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Monthly Archives / December 2013

Another year, another Xmas party at SS3. This was the 9th Xmas party we had at my place since I moved here, with the exception of 2010.

As every year, we had a bit of food, plenty to drink (thanks to Carlsberg Malaysia for a case of Carlsberg, Asahi, Kronenbourg Blanc, and Somersby each), and a fun filled gift exchange program.

xmas eve party at KY's, 2013
xmas eve party at KY’s, 2013

This year, we used our gas grill for some pork chop that I marinated, and set up another charcoal grill for our Muslim friends.

Party got started at around 8, and we were lucky that the weather cooperated despite Accuweather forecasted a bit of thunderstorm, so thank you for lying again, Accuweather!

we had a non-halal and a halal grill going on
we had a non-halal and a halal grill going on

There were a lot of new faces as well as returning friends to the party this year.

Those who were here before:

KY, Haze, Horng, Yuki, EeLaine, Suan, David, Winnie, Michael, Lance, Melissa, Ruby, Douglas, Yee Hou.

it took Fresh 8 tries to finally get her gift - a water gun
it took Fresh 8 tries to finally get her gift – a water gun

And the new faces who joined us this year:

Evelyn, Dennis, Pearl, Pearl’s bf, Ruby’s guy, Suching, Pauline, Kelly, Sheng, Min, Shah, Angel, Fuad, Ecky, Sat, Sliz, Jon, Latha, Lisa.

So it was 14 + 19 = 33 people, right around our average every year, a big thank you for everyone who made it. For those who missed the party, next year ya!

my gift was MyKuali white curry mee, was a hit!
my gift was MyKuali white curry mee, was a hit!

As usual, our gift exchange had some different rules to the norm:

  • every participant contribute a gift worth over RM 30, and then draw a number from the box
  • smallest number start by picking and unwrapping a gift
  • next number can snatch the opened gift, whereby the person who lost it gets to choose another gift, or snatch another opened gift
  • you’re not allowed to snatch the same gift you had before

Kelly, SuChing, Ecky, Haze, Angel, Dennis, Melissa, Eelaine
Kelly, SuChing, Ecky, Haze, Angel, Dennis, Melissa, Eelaine

Just to mess up with the guys, I actually gave a pretty good gift this year – 16 packs of MyKuali Penang white curry mee instant noodle. Arguably the most sought after instant noodle on the market right now, it exchanged hands 6 different times and finally ended up on Winnie’s possession.

Ruby's guy, Sheng, David, Shah, Sliz, Ruby, Horng, Min
Ruby’s guy, Sheng, David, Shah, Sliz, Ruby, Horng, Min

The biggest victim of the night was Fresh, she took 8 tries before finally settled on the water gun that she can use to torment Cendawan, all her other gifts (snatched or opened) were taken by other people, so many highs and so many disappointments, hahaha.

Douglas, Suching, Pauline, Pearl's guy, Yee Hou, Lance, Melissa, Fuad
Douglas, Suching, Pauline, Pearl’s guy, Yee Hou, Lance, Melissa, Fuad

Some of the other highly saught after gifts include a bottle of Jack Daniel, a Joker figurine, a pair of wide angle & fisheye lens for smart phone (I got it!), a pack of Somersby apple cider, nanodots magnet toy, a bag of bacon, number 8 magic ball, tumbler, tictac, and more.

It was a fun night and I hope everyone enjoyed. The men in blue never came this year, breaking a tradition of sort.

See you guys next year!

Volkswagen On Tour

December 26, 2013 8 Comments

Last weekend I went back to Penang to check out the very first ‘Volkswagen On Tour’, a showcase of Volkswagen with their German-engineered cars that has a reputation of being fast, safe, classy, and at the same time, rather frugal in fuel consumption.

The same showcase is happening at 13 different locations from now until March, 2014, so be sure to check it out when it comes to a location nearest to you.

Volkwagen on Tour, I test drove the VW TSI
‘Volkwagen On Tour’, I test drove the VW Golf TSI

You can’t get closer to knowing a car by having a test drive, so the first course of business was to put ourselves in one of the Volkswagen cars and have a little action in it.

