Category Archives: Halal

Red, yellow, white & blue (cupcakes)

The bake-off fever continues to rage at Flex Malaysia with a special cupcake wars event to celebrate Malaysia’s 60th birthday.

What better way than to party with the nation and each other, than by baking dainty cupcakes, decorating them meticulously in colours found on the ‘Jalur Gemilang’ and then feeding your colleagues and bosses with these creations?

This is precisely what 36 Flex Johor employees did yesterday at the Senai (medical) facility. The lobby and a portion of the first floor had temporarily morphed into a mini bakery where cupcakes ruled the day! Thank you Alex and Ken for working your magic!

The Flex Merdeka Cupcake Wars was all about colour, creativity, cooperation and consumption (of the cakes!)

Judges Stella, Joe, Rebecca & Ed had the enviable task of eating their way through 18 cupcakes (and fears of going into a sugar coma!) which were lovingly baked and decorated by Flex employees from the Johor sites in Senai, Port of Tanjung Pelepas and Skudai.

Theirs was not an easy task as they had to make a second round among all the baking stations set up to be absolutely certain of their deciding votes for the cupcakes.

Val’s decision to acknowledge a surprise category of bakers with an additional mystery prize, is a reflection of Flex’s care and recognition of employees who go the extra mile.

Following very closely to the chosen theme of ‘Colours of Malaysia”, the teams gave their all in attending to the smallest of details, while staying calm and baking on.

The goodwill and new links forged were so apparent when a team had to turn to the other competitors for some extra eggs when theirs became runny and threatened to affect their cupcakes.

Equally heart-warming was seeing a judge help in assisting a team which was having difficulty using an attachment on their baking appliance, while another judge stepped in to assist with the photography set-up.

And the Pensonic products continue to spark joy among all the participating Flex bakers who now have some new baking goodies to call their own.

Happy Birthday, Malaysia!


Cookie Bake-Off with Flex

They came, they baked and impressed the judges, their colleagues and all cookie monsters present! Forty Flex Penang employees comprising 20 teams rose to the challenge yesterday in displaying their baking prowess at making Hari Raya cookies. 

Left to concoct their own recipes or fall back on traditional festive ones, the teams did Flex proud by displaying so much love, joy and pride in what they were doing while having fun.

Stella, Faten and Joe had a field day sampling the bakers’ delights and Val conceded that every single team and their cheering supporters present were winners. The attention to detail, creativity and taste were amazing while Flex’s generosity in allowing the bakers to take home the Pensonic ovens and cake mixers and a host of other goodies are enough reason for it to remain employer of choice and have more employees asking for more corporate cooking events.

Pensonic’s abilities in organizing cooking events were put to the test and they emerged with flying colours and have proven that their corporate headquarters are more than just a place to view their products and impressive test kitchens, but also a spot to cook and have fun in.

Iftar Ramadan @ E&O

As the ninth month of the Islamic calendar looms on us, Muslims around the world are getting ready to fast daily from sunrise to sundown.

Ahead of this auspicious month, which is just around the corner, the aromas of Ramadan-inspired food have begun wafting from the kitchen of the Eastern & Oriental (E&O) Hotel.

The sweet smells and tastes of fresh lemongrass, garlic, cloves, tumeric and candlenuts cooking slowly in rich coconut oil have been finding their way to some of the hotel’s buffet offerings and yesterday’s sneak preview was not a letdown.

Eileen, JJ and Yvonne continue to be the ever-gracious hosts, this time for an extensive sampling of the month-long ‘Jamuan Berbuka Puasa’ promotion which kicks off on May 27.

Many of my childhood favorites popped up during the feast which was prepared and served at E&O’s Sarkies Annexe Restaurant with great care and love in a display of generous colours, flavours and not lacking in herbs and spices.

