Friday, July 31, 2009

Ouch... my car

Friday Ponder Wonder takes a break today as I've been very busy the whole week. It was both work and enjoyment as there were dinners almost every night except Wednesday. Yesterday's dinner at La Suisse was good and I'll post about it soon.


Ford Escape


My car is in a bad shape. The gearbox would have to be replaced or else I'll never be able to accelerate. I have a few options though:

1. Change to new gearbox - RM19k

2. Use to 2nd hand gearbox - RM6k (no warranty)

3. Overhaul - RM8k (1 year warranty)

What do you think I should do?!! Maybe just change a 2nd hand gearbox and dispose it... But I damn love that car. It's big, spacious and comfy. I can't get use to the Waja which I'm driving now and the turning radius is shittingly annoying me. But the air con is good!

It's either I take the Waja or get a new car myself and I'm considering Madza 3 (2008 edition). Good buy?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Friends' Birthday @ Zouk

Last weekend was a crazy one for me. It was my saturday off and I felt more tired after that! This is a breakdown of my weekend itinerary:

Friday

8.00pm Dinner @ Changkat Bukit Bintang with a friend
10.30pm Party @ Zouk Phuture & Velvet
12.30am Sultan Lounge @ Mandarin Oriental (kidnapped by a friend)
2.00am Went back to Zouk
3.00am Went to Pelita for supper
4.00am Friend's place

Saturday

7.00am Woke up
7.30am Morning walk at TTDI Hill
10.00am Breakfast@ TTDI
11.00am Sauna & Steam @ Fitness First Damansara
12.30pm Meet up @ Alexis Bangsar
1.30pm Volkswagen @ The Curve (wanted to test drive Beetle)
2.30pm ZZZ.....
7.30pm Get ready for Hennessy Artistry
8.30pm Hennessy Artistry @ Bukit Kiara
2.30am ZZZ.....

Majority are from Ipoh


Hue Gee & Li Wei

Selina & Li Wei

Birthday Girl - Keh Min

Birthday Girl - Hue Gee


Calvin (our official photographer).
So nice of him to come down from Singapore to join us.

Girl Power

Sorry, no pictures from Sultan, the new sophisticated underground lounge/club at MO. I didn't even know it's existence until my friend kidnapped (literally) me and show me the place. It's filled with the who's & who's in town especially the Dato's and the Tan Sri's. There were bodyguards all around. Security is tight too. However, the lounge is very tastefully done and it's definitely a nice place if you have money to spare. Not to forget that most of the people who went there are at least 40! Lol...

Maggi Goreng @ Pelita - FAIL!

It's so salty, I bet your hair would fall.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Hakka Republic @ Menara Hap Seng KL


Hakka Republic is no food joint for Hakka food or gathering of the Hakkas. You wouldn't find your "mui choy kau yoke" on the menu. It's a fine dining outlet with a bar that serves a big variety of wine by the glasses.

So why it is called Hakka Republic? It was actually a celebration of the spirit of those people that founded what many consider to be the first modern Republic in the the world, the Hakka Lang Fang Republic in 1777 (ten years before the USA became a republic) in West Kalimantan. You can read more about the history here. However, i still find it weird calling a fine dining restaurant Hakka... It's like calling "TGIF" a Tomoe Kampachi (whatever it means...).



Drinking wines here could be a little more interesting with the use of the wine enomatic machines. Here you can order a wide variety of wine by glasses which many food joints do not do because once the bottle is opened, the wine has to be finished within that day itself. With these machines, the wine can be kept up to 10 days. But of course as a wine lover, I wouldn't want to drink them on the 9th day!

The enomatic machines

The menu is also very interesting because after every dish, they do list the names of the wine to be paired with your dish. The wines listed are all sold in glasses, from RM25 to RM125 a glass! It's not a very big menu but they do have a few good signature dishes like pasta and steaks.


THE FOOD
From Left:
Marinated Tuna Tartar with Green Tea Cold Soba (RM25)
Spinach Salad with Sashimi Seabass (RM25)
Shrimp Bisque and Egg Drops (RM22)


US Prime Rib 180g (RM120)
Recently, I saw the menu and it's only 150g....

