Sunday, 31 January 2010

Feeling Out Of Sorts

Today is a strangely boring day, woke up with this nagging hankering for some kind of meat - lamb, chicken or beef. I guess the monster carnivore is hungry again after the last meat-ing with Yan and Ida. Feel so conflicted for either Ayamas Golden Roasters, Double Beef Prosperity or some marinated Lamb Shoulder Chops. All to be eaten with lashings of Maggi chilli sauce and Puteri black pepper sauce and maybe a sizeable side of coarse cut potato fries.

 Alternatively, some jumbo portion of Pasta Marinara with shellfish instead of just fish and squid and minuscule shrimp (like them stupid imitations plaguing far too many eateries these days).

Hell, I would settle for Pasta Arabiatta even, plain but spiked with chillies. Hmm. That would work.

Alas, it was not to be, was stuck eating at home, starting the day out with a Roti Prata and Lunch with Nasi Putih Berlauk. Oh well... Now what? The clock is ticking, just about 2 hours to closing time.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Chikin Rice!

Chicken Rice how much do I love thee? Let me count the ways..

I love thy poultry white or dark, steamed or baked or even fried, swimming in sweet savoury soy sauce or not. I love thee with soup or without, with spicy garlic chilli dip or minced ginger sauce. I adore thine's warm and smooth soft rice. I love the crunchy contrast of the cucumber against the yielding chicken flesh. Oh I adore the mention of thy name.

Chikin chikin chikin rice! I love thee!

Out & About: I LOVE DEAD COWS! Dinner with Yan & Ida

"So Razee, wanna join us for dinner? We know this great Steak place in Kelana Jaya", was the short message I got from Avian, an old buddy from way back. It took me all of 2 seconds to decide Hell YES!.

The place was called Las Vacas, a small shop in Kelana Jaya, SS5A/11, (if I remember it correctly from memory) somewhere close to the FAM Field . This quaint place has this homely feel to it, a direct result of the owner's love towards the place.  Apparently they started as a Butcher, selling good meats and somewhere along the line, the owners decided they should also cook them for their regulars. Perhaps it was a suggestion from return customers, perhaps it was the owner's idea all along, perhaps it was great timing but I am glad they took the plunge.
Lotsa cows!

Immediately upon entering you are greeted by the wonderful smells of meat in all its glory. Make no mistake this was no ripe wet market smells but the refined scent of good fresh meat. Quite intoxicating to a meat eater like me. After getting ourselves a table I hovered over the meats like a hawk and ohhh what sights I saw. Rows of meaty deep reds - Wagyu, Angus et al. 

"And this selection of wonderful meats was brought to you by ........ "
Hunk of Rump!
I am the kind of person who appreciates my steaks with more bite to them and thus I asked for recommendations from the butcheress. She suggested Rumpsteak, a cut I wasn't particularly familiar with. I surmised she must know her heifers well enough and so agreed for it to be done medium rare. Yan and Ida ordered their meal and some starters for us to share - Beef Roulades and Beef Bruschetta (Yup, we went all out Carnivore that night!).
Daging Gulung lah pulak!
A take on the usual tomato bruschetta
Avian's Baaaaaaaaaaaa-d (in a good way!) Lamb Chops!
A few munch laden minutes later, my steak arrived. A huge 400ish gram slab of meat (and to think she earlier suggested a 600gm portion to me! Eeep!), with a side salad dressed with Caesar's and  Slice of Garlic toast. It was cooked to perfection, a true testament the fact how much the Chef (who later turned out to be the Butcher/Owner) loves and respects dead ruminants.
That, my friends is an honest to goodness steak!
The moment I cut into the seared flesh I was greeted with the wonderful trickling juices and the coming joy. Biting into the first piece was a culinary assault through and through. Transporting me to lush verdant hills full of happy cows and moo-ing meat. It was at once rapturous and pornographic. The meat offered worthy resistance, firmer to the bite than your average Sirloin and namb-pamby Wagyu. This is it, I exclaimed. Cooked in little oil and butter, the meat was unencumbered by other flavours and shone like a beacon. Heaven had come to live in my mouth. And each piece that followed  was equally transcendental. Good meat like this deserves little accompaniment, maybe good mustard or a splash of balsamic vinegar.
Finally, a proper medium-rare slab of meaty goodness!
Yan and Ida apparently love this place so much that they have visited it 3 times already within January (and probably by time I blog this, a fourth and fifth visit, tehehe!) and they wanted to unleash it upon another meat eater. Boy was I glad they invited me. Good ambience, great staff, fabulous food and wonderful hosts, can one go wrong?

