I hope this post (and the next/final installment) featuring 'snippets' of our Holiday and the photos will be a worthy peace offering.

Chloe and Paige at the 'Curve'

This Vacation like a lot of my other vacations are all about Food and Shopping, so you won't see many scenic photos at all. A heap of Happy moments captured is what I can promise you though. One of our first stops in Kuala Lumpur was the 'Curve', a trendy shopping district with yummy food haunts. One particular 'quirky' cafe we visited was 'The Apartment' - What drew us to it was that it looked like the inside of a cosy little apartment with a loft. We headed straight for a Day Bed in a corner, took our shoes off and huddled together like we often do at home. After a while, I realized we had become a 'spectacle'- everyone that passed by the cafe had stopped and looked in at us, some smiling, laughing and pointing and some even looked at us in amazement. We felt a little strange at first, like we were animals in a zoo. But being 'us', we just continued with what we were doing with our "who cares?" attitude.

Chloe, Paige and I posing for a shot on the comfy daybed at 'The Apartment'

Ming and the girls making themselves at home..

Having a bit of fun..

One of the best things that have come out of blogging for me are the nice people that I've had the pleasure of getting to know, and on this trip, I got to meet some of them for the first time - Jackson Kah of 'Living in Food Heaven', Sunny Yaw and Sidney Kan of 'Big Boys Oven and last but not least, Chong Kok Wai , of 'Young Patissier Journey' who is known by his very witty blog persona 'Bread Pitt'. We met at Jackson's cosy new establishment, 'Pick and Brew' at One Utama. Jackson's blog is a comprehensive journal of his food reviews, done locally as well as on his travels and is an invaluable source of reference for anyone who loves food. Sunny Yaw is the ever-creative half of the Big Boy's partnership, always coming up with Dreamy cakes and desserts while Sidney Kan is the editor and mastermind behind Big Boys Oven. Chong Kok Wai, with his boyish good looks on the other hand, is a Junior Patissier at a local Five Star Hotel. His passion and artistry reflects in his creations even at this tender age - I dare say his success in this industry is imminent.

Food Blogger's meet at 'Pick and Brew'..
From left; Sidney, me, Kok Wai, Sunny and Jackson

Some of the shots taken at 'Pick and Brew'..

Having a "getting to know you" cuppa together..

Miyako Japanese Restaurant at the Sheraton Subang

Oh, Did I mention that Sidney is a free lance food reviewer for Foodstreet? We were his guests at a Food Tasting /Review at the Miyako Japanese Restaurant at the Sheraton Subang. The evening was superb - we received such a warm greeting from Datin Jasmine Abdullah Heng, the General Manager of the Sheraton. We had a brief conversation but I will never forget those warm twinkling eyes of hers. Her staff were just as cordial. We had the privilege of the company of Bel Shem Wei, the Public Relations Executive and Farhana Tan, the Food and Beverage Coordinator all through the Food Tasting. The food was delicious and fresh-tasting and I would definitely recommend Miyako for a memorable meal. At the end of the evening, we had a chat to the Assistant Japanese Chef, Ronnie Wong who prepared our food.

Paraphernalia at the Multi-Award-Winning Miyako

Assorted Sashimi Platter

'Dobin Mushi' (small teapot soup)

Assorted Seafood and Vegetable Tempura

A Consomme of Chicken and Bean Curd with gingko nuts,oyster and enoki mushrooms

'Toriyaman-yaki'(Spicy barbequed chicken fillet)

Pan-seared Cod Cutlet with Green tea noodles in a Lemongrass broth

The 'Spread'..

Chloe and I, listening intently as Chef Ronnie Wong introduces the evening's dishes. Chef Ronnie is originally from Penang and has been in the Japanese Cuisine Industry for 22 years. He trained under Japanese Master Chef Tadashi Mayashi for 5 years.

