Sunday, 13 August 2017

Malaysia: Good food and company

After two long years, I finally made it back to Malaysia!
Since this is my last summer before official adult life starts come September,
I wanted to just have a fun-filled summer.

Week one in Malaysia was spent catching up with all my family and friends over lots of delicious food. I also pampered myself with nice spa treatments (e.g. massage, facial, pedicure) with the help of discount vouchers from Fave. 

So here's a summary of the delicious things I ate and the familiar faces I met.

Delicious pan mee at Chilli Pan Mee, SS15, Subang Jaya.
Photo is prior to the addition of spicy chillies (which is within a glass jar on the table)

Bak kut teh at Chuan Bak Kut Teh, SS14, Subang Jaya

Maggi goreng mamak at Murni's, USJ9

Limau Ais at Murni's, USJ9

Garlic cheese naan at Murni's, USJ9

Beef and chicken satay skewers with spicy satay sauce at
Sate Kajang Hj Samuri, Damansara Uptown

Not to forget that satay is incomplete without rice ketupat (smooshed roasted rice in pleated palm leaves), onions, and cucumber slices!
Fresh coconuts also compliment them too.

It's been awhile since I've had anything duriany, so I found this durian cheese tart while wandering around in Subang Parade!

Although not Malaysian, deliciousness doesn't discriminate.

Chasiu Ramen with a creamy delicious egg at Marutama Ramen, Empire Mall

Unlimited flow of banana leaf rice at Nirvana, Bangsar

This delicious food could not have been eaten if it weren't for the wonderful family and friends that made time to catch up with me.

1. Family

Mama (Granny)


2. Secondary school

Jessica, Zhu En, Annesha, Xin Xing

Zhu En, Choon THye, Alan, Lawrence

I actually also met up with Shu Ling but unfortunately forgot to take a photo :'(

3. Seafieldians

Chee Kin

Wei Yng

4. Church Friends


Charlotte (also met up with Joben but we forgot to take a photo!)


And finally an old gaming friend, Keith

Pretty much the past entire week was filled with chatting and food. Lorcan has just touched down in Malaysia so for the next (and final) week, we'll be exploring a little! :)

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Westmeath: Body & Soul Festival 2017

The past weekend was filled with magic, wonder, and spontaneity as Lorcan and I went to the Body and Soul Festival in Westmeath. It was my very first time going to a festival as well as going camping - so I was super excited. 

We chose to camp at the 'Us and You' campsite where people were required to clean up after themselves and not leave any rubbish - the great part was that it was the nearest campsite to the car park so we didn't have to lug our stuff for too long. Thanks to James, we had an amazing tent! Thanks so much for lending it to us for the weekend.

Also, to make things even more exciting, we rented a car and I drove us from Castlebar to Westmeath! It's been almost four years since I drove so it was definitely fun to be behind the wheel again.

Thankfully, Lorcan was well-versed with camping and festivals so we were all pitched pretty quickly so we could go and explore the festival grounds!

There were loads of different stages as well as food options! We brought some food with us which lasted us for the Friday but we ate to our heart's content on the Saturday and Sunday. We had gourmet burgers, pizzas from the Big Blue Bus, Umi Falafel, buffalo chicken wings, crepes, donuts, coffee, and more.

And one of our favourites was Jaru's Korean BBQ - beef bulgogi with purple rice! So much flavour! The prices weren't too exorbitant either as the most expensive dish was probably 12 for the pizza.

The Woodlands area was definitely our favourite as it was just so magical!

We didn't really have any plans to see specific acts. We just wandered around the place stumbling upon cool acts such as NcGray at the Pagoda Stage, drum performances at the Woodlands Stage, open mic sessions at Arbutus Yans,  sean nos workshops and intriguing talks at Wonderlust.

There was even a section where Trinity's Science Gallery ''Soundcheck" exhibition was on! Several of the trees had sensors placed on them which allowed people to create music by hitting the trees with sticks. 

Thanks to baby wipes and dry shampoo, we both looked pretty fly over the three day festival. Yay for extra festival bling! The fashion at the festival was extremely hilarious. From onesies to inflatable dinosour suits, everything was acceptable.

The weather held up pretty well over the weekend with the odd shower which was easy enough to hide from in the tent. There were some really hot sunny days where we had to smother on the sun cream, so I would say we definitely got a pretty decent weekend!

