Pages

Monday, January 27, 2014

Ah Beng: Mission Impossible (2014) Movie Review


 Genre: Comedy
Language: Malaysian Cantonese
Starring:  Jack Lim, Jeff Chin, Yumi Wong
Story (may contain spoilers!):
Ah Beng (Jack Lim) is a lowly security guard at a security guard company. One day at work, he and his colleagues as a team were on the job for protecting a singer at his gig. Then, a diehard fan started to ask the singer to marry her or she will jump from the building that she was on top of committing suicide.

At the same time, there were other various incidents happening around. A kidnapping was in progress and a snatch theft was in progress too. Ah Beng was being radioed in to handle the situation of the singer unbeknownst to the team that a kidnapping and a snatch theft was in progress. In the singer situation, the singer tried to persuade the girl to step away from the ledge and in a split second, the singer pulled the diehard fan away from the ledge resulting him in falling from the building. Meanwhile, Ah Beng was rushing to the scene but in a fluke move, he managed to stop the kidnappers and the snatch theft and having the singer land to safety.

Being made famous by this on the paper, Ah Beng was assigned a case that all he has to do is go to Korea, sign a document in order to receive a RM1 million job but has to cancel his leave for Chinese New Year. Hearing that amount of money, he agreed and take one of his friend along since all his other colleagues went on Chinese New Year leave.

Arriving in Korea, he was briefed on what his mission is. Due to the similarity in looks, Ah Beng was to take on a role as Mark Ma who is a professional bodyguard and very skillful but seemed to have disappeared without a trace. As Mark Ma, he has to be reunited with his attractive sister, Maggie, to collect the inheritance of RM500 million for the uncle and aunty of Mark and Maggie. Upon completion, he will receive a RM1 million reward.

He then underwent one week intensive training in order to act like Mark so that his sister will not suspect otherwise.

Will he be able to succeed in this mission and be in time to celebrate Chinese New Year with his loved ones? Watch the movie to find out!

Comments:
This movie proves to be a little too disappointing for me. It looks too amateurish for my taste. The camera placements, the effects, the action, the comedy, it all seems like it's made by a bunch of high school kids. After some great progress that some Malaysian films had made to strive towards international standards, this just seems like it's taking a giant step back to such progress. The movie also didn't do much in cultivating a connection with the characters and the audience. I had zero care and emotions to whatever happens to anybody in the movie, whether they live or die. However, I did like Jack Lim's way of overacting which is what he exactly needed to do in this silly comedy.

Rating:
On that note, I give it 2 stars out of 5.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Downtown KLIA Seafood Restaurant, Sepang Food Review

So far, in my life, I've only reviewed 2 Chinese Muslim restaurants. The 1st time wasn't all that great and the second time was plausible and now I've decided to try this one out called Downtown KLIA Seafood Restaurant although located far from me at Sepang:
 
The owner of the restaurant is Prof. Dr. Abu Talib Othman and the chef and saucier are very Chinese type of people.

Before heading on there, I made a detour to 1 Utama in order to receive my tickets to the movie Ah Beng: Mission Impossible because the friend that I've assigned to collect my passes proved unreliable. Upon arrival, the big red signboard in that small little commercial center area that looks more like a small town was highly visible despite being on the far end of the corner and hard to miss as you enter the premise.

I arrived just in time to find everyone with their cameras ready to snap some photos of the abundance of food laid out on the Lazy Susan in the middle of the table so I too, started getting down to business and whipped out my camera and later on stuff my face with the dishes in front of me when the photo taking was done.

The Sizzling Seafood dish:
Loads of vegetables in there mixed with some squid. Tomatoes onions and the likes.
Comes in 3 sizes, Small for RM30.90, Medium for RM49 and Large for RM66.

"Volcano" Beancurd:
Lovely texture on the beancurd as I sliced through it with a spoon. Bouncy and egg-like texture.
Comes in a standard size for RM30.90.

The Spicy Four Vegetables:
In Chinese restaurants, you can usually find these mixture of vegetables dubbed the Four Heavenly Kings. In this restaurants, the vegetables used are Petai (Stink Beans), Long Beans, Brinjal and Ladies Fingers (Okra). Anything with petai on it is an automatic win for me because I love petai. XD
This place though, their petais are smaller than the ones I'm used to. Anyway, the combination of these vegetables can hardly go wrong and despite it's name, it's not all that spicy even with some chillies thrown in the mix.

Kailan with Oyster Sauce:
Always love the taste of Kailan with Oyster Sauce especially when the oyster sauce is strong. This one's like the rest of the Chinese restaurant. Clear taste and definitely no deviation of how the Chinese restaurants cook it.

