Sunday, November 30, 2008

Goin' places

If you ask me what I like about my current job is that it takes me to places that I have never been before- albeit it is for work purposes and the places are anywhere but glam (ie. jet-setting to NY, London, Dubai etc). But that's ok because I really do appreciate the chances I get traveling without my own expense (except personal purchases).

Over Thursday and Friday last week, I was up and about at 5am to the airport for a flight at 7am to Alor Star. The usual outstation trips routine will include meeting up at McDonalds at LCCT (do you know the LCCT outlet is the most McProfitable in the whole Msia?) and then checkin' in and boarding.

For this trip, we were to kill 2 birds with one stone- 2 places in a day. But I'd say we achieved more than that, read on and find out where the 3rd place was ;-)

At Sultan Abdul Halim Airport (Alor Star)

We touched down at the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport and it was love at first sight. The surroundings of the airport are nothing but green fields and it was such a refreshing moment to come out of the plane inhaling nothing but fresh air...... I swear we could all live till 95 if we stay there.

The outlet manager came and pick us up and it was an hour plus journey to our dutyfree shop at...... you guesss???? The Thai Border, or also known as Wang Kelian. Believe me if I tell you we literally went across bridges, through the jungle, up and down the hill, all the little ulu kampung roads to get to the shop! While I was in the car, I kept thinking whether there was even civilization in there!

Little streetside stalls at Thai Border

Like the few trips before this to Langkawi and Kota Kinabalu, we were there on a work assignment- year end stock take. So it was counting liquor and tobacco for me, very sien and tiring- told you it's nothing glam. Of cos while I was counting, I was also spying on which bottle to buy home, it's dutyfree and additional 20% staff discount! I got a bottle of Absolut Ruby Red and another bottle of Absolut Vanilla for less than RM45 per bottle. It was a steal! I also bought a dozen of Absolut Raspberri miniatures- it was retailing at RM4 per bottle! I regretted bringing such a small luggage, else I would have bought more!

Old skool bottled drinks

It was lunch time and my manager brought us to cross over to the Thai side. Thailand was just a mere 50 metres away.... no passport needed, just some conversations in Tagalog and hi-byes with the immigresion officers. We settled at a little run down shop which seemed like the only eatery around the jungle and had Thai "dai chow"- just few simple dishes.

Thai "dai chow" at Thai border

We had a fish curry, mixed vege and shrimps with sambal (very pedas!!), ulam, fried beef slices, salty vege with egg, and fried omelet with petai. We also found something that we couldn't find in Malaysia- Minute Maid orange juice in little glass bottles! It was such a thirst quencher that we all had 2 bottles each. The whole bill came up to 420 Baht = RM42.

Minute maid orange juice

We headed back to Malaysia after lunch and continued with our work until about 3pm where we took another hour plus ride back to civilization. Then it was another 2 hours cab ride to Penang! Didn't help that the cab was not too pleasant but still bearable......

Crossing the Penang Bridge

We reached Penang at about 6.30pm, checked in to B-Suite hotel which is near Bayan Lepas. The rooms were very spacious and it was pretty cheap too, if I'm not mistaken about RM150 or so per night. I shared the room with my lady boss and we were all too tired from the day's rides from KL-Alor Star-Wang Kelian-Penang. We were both in bed by 9pm!

Room 1305 @ B-Suite, Penang

What happened that night was rather interesting. I was sleeping and I heard noises, sounds of beads falling to the floor. At first I didn't pay much attention thinking perhaps it is beads falling or something (there's no logic as I know my boss is sleeping as well). But after 3 or 4 times hearing the same sound, I woke up and turned to my boss who also woke up as well. I asked, "What's that?????!!!" and she replied, "The air-cond."

It didn't make any sense but I tried to go back to sleep. The following morning, she told me that initially when she heard the same sound she thought someone tried to break in through the balcony, but she was afraid to approach the area to find out (I didn't know she was awake, I was probably sleeping like a pig), after awhile she realized it was the air cond. It was so cold that it started making ice cubes and those ices fell to the floor- hence the bead-like sounds.

Well, the air cond could have made ice cubes sooner, then we could have made ourselves some cocktails!

Friday was spent at the Penang Airport doing stock check as well..... reached KL on the same day in the evening. Super tiring! but very happy with my cheap steal of liquor :-)

As I was joking to my colleagues and boss, "Wah we have such a high-flying lifestyle. Breakfast in KL, lunch in Thailand, dinner in Penang! HAHAHA."

