A few weeks ago I had a chance to go in front of a HD video camera for the first time of my life, with proper production and all that jazz. It was a shoot for the Astro (though only to be used online, but a commercial nonetheless). The video was used to promote Astro B.yond services during the blogger’s night out last week.
mic up, and ready to roll at Desa Park City
The shoot wasn’t too difficult, I had to do 3 takes. The first had a bit of discontinuity, and there were people walking behind the scene on the second, otherwise I’d say it went pretty smoothly. I guess having been acting on stage before gave me a bit of an advantage. It was quite fun even though the weather was melting us.
On the 13th of January, 11 of the #porkgang members went to the Astro B.yond blogger’s night, and the video was played in full HD. If you click on the HD button in the original video here, you’ll be able to see a pimple just below my nose. This whole HD thing is a bit too clear, gah!
we had a blast and Eric won the 32″ TV with 1 year’s Astro B.yond
The event was held and Modesto Hartamas and we had quite a blast. Eric, Horng, Gareth, Terence, and me also teamed up to participate in the “murder mystery” competition and came up on top. At the end we had to compete against each other and it was Eric who walked away with the 32″ LCD TV and a year’s subscription for Astro B.yond services. (He ended up spending us a big meal at Cristang)
We had quite a blast at the event, danced silly and basically didn’t leave till the whole place was almost empty. Haze, Jaclyn, Kerol, Cheesie, Ruby, Kim, and Kerol made up the rest of the gang. The OBC lady Miss Suanie, and the ganas FA were missing though, I’m still waiting for an event where all 13 (lucky number!) of us shows up.
Earlier this month I had an invitation from Hsu Jen to a beer tasting session at Craft Brews, a new pork and beer joint at Mutiara Damansara.
Due to the pesky little organization in this country that is the government, Craft Brews got their beer from Red Dot Brewhouse in Singapore instead of brewing them on location. That whole “license” thingy sure annoys quite a few people out here.
see the pipes? they are purely for decoration purposes only
Craft Brew is located just right across the North end of Tesco (the side that isn’t facing Ikea) in a building curiously named Batu Kawan tower. Parking is a relative breeze, and if you’re familiar with the area, using the Mutiara Damansara exit on LDP would save you the trouble having to navigate through the Curve/IKEA.
The restaurant has a pretty simple yet elegant set up, with plenty of seats alfresco style as well as indoor. Behind the bar counter there’s all these pipes simulating an actual microbrewery, but unfortunately, a simulation is what they are.
multicolored beer, crispy eggplant, deep fried bacon
We were served four different types of beer on the day, the rather bitter English Ale, Czech Pilsner, Weizen wheat beer, and the Monster Green Lager, which was actually .. well, green.
Being not much of a beer drinker, I am not going to pretend that I’m an expert and advice you on which one to go for. That being said, I kinda like the green lager, relatively smooth and the whole spirulina thingy is supposed to be good for your health too. Making the whole pairing of deep fried bacon and beer less guilty for the consumer.
The other two beer were quite good as well, but I must say that the English Ale isn’t really my cup of tea glass of beer. For bitter beer I love my Guinness.
the porkgang each got our own VIP card to craft brews
As for the food, well, kitchen wasn’t fully open on that night, but we were served with some pretty yummy pork dishes. The two types of ribs were both delicious and wholesome, and I particularly love the crispy egg plant too. They also served us one of the most delicious wedges I’ve had.
The best dish of the day though, had to go to the deep fried bacon. Covered with a light layer of batter, the bacon is so sinful and yummy I couldn’t have enough of it. Deep frying really does usually make a dish even better. This one went very very well with any beer.
We were also given a VIP card (valid till June 2010) worth 30% discount on all food items and happy hour all day/night long. Thank you Craft Brews!
Adress: Craft Brews
Jalan PJU 7/2,
47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.161031, 101.613761 Tel:03-7722 3000
Good news again for the Xpax Blackberry users. For those who are subscribing to the RM 2.50 Blackberry Advance plan, right now as part of the Big Freeekin’ Sale by Xpax, there’s free access weekends.
How this work is very simple. If you’re subscribed to the 250 plan every weekday from Monday to Friday, you get it for free during the weekends. By utilizing my amazing mathematical skills learnt from primary school, this works out to be less than RM 1.80 per day over the 7 day-period.
Check out the Xpax Big Freekin’ Sales website for more. There are other deals including 50% off calls and 50% off downloads too. Offer lasts till 31st March, don’t miss out.
BU Centrepoint is one of our favorite places to meet up, partly due to the free parking after office hours and weekends, and mostly due to the dictatorial behavior by Suanie, who stays close enough she could get there on foot if she wants to.
