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F1 season is dawn upon us again, and last in conjunction with the Formula 1 race at Sepang International Circuit, PETRONAS Motorsport put up a show at KLCC area for the racing fans a weekend prior.

I was lucky enough to be invited as a member of media to this prestigious event and got to meet Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg up close and personal yet again!

PETRONAS F1 Demo Run, 2014
PETRONAS F1 Demo Run, 2014

The roads outside KLCC was cordoned off with hospitality tent and spectator stands set up just for this event. If you’re a petrol head, this was something that you would absolutely love.

For those who are familiar with F1′s new regulation going with the 1.6 turbo engine for the 2014 season, this event was also one of the last chances to witness and to hear the high revving engine of the F1 racing car’s engine from 2013. It was absolutely thrilling and ear-drum shattering experience.

the 2013 Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 race car being prep
the 2013 Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 race car being prep

The event started with track inspection by drivers and riders while the technical team gets busy preparing the racing cars and bikes. The F1 car in a beautiful machine if you ever get to see one up close and personal. Every piece of body work serves a purpose, giving the car more downforce, dispersing heat, and so forth.

Stunt show by Aaron Twite and Nick Brocher
Stunt show by Aaron Twite and Nick Brocher

The first show that came on was the stunt riding by Aaron Twite and Nick Brocher.

They could do things on bikes I wouldn’t even dare on bicycle. The two experts did plenty of wheelies, stoppies, making donuts, and even standing on top of their heavily modified Triumph Speed Triple’s fuel tanks.

It was an awesome show of talent. I was very impressed.

Safety Car demo run
Mercedes DTM safety car demo

Next up was the Mercedes DTM safety car heading out on the street. While technically not a racing car, this is still a mean machine capable of exhilarating speed with an impressive exhaust note. I love the livery of Syntium gold with PETRONAS green.

The DTM car was driven by Daniel Juncadella, and a few lucky participant got a taxi ride in it too. I can only imagine the G force that machine can pull.

PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix bikes
PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix bikes

On two wheels, we had PETRONAS AAM Malaysian Cub Prix Championship bikes doing their rounds. They include PETRONAS Yamaha riders such as Md Affendi Rosli, Shariffudin Shamsuddin, Ahmad Fazli Sham, Abdul Muhaimin Roslan, Md Izrul Huzaimie Amran, and Md Azam Omar.

These are the names that could rise up the rank to compete in bigger cc bike categories in the future.

Pillion Ride session with professional rider Shahrol Yuzy
Pillion Ride session with professional rider Shahrol Yuzy

They said lighting doesn’t strike the same place twice, but I was lucky enough to be chosen as a pillion rider again (I did  last year too!).

Shahrol Yuzy was yet again our rider. We donned full leather and complete safety gears, then hang on to dear life while Shahrol rode the 600cc Supersport Yamaha bike up to 210 km/h right in front of KLCC.

There were light rain last year and I think we went a bit slower, the condition this year was perfect so he went all out. I sweated a bucket load, but the experience was awesome!

Asia Cup series race car
Asia Cup series race car & F1 drivers taxi ride

Another racing vehicle that got on the road was the Asia Cup series race car. That “baby F1″ machine was not any less impressive.

A few lucky guys, including my buddy Willy, got to be passengers in taxi rides driven by Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton in Mercedes A45 AND Mercedes A250 respectively as well. It was surely an experience of a life time.

Nico and Lewis also demonstrated the F1 routine in PETRONAS PRIMAX fuelling session, the only time we get to see this up close and personal with KLCC as the backdrop.

Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, after demo run with F1 race car
Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton, after demo run with F1 race car

The two professional drivers then showcased their skills on the F1 race car as well, racing down Jalan Ampang in front of KLCC and burning tyres doing spins right at the intersection of Jalan Ampang and Jalan P. Ramlee. An impressive sight to say the least.

Lewis Hamilton introduced as PETRONAS Primax's Technical Performance Consultant
Lewis Hamilton introduced as PETRONAS Primax’s Technical Performance Consultant

At the event, Lewis Hamilton was also announced as PETRONAS Primax’s Technical Performance Consultant. In this role, Hamilton, together with his team of experts will provide input to the PETRONAS team to continue innovate PETRONAS PRIMAX to deliver greater efficiency and performance.

PETRONAS PRIMAX fuel is the result of the knowledge, technology and innovation obtained through the PETRONAS Fluid Technology SolutionsTM (FTS), a formula that maximises engine performance, available at over 1000 PETRONAS stations nationwide.

It was safe to say that the drivers had a great week in Malaysia, as they ended up finishing One-Two in  Malaysia Grand Prix!

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For those who loves classic Hokkien dishes, Hua Xing would be a  place you shouldn’t miss. For reasons unknown, I didn’t know the existence of this place until very recently, despite staying rather close to the area and actually visited the police station just across this restaurant for “official business“, furthermore, Sing Kee is also one of the restaurants we frequent.

