The Sunday Husband

The Daily Grind

Sundays used to mean getting up at the break of dawn, for running up the steps at Batu Caves or hiking in the green-canopied hills of Bukit Gasing, and then the wonderfully greasy roti pisang and a cup or two of the most fragrant teh halia tarik in the world, which we lucky fellows can find right here, in our neighbourhood. And all this accomplished before ten in the a.m.

I used to be mad, of course.

I have seen the light, or rather, I no longer see the complete darkness of not-yet-dawn when I awake during the weekends. If it can believed, this Energizer Bunny now sleeps in. In fact, by the time we awoke this Sunday morning, it was barely morning anymore. And we almost didn’t get out of bed, the bed being so warm and enveloping, and the chill from the overnight air-conditioner so slumber-inducing.

But. My tummy was grumbling. Well, growling, rather. I am not called Zhu Bajie (Pigsy from ‘Journey to the West’, infamous for his gluttony, sloth and lust) without good reason. Last count saw me eating EIGHT times a day on average. And besides my less-than-lovely love handles, I’m all skin and bones. Sighs.

My apologies; I digress.

With the threat of the day switching fast to the wrong side of noon pretty soon, we dragged ourselves out of bed (well, you forced me, rather) and freshened up quickly with the promise of a hearty brunch on our lips. The Lady Lemongrass had rhapsodised about this particular corner of Bangsar with prime meat for big appetites and away we went, to The Daily Grind. (Which was oddly named for this instance of us being as far from the daily grind of work as we could imagine. Little did I know the labour that would follow for poor ol’ me.)

Fresh and friendly faces welcomed us into the dark corners of the restaurant, so soothing after the beating of the stark, unfiltered sun outside. We melted into the soft leather seats and proceeded to order our coffees and our burgers. Ah yes. The burgers. Freshly made each day; even the chili sauce and ketchup were home-made.

(Friends and foes would know the story of how I used to consume tomato ketchup by the truckloads as a kid and avoid anything spicy like the plague; and then, upon hitting puberty, switched things around. Now I distance myself from all things ketchupy and worship the Spicy and the Pedas.)

I had this Japanese Yodel burger — a freshly-made beef burger (did I hear a plaintive moo! from the kitchen? oh dear, was that what they meant by a Japanese yodel?) with lush porcini mushrooms and portobello tempura, all lovingly layered with a creamy fondue sauce. Yours was Norwegian salmon delicately folded upon a mound of grilled chicken and lots-of-cravings-satisfying pickles. And the crispy, buttery buns! I could munch on the stuff all day, they were that good.

And you know what? I even had my fries with some of that ketchup. Who says my tastes never change, eh?

Kenny plays househusband

Of course, now I know I shall never attempt another bout of food-reviewing. I simply do not have what it takes, my friends. All I managed was a smörgåsbord of floury adjectives and cheesy clichés. I best leave this to the experts then. I shall stick, instead, to what I’m good at — a banquet of flowery adjectives and clichéd cheese. (Yes, there is a difference. Hmmph.)

Still, the day isn’t over. So I may redeem myself yet for this dismal mockery of food-blogging. See, while I enjoyed the day like a verifiable tai-tai, there was still dinner to be reckoned with. Who would have known that I would transform into a househusband in the evening?

Helping you to clean up the apartment? Check. A back massage with a soothing and relaxing concoction of essential oils? Check. Putting you to sleep, snuggly-wuggly? Check. Cooking dinner from scratch, something I have not done since my student days in Germany, when I hosted dinner parties of fifteen pax? Wha..?

Relax. I have everything under control. How difficult could this be? (Famous last words, eh?)

Let’s begin with a poor man’s version of the wonderful Tigerfish‘s Soba Noodles in Tahini Sesame, Nori and Pork Floss. Poor man’s version for I couldn’t find any pork floss in Bangsar. (They must not have a chapter of Babitarians Anonymous. Pakcik Nik should do something about this, ahem.) And then my world-famous (well, in Munich and Milano, anyway) Enoki Chicken with Red Peppers and Dried Peppercorn. And to finish the meal on a sweet note, tong yun (sweet dumplings with peanut-filling) in a light ginger broth. (Which, to be honest, you made, but I did do most of the meal…)

To be honest, I could have been a little less generous with the tahini butter and I should have used more peppercorns to spice things up since we do like it, uhm, hot. Yet, the look in your eyes as we supped together, and the happy roundness of my never-again-flat belly, well, what more could we ask for from a quiet, slow Sunday spent together?