Butter Prawns:
I'm not really a fan of prawns but I took some to try. Rich in taste with a little salty taste in it. Not bad. Costs RM14 per 100 gram.

Beef with Ginger and Spring Onion:
This dish also taste exactly how it should taste like at Chinese restaurants. Beef being tender enough and the clear cut taste of the spring onion with just a tinge of ginger taste to zest it up. Just the way I like it.

Mushrooms with Broccoli:
A simple dish combination but proven to work. The way it's cooked here is no exception. Mushrooms were nice and the broccoli adding some vibrant freshness to it.

Kam Heong Clams:
This proves to be a bit too spicy for some but of course to me, I can eat spicy. The Kam Heong taste is nice but somehow, it tasted different from the normal Chinese restaurants. Nevertheless, it's okay if you can handle spicy.

Deep Fried Squid Salted Egg:
This is the fave dish for all the Malay bloggers in the group. It's chewy with a little crisp on the batter and little bit of salted egg taste. Comes in Small (RM22.90), Medium (RM35.90), and Large (RM47.90) form.

Mongolian Chicken:
Nice presentation on it. Chicken could be a little bit more tender, then it would be perfect for me. Taste-wise still good. Small for RM18.90, Medium for RM26.90 and Large for RM35.90.

Creamer Butter Crab:
Sauce is light and clear. Goes well highlighting the crab. Costs RM7 per 100 gram.

And finally, the Assam Steamed Fish:
My favorite dish of all in this restaurant. I love the Assam sauce so much, I can eat bucket loads of it with rice.

Also a noteworthy item is this drink called the Kedondong Assam Boi Juice:
I would say a little less sugar would be perfect because of the sour plums natural sweetness permeating the liquid but this is a really delicious and refreshing drink that I couldn't stop drinking.

The full address of this place is:
No.B40-B48, Block B, Jalan KLIA 1/60, Charterfield Commercial Centre, KLIA, 64000 Sepang, Malaysia
Tel: 03-8783 1031 

Thursday, January 23, 2014

SOP, Paradigm Mall - An Alcohol Tasting Adventure

SOP - short for Same Old Place, a restaurant and bar that serves mainly German-inspired cuisines has newly opened up at Paradigm Mall. Boasting an area of 3,100 square feet where 1,100 square feet dedicated to an alfresco dining area whilst the remainder covers the pub area and VIP corner.
But what intrigued me and got me excited the most when I was invited to have a taste of the German beers available there were their fine selection of rare, exclusive and not readily available (in Malaysia) beers and liquors.

And that is how SOP intends to differentiate itself, with over 30 of those brands of liquors and beers (including my fave, Sapporo Beer), SOP appeals to the likes of discerning drinkers and diners who are constantly looking for new and exciting offerings in the already saturated market.

Without further ado, let's take a look at some of those alcohol that are readily available here but rare or nowhere else in Malaysia.

Let's start with the 6 German beers that were highlighted.

Köstritzer Schwarzbier    ~ “All about taste
It's a black lager beer.
A mahogany color, and a lasting, a cream-colored, finely pored head are the defining features of Kostritzer black lager beer. Its expressive fragrance evokes a range of intense spicy aromas, including sage, roasted chestnuts, dark honey, bitter chocolate and fresh farm-baked bread. Dry on the palate, and marked by bitter-sweet herbal and toasting aromas. The intense aromas are balanced by the gently sparkling carbonation with freshness and elegance. With delicate bitter tones and malty sweetness, it finished slowly on the palate. A complex, many-layered black lager beer that tastes lean and refreshing with its abundance of flavors.
Kostritzer produces more than 400,000 hectolitres of Schwarzbier, making it Germany’s number ONE black lager beer brand, a position it has held for 20years now…..

Bitburger
Germany’s No.1 Draft Beer brand
Note first the bright, fresh golden color and rich frothy head so typical of this elegant Pilsner beer. Its refined herbal notes are delicately poised, followed by a nutty and honeyed aftertaste. The overall impression of this gently sparkling beer is one of deep harmony, with the unmistakable bitterness of the hops balanced and contained by an agreeable, mellow sweetness in the body.

