Thursday, May 28, 2009

Thursday Drama

I left office at about 7.30pm just now and just when I was along Jalan Semangat, Section 14 PJ I overheard the traffic report announcing people not to use Jalan Semangat and/or any where near to Section 14 as police have blocked the Jaya Supermarket area.

True enough, there was a massive jam along Jalan Semangat and the connecting roads.

It was pretty exciting though, I've never seen so many fire brigades, ambulances, police, MPPJ, bantuan kecemasan dan lain-lain in my life before! The sirens were like everywhere and they just keep flashing making you feel like as though you're part of a tv drama. I didn't know what was happening until dad was reading Star online just now.

I'm sure there's something to talk about in the office tomorrow!

Read here to find out more.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What An Ideal Saturday Is To Me

Yesterday is one of those days that felt as though life is great. I haven't had such a good day for a long long time.

Know that days like this only comes once in a blue moon, given the daily stress and distractions we're all facing.

The first half of the day was spent lying in bed, surfing the net, watching tonnes of YouTube videos of The Moffats and Boyzone (always a comfort, transporting myself back to the growing up days). In the afternoon, I headed back to office to catch up with some work. I prefer to work during the weekends where noone is in the office as much can be accomplished when there's no distractions that comes in the form of endless phone calls, having a new email every minute and frustrating ad-hoc problems.

Towards the evening, I headed back to Subang to E's place. E is a fellow colleague who is also a great friend and mentor and you wouldn't believe how the phrase "Six degrees of separation" is so true in this context. I got introduced to E during my first week in BAT, where I tagged along for lunch. He asked me what I was doing prior to this and I told him I was in the travel retail-dutyfree industry. Not long after that, we both realized we have the same acquintance- my ex-boss, ID. E handled the dutyfree account back then. Well all I can say is it's always a delight to know someone who also knows people that you know! Further into my stay in the company, I further discovered that the 6° of separation applies to most people I came to know. There're bound to be some connection from myself to the people I came to know and people I already know.

Ok haha this is not the real steak. Picture from google :p

Anyway, E and ID haven't met each other for over a decade and this is where I came to play- I asked ID out for a musical- Prince Siddhartha and got E to come along as well. It just turned out that all three of us are great fans of musicals. We headed to ID's place for a pre-drinks, dinner, and some decade-long worth of catching up before heading to Istana Budaya. ID, being such a gracious host treated us to a USD $200 bottle of Macallan and a home-cooked meal of medium rare steak with salad.

The musical was fantastic. At first I too was abit skeptical about it since it's about Buddhism, perhaps also one of the reasons why the musical is not heavily publicized? It is an all-Malaysian Chinese cast and I thought it'll be interesting at the same time to watch a Chinese musical. My first taste of Chinese musical was Butterfly Lovers and I enjoyed it tremendously. If there's anything I can describe Prince Siddhartha the Musical, it would be 'unbelievably good'. The cast is strong in vocals, dance, and acting. The props are just too awesome, if you thought Mamma Mia's props were awful, I'd say Prince Siddhartha gives you your money worth and the tickets aren't expensive. I really appreciate and am proud that our local production can come up with such amazing choreography, songs, and props. Most importantly, it's nothing religious but anyway Buddhism isn't a religion, it's a teaching :) And I am glad that both ID and E enjoyed the show as much as I did.

I would strongly recommend people to watch this. The show is still running till end of May. Click here for more details.

The night ended with another short chat back at ID's house. E and I adjourned to Subang and grabbed a bite of mamak before calling it a night. It was during the mamak session that I further discovered that E also knew my neighbour, Uncle Peter who passed away last year. Till this day, it still pains me that we have lost one good man.

The power of having a great day is immense, the happy feeling is still overflowing to today and I hope there's enough spillover to last me through the week before another weekend comes.

