Friday, May 30, 2008

The Prodigal Uncle


Sky Arena
Swiped from williamnyk.
Jaded Jeremy was recently back in Malaysia to clear his leave and settle issues regarding his HUGE financial estate. The cute uncle was in the country for days and didn't even bother to call me and SK. So pengz. Perhaps he was sulking that we told him we didn't have time to bring him around. :P. Anyway, he come down from Seremban to stay at his sis' place in Bandar Sri Damansara and on Wesak, we brought him to see the sights at Putrajaya. Had the chance to meet his sis and her fiance too and for the first time, I perceived him as "tall" (jangan marah you...). It was actually a photoshoot with Apollo as our professional photographer, with the offical theme "Red". SK even wore a skirt for the occassion(!). I told JJ to come with a few changes of clothes-- speedo, hot pants, tank top and mesh-T. But he just came with a few T-shirts. So boring. We started off at the Masjid Putra area, then the Ministry of Finance, the Wawasan Bridge and a newly opened area near Precint 5. Weather conditions were kinda hazy and so the pics didn't turn out too nice, but our semangat camwhoring shone through anyway.

Towards evening, SK, JJ and I went swimming at Damansara. It was fun except for a couple of fucktards who kept on diving into the pool like a pair psychotic lemmings on fire. The only consolation was that they had ripped bodies. lol. After the swim, SK brought us to dinner at Kepong-- Restoran Tuck Fook. The place is famous for its cheap crab dishes. Only MYR16-MYR20 per kg for their delicious and fleshy crabs. Even my aunt who is from a fishing background says that it's value for money. Ordered sweet and sour crabs, homemade beancurd and superior soup lala. Only the crabs were good. So if you go there, don't bother about the rest. JJ had it sooooooo good-- SK actually de-shelled the crabs for him. It only fell short of chewing the meat and feeding it to him. Heh. The next time I meet JJ is most probably during my next conjugal visit to Singapore... until then...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Frangi

For the first time ever stepped into Frangipani, Changkat Bukit Bintang to celebrate the ulangtahun of one of the directors of the Jaylex Foundation, JL. Didn't go upstairs to the bar (missed out on the alternative atmosphere), just the restaurant. Helluva posh place. Walls of perforated steel with flower motifs and a pool of water smack dab in the middle of it. Tastefully surrounded by pillars around the water's edge. The ambience is good, and I can imagine a very romantic dinner with KH, dining right by the pool. Looks expensive and IS expensive. The cheapest main course is MYR52++ (Wagyu beef-- the beef melts in your mouth and has a wonderful aroma) and the most expensive Angus beef is priced at MYR98++. o.O. I had the Roughy fillet that came with a side of iceberg lettuce that has probably been blanched for half a day to make sure that every shred of vitamins had been leeched out.

Anyway, along with the price, one can expect snooty service and even snootier patrons. They were VERY concerned by the fact that we had underutilized a large table (which is a flaw on our part I must say), but not like people were lining up to get in anyway. And when we started taking photos, an "acutely photo-sensitive" caucasian woman got up to complain in a most berating voice that we should cease and desist. I sincerely hope we didn't cause her any long term trauma. The waiters kept on enquiring about the number of patrons and kept on pushing us to go upstairs when it was obvious that some were still eating. And seeing that some of us didn't order any main course (I guess wine and dessert doesn't constitute as "paying customers"), they quickly scrimped on the bread. Cheapo.

In a nutshell, I wouldn't go there again.

...

Unless someone treats. Or for the wagyu beef... :P

Monday, May 26, 2008

All Things Pan Mee


collagePanMee
Swiped from williamnyk.
In my hometown of Kuantan, Pan Mee is actually known as Mien Fan Kou. That literally translates to "flour confection". Since I was a kid, I only enjoyed the "soupy teared" version. Only after I moved to KL that I started venturing into the "dry noodle" type. Over here, people seem to be obsessed with the "spicy dry noodle" version, which is best represented by the supposed pioneer, Kin Kee. For the usual "dry noodle" version I find the one at TTDI (same row with Peek-a-Boo, opposite Plaza VADS) to be quite good. One can also opt for it to be served with Assam Laksa soup which is kinda weird. But SK finds it so-so only. Her colleague recommends one in Wangsa Maju. Will just have to wait for her review. In Central Hypermart, OKR, one can also find a famous Pan Mee there. Also famous for its "dry noodle" version but the difference lies in its ingredients-- fried beancurd sheets, fried special meat slices and a thick gravy that is reminiscent of Penang style Chu Cheong Fun sans shrimp paste. Quite novel. But for the good old "soupy teared" version, try the one at Kedai Makanan Tian Kee at Taman Naga Emas, Salak Selatan New Village. The uniqueness lies in its dough. The dough is kneaded into balls the size of small glutinous rice balls and left to soak in water. Before cooking, it is flatted with fingers, which gives it its distinctive shape. It is dubbed crystal pan mee because there is no flour taste at all. Phew.

