Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bilbao


Not your pao for breakfast nor the bill to pay for the pao. Bilbao is actually the largest city of the Basque Country in northern Spain. The reason why I would like to highlight this city is that I’ve been there sometime ago and I think I should share some of the least-explored parts of the world with my friends. And I just had the itch and urge to return.

This is one of the very first expeditions I had without an official tour guide. I stayed in London for a month a couple of years ago and my cousin was kind enough to expose me to the world of traveling – hopping from cities to cities on our own with a map in hand. I find it very difficult to write this post as I am trying to pick up the bits and pieces of what remained as a memory now. But I do know that I will not forget about this place the moment I stepped into this city.

There's an air smelling of art, culture, architecture and modernism. I felt all of them and all are intertwined into this wonderful city. People are often taken by surprise when they heard me mentioning Frank Gehry and Santiago Calatrava in the same breath.

I know Frank Gehry because after all, he designed the Wyborowa Vodka bottle and Tiffany & Co Gehry collection, didn't he?!! Actually, his most famous work of art has still got to be the Guggenheim Museum and there's where I learnt more about this world reknown and pioneering architect. His use of unusual materials, flowing forms and interlocking structures is legendary. That is exactly what he did with the museum. It was built by the riverfront, using titanium, glass, stones and wood with structures consisting of radically sculpted, organic contours. Even the titanium panels looked like fish scales and it reflects the light beautifully.




Frankly, I appreciate architecture than art itself. I was more interested in the building than the exhibitions of art that it housed. There was a giant spider sculpture where I can pole dance, some iron human sculptures and also a huge floral Puppy by Jeff Koons which the flower changes colour according to seasons, and also gigantic Tulips all for pleasure viewing. There was so much of fulfillment just strolling around the building because there's so much to see. And you can find the asymmetrical museum looks all different from every angle!


Hello all, this is my iron boyfriend!


The Zubizuri, "white bridge" is a tied arch footbridge across Nervion River in Bilbao, where you can walk to the Guggenheim museum using that bridge which is designed by Calatrava,. He is another great architect whom also designed the Loiu Airport of Bilbao. He is one who believes in bridging structural engineering with architecture. Another distinctive point about him is that he all his structures are in white!


It's actually quite cold but one for the picture!


Besides the modern structures and architectures, one can also visit the Cathedral de Santiago at the Plaza Santiago which is also another magnificent Gothic-styled cathedral built in the 16th century. There are seven streets converging at this limestone cathedral, making it a must-visit-spot for the tourists. Traveling around town is easy with the bus, Metro and EuskoTran.

Below are some of the other best places to visit in Bilbao:

Casco Viejo (Old historic town)
Puente Colgante (Hanging Transporter Bridge)
Plaza Nueva (Spanish Square with al fresco dining)
Mercado Rural de Santo Tomas (Flea Market)
Plaza Moyua (Plaza/square)



The people there are generally friendly and educated. And even the policemen asked me to take a photo with them and they gave me their email! Lol...

The hotel that I stayed in is Barcelo H Nervion, a 3 star hotel at Campo Volantin which is just 200m from the metro and about 7-10 mins of walking distance to the Guggenheim Museum. It's about RM300 a night and in Europe it might not be the best but it's still ok. And it's only 10km from the airport which is considered a fairly good location. KLM flies direct from KL to Bilbao and it will cost you a 5 figure airfare but one could take a flight to London and then switch to the low cost airlines like easyjet which costs around RM700 to fly to Bilbao from Stansted London.

But what I hated about easyjet is their ultra-strict system. We were at the airport hours in advance but the queue at the security check was so long and we didn't manage to reach the gate 40 mins before boarding time. We tried pleading the attendant at the counter because there were about 10 of us who couldn't get onto the plane but she refused to even talk to us. The airline rather waste time by throwing our luggages out than letting us in! And so we ended up paying extra a few hundred ringgit for the next flight and had to wait in Stansted for 6 hours! Don't you feel blessed to have Air Asia (always delayed boarding and less punctual) now?