Restaurant Hua Xing at Sungai Way, Petaling Jaya
Restaurant Hua Xing at Sungai Way, Petaling Jaya

Most of it though, has to do with the location of this place. Situated on the first floor of a fantastically planned shopping strip that is Plaza Seri Setia (conveniently situated behind a row of shop houses), it is but 50 meters from Federal Highway, but well hidden enough that you’d never find Carmen Sandiego if he take up residence in this building.

Anyway, the restaurant has a pretty clean, air conditioned interior, with photos of various dishes plastered on the wall, which was helpful. Food arrived in less than 10 minutes after we ordered, definitely a good thing.

Hokkien braised pork with "alkaline" kuih
Hokkien braised pork with “alkaline” kuih, or Hong Bak in Hokkien

I’m ashamed to be a Hokkien for not having heard about Hong Bak before, and how insanely awesome this dish is. Really fat cuts of pork braised in thick, sinful gravy accompanied with soft “alkaline” kuih. The kuih is like a softer version of char kuih kak’s kuih, and really goes well with the gravy. Of course, those fatty pork doesn’t hurt at all. I love it.

bitter gourd Hokkien mee, potato flour noodle, fried eggplant, rice wine chicken
bitter gourd Hokkien mee, potato flour noodle, fried eggplant, rice wine chicken

Another notable dish here is the fried eggplant. It reminds me of the version at Serai which I loved, both are deep fried, one with sugar (Serai), and another with plenty of garlic. Very delicious and positively addictive, I will order this every time I’m here.

The bitter gourd Hokkien mee is a nice change from the ordinary version which can be a tad “jelak” after having the 2nd bowl. The slight bitterness from the vege neutralize the dark sauce in a positive way, I like it.

Potato flour noodle was a bit of a disappointment for us, a bit too dry for my liking, and doesn’t offer any advantage in taste either.

The rice wine (or actually red yeast) chicken was another old school dish that we tried, it could do better with heavier dose of red wine/yeast thingy but the dish held its own nonetheless. It’d be better with rice, we had noodle, so a bit of mismatched there.

Yuki, Horng, Suan, and KY
Yuki, Horng, Suan, and KY at Hua Xiang, Sungei Way

Over all, the dinner at Hua Xing was a positive one. I believe we’ll definitely head back there again. I only wish that the parking situation is a bit more favourable though.

map to Hua Xing at Sungai Way

Address:
Hua Xiang Restaurant
Lot1-12, 1st Floor, 
Plaza Seri Setia, 
Jalan SS9/2, Seri Setia, 
Sungei Way,
47300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor
GPS3.085874, 101.62023
Tel03-7876 3288
Hours: lunch and dinner, closed on alternate Wednesdays

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It is 2014, the year of FIFA World Cup. The good thing – awesome football action participated by 32 countries in the world. The not so great thing – you have to stay up all night catching the best actions. The greatest thing – you can actually win a trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and watch the game in person!

win a trip to world cup 2014

Now personally I’ve gone through a lot of online competitions, many of them requires a hand eye coordination practise that you’ll never use again, or requires taking photos of yourself in silly costume/situations/poses that you might not want anyone else to see 5 years later.

But this one, is different.VISA’s new 2014 FIFA World Cup Financial football game is something else altogether. It is actually a game that is educational, fun, and rewarding all at the same time.

Before we start, lets ask the most important question.

Visa Financial prizes

So what you can stand to win? That’s the ultimate question isn’t it?

Well, here’s what the Grand Prize includes:

  • round-trip coach class air transportation between Kuala Lumpur and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • participation in a four-day, three-night hospitality program
  • two category two tickets to see a FIFA World Cup in Brazil
  • one US$300 Visa prepaid money card.

The 2nd to 5th placed finalists will each win Sony and Adidas merchandise.

The 6th to 10th placed finalists will each win an Adidas merchandise pack.

On top of that, the entry with the highest score each week will win an BSN Premium Savings certificate (BSN Sijil Simpanan Premium) worth RM1,000.

I hope I captured your attention.

The game itself is fairly straight forward, and I think, rather quite ingenious.

2014 FIFA World Cup Financial football game

  • step 1: visit http://bit.ly/VisaFFMY
  • step 2: register and login
  • step 3: click on “Play The Game” and select “Single Player”
  • step 4: ready to start the game
  • step 5: select question difficulty: Hard, Medium, or Easy
  • step 6: answer the questions correctly to advance
  • step 7: score to win
  • step 8: post your score

2014 FIFA World Cup Financial football game

I actually learned quite a lot from the questions, such as the meaning of being a “good credit risk”, or how to minimize interests while paying down multiple credits, just to name two.

There’s also a time factor in this game, the faster you answer, the more goals you can score, and thus, more points!

Here’s the scoring matrix:

Financial Football scoring matrix

The contest is on-going and will last until 16 April 2014, so start playing now! The top ten scorers will be invited to compete at the Grand Final on 23 April for a chance to win the trip to Brazil.