Miyako Japanese Restaurant
Sheraton Subang Hotel and Towers
Jalan SS 12/1, 47500 Subang Jaya
Selangor Malaysia

Garra Rufa Fish Therapy

Have you ever heard about Fish Therapy? It's the newest 'thing' that's come to Kuala Lumpur. Sitting at a cafe one afternoon, I actually overheard some ladies talking about their experience, something about a spa where you put your feet in and little tiny fish nibble on them. Before I could tell Ming about what I heard, he hands me a brochure for Garra Rufa Fish Therapy! Being the curious people that we are, we decided to check it out. Ming was quite excited about the idea of fish nibbling on his feet, and I must say that he was the driving force for this family adventure. I must admit I wasn't very keen but went along just to be a good sport and to see what it was all about. Chloe needed a little coaxing but finally agreed. Paige on the other hand, well.. we practically had to drag her yelling and screaming!
The Garra Rufa species of fish, as I learned, originated from the Middle East over a century ago and was used as an alternative treatment for skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis. What happens is, the fish consumes dead areas of the skin whilst releasing healing enzymes, leaving healthy skin to grow. You don't have to have one of these skin conditions to experience this treatment, it's just a novel and fun way to pamper yourself while exfoliating dead skin at the same time.

The friendly staff at the Reception Area

Chloe and Paige cleaning their feet. They get you to do this before you immerse your feet into the warm pool

Ming looks like he's enjoying the experience. Can you see the Garra Rufa Fish? They're also known as 'Doctor Fish'

Here's a closer look. What do you think?

Chloe about to dip her feet. As you can see, this place has a pleasing and relaxing ambience

Paige - a little apprehensive

We paid for 30 minute sessions and 20 minutes down the track Paige is still deciding if she will dip her feet! Chloe doesn't look too impressed with her sister

Finally! It Looks like (both) the girls are having fun!

And we're ready to leave. It sure was a relaxing 30 minutes! You should definitely give it a go!

Garra Rufa Fish Therapy
No.4 Jalan Telawi,
Bangsar Baru,
59100 Kuala Lumpur
Telephone + 60 3 2287 5518
Open Daily 10am-10pm

Earlier on this post I mentioned one of the best things that came out of blogging, well, here's another! - About a month before I went on this Holiday, I got an e-mail from a childhood friend of mine, Jackie Rajoo who I had not seen since the age of 16 and whom I had lost contact with! Isn't it AMAZING? Jackie was looking for a macaron recipe on the internet when she came across my blog and saw photos of me. So, we met up for dinner one evening and talked about old times.. It was really fun reminiscing and catching up on the last 20 years or so!

Purple Cane Tea Restaurant - This was the place where we had dinner with Jackie. All the dishes are prepared with tea in some way or other. How cool is that?

Eating and 'yakking' at the same time..

A photo taken inside the restaurant. Notice all the tea canisters in the little cubicles..

..and the teapots

Peking Duck Pancakes - Yummmmmm!

Peppered Beef

Ooooh... this is their Homemade tofu, I really enjoyed this!

Stirfried baby Kale

I can't do without this ever! Rice! The food here was light on the pallette, really refreshing and comforting too. I like the concept of using tea in the food..

Purple Cane Tea Restaurant
Lot LG 206, Lower Ground Floor,
The Gardens, Mid Valley City,
Lingkaran Syed Putra,
59200 Kuala Lumpur
tel: +603 2283 6090

After Dinner we walked over to 'Alexis' to finish off the evening with coffee and cake..

The 'Alexis' menu..

Inside 'Alexis'

Ooooh.. I see the cakes!

Let me at 'em!!

An 'Ooogling' session. The cakes here are supplied by 'Suchan', a fairly-newcomer to the cake scene and who's causing quite a buzz..

The Girls - waiting patiently for their dessert..

Jackie and I

This is what we came here for - the Tiramisu! It's quite different from the classic Tiramisu, this one is loaded with almond praline chunks on top and is served with raspberry coulis. This is one of the best cakes I've tasted in a long,long time.

The Rich and moist chocolate cake was good too..

