Monday, October 30, 2017

High-Tea Birthday at YTL Hotel Stripes

Last weekend we celebrated Hubby's birthday aka his departure from the mid-thirties! *chuckles* It was decidedly a very low key event for us, especially because I was scheduled for a medical procedure at the hospital the day after. Contrary to our past birthday celebrations, I decided to let the kids tag along too for a change. Interestingly, we ended up getting tickled by the kids' antics instead of concentrating on the birthday boy. *awww*

Since I needed to start fasting at midnight for the said procedure, I decided to take everyone out for high tea instead! (I did book an early dinner too in case we were hungry but in the end everyone didn't care for dinner cos we were too full!)

It was our first time at Stripes Hotel by YTL. Despite the quirky location, we found the boutique hotel quite charming in nature. We arrived for high tea sharp at 3pm, and were one of the first few to arrive. Since I had booked ahead and told them that it was a birthday celebration, they graciously led us to a table by the window.

The hotel facade, and the entrance into Brasserie 25, where we had our high-tea.

First few photos we took, while Ian was still napping.

The staff were very hospitable and some even tried making small talk with the kids. They served us welcome drinks and explained the concept of the high tea. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the food was free flow! (For the price I paid, free flow made the whole outing dirt cheap and absolutely worth it!) Kids were allowed to enjoy the high tea but they must order a full price drink each. In the end we ordered watermelon juice for Ian (who was still napping) while Aiden requested for hot chocolate.

Savoury treats - you simply must try the spring rolls!

We started with savoury treats - a generous serving of spring rolls, curry puffs, cheese mushroom pies and risotto balls, plus a platter of cheese and chicken ham sandwiches. (Aiden's eyes widened at the word 'ham' and he whispered, "Is this hotel Halal?" *irolledonthefloorlaughing*)

The spring rolls were exceptionally good, with the sandwiches a close second. We asked for second helpings for both. The risotto balls were interesting; a mesh of glutinous rice and cheese in the middle. I wasn't a fan of the curry puffs (to be fair, I never was anyway) but Ian loved munching on the crunchy sides.

Ian woke up smiling, took a bite of his curry puffs and then went back to sleep.

Next came the French pastries. Instead of serving us everything in a platter on the table (like the savories), this time the host carried a tray filled with sinful desserts, presented it to us and and asked us to choose our favorites. Of course, he pointed to each dessert and gave us a description of it, but after a few I lost track of the names!

Check out that tray!

Just forget about your calories. Really.

In the end, Hubby chose and then I just elected for the ones that he didn't have on his plate. That way, we got to try everything on the tray. Aiden of course, had his own mind and chose everything that was covered with chocolate. While Ian was kept contented with his macarons.

We really enjoyed the creme brûlée - we asked for more but unfortunately they ran out. *sobsob* The raspberry sandwiched macarons were simply exquisite - just the right touch of sour from the berries, and sweet from the meringue. The strawberry tart was a delightful treat too. Hubby gave me a hard time about my choice of madeleines (he asked, "You makan bahulu ke?" *rollseyes*), while the lemon meringue tart was slightly too sour for Aiden.

The kids posing with their choice of sweet delicacies.

As we were busy savoring our sweet treats, suddenly I saw a hostess signaling to me from behind Hubby's back. She was subtly asking whether she could bring out the complimentary birthday cake or not. Now this is how things should be done- I've had so many prior ruined birthday outings where the waiters would just come right out and ask whether they should bring out the cake! So kudos to Hotel Stripes for the thoughtful gesture.

White chocolate truffle cake. Truffle topping is made using white chocolate, heavy cream and mascarpone cheese. (I learn something new everyday!)

They served a white chocolate truffle cake, with "Happy Birthday Daddy" scribbled in chocolate (they had called to ask for the inscription the day before). The hostess invited Aiden and Ian to sing Happy Birthday together with her and even offered to take our photos afterwards. Awesome hospitality!

Last photo before we left.

