Wednesday, December 31, 2008

KY's infamous Xmas Eve Party

What a better way to spend Xmas Eve than being at a party full of happening people and free booze?!! Gosh, it was my first time attending KY's infamous Xmas Eve Party that he holds every year for the fifth year. I brought along a bottle of Absolut Mango but was finished in a daze, very much thanks to Huai Bin's drinking habits.

Free Booze!!! All sponsored by Tuborg (from Siao Ling)

They were quite a number of people at Ky's pad. Most of them I've met before but there were also quite a handful of people whom I haven't met before. Can't really remember all the names and I'll try my best here to recollect my memory bank. I went there early, at about 9.30pm with Huai Bin. His sense of direction in PJ is still bad and of course he would be happy to get a free ride from a girl!!! A 10minute-journey from his place to KY's place took him almost an hour previously. Haha... And that's not the record. KY has a friend that took almost 1 and a half hours to find his place!

Rachel, Firdy, Me (with my cigar and wine), Suanie & Huai Bin

From top left: Cindy Tey, Rachel, Horny Horng, KY, Siao Ling, Huai Bin & Simon Seow.

Then there were also this guy whom goes around with two jugs of a mixture of booze - his own concoction with the names Life or Death. I always take both. Sometimes I like the Life jug and sometimes the Death. Thanks to him, many got drunk! That's Terence.

I am drinking Death!

The gift exchange session was funny. This year's theme is to bring a present that you can wear. There were loads of panties, condoms and everything else funny. Not to mention that our dear Mr.Sixthseal did a live performance of showing us how he wears one without an erection! There were also other interesting stuff like a bra, lipstick and stockings. The rule is that the next person in line to choose a gift can also snatch the gifts that has been opened. It was fun to see people snatching each other's gifts.

KY distributing the numbers.

The gifts...

This is what I got from Shaolin Tiger. Thanks!

I didn't know that the party got better as we progressed because people do all sorts of funny things when they were drunk. Firdy was so funny because when he was drunk, he went around telling people to be careful "the earth is moving". And how he can hold on to his wine glass without spilling when he himself constantly falling amused me.

Bob the Builder turned into a Joker.

I really had a good time there. We ended the party after 4am which is after a surprise visit by the PDRM. Then we proceeded for a makan session at Ming Tien before I head home. Read KY's full report here because I am very lazy to elaborate.


Monday, December 29, 2008

MAMMA MIA the musical

"I've been cheated by you since I don't know when. So I made up my mind, it must come to an end" ....

... was what my sister belted out to me after I have collected my tickets at the Istana Budaya yesterday at 1.30pm. I just made a blunder, a fool out of myself. From 12noon, I was pratically chasing my sisters and my mom out of the house because I wanted to collect the Mamma Mia tickets early before the 3pm show so that we can have lunch and then watch the musical. As I arrived at the ticket counter by presenting my booking reference number, they told me that my name was not on the list! How could it be not on the list?!! I already paid for the tickets through telephone booking months ahead! Then they sent me to another counter and did a search on my booking reference and found out that I booked tickets for the 8.30pm show and not 3.00pm! My heart almost stopped.

Well, it's better to be early than never. Imagine I would have booked the show at 3pm and came at 8.30pm, wouldn't it be the funniest joke ever?!! My mom called me a blur. My sisters were too amused at my blurness. We ended up spending the whole day at Pavilion until 7.30pm. I broke a record that day by not buying a single thing even when I spent almost 6 hours there! Impressive isn't it? But... I do spot 2 jackets which I loved at ZARA costing RM399 each. Anyone want to contribute to Eiling's Jacket Foundation in the spirits of Xmas & New Year?!! I think just RM1 per reader for 2 days will allow me to get those two jackets by new year's eve. Brilliant eh?!!

But since I'm driving, paying for all the tickets and also the lunch treat at Emperor Q in Pavilion, they cannot complain! We entered the hall at 8.00pm and waited for quite a while before they dimmed the lights and the music started playing. The sound system was good and I think it was loud. Probably has to do with old age and I cannot accept head-banging level music now. The actors and actresses were all good. Not only the acting was well polished, their singing was so mesmerising. The changing of scenes were fast and swift and the music was all perfect. Everyone had a good laugh at the musical because some scenes were really funny.

