Cafe Barbera

Monday, June 28, 2010

Last Saturday night I had dinner with 2 of my besties, Her Royal Highness and Miss Proud Duck. Oh and not forgetting HRH's lovely beau, Luke. This is one of the joys of being on holiday. I get to catch up with the people I love most and eat good food. We went to a cafe we've never been to before; Café Barbera in Bangsar. As soon as I stepped into the café I fell in love with its warm ambience and interior design. This bungalow-turned-café offers a cosy and private dining space for Italian food enthusiasts and their service is friendly and quick.

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My lovelies. I heart you!

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Cheesy prawn dip with toast. This was sooo good! Creamy yet not too cheesy. Definitely appetising.

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Beef lasagna. It was tasty but a little more béchamel wouldn't have hurt. Or that's how I would've made it, at least.

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Chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream. A must for chocolate addicts. It's similar to that of a molten cake. It had warm, flowing chocolate inside. Perhaps a bit too sweet for my liking but still commendable.

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Cappuccino Shakerato. Awesome name right? This place is known for its wide variety of coffee and this drink was not a disappointment.


I became such a fan of Café Barbera that I actually went there again for lunch on Sunday! This time I went with my family so I was able to take more photos and order more food LOL.

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Italian meatballs. My family thoroughly enjoyed this; even my brother and he's very fussy when it comes to Italian food.

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Beef pepperoni pizza. Another delightful goodie from this cafe. It had a crispy crust and delicious toppings.

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Classic bolognaise. My brother said it was just 'okay' as he felt it lacked tomatoes. I told you he's fussy.

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Smoked salmon fettuccine. I enjoyed it because firstly, I love salmon and secondly, I love cheesy, white sauce.

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And what do we have here? Oh just me enjoying my meal =)

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Napoli. Another coffee drink but "fancier" than the one I had the night before. Smooth, frothy and rich all in one.

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Tiramisu. My sister said it was like a little piece of Italy. The mascarpone cheese was not too rich therefore the tiramisu was light yet satisfying and delicious. Plus, it's non-alcoholic.

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Apple pie with vanilla ice cream. One of the best apple pies I've ever tried. Soft chunks of apple pieces complemented with bits of raisins and a hint of cinnamon.

My verdict? They have a good selection of pizzas, desserts and drinks. I wasn't exactly over the moon with their pasta but I would go there again without a doubt as it is a nice and pleasant place to hang out with some friends or even for a romantic dinner. If you want to avoid the typical restaurant environment I should mention that they have al fresco dining as well. Café Barbera also wins Muslim brownie points because they don't serve any alcohol whatsoever.


18, Lorong Maarof,
Bangsar, KL.
Open 7 days a week
9.30 am - 11 pm

03-2287 3628

Fashion Friday: Falling in Love with Kuala Lumpur All Over Again

Saturday, June 26, 2010

It's 2 a.m. and I just returned home from an amazing dinner and nostalgic late night cruise around Kuala Lumpur city with my family. Tonight I fell in love Kuala Lumpur all over again. Bright lights, historical buildings, impressive skyscrapers and a vibrant nightlife!

What a night, oh what a night...

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The breathtaking panoramic view from PNB Darby Park's The 39 restaurant located on the... you guessed it, 39th floor!

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Mrs. Smith

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I boarded the plane knowing that I'd be on it for the next 11 hours more or less and once I arrive Singapore I'd have to take a 1 hour connecting flight to Kuala Lumpur. I cringed at the thought of such a long journey. I looked at the seating plan and realised that 33K was smacked right in the middle of a window seat and an aisle seat.

"11 hours right in the middle of 2 strangers, well this should be interesting," I thought to myself.

I found my seat, placed my hand luggage in the overhead compartment above me and then breathed a sigh of relief as I settled down. I had only 7 hours of sleep in the last 48 hours and I was extremely tired. I had just finished my final exam for the semester less than 24 hours ago. Minutes later a blonde-haired lady who was perhaps in her 50s claimed the aisle seat next to me by putting her handbag there just before she stored her hand luggage in the overhead compartment as I did not long before. She caught a glance of my tired face and we smiled at each other. I was curious about the person who was allocated in the window seat next to us therefore I kept observing every single person who just entered the plane and walked down the aisle.

Finally, a young European-looking man came towards us.

"Hi, are you sitting here?," I asked him rhetorically. "Would you mind if we switched seats because...."

"Uh, actually I like sitting by the window," he replied with a smile on his face as if he was expecting the question.

"Oh... okay. That's fine then. Just thought I'd try my luck," I said as I returned his smile while feeling slightly disappointed.