Though I wish it was London, New York and Paris.

I'll be off to Kota Kinabalu again from Wednesday-Friday! (You can tell I am most happy when I can get out from the 9-6pm office routine :D)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Scrabble babble cable table..... etc because it rhymes

Scrabble scramble

Earlier of the week, there was a supplier (I think from Mattel??) who gave my boss and my colleague, also a buyer but for the toys, sports, luggage, fashion department a limited edition 60th anniversary Scrabble. We used to opportunity to play over lunch time.

QBAR yo!!

Most of my colleagues are not that powerful in English so they kept saying I'll win if I play with them. Haha, fine so we decided to try playing it with Malay. Turns out it was so difficult! We kept making words that are 4 alphabets max. In the end, we tak boleh tahan- English!

Anyway, why am I blogging about this? Cos I need an excuse to update lo. And I need to go to sleep now as I have to wake up at 4am tomorrow for my cab to arrive at 5am and flight to Alor Star at 7am. Tomorrow night, we'll make our way to Penang by cab (no idea how long the journey is) and stay overnight at Penang and return to KL on Friday evening. Am I going on a holiday?

No. Work. Sien.

Ok, ta!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Pun Chun Duck Noodles @ Kota Kemuning

Pun Chun Noodle House

It's funny how I live in Kota Kemuning, yet not knowing this hidden gem in the neighborhood until I read about it at somewhere else!

OK, so maybe I don't really venture WITHIN the neighborhood itself (except for a few regular shops for convenience) but knowing from past experiences, the eatery shops that opened up in Kota Kemuning either lacked in the taste department or they just disappear from the scene a couple months later (ie. gulung tikar, zhap lup, bankrupt).

Iced barley- RM1.30

'Cham' (Mixed)- RM1.20

It's abit surprising that recently there have been a couple of 'famous' eateries opening up in Kota Kemuning itself- perhaps the crowd is getting better? Secret Recipe is here for a while now, Dominoes Pizza just opened a couple months back, Pizza Vs Satay has landed, and joining these few more famous ones is Delifrance- saw the buntings hanging around the township. But I supposed the most McFamous and McProfitable eatery joint within the neighbourhood is still McDonald's!

Pun Chun is a familiar name and especially needs no further introduction for those who frequents Bidor. Even still, many KL-ites know of Pun Chun as well- such a shame for me! It's still puzzles me why of all places in KL that PC decided to open a branch in Kota Kemuning? Perhaps rental is cheap... but that did not translate to cheap food.

Duck drumstick mee soup- RM6.80

Duck drumstick mee dry- RM6.80

We had the famous duck drumstick noodles, one dry and one soup- just to have a taste of both worlds. It took awhile for food to arrive as the corner shop was packed to the brim- a testimonial for good food or famous-ness :D The dry version came with a metal bowl of herbal soup and a duck drumstick- flavourful and just comforting. I suppose what makes this bowl of noodles special is the tenderness of the duck drumstick, the herb infused soup and did I tell you I LOVE herbal flavoured food (ie. herbal chicken, herbal soup, bak kut teh... erm ok that's bout it).

Prawn Wan Ton (7 pcs)- RM5.30

We also had a side order of prawn wan ton which came in 7 pcs. It came in reasonable sizes and was definitely a great addition to the whole meal.

Pun Chun chicken biscuits- RM3

While I was at the counter for payment, I noticed chicken biscuits and immediately grabbed a pack! I love the crunchy crispy chicken biscuit! It came in 12 pieces and I polished it off (don't know why my sisters don't like it??? it's so yummy!!)- more for me then :D

I heard that Pun Chun is also famous for it's wu kok (yam puff) but unfortunately it's not available at the Kota Kemuning branch.

I see some hope in the Kota Kemuning eating scene now :)

Pun Chun Noodle House
10, Jalan Anggerik Vanilla AC 31/AC,
Kota Kemuning, 40460 Shah Alam,

[disclaimer: the opinions expressed here are based on my personal views, tastebuds and preference and may vary for others. please dont sue me, i dont have money. kthxbye.]

