Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / December 2009

Following the attendance to Nippon Paint workshop where I learn all about colors and how they affects mood and create certain ambiance, the next project was naturally, a makeover with Nippon Paint.

For my project, I chose the first living room. Since this is the first room to the house and the wall was painted a rather sad hue of yellow, I wanted to have it changed.

nippon paint makeover
from yellow to a very light shade of brown, by Nippon Paint

Initially I had the idea of perhaps painting some manageable patterns on the wall on top of a soothing base color. If that was indeed what was done, you’d see some geometrical patterns on this wall now.

But I’m generally a very lucky person. While cooking Maggi after fishing prawn with Haze, I casually told her about this project, and she volunteered to design and paint the wall for me!

nippon paint - design and tracing
Haze at work, tracing the outline of her design

Now Haze is a very talented artist, she does web design (such as cheesie‘s current blog skin), video editing, 3D, makeup, and more.

When she first sent me the design, I was like “Whoa!”. I showed a few people and got similar reactions.

But of course I have faith in this girl, so we ordered the chosen colors from Nippon Paint and they were nice enough to send in the painters to put up the base coat, a soothing shade of brown.

haze long working on wall design
master at work, I was merely painting those big black patterns

I chose Nippon Paint’s Odour-less Premium All-in-1 because it has almost zero pollutants and suits interior wall best. This is especially important if you need to work with the paint for many hours.

After the base coat was done. Haze came over and spent more than three days working on the wall, but the result was amazing!

haze long wall design - finished product
the finished product, by Haze, using Nippon Paint

Transferring the design to the wall took the entire first day. In the subsequent days, the design came into view little by little, the whole works took a little more than three days. Since the paint is water based, mixing colors to make different tones aren’t too difficult.

front wall design - by haze long
the front

The design is a something that isn’t overly masculine (like a sports car), nor it is too feminine. Haze told me she got the idea of the musical theme since I like to play guitar hero.

The result is amazing, isn’t it?

the guitar - haze long
the side

The right paint and the right designer = music to the eyes.

Just in case you want to replicate this design , the colours used are:
Base colour: Basket Beige 4061P, Designs: Shaded Porch 4065P, Knockout Red 4065P, Golden Dome 7033D, Peasant Blue 7232T, Black 144, White 145.

A few weeks ago I went to Room Eighteen at Berjaya Times Square for a food review. I was in fact, already quite a  fan of this relatively new franchise from Tai Thong group ever since the branch at Tropicana City Malls opened. However, this was the first time I visited the BTS outlet.

I brought along Terence, Jaclyn, Eric, Kerol, and Cheesie for the session. I love food reviews where I can bring friends along, it always make the occasion a lot more fun.

room eighteen cantonese cuisine
room eighteen at BTS, eric, jaclyn, cheesie, kerol, terence, KY

Coincidentally, the senior manager of the chain hailed from the same high school as me in Penang, my junior in fact. Since he is also from the same island that is known as sort of a food capital of Malaysia, I placed a higher trust on his taste and let the guy handled food selection for the evening.

And just like how the pork gang’s dinner always go, we over ordered.

dimsum and xiao long bao at room eighteen
siu mai, papaya cream puff, herbal xiao long bao, tofu skin with pork

We were first served with some dimsum as appetizer. The siu mai (steamed pork dumpling) and tofu skin with pork were really tasty, as good as some of the best dimsum I’ve had. The papaya cream puff too was quite good, albiet a little different from what you’d expect from dimsum.

We were served two different types of xiao long bao. I felt that the normal version was just rather average, and favors the herbal version (photo above) a bit more. However, it wouldn’t be something I’ll necessary order again, they weren’t really on par with those I had from Dragon-i.

roast duck, roast pork, vegetable at room eighteen
roast duc, char siu, and roast pork, fried venisen with you char kwai, vegetable

The roast duck and char siu were really done very well, I particularly love them with their really fragrant chili oil. The roast pork though, didn’t particularly capture my attention, but perhaps I’ve been spoiled by the excellent roast pork at wong meng kei at pudu, literally just a stone’s throw away from BTS.

The fried venisen with you char kwai was quite an interesting combination. The meat was tender and juicy, with the contrasting texture of the you char kwai it was rather good. We ordered a plate of Hong Kong choi sum as the vegetable dish to counter all those meaty dishes. Always have your vegetable!

wantan soup, fish ball noodle
wanton soup, fragrant chili oil, fish ball noodle soup

The wanton soup was one of my favorites at Room Eighteen. Instead of prawn or pork, the wanton filling was half pork and half prawn, that really gave it the best of both worlds in terms of taste. Quite excellent!

