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The golden standard of bak kut teh is the soup, that strong herbal taste with a thick porky flavour that we all love, and almost without fail, we would ask for refill… or so I thought.

A couple weekends ago we were introduced to Ah Her bak kut teh by a local Klang girl and her family. According to her, this is a place where you get perhaps 1/3 bowl of soup, and there’s no refill, but it would be one of the best bak kut teh you’d ever had.

I must say that I had my doubts.

Ah Her bak kut teh at Pandamaran, Klang
Ah Her bak kut teh at Pandamaran, Klang

Her in Ah Her means fire in local Hokkien dialect, and I suppose that’s just the boss’ name.

Located between Jalan Polis and Jalan Chianniah deep within Klang town, Ah Her bak kut teh’s set up was not unlike many food courts, semi alfresco with a zinc roof on top, plenty of electric fans, and no walls. On the Sunday that we were there, the place was packed. Business starts at about 5-6 pm and the last bowl of bak kut teh goes out before 8:30 pm.

yep, that's all the soup you get here
Ah Her bak kut teh at Pandamaran, Klang

Bak kut teh here is served in their individual bowl (RM 9 per bowl) and you get to choose the cut that you like, there’s intestine, big bone, small bone, 3 layer pork, stomach, ribs, and more.

The locals usually order their favorite and basically eat their from their own bowl, but it’s not uncommon to share. Another place with similar style would be Mo Sang Kor at Taman Berkeley, also at Klang.

Like what the photo shows, you don’t get a lot of soup.

ribs, fatty meat, intestines, 3 layer pork, big bones, take your pick
ribs, fatty meat, intestines, 3 layer pork, big bones, take your pick

The real deal here, to me, is the meat. It was by far the tastiest pork I’ve had, full of intense herbal flavor that is somehow not overpowering, and all cooked till it’s so tender you could cut them using the spoon.

The soup too was very thick and strong, almost consistency of stew. I really love it, even though there’s no extra serving. You truly learn to appreciate and treasure them.

thank you Angel and family, it was a great dinner
thank you Angel and family, it was a great dinner

If you’re a bak kut teh lover, you owe it to yourself to make a drive to this place. I went to another bak kut teh a couple weeks later and find myself not being able to finish, gahh.

Now I really want to try all the other bak kut teh in Klang.

map to Ah Her bak kut teh, Klang

Address:
Ah Her bak kut teh
jucntion between Jalan Police & Jalan Chianniah
Pandamaran, Klang
Selangor
GPS: 3.006168, 101.413631

 

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Previously under the Jacob’s Creek portfolio, St. Hugo Wine now stepped out from the shadow and stake its claim as a stand-alone brand, we were invited to the coming-out party held at Las Carretas, USJ.

During the event, we got to sample wines from St. Hugo as well as Jocob’s Creek and Wyndham Estate.

St. Hugo Wine at Las Carretas, USJ Taipan
St. Hugo Wine at Las Carretas, USJ Taipan

Incidentally, I last went to Las Carretas at USJ a little more than 8 years ago. It was the first proper Mexican restaurant I’ve visited in Klang Valley, and I believe I actually had my first taste of margarita there.

I am glad that the restaurant still thrives, and now even spots a branch at Ampang.

Steve Meckiff, Global Wine Ambassador at Pernod Ricard Winemakers
Steve Meckiff, Global Wine Ambassador at Pernod Ricard Winemakers

Our night started out with a variety of appetizer, including mille feuille of tuna spread, baked tartlet of Emmental cheese, and cream puffs. The bite size snacks were good, especially when you had Jacob’s Creek Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir  to wash them down. I like the sparkly’s crisp finish and citrus flavour.

Steve Meckiff, the global wine ambassador at Pernod Ricard Winemakers, then told us about the story of St. Hugo wines, and how it rose to prominence for a brand that started in 1983, relatively young for this industry.

baked Norwegian salmon with George Wyndham Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012
baked Norwegian salmon with George Wyndham Semillon Sauvignon Blanc 2012

Our first course was baked Norwegian salmon presented on a robust lemon butter sauce. The fish is paired with George Wyndham Semillon Sauvignon Blanc – 2012.

I’ve always like semillon sauvignon blanc, with semillon giving it that extra fruity taste that goes very well with fish or poultry. The pairing is definitely spot on and  very easy to drink. The fish was expertly prepared and not overly baked either, almost as good as those prepared sous-vide.

crab meat chowder and a sorbet as palate cleanser
crab meat chowder and a sorbet as palate cleanser

Next we had crab meat chowder with Jacob’s Creek Reserve Chardonnay 2012. The chowder simmered in root vegetable and thickened with Idaho potatoes with a hint of aged cherry. I’m not so sure about the cherry part but the chowder was most excellent, something that I can have for breakfast at least twice a week.

