River of Life ~Sming's

Me and just me.

Saturday, April 29, 2006
Porky Feast @El Cerdo
28 April 2006
This is not the first time I have visited El Cerdo; a small restaurant that serves European dishes, specializing in pork. The chef himself is from Europe.

The first time I went there was sometime end of 2005 and I fell in love with the soup and the pork steak. I couldn’t get it out of my mind!! So, I gathered the makan-makan gang and we went for a feast- and it was a feast of pork!

There were 8 of us and we ordered a few dishes and they served us in portions so that we get to try a bit of everything. The menu had changed but the food is still superb!!

We started with this cute portion of soup. It was on the house. Thick and creamy with bits of bacon… slurpppp... We also ordered Weistburwatever German beer. Porky meals won’t be complete without beer man !!

Then we had a cold appetizer. It is a combination of hams- Blackforest ham (that is the one on the honey dew), Italian and Spanish ham. They are different in the way they are processed, cured and hang. Blackforest ham is a way in which the ham is prepared in a place from Germany- if I didn’t remember wrongly.. And again, if not mistaken the Italian ham is cured and then hang for 3 years. If not, then it is the Spanish Hehehe… Bunch of patient people huh !! Well, when the ham exposed to different environment and trees, they have different flavors. The chef was kind enough to explain each of it to us. J Talk about the knowledge in food. For me, I couldn’t remember much coz I was too busy tasting the ham!! Hahaha….

Next, we proceed to our main dish. The best of all!! Agreed unanimously by the gang. I think it is called pork shoulder steak. Or something like that…Anyway, this is my lost love. Waaa.. heaven to be able to taste it again… This one is served in portion- means we ordered two dishes and they portioned it to 8 servings. The grass-like strips are really nice- crunchy and tastes good! As for that part of pork steak … mmm… doesn’t smell like the normal pork we have. It smells differently and it is juicy and tender… ahh… I wiped my plate CLEAN! This is a MUST TRY!!

This one is the hot appetizer. Not sure if this is actually the correct sequence or they just forgot to serve this first… It is wrapped spicy pork strips. A Mexican dish. We gotta spread the green and red stuff on it before stuffing into the mouth. Green one is made of avocado and the red on is the normal thing we have for fajitas. It is another MUST TRY. Sorry, I cannot remember the name. Just tell them you want the Mexican popiah. Hehehe

Then now we have another Blackforest dish. This is wild boar. Those are some berries with preserved pear. Sweet- I am not used to it. But the meat is good!! It has some mushrooms with creamy sauce. And the bottom one is potato I think.. I just know stuffing the whole thing into my mouth is just…. Ahhh…

Ok… still more space in the stomach. Here comes the Hickory ribs served with mashed sweet potato and salad. This how big the serving is if you order per plate. You gotta forget about using the knife and forks. Not about table manners but how they really eat their ribs in Europe. It is an advice from the chef and Jason who also nagged by his European counterparts when he had his ribs with cutleries in Netherlands. This is more on the sweet side but juicy. Finger licking good!

We also have a serving of Butcher plate. It comes with 3 long sausages and some ham or meat. Sorry. No photo. Before I can remember to whip out my camera, the dish was wiped out. L But the meat with some fat was yummy with the mustard. I am not much of a sausage person or fat meat person. So, rating from me is mediocre.

Last but not least we have our Crispy Pork Knuckles. Serving is for two. Ahh.. downing my German beer and the pork knuckles completes the European meal. Anyway, pork knuckles are quite common here. So, unless you have a big gang to try different things or an unexplainable sudden crave for knuckles, you can give it a miss.

Ok.. main course finishto. Now … desserts!!!! Yeah!

Ahh. Pan cakes… with ice cream too !! Yummy.. The picture says it all.. Hot pancakes with cold not-too-sweet ice cream. God, I miss it now already.

Then this is some berry jelly with ice cream. Mm… ok lar.. It is like having ice cream with jam.

We then had some chocolate thingy- Thick sweet chocolate with pistachio ice cream. Also a piece of biscuit thingy and cream.. Too sweet for me.

Best was the first pancake and so we ordered a second plate! That says it all doesn’t it!

Overall, I had a really satisfying meal. And my boyfriend who doesn’t really fancy expensive food (he just like his cheeeena food like curry mee and chee cheong fan) also gave two thumbs up!!

Environment is beautiful and relaxing; nice interior. Service is really good. They even gave us free ice cream!

Ok. For those who really want to try out, here are the details.