This is strictly for those whom appreciates architecture than the art of shopping. Anyone having the itch to travel to Bilbao? I might and I'm still keeping the map!


Note: Don't tease me about my hair and the photographs because I seemed to have lost my digital copies and so I had to scan the photos piece by piece!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Deliciously Life



Life is when you make time to enjoy it.

For some LIFE = WORK and for me, I made it pretty obvious on my banner. WORK is what I do to afford a LIFE. Work should be within the official working hours and I try my best not to overlap my leisure time with work. That's why it's important to know that there's more to life than just work itself.

Having a quality of life is when I can spend sometime reading a book at a cosy place like Delicious@Duo Residence while sipping a glass of peach and orange smoothie and munching on some fried crispy wedges. Right after my appointment in KL at 5pm, I had 2 hours to kill before a dinner date and so I chose Delicious to be the right place to hang out. The place is so cosy and so comfortable because it's quiet and at the same time you can be stuffed with good food! While waiting for a friend to come for a tete-a-tete, I had some time to re-read my favourite Chocolate book. Yes, I have actually read that book twice and I still find it worth reading!

I'm really glad that with my current company, I have a quality of life because we all believe in getting our work done during office hours and not stay late just to impress some bosses (I know some people do). And boy I'm glad my bosses don't call me for a meeting after working hours! The most mood-damaging thing to do is to call your subordinate for a meeting right before he or she need to go home! And lucky I don't experience that. Because I understand the very fundamental of after-office-life, I never ask my subordinate to stay late for no apparent reason.

How you want to live your life is entirely your choice.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Thousand Dollar Fish

Last Friday, my friend called me and invited me try this special fish from Sarawak. My usual response is like "What so special about this fish?!!" and he told me it's a rare fish and I should try it. And so I went.

You see, I'm not really a fish person. I can't differentiate between a patin or a siakap. The only thing I can tell is - that's not a shark! Usually I just eat whatever fish that is served to me but of course I hate small fishes or those with lots of tiny bones. I'll tell you why - when I was young, I got choked by fish bones many times and I could still remember the old tales where I should swallow lots of rice after that to get rid of the bones that choked me. After that I got paranoid of fishes for some years.


The claypot sharksfin soup that is put to boil bowl by bowl in front of us and then fresh and juicy beansprouts is added into the pot.


The tender and juicy wagyu beef steak.

Actually I was just there to try the fish but ended up eating the full course dinner which ended after 7 or 8 courses later with a big pot of "sang har loh mee"! You should have seen that pot. It was humongous! And that was my first time having loh mee for dessert!


Steamed Empurau

This is the highlight of the dinner. We had the "empurau" (Tar Trambroides) or in mandarin they called it the "wang bu liau" (unforgettable). After tasting the fish and knowing how much it cost, I can understand why the name "unforgettable" is derived. The empurau is the most sought after freshwater fish in Sarawak and it's exotic because of its natural habitat which is in the swift, clear, rocky-bottomed streams, in a up-land zone of the river system.

It was certainly a special fish as its meat is tender and smooth. On the palate, the meat had some berries like taste. A quick google reveals that the natural food of the fish is parts of plants, leaves, fruits and flowers. No wonder the meat tasted so good. The fish is best to be steamed. I never know the prices of fish and I thought the most expensive fish I've ever eaten was the "Sultan fish" but no... This unforgettable can leave you RM1000 poorer per kilogram. I almost choked! Do you know I can buy a new phone with a kg of that fish?!!

You can also read about it in Rubberseeds' post about this "Golden Fish".

That's a little education on fish for the weekend. I learnt a new fish!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Daikanyama @ Changkat Bukit Bintang KL


A continuation from my previous post. The first thought that comes to mind about "Daikanyama" is "Dai ka yam ma!" which means "let's drink everyone" surprisingly in chinese. Actually this is a Japanese restaurant, a new joint on the already restaurant-saturated Changkat Bukit Bintang which is situated right opposite El Cerdo. It has just been opened one to two weeks ago and it serves Japanese fusion cuisine, not your average Japanese joint.



