Friday, September 5, 2008

Baum Kuchen- Japanese Cake

Today my Japanese neighbour passed me a box which was wrapped in lovely pastel coloured paper. She told me "Japanese cake" and she had bought it on her recent trip back to Japan. It was sorta a gift to thank me for the pohpiah I made her and her family a couple of weeks ago? hahaha.
I opened the wrapper and the dainty box stares back at me. Opening the Baum Kuchen box, I was surprised to find two individually wrapped cakes sitting attractively amist another layer of wrapping. Ahhh the Japanese and their packaging!
Baum Kuchen, I guess, is something like our Kuah Lapis but only more intricate and more presentable-looking. There was even a description in the box in the form of a brochure, of how the cakes are made! Anyway, the sugary coating on top and the pale yellow layers of cake were too much for me to bear-especially after 3 long hours of tuition with the twins (who were fasting). And so, before my other fasting student, Dania, arrived, I broke off a quarter and munched. ahhhhhhhhhhhh. The cake melted in my mouth and it was delicious. I think it was the fact that "(they had) made this baumkuchen with all (their) hearts" - their very palatable tagline. ;D
After tuition, we went to MVMM to change money (SGD is getting stronger agst the RM but trailing behind the USD sadly). and then picked up some fruit (peaches, pears, grapes) from Money Back Guarantee- a fruit shop in The Gardens- and then, we decided to go to Robson's for a nice meal without the frills.
Dinner was beef horfun for two, vension with spring onions and a plate of kai lan. We went home to relax and chill and watch the VERY BORING English version of Shutter. ZzzzzzzZzzz.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Catching Up

Nooooooo this blog entry is not about Age catching up with me- though I gripe about it every other day. It's about meeting my Auntie Florence and my cousin Eunice. I pushed away all my tuition appointments and arranged to meet them at 12noon at Pavilion Shopping Mall Coffee Bean.
I arrived early at 1145 and waited till around 1205- still no sight of them! Thankfully, my phone rang and I found out that they were waiting at ANOTHER coffeebean in Pavilion. It was an outlet I didn't know existed (becos it was so new)! I rushed over, and they confessed that they had just had a heavy brunch and therefore couldn't stomach anymore food. We decided to have coffee then, at - you've guessed it- COFFEEBEAN!

We all had hot tea and a muffin each and proceeded to catch up. We all is/are/was/were teachers in Singapore under MOE and therefore griping about the hot topic," The Life Teachers Lead" was on the cards. Since my dear cousin is still bonded, there's little she can do but wait it out. Don't worry MORE DOORS will open SOON!

As they were slated back in Westin by 230, they left and I decided to roam the mall. My first buy was a facial from New York Skin Solutions which I paid Rm38 for. Apparently the facial + 1 set of facial products + a skin analysis session (altoge 3hrs) was going for a song. So, I bought one for me and one for you (yes The Laogong). Wah got free umbrella somemore! DuH

Then, I told Shireen that I was not joining her for a hair wash n blow and decided to shop somemore and then catch a movie (Deception). I bought a pair of walking sandals at Stadium and did some window-shopping.

The movie was pretty predictable but Hugh Jackman was quite delicious in his $4ooo-suits. I thought the babe looked kinda old and weird and she had a fair bit of wrinkle lines. OMYTIAN! After the movie, around 445pm, I proceeded to the taxi stand and a Malay taxi-driver haggled his way into driving me back home for RM20!

A Day of Play

Today I am going to enjoy myself. I think I deserve it because I had FOUR tuition classes yesterday! From 1030-12 (with the twins), 1230-130 (Hayden), 4-6(suli) and 6-8 (Dania). I was zonked out after that but the Kuas brought Domino's over and we munched happily for over an hour, chatting.

Today, I will meet up with Auntie Florence and Eunice (my cousin) at Pavilion for a catch up. They are both in town but will be flying back to Spore today in the early evening. I shall bring them to Dragon-I for some lunchie?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Malacca 2D1N Getaway

31 August 2008 - Happy National Day to all Malaysians & 1 September 2008 (Happy Teachers' Day to all Teachers!)

We just got back a few hours ago from Malacca, a 1.5 hr drive away from the hustle and bustle of KL. Ahhhh for those who still have the perception that Malacca is a quaint and quiet lil' town, I must CORRECT YOU. The traffic jam going INTO Malacca stalled us for almost an hour or so, even though the roads were clear from KL.