It's a story of:
A mother. A daughter. 3 possible dads.
And a trip down the aisle you'll never forget!

The Lim sisters with Mamma

There were....

"People everywhere, A sense of expectation hanging in the air, Giving out a spark
Across the room your eyes a
re glowing in the dark
And here we go again, we know the start, we know the end
Masters of the scene
We've done it all before and now we're back to get some more
You know what I mean"

For a start, I really like this musical. There wasn't a tinge of regret splurging on those tickets. Although the seats that I bought wasn't close to the stage but the sense of being there to watch it live was worth every penny. Even if the ticket is RM400, it's still better than buying an air ticket all the way to watch the musical at West End London. This is truly a must-watch because this troop is from the London and not the one from Australia.

"So I say

Thank you for the music, the songs I'm singing
Thanks for all the joy they're bringing
Who can live without it, I ask in all honesty
What would life be?

Without a song or a dance what are we?
So I say thank you for the music
For giving it to me"

Note: Due to overwhelming response, the extra shows will be held at Istana Budaya on Jan 2 (8.30pm), Jan 3 (3pm and 8.30pm) and Jan 4 (3pm). Tickets for the extra shows are priced at RM500, RM400, RM300 and RM200 for the different seating tiers.

Watch this video. This is exactly what goes on in one of the scenes of "I do, I do, I do". Enjoy.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

vPOST-NUFFNANG Party in Singapore Part II

This is really a random post on the things that I've been up to in Singapore. Not only the vPOST-NUFFNANG party was fun, I had other interesting indulgences too! Our accommodation at Marriott Singapore was paid for, as well as our ride to and from Singapore was also taken care of.

The hotel was at a very strategic location, just within Tangs itself and on the infamous Orchard Road. I managed to shop a while with KY, Huai Bin & Jolyn which is a pair of black stockings to be wore together with my garters. It cost me SGD40!!! The fact that how interested the guys are at the lingerie department just amuses me...

This is really an awesome breakfast that the gang (KY, Suanie & Elaine) introduced to me when in Singapore. It was a Subway Melt with pork bacon, hams and cheese. You only get it in Singapore because in Malaysia, it's halal! It was so good that I had it two days in a row while I was there together with a cup of cappuccino. The next day, I asked Suanie out for a Subway Melt but she can't get out of bed! Lol...

On the second night, I put up a stay at Fourseasons. It was just a stone throw away from Marriott's. In fact, it was linked to Hilton Singapore through some linked walkways filled with branded boutiques. From the outside, it was just a humble hotel nestled within the higher grounds of Orchard Road. The interior of the hotel is filled with art pieces and antique collections. It's very oriental and yet modern.

I really love the bed. It was high (no pun intended) and cosy.

The bathroom was so inviting. I had my showers 3-4 times a day!

Two basins to a person! Lol...

They give L'occitane toiletries and not some hotel-label ones.

From a range of Chamomile, blackcurrant, English Breakfast, Earl Grey to Green Tea and Davidoff coffee for your enjoyment.

A great minibar for an alcoholic like Huai Bin.

That night, I had dinner at Iggy's at The Regent which was voted as one of the Top 100 best restaurants in the world. I didn't know about it until I came back to Malaysia and did a google search on it. No wonder the gastronomic degustation menu which was fixed cost SGD195 per person excluding wine. I didn't really enjoy the menu except for the Foie Gras with Creme Brulee. But they do serve very good Valrhona chocolate dessert and a cute lemon tart that has a sparkling effect on the tongue. It's something I used to have when I was a kid where the crystals sparks when in touch with water. Very innovative and creative.

I didn't realise that the day itself is a Winter Solstice Festival or known as "Guo Dong" by the chinese. It's a day where we get to eat the gultinuos balls or tong yuen. I really missed having that because I love those white, green and red coloured balls. My friend was so kind that he wanted to arrange the hotel to make me some of it for supper but I declined. I was full to the throat and my stomach wasn't feeling too well either. I always get a stomache upset when I had my meals too late. However, the thought of it was sweet enough.

I shall continue with Part III another day as I now need to collect my MAMMA MIA tickets at Istana Budaya for a Sunday Matinee show later. Ciao.