Thank you Hotel Stripes, for making Hubby's birthday such a memorable one. We will certainly return for new memories!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Godiva Ice Cream at Genting Premium Outlets

Remember our recent trip to Genting here? Well as mentioned, we made a pitstop at Genting Premium Outlets (GPO), and lo and behold - they had a Godiva outlet!

Although extremely overpriced, I was adamant about trying it out. One cone made us RM25 poorer. *sigh* Aiden actually commented, "I can buy 25 McDonalds ice-cream cones with this!" Yes Aiden, rub it in all you want. To make things worse, we needed a drink to wash the ice-cream down so we ordered a cold milk chocolate drink which set us back a further RM25. Ah, the price of the finer things in life! #marimakanmaggi

The soft serve machine and the Chocolixir cold chocolate.

RM50 aside, I have to admit that the Godiva soft serve ice-cream was really good. It came in three flavour options; Vanilla White Chocolate, Dark Chocolate or Twist Chocolate (mixture of both). We chose the Dark Chocolate! The ice-cream came in a crunchy cone with the rim encrusted in chocolate and crunchy praline almonds.

Pick your pleasure!
I wanted to try the chocolate truffles too, but decided to postpone the wish till our next trip! 

The ice-cream was very creamy and rich, with a strong Belgian dark chocolate taste. A very indulgent and decadent treat! It wasn't extremely sweet so everyone enjoyed every single bite. Sharing one ice-cream between 4 people is no joke, ok! You have to wait quite a bit (while savoring your bite) before your turn comes up again. *giggles* Trust me, this is an ice-cream experience you won't want to miss. You will not regret it. Love at first lick!

Aiden trying to skip his turn.

The Chocolixir drink was a completely different story though. Despite the rave reviews, surprisingly not as rich as I expected it to be. Give it a pass and have some mineral water instead. *chuckles*

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


This year, Aiden finally understood the value of money. When he was younger, he used to think that coins were king. The more coins he had, the 'richer' he became. And then as he matured, he understood that paper money was more valuable (OK I confess, I prodded him down that road; often asking him to ask for paper money instead of coins from Hubby). But then he stuck to the same concept - the more paper money the better. Hence if we were paying parking with an RM5 note and received change of three pieces of RM1, he would get excited, saying that we made money! *smacks forehead*

This year, he finally genuinely understood the value of the money printed on the paper. Must be all those mathematics homework using Ringgit and such. And we can confidently give him coins as part of his duit belanja sekolah cos he now knows how to calculate total and receive change.

Super excited that his name came up in the recent Boost Juice name game. He kept telling everyone that his juice was free and that drinks were 'on him' that day! *giggles*

Recently, we went to a shopping mall as he wanted to buy something for Hubby's birthday. Awww so sweet! (His initial plan was to stick two empty tin biscuits on each end of a stick to make a dumbbell!) *chuckles* He carefully estimated the amount of money he had in his tabung ayam (it was about RM20 in total) and then off we went! Unfortunately he got distracted at the toy shop and used the money for himself instead. *giggles* Well at least it's the thought that counts.

Anyway, he made sure that he stuck to his budget. Since I told him I didn't want to carry his coins around, I told him he could use my money first and then he can pay me back later with his coins. He was genuinely worried, "But when I pay you, you'll have to carry a lot of coins around!" Hahaha in all honesty, I wasn't even planning on taking his money. But hey, I'm more than happy to see him taking it so seriously.

So after Aiden chose his toy, I told Ian that he could choose a toy too. After paying for both, we walked back to the car. During our walk, Aiden asked worriedly, "Mummy, do I have to pay for Ian's toy too?" *chuckles* I quickly comforted him and said no, but I was mighty impressed by the fact that he was worried about the fate of his cash!

And just today, we were at another shopping mall and he suddenly remembered his hutang, and said "Oh no Mummy, I forgot to pay you for my toy!" I think I melted into a puddle on the floor. Cair weih! So proud of the fact that he's a man of his words.

Posing with his favourite Chili's pizza. And his first day at Taekwando class.

