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Malaysian Food Blog, Travel, Diving & More

Monthly Archives / November 2011

First, a little snippet from wiki about Napa Valley:

In 1965, Napa Valley icon Robert Mondavi broke away from his family’s Charles Krug estate to found his own. This was the first new large scale winery to be established in the valley since before prohibition. Following the establishment of the Mondavi estate, the number of wineries in the valley continued to grow, as did the region’s reputation.

Travis Brown, Regional Director for Asia for Robert Mondavi wines
Travis Brown, Regional Director for Asia for Robert Mondavi wines

In addition, Robert Mondavi Winery also perfected the dry oak-aged Sauvignon Blanc and labeled it as “Fumé Blanc” in 1966. This was an unpopular variety in California at the time, but the wine proved to be a success.

In time, Robert Mondavi successfully developed a number of premium wines that earned the respect of connoisseurs and vintners alike.

tomato, cheese, bread, calamari, simple yet utterly delicious
tomato, cheese, bread, calamari, simple yet utterly delicious

A few weeks ago, we were invited to the winemaker’s dinner at Favola, Le Meridien KL.

Classy Italian food prepared by one of my favorite chefs – Chef Antoine, and pairing them with some fine wines from Robert Mondavi, what is there not to like?

Fumé Blanc, Robert Mondavi's version of Sauvignon Blanc
Fumé Blanc, Robert Mondavi’s version of Sauvignon Blanc

We sampled Chardonnay sourced from the cool growing regions of the southern Napa Valley with its rich and complex taste; Pinot Noir, a bright and vivacious wine; the full body Merlot; the soft and silky Cabernet Sauvignon; and of course, the Fumé Blanc.

the good chefs at Le Meridien KL, and David Stephen
David Stephen and the good chefs at Le Meridien KL

As for food, there were the usual arrays of excellent pasta, tomato, cheese, pizza, bread, risotto, and of course, the best freshly made Belgium waffle ever.

Though my knowledge in wine is still amateur at best, I did learn a few things after this event, and would at least know which wine to choose from without being disappointed. :D

map to Le Meridien

Address:
Favola
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral,
Kuala Lumpur 50470

GPS: 3.135631,101.686476
Tel: 03-2263 7888

Olympus E-PL3

To be honest, growing up in Penang, I never really knew what Kampar fish ball noodle is all about. It was one of those hawker dishes that never really made much inroads to the island, much like pan mee and laksa Sarawak, and thus, rarely came up in my radar.

Then, a few weeks ago, someone asked me on twitter for a recommendation on Kampar fish ball noodle. Not knowing which is a good place to have this dish, I in turn asked around, and another fellow twitter user led me to Kedai Kopi Khoong at Seapark.

A good example of social media in everyday use :D

Kampar fish noodle - with variety of fishballs
Kampar fish noodle – with variety of fish balls

I’ve actually been to this kopitiam quite a number of times, mostly to have the old men’s Chinese desserts in the afternoon (they are operated by VSOP club – which stands for Very Strong Old People). Little did I know that the kopitiam actually has Kampar Fish Ball Noodle in its signboard.

I ordered a bowl of the dry version Kampar fish ball noodle (RM 5)

I counted 5 types of fish balls & fish cake
I counted 5 types of fish balls & fish cake

Like most hawker noodle dishes, you can choose from kuih teow, mee hun, yellow noodle, etc.

My version came with noodle with a bit of dark sauce and accompanying five different ingredients – deep fried stuffed fuchok, deep fried fish ball, bouncy soup fish ball, a less bouncy version, and fried stuffed tofu. As per standard Kampar noodle, the condiment is a little plate of spicy chili sauce that has the consistency that’s quite similar to bottled chili sauce, but a lot hotter.

Did I like it? Yeah, with my limited experience in Kampar noodle, I did find that it was a pretty tasty affair. I like the variety that comes with the dish, furthermore, the soup was quite flavorful too.

If you haven’t had much Kampar noodle, perhaps it is time to try. For those who are more of an expert, what’s your favorite Kampar noodle stall?

map to Seapark Kedai Kopi Khong

Address:
Kedai Kopi Khong
Junction of Jalan 21/19 and 21/22,
Seapark, Petaling Jaya

GPS: 3.109749, 101.621357

Olympus E-PL3

This is the progression of mobile devices in the our pockets (or handbag/man bag) over the one decade or so. The example isn’t far fetched at all especially if you are a gadget freak.

  • digital organizer
  • digital organizer + camera
  • mobile phone + camera
  • mobile phone + mp3 players + camera
  • mobile phone + camera + mp3 players
  • camera phone with mp3 player and email
  • camera phone with mp3 player + tablet
  • and now… the ultimate all in one – Samsung Galaxy Note

purchased Samsung Galaxy Note

Just the other day when I went on facebook, the screen shot above was the status update from my little brother. He made the move and got himself a Samsung Galaxy Note.

Now it says “new phone”, this little device has a lot more to offer than just mobile phone functions, lets see some specs:

  • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
  • 1.4 Ghz dual-core processor
  • 800 x 1280 pixels, 5.3 inches Super AMOLED screen (that’s as high res as most laptops!)
  • 16GB/32GB storage, with 1 GB RAM
  • 8 MP camera with LED flash and autofocus, with a 2 MP front camera
  • S Pen Stylus

checked out Samsung Galaxy Note at Sungei Wang
we checked out Samsung Galaxy Note at Sungei Wang

At first I thought the 5.3″ screen might make this phone a little too big for the pocket, so when my colleague Sheng and I saw the Samsung booth displaying the phone during one of our lunch breaks, we took a little test run on the device.

