A milestone, 2013.

I first started this blog four years ago, on the night I touchdown in Manchester. It was my first journey overseas, although flying from Miri to KL was technically “over (the) seas”. Get the pun? Continue reading

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Wang Lee Hom, Il Divo and Yundi Li

Concert week!

This week, I’ve been to three live concerts/performances, in three different cities.

  1. Wang Lee Hom  王力宏 at O2 Arena, London
  2. Il Divo at Manchester Arena, Manchester
  3. Yundi Li at St George Hall Liverpool

  These artists/bands need no introduction, so here are some of the best pictures I’ve taken during the show!

Wang Lee Hom

15 April 2013

The arena wasn’t completely full although the most expensive tickets, i.e. the floor seating and the seats closest to the stage has been sold out. The crowd was full of Chinese people; it’s rare to see any other races there, but we did! Lee Hom concert was very lively with all the stage performances, dances and featured short clips. Photography was allowed, and I had to juggle between taking videos and pictures. #firstworldproblems. HAHA!

MusicMan II Open Fire stage

I had to feature this picture below. Simply beautiful!

LeeHom (3)

LeeHom (7)

LeeHom (8)

LeeHom (9)

LeeHom (16)

LeeHom (17)

LeeHom (18)

LeeHom (20)

LeeHom (25)

LeeHom (26)

He ended the concert with the song: Kiss Goodbye.

Il Divo & Katherine Jenkins

16 April 2013

The following day, I came back to Manchester from London and head to the second concert! I didn’t know until almost the end that photography wasn’t allowed, when a security guard came up and signaled me to take my camera down *tears* But on the bright side I managed to record the song “Mama”. When they sung “mama”, my heart melted inside. So. freaking. GOOD!

The lighting in this concert was brilliant – I bet the Live Concert CD (if there is) is going to be amazing.

Il Divo (8)

Quite the entrance, eh?

Il Divo (4)

Il Divo (7)

Il Divo (6)

Il Divo (5)

Il Divo (3)

Three extremely crazy fans!

Il Divo (2)

Il Divo

They ended their performance with “Time to say Goodbye” 😀

Yundi Li

19 April 2013

I went down to Liverpool for less than 6 hours just to walk around and listen to him play. This made me miss my (out-of-tune) piano just a little bit.  Loving the architecture of the building – I should have been a civil engineer instead.

Il Divo (9)

As it was clear that photography wasn’t allowed, so I only took a picture of him after his final song.

Yundi

And this marks the end of my concert week.. 🙂

Someone asked me, which of these are the best? There are all different.

And perhaps that is what makes them special.

Various Cuisines in Manchester

I love taking pictures of food, especially those with good presentation. Although we are working around busy university schedule, we occasionally take the time to dine out, sometimes we want to try something new, other times we stick to the usual chinese cuisine.  While this is not a food blog, these are some of the nice places and cuisines I’ve eaten around Manchester.

CHINESE CUISINE

Fu’s

Our most frequent visit in our first two years in Manchester. The price is reasonable and it comes with free sesame seed balls!

Sesame Seed Balls

Sesame Seed Balls

Han Dynasty

A  choice of hot pot or karaoke room!

Hot Pot

Hot Pot

Han Dynasty (3)

Kwok Man

Kwok Man (1)

Sea Bass

Sea Bass

Ocean Treasure 235

Located at near the AMC Cinema, the food presentation is impeccable. We only come to this restaurant for special occasions like birthdays.

Ocean Treasure

Soft Shell Crab

Soft Shell Crab

Squid

Squid

Ocean Treasure (1)

Pacific

Best dimsum place in Manchester! Some may argue that Glamorous is better, but pacific is nearer!

"chen shao"

“chen shao”

Jiao Ji

Jiao Ji

Pacific

Pearl City

Egg tarts

Egg tarts

ARABIC CUISINE

Petra
Victoria Park M13 0HR

I came here once after my design project. It was quite a long bus ride from my place… but it is my first try on Arabic food. Don’t really know what the dishes are called, but each  gives a unique taste to my palate.

Petra (1)

Petra (2)

Petra

ARGENTINEAN CUISINE

Gaucho Grill
Deansgate M3 2LB

While this place is well-known for its steak, being a non-beef eater I had fish and some had lamb. I hear the steak are amazing, but what’s even better —- the complimentary freshly baked bread!

