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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / December 2007

iTalk Buddy Phase 2

December 11, 2007 4 Comments
iTalk Buddy
iTalk Buddy

I first got to know about iTalk from the various blogs that featured it during the first phase, and now I finally downloaded the application and give it a try, little did I know it has progressed to the second phase already. Way to go!

For the uninitiated, iTalk is our local version of MSN/Skype/YM all roll into one but with more features. It supports the normal chatting function much like the other instant messaging services, and also includes a search buddy function that is similar to what icq used to offer. You can only search those who are online and filter the result by age, gender, and country, pretty nifty.

Other features packed into this program includes the ability to categorize buddies, find nearby buddies, and also blacklist certain people you don’t want to talk to. Chatroom, SMS, and VOIP are supported as well. Then there’s file sharing and even screen sharing, something that would be pretty useful especially to guide or help your friend in troubleshooting PC or just to collaborate on a project and such.

To me, the one thing that iTalk buddy can do that isn’t offered by the major IM providers is the Offline Services. Yes, you can actually use this program without connecting to the internet. This allows users to create offline community portal within a local area network that isn’t connected to the internet all the time, it even helps create local area network and enable file and printer sharing. Screen and document sharing works in this offline mode too. I think offices can take advantage of this feature, the fact that you can actually have more than one person editing a Microsoft Word document would be very helpful.

For those who are familiar with Phase 1, this new release includes several new features. There’s 3D Moji, a virtual intelligent pet that you can interact with and “keep” much like other addictive virtual pets. Then there’s PC to normal phone/mobile phone calls, of course, we will have to pay for this, but the price is rather reasonable. You can check here, calling to US is only RM0.15 per minute, neat. There are even mobile blogging and other premium services available in the future.

Check it out!

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To commemorate my last day of work at KL and the hot chick‘s vacation back to Malaysia. I decided that we should have a nice dinner at more exclusive place, a fine dining experience that is worthy of the occasion. It wasn’t difficult to choose Cilantro at Micasa Hotel, consistently voted as one of the best restaurants in KL. So I made the reservation last Tuesday and we headed downtown last Saturday night.

Truffle butter, Cilantro Restaurant at Micasa Hotel
nice ambiance, truffle butter and the tiger prawn with fish roe

Micasa Hotel is not exactly easy to find, I would have been unfashionably late if I didn’t have trusted N95‘s GPS navigation system guiding me to the restaurant. The somewhat hidden location gives an exclusive feel to the restaurant, the ambiance is very nice with the minimalistic deco, a Zen like environment.

Our waiter was very good, giving us the specials of the day and explaining the dishes in a professional manner. I ordered the dishes based on suggestions by Kelvin (who probably spent a small fortune dining there over the years). While waiting for our first dish to be served, we had some bread with the truffle butter. We were also served the excellent tiger prawn with fish roe, complimentary from the chef.

Appetizer, foie gras unagi, wagyu tartare, Cilantro Restaurant at Micasa Hotel
wagyu tartar (raw beef) and foie gras unagi

For starters, we had the Wagyu Tartare and Foie Gras Unagi. The wagyu tartare came with anchovy toast, egg mollet and Aioli sauce. Having been missing the raw beef sashimi I had in Tokyo, I just had to order this dish. The aioli sauce goes very well with the raw beef and egg, and the contrasting texture provided by the toast makes this dish such a delight to chew down.

The Foie Gras Unagi was very rich. Two generous slab of lightly cooked foie gras sandwiched between the grilled eel gives a very oily and rich texture that is best had with the accompanying salad. This dish is perfect for someone who loves fatty taste (in a good way).

Main dish, wasabi wagyu, foie gras duck, Cilantro Restaurant at Micasa Hotel
wagyu with wasabi crust and duck breast with foie gras

For our main dish, I had the foie gras with duck breast while the hot chick had wagyu beef with wasabi crust. I had been missing foie gras since the Zipangu experience more than 2 months ago, so a generous slab of foie gras was not to be missed. The duck breast was really great, so succulent and tender. I had never imagined duck meat to taste as good as this, coupled with the foie gras and a piece of radish and some vegetable for contrasting texture and character, it was just perfect.

