Friday, July 26, 2013

Iftar @ Impiana Hotel, Ipoh : Kak Yong Mislia’s Treat

she has one of the most colorful personalities and a positive attitude. she’s an avid traveller and she’s my eldest sister’s sister-in-law. kak yong mislia, thank you for your treat last ramadhan in our beloved hometown ipoh – treating the whole family berbuka buffet at one of the hotels in ipoh : impiana hotel.



that’s my eldest sis yong holding her youngest son adam. her eldest son haiqal is on her right, and kak yong mislia is the one behind



it’s a buffet for berbuka, so definitely no time to take pictures because you’re hungry, you’re in a hurry, and you’re rushing to get that freshly-fried cucur udang along with a lot more hungry people. haha. I only managed to capture this shot because the cucur udang at impiana hotel is the best!



the kids totally enjoyed the iftar – especially since there was an ice-cream stall where they can freely take any scoops they want! pardon me for being a naughty mak haha but right before berbuka I make sure the younger boys are *equipped* with bowls full of ice-cream so that mommies can eat in peace when it’s berbuka time! (from left : adam, kazim, khaleef, kahfi, haqeem, haiqal, cuya, nuna & ica)



(from left : nuna, cuya, ica, kahfi, haqeem, haiqal, kazim, adam & khaleef) thanks for the yummy treat kak yong mislia! I enjoyed our conversations about your extensive travelling and stories you picked up along the way. hopefully I can host you again in dubai!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Kazim Fell Down : Broke 3 Teeth! The Best Care @ Ipoh Specialist Hosp

before you freak out, this is an old story. happened last ramadhan in ipoh. he’s absolutely fine now. but this story needed to be told so that years from now, teenage kazim can look back on his younger days and say, “man, it was wild! did that really happened to me?” alhamdulillah, it was nothing more serious than that, and today his lips show no sign of ever being stitched up!



kazim at the emergency ward at ipoh specialist hospital, waiting for dato’ dr r. gunasegaran. it was nearly midnight


it happened last ramadhan in ipoh, kat rumah abah. the chronology of events :

  1. that night kazim fell down the stairs, blood all over his lips as he has broken 3 teeth
  2. I discovered a white thingy on his lower lip – a freakin TOOTH is embedded INSIDE his lower lip! (I cannot imagine the pain for my little kazim)
  3. quickly called my eldest sis yong, crying, asking her to help drive us to to ipoh specialist hospital
  4. yong waited for us, as we waited for the doctor (who will stitch up kazim’s lips) to come
  5. dato’ dr gunasegaran came and checked. took out the embedded tooth, and said kazim needs to stay the night – tomorrow they will do the stitching
  6. yong drove back to abah’s house, took my phone charger, extra clothes and anything I needed and came back (THANKS SO MUCH YONG!!! for everything!)
  7. my elder nephews haiqal and haqeem slept at atok’s house to temankan khaleef and kahfi
  8. didn’t sleep a wink – spent the WHOLE night whatsapp-ing with mr khairul who is still in dubai at the time (THANKS FOR YOUR COMFORT HONEY!). but alhamdulillah, so relieved to watch kazim able to sleep so soundly



I love the setting for the pediatric ward at ipoh specialist hospital. so cute and welcoming for kids not feeling well. you’ll see later pictures of the whole children’s ward – simply adorable!




kazim is, officially – one tough cookie.

he did not cry AT ALL at the hospital despite waiting while there’s a TOOTH embedded in his lower lip! he only cried when dato’ dr gunasegaran took the tooth out from his lip. after that, it was all fine and he was back to normal eventhough there’s a BIG cut on his lip after the tooth is taken out. tak sakit ke si kazim ni!

once he’s tucked in, I let him watch bugs bunny and he easily slept after a few minutes. senang je. my baby kazim was really tough!



that’s where I sat the whole night. like I wrote – I didn’t sleep; couldn’t sleep. I spent the whole night whatsapp-ing with mr. khairul who was still in dubai at the time. I just need the comfort. I only slept an hour after subuh prayer. the stitching would be at 8am the next morning. it got really cold in the middle of the night – thank goodness for blankets!



