Titan Raga Moonlight Collection Launch @ Svago, KLCC

Titan Svago KLCC

I have heard a lot of good things about Titan. They’re one of the largest watch manufacturers in the words (5th largest to be exact) and ranked among the top 100 luxury watch companies. Brought and distributed in Malaysia by Chronosoft Sdn Bhd, I’ve seen their timepieces around and when I heard about the launch of their Moonlight collection, I dropped by Svago in KLCC to check it out.

Titan Raga Moonlight

The Moonlight collection by Titan is inspired by the beauty of objects captured in moonlight. Mr Vijesh Rajan (Business Head International Division, Titan Company Limited) was there to share the stories behind the creation of each of the watches.

The Taj

I was particularly impressed by this one. It’s inspired by the Taj Mahal and features Swarovski crystals. This is called The Taj and is described as “a stunning illustration of the iconic monument, these timepieces draw inspiration from the awe-inspiring silhouette of the Taj Mahal on a full moon night”.

Mystic Luna

Mystic Luna is inspired by the moon goddess Luna and I like the beauty and elegance of the design.

Titan Moonlight Collection

Titan only uses Swarovski crystals exclusively in their Moonlight collection. The range is priced between RM 375 to RM 1,985 and there were models there to showcase the timepieces.

The Moonlight collection is under Titan Raga, which is a range of exquisite watches for the modern women. This leans towards the more mature and luxurious target market and often features precious stones and gems embedded into the timepieces.

Titan Edge

I also managed to examine their Edge range, which is the slimmest quartz watch in the world. You can see just how thin each one is. Amazing.

Titan

I also got a limited edition Titan watch!

Titan Watch

Titan creates a range of limited edition watches for the Penang Bridge International Marathon each year and this one retails for RM 525. They’re also one of the sponsors of the event and the official watch for the Allianz Penang Bridge International Marathon.

Watch

This particular watch has a large face with 100 meter water resistance.

Titan Penang Bridge International Marathon

It has the Penang Bridge International Marathon emblem engraved into the back of the watch.

Titan Watch Design

I like how there is a LCD display with digital timekeeping in addition to the regular chronograph and the day of the week is displayed as well.

Titan Men Watch

The leather strap offers a practical functionality and I personally prefer leather straps for versatility but you can swap it out if you want.

Work

I’ve been using this watch exclusively for almost a month now, both in KL and in my business dealings in Sarawak and I love the way it’s appropriate for both work…

Casual

…and play.

Titan Watches

Titan has a range of watches for both men and women and if you’re keen to hear more about it, drop by their website at Titan World or interact with them on the Titan Facebook page.

Dotty’s Café and Bakery @ TTDI

Salted Egg Cronut

This is the home of the famous salted egg yolk cronut.

Dottys Cafe

We dropped by Dotty’s Café this morning after seeing that they were serving hot food for the first time this weekend. It was our Sunday morning brunch option of the week and we weren’t disappointed. I was actually a little apprehensive that the place would be packed considering its their “opening weekend” (of sorts) but it was quite manageable.

Dottys Cafe Bakery

Predictably, most people came here to take away boxes and boxes of their salted egg cronuts. I asked about the availability when we got there at 10:30 am and they were all sold out! I had to wait for the 12:30 pm batch. We ordered breakfast while contemplating whether to wait or not – part of me wanted to just wait for the hype to die down before sampling it but since my better half didn’t mind, we sat there until the next batch came out.

Doughnut Latte

Doughnut Latte (RM 14)
This is a really quirky item that Homer Simpson would absolutely adore. My dear wanted to try it and I was curious too after seeing it on their Facebook. It’s a hot donut that’s topped with ice cream with a pitcher of latte on the side. It works a little like an affogato – you basically pour the latte into the doughnut. This has the magical effect of partially melting the ice cream and making the donut soggy.

Latte Donut

It’s surprisingly good to wolf down bites of the warm coffee-infused doughnut with the colder ice cream as a contrast.

