Friday, April 30, 2010

Crispy Pizza & Krispy Kreme

Warrrgggh! I've been restless the whole day. For some reason I really felt like going somewhere. Anywhere! Plan A was to catch Iron man 2 but that one bombed (actually, we couldn't muster enough excitement to go- maybe next week when Aida gets back- IMAX here we come!).

Mushroom soup- Look! Real mushrooms

Plan B was to just go to Berjaya Times Square so I (more specifically my tummy) could be reunited with that delicious tuna pizza. After minimal haggling (usually takes forever to decide where to go for lunch), everyone agreed to follow my plan. Yes!

Our lunch- Yummy!

It's at Level 10 Berjaya Times Square. The Italian stall at the food court. Today I was determined not to be distracted by the mouthwatering pictures of pasta selections and just zoom in on the pizza. We ordered 2 'small' pizzas- 1 tuna and 1 beef pepperoni. Added on a side dish of mushroom soup. It was as delicious as I remembered. Everyone managed to finish 4 slices each with no great effort. The mushroom soup was nice too (although a bit salty) and had real mushrooms.

Looks really delicious right?


  1. The crust is thin and perfect.
  2. There is an abundance of toppings.
  3. Small is actually quite large.
  4. For RM 13+ it really is quite cheap.
  5. It is just DELICIOUS (especially the tuna- and I'm not even a big tuna fan).

Next time we're buying 3 pizzas. Actually both Seri and I agreed, we could probably finish off one pizza all by ourselves. Rating: 4.9/5 (for the pizza!)


We stopped of at Krispy Kreme on the way back since none of us had ever tasted it before. This was the first time we had been to BTS and not been overly stuffed after lunch so it was a good time as any to stop by. The selection was not as abundant as Big Apple but I only wanted to try the original glazed anyway since a little birdie told me that it was the best one anyway.

The doughnut was quite good actually but I can't really say if I like it better than Big Apple or not, am still on the fence. Hmmm.. maybe more tests are needed? ahaha..

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Hale of a late lunch

Since all of us had a heavy breakfast, we decided to have a late lunch at one our nearby haunts. Hale's Kitchen. It's been a while since we've gone as a group (previous trips have always been in smaller numbers but strangely has always included me).

Since we were famished, everyone insisted to redeem the daily promotion prize immideately after ordering (lucky I had peeked at the Hale's Kitchen Facebook page to learn the password). "Chicken parmigiana!" Magically, 2 bread and butter puddings and a large scoop of vanilla ice-cream appeared (one present for every RM 30 spent..hehe).

Here's what everyone ordered.

Sharlina: Grilled Coriander chicken

Her comments: "Local flavours, the chicken was nice and moist, too little rice and soup was a bit bland. The coleslaw was good. 3.5/5". Had a nibble of her chicken.. not bad. But we spent the rest of the outing trying to remember what coriander was in Malay.

Zil: Creamy seafood marinara

Her comments: "Delicious sauce. Wish the seafood was fresher. Adequate portions. 4/5" Since her pasta was the first to arrive, it was the one that got 'pau'ed the most.. hehe. Definitely nice sauce.

Maz: Oriental chicken chop (Changed to black pepper sauce)

Her comments: "Quite good but lacked a wow factor 3.5/5". Didn't pau her chicken since am not a big fan of black pepper sauce.

Hidayah: Seafood fried rice and potato wedges

Her comments: "The fried rice wasn't bad, and the sambal belacan was quite hot. 3/5 . Really nice wedges. Yummy. 4/5" Yup, had a wee taste of her fried rice, better than I expected. The wedges were really nice with the special dipping sauce.

Me: Chicken parmigiana

I thought it was nice. Although I must have been ravenous because I managed to finish everything without feeling stuffed. 3.5/5 But I still think their best poultry dish is their Chicken Cordon Bleu.

The staff were friendly and courteous. We spent the time waiting for our food by reading some magazines thoughtfully provided. At least now everybody knows "30 reasons why it's okay to be an old maid" ..hehe.