On the very first day of the year, we started off with a great get-together brunch at Champs in BU Centrepoint. (and went to Hulu Langat Thai Fish Farm for dinner on the very same day too)
pork: checked, beer: checked, alfresco: checked, hot waitress: checked
Located on the first floor of the older section of Centrepoint, Champs had been around for quite a long time. The menu at this restaurant ranges from the popular local hawker foods such as hokkien mee and pork noodle to slightly more westernized dishes like spring chicken and fried calamari.
It is quite unique, you don’t get too many bistros with LCD TVs, air conditioned, while serving beer and soya sauce pork at the same time. (Incidentally, Bernard’s Bistro located at downstairs is more of the same, owners are related)
the very sinful tau eu bak (soya sauce pork)
Almost without fail, every time I go to Champs, I order the tau eu bak (soya sauce pork). This is the quintessential traditional Hokkien dish that my mom used to cook on special occasions back in Penang, and I’ve always loved it to the max. Thank goodness I’ve been able to find a good bowl of tau eu bak here at Champs (another place would be Poeny Garden in Kota Damansara).
The two most important thing on a bowl of good tau eu bak are the texture of the pork, and the sambal belacan. Champs got both of these right, the pork very tender and had the right amount of fat vs lean meat ratio; the sambal belacan was just the classic red chili + belacan + lime mixture, I really love the sambal.
the signature Prawn Mee (hokkien mee) at Champs
For most people, Champs is synonymous with their Prawn mee (or Hokkien mee if you’re from Northern Malaysia). Though the price seems quite a bit steeper than those you get from hawker centers, they are quite a big difference in the bowl.
Crispy shallots, kang kung, generous amount of pork, bean sprouts, and that super huge prawn soaked in a soup base that is as good as you can get from anywhere. Of course, the ambiance at Champs beat pretty much any kopitiam too.
fire pork balls, calamari fritters, spring chicken, crispy pork belly
There’s also quite a good selection of finger foods at Champs that goes especially well with beer. Fire pork balls and crispy pork belly are quite essential if you are swine lovers, and though they aren’t exactly easy on the wallet, they certainly tasted very good. However, I thought the spicy calamari fritters were just ordinary, it’s probably not something I would order again.
While the group basically ordered either tau eu bak or the prawn mee, kerol got herself the spring chicken. To our collective amazement, it was the WHOLE chicken! It must have been a long spring season too as the bird didn’t exactly look very small. She did say that the chicken was good, just too big a portion though.
Kim, Horng, Suan, Kerol, KY, Gareth, Jac, Eric, Terence, Rachel
Other than the dishes we ordered, Champs is also quite well known for their Hokkien Mee, Char Kueh Teow, pork noodle, and other local delights prepared with high quality ingredients.
It was a very satisfying lunch session that lasted more than a couple hours at the end. Even though it is not exactly cheap to dine here, Champs will remain one of those places that I visit every once in a while.
Address: Champs Bistro
Lot F10, 1st Floor, Centrepoint,
Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama,
47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.137988, 101.610124 Tel: 03-7722 5800
A couple months ago when I was on the futsal pitch:
The ball was on my left leg, and I passed it to the right, I did a bit of a side step, got passed one defender. Now facing the goal keeper who was charging ahead of me, I fired the ball with my right leg, it went.. straight to his knee and bounced right back …. INTO MY LEFT EYE.
It hurt like crap, I think my head was spinning a little bit. The game went on, I substituted myself out, and immediately noticed something wrong. The vision out of the left eye was blurred in a way that was almost but not quite like having a faulty air conditioner in your car during heavy downpour resulting in a fogged wind shield.
My vision was fine the next day, but by night time the foggy condition came back. It was actually quite scary, so I did what everyone suggested (mostly over Twitter, follow me @kyspeaks if you haven’t). I went to the Tun Hussien Onn National Eye Hospital to get it looked at.
Among the well wishers and people who showed concern, there were quite a lot of people who joked about the injury (it’s all good, I would do the same, making fun of other’s misery is one of the greatest joys in life).
A few days later, Cheesie developed this red scar thing on one of her eyes, so I took her to the same hospital to get it looked at. The doctor said it was an allergic reaction to the colored contact lenses, she said it was the karma from laughing at me. I kinda agreed with her, hehe.
After a few weeks of putting eye drops and a return to visit the good doctor, my eyes are feeling good now. Thank goodness it wasn’t something serious.
