The Taj @ Crown Princess Deepavali Buffet

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The Taj.

This is the write up of the annual XM Malaysia Deepavali dinner at
The Taj @ Crown Princess. There are heaps of photos in this post, which
would probably hurt me more than the US$ 60 I just paid for excess
bandwidth, but hey, it’s Deepavali tomorrow. :) Anyway, XM Malaysia and
Zenith Media booked the entire restaurant for the annual get together.

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This is one of the many fringe benefits we get at XM. Free beer
anyone? ;) Anyway, the tables were half taken by Zenith and half by XM.
Our table had mostly tech people, plus quite a few Project Managers and
two from Creative, IIRC. Caveat: I don’t remember all that well when
I’m on this particular GABA agonist my doctor prescribed (Shh! People
who know shouldn’t comment about it. :p) and when there’s free beer
involved since the two potentiates each other, resulting in an early
loss of inhibition. ;)

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Anyway, about the food at The Taj, it was okay, but not great. Don’t
get me wrong, it’s good…just not as good as their desserts! They have
really great desserts and sweets. I like this particular brown chunky
thing that I don’t remember the name of, but readers from Melbourne,
you can find it opposite the Clayton station exit (from the City). It’s
two shops down from that discount bottleshop where I usually buy my
beer. The shop specializes in North Indian sweets.

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Well back to the event, like I said, I don’t remember much, but
there was this speech where 3 new people from XM and 3 new people from
Zenith Media gave a speech describing their first weeks and the best
one gets RM 500 and the one which the judges deemed was the worst has
to sing a song. Oh right, I just remembered something VERY
EMBARRASSING…I blame the venue for not labeling the toilets properly.
:p

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Anyway, about halfway through the event, I felt the urge to answer
the call of nature, as one tends to get after drinking beer – which not
only is a liquid, but a diuretic as well. I walked to the toilets –
there was one male and one female, both side by side. I went into the
male one, saw a toilet for the disabled to my right and went straight
in and relieved myself.

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Well, the urination process took longer than usual, considering I
had a full bladder and suddenly…there was this feeling that something
wasn’t right. I stood there, aiming my member and trying to think about
what it was that felt unusual. It’s…voices. Female voices. “Why are
there female voices in a male toilet?”, I wondered. I zipped my pants,
forgot to flush and opened the door to…

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A group of females standing right outside the door! I stared blankly
at them. I think both parties said “What are you doing in the guys
toilet?” and “What are you doing in the girls toilet?” at the same
time. There was about 6-8 of them and I knew all of them. How
embarrassing…that damned toilet sign, it looked like a male one! Chih
Ning wanted to grab my digicam and take a photo of me in the girls
toilet but good thing I made a quick exit, escaping the laughter behind
me. ;)

I think I didn’t even wash my hands in my hurry to get out…

I strongly suggest better signs to distinguish the male and female
toilets to avoid situations like this. I’ve lived at on campus since
2000 while in uni and the toilets and bathrooms are co-ed so I wasn’t
too bothered about it, but this is Malaysia. It’s a good thing that all
the people in the female toilet at that time were from either XM or
Zenith Media. If there were any strangers, I wouldn’t know what the
outcome would be from that mistake. :)

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The Taj. Fine North Indian Cruisine.

Anyway, back to dinner, here are the photos of the annual XM Malaysia/Zenith Media Deepavali get together!

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Zenith Media table. I only know Chih Ning (the one in white). She’s the one that gives out paychecks. ;)

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Candid shot of the people opposite me.

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This is the other side.

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This is my side.

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This is Jemay. He put me in a very uncomfortable position once during a TGIF meeting when my blog was brought up by him. ;)

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L-R: Jit, Janet, E-Ling

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Miscellaneous shots

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More miscellaneous shots

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Yet more miscellaneous shots

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Tamater Ka Shorba
Tomato Soup with Indian Herbs

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Nan
Indian bread baked in clay oven

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Matar Pulao

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Dal Tarka
Yellow lentils tempered and seasoned with exotic spices

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Palak Paneer
Spicy spinach with Indian cheese

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Gobhi Kelandi
Cauliflower with yoghurt and spices

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Goshi Kurma

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Fish Tikka

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Tandoori Murgh
Tender Chicken marinated with freshly ground Mint, Coriander & Spices

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Kingfisher Beer! It tastes more like cider than beer…

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Kingfisher beer is made in India!

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My plate of food.

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My dessert plate.

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Us techies.

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L-R: Chia (blue), Anthony (white), Mandy (grey), Felicia (black), Loh (light blue), Huai Bin (me) (black)

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Happy Deepavali!

Original Okonomiyaki Hiroshima Style @ Plaza Low Yat

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I’ve eaten here the last time I was in KL and figured I would go
back and take photos of the okonomiyaki making process. The seating
arrangement allows you to sit in front of the grill and watch them make
your okonomiyaki. Okonomiyaki has been described as a “Japanese pizza”.
I had the nikutama ika ebi (pork and seafood) okonomiyaki with soba
noodles (you can choose to have udon) and the spring onion topping.
That came up to RM 18. Here’s the photos of the making of my order:

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Pouring out the base

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Adding shredded cabbages and sprouts

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Shaking pepper and salt

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Adding the seafood

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Layering several slices of bacon on top

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Here’s a close up of the partially made okonomiyaki

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Soba noodles fried seperately in the next grill

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The okonomiyaki pushed over in preparation of combining with the soba noodles

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Turning over the okonomiyaki

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Combining it with the soba noodles

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Compressing the whole thing

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Lifting it onto an egg (fried seperately)

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Making everything neat

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Slicing up the okonomiyaki

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Drizzling okonomiyaki sauce on top

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Generous sprinkling of spring onions

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This is the finished dish – nikutama ika ebi okonomiyaki pictured with iced rooibos tea.