Related post : vPOST-NUFFNANG Party in Singapore Part I

Friday, December 26, 2008

12 Days of Christmas....

....reworked in an Indian style.

Definitely not to offend any Indians out there but this is really a cute song for Christmas. If you have seen it, then watch it again. If you haven't, then click away!

This is introduced to me at Ming Tien after Ky's Xmas Eve party by Kim & Gareth.

Still find it funny after watching it for 4 times!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas 2008

This is to wish everyone a blessed Merry Christmas today! What can be more exciting about Christmas besides the parties, the end of the year feeling but the anticipation of opening gifts?!! And today I've got a story to tell where one silly lady returns a beautiful Christmas gift to the giver.

I had early gifts, which has been posted here. But recently I have acquired yet another gift, a class of its own and a label that I haven't heard of in my entire life of 1-year-short-of-quarter-of-a-century-old.

What was so intriguing about the gift is that, how come a humble necklace with red resin pieces strung together silk strings which looked like a nothing more than a RM50 gift can be so expensive after being tagged as a MARNI?!! And how could a fashionista and branded lady like me didn't know MARNI?!!!

A quick google on MARNI shed a light into what was called an Italian fashion label founded by Consuelo Castigloni in 1994, who has always been the label's designer. Marni has recently risen to prominence as women have turned away from overtly sexy clothing to designs emphasizing color, print, and shape. The label carries clothes, shoes, bags and accessories. It's designs are quirky, bold and I'll say it's truly style.

How can something looked so simple and harmless command such a hefty and deadly price tag? Although I don't really know the exact price of this particular necklace, a quick google leads me to websites selling MARNI accessories at heart-attack prices. A MARNI's necklace can cost between USD200 - USD1000. And it's not even gold nor diamond-studded (read my lips)! For that price, I would have gone for Tiffany & Co anytime. At least people will know that it's a USD200 Tiffany & Co necklace and not some RM50 necklace that I can get cheaper at Petaling Street. I would have guessed that this piece is no less than a few hundred bucks.

So what was even more interesting is that after I have found out about it, I decided to do the wise thing - return the gift to the giver (not the boutique to exchange another one, mind you) because it's just not right to receive such an expensive gift from someone whom you just knew! It's not that I can accept it if I know him for months, it's just that girls always put a price tag to gifts and for me, I find it difficult accepting expensive gifts (it's fine if I don't know the price. lol....) when I don't really know the person well enough and also the fact that he's not even my boyfriend. The gift is now on the way in a Post Laju bag.

Just to add in some jealousy - He told me that in the first place, he wanted to buy me a T&Co. bracelet to replace my cheapskate bracelet (shown below) which I got it for RM10 at Bonita! Then he couldn't get a parking and thus he went to Marni instead. A part of me was thrilled to be spoilt in this way but the practical side of me brought me back to reality.

Look cheap meh?

Gift: RM700++
Stupidity: Just cost me RM700++ and RM50 postage
Dignity & Integrity: Priceless

And just before I sign off, let me leave you with a tune from a famous Christmas Carol (which a good friend sent to me in sms) in the good spirits of Christmas.

You better watch out,
You better not cry,
You better keep cash,
I'm telling you why,
Recession is coming to town...

It's hitting you once,
It's hitting you twice,
It doesn't care if you been careful and wise,
Recession is coming to town...

It's worthless if you got shares,
It's worthless if you got bonds,
It's safe when you got cash in hand,
So keep cash for goodness sake
Hey... (repeat one more time!)

Merry Christmas and have a good weekend! I am only going back to work on Tuesday!

Shopping on MARNI : Click here.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

vPOST-NUFFNANG Party in Singapore Part I

On the 20th, 18 Malaysian bloggers were on a bus to Singapore to attend Nuffnang's first ever Singapore party! In collaboration with vPOST (a globeshopping without globe hopping website), it's certainly a must-attend party for bloggers in Singapore. I am so fortunate to be able to join the bloggers for a fun-filled-all-expense-paid trip to Singapore. It's a costume party where each is assigned with a letter each from the word VPOST and one has to dress accordingly.