The fish ball noodle soup was quite good too. The fish ball quite firm and tasty, together with the noodle and soup it can make a pretty simple meal when you feel like giving the taste buds a bit of a rest.

lotus leave rice, steamed rice with chicken, porridge
lotus leave rice, steamed chicken rice, two types of porridge

Lotus leaf rice and the steamed chicken rice with mushroom were two more dishes that I really liked. The chicken was really smooth and delicious I wish I can have some right now, writing this at the wee hours. Ah well…

And as if we were not already overly fed by then, our host insisted that we should try out their porridge. Both the two different porridge we tried were really good, but at this point I seriously couldn’t really take more than a spoon full.

black sesame soup, drinks, shaved ice, at room eighteen
black sesame soup, drinks, blueberry shaved ice

We capped the evening with some desserts to share (seriously couldn’t finish one by myself anymore). The sesame soup was decent, and the mango sago wasn’t bad either. My favorite of the bunch though, was the blueberry shaved ice, really “kao” and really sour with just the right amount of sweetness. That freshened me up pretty good, I liked it.

Prices at Room Eighteen are comparable to Canton-i and Dragon-i, a typical meal would fetch about RM 15-30 per person, but of course what we had here would have been more than that if we split 6 ways.

Room Eighteen
Berjaya Times Square
LG 50 & LG 18C
Lower Ground Floor
No 1, Jalan Imbi
55100 KL

GPS: 3.142444,101.710621
Tel: 03-2148 8688

Jarrod and Rawlins is one of the first non-halal “western food” joints that I was introduced to. Their pork burger and dynamite chili sausage sausage are two of my favorite dishes. After a long hiatus, I went to their Damansara Heights branch (they have four locations now) with Elfie to get some dinner and Guinness lovin’.

In case you haven’t found out yet, it is also because Guinness is running their Merry Guinness promotion this time around, more on that later.

guinness stew pork, jarrod & rawlins at damansara height
Guinness beef stew meat with mash potato

I really like the set up of their branch at Damansara Heights over other locations. The restaurant takes the space of an old bungalow, with tables sprawling within the former living hall, balcony, and back yard. As such, it offers several different ambiance according to taste, I typically favors the backyard especially when the temperature is favorable.

open seafood sandwich, soup, guiness stew pork
open seafood sandwich with bacon, Guinness stew with mash potato

Jarrod and Rawlins is one of the restaurants that offer several Guinness infused dishes in their menu on a permanent basis. For dinner, I ordered the intriguing Guinness beef stew with mash potato while the lady asked for open seafood sandwich with bacon, and tomato soup.

We also ordered a couple sausages – dynamite chili and something else that is non-spicy, as Elfie is a noob who can’t take anything spicy.

Of course, I got me a pint of Guinness to go with dinner.

tomato soup, pork sausage
tomato soup and J&R’s sausages

The Guinness beef stew was better than I had expected, the slight bitterness from the black beer compliments adds character to the beef and goes really well with the mash potato. This was even better than the Guinness infused beef ribs I had at SevenAteNine during last year’s promotion.

The soup and open seafood sandwich received no complaints at all from Elfie (who is often critical), and the sausages were very tasty as usual. We left happy and very well fed, with my stomach full of a whole pint of Guinness goodness too.

KY, Guinness, Elfie
KY, Guinness, and Elfie

Dinner came to around RM 160 with the four dishes and a couple drinks. Jarrod & Rawlins is one of the participating outlets that offer a free pint of Guinness Draught free of charge when you order from the Guinness Infused Menu. For more information and other outlets, check out Guinness Malaysia facebook page.

All my previous posts with Guinness (including last year’s promotion) can be found here.

jarrod rawlins damansara heights map

Jarrod & Rawlins
No. 6, Lorong Dungun,
Damansara Heights,
50480 Kuala Lumpur

GPS: 3.153693, 101.665077
Tel: 03-2093 0708

And I said what about “Breakfast at Tiffany’s?
She said, “I think I remember the film,
And as I recall, I think, we both kinda liked it.”
And I said, “Well, that’s the one thing we’ve got.”

