Rebellions Coffee Bar, Kota Damansara

Rebellions

We were at Rebellions Coffee Bar over the weekend to see what it’s like. It’s the first time we’ve all been here, my better half had an appointment with a New Zealand Trade representative (thanks for all the stuff from NZ) and we decided on this place to have coffee. Interestingly, we were told that it looks very similar to a popular café in Auckland in terms in interior décor.

No 106 Cold Brew

I had the No.106 Cold Brew (RM 13). This is the Black version which consists of Finca Santa Teresa beans from Panama. It’s served in a 150 ml bottle (about half a pint) and came under the heading “Filter Coffee”. It came with a cork stopper and is supposed to be poured over ice cubes – this tasted very fruity and lacked the caffeine punch I’m used to.

Tafufa Cheesecake

We also had the Taufufa Cheesecake with Gula Melaka Ginger Syrup. I thought this was a really interesting slice of cake! It’s made with tau fu fa (tofu/soybean pudding) as a local twist, further compounded by the use of palm sugar. It’s not as rich as a traditional Philadelphia cheese cake but that’s the point. The lightness is wonderful and I like how the ginger syrup cuts through the richness.

Flat White

This is the Flat White (RM 11) which the NZT representative had. She just came back from New Zealand and it’s noteworthy to point out that flat white originated down under too, first in Australia and then in New Zealand. Rebellions Coffee Bar made it with nice latte art on top.

Lychee Rose Macaron Cake

We also had a slice of the Lychee Rose – a decadent three-layered cake with frosting covering each layer. It also had a smattering of toasted pistachio nuts and a lychee rose macaron on each slice. I shared the macaron with my better half and while it wasn’t mind-blowing (we’ve had the best macarons in France and the famous Zumbarons from Australia) the cake as a whole was quite decent.

Nutella Chocolate Bomb

My better half ordered the Nutella Chocolate Bomb (RM 16) which according to the barista is a *calorie bomb*. Haha. Yup, Rebellionz also serve chai, milk and hot chocolate based drinks under “Maybe Something Else”. There’s a ball of ice cream inside the drink which tastes like chocolate. It’s not very sweet although it seems like it would be. I like how the lip of the tall glass is smeared with Nutella, much like how the rim of a margarita would be crusted with rock salt – it’s a very nice touch.

Rebellions Coffee Bar

I thought Rebellions Coffee Bar is a nice new addition to the Dataran Sunway area with good coffee and cake. There are a lot of cafes here though and F&B outlets don’t last long – a good example would be Flaming Melt, which closed down months after opening. The traffic is horrible but if you can survive there is a captive market here.

Cold Brewed Coffee

Rebellions Coffee Bar
2-1, Jalan PJU 5/4
Dataran Sunway, Kota Damansara

Wonton Noodles @ Restaurant Pun Chun, Bidor

Wonton Noodles

This is the first place we stopped on the way up to Penang. We, in this case, was a bus-load of 25 people, all related, going on the largest family trip I’ve ever participated in (or seen, for that matter). Restaurant Pun Chun is famous for their wonton noodles – the huge wontons are made with a little bit of pork mince and a HUGE prawn.

Restaurant Pun Chun Bidor

Their wonton noodles has been hyped up way in advance by the rather dodgy looking tour guide (provided with the bus, don’t look at me). I’ve actually eaten here before, not here as in Bidor, but at a branch of this particular café. They’ve expanded to Klang Valley and their franchise in Kota Damansara is very close to where I live.

Pun Chun

Restaurant Pun Chun is also famous for their duck leg noodles, which is what we usually eat in Kota Damansara. It’s a soup based dish (although the noodles are served separately) but since we went so early in the morning, they didn’t have drumsticks/leg. The only cuts were breast and thigh so I passed on this. The soup is pretty good though, it’s what we call pek tin yok – a combination of 8 different herbs.

Wonton Mee

We had both the dry and soup version of wonton mee (RM 6.30 per bowl/plate) which comes with four (4) wontons per serving. The dry version has noodles tossed in soy sauce while I thought was nicer. The large prawn inside each wonton is a treat to behold – juicy and succulent, truly delicious when paired with some of their pickled green chillis.