You need to have a valid driving license and be tall enough to participate in the drive. As the photo below shows, luckily myself and Ivan, who actually manages the test drives, passed with little trouble.

thank goodness we're tall enough for test drive!
thank goodness we’re tall enough for test drive!

I test drove the Golf TSI, and I must say that for a car with 1.4 liter engine, it has got pretty impressive performance. The secret is that the TSI engine has both a supercharger and a turbocharger as force induction devices to increase the power and efficiency of the otherwise smallish capacity engine.

With about 140 PS, the 1.4 liter TSI engine performs on par with a 2.0 liter normally aspirated engine, while being lighter and consume less fuel.

the Volkswagen Jetta has good legrooms, and even bigger bootspace!
The Volkswagen Jetta has ample legrooms, and even bigger boot space!

Tian Chad, who was there at the same time, test drove the Volkswagen Jetta, which also uses the same 1.4 TSI power plant.

The Jetta has a really impressive cabin size. As demonstrated on the photos above, I can comfortably sit crossed-legged at the back after adjusting the driver seat to my driving distance.

If you’re a fan of monthly grocery shopping, the boot space is also one of the biggest I’ve seen on any sedan, big enough to fit 2 of me side by side while still having plenty of room to spare.

with Blue, and we made some simulated human-powered popcorns
with Blue, and we made some simulated human-powered popcorns

Other than the test drive, there were also several pretty fun activities that educate visitors about safety, fuel efficiency, Volkswagen’s distinct philosophy, the ‘Think Blue’ attitude, and innovations that go into making the Volkswagen fleet.

For example, one of the activities was a simulated human-powered popcorns, where we peddled for some fresh popcorns that actually turned out to be rather delicious!

learning more about VW, and driving the Golf GTI simulator
learning more about VW, and driving the Golf GTI simulator

Another one of my favorites was the Golf GTI simulator, a driving simulator rig with hydraulic force feedback set up and 3 big LCD TVs. It would be a really neat set up to have at home, and we each got to race the Golf GTI on a race track, almost as good as the real thing.

Golf GTI, Scirocco (I like!), and the ladys' favourite - Beetle
Golf GTI, Scirocco (I like!), and the ladies’ favourite – The Beetle 

Of course, there are the cars, Golf GTI, Golf TSI, Passat, Scirocco, and of course, the Beetle are all there for you to take a closer look and get the seats warm with your butt.

The next locations for Volkswagen on Tour is at the following locations, so do go and check it out!

  • 13 – 15 Dec 2013 Penang Queensbay Mall outdoor carpark
  • 20 – 22 Dec 2013 Perak UO Angsana
  • 27 – 29 Dec 2013 Penang Sunway Hotel carpark
  • 03 – 05 Jan 2014 Selangor Aeon Bukit Tinggi
  • 10 – 12 Jan 2014 Negeri Sembilan Port Dickson TF Value Mart
  • 17 – 19 Jan 2014 Melaka Mydin MITC outdoor carpark

For more info, check out www.volkswagenontour.com.my

One of the quintessential Malaysian breakfast is of course, nasi lemak, and sometimes nothing beats a good plate of nasi lemak with goreng ayam on a lazy weekend morning. I recently went to Ali, Muthu, and Ah Hock (AMAH) at Ara Damansara Oasis Square to try their version while having a chat with Colin, one of the co-owners of the restaurant.

Ali, Muthu, and Ah Hock (AMAH)
Ali, Muthu, and Ah Hock (AMAH)

The restaurant is located within Oasis Square, a place that starts to look like a very nice commercial area with ample parking, good pedestrian walking space, and many restaurant choices. AMAH is one of the more unique restaurants that serves local delights such as nasi lemak, mee rebus, roti jala, Hainanese chicken rice, and so forth.

None of the item on the menu exceeds RM 10.

nasi lemak ayam at AMAH
nasi lemak ayam at AMAH

The nasi lemak ayam (RM 9.50) comes with sambal, ikan bilis, kacang, a few slices of cucumber, fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk, and a full 1/4 fried chicken.