Friday, November 21, 2008

At a standstill

Strawberry blueberry marmalade jam

Like many of you taking the highways and low-ways to work everyday, when it is raining, you and I both know it's a no-way. Without fail, I will turn on my radio (I listen to and Priscilla Patrick will be on air reporting on the traffic flow in the Klang Valley in the mornings and in the evenings. Everysingleday, the traffic is so bad but yesterday's evening topped it all.

I remember there was once where a morning heavy downpour happened and everywhere was flooded and jammed, I left at 7am and reached office 9am sharp- the moment I clocked in- phew!

And this was what I encountered yesterday evening:




I was stuck for a whole 2 and 1/2 hours for a journey that normally takes 1 hour max. Believe me, I was NOT MOVING a single inch and for a good 30 mins, I only made progress of moving about 100m. It was so frustrating.

Having nothing to do, here's what I did to entertain myself:
- eat potato chips (I always have a few packs on standby for traffic jams hehe)
- take pictures (like the visuals you see above)
- stare, flip through and study the pricing of fast food pamphlets (as shown below)- always end up hungry though.......

Nandos? Check! Dominoes? Check! McDonald's? Check!

- play with the windscreen wipers and try to synchronize with the car behind -_____-
- see what the next car's driver is doing
- checkout if got hidden wi-fi somewhere on the highway
- text someone else who is also stuck in the jam
- and of course sing my heart out to whatever that is playing on the radio (if I know the lyrics lah)

I left office at 6pm, and I got home at 8.33pm.

Living and working in the Klang Valley cannot be more uninteresting and frustrating than this.

Oh wheee~ it's a weekend already :D

p/s: What do you do when you're stuck in a jam?

pp/s: If you saw a lone woman in a silver Myvi with the wipers synchronized with the car behind, phone camera flashing away, singing out loud (though you can only see, not hear), having potato chips in the mouth...... that was probably me ;-)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

CTNF: Nojito

Mojito (pronounced moh-ee-toh)

No, "Nojito" isn't a typo error. It is the name for a "Non-alcoholic Mojito".

Bowl of Nojito

Continuing my previous posts on the cookout, I still have a few dishes' recipes to post. Today's "Cheap Thrills, No Frills..." will be on make-it-yourself Non-alcoholic Mojito- or also known as 'Nojito'. I was first introduced to Mojito by Param at last year's La Bodega. Subsequently, I have tried the Mojito at Skybar which was pretty pricey.


Mint leaves
Crushed ice

1. Squeeze lemon juice out from lemon.
2. Slice ginger.
3. Bring together lemon juice, ginger, mint leaves and water together in a big bowl.
4. Sweetened abit with sugar and add crushed ice/ice cubes.
5. Serve chilled in a fancy glass!


The outcome was a delicious bowl of Nojito which received the thumbs up from everyone in the cookout group. It was so good that we had glass after glass even though there was wine available. This non-alcoholic cocktail is made by a guy in the group!

At first I was abit skeptical at the sight of ginger in the cocktail but it turned out that the ginger only added to the flavouring yet not overpowering- a delightful extra taste for the lemon & mint flavour drink.

Always thought Mojito sounds like Mosquito hehe

A Nojito is great for parties and gatherings where alcohol is an option and especially great if you want to down glass after glass without getting drunk! Also, a good choice for drinks if there is no budget for alcohol :D


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Streetside food @ Petaling Street

The pan mee and lobak stalls

Petaling Street is known for the imitation goods, foreign workers, and crime rate. Erasing all these negative views of this in/famous street, it is also well known for its street food with the famous Hon Kee porridge, chee cheong fun, air mata kucing, Sei Ngan Chye roast duck, etcetera.

I was there one of the many Fridays ago with my sister and her assistant and we tried this pan mee and fried lobak stall located just infront of a bookstore and right at the junction of Petaling Street.

Soup pan mee

Dry pan mee

My sister and I had the soup pan mee while Wei Mei had the dry version. Truth to be told, it was nothing spectacular, in fact it's as ordinary and plain as any fishball kuey teow soup. So the lmelight is not on the pan mee but rather...

Sinful fried lobak

... the FRIED LOBAK! We had a few types- oyster roll, prawn roll, pork roll and fried beancurd skin (fu pei). They were all fried to crisp and golden brown perfection- mamma mia! It was very sinful but who says delicious food are healthy? The plate of lobak was such a comfort amidst the scorching heat of the Friday afternoon, I know it is a bit ironical- the hot weather and fried oily food. But believe me, it was good!