Shrimp Wonton

It looks like a bit of a tourist trap with the aisles of chicken biscuit snacks and other popular munchies from Bidor but their wonton noodles are really quite enchanting. I would stop here again next time I drive up this way.

Sang Har Mee @ Restaurant Green View, SS2

Green View Sang Har Mee

I was craving for some sang har mee (生虾面) over the weekend and decided to pop back to an old favorite to eat it. Restaurant Green View has been serving their famous sang har mee (big head prawn noodles) near SS2 (technically Jalan 19) for quite a long time, using the same big head prawns we use in our big head prawn noodles in Sibu but served Cantonese style with crispy noodles.

Big Head Prawn

The price of sang har mee is based on the weight of the prawn. It’s a seasonal, fluctuating price but it has increased over the years to a staggering RM 200/kg. There were three (3) other couples there, all eating sang har mee and we put in an order for 2 pax. Each person is allocated one (1) big head prawn so this is a double portion.

Big Head Prawn Noodles

Behold! The big head prawns were medium sized that day, one slightly bigger than the other. The appeal of big head prawns is due to the roe in the large head of the prawn – it seeps out when it’s cooked, blending into the gravy to turn it into a rich and prawny treat.

Freshwater Big Head Prawn

I like how they cooked the freshwater big head prawns just right so it’s still juicy. The prawns are HUGE too – the meat is equivalent to a slipper lobster or Moreton Bay Bug and the size of the prawn is bigger than my hand!

Sang Har Mee

The only downside is that they use a different serving platter for the 2 pax sang har mee, which is a bit too shallow, so the gravy goes into the crispy noodles and renders it slightly soggy. We should have ordered 1 plate of sang har mee for 1 pax EACH so the serving bowl is slightly curved up and the crispy noodles will remain crispy.

Prawn Roe Gravy

On the plus side, this gives us a lot of the big head prawn roe-infused gravy, but if you like crispy noodles, be sure to make two individual orders instead of one order for two. The price is the same anyway, since it’s calculated by weight.

Sang Har Noodles

This plate of giant freshwater prawn noodles cost us RM 118! It has 590 grams of big head prawns at RM 200 per kg but it’s worth it coz the sang har mee tasted delicious!

Cut Fruits

They also serve a complimentary plate of cut fruits for dessert (papaya and watermelon on a bed of ice) if you order the sang har mee.

Green View Restaurant

The total bill inclusive of drinks was RM 137.55 for the both of us, which is about the same price we’ll pay if we ate at a café so it’s not too bad. I love sang har mee and even though the price has gone up almost exponentially over the years, Green View Restaurant still cooks up a decent plate of big head prawn noodles.

Restaurant Green View

Restaurant Green View
8, Jalan 19/3,
Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Yeast Bistronomy @ Mid Valley Megamall, KL

Yeast KL

Yeast Bistronomy started out in the prestigious Jalan Telawi 2 address in Bangsar but expanded to Mid Valley Megamall earlier this year. I go to Mid Valley quite often during the weekdays but I seldom see people inside except for the odd couple or so enjoying a glass of wine. It’s part bistro, part bakery and part café and it really is owned by a French.

Yeast Bistronomy

Yeast is actually more of a boulangerie but they also serve a small selection of hot plates, just like some of its French counterparts. We were there over the weekend and was surprised to see quite a lot of people inside. They also have an al fresco area at the pavilion type extensions you see in the F&B outlets on the same frontage between Mid Valley and The Gardens.

Croissant au Jambon et au Fromage (RM 26)

Croissant Jambon Fromage

This is a ham and cheese croissant (which they swapped with a delicious herb loaf baked in-house coz they ran out of croissants) with a side of green salad and fries. I thought the use of this bread tastes much better than a croissant (although they have different textures) and the ham (real ham, not turkey ham or nonsense like that) and cheese combo was very comforting.

Caffe Vergnano Cappuccino (RM 12)

Caffe Vergnano Cappuccino

This is quite unusual. Yeast only uses Caffe Vergnano 1882 and all orders are *Double Shots* – that means you’re getting two (2) espressos in each order, not for the faint-hearted or caffeine intolerant. This is a very popular brand of coffee that is made by Italians in London and have even received praise from Gordon Ramsay.