To learn more about personal finance, which not only will help you score better in this game, but most importantly, managing your money better in real life, VISA partners with consumer advocates, educators, and financial institutions to develop the Practical Money Skills program.

Check out practicalmoneyskills.com and whatsmyscore.org where you can find great educational resources related to the topic that will help increase your knowledge and awareness, and perhaps send you on a trip to Brazil!

So,  head to http://bit.ly/VisaFFMY and play the game today!

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A few weeks ago I was approached by Patrick of Greenroom 136 to be in a video that features their new W?ldcard street messenger bag. I bought and have been using a W?ldcard for some two years now and really liked the bag, so I thought why not?

greenroom136 with Patrick
Patrick, founder of Greenroom 136

For those who have never heard about this brand before, Greenroom 136 design and manufacture urban city bags right here in Malaysia.

Their product range includes messenger bag, sling bag, backpacks, and some accessories. Since they’re made right here in Malaysia, you can even customize some bags with unique color combination of your choice. Quality is top notch and I think a lot of thoughts has been put into designing the bags.

If you think everything is made in China these days, look at this.

Check out greenroom136.com, you can purchase Greenroom 136 bags online or at several resellers in Selangor, Penang, and Sabah.

Thanks for the video Patrick.

p/s: This is not an advertorial, I just really like to see success home grown Malaysian businesses.

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Every once in a while, it is good to take a little half day road trip to get away from the city and explore what some of the smaller towns has to offer. A few weekends ago, when the city is again covered with haze and heat, we decided to head to Bentong for a mini food trail and to bask ourselves in the surrounding with slower pace of life.

Bentong, Pahang
Bentong, Pahang

Bentong is located on the West side of Pahang, and only about 33 kilometers from the exit to Genting on the Karak highway. From KL, the journey will take about an hour.

The entire district has a population of about 100 thousand, but on weekends, there are also visitors on big bikes and city dwellers looking to buy the famous Bentong ginger. In between those group, there’s yours truly looking to fill up his stomach.

Hooi Kee wantan mee at Yuen Kee kopitiam
Hooi Kee wantan mee at Yuen Kee kopitiam

Our first stop was Yuen Kee kopitiam, we chose this as it was the busiest breakfast outlet among the few we walked by around the wet market.

Without knowing what to eat, we again used the golden rule of “picking the  busiest stall” and ordered a couple bowls of wantan mee (RM 4.50) from Hooi Kee. As it turned out, this is actually the most famous hawker stall in Bentong.

sauce not overly sweet, and the wantan was delicious
sauce not overly sweet, and the wantan was delicious

The texture of noodle was pretty springy but not chewy, and I particularly liked their wantan that is packed with pork. The dark sauce carries a slight bitter taste which I find myself enjoying, but the charsiu (bbq pork) was rather average compared to some of the places in KL.

Be prepared to share table and wait for at least 10-15 minutes before food arrives.

Address:  Yuen Kee restaurant, No. 57, Jalan Chui Yin, 28700, Bentong, Pahang
GPS3.523174, 101.907015
Tel012-946 8406
Hours: breakfast and brunch

the yong tau foo stall at choy kee kopitiam
the yong tau foo stall at choy kee kopitiam

After the wantan mee, we decided to try something that is a bit more special – wild boar curry.

Wild boar isn’t something that is easily attainable in Klang Valley. The meat is usually slightly tougher and more gamey, so the most poplar method of preparation is usually curry. The stronger flavour of spices and longer cooking masks the stronger pork taste while tenderises the meat.

wild boar curry with chee cheong fun and yong tau foo
wild boar curry with chee cheong fun and yong tau foo

We ordered a piece of chee cheong fun and two pieces yong tau foo to go with the wild boar curry (RM 4). There’s generous amount of sesame and sweet sauce covering the yong tau foo, and best of all, there’s even sambal belacan on the side.

I enjoyed this dish a lot, and discovered that wild boar curry really does go very well with chee cheong fun.

Address: Choy Kee Restaurant, Jalan Pasar & Jalan Chang Seng, 28700, Bentong, Pahang
GPS: 3.522082, 101.906792
Hours: breakfast and brunch

kedai kopi kow po, more ice cream than coffee
kedai kopi kow po, more ice cream than coffee

After two main dishes, it was natural to get some desserts in the system. For this purpose, Bentong has an old school home-made ice cream parlour by the name of Kedai Kopi Kow Po.

We shared an ice kacang with asingle scoup of  home-made pandan ice cream, the shaved ice had all the traditional ingredients going for it – the black jelly, cendol, red bean, corn, and even pineapple. The ice cream was creamy and rather delicious too. I can see why this place has been in business for decades.

ice kacang with home made ice cream, delicious
ice kacang with home made ice cream, delicious

AddressKow Po Ice Cream, No. 2, Bentong Heights, 28700 Bentong, Pahang
GPS3.522107, 101.910755
Tel: 09-222 1258
Hours: 10 am to 7 pm daily

map to Bentong food

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