Monday, June 29, 2015

Cooking class @ Silom Thai Cooking School


Deciding what to do as a group activity in Bangkok is not easy, but neither is it difficult either. My friends and I are so different in personality, so different in background and history, that to connect everyone with one common thing is almost impossible.

But if there is one thing we can quite agree on is .. FOOD. I mean, who doesn't love food?!

So I decided to enroll us in a cooking class!!

Since we were to stay in Le Meridien Bangkok along Bangrak road, I Googled cooking classes nearby and found Silom Thai Cooking School. After checking the reviews online, I was SUPER convinced that this will be a super activity for EVERYONE!

My initial reservation was to do it during lunch, but some reservations were mixed up and we ended up doing it for dinner. WHICH WAS A MUCH BETTER CHOICE!

We had to skip the market tour (breakfast and lunch have market tours, and 100 BAHT more expensive) and proceed with the cooking class - which was no big deal, because by evening we were all BEAT.

LOVED OUR CHEF / INSTRUCTOR!!!!!!!




Ms Kiki had us rolling on the floor laughing out loud since the minute she spoke. It was super crazy. I never thought a cooking class can be that fun and I love how everything was so visual and pretty, as it should! Everything was so colourful. We were paired with a young couple from Hong Kong and Korea who also did not escaped from Kiki's teases ^_^

We learned 5 main dishes (since this is our first - well Yuen's second) : 1) Tom Yum Goong (Shrimp Tom Yum) 2) Green Curry Chicken 3) Pad Thai 4) Minced Chicken Salad 5) Mango Sticky Rice 

We were hands on in most of the dishes and the ingredients ourselves, like Tom Yum Goong, Green Curry Chicken and Pad Thai - where we prepared, cut our ingredients and cook them. Meanwhile for chicken salad and mango sticky rice we assisted Kiki with stomping, cutting and preparations only.

I used to love Thai Food, NOW I FREAKING LOVE THEM! Now that I know they use so little oil, with fresh ingredients and ala minute way of cooking it - I love Thai food even more.

Opt for a cooking class next time!

 ^My preparation plate 

^My Tom Yum Goong and Pad Thai 

^ Chef Swee Wei :*

 ^Chef Kerry 

 ^Yuen on good days

^We kinda didn't make this la. We're just too happy we got to eat it after a millionth time. 
Okay I was.

^Looking vogue when we were actually sweating like waterfall.

Shopping and partying were so good, but this has got to be the highlight of our trip! :)

Silom Thai Cooking School : bangkokthaicooking.com 

Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

9 of my favourite food in Bangkok

The girls and I have been exchanging notes on what to eat before reaching Bangkok. Every other week we forwarded each other a blogpost, one or two notes on what our next dish, cuisine, bites should be, or what not to miss.

But really, nothing prepares you from actually being there. I honestly completely forgot what the recommendations were once we reached there. 

Flashes of the recommendations from the blog came to life when I finally started walking down the streets (Khaosan Road). Because we were there for only a few days, 3 nights to be specific, every second was a ready discovery. Right after we checked ourselves in, Angel, Ingrid and myself - decided to go for a walk around the streets to start working on our tastebuds.

You know - I always take my appetite for granted. And when I was in Bangkok, I made sure I appreciate my appetite! :)

Here are some of my favourite bites/ cuisine in Bangkok:

1) Coconut Ice Cream with a Choice of Three Toppings 
Fresh coconut ice cream with shaved coconut served in its shell with a choice of three of your favorite toppings including sticky rice, corn and peanuts!! (among plenty more including coconut jelly and the rest I forgot because I was so excited to eat this). These three toppings were my favorite combination!! And I ate this ice cream twice during the trip because.

Well Bangkok was hot ok.




2) Mango with Sticky Rice and Mango Fizz Soda 
I could do without the Mango Fizz Soda (but Audrey loved it) but I let my taste-buds take me wherever so I felt this was kind of ingenious either. I'm sure McDonalds have done it somewhere... sometime... but right then and there felt like the most perfect time to drink a Mango Fizz Soda.

I mean, where else should you have a Mango Fizz Soda besides right smack in the heat of a Chatuchak Market?? 

