Friday, June 17, 2016

Soos - Malaysian Food in Toronto

So, I have been living in Toronto for the last four months - it's almost the longest I've ever been out of my country of birth, Malaysia. Do I miss "home"? Yes, but only for one reason other than family members.

The food. Malaysian food.

When it comes to food, you sure can take a girl out of Malaysia but you can never take Malaysia out of a girl.

People will be very quick to say I'm bias towards Malaysian food but really, anyone who has been to Malaysia WILL tell you about the food and how glorious it is. My family hails from a little island in Malaysia called Penang which is known for its awesome, mouth-watering food.

I've been craving for Malaysian food really badly, for a few weeks now. You see, I've only learnt to cook from my mother-in-law,post marriage, so naturally, I can only cook up Indian dishes (my husband is from India) and I have zero idea on whipping up Malaysian food. Yeah, I could learn a thing or two from YouTube, you would say, but I'm also good at failing badly in the kitchen.

So.... my husband and I thought it's a better idea to keep the kitchen unburnt and instead head over to a Malaysian restaurant called Soos in Ossington Ave.

Soos prides themselves in serving authentic modern interpretations of Malaysian street food.

Upon arriving at the little entrance to a place that smells like glorious food, we were asked to wait for 2 minutes to be seated.

The interior design of Soos reminded me of the hipster cafes back in Malaysia.
Except, this one seems a lot more classy.

It also boasts a mini bar with comfortable stools under some cool-looking lighting fixtures.
There's also a private area to sit a larger group of people.
The walls are decorated with art work of Wayang Kulit, a famous Malaysian entertainment in the form of shadow puppets.
We were given a menu to look at and that was by far the only disappointing thing for the night.
I was hoping to order Nasi Lemak, the National dish of Malaysia, only to be told that they serve it on certain days.
I then asked about the other famous dish called Nasi Goreng (which is pretty much Malaysian Fried Rice) to which they gave the same reply.
On the menu, we had about 10 appetizers, 6 main dishes and 2 desserts to choose from, with one or two dishes not in the menu. None of the appetizers nor 4 of the main dishes were food that I was craving for, so, hubby and I went for the only two obvious options.
The Fried Kuey Teow (stir-fried rice cake strips)
Ayam Goreng. (Fried Chicken Malaysian style)
First came the Ayam Goreng with coleslaw on the side.
A reasonably hungry me took a dive before remembering to take a picture of it!
(I hope that explains the position of the fried chickens and errr.. coleslaw).
I sank my teeth into a perfect blend of authentic Malay spices, fried to the perfect golden brown of chicken skin.
I couldn't believe how authentic and close to home it tasted and at that point, I was really anxious to see how the Fried Kuey Teow would turn out.
I used the word "see" because with most Malaysian food, a true Malaysian food lover will be able to judge the food by just looking at it.
And then came the dish hubs and I have been waiting for.
Le Fried Kuey Teow.
While taking my order, I told the waitress to make the Fried Kuey Teow as authentic as she can.
I then winked and told her I'm from Malaysia.
She replied with a simple "OK".
I held back from telling her that I'm originally from Penang Island because that would be putting way too much pressure on the chef, haha! It's almost like cooking a curry dish for someone from India.
On hindsight, I wasn't sure if she was offended with that suggestion but the Fried Kuey Teow is such a dish which either makes it or breaks it.
I knew I was probably asking too much by expecting an authentic Malaysian Fried Kuey Teow in the middle of Toronto, half a world away from Malaysia.
So, I kept my expectations at 0 - even after the fried chicken.
It turned out way above expectations.
The more bites I took, the more intense my smile.
Not only was I greeted with a good sight (before taking a bite, I told hubs that it certainly looks authentic) but I was also greeted with a deliciously pleasant aroma.
The Sambal (a hot sauce typically made from a mixture of variety of chili peppers with secondary ingredients such as shrimp paste, fish sauce, garlic, ginger and shallot) served on a spoon, as you can see on the left, is on point.
The spices and ingredients were well blended in the kuey teow with the right amount of oil.
I remember thinking to myself while gobbling the noodles down "omg they even use bean sprouts!".
The size of the prawns were awesome and fried to heavenly perfection, oozing out the no-words-could-describe taste when I sank my teeth into it.
I recognize a taste too familiar with this dish which led me to ask the waitress "Which part of Malaysia are you guys from?"
To which she replied slowly but surely with a smile, "Penang".
Hubby and I left with happy tummies and taste buds but with much lighter pockets.
Although the food was beyond amazing, I wish it would be made affordable enough for me to visit often.
Oh, and they should definitely consider adding more dishes to their menu and serve them on a regular basis!
In the meantime, I can only envy the two Malaysian girls who work there.
They don't have to miss and crave for Malaysian food like I do.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