All in all a nice lunch. Rating (average of all scores): 3.6/5

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The story began in a cemetery. However, it was not an ordinary cemetery, it was the Cemetery of Forgotten books. The place where a young boy who recently lost his mother adopted a book. From the most innocent of beginnings unravelled a tale of mystery, murder, betrayal and love. The Shadow of the Wind follows the story of young Daniel Sempere and his efforts to unravel the truth behind the little known life of the book's author Julian Carax. Always lurking in the background is the sinister figure of evil incarnate himself.

This was such a subtly intriguing book. Eventhough it was translated from Spanish to English, the intricate storyline was not compromised.

Each character was explored in depth and the sights and sounds of 1950s Barcelona came alive with each turn of the page. I was enthralled by the multi-layered plot and with the end of each chapter came more questions begging to be answered.

No surprise that it was proclaimed as a New York Times Bestseller. A beautiful story for all book lovers.

"The art of reading is slowly dying, it's an intimate ritual, a book is a mirror that offers us only what we already carry inside us, when we read, we do it with all our heart and mind, and great readers are becoming more scarce by the day."
-The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon-

Rating: 4/5 (thanks to allergyc for noticing that I forgot..hehe)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

He will be missed

Yesterday, I received some really sad news. My dear uncle, Pakcik Hassan, passed away at USM Hospital. He had suffered a stroke (CVA- cerebrovascular accident) a fortnight ago and since then had been treated in the ICU. He finally succumbed to multi-organ failure at approximate 9.30am yesterday.

He was my mother's second oldest brother. I will always remember him as a man who was never afraid to speak his mind. When I was a young girl, I was a bit intimidated by him. As I got older I realized that beneath his grizzly exterior was a kind heart.

He leaves behind a widow and 6 grown-up children and many grand-children who love him dearly. I am certain that all his nephews and nieces will also miss him. We pray that your soul will be among those blessed by Him.

This world is but a temporary place
We pause a while but can never stay
This fact though sometimes hard to face
Of which we are reminded everyday
So use the time we have as best we can
By being good and staying true
For time is merely like grains of sand
Forever slipping away from you


Friday, April 23, 2010

The Losers

As usual went to Berjaya Times Square wanting to see a movie but had no idea which movie to see. Initially we were aiming for 'When in Rome' but we had missed the 11.30 am show and the next one was at 3pm. No deal.

So we chose The Losers. I had been listening to the trailer on every morning for a week now (cause it was their free cinepass giveway for the week) and it sounded like an interesting movie to watch.

Verdict? Really funny in a harmless violent sorta way. The heroes were endearing in their own macho but soft hearted good guys personas. I loved all the action scenes even though some made me wince and totally defied the laws of physics.

Best thing about the movie? Chris Evans! He played a really funny smart-mouthed communcations specialist. Watch out for his cover of Journey's "Don't stop believing", even better than Glee's ..hehe . He had some really funny scenes in this movie, plus looked so cute doing it. I think most of the women/girls in the audience walked out gushing about him.

Worst thing about the movie? The totally unbelievable "hot" scenes between Zoe Saldana and Jeffrey Dean Morgan. They were good characters separately but when thrown together, absolutely zero chemistry.

All in all a good movie, as long as you don't worry too much about plot complexities and just want to spend some relaxing time laughing at funny one-liners, gawking at wicked fight scenes and things blowing up all over the screen. No thinking allowed! :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Footprints in my heart

Usually, in every lifetime you meet one person that leave a permanent impression on your heart. I have been lucky enough to meet a few. And although time and circumstances may cause them to drift away from my life, I am luckier in that I have managed to re-connect with them all.

Yesterday, a good friend told me that my Homeroom teacher was in town to edit the SPM trial exam questions. I was so excited especially since I found out that she was staying at a hotel just 5 minutes away from UKM. One thing led to another and somehow we managed to rope her in for a dinner date with less than half an hours notice.

Immediately after Maghrib , I rushed over there. Had a minor embarassing parking incident (hey, totally not my fault, the bar is supposed to rise after you take the ticket.. that thing was totally faulty), and went straight to her room. We spent some time catching up before deciding to have dinner in the hotel cafe instead of going out.

