Friday, 26 November 2010

Blackie Turns Five

Time flies. It's been five years since I picked Blackie and the late Brownie, two newborn 3-day-old kittens, from the garden of my previous apartment on a wet afternoon. There were four in the litter, and he was the only black one. He was the tiniest of the litter, and the noisiest, squealing non-stop. It was his cries that led me to him.


Blackie has since grown from an all-black kitten into a tabby with greys and browns, and is a rather quiet cat. Quiet as in, he makes these soft little kitteny mews. Has anyone heard the late Michael Jackson speak? Well, Blackie reminds me of Michael Jackson, where the voice is not compatible with the total package.


From a tiny, skinny kitten, Blackie is one big, fat cat now. He has been the proud recipient of a couple of nicknames from hubby: "Fat Boy" and "Button Face". I like Button Face better. :)


So, happy birthday Blackie, my Button Face. I love you.






Thursday, 25 November 2010

How Accurate Is The GPS?

Have you ever been asked "do you have a GPS?" whenever you asked for directions? Well, we have. It seems that almost everyone these days expect you to use the GPS to get you to your destination. 


But how accurate is the GPS? Can you totally rely on it to get you to where you want to go? Most of my friends who own one swear by it.


I have my doubts. I mean, well, the GPS would probably eventually take you where you want to go, but I believe there would be some inaccuracies. After all, it relies on the satellite signals, which I feel could be obstructed by tall buildings, huge trees or even the weather. Astro, our satellite TV, is a good example of how satellite signal is lost during a storm. Moreover, in KL, a junction where you could turn right might become illegal to turn the next day and the maps might not be updated right away.


So, hubby and I decided to conduct a little experiment over a period of two weeks. We decided to use the GPS on his mobile handphone to take us home from places we're totally familiar with. 


The result? If we had followed the instructions of the GPS, we would probably be going around in circles before we reached home.


The first test was from Bukit Bintang to Kepong. The instructions were correct only up to a point. At a junction, the GPS instructed us to turn right at a traffic light which does NOT allow any right turn. Due to the way the traffic lights were programmed, traffic has to move straight ahead and not turn right. Not unless we wish to crash into another vehicle, or have a vehicle smash into the left passenger side of our car. While we'd love to go to heaven, we don't want to die. So, we ignored the instruction.


As we followed the course of the road, the GPS started to 'recallibrate calculation'. And that was the message we were going to hear over and over again throughout the test as we ignored the GPS' instructions and headed in a different route. GPS, why should we turn off onto the NKVE highway to get to Kepong when we're already on Jalan Duta? No doubt we could get to Kepong via that route, but that would be driving off-course to the West to get to the North when we're already on the North. 


And in one of the tests from the "belly" of Pudu, the GPS misread our position and instead of directing us to turn right when we expected it to, it asked us to proceed straight for another few meters and then instructed us to turn right, smack into a building. Yes! It kept saying "Turn right now!". Well, no thank you, GPS, we have no desire to smash our brains against a wall. 


Undeterred, the GPS continued to try to direct this recalcitrant couple by instructing us to turn right when we came to a junction where there is a huge divider in the middle of the road. We have two options: either we smash into the divider, or we could drive against the traffic on our side of the road. No brains required to figure out which option we took. Neither.


So, what's wrong with the GPS? Initially, I thought that perhaps our maps aren't updated. But as the tests progressed, I realised that the GPS most likely had misread our position. It didn't know our precise location. Its signals were probably deflected or blocked by the tall buildings surrounding us for the times when the instructions were wrong, we were in a "belly" of buildings or underpasses.


To check if my hunch was correct, I googled and found that, indeed one of the disadvantages of the GPS is its inaccuracies. I found quite a few articles, but the article below sums it up.   http://www.ehow.co.uk/list_5912431_advantages-disadvantages-gps-systems.html



Monday, 22 November 2010

Vietnam House @ First World Plaza, Genting


We've eaten umpteen times at Vietnam House whenever we're at Genting although this is the first time I'm blogging about it. Yes, we were at Genting again, yesterday. It was very misty in the afternoon, and the temperature indoors at Highlands Hotel was 26 degrees Celcius. The mist cleared by nightfall, though.


