I remember the first time I set foot at my car mechanic’s workshop, plastered on the entrance of their office was the following line:
“Life is full of choices, take off your shoes before entering, or mop the floor”
That was a lighthearted instruction/joke, but if you think about it, life is indeed full of choices that we must make every single day. Many of them are small, but some are big and can have huge impacts or long term consequences.
Celine & Kimberly holding the Life-O-Meter signs
Joyce, Kim, yours truly, a few other bloggers, and a whole group of attendees were invited to the launch of Great Eastern’s Life-O-Meter Facebook application at Paradox Art Cafe on the 10th this month.
More on Life-O-Meter in just a bit.
Dato Koh Yaw Hui, Director and CEO (right) and Nicholas Kua, Chief Marketing Officer
officially launched the Life-O-Meter application
The emcee of the night was Hanson, who kicked started the night by calling An Honest Mistake, a popular local band to rock the house. This was followed by the launch of Life-O-Meter application by Dato Koh Yaw Hui, Director and CEO (right) and Nicholas Kua, Chief Marketing Officer.
An Honest Mistake rocked the house, and we had dinner too
Dato Koh then explained the aim of Life-O-Meter as a platform to inspire and help people to live healthier and better by encouraging the sharing of preference and opinions through the use of Social Media.
Dinner was served right after that, and I must say that the buffet dishes at Paradox Art Cafe was actually pretty decent. Joyce had second servings too, if I remember correctly 😀
Joyce, myself, and Kimberly had a short Q&A on the stage
Joyce, Kimberly, and I then shared the stage with Hanson in a Q&A session that exemplifies the theme – choices. I remember all three of us picked “Live To Eat” instead of “Eat To Live” when asked about our choice under “food” theme. It was a pretty short session and we had fun.
Home and How To page of the application
Now, what is Life-O-Meter?
It is very simple, really. Life-O-Meter is an application that calls for action “Like, Post, Share”, or LPS. Go to the LoM application on Facebook, check out the current week’s question and like one of the two choices by clicking on either the blue or red thumbs up.
Once you do that, share your reason of picking that choice to your Facebook friends. There will be a different question each week, and the Life-O-Meter will swing to the answer picked by most users (either blue or red)
Weekly Meter and Winners List pages
To make it more exciting, there’re prizes to be won as well. Weekly cash prize of RM 100 will be determined by Great Eastern’s panel of judges (no need for trying to get votes), and for the month of December, there is also a grand prize of either
4D/3N Bali trip
4D/3N Kota Kinabalu Park and Island Snorkeling Trip
I’ve never seen a grand prize that the winner actually gets to choose, but again, this is what Life-O-Meter is about, choices!
OK guys, it’s time to talk about bak kut teh again, one of my favorite Malaysian food of all time. Today’s bak kut teh is Mo Sang Kor at Taman Berkeley (the branch that is closer for us PJ folks).
bak kut teh naturally goes with a pot of good tea
Mo Sang Kor is one of the older bak kut teh establishments, and instead of the usual clay pot with everything in it serving, they do things slightly different here. You order the type of cut you want, and each type is served in a single serving bowl, usually with the meat/innards, a mushroom, a bulb of garlic, and of course, bak kut teh soup.
Most uniquely, you aren’t allowed to ask for additional soup here. What you are served is what you get. This is because the bak kut teh soup here boiled together with the meat and herbs over long hours and is super concentrated.
we had six types of bak kut teh meat/innards
Small price to pay for that really aromatic and thickest bak kut teh soup I’ve ever tasted. You will learn to appreciate the broth in smaller doses here, they are fantastic.
As there were six of us, we ordered 6 portions of different items that day. There were big bone (“tai kuat”), 3-layer pork belly, pork knuckle, spare ribs, ribs, and intestines. The meat were properly cooked and so tender they fall off from the bones easily, you could almost chew them down without dentures.
If you plan a visit to Mo Sang Kor, make sure you get there early so that you get to choose from different cuts of meat. By brunch time, all that’s left might be only lean meat.
Kim, Kerol, Horng (ya dude enjoyed the soup), Yuki, KY, and Haze
Price wise, they are competitive to Klang’s standard. Everything comes out to around RM 12 per person including rice and tea.
