Staycation & Chambers Bar and Grill Hilton

Sneaking in a food post which is way past due.

This is about our date at Chambers Bar and Grill at Hilton KL.

In December 2015, we decided to book a room for a night at Hilton KL for our staycation. I had accumulated some points in my HHonors card due to my extended stay at Hilton whilst in Netherlands, and thought it would be great to use up some points. After an bitter, eventful check in (room not ready even at 4 pm(!), and Daniel crying at the reception), we finally got an upgrade to our deluxe room. I also made a booking earlier on to dine at its infamous Chambers Bar and Grill.

2.5 months old baby Daniel didn’t want his pre-requested babycot. Only wants fluffy pillows and white sheets.

Though not as famous and therefore (probably) less expensive than Prime at Le Meridien right next door, we decided to go for the steakhouse at Hilton because I wanted to use my HHonors for further discount. Smart consumerism ok.

The steak did make a statement. 300 g Porterhouse T-bone steak from NZ sounded small, but when the waiter brought it in, I was like”WAHH ZAHH, huge gilerrr!!” I had it medium-well because my erythrocytes-phobic hubby will not have a share of my gigantic steak if he sees blood. See see, when I cut open the steak, still quite pink inside. Opps. He and I know it’s silly to eat premium steak above the medium-rare temperature, but oh well.

We knew one beef steak was enough, so hubby ordered fish: black cod steak. Our mains came with fragrant baked garlic and that garlic did make a lot of difference. Who knew baked garlic goes well with both been and fish steaks!

FYI, the mains does not come with sides, so we ordered sides. I had the grilled asparagus while hubby ordered the usual suspects – simple grilled vegetables – turned out to be surprisingly yummy. I also ordered the sauce to come with the mains – trio of mustards. Well, not all mustard suited well with my tastes nor goes well with steak, although technically mustard would be ‘smartest’ sauce to choose from the various sauces. In a very Malaysian way, I secretly wished I had Kimball chili sauce with my steak. ūüėõ Honorable mention are the array Himalayan salts provided at each table, but did wonder in which part of my dish would I sprinkle salts on, as the steak was perfect enough.

Try eating steak with a sticky baby on one hand and a knife on the other

Pefectly grilled cod for hubs. Melts

Back to the T-bone steak: it was absolutely yummy. ¬†Maybe I was hungry, but I managed to gobble the steak up within an hour and hubby just had a bite or two of my steak (because he sees pink). Had a bite of his black cod and it was so juicy. I thought a steak house serves perfect T-bones, but didn’t know they could make a fish meat melt in my mouth. Wah,…I secretly wished I had that fish instead (of beef) when I had that bite.

Mind you, I am never a foodie, so you know that I have limited vocabulary when describing good food. What I can write is that service was brisk, the ambiance was great albeit rather dark but romantic (and definitely not Instagram-friendly), food and sides were made skillfully, and I didn’t feel a pinch when I foot the bill (=worth the money). The staff also found us a table where I can dock my gigantic stroller. With such classy service and restaurant, you wouldn’t think eating here would be a challenge, but with a baby in one hand and a knife in another, the dining experience was still amazing.

My son would not have remembered that day at 2.5 months old. I shall bring him back here but only when I see my son is old enough to tell me he would share a medium-rare steak with his mummy (and not papa).

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Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s December.

Time flies by me swiftly in 2015.

But there was this one month that I felt that time stood still: it was the month of October following the birth of Daniel. It felt long because I got very hormonal and pretty stressed out because of my son’s jaundice and my breastfeeding issues. Five days in the hospital did take a toll on myself and my hubby. At that time, I felt I should have chosen a nearer hospital because of my hubby’s frequent travels from home/office to hospital, but can swear that the service and facilities (i.e. doctors, nurses, staff, rooms) in Prince Court is pretty amazing, so it was a tradeoff.

Maybe I have not embraced motherhood yet, but many things didn’t feel right on the first week, and nothing went as planned upon my son’s birth. Funny, but it wasn’t really love at first sight with my son. In week-2, I had my C-sec wound broken and was admitted to Sunway MC. It made me so mad (at myself) because this incident has devastatingly troubled my mum, my MIL, my hubby, my dad and more so, my newborn son. I was still under confinement period; my mum had to cook confinement food and bring it to the hospital. I couldn’t see my son to latch; a day less of bonding with my son felt instinctively strange, like I’ve abandoned my son.

Time crawled too during the rest of the confinement period in Ipoh. I couldn’t bath all that much which made me feel really icky. I have always loved ginger but after 1 month of gingery foods, all food tasted¬†so 1 dimensional, I did hate ginger at one point. What was worse, something triggered hives and itchy spots all over my body (exactly like the one I had last year in Chiang Mai). This allergy(?) worsens after direct intake of DOM or YOMEISHU. The alcohol must have aggravated the hives and itchiness further. I have yet to pinpoint the allergen. Blame it on hormones?

