Kampungkayell

Food, life, and fun in my "kampung,"(village), KL (Kuala Lumpur). Did I mention "food?"

The Wolseley in Piccadilly

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Gerry and Henrik suggested brunch at The Wolseley, a single star Michelin restaurant. Since we had already planned to go to Ubon by Nobu on another night, we weren't too enthused seeing as food in London is extremely expensive. Especially, Michelin starred restaurants. We were having visions of a bill of about £50 PER PERSON. G and H assured us that that was true usually but The Wolseley was different in that it was very affordable for great food. On top of that, it's a place where celebs like Rupert Everett hang out. With that recommendation, it was hard to say No. Hey, as a tourist, in for a penny in for a pound. I'm not a celeb watcher usually, but when I'm on holiday...what the heck.

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The Wolseley was originally a car showroom for, you guessed it, Wolsely cars. The pencil and ink drawing above tells it like it is. That central section between the pillars is now home to a sectioned off sideboards with seating in the centre of it. The floor is now all carpeted. It's a beautiful building but photography is NOT allowed inside. When asked if I could take a few pics, our waitress, Apsara, who was half Singaporean, gave me a blink and said "I haven't seen a camera but if someone catches you I'm going to say 'gasp, omigoodness, NOOOO you must NOT take photographs.'" She was lovely!

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I had a salt beef sandwich but Gerry and Allan had burgers. Very basic food but beautifully done. The Salt Beef was tender and salty mitigated by tart, bitey english mustard and home made crunchy pickles. I had a bite of Allan's burger and it was yummy. Even at medium it was juicy and beefy.
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And the capuccino was obviously made with Lurrrvve. The bill eventually came up to just £30 or thereabouts for the 3 of us. Amazing!
After brunch we headed out to the new London Abercrombie & Fitch store. It's one of their flagship stores and the face that you first see is the one below. More specifically, the guy on the right. But then again with bodies like that, haircuts like that and low cut jeans, they'd probably all look the same to me. ;-) Who cares about the rest of the store.

Goodbye to Budapest

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

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Allan in Sze's front hall with her old fashioned cage lift

After one glorious, fun-filled week in Hungary, with perfect hospitality from Sze, we sadly make our way back to London for our last week of hijinks.

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As a last fling, we went to the Central Market Hall on the last day, as well as this gorgeous little pastry shop we filed past on our way back to Sze's place. She took us there specifically to try the last dessert picture. This one above is is a chocolate mousse ball wrapped in chocolate marzipan.
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A chilled cheese with fruit on top
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Flaky pastry with a light cream pastry cream in the middle. Just absolutely delicious.

Wish we could go back every year. Miss you Sze. Luv to Xtian.

Budapest's "Wet" Market

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Who has been to a wet market in Malaysia?

Slimy, stinky, fishy, with bits of ground in offal and produce on the floor. Meat with flies swarming, oppressive, humid muggy places housed in square, squat buildings of utilitarian value.

Contrast this with the Great Market Hall or Central Market Hall of Budapest, Hungary otherwise known as Nagy Vásárcsarnok.

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Beautiful, well planned, and sectioned into various different sections, you had gorgeous sausages, luscious fruit, and a lavish spread of different types of snacks and street food.

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Blood Sausages
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Paprik

C Jade Express in Mid Valley

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

I don't like Mid Valley.

There. I said it.

Don't get me wrong. I do visit the place periodically. It houses many of the shops that I would patronise. And when I need something like tonight I find it's not a bad place to go to to get what I need.

But I don't like it.

It's a waste of time.

It's large. So you can't just 'pop in' to pick up some groceries. You have to allocate a good hour and a half if you were to drive in, get a parking space, shop, find your car again, pay your ticket, and drive out.

So there I was tonight, looking for a small, portable stereo CD player which had a line in jack so I could play my Ipod. I didn't want a cassette tape player. But guess what, I visited 7 shops from HSL, to Machines and didn't find anything that fitted that description. That's not counting the 2 shops I visited earlier in the day in town.

When I came to Mid Valley I knew what I was in for and frankly, I was not looking forward to it.

You find endless miles of corridors and walkways to traverse before you get to your destination. AND THEN, if you can't find what you need, more corridors and escalators before you get to the next shop.

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At 9pm I knew I needed to get something to eat and had been craving "Char Siew" for sometime. So like char kway teow for Malaysians or sex for anyone else, even mediocre char siew is better than nothing, I headed for C Jade Express to get my fix.

Established in Singapore in 1991, Crystal Jade Culinary Concepts encompasses everything from smart casual fine dining la mien (pulled noodles) to Hong Kong Cantonese style fast food, embodied in C Jade Express.

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You're seated at a table, and you're given a menu and a pencil to tick off your choices. Minutes later it arrives. I had Char Siew and Soy Sauce Chicken rice and a Green Tea.

The ambience is clean, contemporary, and cheerful. The staff work with a quiet efficiency. And their systems work. It's well thought out, from the welcome, to the ordering systems, right to the end where you can choose to pay before you receive your food or when you leave. Much like some mamaks.

