Sunday, September 30, 2012

Coffee Appreciation Session with Chilla Cup

Last Saturday, my virgin visit to Subang Avenue was to Chilla Cup to attend the Coffee Appreciation Session that has been set up:

A nice quiet place to chill out with adequate seatings. The area to order:

Does this ordering system look familiar?
Tony Tang from School of Coffee was the invited trainer for this Coffee Appreciation Session.

 He's the owner of School of Coffee in Singapore Polytechnic and is a consultant for cafes and restaurants throughout Malaysia and Singapore on coffees. He is also the Regional Barista competition judge which makes it all the more credible, doesn't it?

 Together with his assistant that he brought along, Li Hebin, they're awaiting and are eager to educate us on the intricacies of coffee.

The many things that are set up for our eyes and taste buds to absorb:
The coffee grinder and coffee machine, a part of the instrument that's used:

It started on the introduction to coffee, detailing on the lifespan of coffee beans which is about only 14 days while coffee beans that's ground only last about 5 minutes of freshness, samples of defective coffee beans were passed around for us to have a look:

After a taste testing on chewing raw coffee beans to know the freshness, we finally get to taste some coffee. Goodies!
Started off with a small cup of Espresso, a really strong taste to it (that keeps me awake). What's interesting is that the coffee taste should linger in your mouth after consuming where the flavors just bursts out as you speak.

Next came the cup of Latte that was served with some art work:

Creamy and deliciously good.

There's also a cup of Piccolo Latte served which is actually not available in Chilla Cup:
My 1st time tasting Piccolo Latte. Never had it before. It's basically a mixture of Espresso and Latte, in other words, a milky, creamy Espresso.
Also, some Affogato:
Basically, Espresso with ice-cream to me. LOL.

So then came the show of brewing method. It actually also involves the sound of brewing but don't ask me about it, I wouldn't know how to differentiate it, haha.
So 1st method shown to us is the paper sieve method which I remember doing this and drinking cups of coffee with this method a long long time ago during my school days:

First wetting the paper and rinsing it off before putting in the coffee powder on top:

Then slowly let the hot water sink in and continue on after. Bubbles coming forth showing the degassing of the coffee:

Once it's done, it's good to go and ready to drink!

Next method shown involves the siphon method. Filling with water:
Light it up and wait for the water to boil:
When it's boiled, get ready to siphon it to the coffee:

Stir as water is siphon up:

Cos when it's nicely mixed together, it's time for the coffee to come down:

And there you have it. The siphon method of coffee. Looks like a science experiment.
After attending this coffee workshop, it gets a little harder to drink coffee at the local coffee shop and even harder to drink coffee from the pantry even though I already know the fact before that it's not fresh coffee and I'm mostly drinking sugar water but somehow it seems to have left a bigger impression on me than before.

Well, I can't have fresh coffee always. I guess, it'll take some time till I'm back with my normal habits.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Teow Chew Meng Restaurant SS14 Subang

A Friday evening it was where I went over to a restaurant named Teow Chew Meng located at SS14 in Subang:

They're introducing some new dishes into their menu at the Subang SS14 branch where all their new dishes starts off at a price of just RM6!

Whilst awaiting for the rest of the invited people for this food tasting session to arrive, we were served with some appetizers with an introduction of the restaurant.
Here's the Octopus:
Chewy and nice. Goes well with the sauce that's been laid served together. Can taste that it's fresh.
And one more appetizer served to us was the Kerabu Mango:
Teow Chew Meng started off in Penang before it opened it's branches in the Klang Valley area. The owner of this SS14 branch is the son-in-law of the originator.

We were first served with the Mee Sua Tow:
The noodles are soft and nice and the mixture with the soup and ingredients all goes well together. But after awhile, I would say it would be nice if you put some condiments on it like light soy sauce then it would taste better.
Teow Chew Meng restaurant also sells it's own brand of Mee Sua or in English, Vermicelli.
There's the not so instant one:
And an instant one, just like your maggi mee:
There's even a cooking demo for the instant one done by the owner.
First you light up your fire and put 1 cup (or 1 and a half cup for the inexperience so you don't overboil it) into your saucepan:
Cut up the packet of Vermicelli and pour it into the water when it's boiled (take out the seasoning so you don't slide it into the boiled water):
Loosen up the noodles with the boiling water:
And add in the seasoning into the pot:
If you like, add an egg in for extra flavor to it:
And finally, pour it into a bowl for your enjoyment:
Put in some spring onions and something extra on top for even more taste:

It's that simple. Just like cooking your maggi mee.

Here's a chili that they made up on their own:
It's called 'Laat Sei Lei' in Cantonese direct translation, Spicy Die You. LOL. Ok, it's more spicier than your average chili kinda like your cili padi spicy level. It goes well with the noodle dishes and definitely recommended to take with it to add a kick to it.

