Japanese food buffet @ Umai-Ya, The Place at Damansara Perdana

Update on 20th April 2012: This restaurant is no longer operating at this area. There’s an outlet at Uptown and Bandar Puteri, I believe.

Umai-Ya - 01 Japanese Restaurant at The Place, Damansara Perdana [Note: I've been informed that Umai-Ya in Damansara Perdana is no longer in operation. The weekend lunch buffet is available at their Damansara Utama (Uptown) branch, full address at the bottom of this blog post.]

One of the problems you would encounter when a place is called ‘The Place’ is the following conversation,

“Do you know where is the place?”
“Yeah, do you know where is The Place?”
“-_-” ”

We were at Umai-ya‘s Uptown branch when Kerol told us about their weekend buffet at their Damansara Perdana branch. Basically a ‘gorge yourself for 3 hours for RM55.20 nett per person’ deal. Okay what.

Gathered the usual suspects, Kerol made the reservations and the 9 of us have to sit outside because of #emoCharlie. Our lives have never been quite the same since #emoCharlie… at least #emoRyan can sit inside! :P

At least I didn’t feel the heat until the final hour. Kerol, Shiang and FA sweated it out until we moved our tables to the other side.

Umai-Ya - 02 Assorted Appetisers Umai-Ya - 04 Shishamo, Grilled Pregnant Fish
Assorted appetisers

They give you a sheet of paper with items available for the weekend buffet. It’s not a wide spread as you’d find at Tenji but it’s sufficient and cheaper by RM34. That’s a lot of money okay. We ticked off most of the menu items a few times, except for the rice and noodle dishes. And some stuff we have no idea what they were, the pictures were not in the dictionary (i.e. ala carte menu) and we couldn’t be arsed to ask the waitress.

The deep-fried soft-shell crabs was first to arrive. I think they precooked it so it was a bit soggy, clammy and not piping hot. Don’t like. The chuka idako and chuka kurage (seasoned baby octopus and seasoned jellyfish) were lovely, I especially liked the latter. The special mushroom soup was awesome! I had 3 servings of that :P I didn’t take the shishamo (grilled pregnant fishy) so I have no idea what it tasted like. FA said it was okay only. Their chawanmushi was light and delicious so make sure you get that.

Umai-Ya - 11 Special tofu with oyster Umai-Ya - 12 Horng eating the oyster in the tofu
Special tofu with oyster and Horng’s unique way of eating it

Umai-Ya - 08 Assorted Sashimi Umai-Ya - 09 Nigiri Sushi
Assorted sashimi and nigiri sushi

The only complain about the sashimi was that the cuttlefish didn’t seem very fresh. Of course I wouldn’t know, since I don’t take raw fish or seafood alike. I don’t even want to comment on the way Horng consumed his tofu with oyster.

Umai-Ya - 10 Grilled beef slices and spring onions Umai-Ya - 13 Assorted temaki and sushi
Grilled beef with spring onions, and assorted temaki and sushi

Umai-Ya - 14 Unagi and cheese roll Umai-Ya - 15 Dragon roll
Unagi and cheese roll, and dragon roll

The grilled beef with spring onions was very nice! The combination of the flavours was tasty and yummy. They forgot our 2nd order though :( I also liked the temaki with seasoned baby octopus. Quite a lovely change from the usual handrolls. Don’t know much about the other sushi and rolls as I was already quite stuffed by then.

To finish off, we had green tea and wasabi ice-cream, the former being one of my favourite desserts. When we got there, I wanted 10, then dropped to 5, then 3. I had 2 :P

Umai-Ya - 17 Fireangel and her Tiger beer Umai-Ya - 18 Kim with her birthday cupcakes
FA with her beer, Kim with her cupcakes

They also serve free-flow beer in cans (so the option for ‘jug’ in the menu was misleading). All a trick really — if you drink beer you wouldn’t have the stomach space for all the food!

Kerol and FA got Kim some birthday cupcakes. Now you know why I was clearing up the tables, eh ;)

Umai-Ya - 19 Group mug
Corny group photo! KY, Mell, ST. #emoCharlie, Shiang, Kerol, FA, Horng, Kim and I

Re: Buffet. Quite worth it for the price, as a couple of the items we ordered would have cost more than the RM55.20. Some items were quite tasty. However some items’ quality was average, which I suppose if the norm for cheaper Japanese food buffets. No money to go dine at PJ Hilton. Anyone from PJ Hilton reading this? :P

Re: Service. A tad slow, though I suppose you may get better service if you sit indoors. They forgot a couple of our ordered items which was actually okay because at the end of the meal, we were too stuffed to eat anything else.