For example: V- Vampire, Vendetta
P - Pirate, Phantom
O - Oldman, Osama
S - Satan, Superstar
T - Traveler, Teddy bear

I've got a V so I am going as a Vampire sucking everyone's blood from their juicy necks! Lol... KY has got the wicked idea where one should go as Virgin, Pervert & Orgasm! haha...

The venue for the party : DXO (located at Colours by the Bay, 8 Raffles Avenue)

The pretty Malaysian Bloggers.

Jason & Robin (dressing up as photographers?)

Kenny Sia as Oldman and Ginny as Playboy Bunny.

More Malaysian Bloggers including Jolyn whom is a Tape Measure and KY a Pirate.

Two Vendettas

Guess who's the real girl? The "girl" on the right is actually a guy! He won the best dressed under guy's category. He is Typical Ben. Why tranny always win the best dressed?!!

The nominees of Best Dressed. the winner on the ladies side is Virgin Bride whom is Audrey.

Here is KY as Pirate, Huai Bin as Osama, Elaine as Shopaholic, me as Vampire and Suanie as Traveler.

Pictures courtesy of Aversence.

There's a decent food and decent amount of booze, two drinks per person. This party is my first ever Nuffnang party. But one obvious fact - Singaporean bloggers are not as wild as Malaysian bloggers. Maybe they need more bloggers exposure or else when they come to a Malaysian blogger party, they will get the shock of their life.

Finally home again

How does it feel like staying in 3 different hotels in 3 different nights, 3 days in a row? Fuckingly awesome I suppose if I am the one-not-paying-the-bill. It's good to be back from a short trip to Singapore. I had an orgasmic time there (not sure whether pun is intended) but I do missed my bolster at home. Nothing beats a stay at Four Seasons in Singapore oops, I mean my home.

I will update on the happenings and the complainings soon. Well, at least as soon as I can upload my photos and then edit them before exposing them to the public viewing pleasure.
Lots of work to do today before Xmas on Thursday.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I'm in Singapore

Hey people, I'm in singapore. Just attended the Vpost-Nuffnang Christmas Party. It's nice but not so wild as expected. Will blog about it later when I'm back. I just had a cigar (Partagas Serie D) with my Singapore friends at Cue Pasa in Emerald Hill. It was a good smoke coupled with a Glenmorangie Single Malt Whiskey.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Enrich Shopping Indulgence

Come to Enrich Shopping Indulgence at MAS Building in Jalan Sultan Ismail from today at 12.00 - 6.oo pm and 19th from 10.00am - 6.00pm. There will be discounts up to 50% for flight redemptions and up to 60% discount on Temptations merchandise (the items that you see in the shopping catalogue on board of MAS). Come and sign up as a Enrich member!

I'll be there mending the Fidani booth for two days with my assistant and we will be staying at Sheraton Imperial tonight and on Sat I'll be going to Singapore so please excuse me for the lack of updates for these few days.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Steamboat Partayyy

The tradition of the Lim sistas is to hold a steamboat partayyy at least once a couple of days before mom comes home. My mom has been on a routine flying into Abu Dhabi for a couple of months and then come home for about 2-3 months before flying off again to be with my dad whom is working there.

This time around, we held the partayyy 2 days before mom is back so that we can dirty the place and clean it all up in one shot. That's why I was on leave on last Friday to clear up the mess. However, no matter how best we tried to clean up the house, mom still has her complains and her nagging from the moment she stepped into the house until a few days later. According to her, we some sort "destroyed" her house?!!! Anyways, my mom is a person whom is very obsessed with cleanliness because she happens to be able to spot even a tiny speck of dust!

Most of them who attended were from our college - Inti Subang Jaya. Let me see if I could recall all the names - Jon, Greg, Wei Mei, Daniel, Param, Joshen, Ashwin, David, Jen, Oliver & gf (oops I have forgotten her name), and Jovin (Ziling's schoolmate). Including the 3 of us, there were pratically 15 of us fitted in a small house. It was a potluck steamboat and thus everyone contributed some food. We had really big prawns (Wei Mei & Daniel), Cuttlefish & Squids (Jovin), Fishballs (Jon), Meatballs and his RM6 a packet of mihun (Greg), Tofu, fish noodles & Absolut Peach together with the mixers from Yiling's friends.