Complimentary bread

Complimentary bread

Fish

Fish

Lamb

Lamb

AMERICAN CUISINE

Alchemist
Spinningfields M3 3HF

The food is pretty standard but the drinks are quite interesting. Should definitely try some cocktails.

Fish and Chips

Fish and Chips

Crispy Baby Calamari

Crispy Baby Calamari

Red Grape Cooler

Red Grape Cooler

Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK)
Old Trafford

While GBK has many franchise worldwide including Malaysia, it is my first time I’ve heard of it. The atmosphere is nice, and the greek lamb is amazing. It is my first time trying skinny fries too 🙂

GBK (4)

Greek Lamb Burger

Greek Lamb Burger

Skinny fries

Skinny fries

Onion Rings

Onion Rings

TGIF

Prawn Salad

Prawn Salad

TGIF (1)

ASIAN FUSION

Vermillion Cinnabar
Hulme Hall Lane, M40 8AD

Vermillion
Vermillion (1) Vermillion (2)
Vermillion (3) Vermillion (4)

GREEK CUISINE

Rozafa
City Centre M2 4EQ

Rozafa (1)

Rozafa (2)

Rozafa

INDIAN CUISINE

East Z East
Princess Street, M1 7DG

HAHA, i always thought this was pronounced “East-to-East”. This place offers high service and good environment with moderate price.

East to East starters

East to East starters

Lamb Skewers

Lamb Skewers

Zouk
Oxford Road, M1 5QS

Although the food is good, this place offers inconsistent service. Been here a couple of times and sometimes the service is tuh-rie-ble..

Lamb Mix Grill

Lamb Mix Grill

ITALIAN CUISINE

Don Giovanni

Best spaghetti carbonara I’ve tasted! (And I’ve tried spaghetti carbonara in Italy as well).

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

Risotto

Risotto

Felicini
City Centre, M1 5EE

Bruschetta

Bruschetta

Prawn Spaghetti

Prawn Spaghetti

Cafe Rouge
Deansgate M3 2ER

Duck Confit

Duck Confit

Zizzi
Deansgate

ZiZZi

San Carlo
City Centre, M3 2WY

San Carlo

San Carlo

"Tiger Prawn"

“Tiger Prawn”

3 in 1 Pasta

3 in 1 Pasta

Rosso
City Centre

A semi-fine dining so we dressed semi-casually for dinner!

Rosso

Rosso (3)

Rosso (2)

JAPANESE CUISINE

Samsi
Whitworth Street

Located just opposite my apartment, I’ve frequent this restaurant over the past four years for so many times I’ve lost count. There was a secret basement place that offers food half the price, but they decide to remove it (after a fire?) in my final year.

Chicken Curry Katsu

Chicken Curry Katsu

Sukiyaki

Sukiyaki

Sushi  and Sashimi Platter

Sushi and Sashimi Platter

KOREAN CUISINE

Bandibul
City Centre M2 4EG

Ddukbokkie 떡볶이  / Rice Cake /

Ddukbokkie 떡볶이 / Rice Cake

Bibimbap 비빔밥 / Mixed Rice

Bibimbap 비빔밥 / Mixed Rice

Ddukbokkie 떡볶이  / Rice Cake /

Ddukbokkie 떡볶이 / Rice Cake /

MEXICAN

Barburittos

Fajitas

Fajitas

SPANISH CUISINE

La Tasca
Deansgate M3 2FW

Tapas - prawn

Tapas – prawn

Paella

Paella

La Tasca

Desserts

Desserts

THAI CUISINE

Try Thai
Chinatown

Try Thai (1)

Try Thai starter

Try Thai starter

TURKISH CUISINE

Efes Restaurant
Princess Street, M1 6HR

Buffet style

Buffet Counter

Buffet Counter

Profiteroles

Profiteroles

VIETNAMESE CUiSINE

I Am Pho
Chinatown M1 4HF

Excellent  service and food!