As for the Mango with Sticky Rice... where do I begin?! My best friends KNOW I love this dessert so much, mainly because of the mango but something about the sweet, gooey, crunchy (peanuts) combination about this bite makes THIS dessert - a heavenly one.



3) Garlic Bread with Chocolate 
Are you like me who would've thought of something simple like this but never seem to bother to make yourself one and then BAM you buy one of them of the streets of Bangkok for 20 Baht?

OK - Maybe it's just me. But I've always had this idea that Garlic Breads (I love Garlic Breads, the original they are the better!!) should be easily accessible ANYWHERE.

I get mine from the bakery and most of the time they're okay la - but THIS was a new level of genius. The idea is simple. Sell garlic bread of the streets, because you know, there's always time for fresh garlic bread, choose your toppings of chocolate, strawberry jam, peanut butter - whatever, and take it with you.

While I was busy getting lost in the crazy Chatuchak Market, separated from Angel, Ingrid and Michelle - I found solace in those food street stalls composing myself while trying anything I was curious about.

This was one of the stall I stopped at and loved.



5) Pork Satay / Stick 
Yuen, Kerry and Angel gave me to try a few of the meat on sticks (including spicy squid and something-sausage) but this Pork Satay was my FAVOURITE! I was surprised by its sweet, tender and delicious meat (there is no other non-mainstream way to describe it) at first try (by Yuen), that I bought another one just to be sure that they're consistent (really lo, this was my real reason). AND YES! THEY WERE.

However and whatever this was, this was a whole new level of satay. I LOVE IT.

After some reading, I found out that this is the famous pork satay that everyone is blogging about.



6) Spicy Papaya Salad 
This is my favourite Thai dish in the entire worldddddd. Back here in Malaysia I can eat this by the plates by myself. I usually prefer this with freshly fried fish/ prawn with sprinkles of peanuts. But when I was in Thailand all my preferences were thrown out of the window.

We had this Spicy Papaya Salad in a few seatings (I think my bestfriends were trying to cater to me hehehe) including right after when we checked in. We wanted to have some "bites" at first ... who knew we ordered plates of a variety of Thai dishes at our first seating......

Love Spicy Papaya Salad!! Getting excited just talking about it!!



7) Yellow Curry Prawn
WE TRIED A LOT OF FOOD. Seriously. That few days, I think we opened the floodgates of appetite. In one seating, we had up to 10 dishes for 8 of us, and *I think* some of us could still eat some more.

Holiday appetite I'd say.

Anyway - the first night all of us gathered and had dinner together, we ordered two sets of Yellow Curry Prawn (among many) and annihilated the dish.

What is that sauce?!

Giving in completely to the sinfulness of the dish, we ordered ANOTHER SET.

I wasn't joking when I said we gave in to that dish.

And it was gone in 10 seconds.

I'm sorry but this pic below is a Googled pic because none of us bothered snapping before eating. This pic looks too nice and too decent for a dish so good and sinful.

Pic source: Food.ndtv


8) Mama Noodle Salad 
And I've only tried it off Yuen's plate for a spoon bite.

I instantly loved it, maybe because it was also pretty nostalgic, back in Australia it was one of the instant noodle brand that Yuen and Carmen (the housemate) would always buy.

I missed it so much that I bought a pack of 5 when I reached Kota Kinabalu at MYR 6.50. Which is considered expensive I think..

Not the same lo :( 

Ps: This picture below looks divine :(

Pic source: Modernthaifood


9) Fried Pancake 
I was thinking hard about what else I ate in Bangkok and actually passionately loved. And then I realised, I kind of almost loved all of it heh EXCEPT of course those in this list made such an impact to me that I'd either want to order again or made me so happy. And the Fried Banana Chocolate Pancake HAS to be in this list because it was one of the earlier dessert we had off the street right after reaching Bangkok.

We were excited, hungry, overwhelmed, desperate, amused, all sorts of emotions lah right before we pounded into a coconut dessert and then THIS.

According to Angel, this is "roti canai with chocolate".

SOUNDS GOOD TO ME!