There we were. 3 of us. 11 hours.

For the first 5 hours none of us said anything to each other until I needed to go to the bathroom. I politely asked the lady next to me if she could make way for me. She smiled, got up for me and sat down again. As she was about to spring out of her seat upon my return I told her she didn't need to because I wanted to stand for a while. She decided to do the same and we started a conversation. I found out that she's actually a British citizen who had been living in New Zealand for the past 23 years. She has 2 sons - the eldest a Math teacher and the youngest a future lawyer.

"So are you off to have a holiday in Singapore?" I inquired predictably.

"No, no. I'm going to London. Just transiting in Singapore," she clarified.

"Oh, a holiday in London then?" I chirped.

"Actually I'm moving to England for good. I'm going to meet my partner. He lives in Essex," she further elaborated.

"Oh okay," I replied for what I thought would be the last time because I didn't want to ask anything else in fear of being intrusive.

"I recently left my husband of over 20 years to be with him. Now we're finally going to live together," she continued with pure excitement in her voice.

Quite surprised by her revelation I didn't really know what to say except, "Oh wow, now that's something you don't hear everyday!"

She laughed at my response and began to tell me the whole story. She said she was very young when she met her ex husband. She had met him while travelling around New Zealand to meet up with a good friend of hers. They met and I suppose they fell in love and got married. They moved back and forth between England and New Zealand until she had her first child. It was then she settled in Christchurch for the next 20 years or so of her life. They ran a printing business together and life was fairly good to them. Then one day an old friend whom she had once met while travelling around England had contacted her sister. She remembered him and they decided to keep in touch via e-mail before talking to each other on the phone frequently. After a few months of rekindling their friendship she had realised there was something amiss in her relationship with her husband. When I asked her how she came about the decision to leave her husband she merely said, "He wasn't the right one."

Obviously I wasn't going to settle for that answer so I asked, "How do you tell when someone's the right one?"

She went silent for a good 30 seconds and her facade became more serious all of a sudden. "I suppose you could say it's very individual. But I say it's when you have absolutely no doubt in your heart about the person," she replied after reflecting.

"So let me get this straight. You decided to leave your husband for a man you had not seen for almost 30 years? You just communicated with him via email and telephone?" I asked in absolute disbelief.

"Yup! I told him that I wasn't the same size 12 girl he had met 30 years ago. I've changed and a lot has happened since then. But we still understand each other same way we did before. He understands me in ways my husband never did. I left my husband and he left his wife," the lady confessed. Not long after their life-changing decisions they reunited when he visited her for 10 days in New Zealand.

As I was absorbing everything she was telling me I sort of knew what she meant. "It's like you never have to explain the way you feel to that other person, right? Like they just get you without you having to say why or how you felt and did this or that," I trailed after her.

Her face lit up as she said, "Yes! Exactly!"

I wanted to know what she remembered most about her partner prior to their recent 30 year union. "I was staying at a backpackers when I met him for the first time. We were in separate rooms and I could hear him laughing out loud. Oh, his laughter... my ex husband never laughed like that. So many young women just settle for any man... they think it's the right thing to do. Now I'm going to use my maiden name again. I'm not sure if I'll use my partner's surname, Smith, it's probably the most common name in England!" she exclaimed in laughter.

"So there should be sparks? You know I just met a recently divorced 30 plus year old woman who is looking for a new husband and she said she didn't believe in sparks. Not at her age, at least," I shared.

"Oh my, there should always be sparks! You've got to have sparks," she explained almost furiously.

For the next 6 hours we spoke about a lot of things which ranged from our mutual interests in cooking and baking, life in New Zealand to my recent pilgrimage to Mecca and my decision to wear the hijab. I showed her pictures of Mecca and Madinah and of my adorable niece, and she marvelled me with stories of her experiences in Turkey, Egypt and parts of Europe she had travelled to. Despite our differences - age, religion, race, nationality, values - we managed to find our common ground. We were both women. Women who want to be loved for who we are. Women with desires, aspirations and flaws. Maybe next time when you board a plane try striking a conversation with the person next to you. You never know what you could learn about others and more interestingly, about yourself.

I don't know what went wrong in her marriage but who am I to judge her? Who am I to say what she did was wrong or right as a matter of fact? I don't believe that we live in black and white world. I don't think God ever intended it to be seen in only those 2 shades. I believe in embracing the colours of life and learning to respect the fact that people come in all shapes, sizes, skin tones, cultures and backgrounds. I also believe this is what makes God and His attributes all the more real to me.