Salted Caramel Latte

Salted Caramel Latte (RM 13)
It’s pretty good but I would have liked the caramel to be saltier. I’m a huge fan of salted caramel and personally always tend to go more savory but there’s nothing wrong with Dotty’s implementation. They also have brews like Coconut Milk Latte (RM 14) which would be ideal for vegans, organic food lovers and hipsters alike. smirk

Baked Eggs

Baked Eggs (RM 26)
We shared this for breakfast. It was one of only three (3) items available on their menu today. I think most of them were sold out, I originally wanted a Salt Beef Sandwich (RM 26) but it wasn’t available. That said, the bread was simply out of this world! It should be noted that Dotty’s Café is also a bakery and all their bread is freshly baked. You can taste the wonderful bread here, there’s sour dough (which goes very well with butter) and slices of brown toast which went perfectly with the baked eggs.

Mixed Berries Pavlova

Mixed Berries Pavlova (RM 10)
I went to New Zealand to study high school when I was 15 years old and have eaten a lot of pavlovas over there. I’ve also eaten a lot in Australia but have always felt that pavlova is more of a Kiwi thing, they do it a lot better. This implementation is also good – there are just three ingredients, the pavlova shells, crème patisserie and berries and it’s a testament to their baking skills that these 3 go so well together.

Making Salted Egg Yolk Cronut

Salted Egg Yolk Cronut (RM 11)
We waited hours for this to come out and finally the floor manager (?) took one out before the 12:30 pm batch and served it to us. I thought it was nice of him to personally do that, and was a bit puzzled when he warned us that it’ll be hot and to wait for it to cool down. It wasn’t hot and I later found out the reason why – it can’t be hot, or the structure of the cronut will be compromised.

Salted Egg Yolk Cronut

The salted egg yolk cronut (which is a combination of a croissant and a donut, texture wise, just in case anyone has been living under a rock for the past few years) was really good. I can see why people would wait for this. The thick and generous amount of butter and salted egg appealed to me immensely – it was mouth-wateringly delicious!

Cronut

The beautiful thing about the salted egg yolk cronut is that the insides are filled with the butter-salted egg combination too. It’s very rich and creamy.

Dottys Cafe Us

The salted egg yolk cronut is something you have to eat at Dotty’s Café and Bakery. You can take away of course but I personally feel it doesn’t taste the same if left to its own devices for too long. They have a wide range of freshly baked goods (and salads) as well as hot food so we’ll be back again to have brunch another weekend to try their other stuff. The meal cost RM 75 for the both of us, which is cheaper than our usual brunch outings. Dotty’s is located at Jalan Tun Mohd Faud 2 in TTDI.

5 photos from Sibu Market

Sibu Market

Sibu Market is a source of a lot of interesting products from the far corners of Sarawak. The traders come from places like Belaga to Song to sell their stuff. The wharf and passenger jetty is within walking distance so a lot of them just hop off the express boats (many towns are only reachable by boat) and come over to hawk their wares. I have acquired a few hundred dollars worth of local durians (called buah pekan and buah isu) and am compiling that for an upcoming post!

Kek Lapis

There are also quite a few people selling the famous Sarawak kek lapis here. Kek lapis is actually of Indonesian provenance but the Malay communities in Sibu and Kuching have claimed it as their own. You’ll find them in the Kuching Waterfront / Padang Merdeka / Lao Pa Sat (Old Market) area. The kek lapis comes in all sorts of flavors like prunes, Milo etc.

Telur Terubok

Ikan Terubok is a delicious fish that is currently only obtainable from Sarawak. The fresh ones are usually sourced from Satok Market in Kuching where they have dedicated terubok sellers packing whole boxes of them to be shipped. These are the dried version which I believe comes from Sri Lanka and Bangladesh – it’s not as good, but it’s cheaper. They also sell the prized terubok fish roe here.

