Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My 'neighbourhood' cafe

Now, this is my neighbourhood. Well, being surrounded by big houses doesn't mean that we stay in one. Interestingly, there is this good restaurant about 500 m away from my habitat and Sr Minister Lee Kuan Yew dropped by here recently for a cuppa and a meal. Reckon wats good enuf for the eminent island-nation-founder is good enough for CPD and PS!

Ambience is excellent. Lotsa pictures decorating the walls and the lightings enhances everything very well. Most importantly, there is absolutely no problem with parking!

As I mentioned earlier in another post, cost is a big issue in the life of a government doctor thus I settled for something that is affordable and yummy. Found this jacket potato absolutely scrumptious and worth the money.

PS had a sandwich (was it in a focaccia) which tasted good and looks healthy ain't it? Our meal cost less than RM20 each. And mind you, this is supposed to be fine-dining.

Then comes dessert. Where would PS be but by the side of sinful, delectable concoctions made from sugar and spice and everything nice? Firstly, it was a fruit flam and the slightly sour strawberries really neutralized the light creamy pastry well.

Next, it was another pastry (I can't remember its name for the life of me) as I feel it was just normal. The picture looked good though. Can someone please remind me?...yeah, i know i suck as a food blogger but this is a late post after all. I need to remember my other brains are overworked as it is!

Then I enjoyed this chocolate brownies which was excellent and not too sweet.

As for Pam and LYY, they came a bit late and ordered really good stuff as well. YY has this crab and duck spaghetti which sounded quite posh and tasted wonderful.

On the other hand, Pam's seafood spaghetti was packed with marine goodies and it was such a huge much so she can't finish it!

So my point is, Indulgence in Ipoh can be extravagant, convenient, delicious, interesting, expensive, affordable...all in the same time. Sounds like a real 'lady' isn't it?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What is Kin San Kichi?

Just a few words about Jap food. It's not cheap if we eat Jap food regularly. Of course, if given a choice, I could eat Japanese food everyday but it's not that cost-effective. So we save the cuisine for good ol' weekends. One fine day, we found ourselves driving past the big durian (a.k.a Science Centre) when the tummy started rumbling and grumbling...

It was makan time! To me, the Hartamas & Mont Kiara is the de riguer, happening place in KL. Way beyond a poor doctor's budget but I guess it's ok to splurge once a while. BK suggested a place called Kin San Kichi and off we go!

The spicy ramen is good. Seafood was fresh but soup slightly salty for Malaysian taste. Reminded me of the salty food in Yunnan.

As for me, I had the salmon teppanyaki and as usual, I miss the beansprouts in Ipoh. For once, I yearned for the juicy, thick beansprouts found only in the city of limestones. To give them credit, the salmon was fresh compared to a lot of other joints in shopping malls. Anyhow, I wasn't very impressed with the food.

Of course it was affordable compared to a lot more chic places in that same vicinity and thus packed to the brim with hungry guests. They probably have better discernment that me and ordered nicer dishes.

So, would I come again? I think I would rather go to a similar joint elsewhere in a cheaper and nearer neighbourhood. I guess you could give it a chance if you are in the vicinity... By the way, what does Kin San Kichi means?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The top-notched Top Hat

I was in town for the weekend (literally in town centre) for a conference and dropped by the Top Hat for dinner.

Now, I’m sure plenty of people have written stuff about Top Hat restaurant prior to this. It’s been listed in Tatler’s Best Restaurant list for ages and it’s quite a classy place with a killer ambience to match.

We thoroughly enjoyed ourselved. Our party of four (3 flowers and a thorn) ordered similar appetizers and desserts but totally different main course.

The pai tee was just average. It’s a vegetarian dish so good for everyone but the crust is too thick. For the record, I loved PS’ pasta. It’s superb! Somehow, the chicken pie is good while my own nyonya concoction could be a lot better.

The vegetarian pasta had a balanced mix of vegetable in it with a very full-flavoured taste. The nyonya mix of dishes had lamb stew, brinjal with belacan, vegetable with taucu and chicken soup. Probably exotic enough for tourists but the taste is too familiar and ‘normal’ IMHO.

What we unanimously declared scrumptious was the peach was really sinful and to-die-for. Even the non-dessert person (yours truly) was impressed although I couldn’t finish the sizeable portion. Felt very gluttonous so I was thankful for the walk back to my room nearby

A good and enjoyable Friday nite out indeed!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Cantonese (girl) go Canton-i

I used to miss lunchtime a lot. Especially during my housemanship days, lunch was non-existent. We eat 1 meal a day or at max, 2 meals. For the past 3 years though, life is different. A lot different.

Lunch is one big, elaborate meal nowadays and a very social event. After all, Malaysian life revolves around meals isn't it?

Got a great opportunity to eat something not so healthy this weekend as my friends came to KL from far-off places. Decided to try Canton-i for the first time ever. We went to one of its ubiquitous branch at 1-utama and boy, it was packed!