If you want to go try out their buffet, go check out their website for more info. You’ll need to make reservations as they have limited tables.

* Larger versions of the photos for this outing, 19 in total at my Flickr set.

Umai-ya Damansara Utama
No. 49G, Jln. 21/37 ,Damansara Utama (Uptown)
Tel: 03-77264410
GPS: N3 08.179 E101 37.417
URL: http://umai-ya.com

half-past-six engrand

My boss received his first degree from the U. of Sheffield, his Master’s degree from the U. of Essex and his doctorate from the U. of Surrey. Suffice to say, he spent many years in Mother England so his Engrand very the powderful one. But then he always corrupts my Engrand (and everyone else’s) for his own amusement. Until sometimes I beh tahan because it would get stuck in my head and then next time I cannot help myself and speak like a sorhai ahlian.

(Because being sorhai is not bad enough, must be ahlian summore.)

I know I always go around saying that my Engrand is horrible, my grammar is horrible etc. All that is preemptive self-defense only. Sekretly I like to think that my Engrand is like damn best one. Sometimes people are self-delusional so you just layan them lor. So layan me okay?

Plus it’s not like he cannot speak proper English, correct grammar and all. He even has a slight accent that he goes into whenever he reminisces about England and all of her offerings.

The other day we were in the car to go somewhere when he began his half-past-six Engrand. Then out of nowhere I went,

“Eh stop corrupting my English and grammar can or not??”
“Where got I corrupts yewww??”
“My language skills not that bad one then you go and start speaking like that then sometimes I am stuck speaking like that also!”

Bla bla bla talked about other things. Then I asked him,

“Did Kim reply you?”
“HAHAHAHAHA YOU SAY I CORRUPT YOUR ENGLISH BUT YOUR ENGLISH IS ALREADY CORRUPTED ONE!”
“Huh where got?? What’s wrong with that question? Correct what!!”
“HAHAHAHAHA it should be, ‘Did Kim reply TO you?’ HAHAHAHAHA!”
“Oh.”

So moral of the story is, don’t simply go accuse other people of alleged wrongdoings padahal your fundamentals are shaky to begin with. Sekian.

the people you love make you a different person

It’s true and I am going to tell you how.

Truth to be told, I was a rather selfish person by nature. The youngest of the lot, lavished with much love from my family, blissfully ignorant of our financial situation, envious and jealous of others because they had better things or toys, left to my own devices and filled to the brim with irrational anger during my teenage years, unappreciative of many things because they come so easily…

I was not an easy person to get along with, let alone grow up with. At many points in life, my sisters absolutely and utterly hated me, heh. Okay before you go feeling so sorry for them, they were sometimes mean to me okay! But that’s part and parcel of childhood, so I am probably no different than most of you. Everyone had their own demons and problems, intensity is subjective.

I have plenty reasons for my behaviour. But this post is not about that, so I won’t get into them.

So yes, my selfishness.

I don’t remember the exact year or person. In my hazy memory, it was Mrs. Lee, one of the few ex-headmistresses of my primary school who later tutored me in Math. I think her mother had just passed away, and she was talking about taking care of her deceased mother’s body, preparing it for the funeral. It was quite off-putting to me — try explaining corpses to a frightened kid. I probably asked her something along the lines of, “You dare to touch the body?” and she replied, “Of course, because it is someone you love.”

It didn’t make sense to me then. However for some reasons, her words stuck with me like a dream for the longest time. As I grow older, I would revisit the thoughts of when my parents would eventually pass on. Would I be brave enough to overcome myself and selfishness and take care of them as a child should? This phobia has decreased over the years actually, so my parents have to live for at least another 50 years before I can successfully conquer my fears! ;)

After Ryan was born, I used to play with him for a while then call for my sister or his carer to clean up his mess. You know, things like poo and puke. I was most repulsed — baby poo is yucky green and damn disgusting okay! Change his diaper, no problem! Just don’t expect me to wipe his poo-smeared buttocks with wet tissues. Hand him back only after he is clean, thanks.

It took many, many months but now I am okay with cleaning up Ryan after he visits the throne room. I don’t necessarily like it, but I don’t mind doing it. A few drops of his pee accidentally splashed on my skin? Just wipe or wash it off lah. I no longer shudder nor obsess about the contact.