Hours had passed and the plane landed smoothly in Singapore. Before we parted ways I wished her all the best for her new life and she did the same for me. "And don't forget, when you choose your man make sure he's worth it," she said authoritatively but in a motherly way. As I smiled at her advise the traffic in front of me moved and I walked out of the plane feeling so happy that I'm only an hour away from home and that my 12 hour journey back to Malaysia is almost over.

Sisters Who Blog Awards 2010


[photo courtesy of abt.com]

Does this remind you of yourself? Do you have a passion for blogging or do you find yourself addicted to the many awesome blogs out there that are written by Muslim women? Then check out the Sisters Who Blog 2010 Awards website so you can nominate and vote for your favourite blogs! This is a great initiative by the founders of Sisters Who Blog who want to encourage and inspire more Muslim women of all ages and nationalities to be apart of the blogosphere and share their interesting life experiences and interests with other women around the world.

Head on over there because they are giving actual awards to 52 bloggers, ya'll. In the words of Amber Misk (one of the founders of SWB),

"They deserve true appreciation, not merely in words but with something tangible".

How cool is that? Finally a real organisation that acknowledges the efforts of Muslim women bloggers! So don't forget to support this global initiative. It's as simple as joining the Sisters Who Blog network. For more information do visit their website

Malaccan Adventure Gone Wrong

Monday, June 21, 2010

Ola everyone. I just arrived home from Malacca 3 hours ago.

My family and I had fun... it was like we had a quick recap of the history of Malaysia. I should probably tell you that there are over 20 museums there! Obviously we didn't visit all of them but I learned enough to appreciate the struggles and victories of our forefathers. Malaysia was colonised for more than 500 years and we've come a long way since then ... or haven't we? I suppose that discussion itself requires an entire blog post dedicated to it. Overall, my family and I had a great trip!

Except for 1 little detail: I got sick.

Let's start from the beginning. This is what happened...




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We visited the Stadthuy's Museum

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Checked out artifacts - these are animal-shaped Chinese coins. Adorable!

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Learned new facts about my ancestors

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Explored the rest of the museum area

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Ate lunch and drank a cup of coffee to wake me up because I'm still jetlagged

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Went on a trishaw ride with blaring speakers. Gosh, I've only been back for 4 days and I've become tanned!

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The humidity and heat got to me and I gave in to the temptation of having a chilled durian chendol (Malaysian dessert)

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Strolled down Jonker Street and admired the beauty of old architectures

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Did some retail therapy. I was feeling a little dizzy then but I figure it was because of the heat. I just came from a country that is experiencing winter at the moment so that's understandable right?

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Went on a boat ride on the Malacca River that once played a significant role in trade activities in South East Asia.

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That was when it all started. I felt tired, nauseous and I had a tummy ache. I don't get car sick or boat sick therefore again, I just thought it was the heat getting to me.


15 minutes after we got off the boat ride I started to feel really, really sick. Dear readers, I learned a great lesson during this trip.

coffee + durian chendol + boat ride = holiday disaster!

I was feeling crook all yesterday night and I can barely eat today. I'm still recovering from the disaster and honestly all I want to do is sleep right now. So before I bid you good night I'd like to announce the winners of the headband giveaway. I wish I could give one to everyone who entered the "competition" but *sigh*, I only have 3 as freebies!

Headband #1: Fana Flora
Headband #2: Aneesa
Headband #3: Ajjah


Congratulations lovelies! And to those who didn't manage to grab anything this time... don't fret, I'll have another giveaway soon, inshaAllah, so be sure to try again!

And now, I can finally say
good night, selamat malam and tusbeeh ala khair.

Weekend Malaccan Adventure

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A quick update!

My family and I spontaneously decided to escape the concrete jungle for the weekend so here we are in Malaysia's very own UNESCO World Heritage City.

Malacca or Melaka as us Malaysians would say it.

When I'm back from New Zealand we come here almost every month  to visit family and friends in the outskirts of Malacca but it's been a while since I explored this city as a tourist. We're currently staying at the Equatorial Hotel and it's just minutes away from the culturally rich and colourful Jonker Street.



I'd love to stay and blog more but this bright-eyed girl's all set to explore this charming city with her fully-charged camera and inquisitive spirit. I'm off to enjoy my weekend adventure ya'll! Hopefully I'll be back with some awesome photos and experiences to tell you all about =) Adios and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

By the way......
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY TO ALL THE OH SO MACHO AND AMAZING DADDIES OUT THERE!

P.S. Looks like the giveaway winners will have to wait just a little bit so I'll still accept entries until tomorrow. It's only fair!

A Tropical Winter Holiday

Friday, June 18, 2010

Salam everyone!