I don't think the starters impressed me. In terms of taste, there's nothing special and the sashimi wasn't very fresh. However, the US Prime Rib (off the menu) was done very nicely. They do serve wagyu (normal item on menu) here with the same price and the above picture is just half portion. The chef has done a very good steak and if I have to come back, it's the steak. It comes with a blue cheese infused butter for the pastry. Yummy!

It beats Prime @ Le Meridien (which charges 3 times the price) anytime!

The desserts are nothing to shout about.


Actually I find the desserts disappointing. An outlet like this should serve good desserts. But anyways, we had a night of great wines from Australia (courtesy from my wine kakis). We called it an Australian night yesterday because we had a few bottles of Australia's best wines! I know that I always make fun of Australian wines like Yellow Tail and my used to be favourite Wyndham Estate Bin 555 after drinking French and yesterday's dinner was the night to prove me wrong.


OUR OWN WINES
The wines that we had...
This is how we taste our wines side by side. Cheeky friend's fingers.

We started off with Henschke's Hill of Grace 1998 from Eden Valley. This single vineyard has been producing wine for more than 130 years, and some of the vines - which the Henschke family fondly call “The Grandfathers” - are as old as that. It's a very elegant wine with spicy Shiraz aromas.



After that, we compared it with a bottle of Wirra Wirra Chook Block Shiraz 2002. They called it Chook because it comes with a tag with a rooster on it. Chook Block is a unique wine which is not made except in exceptional vintage like 2002. The label at the back of the bottle states the vineyard, grape, year, number of bottles produced and also the bottle number. The bottle that we had was 1 of the only 250 dozen bottles and has only been made twice since 1998. On the palate, this wine is big, lavish and full of fruity notes and plums. I liked this better than the Hills of Grace.

The next two wines that we tasted side by side was the Penfolds Grange 1998 and 1999. Robert Parker gave the 1999 a 99 pointer and the 1998 a 100 pointer. So, we wanted to know which one is better according to our own preference.

I started off with a 1999 bottle. This is the first Grange with 100% Shiraz since the 1963 bottle. The nose itself was good. Full of luscious malty oak and crawling with deliciously plum, berries and fruit, it’s gorgeously fine and supple and long, with a smooth, balance and finesse. It's almost second to none. This bottle is retailing at around RM1800.

Then the 1998 came. The 1998 vintage is predominantly Shiraz (97%) with a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon (3%). The nose is intense with hints of plum and licorice. The palate displays intense layering of berries and it has velvety ripe tannins. Very good wine, but I still prefer the 1999 despite the 100 pointer from RP. This bottle is easily sold at RM2000.

And the last wine, Chateau St Jean 2000 from Sonoma County (US), errr.. you can might as well forget about it. For one thing, I really don't like US wines. Period.



MY VERDICT:

Overall, the dinner is enjoyable. The theme is unique, ambiance is nice, with dimmed lights, private rooms and a bar counter. It's a romantic place for any couples to dine. But come here for the steaks as the rest is really not up to my expectations. And they do charge corkage if you bring your own wines. My friend paid RM250 for the corkage charges alone! The whole dinner is around RM1300 for 6 of us excluding wines.

Note: They are very strict with corkage charges which is @RM60 a bottle and min RM50/bottle even how hard you try to pull strings. I think this is really a bummer if you are drinking wines by the bottles like my friends and I. I think coming here just for the steak and a glass of wine or two is fine.


HAKKA REPUBLIC
Lot 2.05, Level 2, Menara Hap Seng, (used to be MUI Plaza)
Jalan P.Ramlee
50250 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: +603 2078 9908
http://www.hakkarepublic.com

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Awesome "Le Clos" at Dubai Airport

Rejoice for wine connoisseurs or lovers alike.

If you think the selection of wines or spirits at some of the duty free shop sucks, wait till you actually visit the LE CLOS at Terminal 3 at Dubai International Airport! You'll be awestrucked by the labels they carry and maybe the prices as well. They are selling many of the world's most sought after wines and some spirits - DUTY FREE.


