Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ultraman - Reliving my childhood moments!

Ultraman! OMG! I never knew that this little figure brings back so many fond memories of my own childhood.

This is Ryan's latest craze now. Whenever he goes, he wants to bring this `Man' with him. Even sleeps with it. Needless to say, he has been imagining that we are his monsters and he is the ultimate Ultraman, kicking, punching and ever crossing his arms to sent out a burst of deadly laser ray. And raising his arms to `fly away' victoriously with that ever recognizable `huiiizzzzz' sound when we, the 'monsters' pretend to roll over and `die'. Many of my friends have been cautioning me of letting him watch this seemingly `violent' shows...but hei...I grew up with Ultraman and I turned out OK. Yes...there were years when I too were secretly hoping that I could pull out one of those cool penlike gadgets and turned into this superhuman figure that would chop and kick the monster butts and dispense them (at the very last minute with my beeper going `beep beep beep beep) with a burst of my deadly laser rays....

Looking at this figure, it reminded me of my childhood, when television were a rare commodity (and they were only black and white then) and only a few household in the neighborhood would have one. Unfortunately, my grandparents could not afford them. So, when the evening arrived (usually around 4pm) when the show was scheduled to be broadcast, I will make sure that I get the best `seat' outside my neighbour's home (with TV) to watch my favourite hero. And I can remember all our `friends' doing the same thing, glued to the TV for that 30 minutes, `saving' the world in my imagination. Occasionally, when it rained, the neighbour would let us into the house to finish the show.

So attached I am to this hero, that I could still draw him simply by memory today. I remembered that I even drew a couple of my own `comics' of him fighting my very own created monsters and with my own storyboard. I would faithfully coloured them and then sell them to my classmates for RM0.50 !! (Rm0.50 was a lot of money back then!). I would pay a fortune to buy them back because they represents a portion of my childhood and growing up.

Over the years, I grew up and move on to other heroes. But just when I thought I have forgotten him .....he came back into my life...and I'm relive my childhood moments once again....:)

BTW, this is Ultraman Tiga, created in the 1996 and 1997. The one I watched was the original Ultraman created in the late 1960's and early 1970's.

Have there been items / shows etc that brings back sweet memories of your childhood??

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Butter Cream Chicken

There were two dishes that I like and have always wondered how they were cooked. Since I started developing some interest in cooking the last couple of years, I have always wanted to try cooking these two dishes.

So, a couple of nights ago, I've decided to give this two dishes a go.

The first is butter cream chicken cooked with curry leaves. Actually it was rather simple. First I marinate the chicken with some Chinese wine, black pepper, salt and sesame oil. Then coat them with corn flour and deep fried them. To make the sauce, I simply put butter, whipping cream, milk and curry leaves into a sauce pan. Add black pepper, salt and sugar to taste. (If you like it hot, adding some chopped `chili padi' would do the trick). Once the sauce starts to shimmer, simply add in the deep fried chicken and thoroughly coat the chickens with the sauce and serve hot. Verdict (from my wife and in laws....) yummy...hehehe..:)

Next, deep fried kai lan. This dish is pretty expensive when ordered in restaurants. It does look intimating to start with and I thought that it would be rather difficult to attempt. Anyhow, I wanted to quench my curiosity. And surprisingly it was rather simpe to prepare. First, separate the kai lan leaves from their stems. Cut the kai lan leaves into long thin pieces. Marianate with some salt. Next, prepare the wok with oil. Ensure that the oil is hot before placing the cut kai lan leaves in. Simply fried till the leaves are crispy. Once they are crispy, take them out from the oil, drain excess oil and serve while hot. (The only set back...this dish is time consuming to prepare and too much oil used)

2 more recipes into my personal log ....eemmmm...what should I attempt next?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

An Evening with Zainal Abidin

Date : 13th Oct 2010

We have always passed by the Dewan Filharmonik Petronas at KLCC without bothering to find out what they are playing. The thought of going for a concert has actually NEVER occurs to us (and we were paying USD just to watch Broadway shows in New York!).

