January 18, 2013

Tale of Two Birthdays: Shifa's Birthday Celebration @ Nando's OU

On the 5th January, the three of us went to One Utama, Bandar Utama to celebrate wifey’s birthday. Wifey’s actual birth date was the 3rd January (a weekday), and it was also Irtiza’s first day of preschool for this year. The lingering pain of KL traffic jams, office after-effects, (and the impossible task of asking the bosses of TV3 to reschedule the 7pm drama slot) made it impossible to celebrate wifey’s birthday that day.

I remember that when we first moved to Kota Damansara back in 2007, OU was a regular pit stop for us to get groceries, do pharmacy visits, and shop for clothes. But, since the big renovation works at OU Old Wing, plus the availability of the new Giant hypermarket at Kota Damansara, the visit to OU was slowly becoming a rare thing.

On the way to MPH

A lot of window shoppers can be seen that day. It was a little cold in the building, but it seems that even a blizzard couldn’t stop a lot of the visitors from appearing in Daisy Dukes and etc that day (#beauty is pain…bear it and bare it).

Our first stop was the MPH Bookstore. It was a few days in the New Year, and wifey wanted to buy her organizer and calendar. I just observed her purchase, as I already had my new official organizer from the office, that will be filled with important stuffs (i.e. half-baked doodles, attached receipts, and lots and lots of carefully-preserved blank pages).

The MPH (2nd Floor)

Organizers / planners / diaries

Wifey's picks

The next stop was Nando’s. We decided to use the Nando’s coupons that I got from the Hitz Cruisers from several months ago.  Could have saved them for future events, as the due date was 3 months away, but I don’t wanna risk forgetting about them and past the validity period (and end up sitting with knees up at the corner in the dark, and say “Why oh god...why!” repeatedly).

On the way to Nando's

Nando's (1st Floor)

My free vouchers

Wifey, Irtiza, & Irtiza's electronic pacifier

So, I ordered two sets of quarter chicken, sides, and bottomless soft drink. Irtiza’s food was not covered in the vouchers, so I ordered for him a set of chicken burger, chips and a glass of fresh orange.

The chicken was very tasty. It was soft, moist, and tangy (due to the flavourful Peri Peri sauce). It was perfect…it was amazing. The only complain was the size of the chicken. So, if you’re hungry, skip the quarter chicken and go for larger portions.

The side dishes were ‘ok’; my rating was somewhere in the middle. Perhaps I preferred Kenny Roger’s Roasters amazing side dishes compared to Nando’s. I tried to be adventurous and tried the spinach…it was not great (but my half-glass full view said “Well, at least I’m getting my irons”). Nuff said.

Bottomless soft drinks and Irtiza's fresh orange

Nice ambience

My pick (with chicken in Extra Hot Peri Peri sauce)

Wifey's pick (with chicken in Mild Peri Peri sauce)

Succulent chicken

Irtiza's chicken burger set

A birthday celebration is not complete without a birthday cake. So we walked around OU to buy one. We avoided Secret Recipe because we wanted something new, fresh and unique.  Perhaps the over branding of Secret Recipe on FB (Especially when it comes to birthday cakes) made us wanting for something that’s different for a change. So, we bought a cake at Sun Moulin. It was a chocolate fudge cake; a cake on display that was pointed repeatedly by Irtiza.

"I want this"

Wifey's cake

The Sun Moulin at the Old Wing, Ground Floor

Extremely nice packaging

My loved ones

Bite to eat...or was it 'eat to bite'? Thanks Tom I'm confused

We had a cake, three candles (‘coz a lot of candles could spoil the cake…or as what I was told…hehe), and the presence of all the three of us. It was a private affair…and we loved every minute of it.

And that’s how we celebrated my wife’s 33rd birthday :)

 My compiled video for the day :)

January 17, 2013

The Trip to Popeye's Loisiana Kitchen and Beauty & the Beast: The Musical

Irtiza and I went to Sunway Lagoon last 29th December; the same day when we went toy-crazy and dropped by at the Mattel Clearance Sale at SSTwo Mall. The journey was due to one solid reason; 4 redemption vouchers to watch the Beauty & the Beast: The Musical that I got from the Hitz Cruisers last 12th December. 

