Move aside samba…

Coz I prefer sambal. I can’t live without sambal. I tried and I couldn’t.

This sambal from Rex, in Singapore. It used to be too delicious but now the standard has dropped significantly.

Indonesians make the best and out of this world sambals. I had this at Batam. After a yummilicious spa outing with my bestfriend sometime last week.


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The secret lies in…

The last indulgence I had at Secret Recipe. This is choco-berry-cheesecake. Thereafter, we got news that their supplier punked on them by supplying them with some non-halal ingredients. Should I boycott Secret Recipe then? Of course not. The products in question are the cakes, which for a while I can always lay off while waiting for the official statement from Secret Recipe itself. There are other menus in the restaurant chain that can feed me halal and hence there is no reason for any outcry to boycott secret recipes or whatever.

Just like the case with the Christian groups performing their da’wah here and now Secret Recipe etc… Melatah seems to be the most feasible reactions here in the case of being poked in any part of their social life. For me, what is more grave for them to melatah about is the fact that Malaysia ranked amongst the top ten in the world for alcohol consumption. Faith issues aside, imagine how many thousand livers have been damaged to reach that ranking.

Between priority and drama, which is more important here, I wonder.

Btw, the cake was delicious.

Piece of heaven

Birds of a feather flock together. Or rather, their radar seems to attract one another. As a foodie, my daily staple of blog readings would never be complete without going through some food blogs. They are my morning juice, rhetorically. Some of them soon became favourites and then the owners of these blogs became online friends. One of the food blogs I was attracted to some years back was that of Madame Ovenhaven. Through her blog, I followed a link in the comment box and landed myself at CherryOnACake. And that’s where I am getting at.

It was love at first sight. Food, photography and all things pretty–she had the winning combination in the right proportions. I couldn’t get through a day without dropping by her site (and salivate and oohed and aahed), to the point that I banned myself from going there during Ramadan. What was more awesome, I realised that she lives in the same neighbourhood as I do! Food cupid got their targets right this time.

Anyway, she recently ordered something from me (which I will go to it later) and I had gone over to her place to send them. This owner of Cherry On a Cake, whom I call Aunty Zurin is a really pretty lady and if I hadn’t known that she’s a grandmother, I would have called her ‘Kak Zurin’. If I had thought her blog was pretty, the person behind it was even prettier!

Aunty Zurin gave me the box below.When I opened it, I giggled gleefully. I was like a child presented with a box of candies. In it were 4 pieces of neatly cut Brownies as shown in my previous post. I pinched a bit, with the intention of only tasting it as I had just taken lunch. But that was a grave mistake. I took a bite after that, and then another and then another and then… with my mouth covered with crumbs, I *burp*, alhamdulillah.

I died and had gone to Brownie Heaven. Aunty Zurin said she didn’t make them Brownies. Her sons did. Like mother like sons. All of them in conspiracy to ruin my diet, I suspect. And the diets of many more women who have trouble controlling themselves when presented with a piece of heaven like I did.

Would you like to taste some?

Her sons behind The Brownie Bars take orders. Give them a tinkle between 2 to 4 days in advance. The number is on the pic in this post. And if you don’t, I think you would die regretting. Like seriously.

Last but not least

The most lucrative business industry in Makkah. Since thousands of men shave their heads after completing the whole umrah ritual, at ten bucks a shave, these barber owners must be millionaires indeed.

Souks where bargaining experts should be in their elements. I quote a shopkeeper’s words to my husband ” Your shopping here in Makkah very good sir. Your wife bargain very strong”. I got my early childhood training in bargaining at Pasar Geylang, thank you.

Our favourite pit stop. I got my 3 riyals kebab and he got his 3 riyals falafel sandwich daily.

Nigella Sativa/Black Cumin/Habbatussaudah, which was mentioned in the Hadith to be the cure for all diseases except death.

More on Makkah

Jabal Thur, or the Mount of Thur where the Prophet pbuh and his companion Abu Bakr hid in the hole protected by cobwebs when they were chased by the Quraish.

At Jabal Rahmah, or Mount of Rahmah where Adam and Eve was reunited after they were thrown out of heaven for their disobedience in eating the forbidden fruit. We climbed up to the top using the original side rocky path for a little rock climbing adventure and were greeted with these love hopefuls who were signing their names with ‘so n so loves so n so’ in any imaginable languages one can think of–on monument built on top of this ‘Love Mountain’. Very soon at the end of the month, there will be painters painting white paint all over the monument and then there will be another set of love hopeful pilgrims with their markers signing their love messages yet again. Love is indeed a universal language :D.

Gate 87, where the husband and I would arrange to meet after each prayer time to walk back to the hotel together.

Tana’im mosque on Tanah Halal. We took vans hailed by the roadside daily to go to Tana’im to take our ‘miqat’ -intention for performing umrah. This was where I met my new friend below.

I was praying my Solat Sunat Ihram when this pregnant tabby came from nowhere and plonked herself onto me, that I had to carry her and moved her to the side of me. Then she purred and ‘golek-golek’ on my feet as though she was my long lost friend from somewhere. Then she sat next to me throughout the time I was reading the doa after solat, read my ‘niat umrah’ and till I walked out of the mosque.

Taken their miqat already, time to go back to Tanah Haram to perform the umrah. We usually go to take miqat in the morning and by the time we reach back in Tanah Haram, it would already be 10am in the morning and soon while doing the tawaf umrah, the sun would be at the hottest. That’s when the kaabah area won’t be as crowded any other times as many would be back in their hotels or indoors to rest and wait for zuhur.

Bird’s eye view from the top floor, during the hottest period of the midsummer day. Needless to say, this shot was not taken by me, who cowardly stayed indoors in the aircon.