Archive for the 'Birthday Specials' Category

It’s now the 7th day of Chinese New Year. Kaka, my sister and Andy left Kuching yesterday so to me, it feels as if my holiday is already over :(. At times like these,you wish you could return to the start of the holiday when everyone was still excited and happy. How I wish I could see baby trotting in and out of my parent’s bedroom and squealing in delight.
ang pow

The early days before the angpows were given out.

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Kaka receives her first angpow. She enjoyed crumpling the red packets up so we had to exchange her money filled ones with empty packets.

sua mee

First day of Chinese New Year always starts with chicken soup and sua mee (long life noodles). My mother’s version always has abalone slices too (from Australia haha). With a dash of ang chiew (foochow red wine) this is always a very nice first breakfast of the year.

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Kaka in her first day Chinese New Year dress. Very pink and festive right? Unfortunately she started falling ill the night before and wasn’t well all the way till she left.

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Andy and ah pa in matching red checked shirts.

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Cute chinese new year cookies, I liked the rilakkuma ones.

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Kaka was spoilt for choice. Here she is examining the goodies before point ing out the one she wanted to her gung gung.

kaka and jan

She liked our parents’ friends house because there was lots of space for her to walk about. I think she would like walking in the parks and gardens in Perth. Can already imagine her running after the seagulls in Matilda Bay.


After a few days of eating reunion dinner leftovers (there were lots), the ‘young’ ones in the family decided to order Pizza Hut delivery. I was very amused when the Pizza Hut guy answered the phone with ‘Hello Miss Joanne?’ Obviously Jo had ordered many pizzas in the past if they have her on records!

bday dinner

We always have a sumptuous home cooked lunch (by my Ah Ma) on the third day of Chinese New Year because it’s my father’s birthday! It was a milestone birthday too, my father turned 60 this year.

dad cake

Not too bad for a 60 year old right? Definitely not ah pek level yet. Hehe, happy birthday ah pa. He was rather embarrassed with all the attention and phonecalls from his kids, ‘jor mik ah neh?’ (why like that?) he said to me. My father is a humble man and doesn’t feel that there should be any fuss made on his birthday. Which only goes to show what a great man and father he is.

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Kaka blows the candles with my father.  I think it was especially nice for my father this year that Kaka was there to celebrate his 60th with him. We’re already missing her a lot at home.  More Kuching food photos next time 🙂


Birthday dinner at Modo Mio

On Australia Day, instead of heading out and checking out the skyworks, I was having my early birthday dinner at the Italian restaurant, Modo Mio.

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I have to admit, Modo Mio wasn’t my first choice, I was hoping to go for a degustation at Restaurant Amuse but it was so heavily booked that the next available date was in March! Still, I was pretty happy that we were going to Modo Mio, also on my must-try list.


The setting in Modo Mio was lovely and  inviting. The seats, lighting, interior design etc. was warm and cozy.

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One of the better garlic breads I’ve had with lots of fresh garlic and rosemary.

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Our starter to share, roasted veal in tuna and caper sauce, crispy celery salad and quail egg. I usually hate celery but this celery salad was very refreshing and light and went wonderfully well with the tender veal slices and morish tuna and caper sauce. That sauce was especially yummy and we lapped it all up. We were very pleased with the first course.

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My main was  tagliatelle with smoked duck breast, broadbean, asparagus and cream. This was probably my least favourite dish of the night. The duck breast was tender and flavourful, broad beans and asparagus were all well cooked, but the sauce was just too creamy and rich for my liking. The tagliatelle was also a bit too al dente for my liking.

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R’s main of black ink fettuccine, scallops, squid, snow peas, white wine, garlic and chilli was a first for us in terms of trying black ink pasta. And due to this dish, we will probably be ordering lots more of black ink pastas in the future. The black ink infused fettucine had just the right bite in terms of texture and had subtle seafood flavours throughout. The sauce was yums and the seafood (especially crab meat) combination in the pasta was just delicious.

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What else but tiramisu for dessert? Our family is partial towards tiramisu from Ciao Italia and this was quite different from Ciao’s version. But, it was very nice too, especially the shortbread fingers which were so light with a slight chewy texture.

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All the restaurants in Crown are having a birthday deal where all diners who celebrate their birthdays at their restaurants receive a complimentary birthday cake (very rich chocolate mud cake) and glasses of bubbly :). I was a bit shy and tried to stop the waitress from singing the birthday song but she put on a sad face and the diners at the next table started singing along too (= ^ ^ =).

