Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Valentine's Day at Rib Lee's

Aaah...Valentine's Day. A day to celebrate romance. Flowers, chocolates, cosy, candle-lit dinners for two. OK, back to reality. The truth is there's nothing romantic about paying exorbitant prices for flowers during Valentine's Day. Cosy, candle-lit dinners for two? In the last few years, we've tried going out to some fancy restaurants with "compulsory" Valentine's Day set menus. But, how romantic can it be when the next table is just a mere-10 inches away? We've also celebrated Valentine's Day home-style, which is nice, except that someone has to do the cooking (me)and washing up (J)!

So, this year, we organised a Valentine's dinner with a few friends, at one of our favourite restaurants, Rib Lee's located in Hartamas. Since J & I discovered this restaurant last October, we've been back 4 times because we absolutely love the food and the fact that this restaurant serves pork! The six of us were seated at the balcony. Despite my initial fears that it would be hot without air-conditioning, it turned out to be a cool evening and we all had a great time.

Whenever we come to Rib Lee's we always have a tough time deciding what to eat because we really enjoy the dishes we've tried and want to order it again. At the same time, we also want to try the other options in the menu. Tough...Choices and decisions. Rib Lee's had a Valentine's Day Menu but also gave us the option of ordering ala carte from their regular menu. We decided to opt for a mix of the the tried and tested - Roast Lamb with Rosemary, Bourboun Ribs. Olio with Pork Croutons and the new - Caesar Salad, Smoked Duck Salad with Orange Slices, Risotto with Bacon, Smoked Duck Breast. For dessert, we picked their Valentine's special Strawberry Parfait as well as the Mud Pie and the Triffle. It was the perfect ending to our meal.

Our friends, who were first-timers at the Rib Lee's were very satisfied and vowed to return with their families (after all, we were celebrating Valentine's Day...so it was an adults only affair that night). The only downside to the evening is that 1) the Caesar Salad was rather ordinary; and 2) the service was rather haphazard. Somehow our requests rarely got executed the way we asked. We could tell the staff tried their best.. Still, the rest of the food more than made up for it. We'll definitely be back again, and again, and again...

It may not have been a romantic night in a traditional sense, but it was definitely a night of celebration - Good food in the company of good friends. What more could a gal ask for?

Rib Lee's
No. 40-1 Wisma CKL (1st Floor)
Jalan 23/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: 03-6201 0180

Note: My other favourite which is a must-try at Rib Lee's is their Roasted Pork Knuckle. Yumm...

Monday, February 16, 2009

Perseverance Pays Off!

After I had written my last post, I had a personal experience with chillies and perseverance. Every Chinese New Year, we visit my aunt who lives down south. Her garden abounds with great bounties of vegetables - chillies, eggplants (brinjals), choy sum and siew pak choy. My aunt, bless her heart, always tells us to pluck the vegetables and bring them home, which we happily oblige.

We came back with so much chillies this year, we pickled the green chillies and blended the red chillies with garlic. Last year, we made fried green chili sauce. Nothing beats the taste of freshly grown, home-made chilli sauces and pickles.

Anyway, I remember moaning and telling my aunt how I attempted to grow the chili plant from the chilli seeds we got from her trees last year. I sighed. My chilli plant had lots of leaves, some occassional buds, but not a green chili in sight. Still, I continued to fertilise and water the plant with waning hopes that it may produce fruit one day. Imagine my surprise when I spotted a large green chili hanging on the branch when I watered the plant last Sunday. When I looked closer, I saw another one just behind it. I was thrilled... After about one year, my perseverance paid off. Looks like I'll be having some home-grown, freshly cut green chilli to accompany my dinner tonight! Can't wait to taste the fruits of my labour.

Friday, February 13, 2009


“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
Marianne Williamson

Since I just wrote a post on Kess' blog on perseverance called "It's dogged as does it", it seems fitting to do a similar post. It is so easy to just give up when things don't go our way - when we don't get the promotion, when we lose our job, when someone stabs us on our back, the list goes on... We live in tough times. No one knows how long this downturn will last. The challenge is to rise up again when we fall and grow to be a stronger person.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Muhibbah (Unity)

It was the third day of Chinese New Year and we were having breakfast at our local hangout. As I looked around, I noticed bright red Chinese New Year decorations adorning the ceiling and walls. Cheery "Gong Xi Gong Xi" songs playing over the speakers added more festivity to the place. No, we were not in a chinese coffee shop... We were in a mamak restaurant. Here, people from all races and walks of life gather for a teh tarik and roti canai. And because it was Chinese New Year, the restaurant owner decided to celebrate along with his fellow Chinese Malaysians.

It was the night of the eighth day of Chinese New Year (for those who are not familiar, Chinese New Year celebration spans over 15 days). Every year, my Hokkien neighbour hosts a fantastic Lion Dance show at his house, complete with acrobatics. Again, people from our neighbourhood from all races and walks of life turn up to witness the spectacular acrobatics of the agile Lion Dancers performing to the beat of the drums. I saw an Indian family. Both mother and daughter were wearing cheongsams.

There are far too many incidents of intolerance and irrational behaviours due to differences in cultures and beliefs. This Chinese New Year, I've had the opportunity to witness the true spirit of Muhibbah in our multi-cultural society. This is how we should celebrate unity in diversity.

"Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with, and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to be without."
William Sloane Coffin, Jr.