Last Sunday, as our norm each year, we arranged for an iftar (breaking of fast) with Zaini's siblings. No, I didn't cook but instead we head off to Boulevard Hotel in MidValley. Every year, I am really lucky to have some kind souls sponsoring the iftars for me. Thanks dearie. Appreciate the generous gesture very much!
Joining us for the first time for iftar was baby Farah! She was born on 28th May this year. She's a cutie, isn't she? Such a well behaved little girl too, despite having a bit of flu.
Food selection at the Wild Rice, Boulevard Hotel is nothing to shout about but the place is calmer and more suitable for Baby Farah compared to other more hectic and not to mention crowded hotels offering buffet spreads around town.
The indoor buffet selection. Nice decor, with the theme of "Tepak Sirih".
The grill section, by the pool.
They even have "Bubur lambuk" and gulai kawah!
I had no intention of eating rice until I saw these. An assortment of ulams and sambals! I'm a Pahang gal, and I just can't resist sambal tempoyak (that's fermented durian mixed with pounded chillies) eaten with raw vegetables called ulam. Yummy. If durian is not your thing, how about cencaluk - fermented krill famous in Melaka or budu - fermented anchovies; which is famous in the east coast especially Kelantan? :D
My selection for iftar. Huge mounds of prawns - butter prawns and grilled prawns. The sambal squid was a tad leathery in texture though. Plenty of sugar cane juice for me too. Mmmmm mmm mmmm... and a little bit of rice to savour the tempoyak. XD
I ended my meal with a bowl of cold leng chee kang, tapai ubi (fermented tapioca?) and pickled fruits. I do like things fermented, don't you think? And a cup of particularly good mochachino. Bliss...
Raimie had fun playing, eating and taking a peek at baby Farah. He's still a bit wary around babies and don't ask him to hold one - he'll run away! *^-^*
The buffet at Boulevard Hotel is priced at RM85 for adults and half price for children. Way too expensive for me if I had to foot the bill myself! That's why I'm so grateful that I have a friend who never forgets me come Ramadhan month, although at times we get on each other nerves.
With everyone so busy, this is the only time we get to see Raimie's aunts and uncles. Two of Zaini's younger sibling will be working during the Raya holiday so we won't be seeing them on the morning of Raya! For us, we'll spend the Raya morning in KL with my father-in-law before making our journey back to my hometown in Raub, Pahang. Balik kampung! Oooo Oooo Balik kampung!
Sogo used to be one of my haunt when I was in college. Way back then, there are not many malls around town and even OneU wasn't even built yet. (Yes, that long ago. LOL)
Nowadays, I actually avoid going to Sogo. Located near both Jalan TAR and Jalan Raja Laut, going to Sogo meant braving through the traffic jam there. But to Sogo we went last week because I wanted to look for my "baju raya" at the Ramadhan Bazaar nearby.
Sogo is another place you have to avoid if you don't fancy big crowd.
The morning crowd waiting for Sogo to open.
Everyone's excited looking for a bargain!
Sogo's Raya decoration for this year : Batik Kuda Kepang
I didn't shop for anything at Sogo because I just wanted to go in and snap some photos of the crowd. XD
One place that will be swarmed with shoppers looking for bargains this festive season which is the Hari Raya AidilFitri (Eid), is Jalan TAR (and also Jalan Masjid India nearby).
Aside from the rows and rows of textile shops in the area, there are also stalls that open during the Ramadhan month to cater for the Hari Raya shoppers.
Shopping at the "Aked" is always fun for ladies. From textile, to ready made traditional baju kurung to headscarves to accessories... You can find almost everything for a Muslim, Malay lady to be decked in style here. :D That, and also home furnishings, artificial flowers, festive cookies and even food! Don't have time to cook after all that shopping? There are food stalls abound!
There is also Semua House mall located further inside for a more comfortable shopping. This is also a place to go in Kuala Lumpur to get all your supplies for Malay weddings!
The Ramadhan Bazaar will be packed with shoppers daily especially on weekends. We were there quite early at 10.00am on Saturday and the place was already abuzz with activity. A note of warning - avoid this place if you hate crowds.
I'm happy to report I've already bought my "baju raya" (that's my new clothes to wear of the first day of Eid) at Semua House. I don't really go for tailor-made baju kurung and buying them off the rack is much easier for me. There is a shop in Semua House called SSH that I always like to visit each year. I even bought my engagement baju there way back when in the 90's. *^-^*
We went to get our passports renewed last Saturday, and that done we head off the The Curve for a spot of window shopping.
With the Hari Raya (Eid) celebration in a month's time, The Curve put up a nice Malay kampung decoration at their centre court. Nice, right? But it is kinda reminiscent of Mid Valley's deco a few years back.
One thing I like about The Curve is the lack of crowd. It may not be the best situation for the tenants there, but for me, walking around the mall without bumping into other shoppers every few seconds is relaxing. You bet you can't get this relaxed shopping at Mid Valley during the weekends!
Raimie tried on a few baju melayu to wear for the Hari Raya. Just because we'll be flying off to Japan for our vacation on the 3rd Raya doesn't mean we are not celebrating the day! We need to buy a songkok for him too.
Do you know that we spent last year's Raya in Tokyo? We went to the Malaysian Embassy's open house on the first Raya decked out in baju maelayu and baju kurung, taking the train from Tawaramachi to Shibuya.
Me and Raimie at Omotesando station. Raimie took off his baju melayu after visiting the Malaysian Embassy due to the hot weather. It was much more comfortable wearing a t-shirt.