Lokam Jellyfish

Lokam is one of the local clams that you’ll find aplenty in Sibu. One restaurant in town called Fisherman’s Restaurant is renowned for their stuffed lokam (they take the clam meat and mix it with pork before stuffing it back). It’s quite good if you cook it well. There’s also a lot of jellyfish for sale due to an old wives tale – it’s said among the Foochow that you have to eat jellyfish after a haircut so the hair can be digested (something about the juices in the jellyfish) so it’s common to slice this raw and serve with a sauce of lime and chillis after a trip to the barber. I’ve had it lots of times as a kid at my grandma’s place.

Ghetto Ice Cream

Ghetto ice cream! These are simply satay skewers that’s been inserted into a tube filled with either Milo or strawberry flavored milk. Both are watered down but it’s pretty enterprising of these young boys to sell them for RM 1 each. I bought one last time my better half and the kids were in town for them to try, the “ice cream” is made by physically turning the huge churn (which rests on a bed of salted water with ice cubes) which will slowly freeze the receptacles holding the liquid.

Honesty, integrity and respect for all people

My dad is a firm believer in the rule of law. He doesn’t go against the system, not even for “victimless crimes”.

Mom Dad
My Mom and Dad

Let me give some context to this anecdote – this was almost 30 years ago, when we were living in Kuching. I knew the time and place coz the Royal London Circus had come to town and I was very keen to go and see it. We were living in Kuching at the time since my dad was posted there as a Nazir (translates loosely to Inspector).

Dad

He was on a School Inspector salary so we didn’t have much, but we made do. What my dad did back then was to go to schools and inspect the implementation of the syllabus and the state of educational institutions. If you’ve been to high school in Malaysia, you’ve probably seen someone like him – he was the guy that sat silently behind in classes to watch what the teachers teach and how the students interact.

Family
My family and I on a holiday – from left – my grandma, sister, me, my mom and dad

That’s not how he got his strong ethics though, that has always been there. He always told us to put our seat belts on, at a time when no one did (early 80’s). Since the circus was in town, the roads were jammed due to everyone illegally double parking. It was a long walk to the circus and we were going to be late and I was badgering my dad to just park and go.

He wouldn’t have any of it. With my late mom’s urging, he nearly caved in but he didn’t. Instead, he drove to a Shell station, which was really far away and nicely asked the attendant if he could park there. The attendant didn’t have the authority to say yes or no, so calls were made (this was before cell phones) and we waited almost 30 minutes before someone called back to say we could.

It was only then that we left the car in the Shell station and walked 30 miles (it could have just been 1 kilometer, but still, it seemed far back then) to the circus. My dad had been working all day and was tired and I could appreciate how hard it is to keep up with a young kid like me (I understand this better since I have kids of my own right now). I am all the more appreciative now that he didn’t go the easy way and was patient enough to wait till the proper authorizations were done before taking two hyperactive kids to the circus. I was grateful that they allowed us to park at the station premises after the circumstances were explained.

That incident made a long lasting impression of the good people at Shell.

Fast-forward to today, I always make it a point to go to Shell for my petrol needs. Not only because of the good impression that I have of the company, but because of their superior service. The attendants are very attentive to all their customers, and I can always rely on them to fill up my tank dutifully while I grab some snacks from the Select Store. To up the game – my fuel tank was once filled by the station manager – and she didn’t mind it a bit, even though she could have just asked the service attendant to do the job. This is customer-orientated service. No matter what position they hold, they are dedicated to making sure that customers are well-taken care of.

Grand Old Lady
In front of the Grand Old Lady site, Miri, Sarawak

Shell was the first company to extract oil and gas in Malaysia. The site of the first well producing oil is still here (although it’s no longer functional). It’s called the Grand Old Lady and it’s located in Miri, not too far from where I was born in Sibu.

Shell Station

Shell in Malaysia employs a significant number of people and contributes not just to the economy, but also towards road safety awareness, scholarships for Malaysians, and quality-of-life corporate social responsibility initiatives like the “We Care, We Share” community care programs.