Baby, it was perfect.

Maybe there is something to this househusband gig after all… ;)

61 Responses

  1. Precious Pea April 15, 2008 / 12:30 pm

    Wahh…welcome to the club! Quick quick post…sure very poetic and flowery. You can take over Nic’s position since he is into ‘rap’ now. Hehehe.

  2. zewt April 15, 2008 / 1:44 pm

    errr…. what?????

  3. equilibrium2008 April 15, 2008 / 3:37 pm

    hmm, is it gonna be a separate blog? the food looks yummy… :)

  4. Paprika April 15, 2008 / 3:43 pm

    Heeeeyyyyy that place looks really familiarrrr

  5. Lingzie April 15, 2008 / 6:03 pm

    faster faster!!! potong stim la…want to see lovely remixed photos of food looking arty. :P

  6. Kenny Mah April 15, 2008 / 6:18 pm

    Okay guys… the post is now up! Enjoy… ;)

  7. Kenny Mah April 15, 2008 / 6:39 pm

    Precious Pea
    Haiya, why does everyone think I’m poetic and flowery? Where got, where got? I’ve been much maligned!

    But yalor, Pakcik Nic now is a Pakcik Rapper… :lol:

    Sharanya Manivannan
    No, you don’t, my dear. It’s much more troublesome than it looks. In fact, this post is more about why I’ll never have a food blog. Lack of talent and patience. Not to mention my serious lack of decent photography skills. I’d make the yummiest dish look, uhm, un-yummy.

    zewt and equilibrium2008
    Heh. It was a preview with just the first pic and the teaser line — “My first food blog?” Naturally, not! :lol:

    Indeed it should, you culinary cruiser, you… ;)

    Up already lah… And where got I remix the photos of the food? This time I remix the food itself! Hahaha….

  8. tigerfish April 15, 2008 / 8:08 pm

    Hey dude! I hope you did like the recipe. The trick is to consume it instantly or the noodles will start sticking (regardless of amount of tahini you use, me thinks :P )
    Also, I found that different tahini products in the market have different “viscosity” – it makes things….errmmm….different. Thks for trying it.

    BTW, you seem too tall for your stove? Won’t cooking bring you backaches?

  9. Sam April 15, 2008 / 8:14 pm

    Man, awesome writing. I like your blog! :)

  10. Eudora April 15, 2008 / 9:18 pm

    The Daily Grind looks like a nice place to dine. I’m going to check it out when I come to West Msia again. And your home-made meal looks yummy!

    P/s : I really thought you’re going to do a real food blog but instead this one is way better. Food + Expressing With Lovely Words + Moments = Beautiful! :)

  11. keropokman April 15, 2008 / 11:47 pm

    food blog! food blog! we want food blog!

    i can imagine the most poetic food blog over.

    errr. you wrote “putting you to sleep” in the 3rd para after the 2nd picture. err that sounds very CSI leh…. snuggly-wuggly somemore. i can hear the background music change to suspense music now. LOL…

    “putting you to bed” lebih romantis lah.

  12. Jian aka Cokeworld Citizen April 16, 2008 / 1:52 am

    Wah an uncle that raps…hahaha…
    omg…househusband species actually exist?? Tot in drama oni got…
    heh dun go denial mode on the poetic side of u. Oh and flowery too XD Kakakaka

  13. Msiagirl April 16, 2008 / 5:20 am

    I love that gorgeously earnest look of concentration on your face while stirring the frying pan. Well done! I started reading it and thot OMG a Kenny Foodblog, and then it degenerated into, “hey I cooked it, then we ate it, OK!” That’s my man. Talented lah, can make tong yuen – and the beautiful calligraphy??

  14. Msiagirl April 16, 2008 / 5:21 am

    ps. on my next visit I am bringing you an apron.