since I didn’t plan to stay the night, and it was really kelam-kabut, I didn’t think of bringing any food for sahur. the very nice nurse at the children’s ward gave me a cup of milo and this packet of butter crackers for sahur. alhamdulillah.



the next morning at 8pm kazim was wheeled to the operation theater.


dato’ dr gunasegaran explained to me beforehand – anesthetic would be applied, and then the stitching will be done by him.

it was an overwhelming nervousness and fear for my little one seeing him in the little hospital gown, helplessly limp in that baby cot. berdoa so that Allah protect kazim.

again, my tough and cool little kazim simply lie quietly while waiting for the surgeon. you can see the swollen lips. my heart sank seeing him like this, but he was the one who helped me relax since he didn’t show fear, or merengek-rengek. HE was the one so relaxed. so proud of him!



my little cool kazim


to me this was the worst ‘accident’ that has ever happened to any of my boys; but at the back of my mind I can’t help thinking, while saying countless alhamdulillah – this was actually just a small cut on the lips – imagine all those mothers accompanying their children because of broken legs, accidents that made them loose their eye-sight, or melecur burn, or terminal illness like cancer. may Allah grant strength and patience to all these courageous mothers. 

I can only say alhamdulillah again and again, because kazim only lost 3 teeth!



alhamdulillah stitching done smoothly. kazim got some adorable transparent balloons from the awesome staff at the operation theater


ipoh specialist hospital is the best. I thought that the staff at the children’s ward were extra nice because it’s a ward for children and they need to be a cheerful place for their little patients.

however, when I went to the operation theater, the staff over there were also cheerful and friendly eventhough it’s very early in the morning, and it’s a serious place where surgery takes place. such a commendable group of staff. and such a positive atmosphere surrounding the patients.

every hospital staff should emulate this kind of attitude! patients coming to seek treatment are already in pain physically and emotionally, and it’s this kind of positive attitude and warm reception that make the difference – big or small.


* * *


here are some of the pictures I took of the children’s ward at ipoh specialist hospital. so cute and welcoming!



the staff information counter is in the form of a fort of a castle. lovely!



an aquarium with of course, nemo



fantastic colorful mural on the wall



LOVE the ceiling – trees on walls that ‘grow’ high up to the ceiling



a section for boys, or girls who likes autobots and voltron!



the place they keep the fire extinguisher was elaborated into THIS!


* * *




this was taken a few days after the stitch-up. you can see that the lower lip was still swollen, and hints of dried blood too. kazim was supposed to eat nothing but porridge or nestum – something soft and mushy but my tough little kazim demanded koko krunch. he gobbled them up carefully but surely, avoiding the stitch, and he was as brave as he can be.

at the time of writing, you can’t even see any sign of stitches. the broken teeth are still there – the dentist told me that the remaining teeth in the upper gum would fall off naturally in due time.

thank you dato’ dr gunasegaran for your kindness and expertise. thank you to my eldest sis yong and abah for all your help throughout this ordeal. thank you to tok li and wan cik for visiting your grandnephew at the hospital. thank you mr khairul for being there with me in spirit and in whatsapp. hihi. thank you ALL!


Monday, July 15, 2013

Crazy Macadamia Cheesecake Sundae & Table Topic @ Ben’s KLCC

ramadhan has started. my boys were with my in-laws that day so it was time for me to jalan-jalan on my own. I lepak at klcc to meet up with my sisters syida and azi for berbuka. later that day I went home with azi and pajama partay at her place. huhu.

ok we picked ben’s klcc. wanted chilli’s but there was an insane line of people outside chillis and it was only 3pm! berapa jam tu nak tunggu waktu berbuka!



nice, bold quote on the wall inside ben’s. ‘to eat is to love’. oh well then I LOVE to LOVE!



also in love with this simple yet adorable seating. yellow is my favorite color! my sisters said that this is actually more of a ‘waiting’ area before you’re ushered to a more comfortable cushioned seat inside. however, since it’s berbuka time, it was full house inside. we got a seat here instead. fine by me!



the menu is quite ‘colorful’ – with choices of local or western cuisines. from laksa to lamb pie and all sorts of steaks and chops. I like the ‘handwritten’ menu. looks so lepak.