Will I come back here? You betcha. And if you are as much a meat eater like me, then you should bring your britches rootin-tootin over here lickety-split. This place affirms there is God! Wooooeee!

La piece de resistance! A totally empty plate!

Eggy Brekky

So, as soon as I dumped my car off to the Proton guys, I traipsed over to Tesco Mutiara and went to Jombali. Ordered my usual of Jombali B'fast Set. A basic combo of 2 Half-Boiled Eggs, Buttered Brown Toast and Coffee (of course Razee being Razee, changed it to an iced version instead of the hot, what to do, tak reti minum air panas lah!).

This time I ordered my eggs to be 3/4 cooked, which would result in the yolks firming up and whites all opaque. Haven't had eggs this style in a long while and so it was a great start for the day.


Amazing what happens to eggs when one applies heat treatment to it. Raw, eggs are so smooth and slurpy, it would just slide down the gullet, but with a little heat and patience, it blossoms. The silken yolks acquire this amazing texture, more akin to raw silk, hints of graininess. It is the same sensation I get when I savour the yolks of salted duck eggs. It was difficult to resist pouring it all down my maw a fast as one does, instead of slowly relishing the mouth feel.

Now this would be absolutely perfect it was 3 eggs instead of just 2. Mmmmm joy!

Driving & The Average Malaysian

This morning I woke up with more purpose than usual, having secured an appointment to service my Persona at the Proton Platinum Service Center, to have the faulty Thermostat finally replaced.

 Woke up early today, despite being on leave, so that I wouldn't miss my time slot at 8 o'clock. Left home at approximately 7.15 and as dumb luck would have it, got stuck in traffic. The journey should only take in the region of 25 minutes from where I live, but today, I arrived at 8.45, almost a  whole hour later than intended. Of course I should have taken into consideration the office bound crush, but oh well...

Anyways, the delay was acceptable I guess, on account on my own buffoonery, but let me tell you, the ways Malaysians drive is worth blogging about. No, we are not a respectable and law abiding gaggle of drivers, we metamorphose into something else altogether. Somehow, immediately behind the wheel, our inner beasts are unleashed.

Good God! There are slow drivers, fast drivers, hard drivers, aggressive drivers and the median types - comfortable between slow and fast. But what is wrong with us that we forget all modicum of budi bahasa and kindness and just look out for number one when we drive. Lane Changers, Queue Jumpers, Red Light Gunners, yeesh, and to me the most abhorrent of em all, those Let's-Ignore-Using-The-Turn-Signal-Lighters. To me these typify the worse in all us Malaysians, where we automatically abandon our usual timidity and 'Asian' values (does it even has any meaning anymore this day and age?) blatantly disregard the simple 'Excuse me' request by using the signal lights? Men, Women, Young, Old, Malays, Indians, Chinese, it really all goes out the window.
Nah lu!
So, why does it cause an uproar every time a foreign publication or announcement declares we Malaysians are a horrid bunch of drivers? Come on, accept it already. And let us try, taking baby steps, to reduce queue jumping, lane switching, signal forgetting, etc.. etc.. ad nauseam and strive to be a little courteous on the road. After all Malaysia Boleh what?

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Langit Biru? Not Always For Some

Off from work today, I decided to drive to my fave haunt to get some pet supplies as well as some dinner. Bought some food for mum, which I ended up finishing most of anyways. Feeling rather buoyed, smiled for the most part, except when I was bitchin' about Maxis's service earlier in the day.

Anyways, shortly after my second dinner (where I demolished the stuff Mak couldn't finish in short order), my mum related the fact that she received a phonecall from my Aunt (her younger sister, based in JB). As it were, my aunt went to Segamat over the weekend to accompany another relative. Probing further, I suddenly wished I hadn't....

