Friday, September 30, 2011

Hotel 1929 @ Singapore


On my last holiday trip to Singapore, due to budget constraints, I have booked a two night stay at this Hotel 1929, which is considered a 4-star boutique hotel on the fringe of Chinatown. It was called 1929 because the row of shophouses here are built in the same year and has been under the conservation project due to the historical architecture which is now increasingly rare.

As funny as it might seem, in all the hotels I stayed at in Singapore, this looked like the most moderate, simple and cheapest hotel I've ever been to. Gone are the days of my Four Seasons, Meritus Mandarin and Ritz Carlton. It has come to my senses that hotels there are really obscenely expensive and my money is better off spent on other pleasures of life than on my sleep. After all, I'm out in the streets shopping, dining and chilling out most of the time.



This hotel features 32 individually designed rooms with a mix of classic designer and retro vintage furniture. The corridors of the hotel will bring back memories of the olden days in Singapore with its B&W archival photos of the early 20th century. The hotel also have an interesting collection of chairs, which is from the owner's private collection. Besides that, the other "cute" aspect of this hotel is that they have 2 suites that have an outdoor hot tub on the roof top terrace that overlooks the bustling streets of Chinatown.



When I opened the door to my room, if you could see my reaction, it would really be funny! My jaws dropped, literally but I was "stoned" for a few seconds there. It was the SMALLEST room I've ever stayed in a hotel before, ANYWHERE! I think even the quaint hotel I was staying in Koln a few years ago was a bit bigger than this. As you open the door, the wash basin is located on the left, leaving no space in between the door opening and basin. The bed is just right beside the windows, meaning you'll have to get off the bed from the other side or from the bed end. HAHA...

I've also never seen such a small toilet. The toilet, encased in glass but frosted in the middle (to hide the essential parts) is just beside the bed, with a side-table-sized walkway. It's so small, you can even see that the shower head is almost directly above the toilet bowl, leaving 2ft of space for you to stand and turn. My luggage was even bigger than the width of the walkway.

The only consolation of this hotel room is the cleanliness and the modern touch of amenities and also a LCD TV. At night, it might get a little noisy due to the bars across the streets but at least this place is easily accessible and safe. The aunties who made your beds and clean the room is worth your tips!



Service is limited as I wanted to request for a ice bucket and they don't have it. So, I came up with a plan - to use the basin as a bucket, went to 7-11 to buy some ice and then just chill the champagne in it! Although it is not the best way to chill a champagne, as long as it works, I don't mind!

The Duval Leroy 1995 Blanc de Chardonnay is not something you can get easily here in KL but in Singapore, you can get almost anything if you have the moolah. Duval-Leroy is based in Vertus, a village in the Côte de Blancs, which is one of the largest land-owners in all Champagne region. The firm owns vineyards in all the Grand Cru villages of the Côte des Blancs. A number of the wines produced here demonstrate a certain quality of Chardonnay not to be found elsewhere.

This bottle here is very special. I love the light golden hue with a nose of lemon and the palate of toasted citrus notes and some minerals. You also get that yeasty flavours that finish off with a sweet note and hints of spices. Nevermind if they don't provide the champagne flutes because I can drink straight from the bottle - advice from an alcoholic.



I enjoyed my stay but I can't wait to get out of this TINY room. If I stay another day more, I'll have to drown myself with more bubblies which will end up being more expensive than a night's stay here. I paid SGD$140++ for a Superior room, considered a very good price in this "money-sucking" island but if I were to use that money over here in KL, I'll at least get a room double that size! Beggars can't be choosers, as the saying goes. But I have no regrets, it is a nice place to stay if you don't mind the size. For me, it's a little too far from the Chinatown MRT and thus I resort to taking a cab to everywhere!

Try the Ember restaurant at the hotel, I heard it's a great place to dine. Down the road is where Nicholas is - one of my favourite fine dining place that serves a good degustation menu. Just right opposite the hotel, there's another boutique hotel called Saff. I'll give it a try the next time I'm in town for a holiday. Right now, it's all about tightening the belt! No more flushy poshy hotels for me!