The newly opened outlet boasts some of the world’s rarest and most sought labels, such as Château Petrus 1947 ($12,500/bottle), Château Cheval Blanc 1961 in magnum ($15,750) and Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2005 ($27,778/bottle). One of the quirkier items for sale is a $125K Dom Perignon guitar case. The branch also stocks a number of New World wines, including vintages from Napa icons Opus One, Harlan Estate and Screaming Eagle. Besides that, they do carry a variety of Japanese whisky and you can find some of the cognac costing as much as RM50,000 there.

The shop is also staffed with advisors with expertise to provide information and advice on your purchase. And their website is also fully equipped with their product list and prices. You can even preorder/choose your wines and spirits in advance before you depart from the airport.

So doesn't this add a little more fun to wine shopping at the airport for wine connoisseurs?!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

ARTISTRY @ Bukit Kiara July 2009


One massive party, one great venue and a helluva night!

Notice that they ditch the word "Hennessy"? Apparently the new government ruling disallow the use of liquor brand names in events. And this event also do not allow muslim to participate because the organisers do make the courtesy call to inform it's registered guests.

I always like the Hennessy Artistry to be held at Bukit Kiara Indoor Arena. Not only it's spacious, the venue is big! This time around, the arrangement of the VIP area is a little different with bigger area and even a bigger BAR!


The V area

The VIP area is divided into 4 areas according to the word V.S.O.P. The P area is the VVIP area where they are elevated a floor above the O area. My sisters and her friends are at O and my youngest sister, my friends and the bloggers are at S, which is mainly the media area. The rest of the dance floor is for the normal passes and the best thing about the VIP area is that they have their individual bars and sofas!


Fatman Scoop

Don't ask me about the performances because I was simply too busy drinking. The big performer of the night would have to be Fatman Scoop. The stage is very impressive too! I must say that this Hennessy Artistry is nicely done!


Me!

The foyer before the main area where you can sample some Hennessy Cocktail shots! This time they serve Hennessy mixed with apple juice, ginger ale and soda. I don't like them very much as I still prefer the classic cocktails like Hennessy Miami, Shanghai and .....



I went with my sisters! An obligatory Lim Sister's presence at all Hennessy Artistry events! Heheh. This post is full of photographs because I was simply too lazy to elaborate on the event.


Yiling, Eiling & Ziling


Me, Greg, Jasmine, Ian & Ziling
Wei Zhi from Kampungboycitigal


Greg, me & Yiling

With Jill, whom came late.

With Alex Lye from Spiral


With Calvin, my official driver + photographer! Haha...


With alcoholic Deep @ The Thirsty Blogger

With Yat from Nuffnang


Simon from Simon Says

Simon, Horny Horng & Me

Met lotsa people including my dear friend Amy whom I didn't expect her to be there! There are also many bloggers such as Fireangel, Jack, Joshua, Nicole Kiss & Kenny Sia.


I love my Hennessy!



My Hennessy Artistry Experience:
Zouk KL
Bukit Kiara
Orange Club

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Is having more than 1 lover acceptable?

-FOR ILLUSTRATION PURPOSES-


I think there's absolutely nothing wrong with it.

Now before you want to jump on me and start questioning me about my moral values, let me justify why I think it's perfectly acceptable and under what circumstances.

If you don't tell the other lover that you have another partner, then it's cheating. You see, there's a difference between a "polygyny" and "polyamory". A polygyny (many+women) means a man having more than one wife at a time and this only applies to man. Polyamory (many+love) is a romantic relationship involving more than 2 people. And this need not necessary be man whom has 2 lovers because it can be vice versa.



To simply illustrate this, it's like a man having 2 love partners and the 2 partners knew of each others existence and they have given their consent. And then this partner can also be in another relationship with another man whom his partner has also given consent. In this case, even a woman can have two boyfriends at a time provided both the boyfriends have given consent. The magic word here is CONSENT. A polyamorous relationship need not be bisexual or to fulfill one's sexual needs. It's a real relationship involving understanding, commitment and love.