But I digress. Vietnam House is probably one of the more authentic Vietnamese restaurants in the region of KL and Selangor. Our friend, TC has moved to Johor Baru to start a business and was back in KL for a week, so we decided to meet and catch up in Genting. Don't ask me why Genting instead of somewhere in KL.


The test for authenticity is always the Vietnamese Vermicelli. The authentic ones come with cold vermicelli, and piping hot pork chop and deep-fried spring roll. Vietnam House did not have pork chop, but served it with grilled pork and deep-fried spring roll. Alternatively, you can opt to have Chicken or Lemongrass Beef instead, which I did.


Hubby's fave - the cold vermicelli with piping hot grilled pork and deep-fried spring roll


My fave - the cold vermicelli with lemongrass beef -- the sauce is poured into the noodle and mixed well. Both noodles come with a bowl of the piquant sweet and sour sauce.


TC ordered the bamboo fried rice which he said was rather good, but paled in comparison to the vermicelli with lemongrass beef.


TC also wanted to try the Prawn Sour Soup, which the waiter said does not taste like Tom Yam. It certainly doesn't. It's not spicy and does not have any lemongrass flavour, which Tom Yam Soup has. It was too sour for us, despite our request to tone down on the sourness.
It's like a mini steamboat. After bringing the soup to a boil, put the prawns and accompanying ingredients in.

The total bill for the meal, inclusive of peanuts, two glasses of water and a pot of Vietnamese Tea came to RM81.90.


On our way home, Ms Sherlock Holmes a.k.a. yours truly, started counting cars again (ref: Who Goes To Genting?). Yeah, I think I have a fixation with car number plates. Perhaps Genting should hire me to conduct a daily survey of the cars...LOL!!!


Well, the result of my obsession was that 50% of the cars that were parked from level B6 to B9 at First World Plaza last night, or should I say at 1-ish in the morning, had Johor-registered number plates. So, the question and possible answers that occupied my mind as we drove home was why did so many Johoreans choose to come to Genting when Genting has a resort in Sentosa, Singapore? Not to mention Sands, too? 


P/s: Forgot to mention that hubby and I earned ourselves two free combo meals voucher which we redeemed for supper at Good Luck Restaurant. We ordered the Roast Pork Noodle Soup which was really good. TC who forgot to bring his Silver card had to pay for his own supper. :)

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Shi Xin Hui @ Teen Fest 2010

Photo courtesy of Shi Xin Hui


First, a disclaimer. I was educated in a national school, which means I was taught in the Malay medium. There was only one English book, the English Language book. Since I'm not Chinese-literate, please excuse me if I make some mistakes here and there.


Last night, Teen Fest, a Chinese magazine, held a concert to celebrate something. I'm not sure what, due to my not understanding Chinese. The concert was a chance for local artistes to give back to their fans. There were quite a number of performers, most of them unknown to me and hubby, but not to the Malaysian public.


The only reason I knew about the concert and was there was because Shi Xin Hui was one of the artistes performing. She was born and raised in Malaysia, but became a celebrity in Singapore (another talent taken away from Malaysia.) Click on the link above to read more about her if you don't already know. Or, visit her Facebook page.


Despite the disappointing amateurish stage setup, Xin Hui gave an amazing medley performance from her top hits 'From Taipei to Beijing' and 'Queen', and the theme song from the NTV7 series 'Forever Friends' where she also had a starring role. She really is a star. She has that unmistakable celebrity aura the minute she steps onto the stage, the X Factor, as what Simon Cowell would say.




Being interviewed..... sorry, I didn't understand the dialogue, only that the host asked if Xin Hui is a Malaysian.  ;)


A chance for fans to take a group photo of their idols.





Thursday, 11 November 2010

Politics, Folitics, Fodlitics, Foodlitics

I'm in a dilemma. What title should I give this post? The subject matter has something to do with food and politics. Wait a minute. What has food and politics in common? Well, nothing really, except perhaps a politician needs to eat?

Or, how about a cafe bearing the logo of a political party?




We've passed by this cafe numerous times but have never actually stepped inside until Deepavali last Friday. I mean, a political party cafe? Are they serious about the food or are they more focused on political propaganda?

