My week in yoga pants

Friday, December 5, 2014

This week has been incredibly intense from the get go! Wonderful, but intense filled with sights and sounds and books and essays! An accounting test, an in-class assessment (LSE100!), and an essay due today have been prodding at me all week, but in the midst of it all, there were gems of joy that I managed to find in between!

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With three lobster rolls, lobster chowder, and amazing courgette fries for two at Smack Lobster on Monday,

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To a visit to Benihana with the Malaysian Society committee members over the week.

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Happy faces after a wonderful term in the committee.

For the first time in a long time, a significant amount of my time is spent on picking up skills I’ve always wanted to have and learning new things rather than dedicate myself to loads of society obligations. Whilst I appreciate the soft skills and experiences as well as relationships formed from the latter, being able to learn new things and spend time on growing is something a lot of us tend to put aside. I felt that this year was the best time to really pick up things!

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Whilst slotting in time to finish my essays!

I’ve signed up for salsa dancing classes once a week and whilst I have yet to reach this back-arching, heels-wearing, dramatic-fingers bit of it, I have really enjoyed my classes! It’s a beginners’ class which means that more often than not, I go home with footprints all over my shoes.

These salsa classes are one of the reasons why I got so excited when Zalora contacted me for a collaboration to write about yoga pants! Comfortable, stretchy, and perfect for moving around in, I love wearing yoga pants for my salsa classes! In fact, almost every day after a tiring day out, I head back home, pull off my jeans, and put on a pair of comfy pants because life is too short to spend it in discomfort. :P

On Tuesdays, I’ve started attending aerobics classes as well where we spend an hour jumping around like maniacs to pop music – although to be honest, I spend most of that hour panting rather than jumping – and do all kinds of stretches and mini dance moves which are loads of fun. Open-mouthed smile 

For those classes, wearing sports attire is definitely understandable, but right after aerobics, I rush off for my two hour Mandarin classes and I don’t always have time to change. So wearing yoga pants are perfect because if you have the right pair, it can be dressed down for sports but camouflage as slack-like pants when you have classes too! Casual, but not too casual. Winking smile 

And I definitely can vouch for yoga pants as travel outfits! Too embarrassed to wear your pajamas on the plane? Yoga pants will do the trick!

Basically, I love how yoga pants are the perfect lazy day outfit that celebrities don’t mind getting seen in and regardless if it’s for exercise, Mandarin classes (eheheh), for showing off your perfectly sculpted butt, or for just lazing around, they’re a must-have addition to everyone’s closet.
And what better place to get them than from the comfort of your own home? Winking smile

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So who hasn’t heard of Zalora?

Like the Asos of Malaysia, Zalora provides an opportunity for Malaysians to get access to international brands in an affordable manner. We no longer have to beg our friends from overseas to fly back with merchandise for us because we can get everything online. And with Zalora, there’s no need to worry about ridiculously expensive shipping fees either as if you spend above RM75, they provide free delivery.

It’s basically the international experience all the way at home, with a returns policy that matches up to the rest of the world! Open-mouthed smile I didn’t think I’d see the day where a website in Malaysia would offer free returns!

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So check out ZALORA for a wide range of yoga pants online in Malaysia from various local and international brands. Open-mouthed smile

Granger & Co.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Nestled in the corners of Farringdon and hidden between alleys that lie maybe an inch too close to The Modern Pantry (which I have yet to try!), sits Granger & Co, a pretty breakfast-brunch type of place with large windows by plain tables, perfect for those overhead Instagram shots and in this case - brunch with a best friend.

I met up with Baby J after what seemed like forever and we were lucky to score a seat despite showing up without a reservation. It was fine for a party of two, but best give them a call beforehand if you’re planning to head there for lunch.

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From Baby J’s instagram: @hojocelyn

I had just recovered from food poisoning and the menu was disappointingly sparse for someone whose stomach can’t quite take the fried and savoury, but it was probably because we arrived at an awkward time between breakfast and lunch. The lunch menu would’ve probably been more welcoming. I went for their ricotta hotcakes, with banana & honeycomb butter for 11.50 whilst Baby J had their Full Aussie.

Service wasn’t particularly quick, but it was friendly and welcoming, with the servers cracking jokes and sparing the time to take pictures of us – and that’s no easy feat considering how picky we can get. Smile with tongue out 

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Granger & Co gave off a wonderful feel of being in a nice hotel breakfast bar, classier than the average cafe.

The food itself was distinctive.

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Their ricotta hotcakes were wonderful and this is coming from someone who didn’t have much of an appetite. The cheese in the pancakes gave each bite a pleasant creaminess that went surprisingly well with the syrup and banana. Fans of pancakes with crispy sides may find themselves disappointed because it was fluffy all over! It’s a hate it or love it kind of dish – and I loved it!

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The Full Aussie was scrambled eggs, sourdough toast, bacon, cumin roast tomato, and miso chestnut mushrooms all on a plate, reminiscent of Antipodean-like meals back home in Malaysia. But their scrambled eggs were really in a class of its own, creamy and silky smooth, almost with the texture of streamed eggs!