  15. tunkuhalim April 16, 2008 / 7:30 am

    Kenny, sounds very idyllic, romantic and delicious. I do like the sound of those morning walks … all before 10am. When you get to my age, you’ll want to do those things again, just for the serenity and anything to ease the aching body! :)

  16. lotsofcravings April 16, 2008 / 7:51 am

    hahaha i like the “we”…although i knw god forbids..its reads like “we” as “together,we” know what i mean?

    cheesy cliches and cliched cheese? i get it hahah its not that bad..where did you get that tahini butteR??

  17. equilibrium2008 April 16, 2008 / 8:53 am

    you really know to catch our attention huh :D

    but hmm those foods looks yummy la. :)

  18. Precious Pea April 16, 2008 / 9:36 am

    “Last count saw me eating EIGHT times a day on average. And besides my less-than-lovely love handles, I’m all skin and bones. Sighs.”

    PIAK! PIAK! Show off! Hahahaha!

    Dear, it doesn’t come overnite, so do more food post and I can bet, you will knock all of us off soon. Hey, c u tomorrow?

  19. Kenny Mah April 16, 2008 / 10:35 am

    I did! I loved it, but yes, we should have consumed it immediately. I fell into the foodblogger trap of taking time to photograph the dish, first.

    Am I too tall for my stove? Methinks most stoves (and washbasins, for that matter) are too low for me. Backaches and hunching are normal occurences to me now, though I did get a great backrub yesterday, hehe.

    Thanks for reading!

    Yeah, do check it out. It’s in Bangsar Village. As for writing a food blog, I couldn’t manage one even if I really wanted to — just no talent for it, haha.

  20. Kenny Mah April 16, 2008 / 10:40 am

    Haiya, there are already plenty of great food blogs out there. One less from me won’t make a difference. :P

    CSI meh, my description? I guess I did mean ‘putting you to bed’… but okay lah, my England not so powderful… :lol:

    Jian aka Cokeworld Citizen
    Ya what, I call Pakcik Nic a Pakcik Rapper cos if you check out his latest blog entry, you would no why. The man has no end to his talents. ;)

    And if the househusband species doesn’t exist, I’ll be the first specimen lor. Any takers? I don’t being the stay-home-male-tai-tai to any disgustingly rich Datin… Serious. Really. Anyone?

  21. Kenny Mah April 16, 2008 / 10:42 am

    I started reading it and thot OMG a Kenny Foodblog, and then it degenerated into, “hey I cooked it, then we ate it, OK!”

    Hahaha, that’s a perfect description of it! You so get why I don’t write a food blog — I wouldn’t get past the whole “I cook, we ate” bit! :lol:

    The gorgeous calligraphy is by The Devil Wears Prada, not me, similarly with the tong yun. The rest, I did. ;)

    And I am looking forward to that apron. I hope it doesn’t say something saucy like ‘The REALLY Naked Chef’… :P

  22. Lingzie April 16, 2008 / 10:42 am

    awwww… yours is truly the sweetest food blog entry i’ve read by far. :) leaves me feeling all warm and fuzzy.

  23. Kenny Mah April 16, 2008 / 10:44 am

    The serenity of it is the best part, away from the noisy crowds and sordid pace of the city. I hate weekends spent in the looming maze of giant shopping malls… dead places teeming with an army of shoppers. Scarier than most horror stories, mein shockmeister…

    Haha, I do get what you mean, though I have a feeling few others will. You have a way with words, Joe, that is quite singular to your good self.

    I got the lovely tahini butter from the Village Grocer at Bangsar Village… right after the massive brunch at The Daily Grind. What better way to exercise and digeest one’s meal than to shop for the next one, eh? ;)

  24. Kenny Mah April 16, 2008 / 10:47 am

    Goodness knows it’s difficult to catch anyone’s attention these days, what more voracious blog readers who go through over a hundred blogs a day. Is it just me or does everyone have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) these days?

    I blame the Internet.

    But then, I’ve got it too. :lol:

    As for the food looking yummy: Looks can be deceiving, my dear. I’m probably better known as the Tak-Boleh-Pakai Chef. :P

    Precious Pea
    Where got show off? I fat leh… love handles, remember???