We love you so much, Aiden. It has been quite a journey for you this year, blossoming into a very smart boy especially in numbers. Hoping that you'll keep up the good work and aspire to always understand the value of money in the future. Now do you believe that money doesn't grows on trees??!! *smiles*

Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Shoe

Have you guys seen "The Shoe", the latest colour illusion photo to take the Internet by storm after "The Dress"?

One look at the photo and I was super convinced that the shoe colour was grey and teal. Quickly showed the photo to Hubby who confirmed my suspicion that the whole world must see the shoe exactly as I see it. Grey and teal!

I jokingly showed the photo to Ian who mumbled something about black (haha!) and then briefly showed it to Aiden. Suddenly... He said. "It's pink!"

My jaw literally dropped. I gingerly asked, "Pink and...??" He answered, "Pink and white!"

Oh my god. Hubby and I were uber shocked. You see, the Internet is divided - some see it in grey/teal while the others in pink/white. And our son sees the shoe in a completely different colour than us. He's in a different camp! How come????

I then showed him "The Dress", and of course, he saw it in gold and white instead of black and blue like the rest of the world. *chuckles*

Oh my Aiden, you are certainly one special boy! I can't wait for Ian to be able to correctly identify non-basic colours so I can test it on him too!

Update: So apparently Ian can identify with the colour grey, and he clearly pointed to the grey as 'grey', and then the teal and called it 'blue'. So Ian is team teal and grey! :)

Monday, October 16, 2017

Brownies Kedut - Totally Destroyed My Diet

Since the cats out of the bag and I've officially disclosed that I'm trying for another baby, I might as well disclose that I've officially abandoned my diet and decided to embrace dessert with open arms. (Baby post has since been taken down, at least until we have a confirmed pregnancy; Hubby doesn't want to jinx it!)

Anyway, since we're on the subject of desserts, I made this mean brownies kedut over the weekend. Paired it with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream.... Heaven in a bowl I tell you!

I thought I should share the recipe with you... A calorie's only good when it is shared with many. No one has fun eating dessert alone. *chuckles*

Brownies Kedut
(Adapted from Azlita Masam Manis)

400 gm Beryl's dark chocolate compound
150 gm unsalted butter
100 gm brown sugar
100 gm castor sugar
4 eggs
1 tspn vanilla essence
100 gm self raising flour (I used normal flour and added 1tspn of baking powder)
30 gm cocoa powder
  • Preheat oven to 160degC. Grease and flour a 10x10 baking pan. If you are not using a removable bottom pan, line your baking pan with parchment paper or aluminium foil, leaving an overhand on two opposite sides. This will help when removing the baked brownies from the pan, once cooled. 
  • Cut the unsalted butter and dark chocolate into small pieces and tip into a heat-safe bowl. Fill a small saucepan with water and heat until barely simmering. Rest the bowl on the rim of the saucepan, ensuring that it doesn't touch the water. Put over a low heat until the butter and chocolate have melted, stirring occasionally to mix them. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. 

  • In a separate bowl, combine the brown sugar, castor sugar, eggs and vanilla essence. Mix together with a whisk. Add to the melted butter-chocolate mixture. 
  • Tip the flour (plus baking powder if used) and cocoa powder into a sieve held over a bowl. Tap and shake the sieve so they run through together free of lumps. Add this gradually into the earlier mixture.

  • Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, scraping every bit out of the bowl with a spatula. Gently ease the mixture into the corners of the tin. Put in the oven.
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Do not over bake!
  • Crack the oven slightly open and let it cool completely in the oven ~15 minutes. The top should have a shiny, papery crust - hence the name, kedut!

Check out that alluring kedut.

No anti-aging creams for this beauty. Kedut is the way to go! *giggles*

In this shot, I drizzled the top with some homemade salted caramel sauce - using just four ingredients i.e. sugar, butter, salt and heavy cream. Recipe here. But trust me, it is equally good with vanilla ice-cream!

Have fun embracing the kedut! Good luck :)

Friday, October 13, 2017

MY CyberSale

Oh my oh my oh my.

