Monday, July 15, 2013

63. food review - waroeng iga @ one utama - 12 july 2013

I was gonna catch up with one of my girlfriends, Hawa, at One Utama, for breaking fast. After walking around, I suggested breaking fast at Waroeng Iga, an Indonesian ribs-specialty restaurant that had just opened in One Utama. It had some good reviews from a local Facebook group, so we booked a table at 7 pm.

The restaurant had looked very empty upon our arrival at 7 pm. We placed our orders. Hawa ordered nasi ayam penyet (flattened chicken with white rice), my boyfriend ordered nasi iga bakar cabe ijo (ribs in spicy green chilli sauce with white rice) and I ordered set nasi goreng iga spesial.

They gave us dates to break fast, very considerate of them. But by 7.30 pm with no sight of our food, me and Hawa left for prayers, and came back 15 minutes later, with just white rice on the table. Oh, dear. My boyfriend left for prayers, and at 7.50 pm, only the ayam penyet and iga cili hijau had arrived. I enquired the waiter about it (foreigner), who slapped his head, saying 'ajoooo' and hit his colleague on the arm. I guess my food was forgotten.

Set nasi goreng iga spesial

My boyfriend returned for prayers and my food still did not arrive. My meal finally arrived at 8.20 pm, one hour and 20 minutes after I had placed my order. I was so hungry that I scoffed down my meal. I guess you could say it was very delicious, but I was disappointed that a meal of fried rice came with only two small pieces of fried ribs (as you can see from the picture).  Price was around RM 20.

Iga bakar cabo ijo
The iga bakar cabo ijo was surprisingly delicious. The ribs was tender and spicy, though would have loved it to be more spicy. For the price (RM 18 ish), the portion was surprisingly small.

Ayam penyet
I didn't try the ayam penyet, but the portion was really, really, small. I think this restaurant caters to people who don't eat much...

Pisang coklat susu manis

We then ordered dessert, pisang coklat susu manis, which turned out to be just one banana split into two, sprinkled with condensed milk, chocolate sauce and cheese. Although delicious, the price for such a dessert was appallingly expensive. This was RM 6.90 (if memory serves me correctly).

Despite the delicious dishes, I was put off by this restaurant with the miniscule portion, overpricing of drinks, and especially the long wait. It doesn't portray itself as a high-end eatery, so I was definitely expecting big portions. 

As it is a new restaurant manned by foreign workers, I hope that they will improve this food establishment so they don't have customers fuming. One hour and 20 minutes waiting time for main course and 30 minutes for dessert is not acceptable, with the bill racking up to RM 86 for just the three of us. Expect to fork out between RM 25 - RM 30 per person for a cuisine you can eat cheaper at Warong Penyet (The Curve). I think I would have enjoyed eating at a fast food restaurant such as Chili's better. However, I would go back just for the iga cili hijau. 

Cleanliness: 5/5
Ambience: 4/5
Service: 0/5
Price: 3/5
Food: 4/5
Overall: 2/5

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

62. what is fasting about?

McD for dinner before the first day of fasting haha.

Today marks the first day of ramadan, where millions of Muslims around the world begin their annual ritual of fasting for one month as decreed by God himself. Earlier today, on the way to work, a conversation took place between me and my boyfriend - please read this with an open mind and try not to be offended about it.

We were talking about the hardest challenge when it comes to fasting. My answer? To not drink coffee early in the morning. He was surprised, as he thought I would give a more spiritual, and not physical answer.
Him: What do you think puasa is about?
Me: Hmm I guess it means to refrain yourself from letting anything enter your body from sunset until sunrise.
Him: Okay, what about sex, or masterbation? Do you think it's alright for a guy to do it during puasa?
Me: Of course that's wrong!
Him: Why is it wrong? You're not putting anything in yourself, kan?
Me: Because you're not supposed to. Because that's just weird. You're suppose to fast from that too. From the less innocent things.
Him: Aha, so now you realize it's not just about food, right?
He actually made me realize that this whole month of Ramadan is a chance for me to reflect on myself, my actions and intentions. That this month is not just about not eating, but the thoughts and ideas going on in my head.