My friend made it half an hour later (since a state border crossing was involved- totally forgiven) and the three of us had an amazing dinner. The conversation didn't even have a pause button as we discussed everything and anything, from 14 year old secrets to latest updates. The (expensive) delicious food was simply secondary. I had a really large portion of scrumptious fish and chips,although as usual somebody else's chicken chop managed to taste alot yummier (unfair), was a bit shy to pau Pn Muni's mee goreng mamak but it looked really good too.

While animatedly discussing another friend, we decided to call that person and before the night was over, the dinner party grew to 4. Only a phonecall from Gombak managed to jolt me back to reality, I hadn't realized that I had overstayed my curfew by almost 2 hours. It was so hard to say goodbye to everyone and make my way back. Almost forgot to pay for the meal (I was actually reversing my car when I remembered), and it wasn't until I got to the counter that I realized that I had .. about RM 20 on me..hehe. (Thank goodness for plastic!) Will be cashing this debt definitely (you know who you are).

So to Pn Siti Munirah and dear friends .. Thank you for a wonderful night ... sorry my Stream pumpkined at 10pm.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I wouldn't know a "good" handbag if it came and bit me in the .. emm... hand. The one I usually drag around with me everywhere I go was actually a gift from my mother, she bought it on one of her trips to Sarawak (I think, they travel so often I forget). Anyway, it's a cute little thing, probably not much to look at but it served me well. Lately, it had become a bit worse for wear (even after reconstructive surgery - somehow the kids managed to snap the strap). Poor thing, having to hold in so many things in its petite body.

Things normally to be found in my handbag:

  1. Car keys
  2. House/office keys (note that the number of keychains surpass the number of keys)
  3. 2 Matric cards (one UKM student card and one IIUM staff card)
  4. Driving liscense
  5. Tissue (always depleted because other people always ask me for tissues *HINT*)
  6. Purse (always low on cash ..hehe)
  7. Small notebook and pen (you never know when it can come in handy)
  8. Compact powder, lipgloss and purse concentrate (I am a girl after all)
  9. Lense cloth/wipe (I can't seem to remember what those things are called- but it's used to wipe my glasses)
  10. My current read (always carry a book in my handbag- bookworm)
  11. Some strange things that shouldn't be there ; like Yousof's baju melayu buttons
No wonder, my old handbag was suffering. So in the end I decided the time for change had finally arrived. With the help of my trusted impromptu fashion consultant (hehe..) Zil, we managed to choose a suitable handbag for me. Actually my roomie Aida fell in love with it first (and she has good taste). Since I wouldn't know the difference between a Louis Vuitton, Coach, Gucci, Prada and Petaling Street or Chow Kit road knock-off, I decided to follow the gut instincts of those more well versed than I in such matters.

Still smells new :)

Personally I think it just looks nice. Don't you?

Priceless love

She doesn't look too happy does she? Hehe

Last Sunday, I went to visit cute little baby Amna Syamimi. The second daughter of one of my dearest friends, Keen. Since I was unfamiliar with Meru (where she lived), I went in convoy with my ex-roomie (back in Jasin) and good friend Reen. We ended up getting quite lost as it seems that every right turn led to Taman Saujana Meru, took us 3 right turns and 2 U-turns before we found the house.

Keen's husband had prepared a spread of delicious 'pisang goreng' and 'keropok lekor' with ice cool sirap. YUMMY. Almost cleaned of the whole plate and jug but was a bit shy as her aunt was also there visiting.

Little baby Amna was so well-behaved just lying there minding her own business without a care in the world. Big sister Afni was still adjusting to the new person in her life. Both mother and baby looked well.

So, on this happy occasion, I would like to congratulate Keen, Azri (her hubby) and Afni (big sis). May their lives be full of joy and love with the addition of Amna.

Sweet baby

And to baby Amna.. Auntie Hidayah wishes you:

  • will grow up to be a beautiful, smart, kind and caring person like your mother.
  • never have to worry about being anybody other than yourself.
  • always live your life surrounded by people you love and love you unconditionally

Sweet innocence of an untouched soul
Cherish all the beauty that you hold
Unblemished yet by life unknown
Reap later what you have sown
Hold her close and never fear
Love her and keep her near
Do teach her well and true
Give her the best of you
A baby to love and hold
Is sweet precious gold

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bring on the briyani!

