Archive for June 20th, 2009

A Week of My Life : Day 6 Saturday

It’s 1.30am and I’m really sleepy! Still, I will try to give a good update of what happened today because Saturdays are always fun.

The sun came out for a short while today, but there were puddles everywhere so it was a sneaker sort of day. Jo and I set out to the city to meet Gill for lunch.

Since we were there early, Jo and I walked around the city and shopped a bit. I was glad that we managed to accidentally attend the No Deaths in Custody rally for Mr Ward, a well respected Aboriginal community leader who literally cooked to death in a van while being transported to the Perth prison from remote WA. It’s tragic that this sort of thing can happen in a so-called multicultural harmonious society like Australia, I guess racism is very much alive no matter where you are.

I took this picture for Jan because I know she likes pies. They had a wide selection of pies at the Trackside Bakery in the train station.

Because we didn’t know whether Gill would make it for Assam Laksa in time, Jo and I decided to go to our favourite Manise for empek empek instead.

Some day I will blog properly about Manise and give it a real review, but imagine it’s a cold rainy winter day, you spread oodles of numbing lips spicy sambal belachan over your plate of steamed rice and dig into hot, crispy deep fried slices of fish cake drenched with a light addictive sweet sauce.

Between mouthfuls of fiery sambal belachan laden rice, you eat slivers of succulent grilled fish drenched topped with fresh, crunchy bits of tomatoes and aromatic shallots and drizzled with sweet kecap manis sauce. Every now and then, you dip your morsels of fish into the gorgeous sambal belachan. Your lips start to throb so you gulp down huge quantities of cool, refreshing sweet iced tea to quench the fire within. So good you know?

When we were almost done with our fantastic lunch, Gill popped up and delighted Jo by ordering another empek-empek. Both of them are such Manise and empek-empek veterans that the owner of Manise came to sit with them and they had a great long chat about how Manise started (the owner is an Indonesian Chinese, his in-laws used to open a Chinese restaurant in Indonesia and passed their cooking skills to their daughter. The owner’s wife does all the cooking in Manise) and the uncle’s history. I was impressed when the uncle said he recognises Jo coz she comes here all the time, the funny thing is, Jo always goes with Gill but the uncle doesn’t remember Gill. I think it’s Jo’s wide and hopeful eyes and her ‘Uncle, is there empek-empek today?’ plea.

While Jo and Gill were chatting away, I left Manise to pick up some cheap fruit and veg from my new favourite market stall. This  fruit and veg stall’s Italian staff attract their customers by yelling ‘DOLLAR A BAG!!!! DOLLAR A BAG!!!’ continuously. Vocally, they’re hard to miss. Today the Italian owner (the guy in the picture with the afro haircut, I like his tomato shirt don’t you?) greeted me witha friendly ‘Hello darling, how are you today? Today apples very good!’

Now you know the secret to my never ending supply of apples. They’re really a dollar a bag, so cheap!

I rushed home to prepare tonight’s dinner and also Jo’s sandwiches for lunch tomorrow. Dinner was teriyaki chicken udon with cabbage and carrots.

Jo’s sandwiches for tomorrow. I prepared lots for her so that she will be able  to share with her boss and colleagues (one of them being Gill, in fact, that’s how they met). I made three kinds of sandwiches, egg mayo, tomato and lettuce sandwiches, tuna salad sandwiches and teriyaki chicken and avocado sandwiches. I wonder which one Jo will like best?

I met up with Jason, Wendy and Bryan for dinner at Ipoh Garden in Applecross where they had the popular fried chicken. This fried chicken always gives me a sore throat because it’s always straight out of the fryer and piping hot. Jason and Wendy introduced me to their friends Ming Xian and Richard who are actually from my high school in Kuching, such a small world.  I was especially pleased to finally talk to Ming Xian whom I’ve been bumping into at venues all around Perth for the past few years. We always nod at each other in the ‘I think I know you from somewhere but where?’ way but before today had never spoken to each other before.

Later Adrian joined us and had this yummy looking fish beehoon soup.

From left to right, Ming Xian, Richard, Wendy, Jason, Brio and Adrian.

After that we headed to Dome’s for coffees, Ming Xian moonlights as a coffee barista during the weekends (his normal job is doing some medical scientific thing in the hospital) so we were shooting him with coffee questions all night. He said that my latte was done well because the froth was smooth and had a glossy effect, and he was right, it was very nice.

We were the last ones to leave the cafe close to midnight so it was a great night of chatting and meeting new friends. Especially one who felt more like an old friend. So sad that Saturday is over, but there’s still Sunday left, and the last of our a week of my life posts.

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