A Big Update

6 months later, a Samsung S6 and across the Altantic ocean; about 30,00km away from Malaysia...
I am finally here in Toronto, Canada.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hej Copenhagen!

I am, once again, blogging on my phone. My numerous attempt at going through 10,000 wedding pictures and selecting it to be uploaded to Blogger; plus writing a long essay on my wedding trying not to bore the crap out of my readers, failed miserably. There were two weddings in two different countries with some 800 people involved so please do give me some more time and i'll have my wedding blogpost up in no time!

Meanwhile... I've spent the last 6 months getting married in two countries (to the same man, of course!!), being a good Indian wife, learning to cook all that delicious mouth watering Indian dishes from my amazing mother in law, making Bengali tea, making 'nimbu' (lemon) sherbet, trying to be a good daughter in law and make both families proud, moving to India for a short while and then on to Denmark.....

Yep, that was a 6months well spent! So... i'm currently passing my days in Copenhagen by breathing in the fresh, fresh air, having a cup of hot tea whenever i want, waking up whenever i want, going around wherever i want.... i really do feel this is one good break i so deserve for all the stress that came in from every corner in the last 2 months leading up to my wedding day... 

So for now... let me just enjoy Denmark... for now.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Qliq Hotel Empire Damansara

OK, so it's been 2 months since the wedding and I have not blogged or uploaded any pics or video of my actual wedding day on this blog - I promise, promise, promise myself to do it sooooon. 

As of mid May, I have packed and left Malaysia for Bombay to be with my husband. (omg.. I actually have a husband now!) *the fact that I'm married hasn't fully sink in, one can tell*

Come this August, I will be leaving to Denmark for good. 
One can only imagine the packing and unpacking and packing and unpacking I've gone, going and will be going through!

I've quit my job, sold my car and gave up my rented house so for the last two nights that I was in Malaysia, I decided to put up in a hotel nearby my house.
I came across this new hotel called Qliq @ Empire Damansara. 

Hubs and I were greeted by staffs upon arrival at the hotel entrance. 
(I swear that these days even the service at 5-star hotels in Kuala Lumpur aren't this good!)

Then, we were ushered into the artistic, futuristic-looking lobby where we were each given hot hand towels which were rolled up in cute shapes and a bottle of mineral water while we check ourselves in.

We were very pleased to know that we were given an upgrade for our room and after passing us the key cards, the lady at the lobby said "Happy Honeymoon".

Before you go on thinking I'm a freeloader, I'll tell you briefly about what happened - shortly after booking this hotel through (I highly recommend this website for hotel bookings - it is indeed one of the cheapest, based on my research and comparisons!), I received an email from Qliq Hotel's manager, addressed to me directly (it didn't seem like one of those copy paste standard welcome-thankyou email), telling me a few things about the hotel and the nearby attractions and assuring me that their talents will be there to assist hubs and I upon our arrival and she even gave me her mobile number to contact her directly should I need further assistance or further information, whatsoever.

