28.4.11

Platonic relationships.....

 Well, to most of the folks, once they are engaged or married, it's sort of 'forbidden' to be friends with the opposite sex. Jealously usually crept in whenever one spotted going out or dined with his/her friend. One of my ex-lady colleague and now good friend, who always lunched with me, never tell her boyfriend for fear of his jealousy. I find it's really up to the individual as well as the comfort level of their spouse to have a platonic friendship. It's even difficult to befriend someone of the opposite sex once you are married.
Agent Scully and Mulder in X-Files ....

To me, I do maintained friendships (or rather platonic) with a two ladies friends, despite we all got married. Well, I know them when we were still single, went out, lunched or dined together in a group before or just the two of us sometimes, for a movie. I still lunched with them now regularly as well as we chatted on the phone to catch up. We usually never failed to talk about our family relationships, work, life problems and etc, just like any other good friends. Once, I was surprise to find out too I am the only guy friend for one of my lady friends! She told me besides her boyfriend (now husband), I'm the next guy she hang out with...hahaha! The catching ups are usually fun and never-ending!


I find that it's great to hear the opinions of the fairer sex sometimes especially when it comes to certain issues especially on relationship or parenting. And, on their end, they would welcome advices on guys thingy like cars, gadgets, sports and etc. Sometimes I do seek their advices if I wanna get something for my wife and they do gave lots and lots of ideas. I remember one of my friend even accompany me to buy a present!
 
On the other hand to be on the 'safe' side, it's always better not to meet up too regularly while maintaining the friendship. As for me, I usually catch up once in two or three months. I guess platonic relationship exists... at least for me.

You guys have a nice long weekend, wind down and relax!

26.4.11

Coffee break at Lavender Bistro

I usually patronised Lavender bistro whenever I was in JB while shopping around the Jusco shopping centres. Lavender Bistros are everywhere in JB, just like McD. It's always nice to refresh myself with a cup of fresh brewed coffee to relax, while continued to shop later.We were at Lavender in Tebrau City.

delicious pan cakes for coffee ...
I ordered this delicious crispy pancakes for around RM9.90 for my coffee break, where I shared it with my wife and daughter. I usually go for their kaya toast but today I opted for a change. It comes with a small slice of butter, honey and cream for you to dip in. I love dipping it into the honey and cream! The pancakes were really crispy!!
a love shape pancake...leftover for my wifey :P

 wifey and Nicole having a good time...


My Americano....
Well, after a nice good break on a Monday, I will be back to work again and it's been really a refreshing long weekend! Looking forward to Mayday weekend!

25.4.11

Arashi Shabu-shabu

I really love shopping on weekdays especially in those busy malls where you can hardly move during weekends or public holidays! It was a contrasting view when you are there during weekdays and you can have almost the entire mall to yourself! Take your time to check out the stuffs you wanted to buy in an unhurried pace. In addition, you can check-in to those popular eateries with the best seats there!

I was on leave today and I almost spend an hour plus at Arashi Shabu-Shabu at Tebrau City, JB with my wife and my little girl, Nicole.We just sent our kid to school and we decided to hang out at this shopping mall till he finished school four hours later. Since it was weekdays again, there are lots of discounts around and we managed to order two special set meals at 50% off. Both sets came free each with chawanmushi and green tea ice-creams, besides the main dish.

Chawanmushi
The environment there is superb and relaxing though the place can be very crowded during weekends. Their chawanmushi is good and tasty and this is another recommended one from me. Not all chawanmushi at other eateries are that good.
ready to lit up the mini steamboat
I ordered a Seafood and meat shabu-shabu which comes with an assortment of tuna, salmon, beef, mushrooms, vegetables, squids, chicken slices, tofu and prawns. The set cost RM26.85, inclusive of the chawanmushi and green tea ice-cream. I opted for their Japanese broth soup.
Assortment of seafood and meat shabu-shabu
My favourite - sakae sashimi
My wife prefers something lighter and decided to go for the vegetables shabu-shabu in Miso soup, which cost around RM 15.35,which also comes with a free chawanmushi and green tea ice-cream.
Assortment of vegetables shabu-shabu
It seems kinda a long wait to me for the ingredients to cook as I can't wait to try out the dishes, especially the aromatic and fragrant hot soup. The first sipped was fantastic!
Getting ready to eat...
It's really a pleasure to eat at an unhurried pace in a less crowded restaurant and take your time to sample out the food. This is my so-called perfect meal as I would always like to eat slowly and relax. 