How was your weekend?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

CTNF: Cold Cha Soba

Cold Cha Soba- RM7.90

Cheap Thrills No Frills section is back! I'm introducing a new section for these product reviews which will also come under the CTNF label. It is actually peculiar/unique items I get off from supermarket shelves and I will attempt to do a review on it.

Today's review is on the pre-packed cook-it-yourself Cold Soba from Jusco. I have been craving for soba for the past 2 weeks and came across these convenient pre-packs in Jusco supermarket. I bought 3 packs- 1 cold Cha Soba, 1 cold Wheat Soba, 1 hot Wheat Soba. These can be found at the section that sells all things Japanese in Jusco Mid Valley.

What's in every pack

Each pack comes with 2 packs of sauce and 2 bundles of soba noodles. Cooking instruction is as simple as eating it, boil water and let noodles cook. Strain cooked noodles with cold water and put it on a bed of ice. Pour cold sauces to a bowl, add a raw quail egg and *voila*!

Instant Cold Cha Soba

The end result is a cold cha soba in front of you without the exorbitant price and hassle of dressing up and driving out to the nearest Japanese restaurant. As with most instant and pre-packed food, the taste is not as great as real authentic fresh ones but it's enough to satisfy that craving and also save on the pockets. At RM7.90 per pack of 2 bundles of noodles, it is only about RM4 for a serving VS RM15+ outside.

Penny saved, tummy filled, cravings satisfied :D

Monday, May 18, 2009

Little Ben Cafe

Herbaline Beauty Square

In trouble times like this, every penny counts. So when a cafe offers a RM4.90 set lunch deal, what do you do?

Little Ben Cafe

Jump at the offer and drive straight to the cafe for a RM4.90 lunch of course! Don't worry about forgetting to bring your wallet/purse, I'm sure you can find RM4.90 under your car seats even though there're in coins!

Tick Tick Tick

The ordering process is fairly simple. Just browse through the menu and tick your orders ala HK char chan teng style! Walk over to the cashier and hand her your order, pay, get back to your seat and wait for the food to arrive!

Sailor Mee Set Lunch- RM4.90

Little Ben Cafe offers a special every day. For ie. Sundays are Sailor Mee days. It was a Sunday, and we had the Sailor Mee, which in actual fact is Pan Mee but served in a sailor hat shaped bowl. The set lunch includes a drink and a slice of watermelon. For less than RM5 (which is true, no unnecessary taxes), this is a pretty good lunch deal. The noodles came in bite pieces and in quite a big bowl too.

Red Wine Mee Suah- RM9.90

I was a little torn between the cute Nasi Dagang which Ziling claimed was pretty good according to her colleague and the Red Wine Mee Suah as it looks pretty tempting from the menu. I chose the latter. I have not had many Red Wine Mee Suah in my life, so I can't really judge but it was palatable plus still a good lunch deal with the accompanying lemongrass drink and fruit.

Lemongrass tea + A slice of watermelon

To sum it up, tastewise, Little Ben may just be another average joe among the many many eateries out there or even in Kota Kemuning itself but I must commend the proprietors for coming up with such a great concept and offering meals at less than RM10. I'm not kidding, nothing in the menu is above RM10! It has a great ambience though- modern contemporary furnitures, free wifi and even computers for you to surf the net, long tables for family dine-outs... etc.

I heard this place is especially packed on weekday lunch hours, and even when we were there on a Sunday, it was packed too!

The cafe is located within the Herbaline Beauty Square in Kota Kemuning, a rather interesting concept of a huge premise which houses a spa, yoga center, knowledge center, hair saloon, and a cafe with lush green surrounding and easy parking.

Little Ben Cafe
Herbaline Beauty Square,
28, Jalan Anggerik Mokara 31/47,
Kota Kemuning,
40460 Shah Alam.
Tel: 03-5121 5055
Business hour: Tues-Sun, 8am-5pm. Closed on Mondays.

[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.]