The ambience is quite fun. It's supposed to be Cantonese cuisine but I didn't find anything oriental about the interior design. Nothing to complain about though..I love the patterns on the walls, dividers and windows while the lamps dangling down merrily are quite captivating.

We've gotten ourselves the window seats, facing pretty green shrubs and in the process, received a healthy dose of 'filtered' sunshine. The service was brisk and friendly despite the heavy lunchtime crowd.

For the record, I need to say this first. I loved my drink. It's an Amaranth-flower infusion and the most special thing ever. Have you ever taken a tea with blooming flower in it? Go try it. Absolutely endearing. I wished I recorded the 'event' on video.

Apparently, the dried flower will bloom admist the tea leaves as the bunch of petals absorb the hot water. So ta...daaa:

Drinking infusion from a whole plant? Not really but the illusion was pretty real though. So for green tea lovers out there, do try this drink. Amazing stuff.

As for food, I will just keep it short. Congee is a typical HK/Malaysian/Chinese fare and my friend loved it. I feel it's just average. I'm not much of a porridge person and I settled for something non-halal

Sui-Kow and Siew-Yoke wantan noodles! It was tasty but still costly for the same kind of food we can get at any friendly, neighbourhood hawker stall. So, the verdict: Good for drinks and entertaining out-of-town guests but food not spectacular enough for its price.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Facts can be stranger than fiction

After years of working in the hospital, the human body is more amazing than ever. The amount of things that people put inside them, develop from within their cells and accidentally found inside themselves are just stupendous. My series of cases are just the tip of the iceberg and i've not found enough time to actually write about most of them.

Anyway, we did a laparoscopic procedure not too long ago and found this structure near the appendix. Bear in mind that we started the procedure aiming to remove an inflammed appendix only to be puzzled by this structure.

These are still images from the laparoscopic tv as I was the camera-woman holding the telescope while my boss did the operation with long instruments (a.k.a laparoscopy) through small key-hole incisions in the abdomen.

As the end of the day, we removed this 'egg' from the patient's abdomen. It was lying freely near the appendix, not attached to any structures at all. What does it look like to you?

Then came along a girl involved with an accident and she was semi-conscious. These series of images from a CT scan film should have NEVER existed.

So what do you see?

D for delightful diner

It's not too tough doing a food blog..rite? That's before I realized that I usually gobble down the food before I haf a chance to purposefully snap a pic of it. So it was a good day when PS and I go to one of our regular joints : Dave's Diner

This place is relatively's opposite Greentown Business Area and near enough to the hospital and our house to qualify as one of our regular haunts. Parking is a breeze as we usually park right in front of the restaurant, which is situated next to a huge new Guardian.

The atmosphere is quite chilled and cosy. And the red bricks on the wall ain't real! I have a real deja vu feeling when I look at the it taken from some old train station? Looks very familiar....

The food is quite good. On the side dishes, I always order their garlic mash potato (that's the only carb that I really love) while PS usually orders her veggie burger. Side dishes usually come free with the main meal.

I'm currently in the midst of trying each of their burgers (one by one, each time I come!) So far, I love the fish burger because it has a whole dory fish fillet in it. Grilled fish fillet ok? Not breaded and fried like the usual lot.

As for prices, I would say it's much more affordable than the other 'fine dining' restaurants in's almost food court price. Quite irresistible isn't it? Do drop by and enjoy the delectable food in this quite-new place. You might bump into the 'regulars' there!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bus Ride from H---ll

I had a good-bad sort of week. The good thing is that I really studied despite a lot of other options available (like watch a movie, hang out with frens, run, swim) making me the dullest conversationist for the moment. My two calls were brilliantly busy and tiring. Thus I was quite glad when I realized that I am given the 'GET OUT OF JAIL' card...yup, I was released from oncalls until I sit for exams in view of good number of medical officers in my department now.

Yet to me it's a Catch-22 situation. I love some of my oncalls because every call provides good cutting opportunity......but I am so exhausted after most of the 36-hours stretch that I cannot realistically and efficiently study. Now that I am exclusively studying, I love the fresh feeling of enough zzzz but miss the adrenaline of OT. Gosh, it's really hard to please a girl isn't it?

When I got home, I sat down and grappled with Last's Anatomy (sort of modern day Gray's Anatomy but much more relevant to clinical practice) which is excellent surgical trainees. At one point (around 3 pm on a drowsy, warm Saturday), I fell asleep with specs on and with my face on the book. I am lucky I didn't wake up with ink imprints on my face!!

That's when I reached for my back-up 'Power' shoes and went to Kiara Park for a quick run. When a group of friends came for chit-chat at night, I felt a bit guilty as I left them after a while and became the most antisocial person ever..I returned to Last's Anatomy while the group was busy with Final Fantasy X, etc on the Playstation.

The icing on the cake was the bus ride today : the hottest journey I have ever taken in my life. I vowed not to take Roadways again. I felt like being slowly roasted in an oven as the air-cond broke down and the 2.5 hour journey felt like an eternity. Imagine my deliverance as I escaped from the bus in Ipoh and went home. Phew...please remind me not to get on a bus without air-cond in Malaysia ever again!!!