Green tea ice-cream
 By the time we are done, it's almost 3pm and we continued our shopping.....at a snail pace and take our own sweet time while I can't wait for a nice cuppa of coffee soon!

Arashi Shabu-Shabu is located at Aeon Tebrau City, Lot 623, G floor.


24.4.11

My first taste of durian in 2011.....

OK, finally I tasted durian for the first time this year and I got it from Jusco, not from the stalls in the streets...hahaha! Well, don't get me wrong, I love durians but somehow I don't have 'kakis' to eat with me. I was shopping at Jusco last Saturday night and saw some freshly wrapped durians sold there at 50% discount for the 'Udang Merah' variety. It cost RM30 before discount and we ended up paying RM15 for the box, since Jusco was closing already.

The durian was good but of course, they mixed with other seeds. Well, I guess this is common as they wanted to put the better ones and the common ones together in a pack. Anyway, great that I've durians finally and also tried the 'Udang Merah' type.

Niniq Bistro

I always love having hi-tea on a Saturday afternoon with my family. Well, of course I like it cos I don't have to work the following day and it's a great time to unwind and relax by having a nice cuppa of coffee and good food with no hurry or concerns, in a nice setting at a cafe. I was at work this morning for a special event and after an hour treat in a spa for thai massage (thanks to wifey who asked me to go as she will be late in fetching me home from the JB CIQ), this completed a refreshing afternoon!

We are back at Niniq Bistro in Taman Pelangi again after a long while, and glad to see that they have a new menu. Here's what we've ordered:-

Cream of mushroom soup with garlic toasts
 The creamy mushroom soup cost RM6.00 and it's indeed thick and filling. It's my son's favourite and though he can't finished it, it really kept him full for the afternoon especially that he ate both the garlic toasts.

Pasta Fussili
My wifey ordered the above pasta as she would like to have something light. Cost - RM12.80.The tomato paste was quite strong and it did gave it a great taste.

Ayam Goreng Platter
As I was quite hungry since I had my breakfast at 8.30am and it's about 3pm then, I decided to go for their signature Ayam Goreng Platter. It comes with yellow ginger rice which exudes a nice coconut milk fragrant. The fried chicken was also crispy and not forgetting a delicious but spicy sambal egg, which was not shown in the picture. Cost - RM13.80.

Last but not least, a meal will never be complete for me without a cup of java - Flat White Espresso. RM - 5.80.

Niniq Bistro & Bakery is located at - 40, Jalan Perang, Taman Pelangi, JB.

18.4.11

A peaceful weekend....

I dunno why I titled my posting tonight as above, well, probably this is the Easter Week. Well, everything just go so synchronize like a piece of music wherever I went for the last weekend. I do have a terrible Friday night as I can't sleep after a cup of Kopi 'kao' and watching the Passion of Christ DVD. Barely slept for 4 hours, I woke up, drove my kid to kindergarten and had an early breakie with family. Then, got my badminton rackets re-string, paid my bills and run some errands. And, before I know it, I gotta fetch my kid back from school.

Seeing both my kids as well as myself are just recovering from cough and throat infection, we decided to visit our family chinese medication doc. in kluang and then stayed overnight at my sis-in-law's place in Skudai. It was raining all the way to Kluang but I enjoyed the drive.... despite only 4 hours of rest. Chatting all the way to the destination seems make the journey so short. I do felt tired in the coming back trip and gotta slow down to 90Kmh but still enjoyed the drive.

Reached Kluang at 6pm and the drizzles stopped. And now, out of a sudden, I enjoyed a good time viewing the old street, the old colonial building and  the usual busy traffic which suddenly come to standstill. I feel like I was at the mountain , enjoying the breezy wind and quiet moments. Well, not sure whether I was raised and lived in those old colonial buildings since I was a baby and I sorta love the surroundings. Well, maybe this is what most people termed as getaway to a smaller town too.

