Date: June 8 2013
I left Hong Kong today to KL for a couple of days of work-related layover before going back to The Boo. My week-long vacation in Hong Kong to visit my 99-yo gran has came to an end. It’s always hard to farewell gran as she is living alone in Hong Kong with her 2 maids, nevertheless, I promised her that I will be visiting her soon in a couple of months.
Since there were 3 of us catching the fight, each with suitcases and carry-ons, we took a taxi straight to the airport. The fare was HKD230 which was cheaper than the fare from KLIA to KLCC. Normally, I would catch a taxi to Tsing Yi station to board the Airport Express to HKIA.
Now, every travellers know that travelling is tiring and also takes a huge chunk out of our precious time. One has to be at the airport at least 2 hours early, allow enough time to go through immigration and security checks, then to hang around the departure hall to wait for the boarding time, then more sitting and eating on the plane, by the time one lands in his/her destination country, a day is wasted. So here goes my day…
The airport check-in was swift and I was soon having brunch at The Wings First Class Lounge with plenty of time to spare. I ordered Eggs Benedict with Salmon and a Long Black sans sugar.
The Eggs Benedict was a disappointment coming from The Peninsular Hotel catering. The poached eggs were hard, instead of hollandaise sauce that I was looking forward to, I had grilled parmesan on top of my poached eggs. Instead of chewy muffins, I was offered rock-hard baguette. I also don’t fancy tomatoes because acidity from the light-shade family aggravates my arthritis.
After brunch, it’s ‘Ribena bubblies’ time at the Bar. I never resist a glass (or maybe 2) of the elegant Billecarte-Salmon Brut Rosé Champagne. It’s a beautiful textured dry champagne with lively orange and strawberry flavors and a subtle note of spice cake.
LUNCH ON BOARD
The A330 flight from Hong Kong to KL took 3 hours and 15 minutes, as soon as I was settled, I was offered Billecarte-Salmon Brut champagne (again…) for my pre-flight refreshment.
To kill time, I watched ‘Jack and The Giant Slayers’ on my very tiny personal screen. I was thrilled when the screen ‘popped out’ automatically when I opened the arm rest cover until I was told that it was not on auto; simply that it’s getting old and overly used. Duh! Creening to watch the movie was a bit tiring, then again, the movie was good! So was the pre-lunch drink of French Burgundy, I was sampling and some almonds.and a bowl of Blue Diamond alomds which I don’t like. Buissonnier Bourgogne Cote Chalonnaise 2010 is full and ripe with character of grapefruit, lemon and citrus, and hints o of honeysuckle. Long clean finish.
Lunch was served soon after. Since today was only a short flight, I opted out of my Raw Vegetarian Meal option, which is my standing order under my frequent flyer status. I am getting getting rather uninspired by the yellow and green capsicums, carrot and cucumber sticks, cut and diced in various ways. But if one is travelling long-haul, raw vegetarian is fantastic so you don’t feel weighed down and bloated from sitting on your butt and not moving for x hours.
To drink: Fleurie Cuvee Prestige Les Chambards 2011. This is widely considered the ‘Queen of Beaujolais’ since it is made with 100% Gamay grapes. It is a beautiful wine with flowery notes with a touch of acidity for freshness.
For Starters: Smokers peppered tuna Nicoise salad with tomato dressing. Very well-done and delectably presented with water-cress, semi-seared tuna slices on blanched tomato and Asian beans . I especially liked the pairing of mouthwatering olives.
For Vegs: Mixed salad with pine nuts and green olives with French vinaigrette
For Main: There were 3 choices on-board. I chose Braised duck with plum sauce, steamed jasmine rice and choy sum. It’s a traditional Cantonese fare, so nothing to shout home about, it has 2 pieces of duck, tofu skin, choy sums and 2 pieces of taro in sweet soy sauce.
I passed the cheese and fruit selection, instead, I had the Haagen-Daz ice-cream and pralines. Our flight touched down in KLIA at around 4:30pm. There was a huge crowd at the baggage claim and I guess with the ladies in black abayas, the Arabians are here for the summer again…
A quick change and some light unpacking after, we headed for dinner at La Bodega, Pavilion, KL. I’ve passed this pub a few times but never made my way in but today, decided to give it a go. The pub has a rustic feel of dark timber adorned with liquors, with lots of them displayed at the bar as well as on the ceiling rack (which I took a liking to – what a great space saver for a wine cellar!) and black and white photos and colours murals on the mirrors at the bar.
Foodwise, the food was suprisingly good and the waiter was very attentive and gave good advise on how much to order (he said that he didn’t want his customers to complain about wasting food from over-ordering). So upon, his recommendation, we ordered…
Lamb meatballs, which comes with a basket of bread to help soak up the starchy gravy
Paella in squid ink and baby squid topped with garlic mayo and tiger prawns. My mom told the waiter how much she enjoyed the paella and recalled the time when we had paella in Valencia, Spain where the rice was not cooked properly. We sent it back a couple of time to recook it, but it was still returned under-cooked. It really takes an Asian to cook rice to accommodate the Asian taste
To Drink: A bottle of red from La Mancha. I ordered this particular wine because it reminded me of my hike thru the La Mancha region in my Camino Santiago hike last year. It was a tad dry, but the high Merlot content meant that it cut the fatty paella well to ‘cleanse the palate’ while the tempranillo gave it a more rounded fruity mouth-feel.
We also saw a fellow passenger from our flight over from Hong Kong dining at the same pub. It seems that Pavilion is the place to be in KL. So did I waste my time in travelling? Well, in terms of a worker’s productivity – Yes, but for some ideas for blogging – No!
PS: My day did not end with the Spanish dinner, we went to Meet Fresh on the top floor of Pavilion for a Taiwanese dessert of Herbal Jelly with mochi on a bed of shaved ice and milk to wash away the effect of alcohol!