Chicken briyani - Ready set go!

Briyani Ayam masak merah - Requires full concentration...

Soto- Really nice! Will definitely order this next time

My lamb briyani?

We went all the way to Bangi for lunch today since we had to go to UKM Bangi anyway. My diet flew out the window when the little yellow car (zil's) parked in front of Restoran Anje. Beryani!

Ignoring the feeble protests from my health-conscious cells, I enthusiastically ate my lunch of Lamb Briyani. Not bad! Of course, for me briyani can only fall into 2 categories, good or bad (except for the Lamb mendy at al-rawsha which is awesome). The girl's also had the chicken and chili chicken briyani, which was fair. Zil had soto which was very good, will definitely give my fat cells half a chance next time by ordering that.

All in all the food and drinks were quite good. The ambience was, as expected from any Briyani place, loud (really loud, I could barely think let alone carry a decent conversation).

Rating: 3/5

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Where more than the grass seemed greener

We're off to Putrajaya ! (Yousof took the photo)

Last Saturday was my ex-classmates wedding in Putrajaya. I haven't seen Kareeemah in over 13 years (just drooling enviously over her UK FB photos every so often).

With all my little crew all decked out in green we set off with my good friend Aini and her kids.

The event was grand, since Kareemah and her younger sister were both getting married on the same day. From the back of the hall, I couldn't really make out which one was she was. Not really surprising since the majority of us look like strangers on the biggest day on our lives, how ironic. As I managed to make my way closer to the stage I saw that she hadn't really changed at all, just looked extra stunning in her wedding dress (so the initial confusion was due to my refractory issues..hehe).

The food was scrumptious (I LOVE kenduri fare), and everywhere we looked there were foreign dignitaries in full traditional costume, mostly in gorgeous green from Nigeria. Seems like my little tykes blended right in with the theme. I was still a bit hazy as to the reason but my educated guess would be that Kareemah's dearly beloved was descended of mixed parentage, one of which was Nigerian royalty (close? off the mark? hehe).

Some of the Jasin 'girls' and their kids swarming the couple

It was also great to see my other ex-schoolmates who also came. Aini, Sharida, Zoe, Nadd, Ayu, Rose, Yati, Ina, Alin.. am convinced that I have left many out of this list. Sorry bright lights and delicious food always tends to cloud my memory..hehe

Ain't love grand?

Anyway, to Kareemah and Yusuf, the beautiful couple, I wish all the joy and love in this world.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The other Boleyn girl by Philippa Gregory

An exquisite book and one of the best historical fiction I have read thus far. The book tells the story of Anne Boleyn rose from a simple courtier to Queen of England, mainly told from the viewpoint of her sister Mary Boleyn. The scheming and endless scandals of the English court during King Henry VIII's reign is magnificently told. The book not only paints a vivid picture of life during the 16th century but enthralls the reader with brilliant charecterizations of all notable players in that slice of history.

Henry VIII: A selfish king who would later claim divine right to the keys of heaven itself
Anne Boleyn: A beauty driven by pure raw ambition
Mary Boleyn: The other Boleyn girl, a pawn in the ambitious power struggle of her family
Catherine of Aragon: Princess of Spain and Queen of England, a queen ursurped

Even though I knew the ending, and have read the story told from a different perspective (The 6th wife by Jean Plaidy ) , I really couldn't put it down. A definite must read for fans of the genre and for newbies.

Rating: 4.5/5

Friday, April 9, 2010

Can I live here?

All the books we bought, hey who's gonna help me carry this back to the car?!

I think I'm in love. As I stood in front of the store (BOOKXCESS @ L3 Amcorp Mall) I had this surge of pleasure. At last, an affordable bookstore AND it was HUGE!!! To be honest, I imagined it to be this quaint non-descript little store in the middle of nowhere. What I got was a spacious book sanctuary overflowing with ..what else... books!