A conversation with our waiter revealed that the eggs get whipped with a lot of cream beforehand, so whilst delicious, might not be an everyday option! I’m contemplating trying this at home (will let you guys know if it’s a success!)

I didn’t get to try the rest of the meal, but Celine has sung praises about their miso mushrooms and it seems a relatively popular option here so it could be worth a try. I personally would rather roast my own tomatoes, toast my own bread, and pan fry my own mushrooms than fork out 13 pounds for this, but I don’t think I would ever be able to make scrambled eggs this fluffy so Cost-Benefit-Analysis the meal, my Economics-studying schoolmates!

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I’ve smiled this camera smile so often that being ill can’t wipe it away! Smile with tongue out 

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My lovely brunch buddy!

Open-mouthed smile 

Living in a flat outside of halls has led to more cooking and a lot less going out so maybe some recipes may find their way here in the next few posts. (Maybe) ((If I learn how to plate nicely)) (((And cook.)))

And in case you wondered, no I did not get food poisoning from my own cooking!!!

See you soon! Winking smile 

-

Granger & Co.
Clerkenwell Green
50 Sekforde Street
London EC1R 0HA

T + 44 20 7251 9032

Afternoon Tea @ Nosh, Bangsar

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

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Afternoon tea with your mom and grandma isn’t quite the same experience as having it with friends. Rather than gossip and everyday conversation, the talk is peppered with a frequent “tsk tsk” at how sweet the cakes can be and their gossip is pretty much about how most of their friends have gotten diabetes in the past few years. Eye rolling smile But as strange as these conversations can get, they’re the company that I’m sure to find myself missing so much when I fly back to London this weekend, the original land of afternoon tea.

We had our session at Nosh in Bangsar and shared a set for two amongst three, which was plenty for us with enough as leftovers. Nosh only serves their afternoon tea sets on weekends and when we arrived at 3.30pm, the place was packed. I made a reservation beforehand though and I recommend you do the same.

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Crowds of young ‘uns.

The set comes with two pots of tea which is more than enough as once the tea’s run out, you could always just ask the kitchen for more hot water to add to the teapot.

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Buttery biscuit!

When the three-tiered set arrived, I was practically salivating. Nosh gives you a choice of 4 desserts to choose from a list of about 6 for your top tier and they looked delicious!

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Everything looked so good!

Traditionally with tea sets like these, you start at the bottom and work your way to the top (STARTED FROM THE BOTTOM NOW WE’RE HERE! Note). I don’t know why that is, but I remember having read it somewhere! But it makes sense because the delicious cheese-topped piece of baguette was very very tasty as it was still warm!

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Clockwise from top: A size comparison of their strawberry topped apple crumble against my iPhone;
a generous helping of jam & cream on my scone;
the set comes with four scones, butter, delicious cream, and very very yummy jam;
I loved the bottom tier so much!

Review by tier:

The tuna sandwich was with their crusts cut off, which is obviously the only way a sandwich should ever be served and the bread was fluffy and light! The bread on the other hand, was crispy on its edges and soft on the inside, with a winning combination of tomatoes and cheese!

Their scones were good, but aren’t the best I’ve had. By the time we had them, they weren’t as warm as I would’ve liked but the accompanying cream and jam were amazing!

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The top layer was really good! Most of their desserts were accompanied by sweet strawberries (which I am particularly fond of so I may be biased), and even their apple crumble, interestingly enough, came with a strawberry on top! Their carrot cake was moist and fragrant, and their tart was delicious. Their cream puff was a let down though and if I ever head back, I’ll be looking for something else.

All in all, a really enjoyable tea session and one I’d recommend for those who don’t find macarons their cup of tea. Ha. Ha. Ha. I’m hilarious.

DETAILS:


ootd

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Because crazy people laugh in grass. Then subsequently get bitten by mosquitos.

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Loving the pastelly purple on this dress! Bright but not too bright, cute but not too cute, brilliant but not too brilliant.

Ya dig? Dawg?

#swaggilicious

7 Places on my Must-Eat List

Monday, September 15, 2014

*non-halal

Distance only makes the heart grow fonder and as much as that may apply to romantic relationships, it is just as relevant to meals if not more so. With every picture we post of Tower Bridge or the London Eye, we receive one from our family dining at that nasi lemak place we love to death or that cake shop with promises to ‘take you there when you’re back’.

This summer home, I not only revisited eateries I hold dear to my tongue but got a couple more added to the list as well! Rather than excitedly gushing to anyone who would listen every time I dine, I have decided to share my ‘Must-Eat List’ right here. Open-mouthed smile Opening hours and addresses have been hyperlinked to the names of the restaurants.

1. Restoran Yu Ai

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Forgive the poor quality – from my Instagram (@tiffanykml) a year ago!

At RM20 for a small bowl and RM23 for the bigger one, these seafood noodles don’t come cheap but you can bet that they’re fantastic value for money. Every bite is accompanied by either prawns, clams, or salmon because they definitely do not skimp on the seafood.

