Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Happy birthday, Faisal!

Last Saturday, the G8 came down to Melaka for a weekend retreat. These guys are some of my closest and dearest friends. We've been doing regular get-togethers to celebrate birthdays, house warmings, and basically any excuse to meet up for dinner...or lunch... or breakfast... or.. you get the picture.

Anyway, they all drove down in separate cars around mid-afternoon, and by the time the last of the lot arrive at 6.00pm, we were all famished. So, off we went to the famous Portuguese Settlement for some delicious fresh seafood!

Black pepper crab, Baked fish, Grilled Aubergine, Squid Fritters, Otak-Otak, Chicken and Beef Satay, Kangkung Belacan, Kapitan Chicken, fresh coconuts....it was all so delicious that none of us remembered to take any pics of the dishes and tucked right into the food as soon as they arrived. Hence this pic of empty dishes and completely satisfied stoma... err... I mean people.

Then came the surprise... or at least it was a surprise for one of the guys, Faisal. We had secretly arranged to celebrate his upcoming birthday there and even got for him his favourite cake, Chocolate Indulgence from Secret Recipe. His face blushed so red as we all sang out loud the birthday song..."Happy birthday to... Fai... Sal.........! (take quick deep breath) Ha...pee birthday to..... youuuuuu......!" And was that a tear I spotted at the corner of his left eye? ;-)

With our stomachs satiated, we proceeded to take a walk around the village as the local Cristao folk had put up the Christmas decorations. Every house was bedecked with colourful lights, lovely wreaths, lifesize models of Father Christmas and even Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. There were kids everywhere playing fireworks while a group of carolers were making the rounds singing carols and making merry with the restaurant customers. Ah, Christmas is nigh.....

Afterwards, we took a stroll down Jonker Walk. Actually, it was more of a crawl as the street market was packed with people, mostly tourists from KL, Singapore and the occasional 'omputih'. There was this new shop called Puri Padi which sells authentic Balinese art-deco items that Faisal fell in love with. The outer courtyard was landscaped to look like a typical Balinese garden, complete with a wooden gazebo, stoney walkway and a small pond with water trickling out of a carved stonehead. Walking through the courtyard towards the shop proper was quite therapeutic, kudos to the owner and landscape artist!

Later, a few of us decided to hang out at the Limau Limau Juice Bar situated in the heart of Jonker Walk. This old straits-shophouse-converted bar serves delicious concoctions of fruit lassi, yogurt, frappes and juices. From apple-orange to mango-lychee, there was just so many different combinations that I was spoilt for choice. Most of them tasted really good, not too sweet and you could even bite into tiny chunks of fruit. The one I didn't take to was the cucumber-lime lassi which was just a tad too sour for my liking.

As the evening grew late, the excitement of the entire day finally took its toll on us. One last sip, a big bear hug for the birthday boy and then, we all headed home.

Happy birthday Faisal! Have a joyous celebration today and a blessed year ahead!


Asther said...

Thank you for sharing those beautiful photos.

Amazonman said...

You're welcome! Hey, so when u coming down to Melaka?

sbanboy said...

Looks yummy ..... hmmm I should go try out the cake in Secret Recipes

Shah said...

Just wanted to wish u a Happy New Year bro...