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The food is warm, the char siew was decent, not the best I've had (but that honour remains my Mum's) and the portions adequate. For RM9.80 I got about 130g of Char Siew and the same amount of Soy Chicken with 3 stems of mustard greens and lashings of char siew sauce which made the rice rather irresistable.

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With 2 types of condiments (one chilli oil and one spring onions, garlic and ginger minced) I was done in about 15 minutes from the moment I sat down to the moment I picked up to leave.

On the way to the car, I come to an ice cream place I'd wanted to try for some time. Gelatissimo. When I read the label that said it was 90 to 100% fat free I admit to some scepticism. C'mon, what item do you know that has such low fat that is actually yummy?

It was misplaced. It was smooth, just sweet enough, and absolutely a great way to round off a meal.

I had Honey Toffee Malt. It was either that or Green Tea. And I love anything that is remotely like Butterscotch.

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All in all a good dinner. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend C Jade Express if you're in Mid Valley. And Gelatissimo is a must try no matter where you're coming from. ;-)

Get the diff? ;-)

C Jade Express
Unit LG-048 LG Floor
Mid Valley Megamall
03-22848113

Gelatissimo
Lower Ground in Gardens by Magzing


Restoran Soong Kee Beef Balls

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

After visiting Mum in hospital tonight, Allan and I decided to go to Restoran Soong Kee Beef Ball Mee. It's as good an experience as it always has been. It's also called Carbon Monoxide Beef Balls because in the early days it was a little stall and the tables ran out on the sidewalk where the buses parked.

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Spot Allan sitting there waiting for me to finish my photography.
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The beef balls which made Soong Kee's name. The beef balls were tender, slightly springy, and flavourful. I think they're combined with pork. ;-)
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The tripe, the slices of barely cooked beef. The soup is a bit heavy on msg but flavourful.
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Lovely mince, with greens, choi sum. Allan ordered me a large and I basically gave him about half of it. But yummy. Noodles were slightly al dente. Not too mushy.
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The essential condiment. Their chilli garlic sauce which in this case is served in it's beer jug to be spooned out into small dishes. Dip your beef balls, beef slices or tripe into the chilli sauce and you're good to go.

Restoran Soong Kee
Jalan Tun Tan Siew Sin

Awareness Test

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy


This is an awareness test. I have a 1MB connection at home and I would advise anyone taking the test to allow it to load fully on silent before playing it again and taking the test. Annoying I know but such is life here in our supposed broadband connected country.

http://www.dothetest.co.uk/

If you see snippets of it BEFORE you take the test it won't be valid.

I think this ad has applications here in Malaysia. It's brilliant. You'll see what I mean when you take the test.

Oh, by the way, this ad is by London Transport.

Thanks and Gratitude from us to all of you

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

Some of you may already know that for the past few weeks, Mum has been in hospital undergoing surgery to remove her stomach due to an aggresive malignant tumour. To cut a long story short, her stomach was removed but there may be further treatment. It has not spread to the lymph nodes. Her prognosis at this time is very good.

I was actually contemplating writing updates as to her progress but it seemed a bit, well, showy and maybe immodest as well as presumptuous that people might be interested at all.

Furthermore, and more importantly, I felt that Mum, being quite a private person, would wish to preserve her privacy.

If you know me, I am not very good at making believe that something is fine when it isn't. Much of what I feel is written on my face and I believe I do say what I mean. I'm very wizzywig. See if any of you remember that one. ;-)

It's really reached a point now, when so many people know about Mum that it would seem churlish not to acknowledge the Love, the concern, and the support that we've had for Mum and for our family.

For that, Dad, Allan, and I thank all of you.

As some of you know, before Allan and his family came along, Mum, Dad, and myself muddled along in our own little nuclear way believing it best not to bother or inconvenience or burden people with our troubles. Mum especially, was very 'hark hei.' A Cantonese phrase with no direct translation. Basically, she didn't like to inconvenience or bother people and did not like to be obligated.

Since Allan and his family came along however, (and yes, you marry not just the person but the family as well) we've since come to realise we are part of a greater community who is ever willing to lend a hand or give moral support. All you have to do is ask.

And everyone has given in spades. The outpouring of kindness and generosity has moved me to tears at times and Mum feels and appreciates it too. I try and tell Mum daily about who's called to offer their love and prayers and eventually one day, after I told her that Ian and Gerry from the UK were praying for her, she lifted her right hand up in prayer and said "Lord, you better make me well, otherwise a lot of your worshippers are going to be disappointed. In Jesus name we pray. Amen"

I laughed till I cried. In relief that her spirit was so strong. In joy, because at 77 and after such a major operation, her spirit is still so strong, and in gratitude because that encapsulated what had been happening.

We are indeed blessed to be surrounded by so much love and compassion. Thank you so much from all of us to all of you.

A Porn Saloon in Puchong ;-)

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy


Right in the middle of Puchong. Wow! The authorities are REALLY getting lenient! ;-) *snigger*

A New Blog

By Allan Yap & Nigel A. Skelchy

As you know, I've been commenting on politics and ranting here now and again. Well, to focus matters a bit more and hopefully to contribute something positive to the blogosphere as well as honing my own ideas and what I believe should be done, I thought it would be better to start up a new blog.

So here it is.

Dotmyhome.blogspot.com