Bun rieu cua - noodles with minced crab

Bun rieu cua – noodles with minced crab

Nem Cuon Tom - Prawn Rolls

Nem Cuon Tom – Prawn Rolls

Handmade Noodle King
Chinatown

Chicken Satay Handmade Noodles

Chicken Satay Handmade Noodles

Lamb satay

Lamb satay

TEAS & DESSERT

BEST SECTION FOR LAST! 😀

Archies
Oxford Road

Million Dollar Shake

Million Dollar Shake

Dessert Room
Chinatown

This place plays korean songs – unfortunately I’m not a fan. But the snow ice is worth coming back for.

Pandan Waffles

Pandan Waffles

Durian snow Ice

Durian snow Ice

Mango snow ice

Mango snow ice

Green Tea Snow Ice

Green Tea Snow Ice

Patisserie Valerie
Deansgate

We order a lot of our birthday cakes here.

Birthday cake

Birthday cake

img_3733

Sugar Junction

Sugar Junction (1) Sugar Junction

Teacup and Cakes

Scones

Scones

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Flourless Chocolate Cake

Spicy Tomato Soup

Spicy Tomato Soup

Organic Pink Rose Buds Tea

Organic Pink Rose Buds Tea

Bagel Nash
Manchester Arndale

After much recommendation, I decide to give this a try – and it’s worth it!

Crayfish & Avocado Bagel

Crayfish & Avocado Bagel

Cafe Nero

Cafe Nero hot chocolate

Cafe Nero hot chocolate

Cafe Nero cappuccino

Cafe Nero cappuccino

Hehe, if you’ve reached all the way to the end of this post, congratulations! There are about 100 pictures in this post! 😀

Are you hungry now?

Chinese New Year 2013

Happy Chinese New Year to all my readers! May this year be a happy and prosperous year to all 🙂 This is the year of the snake, so hiss-hiss!

吉祥话

吉祥话 – auspicious wishes

The picture (below) signifies home. I took this picture last summer; the foreground – part of a new year decoration that we didn’t take off for many years now, and the background – part of living room back home. *smile*

Town Hall

Town Hall with New Year decorations

Celebrating the lunar new year is very important Chinese tradition.Being in my forth year abroad, I am fortunate to be able to keep this tradition alive, although me and my friends have to improvise a little. We make our own cookies, fry our own keropok and cook our own dishes. The most important part: spending time with the people we care about. We had steamboat on Thursday, potluck at my place on Friday, a CNY reunion at Kwok Man restaurant, and CNY dinner at HQ place 🙂

The making of momos

The making of kuih momo

Keropok

Keropok

Friday 8 February 2013

We had our CNY reunion a day early because Ying was going to London the next day for CNY eve TT. And no celebration will be complete without the four of us! There were a lot of homemade food; cooked many different dishes, including my first steamed fish. In fact, we had so many dishes until we could not fit all onto the dining table and have to move to a bigger coffee table. 😀

08_Chinese New Year_04

10_Chinese New Year_03

Many thanks to Ee Lin for walking all the way back to W3 and sharing the Yee Shang. This dish was usually served as appetizer (although we had it as dessert) and used as a symbolism of “good luck” for the new year. THANK YOU!

Yee Sang 鱼生

Yee Sang 鱼生

Mixing of Yee Sang 鱼生

Mixing of Yee Sang 鱼生

I particularly like the picture below, although we are missing  a few people in the picture – WL, EL and SL! And look at Ying’s reindeer ears. 🙂

08_Chinese New Year_11

That night, we made some tang yuan, because we didn’t have it during theWinter Solstice in December 2012. It was a different way of making tang yuan, but delicious nevertheless! It would be more awesome if we have pink colourings 🙂 Look at the turtle that Ying made!

10_Chinese New Year_02

Saturday 9 February 2013

The actual Chinese New Year eve date. We had a reservation at Kwok Man restaurant.

Kwok man dishes

Kwok man dishes

09_Chinese New Year_06

09_Chinese New Year_08

We were all flushed from laughing throughout the night. There was a cute waiter that could surprisingly match our hair-wired frequency. Started of with asking Matthew if he wanted to eat from the large rice bowl because he was holding the bowl while talking to the rest of us. Then when he was taking a picture for us, the ones standing seemed to be deciding something, so he jokingly asked us the reason that we are so busy. The next part is the funniest – LZ misplaced one of her earring, and we went back into the restaurant and searched underneath our table. The waiter was still there and asked us the very same question he asked few minutes earlier. I figured tt would be a while before we went back to the restaurant! 