Escargots à la Bourguignonne (RM 25)

Escargots a la Bourguignonne

Snails! Who doesn’t love escargots? I’m a huge fan of them and there’s nothing quite like eating this dish in a Paris bistro, it’s as common as French Onion Soup (with a croute covering the entire top). The ones at Yeast don’t come with the shell of the snail but in most restaurants, the shells are decorative anyway, escargots comes in huge cans for restaurants, unless you’re eating in a Michelin star restaurant.

Valrhona Chocolate Chaud (RM 16)

Valrhona Chocolate Chaud

We actually didn’t see this in the menu at first and when I perused it the second time I knew I had to order it for my dear. She quite liked it, although it wasn’t as thick as the one we had in Paris. Valrhona is a very popular brand of chocolate for cooking in France, we stocked up with a lot of their single origin 70 gram bars a while back.

Yeast Bistronomy KL

Yeast serves decent food and very reasonable prices, especially for their wonderful coffee. The bill came up to RM 83.75 for the two of us. The best thing about Yeast is that they don’t charge 10% service charge, it’s the standard 6% GST only and this is advertised quite prominently at their outlet in Mid Valley. It’s a nice place to go for a quick bite to eat in the afternoon if you’re into French casual.

Sage Restaurant & Wine Bar @ The Gardens, Mid-Valley KL

Sage Fine Dining KL

My better half booked us dinner at one of the best restaurants in KL during our weekend staycation at St Giles The Gardens. Sage Restaurant & Wine Bar isn’t directly affiliated with St Giles The Gardens but you can make reservations though them. They have a degustation menu (RM 398 per pax) and a gourmet menu (RM 298 per pax) when the chef is in but we were told Chef Daniel was in Sydney during the weekend.

Sage Restaurant Wine Bar

Sage KL serves a fusion of French and Japanese cuisine, and we saw a lot of interesting dishes on their website. I was quite surprised to see a lot of couples dining there. Most of the seats are for two, with several table arrangements for 4 pax in the middle. It has a view of KL for the tables flanking the restaurant and a view of the open kitchen for the tables in the center, where the chef would be working.

Sage Restaurant KL

The service was very attentive and patient, and we went for the Sage Menu (RM 218 per pax) which was the only option available. This allows you one (1) choice each of Appetizer, Main Course, and Dessert from their a la carte menu. It’s essentially a 3-Course menu with Chef’s Appetizer and an Amuse Bouche.

Amuse Bouche

Sage Amuse Bouche

This was an interesting combination of diced salmon (raw) with macerated tomatoes and a citrus base. I thought it was decent enough, we actually thought the “Chef’s Appetizer” was the amuse-bouche but it turned out to be something else entirely.

Chef’s Appetizer

Grilled Scallops with Peaches and Walnut Sauce

Grilled Scallops with Peaches

Amazing! To be honest, I was mildly disappointed by the amuse-bouche, it tasted good but it didn’t have the “Wow Factor”. This had it in spades. The scallops were grilled to perfection and we each had two (2) large medallions. It was paired with unpeeled slices of peach (which my dear thought was apples) and walnuts, which was genius – the peaches provide a sweet and slightly acidic element while the toasted walnuts mixed in a textural element.

Vieux Chateau des Templiers

I also had a glass of Vieux Château des Templiers, Pomerol (RM 65 per glass). It’s a 2007 vintage French wine. The wine list is quite comprehensive but they only sell by the bottle or half bottle. This is one of two red wines they sell by the glass – they also have 2 types of whites, for RM 62 and RM 65. It’s quite good, with depth and a nose of dark berries.

Appetizer

Feuillete of Anago with Foie Gras and Cèpes Mushroom Veloute

Anago with Foie Gras and Cepes Mushroom

Anago is a salt water eel (vs unagi, which is a fresh water eel) and it’s cooked just the way I like it. There’s also a generous slab of foie gras on the plate, which I ate smeared on top of the freshly baked bread that was put in front of us during the start of the dining session. The cèpes mushrooms were wonderful! I gave my dear a taste and she really liked the mushrooms too. The feuillete pastry is under everything, it’s de-constructed so they can put more anago and foie gras inside (plus it looks better). Very well thought-out dish. I was very happy with my pick.