Chicken Briyani Rice, Yellow Glutinous Rice or Nasi Kunyit (shaped as discs and sprinkled with “serunding” or chicken floss) and the novel Nasi Lemak “cake” (which seems to be current rage) are great starters along with the aromatic Soto Ayam (chicken spiced soup).

The tender Rendang Daging (beef) and Masak Lemak Ikan Masin (salted fish in a creamy coconut curry) were reminiscent of good Malay fare found in the kitchens of chefs who know what Malay cooking is all about.

These, along with Malay “kuih” or desserts are among an extensive spread of eats laid out in a buffet which will be rotated during the month of Ramadan (RM143.30 nett for adults/RM70.95 nett for a child from 7pm – 10.30pm will be available till 24 June, 2017).

And for those who are not in Penang during the upcoming holy month, a Balik Kampung (homecoming) Buffet Lunch (RM98.30 nett) on June 25 & 26 is available if family members simply want to chill, enjoy (almost close to) home cooking and give their home cooks a break. Children (aged between 6 and 12) are charged RM49.15 nett for this promotion. (The hotel requires that full payment is made one week prior to the dining date for this festive promotion)

Details and reservations, call +604-2222000 ext 3139/3151.

Nicely Nala

Nala which means successful in Swahili is the name which  the multi-talented Lisette Scheers picked for her only child. She subsequently named her business – Nala Designs – after her daughter.

Nala the enterprise is a product line which draws from the wealth of inspiration of Malaysia’s melting pot of Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures.

The range of merchandise includes stationery, home decorating items, clothing, bags and other accessories.

The items pay tribute to the country’s rich heritage and reflected in some of the design lines which carry names like ‘Pretty in Peranakan’ and ‘My Kuih or Highway.’

Lisette is also the creative force of (a design and art studio) located along the leafy corner of Old Bangsar’s Jalan Kemuja in Kuala Lumpur.  The space is also home to DR.Inc (pronounced ‘drink’) a little coffee shop where    the design shop nala is located.




The design and decor of the cafe (above) carried out by Lisette and her team, has Nala merchandise littered in strategic spots and the decor even includes Nala-inspired wallpaper.

Her past collaborations with Isetan KLCC via pop-up stores, have now resulted in a full store featuring a permanent location for all things Nala (pictured below)





In Penang, a selection of Nala items is found at Bon Ton, The Shop (Armenian Street) the Eastern & Oriental Hotel’s Bombay Shop (Farqhuar Street) and the Tropical Spice Garden at Teluk Bahang on the island.

Locations of other stores around the world stocking Nala items and an online store are found at

Photos courtesy of Nala Designs

Time-out in Tambun

Bukit Tambun on mainland Penang is only a 45-minute ride from George Town on a traffic-clear day. The drive to this fishing village is one which is akin to taking a chill pill. Swaying coconut trees, cool breezes and a laid-back way of life greet any stressed out person driving into the village. Defences are let down as one takes in the slip-slap of the waves while fishermen take off or return on their boats. The healthy and green mangroves also lend a sense of calm to the senses as one delves into fresh seafood offerings at the various eateries built on stilts.

The star dish of the day was the Crab Fried Rice recommended by Ed for my crustacean-loving friends.

Handcrafted Hainanese Happiness

Penang’s oldest restaurant Loke Thye Kee (which means House of Happiness in Hainanese) continues to spread the joy of Hainanese eats, thanks to its new operator.

This particular cuisine pays homage to the migrants from Hainan in China, who were employed by the British in their homes in the then-occupied Malaya.

The Traditional Hainanese Chicken Pie (touted as a handcrafted signature item on the menu since 1919) lives up to its name at Loke Thye Kee today. Fresh-off-the-oven goodness is detected as the buttery flakes off the puff pastry melt in your mouth along with the creamy chicken filling.

Ms MaryEd was not wrong in selecting this venue (located at the intersection of Burma Road and Penang Road) for a recent birthday celebration, by acknowledging the ship-inspired restaurant’s heritage as a choice spot for birthday and wedding parties.