P.S. : This post is without photo all thanks to my ever 'reliable' Maxis mobile broadband. All credits go to them for brilliantly functioning when I do NOT need it and refusing to act when I ACTUALLY need to go online. Therefore, posted from the hospital

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The morning after

My posts' titles are beginning to sound like some cheap Mills and Boons romance novels! Nothing romantic about the morning after a long run. In fact, it can be downright excruciating.

Isn't the view from my hospital pretty? On the other hand, I wasn't a pretty sight when people are asking me why I am walking around like an old lady with a fractured ankle! I have to admit that I need to push up my training (and be fitter!) when everyone asked me today “ Eh, Dr L…why are you walking around with a limp?”

I know, you are all mouthing a big “SERVE YOU RIGHT” to my face. I mean, who on earth would go run a 10 km, spent the Sunday reading/surfing/taking pics/facebooking (and not resting) and then go on-call on Monday? Not to mention that Monday was the day that I saw 80 plus patients in the wards from 7th floor all the way to 2nd floor (covering almost 10 wards). Mostly without the lifts (as the 'runner' apparently is too tough for lifts!!) and then go into the OT until wee hours of Tuesday morning!

The right solution is staring at me right sweet old bed with the comforter and quilt. After all, it’s a rainy night right? WRONG!

Resting is good after races, but if I need to aim for something else later this year, I should be running again by tomorrow. I think I am infected with PS diseases and it’s highly contagious. I miss my 'playground', especially when it's raining and deserted. Hints of eccentricity spreading in my house isn't it?

Somehow, putting Polo Ground right next to the cemetery adds some form of character to this almost-flat route ain't it? I do adore rays of sunset peeking from amongst the stately trees but don't really fancy the big crowd of people and vans of food vendors parked along one corner of the park.

Anyway,I think I strained my Achilles’ tendon (meaning gastronecmius and soleus included) because of the oncall rather than the run. Or is it I rather go moaning and whining about the fact that we have patients in more than 10 wards in the hospital, all in different floors instead of admitting to the fact that we have to rest BECAUSE there is a time for everything.

There is still this nagging feeling in me that if I run more, I will definitely improve on the stamina part and not complain so much of visiting so many wards right? I guess I should count it a blessing that I could actually help so many people (angelic, beatific smile...)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

1 year later...

"You change ur mind, like a girl change her clothes" katy perry sing on masquerading as my alarm, I groaned and woke up in excitement. It's the Ipoh International Run 2009! And I'm running in it with my housemate and colleagues!

And why am I so excited? Because it's the anniversary of my first road-race ever. Not that I've ran that many races (can count with the fingers on both my hands) but I am eager to exorcise my angst and ghosts of the past. I didn't even get a cert in Ipoh race last year and was very disappointed at that time....

And boy, was it a good race or what? i'm probably still on endorphines high but who cares..I did my personal best. Its not that fast compared to CS, PS, CY, Wendy,et al, but its tough balancing my thousands of oncalls, studying for exams and training for races. Excuses, excuses,excuses...blah,blah

Anyway, woke up to torrential tropical downpour and was seriously considering NOT getting into PS' car. I was imagining myself getting reali sick and missing oncall tomoro (thats not too bad!). Took me a tremendous amount of willpower to get into the car with extremely heavy rain at 530am in the morning.

And the reward was...superb good condition for fast-running. Cool weather makes it less likely for dehydration and tiredness, but higher chances of cramps and hypothermia and hypoglycaemia. I was running with a jacket for the first time in Malaysia and it wasn't too bad at all. The first few km was crappy as I was still warming up to the condition but once our muscles started warming up, it was all system go.

And I didn't need a power gel along the way. I mean, who needs a power gel for a short run like 10 km rite? But I bought it as a reminder of the 21km that I really wanna aim for. So it was sitting nicely in my pocket throughout the race as I brought it back home, unopened. Hehehe...

Of course I didn't wear the official shirt. It looks like what I wear when I was still a teenager and that was a looooong time ago. Thus, no way I am wearing this. I love the Sundown adidas shirt which dried really fast after the run. Way to go, adidas!

The following pictures are part of the route in Ipoh. We ran a different route from last year and I feel its shorter than 10 km. Still, I shaved 15 mins off my previous run's finishing time. Very happy about it and all gunned up for another race soon!

Shorter or colder race, I just salute the 19000 plus people who came for the run. Although the organization could be a lot better (we waited 30 mins in front of the starting rain in the gut-wrenching rain), the human spirit was awesome

Not only that, I met a lot of new friends along the way and learnt that I could probably go faster the next time (too reserved in this run d, was darn hyperactive after the race). We also got warung-ikan-bakar and DNC interested in running more races too. Thats more running gang from the doc community!

So, the moral of the story is : Don't give up before trying..we might end up surprising ourselves with unexpectedly good results!

P.S: For the first time, I got a medal in the women's 10km category. But only in the top 120 position lar. How's that for someone who runs EOD or less!! Kekekeke..thank u God for the rain (really giving us a much smaller participating field, I guess)