If you are a bak kut teh soup lover who places emphasis on quantity, don’t go there, but if you love quality and could live with rather low volume of fantastic bak kut teh soup, this is a place you should check out.
Address: Restaurant Mo Sang Kor 41, Jalan Bangau, Taman Berkeley, 41150 Klang, Selangor GPS: 3.060285, 101.464983 Tel: 019-272 7728
After the xmas eve party at my place, the very next day we headed to Gareth and Kim’s for a big feast. We were promised a home cooked dinner by Kim, but boy were we surprised by what was in store for us.
The dinner was for some 2 dozen people, but I believe there were enough food to feed at least two rugby teams, including reserves!
the dinner schedule, check out how many dishes here
First, just look at the schedule above to get an indication of the work needed for this epic dinner. Preparation actually started more than a day in advance (for the food alone), and longer if you count in buying groceries, gifts, and extra table/chairs for everyone.
chicken with pigs in blanket, bread, and cocktail shrimp
The photos you see here are some 70% of the dishes served, there are some that somehow escaped the lens. As far as I remember, here are what we were served:
2x roast chicken with lotsa pigs in blanket
bread roast in pork lard
3 x pork loin
3 full racks of pork ribs
2 types of potato
3 types of salad
3 types of salad
3 types of desserts
the super excellent pork loin and ribs
It was impossible to pick a favorite, everything were awesome. I can make use of some ribs and pork loin right now (or anytime) for sure!
Recipes of some of these dishes can be found at http://www.kimberlycun.com/category/homemade-recipes/
Kim includes photos of each step for her recipe too, super easy to follow. This entry is on the pork ribs we were served, I believe.
salad, couscous, and more
In the original schedule, apple crumble was supposed to come out at 8:45, but thanks to everyone being overfed with all these awesome dishes, desserts didn’t make their way out until 11:45 pm.
Of course, nobody complained, 3 more hours to digest is a good thing. 😀
seafood bisque and desserts
As with the slightly more mature theme this year, no one passed out from drinking too much, though many almost have a coma from all the food.
we were all very well fed at the end of the night
At the end of the night, Gareth & Kim played Santa & Santarina and distributed carefully chosen gifts to everyone. That was especially a sweet touch, thanks guys, and lets do this again next year and every year.
The first xmas eve party that I hosted was all the way back in 2005, which actually didn’t feel at all like it was already 6 years ago, with everyone still talking about Douglas’s epic puke fest after having one drink too many.
After last year’s absence (we spent xmas eve at Suan’s), the 5th installment of xmas eve party at my place resumes, and this time around we decided to have it back to basic – without the buffet line, satay man, or sponsored beer.
A big thank you to everyone who shows up, and even bigger thank you to those who brought alcohol and home made red velvet cupcake (Lainey) to share.
Lance, Melissa, Michael (yep 2 of them), Li Ling, Lainey, Aaron, Zach, Vinn, Pearl, Derek, Celine, Yuki.
Eiling & KY; Lance & Melissa, FA, Michael & Li Ling; Michael & Ringo
Unlike previous year’s crazy binge drinking style, this seems to be the year where everyone sorta take things slightly more maturely. Everyone was just having a good time, sipping some single malt whisky or having a cold one.
No, there is no beer bong this year, and if you want to look at pictures of people passing out, I’ll have to disappoint too. Some might say this is a sign of old age, hmmmm…
The gift exchange part tho, was as fun as ever. Every year we had this rule, and I highly recommend that you do the same for your xmas gift exchange. I initially got this from working at Unisys in Cincinnati (man that was over 10 years ago)
every participant contribute a gift, 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 cannot snatch a gift that was in your possession before
Gift exchange was again the highlight of the night – best was the 1kg bacon
In essence, having the last number usually means you get to pick anything that’s opened, with only one unknown gift. However, even the last person can get his/her gift snatched if she (A) snatched B, then B snatched C, but C can actually snatch back A’s gift.
Loads of fun, try it.
The most snatched gift this year was from Lance & Horng – who contributed a whole 1 KG bacon and a small water feature thing. Those gifts exchange hands at least half a dozen times.
The funniest gift tho was from Robb, and drew by Kerol (after what she chose initially got snatched) – two bundle of bananas!
fire works; Gareth telling stories; bacon; Kim & Michael
I prepared a bit of BBQ (20 wings, some sausages) for those who happened to be hungry, Lainey brought her home made red velvet cakes (super yummy!), and at the end of the night we bbq some bacon too.