König Pilsener
König Pilsener was the first German premium Pilsner beer to gain widespread acceptance wherever quality of the highest order sets the standard. No other brand combines success and excellence as perfectly as König Pilsener - the king of beers. The finest, carefully selected ingredients and the knowledge of generations of the best master brewers provide the basis for the success of the unique taste of König Pilsener. (Not available in draft)

Benediktiner
Like luminous amber suffused with orange highlights, Benediktiner Weissbier sparkles in the glass, with an opalescent appearance lent by the natural cloudiness of the yeast. Its rich, white head is characterized by a good density and fine texture. The potpourri of aromas combines strong caramel notes, with hints of honey and fruits, chief among them bananas and raisins. Each gently sparkling sip melts on the tongue and palate, bringing a distinct sense of refreshment. A full body, with a harmonious balance of sweet and a discrete bitterness in the background, creates a smooth, creamy mouth feel.

Wernesgrüner
Brilliant golden yellow with a light, white head – the unmistakable appearance of Wernesgrüner Pils Legende. This beer is characterized by an intense aroma of hops combined with a whiff of malt, reminiscent of the smell of ripe grain and fresh white bread just out of the oven. A lean, fresh flavor on the palate, with natural sprightliness. Subtle fruitiness reminiscent of apples and bitter-sweet hop aromas that linger harmoniously.
(Only available in 5 Liter keg).

Licher

Licher premium beers – a treat for every taste in beer with the highest standards of quality. With the classic varieties - Licher Pilsner, Licher Export and Licher Weizen wheat beer, and the low-alcohol and non-alcoholic variants Licher Leicht, Licher Isotonisch Alkoholfrei and Licher Weizen Alkoholfrei.
(Only available in bottle form).

Now onwards to hard liquor!

Label 5
Label 5 is a multi award winning blended Scotch Whisky from the heart of Scotland. One of the world's finest blended Scotch's, Label 5 has been matured in oak barrels under the constant care of the cellar master. This enables it to acquire its incomparable smoothness and lingering flavor. Label 5 Whisky is perfect for flavorsome cocktails including the '5th Street' which adds White Curacao and lemon juice with Label 5 to create a sophisticated, yet refreshing cocktail.

The Arran Malt - 14 Years
The Arran 14 year-old is quickly proving to be an immensely popular part of our core range of Single Malt. It is a perfectly balanced marriage of both first fill Sherry and Bourbon casks and is a righly rewarding Single Malt with depth of character and zest. It captures perfectly all the fresh character of the Arran 10 year-old with an added layer of intensity and fruitiness.
It's easy to down and smooth on the throat. I got hints of vanilla flavors and a little malty in the beginning and a vanilla leaning towards barley sugar taste on the aftertaste.

The Arran Malt 12 Years - Sherry Single Cask
The influence of the wood is immediately apparent. Sherry, dried fruits and vanilla are all evident. With a splash of water a mint-toffee character emerges with notes of hazelnut also appearing. Rich and creamy. Over the years of maturation the sweetness of the sherry has integrated beautifully and works in harmony with the intrinsic smooth, fruity character of the Arran Malt. Becomes drier on the long, lingering finish. An intriguing spiciness develops to balance the confectionary notes that dominate earlier. A classic sherry wood Arran.
Sweeter and spicier than the 14 years above and produces a strong oaky flavor on top of it's fruity sweetness.

The Arran Malt - Amarone Cask Finish
After initially maturing in traditional oak casks over a number of years The Arran Single Malt in this bottling was ‘finished’ in a selection of Amarone wine casks sourced from an artisan producer of this iconic Italian red wine. Master Distiller, James MacTaggart, has carefully monitored this period of secondary maturation to ensure the perfect balance is struck between the Amarone casks and the intrinsic sweet-fruity character of The Arran Malt. The end result is a Single Malt full of charm, complexity and quality.
Tasting note:
Colour: Burnished Copper
Aroma:
Poached pears and honey followed by toasted almonds and a subtle touch of cranberry. With water a coffee note appears together with chocolate orange and mellow butterscotch.
Palate:
Dark chocolate, cherry and Turkish delights are evident as are stewed fruits and toffee. Muscular notes of dark plum wrestle with bitter-sweet apricots and a hint of cinnamon.
Finish:
A well-balanced combination of the finesse of The Arran Malt and the restrained fruit and oak from the Amarone casks. Concentrated and elegant this malt delivers on all levels.

