One Night In Ipoh

The most beautiful girls hail from Ipoh, which explains why I fall in love with my reflection in the mirror every morning. Yes, my creamy skin like the smoothest tofu fah, red lips like a rose bud and a delicate demeanor to match. Snort! If the first line was true, then I think I was seriously short changed. The women in my dad's family are indeed blessed with creamy complexions but there is nothing delicate about their demeanor nor robust size. Every year when we meet for the big occasions, its easy to spot the in-laws. They are thin. The rest of us, well, we're shapely.  

My grandmother, my only living grandparent, celebrated her 90th birthday this weekend. It wasn't a lavish affair. It was mainly family, distant relatives and old friends. We celebrated at Oversea and a few of us cousins decorated the place with balloons and ribbons. We took some family portraits but it was such an ordeal. Try herding 30 of your most boisterous relatives. Hah! Its no wonder we don't take family portraits often. Ten minutes later, two of my aunts are shouting at everyone to "leave" and everyone scuttled off to the restaurant. Halfway through the meal, I realised that something was missing. Well apart from some relatives who have departed and family who couldn't make it. It was too...Civilised. Gone were the days when heated arguments between siblings would ensue after a couple of whiskeys. There were near fights, with utensils too, tears, vigorous finger pointing,... In between, my late father always trying to calm him siblings down. My father always said he was a lover not a fighter. Ah, I quite miss all the drama actually. Now, everyone is much older and less passionate about fighting. Even my very feisty grandmother has mellowed. To be honest, I didn't like her much when I was growing up. Not many of us grandchildren did. She never hugged us and was quick to discipline. Now, I completely understand. She had 9 boisterous children and really, did she want to spend "quality time" with 30 more snot faced brats? I bloody wouldn't! However, at the ripe old age of 90, my grandmother now resembles a grandmother. She no longer colours her hair a dark aubergine. She doesn't criticise anymore. Instead she imparts wise and powerful words that reverberate for days and years after.

Dinner at Oversea was mediocre. We had hot & cold starter platter, sharks fin soup, roasted suckling pig with glutinous rice, steamed kampung chicken with what looks and taste like luncheon meat, sweet sour deep fried garoupa, noodles and lotus buns. The suckling pig was really outstanding! It vanished in 2 minutes on our table. There is more meat with the crispy skin and beneath that glorious fattiness is a bed of glutinous rice that has been soaking up all the lard! The rice was too oily for me. The noodles was really good. But the one that my sis and I was waiting for was Mrs Chong's butter cake. No one makes butter cake like Mrs Chong. For as long as I remember, there was no other cake, year after year, birthday after birthday. Its always marbled with chocolate, and the icing is always cream with green leaves and pink flowers. It was just as good as I remembered. I only managed 3 small slices. That night, I had major indigestion from all that rich food. After dinner, we all hung around the family home and spent most of the time reminiscing and watching the next generation play the same games we once did. 

Happy 90th Birthday Grandma! Thank you for your wise words and giving me my fun, mischievous and kind father, my amusing aunts and uncles and nutter cousins!


  1. I can see that your grandma must be very pretty during her younger days. The butter cake...soooo classic!!!

  2. YAY!! Ipoh mali too??

    Pea - you know, everyone tells me I look like my grandmother wor ;-) Haha, nolah, I don't look like her at all! Unfortunately we didn't get her slim genes! Butter cake is evil! EVIL! I am looking like a butter cake right now. Sob...

  3. Anonymous3:07 pm

    But you have creamy white skin and red lips wat... :D

    Ipoh girls - think Michelle Yeoh, think that ex-beauty queen who went to HK, think Andy Lau's wife-to-be.. :D

    The cake looks pretty intricate. Is everything on it (except the candles of cos..) buttercream?

    I'm on a nostalgic trip at the moment and am looking for a buttercream recipe that is silky and creamy, kinda like those buttercream cake creations from Angel cakehse. Do you happen to know how to make it? My current recipes are mostly grainy or too heavy.

  4. wow, 90 years old! that's awesome!

    yeah, paps, buttercake is evil. but given a choice, i would like to be killed by a buttercake rather than some robbers at the petrol kiosk...haha!

  5. Thank you GFAD! Heh heh, I'll buy coffee next time you're in KL :-)

    Actually its not buttercream. Its butter icing. A very oily one. The icing is amazing! Quite oily but worth all the calories! Yum! I have one you can try. Drop me a line so I have your email.

    Nic - I know! I think I'll be lucky to live to 70. 90 is so rare these days. Death by butter cake!! I'm having visions of you being squashed by a giant butter cake. HAHAHA

  6. I can't see the resemblance now...maybe we meet up for a yummy dinner when you turn 90...then I shall do another comparison and let you know if you look like your grandma. OK?

  7. Anonymous7:46 pm

    Isn't this the party we're supposed to gatecrash?

  8. Pea - its a date! Punch it in your diary - SEPT 2064!

    LL - errrr yes! Where were you guys?! haha. Comelah, lets go up for makan weekend!

  9. Oh dear...i hope i will still be around then.


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