Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Food Trails: Mainmain Cafe

So the last food trail I went on was a month ago and life has been fairly ordinary ever since. I guess it comes as a package with the word "JOB". That however, does not mean that I have stopped my love for eating. In fact, it has made me extra fat because I have the weirdest cravings at the oddest of times. One of those days, I was madly craving for tofu cake from Poco Homemade that Callie and I absolutely love but they've closed down since December last year.

Out of curiosity, I went through their Facebook page and noticed that they shared away about a new cafe called Mainmain Cafe along Jalan Choo Cheng Khay because they serve tofu cake too. "THIS IS GOLD," I thought to myself. I scurried through information on how to get to Mainmain Cafe on Google Maps, excitedly told Callie about going to try it out and made it a point that I must give the cafe a visit. The only issue is that it's located fairly close to the city center and I despise driving there because traffic is horrendous. Fatefully though, my grandmother's tablet charger had spoiled and it was a point to go to Lowyat Plaza to look for a replacement and I thought about how I should really bring mum out of the house so she doesn't go stir crazy at home.

Striking out my visit.

Spotting Mainmain Cafe is no child's play because their signboard is extremely small and I overshot the first time I turned into Jalan Choo Cheng Khay from Jalan Wisma Putra. I'm thankful for the fact that 3G connection is decent there and I did a quick search on Google only to find that EatdrinkKL has been to this place and the picture they had helped me in looking out for Mainmain Cafe. A great lookout is for the Kwong Wah Yit Poh (光华日报) building and it is just 2 doors away.

An adorable play with their signboard; paper on a cork board supported on an easel.

And a blackboard as their menu.

You may notice that the menu is absolutely not Western friendly and that may be a problem if you're a Chinese illiterate like myself but don't let that deter you from visiting, okay? Just head on to the cafe and the extremely friendly lady will help you out on what's being served. Prior researching on the Internet will help too but there aren't a lot of reviews of Mainmain Cafe to around just yet.

An absolute quintessence of vintage feels.

Chairs and tables right from school days.

Desks from schools. They even have books in the drawers like how we do in school!

Walking up a short flight of stairs will lead you to the pink door of Mainmain Cafe only for you to escape into a place that smells of paint on wooden chairs and tables. When mum and I went however, it was locked and we were worried for a little while that they weren't open. I'm not too sure if the locking occurs often or if it was just for the day so you'll have to figure that one out yourself. The shop itself isn't heavily decorated but if you see something you like, feel free to ask if you can purchase if from them.

Vintage cupboards with handmade items being sold.

I'm not sure if this jukebox still runs...

And likes of things simply hanging on the wall.

They put quite an effort in making it vintagely homey; from tables right down to rattan baby chairs.

The menu scribbled on the window panes.

Even their counter area is put up by wood planks.

I cannot get over this OPEN sign made of staples and wood!

A rocking horse along side wooden magazine racks. I wish I could still fit on a rocking horse.
Plenty of effort has been put in and you could definitely see it as you browse around the entire space, much like how Poco Homemade was. Selected items are for sale and if you do have a liking for them, you can always ask for a price and see if you're fated to go with it too. I figure that's an interesting concept in doing businesses besides just serving food.

 Cakes undoubtedly needed.

And other little details that they have.

There's no denying on how much intricate thoughts the owners of Mainmain Cafe has put in but what about their food? Their menu isn't quite a plenty with the famous pumpkin spareribs with rice and other items like nasi lemak served with chicken and butter chicken with rice. The lady was really nice however and asked if we were going to dive into the desserts after. When we did, she recommended that mum and I only took one dish to share so we could have more cakes. We opted for the star of the menu; the pumpkin spareribs because it was quite a rave online and I just HAD to give it a go.

Our food has been served. No, not me. The plate I'm holding!

Pumpkin spareribs with rice, a side of pickled cabbage and carrots plus a glass of lemongrass water.

Up close and delicious.

I could definitely see where the rave came from because this was seriously good. For RM 9.90, the spareribs were tender and they weren't fatty at all. In fact there was more meat than I would have expected from spareribs because usually it's all bones. The pumpkin taste wasn't overpowering nor was it overly sweet, giving it a soft texture to blend in with the fragrant rice that had sesame seeds on top of it. You could definitely give this a go alone but mum and I decided to share because we didn't want to over stuff ourselves.

It was unfortunate that we couldn't try more food but that's the limitation you have when there's just the 2 of us small eaters going out to try out someplace new. When we were ready to get our desserts, Xiao Fei, as she addresses herself offered us their set deal that had 2 slices of cakes and a pot of flower teas for RM 29.90. If you're doing the math, regular cakes costs between RM 9.90 to RM 12.90 a pop while a pot of tea goes at RM 11.90. The deal was a steal.