Warm Capellini Pasta with Trio of Seafood and Seven Flavor Chilli Pepper

Capellini Pasta with Trio of Seafood

This was my dear’s choice. She gave me a taste just after I had my first mouthful and the strong flavors overwhelmed my palate! I couldn’t eat any more if I were to enjoy my milder and creamier starter. It is very yummy though – the perfect starter, if you think about it. The chillis makes your mouth water and want more and the juicy large king prawns and scallops sealed the deal. It’s quite unfortunate that they ran out of Maine lobsters that night so there’s only two types of seafood inside. This was conveyed to us before we ordered but my better half still wanted this as a contrast to my dish so they gave her more prawns.

Main Course

Wasabi Crusted Wagyu Cheek with Flat Beans and Carrot Puree

Wasabi Crusted Wagyu Cheek

Flawless! I loved the freshly grated wasabi crust on my tender Waygu Beef Cheek. The beef cheek was so perfectly cooked that I can slice through it like a hot knife through butter! There’s plenty of fat and collagen inside and this was such a rich main that I had problems finishing it. The carrot puree was slightly too wet according to my partner, but I liked everything on the dish. I just wish there was more wasabi to cut through the richness of the Wagyu cheek – the saving grace was my glass of red wine, or else I’ll wouldn’t be able to finish it.

Confit of Ikejime Sea Grouper with Abalone and Iwanori Butter Sauce

Ikejime Sea Grouper with Abalone

My better half had this for her main. It’s quite ingenious, except a bit on the small side for a main dish portion. The abalone is sliced and scattered on top of the sea grouper fillet and it tasted quite good to me. Ikejime is actually a method of paralyzing fish to maintain its freshness, which originated in Japan. A spike is inserted into the hind brain, causing immediate brain death and preventing reflex action like muscle movement which would consume ATP and produce lactic acid to make the fish sour.

Dessert

Classic Crepe Suzette with Orange Segment and Grand Marnier Ice Cream

Crepe Suzette with Grand Marnier

My better half chose this for her dessert. The Grand Marnier ice cream is delightful – it actually tasted like Grand Marnier! However, the crepe suzette was disappointing. She did not even finish it and I was too full to finish it for her. I thought the Soufflé of the Day (which is also made with Grand Marnier) would have been a better choice.

Fresh Berries with Champagne Sabayon and Vanilla Ice Cream

Fresh Berries with Champagne Sabayon

I liked the vanilla ice cream, which is made with real vanilla pods. The fresh berries were altogether too sour and the champagne sabayon made it even more so. It’s a very tart dish and while it looks slightly more appealing than my partner’s choice, I had trouble finishing it too and left the rest uneaten. The dessert were the only disappointments during our visit.

Sage KL

We were also served a choice of tea, coffee or hot chocolate and petit fours (chocolate and nougat dusted with cacao powder) were presented to us at the end of the meal. The service was flawless, the food was well thought out and executed, and we had a delicious dinner at Sage. However, the only downside were the desserts – both of our desserts failed to impress and we were left wanting.

Petit Four

Nevertheless, we had a great night and we enjoyed most of the food that was served here. The bill came up to RM 535++ for the both of us, inclusive of a bottle of Sole Sparkling Water and my glass of wine (which was charged separately). Thanks for the wonderful dinner, dear! <3 It was a great experience and I can see why Sage Restaurant & Wine Bar is consistently voted as one of the best restaurants in KL.

6 things we did during our Raya staycation

1. Had dinner at one of the best restaurants in KL

Sage KL

My better half surprised me with this treat. It’s actually the second most expensive meal we’ve ever had in KL (the first being the Michelin star Le Gavroche chef who came to town) but I thought it was worth it. Delicious appetizers and mains – thanks for booking us dinner at Sage dear.

2. Watched Ant-Man

Ant-Man

I’ve been wanting to watch Ant-Man for a long time. We even had passes to the premiere screening but missed it coz I thought it was the next day. Thus, I got ourselves Premier Class tickets (RM 63) at The Gardens to go watch the movie. I had actually wanted Gold Class but my dear thought it was too expensive. It used to cost RM 40 per pax but that’s the price of Premier Class now – Gold Class is double.