There were books everywhere, with little signboards heralding NEW ARRIVALS and EVERYTHING LESS THAN RM 10 and BEST BUYS. It literally made my head spin. I didn't know where to start. So I just decided to browse through each section. The selection of books was quite good, as I caught sight of many bestsellers that I had spied longingly at other large bookstores before. True, the number of titles by each specific author wasn't as abundant as the "conventional" bookstores but there was still a large variety of titles to choose from.

After happily browsing for around half an hour, I reluctantly limited myself to my regular 3 book monthly quota (at least it will give me an excuse to come back ASAP).

This is what I bought:

  • The Fourth Estate by Jeffrey Archer RM 17.90 (retail price RM 34.90)
  • The Good Guy by Dean Koontz RM 17.90 (retail price RM 34.90 - or maybe more am not so sure)
  • The Other Queen RM 17.90 (retail price same as the others I think, I'm enjoying my current Philippa Gregory so much that I decided to buy another)

So all in all the damage today was RM 53.70 when it could have been more than RM 104.70 anywhere else!!

There were also other perks like the great music piping through the loudspeakers (I love your taste in songs). Plus, to cap a wonderful amazing day, I got a free THONG for becoming a member ... don't worry it was a BOOK THONG...hehe

This great endevour to make books more affordable to the public is highly commendable and on behalf of all bookworms and book lovers in Malaysia, salute you BookXcess. Like Arnold Schwarzenegger said "I'll be back." ahaha...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Julie & Julia by Julie Powell

Not the same cover as the one I own, but I couldn't resist that cute egg whisk..hehe
Finally, I finished it! Reading this book was somewhat akin to the main character's Project because like her, halfway through it, was thinking despondently to my self, when will this end? The basic premise of the book was promising, an unfulfilled, bored 29 year old woman embarks on a life-changing journey of self-discovery via an ambitious and totally impossible culinary journey towards Mastering the art of French cooking before hitting the big 3-0.
The story revolves around her many disasters and triumphs both in and out of the kitchen. Unfortunately, I found it a bit hard to develop a real connection with the heroine (Julie). The book had some gems, and I did manage to dust off my French (plus learn how to murder a lobster- crustacean homocidal skills is always a plus), but it didn't make me want to jump off my seat and start cooking.
Another downside is the author's penchant for offensive language, sometimes it may be necessary or even spice up a book, but in this one, it just seemed to be ... well offensive. All in all, a slightly disappointing read although foodies and aspiring chefs will probably enjoy it because the recipes mentioned throughout the book do sound DELICIOUS although somewhat archaic. I think this might be the type of book where the movie will be better. With Meryl Streep and Amy Adams at the helm, a definite recipe for success.
Rate: 2.5/5

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The apple really does fall near the tree

Finally! I managed to solve the mystery of the brown locks of hair under my dressing table (sounds like a bad Nancy Drew title). Whilst trying to tame Aishah's curly locks into a pony tail I noticed that a substantial amount of it was missing. Horror of horrors! She already has a sparse head of hair as it is. Thankfully, with some creative styling the bald patch can be covered up.

Aaaargh! (The bald patch didn't bother her at all)

This is definitely just history repeating itself. When I was 4 years old and my brother was 3, our nanny (actually my cousin) had a really bad toothache and sent us to play quietly in our room. We obliged. When my parents came back from work, they found my brother with multiple bald patches (I was pretty handy with the scissors so I managed to cut almost to his scalp) and my waist length hair more layered (thankfully Izzat was younger and less skilled). I escaped almost unscathed, my hair now made a decent bob cut. My brother was less fortunate. All the kings men and all the kings horses couldn't put his hair back together again..hehe. So he ended up totally bald.

My personal barber

And so as I watched Hamzah getting his first hair cut, with Aishah and Yousof looking on, I can only smile.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Nothing but the tooth

Previously when I heard people say that "the pain of a bad toothache is second only to labour pains", my first thought was "now, that is a statement invented by a man or someone who has never gone through 26 hours of labour".