And we would still not have stepped inside had we not been searching for Restaurant Ho Fun, a cafe selling Ipoh kuey teow in both soup and dry version. Despite walking up and down the five-foot pavement a couple of times, we could no longer find this cafe. The address is No. 18, Jalan SS2/63, and we knew it is a few doors away from the KTZ Cafe. At last, we decided to check the actual no.18 unit by counting the shoplots. 

In Malaysia, most of the shops don't display their address, not to mention the unit number anywhere on their premises, so you'll have to look for two lots with a number and start counting down, or up, as in our case.

When we finally reached no. 18, we found ourselves at the DAP Rocket cafe. Looks like Restaurant Ho Fun is no longer around. We're stuck, because at 2:45pm, all the other restaurants nearby have closed their kitchen and no longer takes any orders. Our only other option is McDonalds, which we would rather pass. 

The cafe is a no-frills place, and the party's memorabilia are available for sale at the premises. It is not owned by DAP, but its party supporters and members. Check out the news here >>> http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2009/11/20/nation/5147095&sec=nation

I must say it's somewhat disconcerting to be sitting and eating under the armpit of Lim Guan Eng, the Chief Minister of Penang. Throughout my meal, my imagination ran wild and I kept thinking I could smell his armpit. I could certainly see his armpit hair, that's for sure, and I thanked my lucky stars that there's no ingredient resembling hair in my bowl of laksa. 
Can you see his armpit hair?

I ordered the Penang Assam Laksa and the soup base is just right, not too sour. I did not add the lime that was served with it. Although the price is a little steep for assam laksa in a cafe, at RM7.90 it is still a reasonable price considering the very generous amount of mackerel fish in it.
I only remembered to take a picture after having eaten like, two mouthfuls.  :)

Hubby ordered the Fried Prawn Noodle. It came with a combination of yellow noodles (the ones used in mee goreng) and laksa noodles. The taste was right up hubby's alley, with lots of egg-ish texture, which wasn't particularly my cup of tea.

The cafe is registered under the name of Just Change Sdn Bhd. 

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Kang Guan Restaurant @ Pulau Carey

Last Saturday we were driving around a little aimlessly when hubby suggested that we hop over to Pulau Carey for lunch. I had raised the idea a few weeks ago, but we hadn't felt inclined to visit an island that is not considered as an island in the eyes of the locals.


With me navigating, we got totally lost. Instead of heading towards Klang on the Kesas highway, I directed hubby to Banting and Jenjarom instead. I had kind of remembered seeing the sign Pulau Carey when we went to Pantai Morib the other time.


So, instead of arriving in time for lunch, we finally reached our destination at 4:30pm, after many stops to ask for directions. The restaurant had already closed and would only reopen for dinner at 6pm.


With 1.5 hours to kill, we decided to explore Pulau Carey.


The shortest bridge in Malaysia....the island is just about 200 meters or so away.


The beach is about 15km from the bridge.


The road comes to an abrupt end.


We thought we were the only ones on the deserted island, but looks like there's quite a handful of people there.


The beach faces the Straits of Melaka.


Probably the smallest beach in Malaysia......about 100 sq ft.

At 6pm we went back to the restaurant. There were not many people there, and when we finished our dinner and left at 8pm, there were a few empty tables still.


The view from the restaurant. On the far right is the bridge linking the island to the mainland.


The salted eggs crab were finger-licking good, not too salty. It tasted like the salted egg had been mixed with some other ingredients. Price - RM36/kg.

The butter-milk prawns were yummy. The prawns were done just right, not overcooked. I ate up all the little butter-milk crisps.  Price - RM23

The Oyster Omelette, or Oh Chien, wasn't that good. We only ate half of it. Price - RM10

The Lala Beehoon was great. With only two people eating, we couldn't finish the beehoon. I ta-pau the balance and microwaved it the next morning for breakfast. Price - RM12

Kang Guan Seafood Restaurant is located on the left at the beginning of the bridge to Pulau Carey.