Shell also has core values that my dad can relate to – honesty, integrity and respect for all people as their business principles. Tell me, what are your Shell #StationStories? #ShellKita

De Vulture Café, Sibu

De Vulture Cafe Sibu

I caught up with my ex classmate Chew Yieng and her husband last night for dinner. I haven’t seen her in a while, I used to hang out at her house when I was 15 and back for winter break – she had a really awesome pool that we swam in at 2 am in the morning. Haha. It’s been a long time since those days, we were all in New Zealand back then.

De Vulture Cafe

I heard that she was back from China and based in Sibu now so it was good to catch up. We had dinner at De Vulture Café, which just opened a few days ago (!!!). I was quite surprised to see a lot of people here since it’s a little out of the way, but there’s a huge local community in the Ulu Sungai Merah area

Jug Orange Juice

The café is decked out like a ship with real doors and ports scavenged from a real vessel.

Grilled Lamb Chop with Yoghurt Mint Sauce

Grilled Lamb Chop with Yoghurt Mint Sauce (RM 19.90)
I had this for my dinner. I thought the portion was decent but it was the yoghurt mint sauce that I really enjoyed. It tasted good. They serve a wide range of “Western” dishes from the usual grilled chicken/beef/lamb to sandwiches/burgers/tortillas.

Fish and Chips with Tartar Sauce

Fish & Chips with Tartar Sauce (RM 15.90)
This was Chew Yieng’s order. They had come here the day before and wanted to bring me someplace new to try out. There has been a bit of a boom in the café/restaurant business in Sibu nowadays, heaps of new places have sprung out and even more surprisingly, there seems to be a market to sustain it.

Chew Yieng HB

The food at De Vulture Café is reasonable but not particularly impressive. I may be the wrong person to ask since I’m based in KL and there are so many options there which are better but I guess it’s pretty decent for Sibu standards. I liked their orange juice (RM 16 for a jug) and it’s a nice place to chill. It was awesome to catch up with Chew Yieng again, so much time has passed since our school days. See ya all when I’m back for Chinese New Year! :)

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) 2016 Dinner in Sibu, Sarawak

PKR Dinner Sibu 2016

I was invited to come along for dinner last night at Good Happiness Restaurant in Sibu and listen to the PKR politicians speak. This is (as I understand it) a fundraising dinner of sorts – each table has paid a minimum of RM 400 for campaign contributions. Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) is one of the opposition parties in Malaysia.

PKR Dinner Sibu

I’ve always been very transparent in my political leanings – I voted for DAP (Democratic Action Party) in the last general election and make it a point to go for Bersih gatherings. I thought it would be interesting to hear the speakers and see the 2016 Sarawak State Election lineup.

PKR Dinner 2016

Good Happiness Restaurant was very packed, they had the entire second floor with over 100 tables. There were provisions for halal diners as well with outside catering.

Foochow Fried Noodles

Foochow Fried Noodles
This was the first dish that came out. Good Happiness Restaurant does decent Foochow style fried noodles, I quite like it. I think almost everyone was hungry at this point so it was smart of them to start with a carb heavy dish.

Pork Belly Soup

Sup Babi (Pork Belly Soup)
I have honestly never had anything like this before! It’s pork belly and leg that’s been boiled with pickled vegetables and served as a clear broth. It’s a nice soup but the sheer amount of adipose tissue is staggering…the abundance of unrendered pork fat makes you feel a bit jelak after a few bites.

Sup Babi

Interesting execution though. This is a very Iban style of cooking – simple and wholesome (in the sense that it’s filling and slightly oily).

Curry Fish Head

Curry Fish Head with Steamed Rice
This was the third dish that came out. The menu for the night seems quite starch intensive, which I guess is appropriate for massive events like these. It’s nowhere near as good as places like Sheraton but it’s done decently enough.

Abalone with Mushrooms

Abalone with Mushrooms
This is a classic Chinese banquet dish with abalone slices and enoki mushrooms stir fried and stewed, surrounded by heads of broccoli. It’s not very tasty but food is beside the point here – people come for the politics, the food just serves as a backdrop and a vehicle to raise funds. It’s purely secondary and I don’t think anyone minded.