Since hubs and I spent the last two weeks in Malaysia mercilessly packing, selling stuff on Mudah and to Cash Converters and shipping some to India, I thought it will be nice to turn these two nights of hotel stay into a mini getaway. 
Hence, I wrote back to the manager asking her if it's possible to decorate the room a little... teehee.. I mean come on, it's not everyday one gets a chance to stay in a decorated hotel room, right?
 Plus.. it was subjected to the hotel management's agreement anyway!
She replied my email congratulating me (see.. very courteous!) and telling me she'll "try her best".

 My Expectation: A standard room decorated with rose petals on bed. 
Reality: A room upgraded to an exclusive suite... and... pictures below!

The hall of the suite.

I guess one can never go wrong with some complimentary fruits :)

The sofa in the hall.

A work desk in the hall

The room... separated from the hall by a door.

Love the deco, really! :)

I find the entire design concept of the hotel to be simple, clean, modern with a futuristic touch.

In the room itself.. there was also a walk in closet!

With loads of space to keep your lot of luggages.. in our case..  the space was really very much needed!

I'm very particular with hotel cleanliness. (my close friends can vouch for this!) 
I peered into one of the deco bowls located at the top shelf just to see if I can catch a speck of dust...... nothing, it's absolutely cleaaan!!

Another place I constantly check for dust in hotel rooms.. is the bed head... again, not a speck of dust!

Aaaand.. yet another often disgusting place to check if a hotel is clean.. the switches!!
Not only it is clean.. but but... you can also charge your phone or any electronic devices using the USB port in case you're a forgetful person like me who always forget to bring along the phone charger head... that, and the plugs are international!

Attention coffee/tea lovers... look what they have here!

One of the MAJOR part of a hotel room I ALWAYS ALWAYS check out before booking is the toilet.
Not only does it need to be clean but it MUST have a door to separate it from the bed room area and if possible, it shouldn't be facing the bed. No I'm not into "feng-shui". 
I just simply don't feel comfortable having the bathroom door right in front of me.

For the minority of you, who, like me, are toilet-facing-bed phobic.. you'll be glad to know that the toilet in this hotel room is within the walk-in-closet itself albeit separated by a door and that the walk in closet, too, is separated by a wooden sliding door from the bedroom area.

Neither did I expect from Qliq Hotel....

A decorated bath tub :)

With ample sitting space :)

The bathroom was spotless.

Yeap, they have rain shower!!!
And no, it doesn't rain men.. just, water. LOL.

And before you allow your imagination and sight to run wild on what you think are the toiletries they provide... let me lay it all out for you.

Nope.. it's not what you thought it was.
Nevermind if you weren't thinking about anything.
The red round looking stuff in the packet is a hair tie and the transparent one is a shower cap.

Ps: The shower gels smelled awesome - it had a relaxing scent that reminded me of spas!

If the pictures fail to tell you, then let me do so. 
Hubs and I had a wonderful stay at this hotel. 
Everything from the customer service to the cleanliness and amenities was perfect!
It's a pity we didn't really have the time to check out the pool area but from the pictures I saw, it sure is beautiful. 

My recommendation? 4.5 out of 5.0!!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

My Wedding

  Nope, this is not another blog post about how I want my "dream wedding" to be.
But yes, this is a blog post about my upcoming wedding - my actual wedding.

When I broke the news to people, one of the most common reaction I got was:

I know. My friends. Tsk tsk.

So........ the story goes back to 2006 when we met each other during college days. We lost contact for the next 5 years before finding each other on Facebook again in 2012. He was in the UK and I was here in Malaysia. Daily skype calls and chats led us to where we are now.....

So, how did Mr. Devam Das pop the question, you ask? Truth is, he didn't. Yup, you read that right.
He didn't ask me. Instead, he picked up the phone, called my dad, told my dad he loves me and asked for my hand in marriage.

I know right? Let's do it together.... 1, 2, 3....... AWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!

The custom made engagement ring. 

From that point onwards, it was decisions, decisions, loads of decisions and planning.

Where should we have the wedding? India or Malaysia or both?
If both, where should we have it first?
When should we have it?