Kang Guan Seafood Restaurant
No. 2, Batu 1-1/2 Bandar Lama
Teluk Panglima Garang
Selangor
Tel: (03) 3122 7737
Business hours:
Mon - Fri : 12 noon to 2:30pm   and   6pm to 11pm
Sat : 12 noon to 4pm   and 6pm to 11pm
Sun : 12 noon to 4pm
Public Holiday : 5:45pm to 10pm

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Home-made Burger

I had as much fun making these as we had eating them.  :)


Add fried minced yellow onions, freshly ground black pepper and breadcrumbs to the minced beef. 


Mix well and form into patties. Grill them and when they're cooked, add a slice of cheese on top and scoop up quickly before the cheese melts completely


Cut the whole wheat buns into two (top and bottom) parts and toast them slightly.


Tada! The finished product, with mayonnaise, tomato ketchup and tabasco sauce (I ran out of mustard). Instead of french fries, I decided to go 'healthy' by making a Chinese stir-fried vegetable dish. Hubby thought it was a weird combination.  :D

Poop Eau De Parfum

Ever wish your poop smells like perfume? Or you think that's reaching for the moon? No, your wish can come true. Now, your poop can smell like DKNY's Be Delicious Eau De Parfum Spray! :D
Just squeeze one big drop into the toilet bowl before you sit on the throne. A highly concentrated biodegradable plant extract, it traps and eliminates odors before it's released into the air. It's sold for RM10 in Malaysia, and US$5.49 at Amazon.com.


I can't help but wonder if someone wearing perfume would be offended if I told them they smell like my poop?



Monday, 1 November 2010

How To Drive Customers Away From Your Shop

This post is dedicated to all the shops and sales people that have mastered the art of chasing away potential customers.


I'm sure I'm not the only one who has experienced this. I walked into a boutique (or any shop for that matter) and before I had a chance to swivel my head left and right to see what the store has to offer, a sales assistant stepped up to me. "What are you looking for?", "You want to buy clothes?" are just some of the varied questions that assaulted me. It's a boutique, so what did they think I was looking for? Salted fish?? Coffin??


And the one that would surely win an award if I'm in a mind to give one is this: "Found anything?" This is asked before I had even had a chance to see what merchandise the store has!! How could I find anything if I haven't even had a look??!! Excuse me, I had just stepped into your store right this moment and you saw it.


If I was in a good mood, I'd say yes, and hurried down the aisle, taking only a cursory glance so I could get out quickly as politely as I could. If I happened to be in a grumpy mood, I'd say "No, I'm looking for salted fish" and walked out.


I really wish those sales assistants would leave me alone. Perhaps I'll then buy from them. To those who stood at a discreet distance and offered useful information when I asked, kudos to you. You are what a good sales person should be, discreet and informative. 

Set Lunch @ Jack's Place, 1-Utama

Halloween Costume Fashion Show at 1-Utama yesterday


The walking bleeding eyeballs (she has an eyeball on the inside of each of her palm, too!) is a great sight to behold after an almost equally gory meal at Jack's Place yesterday.


Waiter! The steak is not bloody enough!


I usually like my steak medium, but on occasions I tend to go along with hubby's vampire tendency of opting for medium-rare. And what better occasion than Halloween to opt for some blood in my food, right? 


The steak is part of a Set Lunch that includes Soup of the Day, Garlic Bread, the Day's Dessert and Coffee or Tea. For Lupie's benefit (she asked for the prices to be disclosed), the set is RM21.00.


The soup of the day yesterday was mushroom soup. Once, it was pumpkin soup. While it was not bad, I prefer the latter.

The garlic bread had the right blend of butter, garlic and parsley flavour to it.


Striploin steak topped with deep-fried mushrooms. The mushrooms were done just right, succulent, if I could describe mushrooms as that. I didn't like the steak that much, though. It was too fibrous. I should have opted for the rib eye steak instead.


Ice cream and coffee to end a great meal. I would have preferred a cake to go with coffee, though. Nothing wrong with the ice cream, it was good. But I just prefer cakes as dessert, a personal preference, you know.


There are twelve choices for the main course, with prices ranging from RM13.50 to RM30 per set. Prices are not inclusive of 10% service charge and 5% GST. The set lunch menu is available daily from 11.00am to 2.30pm. Jack's Place is located on the first floor of 1-Utama (New Wing).

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