As they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, it gives you the jolt of energy you need for the rest of the day. Breakfast, as they say, gives you brain fuel.

nasi lemak from taman bahagia, tapau with tupperware
tapao my nasi lemak with tupperware at Taman Bahagia LRT station

Since everyone knows that nasi lemak makes you sleepy, but breakfast gives you energy, that makes having nasi lemak in the morning a perfect timing. The extra jolt and the sleepiness cancel each other out, and you are left with just the right amount of dopiness at the office so that nobody will accuse you of being too lazy, or too hardworking. Balance is important.

One of my favorite nasi lemak places is conveniently located at the Taman Bahagia LRT station, which happen to be the station I go to every workday. This nasi lemak stall doesn’t have any accompanying tables or chairs, everything is to-go.

tapau nasi lemak with tupperware
very microwave friendly, this Tupperware box!

So instead of having the nasi lemak wrapped in newspaper (or worse still, foam container), this time I brought along my newly acquired lunch box – the Tupperware Reheatable Divided Lunch Box. Canggih!

For RM 3, the pakcik at nasi lemak stall give me a good portion of that fragrant rice, cucumber, 1/4 hard boiled egg anchovies and peanuts in one side of the lunch box, plenty of sambal and beef rendang on the other two smaller sections.

At the office, I popped the little vent cap up and put this into the microwave for a minute. The result – envy of the entire pantry. hohohooho!

latte, nasi lemak, tupperware, recycle
reduce the use of disposable packagings, and start recycle!

After breakfast, I filled up the Commuter Mug with some cafe latte. East meets West. I kinda like the mug, the design is very different from the other heat retaining flasks you see from anywhere, and I think this one is a lot tougher too.

However, the real message of this advertorial is not about how tasty the nasi lemak was, or how the tidy container keeps your coffee warm. It is about reducing the usage of disposable packaging materials such as PET bottles, foam containers, or even newspaper that ultimately end up in the landfill rather than being recycled.

my tupperware collections
I got all these, thank you Tupperware!

From now on I’ll tapao only with the lunch box, it is actually quite a lot less messy and I think the pakcik actually gave me more ingredients!

Do your bit for the environment, and potentially even profit from it! Did you know that 85 million PET bottles ended up in the landfill yearly just from Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei alone?

Go to Reuse, Reduce site, fill up the pledge to mother nature and stand a change to win daily Tupperware prizes too. Give mother nature a chance!

p/s: there’s a video on Tupperware’s ECO range product that you can view here.

Last weekend we went for a really super awesome trip up to Belum Rainforest Resort. For the uninitiated, the resort sits on Pulau Banting, an island formed from the creation of lake Temengor in Gerik, Northern Perak.

The trip was a showcase of modern Diesel technology with the combination of BMW’s Efficient Dynamics and the Dynamic Diesel from Petronas. Here are the 10 things I learn from the unforgettable 2-day trip.

1. Diesel cars are super efficient
efficient diesel

Lost in the big woohaa last September when the government made the switch from RON 92 to RON 95 petrol (with price adjustment, of course), was that the country also adopted the Euro 2M standard for Diesel fuel. Euro 2M Diesel has less than 50ppm sulphur, and are much cleaner for the environment.

With the new standard we can now take advantage of modern Diesel cars, such as the BMW 320d and BMW 520d that we used for this trip. None of the diesel powered 3 and 5 series we drove required a refuel for the entire trip, some 800 km in total. This is fuel efficiency I’ve never imagined, almost twice lower than my Toyota MR2.

2. Police escort is the awesomsauce
bmw drive police escort

It was my first time driving with police escort, felt like a real VIP. From KLCC to Mutiara Damansara, we were bullying our way through traffic, breezed through red lights and intersections. The cops were really pro and exhibited some awesome “standing on the bike and yell at drivers” as well as “cornering and pointing at cars” mad skills.

The escort service even managed to split the traffic jam at TTDI, everyone was looking at us with envy, it was priceless 😀

3. Ivan Khong has 3 arms and 4 eyes
ivan kong of bmw

Our lead car driver, Mr. Ivan Kong, must have at least 2 more eyes and an extra arm. This certified BMW instructor, who is also a former rally car driver was able to:

  • lead a convoy of 6 pairs of noob drivers
  • operate 2 walkie talkies
  • report all incoming traffic in details (eg: a green Suzuki Vitara coming, he’s wearing a songkok, don’t overtake now)
  • communicate with the support & sweeper car
  • looked at our every moves (eg: car 4 and 5, stop playing with each other)
  • and drive in excess of 120-180km on trunk roads

When I grow up, I want to drive like him. Thank you Mr. Ivan Kong for leading us on this amazing journey

4. Indulgence at Ipoh serves good food (mostly)
food at Indulgence, Ipoh

We stopped by Ipoh for lunch on the way from KL to Belum and back, on both occasions we went to Indulgence Restaurant, one of the classiest eatery you could find in this city.  The place is quite posh, and food was served in big plates with pretty garnish.

