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I grew up in the era before internet was a thing, and back in those days, shopping usually means heading out to the mall (Komtar in Penang in our case), walk around and hunt for the best deals, and possibly asking the salesperson on the features and specifications of the items we wanted to purchase. It was hard work.

And if you are those who wants to get the most bang for your bucks, it meant asking around different shops, waiting for sales period, or even collecting paper coupons.

Well, those were the days. Now we have click on the computer/smart phone, and things appear in our front door a few days later. I love the 21st century.

rakuten malaysia

Now of course there are many places to shop online, but it is always wise to choose one based on the these few points (personally I think so anyway)

  • Reputable
  • Local (saves on shipping, easier returns if needed)
  • Good Deals

Rakuten Malaysia was launched in Malaysia in November 2012, just a little over 3 years ago, and to be honest, I actually purchased a Komine riding pants from the international site before the Malaysian version was launched. The process was simple and reliable then, it is even better now with the local site.

5x points everyday at Rakuten

We already know the reputation of Rakuten and that it is a Malaysian site, so today, we look at the deals offered here – the Rakuten Super Points.

how does point works at Rakuten

What is Rakuten Super Point and how does it work?

Well, every purchase you get from Rakuten now awards 5x points, which directly translate to a 5% savings to be used on the subsequent purchases. Very straightforward.

Additionally, on Wednesday, if you have a MasterCard, use it to get additional 5% off your goodies.

bike accessory shop on Rakuten

For example, I am researching for motorcycle riding gear and hop on to G7 bike store on Rakuten. Here they have helmet, bikeware, gloves, rainwear, shoes, and more, which is pretty neat and rather useful for me.

komine jackets on Rakuten

Maybe it’s time for me to get another jacket to supplement the current one (sometimes it rains and I’m out of luck the next day while waiting for the jacket to dry). G7 carries Komine, and if I get JK-063, here’s the savings:

  • purchase on Wednesday and use MasterCard (5%) and pay only RM 1007
  • get RM 50 via 5x points
  • total savings of RM 103!

You can be smart about it and separate your purchase into two batches to use the points immediately, or saves them up to be used at a later point. It’s really up to you.

rakuten coupons every weekends

But wait, remember the coupon thingy we talked about earlier? Instead of cutting it from magazine, just check out Rakuten every weekends for one that you can use. For example, at the time of writing, there’s a RM 5 coupon. Paste in the code during checkout get RM 5 off.

If you haven’t come across Rakuten Malaysia yet, go check it out now, there bound to be stuff you need in their vast catalogue. Sign up and enjoy these great deals.

P/S: this is a sponsored post by Rakuten Malaysia

In a blink of an eye we are approaching the end of yet another year, X’mas is coming up pretty soon, and for those of us who are trying to have a healthier lifestyle, this period can sometimes be a challenge.

my home cooked meals
my home cooked meals

Coupled with having recently moved to a new place in Shah Alam, we’ve also been cooking more and hosting friends over for house warming parties, which translates to more food that we love, and sometimes they aren’t exactly the best in terms of nutrition, as I have a natural tendency to put taste as my key priority.

I actually do like this taste of apple + banana
I actually do like the combined taste of apple + banana

Which brings us to the benefit of having a balanced digestive system with good gut bacteria that helps the internal functions of our body – something NESTLÉ BLISS Yogurt Drinks fits in. The number one yogurt drink brand in Malaysia is made with real fruit juice with no artificial coloring, those are certainly the plus points I liked, furthermore, and perhaps and most importantly, there’s live cultures in every bottle (not the one that paints or give live performances, but of the microbiological type that helps digestion).

nestle bliss
instead of bringing wine to a party, what about Bliss?

For this X’mas season, NESTLÉ BLISS has introduced the new limited edition Apple Banana flavors that comes in a beautiful packaging that befits the holiday spirit. I gave it a try and I must admit that while I thought the mixture of these two fruits (they’re not even from the same temperature zone) sounds a little weird to start with, it actually blends perfectly well together and gave it a unique fruity sweetness that I find myself enjoying it.

instead of bringing wine to a party, what about a Bliss?
NESTLÉ BLISS with its greeting tag

This limited edition NESTLÉ BLISS also comes with a gift sleeve, making it a fitting gift option as well. Instead of bringing a bottle of wine or other drinks, why not half a dozen healthy yogurt drinks to a party? We don’t have to be associating holiday season with over eating or even hangover, staying healthy is the way to go!