The chardonnay has attractive aroma that pairs well with the chowder.

slow cooked grass-fed Australian lamb rack, St Hugo Barossa Shiraz
slow cooked grass-fed Australian lamb rack, St Hugo Barossa Shiraz

Our main course was the slow cooked grass-fed Australian lamb rack, presented with on a ginger and thyme infused sauce that was so irresistible. We tried the St. Hugo Barossa Shiraz 2010 as well as the St. Hugo Connawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2010 to go with the red meat.

I like the Shiraz with the slightly spicier note, while the Cabernet Sauvignon will suit those who enjoys elegant fruit characters, toasty oak and long, fine tannins. You can’t go wrong either way.

KY, Latha, Evelyn, Dennis, and Steve Meckiff
KY, Latha, Evelyn, Dennis, and Steve Meckiff

It was certainly a most enjoyable wine and dine session, thanks to the good people at Millennium Associates and Pernod Ricard for the invitation. You can find St. Hugo’s wine at major wine retailers.

map to Las Carretas at USJ Taipan

Address:
Las Carretas
No 29 USJ 10/1F
47620 Subang UEP
Selangor

GPS: 3.047943, 101.583163
Tel: 03-5637 3058

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A few days before the Malaysia GP at Sepang International Circuit where Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 team finished one-two with Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, there was another race at KLCC park with the two drivers, and we were among the few who was invited to the event.

Before that, I would like to congratulate the two drivers for the historic win. It was the first one-two by the Mercedes factory team since 1955!

Nico Rosberg and team, with Lewis giving advise?
Nico Rosberg and team, with Lewis giving advise?

This was an invitation where top scorers from the PETRONAS Primax Challenge facebook game got to claim their prize – teaming up with the F1 drivers for an up close and personal session playing the final round of the game.

team Lewis working hard
team Lewis working hard

After some intense driving (with the keyboard), Nico’s team, with his partner Kenny, won over Lewis’s team in the challenge. It was a fun and relaxing session, I can’t imagine what must go through the drivers’ mind as they are getting ready for the weekend’s race.

interview with Raja Mazhar Mohar Bin Raja Tun Mohar
interview with Raja Mazhar Mohar Bin Raja Tun Mohar

We also got the opportunity to have a chat with Raja Mazhar Mohar Bin Raja Tun Mohar, head of PETRONAS Customer Experience Department. He explained that the fuel used in the Formula 1 cars basically used the same base as those we find at every PETRONAS station, except with a higher RON rating of about 100 (we can get PRIMAX 95 and 97).

Through this partnership, PETRONAS also came up with higher quality lubricant that can penetrate the thinner crevices of the Formula 1 engine. The same fuel and lubricant (SYNTIUM) is used in every circuit on the calendar, and PETRONAS PRIMAX fuel powered every race for the Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 team.

the PETRONAS Team with Lewis Hamilton & Nico Rosberg
the PETRONAS Team with Lewis Hamilton & Nico Rosberg

During the session, we also discussed about how PETRONAS view their fuelling stations as something more than a place where you only go when your tank runs empty, and this is achieve by adding other conveniences like the Mesra store, partnership with banks in hosting their ATMs.

He also mentioned how PETRONAS is committed to improving the customer experience by constantly finding ideas to enhance their service.

At the end of the session, we asked him about Sunday’s race. The man predicted a one-two with Lewis coming ahead, and boy he was right.

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Just less than 5 kilometres away from KLCC is a time capsule that is Ayer Panas, a suburb that seems to be trapped in time, oblivious to the rapid development of Kuala Lumpur. It is also a place where I stop by in the morning to enjoy traditional hawker fair from time to time.

Here are three of the most popular hawker stalls within the Ayer Panas wet market worth checking out.

home-made wantan mee at this stall
very delicious home-made wantan at this stall

The wantan mee stall here serves unpretentious wantan mee in either soup or dry version, all for only RM 4 per bowl. Seating area is rather premium, but thankfully most customers here order them to-go.

only RM 4 for this delicious plate of wantan mee
only RM 4 for this delicious plate of wantan mee

The home-made wantan here is one of my favorites, with soft, thin skin wrapping that flavourful minced pork. The dark sauce used here too does not overpower the noodle which is springy and delicious.

the pork noodle stall is one of the busiest around here
the pork noodle stall is one of the busiest around here

The pork noodle stall is one of the busiest hawker stalls in the whole wet market, offering pork noodle, yee mee, fish ball noodle, loh mee, and mee suah with quite a choice of porky ingredients. You can mix and match the type of soup & ingredients to your liking.

dry version with Vit's noodle and a side of soup
dry version with Vit’s noodle and a side of soup

For dry version, I like Vit’s noodle that is served with a side of soup packed with fish ball, meatball,  minced pork ball, liver, intestine, and even some fuchuk. The combination is a bit like dry instant indomie on steroid, for the lack of a better comparison.

soup version of pork noodle is plenty delicious as well
soup version of pork noodle is plenty delicious as well

Traditional soup-based pork noodle starts at RM 4.60 here are packed with the above mentioned ingredients as well. For the carb of choice, you can choose from kuih teow, yellow noodle, meehun, yee mee, Vit’s, or mee suah.

the yong tau foo stall has been in operation for some 30-40 years
the yong tau foo stall has been in operation for some 30-40 years

The third hawker offering worth checking out is the yong tau foo stall that has been operating for at least some 40 years. The man behind the stall is in his 70s, and still has a pair of quick hands offering his craft.