The interior itself is of simple and minimalist design but interesting mix and match of warm colours with grey. On the right lies the tables for diners and the left is a bar complete with bar top and bar stools for those who just want to come and have a drink. There's even a cute little courtyard in the middle for smokers! Upstairs is still in the middle of rennovating and it'll be ready soon according to owners, Edwin and Colin whom also own the Wabisabi in Plaza TTDI and a few other Japanese restaurants.



With just two of us, we had quite a number of dishes, all which I quite enjoy because it's something different from the usual japanese food I have. There's this mini beef pizza that looks like beef on a tortilla, soft shell crab roll with avocado and salmon, bacon with asparagus and also the very nice sausages! Sorry, I can't really recall their names no matter how many times I asked my friend. He's like talking in a complete foreign language the whole night whenever he explained about the Japanese food and drinks.


Kubota Manju

So how could a Japanese dinner be complete without sake?!! He texted me one day "do you like sake?" and I replied "only premium cold sake" and that day we ended up drinking this bottle of Kubota Manju because he knew that I would not accept anything less. This 750ml of sake cost a freaking RM400++! This is one of if not the most sought after sakes in Japan. Manju is sophisticated and yet very drinkable, perhaps too drinkable as the phantom finish leaves you wondering if you swallowed or not. Honestly all premium sake comes cold and those warm ones are the inferior grade of sake. I can buy a good bottle of good single malt whisky with that price! And both of us finished it without a blink.


Ozeki Hana Awaka

The night was still young, and we had another bottle of 250ml Ozeki Hana Awaka, a Japanese Sparkling Sake. It's so nice and refreshing, although it has less bubblies than a typical sparkling wine. This is like Japanese version of Champagne but in small bottles of course! The price - RM55. After this bottle, I had a glass of Japanese Plum Wine and then another glass of Absinthe! The absinthe tasted horrible and it contains 68% alcohol! It's like a mixture of Hacks and medicine... Then he asked me, "why you still not drunk yet" cos after that we adjourned to The Social with two of my friends and I had a glass of Kilkenny.


Like my earrings? Get them from here.

The best dish for the night would have to be this fried chicken soft bone (cartilage). It's so addictive and I can go on munching them until the last piece! It will go well with the sake or even a glass of beer. Total damage for the night - RM650 (even after a discount)!!! It's not cheap but it's an interesting place to hang out.



DAIKANYAMA
42, Changkat Bukit Bintang
50200 Kuala Lumpur
tel: +603 2141 0323

Transformers : Revenge of the Fallen

I watched the movie last night and there's only one word to describe it: AWESOME!


Ok, I was wrong. The show is not all about Megan's boobies. There's more to it than just her itself. The cinema at 1 Utama was packed. Never have I seen such a big sea of people going in and out of the cinema at the same time! It's a must watch and I don't think I will hesitate another date for the same movie!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Puffy Pictures



I had a late night yesterday at Fukuya and thus did not have the time to complete my post on the Daikanyama dinner that I had with a friend last week. The Japanese restaurant is a new addition on Changkat Bukit Bintang and was opened by Edwin & Colin, the very same owners of Wabisabi in Plaza TTDI. I have not tried a few other of their Japanese restaurants which I heard is very good too. Will post about it later. (Full review of restaurant here.)



And thus, I only post some of the sinful indulgence photos that I received from this friend. He really is a good photographer with a nice DSLR camera too! I really like how he processes or add certain effects to the photos. I'll never learn how to do that.


Having a cigar while sipping sake. Seventh heaven.

My first time though. Have not paired cigars with sake before. However, I find that the taste of cigar which is overwhelming can influence the taste of sake.

There was one reader whom commented that "ppl who smoke in public whether or not with their own group of friends are selfish ppl who still disregards other patrons' health. If u 1 to sign an earlier death warrant, do it on ur own pleasure. dun harm others with ur stinky second hand smoke. you do not look cool or stylish at all in your so-called "smoking with cigar" picture. In fact u look like a white sheet of death. Down with all the death sticks suckers!! Hope they and u rot" (in exact words).