This is probably a small or even a non-issue to some people. Well, we are built differently. I suppose I am lucky to have the time to think about such things. Took a while to psyche myself up, and I know a lot of people do not have that luxury.

At first I wanted to elaborate on certain incidents and thought processes during my grandmother’s stay in the hospital. I just decided not to, out of respect for her privacy. In a nutshell, my grandmother recently found out that she had colon cancer. Last week, she underwent an operation where the doctor removed 1ft of her intestines. She recuperated in the hospital for a week — her recovery was very fast actually — and now she is staying with us for a bit.

It was way past midnight in the hospital ward. My grandmother was most likely counting sheep in her dreams, having dozed off to sleep hours earlier. Again, I was left alone with my thoughts — probably not the wisest thing to do since I do go off-tangent at times. Sometime during the night, I made the conscious decision to remove all irrational fears of taking care of her, because she is someone I love dearly.

I don’t want to wait until… you know. Would be way too late by then.

ryan the decorator

You know there’s a kid living in the house when you see this stuck on the front door…

Ultraman sticker on the door

There are more on the sliding glass door. Curiously they are all of Ultraman — the modern Qin Shubao and Yuchi Jingde is it?

I wonder how my Mom put up with me earnestly decorating our house walls with my limited artistic ability.

what gives?

Last night I was hanging out with my best mates from secondary school, Melissa and Shirlyn. After a most satisfying dinner at Sushi Zanmai, we decided to plonk down our arses at the bar of Coco Banana in Sunway Pyramid. All in all, we consumed a few whiskey & coke and 3 jugs of beer over numerous wonderful conversations.

Halfway through the evening, Melissa whispered that our drinks were paid for by a guy sitting across the bar from us. Shirlyn later confirmed it, saying that she saw the waiter removing our tab and handing it to the guy, who proceeded to take out money from his wallet to pay the bill.

Normally this is not a weird situation, for my two friends are pretty and gregarious. The odd part is that the guy never did more than to occasionally look our way and offer us some prawn fritters via the bar staff. Never even made his way to our side of the bar to say hello, nothing whatsoever. We ordered more drinks but the tab never came back. After quite a while, we noticed that the guy had left. One of the bartenders gave us a note from the guy: I assumed that he’d want to pass along his phone number in exchange for his monetary generosity.

The odder part is that the note was nothing more than some incomprehensible scratchings. Two phone numbers — both with the prefixes written clearly but he had written over the other numbers numerous times. There were 3 other words below that were scrawled pretty much the same way — unreadable. No one knew what was written, not even the bar staff.

On our part it was nice not to have to pay for our drinks. But some people really have too much money.

chivas, too3k, zeta bar, fake hugh grant

Got a nice invitation from Chivas to check out Zeta Bar’s new in-house band, TOO3K. Asked Horng if he was interested, he said why not, so off we went to KL Hilton where he was most amused by the guards with metal detectors scanning and checking every car going into the parking lot. Though statistically-speaking, so far there hasn’t been a Chinese bomber, suicide or otherwise, right?

KY and Mell decided to go as well, though they didn’t stay long. Honestly the band was kind of sucky at first: probably first-time jitters? They definitely improved though, stopped being so stiff, opened up a bit more. By the third set, they were rockin’!

Of course Horng and I debated if they’d really improved or the massive intake of alcohol (for a Tuesday evening) affected our judgement. I think the band really did get better lah ;)

Zeta Bar, KL Hilton - Suanie with Mell, KY, Eric, Janice, MyHorng
With KY, Mell, Eric, Janice and Horng

I had a bloody good time. Danced a lot, made me feel younger, heh. Drank an assortment of alcohol, mostly Chivas with Coke. Threw a pea at Janice. Laughed myself silly at Horng’s encounters with the awesome bartender. Met a couple new people. Pretty good for a Tuesday!

Also approached Hugh Grant look-alike and went, “OHAI CAN I TAKE A PHOTO WITH YOU, YOU LOOK LIKE HUGH GRANT!”

Zeta Bar, KL Hilton - Suanie with fake Hugh Grant
With fake Hugh Grant!

Okay lah, honestly this photo doesn’t do him justification. If you were there, trust me: you would have marvelled at the likeness! His height, the way he stood, etc. Apparently someone actually went up to him and asked if he was Hugh Grant, heh.

no really, thanks for being so considerate

At KLCC this past weekend. Blanked out the number plate because we found a small spot to fit a Kelisa, so we weren’t that angry.

Parked car at KLCC

Can you imagine what someone without our kind patience and tolerance might have done? ;)