Tea Time, Food Paradise and Koi Watching at City Mall

By Mildred Jones

If you’re following my articles, you know I have transported myself into the bubble of creativity that City Mall, Johore Bahru provides; to soften thy pockets and fill thy gut. I have been immersed in drinking coffees, juices and trying out all desserts. Amidst the financial economic climate, let’s bring in some luck and a few options to get tasty and affordable food and drinks. Restaurants in Singapore close to the border are starting to compete…..geared to the common man, cheers! Join in!Nonya Leaf at City Mall

Nonya Leaf

The best ‘Kopi Susu’ (strongly brewed coffee with milk) I’ve had is at Nonya Leaf. Traditionally made, it’s served in a delicate flower design ceramic tea cup with saucer. I have always been fascinated by these tea cup sets and if you are so interested here are a some sets for you to check out.

Before you accuse me of digressing, the Nonya Leaf has quite a lot to offer with desserts like ‘Baked Ubi’, ‘Sayo Ubi’ and ‘Pulau Hitam.’ If you’re looking for something spectacular, try the ‘Fruit Rojak’ with its sprinkle of peanuts which gives it a nice crunchy bite.Baked Desserts at Nonya Leaf

There are a variety of main dishes on the menu including ‘Nonya Laksa’, ‘Nasi Lemak’ and ‘Mee Siam with Rendang’ (with a double take of a full curry beef side dish that goes with your main dish.) After all this, add a curry puff with your ‘Chendol’ that is an old fashioned Asian version of running treacle, golden brown ‘Gula Melaka’ that is often teamed with rich coconut milk and swimming green jelly!

Wearing gluttony, I slipped into the Food Paradise and had a refreshing cold juice of sweet honey dew. Other affordable drinks include a Longan drink which is served warm at 2.50Rm! What’s that you say? Yes, quite remarkable shopping mall prices!  

Extremely humble, the waiters were eager to please and when there we ordered a spot of dim sum. Steamed ‘Siew Mai’ sitting in a basket soon arrived quickly and we ate with our legs dangling off wooden furniture, looking into traditional marbled faced shops, tastefully designed with a fusion of Chinese culture complementing a contemporary modern look.

5th Floor Koi Pond

This pond is filled with all colors of carp, red and white, gold and I swear there was a catfish stubbornly playing up against a miniature fountain spring!

Attributes of the koi symbolize several lessons we learn in life.

  • Koi fish demonstrate their ability to swim against currents and even travel upstream; a symbol of power and an energetic life force, during hard times.
  • Other characteristics associated with the koi include: good fortune, success, prosperity, longevity, courage, ambition and perseverance.

Many of these symbolic meanings of koi fish stem from the Chinese legend of the Dragon Gate where it’s told that a koi fish swam upstream through waterfalls and other obstacles to reach the top of the mountain. The legend depicts that when the koi finally reached the top it became a dragon, one of the most auspicious creatures in Chinese culture.

The fish’s colouring are also important symbols. The colours represent certain aspects or outcomes in life.

  • Kohaku – This koi has a white body with red spots and symbolizes success in your career.
  • Kumonryu – There are two main variations of this koi. One variation is a koi with a white body and black spots and the other with a complete black body. This Kumonryu koi symbolizes life changes and transformations.
  • Ogon – This solid, silver coloured koi symbolically represents success in business and wealth.
  • Kuchibeni – This white and red patterned koi has a red colouring around its mouth and it appears as if the fish is wearing lipstick. Kuchibeni koi represents love, deep and lasting relationships.
  • Yamabuki – The Yamabuki koi is gold in colouring and representative of riches and wealth. There are many other species to note.image (1)

Yin Yang and the Koi Symbol In ‘Feng Shui’, the koi is relative to the yin yang symbol. The black and white tear drops of the yin yang symbol are representations of a pair of one male and one female koi. The eye of each teardrop is symbolic of a watchful eye. The pairing of koi is usually reared as a good luck symbol for a happy marriage.

The children and adults were saying their friendly hellos and feeling quite lucky. We were all gathering at the koi pond, many nodding their heads in appreciation of the beautiful fish and enjoying what was left of the evening.

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