The heat? Just walk down the fake goods street and get a cuppa ice cold air mata kucing to cool down :D


Friday, November 14, 2008

Highland Park @ 7atenine, The Ascott KL

"I have duly sampled [a bottle of Highland Park 20 year old] and am in the process of conversion to the idea that Highland Park is the only whisky worth drinking and that Johnnie Wlker is only fit for selling to deluded Sassenachs." Alexander Walker, 1914, grandson of the original Johnnie Walker and, at the time of the quote, the largest blender of Scotch whisky in the world.

Last week after a hard day's work back in the hotel in KK, my boss received an email on an invitation to Highland Park event at 7atenine, The Ascott KL. She asked me if I would wanna come along (actually she just said, "We RSVP first lah yea.") but who is silly enough to say "No" to a booze event!

Anyway, I had totally forgotten about it and confused with the dates until my boss came into office yesterday afternoon and casually said,

"So tonight you come to my house and we go together ok? Don't wanna stay long... you ok with it?"

"Okay, sure." (*grins silently at the thought of Highland Park whisky)


After work, I followed my boss to her house and her driver drove us to The Ascott KL. It was so freaking jam, it took us more than an hour to get there. My boss even joked about having a bowl of noodles first and still can catch up with the car later! It was our first time to 7atenine and my first to such work-related night events, so you can tell I'm wee bit excited :D

Upon registration, we were given a welcome pack of $1000 gambling chips each and of course we grabbed a drink first before doing anything else! (p/s: My boss and I are known in the office as zhau gwai- alcoholics). We walked around abit desperately looking for food but later found our supplier and was ushered to their little corner... only after that we found food. There were fried meehoon served in chinese takeaway little boxes (makes fried meehoon suddenly taste so good), roast beef in little spoons, shrimp siew mai, pastries, and of course free flow of Highland Park 12 Years! :DDDDDD

Highland Park 12 YO- RM140 @KLIA

It was my first Highland Park as well. We had it on the rocks as opposed to some others who mixed it with orange juice. According to my boss, a whisky enthusiast said good whisky must be enjoyed neat, mixers are for cheap whiskies. So there you go.

Though it was just 12 Years which is the lowest price, it was very good and smooth. I suppose it's because Highland Park is Single Malt whisky and not like Hennessy/Chivas/Johnnie Walker which are blended whiskies. No wonder my boss and Eiling always rave about Single Malt whisky as it really taste very different- definitely for those with an acquired taste.

The bar

We chatted abit at the lounge area and after a few glasses, my supplier ajaked us to go upstairs. Now if you were wondering what the gambling chips given at the registration counter were for, it was for gambling of course! With $1000 capital, everyone can try their luck at getting a bottle home- $12,000 wins a bottle of 12 Years, $18,000 and $30,000 each wins a bottle of 18 Years and the exclusive 30 Years. My boss handed me her $1000 capital and hinted that she would be very happy with a bottle of 18 Years.

Highland Park 18 YO- RM 258 @KLIA
Awarded "Best Spirit in the World!" 2005

So with $2000 capital, it was like a make or break for my year-end bonus.
Just kidding of course, my boss is very nice one ;-)

There were 4 game tables- Bacarate, Black Jack, Big/Small, Roulette. I tried my hands on the Black Jack table and managed to win about $1000 until I lost it all on the Big/Small table. Clearly I have no luck on the gaming table :-( and there goes my year-end bonus too.......

Highland Park 30 YO- RM900+ @ KLIA

Hehe anyway, another guy on the table won the 30 Years and my boss was beaming with happiness. He was generous enough to open the bottle and share with the whole table, and we finished the whole bottle in about 20 mins. The taste is absolutely heavenly- smooth and easy to drink, with a smoky note, much much better than GlenOrd! My boss even got to keep the wood case and bottle. Believe me, she was beaming, grinning, smiling, laughing the whole night after getting a taste of 30 YO. Even I can't help to silently grin!

Chillout @ 7atenine

After a couple more drinks, my boss decided that we should make a move as she has a flight to catch the next day (today) at 5am! We were given a goodie bag each (love goodie bags!) which has a Highland Park namecard case (very pretty, ask me to show to you if you meet me) and an information booklet. We were both still sober but she drank till got hiccups! My head was feeling alittle heavy but I still managed to get myself home. Well today, I didn't wanna go to work....... and I woke up craving for watermelon juice!

My company's dutyfree liquor shop in Langkawi

But from now on, Highland Park and Single Malt whisky it is for me! I know what I should buy on my next trip to Langkawi!

"Quality in whisky is more than age. Even the poorest spirit can become old, though never palatable. Whiskies put down for ageing must have quality from the very start." Wine & Spirit Trade Record 1924

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

CTNF: Hot Diva Pasta

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Continuing from where we last stop on last month's cookout session, here's a CTNF post on a pasta dish, aptly named Hot Diva Pasta... only for Divas :D

We got the recipe off the Malaysian Women's Weekly magazine and by looking at the ingredients and instructions, it didn't look too difficult- perfect for amateur cooks like me!

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We use Borges Pitted Spanish Black Olives

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Here is the recipe just in case the picture is too small:

Serves 4-5 Prep time 20 mins Cooking time 2+ hours

300g spaghetti
75ml olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
30g black olives, coarsely chopped
10g (1tsp) capers
50g sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced
250g tomato puree
50g italian parsley, coarsely chopped
20g fresh basil
25g bird chillies
10g (1pc) anchovy fillet
salt and pepper to taste

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Hot diva sauce!

1. Heat olive oil in a medium sized pan. Saute garlic till fragrant.
2. Add anchovies, capers, black olives, sun-dried tomatoes, tomato puree and bird chillies. Simmer till sauce thickens. Add parsley and basil and take pan off the heat.
3. Bring 3 litres of water to boil in another pan. Add a splash of olive oil and 1 tsp salt. Cook spaghetti for about 7-8 minutes till al dente.
4. Drain, top with sauce and serve immediately.

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Hot Diva Pasta

It was a very successful pasta dish as everyone said it was nice. The pasta didn't taste too spicy while still maintain a strong tomato flavour. The vibrant color of the pasta really teases your appetite. We used linguine instead of spaghetti but I supposed it doesn't really matter, just go along with your favourite type of pasta.

Mamma mia!

Cooking a storm!
CTNF: Roast Lamb

P/s: Will be away tomorrow till next Tuesday to KK again. The airports seem like my 3rd home now, well not that I mind, as a matter of fact I love the airports :D I wish I could make a visit to all the international airports in the world!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Ice Bar @ Sanctuary

Yesterday was a night out to celebrate Sandesh's overdue birthday (a month ago). He was feeling so generous that he treated Param and I (because only both of us could make it) dinner and drinks. We had our dinner at TGIF @The Curve and later proceeded to Sanctuary as three of us have not been to the famous Ice Bar.

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Rules @ The Ice Bar

The Ice Bar is actually a very small room, not bigger than my dining room in fact. To enter the Ice Bar, you have to either purchase a shot of Smirnoff (choose from any of its flavours- Citrus, Orange, Apple, Raspberry, Strawberry, Vanilla, Cranberry etc). A testtube shot costs about RM15 while 4+1 shots at about RM70+. Purchase of a shot entitles you 10 minutes in the ice bar but if you buy a bottle of Smirnoff, it'll entitle you 40 minutes alongside with 4 other friends.

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Frozen Smirnoffs

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Ice Sofa

The fixtures are made of ice and the sofa is really cool (literally and figuratively). True to it's tagline, "We Bring Russia To You", the Ice Bar really feels like a 'simulator' of a Russian or really cold climate place. It is almost the same as being up in Genting on a super windy and cold night except it is much more colder in here. Well, if you can't go to Russia, Russia will come to you!

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Frozen liquor?

They also serve other liquor in here but I am not too sure of the charges. However, the main liquor served in here is none other than Smirnoff vodka (made famous by James Bond, "shaken not stirred") as the bar is sponsorred by the Russian founded vodka.

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It is not that cold after all....

BUT it was freezing at -15 degrees celcius!!! My legs were so cold I almost felt numb! Thank goodness it was only 10 minutes, another minute in there I think we would have to drink the whole bottle to keep warm, hehe.

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Johnnie Walker Black Label Limited Edition

We proceeded to Sanctuary where it's much more warmer and had a bottle of JW Black Label Limited Edition. I like Sanctuary because it plays radio pop music rather than techno/trance/house etc. The three of us had a great night out, special thanks to Sandesh for the treats!

Btw, there is another ice bar just launched in town- Club Quattro @ Avenue K. I think we need more of these bars cause the weather is just so hot these days!
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