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Snowflake Taiwanese Dessert Secrets

Snowflake Taiwanese Dessert Secrets

Dessert places are mushrooming everywhere but I have never really been to one proper dessert place except the overrated KTZ. My friends recommended this humble little shop in Subang which specializes in Taiwanese desserts.

Beeping UFO

The first time I saw this beeping device was in Perth. This is especially useful for self-service places, where you order, pay and then wait for your food/drinks to be ready for collection. Yes, it beeps and vibrates to let you know your desserts are ready!

Snowflake Bestseller- RM5.50
Grass jelly + Grass jelly ice + Taroballs + Creamer

Grass Jelly Ice Series- RM4.90
Barley + Pearl

My friends recommended the Snowflake Bestseller. After a hot steamboat dinner, the dessert was a delightful, refreshing end to a meal.

This is the first time I had Taiwanese desserts. I know it's weird to see creamer being added into such desserts but actually it was pretty good.

I especially love the taro balls as they are chewy and provided me some jaw exercise, much similar to eating glutinous rice balls.

I would recommend Snowflake and the Bestseller dessert to anyone :)

No.61A, First Floor,
Jalan SS15/8A,
47500 Subang Jaya,
Tel: 017-623 8966

[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.]

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pommes Frites

Pommes Frites sounds like a really atasan/foreign name for a food outlet, but before you jump into conclusion thinking this is another one of those expensive eateries that I am going to review, you are so wrong!

I first read about Pommes Frites through The Star's daily food column in the Metro section (I read that religiously, apart from the daily comic strips of course). It then slipped off my mind until I had to make a trip to Sunway Pyramid a week ago to meet up with Yi Fang and Khian. Pommes Frites popped up in my mind again and I took them to try out the food with me.

Belgian Fries with Chocolate Dipping- RM4.50

It has a pretty small space in the Asian Avenue section, you'll probably missed it if you've not been there before. We had the Belgian Fries with Chocolate Dipping to share. We find the fries with chocolate combination an amazing discovery as it tastes something out of the ordinary yet tasty. This place is actually famous for its fries and the variety of dippings, from cheese, bbq to wasabi to the usual suspects of ketchup and chilli, and the more exotic chocolate, roasted eggplant, rosemary aioli, for those who prefer exotic and healthy, there's a choice of fruity dips such as mango, strawberry and cinnamon. They claim to have over 30 kinds of dips!

Belgian fries are not your usual McDonalds fries, from frozen to fried. In fact, Pommes Frites claim to peel, cut and fry the sinful snack right at their kitchen, so no frozen or defrozing involved here, and hence the freshness. I do not doubt this claim as the fries has a layer of crispy skin but soft and fluffy inside. The regular serving is priced at RM4.50 with a choice of a dip and large at RM6.90. For those who want to try a few sauces/dips at one go, each additional dip cost RM2.50.

Beef Bacon Fettucine- RM10.90

Spaghetti Marinara- RM10.90

For our mains, we had a serving of Beef Bacon Fettucine and Spaghetti Marinara from the pasta menu. All the pastas are priced at RM10.90 which is quite a steal after seeing the portion and in all honesty, they taste pretty good too. Of course, don't expect it to bloody fantastic but hey it's better than paying close to RM20 for a pasta at Resipi Rahsia!

Mussels + Clam Provencal with White Wine- RM17.90

While mussels and clams are regulars at steamboat places, it is quite rare to see any eateries brave enough to offer this dish on its own (dai chow doesn't count). The first time I had a pot of mussels was sometime last year when I was in Singapore at Brussels Sprout. The second time was probably in Perth, chilli mussels at Nero's. This would be my third I guess.

Diners can have the option of choosing a pot of mussels or clams or a mix of both at the same price, RM14.90 per pot and RM17.90 if you want to add white wine. I chose the latter. There are also other shellfishes such as oysters and scallops done au gratin. Every pot of mussels/clams comes with a bowl of belgian fries with mayo too, very similar to Brussels Sprout's concept.

