I remember the days when Korean cars is just an after thought for most when it comes to purchasing new cars, even as early only some 10 years ago, they weren’t viewed as something that is of equal to European and Japanese counterparts.
Fast forward to 2014, and things couldn’t be more different. I stopped by the KIA Roadshow at The Curve Mutiara Damansara to check out their latest models as well as a test drive last weekends and came away very impressed.
KIA roadshow at the Curve
KIA took the whole centre court at the Curve and had it set up with the World Cup 2014 theme. There were five KIA vehicles being showcased around the green football field inspired carpet – Picanto, Sportage, Cerato, and Optima K5.
There were also official KIA merchandises, PS3 games, and even a KIA speed kicker game where you win a souvenir if you can kick a football over 100 km/h (I only managed 90 km/h)
official merchandise, KIA speed kicker game
At the centre of it all was the counter where you can register for a test drive.
For anyone who likes football, travel, or driving, this is a great news. If you register for a test drive, you are given 1 coupon which entitles you to enter into a lucky draw where winner gets to attend the 2014 World Cup semi-final game in Brazil! But if you booked a KIA for as low as RM200, you will be given 2 coupons to enter the lucky draw which gives you a higher chance of winning
Naturally I took a test drive, these kind of opportunity doesn’t come along often.
we test drove the Cerato 1.6
After filling up the paperwork (you have to have a valid driver’s license), I took the KIA Cerato to a spin around the block. I chose the Cerato 1.6 as it is priced below RM 100k, something that falls within my financial ability when it comes to a new car.
For vehicle of this class, I must say that the specification is rather impressive. There’s reverse camera, six airbags, brake assist, traction control, ABS, climate control (including vents for rear seat passengers), LED side repeater and puddle lamp (a light that illuminates the ground around the door before you step into the car), paddle shift, keyless entry, keyless ignition, and a healthy dose of controls available right at the driver’s finger tips.
the KIA Cerato is rather spacious and comes with a host of features
The 1.6 litre petrol engine powering the Cerato is rated at a healthy 128 hp and mated with a 6 speed automatic transmission. Although we didn’t manage to take it to highway speed, the car showed good acceleration and handling around the block. Wind and outside noise is also minimal.
The car can host 5 adults comfortable, and also comes with a 421 litre boot space. As a comparison, my pretty good size fridge is about 380 litre.
The styling of the car too is also something that I find very attractive. Led by Peter Schreyer, the influential automobile designer at KIA certainly brought out fresh and original styling that appeals to this generation.
KIA Sportage comes in 5 colors
For active families, there’s KIA Sportage. (I had an old story with involving Sportage driven by Margie). The SUV starts just below RM 140k and comes with roof racks, sun roof, and can accommodate up to seven passengers.
the Picanto comes with 6 airbags
The Picanto, on the other hand, might appeal to the first car owner and the younger generations.
While diminutive in size, the Picanto certainly doesn’t lack in features. It also comes with 6 airbags, LED daytime running light, electronic stability control, ABS, brake assist system, and rear parking assist system. The 4.9 meter turning radius should also make this car very easy to park and navigate around tight areas.
Optima K5 has a 4.3-inch TFT LCD and luxurious interior
For ultimate in luxury and comfort, there’s the KIA Optima, a car with pretty much every important features found in all other models, and then some. This car is suited for executives and business owners who likes something classy, comfortable, while not lacking in driveability and safety.
For those who didn’t manage to visit the roadshow at the Curve, there’s upcoming KIA roadshow at KSL City on the 4th-6th April in Johor, and another KIA roadshow at KLCC on the 16th and 21st April, 2014. Don’t forget that you will also get the chance to participate in the lucky draw that might just put you in Brazil!
Earlier this month I had an invitation from Hsu Jen to a beer tasting session at Craft Brews, a new pork and beer joint at Mutiara Damansara.
Due to the pesky little organization in this country that is the government, Craft Brews got their beer from Red Dot Brewhouse in Singapore instead of brewing them on location. That whole “license” thingy sure annoys quite a few people out here.
see the pipes? they are purely for decoration purposes only
Craft Brew is located just right across the North end of Tesco (the side that isn’t facing Ikea) in a building curiously named Batu Kawan tower. Parking is a relative breeze, and if you’re familiar with the area, using the Mutiara Damansara exit on LDP would save you the trouble having to navigate through the Curve/IKEA.