I totally agree with anon that people who smokes in public does damage other people's health. But being a person who like cigars ocassionally, my friends and I have been very responsible in our indulgence. We do our dinners in a private room and after that we have a cigar in the room and everyone of us smokes. If one does not, we wouldn't even do it. That's with the permission of the restaurant. If we were not in the private rooms, we would not smoke or maybe adjourn to somewhere else. But usually we were always the last patrons in the restaurant so we have the whole place to ourselves. Therefore, it all boils down to being a responsible person. For one thing I'm sure, after I die, I will sure rot!

I might choose to die by having cigars but how about others whom choose to stuff themselves with fats, oily food, liqour and drugs? Everyone will surely die but it's up to you how you want to live your life. If you support the puff, you can read this. If you don't, you can also read it. Lol...

Note: Honestly, smoking is really not good. That's why I only indulge in this on rare ocassions. Maybe like once or twice a month!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day BBQ

The juicy pork chops!


Mom did a small BBQ party for dad yesterday together with some relatives at home. We wanted to skip all the exorbitant-priced-obligatory-father's-day-dinners at the restaurants so we did a BBQ ala Robert Rainford the chef from Licence To Grill on Astro AFC channel. Mom bought this quite "canggih" grill/bbq device all the way from Dubai!

It's really a wonder how fast this grill can cook the meat. The well-marinated pork chop were done in 4 minutes. And Yiling was put to take charge of the grilling as I had to make the ice-blended fruit juice. It's pretty easy, because all I did was to blend the ice, throw in the fruits (oranges, green apples, pineapples, and passion fruit) and then add a tablespoon of Manuka honey! It tasted ok...



Oh, besides the good food, the highlight of the evening was this niece of mine. She might be just four years of age but she's so smart and so hyperactive! Even if it's your first time meeting her, she would play and hug you. The word SHY is definitely not in her vocabulary. How she managed to trick my sisters and I in giving her more soft toys is just amazing. Initially I gave her a Mashimaro (present from my ex.. hehe) and i thought she would be happy but no.... She pointed at my cupboard and told me that I still have "so many"!!! LOL... Then she ended up going home with 3 soft toys!


This is the cheeky Qi Qi.
I'm teaching her how to appreciate fine wine...


Then she kept on kissing me wanting to thank me for teaching her how to drink wine. After that, she tried to make me drunk!

She's so cute! I missed her...


Note: I was just kidding about the part teaching her to drink wine. I was just training her on how to hold the glass!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

IL DIVO (KL) Ristorante Italiano

Vincenzo Cuomo


Everybody knows how fussy I can be when it comes to Italian cuisine. That's because I don't regard outlets like Pizza Hut or Italinnies as authentic Ristorante Italiano. An authentic Italian restaurant should have a good looking and charming boss and Italian chef good selection of Italian dishes and Italian wines with the right ambience. I was recently invited to dinner by my usual wine suspects because we want to check out his new place here! And this is also their favourite Italian restaurant!

Vincenzo happens to be this charming and friendly owner of this humble restaurant in KL. I have previously blogged about it here and they have recently moved to Lorong Nibong, Off Jalan Ampang which is opposite Victoria Station from Desa Sri Hartamas a month ago. Il Divo is situated upstairs and has a very interesting spiral staircase leading to the restaurant. I however think that the staircase can pose a danger to those whom are drunk after dinner or it can be a hassle for older patrons.


I love this picture of the spiral staircase!


It looks like a resort from outside at night and it has a small swimming pool downstairs. It also has a bar outside for the patrons to hang out after a dinner for drinks.


The interior of the restaurant decorated with oil paintings and dimmed lights.


Let's talk about the food. Because this is a new place, Vincenzo had a completely new menu and we had a degustation that night. We leave it to the boss to show us a good time. We had about 3 appetizers, 7 different main courses, tiramisu and 4.5 litres of wine for 5 of us! See la, how not to have expanding waistlines?!!