The rice was proper, and I was surprisingly impressed by the sambal and chicken as well, which was properly seasoned with a hint of tumeric and has a crispy skin while being juicy inside. A few asked how is this compared to the famous Village Park nasi lemak, and I’d say that they are on par, with AMAH offering a much more pleasant dining experience.

map to Oasis, Ara Damansara

Address:
Ali, Muthu and Ah Hock
Lot B-G-01, Oasis Square Ara Damansara, 
2, Jalan PJU 1A/7A, Petaling Jaya
GPS: 3.11352, 101.574612
Tel03-7832 3138

One of the men behind AMAH is as mentioned earlier, Colin Soh, born 1978, who is one of the prime examples of a Malaysian success story. An entrepreneur with a good vision, strong passion, and who are willing to work hard and get their hands dirty to build up their business.

Colin is co-owners the co-owner of several F&B businesses, including TDH, Hoofed, Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock Kopitiam (AMAH), and The Royal Flush.

Born and grew up in KL, Colin finished school locally before obtaining a degree in Marketing and Management with Middlesex University, UK. He then spent 3 months working at Leo Bernard before deciding to be an entrepreneur.

The first business started by Colin was actually a laundry back in 2002, with a lot of late nights, early mornings, detergent, and washing machine. It grew from a small shop to a commercial laundry factory, and by 2008, the business was sold and not long after that, TDH was born with a few other friends.

Like any other business, the F&B industry has its challenges. There are always new concepts and innovating ideas on the market. Colin and partner always try to be versatile by staying relevant with current environment and receptive to new ideas.

Other than the above mentioned restaurants, there’s also Crazy Crabs, a new restaurant that is currently being built as of writing, and a TDH flagship outlet in the pipeline.

Colin & KY
Colin & KY at Ali, Muthu, and Ah Hock

All these hard work and dedication has brought Colin and partners awards and recognitions as well. TDH has recently been named Winner of Best Pub Grub 2013 by the Time Out Food Awards. Apart from that, The Royal Flush was also nominated for both the Best New Restaurant and Best Chinese Restaurant, respectively.

In his free time, Colin likes going to gym, biking, running, and fishing.

You can find more inspiring stories like these at malaysiaresume.com, a site for contemporary Malaysian success stories.

A couple weeks ago I went back to Penang for a short stay, while I usually take every chance possible to catch up with Penang street foods, this time I decided to try something slightly different by going to the Hainanese Delights restaurant within 1926 Heritage Hotel on Burma Road (where I also spent the night, but that’ll be on another post)

chicken curry kapitan at Hainanese Delights, 1926 Heritage Hotel
chicken curry kapitan at Hainanese Delights, 1926 Heritage Hotel

The restaurant is actually operated by my friend’s dad since about 4-5 years ago. A true blue Hainanese family who follows the traditional recipes of the forefathers.

For the four of us, we started out with the chicken curry kapitan (RM 15) with some “Bengali roti”, the traditional Indian bread that’s has a crispy brown crust but super fluffy inside. The chicken peels off the bones easily, and the curry kapitan carries an intense flavor that goes very well with the equally fragrant bread, I can imagine having this as a great breakfast.

braised lamb with lady's fingers, lorbak & spring roll
braised lamb with lady’s fingers, lorbak & spring roll

Penang lorbak, or lohbak (RM 5.50 per roll) is usually made with pork, but as this is a pork free restaurant, they substitute it with chicken. I must admit that I had my doubts at first, but they’ve really done a fine job with the poultry and the result is a version of lorbak that live up to the reputation.

The spring roll (RM 5.50 per roll) here is another one of their best sellers, stuffed with crab meat and other ingredients. Dipping it with their specially mixed lea & perrins sauce that carries a hint of mustard resulting in a pretty complex and rather delicious appetiser that’s unlike your normal run off the mill spring rolls. This is something I’ll definitely order again.