GSC Premier Class

It’s still quite an exclusive viewing experience though – the seats are all couple seats, which you can remove the middle partition so you can snuggle up together. That’s actually a *necessity* since the air-conditioning was so cold everyone in the Premier Class cinema was shivering. It’s still better than watching it in their regular cinemas though, this is a more intimate environment where no one talks loudly or uses their mobile phones – the higher ticket prices weeds out most badly behaved cinema goers. Ant-Man was awesome, a nice conclusion to Phase 2 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

3. Ate escargots and drank Valrhona hot chocolate

Yeast Mid-Valley

We had lunch at a Parisian style bistro/bakery which also serves wine. I had Escargots a la Bourguignonne while my dear had a ham and cheese croissant (Croissant au Jambon et au Fromage). This was our lunch the day we checked in, she also had a Valrhona hot chocolate – we bought a lot of the famous French chocolate a while back, it’s not for kids, their single origin stuff is utterly bitter, in a good way.

4. Walked around the mall

Lifejuice Gardens

We loaded up with fresh cold pressed juice before spending most of the day walking around the mall. My dear wanted to get a clutch bag and we went to most of the stores in The Gardens and Mid-Valley but couldn’t find one that she wanted. I was secretly observing at what kind of bags she was looking at so I could KIV for our anniversary. smirk

Lifejuice

The Sun Kissed Stress Reliever (RM 13) is a mixture of ginger, red apple, pineapple, orange, carrot and grapefruit in a glass bottle. I liked the Nutty Professor Energy Booster (hazelnut, almond, cashew, soy milk, raw cacao, Medjool dates) and 50 Shades of Grey Stamina Booster (Earl Grey team hazelnut, Himalayan salt, coconut, agave necter) too.

5. Chilled in our hotel room

St Giles Gardens

I booked a room as St Giles The Gardens, the best hotel among the 3 at Mid-Valley. I also considered Pullman Bangsar (which has a shuttle service to Mid-Valley) but ultimately wanted to stay at Mid-Valley itself since we were out almost the entire day!

6. Had a hearty breakfast

Antipodean

This was at Antipodean, which my better half wanted to try. It was decent and cheap (relatively) fare but not as good as their original Bangsar Telawi II outlet, probably due to the huge crowd here. We had to wait five (5) minutes in queue while we got seated and that’s considered a very quick seating. The service was good though and I quite liked my order of Eggs Marlborough with Salmon.

I think we spent only 10 hours or so total in our room but it was fun and we got to spend the time with each other during our staycation. :)

Our Hari Raya Aidilfitri Staycation @ St Giles The Gardens

The Gardens Hotel

I decided to surprise my better half with a night at a local hotel during the long holiday weekend. Yup, it’s our biannual staycation, where we spend a night (or two) at a KL or PJ hotel and chill, eat and shop. My better half suggested Mid Valley this time but I don’t really like Cititel Hotel (although it’s the cheapest option, the rooms reek of cigarette smoke).

MidValley Gardens

Thus, it’s down to St Giles Boulevard or St Giles The Gardens. The latter is slightly more grand, a step up in both standards and price so I splurged a little and went for that. The rooms are significantly larger than St Giles Boulevard (27 sq m) and make the ones at Cititel Mid Valley (18 sq m) look almost like closets. smirk

St Giles The Gardens

All three hotels are managed by the same people – it’s supposed to be for different segments of the market with St Giles The Gardens as the premier choice, with larger rooms (38 sq m). I paid USD 116.26 (RM 442.35 per night) for our room and thought I overpaid coz I forgot to switch the currency to MYR. It turns out that MYR was even more expensive at RM 452 so it’s a good thing I have a PayPal account with USD inside.

St Giles The Gardens Rooms

I almost went for the 72 sq m 1 bedroom suite which is about RM 80 more but I ended up going for a deluxe room instead and the extra cash went towards a single glass of wine (more on that later).

