Words by Yeo Li-Sha
Photos by Hamza Delbar
Time: 7 pm – 9 pm
Venue: Chilli Vanilla
Travellers: Dr Tan Meng Yoe, Hong Di-Anne, Chrishandra Sebastiampillai, Jasbir Singh, Li-Sha, Hui Min, Tuck, Janice, Hannah, Fadzrin, Franklin, Norman, Nanna, Hamza
Special Guests: Puan Anne, Andrew, Rojieka, Gordon, Nasiri, Sintiah (PACOS Trust);
Rupert and Carol Augustin (Friends of Dr Tan); Jasmine (Monash Alumni)
Cultural night is a tradition in every ISO study trip where we provide a thank you dinner for all our guest speakers and friends who welcomed us warmly into their care.
Chris, Dr Tan, Hamza and I arrived at the venue minutes earlier to ensure everything for this event was in order before the team and guests arrived. Chilli Vanilla was opened by Szilvia Pinter, a Hungarian proprietor who wishes to bring authentic Hungarian and Mediterranean-inspired cuisine to discerning diners. It was a small restaurant but the atmosphere was warm and lovely with lively, upbeat music playing at the back softly – loud enough to make you want to dance, yet soft enough for you to not yell at your friends during a conversation. Located on Jalan Haji Saman, the small restaurant is highly recommended by many who have tried based on the comments and reviews on trip advisories. Besides that, based on the number of customers that were disappointed by our booking of the place proved that Chilli Vanilla really is a hotspot.
Keep a lookout when you visit
We the VIP to the MVP
A few minutes later, everyone started arriving with smiles and excitement. We were all seated randomly, immersing ourselves with conversations ranging from interviewing our guides from PACOS Trust, Andrew and Sintiah, to Nasiri funnily recalling how he was mistaken for being a girl to cutting his hair short after that experience. The quiet, warm restaurant was quickly filled with cries of laughter roaring from different corners of the room, along with the beats of clinging cutleries hitting the plates and the tempo of vegetables being chewed. First came the appetisers, then came the mains and eventually the dessert. Small restaurant, big flavours which I am positive Gordon Ramsay would approve.
Le menu for the day
Eat veggies, be healthy
Eat dessert, ignore healthy
Right before the party ended, we handed out some token of appreciations to our guest speakers from PACOS Trust – Puan Anne, Gordon and Rojieka; our lovely guides – Andrew, Sintiah and Nasiri; Friends of Dr Tan – Rupert and Carol Augustin, and lastly to our one and only safety advisor – Jasbir Singh. Dr Tan gave a thank you speech and we ended the night by announcing the winners for the Travellers’ competition. Winning the first category for the “Lightest Checked-in Luggage” was Franklin (he did not even have a luggage to check-in!). Second category for the “Best Traveller” was Hamza, and lastly “The Traveller You Seek When You Are Feeling Down” was Hannah.
With that we ended the night.
Hot chocolate with marshmallows, waffles and dance feeds that fiery determination to achieve greatness in Li-Sha. Greatness in puns and pranks that lights up the room.