Daniel at exactly 1 month-old.
Papa doesn’t want to miss any of his growth!

November 2015 was intimidating nevertheless. After the default 1-month-confinement, I extended my confinement to 40 days at my MIL’s house in Ipoh. And hubby felt terribly left-out because he missed a lot of baby’s development milestone when he was in KL. The terrifying thing was that after confinement, I decided to return to KL and take care of my son all by myself without help of my own parents nor in-laws. I was terrified because I fear I may not be¬†able to juggle between baby and managing my home.¬†But guess what, as of now, it’s been 6 weeks since I last took care of my son all alone during the day. For that, I have to give myself a pat in the back – for raising my child who put on ample weight/height and having witness first hand his development milestones, AND¬†still didn’t burn the house down ūüôā Well done, Ivy.

Hao-kong-chai pose

By now, time flies by me a bit too quickly! My son turns 12-weeks old today. One thing I am thankful for was that he doesn’t wail like a newborn anymore. His cries have ‘meaning’, like a language (=short cries, long cries, angry cries, complaining cries etc.) telling you whether he’s hungry, he has pooped or he is not happy with my nipples. These development makes things so much easier for me. He socially interacts with me and papa: cooing, laughing, smiling, talking, ang gugu me, loving Christmas lights and music. He can sleep through the night too. Now I am so in love with my son! Only now I appreciate motherhood and my newborn son antics (not so newborn anymore eh?). He is such a happy kiddo and quite cheeky, with new development milestones achieved day after day, I now am terrified to send him to the babysitter in January. All because I am afraid to miss his milestones and yes, it’s termed: separation anxiety.

Work is about to begin. Now I feel that time flies way too quickly. I was relieved to have found a 1-to-1 babysitter in Puchong but on the other hand, I fear I might have separation anxiety at office. Thank God Daniel loves sitting on the car seat which makes my life a notch much easier when I want to run errands and sending him to babysitter. Also, he loves going kai-kai. I think the 1st week at office after this 3-month maternity leave would be the hardest.

Daniel loves the car seat and kai-kai

Anyways, cutting the story short – I feel awesome as a mum now. It took me 1.5 months to embrace motherhood as a first-time mum. So much more for me and papa to learn, but for me, it’s all about being PATIENT.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the Fongs.

Thank you for an awesome Year 2015.

 

Til Next Year 2016. Ivy-out.

 

Childhood 80s and 90s

Sometimes I do think back the times where I was a kid growing up in Ipoh. I mean, like a 6 years-18 years old kid (as far as my memory can backtrack). Although my mother was confirmed a tiger stayed-home mum, she allows us to do whatever we want after school hours (but studies comes first, of course).¬†Despite being strict, she was the¬†kampung-type, so she knew her kids needed some good old’ childhood.

 
What I meant was that we had a lot of (outdoor) freedom back then in the 80s-90s compared to kids growing up in this 21st century. Those days wasn’t e-economy, everything was k-economy, and therefore had less foreign workers at that era; people around my taman were mostly medium class; trust was REALLY trust (between parents and kids, neighbours with neighbours); there were no mobile phones; neither did the word social media existed yet (do ICQ and IRC count?). So kids were relatively ‘dumb’ due to the lack of access to information of the world compared to kids today.

 
Here’s what I went through knowing that the current generation are ‘missing-out’ (or are not):
 

1. Connecting to my first ever internet via Jaring dial-up. Oh mann, it has this dial-tone (the damn tune!) that I could remember to this very day. Dial 1511 and you get to look at internet some pages (using Netscape) which are bombarded with prompts of pornography ads. My computer processor was a 486, and I was so happy my friend Yeong (15 years old, probably) who is a self-made IT genius at his age, taught me to play games on DOS (e.g. Paperboy, Prince of Persia, Dune, etc.), and I taught me to write scripts on DOS. And that is already like damn genius. Worth mentioning is my house phone which was a orange rotary dial-phone and you need to pusing-pusing the entire phone numbers one-by-one clockwise before making calls.

2. My first mobile phone was at age 20 (!) where I was given my brother’s Ericsson BLUE(!) flip phone (no Sony that time, ok). I got this mobile phone all because I needed to go university in KL for the first time in my life. And that time, the trend was to see: WHO COULD TYPE SMS the fastest amongst us all, using ABC, DEF, keyboards.

3. I will cycle alone the whole of Ipoh Garden East with my BMX. Alone was nothing to be afraid of at that time because many girls around 14 years old also do that. We girls have this biking gang at Ipoh Garden East. My bike was the coolest because it was my brother’s bike and it is NOT a girly bike with pink bells and basket in front. I felt like the king of the road and I wore baseball shirt and cap every time I ride on the bike. I bike by my own sometimes to as far as Wooley foodcourt. Last time, there was a game arcade up the first floor of Wooley and I would go see people play arcade games such as Street Fighter 1 and played a game of Tetris on my own. My mum let me because she trusted me to not talk to strangers and there was no such thing as: Indonesia/Bangladesh workers will kidnap you, etc…..NONE. But she said this: Thai people kidnap you to be handicap child beggar at Thailand (that does scare me, ok).

