Sunday, 19 June 2016

"You don't have stories"

I once asked an editor of a well-known magazine, "When are you going to put me on the cover?" He perplexedly and hesitantly replied, "You don't have stories".

It took me a while to understand that.

I was still naive of the 'entertainment industry' at that time. Now I understand "no stories" mean no "commercial value" or "you are a bit on the 'older' side".

I always knew I had and still have lots of stories to tell and I have abundance (try me!) of substance. I do understand it well now. I know I have followers as twice I have been a finalist for most popular Celebrity Chef categories for two important (I think) awards in the country.

Despite that, I still don't have my 'own' show. In fact, both times when I was shortlisted, I was the only one had no TV or any project going on.

Well, despite the 'popularity', I still don't 😂😂😂. I guess, who wants to put you on the cover or any limelight when they have better looking younger people to choose from?

Pics don't speak substance or substance can be written for. I am not saying it's happening but it's just my observation for the past few years I have been in the 'industry'.

I haven't been feeling my age for quite sometime until tonight. I was given a free VIP ticket to see Greyson Chance and I thought "Oh well, why not?" I am sure it could be fun. After all I had those experiences gig'ing' and raving it in London in my younger days.

I arrived greeted by deafening noise of screaming girls (obviously not for me but for the Greyson dude). I thought his singing wasn't that bad but I just felt out of place. I felt old and I was kind of pushing myself to fit in. I stayed for two songs and rushed to the closest bar and had a drink.

I felt relieved and I could breathe my real age. Now I do understand fully that editor of that magazine or the producer of that programme didn't want to experience the same thing I just did by putting the 'wrong' person in the 'right' platform.

I have just finished my drink now, breathing more naturally, contented, with life as it is a funny thing and I am so blessed that I still could do most things that matter in my book of 'living'.

This is my Abah.

Abah taught us all about 'kesederhanaan' in life. He is selfless. A loner. And a lover. He always says his life is only for his one wife and 8 children.

I never met anyone who respected and was proud of his job like Abah was. He was a labourer in an oil palm factory all his working life.

Now Abah is retired, he spends his time playing with his grand sons and watching Tamil movies on TV. Despite loving the Tamil cinema, Abah is half Chinese and half Bugis. Nothing is too straight forward in our family and for that we are very blessed.

I love you so much Abah. Happy Abah's day to you and all fathers and men in the world!

#Abah #Chinese #bugis #humble #love #selfless

Sunday, 12 June 2016

I love the work ethic and the independence of our Chinese society in Malaysia or in general.

This is the older lady I get my fish from sometimes, in the Market in China town. She's old and frail looking but still very strong in the mind and physically! I love the work ethic and the independence of our Chinese society in Malaysia or in general. I hope and pray I will still be working and looking after myself independently at her age!
#Chinese #late #grandma #missing #her

Saturday, 11 June 2016

In life, the most easy thing to give but difficult to have is honesty.

In this very selfish world, everyone is just busy with greed, wealth and labels.

That's why I am a loner as I find it difficult to trust anyone when they bother about you. 

Networking = business = money
Charity too = publicity = money. 

It's just ridiculously hideous! 

I used to think (a lot) about joining the Dalai and live a simple life denouncing this temporary world! Maybe that's my calling!

Oh by the way fasting = bazaarssss Ramadhan and overindulge!

Friday, 27 May 2016

Now, how can I not love you bloody English?

The Ship Damansara.

I was working here 27 years ago as a waiter. I remember shying away from customers when they tried to order their food and drinks in English.

I couldn't even understand "can I have a fresh orange please". That was the moment of change when I said to myself, "I need to conquer this bloody language".

With determination, I embarked my love affair with English through a loyal friend called Dictionary. The affair then led my path to move to the country!

I am now married to Dictionary in a happy triangular fashion with English. I still go to the Ship whenever I am in need of that nostalgic piece of steak.

Yes, I know there are other places that serve much better pieces of meat but nothing beats a love story that changed the path of your life! Now, how can I not love you bloody English?

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

The idea is traditional but the cooking is forward thinking, not trendy.

Perfect slices of roast beef are not 'hipster'. 

They are old school done with passion, technique and honesty. 

They are not fashionable! 

The idea is traditional but the cooking is forward thinking, not trendy.

'The complete Soto Johor'

"Chef, soto you memang sedap! Tapi satu je kurang."

"Apa dia?", tanya saya.

"Begedil" jawab si pelanggan sambil tersenyum.

Saya membeliakkan mata dan menutup mulut! Terkesima dengan kelalaian sendiri. Saya mengakuinya seraya terpacul perkataan "Maaf" kepada si Pelanggan.

Esoknya kami di The Canteen by Chef Adu terus membuat begedil untuk melengkapkan Soto kami.

Komen yang begini amat saya hargai kerana ianya ikhlas dan disampaikan terus kepada saya.

Saya tidak sempurna. Acap kali saya akan menyapa pelanggan bertanya khabar dan minta feedback tentang apa yang dihidangkan. 

Lebih afdal jika 'ketidakpuasan hati' dilemparkan ke muka saya bila saya bertanya. Lebih 'mulia' dari bila berdepan semuanya ok dan kemudiannya 'mengomel' di FB atau insta mereka.

Alhamdulillah selama 5 minggu saya menghambakan diri mengambil pesanan, membuat air, menyedikan makanan dan membasuh pinggan, hanya satu saja komen yang agak menyentuh hati k ulinari dipaparkan di muka FB.

Saya sudah 23 tahun memasak, namun masih peka dengan ilmiah dan kehendak manusia yang kekadang amat demanding.

Dalam hidup ini ada yang suka, ada yang benci.

Itu lumrah.

So, as I used to say in my restaurant in London (uolssss!) if you like our restaurant, tell your friends, if there's anything wrong tell US!" 🙏🏽🙏🏽🙏🏽