I am sooooo glad that today is the last day of the CyberSale. Kesian my bank account, dah nazak sangat nampaknya. Not only that - I am so obsessed with the sale, that I keep refreshing the page every half hour to see if they added anything new on the website. In the morning, the first thing I do before I step out of my bed, is to reach for my phone and refresh the Duck page. Crazy mazy.

This year, all of my online purchases are from FashionValet. Zalora didn't offer much, and I didn't bother hunting even further. (I did buy a top and a pair of jeans from Zara but shipping was a bomb hence I drove over to the store to pick it up instead.) Anyway, it has been raining parcels since Wednesday, to the point that my maid actually took a photo of the packages and sent it to me via whatsapp while I was at work. (She has never done that, ever!) Nampak sangat dia pun terkejut beruk with her employer's shopaholic ways.

Obviously, I looked forward to driving home and opening my packages, like a little girl on Christmas morning. Or rather, macam celebrate birthday hari-hari. Anyway, here's my loot that arrived on Wednesday and Thursday. More will continue trickling in cos I was still purchasing Ducks on Thursday morning, and still waiting for some scarves and lipsticks to arrive. Hopefully I don't find anything else to buy today!

Broke a record. Six packages in a day!

Ducks in the first day.

Took the opportunity to try out the new Duck Cosmetics. I tried the Nude palette, a lipstick in Dreamy Nora and their #NoFilter makeup remover.

Loving the colour palette. Sooooo pretty! I heard they're really pigmented too. Can't wait to try them out.

Second day's loot. Terkejut tengok siap kotak bagai this round.

More Ducks, some inners, Melba top and Verus pants from Aere, and a pair of Sera low block mules from Nelissa Hilman.

I'm literally sitting on my hands to stop myself from clicking the 'Place Order' button. Wish me luck, fellow shopaholics!

Update: The packages from Friday arrived and my helper surprised my yet again with this photo below. Broke the old record; this time it is 9 packages! But before you get any ideas, this loot is mostly for my fellow neighbours who wanted to join in the shopping madness. #PStakberbayar *giggles*

Text from my helper: "Iya minta d ambil gambar. Ohh so many.. kata Ian.. Pastu d kira dengn Ian... No one sampai nine.. betul la Puan.."

"Ohh so many", says Ian!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Birch @ DC Mall

A friend took me out for lunch recently, and she insisted on trying a place that she found through the internet. I was initially skeptical, but decided to trust her instincts.

Birch is located in DC Mall - a new mall right smack in the Damansara Heights area, close to where the government offices used to be. When we arrived, I was super convinced that the restaurant was going to go belly up after a while. Why? Because the mall was absolutely deserted. But surprisingly by the time we ended our lunch, the restaurant was completely packed with patrons!

Birch, DC Mall.

Having Huckleberry as a sister cafe doesn't hurt either. Birch is part of the team who also owns Huckleberry and Mezze, all of which is within the Damansara Heights vicinity.

Honestly, I wasn't dead impressed with the menu. They didn't have much choices, and they certainly didn't have any Asian options other than good ol' overpriced nasi lemak. (I need my dose of rice for lunch!) Aiden wouldn't be impressed either, as they didn't have any pasta too! Plenty of choices for sandwiches and wraps, though.

In the end, I settled with the Birch Benedict. Spicy pulled chicken (tulis jer serunding ayam kan lagi senang), barbecue sauce, poached egg, hollandaise sauce on toasted 7-grain sourdough, with charred cherry tomato and green salad on the side.

The Birch Benedict.

Creamy hollandaise sauce.

It was definitely right up Hubby's kind of alley. His kinda comfort food; but definitely not mine. I whatsapped to him a photo of my lunch, and he got super excited. Jeez! The taste was good, and they had the poached egg perfectly done. But again, not my idea of a great lunch.

My friend had the Birch Burger - sirloin and brisket burger patty, swiss cheese, jalapeno, chipotle aioli with a side of sweet potato fries. Again, acceptable taste but not my choice of food for lunch. If I had craved for a good burger, I would rather run over to KGB Burger for a great one.

