Archive for ‘food’

September 28, 2017

Aspire2International Spring Graduation 2017

Where do I begin talking about this day that I have been anticipating for the two years I have been in New Zealand?

Well, perhaps just two days before the actual graduation day. I started thinking about what I would wear under the robe, shoes, any accessories, how I should do my hair, etc etc. It was obvious I was excited about the event. I learned something new about NZ too, that we actually need prescriptions to get contact lenses! NZ is so weird sometimes, I mean in Malaysia I can get contact lenses anywhere and as long as you have a pair of glasses you can get them. But nope, not in NZ apparently.

My mother was pestering me months before that she wanted to come visit me in Auckland and attend my graduation. I didn’t really want her to come firstly because flight tickets were very costly, secondly, it wasn’t my first graduation. So naturally I had to decline and tell her it’s not going to be a grand thing anyway. And I was right about it.

I was very critical of the whole event really. I couldn’t help it since I attended the previous graduation ceremonies and knew what to expect and what not to. What I didn’t expect was that the guests and attendees of the event didn’t even get offered at least drinks or any food! Urgh.. I mean how much cost cutting can you get? And the robe, oh gawd, it was like the moment you get out of the theater, you had to return the robe and there was no one to warn you that you couldn’t take pictures of your robe after you get out of the hall! They were in such a hurry to get you to return the robe on the day itself. (eyes roll profusely!)

I didn’t expect my classmates to attend the graduation except for Jason, my one time Colombian classmate for F9 paper. As it turns out, there were quite a few of them that showed up surprisingly. L-R : Jason, Ashok, Arun, Nisan, and beside me was Jaspreet.

These were the most pictures I managed to get with them. Most of them left their separate ways almost immediately after the ceremony so there weren’t much photos to take afterwards. I also didn’t manage to take any photos with my tutors as they weren’t even there. Sigh.

 

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Overall, I wasn’t impressed with the event, felt that $75 bucks was a bit over the top for the muffin and USB that they gave as a graduation gift. It was not worth it at all.

I thought I could compensate that less than average graduation ceremony experience with good food I was expecting to enjoy at Federal Delicatessen where my Colombian friends and I would go after the ceremony to eat our supposedly “early dinner” or “late lunch” because there was no food at the ceremony (eyes roll here again).

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L-R: Monica, Ana, Jason, myself, Paula and Saj.

Oh to my surprise, I was very unimpressed with the serving, the service and the taste of the food they claim to be the best. Urgh. More sulking to come. I ordered their NY Strip Steak, although the steak was alright, but the serving was just too small. And their menu dared say “Best Shared”???? Scoff!!!

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I have to talk about the Montreal Poutine. I was reading Lucy Knisley’s Delish comic and that’s where I recently read about Poutine and what it was. I knew that when I saw Poutine in their menu, I just had to try it. Then, OMG, it was just fries, which were not fresh by the way, and less than average, topped with gravy and some cheese cubes! What blasphemy!!! I cannot believe I fell for this false advertising in Zomato.

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I also read in Zomato that their cheesecake was a must try. See, I am very particular about desserts, having tried so many wonderful and glorious dessert in the Philippines, I knew I would not find anywhere else that could make desserts as well as Filipinos do, but I wanted to be proven wrong. This was not that time. It was just so-so and definitely forgettable.

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It was turning out to be a bad day for me after all. Not so great event, not so great food, what else could go wrong? Well, bad people apparently. People who asks for crazy amount of money to fix a mistake that was not done by me. Not gonna dwell on this but let’s just say it involved me having to urgently borrow money and I hate it when that happens.

What makes the day worse, was that I blew a job opportunity because I missed a call from a recruitment agent. Even though I called back almost immediately after missing the call, the job was already gone by the time I was able to call back at the end of the ceremony. Urgh. Not a good day at all.

So after getting home from the ceremony, I decided to drown my sorrows in take out Chilli Pan Mee from Paparich and a small tub of Ben and Jerry’s chocolate fudge ice cream that is worth 270 calories. (wails)

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Oh well, congratulations to me.

 

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March 19, 2017

Craving for the King of Fruits.

After church service today, had lunch with my ladyboss and Saj at a Filipino Cafe called Turo Turo down at K’Road. I must say, they took their time in preparing the food, and ladyboss was actually kinda disappointed with her dish which was the Sinigang Baboy that wasn’t even sour at all.

Anyway, after lunch, Saj and I headed to the famous Lim Chour supermarket to get some stuff that you wouldn’t otherwise find in the regular supermarket like Countdown or New World. And I got me some DURIAN!!!