    And what’s this about more food posts? They will all go, “I went, I ate, I paid.” Hahaha. And oh yes, definitely see you guys tomorrow. Good eatin’ awaits! ;)

  25. daphne April 16, 2008 / 11:01 am

    awesome! I loved it when fiance cook for me(used to be soooo often when we were undergrads)..I feel so pampered! Guys who can cook is a bonus.

  26. Kenny Mah April 16, 2008 / 11:41 am


    Warm and fuzzy is a good place to be. Thanks!

    “Guys who can cook is a bonus.”

    Is that what I am now, a bonus? :lol:

    Oh trust me, plenty of us men love to cook; it’s just that most of us are lazy too, and would rather just sit back and wait to eat! *dodges dirty glances*

  27. Nic (KHKL) April 16, 2008 / 11:55 am

    While some rapper tries to idealise this style of food blogging, some just excel at it, with much modesty somemore. That’s you lar, bro! :D

    Very inspirational collages. Refreshing. Food post or not, this is definitely a delicious post, yo!

  28. Kenny Mah April 16, 2008 / 12:13 pm

    Nic (KHKL)
    All hail the President of Babitarians Anonymous! (That’s you lar, bro!) :D

    I think I probably need to stop haggling on whether this is a food post or not. I blog about Life, and Food is definitely a very big part of life, no? As for the collages, they are what I use to hide the fact I take terrible photos! :lol:

  29. fatboybakes April 16, 2008 / 12:44 pm

    drama queen! nothing wrong with your food blogging. fishing for compliments ah!

  30. Kenny Mah April 16, 2008 / 1:53 pm

    Yer, how can you call me a drama queen? That title is taken by either Nisa or Henny. We don’t call them the Diva and the Datin for nothing.

    (Though of late, someone’s been calling me the Datuk from all the servicing I’ve been getting. What can I say? I am lazy as lazy can be. And I’ll never say no to a backrub. Heh.)

    P.S. I don’t fish for compliments. They just jump right out of the water and dive straight for my basket. ;)

  31. sc April 16, 2008 / 1:53 pm

    for someone who didnt cook for ages, the food looks pretty good wor :)

  32. moja April 16, 2008 / 2:01 pm

    Kenny can cook?!! Fuyoh… impressive, not ony got clean, tidy house, can cook some more. I shoud start by buying an apron I think… or a ‘kuali’??? Hmmm.. :P

  33. Kenny Mah April 16, 2008 / 2:26 pm

    Ages? Try nearly SEVEN years. I’m grateful the food is even barely edible. :lol:

    Err… what’s so impressive about that, bro? Plenty of people clean their house and cook daily ma… Doesn’t take a rocket scientist. On the other hand, it is somewhat of a miracle that I got off my lazy ass on a Sunday to do anything at all… ;)

    P.S. I think the kuali comes before the apron. You need it to cook? The apron just for looking pretty…

  34. A Lil Fat Monkey April 16, 2008 / 6:30 pm

    Dammit! #@!$ This must be the reason why McC doesn’t feel special any more these days!

  35. Kenny Mah April 16, 2008 / 6:42 pm

    A Lil Fat Monkey
    Weh-ell… Is this what you meant the other day in the locker room about someone setting the bar high? Trust me lah, it’s easy to manage McC — just don’t pamper too much. Limit the lovin’ and the lover will crave it all the more.

    (Of course, if McC reads this, I am SOOOO dead.) :lol:

  36. yoong khean April 16, 2008 / 7:35 pm

    Hi Kenny, I only just saw the comment you left on my blog re: the usage of my images on your e-books. drop me an email and im sure we can work something out.
    great blog!


  37. Kenny Mah April 16, 2008 / 10:02 pm

    yoong khean
    Cool beans! Just emailed ya… looking forward to working together if we can. Your photography work is fantastic! :D

  38. Piggles April 16, 2008 / 10:55 pm

    Care to feed a fellow pig? :D But I’m not in the Babitarian camp. I ain’t no ‘cannibal’.