The 'White Forest'- This was delicious as well, white chocolate and blueberries

The 'Black and White'- Jackie seemed to think that this usually tasted better..

The Girls attacking the Chocolate Cake..

Alexis Kitchen + Bar
Lot f209 1st floor
The Gardens
Mid Valley City
Lingkaran Syed Putra
59200 Kuala Lumpur
tel: +603 2287 2281

One of our favorite cuisines is Korean and there's this area in Ampang that has a 'Little Korea' where all the Businesses be it Restaurants, Hair Salons, Supermarkets, Boutiques or Bakeries are owned and operated by Koreans. My Cousin Chelsea took us to Lunch at 'KangSane Restaurant' the last trip we were in KL (January 2007) - the food was so good we decided to go there again this trip. Chelsea has been such a gem to us, taking time out to drive us around especially when Ming is not familiar with the area that we want to go to.

In Kangsane Korean Restaurant - Paige, Chloe and my cousin Chelsea

Look at all this! and these are only the side dishes!

My all-time favorite - Spicy Seafood and Bean Curd Soup

I'm sure these cockles were tasty but I stay away from these fellas these days after a food poisoning episode I'll never forget..

Another favorite of mine - Chili Pork

KangSane Restaurant
C5-1 Jalan Ampang Utama 1/1
One Ampang Avenue
68000 Ampang
Selangor Darul Ehsan

Another Restaurant that Chelsea took us to was a Tim Sum place called the 'Oriental Pavilion' . This is a very popular place for Tim Sum but I reckon the Tim Sum we had the last trip at 'Luk Yue Teahouse' in Starhill Gallery was by far tastier and more refined.

The facade of the Oriental Pavilion

Steamed Bean Curd Pork rolls

Steamed Glutinous Rice with Chicken and Barbecued Pork

Prawn Dumplings

Pork and Prawn Dumplings

Barbecued Pork Buns

Chinese Egg Tarts

Fried Taro Puffs

Pork and Century Egg Congee

Braised Pig intestines - Ming's favorite! (eew)

Fried Seafood in Bean Curd skin

Fried Radish Cakes

My Mob

Oriental Pavilion
Lot P104, 1st Floor,
Jaya 33,
No.3, Jalan Semangat,
Section 13
46100 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan

We spent a lot of time window-shopping during the course of this trip, my favorite places being the Mid-Valley Mall and Bangsar Village. In the last few years, flea markets have become popular in KL too, but since they're only open on weekends, we only managed to visit two, the one at the 'Curve' and the one at 'Mont Kiara'.

Chloe and Paige at Bangsar Village

The girls and I at Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC)

Outside a pretty Homewares Store

Chloe and I roaming the flea market at Mont Kiara

Paige at Mont Kiara Flea Market

Before I leave this post I just want to say how happy I was to have the opportunity to meet my fellow food bloggers and am so grateful for their Hospitality - I had the pleasure of being a guest at The Big Boys Oven' 'De Rouleau Demonstration Class'. Sunny Yaw is an excellent Baking Instuctor and being present in his class gave me an insight of how I might run my own classes in the near future. I'm also thankful to Kok Wai for taking my family and I Pastry shop 'hunting' on his day off. Thanks also go out to Jade of 'Smorgasbord of Delights who gave me an award when I was on Holiday.

The Lovely Tea Time Treats prepared by Sunny Yaw for his De Rouleau Class

The award presented to me by Jade of 'Smorgasbord of Delights'

I hope you've enjoyed this post, next up: Singapore 2008! See you soon!


Dear Readers,

This Blog almost vanished into cyberspace while I was experimenting with new templates two days ago! Fortunately, my archives are still intact, but I had lost everything else that was previously on my sidebar,eg. my important links, award badges, BabelFish translator etc. Please be patient with me while I try to get everything back the way it used to be. So, bloggers, I've learned a very important lesson from this, and that is to BACK UP my blog!! Looks like I'll be a very busy girl! Thanks for your support.. Carol


Mandy said...

welcome back, Carol! Seems like you had a wonderful time in KL! Your family look so happy in the photos! Can't wait to read about the Singapore part. :)

kezia*anastasia said...