Swordfish Carpaccio (RM28), Fresh Mozarella (RM29) & Beef Carpaccio (RM28)

Grilled Australian Black Angus Tenderloin (RM65), Sea Bass (RM45)
& Rack of Lamb (RM55)


Rigatoni with Duck & Rasperry sauce (RM35), Risotto with prawns (RM35)
& Tagliatelle with Porcini Mushrooms (RM30)


Tiramisu (RM28)

I can say that the fresh Mozarella Cheese was something refreshing and which you don't want to miss a chance trying it if you like dairy. The Grilled Australian Black Angus Tenderloin is also another must try because it's done perfectly well with the juices all intact! I personally like the Risotto and Tagliatelle but the Risotto has to be eaten while it's still warm. It's a very interesting texture to compare with the normal rice/porridge that we have. The tiramisu is a must try too! It's got very strong coffee liqueur and it's not too sweet.

With good food, good company, there must be good wine! Mr.L was so generous that he shared his bottle of Poggerino Chianti Classico Bugialla 1999 from Tuscan which he received as a birthday present. It was a magnum (1.5 litres) and there were only 15 bottles of it and was all bought up by one of my friends when she was at the vineyard. It's medium-bodied and has aroma of cherries. It's drinking so well now and Riserva Bugialla is only made in the best vintages and according to my friends, the 1999 is one of the best years to look for in a Tuscan.



Another one of my favourite Italian wine would be the Pio Cesare Barolo 2004. This is definitely not the wine for someone who counts his change of RM10 notes. "Pio Cesare Barolo 2004 is the 6th place wine and top placing Italian effort for Wine Spectator's annual Top 100 wines of the year awards." This Barolo has outstanding aromas of blackberries, full-bodied and with lengthy tannins and a long finish. Just the way I like it. Although my favourite is still the P C Barolo Ornato 2004, this bottle is equally good and cost half of Ornato! The Barolo 2004 is about RM300+ a bottle! The P C Barbaresco 2003 is good too as it has sweetfloral and vanilla aromas with lingering finish. However, I still prefer a Barolo anytime!


This is Chef Luca, me & Kiko (nephew to V)


I will only go to Italian restaurants where the boss could carry me to the dining table! See, now you know what I mean? Cheers!



IL DIVO RISTORANTE ITALIANO
241B Lorong Nibong, Off Jalan Ampang
(Behind Hock Choon Supermarket, Opposite Victoria Station)
Tel: 03-2145 4108



Friday, June 19, 2009

Sex or No Sex before Marriage?


Before I even start elaborating on this controversial yet mind boggling topic, I was asked by my colleagues during the dinner whether I second this or against it. To be inquisitive, is to be human. Therefore, to make this a little bit interesting, I shall only reveal my stand on this topic at the very end after I have given all my thoughts about sex the rationale behind whether it should be done or not.

As human, it's only natural for us to feel attracted and even tempted to do something which we were forbidden. Take Adam and Eve as an example. Didn't they too fell into temptations? God is fair. He made us with brains and he expects us to use it wisely. So what do you get when a silly couple fell into temptation? ~Pregnancy!~ Duh. Absolutely lame huh?

To begin with, I'm not a Christian. And I know in Christianity, people don't decide themselves whether one is right or wrong but the right and wrong come from a higher standard than any individual or group of humans - they come from God. And then this question : How can sex be wrong? I read from somewhere that it may come as a surprise that the biblical view of sex is extremely positive. God thought of sex. Well, he created it, didn't he? He gave this wonderful expression of love for another. There is a whole book of the Old Testament devoted to extolling the beauty of sex and showing God's delight in what he has made pleasurable and good.

Hello people, this is year 2009 and surely God doesn't hate you enough to make you say something so ridiculous and old-fashioned like "I can't have sex with you because we are not married!" What I want to say is that, it should be enjoyed with full responsibility. After all, what is right or wrong is only a view from the society. My morals are entirely arbitrary and personal anyways. So, why should I conform to social standards? Why can't I set my own standards and live the life I want without regret?