I know having 2 partners or even 3 at a time is nothing new. There are so many men or women out there having multiple dates or spouse but what makes polyamorist better than the polygamist is that they are honest about the relationship. If one hides another partner/relationship, it's called CHEATING! While this is not easy for many of us to digest, they are people whom are involved in such relationships. And they managed to do that because of a strong foundation from the primary relationship before moving on to a secondary relationship.

Poly schmolly, I think it's fun to be a polyamorist. It's not easy. There are rules governing this type of relationships. You can just tell your partner, "I would like shag the other person over there and if you don't like it, you can disappear." It's not like this.

Polyamory isn't free love. All these different flavors of polyamory have their own dynamic, but ultimately, they are all about building relationships, not about sex.
The rules of having more than one relationship must be established by the partners and a breach of it would be serious matter - as serious as cheating. Everyone involved in the relationship can not cheat on each other and this is the rule.

I do believe that they are people out there whom are capable of loving more than one person and if they are honest about it, I don't see why this ideology cannot be accepted. While we were taught from young to be loyal to one partner, I cannot help but realise that's the reason why we cheat. If we were taught to be honest and open about the relationship, then wouldn't the relationship be built on trust?

So, before you jump on the bandwagon and declare to your partner that you are practicing polyamory, think of the consequences. Not everyone can accept it. And if your partner can't, that means a no for you too. The foundation of every relationship is trust and honesty which I think I'm lack off.

In support of polyamory anyone?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

One Massive Party @ Hennessy Artistry

Finally, Hennessy Artistry is here again - even better & bigger this time. Well, that's what I heard and it's going to be held in Bukit Kiara Indoor Arena again. The last time I was there for the Hennessy Artistry was in July 2008 and I remembered that Bukit Kiara is so far the best location as it is spacious and the air-condition is cool enough.

So, this coming Hennessy Artistry is set on 25th July, which is this Saturday and I'll be going (with my sisters too)! The list of performers include the Ying Yang Twins, Fatman Scoop, Dominique Tsai, DJ Camilo, Homies, Mr.Sam, Milinka Radisic, Lumisense and local band One Buck Short. Wow...

The only bummer is that if you try to log on to Hennessy Artistry now to register yourself to get some invites, don't even try. While the website page asks visitors to click on it to register....


Main Page

Register Now


And this idiotic message popped up....

I've just received the text yesterday from Hennessy Artistry and when I log on to try to register, I was disappointed! Oh well, the lucky thing is, I've already gotten myself some VIP passes so it doesn't matter even if I can't register online. If you're still trying to get some invites, you can purchase a bottle of Hennessy which entitles you to 1 miserable pass and if you purchase two bottles, you get 5 passes at selected nightspots like Quattro.

I'll see you at Hennessy Artistry this Saturday!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Nite of Chateaus

On a Friday evening, I received a surprise call from Big E asking me to join her for dinner. So I asked, what's the ocassion and the reply was "must there be an ocassion to dine?" Haha.. and so I made my way through the Friday-after-work- traffic-jam to KL for dinner. To my surprise, all my usual wine suspects are there except one.

I was told that we were to have some recessionary wines and food that night since we have to save up for the rainy days. I walked over to the table where all the wines were decantered and where the bottle of champagne has been chilled in the bucket of ice and to my surprise, there wasn't even a label that spelled "recessionary". Maybe I misread the labels or maybe my friends have strike a lottery to call these bottles a recessionary drink. I shall show you what I saw.


Anyone whom can read would know that this is a Dom Perignon 1999 Vintage. Must I say more?!!


After that, we start with a glass of Château Ausone 1993. On the nose, it has very strong tobacco/cigar notes and also licorice. On the palate, it has got delicate tannins and hints of plum. Robert Parker gave this bottle a 85.

Château Ausone is a bordeaux wine on the right bank and of Saint Emilion appllation. It is only one of the two wines, besides Château Cheval Blanc to be classified as Premier Cru Classe (A) in the classification of Saint Emilion wines.