And no, this year we did not have any cops coming to end the party. Now that’s a first.
Several weeks ago I braved the rush hour traffic and got myself to Changkat Bukit Bintang, a place I wouldn’t normally go during rush hours thanks to the horrible traffic situation and exuberant parking fees. That night, however, I had an invitation from Racks Bar & Baby Backs for a food review session.
More importantly, there was promise of good pork, and a lot of them.
Racks at Changkat Bukit Bintang
The setup at Racks is much like many other bars and eateries at Changkat Bukit Bintang – hip interior, a bar stocked full of all sorts of alcohol, alfresco as well as airconditioned dining area, and decorated by expatriate diners.
If the decoration of this place brings a sense of deja vu to you, it was probably because Racks is run by Paul James, the guy who is also behindThe Magnificent Fish and Chips just a few doors down.
pigs in blanket, oyster with ham, peaches and parma ham
Anyway, lets look at the food.
We started out of course, with some pork laden appetizers. Pigs in blanket (meat in prosciutto, RM 24), oyster with ham (seafood in prosciutto, RM 32), and peaches with parma ham (peaches n parma RM 22).
All three involves parma ham, and all delicious in its own way. My favorite was naturally, the raw oyster which carries a punch with those pepper. The combination with the saltiness of parma, hotness of paper, and freshness of oyster worked well. Beats oyster with lemon anytime.
cold cuts platter
This cold cuts platter promises plenty of meat with jam, in house mustards, pickles, and freshly baked bread for the price of RM 54. The dish reminds me of the cold cuts I had at El Meson in Bangsar, but instead of the more common winter melon, the pairing of jam, mustard, pickles, and bread makes for very good light meal with beer.
molotov shooters, a happy Huai Bin, and “illusions”
Then the alcohol came out.
There were more Molotov shooters (a dozen for RM 200) than there were people on the same table, bad idea. This stuff was very potent and of course I only had one, Huai Bin, Horng, Michael, and Gareth were there to make sure nothing is going to waste.
We also had a rack of Illusion, a mixture of Midori melon, pineapple juice, and vodka. I actually find this quite tasty, a taste of festivity, almost.
Rack’s Big Bad Sandwich, Asparagus under prosciutto
The last of appetizer was aspagarus under prosciutto (RM 22), a pretty common combination. I often make bacon & asparagus, but parma ham makes an even better combination, and perhaps slightly healthier.
The main courses came next, we first tried Rack’s Big BAD Sandwich (RM 26) – BAD stands for back bacon, avocado, and dried tomato. I’ve never had sandwich with avocado, but the mixture actually works, the buttery taste of avocado goes well with savory bacon and the acidity from dried tomato.
pork burger, pulled pork burger, and hot & spicy pork ribs
Then there’s the standard pork burger (RM 28) with smoked back bacon, pork patty, dried tomato, smoked bacon, and even ahem, vegetable. This was as delicious as it was difficult to eat. Prepare to make a splendid mess.
Pulled pork burger (RM 28) might be a Boston’s favorite, but it doesn’t work with me. I’m not a big fan of the drier texture on the meat, but your mileage might vary.
marmalade sweet and spicy pork ribs
Then there were of course, the ribs, after all ,this place is called Racks Bar & Baby Back for a reason.
There’s the more typical hot & spicy ribs, and then there’s the marmalade sweet & spicy pork ribs (RM 52 full rack, RM 32 half rack).
I wasn’t too crazy over the coleslaw, but the ribs were fantastic! Absolutely full of flavor and the meat falls off the bones easier than skimpy cloths from Las Vegas strippers. You gotta try this for yourself, if you think the photo of the ribs look good, it tastes at least twice as well!
the hungry diners, and the 3 friendly servers at Racks
And just like The Magnificent Fish and Chips, this outlet is another one worth visiting at Changkat. The food is good, prices are in line with other restaurants at the area, and services are commendable too.
It was a good night with great company, and bless those pigs too, they were delicious.
Address: Racks Bar & Baby Backs, 18-1, Changkat Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur GPS: 3.147581, 101.707934 Tel: 03-2110 1550