Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tales from the high chair (aka Random Restaurant Review) - Malaysian Chapter, Belconnen

I don't usually do restaurant reviews as I'm not much of a foodie--but the thought has crossed my mind that it'd be useful to have guide to baby-friendly restaurants in Canberra. And by baby-friendly, I generally mean that the restaurant provides a high chair. So here's Malaysian Chapter, a restaurant that serves Malaysian hawker-style food in Canberra.

We found this restaurant by accident late on a Friday afternoon, so it was empty when we walked in. First impressions--clean and serviceable decor with some pretty lights at the serving bar and nice little statues at the waiting area.

Another cute idea--each table number is named after a place in Malaysia.

We ordered from the lunch special menu; Char Kway Teow for K and Nasi Lemak with chicken for me. We also ordered a Roti Canai for an entree, because it's hard to pass up Roti Canai!

The Roti was tasty and buttery with the signature flakiness on the surface layer and the 'peeliness' in the inner layers (please excuse my terminology--I told you I wasn't a foodie!). I'm used to seeing it folded rather than as a round, so I would have preferred thinner, lighter layers. The lentil dip that came with it wasn't particularly strongly flavoured, but I'm all about the roti, so didn't mind.

I only sampled the Char Kway Teow, so can tell you that the chicken was juicy and tender. K's assessment (him being the CKT expert) was that it was 'quite nice' and that the serving was very generous. He says he probably wouldn't order it again in favour of trying other things on the menu.

My Nasi Lemak. I felt I was back in Malaysia while eating it. Loved the presentation and the sambal anchovies were a highlight. The anchovies were lovely and crispy and the sambal flavoursome and spicy. I would totally order a sambal dish from them again. The chicken rendang tasted a bit like satay to me**, though the texture was lovely, and the rice was slightly flavoured with coconut(?). Again, a generous and filling serving.

**Update: It turns out the chicken 'rendang' really was a satay! I really should pay attention to the menu. The choice was beef rendang or chicken satay with this dish.

As for the service, it was friendly, polite and attentive. The waiter was happy that we had been to Malaysia before. I was pleased that they offered a high chair without needing to ask for one, and the high chair they provided was cushy, looked very comfortable and was really clean. 

Bjai was fascinated with the ceiling fans and enjoyed some roti as well. The place is air conditioned and we were served ice-cold water, so we were very comfortable while eating--which isn't usually the case when eating hawker food in Malaysia! Ahh, memories of sweating on the humid streets while eating a spicy sambal... 

Overall, it was a positive and pleasant experience, and we'd be interested in coming back for dinner to sample the chilli crab and some malaysian-style drinks. We only wish the hawker-style food came with hawker-style prices. The disadvantage of living in Australia, I guess!

Malaysian Chapter
U2/6-8 Weedon Close
6261 5670 (closed on Sundays)

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Guest blogger: Brian Ho



(The "P'xo]ooooooooooooo" is particularly appropriate.)

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother of a day

In starting this blog post, I suddenly thought about the ways in which I could express the revival of posts after a month or two of silence. Here are some I've come up with (also, may I have points for going off on a tangent within the first sentence?):
- resurrecting from the dead
- blowing dust off blog
- giving blog true love's first kiss

But anyway, it's mother's day, and I managed to forget it was somewhat relevant for me until I got a lovely e-card from Kevin and Brian. Which was a good thing, seeing as Brian appears to have hit the four month growth spurt a couple of days early. He's now known as Mr Grizzly, Mr Grouchy or in his more extreme moments, Mr Crankypants. 

Still he does have expressive thighs.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Two fish by sea

I read once that the greatest feeling in the world is not love, nor is it happiness. The greatest feeling in the world is gratitude. 

The minutes, hours, days and weeks following Brian's birth have been filled with moments of gratitude. To God, to Kevin and in this time where my own style of parenting is being established and tested, to my parents.

No words are enough to describe the lengths my parents have gone to in order to support me--not just in this pregnancy and post-partum period, but throughout my entire life and my worst moments. It's somewhat cheesy, but I hope I can walk in their footsteps and be an example of love to my own children. 

