mardi-gras (pronounced mär`dē grä) refers to events of the carnival and festivities.
this special invitation was extended by the area director (a malaysian amoi!) cindy whose smile never left her throughout the night. thank you bunches, cindy for havin us - it was a blast!
owh, why did i wear a demure baju kurung to such a party? i was told this was to be a dinner to celebrate the loyal patrons of the hotel! dinner, buffet, corporate clients mingling with the hotel management - i was thinking of bringing a lil bit of malaysian flava for the night. who knew it would be such a nutty theme-party!
a huge mask welcomed us at the entrance, and from outside we already saw a few people doning masks of every shape and sizes - from downright gaudy to outright gorgeous! colorful feathers and sparkling sequins - looks like fun!
at the entrance booth, mr. khairul dropped his namecard for the lucky draw. there we're given a mask each. tada! khaleef was the most excited to see his mak pun pakai mask! hihi.
we went there with mr. khairul's staff radha who brought his wife sreeja, son rahul (whom khaleef is very fond of and panggil 'abang') and the new baby girl.
we took a seat furthest from the stage so as to avoid loud music. fat chance! the music reached the far corners of the hall! bombaleyo and wantanamera, then we heard our favorite boogy sound - tengo la camisa negra! daymn the music was hot! mr. khairul and i were just moving to the beat at our seats...
..owh and did i mention there were super-sexy belly dancers (yang agak boroi jugak sebenarnye)? i was so comfortable clicking away taking their pictures as they wiggle their bon-bons pass my table, while giggling with sreeja - over the loud music we can't possibly hear each other if we had spoken but our shared looks said it all - "what the heck??? the stupid belly dancers took up nearly half and hour, and the clown did his routine only for bit!"
the men? trying not to look too eager. it's fun to watch those with their wives by the side! they tried hard to just look at the face of the dancers, but eventually their eyes would conveniently falter downwards... konon-konon taknak tengok, tapi jeling-jeling jugak!
mr. khairul, you asked? he had no qualms to be transparent! "uish, tengok yang pakai white tu!" huh, men!
the setting was really breath-taking. like, waaaa... (however mr. khairul said it's too 'hindustan' - "banyak sangat kaler!") but to me, that's the whole point! myriads of colors paint the mardi-gras picture perfectly! the gaudiness of it all was the very essence of carnivals and festivities!
the walls were adorned with theater masks and helium-filled balloons. the lighting helped accentuate the theme of masquerade fun!
ooh, the centre piece on the table was gorgeous. i was so tempted to take it home. it's so shakespearean. no, more like what king louis the V wore in his masquerade party. or like a knight, when he's not in his shining armour. that alone brought my mind far away...
on the table, fake plastic coins were strewn haphazardly across the table, along with shining confetti. a couple of mardi-gras beads were also thrown in with the lot. lawa!
the food? doesn't disappoint at all! in fact for the first time ever i was trying out ratatouille! what is ratatouille? i didn't know too, except from the animated movie, starring remy the rat. hmm. tak sedap pun! it tastes like just a bunch of diced up terung and capsicum cooked in pasta sauce. really!
among other lauks there are the usual buffet fare - chicken, salmon, prawn, beef - there's an atuk chef cuting up ribs for everyone. too rare for mr. khairul that he just ate the sides...
i also tried for the first time the jambalaya seafood with rice, cooked with indian rice that is fat and stubby, unlike our yummy basmathi rice that is long and lean. jambalaya seafood with rice? not bad! a nice gooey taste with a hint of tomato and prawn.
khaleef as usual, when escaped from his dubai marina dungeon (just an expression okay! i'm not some psycho-mom!) had the best fun running around the hall with abang rahul. he refused to eat anything savoury - so i got him a plate of sweeties.
here he spent my time eating with his silly antics - placing the end of his balloon to my head while pretending to electrocute me. zzzsssttt! bbbzztt!
speaking of sweets and sugary - i got myself one of each - carrot cake, cheese cake, lemon cheese, baked cheese, blueberry cheese, choc cake, tiramisu, black forest, fruit delight, apple crumble, caramel puding, creme brule - you name it! they got it! wait, wait till i finish - i got them...for khaleef! hihi.
..but khaleef sibuk main so i ate 'em all! not my fault! (gumuk! gumuk!)
kahfi actually had quite a hard time sleeping because of the loud music. after awhile, (and after banyak bergolek-golek ke kiri kanan) i guess he was too tired to even fight it off - so off he went to slumberland...
after not winning anything from the lucky draw (ha ha) we called it a day. before leaving we said our goodbyes to cindy, thanking her for inviting us to this cool theme-party, a reason to hang lose and just party with the music. thanks sheraton!
at the exit, we're given door-gifts which, to my surprise was so awesome! i mean, potpourri or picture frame and even some sort of box that says sheraton or qatar airways would be nice - but we got an assemble of items snugged in a little red bag.
they're items to light incense; an aromatic substance which releases fragrant smoke when burnt. but this is not the stick ones, it's pebble-like. i think ibn battutta mall has these incense burner in some parts of the mall so when you pass by, you would definitely catch a whiff of a strong smoky-sweet scent.
the smoke would envelope you in a mist of fragrance that you're transported to a timeless land of sand and stone, warmed up in a bedouin camp, siping turkish tea with talks of camels and dunes...