Sunday, May 27, 2012

Giving Red Beanbag Another Try

Since my friend have not yet tried Red Beanbag, we decided to give it another try. Publika is a great place for kids so we decided to stick to this place. Lunch time on Sunday, was able to make reservations that morning before coming here.

It was not disappointing this time around, though the waiters still made some boo-boo's. Like I requested for some parmesan cheese for my pasta (and it came really late, after I ate half-way and followed up the second time around). The seafood pasta was very tasty and I liked it... but again, small portion.

My expat friends enjoyed the food and coffee. This time, we gave the tiramisu another try and also the Nutty Professor (which hubby loved). I would give the Kooky Berry a miss, as we didn't enjoy it the last round. Love their cappuccino coffee with choco dust.

If you are going with toddlers, definitely make reservations so that you can be seated comfortably inside. It was a whole different experience vs sitting outside.

Attached their menu for your reference.

A Friend Has Lupus

Weeks ago I greeted a friend of mine because it was her birthday. I did a follow up question to ask if she plans to have a second baby (her little boy same age as my 2-yr old daughter). I received a surprising reply that she can't think of that at the moment because she discovered something and need to recover from that. I was astounded.

She shared that she has Lupus. Prior to her talking about it I was oblivious to what it was. The more I read about it, the more aware I become. It was a coincidence that the other day, there was a newspaper coverage of Lupus Awareness day where women walked the streets of KL with umbrellas.

The basic explanation is that this affects mostly women (my age!!!) and something inside your body starts to attack your immune system. A more detailed explanation: Lupus is an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue. When the body's immune system is operating normally it produces antibodies to fight viruses and bacteria and other antigens. Lupus makes the antibodies created unable to differentiate between antigens and healthy tissue causing the antibodies to attack healthy tissue.

This shocked me. Made me panic. Aware of the many possibilities of life.

While on a flight back from Manila, I saw this article on the plane where someone discovered a tea which can help lupus patients. Okay, maybe it was not an article but more of an advertorial. However, I still wanted to share it with my friend and would like to share it here. I don't know if it can resolve it, but heck I would like to contribute as much as I can should I find testimonials of products that can help patients.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Sure Success Tasty, Chewy Oatmeal Cookies

I'm not an expert baker but I have taken interest since my daughter turned two. It is always nice to know some easy recipes which are fool-proof and often successful (and easy to do).

After investing on a baking cookbook which I bought from Kinokuniya, I tested its oatmeal cookies recipe with delight (and happy with results). Several tests of it proved to be easy and tasty. Daughter and husband very satisfied, including some colleagues at work!

Sharing the oatmeal cookie recipe with you. Yesterday I dared to be bold, and combined more stuff into it. The result was superb...

oatmeal cookies with cranberries, raisins, pistachio, walnuts and chocolate bits... I couldn't stop eating just one piece... Had to have more! I call it Alexandra oatmeal cookies (thanks to my little one I picked up baking again after 10 years of hiatus)

Alexandra Oatmeal Cookies

1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup pistachio
7 tbsp unsalaried butter
1 1/4 cup brown sugar
1 large egg room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp honey
3/4 cup all purpose flour, sifted (I use organic flour)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 cups oats (don't use baby oats bec that will make this recipe fail, I experienced it!!! Use normal oats)
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup dried cranberries
A little milk (if needed) but I usually don't add bec it makes it too liquid

1. On a pan, I toast the pistachio and walnuts to have that roasted smell and taste. After around 2-3 minutes you can take it out then use pestle and mortar to make into small pieces.

Prepare your oven and pre-heat at 190C.

2. In a bowl, cream together butter (room temp or I microwave lightly to soften it) and sugar using electric mixer until smooth. Afterwards, add in vanilla extract, honey and egg. Beat well until smooth.

3. In another bowl, combine flour, salt, baking soda, and oats. Stir to mix all of it.

4. Stir the flour mixture into your creamed mixture until well combined. Add the chopped nuts, raisins, cranberries and chocolate bits until well distributed

5. Line baking sheets on pan. Roll the dough into walnut-sized balls. Flatten each ball slightly, leaving plenty of space between (bec these will flatten out once baking process).

6. Bake in batches for 10-15minutes until golden. Let them cool off for 5 minutes then move to a wire rack to cool further. Keep in Tupperware in fridge for up to 8weeks (guaranteed it won't last that long bec you will finish them off!!!)