Braised lamb with lady’s fingers (RM 20) consists of 5 slabs of tender New Zealand lamb covered in brown sauce that goes perfectly with those steamed okra. You can have it with some steamed rice, or perhaps, beer?

assam prawns, Hainanese fried mee
assam prawns, Hainanese fried mee

Assam prawns (RM 7.00 each, min 4) is more of a Nyonya dish than Hainanese (I cooked this too), but the chef did a fine job preparing this dish, though I thought it would be great if they serve it with some sambal.

Lastly, we also tried the Hainanese fried mee (RM 8.90) from the kitchen. A dish that can definitely stand on its own with a combination of vegetables, chicken, prawns, and a side of sambal with a kick.

These were just a small sample of what is offered at Hainanese Delights, other dishes include lobster thermidor, crab mornay, Hainanese mushroom soup, inchee kay bin, yam duck, lamb stew, lamb curry, and of course, their pretty famous Hainanese chicken rice (which I had to forgo trying due to schedule). I’m going to bring mom here next time I’m back!

wenqi and her pastries, tianchad & gf, KY & wenqi
wenqi and her awesome cakes, tianchad & gf, KY & wenqi

We ended the night with some cookies and cheese cakes made by WenQi. These are some really delicious cakes made with quality ingredients, and she is starting to sell them at the restaurant and on her own as well. Will update this space when that is ready!

Thank you WenQi and see you again!

map to 1926 Heritage Hotel, Penang

Address:
Hainanese Delights
1926 Heritage Hotel
227 Jalan Burma,
10050 Georgetown, Penang
GPS: 5.42415, 100.32063
Tel04-228 1926

Last week I managed to catch the Lipton Tea Bar Roadshow while they were at Ampang Park, the oldest shopping mall in the country, and also one of our regular lunch spots since my office is just a stone’s throw away.

Lipton Mobile Roadshow at Ampang Park
Lipton Tea Bar Roadshow at Ampang Park

It was this bright yellow Lipton truck with a line of people queuing up for a taste of some exciting Lipton Tea Twist drinks that is slightly away from the ordinary. Since my colleague and I had just finished lunch, it was the perfect timing.

The truck is actually the very first Lipton Tea Bar on the move in Malaysia!

the guys are so happy serving free iced tea to everyone
the guys are so happy serving free Lipton Tea Twist drinks to everyone

The teas served on the mobile tea bar aren’t your ordinary tea, but created with recipes from celebrity Chef Nik Michael Imran with Lipton Tea Bag and add in other simple home ingredients like oranges or lime!  You can easily replicate this drink at home! Its really a new way to enjoy Lipton Tea Bags! .

We tried the Honey Lemongrass Tea, Paradise Sunrise, and Mo-Tea-Jo. They were very refreshing and rather delicious to be honest. Perfect for hot sunny afternoon.

Check out facebook.com/LiptonMalaysia to see where the Lipton Tea Bar will be at and get yourself into the free tasting line!

we tried three different recipes that day
we tried three different recipes that day

However, if you want to try this at home, here are a couple recipes from Chef Nik you can try at home:

Paradise Sunrise (with lychee, my favorite)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Lipton Yellow Label teabag
  • 5 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 tablespoon lychee juice
  • 3 teaspoon sugar
  • 75ml hot water
  • ice cubes

Instructions:

  • brew teabag with boiled water for 3-5 minutes
  • add sugar and stir till dissolve
  • add some ice to chill the tea mixture, then add in orange juice and lychee juice, stir well
  • garnish with orange slices and lychee pieces

my colleague Shabana & I were grateful for the thirst quenchers
my colleague Shabana & I were grateful for the thirst quenchers

Honey Lemongrass Tea

Ingredients:

  • 1 Lipton Yellow Label teabag
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 2 medium sized lemongrass
  • 100ml hot water
  • ice cubes

Instructions:

  • crush & boil lemongrass in water for 3 minutes
  • steep teabag in lemongrass water for 5 minutes, squeeze & discard
  • add in honey & stir well
  • to serve hot, add an equal portion of hot water. To serve cold, pour tea over a glass filled with ice