Huge mussels

Give credits when it is due and credits I must give. While the bowl is not spectacularly big, I must say the size of the shellfishes are not too small and stingy either. I appreciate the big mussels, though not alot, about 5 pieces and the generous amount of clams. For RM14.90, one cannot expect the serving to be as big as your grandmother's prized pot eh?

Belgian Fries with Mayo

More fries for you and I to linger around longer....... though there's no free ice water :(

But definitely deserves a comeback for the fries and other dippings, their variety of pasta and perhaps the oysters!

p/s: I think Pommes Frites is inspired by the same name eatery in New York specializing in Belgian Fries and the variety of dippings. Click here to see more.

Pommes Frites
F1 AV196 Asian Avenue
Sunway Pyramid (New Wing).

[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.]

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Cubes Chinese Cuisine @ Jaya One

Cubes @ Jaya One

Two Fridays ago, I got an invitation from Eiling to do a food review/free dinner at Cubes @ Jaya One. I have read about Cubes before, at least having knowledge that it is a Chinese restaurant and not blindly go there and ask for a medium rare steak :p

KY arrived just moments before me and we spent about 20 mins flipping the menu waiting for our host.

Eiling & Mr Ang

Our host arrived, pictured here with the owner of the restaurant, Mr Ang. He was a very hospitable, friendly and nice chap. I know the one question everyone is curious and dying to ask is, "Why CUBES?" According to Mr Ang, the name "CUBES" came about as he didn't want his restaurant to sound typically Chinese (ie. Garden, Imperial, Palace etc) so "CUBES" popped in his mind and it was no turning back since.

Dalmore 21 & Glenmorangie Lasanta

Eiling was being generous, she pulled out 2 bottles of Single Malt whiskies for the dinner but only I drank with Mr Ang. KY claimed he had his quota of alcohol the night before and Eiling was suffering from a mysterious allergy. We polished the Dalmore off. Have yet to try the Glenmorangie Lasanta... Will curi some from the alcohol corner at home teeheehee.

Aromatic duck

First dish to arrive was, I quote, "Probably the best aromatic duck....." This is their signature appetizer dish. The duck thigh was brought out and flossed right infront of us. It is served with thin crepes, similar to popiah skin, jullienned cucumbers, spring onion, and the special sauce.

Eat it the same way as you would with peking duck skin :) The aromatic duck roll is quite good, at least compared to the one I had in The Social. We polished up both wraps and meat.

Double boiled Scallops with Tung Sum Soup

After an amazing appetizer, out came the special soup to help cleanse the palate. We were served a bowl of Double boiled Scallops with Tung Sum Soup. The soup taste herbalish (I like) as it has ingredients such as wolfberries and Tung Sum (a type of ginseng lookalike herb). The taste is further enhanced with the use of ingredients such as pork ribs and sweet succulent scallops. Eiling claimed that this is her favourite soup here and I don't see why not.

Tiger Prawn with Rice Crisps

Next in line to enter our mouths was this Tiger Prawn with Rice Crisps. Before you ask, "What? Rice crisps??" Well believe me, never judge a book by its cover! This may look abit weird but it tastes fantastic. The prawns are huge, fresh and succulent and according to Mr Ang, the rice crisps are intended to neutralize your taste buds. Very amazing chemistry I must say!

Honey Glazed Spare Ribs

The Honey Glazed Spare Ribs await us while we finished the last gulp of the soup and licked clean the prawns' shell. This is another signature dish at Cubes which the owner is very proud off. It is not hard to see why he is so proud of the ribs.

So tender

They're juicy, bursting with flavour and tender! The meat just falls out from the bone at the poke of the fork. I usually shiver at the sight of pork fats but this one just melts in your mouth and the form of reaction my body sent me was a message to the brain saying, "This is oh too good, can I have another piece pleaseeeeee?"

Homemade beancurd with spinach and mushroom

Fans of beancurd will rejoice for this is a piece of heaven. The beancurd is soft, and the gravy complements well the usually bland beancurd. There is also a layer of spinach which I have mistaken it for seaweed on top of the perfectly golden brown beancurd.