The wagyu beef with wasabi crust was served with some seared mushrooms. I had a taste and thought it was excellent as well, the beef so tender you could cut it just using the spoon. The crust gave it a more sophisticated taste. The mushrooms were equally as good. However, I suggest against choosing the combination of Foie Gras Unagi and the Wagyu as the combination can be a little too rich.

Dessert, chocolate cupcake and earl grey ice cream, Cilantro Restaurant at Micasa Hotel
chocolate cupcake with earl grey ice cream

After the very satisfying main course, we ordered the chocolate cupcake with earl grey ice cream to share. If the appetizers and main dishes were excellent, the dessert was really out of this world. The chocolate cupcake has a molten core and the taste was just so good it was beyond words. Having the hot chocolate flows in your mouth while chewing some berries was just heaven on earth. The earl grey ice cream was quite unique though not too different from the green tea ice cream I had at Zipangu, it was very good.

The appetizers and main dishes were priced at around RM58 to RM68 while the dessert at RM32. With drinks, the associated tax and service charge, the dinner came to around RM361. Though it isn’t something I can afford on a regular basis, the experience was worth every cent.

Map to Micasa Hotel, Kuala Lumpur
Cilantro Restaurant at Micasa Hotel

By the way, Cilantro is closing at the end of the year as Micasa is geared for a year long renovation. They are set to open an outlet at Midvalley Gardens with the same chef, though there will be changes in the menu. There are only 3 weeks left if you are to have the Cilantro experience.

Address:
Micasa Hotel Apartments
368B Jalan Tun Razak,
Kuala Lumpur 50400

GPS: 3.156874, 101.722530
Tel: 03-2161 8833

I think some of you might come to know that I am a football fan, playing futsal every Thursday (while not exactly good at it since I have 2 left legs), and watching the Premiership pretty much every weekend whenever I can help it, or try to catch ESPN’s recaps otherwise.

Hypp.tv from TM
hypp.tv

However, if I am too busy with some interesting activities or work, it is only down to reading about the game online. I mean, soccernet is all good, but nothing beats the real highlight, “Kalou’s onside goal is somehow ruled offside” is never like seeing it in action. Which brings us to the latest TM site, hypp.tv. Our very own local internet TV with streaming video. There are a few channels such as Aniworkz, Local Scene, News, and of course, Sports.

The site is divided into free and paid content, if you sign up for the premier league contents, you will get access to highlights, video summaries and such at the end of the fingertips, anywhere, anytime (well, a day after the game is played). I was given a trial account to test drive the offering, and it is actually very fast and very clear. I have this little meter that tells me how fast the streaming is doing, and there seems to be no hiccups at all. After all, I am using streamyx, and this is a streamyx website, they both work very well together. Same can’t be said about other streaming sites since our international connectivity isn’t very good yet.

Hypp.tv screenshot
this is how it looks like on my PC, nice.

I think this service is actually pretty good for us football fans, especially to those who are not able to glue ourselves in front of the TV all day. I mean, you can even use this site at the office to share the clips with your colleagues when the boss is not around. Basically we can get our daily football fix anywhere, anytime. Be it at Starbucks with your buddy, or even at the cyber cafe in between gaming sessions. Couldn’t be more convenient.

You can check out the rates here. The package is as low as RM 89.90 for the whole year if you’re a streamyx user, that only works out to be 25 cents a day. I mean, what can you get for 25 cents these days? I must agree that this is an excellent value for money, 1 less teh ais a week would pay for this already.

One of my favorite Indian food is the banana leaf rice at Kannan’s. They have one of the better set-ups there is; tables under the shade of trees with fresh air and ample of space of the outdoor. There are tables in the restaurant itself too, if you prefer to get inside or when the weather isn’t cooperating.

Banana Leaf Rice at Kannan Curry House
this place has both indoor and outdoor tables

For the uninformed, banana leaf rice is served, well, on a sheet of banana leaf instead of plates. Three to four types of vegetables is then served on the leaf, with rice and some papadum. There are usually a few types of curry to choose from, and a few other items to alter the taste, such as dried salted chili padi and chutney.

