Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Salam Everyone!

Yes, you guessed it, Chef Baini and family were down at Pengkalan Balak, Melaka once again for a quick holiday getaway during the recent school holidays.

Chef and family being hardened city folk really miss the 'kampong' atmosphere - her kids Ariff and Jannah really appreciate the bucholic beauty of Pengkalan Balak. The kids just couldn't wait to get into the sea, but they got more than they bargained for!

You see, it hadn't rained for a month down in the area, but Chef and family arrived just after a downpour. The winds were very strong, hustling up big waves (mini tsunamis, as Ariff called them) that beat up the kids and the Babams (Chef Baini's husband). That experience took a lot out of them, so everyone, especially the Babams, snored their way to the next morning!

Chef Baini's Excellent New Friends from The Netherlands

                                    Meet Chef's new friends from the Netherlands (or Holland, to all you football fans). Dr. Anneliek Corten (yes, believe it folks, this tall, svelte dutch beauty is a full-fledged medical doctor) and her erstwhile partner, Pim van Oirschot who is a student of - wait-for-it -Astrophysics (what brainy people!), They hail from a village called Nymegen (the y in Nymegen is the sort of y with two dots on top), south of the city of Arnhem. Some of you history buffs will remember that Arnhem was the site of a great battle, after the invasion of Europe in 1944 during World War II. War movie fans will recall the epic 'A Bridge Too Far' that featured a galaxy of Hollywood stars including Richard Burton, Roger Moore, Sir Laurence Olivier, et al. 

Chef Baini's nosy parker of a husband, the Babams, couldn't stop engaging the delightful dutch pair whom he found to be as gregarious as he is. (Gregarious - Sociable or just plain talkative). So the Babams persuaded them to appear in Chef's blog which they gladly agreed!

Dr. Anneliek, poor girl, had to answer all sorts of questions about just about everything dutch, so finally Chef Baini had to nudge the Babams to leave them in peace otherwise they might never pay Malaysia a return visit!

Dr. Anneliek is no stranger to Asia. She has travelled to Indonesia, Malaysia, the Phillipines but she began her acquaintance with Asia during her student days when she was a medical exchange student in Indochina. So she knew quite a bit about this part of the world already.
Chef and family arrived on Monday and returned to KL the next day. Dr. Anneliek and Pim will visit KL 2 days later. Dr. Anneliek wants to 'shop till you drop' in KL! Her main destination: Berjaya Times Square! What else could Chef Baini do but give her the inside scoop on shopping in KL!
Jannah's Big Baloon

Later that night Chef Baini and family went on a walkabout in the town centre.
No one could miss the giant red baloon floating in the moonlit sky. Of course Jannah egged us on to take a closer look. So we climbed atop the Dataran Pahlawan and witnessed the Hot Air Baloon majestically commanding the air. it was quite a sight!

The River At Night
Last time Chef and family went on the rivercruise. But we didn't know then the rivercruise went on at night too. Now that we know, we'll be on the first nightboat on our next visit.

The riverwalk by night is another delightful jaunt......Trust the people in charge of these things to have multi-coloured lights adorning the walls and trees by the water.

The Babams' Trishaw Treat

The Babams suggested that we all went for a trishaw ride....Actually, the Fat Dad was too tired to walk another step! He was complaining that his pants were slipping off his waist from all the walking...(RIIIGHHT!) It was the first time for all of us....getting a personalised tour guide along the cobbled roads of the old city.

Believe it or not, the 'bechas' or trishaws had their own on-board entertainment system, complete with a DVD player! What else will they think of next!
Chef Baini couldn't resist a trip to Jonkers Walk....only to find out that its open on friday and weekend nights! Undaunted, Chef Baini went window shopping anyways.....on the empty streets next to the midnight hour!

Jonker's Walk Midnight Stroll


The All New Jimmy Choo of Malacca

Lastly, before Chef and family headed back home to KL, a trip to the shopping arcade of Dataran Pahlawan is a must. Chef was amazed to find these unique one-of-a-kind hand made wooden clogs at one of the shops inside Heritage Row....The 'Clogger' (yes, only the Babams could have coined such a monicker) is this lovely young lady who learned her 'Clogcraft' (please, Babams, enough already!) from a friend. If you are Malacca, spare some time to check out her wares....these are totally unique! Too bad Dr. Anneliek weren't with us!

Pricewise, they range from Ringgit Malaysia (RM) 60 to RM 120 or USD 20 to USD 40.
The soles are wood, brightly coloured and decorated with flowers or fruits. Each one is hand made. Unfortunately, there are none for men! Looks like the Babams will have to stick to his beloved crocs!

Sideline: Dr. Anneliek told the Babams that once in Indonesia Surgeons wore Crocs in the operating theatre, but were later disallowed because of the holes that punctured the nape of the shoes. This posed a danger whereby fluids dropped from the operating table could fall on the skin of the feet of the doctors!

Jimmy Choo, look out! A new footwear sensation is in town!

Here's a hint....is this a pair of shoes or is this a cake? That right folks, Chef Baini was inspired to create a new kind of cake called the 'Clog Cake' (groan....The Babams strikes again!). Coming soon! All thanks to this holiday!

That's all for now, friends!

Love, Chef Baini.

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