Maybe it's just me, but I felt a moment of peacefulness somehow.I really feel relaxing!
Back to JB, I also realised I lost 3kg after almost 1 decade in a short time. LOL Thanks to my diet and strenuous exercises of late. Yeap, been eating healthily but I guess my wife enjoyed the sandwiches the most, as below during our lunch today at Moxie in Taman Sutera. She even finished all the vegetables which I can't take anymore. I was too full after finishing two gigantic sandwiches!
Sandwiches at Moxie, Taman Sutera JB

And Nicole having a good time there at Moxie Cafe in Taman Sutera, Skudai.



I am sure this will be a peaceful week for everyone!

14.4.11

Kitaro's Concert at Marina Bay Sands

This was the second time I attended his concert where back in 2007, I attended one in Genting Highlands which also featured in my old blog. Being quite a fan of Kitaro, a Grammy award winner, I thought it's time again to attend another heart-stopping one and a half hour treat of taiko drums, electric guitars, modern and traditional percussion instruments and of course, his synthesizer.Well, Kitaro really can played all sorts of instrument.
Marina Bay Sands

I arrived just in the nick of time and though I stayed here, I never visited MBS before. I gotta asked for directions to the concert hall and I'm not the only one too. The hall was nice, cosy and of course modern, compared to Arena Of Stars in Genting. At least, I had a fixed cushion seat like those in cinema, unlike in Genting, we are seated on temporarily removable chairs. And, the good thing is, I'm just facing him as I was seated in the middle, though I'm far apart from the stage.
The beginning - A presentation of taiko drums beats


The sound system was fantastic at MBS and the audio-visual effects are simply awesome! There was a presentation of taiko drums with an injection of flute display for the opening by some Singapore-Japanese society. Once Kitaro was out there, he belted non-stop music, one after the other until a short break where he talked about the Earthquake in Japan and thank the World for the support. He was back with his music after that, and just music all the way till the end.

A display of drums and flute
I can't really recognized most of the songs he played though I boasted almost 80% of his albums. I guess probably, these were new songs. I especially love his classical numbers of Heaven and Earth, Caravansary and not forgetting the energy-filled Matsuri! In fact, when he played Matsuri, the audiences applauded and we are treated to a climax of a combination of traditional and modern drums. It was great!!  As usual, the concert ends with the Light of the Spirit, just like his previous concert in Genting.
The ending - Kitaro (in middle) with his crew

It was a great show though I was expecting him to play some of  the songs from his latest few albums. Well, anyway, those are played in the Genting concert.
I tried to zoom further (10x for my 60mm lens) but the lights are too bright which faded their face

I managed to snap a few pixs only as the watchers in the concert hall are very effective and efficient in preventing the audiences to take photographs.Kitaro will be performing in Genting this Saturday at Arena of Stars. Here's a latest pix of him in concert downloaded from his facebook page.

Have a good weekend, folks!

12.4.11

My kid first experience in the cinema....

Finally, I brought my kid to his first movie in a cinema! Well, it's really long delay as I should have brought him earlier but however, due to my baby daughter, we have to arrange for a babysitter where finally I got my sis-in-law to look after her. Thus, my kid, wifey and myself hit the cinema together for the first time. I used to watch a lot ofr movies with my wife before we have our kids then, but that's history!

I was observing him while on the way to the cinema and he really shows glimpses of anxieties as well as excitement. The first complaint from him is the cinema is too dark! And, my wife gotta keep on pacifying him and assured him that everything's ok. His second problem, the flip chair always caused him to slip down as he's too light and finally, he sat on my wifey's lap where he felt most comfortable and also, assured.


Then, halfway , said about an hour, he wanted to go home and complaining the movie was too long. Again, we have to pacify him that the movie is ending soon and my wife tried to keep him focused by explaining on what's happening at the show during that time.

Phew...when the lights up, he seems relieved, though he enjoyed the movie and had some good laughs! He actuaqlly told us that he's not comfortable with the dark settings at the cinema but would like to go for another movie some other time.

