People often tell me that I looked familiar. I am not surprised. I have this “fickle-feet syndrome” (my own weird definition: I cannot stay put in one position for long. My feet have a “short attention span”). And so you can find me anywhere and everywhere, locally and internationally. The feet love to wander. Even on local grounds like Singapore and Rotterdam. And with so much energy, I wished to share them by being of service to the world and so I volunteer for events.
One of the awe-inspiring events that I’ve been to recently was the Blaire Singer’s Train the trainer and Sales, leadership Mastery Program. I just love to meet people especially those who are mega successful. (And to meet Blaire Singer upclose and personal was OMG!) . To humbly learn from them, to see them behind the scenes/stages, to understand their “true nature” personality.
And I’ve been blessed that my crew team was also made up of fun loving dedicated and passionate individuals from all walks of life and countries. (Thank you, Richard Tan n family, Mirinda, Lynn n the awesome crew of Success Resources. They embraced me and accept me for who I am. That is when I learnt lots from each and everyone of them, even from the awesome participants of the program. Tired, for sure but I felt enlightened and empowered after every events.)
I’ve made many new friends lately, one of them is Zaf Abbas. A Malaysian who knew lots and is willing to share everything he knew without expecting anything in return.
All the “enlightened” participants have similar inspiring goals-to encourage the world to unleash their individual greatness, shine their awesomeness and be successful in their passions.
And so the journey do not stop there, I accept their friendship and ended up in Kuala Lumpur right after the event (unplanned, really..but that is me, I am the spontaneous traveller, hitchhiker or … somewhere out there in my dna, I bet there is a gene-link to great travellers like Marco Polo, Columbus or Ibn Battuta *lol )
So upon arriving the great city, what do I do? I do what I did best… Eat and travel.
I have been very “travel-sick” (like homesick but I got sick when I don’t travel…Many have commented that I have such an expensive passion. *lol) for past few months. I missed Tibet so greatly. One of the most enchanting experience of my solo world tour. That experience alone has engraved itself on a big chunk of my heart.
So when Zaf suggested that we try Xinjiang cuisine in a new restaurant, I was jumping with joy (inside) and almost rolled on the public ground in excitement. (I knew there was some form of similarity between Halal food in Tibet and Xinjiang cuisine. U may think that Tibetan food may be bland, but not the Halal food there… The migrants come from all parts of China and their neighbouring countries.)
When I checked with my partner about the location (he is also my human-GPS, thanks!) Bryan was baffled- Where got SS2 mall? Hopefully, it really is a NEW building and it is still there. (For someone like Bryan ;who always gets updated with the KL happenings and for him not to know this mall’s existence rang a warning bell in my mind, it can be that this mall is very NEW, or not popular or its location is very isolated. Either way, I also have to prepare myself in case, such malls no longer existed. Because I’ve seen new malls come and go, abandoned and isolated in Johor Bahru. Kinda sad.. )
Anyway, another enlightened participant who is a life coach by profession (Thanks Song! He created a “big shift” in me on the road, within mere hours!) drove me there. Of course, we were side-tracked for a while with the many colourful yummy Ramadan Bazaars. (Our drools were flowing beyond Niagara falls. Do click LIKE on www.facebook.com/worldhalalquest to get instant updates, the photos were uploaded there)
(You must have been wondering, where is this rambling gonna end? I know you just wanna know about the food… But what can I say, I am a very curious long-winded traveller and writer, never straight to the point, often get side-tracked… with the fancy shiny objects-the fun part of being a traveller was never the destination but always, always the journey… right? *wink)
Ok, the mall was very new. It smelled so new. I can even count the number of shops with my fingers. Even the restaurant looked sparkling NEW and clean white.(reminded me of my teeth after I visited my favourite dentist! * big grin n flashing my pearlies)
The lady staff was very friendly. We asked her to recommend us the signature dishes but she replied that everything here is delicious (good answer! Give her a hi-5!..and erm…a pay rise). We chatted with her for awhile. She told us that the cooks originate from Xinjiang. And they are Muslims. I noted the white kopiah (white prayer/haj cap) on their heads and nodded.
We ordered the popular fruit tea, some buns, handmade noodles and chicken soup. I glanced on my left and elsewhere, I noticed that the customers’ tables were all filled with beautiful food. And I noticed the servings were quite huge! (or perhaps, my Ramadan eyes were playing tricks on me! haha!)
Our food then came right on the dot, right before the azan prayer was played to denote the timing of “berbuka” (break fast). A Muslim customer came to us to share his dates with us (aww, so sweet!I love this type of unexpected kindness. The world is so kind and generous!)
Anyway, 1 jug of fruit tea was not enough. It was so refreshingly good that we gulped cups after cups after cups. Soon, the jug was empty.
Not too sweet, just perfect sweetness! Very fruity taste…there were many fruit pulps residue at the bottom of the jug. The tea consist of-prunes, hawthorns, plums, longans and many more. Sweet with a slight hint of sourness. We then ordered our second, third jugs…
Food: 4.3 love out of 5.
Ambience: 4 love out of 5.
Service: 4 love out of 5.
What I personally LOVE were their…
1) Silky smooth homemade yogurt: I noticed that they placed a bowl of sugar granules at the sides. No need for that. The sourish taste in this yogurt was unlike those plain white yogurt sold in supermarket. It was not super sour at all…just slight sourish but so smooth and creamy. The bestest ever for me! (Remember, my hometowns are Little India area in Singapore and Rotterdam, so fresh homemade yogurt are abundantly found there! Dutch and Indians are famously known for their homemade yogurts. So trust me, my tongue won’t lie. )
2) Xinjiang Kebab was ooh…. so tasty! The skewered meats were tender, moist, marinated and grilled to perfection. I was expecting the chicken breast meat to be bland, but it superseded my expectation. It was yummier than the mutton!
3)Last but not least, the one which deserved a standing ovation (applause please!) is the handmade, hand pulled Xinjiang noodles: Xinjiang Lamian with fried lamb. We tasted all varieties of Lamian noodles from the chicken, beef and lastly the fried lamb. And all of us agreed in unison that this was the bestest! (even Song who don’t fancy red meat!).
The noodles have silky smooth strands. But what made them stood out was that each noodle strands was coated with the smokiness of the full-flavoured gravy. The noodles were then garnished with fresh ingredients such as capsicums of all colours, tender fried lamb slices, cloud ear fungus (aka black ear fungus), chopped chilies and etc…They were all wading happily in the pool of smoky gravy yumminess.
I then noticed my “neighbour’s table”.. I saw flashy orangey stir-fried big prawns, chicken innards and many more! Definitely, a must-return someday. My tummy was too full to order more.
We were surprised that the Lamian noodles were even included in the simple Chicken soup (available for the Ramadan set). Hmm… too filling for me.
Yeah, do take note…their servings were huge. Almost American size.
And Xinjiang cuisine : the fusion of spices of the Uyghur people (Turkic ethnic group) and the Chinese plus their skilled cooking methods worked so well together! I’m impressed.
Heart felt gratitude:
To the passionate staff of Al-amin Xinjiang Muslim Restaurant who served us well (in the kitchen as well). WHQ’s new friends; Zaf and Song for bringing WHQ to a new restaurant for a new tummy experience. It was a fascinating and yummy discovery! Looking forward to return to this restaurant with more like-minded friends! *wink
As for me, it helped to curb my “missing-ness” of Tibet. Because the kebab reminded me of their rich-spiced food. Love it!