Monday, 31 May 2010

Dining Out

I love dining out. Although I keep telling myself to save money, we still do it at least once a week.

Last week, we went out for Thai, shrimps and on Friday, we had dinner at a Malaysian restaurant in Amsterdam. The restaurant, Wau, is situated in Chinatown, within walking distance from the central station.

The food was... absolutely atrocious. I don't think I have EVER tasted such terrible nasi lemak before. Nasi Lemak is probably Malaysia's national dish. It is simple, cheap (in Malaysia, you probably pay between 50 cents- RM5) and not too difficult to make (it doesn't have to prepare just before serving, can be done in the morning and serve it all day long).

I missed nasi lemak and while the 17.50 euro price tag was certainly too much for something with almost no meat, cheese or anything 'expensive', I was ready to pay for it, provided it tasted normal.

It did not. It's truly the worst nasi lemak I have ever eaten in my entire life. The sambal was the major disappointment. It was oily, incredibly salty and tasted like it had come out from the jar. The achar was OK but as everyone knows, the rice and the sambal are the most essential things in nasi lemak.

The Dutchman had rendang. Don't know how it tasted because I was too traumatized by then. The satays we ordered for starters was OK. Not really authentic but tasty.

The weird thing is the people running the restaurants ARE Malaysians so why is the food so bad?? I would be so embarassed serving food like that to customers. An embarassment to the country ( after all, Malaysia's famous for its food). Ugh. Service was not good too. I heard them bitching about some other customers as I was close to the counter.

I will never go there again. I'm not even sure if I want to put myself through the experience of going to a Malaysian restaurant ever again....

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


Well, well 2 weeks since that Bikini Challenge post and I haven't lost a single kilo because my diet lasted all of 3 days. Great. Have to start again. Don't even know if there's time to lose 3-4 kilos before August.

I LOVE this. I effing love this. I could eat this everyday. The garlic, the bird's eye chillis, the fish sauce mmmm. Gai Pad Grapauw (Thai Chicken with Holy Basil) with brown basmati rice (so called healthy lah).

First strawberries of the season. I love summer
Marinated some Angus steak for the barbecue. We had 4 barbecues in 4 consecutive days. You celebrate the small things when you live in NL! 
Tonight's dinner: Jamie Oliver's "Fiery Dan Dan Noodles"

On a more personal front, I am no longer going to Prague. It's a long story, not a dramatic one, simply an administrative issue which may turn out for the best. With some luck, I may actually graduate 6 months early!

The bad news is: I have to look for an internship in a foreign country (i.e. I would need a work permit :-( ) before May 31st. I sent out 30-40 applications but haven't had an interview yet. No one would want to hire a foreign intern on such short notice and I don't even know if I still have enough time for the visa application process (min. 6 weeks). However, all is not lost. If I can't find anything in a foreign country, I'll just have to do my internship in Malaysia or The Netherlands (do not need a visa for both) and spend the last 6 months of my degree in another country. I would love to go abroad next semester though!

Project Deadlines
Internship Search
3 presentations
All within the next 2 weeks. 

Wish me luck. I'm going to need lots of it ;-)

Monday, 17 May 2010

Foodlovers Festival 2010

I dragged the Dutchman to the Foodlover's Festival in the Betuwe region on Saturday. I had bought some tickets for 24 euro (normal price 40 euro) and thought it sounded like something I would have enjoyed.

There were workshops, yummy fine food, wine, market stands, balsamico from Modena and so forth. Mind you, the only thing included in the entry ticket is a very small glass of prosecco. Everything else costs extra. Dutchman was not hungry so I spared him the torture of watching me eat by only picking one dish. I chose a lovely lamb stew with couscous and who knows what. It was 5 euro,tiny and very yummy!

 More pictures of the event:

Was it nice? Yes.
Would I pay the 20 euro p.p entry fee again? No. It was really nothing more than a market(not even a big one) and you still had to spend quite a bit on the tastings. I'd probably estimate about 30 euro p.p (excluding the entry fee) to have a reasonable amount of dishes (say 2 meats, 1 fish, 1 dessert and 2 glasses of wine. Portions are tiny, as can be expected from the 5 euro price tag).

Monday, 10 May 2010

Bikini Challenge - Part 1

2 months til I have to prance around in a bikini.

That means no more huge meals (I eat a lot), no more comfort food (at least not as much) and no more snacking (except healthy items like cherry tomatoes).