Enjoy A Blissful Celebration With The New Nestle Bliss Limited Edition Apple Banana
Enjoy A Blissful Celebration With The New
Nestle Bliss Limited Edition Apple Banana

For more information on NESTLÉ BLISS, check out their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/NestleBliss/

Happy Holidays!

Padlocks, an essentials in our day to day life, has been around for a long time. In fact, padlocks were used in Roman Era as well as Han Dynasty close to 2000 years ago. To many of us, it symbolizes protection and safety.

Pont des Arts at Paris, and Penang Hill love locks
Pont des Arts at Paris, and Penang Hill love locks

Since 2008, padlocks engraved with names of love ones were attached on Pont des Arts bridge in Paris with the keys thrown as a symbol of love and commitment. Up north here in Malaysia, we have the same practice found on the top of Penang Hill as well.

Zurich Love Lock Sculpture outside Fahrenheit 88
Zurich Love Lock Structure outside Fahrenheit 88

For those of us who are in Klang Valley, Zurich installed a love structure right in the heart of KL for us to do the same. The structure is located right in front of Uniqlo at Fahrenheit 88, you can’t miss it.

put your love lock on the sculpture
put your love lock on the structure

Now instead of showing care and love between partners, the #ProtectTrueLove structure, as it is called, represents everything you truly love, this can be everything and everyone you love, be it your newborn, your parents, siblings, a car, your pet, anything.

I got cendawan’s name on the padlock up there, try to find it if you are there putting on your own locks!

the virtual love lock at http://protecttruelove.com
the virtual love lock at http://protecttruelove.com

In conjunction with the installation of the structure, Zurich also came up with a digital platform for you to share your stories about love ones on protecttruelove.com . Even better, this is actually a contest with prizes to be won.

The mechanic is simple:

  • Visit protecttruelove.com
  • Customise virtual locks by inserting two names and a date.
  • Upload up to 3 photos of their loved ones & write a short description (not more than 1,000 characters) on what #ProtectTrueLove means.
  • Fill in personal information & submit contest entry.

Check out the example below shared by one of the participants on her relationship with mom, heart warming.

what does ProtectTrueLove means to you?
what does ProtectTrueLove means to you?

Best of all, there are following prizes to be won:

  • Grand Prize: Travel Voucher Worth RM5,000.00
  • Second Prize: iPhone 6s X 2 (RM3,200.00 each)
  • Third Prize: RM500 Cash X 10
  • Consolation Prize: Zurich Merchandises X 100

So head to protecttruelove.com now to share your stories, and don’t forget to check out the structure as well!

We recently moved to our new house in Shah Alam, a place we put in a lot of effort into making it the way we want – with a bigger kitchen & living area, a loft for Haze to do her painting, and even a small pool and koi pond with wooden decking by the small strip of land on the side.

zen moment
zen moment with rubber ducky

The move actually contributes to a bit of a change to our lifestyle. From eating out almost every meal, we now find ourselves cooking and preparing food at home quite a fair bit more. This is due to both the location being slightly further away from our usual food hunting ground, the availability of better cooking space, and most importantly, a much nicer place to chill and enjoy eating in.

pour in hot water, stir, and you've got a cup of classic
pour in hot water, stir, and you’ve got a cup of classic

Which brings us to one of the essentials in every home – coffee, and particularly instant coffee that I can literally just prepare in a minute. And when it comes to instant coffee, OLDTOWN White Coffee is a name most everyone in the country recognizes.

Originated from the historic town of Ipoh, OLDTOWN is one of the earliest brands of white coffee I came across. The coffee is roasted with a careful blend of Arabica, Robusta and Liberica beans to ensure every cup is full-bodied, smooth, and creamy, getting as close as possible to those you will get from the good old fashion coffee shops in the olden day Ipoh.

In fact, the OLDTOWN white coffee you get to a is a still being crafted with the same tried and true recipe since it was first introduced. After all, why stray away from what is already proven?

five flavors of OLDTOWN white coffee, what's your flavor?
five flavors of OLDTOWN white coffee, what’s your flavor?