They were both Thai durians but I think I liked the second one better than the first. The first one was “Seedless”!! Awesome how today’s packaging really makes it so much easier to consume the Durian. And I can have it all year round too! (I think) However, the seedless one sort of smelled a bit strange for me, I reckon it was because it wasn’t vacuum sealed and the fruit was packed with clingwrap.

It was kind of costly too, the first package costing $19.99 while the  vacuumed one was about $16.00

I guess getting this once in a blue moon wouldn’t hurt ๐Ÿ˜œ

March 12, 2017

UberEats newbie.

Uber Eats is finally in Auckland. Yay!

And what a day to try it out than on a rainy lazy Sunday. ๐Ÿ˜



I was very curious to try UberEats because I had an idea of what the services would be like. I thought that I could choose whatever I wanted to eat and then get someone to buy the food and deliver it to me. 

I was wrong of course. It was very much like Menulog, where you can only order from stores that are listed in the app. So KFC and McDonalds is not on the list obviously.

I ordered from this Tuck and Bao shop that serves Malaysian, Thai and Filipino fusion food. Had a Bene Bun and Nasi Goreng. The Bene Bun was good as it had spinach, tomato and salmon on it. The nasi goreng was sort of sweet rather than salty.


Delivery fee was $5.99 but in Menulog, some delivery fee wS $8.00 so I guess it depends on where you order from that the delivery fee changes? Perhaps. Will need to try out other stores in UberEats to find out ๐Ÿ˜‰

August 13, 2016

End of midterms celebration. #classmates

Midterms are over!!! And yea I know, its not like the FINALS are over but hey, we can celebrate in the little things right?

Because I promised my Korean classmate Hyeji, that I would go out and have a drink with her after exams, we ended up here at Bannsang Korean Cafe down at High Street. Arun and Nissan also tagged along for lunch and some drinks just to hang out and chill after a stressful week of studying and exams.

I ordered what I know best, which was the Bibimbop cos I know they serve eggs with it. I never say no to eggs. But then Hyeji let us try her dish which was called the Yuk gae jaang. It was a beef broth that also had eggs in it, it was so yummy. I have to go back there next time and order that instead.

Of course, the main reason why Hyeji wanted us to come to this place was so that we could taste Korean Soju. I think it was some type of Soju but it was a flavored Soju, Blueberry that is. It was kind of like Vodka for me. But hey, at 13.5% alcohol, yupp thats something alright. Hyeji really wanted to see me drunk but it wasn’t the time of the day to do so though.

I liked our little bunch of different nationalities: Korean, Malaysian, Indian and Sri Lankan. It’s how I would imagine a world should be. Not just all the Chinese hanging around themselves, or a bunch of Indians with themselves. I always find myself hanging around people who are from a different culture than I am. We talked about everything, from food, to classmates who are annoying, to movies, and pets, and even talked about how Hyeji should get a boyfriend and I should get married. *rolls eyes*

Anyway, we had two bottles of about 345ml of that Soju shared among four of us which was not a lot of alcohol yet. So Hyeji suggested we continue the little party down at a bar called Occidental. It was my first time here, but she has definitely been here a couple of times, especially for the mussels. She also suggested we try the Cherry Beer. I told her to just get me whatever is sweet.

Of course, how could we drink without having some snacks to go with all that booze? So we had a side dish of wedges with sour cream and continued our chit chat for about an hour or so after which we all agreed it was time to head home around 3:15pm.

This was really our first time eating out together and it was good that we get to do it once in a while because we see each other week after week in classes but we never really get to hang out outside of “serious” class mode.

Thanks for the lovely session guys, you guys rock!

May 3, 2016

Yoplait Vigueur. #packaging #deception

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Chocolate mud cake. Tsk. This is what happens when pictures deceives our eyes and speaks louder than the words written on them.

I should’ve known. What else would you expect from a yoghurt packaging right? The pictures showing an actual sponge moist chocolate cake got to me I tell ya! Urghhh.. spent freakin $6.49 on that 6 pack tub.

Don’t be deceived people. These marketing strategies are out to get you, you chocolate cake fanatics! Beware I say, bewaaaaaare!!!

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April 18, 2016

Shared Lunch Party.

It’s the time of the season again, we are required to bring a plate to the office to share and of course show off our cooking skills.

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Thanks to my sister’s recommendation, I decided to bring something ethnic and exotic to share with everyone. I made Hinava! It’s a Kadazan delicacy made of raw fish. It’s basically a raw fish salad. I used tuna and soaked them in lime juice overnight so that it’s marinated well.