Hotel 1929
50 Keong Saik Road
089154 Singapore
Tel: +65 6347 1929
Website



Thursday, September 29, 2011

Friday Nite with me at Neverland...

Ever wonder what can one do on a Friday night?!! Fridays are my favourite days as I know that the weekend has arrived and it's time to do things I've always wanted to. Don't you feel that life is too stressful to let Friday nights go by in a breeze?

A few of my favourite activities on a Friday includes....



Admiring the picturesque sunset at the beach. Too bad, I only get to do this once in a blue moon whenever I'm on holiday. Imagine sitting by the beach, sipping a cool glass of martini and enjoying the sea breeze... Hmm..



Or, I could be sipping some wine and drawing a cigar on a Friday night with some friends. It's really cool to have a bunch of friends having a nice dinner and then popping some champagne bottles as the night goes by. This is one of the heavenly pleasures that I enjoy immensely because of the great company, nice drinking wines and good food.



And the ultimate - Hitting the CLUB on a Friday night! I'm such a party goer when I was younger (making myself sound very old here) and what I loved most about it is the music. Nevermind if you can't dance, cos all you need is to move with the groove. Now that my party days has mellowed, and age is catching up, it's time to be choosy about the clubs BUT never let the party spirit down!

The newest & hottest club that everyone is now talking about is in town! NEVERLAND has landed on our shores, and here comes Peter Pan & Tinker Bell a club that accomodates clubbers with an interactive bevy of performances in a trendy yet stylish and hip environment. Neverland envisions itself to be the cornerstone of KL city's night life.

With a fully refurbished stand alone of 900 seating capacity and an on-site parking for 500 cars, I am now giving away tickets to let you and your friends to be the 1st to attend this PRE-LAUNCH party happening on the 7th October 2011, a Friday night of course!

Each of the 10 lucky winners will be able to bring 1 + 1 people for the Pre-Launch. That means you will win 3 tickets in total - one for yourself and two for your friends). Each ticket comes with a FREE DRINK. Isn't that great?



How to win?
  1. To win, the participants would need "LIKE" the Club Neverland FB page.
  2. Answer 2 simple questions.
  • What is it that I'm eating for breakfast in this video?
  • Tell me what would make the best clubbing experience?
You can leave the answers and your contact (email & phone numbers) at the comment section or if you want more privacy, please email me at eilingblog@gmail.com before 2nd of October 2011 at 12noon . Winners will be notified by Nuffnang. Winners to collect tickets from Nuffnang office starting 10am, Tuesday, 4th October until 2pm, 7th October 2011.

The best answer wins!




You won't want to miss this party!



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"Pedring" in Manila

Don't worry, I'm safe in Metro Manila. I didn't know that when I fly to Manila yesterday, it was also the day when the typhoon "Pedring" has flooded some parts of the capital and there were electricity cuts. When I arrived at the airport, there were electricity cuts during the time I was collecting my baggage. Lucky after a while, the electricity was back.

It was raining the whole day and many shops & restaurant were closed. Most of the staff were told to go home early. Lucky the hotel I stayed in was okay and there were no problems with the electricity at all. Unfortunately, the Sofitel Pasay City was flooded and the people had to evacuate.

I'm safe, no worries and flying back today!


SAVING THE PIG Residents carry a pig through a street flooded by Typhoon “Pedring” in suburban San Mateo, eastern Manila on Tuesday. Manila residents waded through waist-deep floodwaters, dodging branches and flying debris as the powerful typhoon sent surging waves as tall as palm trees crashing over seawalls and submerging entire neighborhoods. AP PHOTO



-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Now XPLAY is bringing PAUL VAN DYK to Malaysia and he’ll be bringing his bespoke Evolution World Tour that will get your on your feet and moving to the beat. It will be a legendary outing that is set to elevate the way you party. No two Paul van Dyk shows are ever the same, so this will be a one-of-a-kind affair that you just have to attend.

To kick up the heat even further, there will also be other top international and local DJs that will be mixing it up alongside Paul van Dyk such as DJ Giuseppe Ottaviani, Terence C, Darkroom Tale and MisterAriffin.


Make sure your calendars and your appointment books are clear for this date:

Date: 22 Oct 2011

Time: 7pm – till late

Venue: Helipad, Sepang International Circuit.