I started this 'diet' yesterday and while I probably eat the same as what normal people eat now, I feel so deprived :-( I miss my cakes, cookies and big, fat sandwiches oozing with cheese and yummy sauces. I miss eating til I'm completely and totally full, but hey, as they say French women never get fat because they know when to stop *hates them already*.

Anyhoo, my point is, there will probably not be very many yummy food pictures in the next 2 months. Instead you may or may not see tomatoes, cucumbers, dark Frisian rye bread (which is really yummy btw), plain salmon and what-not. Sure, I could cook more elaborate, yet healthy meals but I guess this is all in the mind. I can't be bothered cooking anything unless I really like it:-(

I guess this just has to be done;-) I have piled on the pounds in the last 2-3 years and I am at the porky side of normal at the moment. My tummy bothers me and my sides omfg, annoys the shite out of me. Right.

Current weight: 53.7kg (I'm short and have an apple-shaped body)
Target: as much as I can lose, 50kg would be OK. Would be nice to be 48kg.

Must be good. Must not eat packet of Bugles hidden in bottom drawer. Sucks to love food so much:-P

Monday, 3 May 2010


We're back from Bruges!

Funny how the lovely weather ended the very minute we arrived there. It's been well over 20 degrees the last week but eversince April 30th, it's been downright cold. It's something like 7 degrees here in Arnhem now but my heater's turned off because we promised not to turn on the heater from May 1st;-) Blankets work fine..

Anyway, let's get on with the Bruges trip report!

Due to the 30 degree weather on Thursday, the trains were delayed which caused me to be delayed and caused some of Dutchman's colleagues to be delayed which also caused Dutchman's meeting to be delayed etc. The delay meant we couldn't have dinner at Den Gouden Harynck (1 Michelin star restaurant which I was really looking forward to :-( ). We arrived in Bruges at around 8.30, checked in at the Kempinski and immediately went out to look for food.

Strangely, restaurants in Bruges close at 10p.m. (don't know if this is a daily occurance or only on weekdays)! A few restaurants turned us away (kitchen closes at 9p.m.) but we finally found a typically Flemish restaurant, probably catered to tourists but it was nice anyway. I had some yummy lamp chops and Dutchman had some typical Flemish dinner (a beer stew?).

We were dead tired and went back to the hotel immediately after dinner to rest/sleep/shower.

Next day:
We did not have breakfast in the hotel as it is not included in our stay. We thought 60 euro (30 euro each per breakfast) for breakfast is a bit much so we went out and had a lovely breakfast at this place called Café Au Lait. The bread was so good and the cappuccino was probably the best we've ever had. The whipped cream was so solid, it was like ice cream. Yum yum. And guess what? That amazing breakfast with eggs, bread, cold cuts, cheese, spreads, juice, coffee and other misc items cost us only 25 euro;-) Don't need a 60 euro breakfast for sure!

After breakfast, we went to check out the sights.

Brugge is an old city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tourism is a big industry here but the locals are very welcoming and so much more polite than the average Dutch person. Here, they actually stop cycling when someone is taking a photo so as not to ruin it. A Dutch person (esp. in Amsterdam;-) ) would probably just whizz pass and probably ring his bell angrily because this dumbass tourist is on his bike path;-)

We wanted to go on a ride on one those carriages because we have never done that before but there weren't very many carriages! After a while, we decided to sit at a cafe at the market square instead. The sun was shining so of course, that means blonde beer for us. Of course, me being Malaysian means I have to eat everywhere I sit, so yeah, that means mussels with beer & cream for me as well.... BTW, must add that Belgian frites aren't all that special (granted, we only had 3 servings of those throughout our stay). Dutch fries are so much better;-)

More walking after that. Bought lots of special Belgian beers for friends. Dumped them at home. Was pretty exhausted by then! Went for dinner but happened across a carnival and had quite a bit of fun with some machines and rides. haha very cheesy but was probably the most we'd laughed for some time!

We decided to have a simple dinner (frites), walked back to the hotel and collapsed in exhaustion on the bed;-) Funny, we didn't even walk all that much so there's obviously something wrong with our stamina! We didn't even hang out at a Belgian pub as planned, we were just content to read a book (me) and watch TV (him).

All in all, Bruges was nice. It's a pretty city but to be honest, it's really not all that different from any old Dutch city (Bruges is only 2-3 hours drive away after all) so not all that special for me. Language-wise pretty much the same too (Flemish and Dutch are like Malay and Indonesian, maybe even less different because I cannot understand Indonesians all the time and the Dutch and Flemish understand each other fine).

I love holidays :-)