I had the cod on the first day, and lamb loin on the next. The cod was good, and the lamb loin was really one of the best lamb I’ve ever tasted. However, Gareth and Suan’s chicken on the first day was a let down, and so was Kim’s salmon on the second day. The scallop was a bit overcooked too, but the tiger prawn and the pohpiah appetizer were brilliant.

Indulgence is at 14, Jln Raja Dihilir, 30350, Ipoh. Tel: 05-255 7051

5. the beemers’ handling is phenomenal
bmw convoy

Not that anyone should try this, but we were doing in excess of 130 km/h around the bend on the road to Gerik, both the 3 and 5 series were fitted with Sports package and handled real well. The traction control came on a few times when we “tickle the throttle” a little too much, but it felt safe and it was exhilarating.

The photo of speedometer above, was taken by me when my partner in crime Cheesie was driving. Can I have a beemer please pretty please?

6. Belum Rainforest Resort is nice
belum rainforest resort

Situated on the island of Pulau Banting overlooking Temengor lake, Belum Raiforest Resort is nice, the room were big and nicely decorated. Bed’s a bit hard but I guess that’s just up to your personal preference. It’s a perfect blend of nature and comfort. The staff were helpful and friendly too. I would love to go back there again.

7. Bamboo rafting is a tiring affair
bamboo rafting at belum rainforest resort

The first thing we did on the next day was bamboo rafting. Now bamboo rafting is not very different from rowing a dragon boat, which was something I did during my high school days (we won 2nd place twice on state level, tqvm), but bamboo rafting with a hangover was quite a bit different.

Luckily lake Temengor’s water wasn’t too cold that particular morning. We had loads of fun and got sober up for the long drive back to KL ahead of us.

8. Aaron is a very good photographer
aaron - photographer for bmw drive

The photographer commissioned by BMW on this event, Aaron, was really professional and efficient. He worked tirelessly to get us all these awesome shots for two days, and we got all the photos in a tidy little 4 GB thumb drive at the 2nd last leg of the drive.

I managed to take a photo of him while he was taking that particular photo of me in car number 5. 😀

9. People at BMW held the best events I’ve attended
BMW Drive 2009

The level of luxury and attention to details throughout the entire event was nothing I’ve ever experienced. From the first day when our bags were tagged till we reluctantly bid goodbye on the second evening, nothing was left out, we had zero complain even if we try.

There was good food, awesome driving experience, good companionship, and even a few surprises thrown in (after dinner there were gifts left in all our rooms – external hdd and solar charger). It was amazing, I want to really thank BMW and Petronas for inviting us, especially Sashi who first contacted me.

10. Jenga is still the best party game there is
jenga at Belum Rainforest Resort

We had one of the best times at Belum Rainforest Resort, Gareth, Kim, Huai Bin, Robb, Michael, Sashi, Nadia, and I decided to play Jenga, the best party game. The person who causes the wooden tower to fall finishes a glass of drinks. Robb, as you can clearly see, didn’t do particularly well on that night and threw sick all over the balcony. Kim wasn’t in the picture cos she too, was completely knocked out after 2 glasses of champagne.

Other participant’s posts:

The BMW Eco Drive Experience – Diesel Rocks!
how a bimmer saved my life… twice
Tickling The Throttle (and other lessons learnt at the BMW Drive)
Eco-Bloggers Diesel Drive 2009 – The Diesel Myths
BMW EfficientDynamics – Day 1
Breakfast @ Mandarin Oriental and a police escort

Xpax Advert:

At Belum Rainforest Resort, Celcom/Xpax’s network service was still working very fine despite it being a rather remote location. A certain telco, however, did not provide data service at that area, but those of us who are with Celcom/Xpax still managed to continue updating our tweets. As a reminder, you have until the end of December to enjoy Xpax’s double bonus (up to 16%) when you reload, check it out here.