Last night, I was unceremoniously schooled. After dinner I was suddenly besieged with the most intense pain coming from my left lower molar. At first I didn't really notice it, but then it started, surely and steadily, to increase in intensity and strength until it became a pulsating, throbbing, unbearable pain that left me practically unable to do anything other then breathe. After downing 2 paracetamols and 1 mefenemic acid tablet, my head still felt as if it just got hit by a tractor. Even applying lignocaine gel inside my mouth, gave me temporary relief and a numb tongue for 15 minutes after which the excrutiating pain would return.

I didn't fall asleep until around 5 am eventhough my amazing, beautiful kids were so well behaved that they went straight to sleep after I told them "syhhh...semua kanak2 tido yer..ummi sakit gigi" , even the youngest one seemed to understand, everybody just kissed me goodnight and fell asleep. I was tossing and turning and just whimpering in pain the whole night until magically the meds kicked in around 5 am but by then I had to get up for my daily morning routine.

After sending the kids of to kindergarten, I rushed to my dentist. Since it was only 8.30am, it wasn't open yet so I made a BIG Breakfast stopover (not my fault that McD was just around the corner, I had half an hour to kill). Since my regular dentist decided not to open at 9am as it was supposed to, I visited the one nearby. Thus began the horror known as "The nightmare dental visit".

The dentist was a young Indian guy, didn't really make small talk. Just got down to business. After expertly identifying the root of the problem he deftly patched me up and offered to do some scaling. Since it had been around six months since my last encounter with this excrutiating experience, I thought why not, I was, after all, already there. It proved to be a very BAD decision.

For the uninitiated, scaling is a process where the denstist will use a small drill type tool to scrape away the plaque from your teeth (well, this is my non-dental opinion, correct me if I'm wrong). Usually the scraping is done in stages. This particular denstist decided that it would be more "fun" to just do all my teeth in one shot. Plus, he totally ignored the cardinal rule of patient-dentist communication. It is universally accepted that when a dental patient, who cannot talk because he/she has metal intruments probing around in his/her mouth, raises their hand, it is a signal that they are in pain and would like a break. As he was busy attacking my plaque with full force, my hands initially were on my lap, then clenched into a fist, then I slightly raised my fingers and finally I actually raised up my hand into the "STOP!" position, but all my silent pleas for help were ignored. It took me every ounce of strength not to clamp my mouth shut or just jump out of that chair. After, what must have been a record breaking 3 minutes of scaling, I was finally released from the torture. (My previous scaling experience took closer to an hour, granted they were dental students but still, at least they had the decency to acknowledge my discomfort).

Totally in shock and shaken from my experience, I didn't even have the energy to shed any tears. I thank dentists everywhere for their incredible skill for taking away the worst of pain but do understand, I think any specialty that requires their patients to open wide and uses cold metal instruments, DEFINITELY not my favourite people. Enough said.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Here's looking at you kid

My new friend ..hehe

Yeay! I made a new friend today. Well technically, we were already friends since a couple of weeks ago. This is the era of the internet after all. I first noticed her after she posted an amazingly insightful poem about a mutual friend on her colourful blog (will have to ask for pointers on blog designing soon). From then on I was hooked. She has a talent that I find very rare in others, the ability to move me through Malay prose (I know it sounds really uppity coming from a purebred Malay like myself but it is not intended as such, I am comfortable with both languages but it is much easier for me to 'feel' in English- prob because it was the language of my teen years).

Anyway, initially I just visited her blog from time to time to enjoy her writing. When I finally decided to kick start this blog, I linked mine to hers. We became Facebook buddies and even started a great project together. Just to prove how small the world actually is, she also happens to be my father's ex-student. A fact she did not realize until I mentioned it a few days ago (I thought my dad's name was a dead give-away..hehe).

Not the real picture, we were too busy eating and chatting to remember to snap photos

Today, all the UKM wondergirls went to Serdang for what was touted to be some excellent cendol. So we decided to stop by UPM to ask Zakiah along. It was great meeting her in person although I salute her for putting up with us. We were quite a rowdy bunch (just imagine 7 girls on a sugar rush). The cendol itself wasn't as good as I thought it would be but today was more than just a day of slurping shaved ice, coconut milk and little green doughy bits.. today was about new beginnings. Welcome Zakiah! Like Humphrey Bogart said on Casablanca "I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship".


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