One table for the old people......

One for the young...

Highlight dessert of the night - Watermelon infused with vodka & kwai fei lychee liquor (brainchild of Yiling). Instead of serving you the ordinary watermelon, we had it infused with liquor by cutting a hole in the watermelon earlier. Therefore, when the watermelon is cut into pieces, there will be some taste of alcohol in it! Absolutely brilliant!

Now, how about a new Absolut Watermelon?!!

It was like a reunion of alumni in the comfort of our own home. Not only we had food and booze, we had some interesting games. The oldies were of course playing the poker cards, the youngsters were playing games that were deemed a little bit too embarrassing for the oldies like us. They had this game where everyone has to contribute one "action" and one "adjective" by writing it on 2 separated piece of paper. Then the paper is folded and put into 2 separate bowls. Everyone will have their turn picking 1 piece of paper each from the bowls and then act it out. So imagine you get "kiss the chair" and then the next piece says "passionately" or "lick someone's chest" & "like there's no tomorrow". ROTFL....

Santa came early.

It was fun but the aftermath - disastrous. I have to sweep and mop the floors a few times. There were so much rubbish and lucky there wasn't many dishes to be washed because we used polystyrene bowls instead! So clever uh? But it was nice to be seeing everyone that night. We were all still a crazy bunch.

101 Reasons why you should not trust your GPS...

at all times!!!!

Nevermind that 101 reasons, I can just name one ultimate reason : It can be quite irritating when you know that you know your way there and then this GPS shows you another way which practically took you cruising round the whole town before reaching your destination! Phew....

This is what happened when you become too dependant on that device. I wanted to go to TEN at Desa Sri Hartamas yesterday, and I wanted to see what was the fastest route there as it was already 7pm and the traffic jam could be quite bad, so I switched on my GPS. It's not that I didn't know my way, I just wanted to test out this device.

Mana tahu, this cute little voice navigator with moving map thingy took me through those back lane roads, housing areas and then roads with lots of traffic lights before reaching my destination. Without the GPS, I would just take the LDP and then go into Sprint and then exit at Desa Sri Hartamas. I went crusing the whole PJ from Sunway to SS3 to dunno where before arriving at my destination. One funny thing though - there doesn't seemed to be any traffic jam at the routes I took. Could it be because I selected the "shortest route" option or GPS actually shows traffic avoidance routes?!!

After this, I will only use the GPS for destinations that I have not been. If not, I will eventually loose my years of accquired sense of direction.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Xmas List

Xmas is just around the corner. What I love most about Xmas is the anticipation of unwrapping the paper wrapper to reveal the gift enclosed. While I'm not a Christian nor am I celebrating Xmas, I do love receiving presents but unfortunately I just get 2 or 3 presents every year. Therefore, this year, I took the matter to my own hands, and thus I determine what I want for Xmas by all means, which of course includes begging, requesting, and even buying them myself.

What I am about to reveal here is my wish list of 2008 which I've already had in possession before Xmas. Although I have no intention of showing off (maybe slightly), the ultimate reason for posting this is to remind myself many more years later of what I have been splurging on Xmas. My sister, would definitely call me a lucky bitch again. Sigh....

Warning: If you couldn't stand others being happy and lucky, then you better not proceed. It will aggravate the not-so-nice-side-of-some-people.

A no.1 must-have is of course a new handbag. Every girl likes handbags, the more the better. I don't know what made me splurge on a Celine Signature Boogie Bag, but the feeling of spending RM2k on a handbag is indescribable (could be the irresistible discount). The aftermath, when the credit card bill arrives, reality sets in and hard-earned money goes out. This is my first ever own-money-purchased-most expensive-bag. I felt bad for spending money like that when one of my chocolate operators at the factory told me that the bag is equivalent to her 3 months salary.

I would die happy after having stuffed myself with so much of Krispy Kreme Original Glazed Doughnuts which I managed to spot at the Mall of Emirates in Dubai last month. I think I at least had half a dozen of that! The last time I had a taste of KK was in London 2 years ago. It cost me 1pound each compared to RM4 per piece at Dubai! The feeling of having a piece of KK with a cup of cappuccino is just ecstatic.

