Our Samoan Honeymoon

Posted in Musings by dR with tags , , on September 7, 2009 by dorinranee

This is a clip of our honeymoon in Samoa. We stayed at Sinalei Resort and was just pampered throughout. An unforgettable experience with the man of my life.

Our Samoan Honeymoon from Dorin Ranee on Vimeo.

Merging of Chan-Ranee

Posted in Musings by dR with tags , , , , on September 7, 2009 by dorinranee

We did it on the 9th May 09. I am now Mrs. Jeffery Chan.

The ceremony was short and sweet. I was aware of everything that was going on around me. There were just so many things I am so grateful for and thanking God on how things just worked out for us and for all the friends and family that helped made it happen. I just want to mention the following as a way to remember the effort that made our day special.

  • Family who traveled the distance from Malaysia to be with us on our special day. Mom and Dad in law, Don & Perli, Gloria and Nicholas and Unc William
  • Mom and Dad in law for helping with the invitation cards and deco. Also for cooking yummy food and taking care of us on the days leading up to the wedding.
  • Mom who did my wedding dress alteration and taking care of bits and pieces
  • My sisters Cindy and Merlin who took charge of hospitality for the reception after church ceremony
  • Annabel for helping me through out my wedding preps and for organizing the BEST EVER Hens do. I was seriously touched…
  • Graeme and Pam Smith – a missionary couple who miraculously could attend the wedding amidst their busy schedule in and out of the country. Graeme gave a wonderful memorable wedding message on the 7 keys to a Happy Marriage.
  • David and Anne Spratt – our marriage counselors who gave their time and warm hospitality sowing into our lives
  • Mark the vicar – our outstanding and very interesting celebrant
  • The wonderful girls Jo, Eunice, Ellys, Sharon, Ching, Siaw Hui, Charlotte, Lily & Rebecca for helping out so much with the food preps, at the ceremony and dinner
  • Jazzy for being the most angelic flowergirl
  • Nicholas for bringing in the rings for us – you did very well that day!
  • Ching and Marcus, Sam and Jo, Tony and Charlotte for ushering and welcoming the guests
  • Min – the wonderful floor manager
  • Sharon and Siaw Hui for taking care of setting up and deco
  • Sam and Aaron for being groomsmen and drivers. Totally appreciate it!
  • Matt and Paul for taking amazing photos for us
  • Tim and Steven for recording our special moments on video
  • Ken and Marcus; the fantastic duos who made the dinner reception flow smoothly. I still remember your jokes Ken. Awesome job.
  • Mr Lo and team at Sunshine restaurant for preparing the wonderful food
  • Edmond Koh – our pastry chef who made us our wedding cake – Croquembouche, a french traditional wedding cake.
  • Charmaine and the awesome quartet that made the ceremony livelier and memorable with the lovely lovely music. Thank you so much!
  • Cindy for taking care of the music
  • Cindy’s in laws and family – who helped prepare and clean up at the ceremony. Thank you!
  • Sophie for the lovely lovely caricature and the photo montage video. Miss you heaps!
  • Alyssa & Natasha for doing my makeup and hair. I look gorgeous thanks to you both.
  • All our guests for witnessing our wedding

Our day closed with a dinner celebration with about 50 of our closest friends and family with lots of toasting (with loud yam-sengs), laughter and reminiscing. Our tables were named ‘LIFE’, ‘Cezanne’, ‘Carpark’, ‘Garage’ and ‘St. Mark’s’ signifying important locations for us in our journey together. It is at LIFE church that we first met, at Cezanne cafe where Jeff asked what I thought about us, at his office carpark when we decided to date each other exclusively, in the garage on our chaise lounge where he got down on his knees to ask me to marry him and finally at St. Mark’s where we became husband and wife. šŸ™‚

So how is married life? I got asked this question a lot. So here’s my answer: It’s super awesome!! It is really wonderful when you know that you married the right man at the right time. Jeff and I had our own confirmation and had God’s peace about marrying each other. There was an issue of fear that I had to deal with on my part – fear of relationship, fear of failing, etc but this was dealt with when I decided to let God be in charge. I stepped aside, took that step of faith into the relationship and never looked back since. Everything and I meant everything (wedding and life plans) just fell into place and intertwined beautifully. I could not have asked or imagined better. So how is married life? It is great. I have been enjoying living together; it really is like living with your best friend. Jeff has brought the best out of me. Married life has also taught me submission. I am still on the road of learning but I have already noticed how easily it is (compared to past relationships) to submit to him as my husband, respecting him and making decisions together.

Jeff and I are looking forward to our KL wedding reception next year – to celebrate with friends and family that could not make it here for the ceremony in New Zealand. We have not set a date yet but it would most probably be in May. We are in the midst of planning it.