This trip was really impromtu. We woke up (after intense licking from the lil one) and made breakfast and then sat down to decide what we should do for the day. I surfed for the Top Attractions in KL but all the 80 or so were not appealing. In the end, we decided to steal away to Malacca.

Immediately (& totally unlike the way we booked our USA trip hotels), we chanced upon Hotel Puri's website. This hotel was one we had walked into before on our last trip to Malaccas, whilst looking for a spa. It had left a good impression. :D We called and reserved a room and then (because the guilt had taken over), we took Jay Jay for a walk downstairs in the garden.

We met a nice family downstairs which consisted of two young girls. Emma was playing enthusiastically with JJ and got her hair chewed by the lil pup. The other girl (didn't catch her name) who was only a toddler, did not know how to react to Jay Jay's affections and alternated between wailing and giggling. Debbie (the mum) announced that they were just about to embark on their journey to Malacca and Alan and I gasped. We quickly exchanged notes about hotels and then they were off.

Packing at top-speed, we left KL for Malacca (stopping by for approx half an hour at the orphanage to pass some home-made cookies to the kids) and headed for Hotel Puri. We arrived at 5+pm, conquering the amazingly jammed narrow streets of Malacca. We put down our stuff and quickly headed out to explore the area. Normally, we would stay in Equatorial but this time, this boutique hotel was directly behind the Jonker Walk! What a great location!

Jonker Walk hawkers were just about setting up their stalls and we purchased a few cutesy items and had our road-side lunch cum dinner. We had some fried radish cake and later on chicken rice balls . Yumz. Just about the cross the road to leave JW, Alan nudged me roughly and I looked up to see Debbie and her family crossing the road! Wow. Talk about fate!

We then walked out on the Jonker Walk to the neighbouring areas, taking photographers along the way. After a utterly disappointing Soursop "smoothie" at the Dutch Harbour Cafe and a few photos of the setting sun, Alan and I went back to Jonker Walk to take in the sights and sounds (and shop lah!) in its full glory.

At this time, the hawkers had all displayed their wares and the tourists and locals were busy haggling and picking up beautiful handicraft items. I found this uncle whom I had bought some handmade keychains from a couple of years ago and bought a cute lil pounch (FINALLY) for my iPHONE.

Alan and I sat down to savour durian chendol at the Bibik House. The pineapple tarts, however, had plummetted in standard and we were very disappointed. We travelled into the back alleys in search of melt-in-the-mouth tarts to buy back for colleagues and friends and OURSELVES n found a stall. We ordered two boxes and told the lady we wld be collecting them the next morning.

Since the Foot Reflexology was so cheap (RM38/hour), we couldn't walk past the shop without treating ourselves to a good massage. The two ladies rubbed our pains away and convinced us to get our bodies massaged as well for an additional RM20 each.

It was 11+pm when we arrived at our hotel, exhausted but very fulfilled.

1 September 2008

We woke up and showered and went downstairs for a light breakfast at the hotel. Then we explored the hotel vicinity. We picked up some cutie bedroom slippers and went back to the pineapple tart stall. We waited and waited for our tarts and were asked five times by the forgetful aunty for our order. hahaha.

After leaving with 5 boxes of pineapple tarts worth every bit of their calories, we strode back to our hotel for a quick shower and then checked out a lilttle late. Then, lunch was on the cards and we drove a short distance for some traditional nyona food.

Restaurant Ole Sayang was VERY crowded and we waited for quite a bit to be served. We had assam fish (not nice even though it was their famed dish), assam sotong (not nice cos very weird taste), chicken pongteh (not nice cos very salty), otah otah (not nice cos very "floury") and sambal kangkong (NICE-finally!). We washed it down with barley lime (not nice- perhaps they forgot to add sugar?) and chinchow (ok lah. not bad) Even though renowned, I won't go back again. :P

The drive back was quite ok save for the heavy downpour and very nearby lightning flashes that scared the $ht outta me. It was so flooded that a car from the other lane (travelling in the opposite direction) splashed a whole lot of rainwater on our car and we lost visual for a few seconds!

Jay Jay was mighty glad to see us and licked my face all over to welcome us home. The poor baby was home alone for so long for the very first time and we felt awful to leave him in solitude and guilty the whole of the trip. :S