Tuesday, August 25, 2015



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



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.  

Tuesday, August 18, 2015



Everyone (friends that is)  that I met who complained that the price of mooncakes has gone "up so high";  "so expensive!"
Is it time for that delicacy again?  How time really flies. And I just saw the market put up stage for the 7th Lunar Hungry Ghost Festival and we were also doing our yoga poses to the beats and music of the nightly performances below the  yoga centre :D.

So I have been considering, maybe this year I can make a bit of cash with the mooncakes festival and make a quick buck.  Hello, Shanghai mooncakes and yam mooncakes for sale!

So after such a hiatus from mooncake making, I thought better brush up the skills and bought a yam from the wet market last week. Sometimes I blame  my lazy bones that stop me from becoming the next rich and famous baker :D!

When my neighbour posted her photo on her Steamed Yam Cake and also Bakeforhappykids did hers,  I just could not resist and that's how that piece of yam became became our lunch and dinner as well for the day instead.
Recipe from the Bakeforhappykids.

Ingredients for the Steamed yam cake in her recipe.  
I added 1/4 tsp of five spice powder as I remember that's how my mother's yam cake smelled! My mother's version also included preserved vegetable (tai tou choy), chinese sausage, mushroom  and char siew.   

After frying the shallots as a crispy garnish, dish up the excess oil and saute the dried prawns till aromatic before adding the diced yam.   Cook till fragrant and then add the seasoning and water. Let it boil for 2-3 minutes before adding the rice flour batter.      

keep stirring till batter thickens. 
Dish up into well greased square or round tin.  Smooth the top and steam for 20-25 minutes on high heat till the center is cooked. Cool well before cutting.  Top with crispy shallots, spring onions and chilies optional. Served with the sweet sauce on the side. 

Braised Pork Belly with Black Fungus
However if I am not feeling lazy, I can cook a  pretty delicious Braised Pork Belly with Black Fungus.

Monday, August 10, 2015



The Star Sunday 2/8/2015

Quote: "If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you.  If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you".

Wefie before the class start
When the Yoga centre offered members a free trial Zumba class, we went along to learn something new. 
Heard and read so much about Zumba dance and its time to don on my leotards (hurray it can still fit!)  and pick up the shoe and let's go. 

Zumba is a dance and fitness program created by Colombian dancer and Choreographer, Alberto Perez during the 1990s. (wiki). It involves dance choreography  eg hip-hop, samba, salsa (as above) and aerobics routines eg squats and lunges.   

you go left 
As soon as the music began, self-consciousness flew out through the windows and we began to party and have fun as Jerry (the instructor) led us through an hour of grooving to the music beats!

and you turn right. 
 As with any dance, Zumba helps us to tone our muscles and improve our co-ordination (that's working our brain) and mobility.
strut your move, ladies
How much calories you can burn within an hour depends to your own energy level but the average is around 500 to 1000 calories.  By the end of the session, we were all drenched in sweat and very happy. 

finally, end of dance session and beginning of photo session with handsome teacher. 
Thank you Jerry, you rock!

After that we needed to refuel ourselves.    

at Bukt Segar, Cheras, zakka cafe
Zakka is a Japanese word meaning "many things" and which refers to everything and anything that improves your home, life and appearance. There were many knick-knacks and cute little stationery, kitchen utensils etc for sale in the cafe. 


My much needed Iced latte.  

Black Sesame Tofu Cheesecake and Nutella Mille-crepe cake.
We also tried their Hummingbird Cake, delicious not as sweet as the one that I had in London!  

We had a long  relaxing time and chat before heading home. 
It was an interesting weekend for us....