We had the Bulgarian rose tea brewed in this cute glass teapot just like the ones I've seen in Winter Lover Bakery House.

Cakes, tea and great company. This is my kind of Sunday.

I was very sure on the tofu cake that I was going to order and heeded to Xiao Fei's recommendation of the mango mousse cake for our 2nd slice. It was the best decision we've ever made. 

Tofu cake from the folks at Poco Homemade is now sold at Mainmain Cafe!

True to the taste I got from Poco Homemade, this still rocks out as a simple dessert balance. It isn't overly sweet, the texture is still thick and compact while the scent of tofu essence is still right there where you will want it to be. I would have had more if I didn't already feel full. It's really, really good. The difference between the one at Poco Homemade and Mainmain Cafe however is that the predecessor had a layer of green tea top to it while this one was short of that little detail. It doesn't make it less tasty though, I just wanted to have that pointed out.

Mango mousse cake, the best decision of cakes we've ever made in our lives.

Xiao Fei told us to have this only when we were done with the tofu cake because it may overpower in taste and smell which was very true. This mango mousse cake is the absolute bomb. It had the texture of the tofu cake with a spongy cake center but the scent of it is to die for. We were told Alphonso mangoes were put into the creation of this cake and it was just heavenly. Each bite gives you the burst of mango smell yet isn't cringe worthily sweet. Mum and I gave it two very excited thumbs up for how delicious it was to end our meal.

The meal costed RM 39.80 by the end of the day but the hospitality offered and the taste of the food is really just priceless. Plus the environment is really great if you're looking for a Sunday escape although the traveling could already be quite a hassle. Parking is of plenty though so that's one thing you don't have to worry about and I do believe it is accessible by Monorail with a short 10 minute walk when you've gotten off the Maharajalela station. Not recommended if you're alone because Jalan Choo Cheng Khay can come off as a dangerous area.


Some self-loving moments of pictures taken by mum of me:

Mum kept saying, "Look here and smile!"

But all I wanted was a moment with my Old Master Q (老夫子) comic.

They also have an outside patio for awesome picture taking moments like these.

A picture of the best Sunday company ever; an amazing woman called my mother.

I really love this picture. My friends also pointed out that mum and I had the same pose in these pictures when I posted it on Instagram but I swear it was accidental.

 Snuck a picture of mum talking to Xiao Fei.
As an overall, Mainmain Cafe is a must visit in my own opinion; for the mango mousse cake if not for anything else. I have never tried a cake that tastes so good in the exquisite texture it offers. It's really worth the price you pay too and I'd be revisiting for their butter chicken some other day for sure. I should also note that today marks Mainmain Cafe's first month anniversary so...happy monthsary, Mainmain Cafe. Please stay true to the ingredients you use, the warm hospitality you offer and the amazing food you offer. I'll be back someday.

138, Jalan Choo Cheng Khay,
50460 Kuala Lumpur
 Xiao Fei: 016 - 215 5523
Open from Tuesdays to Sundays: 11 AM - 8 PM
Closed on Mondays.

NON-HALAL

Friday, April 11, 2014

Blood Donation; The Yays Not Nays

I guess I've completely lost the flair for flowery words and direct titles to blog posts are much better to work with. In case you got too lazy to read the title (Wait...what?) I'm going to be talking about blood donations. If you didn't already know, donating blood with my dad by my side has become one of my resolutions for 2013 and I actually did it just before the year ended. It was only when I got home that I realized that some people has the wrong perception of blood donations thinking, "Why on earth should I do it?" while others have no idea how it goes.

Mum suggested that I should write a post about this and I thought about it for a while. I mean, why not? It could help save a life since every pint of blood is potentially useful and the feeling of giving someone a second chance to live could do wonders to your feelings. Seriously, I felt amazing all Saturday after the blood donation.So if you're simply considering to donate blood but you don't know how it works or you think how you shouldn't have to do it, here's a run down on how things will go.

You'll have to fill up a form when you get to the faculty...

Just like I did. Thank you for being the photographer of the day, mummy!

Then they would poke through your skin to get a little blood tested for hemoglobin levels to see if you're eligible. It almost looks as if I'm making a rude finger gesture to the nurse.

Cotton balls to stop the bleeding of the puncture obviously.

Then you'll have to get your blood pressure checked by the doctor.