The Arran Malt 10 Years and 12 Years - Cask Strength


Here's my fave whisky of the night:
Bruichladdich 20 Years 3rd Edition
 
Matured for 20 years on the Celtic Island of Islay in Bourbon barrels, then decanted into Malmsey Madeira hogsheads to complete the journey. The perfect fusion of two Atlantic Islands - Islay with her windswept, rocky coastline and Madeira`s more tranquil, sub-tropical warmth. The result is a dark, alluring, decadent malt. Intensely rich, with raisins, black cherry, vanilla pod, burnt orange and fruit cake flavors that linger seductively. To maximise this flavour, they neither chill-filter to clarify, nor add caramel to colour the whisky. Bottled in this natural way it will become opaque when water or ice are added.
I just love it's consistent taste all throughout the time I nose it till the aftertaste. It contains a nice peaty, musky or burnt kind of taste all throughout that very pleasantly stays in my mouth and down to my throat. Unfortunately, one bottle costs RM765.00 at SOP. This is certainly my new favorite Single Malt Whisky!

Bruichladdich 15 Years 1st Edition (Greenish) and 15 Years Link (Yellow)


Part ten in the Golf themed Links series from Bruichladdich. Each bottle is made up of whisky from casks specially selected by Jim McEwan, the Laddie master distiller. This 15 year old features a golf themed label with a painting of Valhalla by the famed golf artist Graeme W. Baxter.

Meukow VSOP and Meukow Vanilla
Unfortunately, it's not that much to my liking, maybe because I'm not really a Cognac kind of person. Meukow Vanilla tasted like vanilla extracts to me rather than an alcoholic drink. The VSOP has a harsher, spicier stronger taste to it. At least the ambassador gave me a nice genuine smile. First and only of the night. LOL. Ya, I know. I have face problem. :P

Meukow XO Cognac
The unrivalled Gold Panther expresses the perfect harmony of Meukow XO Cognac, fruit of the traditional art of double distillation, the long ageing process and the complex blending of delightful "Crus de Cognac".
Fiery like and mahogany colour with perfect clarity and very attractive texture. Floral with jasmine and iris. Fruity with prune and peach, chocolate and vanilla flavours with tawny port and candied fruits fragances, nutmeg, spices and warm cigar box.
(Awarded silver medal at the International Vinalies Challenge Paris, 2004.)

Others available for tasting throughout the night were Godet XO and Godet VSOP, Davidoff XO (costs a whopping RM1,032 for one bottle here!) and Davidoff VSOP and a clear colored Cognac like vodka called Godet Antarctica.

Besides cognac and whisky, there were also some other forms of alcohol that were available for taste test for the night.
From left to right, Grande Absente (Absinthe Originale), Henri Bardouin Pastis, Absente, Absente La Crème and Grey Goose Vodka (which I tried before).
Now the brand Absente which originally is Absinthe used to be a banned alcohol in many countries but because it was legalized again in 2007, it's now readily available and has made it to Malaysian shores. :D
This drink was highly enjoyed by some famous people with the most significant being Vincent van Gogh and others like Ernest Hemingway and Oscar Wilde.

In preparing the drink for me, they put a shot in a glass, sat an Absinthe spoon on top of the glass with a sugar cube on it and set the sugar cube aflame so that it drops on the concoction!
It's finished off by running ice water onto the sugar cube, dousing it and into the mixture in the cup.
There you go! Absinthe. Drinking it, I tasted of some herbs and the sweetness of it as if you're drinking soda pop or sugar water. You won't even feel like it's an alcoholic drink.

I decided to drink the Grande Absente neat which is 69% alcohol and comparing it with the Absente, 55% alcohol. I almost choked when I drank the 55% but as for the Grande Absente with 69% alcohol, it's really smooth and goes down easy and feels as if it's lighter than the Absente 55% alcohol.

After chatting awhile, I was off to home.

SOP has live soothing Jazz music performances and operates daily from 11am to 1am. SOP also features eclectic mixes by guest deejays from 8pm onwards. It's located at Lot 07, Ground Floor Boulevard, Paradigm Mall, Kelana Jaya.

Monday, January 20, 2014

CNY (Chinese New Year) 2014 Media Launch from Carlsberg

Welcome to the year of the horse!
Okay, so not yet but going to be soon!

Had a funtastic time at Carlsberg's CNY campaign launch that's held all the way at the Selangor Turf Club at 11:11am on January 11:
Despite having some events here before that I was asked to join, I have refrained from it until that day. So this is my first time visiting this horse race track place.
Surprised that I managed to arrive at the place at such an early time but like one of the person said, what's new? LOL.