Spoilt for choice hor?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Go Low


Innie
Swiped from williamnyk.
Although SK's recent underwear poll declared DanielH as the winner, I was not discouraged from pursuing my interest in he realm of all things loin-cladding. Hence, I shall do my first underwear review here today and you're all part of history in the making. In recent times, I have seen men's underwear manufacturer's in Malaysia getting bolder and bolder. Designing stuff that is both uncommon and sexy. From the boring but basic mini briefs of yesteryear, the underwear racks in department stores have spread out to jockstraps, pouches and boxer briefs. Even the boxer briefs have undergone a revolution where the inseam is getting shorter and shorter (I heart low-rise). Materials have gone from the practical cotton to the more luxurious and high-tech textiles like lycra, tactel, mesh and microfiber. Boring solids of blue, black, white and grey have also been replaced by bold prints, decals, embroidery and rhinestones. Much fusion can be seen and the latest to catch my eye is from the Skinxwear Sporti range-- specifically the low-rise boxer shorts. It looks like your usual boxer shorts, except with a shorter leg, but inside is a feature I have not seen before-- a pouch for your family jewels. So you get the look, but not the freedom to "hang free". Kinda defeats the purpose of wearing boxer shorts, no? Matters not, I always buy underwear for the novelty factor. :P.

Outtie

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Naive


Naive
Swiped from williamnyk.
Fancy paying MYR15,000 for a piece of art that looks like something that your bratty nieces or nephews could have drawn? Do visit the Naive Art Exhibition at the Annexe, Central Market. The resident naive art exponent there is Yusof Gajah, but I didn't notice any of his paintings there. Don't be mislead by my first statement about naive art. Actually it's quite interesting and pleasing to the eye. The colours are bold and vibrant. The themes are fresh and innocent. The intricate brushwork creates an illusion of texture and gives some of the paintings a 3D quality. It may look kiddy, but in an adult sort of way. Recurring themes include rural scenes and animals like cats, dogs and fish. FYI, for MYR50, you can be given guidance on naive art at Yusof Gajah's gallery. Inclusive of canvas and acrylic paints for you to finish one painting. You can come back again and again until you finally finish your painting. Cool, right?

Liuli has been around for some time, but has only recently made it's presence known in the general public with the penetration of Liuli shops in malls. Recently, Liuligongfang Gallery sponsored a Liuli Exhibition at The Pavilion featuring contemporary works by Loretta H. Yang, a renowned Taiwanese actress turned contemporary Chinese Liuli artisan. Liuli is basically an ancient chinese glass art. The result is clear, fluid and colourful glass sculptures. Most impressive, especially with strategic lighting. In Loretta's collection, the influence of Buddhism is strong and she prefers to work with white or transparent pieces. Flowers are also another favourite subject matter. Too bad I didn't bring my camera.

By the time you read this, both exhibitions would most probably have already ta pau balik rumah. :P.

Liuli

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

La Vista Bistro

The dinner for Mother's Day and mum's birthday was held at La Vista Bistro at Plaza TTDI, Taman Tun Dr. Ismail. Not that I heard rave reviews about the place, but I just took a gamble as it was one of the places that my Global Privileges voucher entitled me to 50% off food. :P. If you do a quick search on the net, you won't find many reviews on it because I suspect that it's the new kid on the block. The only useful comment I saw was that it's "house wine (white) sucked". I didn't realize that Plaza TTDI is suc a happening place. It has a covered boulevard concept reminiscent of NZX. Everything is basically white-washed and bathed in hypnotic blue light, with twinkly little lights overhead. Mostly occupied by night spots and restaurants, the patrons seem to consist primarily of the employees from nearby offices like Schlumberger and VADS. Too bad IBM had moved or it would be an even more "happening" place.