Karen’s Birthday @ Dion

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Happy birthday Karen! It was Karen’s birthday today so we got her a
cake and decided to go for some Greek food. We actually planned to go
to Antipodes but Dion
[dionrestaurant.com.au] was just two doors down and we haven’t eaten
there before. The Dion PR guy standing outside saw us standing in
between and contemplating which one to go to and immediately approached
us and invited us inside. He said Dion is an award winning restaurant
and we won’t be disappointed. Heh. Alright, dude.

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Going off on a different tangent it seems that a lot of restaurants
here have PR people (promoters?) standing outside trying to pull
customers in but I don’t see that a lot back home in Malaysia.
Interesting. Oh, I bumped into one of my old college friend while in
the city today. It was good to see him again, haven’t seen him around
for a while.

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Anyway Dion has a really nice ambience, the lighting was great and
it’s a very popular place to eat. It was empty when we went there early
but it soon filled up to capacity. There were only two waiters and two
waitresses and but the service was still good.

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Karen (the birthday girl) with Ung Hing her bf

Oh, guess what I had today? Ouzo! [greekproducts.com] :)

I had wanted to try that ever since I saw My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
They were drinking shooters of it during one scene and it looked so
tempting. I didn’t actually know what it was called, so I asked our
waitress whether she has watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Haha! Well,
she smiled and said yes so I asked her what that shooter they were
drinking is called.

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God’s gift to mankind

It wasn’t on the menu, but they had it (it was a Greek restaurant
and even the waiters and waitresses are Greek). Anyway, I ordered two
of those and downed them. It’s really, really amazingly tasty! There is
a strong smell and taste of liquorish and it’s very sweet and has a
very satisfying aftertaste. Very, very nice, if you ever see it around,
do yourself a favor and have one of these things. It’s so tasty it
ought to be illegal! :)

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I could drink these things all day, but they cost A$6 each, which
wouldn’t be expensive normally, but I’m running short this month due to
having to replace most of my computer about a week ago. Delicious,
delicious stuff. Devine! I reckon you can get it at Greek bottle shops
too, there’s one in Clayton so I’ll pop in and check someday.

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Thien Na showing us how to properly butter a bread. Apparently, just slathering it on top is not considered appropriate

Anyway, I’m digressing so much. Just don’t miss out on having this
if you get the chance. It’s absolutely amazing stuff. Well, four of us
had the dinner banquet and the others had the main meals. The dinner
banquet was really too much for four people, but it sure was
interesting.

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If you can’t read the menu from the picture, I’ve cut and pasted it from the Dion website. The banquet we had was:

MIXED DIPS – Various Dips
DOLMADES – Vine leaves filled with rice and herbs
SAGANAKI – Pan fried graviera cheese, lemon and oregano dressing
LOUKANIKA – Char-grilled Greek sausages
KEFTEDES – Char-grilled Greek style meat rissoles
MIXED SOUVLAKI – Char-grilled lamb and chicken on skewers
OCTAPOTH1 XITHATO – Marinated octopus
FILLETS OF FISH – Fillets of fresh fish
PATATES – Oven baked potatoes
ELLENIKI SALATA – Greek Salad
DESSERTS – Exclusively from Medallion Cakes

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The dips were the most interesting thing. There was a purple dip, a
pink deep, a bizarre green dip, an orange one and a yellow one. At one
point, I was just eating the dip with a fork just for fun. They look so
interesting.

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Karen eating…

I’ve had heaps of dolmas before so I’m familiar with it. I used to
get it in cans, my lecturer in college is such a big promoter of dolmas
and got us into eating it. It’s good stuff, but the Dion ones beats the
ones of out the cans anyday.

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Saganaki was too cheesy, I didn’t really enjoy it, and I think no
one else did too. Loukanika is pretty spicy and that’s good but I was
so full at that time I only ate half. Keftedes wasn’t really anything
special…tasted like meat patties filled with herbs. The grilled lamb
and chicken was my favorite!

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One side of the table: (from left) Chuck Fong, Thien Na, Huai Bin (me), Christopher

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The other side of the table: (from left) Chuck Fong, Adrian, Chuck Yong, Karen

This is so bizarre. Ung Hing is missing and I don’t remember the seating was this way before.

The marinated octopus was great as well, but I didn’t eat much of
the fish and potatos. I’m more of a meat eater although I like fish,
just not in fillets. The Greek Salad was good as well, but the goat
cheese was a bit too hard. Eh, so I’m a food reviewer now, it seems. :)

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Okay, now the best thing is the desserts. It comes from Medallion
Cakes, a place three doors down, which serves the best cakes and
desserts in Melbourne. In my opinion anyway! They’re elaborate works of
art that looks almost too good to eat!

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Well, Thien Na had to leave after the main course to fetch her bf to
go to Moomba and we got her to carry a lamb kebab with her. We left
soon after to go to Moomba as well, and that’ll be the next post. I
feel sleepy now but I’ll write it if I feel more awake later. It’s
probably going to be tomorrow though. Yeah, it’ll definately have to be
tomorrow. *yawn* Anyway, Dion is a great place, I’ll go again, if only
just for the Ouzo. Heh. It’s at Lonsdale St, I’m sure everyone in
Melbourne knows where it is, since it’s on such a prominent street. Oh,
funny thing was, we forgot to bring the cake out! We left it at Karen’s
house while waiting for her to change. Heh. Happy 22nd Karen!

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Did you know? That everyone is this picture was from Methodist High School, Sibu in 1998 :) They’re all my high school friends.