Ps. Those who are living in KL, I was able to buy all ingredients in Village Grocer. For the walnuts, I discovered It is cheaper to buy at the market TTDI.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Sunway Lagoon Zoo, fun for toddlers

My little girl's school organized a trip to the Sunway Lagoon Zoo last week and we had a fun time. I didn't know what to expect except of course sweat and possible mosquitoes. I went prepared with my handy fan and repellant.

We arrived at 930am and perfect timing. It was about to open and we were able to get a group picture in front. The kids were all so excited when we entered. There was a personal guide who had a mic and he explained stuff to us, which I found interesting. That probably made the trip much more colorful than if we went alone discovering our way. The zoo was adequate for a short drive from KL and will definitely go back again.

The kids were able to ride a choo choo train and even pet some rabbits and turtle. They fed them some veggies. We also touched an iguana!

Worthwhile visit for those with toddlers. Don't expect the full zoo though. For that you should go to Negara Zoo. We were able to see at Sunway : crocodiles, large rabbits, snakes, turtles, deer, chickens, iguana, parrots, little squirrels, and others. No elephants, no zebra and no giraffe. Those big ones we saw them at Zoo Negara.

Will surely go back one day. We stayed from 930am-1pm. That was definitely enough for me and little Alex.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kidnap Case Update: Nayati's kidnappers caught!

I am relieved to hear that the Malaysian police were able to arrest the people behind the Nayati kidnapping. I hope this is enough to deter other criminals who may plot the same thing for quick money. The Mont Kiara neighborhood is such a wonderful place to walk, and it would be a shame if it becomes a dangerous place. Since the kidnapping incident, I noticed a lot more police assigned to the place. I see them every morning when I bring my daughter to her play school. I see them when I drive to work or when I drive to One Mont Kiara to do my groceries.

Do I feel safer? Well, I am happy to see them around there. Hopefully that should deter the other criminals. The question is how long will they deploy these police?

Below is an article I copied from Malaysian Digest online, in case you are interested to see an update of the kidnapping case. I also included a NST article below which spoke more about Nayati and his experience.

Malaysian Digest article

Wednesday, 09 May 2012 08:57
KUALA LUMPUR, 8 MAY, 2012: Police have arrested three men and a woman, believed to be involved in the kidnapping of a Dutch boy, Nayati Shamelin Moodliar on April 27. 
According to police sources, the suspects, aged between 30 to 50 were detained in separate operations in Perak and Cheras, Selangor since Sunday to early this morning. 
"Police recovered more than RM100,000 which was part of the ransom paid by Nayati's father (Sham Moodliar) and mother (Janice Smith)," said the source. 
Bukit Aman together with Kuala Lumpur police made the arrests and seized equipment such as laptops and mobile phones believed to be used by the suspects to negotiate with Nayati's parents for ransom. 
The source said police were waiting for the return of Nayati's family from their holiday so that their 12-year-old son would help police in identifying the suspects.
Nayati who was kidnapped when walking alone to the Mont Kiara International School near his home here, was found safe at the Sungai Buloh Rest Area along the North South Highway at 7.55am on May 3. 
Police are believed to be on the trail of another suspect who is still at large in the capital.
The source did not rule out the possibility that police would be closing in on him soon, based on information from police intelligence. 

NST article

KUALA LUMPUR : NAYATI Shamelin Moodliar did not allow himself to cry when he was in the clutches of his kidnappers.
"There was only once I cried a little... it was on April 30, my mum's birthday."
As soon as he said this yesterday, his mother, Janice, hugged him.
Speaking about his ordeal for the first time, he said he was confident that his father was looking for him.
"I knew daddy would get me home," he said, adding that it was this thought that kept him going.
When asked if he was afraid, the boy said initially he was but later grew confident that he would be rescued.
Nayati was kept in a room with a mattress, pillow and blanket. He also had a computer which screened movies. But he was not allowed to touch it.
As for meals, Nayati always asked for chicken rice.
"Each time they asked me what I wanted to eat, I said chicken rice, or sometimes it was just an apple."
Why chicken rice?
"My muay thai teacher told me that chicken would help build my body," he said.
He said he was allowed to shower, was given clothes and a toothbrush.
Nayati was released on May 3 after his father dropped off a ransom of RM300,000. The boy was driven to the Rawang rest area along the North-South Expressway where he was released.
A passer-by let Nayati use his handphone to contact his parents. A convoy of three cars, led by the Netherlands ambassador Paul Bekkers, drove to the rest area where the boy was found.
Several days later, police arrested six individuals in Perak and here. A seventh suspect was nabbed in Banting, Selangor.
Police are looking for another suspect said to be the mastermind behind the kidnapping. The 24-year-old escaped to Paris after Nayati's release.
It was reported that the mastermind had gone off on his honeymoon with his wife after collecting the ransom. His wife, however, came back last week after learning that the husband was wanted for Nayati's kidnapping. She lodged a police report here.
Police recovered more than RM70,000 of the ransom.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Healthy Ice Fruit Pops for Kids