PKR Candidates 2016

This is the Central lineup for 2016! These candidates would be the ones contesting in the upcoming Sarawak State Election 2016 to be held in four (4) months or so.

Anwar Ibrahim Badge

I got an Anwar Ibrahim (leader of PKR) button for contributing to the campaign. There were people going around with donation boxes – these will go towards campaign funds so I was happy to give to the opposition coalition.

PKR Dinner Me

It was an interesting dinner. I felt that some things could have been done differently to make things more conducive e.g. less ceramah (political speeches) would be nice since everyone in attendance is in agreement with you, it’s a little like preaching to the choir. I also think more mileage could be had from getting the upcoming political candidates to speak to and connect with people at each table – perhaps next time eh? Good luck! :)

Acer Predator 15 Gaming Laptop Review

Acer Predator Launch

I have a problem which I’m sure a lot of other games share. I own a relatively new notebook (bought it earlier this year) since I need a portable device to use for work when I’m out and about. However, I believe that notebooks should be dual purpose and it must be able to handle the games I play when I’m home too.

Buy Games

Unfortunately, that isn’t a reality for the majority of us with regular notebooks. I can’t play a lot of the new games for this very reason. I didn’t buy even buy Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void until two weeks ago coz I knew my (relatively new) notebook can’t handle the graphics on the highest settings and I *want* to play it on the highest settings.

Predator

Hell, I’ll even go so far to say that I deserve to.

Hearthstone

However, you can’t expect that in a normal notebook. There simply isn’t enough processing and graphics card power in a notebook format. Thus, I mostly play Hearthstone, a relatively non-intensive game. Anything remotely related to FPS (first person shooter) and MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) genres are out of the question. Games like Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. Alien Isolation, Heroes of the Storm just doesn’t run well on work notebooks.

Acer Predator Box

Enter the Acer Predator laptop. It’s a notebook that’s built to gamer friendly specifications. I was amazed when I scrolled though the technical details. The Acer Predator laptop all run the latest and most powerful NVIDIA GeForce notebook GPUs! The new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M and 980M has been rated to run at up to 70% of their desktop counterparts.

Acer Predator Unboxing

That’s a huge figure if you know anything about notebook gaming. Previous notebook GPUs can only achieve less than 40% parity with their desktop counterparts. Finally, we have a gaming laptop solution which is almost equal to the most powerful desktop gaming machines (and definitely more powerful than most mid-tier gaming desktops).

Acer Predator 15

You can at last run the latest and greatest games like Call of Duty: Black Ops III on a notebook and get better performance than all but the highest end desktop machines, courtesy of the Acer Predator laptop series. I was lucky enough to get an Acer Predator 15 for review. This laptop is equipped with:

  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • Full HD 1920 x 1080 15.6″ display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM
  • 128 GB SSD drive + 1 TB SATA HDD

This unit retails for RM 6,999. You can also get 24 GB DDR4 RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M with 4GB GDDR5 VRAM and a 256GB SSD drive for RM 8,999. I can tell you that the graphics card alone is easily a third of the cost when you buy it from stores, this is not as expensive as you think, gamers spend this amount for GPUs all the time.

Acer Predator Gaming Series

I say this coz I heard a lot of people commenting about the price during the launch of the Acer Predator. I silently thought to myself “These people have never played a single game in their lives, much less know about GPUs and the price of the latest NVIDIA GeForce graphics card”. I didn’t say it out loud coz I didn’t want to appear to be condescending but that’s the point of the Acer Predator laptop series.

Acer Predator

It’s for GAMERS.

FrostCore Acer

There’s Predator FrostCore, the swappable fan design which injects this powerful gaming rig with extra cold to keep heat down and performance up. It’s additional cooling, the notebook is already cooled, but if you don’t need the DVD drive, you can swap out the bay easily by a switch via the back.

Predator FrostCore

Pop in the Predator FrostCore and you’ll see a noticeable change in your performance.

Watch Dogs

I found out that putting the Predator FrostCore in for games like Watch Dogs gives a 5-10 fps (frames per second) increase. This is on the highest quality settings with all the bells and whistles (4xSSAA anti-aliasing etc).