They say, the most beautiful and must visit vineyard shall be the Château Ausone. The 17 acres of Château Ausone is located on Saint Emilion's limestone plateau, just a few metres from the medieval village. I have viewed pictures of the chateau in the net and it was really picturesque.



The second bottle that we tried was the Château Haut-Brion 1993. Château Haut-Brion is one of the closest chateau to Bordeaux in the Pessac-Léognan appellation. During the 17th century, this wine had a huge success in London. It was classified as a first growth of the Gironde in 1855. It is the only first growth or “Premier Cru Classé” of the Graves area. Robert Parker gave this a 92 pointer wine. On the palate, both Ausone and Haut-Brion is almost similar I would say but the nose of Ausone is definitely better.

The last wine for the night would be the Château Montrose 2003. They wanted to keep this bottle for the last so that a comparison could be made between the 3 bottles of which the first two bottle are more superior and how would the third bottle fare among them. Château Montrose is a second classe growth from Saint-Estephe. What was so special about the Montrose is that Robert Parker gave it a 100 points from 97 when he revisited the wine.

It boasts a dense black/purple color in addition to an extraordinary bouquet of scorched earth, blackberries, fabulous purity, and substantial tannin in the finish. This superb, huge, ripe wine is one of the vintage’s most prodigious offerings. It's maturity was said to be somewhere between 2010-2035 but it's also drinking very well now!

Chateau Montrose 2003

My choice of the night would definitely be this bottle of Château Montrose 2003. It superceeds my expectations when compared with the first two bottle of Premier Crus. What I can conclude here is that big labels, big price tags do not mean big wines. A humble bottle like Montrose, given a 100 pointer by RP has just proven that "taste over price and labels" anytime. The Ausone and Haut-Brion 1993 is worth over a thousand ringgit today but this Montrose is just around RM800?

I was glad that we did the bottles side by side to compare the nose and the palate. Although the food is a little bit different from what we usually had, it was good! That night we had some steamed eggs, minced pork, pigeons and chicken soup as opposed to sharks fin and abalone! This is definitely one helluva great "recessionary" dinner I had. I wonder what should I call my dinner that consists of a plate of char kuey teow and teh-o-ais?!!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dinner at Berjaya Times Square Hotel & Convention Centre

I was at the Lions Club Inauguration dinner of its new District Governor in Berjaya Times Square Hotel & Convention Centre. I shall not mention whom was elected as the District Governor of District 308B1 but you can check it out here. It's like a dinner of inauguration and charity together which one of my friends paid RM5k for a table and the Deputy Prime Minister is one of the guests.

First of all, the launching of the website of the district starts to irritate me because of the many photographs of the DG which is evident in the website link I provided. How could a club website be filled with a man's picture. It's not a blog nor beauty pageant website (no pun intended). Secondly, instead of highlighting the many charitable work that the club has done for the society, there's only a slide show on the man, his achievements and his family!

And lastly, the food. I've not had a good experience dining at the BTS hotel because the last time I was there for a dinner, the food was horrendous. The fish was not fresh, the soup tasted funny and everything is just so wrong. And sometimes, I was thinking whether it's my taste or was it really that bad. Actually it was bad because many of us didn't finish our food either. What amazes me was that even Vincent Tan was there himself, wouldn't he be able to tell that the food sucks big time? Hasn't he try his own hotel food many million times?

Oh, and the wine glasses they provide is an insult to those who drinks wine. The glasses are small, not even the standard wine drinking glass and not to mention the dirty stains on the glasses! I refused to drink that night. Hmmph... I think I'll say no more to dinners at BTS.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Cohabitation: A preparation or an alternative to marriage?

I did some colouring myself!


As a young kid (I'm not exactly very old yet), I always question the way of life. Why do we have to conform to the laws of the society and why the stigma of living together before marriage (in other words, cohabiting) exists? In the modern context, cohabiting before marriage is no longer an eye-raising subject. In fact, it has become so common, more common than news of me partying 3 nights in a row.

When the couple chooses to live together in an emotionally or sexually intimate relationship, they are actually staying together like a married couple. Many would view this as a test-marriage or even a preparation towards marriage. But some resorted to cohabitation as an alternative to marriage because either they are avoiding marriage, gay or they are in a polygamy or polyamory (I shall deal with the polyamorist next time) relationships.