St Giles The Gardens Us

It was a lot of fun, we crammed all the things couples do into a 24 hour period – ate at a restaurant rated as one of the best in KL, watched a movie we’ve missed and enjoyed each other’s company. It was a great and relaxing staycation, plus we managed to stay within the budget of RM 1,500 for everything – can’t wait to do it again! :)

I’ll write more soon.

Restaurant Hock Kee Ulu Yam Loh Mee

Ulu Yam Lor Mee

My better half had to do some work related banking near my place yesterday so we decided to meet up for lunch. She wanted to eat pan mee and told me so and I reluctantly agreed. Haha. I’m not a huge fan of pan mee but I’ll go along with my dear coz I know how much she likes it.

Hock Kee Ulu Yam Loh Mee

We had a bit of a problem finding parking in the notorious Jalan PJU 5/4 (Dataran Sunway) area so I left my car quite a distance from the pan mee shop. While walking there, we spotted this place – Restaurant Hock Kee Ulu Yam Loh Mee and she decided to eat here instead. I suspect it’s partly coz she knew I didn’t like pan mee but she insisted she liked loh mee as well.

Hock Kee Loh Mee

We ordered the flagship Ulu Yam Loh Mee as well as the recommended Homemade Hokkien Mee. I’ve actually been to Ulu Yam to eat their loh mee (not at the original stall though – we got lost) and had the fabulous Hennessy loh mee in Setapak so I have a benchmark to compare this against.

Ulu Yam Loh Mee (RM 6.50 / RM 12 / RM 16)

Ulu Yam Loh Mee

There are three sizes and the personal one is RM 6.50 and comes in a generous bowl filled with black and starchy egg drop soup and the thick loh mee noodles. This is a different implementation from Sarawak’s loh mee (ours is sweet) and there’s lots of pork meat and pork crackling (!!!) inside for texture.

I really liked the acidic notes, it’s quite appetizing and after a generous dousing of vinegar, the bowl really shines.

Homemade Hokkien Mee (RM 6.50 / RM 12 / RM 16)

Homemade Hokkien Mee

This is not their speciality and they mixed the pork crackling into the Hokkien Mee instead of sprinkling it on top so it loses a lot of the crunchiness. It’s pretty decent but pales in comparison with Damansara Uptown Hokkien Mee (which is just behind this outlet). That’s the one I usually go to. It’s serviceable though for a working day lunch.

Ulu Yam Us

Restaurant Hock Kee Ulu Yam Loh Mee also has the intriguing sounding Claypot Noodles with Yam (no relation to Ulu Yam, which is a town in Selangor famous for their loh mee) but they don’t have personal sizes so I’ll love to go back and try it. However, from the two dishes we tried, we’ll definitely recommend the signature Ulu Yam Loh Mee but not the Hokkien Mee.

Yee Leng & Wing Fei’s 9-course Wedding Dinner @ Jaya Palace

Jaya Palace

I’ve been to their pre-wedding dinner, become a heng tai (brother) at Wing Fei’s Chinese wedding door games, and now it’s the night of the actual dinner at Jaya Palace.

Jaya Palace Restaurant

My better half and I actually went really early coz she had to do registration and I had to help her with the corsages and ang pow collection (sounds more glamorous than it is, I was little more than a glorified bodyguard at a place which didn’t really require it smirk).

Jaya Palace Wedding

Seriously though, I didn’t know there was actually a “money room” at the restaurant where you count ang pows.

Wedding Money

There’s actually a very good reason for this – bigger cities like KL has a larger element of crime, so the point is to tabulate the money quickly and pay immediately so you don’t leave with the cash. There has been robberies in the past so people just settle the bill with the ang pows on the spot. Learn something new every day.

The 9-course dinner at Jaya Palace was quite impressive:

Palace Four Season Combination Platter

Palace Four Season Combination Platter

There’s actually four (4) items in this classic starter despite the five (5) indentations in the platter. It came out with all the bells and whistles which is becoming standard nowadays – the dimming of the lights, the procession of waitresses etc. The sweet and sour pork was nice, as well as the fishballs flanking it. I also liked the fu chuk (beancurd skin) in the middle, but the most popular item was the baby octopus – it was yum!