FINALLY!! a post! you have no idea how long i anxiously wait for your holiday post. and man, those dishes looked GREAT! can say that you know KL inside out very well, I went there last year and got NOTHING. gosh, i should go with you guys!

those dishes looked delicious! i'm at work and i'm getting hungrier. I BLAME YOUUUUU :P


Chibog in Chief said...

oh carol, you almost made my jaws drop of envie seeing all your yummy photos!!thanks for bringing us with you in your delicious adventure to malaysia!!

good to have you back carol!!


Big Boys Oven said...

wow! this is an impressive post, very well captured and very well written! Great to have you over at Kayel! your family and yourself were a great company. Great to meet up, just imagine we were bloggers and yet we get to meet! Amazing!

Ashley said...

Welcome back! You have such a beautiful family and it looks like you had a fabulous time. I have heard of the doctor fish and will definitely give it a try when I visit. The photos are beautiful, as always!
I am finally back to blogging and did a new post on Vietnam you might find interesting!

Breadpitt said...

again thanks for our lovely cups and tim tam , so happy to meet up with you, a true friendly food bloggers . those pic on your vacation looks great , hope to meet up again in future!

Ming the Merciless said...

Welcome back!

All the amazing photos of food is making me hungry. Love the report on KL.

Kajal@aapplemint said...

OMG Carol ...seems like you've had one hellva trip. Absolutely stunning photographs. And sooo many of them :p
i've done the doctor fish thingie in CHina ... gosh its really so ticklish, i cant keep a straight face either. And i adore the fried raddish. Gosh you've made me miss home( hong kong ) which does have a lot of similarities with KL.
Nice to know u caught up with some blogger friends. Must be a wonderful experience.
Really enjoyed your post , almost made me feel like i went for a little vacation myself :p

Kok said...

This is a long and wonderful post of your KL trip! Guess you had lots of fun in KL. Too bad I couldn't meet up with you in Perth. I'm back in Malaysia for good. Maybe next time, we'll have the chance to meet up again. At the mean time, welcome back to blogosphere!:)

PangTama said...

Carol, great holiday!! and..great food!! this blog makes me hungry all the time!!! :)

Dee said...

Glad to have you back Carol! KL looks stunning through your lens, and your kids are gorgeous :) Looks like you had fun, too.

Can't wait to see what Singapore was like.

Dee said...

Regarding the Blogged question: If I recall correctly, once you sign up, they automatically rate you. I made the mistake of signing on with just a couple of posts under my belt, and now I'm stuck with my rating.

They'll love your blog; I know I do :)

GFAD said...

Wow! Great recap of the restaurants you went to! I'll be making a trip back to KL in June and will definitely pay a visit to those places. Do you think you can do a quick recap on the places you went to to buy baking-related stuff as well??

BTW, with a window display of 3 lovely ladies lazing around a day bed, how can anyone fail to stop and gaze in wonder?? :D

Nora B. said...

Hi Carol,
Fantastic and massive post! Your trip sounds like so much fun, meeting new people & trying new stuff. That gurra fish therapy looks a bit scary ;-)

I haven't decided when I will be back in Singapore, hopefully before the end of the year. It's always fun to go back, there is always something new.

Have a fantastic weekend, dear.

xx Nora

Sylvia said...

Welcome back Carol, I miss you.
As always I love, love it.I really enjoy reading your adventures and I feel like that I traveling reading it

Anonymous said...

Hi Carol, good to see this page is up and running normal again. If you want to test other templates, save the main template .html file before trying. Other customised stuff in the file tend to get wiped out. Nice entry! :D


Anonymous said...

Thanks, carol for the contact details of the baking supply shops! :)

YANZ said...

wow... lots of good food! =D
i recognize the tiramisu cake from Alexis, my friends and I had it recently... we LOVED it!!! *drools*smacks lips*

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