* * *


sorry ben’s but your food is not what I’m keen to review in this post – coz what’s really interesting about ben’s KLCC is this little box on each table, with little square cards in them. they’re labeled TALK and COOK.

the COOK cards contain recipes, while the TALK cards has these interesting questions.

it really caught my eye, and it’s the first time I’ve ever seen such an idea really taking place at a restaurant. I LOVED it! such thoughtful idea to encourage patrons to TALK with each other instead of getting lost in each other’s smart phones.





more restaurants should have this box of cards with questions : such interesting questions that would lead to interesting conversations. particularly helpful if you’re on a first date, or out with a new friend or colleague – nervous, out of topic to talk about – these cards would definitely help break the ice!

some of the questions are : ‘if you joined the circus, which act would you want to perform?’ – well, definitely wanna perform the magic show!

‘what was the last item you regretted buying?’ muffins that turned out to be too sweet.

‘what do you think about when you’re brushing your teeth?’ I think about how hard I need to brush to get rid of that curry taste from dinner haha.

best kan!


* * *



I don’t feel like eating the many, many pasta choices in the menu; and steaks are too expensive for my budget that day – so I picked this simple ‘traditional fish and chips’ meal for berbuka at ben’s that day. it’s a simple dish, but I’m not too picky when it comes to the things I do like – as long as the fries are fat and crunchy on the outside, coleslaw juicy and creamy, and the fish battered fried not bread-crumbs – it’s a fairly acceptable plate of fish & chips.



syida ordered the lamb pie – delicious! big portion of filling and the crust of pie is not to crumbly. I would order this again. with fries on the side.



azi went italian and picked the spaghetti carbonara. this dish is as good as it gets – creamy, cheesy and tasty.



since it’s puasa month, we got complimentary air sirap selasih – which takes me back to my school days where we have one particular stall selling this exact same tadpole-in-rose-syrup drink. I love sirap, but don’t really like the ‘tadpoles’ so mine was the one with the least amount.



the ‘macadamia cheesecake sundae’, in a glass.


this is what ben’s is best for (at least for my sisters, and especially for the desert-freak syidot – they can come to ben’s JUST for this) it’s this messy cup of delight filled with sticky sweetness. cut-up cheesecake, combined with vanilla ice-cream – filled to the brim, along with some crunchy macadamia nuts and top with a drizzle of caramel sauce.

well, it’s good but I’m just not a fan of caramel! I LOVE cheesecake, of course and the cheesecake-ice cream combo is good – a change from having brownies with vanilla ice-cream. however, I can’t get pass the caramel.

we sisters shared this cup of goodness, and that’s sweeter than any sweets!


* * *


I love the setting at ben’s – might just come again to try a different dessert, and maybe a pasta dish this time.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Nasi Kukus Ilham @ Mutiara Damansara : Panas! Pedas!

this is one crazy dish that seemed so simple, but I was told is so popular. I’ve tried it, no thanks to my aunts cik and auntyna (haha) – introducing me to this super-spicy rice dish! looking at the pictures I can still feel the pang in my mouth. fiery. spicy. hot!




this post is for you spicy-freaks, yes you!



the ‘famous’ ilham nasi kukus


apparently this place is super popular. tanpa segan silu diorang siap taruh perkataan ‘famous’ kat board diorang hihi. the *famous* ‘ilham nasi kukus’ at mutiara damansara. it’s just a simple restaurant that looks like any other goreng-goreng restaurant.

it’s got one small counter on the side for payment, one bigger counter (yet not too packed like mamak restaurant) for the drinks, and on the other side facing the road is where the magic happens : that’s where patrons line up to order, get their food; and where the fried chicken is freshly fried – there and then.



you can see my cousin umar in black T joining the long line of hungry people waiting patiently to order their nasi kukus.