I enjoyed my pre birthday dinner at Modo Mio, it was a fun night, thanks R 🙂

So in a few hours, it will be my birthday. In a few days I will be flying home to Kuching where I will see my family, and get to play with little Kaka who shares my birthday, she is turning one whereas I’m turning into a fossil.  Happy birthday Kaka. Diana yee yee loves you very much and can’t wait to go swimming with you.

I’m feeling happy, lucky and contented with life. That’s as good as it gets right?

Modo Mido
Great Eastern Hwy
(08) 9362 7551

Jaso’s birthday lunch @ Mela

Jason’s official birthday was yesterday but we had a belated birthday lunch for him today. I remember asking him about nice Indian food in UK and he mentioned that he actually missed the thalis from Mela, so Mela it was!

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It was nice sunny afternoon, just right for a tall glass of sweet and refreshing mango lassi. Gill had a small lunch as usual, this long and impressive looking dosa.

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HC’s lunch was lamb briyani which looked delicious, he finished every scrap.

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Everyon else had the popular thalis! There was an eggplant curry, chickpea curry, butter chicken and lamb curry. Very filling and yummy. I’m sure Jason had his thali fix, but is it enough to last him till the next year?

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The cliche cake cutting time. But this was a special cake, Baskin and Robbins green tea icecream cake, Jason’s favourite icecream in Perth.

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The smiley birthday boy 🙂 I hope all your birthday wishes come true Jaso!

428 William Street

WA Day long weekend and R’s birthday

We have to wait till October for the next long weekend (T________T). I really do think that the WA government should spread out the public holidays a bit better throughout the year, a grey, gloomy and extra wet winter is bad enough without having any public holidays to look forward too. SIGH.

Anyway, here are some pictures from the WA Day long weekend which also happened to be R’s birthday, such good timing.

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I did quite a bit of cooking over the weekend, these were my mini vegetarian pohpiahs.
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Sio baos for my farewell morning tea at work. My colleagues liked them but the pregnant Jo loved them. I even had to ‘dapao’ some from my morning tea to take home for her even though I had packed her half a dozen a few days earlier.

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Hippo Creek Meat and Wine was R’s birthday dinner venue. Actually we had many birthday meals throughout the weekend. Any reason for a feast 🙂

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This is called the Lion’s Kill. Can you guess why? Under the slab of bbq ribs was 350 gm of Black Angus sirloin steak. The restaurant was loud and festive, not a romantic place for two but great for a crowd of friends. The food was pretty good too.

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Long weekends aren’t complete without Freo outings. I don’t think we predicted that we would be heading back so soon when Shirley and her friends came to town!

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For HC, a long weekend means fishing solitude by the Sardine jetty. Well, not really solitude since we were all there being pests and generally doing everything but fishing.

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It was a beautiful day, a complete contrast from the crappy weather that we’ve been facing for the past couple of weeks.

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Can’t end a birthday post without a picture of the birthday boy with his birthday cake. It was a good birthday and a nice long weekend.

Jo and HC’s birthday weekend

It was Jo and HC’s birthday last Sunday but her birthday celebrations started early with Saturday breakfast at Shots on Lake.

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Shots on Lake is one of the newer cafes popping up all over Northbridge. I’m liking the coffee culture in Northbridge and Shots on Lake is a great new addition.

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They use Five Senses coffee beans in Shots on Lake, the latte had pretty patterns and I enjoyed my coffee but HC’s latte was a little burnt.

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This was their version of big breakfast, the portions here are quite generous and the prices are very affordable. I can’t remember the price of this though 😦

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This scrambled eggs with bacon ($12.90) was very nice, the eggs were nicely done, fluffy and soft. I would easily return to Shots on Lake again, the location is lovely and the service very good too.

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Saturday night birthday dinner at Ciao Italia!! We were very excited about this dinner because it’s been quite a long time since we’ve been back to our favourite Italian restaurant in South Perth. The dinner crowd here is crazy, so we were there super early at 5pm. But there were already lines (o__o)! luckily we were able to get a table. Woo hoo for yummy Italian fare.

This was HC’s all time favourite Italian meat dish, scallopine marsala.

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Spaghetti carbonara. There was this young Italian guy eating alone next to us, he must have been very hungry because when this dish came out he said ‘Wooah’.