This relative apparently drove up all the way to Segamat to bring her gravely sick child, to meet her former husband. This child, who was diagnosed with Leukemia some years ago is rapidly declining. Treatment no longer works, reduced to only receiving daily blood transfusions, to replace the ones consumed by the illness. The doctors have postulated that at best, the child has another 3 months to live.

Not exactly post dinner talk huh? I was dumbstruck, for once unable to quip a clever retort.

I sometimes wonder what use is there for a child to suffer so much pain, and to have to leave so quickly before any chance to deliver upon life's promise.

Religion has taught me to accept it, and for the most I part I do, though deep in me somewhere I still wonder. Qada' and Qadar. What is written is a promise never broken. It is His will, and only in His infinite wisdom lies the lesson. When children die, they return to His blessed embrace for ever more.

Still, it is a bitter pilll to swallow. I cannot help but think, that a parent somewhere is helplessly watching the the clock ticking, watching the sands of time slipping through her helpless fingers. The greatest pain a parent would ever know is having to bury their child it is said. I can only imagine...

What would be the right way? A sudden loss so quick there isn't time for heartfelt goodbyes or a slow creep, allowing time for closure of indvidual chapters? Begs the question; Does it hurt any less either way?

Update: Friday, 5 February 2010.

The inevitable has arrived. My mum received mention that the child has passed away in the morning, months short of what the doctors guesstimated.

I dont know why but it makes me sad. The morning felt leaden, and as if to mourn the passing of the child, the heavens were pouring, patterings of rain drops echoing the feelings of those who have lost. Then it dawned on me, today is a Friday. A day considered by many to be blessed. There is great comfort in knowing this, as I know the parents will too.

Rest in peace child, you are in His love  now. Al-Fatihah.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Hospital Visit

Woke up fairly early today (if one considers 10.30 AM on a Saturday early that is) as I decided late night yesterday to visit a colleague in a hospital. Apparently a few weeks ago, she went to her Gynae to have a check up on the nagging pain she has been experiencing for the past few weeks.

After a battery of tests, she was advised to for a minor surgery (Laparoscopy, I assume it is a minor surgery), on account of it requiring only a 'keyhole' type of incision. As it turns out, it was a tad worse and so it needed a more aggressive treatment, albeit still via the keyhole. Thanks to the grace of God and her good Gynae, what ever it was that needed doing was done. And now she has a DVD recording of all the gory bits being taken care of!

Walked in her ward and found her already up and about to tuck into lunch. She looked well enough, despite the discomfort she must be feeling (This woman was made of Stern stuff, so she was handling it well). Gave her some 'Buah Tangan' that I foraged at a nearby 7Eleven. Chocolate wafers were what I got for her, although I am sure her doctor would probably give me the Evil-eye for doing so.

That got me thinking, what would be considered an appropriate gift for people stuck in hospitals? I mean. seriously, flowers are for the dead (which in a way is still tragically self defeating considering the dead cant see them gorgeous buds you bought), or fruits (some of which the recipient may not actually enjoy), home cooked meal (which may cause upsets or worse, may not be eaten due to Malaysian's tendencies to 'Pantang' and all that), toiletries (may not be hypoallergenic), blankets (as if the Hospital thermals arent already great).

In the end, I surmised she may enjoy some of Chocolate wafers she often buys and shares with us at work. At least, I know she will enjoy them sooner or later.

We then proceeded to chat as usual, about the comings and goings of other people around us, as well as her long wait for the surgery. Oringinally planned to happen at 11 AM carried on all the way to almost 5 PM, which was nuts. But she was most forgiving and didnt bitch at all about the delay (in retrospect, I, would be all raised hackles and spittings!).

After a bit, I decided, it was my time to push off, so she could rest while waiting for the arrival of her Beau in a few moments. Rest and recuperate well friend.

I Am Actually Blogging!


That is how some who know me will react. Some time ago, I openly declared  bloggers are a self indulgent lot. I dismissed the journos/bloggos as simply for people who constantly need to affirm their self worth and swore NEVER to submit. Well, you know what they say about eating your own words! Heh!

Here I am, writing my first entry. Funny how life works sometimes.