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Look at all the food on the table! Everyone brought so much food it was just food coma going on with my body after the whole event.

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There’s Vietnamese spring rolls, fish curry, chicken curry, lamb curry, biryani rice, coconut rice and lots of dessert. I especially enjoyed Salu’s Samoan dish, with the coconut bun soaked in Coconut milk.. mmmmm absolutely simple yet delish!

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And then there’s those who forgot it was the shared lunch day and just went ahead and brought take out from nearby foodcourt but its ok, enjoyed those food too ๐Ÿ˜Š

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April 17, 2016

Catching up with Noelin and the little ones.

Finally managed to catch up with this sweet lady again after so long. The last time we got together was during Christmas eve last year! And how months flew by! Although it was a rainy day, it was nice that she still made the effort to come out to hang out and see me even if it was for a short while, and even if she had to drag her niece and nephew with her. I appreciated it very much.

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Noelin initially wanted to take me nearby at Ponsonby area, but there were no parking to be found, and finally she decided to just head on to Mission Bay which was the idea in the beginning anyway. Went to this Cafe called De Fontein which is a Belgian Beer Cafe, but not to worry, it was child friendly, although they do serve alcohol and hard liquor, I was even tempted to drink wine at broad day light but seemed like Noelin was not up for it, and especially since she had to drive anyway. So woopsie.. next time for me then :-p

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Noelin suggested I go for the fish and chips since it was a really big serving, and I didn’t really felt like rummaging through the menu and figuring out what I wanted to eat since I was already really hungry at 1:15pm so I agreed to go with the same dish.

The place was packed when we got there, had to wait and sit at a temporary table which had the kids sitting on a really high tall chair, and it was not comfortable at all. Good thing we were able to move to another table before the food arrived.

We just talked about random things like work, whether or not we wanted kids (duh, common topic among 30+ singles), and movies what not. With kids around, our conversations were pretty limited to R-12 if you know what I mean.

Noelin insisted to pay for the meal, so I told her I have to pay for dessert. So we moved to KiwiYo which was just a few blocks down the road, and took the kids there for some “healthy” dessert. I mean, I was ready for lots of unhealthy thing, but I guess Noelin was very considerate and caring of Maya and Lucas and wanted to make sure they didn’t get too much sugar in them. Good on her!

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It was a nice and simpleย catching up moment, we were done right after the dessert and she dropped me home since the kids also needed to get home soon. I was glad we were able to do this. Especially since Noelin was the one who initiated the meet up, so sweet of her to still think of me ๐Ÿ™‚

 

December 30, 2015

A Day at the Park. #Cornwall #Auckland

Aimee invited Saj and I to go to Cornwall Park today to take a walk, chill and just hang out. We met up with her at the office just at about lunch time, and helped her deconstruct the Christmas tree and packed a few things from the office to her BMW.

But before heading to the park, it’s a late lunch makan time! Aimee took us to a Malaysian restaurant called the KK Malaysian Cuisine down at Epsom, just a few minutes drive nearby to the park. Nothing in the restaurant serves anything Kota Kinabalu style so I am not sure why they are called KK, maybe the name of the owner or something.

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We ordered a two serving Coconut rice, Kang Kung stir fried with Sambal, and their Beef Rendang.

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The rendang dish was about $20 I think, and it wasn’t spicy at all but it was definitely very tasty! I am usually not a big fan of rendangs, but this one was nice and juicy and not dry like the ones I normally taste during Hari Raya open houses!

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When we got to the park, Aimee showed us the Stardome Observatory which has an entrance fee but she just wanted to show us a small part of the place but the observatory was already closed. So we just ended up taking a photo in front of the entrance just to say we were here. Hehehehe

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After parking her BMW, Aimee, Saj and I took a stroll down the park looking for a nice spot to sit down and chill. Look at all the lovely trees along the walkway! Aimee and Saj walking in front of me while I was busy taking photos and some selfies.

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This shot was the best selfie for the day!

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I also brought my recently purchased Wilson volleyball to the park so we could play!

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Today, I also got to drive in Auckland for the very first time! Well, it wasn’t much of a drive really since I just helped Aimee drive her car nearer to the spot we were positioned at and the drive was just pretty much down the road inside the park area only. But hey, it still counts as driving!