I don't pray much, but after sahur (breakfast) I felt the need to pray. There was just an overwhelming need to submit myself to Him. I feel the change inside of me, to become a better Muslim. I hope the month of Ramadan will help guide me, and I hope to pray at all times. And this time, there's no syaitan to blame if I waver from praying. It's all on me.
In Islam, fasting for a month is an obligatory practice during the holy month of Ramadan, from fajr (dawn), until the maghrib (dusk).Muslims are prohibited from eating, drinking (including water), and engaging in sexual activity. They are also encouraged to temper negative emotions such as anger and addiction. Fasting in the month of Ramadan is one of the Pillars of Islam, and thus one of the most important acts of Islamic worship. By fasting, whether during Ramadan or other times, a Muslim draws closer to God by abandoning bodily pleasures, such as food and drink. This makes the sincerity of their faith and their devotion to God (Arabic: Allah) all the more evident.
Muslims believe that fasting is more than abstaining from food and drink.  During the sacred month of Ramadan, believers strive to purify body and soul and increase their taqwa (good deeds and God-consciousness). This purification of body and soul harmonizes the inner and outer spheres of an individual.
Happy fasting to all during this holy and blessed month!

Friday, July 5, 2013

61. what's stopping you?

And it's true. How?
Just bottle up all that anxiety, stress, anger, disappointment, and negativity into an imaginary bottle. 
Just put your arms in front of you, shoulders apart.
Imagine that you're gathering all of those torrential feelings into a bottle.
Push your arms closer together as if you're trying to compress all of this vibe into a compact bottle.
Compress it until it becomes a ball of nothingness.
Toss the abstract bottle over your shoulder.
Shrug it off and move on with your life.

60. penang (part I) - kek lok si temple

So when we went for Sue's wedding, me and him managed to squeeze in some time for "touristy" sightseeings. We drove out of the way to Penang Hill to ride the funicular train, but it was closed for maintenance.

Lucky for us, the next stop was Kek Lok Si Temple, which was just a five minutes drive away from the train. After much confusion, we ended up to a cluster of colorful temples amidst the hills of Penang. I'll show why you need to make a pit stop at this beautiful temple.

Part of the view. The right building is actually a pagoda.

Compulsory portrait shot hehehe. 

If you're a tortoise lover you need to stop by here and look at the hoard of red eared sliders in one of the many ponds tucked away. This was just like a dot in the ocean, there was tortoise as long as a metre just chilling at the bottom of the pond.

Paid RM 5 per person to take this inclined elevator to see the huge bronze statue.

The huge bronze statue awaiting you at the top of the hill. It was a sight to behold. According to the reliable sources at Wikipedia:-
In 2002, a 30.2m bronze statue of the Kuan Yin was completed and opened to public. It replaced the previous white plaster Kuan Yin statue which was damaged due to a fire a few years earlier. The bronze statue is located on the hillside above the pagoda while the head of the previous statue which survived the fire is preserved and placed on the right hand corner of the new statue. 
Kuan Yin is the Goddess of Mercy, which can also be regarded as Avalokitheshvara, Bodhisattva of Universal Compassion.

One of the gazebos on a huge pond. Thanks to two French tourists who helped take this picture. Hope your visit to Malaysia was beautiful and amazing :)

Respect any house of worship. Be aware of any signs telling you to do certain thing(s). 

The intricate designs and patterns inside the temple.

Flower offerings for prayer purposes.

You purchase these wishing ribbons, each with it's own wishes, such as health, prosperity, etc, and tie it to a big tree around the courtyard.

The trees affixed with wishing ribbons from past visitors.

I'm not really sure the purpose of these jars. I think there's candles in it that visitors light up?

Incense stick offerings to Buddha.

Another magnificent view of Penang, not to be missed.

In front of the pagoda. We climbed 7 flights of steps to reach the top of the pagoda!

The view awaiting us once we got to the top of the pagoda. Yeah alright, it was worth swearing, sweating, and maneuvering over steps big enough to fit feet less than 5 inches long to have this beautiful, windy view.

With him :)
The Kek Lok Si Temple (simplified Chinese极乐寺traditional Chinese極樂寺Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Ki̍k-lo̍k-sī; Penang Hokkien for "Temple of Supreme Bliss" or "Temple of Sukhavati") is a Buddhist temple situated in Air Itam in Penang and is one of the best known temples on the island. It is the largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia[citation needed]. The temple is heavily commercialised with shops at every level and inside the main temple complexes.

There was so many nooks and crannies to be explored, along with the beautiful views of Penang on top of the hill. It's definitely worth a stop, especially if you're someone who respects religion, and appreciate the beauty of the architecture.