That’s all for now for my musings… šŸ™‚

Durian Mornthong

Posted in Merry Meals by dR with tags , , on September 5, 2009 by dorinranee

God is so good. He created durian. Sigh…

I don’t know how to start on this one. Everything about it just makes me go ‘ohhs’ and ‘ahhhs’. It all started last Monday when Jeff and I wanted to celebrate Merdeka (Malaysia’s 52nd Independance Day) 31st August (so it happened) by making malaysian food that we miss. We had Bahkuteh on Sunday night, Sarawak Laksa on Monday followed by durian and longan after dinner.Ā  *grin* The durian was sooo good we craved for more – and I told Jeff that I will make ‘bubur durian’ (like sweet porridge) for him the next time we get a durian. Today, when I got home from work, my heart leaped when I saw a durian on the kitchen floor. Jeff had went to get us one.

So bubur durian we had for supper. It brought smiles on my face (and heart) and many fond memories of my childhood when mom would cook this and the creamy aroma would fill the whole house. *grin* I couldn’t believe that Jeff had not had this before in his life. So here’s the recipe to share my joy with you.

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Bubur Durian

4 to 5 durian pieces with whole seed, 5 tbs of sago, palm sugar and coconut milk to taste and some water. Let it simmer and thicken. Enjoy!

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Kopitiam

Posted in Merry Meals by dR with tags , , , , , , , on March 23, 2009 by dorinranee

I’m back with a treasure find of yet another malaysian eatery in Auckland – and it’s called the Kopitiam. Nestled in a suburb away from the city, Kopitiam in Panmure serves chinese Malaysian food. It’s like a travel machine stepping into Kopitiam. It reminds me of the kind of hawker stalls you get at Seri Kembangan or any villagey area in KL. It’s a small-ish shop with yellow painted – ceiling and walls. Curtains to cover doorways and corridors, the alarm clock radio with oldies playing in the background, chinese calendar on the wall and a big round wall clock are all signature decos of a villagey shop back in KL. Ha ha. Very simple layout and in a strange way I felt it’s great to have a shop like Kopitiam in Auckland. It gives that option for my food mood. Interesting.

Not the first time here, I introduced myself to the owner, TonyĀ and had a chit chat and told him what I will be doing when the food comes and that I will do a write up on my blog. _dsc47341On a Monday and here I am introducing myself as a food blog writer??!! Ok, not that I’m getting paid for this but I seriously feel the satisfaction of doing it. Maybe it’s the kepo-ness in me. (Kepo means busybody).Ā  Anyway, that’s one great advantage working for yourself and having that time flexibility. I’m typing this at home now at 4pm. Sigh.. what a waste of time. But you know what? I’m counting down the days to having these flexibility because I have something coming up in the pipeline.. and will let you know once the time is right. But soon, I won’t be going aroundĀ food joints taking pics of my lunch and blogging about it in the arvo. @@

Geez, now how did I end up talking about that? _dsc47411Back to the food… Jeff and I ordered Pan Mee and Assam Laksa!! Mmm, the photos… are you salivating already? The taste is just amazing! The laksa gravy is damn ‘kau’ and in perfect balance. It’s spicy though and in no time I had my nose running about. That just makes the laksa tastes better. The Pan Mee is definitely better than the one in Selera, Newmarket. Cheaper too by $3! This one has got mince and good portion of mushrooms in it. All takeaways on their menu is a dollar cheaper. Ahhh, good to take note. We have tried some others on the menu too like the Fried Hokkien Noodles, Bak Kut Teh, House Specialty Noodles (so-so) and the pork dumplings.

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No faults with Kopitiam. It’s worth the visit. Check them out at 139 Queens Road, Panmure, Auckland.

dorinranee rates : 5 star

Roti Canai!!

Posted in Merry Meals by dR with tags , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2009 by dorinranee

I can’t believe my eyes when I saw the hot griddle plate for cooking roti canai before me. Yes, there are other stalls selling roti canai around Auckland but it’s not like the ones you see at mamak stalls back in KL. They usually have it pre-made or frozen. You also don’t get to see them flip it in the air to stretch it apart. So I was really hyped up with this Malaysian stall within a food court in Manukau City. WhenĀ I told the man that I am going to take pics and write aboutĀ the rotiĀ in my blog, he got all ready and even striked a pose!

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His name is Sugumaran and he’s been in Auckland with his wife Kala for about 6 months now. They’ve been working at this stall for about 2 months forĀ his big boss whom we met later on; Aaron. This stall is brand new (2 months-ish) and with modern vibrant signage. Exciting. Sugu’s been a chef for the past 20 years and is from Teluk Intan, Perak. Wow, you flip it so well Sugu! Auckland definitely needs to experience the roti in a Malaysian way. After 3 years in NZ, I am really glad for this day.