RM 0.70 per piece, simple yet tasty
RM 0.70 per piece, simple yet tasty

There aren’t a huge variety of yong tau foo here, just a couple type sof tofu, a few variations of fish balls, fuchuk, and chee cheong fun. The home-made fish ball here though was one of the bests I’ve tried, springy and flavorful, so be sure to grab a few extras if you’re here. Each piece costs RM 0.70.

map to pasar ayer panas

Address:
Pasar Ayer Panas
Jalan Ayer Keroh
Taman Ayer Panas,
43000 Kuala Lumpur
GPS: 3.189279,101.718704
Hours: breakfast and brunch

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After the successful launch of the new A-class, Mercedes-Benz now introduced the new CLA, a four-door premium coupé in the intermediate market segment during the Mercedes Petronas F1 party (which also coincide with the successful one-two finish in the Formula 1 Petronas Malaysia Grand Prix).

Mercedes-Benz CLA 200
Mercedes-Benz CLA 200

The new Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 is a thing of beauty, with a gentle sloping roof contour, a design element that provides the CLA with a coupé-style character from the rear. A four-door coupé that is.

First off, lets look at the skinny:

  • Engine displacement: 1595 cc, 4/in-line, 4 valves per cylinder
  • Mixture formation: Electronically controlled direct petrol injection with piezo injectors, exhaust gas turbocharger
  • Transmission: 7G-DCT automatic transmission (yes, that’s 7 speed)
  • Front axle: McPherson suspension with spring strut and wishbone, coil springs, gas pressure shock absorber, stabilizer bar
  • Rear axle: Four-link rear axle, coil springs, gas pressure shock absorber, stabilizer bar
  • Braking system: Internally ventilated disc brakes at front, solid disc brakes at rear, electric parking brake, ABS, Brake Assist, ESP®
  • Steering: Electromechanical rack-and-pinion power steering
  • Wheels & Tyres: 7.5 J x 18, 225/40 R 18
  • Output: 115kw, or 156 hp at 5300 rpm
  • Torque: 250 Nm at 1250-4000 rpm

LED daytime running light
LED daytime running light

The above information basically means that the car is able to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in 8.5 seconds and has a top speed of 230 km/h while only having a combined fuel consumption figure of 5.2-5.5 L/100 km.

In another word, it consumes less gasoline than some bigger displacement motorcycles and be able to fit five adults with a week’s worth of luggage.

The exterior of the car is breathtakingly beautiful, with LED daylight running lights arranged in a way that create a “flare effect”. The front is classy yet aggressive, with a width-emphasizing rear that radiates power and athleticism.

the interior of Mercedes-Benz CLA 200
the interior of Mercedes-Benz CLA 200

The sporty appearance of the CLA continues inside the car, with round vents in high quality electroplated finish and every part that reveals meticulous attention to detail. For example, the free-standing display screen features a black piano-lacquer-look front panel and seats that feature coloured contrasting stitching.

The front seats are electrically adjustable with memory function, and the steering wheel comes with 12 function buttons. Then there’s also a high-resolution 11.4 cm colour display in the instrument cluster, things you expect from a Mercedes-Benz.

rear view of Mercedes-Benz CLA 200
rear view of Mercedes-Benz CLA 200

On the safety side, the Mercedes-Benz CLA 200 is certainly not lacking. There are four phases of safety approach built into the car.

Phase 1: safe driving
Adaptive Brake Lights (flashing), Attention Assist, Electronic Stability Program (ESP), headlamp assist, Collision Prevention Assist (issues warning when the system detects the danger of a rear-end collision, activates when traveling faster than 7km/h), and Adaptive Brake system all come standard.

Phase 2: in critical situation
Anti-lock braking system (ABS), Acceleration skid control (ASR), and Brake Assist System.

Phase 3: in an accident
Airbags for driver and front passenger, active engine bonnet, ISOFIX child seat attachment, kneebag for driver, sidebags for driver and front passenger, and windowbags

Phase 4: after an accident
To reduce consequential damage, the engine can be turned off automatically and the fuel supply can be cut off, hazard and emergency interior lights can activate automatically, door locking mechanism can be automatically released.

The performance, design, and the frugal gasoline consumption are awesome, but what really impressed me the most is the host of safety features in the CLA.

If you’re in the market for a new car in this segment, the CLA 200, priced at RM 235,888, is certainly worth taking a look at.

For more information, kindly log on to www.mercedes-benz.com.my or visit Mercedes-Benz Malaysia Facebook Page at www.facebook.com/MercedesBenzMalaysia

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