It was a coincidence as I discovered this ice pop shop at Hartamas while I was having the car services at Lim Tayar place. The owner is a Malaysian married to an expat and she shared her story why she decided to open such a shop.

The ice pops were tasty and naturally sweet (no sugar added!!!) I sampled the banana strawberry and fell in love with it!

This is a great, yummy treat for my toddler who seems to be fascinated with ice cream nowadays. Unfortunately when she doesn't finish, mommy ends up finishing it. With this ice pop, I won't feel guilty!

Definitely a welcome change to the ice cream scene especially for kids. It is a good and healthier option to ice cream. Bought 8 sticks in 4 different flavors and can't wait to let hubby try them!

Nice ambience at their ice pop shop while I had hot lemongrass tea. A cutesy neighborhood cafe serving nice tea, pops and healthy food. A colorful place at the Hartamas neighborhood.

Excited to see H&M here in KL

Saw this newspaper article today. Very excited and can't wait to see H&M finally here in Malaysia by end of 2012. One of my favorite shopping places whenever I am in Europe!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Bee @ Publika

Today we made the wrong choice. After a good lunch at Rakuzen Publika, we went to The Bee (at the far end of Publika, close to a Carpark entrance/ exit). The place was packed. Music was too loud.

Plus points
- had sofa, and mix of benches, tables, chairs which made it "homey"
- Lots of people, maybe food is good? Many expats and locals alike
- waitress changed the ultra-hardened old red velvet slice. We ordered a cupcake and instead she came with the wrong order. We gave it a go and was shocked with the bad quality. Oopsss... I'm supposed to be writing the plus points still...
- latte and cappuccino not bad, acceptable coffee
- thin biscotti came with coffee was nice

Bad points
- bad red velvet cake
- replaced with red velvet cupcake... Which was equally bad and ruined the moment for me!
- didn't serve coffee with tissue, had to ask for some!
- waitress was not knowledgable
- I asked for some milk for my daughter the waiter said yes, but never came with it
- music was too loud

Overall, I wouldn't go back. It would remind me of our ruined afternoon. Definitely there are other choices for afternoon coffee time at Publika with my hubby and daughter. Perhaps this The Bee is more suited for youngsters and people without toddlers with them.

Didn't bother taking pics of the place.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Tasty Pork Ribs and Wine Dinner at Vintry

Friday evening, hubby and I decided to have a date night. Sorry I meant Friday morning we decided we will have a date night, so hubby called Vintry for reservations.

I haven't been there but I saw it many times during drive by's and previous visits to La Risatta (Italian restaurant beside it).

We enjoyed our pork ribs dinner. We started with some appetizers (cheese with honey sauce and shrimp in creamy sauce), ordered a Pinot bottle and then attacked our ribs order. Dessert was okay. Tiramisu for hubby which he enjoyed. I ordered Affogato, and it came with just ice cream and whipped cream... I asked the waiter if this is it... And he said yes! I asked another waiter and the smarter chap realized they forgot to pour the espresso into it. He is a young chap and I don't expect much customer service training, so I reluctantly agreed when he offered to just get some espresso to pour over my partly touched ice cream (which I dug in to taste if it was just plain ice cream or had some coffee taste in it).

Place was so-so, as we sat on the second floor which was badly designed and in need to upgrade and fixing. Ground floor area looked more appealing. Also it was confusing because they have 2 branches and after entering the other one, we were requested to go to the other branch (3 doors down), then surprise surprises we were sent upstairs which was so-so in ambience.