Since I'm early and have yet to participate in my breakfast ritual, I immediately look around to see what's good to fill me up. Finally settled for some duck to go with my Carlsberg:
The rest are traditional Chinese candies that I haven't eaten for quite a long while.
This includes the Ting Ting Candy (also known as the knock knock candy) and the Sticky Cake:
Some Art Candy:
And some Muah Chee and Dragon's Beard Candy:
There's also some Calligraphy Art being done if you want:
So then, it was onwards to the start of the event!
It was filled with pomp and ceremony that started with the arrival of Carlsberg Malaysia MD Henrik Juel Andersen in a horse-drawn chariot to the beat of Chinese drums followed by the appearance of eight "Fook Gods" (Gods of Prosperity) and a riveting lion dance performance by multiple world-champion troupe, Kun Seng Keng Dragon Lion Dance Association.
For the Carlsberg 2014 CNY Campaign, it will run from December 16, 2013 - February 14, 2014.
There will be more than 80,000 prizes in ang pows and other giveaways up for grabs.
Tier 1 consists of 30 cash prizes of RM8,888
Tier 2 consists of 3000 cash prizes of RM388
Tier 3 consists of 80,000 bottles of Asahi Super Dry
For further info, head on to Carlsberg Facebook Page to find out or at carlsbergmalaysia.com.my

After the big official ceremony was launched and a few rounds of chatter, it was time for the lucky draw where you could win RM88, RM8 or some merchandise. And lucky me managed to get RM8. :D

With that, we then proceeded inside Hest Bar and Kitchen where buffet lunch was served and we sit in the comfort of the air conditioned place while I stare at the TV screens where the horse races that are up for bet were televised.

Since I was given 2 RM5 betting coupons, I decided to make full use of it by betting on a horse. Being my first time and had no idea on how the system works, I decided to gather some info from my friend on how to go about betting on horse races. I was told to just pick a number of the horse where a piece of paper detailing about the horse and the chances of winning was shoved at my hand.

Seeing the race was about to start, I hurriedly just simply point to number 4 on the paper to the guy at the counter.
I watched with eagerness on the TV screen (cause too lazy to go out into the hot sun to watch. LOL) and it was super confusing which is which because I couldn't see the horse numbers clearly. When the race ended, I still had no idea who had won. After 3 instant replays later, I was smiling from ear to ear as I've noticed that my horse had won!
I don't even know what's the horse's name but thank you for winning me some free money. Haha. Gave me a winner's high for 2 days straight. Total cash won = RM195 from horse betting. Beginner's luck~!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Pak John Steamboat & Yong Tao Foo, eCurve Food Review

eCurve's lower ground has always been teeming with restaurants but seldom have I seen many people venturing around.
Pak John started joining the others beginning from 15 November 2013 to offer it's huge variety of steamboat buffet available:
Visiting the outlet one Friday evening, I saw that they were ready with their Chinese New Year feel to it.

The place like the amount of variety they had were huge:
Amounting to more than 100 dishes in this all you can eat steamboat buffet, this place is not only a steamboat eatery, but doubles up to be more than that with burgers, waffles along with their unlimited food supply of Australian Beef Slices, New Zealand Lamb Slices and other meat items to barbeque atop and varieties of organic vegetables and mushrooms, not forgetting the seafood varieties like prawns, bamboo shells, clams, squids, fillets.
Priced at RM28 (weekdays) per head onwards + 10% service charge, it sure is a very reasonably priced place and that's not even counting the kids below 6 years eating for free and 6-12 years at half price.
As mentioned before,besides their steamboat items, there's also buffet spread items such as noodles, nuggets and fries, fried rice and the likes should you wanna eat it along with your steamboat delights covered at the domes:
 
 
Some condiments to spruce up your dining experience:
My first round of small pickings.
Pak John restaurant is a truly Halal restaurant so Muslims can dine in here without worry.
What I especially like the most at this outlet is their signature Smoke Duck which we're told were only available on weekends:
Their tender juicy texture with their flavorful almost bacon like taste is extremely good where me and my friend just couldn't stop eating it.

For the soup of the steamboat, there are currently 3 types of choices:
1) Chicken
2) Tom Yam
3) Miso

Over at the dessert section, I found a small chocolate fountain overflowing forth for marshmallows to be dipped at:
The waffles that we tried, peanut butter and chocolate:
When it got to me, they were already cold. It's fluffy though, just wish it's hot and crispy too.
In order to usher in the upcoming Chinese New Year, there will be some added special items and some promo as well. For info on the promo, head on to:
https://www.livingsocial.com/my/cities/1964-klang-valley-kuala-lumpur/deals/1003523-steamboat-bbq-buffet-100-choices-yee-sang
Pak John Steamboat & Yong Tao Foo is open every day.
Full address:
Lot LG-13A & LG-15, Lower Ground Floor, Ecurve.No 2A, Jalan PJU 7/3, Mutiara Damansara 47810 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia