Friday, November 30, 2012

Virgin 21km @ Penang International Bridge Run 2012

 First time collecting my kit from a half marathon counter k?!!
Damn proud lo...

This is my first and maiden half marathon after 2 years of running. I remember that I started running in 2011 and my first 10km run was at the Standard Chartered KL Marathon which I joined due to peer pressure. And just last Sunday, I participated in the half Marathon just to see if I can survive the challenge which my friends posed to me. Actually, all my running "kakis" are all taking the 21km run and thus I signed up for it due to peer pressure again.

"This year, the marathon managed to attract more than 34,500 participants from 67 countries all over the world, and hopes to attract more International participants next year. For the second consecutive year, the APBIM is once again listed as Malaysia’s Largest Bridge Run by the Malaysia Book of Records!" (quoted from the APBIM email I received)
 
All these for only RM22 for 4 of us!

Prior to the run, we made a detour to Ipoh for lunch. The "tai shu geok" (Big Tree Foot @ Pasir Pinji) remains as one of my friend's favourite food outlet in Ipoh due to the freshness of the Yong Tau Fu and also the "super reasonable" pricing of just 60 cents a piece!

Carbo loading is the way to go before a run!

When we arrived at Penang, we checked into Traders Hotel and have a short rest before having our dinner at 6pm. Since the run starts at 3am, I had to catch some sleep by 9pm and thus having dinner early is a good idea. Just a few hundred metre walk away is the New Lane Hawker Stall where the it's a food street filled with mobile hawker stalls that sell Char Koay Teow, Lor Bak, Grilled chicken wings, Rojak, Prawn mee and chee cheong fun. We were having a feast again! However, the food here are just mediocre and what my sis called "tummy fillers". This is not up to my expectations at all. So no point writing about them either. heheh


The Women Open Half Marathon started at 3.15am compared to the Men's at 3am. I was very enthusiastic about the run but equally scared as well due to the distance and the lack of training. The rainy days made me lazy to run. You have no idea how much excuses I gave to myself for not training. When I arrived home from work, "ooh... it looks like it's going to rain" and when I woke up on the weekends, "ooh look, the road is wet after the rain and thus it's slippery" and I went back to bed.

This Nike+ only lasted me for 2 years. Sigh...

So what was going on my mind when I was running that 21km? At first, I remembered one of my colleagues said this "I just can't understand why some people started walking just after 2km, it's just 10% of the route!" and I told myself that I had to continue running even if I'm tired. So I ran and ran for 40 minutes before stopping for some water and walked for some distance. When I reached the midpoint of the bridge, I had a quarter bottle of 100plus and that gave me the edge. Out of a sudden, I felt that burst of energy and continued running until the 9th km where the U-turn is located.

When I see that I am running past some men (who started 15mins earlier), I was so motivated to continue running, knowing that I would be 15mins ahead of them. As I passed the other side of the bridge, I can see that they are still others who are 30 mins behind me and this is a great motivation. One of the unlucky events was when I felt part of my left shoe sole coming off after a few km but I don't bother about it and kept running. Then the right part started falling apart. It did make the running uncomfortable but I wanted to finish it as soon as possible so I kept myself running until the last 4km where I had to walk. I was exhausted but gave myself a target of 10mins per km just to make sure I finish before 3 hours.

And so I did! At the last 500m, I sprinted all the way to the finishing line using the last breath I could take and the last tank of energy I had in my legs.

Not something to shout about but because it's my maiden half marathon, I have the right to brag about it! 2 hours 56 minutes woot!


We had so much fun. With my sister and friends taking pictures with our well-deserved medals.


Met Lee Jian at the event too. Surprised how I could actually meet some friends I haven't seen for ages here!

Before I had this run, I thought this would be my first and last 21km. Looks like I'm not going to retire yet. Nice bib number there! *wink

oooh... and the best adrenaline I got when I was watching the guys Full Marathon start-off, a cute guy actually smiled at me when he ran past. Now I know where the energy came from. heheh...





Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pasta tips and more...

Believe it or not, 9 of us out of 10 would probably face some problems while cooking pasta. Be it undercooked, overcooked, burnt (very unlikely for me), pasta stuck together or turning out tasteless tend to be the normal problems we face. Lately, I did some trials and finally I found some tips of preparing pasta.

Tip 1:
First of all, you have to understand that not all pasta are made the same way and selecting a good and reputable brand is very important. Pasta ought to be made only with 100% Durum Semolina, but recognizing that is not enough. The pasta connoisseurs will distinguish pasta from pasta and thus reading the labels is very important and I trust pasta made in Italy. Do you know that high-quality pasta has a nice golden color with a slight opaque appearance?

For buying pasta, I like Tesco Extra as they have aisles of pasta to choose from and a good variety of imported labels are available here. I stood a good 10 minutes there deciding which label to buy.

I even bought 2 packets of Alce Nero Organic Penne Rigate which was on promotion and the price was very reasonable.

Tip 2:
Use a big pot, plenty of water and good salt.
By using a big pot, you can avoid overcrowding of the pasta when boiling as pasta needs room to move. Water must be sufficient - for one pound of pasta, one should use at least six liters of water. Adding salt to the water is important as it will add flavour to pasta but salt must only be added when the water is boiling. After adding the salt, wait for the water to reach a rolling boil again before adding the dry pasta into the pot. For that, I like to use a good sea salt.


Tip 3:
During the cooking process, it's advisable to stir the pasta which is submerged in the water 2 to 3 times. It's very important to be attentive while cooking pasta as it'll take about 8 to 10 minutes to cook. The way to get an "al-dente" pasta is to taste them yourself. Once you find that the pasta is "al-dente", it's time to remove the pasta from the stove.

Tip 4:
Once the pasta is cooked, add a glass of cold water into the pot to prevent overcooking. Drain the pasta but don't lose its starch as the strands need to look glossy and well-moisturised. Some of the water from the pot can be kept to keep the pasta moisturised and the same water can be added into the sauce to bind the pasta and the sauce well.

For a quick meal, I like to use these pasta sauces which are easily available at the hypermarkets. Tesco Extra has a wide range of brands with an extensive choice of sauces from bolognese to hot & spicy. These are easy, no-frill pasta sauce preparation which is perfect after a long day at work.

I was having lunch with Gee at The Curve and we decided to pop into Tesco Extra at Mutiara Damansara to do our grocery shopping as I heard that the hypermarket has been newly renovated. Being curious, we both went and check it and out and I was impressed with the variety of eateries and also retail outlets there. It's everything under one roof!

There is a wide selection of food items and if you're looking for fine ingredients or imported food stuffs, this is the place to go. Tesco Extra has a few wallbays dedicated to their own Tesco "labels" where the food items are of high quality and imported from teas, coffees and sauces.

Gee was scouting for a new soup pot.


The reason why I like Tesco is that the aisles are all well-organised and the place is spacious. You can waltz into any Tesco outlets and you will know exactly where each and every category is located. I was very surprised to see the Uncle Bob's Fried Chicken counter where there is also a bistro for the patrons to sit down and have a meal before continuing their grocery shopping. This is very cool!

I bought one of these too and you can see it in my new house!


I like how everything here is organised and the selection for every category is well-represented. I was looking around for household items and I found that they have quite an impressive section for the house decorative items such as cushions, pillows and bedsheets. I was really shocked and since when a hypermarket sells all these? Think of the time and money you'll save by just shopping here without having to go to different places to buy certain things.

The new look and experience at Tesco Extra in Mutiara Damansara is really my ideal shopping place on weekends now.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Alicafe Tiga Rasa @ USJ 10 Taipan


I'm a fan of Alicafe 3-in-1 coffee and once I was at a hypermarket and this aunty conducting the Alicafe sampling managed to convince me to purchase 3 big packs of them. The name might be synonymous with coffee and other beverages under the company Power Root Berhad, however little did we know that Alicafe has a restaurant called Tiga Rasa located in USJ Taipan.


Thanks to Calvin & my sister for recommending this place for lunch or I'll never discover this wonderful place that serves a variety of Malay cuisine as well as some hawker favourites at reasonable prices.  I like the ambience and how this air-conditioned restaurant has a reminiscence of the olden days "kampung" houses made of planks of wood combined with modernity and comfort. The restaurant also has a semi-open style kitchen where you can see the chefs at work.


I was also curious as to why the restaurant was called "Tiga Rasa" (3 flavours) and the restaurant manager was very kind to explain the origins of the name. The restaurant specialises in preparing 3 sauces - Sambal Lemak, Gulai Lemak and Sambal Hebi Hiam which are all traditional sauces used in malay cuisine. Sambal lemak is very popular classic blended chilli sauce with spices and is used widely in various Malay dishes. The Gulai Lemak is a creamy coconut sauce blended with Kunyit, lemongrass and sambal which gives it a lighter orangy colour. Lastly the Sambal Hebi Hiam is prepared using dried shrimps, curry leaves, onions and garlic which has a nice aromatic spicy fragrance.

Grilled Chicken with Sambal lemak and Grilled Sting Ray with Gulai Lemak.

These 3 sauces are paired with various grilled dishes such as grilled chicken, lamb, ikan selar and sting ray or just vegetables. So it's up to the patron to choose the type of sauce that they would like to go with these grilled meats served on a sizzling platter laden with egg plant and long beans. The Gulai Lemak Sting Ray was the clear favourite that afternoon as the sauce was creamy and the fish and vegetables wasn't overcooked.

The honey date juice was a nice complement to the spicy dishes!
They also have another version with lemon which is so refreshing and cooling.

Siakap Tom Yam (RM39.90/49.90)
This dish is worth mentioning because I love the pairing tom yam sauce. This sea bass is fried and then cooked with a spicy and sour tom yam soup-like gravy with oyster mushrooms. All fishes are fresh and they do not use any frozen ones. Thus you can taste the freshness of the fish.

The "Ayam Goreng" (Fried Chicken add ons at RM8) was marinated with kunyit and curry leaves which makes it so aromatic. Crispy on the outside and juicy tender chicken meat in the inside.

Kari Kepala Ikan Set (RM79.90)

This is a fish head curry set which comes with a claypot of half a fish head hot curry cooked with brinjals, lady's fingers and long beans. The accompanying dishes include vegetables in oyster sauce, omelette, fried chicken, a pot of rice and a jug of date juice. This set meal is good for 4 people. The fish head curry was commendable with wonderful aromatic spices and freshness of the fish head.

Cekodok Ubi Kayu with a special dipping sauce is also one of the must-try as a side dish, appetiser or even a tea-time snack.

And lastly, the trip to Alicafe Tiga Rasa will not be complete without trying their Tongkat Ali Coffee. The one that they brew here is quite different from the 3-in-1 instant coffee that I make at home. You can really taste the robust flavours and the intense aromas of the coffee. Although I must say that the Tongkat Ali Coffee is an acquired taste, it actually tasted quite pleasant.

This is not your typical "kopitiam" that serves quick meals but a full-fledge restaurant that takes their cusisine seriously. It's a place where you would want to take your family here for a nice meal without making a hole in the wallet and not sweating it out while savouring that curry. I like this place!


Alicafe TigaRasa Restaurant
No.8, Jalan USJ 10/1H,
Subang Business Centre,
47620 Selangor
(beside Citibank)

Tel: +603-8011 9412


Sunday, November 11, 2012

NSFW: The Launching of De Jouer Innerwear

Not Safe For Work.

This has yet to be the hottest and sexiest event I've attended. When I received the invitation, I was rather curious about their lingerie collection and thus I invited both my girlfriends to go with me. After all, which girl doesn't like sexy lingerie? There was an endless flow of champagnes, canapes and cute girls in lingerie.

On 1st Nov, De Jouer has reached Malaysian shores and is redefining seductivity in the local scene. The launching event is held at The Venue in Pavilion KL and all invited guests are treated to a fabulous party and a catwalk of gorgeous models clad in the latest De Jouer innerwear which would is available on their online store.

 Pics courtesy of De Jouer
My favourite model of the night. She was flirty and sexy!
Love the white ensemble. The bra can be bought at RM75 and the lace thong for RM35 from their OMG collection.
 Targeted at women above 18 years old and young fashionable ladies, their collection was flirty and fun. The colours were also refreshing! The beautiful shoes that you see here are all from Shoeville at Bangsar Shopping Centre.
Pics courtesy of De Jouer
  Sexy!

  Pics courtesy of De Jouer
Goddess!


Pics courtesy of De Jouer
Feminity at its best.


Pics courtesy of De Jouer
So many eye candies!

I was actually quite surprised with the turnout of men at this event. I think the ratio of men guests vs ladies was almost 40% to 60%. Didn't know that guys are equally interested in the ladies' innerwear (or rather the sexy models in lingerie). Anyways, men aside, the event was well-organised and there was no shortage of good music, canapes and drinks.

I love these instant prints at the events. With Sue Lynn & Mayanne. We did take a few pictures for fun.


 Every guest walks home with this cute faceless pink teddy that is so huggable to sleep. And they were very detailed to the point that they get us to fill up a card with our mailing addresses and our sizes so that they could send us a set of the De Jouer lingerie. I have just received mine 2 days ago!

Pics courtesy of De Jouer

If you like what you see here, check out their online store on www.dejouer.com and be surprised by how affordable it is to look and feel sexy!

DeJouercustomercare@dejouer.com
24 hours a day, 7 days per week
Sales: +603-20220627

Friday, November 09, 2012

Tenjin Japanese Cuisine @ Grand Millenium Hotel KL

This is a revisit of Tenjin at Grand Millenium Hotel in KL which is conveniently located just beside Pavilion on Jalan Bukit Bintang. They now have a new chef and we are curious about the changes it brings to the restaurant.

Eihire RM32
Grilled Sting Ray Fin - Savoury and perfect as starters to go with the sake.


Potato Salad RM12
I've always like the potato salad here with a powdery texture.


Salmon Salad RM38
Fresh salmon slices with greens and mushroom topped with ebiko.

As for the sashimi moriawase, we had an assorted serving of Kanpachi (amberjack), Tai (red snapper), hotate (scallops), Maguro (tuna). The sashimi ranges from RM30-50 for 5pcs. The green leaves that are used to decorate the platter is called Perilla or Shiso in Japan and should be eaten together with the sashimi to prevent or cure seafood poisoning. It tasted a little minty.


Tempura Mori
Assorted tempura fried to a crispy golden batter


Unagi Kabayaki (grilled eel) and Saba Shioyaki (Grilled Mackerel with salt)
Normal portions are served at RM78 and RM28 respectively.

Asari Miso Soup RM10
A short neck clam with miso soup. The short neck clam that night was not at its best that night.

Garlic Fried Rice RM12
A little expensive for a bowl of fried rice but I enjoyed every morsel of this fragrant fried garlic served with japanese rice.

Gyu Shougayaki RM38
Stir-fried sliced beef with ginger sauce and topped with sesame.

The last additional order that we had that night was the Sanma shioyaki where the pacific saury is salt grilled and I liked it with a little lemon juice. The fish was perfectly grilled and the tip is to savour its belly because it's the best part of the sanma.


My friends got this sake for our indulgence that night. I just can't believe how much I have drank that night as shots came after shots. For just the 5 of us, we had 2 bottles of this 1800ml sake.

It's worth coming here to try out the dishes from the new chef. The menu remains pretty much the same except some chef specials. 

Tenjin Japanese Cuisine
Grand Millennium Hotel KL
160 Jalan Bukit Bintang
55100 Kuala Lumpur

Tel: +603 2143 9399
email: tenjin@tenjin-gmkl.com
Website

Business Hours :
Lunch - 11.30am - 3.00pm
Dinner - 6.00pm to 10.30pm




Tuesday, November 06, 2012

MyCrib: The Art Pieces

Before I had my own home, I didn't really care much about the furnitures, decoration and lightings at home but now I have been a slave to my new home. I find that instead of shopping for clothes every week, I have been buying home stuffs almost every week from arts to hooks. And gosh, all these "house" items are darn expensive. I am almost broke in trying to achieve a semi-perfection home.



This 7 monks art piece is purchased from an art gallery in Colombo. It was love at first sight for my sisters and I when we went to Sri Lanka for a holiday. I like how they put emphasis on the centre monk looking back and I used a grey wall to enlarge the already grey canvas so that the orange stands out from the wall. At that time, there was really no space in our existing home to hang this but after more than 1 and a half years, it finally has a place at my new home.

The red oriental design console and the red bar stool was bought from Urban Culture because I simply like some red statement furnitures at home. It matches pretty well against the grey feature wall or the white walls. The 2 glass vases are from British India costing me an arm and a leg for each of them.

I couldn't decide what colour to go on my staircase wall. It was a very high wall up to the air well of the 1st floor and thus Mom proposed to paint it orange. At first I was quite hesitant to paint it orange but after the paint job, it looks pretty good. I haven't found anything to put on the wall but I did buy a light for it in anticipation of buying another art piece.


Finally the wall is complete with this painting I acquired during the Homedec exhibition at KL convention centre 2 weeks ago. Technically, I love the painting which was exhibited by Le Jardin Gallery (by Kelmarin) but the price was a little too high. I think I stood there for a good 20 minutes admiring the painting when mom flashed her credit card and bought it for me! I guess all that time, the guy was selling to the wrong person! They could have sweet-talked my mom instead of me. It was priced at RM8k at the gallery and it was sold to mom at half the price. Thank you mom!

There is a little story behind this painting. This lady was dressed in elaborate neck accessories because she is getting married on this day. The costume is a wedding costume and it is a hand drawn painting of a real person. In addition to it, the painting does match my wall! Dad was shocked and he was a little speechless. (and I haven't even remove the plastic sheet on the painting)


This is part of my drinking corner - alcoholic and non-alcoholic alike. If you had noticed, the art piece was actually the elephant head on the left. It's also another painting which my sister bought in Colombo. Somehow I felt it looked a little out of place here but since I haven't found anything to replace it at this wall, I'll just leave it there at this moment.



And lastly, this is my bedroom. Gosh, I just realised that I can die trying to change the sheets to my King size bed! After changing the sheets, I felt like I've just completed 20 minutes on the threadmill at the gym. And the irony is, I haven't even stayed here for a night after making my bed so nice. This is also my first time spending RM800 on a set of bedsheets. Ok, I have to confess that the Egyptian cotton bedsheets are damn soft and comfortable and I almost felt like I'm sleeping in a Fourseasons Hotel room.

Anyways, if you're wondering what's that orange thingy on the left, it's actually an oriental design clothes/cloth rack which you can separate them into 2 and turn them into lamp posts! Brilliant right?!! And why a purple wall? It's kinky! You can actually see how broke am I not to be able to afford curtains for the windows. 

This is pretty much going to be my drinking/party pad. If you visit my house (which none of my friends have), you'll find that I don't have a TV, washing machine and a fridge (but I do have a 200 bottle wine chiller) and that shows how much I knew about prioritizing. Anyways, I am quite happy now but could have been better if I have a few more extra bucks to buy a home theatre set! lalala....

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