The restaurant is quite small really and the decor is nothing to comment about, but I must say that the food is good. Thanks to the sauces really. Since my brother is the authority on ang moh food, we let him do the ordering (and most importantly he was paying, :P). The dinner consisted of:
  1. Beef Carpaccio-- Thin slices of beef topped with portabello mushrooms, cheddar cheese and rocket. Citrus-y and fresh.
  2. Pan-fried Foie Gras with Marinated Portobello-- The portion of foie gras is not as generous as you will get at Le Bouchon, but it is as mouth-watering. The bed of mushrooms at the bottom are also very flavourful.
  3. Fried Calamari-- A "safe" dish ordered for the benefit of my bro-in-law. The salsa-like dip was delicious.
  4. Roasted Cod Fish-- their signature dish, very good. The texture of the fish was to die for.
  5. Linguine con L'Anatra Di Arrosto-- Duck breast in pasta. Never had a duck dish that spoke to me.
  6. Linguine Carbonara-- My brother commented that it's good as the creaminess wasn't over-powering. I never really liked carbonara.
  7. Sea Bass-- Not as nice as the cod (cod is cod!), but quite interesting with tangerines and lemons.
  8. Lamb Chops-- Ordered it medium well but the meat was a bit tough. Average.
  9. Panna Cotta-- My brother's favourite. I never quite liked it. But the consistency is unlike those you normally see at hotel buffets.
  10. Homemade Tiramisu-- Not on par with the one at Alexis, but an admirable attempt.
  11. Banana Flambe with Crepe-- Nothing special really, the name says it all. My mum makes a better crepe. :P. But I'm a sucker for cooked bananas.

Dinner was accompanied by a bottle of Pinot Noir that was quite good. The bill for the night came to about MYR350 after discount. I definitely recommend the place if you have the money to spend. But just be warned that the portions are not for gourmands.

collageLaVista1

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Shopaholic

Sis is giving birth in less than a month and being the future "uncle" (such a dirty word), it is right for me to get something for my soon-to-be-born nephew (expected mid June). It's not difficult knowing what to get with my sister.

"Get me the hamper they have on sale at Mamours."

Thank goodness it was on sale. So off I went to get it at Midvalley Megamall. However, a simple objective like that can so easily be usurped by other whims and fancies. We started off at Robinsons since the car was parked there. In just 15 minutes in the department store, mum bought a Balenciaga handbag and a bra. Moving on to G2000, I bought 3 pairs of slacks for myself! (KH is still grumbling in disbelief). Finally, the raison for going to MV in the firstplace, the baby stuff hamper. Kids get it so good these days. French technology. Thermometer pacifiers. Anti-colic bottles (with heat indicators if the milk is too hot!) and bottle sterilizers. Even award-winning educational VCDs (Rollie Pollie Ollie-- beats having to watch Barney).

The damage for the day was MYR900++! Entitled us to two pots of Grassula from the HSBC Credit Card redemption booth and 7 entries for their contest-- had to guess the value of Guess goods on a pair of mannequins. Wish me luck!

P.S.: Sorry SK, but I do not like the book by Kinsella, S.

Friday, May 16, 2008

As Easy As 123


123
Swiped from threedots.
Tagged by Little Dove, so here goes:

Pick up the nearest book: The nearest book is on my laptop in PDF format, "MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-536) Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 Application Development Foundation"
Turn to page 123: Shift-Ctrl-N, 1 2 3, Enter
Find the 5th sentence: Eyeball, eyeball, eyeball...

Post it up in a blog: writer.Close();

Tag 5 people: I think all the lazy bloggers have done it already. :P

Ominous? My exam's on the 30th! Four more chapters to go and a sample exam to finish! Arghhh.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Aqva


Bvlgari
Swiped from williamnyk.
I'm here today to share with all of you SK's It Pays To Be A Dear programme. For the benefit of those who are in the dark about the programme, SK actually chooses oustanding individuals to be awarded the title of Dear. Along with this title comes great responsibility (sorry, Spiderman crossover) great benefits that only the designated Dear's may reap. But firstly, let me spell out the terms and conditions:
  1. The selection of Dear's is made on the sole discretion of SK. The title may be stripped at any time without notice.
  2. Candidates must be male and of acceptable cuteness.
  3. Dear's may unilaterally terminate the contract, but SK reserves the right to address them as Dear.
  4. There is no limit to the number of Dear's at any given time, with the exception of DEAR which is henceforth referred to with capital letters.
  5. There can only be 1 (one) DEAR at any given time and all other Dear's can only use the title with the postfix, e.g. Dear 2.
  6. The numbering does not in any way denote seniority, merely sequence.
Basically, being a Dear does not carry with it any concrete benefits. However, it is a highly sought-after status symbol. Being a DEAR on the other hand DOES have its benefits and I happen to be the current DEAR. :P. The most recent perk:

SK exchanged 33,250 HSBC credit card reward points to exchange a bottle of Bvlgari Aqva for me!!!

I wanted to get this fragrance the last time I was in Singapore, but I got myself cK Eternity Summer due to the price. It pays to be a DEAR, no?

