"It was just last year.
By fate's design, that I laid eyes on this rare animal.
She was ebony in colour. Mysterious yet enchanting, masculine yet graceful, harsh yet gentle, a true diamond in the rough. She soars not, dawdle not, but rather strut her way through existence. Her quill cloaked her sagely wisdom as she is perspicacious. Yet in her deadly pulchritude, lies a magnanimous matron."
Man, getting quite dark over there. But anyway. Last year, Faiz brought me to one of his usual lunch break location in Sri Gombak, Bamboos Thai Cafe. It was there where Faiz introduced me to Alina a.k.a. Black Swan. Another human being which shares the same destiny and misfortune of those with command over language but are doomed to its curse. After almost 10 months knowing her, hanging out with her, went singing and dining with her, it was time to bid adieu to this beautiful friendship. A friendship that was not based on our sense of passion over insulting others, or that we share the same interest. It was those kind of friendship that survived on the intelligent banter and vehement mooting over significant issues of the world. She finally decided to spread her wings and glide through the air over the sea to another land. The land where Kangaroo called home. It was time. Time for her to broaden her mind and attain as many wisdom as she can to better herself. Alas, a soiree needed to be arrange for her flight.
It was then decided that we should held a farewell dinner for our lovely yet macho lady friend, Alina. Chilis was the chosen location. Not the outlet in KLCC, but all the way to Chilis at Empire Shopping Gallery in Subang. Sort of out of the way, don't you think? Considering where I'm living right now. Well, nothing beats going to distances for a friend that worth the hassle to be with. We got there just in time before 6pm, which was the appointed time. Well, we would have made it sooner if it weren't for me being late, coming home back from a work event of RLC. Since it is sort of a ritual for us (us and we, being Faiz and myself) to grab ourselves a cup of Starbucks, we wouldn't miss the chance to do so since we haven't had one in a while.
But we didn't stay long at Starbucks because the rest, except for our guest of honor had already reached Chilis before we even set foot in the Empire building itself. Okay, I was excited, I'm not going to lie. I haven't been eating at fancy places in a while now (financial crisis at it's peak). So I was extremely hysterical when Faiz told me about our location a week earlier. I told myself (and Faiz too!), it doesn't matter how expensive the place is, I'm going to find any means to get cash to spend there (which I did).
Our party that night was around eight people. Myself and Faiz, Azman (Faiz's colleague) and Sakinah (his adorable wife), Razlin (Faiz's colleague too) and Wawan (her son), Kak Faridah (their editor), and our own Black Swan, Alina. I'm not going to lie, I was betwixt and between when it comes to selecting my entree and appetizers. There was just so many delicious dishes to choose from. Well, they don't actually have that much for each type of food, but the choices that were presented to us was even hard to pick from. I ended up with the Soup of the Day with a side of Salad and Buffalo Wings to begin with, and Firecracker Fish Fillet for my main. Faiz opted for Texas Cheese Fries for a starter course, and Monterey Chicken for a sating dinner meal.
Okay, pardon for the not-so-impressive representation of the dishes. These photos were only taken using camera phone. As usual, I would be giving my thoughts on the food. Not a professional review, let me warn you beforehand though. My Soup of the Day was a generous amount of Mushroom Chicken Soup in a bowl with three wheat crackers on the side. And I do really mean generous. I could have simply become full with just that bowl of soup. I chose Ceaser Salad for my Side of Salad that go along with the soup dish. And once again, Chilis manage to surprised me with the portion of the salad which was supposed to be just a 'side dish'. I was actually having trouble to finish it all up. Thankfully, Alina and Kak Faridah was kind enough to help me finish it by having a bite every now and then.
After that two bowl of supposedly 'light' opening platters, I was so full that I can't even began to think about eating my other appetizers, and not to mention haven't even begun to take a bite in my main course. Time for a ciggy break. Faiz too. He was so full with the fries that he had stopped eating for a while and take a puff of ciggy as we (the whole gang, of course) chatted on and on. And afterwards, we would continue again with our foods. To my disappointment, the Firecracker Fish Fillet haven't live up to its name. The fish was delicious no doubt; tender and soft. But the seasonings were just too.......light. I could barely even taste the purportedly spicy sauce that was smeared all over the fish. Thankfully, there were slices of bird eye chilies on top with what I assumed to be lime/lemon juice. But I digress. Even with that dish itself, I was full because it came with a serving of rice. You do the thinking.
We spent around four hours there, sharing stories between one another, reminiscing the good and the bad, the joys and pain of working in their company, and the hardship of doing translating. It was a good insight on how the company goes about with their flow of work and their employer's mentality towards the employees. Accompanying with that particular conversation was this premium, individually packed Kretek that Azman provided that night. Man, it was neat. I haven't had something that strong for quite a while now.
As the night went on, Kak Faridah and Razlin had to leave. And so were down with five people. But that doesn't hinder us from conversing and engaging in interesting humour of the working world. However, these kind of conversation calls for a different drink that is more suited to the mood. So we left Chilis and went outside of the Empire Shopping Gallery and wound up in a mamak's place nearby Subang Parade.
The conversation went on and on and on. It was like a free flow of thought-provoking issue one after another, ranging from the working life to the educational system and perception in Malaysia, and various other perplexing matter. The conversation was even sparked up with a hint of aristocratic imitation with cigars in our hands.
That was actually my first time smoking a cigar. Albeit it's not the expensive fat types, but it is still a good one. It took me over 20 minutes and over to actually finish it. It was awesome. I think I might invest in cigars the next time we went out for an outing with al-fresco dining location. It's a brilliant idea. We spent about more than two hours at the mamak's stall until it was time to leave. I said my goodbyes because that is probably the last time I would be able to see her in a very long time. Azman and Faiz would still have chance to see her one last time on the day of her flight because they would be accompanying her. I wish I could tag along, but I need to know my limit and don't push it.
And so that was the end of our soiree that night. Bon nuit, and au revoir, a night of good memories, with good food and company had to end. We wish all the best for your future endeavour, may your wishes come true.
p/s: I seemed to have lost touch in writing these kind of journal entries. I haven't been writing this kind of post since I left Unisel. I used to write a lot of these journal entries in my old blog, but since the start of this new blog, I haven't had the chance to write any. More of my recent post talk about different things. So please forgive me if I'm dragging this post too long and lost focus in the middle.