Here's the Roasted Duck Noodles:
I would say it's averagely nice but with the kind of price they're selling, it's worth it.
Here's the Pork Noodle:
I generally love eating pork.
But hats off to the next dish:
The Beef Noodles. This is the best of the lot I tasted for the evening. Add in their special chili and you have a great dish.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Raid: Redemption (2012) (Serbuan Maut) Movie Review

This show was first release in 2011 but was only recently released here in Malaysia. Heck, I don't even see it being released here, even though I did manage to watch it through a special screening.

I must admit, I've never heard of this movie before and didn't know what to expect from the title. Although it's an Indonesian film, the one I saw was dubbed in English which makes the conversations rather comedic.

The show was about a group of SWAT team which is led by Sergeant Jaka & Lieutenant Wahyu. But the protagonist of the movie is actually the rookie officer who's an expecting father named Rama.

The mission of the team is to crackdown on an infamous underground drug lord that reigns over Jakarta in an apartment building where he's king of the territory. The SWAT team was supposed to infiltrate the building, take him out or detain him into custody and get out. Although the mission may sound simple, yet the domain territory that he rules over has a massive enough army to keep any enemy at bay. Hence, the need for subterfuge to go in.

The beginning part seemed to go very well but they were unaware that they were under the watchful eyes of the drug lord who's seeing it through camera surveillance monitors. In the end, when the SWAT team failed to pacify an informant from sounding the alarm and alert the others, all hell broke lose. Heavy firearms were brought in to the war for those in the building and those that were outside or are visible from the windows were taken out by 2 snipers on the adjacent building.

Being all alone with a small army and no way to get backup, the SWAT team now changed their mission to get out alive.

The movie tries to do a Quentin Tarantino style of film where the blood fest was overflowing in gore factor and in combination of fighting moves to level with kung fu style movies. I've never seen an Indonesian movie before in my life but this one although may be close to those style of films but yet it's still a long way to progress to that level. I feel that the simple storyline can do better with more plotlines and although I do like watching the actions, the hand to hand combat sometimes just doesn't look believable enough.

There's also a lot of illogical moves which I can't comprehend like why there's no more heavy artillery when the movie progresses later on? And for a drug lord to have surveillance at a run down building couldn't make a more fortress like defense for himself at his place? Aside from the comedic conversations due to the dubbing it's still quite an entertaining watch if you just forget about the logic moves and just wanna see some action and some gore fest ala Kill Bill style. I'm rating this 3.5 stars out of 5.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tiger Balm Neck and Shoulder Rub

With the hustle and bustle of the city life, I always wish that I have more than 24 hours to catch up on sleep and rest.
I wish I go to work everyday as if a holiday:

But sadly no, my work is busy, busy, busy all the way:

On top of my full time job, I repair PCs on the side and also attend a lot of events as well during non-working hours to have fun and quench my blogging passion:

In the midst of doing so, there's bound to be aches in many areas as you grow older (ya, I admit I'm old) and a lot of tension build around the neck/shoulder area. Even though, I try my best to have a proper sitting position but yet the tiredness will eventually get to me. And what's more, I don't exercise much.

Not paying much attention to it, I usually just ignore and bear the discomfort. If a person like me who goes back home on time, I fail to imagine how much more discomfort a person would feel for those who work longer hours.

So Tiger Balm has came up with a Neck & Shoulder Rub and Neck & Shoulder Rub Boost:

It is a convenient and effective solution and small to carry around and is specially formulated to provide fast and soothing relief for the tense and tired muscle with the concept of “Massage on the Go”, just like going to the spa. It did help me out on my back when I get too tired.

Now, I have not heard of the Tiger Balm brand for a very, very long time - not since primary school days. And those days, I famously remember it being this only:

Transparent looking ointment in a small container. That's all I remember of it. I can't remember how it feels like when you apply it.

So I decided to try the Neck & Shoulder Rub on and see how is it:

As you can see from the picture above, the ointment is white in color, Boost and the regular one is the same. It's non-greasy so when applied, it does not leave any oily residue on your skin and it absorbs quickly. The Tiger Balm Neck & Shoulder Rub Boost is a stronger version of the normal one. I kinda get a kick out of it and surprisingly to me, it reinvigorates me and actually energize me like an energy drink!

The Tiger Balm Neck & Shoulder Rub Boost has a minty, familiar smell but I just can't put a finger on where I've smelt that before.

I don't need to apply much on this because the sensation is strong, perfect for over-stressed, tired and stiff neck and shoulder muscles and like I said before, it's effect not only relieves my ache but energizes me like an energy drink! No, in fact, it's effect is even more faster than an energy drink!

As for the regular Tiger Balm Neck & Shoulder Rub, this also has quite the same relieving effect but on a more milder note.

Hence, it's good for mild neck and shoulder aches which I believe most of us has. It also emits a soothing lavender scent, a pleasant smelling fragrance.

As you can see from my pictures above, the Tiger Balm Neck and Shoulder Rub, Regular and Boost comes in a 50g flat tube which makes it carrying around easy. It's shape is design to provide an ergonomic approach in squeezing out the contents. The color and design of the product is modern and sleek.