FPS

I also liked the Killer DoubleShot Pro technology. It basically uses BOTH your WiFi and Ethernet to combine and optimize bandwidth. You can use this by selecting the fastest one (which can differ according to circumstances) to dedicate to your game or select one to use for your game and the other for streaming.

Steam

This is perfect for Twitch streamers. You don’t need a lot for your games but NVIDIA ShadowPlay takes a lot of bandwidth so you can use the faster one (be it Ethernet or WiFi) for uploading ShadowPlay recordings to Twitch or YouTube Gaming.

Subwoofer

The Predator SoundPound 4.2 boasts four speakers with two powerful subwoofers and Dolby Audio surround sound. I was quite surprised at the fidelity of treble notes and the intensity of bass in a laptop. The Acer Predator 15 I had was LOUD!

PredatorSense ProZone

The PredatorSense intelligent gaming keyboard control and customization options lets you set up keyboard macros (essential for anyone who plays World of Warcraft and similar games). It’s quite useful for RTS (real time strategy) games like Starcraft II also. The Predator ProZone keyboard is insanely accurate and has four (4) customizable backlight zones and programmable macro profiles you can share. The backlight is very useful if you’re gaming in the dark and you can set the intensity as you wish – notice how the W, A, S, D keys are brighter than the surrounding ones.

You can use up to three (3) monitors including one NVIDIA G-SYNC monitor with the Acer Predator gaming laptop too so you can setup the most immersive gaming experience at your home. The features above are standard in all Acer Predator laptop series.

StarcraftII

The Acer Predator series is not for the average Joe who fiddles around with Microsoft Word and uses Excel once in a while to do their taxes. It’s not for the casual gamer who thinks Angry Birds or Bejeweled is the pinnacle of gaming. It’s for gamers like us who plays AAA titles like Call of Duty. It’s for the competitive gamers who participate in DOTA tournaments. It’s for Twitch streamers who wants to play Counter Strike: Global Offensive and have enough processing power to do it in the highest resolution and quality settings while rebroadcasting it to their fans.

Acer Gaming

The gaming industry has grown exponentially over the past decade and games are now the biggest budget titles and earners instead of Hollywood films. This trend will continue and for those of us who enjoys playing games, you’ll want to have a high end notebook, especially if you’re someone like me who only wants one (1) device to do it all – both work and games.

Find out more at the Acer Predator website.

Roti Canai Goreng in Kapit

Roti Canai Goreng

I first heard about this wonderful creation a couple of months back. Fried roti canai is a staple in Kapit and one of those quirky inventions that can only take hold in a small town. I decided then and there that I must personally investigate this dish and planned to go on a trip downriver. Kapit is a small town that’s only reachable by boat – you can’t drive or fly there.

Roti Canai Goreng Kapit

The journey to Kapit takes 3 hours via express boat from Sibu and I went down with my bro Eddy for a night. It’s not just to eat roti canai goreng, but that certainly was a highlight (at least for me). Haha. The stalls in question are located at Gelanggang Kenyalang (loosely translated as Kenyalang Court). It’s an assortment of stalls under one roof, an indoor food court of sorts.

Gerai Makanan Islam Sri Suria

There is one stall that’s famous for their roti canai goreng but everyone essentially does it the same way nowadays. I went to Stall #25 Gerai Makanan Islam Sri Suria and the kind lady manning the frying pan told me about how the roti canai goreng is made. I was quite surprised to find out that it’s not grilled first – the raw dough of the roti canai is slipped into boiling hot oil and fried straight away.

Roti Goreng Kapit

The same treatment is done for the roti canai telur goreng (fried roti canai with egg). The egg is folded into the dough and deep fried till crispy. It’s served Sarawakian style with curry chicken and a sweet sambal sauce. The latter is truly local, I’ve never had this saccharine sambal anywhere else except at home.