The exterior of the restaurant can be deceiving. But it is a must try place.

Things to note:
1. For Tuesday- Friday dinner, order all your dishes before 6pm to get 30% off; from starters to desserts and even wine! We did rush for it and we saved about RM 200+ ler !!!
2. Parking- park at Radius International Hotel and then pass to them your parking ticket. They will then give you cash for the parking- so free parking!!
3. For birthday celebrations, they serve a complimentary slice of cake.
4. Make reservations!! It was full house on a Friday night.

Budget wise; expect to pay about RM 80.00 per person (normal price), for a decent meal at El Cerdo!
Till then, Enjoy !!!
posted by sming @ 7:38 PM   0 comments
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Model album out from the oven- Finally !!
Yes ! After that almost 500 years of wait.. finally, my album is out !!
Actually not much mood to write about it today. May be PMS.. anyway. I gotta be responsible to my readers maaaaa ( Cheh waa, like some best selling writer pulak)
Ok.. in a nutshell, I am satisfied. I can still find some faults but aii.. close one eye.. also happier lar me. I did one mistake of choosing one of the photos. And ppl tell me I look matured and not so nice in that photo. That is my only regret.
Still recall my colleague's comment.
Him: "Hmmm.. very beautiful... waaaa"
Me: ** Smirk
Him: "Waaaa.. so nice.. the smile so sweet hoh.. "
Me: ** Smirk somemore
Him:"But, look so different from you. The Sming in the photo much much much more beautiful!!"
Immediately the curve on my lips went the other way round !
Sien. Means I am not beautiful without the make up lar! Means that I must always ICI my face lar !!
I know that is the truth.. but no need to tell the truth and only the truth one maa.. This is not making police statement what.
Lie abit won't die lar. :@
*sulk *sulk *sulk *sulk *sulk *sulk *sulk *sulk
Anyway, don't care lar. I keep for few more decades, my grandchildren wouldn't know the 'truth'. They will just go and tell their friends that 'my ah ma is sui cha bor!!!!!'
Ha ha ha !!
posted by sming @ 6:34 PM   2 comments
Thursday, April 13, 2006
When are you getting married ?
How many of you actually have a standard answer to this question ? If you do, then we must be on the same boat.
I think this question is actually quite innocent ( I am guilty of asking this questions quite often too.. hehehe). I think it is the question or comment that follows that is really destructive.. (at least to me).
"Aiyoh, when lar? You are not young already ler...."
Man.. age is a reason to marry now ???
I have been asked by many since 2 years back. At first, it was a shy smile and some mumbled answer.. Then, it is short (but sweet) answer of "Two more years". Now it is two years later. Am I getting married ? Yeah, eventually. When ? HAHAHA... that is the big question. I don't know.
Marriage is a unity of two person. I cannot decide nor can I answer for my another half. AND I can't be asking him when and when all the time ?? I have this old fashion thinking that I want my another half to propose to me, asking for my hand of marriage in a special and romantic way.. then I will tell him through my watery eyes.. I love you too.. but please give me some time to think over it ( tarik harga maaaa). Not with me starting a conversation like below.
" Eh, today my aunty asked me again when getting married ler ?"
" Oh...KPC-nyaa... so what you told her?"
" I said I don't know lor.. "
" Ohh.. okie.... "
"Ok ??!!"
"Wei.. "
"What ???"
"So.. so.. you.. you got any plans... ?"
" WAAAAALAU-eh.. Like that also can score goal !!!! OUCH..OUCH...( this is when I will whack him) What lar ??"
" Nothing LAAAAAAAAAAA" Then, I go sulking for the whole afternoon.
To many , it is a simple and innocent question. And, I am not blaming those who have asked or have been asking me that question. I know they care and are concerned about me.. Just that, sometimes it creates a shadowless and shapeless pressure. It is like a monster devouring your heart. Espescially when you have another half who is oblivious of the entire thing.
It is not that I am very very very very keen to get married soon. But, with everyone asking me the question. My family, relatives, close friends, not-so-close friends.. colleagues... boss.. vendors !!!I cannot answer and I really feel I am alone at times.. When the question piles up, it transform to a burden in my mind. I do not want to ask him as I do not want him to feel that I am pressuring him. And, it is meaningless to ask him too many times what is his plans for us.. Yeah, conservative I know...
At times, when I think about it. I am actually not really ready to get married. But, I still feel the pressure, whether or not any one is really pressuring me. Peer pressure , family pressure, health pressure (the risk to have your first baby after 30 yrs old)....
Ahhhh..since when marriage is between two people? Hahaha.. I remember my aunty once told me. When you marry, you are not just marrying the person. You are marrying the family.
Now, I feel it is not only the family.. it is the ENTIRE SOCIETY. May be if I can just forget about society norms, don't give a damn of what people say, people think, I would be happier.
Yeah. may be. But I couldn't get myself to do so. So how ?
Write in my blog to flush out all the feelings when I feel the pressure again lor... Enjoy my single life too !!!!!
Worst case is no little cute smings running around .. hahaha...
posted by sming @ 5:51 PM   4 comments
Tuesday, April 04, 2006
Treasure Hunt @Awana Kijal ~ Hyatt Kuantan 1-3 April 2006

