We haven't done a scrap of packing. The dogs got their rabies jabs this afternoon but we're still muddling through the 10 page visa application forms and procrastinating about ridding the apartment of unused stuff and junk, vaguely rationalising that since the movers won't be here until early December then we have loads of time. Which is kind of OK since we don't actually make the big move until January.
My friends though, are better organised. Last Friday, Mrs L, superb hostess and most excellent cook, probably anticipating that we'll be homesick for Asian food when we go over, threw an extravagant laksa party to send us off. Three types of laksa- Nonya, Sarawak and Penang- were served. In addition to the fantastic laksa spread, there was also her signature sedap pakoras made with 15 secret ingredients and fingerlicking deep fried quails. Jeremy couldn't make it to the party but he sent M with three whole lemon cheesecakes. The host, Mr L, made sure everyone was well lubricated with plenty of wines and Trappist beer. Yes, wow! I don't know how we came to deserve this but we know we are truly blessed to have such thoughtful and generous friends.
The laksas were amazing. For noodles there was a choice of yellow mee, thick beehoon and for the Malaysians among us, fine beehoon. Toppings included peeled prawns, shredded chicken, quail eggs, char siew (another Malaysian touch) and the compulsory raw cockles. My favourite was the Sarawak laksa, Mrs L went to considerable trouble and expense to have it airflown from the East Malaysian state to ensure authenticity, the gravy was that distinctive style of deep, multilayered flavours, not overwhelmingly rich but with a unique spicyness that is also herbal and nutty. Most of the guests, husband included, went crazy for the Nonya laksa which was just the right balance of rich, spicy and fragrant. My sister though, loved the Penang laksa, its tanginess and fresh herbs a refreshing foil to its rich Nonya counterpart. It was only at the end of the evening that Mrs L revealed that she had never made laksa before!
Apologies for the blurry image, but I was too distracted with chatting, eating and drinking to focus on the photographs. Ivan was more hardworking, check out his flickr set.