We are going in to the second week of Ramadhan, a holy month for Muslims all around the world. For one month; this year from Aug 11, we Muslims fast during the daylight hours and abstain from food, drink and other physical needs. We use this time to refocus attention on God, practice self-sacrifice and re-evaluate ourselves.
However, there is one tradition we Malaysians love and wait eagerly come Ramadhan and that is the Pasar/Bazaar Ramadhan which offers an assortment of food for sale for hungry visitors. Temptation to buy more than what we can eat at these Pasar Ramadhan is definitely HUGE!
And I'm sorry to say that hotels and restaurants are raking a huge profit by offering Iftar or Buka Puasa buffetts too. For me, spending way too much money for these buffett to break one's fast is a waste and don't reflect the true meaning of fasting.
I know I love the abundance of food available at Pasar Ramadhan and I definitely wouldn't say no to an invitation to break fast (iftar) at some nice hotel/ restaurant, but I am also mindful that these aren't a reflection of what Ramdahan is all about. Well, I am guilty of taking a break from cooking during Ramadhan! We usually will buy one or two dish at the Pasar Ramadhan every day. *^-^*
But with all these food available abundantly around us, there is only one item that always have a place on my dining table every morning for Sahur (a meal before dawn) and Iftar (breaking fast) and that is kurma (dates). Dates provide sugar, fibre, carbohydrates, potassium and magnesium. Taking one to three dates when breaking fast will give you an immediate energy boost.
To all fellow Muslims, we wish you a blessed month of Ramadan Al-Mubarak.
Well, actually we went to the Immigration Department on Saturday to renew our passports. It was our second weekend to the Immigration Office. We were unable to get our passports renewed the week before due to the daily number quota had run out so last Saturday we were up really, really early to make sure we get to the front of the queue.
It was still dark when we got to the Immigration Office at Pusat Bandar Damansara at 20 minutes to 7.00, yet the queue was already forming in front of the Immigration office. o.O
Being herded to make an orderly and neat line made me feel somewhat like I'm a cattle! XD Though kudos for the Immigration officials in making sure we lined-up properly. You knowlah us Malaysians kan? Very hard to queue up properly one! The officials also made sure that no one tries to stealthily cut queue!
Coming at 6.50am to queue, we got our numbers : #31, 32 & 33. The quota of applicants served on Saturday & Sunday at Pusat Bandar Damansara branch are 150 for normal applicants and 50 for special applicants (OKU, above 55, pregnant women & children below 2 years old). So, if you want to get your passprts done on weekends, make sure you arrive early to queue!
Going through the renewal process was a breeze. The staff were professional and efficient so by 10.00am (the Immigration opens at 8.00am on weekends), we got our spanking new passports.
Before having our fill of delicious Musang King durian at the Jom Makan Buah event at Taman Warisan Pertanian, Putrajaya; we had an early dinner at the food court there.
Either eat out, al-fresco style or be seated indoors. Your choice. We decided to sit indoors this time. Plenty of food choices there, but we decided to have satay. Haji Samuri Satay no less. No need to drive all the way to Kajang to enjoy the satay.
While waiting for our satay, we had ABC and leng chee kang.
Our satay! Rather than the usual chicken and beef satay, we ordered rabbit and venison satay this time. A bit more expensive than both chicken and beef, but it was sure worth it! Yummy! And no, I can't say they taste like chicken. XD
Last Saturday, we went to Taman Warisan Pertanian for the Jom Makan Buah promotion held on 7 and 8th August. If you remember, we went to the park a couple of weeks before, but it turned out the event was postponed.
Jom Makan Buah! (Trans: Let's Eat Fruit). Either buy the fruits a-la carte or you can opt for all-you-can eat package and get to eat durian klon all you want at RM15 per adult.
Some of the fruits stalls. There were much more choice last year compared to this year's. And our favourite food; the snake fruit (buah salak) was not available. :(
Our choice of fruit of the day - Musang King durian! It was really yummy.
and some jambu air. I told Raimie that we never bothered to buy jambu air when we were small because the tree was right in front of his granddad's house. It was just a matter of picking and plucking fruits from trees, be it jambu air, mango, rambutans, guava, bananas... Now, we have to buy all those fruits to enjoy them.
It was Robinson's cardmembers' day on Wednesday and Zaini wanted to go after work.
While he was patiently browsing, checking one shirt after the other, I was pretty fidgety. I really do not have the patience to do the same kind of shopping like Zaini does. He'll check every single items, walk around and browse slowly.
For me on the other hand, I blazed into a store, took a few likely looking things and either I make the effort to try them on or I just buy them on impulse without trying. If I spend a longer time in a store, I'll end up frustrated and not buying anything. Of course, impulse buying sometimes caused me to buy unnecessary items that I'll end up not wearing or using anyway. ^-^!
How do you deal with shopping? Do you enjoy it or you just go and buy the things you have plans in buying and not look at anything else?
Raimie had been asking about quails ever since he did his homework. He needed to list down 10 animals that can be eaten for his Malay Language homework and one animal we told him to write was 'burung puyuh" or quail. He was curious about the bird.
Have you ever seen quail in the wild? I used to see them by the stream in front of my parents' old home at my hometown but it's been like 20 years since I last seen a live quail out in the open.
Anyhoo... we went out for lunch on Saturday and what did we find served at the restaurant? Fried quails!
We ordered one bird for Raimie, along with fried rice to let him know how quails taste like.
He enjoyed eating it. Yummy! Taste like chicken. LOL