It actually fits into the shirt pocket.

The features are pretty neat too, I use an Android phone right now, but the Galaxy Note has the advantage of the screen and offers features not found in other devices. The calendar function itself already looked so much more gorgeous by taking advantage of the screen size.

Galaxy Note plan with Celcom

The best part is, Samsung Galaxy Note is now available with the nation’s widest network coverage in Celcom from as low as RM 1,368. With an all-in-one gadget like that, you will surely want to take advantage of its online capability – viewing webpages in its full glory (not just limited to mobile versions), streaming videos, online games, etc.

So do find out more about Samsung Galaxy Note at  http://www.celcom.com.my/smartphones.

Tempting, very tempting!

Believe it or not, and I didn’t initially, that the whole exercise 3 times a week advice is actually a very doable routine for anyone. I wasn’t a particularly active person in high school (other than joining the dragon boat team for a couple years) nor in my 20s, but in the past few years, I’ve taken up recreational sports with quite some vigor.

my sports equipment
some of my sporting equipments, ignore the two kitteh

My typical week starts with badminton on Monday night, then either a Tuesday or Wednesday evening futsal session, follow by my regular Thursday night futsal (on going for the last 4-5 years), and another perhaps another futsal on Saturday and sometimes a Sunday badminton session too.

If any of these sessions are canceled, I sometimes substitute it with cycling. Something that I enjoy a bit more than running since it’s easier on the knees and I get to travel a bit further and be able to carry water.

Hence the four pairs of shoes in the picture – badminton, running/cycling, futsal turf, futsal hardcourt. Ignore the two nosy kittens.

I document my exercise routine on Endomondo (add me if you’re on it!)

Tiger Balm warm and cold plaster, ointment
Tiger Balm warm and cool plaster, ointment

With all these exercise sessions, I am no stranger to muscle ache and (sometimes) joint pain, and when it comes to this, there’s one trustable name that we are familiar with – Tiger Balm. In fact, when I opened the package of the new Tiger Balm Plaster, Haze immediately recognize the smell.

While we are more familiar with the traditional Tiger Balm ointment, the are now two types of Tiger Balm plasters available in the market – one warm, and another cool relief.

hydrogel pack with stretchable material and additional adhesive
Tiger Balm hydrogel plaster with stretchable material and additional adhesive

The warm plaster is mostly used for effective relief for chronic pain such as arthritis and rheumatism, while the cool plaster is catered for the relief of acute pain such as muscle ache, sprain, and backache.

After another session of badminton, my often sprained left ankle was acting up a little bit, perfect opportunity to try the new Tiger Balm cool plaster.

the cool plaster feels pretty good on my often sprained left ankle
the cool plaster feels pretty good on my often sprained left ankle

packet comes with 2 hydrogel pack and 2 adhesive plaster made with stretchable material. Though the instructions printed on the adhesive sheet stated 9 steps, it was actually quite a lot easier to apply:

  • remove adhesive back
  • place hydrogel on top
  • remove hydrogel plastic
  • remove additional adhesive
  • apply on muscle/joint

just follow the instructions!
just follow the instructions printed in every packet

The plaster felt pretty good on my ankle, it is stretchable and does not impede movement, and additionally it does allow air to flow through too plus its comfortable to wear. The cool feeling came on some 5-10 minutes after application and really does provide good relief from the joint pain that was bothering me a bit.

Each pack of Tiger Balm Plaster contains 2 units, large pack goes for RM 6.80 while the smaller one is priced at RM 5.20. You can find them at all key chain pharmacies such as Guardian or Watson and nearby pharmacies.

I’m gonna keep some in my sports bag :D

The Time Out KL food awards is touted as the only food awards in the country that are completely nominated by the public, and 100 percent independent.

The 3rd installment of this awards was held at KLPAC on the 23rd Nov, and I had the privilege of attending the event with quite a number of fabulous familiar faces from the food blogging scene – kampungboycitygal, awhiffoflemongrass, masak-masak, bangsarbabe, cumidanciki, alilfatmonkey and more.

the party with plenty of booze and too little food
the party with plenty of booze and too little food

The invitation stated  7pm, but the official event did not start until 9pm. Though there were finger foods and plenty of wine, champagne, and other drinks to go about, it was still not exactly the right path to Vision 2020 if we keep treating every event like a Chinese wedding dinner.

This tardiness problem has simply got to stop. Starting the event late = wasting the time of those who arrive on time.

– end of ranting.

the hosts were Dominic Lau and Daphne Iking
the hosts were Dominic Lau and Daphne Iking

The actual event itself was rather swift, less than 45 minutes in all. The shortlisted restaurants/person were announced and asked to be on stage, and then the winner announced.

I thought it would be nice to give a bit of description and perhaps let the winner say a few words, but it was just a hasty few photographs and moved onto the next category. I wasn’t sure if this was done to avoid finishing the event late, but that 2 hours spent waiting could probably be used more productively.

Some of the results are pretty suspect, but it is by public votes, so in essence, a popularity contest. There’s nothing wrong in using this method, but I thought there are several things that could be tweaked.

But first, the results: Read this