Double Boiled Soup with Cordyceps Flower, Scallop & Fish Maw

Scallop Fish Maw Soup

I loved the large dried scallop inside. You don’t usually get ones as big as this from retail shops unless you’re willing to pay a hefty price tag. There were also two pieces of fish maw inside, a classic Cantonese double boiled soup with premium non-controversial ingredients. The broth is based on chicken, I was pleased to see it was dark meat from the thigh.

Roast Whole Suckling Pig

Roast Whole Suckling Pig

The best dish of the night! This is a *whole suckling pig*, but you only eat the crackling and a little bit of the meat underneath. The skin of a suckling pig is deep fried to perfection and re-arranged in the general shape of a porcine being on the plate. I picked up a piece with my chopsticks and dipped it into the plum sauce – crispy, crunchy and full of flavour. I wanted to have another but by then it was gone. Seriously, that was how good this was. I did get to eat the face of the pig though (it’s quite delicacy in my hometown, not so much here).

Steamed Estuary Grouper Fish w/ Fungus

Steamed Estuary Grouper

One of my favorite fishes for steaming. I’ll order RM 22 bowls of estuary grouper fish noodles when I’m craving for some. Estuary grouper (loong tan) is a very nice fish for eating – no bones to content with and a thick layer of collagen between the skin and the flesh. Jaya Palace slightly overcooked the fish but it was still a great dish.

Pepper & Salt Fresh Prawn

Pepper Salt Prawns

The obligatory prawns after the fish dish. I didn’t get to eat this as I was walking around taking photos for the groom and although a table-mate saved one for me, I unwittingly changed my plates for the next course (each course comes with new plates) so I didn’t know what it tasted like. I would have liked prawn.

Braised Sea Cucumber with Pork Knuckles & Mushroom

Braised Sea Cucumber

Lovely! People say sea cucumber don’t have a taste of its own, it absorbs the flavour of the gravy. This is partially true, but I know people who can tell where a sea cucumber comes from (Indonesia etc) so there’s gotta be a taste element in there as well. I’m quite partial to sea cucumber and they do it very well at Jaya Palace.

Steamed Glutinous Rice with Chicken & Mushroom

Steamed Glutinous Rice

This is lor mai gai – a rice dish to fill you up if you’re still hungry. It’s individually portioned and tasted pretty good to me although I noticed a lot of people didn’t touch theirs coz they were quite full from the previous dishes. It was also quite late at this point and one table beside us just tapau their food with them.

Special Fancy Pastries

Special Fancy Pastries

These are nostalgia inducing edibles – I remember dessert being a foreign concept in Chinese restaurants back in the day, this was all we had. It’s sweet red bean paste encased in flaky pastry and deep fried for a satisfying and sentimental course. There was also a kuih made with the squiggly green bits you see in cendol.

Sweetened Soya Bean with Gingko & White Fungus

Tong Sui

I liked this one too, probably coz I didn’t eat much during the previous courses. I ended up drinking more than my fair share since most of my table mates have left and it was just the 3 of us at the table. The white fungus works very well in this sweet tong sui style dessert. It’s very Cantonese to have something like this to mark the end of dinner.

Wedding Photo

Congratulations to Yee Leng and Wing Fei on their wedding! We managed to take a photo with them after everyone had left and we had settled everything. :)

Wing Fei & Yee Leng’s Chinese Wedding Door Games from a Heng Tai perspective

Groom Entourage

I was part of Wing Fei’s heng tai entourage for the day. Being a heng tai (the term means brother) involves having the groom’s side get his bride from her parents’ home. There will be ji mui (literally sisters, but more like bridesmaids) blocking the way and presenting challenges.

Cantonese Wedding Games

This is all done in good fun. Chinese wedding door games is a Cantonese tradition and since the groom is Cantonese, it’s as essential a part of the wedding as the tea ceremony.

Pilot

We woke up bright and early and got into costume. The theme is Triumph in the Skies – a Hong Kong drama series and involves us wearing pilot uniforms. Unfortunately, one of my buttons came off and my better half had to sew it on before we left.

Sewing Button

There was also a large roasted pig (which I promptly dubbed the wedding pig) that we had to carry to Yee Leng’s (the bride) house. I thought that was hilarious – we actually ate the pork belly from this very pig during lunch. I think the middle part goes to the bride while the head and tail is taken back to the groom’s family.