The OLDTOWN White Coffee product available in Malaysia includes:

  • OLDTOWN White Coffee 3 In 1 Classic
  • OLDTOWN White Coffee 3 In 1 Hazelnut
  • OLDTOWN White Coffee 3 In 1 Natural Cane Sugar
  • OLDTOWN White Coffee 3 In 1 Less Sugar
  • OLDTOWN White Coffee 2 In 1 Coffee & Creamer

The classic is the best seller, and it is easy to see why. The classic is smooth, flavorful, and tastes pretty much like those you have at the outlet, relaxing on the deck with a cup of steaming classic is a bliss. For those who likes it with less sugar or only creamer, as well as cane sugar, there’re such options too, and if you like your coffee a bit more “modern”, the hazelnut variant should not disappoint.

I am happy that OLDTOWN is able to bring the local heritage and packaged it with such convenience, would have been nice if we had this when I was studying overseas over a decade ago. The mat salleh type of brewed coffee that is sometimes sourish was never really my type of taste, having these available then would have made home felt closer, the impact would have been even more if you consider how less connected the world was back then.

Growing up, I have always have a keen interest in watching cooking shows and cooking competitions, and among the personalities I was familiar with on TV, Chef Wan has always stood out as the one true Malaysian hero who tirelessly promote Malaysian cuisine. I mean, there are plenty chefs out there who are good at various types of international food, but how many of them can truly represent Malaysia on the international level?

Well, on the 31st of October, 2015, I got the honor of working with the one and only Chef Wan on the same panel of judges in The Star R.AGE’s first ever Food Fight. It was a bit of a dream came true moment for me, a tick off the bucket list that I never even dared pen in.

Rage Food Fight, published on 17/11/2015
R.AGE Food Fight finale, published on 17/11/2015

The article of the finale came out on the newspaper on the 17/11/2015, if you have a copy at hand, do read, otherwise head to http://rage.com.my/foodfight for the articles online.

Over here I just want to jot down the experience I had on the event, just so that I can re-read this space in years to come.

the dishes prepared by the contestants
the dishes prepared by the contestants

The competition was fairly straight forward, each contestants had some 15 minutes to present their food and show it to the judges. After that we were served the very same dishes and comment on them.

Judging was based on a mixture of “personality”, taste, and presentation.

The dishes created by the contestants were actually pretty interesting:

  • Nurilkarim Razha – Baked fish with prawn otak-otak mousseline served with ulam pesto and paku salad
  • Ahong Yeang – Roasted chicken with coconut gravy, served with a side of ulam rice and long beans and offals
  • Li-Anne Kuek – Pumpkin & walnut loaf with white chocolate & pumpkin ganache, honeycomb, yogurt sorbet & milk crumb
  • Kelly Siew – Garlic prawn tart with pineapple and tomato chutney
  • Ashley Pan – Tuna and watermelon tartare served with basil ice cream

The presentations were very good, and the taste department too mostly quite interesting. My favorite was the blend of local ingredients with modern touch in Nuril’s dish, with Ahong’s chicken in close second. As for the delivery, Ahong was the most entertaining, with Li-Anne sounding most professional, and Nuril being most balanced.

Nuril was crowned as the winner
Nuril was crowned as the winner

At the end, after tallying up the score sheet with a bit of final discussions among the judges, Nuril emerged as the first Food Fighter by unanimous decision.

He was basically the “complete package” and the one who did the best on the day overall. I was also happy that a fellow Penangite took the crown as well, and it was well deserved.

what an honor to work alongside my hero in Malaysian cuisine - Chef Wan
what an honor to work alongside my hero in Malaysian cuisine – Chef Wan

It was an interesting experience for me being on a panel with fellow judges whom all have much higher qualifications in doing this than me. Le Cordon Bleu Malaysia master chef Rodolphe Onno was very professional and direct, Chef Tan Chung Liang, a new comer in the scene had proper professional training, Darren Chin, owner of the highly-rated DC Restaurant definitely had a taste for fine foods, and of course, Chef Wan needs no introduction.

Thank you, The Star, for the opportunity.