Kungfu Panda 2.... we're waiting!!

11.4.11

My Coffeess.....

Well, like a majority of folks, I can't survive without coffee even if I'm sick. However, I always try to limit myself to not more than three cups a day, most of the time, two cups per day. Coffee is a MUST for breakfast, no matter what! Anyway, I really don't why I like coffee so much as I don't drink it to stay alert as I would prefer a good night sleep and a good workout. Well, I guess it's probably the aroma! And, lately, I love less sweet sugar! Was it a sign of ageing or my 'standard' of coffee appreciation increased?

Well, here's some of the usual coffees that I took, nothing too fancy and expensive or premium. There you go -

Lavender Bistro's coffee - I always visit Lavender bistro while in JB and of course, coffee is always on my menu whenever I ordered my food. I like the freshness of the just grinded coffee beans melted in the aromatic black java! Well, I guess theirs is Arabian coffee. Btw, Im no expert in differentiating coffee beans.



'Ya Kun' Coffee - 'Ya Kun' is popular in Singapore and is everywhere in Singapore. This is my breakfast! I usually had Ya Kun coffee and their kaya toast at least 2-3 times a week before going to work. It's my way to indulge in some quiet moments before the facing the day. Almost all the aunties at the stall knew me!! LOL 



Old Town 'Nanyang Kopi-C' - Usually I get myself a cup while waiting for my wife to fetch me back from the JB custom every Friday evening. This is my favourite coffee in Old Town, I find it better and more 'kao' than their White Coffee.



Mentioning about coffee, definitely I cannot left out Starbucks. I usually patronise Starbuck for breakfast on Fridays, as it is the last day of the working week and thought it's a good idea to start a TGIF with a cuppa of Starbuck coffee. The coffee is strong, compared to the Hainanese roasted ones and it really keep me alert! 

Toastbox - Usually I had this during coffee-break whenever I am out for meetings in the afternoon. How great to savor a cup of coffee in the middle of a stressful day and after a meeting. :) This place is usually crowded!!

Well, as for this one.....errr... did I need to say more? A finished cup of coffee by me la..... hahaha...

 Have a great week, folks!

10.4.11

the headache before dinner....

Typical husband and wife conversation before dinner :

Hubby - what you like to have for dinner, dear?
Wife - You decide la...
Hubby - ok, let's check out 123 restaurant, the food is resasonable and the lady boss also pretty.(:p)
Wife : Dun want... the kid will eat fried rice again. It's heaty.
Hubby: ok, how about abc Japanese food?
Wife : So expensive.....and crowded. Got to wait outside somemore....
Hubby: hmmmmm.... xyz vegetarian food?
Wife : this one we eat tomorrow la...
Hubby: then wat to eat ????
Wife : You decide lor...
Hubby: *faintz*

Have a beautiful Sunday, folks and let the wife/girlfriend decide for dinner later .....LOL

7.4.11

Qing Ming festival.....

Love this pic!! Read on.....
It's really been awhile since I last updated my post. Well, life's been the same, work, play and rest. I had an enjoyable time in Seremban over the last weekend for the Qing Ming Festival. It was at Nilai Memorial Park where we pay homage and respect to my mum-in-law who passed away in 2003.
My two camera shy kids....
When I was a kid, I used to remember that going to the cemetery at this time of the year can be a scary experience. Well, those old eerie cemetery doesn't help too and there's a lot of pantang like don't anyhow say things and we cleaned ourselves with fresh flowers bath and pomelo leaves - in order to get rid of 'dirty stuffs' after returning back.

Nowadays, most of the modern cemeteries or better known as memorial park, are pleasant looking and peaceful. I was at this Nilai Memorial Park and the place was clean and it don't really look so 'scary', as compared to those 'old generation' cemeteries. Some pictures taken here -


Love this pic too! Assortment of fruits which I got from Singapore

Captured a pix of a beautiful tree resting there



A' well-kept' jungle there
I have a great time taking pics and still have a lot of it kept in my hard disk, especially the intrinsic design of temples and so on.
lit up firecrackers.... 
Well,  just a pictorial blog here to share. Have a good mid-week!