19th April 2015 - Mumbai, India.

25th April 2015 - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

I've always told my mum that it'll be cool to have my wedding in two countries. 
This, my friend, is now a reality.
I wish mum was here though ;(

Those of you who have been involved in planning a sibling's/relative's/close friend's wedding will know how hectic it is planning one.
I have TWO weddings to plan, each taking place miles apart from the other. 
I've got a tour to arrange, accomodation, transportation, food, etc. 
If people are buying air tickets of about RM1200 just to attend your wedding, I feel it's only fair if you be a good host and provide them with the necessities mentioned.

So I have THAT to worry about, on top of all the videographers, dresses, dance performances, photographers, church wedding, flow of event, etc.

Hence, to help me prep for the wedding... I need to keep calm... and stay ZEN.
(in my own word: Sleep. actually. LOL)

Step 1: Getting Fit

Before you blast me thinking I'm one of those skinny girls who want to get even skinnier before the wedding, truth is, I'm going to the gym NOT to get skinnier or to lose weight - but in fact, to pile on more muscles and weight. 
Yes, I'm going to the gym to make myself look bulkier - to make myself look like I'm less likely to fly away when strong winds blow.

My goal is to expand my hips, thighs and pile on muscles to my arms.
So far so good. I no longer look like I'll fly when strong winds blow.

Step 2: Getting Fairer

Now, I love, love, LOVE tanning myself and hate being fair because I've always had the notion that having tanned-skin is sexy. At least I look like I have colour on my face and I won't look like I'll faint any minute.
But because the Mr likes me to stay fair... (his reasoning:Hey if I want a girl to be tanned-skin I have many to choose from in my own country, thank you.) That sounds fair enough. I oblige. 
Currently using a whole load of whitening products, scrub, staying out from the sun, applying enough lotion and taking extra care of my skin. 

Step 3: Experimenting with Styles and Make Up

I'll be doing a Kate Middleton in India. By that, I meant that I'll be doing my very own make up.
This is because I've tried out make up done by Indian beauty parlors and none of them can seem to get my eyes right.
Considering the fact that they are very used to drawing on big eyes, they obviously aren't used to smaller eyes hence it became a disaster.

So, it's just me doing my own make up in India, thank you.

Practising my make-up skills

Thankfully it's not the same case in Malaysia so below is the outcome of one of the make-up trials:

I love it. Do you? :)

Step 4: Clothings for Myself and the Entire Family

Because this is an Indian wedding and because I'll have relatives and friends flying over to India to attend my wedding, I have made a trip to India to help get their clothings sorted out. 

Natasha and Jaron looking extremely cute in Indian outfits.

Oh, the Mr also had my reception and Sangeet outfits sorted out.
So I was told that an Indian bride will have at the VERY LEAST 3 outfits to get into - an outfit for Sangeet (dance/bachelor party), an outfit for the reception dinner and an outfit for the actual wedding (walking around the fire). 
But because I also happen to be a Malaysian Chinese bride, I will have at least 3 outfits to wear here in KL too. One for the Church Wedding, one for the Tea Ceremony and at least 2 during the reception dinner.
That amounts to 7 outfits in total!

Step 5: Phtographers Etc.

In my mum's words: "Wedding videography is not something you want to cut cost on."
I remember her flipping when my brother didn't bother having a videographer for his wedding; to which I quickly got a friend of mine to film the wedding at just RM500.
At least, he can now show his kids his very own wedding ceremony :)

Aaaaannnywaaaayy... I've confirmed both my videographer and photographer. 
If i haven't confirmed at this point, I'll be in trouble, innit?
I've settled for nothing lesser than a beautiful work of art.

I shall now allow some of the pre-wedding pictures below to do the talking.

It's about a month away from the wedding. 
Brides maid dresses are ready.
Air tickets have been booked.
Invitation cards have made its round.
The truth? I'm excited to start a new chapter of life as Mrs. Devam Das. 

I hope mum is really able to look down from above to watch all this ;(