How do you express a gratitude that has built up over a lifetime? Like the little drummer boy, I have no gifts big enough to bring. Instead, the first bits of art I'm posting on my blog are the ones I made for my parents during that crazy, sleepless post-partum period. Small things, but I think they understand my meaning. 

For my father.

For my mother.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails."
- 1 Corinthians 13

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Not your Kodak moment

So here I am vainly (in every sense of the word) trying to get a photo that makes me look halfway decent.

While not particularly successful on that front--regular night wakings mean that yes, I look tired!--I found this photo set hilarious. I'm doing my best to look sort of smiley, though seem to have mastered the Harrison Ford half-smile by accident. Meanwhile, baby Brian is completely, obliviously in slumberland. I love camera phones. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

So, this sleep deprivation business...

Everybody (especially experienced parents) loves to tell you that you'd better sleep before the baby comes because you won't be sleeping for the next X number of years. The alternative pearl of wisdom is to sleep when the baby sleeps.

I'd always assumed that the former piece of advice was because babies tend not to sleep through the night, so you end up walking around in a zombified stupor at 3 am (and 4, and 5...) trying desperately to cuddle and rock the baby back to sleep. And I assumed that the latter piece of advice was offered because parents tend to use Baby Sleeping Time (TM) to rush around and complete household chores.

Nobody tells you that the reason new parents do not sleep is because they spend Baby Sleeping Time taking approximately 5489 photos of their sleeping baby who is in exactly the same position in every photo. Because nobody mentions that newborns sleep with their arms up. And nobody mentions that this is the cutest sight in the known universe, and that anybody with an Asian gene simply cannot help themselves but to pull out the camera and start clicking away like a lab rat pressing the reward button.

I think I may need some help.

Friday, February 10, 2012

The sweetest thing

When Bjai was in my tummy, I occasionally played songs to him by plugging the ipod into a speaker, resting the speaker next to my belly and pumping up the volume. The playlist wasn't particularly varied; an instrumental version of Amazing Grace by Eric Stanley, Because He Lives by Sally DeFord, and the Celtic Woman version of Pie Jesu. The last song is heavenly.

A few days ago, he was lying wrapped up in my arms, and I thought I'd play him the youtube video of Pie Jesu. When the music began, he quieted down and turned his little head to face the computer. He spent the whole song looking attentively at the screen. 

It was kind of magical. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

The saddest sight I've ever seen

#1 My baby boy quietly shivering with cold after his bath, his head turned to the side and his little fists bunched up together.
#2 My baby swaddled up and being fed from a little cup of breast milk because he originally wasn't getting enough from me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

When your bootie is not looking so cutie...

May I introduce the Greatest Underpants Known To Man (And Woman)? 

Mesh spa undies. I bow to you.

One of the things that pregnancy does to you (it's the pregnancy, I swear!!) is that various parts of the anatomy expand... and we're not talking just the belly. When I realised that my VPL could essentially be seen from space, I dug through my drawer of unmentionables and found an old pair of mesh spa undies that I'd pocketed from a massage place because they were so comfortable.

And they still are comfortable, incredibly so. They're basically seamless and made of loosely woven nylon threads that allow it to stretch incredible amounts while remaining soft and figure-hugging. And no VPL! They are the holey grail of underpants.

When I was searching for these underpants, I kept running into ecstatic reviews from post-partum ladies about the mesh underpants their hospitals supplied. It seems like mesh undies are the unspoken heroes and saviours of the post-partum experience, with many ladies plotting to steal extra underpants from their hospitals, looking up hospital supply shops for their fix or trying to lengthen the life of their existing mesh underpants through careful washing.

So there you have it! Move over Victoria's Secret, we have a Victorious Secret for mummies (and those blessed with voluptuous posteriors) everywhere. :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Waddle while you work

It's official. I now walk like one of these guys. 

Though I think he could beat me in a race, and that's if I have a head start. This is life at 37 weeks. :'(