For some young adults today, marriage is not viewed as a pre-requisite to engaging in a sexual relationship, and saying "no" to pre-marital sex is considered old-fashioned. Actually it's not a matter whether it's old fashioned or trendy, it's more than meets the eye. When someone decides to engage in a sexual relationship, he or she should know very well of the consequences or the outcome. Yes, it might be a pleasurable one or it might be a disaster but it's entirely up to the willingness of the individuals. No one should be forced or felt obligated to do it. After all, it's a very beautiful engagement and indulgence which any individual should not even feel threatened by it.

For me, I feel that in this 21st century, where arranged marriages and one woman stays chaste before her wedding is totally bollocks. I wouldn't marry a man I have not met! You have to know and try what you are about to buy! That's a life-long committment! Imagine buying a car without even knowing the specifications and test-driving. You can't return a wife or husband the next day after a bad-sex-on-the-marriage-nite! Well, this is debatable because many would have bought a car even without seeing it. That's for the rich. Many richmen have several wives/girlfriends you see... So it wouldn't apply to them.

So, in another way, the decision not to have sex should be made long before the opportunity presents itself if you plan to keep your big V. Steps can then be taken to slow down the natural progression before it gets started. It doesn't work to allow all the preliminary intimacies and then hope to stop the progression just short of intercourse. Once you have allowed to be seduced and even to do the seducing, there's no turning back. How many survived from temptations? Very few people have the willpower to do that.

For many who have been there, done that, then there's no point of even reading this. But what about post regret? Have you regretted having sex before marriage? I don't think I've heard such nonsense so far but I also do not doubt that it can happen on any individual.

And as a closure to this post, my stand is that I positively think that sex is a wonderful activity to be enjoyed with the one you love. It only makes it real when emotions are put into love making. One night stands are not my cup of tea because it's purely sex & lust. In the end, one party will be left hurt unless both have a mutual understanding before the engagement. For those who are still in the dilemma, do what your heart tells you and not what the society expects you to. Do it wisely.

Note: I do not condone sex before marriage but I am not against it either.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Don't Screw my Wine

This is one of those topics that sparked interests and probably some arguments and because there's no right or wrong answers, it'll always be an endless debate on "To screw or not to screw the cork". Sounds interesting eh? I hope you don't misconstrue the word cork for cock.

For many centuries, natural corks have been used to seal the wine bottles but technology today have given us more alternatives to cork the wine. The $4 billion wine stopper industry is indeed big business considering that most do not pay more attention to a cork than the wine. Besides the use of natural cork, there's also the synthetic cork, the metal screw caps and lastly the new glass/acrylic cork.


Topic in discussion: which is better? Natural, Plastic, Metal or Glass?!!


Or have you just realised that drinking wine is really a troublesome task from choosing the labels and now the corks?!! I don't know about you but as a wine lover, I am clearly enthralled with the tradition of opening a bottle of wine with a corkscrew, listening to the pop when pulling it out and sniffing the cork. Can you even imagine that a sommelier walks over to your table with your favourite wine and unscrew the bottle cap in front of you and then pour the wine into your glasses. Just as he leaves, he whispered "Vive le screwcaps" gently into your ears. I shuddered at the thought of this. What has happened to the era of sommelier unscrewing the cork in front of me?!!

Natural Cork

Natural corks typically allow in minute traces of oxygen, which allows high-end reds to improve with age. This is good for expensive wines because these wines need to breathe! Cork is also admirably renewable, recyclable, and biodegradable. It is made from the bark of cork oak trees, which is peeled off in huge strips about once every 10 years and then grows back. A typical cork oak can continue producing usable bark for up to 200 years. The flaw: The wine can be contaminated by cork taint, leaving the wine tasting musty and dull.