Want FREE tickets to one of the biggest event in the partying scene? Just do 1 of the following:
1.
If you’re an Xpax or U.O.X. member, just reload!
  • Register by sending XPLAYPVD to 28881
  • Reload RM50
  • You’ll receive a mobile voucher redeemable for 1 FREE ticket

2. Subscribe to Instanet Monthly @ RM50/month & stand to win 2 tickets! (while stocks last) – check www.instanet.com.my

3. If you’re a Celcom Broadband customer, activate Musicube & stand to win 2 tickets! (while stocks last) – check www.celcom.com.my/broadband

4. Download special XPLAY packages from THE CUBE (www.thecube.my or visit the WAP site at http://m.thecube.my) & stand to win 2 VIP passes.

5. You can also win passes HERE!


Sepang event: Click here.


This is the future of partying!

But if you can’t make it to XPLAY Future Sound System, you can still make your way to other XPLAY events from now til Nov 2011!

To all our peeps in Kota Kinabalu, there’s one happening in Bed Club, Kota Kinabalu this 8th of October. The event will feature DJ SHY, the first on-air female mixer for America’s Top 40 radio station.

Best of all, entry is TOTALLY FREE! To get passes for this happening joint, all you have to do is go to http://on.fb.me/XPLAY11 & register for your FREE passes!

With XPLAY, it’s sure to be X-Plosive!

KK event: Click here.




Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Upper Deck Tanzini @ G Tower KL

It's been quite a while since I last went out and try a new dining place in KL. I've been too comfortable dining at the usual outlets and sometimes missing out on new and happening restaurants in KL city. Unfortunately, some has even closed down before I even have time to set my foot in. Haha... (that is really a sarcasm)

Initially I wanted to go to Upper Deck Tanzini at G Tower on a Wednesday but it was fully booked for a private event and thus I defer my reservation to Thursday night. My 1st experience in making a booking didn't go too well as the lady on the other side can't give me the info I needed. I wanted to know what is the difference between Tanzini & Upper Deck and sadly she didn't know how to explain. Thus, I resort to reading reviews online.


I don't know why, but I think this is going to be quite a long-winded post.

After much questioning, it turns out that Upper Deck Tanzini ONLY serves dinner (degustation style & reservations highly recommended) and also private functions for lunch & dinner. Dress code is strict too as you need to dress smartly, like how you would do for a fine dining restaurant. Of course I was well-heeled for the dinner. Downstairs, at level 28, that's the Tanzini restaurant where they serve ala carte dishes and it's a more casual dining, available for lunch & dinner too.


I was also quite excited as I've recommended to my dining partner to give this place a try. As I walked in, I was awed by the picturesque KL skyline, particularly the view of the KL Twin Towers from the double storey rooftop glass windows that surround the restaurant. Service was also top-notch as the staff was polite, attentive and also helpful.

What disappoints me was the whole food experience. As a start, I chose a 4-course-dinner set @ RM155++. Lo & behold, I didn't know that the sorbet, for in between the starter and my main was also called "a course"?!! For me, the right way is to call it "in between". It's just to wash my palate and not a course by itself. Then, it gives people the impression that it's only 3 courses and not 4!

I ordered a Yellowtail King Fish Tataki which was recommended by the staff and my dining partner ordered a Pan-roasted Pigeon as starters. After a while, the staff came back and told us that the Pigeon dish is not available and thus he settled for the same starter as mine. When the first dish came, the staff apologized to us and told us that they ran out of Yellowtail King Fish and the chef has substituted it with lobster.



At that moment, I jokingly told the staff that I want my Yellowtail King Fish and not the lobster! Of course they were polite and told me that the lobster is better and it's delicious BUT what I was not happy about is that they do not have the courtesy to inform the diners that they had to use lobster instead for the starter before serving it to me. What happened if I'm allergic to lobsters (which is not uncommon here)? And it's also funny that a fine-dining place like this can run out of two out of the six starters and they did not inform the staff in the 1st place. Very disappointing.

To be fair, the lobster does taste fresh, juciy and succulent. But I am still no happy for not getting my Yellowtail fish!!