The Birch Burger.

But, the dessert was a completely different story. And probably the sole reason for this blogpost. The Burnt Cheesecake (RM18++ per slice / RM200++ for a whole cake of 12 slices), is probably one of the best cheesecakes I've ever had in a while. It has a brûlée crust, a spongey layer wall, but beautifully contrasted with a gooey creamy center. Absolutely divine. Definitely a must try.

Seriously, this picture does not do justice to the cake.

Last weekend, I decided to take Hubby out for lunch at Birch. I figured that he would appreciate the Birch Benedict more that I would. Imagine my surprise, that upon my arrival, there were at least 15 people milling outside of the cafe and we were listed as number 7 on the wait list. Decided to takeaway the Burnt Cheesecake instead, and we enjoyed the dessert out of a takeaway box in the car. Needless to say, Hubby echoed my sentiments about the cake and we played fencing with our plastic forks for dibs on the last cake crumb.

Quite pricey, but worth every bite.

Verdict? Hubby would have loved it. I would probably come again only for the cheesecake. And if they added more Asian choices and a mean Carbonara for Aiden.

Birch @ DC Mall

Lot G10-11, Ground Floor, DC Mall, 
Jalan Damanlela, Damansara Heights
Monday to Thursday: 9am-1am; 
Friday to Saturday: 9am-2am; 
Sunday: 9am-5pm.
T: 03-2011-5966

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Baby Blue Aqiqah

Oh my... I just realized that I never announced the arrival of our first nephew, on my blog!

My youngest sister-in-law, who got hitched to the man of his dreams exactly one year ago, gave birth to the most adorable baby boy about two months ago. (Bunting pelamin woot woot!) We were over the moon! He is absolutely an angel - tak banyak ragam and soooooo baik. Jarang sangat dengar dia nangis unnecessarily. You can literally leave him in his crib and he would coo himself to sleep. Ian pun excited sangat with the newborn. Peluk, cium, gomol... asyik mintak for us to put the baby in his lap. The first day, he even asked to bring the baby home!

So last weekend, we had an aqiqah for baby Ahmad Daniel Firhad. The mummy wanted a baby blue theme, so we worked with the desired theme. Everyone contributed to the dessert table - I made fondant cookies and macarons, my sister-in-law made brownies, fruit cheese and tartlets while another made sugar cookies and mini cakes. I even went through my arts and craft box and found old props and ribbons that I bought for Ian's aqiqah four years ago. Some were even still wrapped and unused!

The front view. 

My fondant sugar cookies. One of my mother-in-law's guests took home like ten of these, muttering about making the same for her future cucu. *chuckles*

Sugar cookies in the shape of milk bottles and baby rompers.

I found the ribbon with those adorable baby footsteps unopened, deep in my arts and crafts stash box. Also found the baby blue paper doilies at my local baking supply shop.

Sunlight was pouring directly onto the table, making it hard for me to get decent pictures.

Chocolate brownies, topped with desiccated coconut tinged with a hint of blue. Such a creative way to make desserts match the desired theme. 

Three batches and macarons, tapi still tak cukup. It was quite a hit with both the adults and kids. Love those Prince ribbons; leftover from Ian's aqiqah.

A view from the side.

From the top - kek lapis Sarawak, blueberry tartlets, and fruit cheese (fruit cocktail topped with cream cheese). Baby carriage topper from the US.

This one is a funny story. My sister-in-law attempted to tinge the cookie batter blue, but it didn't quite match the theme, so she saved the day by topping it with baby blue icing.

Baby mummy cutting the centerpiece cake - a Ferrero Rocher cake that she baked specifically for the occasion. Baby blocks and cake topper from the US.

Reused the baby blue tissue flowers that I used for Ian's aqiqah nearly four years ago. You can read that entry here. Flanked by marshmallows and crunchy love letters in apothecary jars.

Okay, I honestly think I'm done with the baby blue theme. When can I start decorating with pink??? Doa banyak banyak for a baby girl to make an appearance soon in the family. Amin!
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