For the dinner, I ordered a piece of fried chicken and a small plate of deep fried fish egg as compliments to the main dish. The vegetables served were fresh cucumber, cabbage, and okra. There were some fried bitter gourd as well. Fish curry, chicken curry, and dal. Overall it was a very satisfying dinner.

Banana Leaf Rice at Kannan Curry House
the proper way to eat is by using your fingers

The bill came up to less than RM 20.00 for two pax. The banana leaf rice itself was only RM 4.00 per serving, while the other two dishes and drinks made up the rest of the bill. A pretty fair price considering a single piece of fried chicken at KAYU nasi kandar costs RM 6.00.

Here’s the fun part — did you know that there are certain hidden codes you could do with the banana leaf upon completion of your meal? If the food was good, fold the leaf from top down. If bad, fold the leaf from bottom up. And if you fold one corner of the leaf, you are telling the server to charge everything on you and not to bother your guests.

map to seksyen 17, petaling Jaya, Kannan Curry House
Kannan Curry house is situated near SS2’s Rothman Roundabout

this entry was originally posted on Monsterblog
a tale of two superheroes posted about this place too.

Address:
Jalan 17/45
Petaling Jaya

GPS: 3.119819, 101.629887

It has been a gluttonously satisfying weekend, I had plenty of Kalbi at Kangsane on Saturday night, and this superb hairy crab dinner last night at Restaurant King Crab. I couldn’t possibly ask for more.

Shanghai Hairy Crab (大閘蟹)
can you see the crab roe?

Hairy Crab, or Chinese Mitten Crab (大閘蟹), an invasive species that is wrecking up river ecosystem in Europe and North America, is revered in Chinese cuisine not unlike sharks fin and abelone. I guess one person’s pest is another person’s delicacy. The fatty roe and sweet crab meat is highly sought after. Yang Cheng Lake, about an hour away from Shanghai, is said to produce the best hairy crab.

The hairy crab season starts from around August until December where the crabs are packed with roe and supposedly most fatty and delicious. Since King Crab is having a 5+1 promotion on hairy crab, we ordered 6 crabs (3 male, 3 female), with steamed fish (海底鸡), pork ribs, and spinach to go with rice for dinner.

Shanghai Hairy Crab (大閘蟹)
they only serve live seafood here

The only one way to prepare hairy crab is by steaming it as to preserve the natural sweetness and not overpowering the taste with any spices. Sweet vinegar and slices of ginger accompanies the dish. At the restaurant, a waiter is in charged of shelling our crabs and prepare them for consumption, nice.

The taste of the roe, coupled with some vinegar, was just amazing. It was very succulent and rich, carrying a taste factor not unlike having foie gras for the first time. The crab was not overly cooked and the meat retains the sweetness that is similar to fresh lobster tail. The roe of the female crab was great, but the meat of the bigger male crab doesn’t lack behind either. It was very good, the best crab I’ve had so far.

Shanghai Hairy Crab (大閘蟹)
the hot chick is obviously enjoying her food

After the crab, we had rice with the other dishes that includes steamed fish, pork ribs, and spinach with soup. The quality of these dishes were pretty good too; but after those mouth watering crabs, everything else just doesn’t excite the taste bud as much.

Shanghai Hairy Crab (大閘蟹)
other dishes include vegetable, fish, and some good old fashion pork

Price of hairy crab at Restaurant King Crab are at RM 38/58/88/118 each. Our crabs were priced at RM 58 each, 150 gram for female crab and 200 gram for male crab respectively. The entire dinner was a little over RM 400 for four. Certainly not cheap, but it is a taste that is to be experienced at least once in a life time. Alternatively, you can fly to Shanghai next season. 😀

Now where should I go this coming weekend?

Map to Restaurant King Crab at Petaling Jaya
King Crab restaurant is situated just opposite the Kelana Jaya LRT station

Address:
103-107, Jalan SS25/2,
Taman Mewah Jaya,
47301 Petaling Jaya
Selangor

GPS: 3.113488,101.603462
Tel: 03-7805 3282