To save the day, lucky we have a bottle of Felton Road, Central Otago Calvert Pinot Noir 2008 which is a New Zealand red wine. It's a silky wine that is averagely rich with cherry & minerals and a hint of spice. I have not had Felton Road for years and it's nice that we have a NZ red once in a while. The chief sommelier, Mr. Eddy Lau happened to be a friend whom I have known since the days he worked for Vintry. It's nice to catch up with friends that you have not seen for donkey years and then suddenly bump into them out of nowhere.


Here comes my a teaspoonful "2nd course" sorbet of the day.


Master Kobe Striploin & Wagyu Beef Rump

There are three layers to this dish. The first and outer layer is the Kobe beef, carpaccio like as it's a very thin piece of beef (written on the menu as Marble Score is 10+) with two pieces of wagyu beef rump stacked together. the broth is a caramelised oxtail with pearl onion. I like this because the beef is tender and the broth is flavourful. But what I don't like is the part that why I wasn't asked how I prefer my wagyu to be cooked? Maybe I like it a little bit more rare? That I could not accept. A fine dining restaurant should not make such a mistake.



Scotland's Label Rouge Salmon

It's a "Red Label" Scottish Salmon (want to know more about the label, read here) poached with duck fat at 48 degrees Celsius , served with Saffron Carnaroli Risotto, Dill & Sorrel Jelly and with Amoroso Tomato Confit. I didn't try the dish but my friend says it's good and he's glad he made the right choice (as compared to my dish). That's very terrible of him! I'm happy with my dish and perhaps next time I'll give this a try.

Sweet Ending

But I don't want a sweet ending, I want a happy ending! hahha... The dessert is a berry sorbet (which melted way too fast before I manage to snap the perfect picture), served with big juicy, sourish strawberry and a chocolate mousse which is gelatine like. There's nothing unusual about this sweet delight except for the pretty presentation.

The verdict - I will not strike this place off the list yet as I do love the ambiance and the spectacular views. The menu is a hit and miss but I'm sure they can still improve on it. What I am hoping is that they not only improve the menu, but also on the communication to the diners. They should have the quality of a fine-dining restaurant if they want to maintain that status. Alternatively, if you want more courses, you can opt for a 5-course-dinner at RM185 and a 6-course-dinner at RM215.

IMHO, they are still very far from the quality & taste of food that Max can offer at Millesime. So I hope you can hop over to TIME OUT KL Food Awards website and vote for Millesime & me for the Blogger's Choice Award!




Tanzini
(do state if you want to make a reservation at Upper deck)

Level 28, GTower
Jalan Tun Razak
50400 Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia
Tel: +603 2168 1899
Website


Monday, September 26, 2011

Crispy Pork & Shrimps Wanton with Alcohol

Ok, I'm not really an alcoholic (futile attempts in convincing people because they know that I can drink them under the table) but sometimes I feel that it's interesting to use some of the bottles I have at home into cooking. It's a boring Sunday and Mom decides to make some fresh minced pork and shrimps wanton. She was telling me about the wonderful recipe she read in this book and she wanted to try it.

The ingredients are really simple but there was one particular ingredient she lacked - the chinese RICE WINE. So I told her, forget about the boring rice wine, why don't you use this instead?!! I took a chair, climb up to the top of the cupboard and pulled out a bottle of liquer and she thought I was mad. "Huh?!! You want me to use this Kwai Fei Lychee Liquer?" and I said, why not?!!



In addition to this wacky ingredient, I asked her to add some fried streaky bacon bits as well! Therefore, the 2 secret ingredients that made the wantons taste so awesome is the Lychee Liquer and Bacon!!!



The main ingredients are:

Pork (preferably 3 layered pork)
Shrimps
Bacon Bits
Wanton skin

*
Seasonings:
Salt
Pepper
Ginger (shavings)
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon of Kwai Fei Lychee Liquer




The pork will have to minced. You have the option to mince the shrimps with the pork but I prefer it to be whole or chopped into halves so that I can still have the succulent texture of the shrimps. Mix the minced pork and shrimps together and add in the seasonings as well as the bacon bits. Stir well and then refrigerate for half an hour by covering it with a cling film.


