Walk hand in hand…

I got to know nyonyapenang a long time ago when she was a blogger and I wasn’t but I would drop by her blog (and a number of others) very regularly to comment. Everyone was wondering who this suituapui was, male or female, why he/she did not have his/her own blog and yet they would see his/her comments all over the place. By the time I started my own blog, she had already stopped blogging but we still kept in touch…and in 2008, when my missus and I went to spend Chinese New Year with Melissa in Penang, she and her husband were in town and we met for the first time. Later that year, when Melissa and I went to KL to spend her one-week August break, we met again for lunch and in September 2009, I was in KL again, she and her hubby took me out for yong tofu and then on a tour of KL Pac.

Then sometime back, I received a phone call from her and she told me that she would like to invite me to her son’s wedding. I could not promise anything but I told her that I would try my best to attend. Eventually, I received her invitation card and since Melissa would be home by then, I thought we could just go over for a short break and at the same time, attend the wedding reception. As soon as I had booked my air tickets, I RSVP-ed (something that many Malaysians are not at all bothered to do) via sms…and got a call from her right away. She was so delighted that I could be there to share the joy on this very happy occasion.

That day, Isaac was up in Genting but subsequently, I received an sms from him saying that he would be down by around 4 or 5.00 p.m. I said that would be good and asked him if he could give us a lift to the venue of the banquet…

Oriental Pearl
*Melissa’s photo*

,,,at the Oriental Pearl of the Tai Thong group of restaurants located at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian, Golf and Country Club and that was what he did. Thanks so much, Isaac…and so sorry for troubling you and thanks a lot also for the fruits – so very sweet of you. Of course, I would not tell anyone how you were misled by your GPS (I think I could give better directions to places in KL than that darn thing) and we went on a merry-go-round before we finally got to the place via the old-fashioned way – stopping and asking someone by the roadside. Oops!!! Muahahahahaha!!!!

This was the backdrop on the stage that evening…

Backdrop

…and this was the main table for the bride and the groom and their parents and distinguished guests…

Main table

There were door gifts for all the guests – a Tai Thong mooncake in a very nice red and gold pouch…

Door gift 1

…and also a pair of chopsticks, prepared by nyonyapenang‘s older sister, also a retired teacher like me…

Door gift 2

I was reminded of my MUET lesson one year where I asked the students to brainstorm and list the things that a solitary chopstick would bring to their minds. A pair of chopsticks, of course, would symbolise togetherness – one would be quite useless without the other.

The menu for the evening had all kinds of fanciful, somewhat pompous names for the dishes and this first one was the Oriental Pearl Four Season Hot Combinations…

Four Seasons

In Sibu, we usually have more than four…and when it’s supposed to be hot, it is served steaming hot. When it is something like this, we would call it the “cold dish” (leng pua).

The Braised Shark’s Fin Soup with Seafood Treasures sounded promising…

Shark's fin soup

…but at best, I thought it was just so-so. Melissa enjoyed it tremendously though as she had not had that for a long time – especially now that I would not have it at our sit-down full 8-course Chinese dinners. Hmmm…treasures? What treasures? I don’t see no treasures?

I loved the duck in this BBQ Roasted Duck & Roasted Chicken dish…

Roast duck & chicken

…but the fish was a let-down…

Steamed fish

It was supposed to come in third according to the menu but was served fourth instead and it wasn’t so bad that it was not piping hot – the so-called Steamed Australian Grouper with Soy Sauce was hard, not soft and sweet…and the ladies at the table said that it had been overcooked.

Thankfully, the Chef Special Two Varieties of Prawns was good…

Prawns

The steamed ones with mayonnaise were ok but I particularly loved the Nestum/cereal ones. I think I had quite a lot of that.

I wasn’t really into the vegetarian Braised Assorted Mushrooms with Vegetables…

Vegetarian

…and I wished they had all glutinous rice for their Fried Glutinous Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaves dish…

Fried glutinous rice

– there was no sign of the lotus leaves though when it was served. On the contrary, the ladies at the table quite liked it that way though – mixed with ordinary rice so it was not really that sticky.

Lastly came the desserts – the Sweetened Longan Sea Coconut with White Fungus…

Longan white fungus

…and the Two Double Pastries…

Deep fried Chinese pancake

– thus named owing to the two different types of filling in the Chinese deep-fried pancake.

I hear that a table like this in KL would cost over RM1K at a place like Bukit Kiara or in the hotels. Good grief! We can have a RM350 table in Sibu and get stuff a whole lot nicer, believe you me.

At my table was a mummy blogger, Laundry Amah, who turned out to be a friend of Annie-Q and Elaine. Gee! Small world indeed! Then there were others such as willphua and King’s Wife and another one named Matthew – I didn’t quite catch the name of his blog but if I’m not mistaken, like nyonyapenang, they are all no longer active. The blank looks on their faces when I introduced myself by my real name told me that it did not ring a bell but when I said that I was suituapui, one of them exclaimed, ” Oh! The famous suituapui!!!” Blush! Blush! I would have scrambled under the table to hide but I think I would be a bit too big to do that without knocking everything over. LOL!!!

Well, on the whole, it was a delightful evening. The food may not be anything to shout about but still, I had quite a lot that I enjoyed and had my fill but more importantly, I sure am glad that I could be there to share the joyous occasion of a friend and I did find the songs played by a trio in attendance very entertaining – when the bride and the groom entered the hall, they sang “Walk Hand in Hand”, a golden oldie by Engelbert Humperdinck. Good grief! It had been so long since I last heard the song and throughout the evening, there were nice songs like this one, old and new.

Thanks so much, nyonyapenang and hubby, for the invitation and congratulations once again and all the best to your son and your daughter-in-law. Cheers!!!