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Chilli mussels. I don’t think Ciao Italia’s chilli mussels are as tasty as they used to be, maybe less garlic and parsley in the sauce, but the mussels were big and juicy so that made up for the sauce.

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Jo’s all time favourite Risotto Marinara, this was really yummy, filled with seafood flavour as always. This is probably my favourite dish in Ciao Italia and a must order.

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Ciao Italia’s famous tiramisu. The young Italian guy was lapping up the cream spoonful by spoonful, Wendy couldn’t resist asking him whether it was any good. He gave it a thumbs up and said we would get tiramisu this good in Italy and it was a close second to his aunt’s Tiramisu.

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Sunday night, yet another birthday dinner only this time it was just the four of us. Guess what was on the menu? Jo’s favourite CRAB! This crab birthday dinner idea has actually been in the works for err 5 years? Every year Jo the crab queen would say ‘ I want to have crabs for my birthday’. We would rock up to a Chinese restaurant and ask for the price of crabs, then Jo would go (O__o) ‘What?! So expensive! Don’t want to eat crabs anymore! Let’s just eat prawns’. So poorly. So this year we really had crabs! It was Singapore chilli crabs too.

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Fried mantou to mop up the crab chili sauce.

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Snow crab demolished by all!

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Dessert after dinner was Jo and HC’s blueberry fruit cake.

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All lit up and ready for the birthday song Y(^__^)Y.

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The best part of all birthdays, birthday wishes and birthday cake cutting time. Happy birthday Jo and HC, hope it was a memorable and fun one this year!

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Wanton Wednesdays. It was a public holiday today, a quiet day at home of doing housework and wrapping wantons. It only we had more holidays a year I would a lot happier!

Kuching Day 14 & 15: Kuching Tour + Kenyalang

Kuching Day 14 was the day after the wedding. Everyone was tired but buzzing from the excitement of the wedding. This unfortunately, was also the day that Jason started falling really ill.

After a really late night out celebrating with the boys, I was surprised that we could crawl out of bed to have breakfast at Chong Choon cafe.

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Brio and Calv had done their research before coming to Kuching and were hankering for the famous giant teh c pengs in Chong Choon that I didn’t even know about *hang foodie head in shame*. I don’t even know how they managed to finish that giant class.

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After a good breakfast of laksa and kolo mee, we rushed to Hilton to meet up with the rest of the tour group for our Kuching tour! Yes, my mother had organised for a 25 seater bus to bring the Singaporean relatives and my friends around Kuching. It was quite fun even for us Kuching-nites. We visited the cat museum, Sarawak musuem etc. But the best was probably the sampan ride across the river.

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It’s been a while since I’ve had a sampan ride, I think the last time was when I was a teenager. Nowadays the sampans are very high tech and come with engines. The Sarawak river however, is still brown and murky. It was actually really nice being in a rickety sampan laughing and joking with good friends and family.

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It was a hot day in Kuching and all this traipsing around mesuems etc. wasn’t actually cooling. So we stopped for afternoon tea or should I say afternoon ice kachangs at the famous stalls behind Chung Hua Primary School No.3.

I must admit the location wasn’t my first choice because we always prefer the ice stalls at Song Kheng Hai which unfortunately wasn’t open due to Chinese New Year. Still, Gillian and the others enjoyed their ice kachangs very much.

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Calvin has his first taste of Sarawak belachan beehoon a.k.a. ‘it tastes like the bottom of the sea’ as dubbed by Andy my brother-in-law. This dish is of course an acquired taste but a firm favourite for many Sarawakians. I know Brio didn’t like this, but everyone else seemed to like it.

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I don’t know why ice kachangs, belachan beehoon and rojaks are always eaten together or sold in stalls next to each other. Maybe it’s a typical Kuching afternoon tea fare. Our rojak (I think you could  call it a mixed salad of some sort) was a special because it had cuttlefish in it, yums.

I remember Day 14 ended with a trip to the airport to send off my Singaporean relatives and my brother Darren. Jo started the waterworks and the women in the family were all teary eyed when we farewelled my brother who is off to start his career in US. One of the reasons why this holiday was so memorable was because of all the time that I got to spend with my brother. I will remember the funny conversations that we had, him teasing my mum, us teasing him about his harem of girls, listening to his music in the car while waiting for him to order road side burgers for us, teaching him how to cook even though he fell asleep halfway! Aaah,  it was a wonderful summer holiday and I really miss him.