Sunday 10 February 2012

The actual Chinese New Year date. Shortly after the clock ticked 12, we finished a few games of Bridge and then I skyped with my family at home until 5 in the morning. 😀  it was wonderful to catch up and the little things made me smile – especially the part about the internet not responding when the cordless phone is used. HEHE!

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My 1111th picture  of the year (in my camera) – mandarin oranges!

09_Chinese New Year_07

Once again, a Happy Chinese New Year to all!:)

2012 in Review

Ending 2012 on a good note because… it’s not the end of the world!

Jokes aside, 2012 is indeed a great year.

An overall recap for 2012: I went to concert for the first time in my life in March, and later, a farewell tour by Westlife in June. I also went for orchestra, and watched Phantom of the Opera musical and went for Harry Potter Studio Tour. I was part of Robogals and wrote a piece that got published in the Robogals monthly newsletter. On travel, I went to Oslo and Bergen in Norway, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Mulu, London in UK, Krakow in Poland as well as Venice, Florence, Pisa and Rome in Italy. I witnessed two wonders of the world, both the Colosseum and leaning tower of Pisa. Besides, I also went to several UNESCO World Heritage such as Bryggen in Norway, Mulu Cave in Malaysia and Salt Mine in Poland. I got to spend the beginning and end of summer at home. Continue reading

October Birthdays

Entering my forth year in university,  I am excited to be back in Manchester. Manchester no longer feels like a foreign place I need to explore, but rather a second home that I can fall back into a routine so easily.

September and October are the two most happening months in the term year. I am particularly excited to see the others whom I haven’t seen since the start of summer. After Poland trip, we fill our remaining ten days in September with eating outs and potlucks/chilling at friend’s places. In two short months, we celebrated six birthdays; CK, PH, HQ, YL, GY, ML. It started with CK’s birthday in Pearl City, then PH’s in Felicini, HQ in Café Rouge, YL&GY in Sapporo Tepanyaki and finally, ML’s at San Rocco.

CK’s birthday SEPT30

 The term kicked start with the first birthday celebration at Pearl City. I made a card inspired by dawn5377, and we chose a Swarovski bracelet. The cake White Chocolate Dream Gateau from Patisserie Valerie was ah-ma-zing.

PH’s birthday OCT13

We went to an Italian restaurant called Felicini. I had the Crab and Coriander Linguini (flaked white crab meat, coriander & ginger pesto & chilli jam) It was really delicious. We headed up to WL’s place later.

HQ’s birthday OCT17

 This time, we went to a French restaurant Cafe Rouge. The dishes wasn’t that good, but the duck confit I had was quite yummy. We gave HQ a gift card 😀

YL&GY’s birthday OCT19-20

The Sapporo Teppanyaki is a Japanese Sushi and Noodle bar. Located in Castlefield, it was a good twenty minutes walk. It is probably the most expensive place I’ve been to; in my opinion, the food didn’t quite match up to the price, but the little show they put on kept us entertained throughout.

After that, we had the birthday cake at YL&ML’s place. I kind of blurred out the rest of the night because I was sleeping at a corner. TEEHEE.

ML’s birthday OCT26

It was surprise… failure! We were at his place when we were notified that he would enter the apartment too.  All of us who were already there rushed to YL’s room for a hideout and surprise him in the middle of his game.

On top of all the birthday cakes we’ve eaten, I had my try in baking. I tried baking New York Cheese Cake twice, but they haven’t come to my satisfaction yet. For the extra ingredients on my first try, I made a lemon sour cream cake (matt’s cake). Baking & eating cakes are guilty pleasure, considering how many sugars and butters and cheese that were used.

When we’re not having potlucks or birthday parties, we had a couple of badminton and squash sessions. I also participated for the Manchester Science Festival as part of Robogals. There were cool robots to amuse little kids. Most of them were more interested in building the robot rather than programming the robots. It was a nice sight to see the kids light up when they see the robot move, talk or display a smiley face.

November’s getting a little chilly, we can all expect a little snow this winter. 😀