Roti Canai Kapit

The roti canai goreng costs RM 2 and it’s plain roti canai that’s been deep fried. The dough is cooked through, with a crispy exterior. You can taste the sweetness of the dough by picking up the sliced pieces and munching on them. It’s very satisfying!

Roti Telur Goreng

Roti canai telur goreng comes in at RM 4 and it tastes totally different with an egg. I was surprised at how distinctive the two are! This one has a pockmarked surface (from the hot oil) and it tastes a lot more savory than the previous one.

Roti Canai Goreng Inside

Here’s a look at the inside. The egg is perfectly cooked from the heat of the cooking oil. The funny thing about the two roti canai variants is that the egg version is rectangle in shape while the plain is round and circular.

Roti Goreng

Roti canai goreng has a distinctive texture that’s very moreish. I could eat several of them, although it’s probably not wise to do so as it’s quite oily and I feel that excessive consumption would probably be bad for your cholesterol.

HB Eddy Kapit

This is definitely worth a try. I’ll come again just to eat this! You can only find it in Kapit, so if you’re ever in Sarawak and looking for something different, take a boat here and eat their famous roti canai goreng! :)

5 fun things we did for our Christmas Eve celebrations!

Christmas Family Photo 2015

Christmas is just around the corner! The kids have been asking me about our annual turkey since our Melaka trip so I decided to celebrate Christmas early this year. Here’s what we did for the festive season:

1. Christmas shopping

Glenfiddich Mince Pies

Yup, this is one of the highlights of my year. I went out with my better half to look at what we’ll be getting for our Christmas celebrations. I saw this really cool Glenfiddich mince pies. It’s made with their 12 year old expression of single malt Scotch whiskey.

Glenfiddich Whisky Cake

They even have a Glenfiddich Whisky Cake!

2. Christmas turkey

Christmas Halal Turkey

This is a mainstay of our Christmas celebrations each year. The kids like to eat it and I like to roast it. It’s fun and it’s one of the things we look forward to.

Halal Turkey

Excuse the Islamic script, the turkey I bought is not haram this year. It’s called Midamar Turkey and despite coming from Iowa in the United States, it’s certified halal.

Brining Turkey

The turkey costs RM 348 and weighs 5.8 kg.

Roast Chestnut Cranberry Apple Stuffing

I used a roast chestnut, cranberry and apple stuffing for the turkey.

Jellied Cranberry Sauce

I stuffed our Christmas turkey and popped it into the oven…

Roasted Turkey

…and we all ate it with slices of bread and jellied cranberry sauce.

Turkey Christmas

Delicious!

3. Pistachio panettone

Flamigni Gran Pistacchio

My dear chose our annual panettone. It was a choice between panettone filled with mascarpone cream, chocolate covered and filled, a pandoro, or a pistachio crumb covered panettone with pistachio cream filling. She chose the last one, it’s RM 132.50 for a 1 kg cake.

Pistachio Panettone

This is made by the good people at Flamigni, the individual panettone is actually made by hand in Italy before being filled with pistachio cream and topped with crushed pistachios. It’s described as “Panettone con Crema al Pistacchio ricoperto di Chocolato Bianco e Granella di Pistacchi” which translates to panettone with pistachio cream covered with white chocolate and chopped pistachios.

Panettone with Pistachio Cream

The kids loved it! The white chocolate topping holding the crushed nuts was sweet and the cream even more so. I was very happy with our panettone this year, it’s absolutely fabulous! I can eat it all year!

4. Christmas crackers

Kids Christmas Crackers

This is another one of our Christmas traditions. I’ll go with my dear and buy some crackers for the kids. If you’re not familiar with Christmas crackers, they’re meant to be pulled by two people after Christmas dinner and (traditionally) the person with the largest half gets to keep the party favor or gift inside. It makes a snap / bang when you pull it.

Playing Christmas Crackers

The kids really liked them when I first got it for Christmas so I thought I’ll get them every year. We always give the kids two crackers each and we’ll each have one.

Happy-Clapper

I got a Happy Clapper from my cracker. Haha.

