Thursday, September 3, 2015

TO DRINK AND GET TO KNOW ABOUT COFFEE

30/8/2015
SUNDAY

Various latte art done by  Mr. Stephen

The number of cafes opening around  KL is amazing! The coffee culture as its called is mind boggling to an ignorant coffee drinker like me.   I don't know whether the draw to these cafes are the wonderful coffee or the free wi-fi.  Funnily, I happened to watch an Astro programme on Sunday also draw our attention to this trend.
So, I decided its time to get a clear understanding of appreciating coffee and latte art through this meet-up group held at Hobby N Coffee at TTDI.   The shop is on the first floor of the row of shophouses along McD.  As we have been told that no food will be serve on the premises, we took our breakfast at the coffeeshop without ordering any coffee!. 
We met the amicable and friendly owner of the shop, Mr. Stephen Yong.   This guy truly love his coffee and passionate of his latte art.   He give talks/demonstration/lectures on latte art. 
Before proceeding with the demonstration of his latte art, he explain about coffee beans and how to purchase them.  I wonder how many of you did the same mistake as I, trying to smell a bag of coffee beans from that tiny hole in the bag? HAHAHA... Wrong, that tiny hole is not meant for that purpose, but rather it meant as a escape route for the gases that built up within the bag of coffee beans. Only a air-tight bag will keep the coffee beans fresh.   And make sure you do not store them inside the fridge. 

Master at work ...... on our first cup of coffee.
Usually the milk is pour from the side and this pushes up to the surface and the foam part is then slowly pour onto the top 
and then he start to do some etching to create this 

cartoon  picture.. cute. 

2 different taste in one cup.... cappuccino and latte!
This is called "mirror" image.  The milk is splash this time straight in the center and you get the dual effect. 

Again another creation..... 

the constellation ...... stars and planets 

Eureka.... the light goes up!
  
The place is unpretentious..... basically just  long black tables and stools, no fancy decoration and definitely not the instagram worthy type of cafes around town.  But you do get a cuppa or 2 of decent fresh coffee and awesome latte art.  
Beside coffee, the back portion of the cafe is used as a sewing class. Bales and bales of beautiful cotton (yes pure cotton) lined one side of the wall.  The wife, Ms Lucy is the one in charge of organising sewing classes now and then and some of the pretty handicrafts included blouses, drawstring bags, aprons etc. 

You can get most of sewing materials too 

These are pre-cut squares for quilting.   


For dinner I made these Teochew kueh....recipe from Nasi Lemak Lover


the glutinous rice with dried prawns and peanuts filling 

Happy with the appearance - but as she said the dough will  harden once when cold. 


Keep Calm and drink coffee... have a happy weekend.











Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A TABOO TOPIC FOR THE HUNGRY GHOST FESTIVAL

22/8/2015
SATURDAY

What a taboo title -definitely not something you would want to see during this 7th lunar month being the Hungry Ghost festival.  But it turned out to be a very entertaining evening. 

Imagine at the graveyard when the last sermon has been read and last rite has been performed and it is now time to lower the coffin into the hole and lo and behold, horror of all horrors, it was then found that THE COFFIN IS TOO BIG FOR THE HOLE!

We really don’t know what to expect when we bought the tickets for the show. Is it a scary show with blood sucking ghosts? Are we going to be frighten out of out wits  unexpectantly?  And what is this butoh dance?  

The Nyoba Kan International Butoh Fest 2015 was held at Publika  from 14 to 23 August.  
Butoh is a form of Japanese dance theatre that encompasses a diverse range of activities, techniques and motivation for dance.... The commons features are playful, grotesque imagery with taboo topics.... They are traditionally performed in white body makeup with slow hyper controlled motion.  (wikipedia)

We decided to have our dinner at Plan B before the show.  


Our pasta dinner meal:  Spicy Lamb  Spaghetti- minced lamb with tomatoes sauce (not in photo), Spicy Duck Confit Spaghetti- shredded duck confit, kaffir lima leaves, bunga kantan and fried chili padi, fragrant and piquant, very appetising indeed  


lastly Wild Mushroom Linguini- varieties of mushrooms –buttery, garlicky with the “woody” mushroom aroma.. yummy.



Our dessert: Warm soft and moist chocolate cake dripping with chocolate sauce and ice cream…dreamy.  

and thick black coffee... 


There is no fixed seatings for this show and the total number of spectators for each show was 120 only.  We gathered at the Boulevard for the prologue- the first venue for the show.   

A stage with large revolving screens at the center of the boulevard. 