This was the arcade tetris interface way back then

 

4. I will also bike to tuition at Canning Garden, yes, all alone. I have some girlfriends who could roller blade (I could not) and will drag the back of my bicycle for a free ride on their blades. We girl friends just roam the whole Taman ourselves with no fear whatsoever.

5. ¬†On some evening, I will walk/bike all the way to the padang at the end of Persiaran Perajurit 2, near Taman Kemuncak. I will go meet my playmate, Liza Oh to play masak-masak at the playground or climb the monkey bars and swings and claim them our own ‘territory’. We will also go play at each other’s homes. Without any adult supervision. There was no clock in sight so, we just make sure we are home by 7 pm (we can see that when the sunsets, it’s already late). Mom doesn’t care if I go to playground, but she will scream crazy when I come back late.

 

6. I will force my mum to buy me cloth and made her make batu seremban out of rice. And made her buy a box of rubberbands or stole those she has collected in the kitchen to make jumping ropes. Those were my muses. Also, I would buy cardboards of japanese ladies and cut-out clothings where I will dress my my 2D paper dolls. My mum loves to buy those cardboard dolls for me from Kampung Simee market.

I remembered I can’t get enough of this. Mom approves.

 

7. There was a point in my life, 7 years old, where I go up the then on-going North South Highway which was yet to be completed. It was just piles of sand that time. My friend Pei Jet and I will bring our bikes and hike up the sand dune and slide down the slope! We will bring up our bicycle to the top of the sand dune (now the infamous NS-Hiway) and cycled up to Tambun interchange (which didn’t look much of an interchange at that time).

 

8. Those were the days where it took 4 hours from Ipoh to KL. My father, who was a KL-ite, would drop by at Tanjung Malim to eat pau curry/kacang at Yik Mun corner shop. Also, gone were those times where people will use the coastal highway to KL.

9. When I sat on my first MAS flight ever (from Ipoh to KL), my dad said I should dress well. No shorts/jeans because people who gets on the plane are privileged people. wth. Those times, if you can go on a airplane, you are like the luckiest person one earth ok. You must appreciate this privilege by being well dressed on board. Those days, no everyone could fly.

 

10. Mechanical pencils was an unknown invention until I was 7 years old, til I brought one mechanical pencil from Rashid Mini Market (my brother bought it for me) and I brought it to school at Standard 1. Because no one has seen a mechanical pencil nor how was this going to work better than a staedtler, so I demoed by clicking several times on the pencil top and then new lead pops up. Every dumb friend in my class was wowing as if I was its founder of the most amazing creation on earth. *clap*clap*

 

11. I remembered walking alone to school (SRK Mahkota Sari) from home in the wee hours of the morning when I was living in Gerik, Hulu Perak . At age 12, I walked 1 km(!), through a lane that farms pigs (sty), to the main roads of Gerik, and straight to school during some mornings and no one kidnap me pun. Like no fear pun. I still wonder why those days are so safe and parents are sooo trusting of their kids.

I did primary 5 & 6 (1992-1993) here in the once awarded “Cleanest school in Malaysia”. SRK Mahkota Sari Gerik.¬†

 

12. Most of us girls are shorter than the current generation at the same age. You can attribute it to genetics, but I believe it was the previous formula milk powder that lack of DHA, EPA, etc. LOL! We girls get¬†menses¬†only at 13-14 years of age on average (that’s late compared to¬†average 10-11 years old these days). We were late bloomers with small boobs. Nowadays, if you see the 12-13 years old girls, they talk mature like they are 20s and have large boobs hovering over their chest.

 

13. We are exposed to nursery rhymes and movies like Sound of Music. But today I see no kids know about a single nursery rhyme that I mentioned (maybe I was child genius in English nursery rhymes and Aesop Fables). Nope, dunno Humpty Dumpty, Nope, dunno Jack and Jill. Nope, dunno Jack and the Beanstalk. Nope, dunno who what how a mirror can speak of beauty. Nor do they know what the hell I was talking when I mentioned Do Re Mi from Sound of Music. Hello, what happen to early-school education lately? I see kids being taught the toughest vocabularies and grammar as well as chinese characters as young as the age of 5 with a bunch of meaningless homework.

Oh well, maybe kids learnt different things now compared to my time. Like how to dance like SNSD, identify suave hair like Lee Min Ho’s, how to protect yourself from the Walking Dead, and how to hack into your parent’s iTunes password. Lol.
 
I am just reminiscing the times we had and what our child is exposed to these days. How to give them the best of both worlds: the pre-globalization and the post-globalization times. The time will come and we shall see. 

Ivy-out!