P.S.: Don't forget to inquire about the Kawan programme too.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Submit, Damn You!

After putting off the Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 problem at my old site for weeks, I have finally found the time and the perfect environment to simulate the problem. Preliminary findings suggest that after installing the security enhancements, the RequiredFieldValidators on longer allow a form to submit normally, hence my log in problem. I do not know whether this is an issue with .NET Framework v1.1 or perhaps there is something special about the server configuration as it works fine on my boss' laptop. Grrr. If it is truly the validation controls that are causing havoc, then there would be sweeping fixes across the system! Crap! So sienz. I hate X-files. :(.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

All Things Avian

OMG. Had Nasi Rendang Ayam for lunch. Ayam Goreng McD for tea. Steamed Kampung Chicken for dinner. Kai, kai and more kai.

P.S.: It is freaking hot. I am melting from the heat.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Hans Solo?

Just watched Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom the other day on TV and it really brought back memories. Noticed a small bit of trivia. In the opening scene, the night club that Indy was in was called

Club Obi Wan

And the Chinese kid Short Round is sooooooooo cute. In the final scene, we get to see Harrison Ford shirtless and it's quite acceptable. I just hope there will not be an attempt in Crystal Skull. Don't want it to end up like a aged Clint Eastwood sex scene. I also used to love immitating the Thuggee priest, chanting

"Kali Ma, Kali Ma, Shakti he!"

together with childhood best friend, Pash. Disturbing, kan? Oh well, so much for reminiscing.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

客家擂茶


客家擂茶
Swiped from lanchiung.
For lui cha lovers out there (I've got a feeling I can count them all with one hand), here's an update on the latest place serving this healthy and hearty meal:

Ming Tien, SS24

It's one of the stalls inside the main area. You can get a very big portion for MYR5 (it can't beat Oriental Bowl Restaurant's portion, but that's at MYR10!). The soup is thicker than the one at Ho Boh and you can immediately catch the aroma of the mint and Thai basil. The toppings are quite good and they are not stingy with the roasted peanuts. My only complain is that it's a tad salty for my taste.

Go give it a try.

Even if you hate it.

P.S.: Kung Fu Kitchen in Aman Suria also serves Lui Cha for MYR7, but I've not tried it.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Dororo & Ayakashi


ayakashi06
Swiped from winghon83.
Been ages since I did a movie review. So, here's a double to make up for the lack of it. Firstly, I have speak of Ayakashi. It's a trio of Japanese classic horror stories in anime. Japanese stories are usually weird, and this is no exception. Each story is animated by different artists and is told in a different way, so it's all quite fresh.
  1. Yotsu Ya Kai Dan - Typical vengeful ghost story about a disfigured wife
  2. Ten Shu Mono Gatari - A forbidden love story between man and man-eating (in the literal and non-literal) demoness
  3. Bake Neko - The most stylised of the three. About a vengeful cat demon vs. travelling medicine seller
Of the three, the last story made the least sense but was the most beautifully drawn. The first was kinda like a documentary with a Japanese version of James Earl Jones as narrator. The second story was the most forgettable.

Dororo is a fantasy movie about a general's son who was born without 48 of his body parts because his father made a pact with 48 demons. Having been fitted with a fake body (move over $6,000,000 Dollar Man), he sets out to recover all his original parts. The movie ends at part #24 and it doesn't say how he got his genitals back. Damn! Cute hero with a great mop of hair. Think Haohmaru of Neo Geo's Samurai Shodown. Quite lengthy, but it's not too bad and has quite nice CGI. But do expect the occasional man in a monster suit.

"Take a listen!"

P.S.: Do you recognize that phrase? (Hint: Frequently mouthed by a Japanese TV show host in the early 90s)

      Wednesday, May 07, 2008

      Mother's {Day|Birthday}


      Pingu
      Swiped from elewa.
      Every year, my mum celebrates her birthday on the 5th of May. Extremely easy to remember. And as we all know, the month of May is also the season for Mother's Day. One can always tell from the sudden burst in advertising for everything from massage chairs (thank God Amber Chia's "swollen tongue" radio ad was not reused this time round), jewellery, crystal to spas. My mother is a very difficult person to shop for. She is very fickle (I can blame her for this trait in me, :P), so there is a high possibility that she might not like the gift and not use it altogether. So we usually get her to choose it herself, but there's no surprise in that.