Treasure hunt organized by my company. :) This is the fourth one I have participated.. But it is the one I had most fun and most eventful one.. :)

We started the day early and hunt to Awana Kijal. 4 cars 15 ppl.. Big gang huh.. can go pek yao d... Then on the next day 11 of us extended our stay to Hyatt Kuantan...

Now the highlights of the trip

Treasure Hunt
WE WON !!! Yeah.. so unexpected.. I was shocked. I think I almost made the guy next to me deaf by screaming into his ears. :P After all these years, finally we won something.. we got 22nd place out of 100 cars.( as if we won first place hoh) Not a BIG achievement but ok for once-a-year hunters like us. :) At least we know we are improving !! hahaha
Table lucky draw !! Yeah.. never lucky with draws but only two tables got the lucky draw and we were one of them !!! A small prize- umbrella.. but most of all, it makes us feel LUCKY!!!
Romantic Nite but no Romeo
At Awana Kijal, we had 5 bottles of wine.. I think about 13 of us. I can't remember and am too lazy to count now. We were playing the drinking game. First part was in between, you get to choose who you want to drink if you win else you finish your drink!! Second part was whoever got the smallest card gotta drink !! Third part is everyone to stick the card on the forehead and can decide whether if they should add more wine to the current glass. Haha( We can conclude that Andy and Alvin has the stickest forehead :P) Anyway, it was either the guys gang up on me and my own bad luck that I drank quite alot. End up all high and blur.
Not really drunk ( NO.. I am not drunk). Anyway, we went out to beach.
I was lying on the sand. Man... It is beautiful... the entire sky was filled with stars.
Big, small, bright, dim.... I even saw two shooting stars !!!! Yeah !! It was exhilarating ! I am so into stars and shooting stars !! Ah.. to make it even more romantic.. the waves were rolling to the shore, with strong rhythm. The sound of the waves...the darkness... the stars.. the alcohol in the bloodstream.. man !!
It was just a perfect night for romance, but sadly... it is a romantic night without Romeo.

The Spooky photos...
Awakening to the fact that my Romeo would not come galloping on his white horse, I went back to my room.
The next day we saw some photos that was taken the night before. It was a few without flash.A few with Soo pretending to be 'Samara'.. messing up her long hair and showing her scary face. Man.. it was eerie and it doesn't give a pleasant feeling.. I think the rest of us already gave Soo a hard time about it. hehehehe
But the worse photo is one with the 3 girls. Yen, Soo and Chia. Actually it was the photo that started the whole prank with the eerie effect. It was only the next morning over breakfast, I notice that there are long clumps of 'hair' on Chia's face. Chia had short straight hair. Then everyone freaked out!! And we have lots' of versions that spooked everyone. Like Yen was never in the picture. Who is the girl in between... no one was wearing clothes with that particular logo.. There should not be any shadows...as it was taken at the open sea.
Anyway, those who were around that night got sober and agreed that yes the three did take the photo together.. And yes, there was a coconut tree at that spot. And the leaves or the shadows were actually the clumps of hair...
To tell you the truth, I think it is just an explanation to soothe everyone's feeling. It is plain spooky.. But as long as everyone is healthy, happy and sane, I will go along with the story. Definitely I won't take eerie pictures at night, espescially at the beach. Jinx !! Call me supertitious or what.. I don't care. It is better respect all beings- and that includes spiritual beings.