The registration process is generally quick and simple and you'll be double checked before the donation starts. You'll be told immediately if you're allowed to donate on the spot and if you're not, it's fine. It's the thought that counts, really. These are the requirements if you want to make a donation though:
  • Only donors aged between 18 to 60 are eligible
  • You weigh more than 45kgs
  • You have had more than 5 hours of sleep
  • You are in good health on the day of donation
  • You have not been on medication over the past week
  • You do not have medical problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, etc.
  • You are not involved in drug abuse or having multiple sex partners
  • Your previous blood donation is 3 months ago
  • For ladies: You are not pregnant and you are not on your period
It's also pretty important for you to have had some food before donating otherwise you could always ask for a cup of Milo, coffee or tea at the faculty itself. They even serve sandwiches and Twiggies there which is why...

 We had our breakfast there.

We were a little pushed for time that morning so we decided to rush over to the faculty to donate our blood first because it was a Saturday and they were running on a half day basis. When you're done with the process though, you'll also be served with a drink of your choice and the last time I was there, I asked for orange juice which they would freshly juice out for you. I picked Milo this time.

Getting prepped for the donation to begin.

The donation begins!

Unfortunately the nurse felt uncomfortable having mum take pictures of how she worked so I'll just describe it to you. They would first inject a type of medicine in order for your veins to show and when that's done, they will prick the bigger needle in so the blood would flow and the blood donating process begins. Factoring in your body weight and everything else, the nurses will know for sure how much to take from your body so you don't leave feeling woozy and what not.

The most common question to this step is: Does it hurt? Considering how I am terrible at handling pain, I will tell you that it doesn't. The nurses are really professional and they're quick so it's virtually painless. Seriously, this is coming from someone who was so weak, she would rather eat porridge for an entire week instead of eating proper food after tightening her braces. I was nervous the first time around too because I had terrible experiences with blood tests during National Service.

A whole week's worth of blood tests, two hands and this is what I get.

And a blood clot after. Picture taken in August 2010.

I still cringe when I look at the picture above because I swear I remember how much it hurt, not just on my skin but also deep inside my heart. I was afraid the swelling would never leave, the clot will remain with a scar and other rubbish like that. Thankfully, the nurses at the blood donation faculty are all professional enough to not let this happen so there are no worries for you. I guarantee it.

With daddy Lam because we didn't get a father - daughter picture the first time I donated blood.

Mummy thought it would be boring to have a blog post of just my face so here's daddy Lam.

And he must have said something funny here, I don't know what but I laughed.

It takes just about 15 to 20 minutes for the donation process to finish, depending on how much is taken from your body. While I only could donate 300 ml of blood, daddy Lam donated 450 ml which is the normal amount but that could vary from person to person. Don't worry, the nurses will know what's the right amount so you won't be left dead.

Finished up and just waiting for the bleeding to stop.

It's almost like nothing has happened.

All in all, it takes just a little over half an hour to finish up so the excuse of "having no time" isn't valid to be used when someone asks you why you're not donating blood. If you're going to say it hurts, I've just reasoned out that it is almost painless. The equipments are sterile and the faculty in the University Malaya Medical Centre is newly renovated so you'll know it's always clean. It's a hospital afterall.

And did I mention, new beds?

Plus a place for you to eat. And the exit, obviously.

Oh and if you need to know about the after feels? Here's what's was left back for a day or two but is completely gone right now:

The puncture on my finger to test for problems before the donation.

 And the puncture where they took my blood.

Totally not what I experienced during National Service and I'm keeping a good lookout at it. Coming up to this point, I'm really hoping that eligible people would take the effort to do good and donate blood as it could just be that one pack of blood that's needed to save lives. Someone could live again, another would have someone to love. Someone could create more memories, another could be there as they're made. What bad could come out of this wonderful deed?

 If you've got more questions to ask, leave me a comment. If I know the answer to them I'd definitely help you out. If I don't I'd probably look for a solution for you too. My next donation should be in July and I can't wait.

Monday, April 7, 2014

#NuffnangIs007

I know I'm really slow on putting this up but I have a valid reason to my delay, okay? I've been waiting for pictures from Nuffnang's official photographer because I didn't quite have any that were decent since lighting from extremely poor at the venue. So unless you've got a professional DSLR camera lugged by your neck, pictures that come out are most probably blur and dark while flashes just doesn't do pictures justice. I remember the birthday bash last year at LUST Bar, KL when I was still an intern and now I'm a part of the blogger community celebrating the company's birthday? Time sure flies right by when you least realize it.

This year's birthday bash was held at Barbeque Garden at Life Centre, KL and it's actually on the rooftop where it's open air and you get to see the night lights of Kuala Lumpur. In fact if you're looking at the right angle, you can even look at the KL Tower in all its glory in its lit up joy! Oh and in case you're wondering, Life Centre is right in front of the Wisma KFC and it's accessible via Monorail. Once you're there, just take the lift up to the 3rd floor and you'll see Barbeque Garden!