5. Family Christmas photo

Christmas Dinner

This is something we’ll do each year, take a photo together after we’ve eaten our turkey dinner and opened our Christmas crackers.

Christmas Crackers

The novelty paper hats are actually from the crackers. My better half printed the selfie props. This idea came from the stuff that came in last year’s Christmas crackers and we thought it’ll be fun to incorporate it into our annual festive photo. This year’s family Christmas picture has a “White Christmas” theme (coz we’re all wearing white).

Christmas Family Photo 2015

We make it a point to celebrate Christmas with the kids every year. It has become “our” tradition with a turkey, Christmas crackers, panettone and a group photo. This is our 2015 family Christmas photo. Merry Christmas everyone! :)

Yih Wen & Kian Mun’s 8-course Wedding Dinner

Yih Wen Kian Mun Wedding

I’m back in Sibu for the weekend to attend my cousin’s wedding reception. Yih Wen is one of my closest cousins on my dad’s side. I used to hang out with her while waiting to go to school at my grandma’s place when I was younger. She just got married and we had the wedding dinner at Tanahmas Hotel in Sibu.

Wedding Reception

I’ve actually met Kian Mun (the groom) during my previous trip back to Sibu. We went out for dinner together with Yih Wen’s family, a pre-wedding get-together so to speak. I find him to be a nice guy, his family is from Ipoh.

Grandma HB

Here’s my grandma! She’s the matriarch of the family, pictured here with me and my dad.

Calvin Noble HB

The wedding dinner was held last night on the 19th of December. I was seated with my cousin Calvin and Noble.

Marzipan Wedding Cake

This is the wedding cake. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it had the proper marzipan covering instead of the usual icing. I believe this is the first time I’ve seen this in Sibu. It tasted good too.

Four Seasons Combination Platter

Four Seasons Combination Platter
This is the first course. It has six (6) items instead of the usual four. I rather enjoyed the prawn cocktail in the middle. I have a weakness for sweet mayo covered shrimp. The pickled jellyfish was nice too.

Sharks Fin Soup

Shark’s Fin Soup
A traditional soup course that’s eaten with vinegar. The server didn’t pour the vinegar into the soup though (coz not everyone likes it) so we helped ourselves.

Baked Fish Head with Cheese

Baked Fish Head with Cheese
I believe the fish was battered and deep fried first before being put into a salamander and grilled to melt the cheese. This is my favorite dish of the night – I find that I like fish more and more as I get older. This wasn’t the case in the past, actually I don’t think I’ve eaten fish willingly before my mid-20’s (except for stuff like smoked salmon). The fish goes well with the cheese, the latter imparts a pleasant umami component.

Duck Two Ways

Duck Two Ways
The right side is a classic Chinese roast duck and the left side is a braised duck. I thought the duck should have been rendered a bit more but the plum sauce was good.

Braised Sea Cucumber

Braised Sea Cucumber
This medley contains sea cucumber, Pacific clams and razor clams arranged over fu chuk (tofu skin) and broccoli bordering the side. It’s another established dish in the Chinese wedding dinner repertoire. I’m quite fond of stuff like this – anything from the sea would catch my fancy nowadays.

Deep Fried Prawns

Deep Fried Prawns
This is a huge prawn but unfortunately I was quite full at this point so I only had one. I was very impressed with the size of the jumbo shrimp.

Red Bean Pastries Two Ways

Red Bean Pastries Two Ways
I thought this was a very clever implementation – both the desserts are made using red beans but one of them is deep fried into thin pancakes and the other has a mung bean filling and is stuffed into a mochi-type casing. The former is a traditional Chinese festive dessert.

resh Fruits Platter

Fresh Fruits Platter
Oh, how I’ve missed eating plum powder! Haha. This is the stuff we used to get with sliced guava and it always seemed to be in short supply when I was a kid. It’s very more-ish and goes very well with all sorts of fruits.

Yih Wen Kian Mun Dad HB

I managed to take a photo with my dad and the bride and groom after the dinner. Thanks for having us Yih Wen and Kian Mun! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...