Deep fried & stir fried lotus with celery

The last dish of the dinner was this healthy mix of vegies consisting deep fried and stir fried lotus with celery. I particularly love the deep fried lotus and have had my first deep fried lotus during CNY 2 years ago. It serves as a very delicious and addictive snack (fattening too but who cares!).

A very healthy vege drink

But of course, when you have the owner at the table with you, the dinner don't stop here. He instructed the kitchen to blend a very special healthy vege drink for Eiling who claimed she can't have alcohol for 5 days. Can't really remember what combination of vege was used but I remember there was Kai Lan and Celery in it. Surprisingly, it tastes really good!

Fruit enzymes- Dragonfruit & Starfruit

Fruit enzyme- Apple & Ginger

He also generously brought forth his special not-in-menu fruit enzymes, brewed by himself and brought out on special occassions and requests to entertain guests like us. The fruit enzymes were amazingly drinkable (*grins) and I almost couldn't tell what I was drinking as it does not really have very strong taste of ie. ginger.

Almond cream with black sesame glutinous balls

I thought there wasn't any space for desserts but I went on to have a bowl of Almond Cream with Black Sesame Glutinous Balls. To be honest, this dessert will require more than just a love for nuts, it is only for the acquired taste! If you think almond on its own taste bad, I can just say almond cream tastes _________. There's no word to describe it but in my humble opinion, I dislike almond cream. The black sesame glutinous balls were yummy though :D

To wrap the dinner affair up, we were served rock melon and papaya. These are the very same rock melons used by Italian restaurants to complement the parma/air dried ham. They're very sweet, you can almost become diabetic if you're overdosed with this fruit!

KY and his awesome flash

Pardon me for the inconsistencies in my pictures (some with flash, some without). I am looking forward to see KY's pictures as he takes really good food photos IMHO and his awesome flash is just too awesome.

Overall, it was a great dinner and I left with a bloated stomach but not a single cent poorer (except for parking) and a new friend found (who owns Cubes haha). I will recommend this place to my colleagues for and we can drop by for lunch.... great food at less than a kilometer away!

p/s: As the concept of Cubes is Chinese fine dining, do expect the prices to be alittle steeper than your usual dai chow corners. But if you don't mind paying a bomb for typical Chinese restaurants, then do give Cubes a try!

Read related review-
The Star

18-1, Block L1-1,
Palm Square Jaya One,
No. 72A, Jalan Universiti,
Petaling Jaya.
Tel: 03-7958 6616

[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.]

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Lek Seafood @ Silom, Bangkok

With all our money invested into shopping, shopping and more shopping, we could not afford to splurge lavishly for our dinner so we went for Thai dai chow instead. Ziling had done some researches on where to have dinner and recommended Lek Seafood as a few people have blogged about it.

Thai paku pakis in sambal belacan

Tom Yum Goong

Fried pork ribs

Thai style Oh Jien

Grilled sotong

Stir fried brocollies with prawns

Stir fried pork slices

Happiness comes in 1 litre bottle Coke

While the food is not fantastic, our local Malaysian dai chow fares much much better, I think it's reasonable food at reasonable prices since our whole bill came to only about 1010 Bahts, which is about RM17 per pax. Not forgetting that we had a wonderful drink that is NOT alcoholic and that is none other than the old skool Coke in 1 litre bottle size, loads of ice and it was such a comfort to the heat! This was the only time I had so much Coke since my new year's resolutions.

Lek Seafood is located just below Chong Nonsi station (Silom BTS Line) and you should be able to spot it easily, just a few doors away from a 7-11 store and with a bright red recognizable Coca Cola signboard.

Read their stories too-

Lek Seafood
156 Soi Phipat,
Narathiwat Ratchanakharin Road,
Silom, Bangkok.
Tel: (02) 6366460, 6366054
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