      Past years had seen gifts like silver accessories, spa packages and family trips... so this year, I'm a little stumped. Then it came to me:

      Air Conditioner

      A very unconventional gift. But it is out of necessity. After menopause, my mother has become very sensitive to heat. She would complain of "flames at her back"-- I guess those what are termed as hot flashes (and sometimes, when she gets those, I get "burnt" too!). She had always hinted that it would be nice to have her room air-- conditioned, but I was kinda concerned about utility bills, so I kinda shrugged it off. Now that I find the idea more feasible (it is undenably freaking hot these days), I roped in my siblings and they agreed to my idea.

      So, I started shopping for an air-conditioner. Concerned with power usage, of course I was interested to find out more about the one's that use the "inverter" technology that supposedly cuts power consumption by half. From my research, I found that the savings were quite misleading. The money you save on utilities is transferred to the yearly maintenance. The gas is more than double the price and the installation fees are nearly triple that of the usual units. Teruk. I guess there is no perfect solution. Finally decided on a conventional Mitsubishi. Can finally say hello to cooler times ahead.

      Monday, May 05, 2008

      Mama Sayang


      Nyonya Sayang
      Swiped from williamnyk.
      Does your Mama sayang you? If she doesn't, then head over to Restoran (Sayur-Sayuran) Nyonya Mama Sayang at Taman Desa, on the same row as Taman Desa Hospital. Mama's all ready out front with her bronze boobs, ready to give you a bear hug you'll never forget. With that out of the way, you can head in for some vegetarian nyonya food that's impressive in natural taste. We didn't know what to order as the colleague who recommend the place to me couldn't recall what she ate. Luckily, they have very professional staff there. An elderly (and portly) woman took our orders. She recommended the mutton curry (great texture from the chopped mushroom stumps and fragrant curry), special beancurd (very smooth fried self-made beancurd with white fungus) and mixed vegetables with fermented beancurd. All the dishes did not leave an icky post-MSG taste in my mouth. And the soya milk is obviously self-blended as one can detect the bean-y smell-- most probably why their bean curd is so tasty too.

      The restaurant is actually part of the Ahimsa Group of companies. Other related restaurants include Giant Bowl, Old Klang Road and Ahimsa at Endah Parade. They also have a discount card programme. I have tried the other two restaurants, but I must say that Mama Sayang is the best. In addition to food, the restaurant also sells organic and vegetarian food products. Buddhism is also promoted with a wallfull of religious CDs. DO check it out.

      P.S.: I wrote this post past midnight and my stomach is grumbling...
      P.P.S.: Sorry... no pictures. Take my word for it.

      Friday, May 02, 2008

      Gut Instinct

      For many years now, my mother has been complaining of bloating, gastric reflux, low appetite and weak digestion. Nothing was pin-pointed. Nothing was diagnosed. And with the recent news that her elder sister is stricken with liver cancer has drummed more worry into her. As a result, I brought to Pantai Hospital for a body checkup. Just a case of high cholesterol (even I have it, :(), but seeing that there is a family history of cancer (my maternal grandma died of suspected stomach cancer some thirty years ago), the doctor recommended her to do a more detailed checkup. So, we were pointed to Tung Shin Hospital to see their general surgeon cum hepato-billiary specialist.

      Took one of my replacement leave that I earned working on weekends to accompany my mother and to avoid my leave becoming something that is "can see but cannot eat". We arrived there at 10:00am to get an earlier number. The doctor arrived at 11:00am, but that's OK since his nurse already warned us about that. By the time he saw my mum, it was nearly noon. Really a pleasant doctor. Indian, but speaks fluent cantonese. Uses medical terms that even I do not know. He suggested a full barrage if tests including a blood test for tumour markers, an endoscopy and an ultrasound. The blood test was normal, but the endoscopy revealed that my mum has gastritis. The doctor showed me the red dots all over her gastric lining. They pinched out two tissue samples from her stomach (like some evil grappling hook), which were later found positive for Helicobacter pylori.

      After mum had recovered from the procedure, I brought her to do the ultrasound at the imaging department. They forgot about her, so we stupidly waited for 45 minutes. Having settled that (results were normal), we quickly went to eat at the cafeteria as mum had fasted for 15 hours already! The food was quite tasty and cheap. But perhaps my hunger amplified whatever virtue it had. Luckily the ultrasound film was developed faster than expected and we went back to consult the doctor.

      More waiting as he had left for the operating theater. By the time he got back, it was nearly five. He prescribed my mum some antibiotics for the infection and we were on our way. It was our first experience at Tung Shin, and I must say that the nurses are very helpful and efficient. They would always keep us informed. Surpisingly not grumpy and cranky. The only bad service I encountered was at the imaging department. Expenses racked up for the day:

      MYR895

      Considered cheap for health and peace of mind.