Synthetic Cork

Plastic corks are cheaper than top-grade natural corks and they promised to solve the cork taint problem. However, there's also a study shown that plastic corks can taint the wine if stored more than 18 months. Plastic corks can fail, letting in air, which in turn oxidizes the wine. Scientists have shown that the long-term use of plastic corks in wine bottles leads to organic chemicals leaking into the wine, causing potential health risks.

Glass Cork

The new glass and acrylic closures provide attractive alternatives to corks and synthetic stoppers. The elegant new closure looks like a decorative decanter stopper, and it is recyclable. It also allows your wine to age standing up!

Metal Screwcap

Screwcaps are convenient and airtight. Where natural corks typically allow in minute traces of oxygen, which allows high-end reds to improve with age, screwcaps do not only prevent this from happening, they can also sometimes trap in gases given off as the wine develops over years inside the bottle, triggering a process known as "reduction," which gives the wine a sulphury smell.

Almost all wines from New Zealand and half the Aussie wines are metal screwcapped. Yes, you can say "Le cork est mort!" (The cork is dead) or throw away your wine openers or corkscrews! But cork is still the preferred closure for better wines. I have to admit, I’m not excited about this and I never like being served a bottle of wine with a metal screwcap. All I could say is that, wherever wine is quaffed, it still couldn't beat the satisfying pop of a cork compared to the crink-crank of a screw top that screwed my wine experience.


Do you also happen to know that the longer the cork, the better the wine quality? Or probably the more expensive the wine is? Therefore, when you unscrew that cork, make sure that the corkscrew goes all the way in before you pull it out to make sure that you don't spoil that cork! (Just like telling someone "if you have to screw, screw all the way in for heaven's sake!")


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Fullhouse @ NZX


Niu Ze Xui is a new place in town, well, not exactly very new but I've only been there twice ever since it opened its doors last year. Yes it sounds like the Singapore's very own "Niu Che Shui" but our version is really lacking in crowd! It's so quiet on the weekdays and nothing like the bustling Petaling Street.

The one and only outlet with crowd - Fullhouse. No wonder it's always full.


It has a very adorable-almost-dollhouse-like interior where most of the stuff you see and touch can be purchased. If you like the yellow garden table umbrellas, you can buy them!


The menu has a very interesting content of the usual food listing, surprisingly a recipe beside the picture, and some comics in chinese (which sadly I couldn't understand) at the back pages. This is my first time reading such "menu". The variety of food is not extensive but it should be sufficient from making you bored because they have interesting drinks!


The obligatory mushroom soup.


Rosella Spaghetti, Wok-Seared Chicken Chop & Chicken Ham Spaghetti


Ice blended red honeydew+peach puree, Ice lemon tea and Papaya Milk


Overall, the food is commendable. It's really a good set lunch deal where it comes with a soup, main course, drink and dessert for only RM14.90++. I actually like the Rosella spaghetti with chilli flakes. It's simple but tasty. And the spaghetti is al dente which is the most important criteria in having any pasta! Prices of main courses range from RM16-RM35.




I brought Wei Mei there because it was her birthday and moreover, both of us have not been there before. It turned out to be good. An adorable place with affordable food (maybe not so affordable after all during the recession). Most importantly, even if you sit outside, there's air-condition! This factor alone superceeds all the other expectations!



Fullhouse Lifestyle Store and Cafe
Address: C-G-11, Nui Ze Xui @ Ara Damansara
Tel: 03-78850836
Map here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Cultured side of me....

People have all sort of different perceptions of me. Some called me arrogant, snobbish, cool, party animal, crazy, and gluttony. I remembered once when I was in college, a guy was talking about me to his friend behind my back, calling me arrogant. I turned around and confronted him. Ever since then, we were friends! See, this is a good example of what they say - do not judge a book by its cover!

And thus, don't be surprised that despite all the eating, and eating and drinking, (I don't party much) I actually do have a cultured side. The side where I attend musicals, concerts and orchestra. I do love musicals but do not have the privilege of attending all due to time and money (ahem.. ahem..) constraints. But lucky, I managed to catch Mamma Mia last year and The Riverdance when I was in college which were the best shows!