‘take your meal here’. ok doki.



comot macam kat restoran nasik kandaq. lagi comot lagi sedap kan!



where they kukus (steam) the rice, and where they freshly fried the chicken. therein lies the not-so-secret to its popularity – hot, fresh chicken eaten with fresh steaming rice.



tapau or eat in, the nasi kukus is served in brown packets of ‘ilham nasi kukus’ like this, lying on a banana leaf inside. aromatic!



I love the chicken. the chicken at ‘ilham nasi kukus’ is crispy crunchy, with tender juicy flesh – everything that a good delicious fried chicken should be. that’s the key to its popularity – hot, and fresh.



omg look at that. just look at that. this is the famous ilham nasi kukus! spicy gravy spilling and seeping into my innocent steamed rice. and what could be better (or murderous!) than adding spicy gulai nenas, and top it all with hot sambal ikan bilis campur cili padi?


sebagai seorang yang memang tak suka makan pedas, aku tengok pun takut! I don’t like spicy food, so I don’t get why a simple plate of just chicken, ikan bilis and sambal cili padi would be so popular? and ‘ilham nasi kukus’ does not come with any other lauk tau! so everyone who came here really came JUST for this dish!

it must be the freshness. made fresh. on the spot. bukan dah siap-siap goreng dari petang tadi. they fry and serve, fry and serve.

I’m sure you guys know by now that this review would be biased, coming from someone who dislike spicy food – but I’m highly recommending ‘ilham nasi kukus’ to all my spicy-freak readers out there. as you can see it’s a very simple dish but prepared fresh and hot, and of course – very spicy.


* * *



with my aunt cik. who loves spicy food. me not so much!



my adorable cousins siti, amin & nayah : semua gile pedas!




sempoi je kedainya. masa ni nak tutup dah ilham nasi kukus ni


ok guys, kalo gile nak makan pedas, and you happen to be around mutiara damansara, check out ‘ilham nasi kukus’ and lit your tongue on fire!

Movie Review : Jack the Giant Slayer, The Call, Pain & Gain, Shelter

time to bring out the popcorn. or kacang puteh. I’m reviewing classic children’s fairytale-fantasy ‘jack the giant slayer’, intense thriller ‘the call’, black comedy based on true court case ‘pain and gain’, and the horror psyho-drama ‘shelter’.

alright, time to click ‘play’.


* * *



I’m a sucker for romantic fairytales. I just LOVE drew barrymore’s ‘ever after’, matt damon and heath ledger’s ‘brothers grimm’ is so fun, and anne hathaway’s ‘ella enchanted’ is simply adorable. so it’s not surprising that ‘jack the giant slayer’ is my new favorite movie. I love everything about it.

the movie is straightforward without any complicated characters or drama but not boring; making it the more easier to enjoy. this movie adds a few details here and there in the plot that made the original tale even more interesting and magical.

the story is as old as time : jack got some magic beans, got thrown out, immediately grew into a huge beanstalk that leads to the kingdom of giants. kononnya the story that we know today seems to have been altered through time and words of mouth – for the movie claims to depict that original story of jack, the giant slayer.

I adore all the characters in ‘jack the giant slayer’. the characters form a fantastic recipe for a delicious fairy tale – a courageous farmboy in love, a feisty princess in search of adventure, a gallant knight in shining armour, a brave king protecting his kingdom, an evil duke hungry for power and an ambitious giant out for revenge.

the main leads are adorable together, and ewan mcgregor is as charming as ever. I also enjoy the occasional funny banters between jack and the knight. cute.

I highly recommend ‘jack the giant slayer’ even for non-fans of fairy tale, for in it you’ll find action, adventure, comedy and romance. even my boys absolutely love the movie simply for the magnificent giants.