The restaurant has a pretty simple yet elegant set up, with plenty of seats alfresco style as well as indoor. Behind the bar counter there’s all these pipes simulating an actual microbrewery, but unfortunately, a simulation is what they are.
multicolored beer, crispy eggplant, deep fried bacon
We were served four different types of beer on the day, the rather bitter English Ale, Czech Pilsner, Weizen wheat beer, and the Monster Green Lager, which was actually .. well, green.
Being not much of a beer drinker, I am not going to pretend that I’m an expert and advice you on which one to go for. That being said, I kinda like the green lager, relatively smooth and the whole spirulina thingy is supposed to be good for your health too. Making the whole pairing of deep fried bacon and beer less guilty for the consumer.
The other two beer were quite good as well, but I must say that the English Ale isn’t really my cup of tea glass of beer. For bitter beer I love my Guinness.
the porkgang each got our own VIP card to craft brews
As for the food, well, kitchen wasn’t fully open on that night, but we were served with some pretty yummy pork dishes. The two types of ribs were both delicious and wholesome, and I particularly love the crispy egg plant too. They also served us one of the most delicious wedges I’ve had.
The best dish of the day though, had to go to the deep fried bacon. Covered with a light layer of batter, the bacon is so sinful and yummy I couldn’t have enough of it. Deep frying really does usually make a dish even better. This one went very very well with any beer.
We were also given a VIP card (valid till June 2010) worth 30% discount on all food items and happy hour all day/night long. Thank you Craft Brews!
Adress: Craft Brews
Jalan PJU 7/2,
47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor GPS: 3.161031, 101.613761 Tel:03-7722 3000
Good news again for the Xpax Blackberry users. For those who are subscribing to the RM 2.50 Blackberry Advance plan, right now as part of the Big Freeekin’ Sale by Xpax, there’s free access weekends.
How this work is very simple. If you’re subscribed to the 250 plan every weekday from Monday to Friday, you get it for free during the weekends. By utilizing my amazing mathematical skills learnt from primary school, this works out to be less than RM 1.80 per day over the 7 day-period.
Check out the Xpax Big Freekin’ Sales website for more. There are other deals including 50% off calls and 50% off downloads too. Offer lasts till 31st March, don’t miss out.
I had noticed this little Vietnamese Beef Noodle call Pho Hoa place at the Curve before this particular trip, and told Mell that we had to try this place before she left for Melbourne. So on Valentine’s day itself, a day where most couples were standing in line for hours at posher restaurants, we chose to take the opportunity to this place.
No queue there, only a few families and another an old couple who are probably married too many years to be worried about celebrating the overrated Valentine’s (I like the fact that Mell shares the same view with me on this).
a small setup tucked at the corner away from the main street at the Curve
I have been in Ho Chi Minh city many times in my previous job, and the one thing I miss the most about Vietnam is the beef noodle, or Pho.
Ever since I stopped going there, I had been visiting Vietnamese restaurants like O’Viet at Sunway Pyramid for try out their pho but most of the time the standards have been not good enough to worth a blog post.
On top of all, I can never find any place that serves pho with beef tendon (my favorite ingredient) until this one. I was so happy!
check out that glorious beef tendon!!
Like most restaurants at the Curve, Pho Hoa has an indoor as well as alfresco dining area. Interior decoration is pretty simple and uninspiring, but we were here purely for the food anyway, so it was all good.
The menu at Pho Hoa consist of the usual Vietnamese spring rolls, rice bowls, vermicelli bowls, and of course, the pho. The good thing here is the availability to create your own pho according to your choice of ingredients: brisket, a few types of flanks, steak, tendon, and tripe.
I ordered mine with steak, tripe, and a lot of tendon while Mell went for the basic.
KY & Mell and a cup of Vietnamese coffee
The tendon was very soft and tender, just the way it should be. The soup too was rather tasty. Being a true pho lover, I even asked for more basil and mint leaves from the Vietnamese waiter (always a good sign). It was one of the more satisfying bowl of Vietnamese beef noodle I’ve had for a while.
I also had their very strong Vietnamese drip coffee (cafe da), something you should order unless you plan to sleep in the next 6 hours.