Wedding Pig

They even hired a Master of Ceremonies (don’t know what else to call her) for the day. She’s in charge of etiquette and all things wedding related, and we have to defer to her for everything. She’s also a very good singer – we called her tai ka che (big sister).

Tea Ceremony

Here’s the show of respect to the parents of the groom in a tea drinking ceremony. This is done before we all departed for the bride’s place. The bride’s family does not follow in this entourage.

Heng Tai

This is the group of heng tai flanking the groom Wing Fei before we hit the road. There is also one female brother in our group, it’s not usual nowadays to have mixed groups. The bride’s ji mui team also had two male sisters.

Bride House

Here’s us arriving at Yee Leng’s place. The bride’s house has been setup with firecrackers and the ji muis were all waiting for us inside.

Wedding Games

Let the (wedding door) games begin!

Writing On Panties

The first game involved all the heng tai putting on disposable underwear while the groom wrote “I <3 Yee Leng” on our rear-ends.

Disposable Underwear Game

It’s a classic Chinese wedding door game. I’ve seen this one (and variations thereof) many times before, it’s become a bit of a standard.

Wasabi Sandwich

The second game was eating a wasabi laced sandwich. I had two coz I was so hungry and I didn’t mind the spiciness at all. I thought it was a pretty good sandwich, which defeated the purpose of the Chinese wedding door game (it’s meant to be a challenge). smirk

Blindfold Game

I’m glad I didn’t do the third one coz I did the first two. Three guys were blindfolded and a ji mui is assigned to each one and they’re supposed to guess who kissed them.

Kissing Game

Or something like that, I totally lost the plot coz it was so funny. It turns out that there were TWO male ji muis (which we haven’t seen to this point – they were hiding in the house) and they only came out to kiss the heng tais.

Ji Mui

The fourth Chinese wedding door game had us drawing lots. I got one that said “TONGUE” with a drawing of a tongue. That didn’t bode very well.

Wedding Door Games

I also saw armpit, stomach and sifatt (technically asshole but we’ll use buttocks for the sake of propriety).

Sifatt

The person who drew the lot had to put whipped cream on that particular part of their anatomy while another heng tai licked it off.

Chinese Wedding Door Games

Our hero female heng tai did the stomach one…

Whipped Cream

…while one of the heng tais did my tongue. The ji muis made sure there was enough so no contact will be made. Haha. I spat out the remaining whipped cream.

Makeup

The fifth game had the ji muis drawing on our faces with make-up.

Chinese Wedding Games

I was transformed into a very old man.

Balloons

The sixth game had the groom using a cucumber held between his legs to pop (crotch shaped) balloons we held between our thighs. It had to be done within a minute.

Popping Balloons

Me and our only female heng tai.

Female Heng Tai

Some ang pow was also given to forgo the more extreme ones – you can buy a pass if you don’t want to participate in a game but it comes out of the groom’s petty cash.

Wedding Games Penalty

Thus, with the games done, we went into the bride’s house!

Wing Fei Singing

Wing Fei had one last challenge to go through before the door to the bride’s room was opened – he sang a song, and the obstacles were all finally overcome.

Bride Groom

This is the bride and the groom in their room.

Wedding Car

I thought it was very sweet that Wing Fei and Yee Leng has been together for so many years. They’re childhood sweethearts and I believe this is the only relationship they’ve ever been in, and now they’re married.

Wing Fei

Demystification: The bride is called Yee Leng while my better half is called Yee Ling. Wing Fei is the younger brother of my partner. I felt like I had to clarify due to the similarities in the names.

Fei HB

In a lot of ways, I am a “brother” in the truest sense of the term to the groom. Perhaps “future brother-in-law” would be a more appropriate term, since Yee Ling is his older sister. I’m glad Wing Fei gave me the honor of being one of his heng tais. I even wore his personal pilot uniform! I had a lot of fun on that day, not just at the door games but helping out at the wedding with my dear.

Wing Fei Yee Leng

Congratulations to Wing Fei and Yee Leng on their wedding! :)

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