Thankfully fully ribs were tasty. Wine was good. Bill was rm409 for 2 pax with 2 appetizers, 2 main dish, 1 bottle of Pinot 2008, and 2 dessert, 1 Perrier.

Overall, okay experience. Will go back when I am desperate for pork ribs.


120-122, Jalan Kasah
Medan Damansara
50490 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-20961645

Red Beanbag at Publika

Quick review on a new place at Publika.

Plus points
- love the chocolate cappuccino
- tiramisu yummy
- pasta (seafood pasta and the other one with mushroom cream) both were yummy and tasty and unexpected for a small restaurant like theirs
- hubby loved the cod fish order

Bad points
- food portion were small!!! All 5 adults with me at that time (last Sunday lunch time) had the same conclusion... Food was small, we needed to order dessert to fill the "gap"
- hubby said his dish was small, so small he forgot to let me taste some (when in fact he use gives me some to taste)
- bad, bad service !!! The different waiters came to our table at least 5 times with wrong orders plus in the end came with bill "faking" that they thought we asked for it already when in fact we were all still chatting
- long line , we waited 30 minutes for our seat when we got there ... And they were "rushing" us off with their act
- the waiter forgot our additional coffee order ... And that is their main business!

Overall, tasty pastas, good coffee, pricey for the small portions (even for expat like me)....

Will we go back? Probably... But won't be our first choice when we are in Publika...

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Crocs Shoes Accident At Escalator BSC

After a nice late lunch at Pressroom in Bangsar Shopping Centre (BSC), we walked around the neighborhood mall to kill time. When I went to the toilet at the ground floor (very near the drop off and photo shop / cake shop), I saw a mom carrying her crying little boy (about 4-5 years old). He was screaming and crying while the mom put him near the faucet to wash his foot. After I washed my hands I notices his foot was bleeding due to a big cut. I offered some band-aid (mommies are usually well-prepared). She sounded Australian and thanked me for it while struggling to calm down her boy. I noticed blood on the boy's Crocs shoe and inquired if it was because the escalator. The mom confirmed that the shoe got stuck on the side of the escalator and she said she also knew the warnings against the shoe brand. It was a horrible sight seeing all the blood oozing while the little boy cried.

After seeing thy incident I confirm that I will never buy Crocs for my little girl no matter what happens. Despite the warning I have seen before at shopping malls (like one utama) I did buy her one when she was smaller and she wore it often to play school. I warned the maid against using it at malls and yet there were moments when we just allowed her to wear I because we were going to the grocery for a short buy of necessities (at One Mont kiara). Now I realize what danger could have come upon my little girl's toe!

I am writing this to warn other parents out there. It is not because your kids are naughty at escalators. Simply, that shoe brand Crocs is DANGEROUS around shopping malls due to its design!

I saw it with my own eyes at BSC. Please spare your child from the same accident.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Kidnapped Boy From Mont Kiara Safely Back With Family

Hi Everyone, I am happy to share with you that the kidnapped boy from Mont Kiara has been returned to his family. You can find the news at the STAR. I copied the article and pasted below. Full story was copied from the STAR ONLINE.

PETALING JAYA: Twelve-year-old Nayati Shamelin Moodliar, who was abducted while walking to his school on April 27, has been found.
He was released at a rest and recreation stop in Rawang at 7.30am Thursday.
Nayati reunited with his family
Nayati was abducted at 7.35am on April 27 while walking to his Mont Kiara International school.
Police sources said after several attempts at negotiating for the release, the boy has finally been released.
The sources said the kidnappers contacted the family shortly after he was grabbed by two men in a black car and later demanded for a ransom for his safe release.
They said after several attempts at negotiations, the kidnappers finally agreed on a substantial ransom amount which was paid to the kidnappers Thursday morning.
The sources added that Nayati was released safely and unharmed at a rest and recreation stop along the North South Expressway near Rawang at around 7.30am on Thursday.
City police chief Senior Asst Comm Datuk Ku Chin Wah confirmed Nayati's release adding that police are still investigating the kidnapping and urged the public with information on the case to call 03-2115 9999.
A dedicated Facebook page set up to find Nayati said:
To all our family/friends/supporters of Nayati.
We have got NAYATI back!!!
He is back to our arms again! Thank you all for your support! We will post soon!
Thank you - Moodliar Family
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