  39. Kenny Mah April 16, 2008 / 11:17 pm

    Nastasshea @ Nesh
    Where got loooooooooooooooooooong? :lol:

    Jian aka Cokeworld Citizen
    Yeah, me too! My favourite part is actually reading all your comments and not the blog I wrote myself! Definitely more scandalous… ;)

    Hahaha… took me half a second to figure what you meant. I can be so slow sometimes. Hehe, we’ll exclude you from the Babitarian Menu… :D

  40. Msiagirl April 17, 2008 / 6:17 am

    I am starting my apron shopping now…should be amusing ;) and the kuali definitely comes before the apron. Boy, you are gonna look sooooooooo pretty!

  41. maymay April 17, 2008 / 9:12 am

    oooh! kenny in an apron! :D

  42. Neil April 17, 2008 / 9:14 am

    wow! home-cooked food! so lucky someone…

  43. Kenny Mah April 17, 2008 / 9:20 am

    Msiagirl & maymay
    Me? Pretty in an apron? Well, ladies… you betcha! ;)

    Hehe, and what’s worse is that now I think I’ve been bitten by the cooking bug… wondering what I’m gonna try and cook next… Ah well, I do have a willing guinea pig… hehe.

  44. team bsg April 17, 2008 / 4:55 pm

    thats interesting ! you can talk a lot about food too ! and then eat…amazing

  45. Neil April 17, 2008 / 6:11 pm

    i’m willing to be a guinea pig too! :D

  46. maymay April 18, 2008 / 5:57 pm

    dun forget the post that pic of u in an apron! ;)

  47. Kenny Mah April 19, 2008 / 10:45 am

    team bsg
    Haha, I can talk a lot about most things… Mr. Verbal Diarrhoea here, remember? ;)

    Heh. There’s only one position and it’s been filled! :lol:

    Eh… May not be suitable for mass consumption… :P

  48. Zaty April 19, 2008 / 12:36 pm

    wahhh. i think you’re a pretty decent foodblogger kenny! ^___^

    yay for househusbandry! for some reason, the feminist in me rejoices.
    lol, kidding ;)

  49. Kenny Mah April 19, 2008 / 12:43 pm

    ‘Househusbandry’? That’s a lovely word — has anyone else used it yet? Maybe I can use it for a book title… :D

    And oh we are all feminists these days… Isn’t feminism the movement where we all love and appreciate the fairer and stronger sex, after all? ;)

  50. ai wei April 20, 2008 / 12:17 pm

    wow, who wrote that?! the old type chinese caligraphy is very nice!

  51. Kenny Mah April 20, 2008 / 10:22 pm

    ai wei
    Haha, the Devil Wears Prada wrote that… I’m not Chinese-educated, so beyond Shanghai-slanted Mandarin speaking ability, I can’t read or write Chinese. But the ancient caligraphy is nice, innit? :)

  52. Mama BoK April 21, 2008 / 10:01 am

    Aiyoh..!! very cheem..!! auntie gotta read twice.. before commenting.. ;)

  53. equilibrium2008 April 21, 2008 / 11:52 am

    hehe, I can also cook but still I always end up deceived by the looks. hehe… But do you cook also?

  54. Kenny Mah April 21, 2008 / 12:07 pm

    Mama BoK
    Har? Where got cheem? I just write liddat one. But doesn’t hurt to read twice or thrice ma… It gets better with each sip? :lol:

    Well, I guess sometimes it we ourselves who want to be deceived by looks. :P

    But yes, I do cook — as demonstrated (albeit poorly) here. Hahaha…

  55. Big Boys Oven April 22, 2008 / 4:09 pm

    Looks so delicious, and you can cook too! wow!

  56. Kenny Mah April 22, 2008 / 4:41 pm

    Big Boys Oven
    Thank you! That’s big compliments coming from you guys! Oh I am not worthy… :P

  57. Alice July 17, 2008 / 1:13 pm

    Words and wok? A perfect combination!

  58. Kenny Mah July 17, 2008 / 1:45 pm

    » Alice
    Yes, except we need to get a new wok now… and they are all so expensive these days! :(

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