I picked up smoking cigars this year. While this is not exactly something to be proud of, I secretly enjoyed it. Although I have also tried smoking cigarettes, I just can't develop a liking for it. Maybe it's the smell or the taste, but I find it very fulfilling when I have a glass of nice wine paired with a good smoke. A few days ago, I finally found a friend who enjoyed smoking cigars, and we both had a taste of the Trinidad which I got it from Dubai. The Trinidad, was long famed to be the Cuban government’s preferred gift to foreign state visitors and emissaries and which is why it is something I longed to try. I found that I quite like it as it was light-bodied and mild. The taste was smooth and pleasant. This is definitely an expensive enjoyment because the price of Trinidad is no trivial amount.

Besides all things expensive which I happened to like, I do also go for cheap digs. I was so lucky to have such a nice customer whom was flying to London and was willing to help me get a few packets of the heavenly Jaffa Cakes. No where else outside UK you can actually find Jaffa Cakes. Usually, only the locals would know about it. Even tourists to the country may not even heard about the wonderful rounded thin sponge cake layered with a thin slice of orange jelly and then coated with dark chocolate. It felt better than ecstacy (although I haven't tried it) but I can assure you that it's the best comfort food! I have been having the cravings for it for 2 years and now finally I've found a price charming whom was so nice to go from supermarkets to supermarkets to only help me find my McVities Jaffa Cakes. I take no other brands except this one which made the looking a bit more challenging!

New lingerie every year is a must for me. That's when I throw away old stuffs and bring in the new stuffs. I have the tendency to buy sexy and unpractical lingerie and then only to find that sometimes it's such a hassle wearing them and thus the many white elephants in my closet drawers. The La Senza splurge comes twice a year, in coincidence with the FJ Benjamin Sales where the lingerie are dirt cheap. Don't ask me for the price because it's going to make you extremely jealous of me and terribly remorseful for not going to the sales.

A time of Xmas is never complete without chocolates, what more for someone chocoholic like me! My Godmom whom just came back from the TFWA in Cannes, brought me a bag of goodies which includes multiple boxes of never been seen chocolates and also a Shanghai Tang folder! It was a great gift because I like trying competitors' chocolates! My friend, Razim whom came back from London, brought me a box of Hot chocolate drink from Harrods and a bar of Ghirardelli Raspberry chocolate which I've yet to try. Gosh, this is going to be a really chocolatey Xmas!

This must be the best Xmas gift I've ever received. A GPS! No more getting lost anymore especially in KL but then again, I have just mastered the art of finding my way in KL. The GPS came a little bit too late. If it were to come last year, I would be very thrilled. One person I could think of who really needed this badly is Huai Bin. I think you should really get one (not mine of course). haha...

A celebration without champagne would not be complete. Someone got me this bottle of Dom Perignon Vintage 1999. So far I've only tasted the Vintage 2000. Although this is not the 1996 bottle, I am still very much into this bottle because according to Robert Parker (a leading US wine critic for The Wine Advocate) rated this at 96 points and it has at least 20 years of life ahead of it. I don't think I am going to keep this bottle for that long. I probably plan to open it next year when I turn half oops I mean quarter-of-a-century-old.

My mom got us a bottle of Absolut 100 and a bottle of Level (from the makers of Absolut) from the Abu Dhabi airport. She just arrived yesterday bearing gifts of vodka and my cigars (I paid for those cigars myself). Absolut Masquerade has just been released and I plan to ask my dad to bring it back in Jan. I have yet to try Absolut 100 but according to the alcoholic Huai Bin, it was good. With 50% alcohol, I'm not sure whether I can take it though! Haha...

And the ultimate must-have for the Xmas & New Year is of course a new hairstyle. So far, this is the shortest I've ever gone. The previous "Victoria Beckham Hairstyle" has grown out and thus I went for a trim last week. The hairstylist then snipped off my a hair a little shorter than the previous time. Now, not only I'm using less shampoo (to save money since we are all going into recession) but also saves time in blowing dry. I really like my new hairstylist because she's such a perfectionist. Can you believe that this haircut is only RM20?!! She uses everything Schwarzkopf from shampoo to hair dye and hair styling. Can't imagine what would my hair looked like when she goes on maternity leave in Feb to April. What would I do without her?!!

