Tham Jiak means in some way "love to eat" in Hokkien. I am a Malaysian Hokkien and truly love to eat.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

My Birthday: Prolonged Celebration

My birthday came and went, not in a fast food fashion but instead in a motion of a candlelight dinner that seems to last forever (or till the restaurant closed). It had stretched from the day before my birthday till even a week and more after it, which I had still been celebrating, with food of course. When it comes to celebration, it would inadvertently mean food. What more for this Tham Jiak girl, it would definitely be food, more food and good food at that.

As this year, unlike my last year celebration where I baked a cake for myself, sis and cousin, I had instead sit back and relax (or in more truthful term: lazy), and enjoyed all there is to eating out. Even the cake is store bought at the very last minute. Then the rest are bought by my lovely friends, which coincidently bought cakes from the same bakery but only different flavours. They did had the better choice than me as the cake I got was not really up to par, even my overdue-cheesecake could have been better.

After a year since my previous birthday celebration it was not all that different, I still had the same trio of celebration with the same families sitting together for a lovely dinner, but somehow it is different. I still had party with my bunch of friends, only this time in two separate occasions (of two separate groups) and all eating out. But why I feel that it is different? Is it because I have matured another year? Is it because I am no longer a carefree student enjoying until the few-last-24 hours torture prior to each exam? Is it because this time I am paying instead of my daddy? Is it because I am now facing self sustenance and not anymore the family’s baby (though I never have been one anyway)?

Looking back, this year had been a new phase of life for me. After throwing the mortar, I am now running the rat-race like most people just because we are all finding for a piece of cheese, or a slice of it or just more cheese. How was it? It was really different. Again. Yes, different again. It is a dog-eat-dog world out there, not surprising to me as I have been warned way before I stepped into it. But in the usual law of the nature, where there are blacks because there are whites, then where there are some who are not-too-good-to-mention-what people, there are also many who are helpful, sincere, genuine and simply nice.

Anyway, back to the topic of my birthday, or else I would start preaching. It seems funny how people take the extra efforts on birthday to catch up with each other, a reason to be all loopy and cheery and also an occasion to splurge without worries. Well, I am one who falls into this cliché category. After the celebration with my families who I had only seen on and off for quite a while ago, I had finally catch up with my universities friends as well, which guilty as charge, I must say it had been a year since I met them. It was really cool to catch up and listens to many stories of jumping ships as well as smooth sailing ones and not to mention rocky and ready to sink ones as well. Then by next weekend, I then arranged a gathering for my high school 1984 buddies at Chillis One Utama. It had been ages since we all meet up (all 10 except 1 who is in Taiping), and it was amazing how we can actually all get together for a designated time, with our separate busy routines. Well, as my good friend L says, “it just takes someone to organize, and somehow everyone will try to make it”. Then it was the week thereafter that I celebrated with my ex and current colleagues. Didn’t I warn you early on that my birthday had been like a prolong candlelight dinner where the restaurant seems to open 24 hours?

Besides the many celebrations that I had, with friends and family, last but definitely not least, I must talk about one that every tham jiak (food-lover) goes weak at the knee for. Yes, it’s definitely the act of filling one’s tummy with as much delicious food as one can from savouries to sweet endings. J, as I had said, a true partner any tham jiak girl can ever ask for, took me to an Italian buffet lunch at Avanti, Sunway Hotel. Oh boy, what a feast we had.

First I had numerous rounds at the raw sort-of-Japanese section where I took as many sashimis as I can devour and thoroughly enjoyed it. The raw salmon and tuna was fresh, the raw oyster, with freshly squeezed lemon on it was simply lovely.

Then I head on to the main dishes. There was not too many selections, but most of them are well thought out and made with care. Thought the chicken breast was bit too dry and hard, the rest was delicious. There were many fishes such as salmon, cod and a few more which was cooked tenderly and each accompanied by complementary sauces. For a fish lover like me, it was heaven. Then there was the beef and lamb, which was tender and just right. The cheesy lasagna was also great, but I stopped myself from taking more in order not to fill up.

I missed the appetizer section earlier on, thus I had it after my mains. It was great, but I forgot to take pictures. I built my own cheese platter from the selections, enjoying it with candied nuts and fruits. There were also the well roasted zucchinis and tomatoes. The miss here was the brushetta-like bread topped with beans and tomatoes, it was quite bland.

Finally, the moment came for me to enjoy what every girl would enjoy most in a buffet, the dessert section! I eagerly filled up my plate with a little of everything. Once again it was hit and misses, but sadly mostly misses. The desserts here were not up to par as I had expected it to be, which I might set too high. Just like how one goes in to watch a movie with great expectation and somehow ended up not enjoying as much as he would if he had not expected it in the first place. Among all, I would say the tiramisu was good, though not your classic type but still good in its own fusion way. The mini chocolate fondue where a dipped marshmallows and strawberry was nice, for a chocolate lover this is a bias review.

As it is my birthday, Avanti had his chef going around singing birthday songs to the babies of the day. Turns out there were about 5 other kids who are having the same birthday as me. Anyway, the chef came and sang me a really cool rendition of birthday song, accompanied by violin as well as two of the sous-chef (I guess) singing along. They brought this ‘cake’ when they sang for me. The chef certainly has a good vocal, what a talent for both cooking and singing.

That marks the end of my gluttonous brunch, it seems like I ate all the meals of the day in one seating. I was more of satiated then bloated, so it was a really satisfied meal, albeit at the end of the full scale. Every table was set with a clean white sheet and a glass of crayons for scribblings to accompany the meal (note the background of the food pictures). We did end up filling the paper to our own amusement. It was a nice touch to the overall ambience here.

Well not to get too lengthy like my over-celebrated birthday, I would end my birthday post with a note to self:

The best birthdays of all are those that haven't arrived yet. – Robert Orben

Avanti, Sunway Lagoon Resort Hotel
Persiaran Lagoon, Bandar Sunway,
46150 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia.
(603) 7492 8000
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