* * *



this movie gives new meaning to heart-stopping thriller. there’s never a dull moment. each second moves you at the edge of your seat as you follow the kidnapping of a young woman and the 911 officer who’s trying to help her.

a young woman was kidnapped, thrown in the trunk of the car. she has a hp with her. calls 911. and so begins the cat-and-mouse chase with the help of the 911 officer (halle berry) determined to rescue her. we kept seeing the young woman in the trunk of the car doing whatever it takes to alert other drivers on the road, to let people know that she’s trapped in the trunk or to show any signs to hovering helicopters of her whereabouts.

I love the movie not only because of its non-stop suspense, but also for suggesting many tips for anyone out there in similar situation. not to panic. look around, feel around. think fast, think smart. use the items around you. it may save your life.

this is one of those movies that determines whether you’re really a good actor or not – because for most of ‘the call’, halle berry’s character is on her chair, talking on the phone with the kidnapped victim; soothing her, reassuring her, giving her instructions to help police find the car she’s in. she showed great emotions in her facial expression, in her voice, and body language – halle berry is fantastic. kept me glued to know what’s next.

highly recommended.



* * *



the story is so unbelievably stupid (and I meant that in the nicest way) that it’s amazing that it’s in fact, a true story. I actually enjoyed ‘pain & gain’. it’s the characters in the movie that did all this incredibly idiotic moves that lead to their arrest – which makes ‘pain & gain’ the more entertaining and funny.

this black comedy is about 3 bodybuilders with a dream. one cocky millionaire client at the gym. a planned kidnapping gone wrong. and all went downhill from there. like, REALLY rock bottom.

mark wahlberg proves himself to be a versatile actor as the not-so-clever mastermind in ‘pain & gain’. he usually plays serious characters like in ‘the fighter’, ‘the departed’ and ‘the lovely bones’ but he was really hilarious in ‘the other guys’ along with fantastic funnyman will ferrel. he adopts the same kind of slightly dumb-angry-muscle man persona in ‘pain & gain’ and entertained us all.

dwayne ‘the rock’ johnson was no less hilarious as the god-fearing ex-con. great cast doing scene after scene of omg-what-in-the-world-are-they-gonna-do-next that it’s fun to watch.



* * *



‘shelter’ is not exactly a horror movie, but it’s very scary. also known under the title ‘6 souls’, the movie keeps you guessing on what will come next. the plot is original, fresh yet wonderfully frightening.

psychologist cara harding aimed to cure a patient believed to be suffering from multiple personality. soon she discovered that all the ‘personalities’ created by this patient were actually real life people – and that they were all dead. murdered. time to dig up the past…

it’s not exactly a psycho-thriller, and yet not a ghost story either. it’s a cross between the two, resulted into an eerie hair-raising psychological mystery that has the most shocking ending.

jonathan rhys meyers is brilliant in ‘shelter’ as the multiple personality patient. he was believable. till the very last scene he steals the limelight from big-screen veteran julianne moore who is also convincing in this one as the psychologist.

all you fans of psycho-thriller and all things creepy – don’t miss this one.



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macam nak tengok vikingdom pulak lah

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Bendahara, Panglima, Laksamana, Temenggung & Sang Puteri

my abah may have 10 cucu already, and my bapak-in-law has only 5 – but the noise, chaos and cheekiness is no less!

with four boys and one girl is enough to bring down the house!

eldest cucu khaleef is super chatty, kahfi has a super shrill voice, kazim just makes unnecessary noise whenever he likes, baby khairy can be LOUD when he wants to, and the only girl wafa may look sweet and demure but she’s not exactly soft-spoken! haha.

everyone contributes to the noise equally!



eldest cucu khaleef holding to youngest cucu khairy, with wafa right next, kazim and kahfi. these shots were taken the very night that we arrived in KL from dubai. my sister-in-law tina picked us up from klia, and my in-laws helped babysit them since I was going to the Being ME 2 women-only conference the next day.







khaleef just LOVES khairy as his baby brother, kahfi is absolutely obsessed with baby khairy (he’s also crazy about his other baby cousin miqail) and kazim is simply in awe. kawan elok-elok and jangan ajar khairy benda mengarut ok!

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