Is it not our say whether cohabitation is right or wrong because every situation or needs is different. I might, for example agree with cohabitation as the preparation of marriage. Let's just say that I've heard too many stories about couples getting into a divorce less than a year of marriage. And therefore, I have to make sure that the man that I want to live with the rest of my life is not some freak. When cohabiting, you'll discover many traits or habits that you've never seen in 5 years of courtship! A compliment must go to the partner whom managed to camouflage it so well....

Cohabitation is no longer about sex 0r no sex before marriage. It's about living together, trying to tolerate, share and love each other. A cohabitation might lead to marriage or it might lead to a breakup. I would say it's best to breakup during cohabitation than to get a divorce after marriage. Don't you think so? But study tends to show that cohabitation is bad for couples than jumping into marriage straightaway because couples tend to have lower tolerance levels, higher chances of cheating and less commitment from both sides since they are not legally married!

Actually there's more to consider when cohabiting then his bad hygiene habits like wearing the same underwear for two consecutive days or whether he puts the toilet seat down. Those are not going to be a major problem of living together for the rest of your lives. But what actually does need to be considered is his/her personality, attitudes and commitment. Bad attitudes can be hidden when dating or living together for a few days but not when it comes to everyday for months! It will definitely show. So this is a good chance to see for yourself the other half's true colours.

I don't know but I would surely try cohabiting before signing the documents. Getting a divorce is not easy and it involves so many parties, documents and time! Cohabitation breakup is easy - either one party just pack your bags and leave. And less monies for the lawyers! Muahaha....

(I love writing a good post for ponder on Fridays. It's my best day of the week.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Additions @ The MAS First Class Lounge


I've blogged about the First Class Lounge and its booze here but it seems that the new additions to the already wide spread of booze is continuing. So cheers to that! They are in fact constantly trying to improve on their food selection and also the drinks selection especially for fussy people like me. With the constant bugging and constructive criticism... we all can have more booze now!

One of the new champagnes that the lounge is serving now is the Louis De Sacy Brut Grand Cru. This LDS vineyards is in Verzy and the Sacy family has settled there since 1633. There is not much write up on this Champagne as it's one of those boutique champagnes that is limited in production and probably lacked publicity.


It's not a very expensive Champagne. Maybe in the range of RM100-RM200 duty free. On the palate, the champagne is toasty with lots of citrus notes but I think it's wee too young. The bubblies aren't that refine too. Maybe it's not my kinda champagne.


Another new Champagne being served at the lounge is the Nicolas Feuillatte Brut Reserve. And since I've tried this Champagne before, I didn't consume any of it that day. This bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte has been aged 3 years and it has very delicate bubbles. It might not taste like a DP or a M&C but it certainly has a distinctive taste of its own because it has hints of almonds and hazelnuts.

Actually my favourite of all Champagnes is Nicolas's Brut Rosé! It's dry, full-bodied and light. You can taste the berries and currants and the salmon-pink tone of the champagne is so soothing! This Champagne goes very well with Japanese food which is evident in all my Japanese meals at Yoyogi in Singapore! Btw, I don't think you can get the Rosé here unfortunately, you can now as told by my friend. You can get it at Asiaeuro.


Check out its website. It's impressive.


At the same time, I had this opprotunity to try something which I've never thought I would give it a go. It's the Sheridan's Coffee Layered Liquer. I never give coffee liquer a second thought nor would I ever learn to appreciate it but I have to admit it does taste good. And pretty interesting too for myself. The bottle itself is unique because it's a combination of two different liquids into one bottle and yet it's separated. The noozle allows one to pour the different liquer one at a time depending on your preference.


You can read one of the interesting reviews here.

It actually tasted better than Baileys although it's a little bit sweet. I like how the white is separated from the black! You can get this at below RM100 duty free which is really a good deal! Even the bottle itself is worth keeping.

CHEERS!

I was told that Zouk KL will be playing a tribute to MJ tonight at mambo jambo...

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