Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Sugar High and Street Art Weekend

My new job has been keeping me incredibly busy, fulfilling though it may be. Volunteer commitments continue to keep me occupied on weekends. Saturday afternoons at the SPCA generally look a little like this...
... only with a lot more washing, dog-bathing, ear-cleaning, flea-spraying, tidying and scrubbing.
I am also currently assisting the SPCA in updating and streamlining their volunteer induction programme, and have offered to conduct writing and advocacy workshops for both the SPCA and the Care2Run mentors and junior mentees.

I still make it a point to schedule regular 'dates' with my good friends that do not involve volunteering or community service, and we try to do more than just go to our usual hangouts to have dinner, watch a movie (usually the latest superhero offering or action flick) and down a few beers. One on such break from routine two weeks ago, I invited Nic to go on a desserts-for-dinner 'date' with me at The Glass House in Seputeh.

It was the right choice of a venue for our besties' night out. The building with its transparent walls and tree-lined courtyard looked positively magical at night. Designed to let in natural lighting in the daytime and be gently illuminated at night, the structure is a veritable conservatory. It helps that it is located in a less-dense part of the city. There was a Bollywood wedding going on downstairs when we arrived, so we went straight up to the café on the 3rd floor.

It seemed pretty quiet for a Saturday night. From the quality of the food and the rave reviews we read online, we had expected that we would have to jostle with other customers for a table. Still, it is quite likely that more customers had stopped by for tea. 9 p.m. wasn't exactly the most conventional hour to have cakes and pies.
The café, Delectable By Su, is welcoming and delightful. Nic and I spent some time gushing over the cakes and cookies before we sat down to order from the menu.
Gorgeous scrumptious cakes in glass domes.
Edible terrariums -- have you ever seen anything more positively darling?
Pleased to have cake after an entire week of clean eating and working diligently. We received complimentary hot buttered caramel popcorn as well.
The menu is kept limited, which, in my opinion, is a good idea. Stick to what you do best, and you will always have satisfied customers. Besides, having a limited menu reduces wastage.
Nic ordered the chicken pie and I ordered the all-day breakfast, and we both ordered a slice of cake each and some ginger citrus tea.
Lemon meringue pie and a slice of hummingbird cake. The portions are substantial and the cakes absolutely delicious. We fell in love at first bite. Both cakes are moist and full of flavour. They weren't just cloyingly sweet. The lemon meringue pie is firm, yet melts in the mouth, and has just the right amount of tartness. The hummingbird cake has hints of spices and fruits and everything nice.
We had an enchanting evening catching up with each other's lives and loves, and indulging in good food. This is definitely a place I would be proud to bring guests to.

Sunday morning was spent cleaning up the forest reserve, and then stopping by SS2 PJ to run some errands.
I was accosted by an elderly beggar lady who was panhandling outside one of the cafés, and since I prefer not to give cash to panhandlers (in case they belong to begging syndicates), I offered to buy her lunch at Hailam Kopitiam instead. She accepted my offer gratefully and I got us a nice table in a corner where she could rest and refuel. She gummed and chewed at her food with excruciating slowness, casting self-conscious glances at me every so often. Not wanting to make her feel as though she were an imposition on my time, I encouraged her gently to take her time with her food, while I walked around the side alleys, taking photos of the street art that were commissioned by the PJ City Council and Damansara Utama state assemblywoman to add character to the streets.

Public art, both sanctioned and unsanctioned, has a certain charm of its own, not least because it is very often ephemeral. You never know how long a mural will last, and so you appreciate each one even more when you see them. They also add an element of surprise and incongruity to otherwise drab and utilitarian walls and alleys. I have always loved street art, and you have to admit these are pretty exceptional, even if not subversive.

I had a brilliant time admiring and photographing these murals before settling the bill for lunch and seeing the little old beggar lady on her way.
Pockets of joy in a purpose-driven weekend. I could not ask for more.

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