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Day 15 was quiet and a little sad because everyone was leaving or had left. It was the last night in Kuching for Brio, Calv and Cheng. Perhaps it was the perfect day to visit my favourite Kenyalang, with the festive Chinese New Year market over, the normal sleepy Kenyalang of my childhood returned.

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Most people visit Kenyalang nowadays to buy pirated dvds/cds. I still remember when we were young, we visited Kenyalang almost everyday because we hired TVB/Singaporean drama video tapes from the video store. Everyday we would bring in the tape that we had watched the night before to exchange it for a new episode of TVB drama. This was a huge part of my childhood, watching dramas with my parents in their bedroom.

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These little shops have been around in Kenyalang forever. Sin Kui Seng sells all sorts of knick knacks, from junk food to kites to electric fly killing bats (I bought this!). I can’t remember whether my father ever cut his hair in this barber shop, I’m sure he would have at least once, but I remember his regular barber shop was another shop in Kenyalang. I wonder whether he still gets his haircut in Kenyalang nowadays. I’m guessing the answer is yes. It’s so nice that some things never change.

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Speaking of things that never change, I was so upset when many years ago, the icecream stall of my childhood ‘Moonlight’ moved away from Kenyalang. Whenever we had our daily stops in Kenyalang, my ah pa would sometimes give us $1 each to buy pandan icecream with chocolate sprinkles from Moonlight, we always had an extra $1 to get one for him as well. My ah pa still loves soft serve icecreams to this day, and so do I.

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Guess what?! Moonlight moved back to Kenyalang!

I was so excited when I discovered this a week ago, and swore to return to try the pandan icecream again. So I did! It was manned by the same husband and wife!! And the icecreams still cost $1 haha.

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I bought a pandan icecream for all of us. It was still wonderful and a blast from the past. I must tell my ah pa about this so that he can come and get some for himself in the future. I’m so happy that Moonlight is back in Kenyalang.

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At night it was time for my birthday gathering. All my close friends came and there was lots and lots of food. We spent the night chatting, playing cards, eating, drinking and eating some more. The core bunch Jaso, Gill, Cheng and co. insisted on waiting till midnight so they could wish me happy birthday. My ah pa waited with them too. I felt especially bad for Jaso who was feeling so sick.

But midnight came and they all wished me happy birthday. Thank you for being there and waiting till the stroke of midnight dear people. I was very touched and happy.

It’s a bit scary turning older each year and thinking of all the dreams that I have yet to achieve, but I know I’m really lucky, because I will have the love and support of my wonderful family and friends supporting me all the way. I reckon, it will be pretty great growing old with you guys (^___^).

Kuching Day 10: CNY Day 3

I know.. it’s a bit late to blog about the third day of Chinese New  Year considering Chap Goh Meh was yesterday. Chinese New Year is officially over. Which also signals the end of my holidays. SIGH. I only just finished unpacking today and am still suffering from post holiday blues. I have a feeling it’s going to take me a very long time to recover.

Day 3 of Chinese New Year went by in a blur. I still remember there was a dreamlike quality about it which sort of remained throughout the rest of the holiday. It was a very rainy day and most of us at home woke up sick!

Even Jo the bride-to-be was sick! It was terrible, my parents were really worried and this resulted in the above traditional remedies. Sad to say, this crazy bout of sickness persisted throughout the remaining holiday and no one was spared. By the end of the holiday, even our houseguests Jaso, Gill fell ill. Jo and I are still recovering from cough even though we’re back in Perth.

In order to get better before the wedding, we turned to the dark side and I had chinese cough medicine from my dreaded doctor of my youth (Wang Shi Hua), his horrible medicine used to cause me nightmares and 20 years later, it’s still horrible. It also didn’t work (T___T).
But happier things also happened on the 3rd day. It was my father’s birthday! His siblings decided to hold a ‘surprise’ party for him at our house (not much of a surprise since my mum told him about it *duh*). My mum was roped in to help my dad cut the cake, as you can tell from the pics, there was lots of laughter 🙂


The birthday feast! All the aunties cooked, my mum and I also contributed some dishes. Obviously, we all like cooking in the family. Can you guess which dishes are mine?

And that was Day 3! The next day Jaso arrived so there are more food photos. Jason is now in UK where he will be based for a year or so, sigh, I miss him already. It’s going to take a while for Perth to feel like home again.

July 2018
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