Then a good friend bought us a ticket last Sunday for the afternoon show. The classic Psycho movie accompanied life by Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO). We went with much anticipation because going to an orchestra performance is like so...emmm...formal and cultured...hahaha... We were worried whether we were dressed right etc etc etc.

Well...I have seen the show a dozen times before literally see, listen and feel the drama, suspense and passion from a life orchestra right before your eyes is another experience all together ....Needless to say, both of us were hooked and we booked ourselves the next show ...a night with one of my favourite local singer..Zainal Abidin ...

It started with a sand art presentation by one of our local sand artist, Loong Bee. It was quite an experience seeing him creating beautiful displays by simply using sand and a pair of very skillful hands.

We got ourselves a box seat nearest to the stage. And the moment finally arrived, he walked in in all his charisma...the man himself ...Zainal Abidin.... He went straight into belting out a medley of old malay folk songs accompanied by the MPO led by conductor Kevin Field. Songs like Chan Mali Chan, Burung Kakak Tua, Enjit Enjit Semut and Kenek Kenek Lah Udang never sounded so beautiful, sung with vocals so strong and powerful, backed by instruments so majestic ...

It was just 30 minutes with the man ...and...when he sang Ikhlas Tapi Jauh, he brought the house down! (The tune is still playing in my head ...). His parting song, Hijau was one of my all time favourite, singing out the need for us to go green and the preserve our mother nature was just simply breath taking ...

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. And for the very first time in our lives, we actually queued to get the souvenir program booklet autographed by him ...and to grab a quick picture of course ...(it was an anxious moment though, cause my DSLR was giving me a memory card error the moment I switched it on!!!)

It was a wonderful night, all the more so because I have my wonderful half with me to share it. To cap it all, we went for a nice Japanese dinner at Zipangu Shangrila. (And all this time, where was Ryan you might ask home with our maid while daddy and mommy are enjoying themselves ...hahaha..)
And you know what, we have booked the next show tomorrow night. Another favourite of mine, a hands percussion presentation by MPO.....Just can't Wait !!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Rice Cooker Chicken Drumstick ....

Wife was exceptionally busy this week, organising a big event for her company. So, I'm left with my little monster at home together with the maid. I was lazy to go out for dinner because firstly, I really don't know what to eat (and I'm sick of eating noodles for dinner since I have been having that for most lunches) and I had enough of Ryan not wanting to sit still and insisting of getting down and running all over the restaurant. There is really no peace in eating that way.

Instead, I've decided to cook something real simple and quick at home. Someone in a restaurant taught me and I think it's probably the simplest and fastest way to cook a chicken dish.

I bought two chicken drumstick, strip off the skin and cut into smaller pieces. Marinate them with soy sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, oyster sauce, ginger slices, garlic slices and plenty of chinese wine. Leave them alone for 15 to 20 minutes. Put them into a rice cooker and cook for 15 minutes. And they are done.

So for dinner last night, it was a simple meal of soy sauce chicken drumstick cooked with my rice cooker and baby spinach soup. Not only (I think) was it a better meal as compared to eating hokkien mee outside, at least I can eat more peacefully at home, not having to stress over Ryan running all over the place.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Temptations @ Ara

30th September 2010

My wife's birthday.

Initially I have wanted to have a nice quiet dinner, just the two of us at Zipangu Shangrila KL and made the reservation for it. Wanted to give her a surprise but on second thoughts, knowing how busy she is with her work, I gave her a call a day in advance to inform her. And luckily I did, because she will be attending some function at Petaling Jaya on that day in the evening and it would not make any sense for us to travel back to KL for dinner.

So, after some thoughts, I guessed the best option would be to turn our home into a mini restaurant to serve our VVIP guest for the night.

Did some quick planning on the menu and informed my maid to be prepared for some cooking that day and that evening for our special guest. For desert, my maid helped me to prepare one of my wife's favourite...Tiramisu.