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The chicken curry that accompanied it is 100% authentic. Sedap giler! Jeff had a smile plastered on his face as well. We also ordered mamak mee goreng (fried noodles) and that was superb as well. But I have to admit that I was left feeling parched all night after that and suspected MSG in the food. IĀ found out that my body reacts to MSG that way in the recent years beingĀ in NZ and I think it’s because I’ve not had MSG in my food so long and when I added MSG in a chicken dish (from a Malaysian recipe book) sometime ago, I had the same reaction – feeling parched and the lips feels like it’s breaking up. Just for fun, I experimented it again a few days later and I got the same reaction. Funny enough, I remember feeling that way back in KL – almost on a regular basis, it’s just that I thought I probably was dehydrated and didn’t relate it to MSG at all. – enlightenment has come –

Anyway, there’s lots more malaysian goodies on the menuĀ but worth mentioningĀ are the roti pisang (banana), rotiĀ telur/bawang (egg/onion)Ā and murtabak. Yes, I will come back and I do recommend you give it a go if you’re craving for some roti action. Oh, sadly, no teh tarik on the menu. Perhaps I shall put in a suggestion. At this stage, Sugu had thought I am a journalist for the newspaper and I had to explain that I do this for my own blog. We knew this because he brought out a curry puff for us to sample (on the house) and asked if I’m writing for a newspaper. He he. Wow.. if only this happens at all the eateries. That happens to be one of my listed dream job! Here’s the curry puff. I cut it in half and thought of snapping another pic of it showing the fillings… but as soon as I cut it, my hand went straight for it andĀ immediately into my mouth; gave the other half to Jeff and before we know it, it’s gone and I realised I hadn’t snapped a pic of the fillings. It’s really a ‘duh’ moment. Ha ha. But hey, the curry puff was great, just fresh from the oven. And I really like the flaky pastry.

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Malaysia Boleh! *burp* So here’s the address if you feel likeĀ venturing out to Manukau. Oh, they’re 100% halal too… if that applies to you.

TastesĀ of Malaysia. Ā Food Junction Foodcourt, 615 Great South Road, Manukau. Ph:

Olive on Nuffield St

Posted in Merry Meals by dR with tags , , , , , , , on March 21, 2009 by dorinranee

It’s a beautiful Thursday and was out and about doing wedding stuffs. Checked out the Metropolis for the wedding night accomodation just before lunch with Jeff and a family friend Winnie. The room is gorgeousss with a spectacular view of the harbour. I can just imagine getting ready in my wedding dress with the gals already. Sigh. šŸ™‚ I am just so thankful to God for this find because initially we planned to take a suite at Grand Hotel. Much more expensive and the view is….Ā the rooftop of the Sky City building. Bwahaha.

Anyway,Ā Winnie will be leaving Auckland soon after 9 months ofĀ working holiday and I thought it would be nice to take her out for lunch and spend some time with her (she’s a good friend of sis btw). We chose Olive on Nuffield St… just because I had a stack of Entertainment Book vouchers that I tore out from the book itself that offered 2 for 1 main meals and I am determine to try as many before its expiry date June 1.

Considering my bridal diet (yea right!), I chose lamb salad. When it came, I thought it looked like a pileĀ ofĀ leaves pulled from the garden. Where did the lamb go??? Ohhh, burried underneath those baby spinach. Aww… I’ve not got many comments about it. Like how do you comment on a salad? Well, it was light and the lamb tasty and I felt that I made the right choice for my bridal diet. @@ But seriously, it looked like a plate of leaves to be served to a giraffe when it arrived… that cost $21.

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And here’s what Winnie had; chicken and mushroom risotto. Ok, it had a fancier name than that but I didn’t bother memorising it. Had a taste of it and yea, just the regular risotto. Not very spectacular and IĀ would always recommend Delicious in Grey Lynn for pasta and risotto. Aww.. that brings back some memory. That’s where Jeff and I had our unintended date before we got together. šŸ˜€

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And here’s one of Winnie… šŸ™‚ Thanks for the great time sista! Wishing you the best in Kuching!

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Ā 

Kon Low Mien (Dried Noodles)

Posted in Merry Meals by dR with tags , , on March 20, 2009 by dorinranee

Jeff had a strong craving for konlow mee last Sunday. We went to Selera at Newmarket for lunch and Jeff was deciding if he should spend $12 on konlow mee or take the nasi lemak. He chose nasi lemak instead. Wise choice; as I later found out how easy it is to make your own konlow mee. Right after lunch we dropped by at the Asian supermarket and bought the noodles. Got home and I googled on how to make konlow mee and stumbled upon this great food blog. Woo… and here’s my result! It’s so damn easy and so tasty. The cost is probably $2 I would say!

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All you need is dark soya sauce, light soya sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce and some chopped garlic fried in a little bit of oil for that nice fragrance. Mix all that together. We had some spinach and pork dumplings to go with it as well. Put some water to boil, dip your noodles in for a minute or two, take it out and run it under cold water to stop the cooking apparently, then drop the spinach and dumplings in the water till cooked. The spinach should cook really quickly so probably like 15 secs or so. Then put the noodles back in the hot water to warm it up (in a stainless steel siever) just before serving; put the noodles in your bowl with all the sauce mixture and along with the vege and meat (you can use bbq roast pork, chicken, whatever) and you’re all set! šŸ™‚

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And there…we had a great slurpee yummy tasty konlow noodles for dinner that Sunday. Oh, just one thing though, the noodles that we got is not really the one used for making konlow mien. It’s sort of like a different texture and lighter in colour… nevertheless, still tasty.