The conversation started on Yahoo Chat… it went something like this:
“Hey Woman, how are you? Where have you been la??”
“I’m fine, have just been busy. Busy with BB lor!”
“BB??” (I was thinking Blackberry, wtf?!)
“Ya, baby – she’s already 3 months old!”
“OMG! When did you have a baby??”
“Err… since, like 3 months ago?!”
See… this is what happens when you don’t keep in touch with your friends for over a year. Well, the last time I saw her, she wasn’t preggers, ok. And that was circa May 2010, I think.
So, the conversation continued…
“That means now you lagi not free to meet up la?”
“Still can, just that have to do some planning ahead”
“Plan your head la… just tell me when you can come out!”
“OK OK, we jik-kak (as in “immediately”) meet – tomorrow la then!”
“Of course, then you want to wait another year ahh?”
See… the nicest meet-up is one which is made on-the-spot. No two ways about it. It was a jik-kak date. Even the choice of venue was another jik-kak no-argument decision. Who says women can’t make snap decisions huh??! We can be very jik-kak when we need to!
Before I headed to the restaurant, I detoured a bit and bought a little gift for the baby girl. I had checked her photos out on FB (after that chat, of course) and she’s the cutest little thing ever, a splitting image of her equally adorable brother. Oh, I forgot to ask the mother what her name is, so I wrote on the giftcard… “To The Cutest Lil Baby Gal”!
Vietnam Kitchen turned out to be a good choice. Despite passing by many times, I had never set foot inside their 1U outlet. Service was fast and friendly. Before we could get over the usual pleasantries, our food was served.
We started off with Pork Rice Rolls (RM7.50) and Seafood Salad (RM12.90). The rice rolls were similar to chee cheong fun (steamed rice sheets) with braised pork fillings, cushioned by sprigs of fresh basil leaves with a sweetish fish sauce + chilli padi dip served separately. The braised pork were slightly sweetish, so this dish was somewhat like the HK-style stuffed chee cheong fun! I love how those fresh basil gave this a refreshing twist.
I totally enjoyed the Seafood Salad… lots of fresh raw vegetables, seaweed, boiled shrimps & squids, young mango strips tossed with chilli rings, basil, chopped peanuts and a piquant dressing that’s redolent with fish sauce and limejuice. All these sitting prettily on a large piece of fried fish cracker (keropok).
As there’s just 2 of us, we opted for the set meals as these already have a few side dishes included. I had the Beef Bo Hue Set (RM16.90) – Beef Noodles in Soup. Thick smooth rice noodles were swimming in a spicy broth with generous portions of sliced tender beef and thick rounds of meatloaf. Dunked in the raw beansprouts, basil leaves, red chillies and I had a very tantalising bowl of soupy spicy beefy noodles.
My long-lost friend went for the Celery Beef & Rice Set (RM16.90) – good for lactating mothers! It came full with protein goodness … tender beef slices saute’ed with lots of greens… celery (of course) and bombay onions – I could smell the aroma the moment the tray was set on our table. I took a bite of the beef – the meat had the right flavour, bite and texture, unlike some horrendously over-tenderised version I had recently. A sunny-side up egg topped the bowl of rice… a serving of kimchi and a bowl of soup completed the set. Pretty good value, wouldn’t you say?
It was a lunch that kept us busy, or rather, our mouths busy! Busy with the food, but more importantly, busy with catching-up… exchanging gossip, updating the latest news & scandals… imagine how much catching-up there was: a whole year’s worth! Oohhh… it extended well beyond my normal lunch hour!
And my long-lost friend… heck, that woman does NOT look like she just had a baby and had been taking care of one. She looks like she just came back from a vacation – all glowing, curvy and gorgeous. If having a baby & taking care of one (including night feeds!) does that to you, then every woman of child-bearing age must go and have babies and more babies. Now.
“Don’t you dare put my photo on your blog ahh!” - that was the parting shot she gave me. Well, I’m putting them here anyway, because… because, well, she didn’t sound very convincing when she said that… but more because I want to show you all what having a baby does to a woman, hehe!
Lot S312 2nd Floor, New Wing,
1Utama Shopping Mall