Summer in Malaysia – Street Art and New Year’s Eve

Taking a break from my Japan posts to finish up my brief trip to Malaysia. The trip was largely concentrated around  family and close friends so I didn’t do that much “stuff” but got to spend lots of time with important people. See Part 1 here!

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It was my brother Kieran’s birthday. I usually miss it because I am away so I was pretty happy I could make it this time round. He already had his ultra cool party with his friends at the Escape Room at the Curve last week so this was just the dinner with family on the actual day. He’s not even in high school yet and already he’s doing a separate thing with friends! Pretty sure the next time I blink he will already be towering over me with an entourage of girls following him from behind.

We went to Neroteca in KL which the family has apparently been going to a lot for seriously good Italian food. Neroteca is non-halal but they have a halal restaurant really close by called Nerovivo.

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The boys, my stepmom and I sometimes have really similar tastes in food. Caprese is one of the dishes where we overlap! This was my first time having it with arugula, love the hint of spice but I prefer it with basil I think.

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Fritto misto is deep fried calamari and prawn with dip. I’m not sure what the dip is and why it is yellow. I ate a lot of this as some of the other dishes had pork in it. Um, and that’s surprisingly it for food photos. My family is unaccustomed to my practice of letting the camera eat first so it was pretty impossible to take photos of everything. They are super nice people but get in the way of their eating and they might eat you too!

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Reposting this rare photo of us altogether. Something, something Gen Y narcissism, I never fail to have photos and selfies with friends but I sometimes overlook this with family? I think this is because my family is immune to mass phenomenons like Instagram and selfie sticks.


On New Years Eve dad, took me shopping. We had brunch at Antipodean in Bangsar Village.

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My smoked salmon, roasted vegetables and chickpeas salad was surprisingly decent at RM25, may have to reevaluate my opinion on brunch in Malaysia. Although when the menu said “salad” I assumed it would all be combined instead of three separate portions. And speaking of menus, Antipodean doesn’t have physical paper menus so you have to study their wall menu. Found it super difficult to read, and as dad pointed out, people sitting outside would actually have to come inside to stare at the wall before they can order.

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While combing KLCC for some clothes for me, we stumbled across the #tanahairku street art exhibition. Naturally, I’ve been away so I had no idea this was even a thing. It really goes to show though that there’s so much local talent just waiting to be discovered. (Amateur opinion, not an artist nor following any form of street art or artists). It’s a real pity that I had so little time and didn’t even know about this otherwise I would’ve actually tried to go searching for all of these in their actual locations around KL.

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The purpose was to show patriotism through a street art medium. I thought this was really interesting considering street art/graffiti finds its roots in anti-establishment movements, although there is a distinction between loving your country and loving your government.

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I think this one might be my favourite. For some reason it has a real Liberty Leading The People feel for me. The rowing is strongly reminiscent of the floods that have been plaguing five of our states. You can read more about it here, it’s largely died down by now but the hundreds of thousands affected are still trying to get their lives together. I’ve donated some money to Mercy Malaysia, if you feel inclined to do so too click here.

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This is the YouTube video with interviews with all the artists plus some really cool time-lapse shots of the artists at work.

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Photo taken by Souled Out

Our New Year’s Eve was spent at Souled Out! I haven’t been to this place since my 17th/Farewell back in 2009. I also had my 10th birthday back in the day, and my 16th at WIP, another venue owned by the same group (who is also a family friend of ours). We usually spend our Christmases here too with my godparents and Marissa’s family. It’s crazy to see how much this place has changed at each milestone celebration I’ve had here.

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Food was buffet style and again surprisingly alright. Not that I’ve ever complained about Souled Out food but on a night with this many people partying it up, a restaurant could be forgiven to slip up.

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To give you an idea of how many people were there, here is a spectacular view from the top. There’s also outdoor seating, and of course seats on the floor above where I am taking this photo. You had regular waitstaff, dancing waitstaff, waitstaff dressed up like silly clowns to pimp up your photos, an insane amount of things were happening all at once so kudos to the organisers for getting it all together. Although they’ve had years and years of practice, it’s practically business as usual for them.

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Family photo!

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And making new friends through dancing.

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Festivities five minutes to midnight. And hey the fireworks here don’t have anything on Sydney’s, but they were still pretty kickass.

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Later that day my extremely-tired-from-yesterday-night cooked up a lei cha feast for a big family dinner before I head back to Sydney the next day.

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Personally, I’m not a big fan of 擂茶 but it is probably the most inventive use of green tea in cooking and also makes such a pretty picture with my mom’s special dinnerware.

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New year means new recipes in the kitchen. I tried my hand at making these matcha oreos. I know they don’t really look like oreos, I was hoping I could make more intricate patterns but my gosh cookie dough is so hard to work with. Recipe may be not so great plus the humidity in Malaysia meant it was just really, really soft. Nevertheless one of the things I really wanted to do with it was utilise my alphabet stamper that I bought in Hong Kong yonks ago and stamp the names of my family members on them.

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Many things went wrong with the brown butter icing so I opted to not fill all the cookies.

P1040534-3And that wraps up almost everything I did in Malaysia during my year end trip! Already missing everyone and I can’t wait to head back.

samanthawxlow

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