Mix it all up & refrigerate!
This ensures the marinate takes into effect and the meat will absord the flavours over this period of time.


After that, using a spoon/spatula, scoop some of the mixture into a piece of wanton skin and wrap it up. If you have smaller wanton skins, I suggest that you cut the shrimps into smaller pieces.



Since she didn't make that much wantons, all you'll need is just a small pot of oil to fry them. Heat the oil to medium high and then slowly put the wantons in. Deep fry the wantons until they turn to a light golden brown. Then, turn up the heat a little before dishing them up. This is to prevent the wantons from absorbing too much oil during the last frying process. You can also use paper towels to absorb the excess oil from the wantons.



The finished product is lovely isn't it?!! It's crispy and the best of all, there's no fishy or meaty taste to the wantons because the ginger covers the fishy smell and the liquer takes off the meaty taste. What you'll get is a very light and umami taste of the wantons which goes very well with some chilli sauce. For me, I would love to add more bacon bits! We all had it for an afternoon tea snack. All thanks to Mom and my wacky ingredient!

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Friday, September 23, 2011

Something BIG is rockin' in KL

KL is getting a little boring. It needs something new and big to keep the city alive. We all know that new places & new faces does not come by so often, but there's something's rockin' in the city and it's going to be HUGE.

When I first receive the news, I was really excited about it and I promise you that you will hear it first from me before the others do. Not only you'll be delighted, you'll be looking forward to it too just like me. You'll NEVER, ever look at KL the same way after this. However, I am not going to reveal the BIG SECRET today and all I'll do is to show you this video and you can start figuring it out.






Everyone seems to be hyped up for this BIG thing too. Don't believe me?
Check out what my good buddy, Mr. Sixthseal @ Huai Bin's here has to say as well.

More will be revealed soon. Keep reading & be prepared for KL is going to
ROCK YOUR WORLD.


XPLAY is back again!

Who's ready to PARTY?!!

Remember, a few months ago, XPLAY blew the roof off at Opera, Sunway Pyramid? Now it’s back to shake things up at more locations around the country! The party is just getting started and XPLAY travels around the nation, it will only get bigger and better.



Let’s party on!

With the first XPLAY party of 2011 setting a really high mark for hard-partying, the following parties are sure to be even bigger and more EPIC! Featuring two mistresses of spin, the dance floor will be filled with seductive sounds against hard-thumping rhythm that will get your blood pumping faster.


Where's the party at?

The next XPLAY party will be at Cabana Club, Johor Bahru and will be happening on 24th September 2011. Featuring DJ Shark, DJ Benz and DJ Ken, the party will be stomping!

XPLAY JOHOR BAHRU

Date : 24 September 2011 Time : 7pm till late night Venue : Cabana Club, Johor Bahru

Following soon after that is an XPLAY party at Bed Club, Kota Kinabalu. This land beneath the winds will experience a storm of hip hop beats delivered by DJ Shy, DJ Nuold as well as MC Vibe and DJ Point.

XPLAY KOTA KINABALU

Date : 8 October 2011 Time : 7pm till late night Venue : Bed Club, Kota Kinabalu


I Wanna Go! How do I get FREE PASSES?

The best thing about these awesome events – entrance is absolutely FREE! All you have to do is go to the XPAX FB Page, “Like” the page and register your details to get FREE passes! It’s so easy to win your way into the hottest event in Malaysia’s social calendar!

  1. LIKE our Xpax Facebook Fan Page @ www.facebook.com/xpaxfb
  2. Check out the XPLAY app in the page
  3. Choose the XPLAY location that you wish to party at (JB or KK…or BOTH!)
  4. Register your details to get 1 FREE pass
  5. Print & show your e-mail confirmation at the entrance!


If you want to get VIP passes to this totally rocking event, there are few ways you can do so:


Mechanic

Get


Register by sending 'Xplay' to 28881 & Reload RM50

1) Get 2 free passes


2) 2 VIP vouchers (to redeem free flow drink wrist band on the event day)



3) Be in the running to win VIP treatment (3 x VXP tables for winner + 5 friends)





Be a part of the biggest and baddest events of the year and join us for Xplay!


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