It comes in three flavours – soup, curry, and tom yum, with curry being a clear winner. There’s just something incredibly special about the sweet and spicy broth (probably copious amounts of MSG). I normally get it with kuey teow noodles in both soup and curry to share but if you have to go with one, go with the former! Definitely a must try, and every person I’ve brought there has loved it. Open-mouthed smile 

As for tom yum, better give it a miss unless you don’t mind having a bowl that tastes nothing like its Thai namesake, and is more like an extra sour version of assam laksa.

IMG_1615Where the magic happens.

2. Porridge and Chicken @ Jalan Ipoh

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Pay Jalan Ipoh a dinner visit after 5pm for a bowl of smooth, flavourful porridge if you’re ever in the mood for it! It isn’t exactly the favourite meal of our generation but perfect if you’re looking somewhere to take your grandma.

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And even if you aren’t a porridge fan, check this place out anyway for its heavenly poached chicken. It’s very very delicious – salty without being overwhelming, and smooth without being chewy! In my opinion, it’s one of the best places to have it!

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If it isn’t hearty enough, there’s a bak kut teh stall right next door that doesn’t do too bad of a job so feast your heart out!

3. The Bread Shop, Bukit Damansara

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Another place added to the list thanks to Rachel!

I’ve always enjoyed mixing and matching my food. I can comfortably eat Nutella with sausages and have honey with rice, so when places do the matching for me and do it well (like Duck and Waffle!), I get very very happy.

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This mango and smoked chicken croissant is a thing of wonder that pairs incredibly well together. The sweetness of the mango against the buttery pastry is just enhanced by the chicken! I must confess that their side salad comes with a bizzare tasting dressing, but even with that, the croissant is memorable for the right reasons.

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Gloriously golden and flaky. It isn’t the best croissant I’ve had because for me, International Hall stands as champion, but the pairing works, and it works very very well.

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There’s a beef version as well!

The Bread Shop doesn’t just stop there. The moment you enter, the smell of baked bread assaults you in the best possible way one can be assaulted! A wide array of pastries are on display, ready for you!

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On a whim, I decided to get their Salted Caramel Choc Tart and it was the best decision of the day. I haven’t had a tart this good since.. well, ever. But bear in mind that chocolate is a particular favourite of mine, and after having had tarts with crumbly bits of poorly melted chocolate, this was bliss.

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Dramatic, but I was love struck.

I came back a few days later for their Peanut Butter Choc Tart because this beauty ran out, and was unfortunately underwhelmed. The dollop of peanut butter in the centre (you can refer to the pic with the display) was difficult to spread throughout the tart and whilst still good, it wasn’t amazing. I heard their scones are marvellous but they sold out on my second visit so maybe you could be the judge!

4. Swich Cafe

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Mom-daughter bonding sessions are such a pleasure and even more so when there’s good food to accompany it. I’ve heard of Swich a couple of times before but I never thought to give it a try till recently!

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I went for the Cempedak Cake and their Walnut Tiramisu.

It was my first time having cempedak in a cake, and I was worried it would be sickly sweet or artificial tasting. But it was far from that! The flavour was subtle without being bland and whilst I wouldn’t be able to finish a slice on my own, it definitely is a must-try. The coconut flakes on top lend a slight crisp to the cake and was the perfect addition.

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I’m a huge lover of the traditional Italian creamy moussey tiramisu but the one at Swich managed to broaden my like palette because it was such a delicious take on it. The one at Alexis doesn’t even come close to how much I enjoyed this cake.

5. Menya Musashi, Isetan, One Utama

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There isn’t a single ramen store in London that can compare to how I feel about this place because the one here is amazing!

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You can see my half-eaten piece of pork in the background because I was anticipating the ramen so much, I didn’t take the time off to snap a proper picture. And the pork is good! It’s fatty and melty and omgggg I am salivating.

If you go, you must order the Kuro one. Don’t even try being adventurous, okay. I’m telling you that this ramen is amazing and it is only amazing if you order it right! However, expect to pay at least RM30 a bowl for this helping of heaven.

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Perfect egg. Just perfect. The egg yolk was perfectly marinated and runny but not too runny. Beautiful.

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Not bad gyozas too! Maybe a little too gooey inside but enjoyable!

6. Uncle Soon’s Fried Rice

Probably the only reason to step foot into SS15 is this gloriously amazing fried rice. Get it big with char siew and with egg, please because it’s so good you wouldn’t want it any smaller!

And the sambal that comes with it packs a punch and enhances the flavour of the rice. Take it easy in the first bite though because stronger men have succumbed halfway through the sauce plate.

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It’s just a humble hawker store that moves around pretty often, but currently it’s at Restoran Foh Foh at SS15.

7. Oriental Cravings’ Lou Shi Fun

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Horribly taken photo!

I’ve gushed enough throughout the post but this deserves a little more gush and a fair bit of enthusiasm because this lou shi fun is so good! Mix in the runny egg and you have a winning bowl!

Do yourself a favour and try out these places because I love them and I’m confident others will too!

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