That's all folks. Actually the list was not long enough because I still haven't fit in my new shoes and clothes. So much so for a shopoholic like me.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

IL DIVO Ristorante Italiano

As I was writing this post, I began to salivate looking at the pictures that I was about to upload. It was as if I need a fix of Italian food right now, right here! I don't like to insult (yeah right?!!) but if there's a thing you need to learn about Italian food, please, please eat the right Italian food at the right place! If Italiannies or Pizza Hut = Italian food, then my dear, you've got your equation wrong.

Now, to fix the equation, let me just reveal to you, Eiling's preferred Ristorante Italiano which is Il Divo @ Desa Sri Hartamas, located just diagonally opposite Coffee Bean. For a person who is lazy enough to get my ass down to Hartamas, I would never resist an offer at Il Divo. In fact, it was so good, that I needed to bring KY there (it was many moons ago). But recently, I was there again on the invitation from one of my wine drinking friends whom asked me to join him to try out the new chef's menu. The owner, the ever bubbly and charming Vincenzo has just hired a new chef, and a new chef comes with a new and improved menu but the old favorites are still available.

During the last time when I brought KY there, we had a 3-course meal starting with a starter and then 2 mains for sharing. It was such a coincidence that a few days later, it was his birthday so I guess it's an early birthday treat for him. Just like any other ristorante italiano, bread and balsamic vinegar is complimentary. The bread here is special and although some complained that it was salty, I think it's perfectly fine. Oh, btw they do not serve normal plain water and RO water ok?!! Like any true ristorante in Italiano, they serve either still or sparkling water. And here we have a choice of Aqua Panna (still) or San Pellegrino (Sparkling) which is both good brands from Italy.

Vincenzo is such a professional host. He knew that I wanted to write a review on his menu and he did not even disturb us while we were having our dinner. He just let things be the way it is. He's a natural. The best deal - he treated both of us to a glass of house pour wine. Well, that doesn't seal the deal for your information. I complimented the restaurant because I really like it. In terms of ambiance, I really have no complains.

On the recent visit to try out the new chef's menu, I managed to change my perception towards Australian wines. Thanks to Mr.W, we had a vertical tasting on Lake's Folly, a few different vintages from 1998 to 2002.

Lake's Folly was the first new vineyard in the Hunter Valley last century, established by Max Lake and his family in 1963. The tradition continues, with the first boutique winery in Australia making only two wines, a red (Cabernet blend) and a white (100% Chardonnay), using all estate grown fruit. The property changed hands in May 2000 to Peter Fogarty. Peter was the chosen buyer because of his wish to maintain the integrity and current direction of the Folly. You see Lake's Folly comes from a very small vineyard, so small that the supply of this bottle is so limited that it's difficult to find. My friend managed to get it from Singapore. This bottle really surprised me. I never thought an Australian vintage can taste this good. Honestly, if I can spot this bottle somewhere, I will surely get myself a bottle of it.

The wine are decantered for hours before we arrive at the ristorante. We started from 1998 and move upwards. I like the 1999. It was really good - so smooth and easy to drink. Totally my type of bottle. The new menu was impressive. in fact, I liked the new menu more than the old one. I guess a change is good. Everyone might be sick of the same ol' thing after a period of time but the favorites remained.

Il Divo really serves true Italian soul food. It's authentic and the presentation of it just blows me away. Maybe the price is a little bit costly, but what you pay is what you'll get. That night, we had tried at least 4 different starters, 3 pastas, 2 mains and then some chocolatey desserts. I managed to capture some pictures.

New on the Menu

I really give this outlet a 3 thumbs up (if I have one). It was my place to splurge if I want good food, good wine and good ambiance. No wonder this place is frequented by so many expatriates, more than the locals I think. Most of the time I was there, there were more foreigners than us locals. Maybe it takes time for people to find this gem but I'm sure I have found it. Now, please don't start flocking to this place. Give me some privacy, please! Haha...

Il Divo Ristorante Italiano

241B, Lorong Nibong off Jalan Ampang (behind Hock Choon Supermarket)

Tel: 03-2145 4108

New review of the place here.

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