After a hectic and sleepless week which felt like FOREVER I am happy to report that my exams are finally over. I finished my last one on Wednesday at 5.30 pm and I had a flight to catch at 9 p.m. that very same day. I slept 1 night in Christchurch and roughly 12 hours later can you guess where I am now?

Here's a clue. This is what I had for breakfast today.


Yup =D I am back in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! I had no plans whatsoever to come back during the winter holiday but Mum insisted. I mean, can I really say no to a warm tropical getaway with my family and friends?

So what did I do on my first day back in KL (aside from spending time with my family and doing some shopping)? I ate.... heaps!

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Enjoying my well-deserved crunchy thosai and teh tarik

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Lunch was fabulous too! I had Thai pineapple fried rice. I made sure it'd come with the pineapple... I asked the waiter, "So if I order this the pineapple comes with it right? Right?"

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... with grilled pandan chicken and mango salad

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What Thai meal would be complete without the red ruby dessert?

No dinner for me obviously! I must admit I've been so busy during the last 3 months and I was on the verge of burning out. But right now I feel like all that stress was so worth it. My exams went well alhamdulillah and I can't believe I'm here! I am so happy to be back and I'm guessing I'm not the only one...

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My cat, Yoyo, staging a demonstration. She hates it when any of us leaves. By the way, I never fail to get a 'Heavy' tag attached to my luggage. I don't know how to travel light and it's a real problem because I waste so much time packing and sorting out what to leave behind.


I'm still jetlagged and horribly sleep-deprived from all the exam studying (or cramming). Right now it's almost 2 a.m. in New Zealand. I know I'm supposed to announce the headband giveaway winners today but I'm sure you guys don't want me to fall asleep on my keyboard, do you? I haven't even called my friends to tell them that I'm back (I'm sorry guys! I'll call you tomorrow). Thank you for submitting your entries by the way! I shall announce the winners tomorrow so keep your eyes peeled for that.

Love, Sha

A Massive 'Thank You' and a Giveaway!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

You know what's amazing about the Internet?

I live in a little country called New Zealand but right now someone from Malaysia, the United Kingdom, South Africa, the United States, Egypt, Bolivia, Spain, France, Japan, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Brazil or even Bosnia could be reading this.

I started blogging when I was 15. My best friend, Marissa and I had just finished our national high school exams (PMR) in Malaysia and we were bored out of our minds. So what did 2 teenage girls in the 21st century do? We decided to learn HTML and began designing our own individual websites from scratch. In less than a year I moved to New Zealand and life as a teenager here kept me pretty occupied. That was pretty much the beginning of my blog's 6 year hiatus.

During our summer holidays last year (which is from November to January for us in the Southern Hemisphere) I was back in Malaysia and it was then that I felt the urge to start blogging again. I figured it'd be like a little cyber adventure to get my thoughts out to the world and hey, why not get to know some people from across the world at the same time?

8 months later here I am and this is my blog. No doubt there has been some stressful moments because I always feel like I have some sort of a blog deadline to meet but all in all it has been a blast getting to know you all and receiving your lovely comments and e-mails. So here's me saying a massive THANK YOU to everyone who has made me feel like I'm not sending my thoughts to a virtual black hole every time I click the 'Publish Post' button at the bottom of the screen. For some mysterious reason you guys are here reading my unpolished and somewhat insignificant words. Without your support, feedback and opinions this whole blogging experience wouldn't be as worthwhile. I really do appreciate the time you've taken to express yourself over here and in the e-mails and messages you've sent me so keep them coming because I enjoy hearing from you.

Therefore as a little token of appreciation I'd like to give away not 1, not 2 but 3 pretty headbands to 3 lucky readers whom I will pick randomly. (I know this excludes guys but I have a feeling my male readership is not as large as my female one!)





Now the question is...

How can you be eligible for this giveaway?
Step # 1. You have to be a follower of 'Colours of My Life' and it is limited to 1 entry per person. If you don't have a Blogger account don't worry just yet...

Step #2. Leave a comment and tell me what your favourite colour is and the number of the headband that you like. All those without a Blogger account can use the chatbox on the right.
e.g. My favourite colour is turquoise! Headband 3.

Step #3. Please include your e-mail address so that I'd be able to contact you. If you don't want to reveal your e-mail address in public you may e-mail me your entry at elaiza_(at)hotmail.com.

You have until 17th June 2010 to submit your entry as I'll choose the winners by Friday, 18th June. Alrighty people, it is as easy as 1,2,3... so what are you waiting for?

P.S. I have my first exam on Monday so wish me luck everyone! InshaAllah khair =)