I have a health insurance policy, so at least I didn’t feel too stressed about being able to pay the medical bill, but this incident made me realized the importance of being covered should anything more dramatic found it’s way to me (touch wood).
Coincidentally, PruBSN engaged me for this advertorial just right after this incident.
The product is called PruBSN Takaful Health.
To be honest, before this, I had no idea what takaful meant. I’ve seen them on highway billboards, and maybe even on newspaper, but the only thing I knew was that this has something to do with being consistent with the Islamic believes.
So I read up on what this is all about and found out a few things about Takaful, especially PruBSN Takaful Health
It is available for everyone, not just Muslims
It is based on the principles of Shariah instead of conventional insurance
It involves participants reaching a common agreement to guarantee each other against defined loss of damage by contributing Tabarru’ (donation) to the Takaful fund
Main objective at the end is still similar – to provide protection
One other thing that makes PruBSN stands out is their NCB (no claim bonus) feature. The graphic above demonstrates a 30 year old male certificate holder with a Takaful Health TH200 plan who pays an annual contribution of RM 1,032 being able to get RM 300 in NCB if he did not make any claims the year before. Pretty neat huh?
Get yourself covered. For more, check out PruBSN’s website.
The 20th day of November, 2009 marked two significant events – it was my buddy Horng’s birthday, and at the same day, Kim collected her new ride SuzyGanas. Since the birthday boy was coming back from his assignment in Manila, Jac, Eric, Kerol, and I decided to catch him from the airport (we went to the wrong one initially).
Kim and Gareth later joined us for dinner at Dengkil Seafood Restaurant, the one place you should definitely check out if you love fresh water fish and tong po pork. It helps if you’re close to Putrajaya or KLIA for the drive from PJ won’t exactly be a short one.
fish menu on the wall, horng holding a bottle of Glenfiddich single malt whisky
The “fish menu” displayed on the wall were at least a couple dozen of both fresh and saltwater fish you can order. The prices of each fish is displayed prominently for your budgetary convenience. Of course, the ability to read Chinese is utmost important in this case.
For example (per 100 gram):
Patin – RM 7
Giant Grouper – RM 12
Haruan – RM 5
Parrot fish – RM 15
Cod – RM 12
Empurau – RM 80
Yes, you heard it right, Empurau really does cost that much, which is quite apt for it’s Chinese name 忘不了, literally means Never Forget (especially for the one who pays).
tong po pork, vegetable, steamed patin fish
We ordered five dishes for the seven of us, fish, pork, vegetable, prawn, and chicken to go with rice and a bottle of Glendfiddich single malt whisky the birthday boy obtained from the airport duty free shop.
First to come was the tong po pork (RM 18). Now I’ve had this dish several times but I must say that this is the absolute best that I’ve had so far. The pork so succulent, soft, and so flavorful almost to a point of disbelieve. The combination of the steamy hot mantao (RM 1 each) and fatty pork was a match made in heaven. It was so good we ordered an encore straight away. This is definitely a must-order dish here.
The steamed patin fish (RM 63 – 900g) too was quite excellent. It was sweet, fresh, and steamed just enough to leave the soft texture intact. Fried ginger and coriander provided some contrast and the soy sauce used were of good quality too.
The vegetable dish (RM 12) was just to fulfill our supposed vitamin C quota, nothing spectacular to be frank.
Vietnamese prawn, patin fish with rice, salted chicken
The big ticket item turned out to be the giant fresh water prawn cooked in Vietnamese style (RM 120 for 7 big prawns). The huge prawns deep fried before mixing with the very strong tasting sauce that is spicy but yet unlike curry. It was quite tasty and went well with rice, but didn’t leave an impression nearly as strong as the fish and especially the pork.
Salted chicken (RM 20) was our fifth order and the unsuspecting looking dish actually turned out to be rather nice. The chicken skin was crunchy yet the meat still juicy. Sometimes it is toughest to create a good tasting dish with simple ingredients. We liked this dish quite a lot too.
Kim, Gareth, Horng, KY, Kerol, Jac, and Eric
The two order of pork, four other dishes, rice, and drinks for seven of us came to RM 277. That worked out to be slightly less than RM 40 per person, a pretty reasonable amount for what we ordered. The group went there again after one of the go-kart sessions not long ago, and of course, we ordered a bigger portion of tong po pork that time.
By the way, this place is dog friendly too, and operates for lunch and dinner till rather late (past 11pm)
Address: Dengkil Seafood Restaurant
Lot 20, Tingkat 1, Jalan Kajang-Dengkil,
43800 Dengkil, Selangor GPS:2.859538,101.678971 Tel:03-8768 7868, 012-218 2919