What made the festival all the more fun was that I got to meet up with some buddies! Firstly, Denise (in the photo) performed some spoken word on the Saturday which was absolutely mind-blowing. Secondly, I got to meet Stuey by chance as he was working as one of the videographers for The Irish Times in the Wanderlust Stage. Thirdly, I got to chill out with Cillian on the grass while we enjoyed pizza, beer, wine, and the acts on the main stage.

The Midnight Circus tent was also pretty amazing with all its flashing lights and loud music.

Perfect for a good ol' rave.

I loved the vibe at Body and Soul. It was just so chill, bohemian, and varied! We really enjoyed ourselves being able to find random and cool acts wherever we went!  Definitely wanna go back next year!!

Friday, 16 June 2017

Taste of Dublin: Happy Tummies, Happy Hearts

For those who know me well, they know I love food.
I don't know if there's any moment in time where I'm not thinking about it - what groceries to buy, what to cook, what to eat - they're pretty much the thoughts that occupy my mind 24/7.

So when I heard there is a food festival right in the centre of Dublin I was super excited and wanted to go! 

Basically, Taste of Dublin is a collaboration of well-known eateries, food companies, chefs, who came together to share their tasty treats with us. They used florins as their currency on-site, which were basically money tokens. 

Since food tastes way better when shared, I brought another foodie along with me!
We went for the Friday lunch slot from 12-4PM and got online tickets with the lovinlunch voucher code for €18.75 each. This also entitled us to 12 free florins!

So really we only had to pay €6.75 for the entry to the festival in contrast to those who arrived on the day and had to pay €20 just for entry and zero florins!

The first place we stopped by was the Infusion by Barry's Tea where we got a lovely free taster of two of their tea-infused cocktails. They had a traffic light cocktail concoction going on there and they were absolutely delicious.

The three flavours they had were:-

1) Green Tea Mojito - Barry’s Green Tea, Skyy vodka, basil syrup, fresh mint, lime, and soda water 

 2) Berry Fizz - Barry’s Very Berry, Hendrick's Gin, cranberry juice, Irish Elderflower Cordial, fresh lemon,  and soda water. 

 3) Golden DEW - Barry’s Gold Blend, Tullamore D.E.W., ginger & Irish Honey Syrup, lime. and ginger ale.

We eyed up some sinful treats by The Cupcake Bloke but we decided to hunt for proper food first before munching on desserts.

Next, Callum, spotted the SO Prosecco truck, his weakness.

So we had some Prosecco at about lunch time. Acceptable time I would think.

Then we learnt that it was Tapas Day! And one of the girls manning the signs asked if we wanted a free Polaroid, so why not?!

Then, we obviously had to eat some tapas made by The Porthouse

So, we had the Paella of Rabbit, Duck, Chicken, Green and White Beans.

We discovered the chill beanbag area!! Unfortunately, all the beanbags were taken so.... 
Alas, we did not get to relax on them but we managed to wander off to more important things..

Our greedy eyes veered over to Wines of Rioja.
We went a little wild at this place and got three dishes. First we got some tortilla (Spanish omelette).

We also go the Chorizo al Vino (oh so delicious).

And the Pulpo - octopus (I loved it!)

To make the food go down well, some live music was lovely to have - with a random few people in the crowd dancing around to The Swing Cats.

Also, the weather was absolutely perfect for all this food, fun, and frenzy.

Our stomachs wandered off to the Taste of Thailand section!

The Thai food stall was manned We got some delicious Thai food made by Saba!

Behold, a lovely lamb curry with red and brown rice topped with some greenery.

We got a couple of wine tasters thanks to Beaujolais Wines, who came all the way from France! 
I personally know nothing about wine but Callum did, and thanks to him we got to sample several different wines!

There was a wide, wide selection of different alcoholic drinks on the green - wine, cocktails, beer, you name it.

Along with all of that, the festival was filled with free tasters (which was great). For example, we got some free cookies by The Dublin Cookie Company, shrimp pasta by Barilla, bread with garlic butter by Improper Butter, and coffee from Lavazza.

As we came to a close with our savoury dishes, we looked around for dessert and found a cute little Gino's Gelato car. But, since we tend to get Gino's relatively often, we decided to veer off to find more.

So we got desserts by Couverture Premium Dessert instead!

I had the Belgian Chocolate Mousse while Callum had the Raspberry and White Chocolate Mousse!

I also then got a little Portuguese egg tart from The Natural Bakery to go.

After making a last stop at the Barry's Infusion Cocktail Bar for a final green tea mojito, we both left with our tummies and hearts filled. Definitely a little bit on the pricey side if not for the fallen florins that we found but...

I'll be back next year!!