Last Sunday, I was at MPO KLCC with my friend Emily and her cousin and her cousin's friend. Sounds complicated eh? Don't bother. The MPO Chamber Concert was on at 3pm and has four sessions. The first one was by French composer Darius Milhaud, where they have 3 players playing the violin, clarinet and piano. The second session was Gyorgy Ligeti, with pieces performed on a Solo Cello. The third was by composer William Penn right after a short interval where they have a player on Marimba and Tuba. It was pretty interesting as I love the melodies of the Marimba. It's like one of those over sized xylophones that I used to play when I was a kid. The last for the day was Sergei Prokofiev, a Russian composer and it was played with a combination of a violinist and a pianist.


The Magnificent Hall


I might not know any of the composers or the players, but I can sure appreciate a good piece of music. The hall was almost full except for the 2 empty rows in front. It was really funny to see how we never stop clapping at the end of the performance where the players have to exit and re-enter to take a bow at the audience. The last performance had the players taking a bow 3 times! Malaysians are simply generous. Don't you think so?!!

At only RM10 for a Sunday concert, don't you think it's really a good deal? It's almost like the price you pay for a movie, except that this can be a sleepy experience for many. Most of the people who attended are foreigners. They surely know how to appreciate music and I was surprised that they were kids as young as a few years old. Most kids at this age would prefer to fight with their light sabers in front of a Star Wars movie in the cinema.

The only restriction is that you have to be properly dressed for the MPO performances and probably smart casual on a Sunday. However, if you forget to wear proper shoes, don't worry, there's shoes for rent right before going up to the hall. Programme books are priced at RM3 and it's not free, mind you.

I want to catch Chuanyun Li on this coming 27-28th June. The New York Times referred to him as “a first-rate violinist". Tickets starts from RM20 only! Wanna go?


Ticket Price : RM20
Culture: Priceless

(Note: Under the new CULTURE tag, I will soon be posting some cultured trips that I went to sometime ago)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Carl's Jr @ 1 Utama

Picture taken from Masak-Masak


I know that it's a bit too late to highlight this burger joint as it has been on Malaysian shores for almost 2 years if you don't consider their exit many years ago under the MBF group. They're famous then for its free refills. Now, don't you think people remember the FREEbies better?!!

I finally have my cherry popped for Carl's Jr (sounds wrong but its true) yesterday at 1 Utama shopping centre. Running out of things to eat, we decided to have a taste of Carl's Jr. Yum... Lucky the queue wasn't too long and it wasn't too crowded which made the ordering a breeze. They will give you a tag with a number which is to be displayed on the edge of the table for them to deliver your orders. I guess they are short-staffed that night.


One tray of indulgence and lots of fat!


They have a wide variety of specialty burgers that you don't get from McDonalds. They may be similar to Burger King but they have better burgers and Burger King has better fries (although I still think that McDonalds fries rocks)! But when I was in London, I felt that Burger King fries is ze best! At Carl's Jr, they have burgers like Portobello Mushroom, Guacamole Bacon, Chilli Burger, Swiss Bacon and low carb burgers too! It comes with generous amount of cheese and also fresh lettuce (not like the limpy ones from golden arch). As for fries, I ordered the Chilli Beef Fries which looked so appetising. The beef fries actually tasted like coney dog.


Bacon Swiss Chicken Burger

Chilli Beef Fries


The combo which includes a drink and french fries starts from RM15 - RM20++. The prices are not cheap and they probably will get you another few more burgers from McDonalds but the taste is really different. It's a totally different experience altogether. To rejoice, they have a free refill of soft drinks (they have Sarsi!), Channel Island Roasting Company tea and coffee and also a salsa bar! It's where you can keep drinking and drinking and topping pickles and tomatoes into your burgers!


See, how big the burger is?!!


It's really filling and it makes up for the premium pricing at Carl's Jr. It's an expensive fast food joint but at least you get quality western burgers here. I'll definitely come back and probably I should also try Wendy's soon. Cheers.

Read more at Masak-masak.


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