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With Aimee and Saj at our spot under the tree. Good thing Aimee still had her beach rug in the car so we could use it to sit on the ground and play Rummy-O! Now, these two are quite the competitive board game players. It was such an intense session that I really wish they would just lighten up and play for fun! Have some conversation while we’re at it for goodness sake! Oh well, at least I won one of the rounds and was placed second for the others hehehehe.. and yes, Saj is the better player at this game ๐Ÿ™„

And once again, God answered our prayer for a good weather! No rain today! It was such a wonderful time of fellowship! Thank You so much Lord!

 

December 23, 2015

Christmas Dinner at Jo’s. #childhoodfriends

Kuan came to pick me up around 5:30pm and we headed off to Jo’s house in North Shore. Lovely to see Noelin again since we caught up during my birthday last month. I learned something else about her this dinner time, she’s an amazing and talented cook! She prepared and cooked this Turkey all from scratch and on her own! From the brine to the stuffing and the baking in the oven, down to the gravy, it was all her effort and hard work and what a lovely and tasteful turkey that was!

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Joanne prepared a baked salmon that was topped with breadcrumbs and all kinds of herbs. That was nice too.

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This was probably the only thing I didn’t try out during the dinner. Raw oysters topped with lemon. I mean, I have tried it before and as usual I tend to get rashes because of it so I didn’t bother to eat them this time around.

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Look at the lovely table set up! I helped fold those green Christmas tree-shaped napkins :-p

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The 11 adults and 2 children in the little party. With Joanne’s neighbors and Noelin’s boyfriend as guests, I was probably the one most out of place here but I find myself always the odd one anywhere else anyway. I guess that kinda makes me special hahahahaha.

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Group photo! One with me in the group thanks to Joanne, and another of the great company.

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Another amazing thing about this dinner is how detailed Joanne is with her organizing, even the Christmas crackers was a D.I.Y! She made them herself and not a store-bought cracker! She stuffed little trinkets in them and also a piece of Christmas-themed jokes. Hehehe.. although I didn’t really understood my joke but oh well.

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After that hearty dinner, it was time to open the presents! The kids get to go first and open up all their presents from families and friends. After all that commotion and excitement coming from the kids, the adults finally got to play their exchange game.

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Each adult had to bring one gift item worth at least $30 and then we will go around exchanging them randomly. By random I meant casting lots, and I got the last number in the batch, number 11 which meant I would go last. Not so fun for me but its alright.

The rule of the exchange game was that if you pick a gift, you can choose to open it or not open it and steal another “already opened” gift. So naturally, everyone was very kind and courteous in the beginning and didn’t steal anything and just picked and opened the gift they wanted. It was not until Noelin’s father started stealing gifts that others started joining in too. When it came to my turn, I first stole the Wine, and then gave the little gift I had on hand to Timo, then he had to exchange it with Alex and Alex again to Noelin for some Nespresso, and finally Noelin took back the wine from me and I was stuck with the same gift from the beginning. Wow, that was fun.

I am not much of a scarf person, but at least it matched what I was wearing that night. Hehehe.. the night ended around 11:00pm and boy was I glad to be able to get the socially awkward meย over and done with. Still a blessing with lots of the tasty Turkey leftovers I was able to go home with. And an even more blessing? Noelin’s dad gave up his sandwich maker exchange gift and gave it to me instead. Cool beans!

December 16, 2015

Parantha Newbie!

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Had lunch break with these young fellas. With Khaleed and Sajid, my “office mates” at an Indian restaurant located inside a mini food court. Today was Khaleed’s first day at work since he got hired right after he finished his last paper. Sajid suggested we go to this tiny food court along Anzac Avenue, it was a bit of a walk, but it was a good experience I must say.

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I didn’t even know what we were eating for lunch. Sajid just went straight ahead and ordered food even without asking me what I want. Guess its a given when you’re a girl but you eat like a man. 😑

So I got to try Parantha roti for the very first time. According to Saj, its the brother of roti and this one is stuffed with cauliflower and some other spices. We had to eat it with our hands and even without washing my hands first. I know, totes gross. But I had to deal with it cos am with the boyz. 😓

The Parantha is served with a pickled spicy red thing which I think was also a mix of chili and it was kinda sour. Then we had to dip the Parantha with yoghurt! The yoghurt is like the dipping sauce. Interesting, never tried that before!

Although it was kinda oily, it was very filling. For a 5 dollar meal that was good enough to fill the stomach for the rest of the afternoon. What I didn’t like about it was the stench it left on my fingers! urghh.. Indian spices are really pungent that they really stick to your skin! Even fingers! ๐Ÿ˜•