The bill came up to less than RM 40 with the two bowls of noodle at RM 15.99 and RM 11.99, definitely within a very good value for the food I had. I’m thinking of having this tomorrow for lunch this weekend!
Address: Pho Hoa
G34, the Curve,
PJ, 40870 Selangor GPS:3.157699, 101.611540 Tel: 03-7725 9880
A couple weeks ago three of us went to the much blogged Indonesian food outlet Waroeng Penyet at the Curve. For those who can’t read the Indonesian (or Malay) language, waroeng (or warong) is a traditional hut, while penyet translates to flattened. So I guess you can call it a flattened hut though the place doesn’t look exactly like a hut nor is it flattened.
no frill fast food outlet setting
As their logo suggests, the signature dish at this outlet would be the ayam penyet (flattened chicken). We ordered 2 servings of that, a bawal bakar (black pomphret), udang penyet (flattened prawn), pete udang belado (prawn with petai), and a sayur asem (vegetable soup). Of course, we were not able to deny the temptation of the curious soda gembira (happy soda).
Just like Carl’s Jr., you get a number after you order, and the food is served to the table fresh and steaming.
how do you like the soda gembira?
The chicken were absolutely stunning. Crispy on the outside and still juicy on the inside. The sambal was very flavorful, with the taste of fresh chili and a slight tangy sensation, it compliments all sorts of meat nicely. The prawn and pomphret were equally good as well. The soup though, it something I wouldn’t order again, it was a bit weird to me with the slightly sourly taste that is everything wrong between tomyam and chicken soup. I guess it might be an acquired taste… but perhaps not for me.
These dishes were served with rice, so you do get a proper traditional meal in a modern setting.
flavorful, spicy, and absolutely delicious
If I remember correctly, each dishes were priced just under RM 10. The excellent sambal (3 types actually) can be refilled at will, and I will definitely go there again. Give it a try if you are one of those who love spicy flavorful food!
Waroeng Penyet is situated on the first floor near the bridge connecting Ikano Power Center to the Curve.
Address: First Floor, Lot 1.32
Petaling Jaya GPS:3.157699, 101.611540 Tel:017-200 3988
I was at The Curve last Friday after work with a few friends, since a couple of them has already eaten, we decided to go to some place less lavish and ended up at Thai Express on The Street.
As the name suggest, this is an “express” restaurant that has a limited range of dishes. The interior decoration is simple and clean, without much fuss.
nice looking menu
After looking over the illustrated menu, I decided to go for the curried soft shell crab rice and a glass of Thai Pina Colada (non alcoholic version). Kelvin ordered the BBQ fish rice, while the other two jokers only ordered desserts and drinks as they have already eaten.
We didn’t need to wait long for the dishes to be served. I was more than delighted to see two pretty good size soft shell crabs covered with good-smelling curry sitting right next to the steamed rice. As the taste of soft shell crab (argh i kept miss-spelling it as software crab) is pretty standard, it came down to the curry to differentiate the dish from the simple deep fried soft shell crab, it was not a disappointment. Kelvin’s fish dish was pretty decent as well.
ahh, the soft shell crab rice!
The Thai Pina Colada is basically some mixture of mostly pineapple juice with a big scoop of the excellent ice cream. Then there’s the traditional glutinous rice with mango, red rubies, and more coconut ice cream (sweet temptation) we ordered.
The highlight of the evening was when I looked at Kimberly’s half chewed mango skin, and she explained: “I was wondering why this mango is a little weird until I saw the skin… “
Basically the girl ate half the mango skin without realizing what she was chewing, this girl never cease to surprise us.
kim with her half-eaten mango SKIN
As for price, the food, while not cheap, weren’t too expensive. The curried soft shell crab was RM 17.90++ and the fish RM 15.90++. However, the drinks are a little pricey at RM 7.90++ for what I ordered, and even mineral water will set you back at RM 2.90++.
A decent place to dine in if you’re at The Curve, but for proper Thai food, I’ll go to De’ Chiengmai at Sungai Buloh.
Address: Thai Express Restaurant
G50, Jalan PJU 7/3
The Curve, Mutiara Damansara GPS:3.157699, 101.611540 Tel No:03-7710 9629