On the day, I took half day off from my work and went about shopping at Cold Storage at Solaris for the ingredients necessary for the evening dinner. I wanted to make sure that the food are prepared well in advance so that I don't have to be stressed out serving our VVIP guest that night. So, the afternoon was spent in the kitchen, busy preparing with my maid who turns out to be a great help.

And at 7 p.m., Temptations @ Ara is finally ready to serve our special guest for the night .....
The menu for the night .......

One of your her favourite drink. Soda with lemon, lemon zest, ginger with a dash of mint, served chilled.

Soup : Seafood Chowder with clams and shrimps

For the first starter : Asparagus wrapped in bacon, pan seared to perfection, served with a dash of mustard

Followed with the second starter : Pan seared Scallop served on a bed of green salad with home made tartar sauce and thousand island dressing.

Next, we have Lightly pan seared tuna slices served with tartar sauce.

For the main course, pan grilled medium rare ribeye steak, marinated with shiraz, served with black pepper sauce.

For desert, sweet wine tiramisu to wrap up the evening on a sweet note.

My two very special guests for the night. All in all, it turned out to be better than dining at any other restaurant down town.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Toys! Toys! Toys!

Who said that times are bad? Who said that people would only spent on absolute necessities?

We certainly don't think so after visiting the Mattel toy warehouse sale held recently at the Atria Shopping Center.

I was informed by a friend of this fair 2 days in advance and it was also advertised in the newspapers. Since Ryan is a fan of cars and planes and since Mattel do carry Hotwheels and Matchbox models, we have decided to have a look 2 Saturdays ago.

It was supposed to be the very first day and the warehouse would start from 10 am to 10 pm. So, when the Saturday arrived, we woke up leisurely and after getting Ryan ready, off we went to Atria. I thought we were early. It was barely 10 am. I figured we could have a good breakfast at Seri Penang before heading up to the warehouse sale held on the 1st floor.

When we reached Atria, we could not find an empty spot on the ground or the 1st level car park, which is highly unusual at 10 am on a Saturday. With no other choice, we drove up the open car park on the highest level and found ourselves a empty slot. As we were making our way down, we saw parents carrying bags after bags of ....TOYS!!!! (and it was only 10:30 am)....

I told my wife that we better head on to the toy fair first before having our breakfast. I was shocked when I reached the entrance. The entire floor was packed!!!! There were empty boxes everywhere and there were also parents hanging on to boxes filled with toys and they were still grabbing for more! I could hardly get near to see what is on offer. It was like a big mad house!!! My `kiasu' gremlin got the better of me that very second. With one hand hanging on to Ryan, I squeezed myself in between some grumbling mothers, fought my way past some frowning fathers, and grab whatever Hotwheels or Matchboxes that I could laid my hands on. There were no price tags. I asked and nobody seemed to know the actual price and by the way everybody is buying, nobody seemed to care.

While I was busy scanning for more toy cars, my wife was on a mission of her own, squeezing in between humid bodies grabbing whatever she thinks will be a good buy (with absolutely no idea of the price ... go figure). After 30 minutes, I had enough. We have managed to grab about 15 items in a small little box, a pale comparison to many who have theirs in two or three large cardboard boxes.

I signalled my wife that we should pay and get out as Ryan is starting to get rather impatient, not to mention me. When we got to the payment line, another shock awaits us. 5 long queues, all waiting to pay. It was another 25 minutes or so before I finally got to pay for my stuff. Were they cheap? I have no idea. I spent over RM300 on toys that morning. But judging from the boxes others are pushing along with their feet, it's merely kacang puteh (peanuts) to Mattel.

As I was about to make way out, I remarked to the cashier that it was quite shocking, looking at the crowd at 11:30 am on the first day of the sale. She looked hardly surprised and calmly told me that people were already lining up waiting for the warehouse sale to start as early as 8:30 a.m!!!!

We walked off, leaving behind scores of parents still waiting for new boxes and bargains to be offered and long queues of parents still waiting to make payment for the toys they thought were a real bargain. As we walked past parents just arriving with their children, I said a silent prayer and wishing them good luck, all the best and happy squeezing and shopping.
More Pictures on Jeju Island Coming up NEXT!