A brush with the High & Mighty
Before we check in to Hyatt Kuantan, there were police everywhere and red carpet laid for us. Wow.. first class treatement walking in on red carpet. :PAnyway, after hanging out for awhile, we girls were going out to town to get Sharon's specs fixed. Then I saw a commotion.. AHHH.. it's our Prime Minister !!! With my trained hands, I whipped out my camera and start shooting away. But only manage to take one decent photo with half of his face blocked by this man who does not understand what it means by standing behind the line. #$#%(!%^&! But this photo should be ok. And next it was me shaking his hand. I lost my chance last time to shake hand with our Tun Mahathir, I am not going to let this one slip either!! So I was really kiasu and rushed forward to shake his hand. But with all the excitement, I just manage to blurt a "Hello!" with a silly smile plastered on my face. Yeah.. Hello ?????!!!!! What kind of a greeting is that to the man who is second in power of the country ( I assume Agung is the top- pardon my ignorance with the political structure) Hahaha...

Anyway, after the trip to town.. we saw the top man of the country.. Yes, Yang DiPertuan Agung ( sorry, if I miss out any Yang Berbahagia or Berhormat in front- returned to my high school teacher d)... I dare not go and shake his hand, worried that I might be shot as mistaken for a assassin.Anyway, it was cool man !! I even got a picture with 4 traffic sergeants.. But the picture did not come out well.. :((

Hm.. just to think about it. Just a few weeks ago, I had a close encounter with the Deputy Prime Minister. I didn't even notice him and almost knocked him coz I was to engrossed in an conversation with my colleagues. His bodyguards did give us an icy stare.. Ooops !!
ok, back to my trip...
Food !
No trip is complete without good food.
Kemaman stuffed crab.. aiii... was disappointed. I was so looking forward to it that I ordered two !! Not as good as I last tried in Oct 2005. Hmmm.. And price increased. Ppl, don't go to Tong Juan anymore. Gang must be cursing me now. Hehe
Dinner at Kuantan. See those BIG FAT oysters @ Pak Su Kuantan. Yummy !!! I had 3. Two cooked in garlic sauce-mmm special. One fresh !! **Drooling....
Our trip ended with the best food of the trip. Superb tin Kai meehoon at Bentong, bak sou gong fish,, ham yu fa lam.. don't ask me to explain what it is.. Just SUPERB food ! And Bentong ice-cream.. Thanks Chia for the food recommendation and treating us ice-cream !!!! :)

To the survivors of our Hyatt Kuantan "Expedition"!!
Hall of Fame
Had been sick for a week and was not feeling that well halfway through the hunt. But was miraculously cured after the announcement of our win !
Scratched off some skin during football match at the evening we checked in to Hyatt.A nasty gash on the foot at the swimming pool after a game of water polo. And also surviving all the scratches as we three girls all attacked him at the same time. He was the goal keeper. :P
Almost lost her 'sight' after her spectacles lens fell off due to a loosen screw.Ahhh.. a bee stung on her arm during our walk on the beach. The entire arm was swollen and numb by the evening. Now stil nursing her Doremon arm at home. Get well soon, girl !
Another patch of skin lost as a result of his collision with Patrick- also causing same casualty to Patrick as above. Respect their diligence in the game. Also almost being disfigured by me during the water polo game. hehe.. I sort of scratched his face- luckily no scar. whew!
One red scratch at his back- contributed by Chia. Ahh.. I leave it to him to explain to his girlfriend ler
Another scratch on the leg during beach football session. Result of leg locking with Thiong. Again, respect his dedication to win for the team..
Also hurt in the above leg locking with Andy. And got 3 bee stings on his foot (same spot- sure kena lottery d !!).. Yes Ah Thiong kena tiong tiong tiong !!!!
Ahh.. another casualty due to Thiong's fierce determination of winning the water polo game.Got a bad gash on his eye. Thank god just an external wound.
Got a small swollen itchy wound- source unknown. Suspects: Fire ants or pine. Also had neck ache( to be exact:- fan lai keng) - after being sandwiched between Sharon and
me for the night.. hahahahah
After giving his best in the beach football game, vomitted out all the stuffed crab.. Aii..This is financial loss, that stuffed crab is so expensive ler !!
Self inflicted scratch on the face due to a chipped finger nail on the first morning of the hunt. Aii.. got my disfigured face photographed the whole trip. :(
3 broken finger nails after the water polo game- also the reason why Alvin was almost disfigured. One bee sting on the right foot, just above the ankle. But other than itchiness, I survived the sting.

One more missing huh.. oh yeah.. Dominic- he is our liquor dealer and well, he slept through the entire water polo game and walked away from the beach volleyball and football without a scratch. Hmm.. our ultimate survivor ? Your vote.

Anyway, everyone had fun and we girls got our sexy tan. :P
I really enjoyed myself- Thanks guys !! Already looking forward for the next trip d !!
posted by sming @ 5:52 PM   2 comments
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