The protagonist’s grandfather has died and he is bothered that the coffin is too big for the hole.  While the strands of violin music were played, a dancer (Mimi Jeong) was seen flitting in and out of the moving screens.
(BTW these are international acclaimed dancers and musicians and artists).
Then we were divided into 2 groups and we followed Mr. Lee who lead us to the next venue – the Black Box.  We watched a  30 minute dance/mime performance by Mimi Jeong and a white “Big Bird”.    I find her mesmerising to watch, her movements were so controlled yet fluid.  (No photography)

We were then taken around the venue and these are the articles used for producing the sound effects- fantastic!

We next proceeded to The Square where both groups came together for the butoh dance.


again the controlled dance movement

As the dance ended, we split ways again.   We went up to the Balcony to an enclosed empty shoplot.  In front was the protagonist with his “dead” grandfather.  Here, he question us what  could he do as the coffin is too big for hole while the grandfather sang in Cantonese Opera style.

photo taken before the show began. 

There are subtle questions about our relationship to the authority. Its provoking question- does that means there is only one hole?  Do we have to conform to that only one rule?
To quote:- “In Malaysia how often is someone penalized for not conforming to an expectation, for being different, and simply for being herself or himself?” read more in The Star2 19/8/2015.

The  protagonist gave an provoking  example:-
A farmer  has 9 white sheep.  One day he notice that there is a black spot on  one sheep.  So he thought,  "I will remove it so that nobody would notice the black spot.”   So he shaved the fleeces off.  Of course, that naked sheep stood out like a sore finger.  So the farmer decided then to shave the rest of the sheep!  It just takes another lie to cover the lie and in the end??
     
at the end of the show,  we were ask to help to make a decision. 

The coffin is too big for the hole, what next to do? Maybe:-
a. dig a bigger hole 
b. get another coffin
c. cut off the wood at side of coffin to fit the hole
d. cremate the body 
e. get an extra plot of land 
(I can only remember these suggestions)


walking towards the White Box. 

Finally both groups met again outside the Artemis Art gallery (next to the White Box)  for the final captivating  butoh dance!





Epilogue inside Artemis Art Gallery.  

The lady in red is a former Malaysian butoh dancer too... visiting from the States.
Oh... I almost forgot to mention that we saw another famous actress who acted in scary horror films and since she was on low profile, so nobody disturbed her nor take any photos of her. 

Beauty and Strength sculpture by Jasmine Kok- a series of Corset concept

The FACET art exhibition  at the gallery- a collaboration of  5 talented artists. 

parli.men by Poojitha Menon

I like this piece of art and to share a quote that I read from somewhere:-
"what do you do if you can get only one channel and you don't like what's on that one?"






























Monday, August 24, 2015

POSTER EXHIBITION

21/8/2015
FRIDAY


the contrasting textures- brittle hot burnt sugar and cold creamy custard @ Aku Cafe.


I took the half day off as I have a lunch date with Sarah on Friday afternoon. She had just finished her exams and hopefully will be joining the working force soon, another stage of her adult life.   

We meet and went for lunch at a highly rated and 4**** reviews cafe in Jalan Tun H.S. Lee (nearby the Petaling Street) nearby the Indian Temple.  However, we were rather disappointed with the service of the staff and the oily food, lessons learnt never believe all the reviews!      

We wanted to see the Half Man Half Ghost Poster exhibition at Aku Cafe & Gallery in conjunction with the show The Coffin is too Big for the Hole.  

The show was choreographed by Malaysia popular Butoh dancer Lee Swee Keong (who also happened to be our yoga instructor).  The “Half Man, Half Ghost- a  poster exhibition  featuring all his shows, various graphic designers and calligraphy  at the Aku Café & Gallery from 14/8/2015 to 1/9/2015. Don’t miss this chance to view those posters as it will give you an glimpse of  enchanting and mystical shows that had taken place before.  

The cafe is  located on the 1st floor of the shophouses  along Jalan Panggong, nearby Petaling Street. 

The lunchtime hour was just over when we reached and the place was settling down quietly.   

a  cosy corner to relax with books..  









the front part of the cafe, alfresco-style with the memorabilia of bygone years

Wonder whether that cake display unit works. 

the iron sliding grill door and a pair of hanging mirrors 

Looking suntan after her Krabi trip 

Perfect  afternoon teatime..  


Actually the café also serve set lunch from Tuesdays to Friday (close on Monday).  They serve good  pour-over and siphon coffee (no coffee machine here).   The barista and staff were so friendly too.  Definitely the place to come back again.