Picture by Evangelika 


These were my favourite Thai dishes/ Bangkok bites! For my friends who are reading, please comment what's yours in case I missed it or so that I can try them next time!

Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Monday, June 08, 2015

Balinese Designs

"Balinese feel" 
"Bali inspired designs" 

I never took these words seriously until I was actually on holiday in Bali last year.

BALI IS SO BEAUTIFUL. 

Seriously - from its carefully designed layout, to its intricately decorated interior to its perfectly manicured elements to its calming and relaxing gardens inspired - Bali has secret alleys and spaces and homes that are always SO captivating. That for a fact you WOULD get lost in that space.

It's the Bali pull.

Here are some of my favourite Balinese / Bali inspired designs I snapped while I was in Bali:

^Beautifully designed / curated rocks are prevalent in Bali 

^Long hallways - seem so at peace 

^Open garden concept balcony. Instead of a terrace, you're welcomed by greens 

^Bali is so huge on patios and they do them so effortlessly 

^Try open air bath tub after a good oil massage surrounded by beautiful flowers and trees 

^The famous Ibu Oka welcome.

Isn't Bali beautiful?! 

Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

[18 sx] Sex Museum at Amsterdam

Disclaimer: I feel these photos are mild, however, what/ how you perceive them is beyond my control. So please be informed that there are photos of nudity and suggestions of sex and nudity before you proceed and that reading through them is your choice. Thank you! 

***

On our last day in Amsterdam, we booked ourselves a full day tour to Zaanse Schanse for WINDMILLS! We reached the city very early in the morning, and reached the main stop an hour early too.

While walking from the bus station to the main stop, I passed through the Sex Museum conveniently located just by the side of probably one of the busiest street in Amsterdam.

After seating mum, I went to check out the Sex Museum myself :P

I was a little shy at first, but after seeing so many more Asian couples giggling around I felt, HAH, I'm not so bad! At least I'm alone .. and can giggle to myself.

This sounds really childish yes, but a Sex Museum is something you would never see in Malaysia. EVER. The idea of dissecting the history of prostitution, pornography and sex itself is not something us fellow Malaysians really do, or talk, let alone having a complete museum itself. 

Rest assured - the experience was really an eye opener.

Everyone is welcomed by a male doll jerking himself. Hehe with sounds, mind you.

As you move inside, you'll see more and more stories and photos of the history itself and how pornography as well as prostitution have evolved.

Some of the funnier thing I saw was an honest account by a prostitute in the 1900s on her client list. She exposed some politicians, government workers, even rabbis, priests, teens, anyone you can imagine basically soliciting her!

It has a wide range of photos ranging from the history of sadomasochism, to the use of human bodies as part of art in our daily lives - it was really fascinating.

Let the photos do the talking!



SEE! I told you they were mild :P

Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Thursday, June 04, 2015

My vulnerability issue

Last week I asked a very important favor from the closest people in my life: to not look for their friends during good times, only - but also during the most confusing, darkest times of their lives.

I have never been vulnerable to anyone, I have never let anyone 'see' me. And the best part of it all, there is a template of answers when someone asks me how I am, usually, "Great!" or "I'm good!" or simply "I'm okay." It doesn't necessarily mean that I may NOT be okay - it's just that - sometimes I simply have problems/ issues/ stresses (too) in my life and that they linger in my head (too).

But I never portray these. I thought I was motivating other people by not portraying them, but I wasn't completely honest.

The turn of events within these few weeks have changed my life.

A few weeks ago I listed down the things I needed to do to address "this", more like a strategy:

1) Admit I have a vulnerability issue
2) Let my loved ones know what is going on with my life
3) Not running away from my thoughts/ my problems. I am going to deal with them
- That includes answering uncomfortable questions. Or being comfortable at being not asked
at all. Writing down what bothers me.
4) I must post this. The amount of time I have evaded posting somber stuff
on any of my social media.. well have you seen any? They're not depressing, but these
moments are not jovial either so I always second guess. But the truth is - my social media is
not in its entirety representation of my life.
I NEVER post anything about being scared or worried in my life.
5) Lastly, Repeat.

Ask me now, and I will be honest with you more than ever in my life.



Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.