 Got to the party around 6.30 PM with my plus one of the night, Krystle! Thanks for coming at the very last minute, kindie bestie! Hugs and kisses to go around!

 Strip's mascot was left to welcome us at the entrance!

Beer on taps!

Unfortunately, it was fairly humid on the night of the birthday bash and when topped off with the immense crowd that turned up, the temperature was definitely not right to party. I was also worried that my seat would be taken away soonest as I left the table so my friends and I remained seated about 50% of the time we were at the party. We would however take turns to go around the venue to unlock stamps on our card that came in an envelope as part of the task of the night.

Tons of seating space on regular days.

Great for big parties, I believe.

There were darts set up at the venue.

And everyone got 3 tries each!

As part of the party activity, 2 dart machines were placed at Barbeque Garden and everyone got 3 tries each to hit a minimum of 70 points in order to get a stamp from the Nuffies! Fact: I am terrible at darts and the best I got was...70 points. I guess it's just enough to get a stamp from Nuffie Ban but that's about it and it took me 3 attempts to get it right. If you're doing the math, I threw 9 dart pieces that night with two hitting the machine then falling to the floor miserably. What is shame?

Goodies to be won! I WANTED THOSE LINE DOLLS SO BAD. 

Heineken was the sponsor of the night so they were going free flow!

Chicken skewers were freshly grilled and served by staffs of Barbeque Garden.

Food from Barbeque Garden is inevitably good except I found the lamb chops to be a little on the fat side. I'm glad they served it with mint sauce though because it showed that they definitely knew what they were doing. The night lasted with great hype thanks to emcee Kevin Chong; who also hosts the Evening Buzz show on TraxxFM (100.1 in Klang Valley, if you need to know!) and a whole load of prizes were given away to randomly lucky people. One of those lucky ones was Steph who gone home with a bag of Mamee Chef products after answering a short Q&A.

Whilst being at a party was definitely great fun, the highlight of my night was mostly to have met up with the Nuffies again. I won't deny this but I miss all these crazy people whom I've briefly worked with and in Shah's famous words, everyone are just crazy kunts. Excuse the language but it's true.

With Darren, Shah and Guy the pink unicorn.

With Darren and this time we had some branding going on.

With Sue Ann who's going to Japan (AGAIN) soon.

With Min who told me after the picture that he made a serious face because life is serious.

 With kawan Nickeybean. I see him more often than I see the person who introduced us to each other. Grace Lee, are you reading? And yes, those fat arms. Something shall be done.

With boss Tim and Audrey. Because if there's no Audrey, there's no cheerful boss Tim and if there's no cheerful boss Tim, there's no happy Nuffnang! You seeing the connection?

And Kevin Chong! He's freaking hilarious, I now know why Krystle likes listening to him on the Evening Buzz!

No party would be complete without the famous Nuffnang cake cutting ceremony and I really wanted to see what they have managed this year. True enough, there is compromise to the attention in details and what not. Seeing as that the theme of the year is #NuffnangIs007, the cake in a tux and pistol was fitting.

And then there's always Stickman just...sticking around!

Little cupcakes were served with such attention to details.

A Nuffie group shot as always.
Pic credits to TianChad @ Sky Arts Productions

I left the party close to 11 PM as they wrapped up and realized that I am totally not party material. Getting home after dropping Krystle off, I didn't even dig into my goodie bag; completely forgetting it till the next day. All I wanted was to remove my make up, have a warm shower and pass out in bed. I did however have a peek into the bag the next day only to realize that the amazing Nuffies and sponsors had managed to pack in so many things for us to bring home.

It's almost like Nuffnang knows I need some work on my weight and threw in a 1 month gym membership for me.

Wowbooth prints.

I nearly left this out but Wowbooth was also at the party for us to get instant prints not just from the photobooth but also through Instagram connect. All we had to do was to leave in #NuffnangIs007 in our Instagram captions and their system would detect it so we could print them out instantly. I thought it was pretty cute seeing as that picture prints have seemingly gone obsolete but has been brought back to life. 

So yes, that's a wrap up to this year's Nuffnang Birthday Bash. I probably didn't look like the most happening person around the venue but being there to witness the excitement everyone had was still a great getaway from the daily schedule I have at current. I'm hoping to come back to the entire blogging mojo scene but sometimes sleep just gets the better of me. Someday though, I'm sure I'll be actively writing again. Happy belated birthday again, Nuffnang. I look forward to your 8th birthday already.