Farewell Dinner with Reena and Voon

Two weeks at Crank Backpackers passed by in happy monotony if not for my shifts at Nuvolari. I’d work at the hostel for two hours each day, then head off to the restaurant for a split shift where I work a couple of hours at lunch and return for dinner.

Before I realized it, Reena and Voon’s time at Crank was ending. On one of my days off, we went to Fat Dog Cafe & Bar. Between the three of us, we got the beef nachos, bacon and cheese pie and a Bailey’s cheesecake. The cheesecake was to die for and I haven’t been able to find it since no matter how many times I’ve gone back!

The girls also decided to share their Malaysian Chinese cuisine with the staff by cooking us dinner. Yum! After lunch, I joined them on their grocery shopping trip to Pak n Save. We returned to the hostel and got right to the prep work. Apparently preparing the food would take just as long as the actually cooking. I didn’t believe it, but I was so wrong. There was so much chopping and dicing and slicing going on that Charlyn jumped in to help as well.

Luckily for me and everyone else who planned on eating the food, I was put in charge of making the rice. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem. I’d just wash the rice and pop it into the rice cooker. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a rice cooker so I had to do it the old school way – in a pot on the stove. Yikes! I had never cooked rice this way before, but it wasn’t too hard and turned out okay. The girls did all the hard stuff and made chicken curry, sweet and sour pork and steamed and stir-fried veggies.

With the food steaming hot, the staff met up in reception and dug in. It was delicious and I really loved the chicken curry. We hung out and chatted, which was a really nice way to celebrate our time together. It really felt like we’d been working together for months when in fact it was only a couple of weeks. While the rest of us – Charlyn, Radek, Lasse and I – were staying in Rotorua, the girls were heading to tropical Fiji before Voon returned to Malaysia and Reena continued her journey in New Zealand.

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Filed under Culture, Employment, Food, New Zealand, Travel

4 responses to “Farewell Dinner with Reena and Voon

  1. Kris

    Food, one of my favorite subjects! “Fat Dog Cafe & Bar,” sounds funny, but these kinds of places can serve some of the best food. “Malaysian Chinese,” sounds spicey and looked wonderful. What a treat! Mahalo for sharing.

  2. Aunty Sanj

    Wow, the food looked professionally made! Your experience with cooking the rice the old-fashion way brought back a lot of memories. I had to cook the rice and I always burnt it, cuz I was busy reading my book. Then I would get scoldings from Gramma or Grandpa. LOL

  3. It’s actually not as hard as I thought, but I’m too impatient with it. I never let it sit once it’s done so when I eat it the first time, it’s always too wet.

  4. Fat Dog serves huge (American-sized) portions, which is nice since the food is really expensive here in general. The decor is pretty awesome as well.

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