The redemption vouchers

I nearly missed the fine print on the vouchers; they need to be exchanged with real tickets at the Sunway Lagoon counter. As the 31st was the last day of the month-long performance, I chose the next day (the 30th)…in order to avoid things like New Year-related traffic jams, satanic cults, and drivers who opt to disagree with the ‘Don’t drink and drive’ motto (Actually, the last two should belong in the same category).

The Sunway Lagoon

A big bird

The redeemed tickets

The next day, after fetching wifey at her workplace, we went straight to the Sunway Pyramid. The visit was a great deal for me, as for years we kept making cancelled plans to go to the shopping complex, especially during Christmas seasons, when the building was filled with beautiful trees, plastic / stuffed winter animals, and politically-correct depiction of Santa Clauses.

The first 10 minutes in the Sunway Pyramid gave a sense of what’s familiar and what’s new. A lot of the Egyptian statues were gone now, and replaced with modern decorations. But what remained the same was the ice-skating rink. It was once a dreamy, memorable place…where I dreamt of becoming a professional skater, while singing to Robbie Williams’ She’s the One, and make noble sacrifices.

"...if there's somebody...calling me on...she's the one..."

The Amphitheatre from afar (the one below the high-rise building at the right side)

After identifying the location of the Amphitheatre from afar, we went to search for food. After avoiding restaurants that may end up using our money to cater missile-buying, illegal occupations and stuffs, we finally chose Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen.

Hmmm....let me see...

My first encounter of the chain goes back to the year 2008; the time when a branch was made available at TTDI, and Starbucks’ only jurisdiction was from within the four walls of a shopping complex. The first memories of the menus were mostly the salty muffins / cookies, and the fried seafood. Then, over the years, it seemed that they made recipe modifications to suit the local taste buds…and it was indeed a profitable business move.

This somehow reminds me of 'True Blood'

What we had that day at Popeye’s was a delish. I ordered the Seafood Meal, while both Irtiza and wifey had Popeyes Bonafide Chicken set each. The fried chicken was tasty, but it seems that nothing can challenge the Colonel’s secret recipe of 11 herbs and spices. The fish was soft, moist, and enjoyably tasty. The mashed potato was a little bit chunky, but it was tasty nonetheless.

A pic before dinner

My Seafood Meal

The Popeye's Bonafide Chicken set

Eating in motion

Seriously, this really reminds me of 'True Blood :O

After dining and etc, we went to the Surf Beach entrance, and did a lot descending actions using the escalators to the Amphitheatre. We were surprised to see a big crowd in front of an entrance to the venue. We were surprised still that we were given free train rides to reach the place. The train ride was brief, but it was an enjoyable one (I think I left my gut at the first train station, when it sped maniacally like the 90’s KL Mini Busses).

The Surf Beach Entrance

One of many escalators, and the big crowd

Expecting to see Dumbledore on board

We finally reached the Amphitheatre, with people filling-up 1/3 of the seats. It was a very big place, no walls, but with a very big canopy-like roof on top. There were very big, rotating fans at the ceiling…and at that time, I kinda regretted watching the Final Destination installments (Hollywood damaged me good).'s the Amphitheatre!

A pic before the show

Irtiza was bored. Thus, he experimented.

A RM90-worth of ticket seat for the pillow, bag and stroller. Yes, I'm that rich.

The show was almost punctual when they started…which goes to show that only Malaysians follow the Malaysian time. The setting was a combination of simplicity and extravagance. But what captured me the most was the spectacular singing voice of the characters; mainly those of Bella, the Good Witch, and the Evil Witch.

I love it when they did the interactive sessions with the audience…it was creative and entertaining. I love it when Gaston argued funnily with the crowd, and ended the argument by saying “No Lah”. The addition of popular songs in the performance like the Gangnam Style and Born This Way was a fresh approach to facilitate the storytelling.

The Evil Witch was a great and brave acrobat. There was a surprising scene when the Evil Witch ‘flew’ from the top of the amphitheatre to the stage with her broomstick (with the help of a little magic called the ‘Flying Fox’ of course).

Even when the tale was over, the performance team did a little bit of the ‘Christmas spirit’ performance, with the unexpected ‘falling snow’ for those who were patient enough to wait till the very end of the show.

Expensive much?

The journey back was a tiring one, as the entire crowd travelled back to the Surf Beach entrance on foot. We suffered a few aches or more from that. But the night was a memorable and beautiful experience. It was the first musical that we watched as a family…and hopefully, there will be more to come in the future :)

A tiny little video that I did of the day. Enjoy :)