Sunday, January 31, 2016

Chasing The Sun



Hey everyone! I hope you are well. A month just flew by and 2016 has been good so far.

Work can be quite exhausting but I love every bit of it so far. In fact, I just came back from my first ever company retreat and it was great!

Honestly, I have nothing to update here but well, I couldn't let January 2016 go on without a post here right? Hah. :)

See you guys soon, when I do something cool.


Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Year Of Milestones

This year:

... Malaysia has been experiencing terrible haze, probably one of the worst in history.
... the government implemented GST.
... MYR is losing its battles.
... Malaysians are paying more for tolls thanks to the recent toll hike.
... the spike in the number of dengue cases in Malaysia is the highest in history.
... we saw rabies cases giving us a scare.
... we saw a typhoid outbreak.

Okay the list of bad news can go on and on, but really chances are things are going to get a lot worse as we near the end...


But personally, this year has been a significant year for myself. As we're nearing the end of the year, I took some time to reflect back on what happened in the last 12 months. Some highlights I can remember while I'm typing this down:

1. University life is over. So while I was bumming around and doing internship (post-uni), some of my friends were still attending classes and I felt a little left out in the WhatsApp chats. Hah. 4 years just flew by and though there's no campus life (thanks to the lack of campus environment), I enjoyed the time spent learning, chattering away and picking some skills here and there.

2. Transitioning from uni to work is... how should I put this? I can't think of a suitable word from my vocab right now but it has been interesting. I did a lot more networking this year, and though I dread it, I try. I'm also happy that I'm finally going to settle for a full time work in Jan.

3. For the 2-3 years, reflection posts used to include what are the main things that I've won this year. This year I didn't win anything significant that I'm utterly proud this year of but I'm happy I won the battle against time and expectations. Against all odds, I've finished my bachelor's degree on a high note and I was one of the first from my batch to finish.

4. I met more people, made a few friends and acquaintance and lost a few too. Well, not really lost but you know when relationships are estranged, you feel it. The 15-year-old me and the me typing this now are the same. I still feel bad when relationships fall apart and I wonder, how did it all happen. How did we arrive to that point when you feel like you've met a stranger when actually you've known the same person for almost more than 15 years, a friend that you grew up together.

5. This blog has surpassed 500k views, after blogging for about 8 years. I'm really proud because it's a personal feat and it's one of the few things that I've been consistently doing over the last decade. I really doubt anyone is really following the blog, just mainly getting hits from SEO. But I've actually removed a lot of posts from public, and views are slowing down but I don't really care. In the past I've made a lot of stupid posts and while I'm not ashamed of them (it's part of growing up), it's just that I value some privacy now.


6. This year, I walked with thousands and thousands of Malaysians in Kuala Lumpur, and other parts of the world calling for better and cleaner government. Malaysia's political turmoil and economic situation is worrying but we pick ourselves up and everyday, we fight for a better Malaysia because that is how much we love this country.



7. This year, I went to Singapore for the first time in my life. I love Malaysia better.



8. I attended a makan + chit chat session with the top political leaders from Parti Amanah Negara and met a few others from DAP too, including Tony Pua and Rajiv Rishyakaran.

9. 2015 has made me see drastic changes of the people around me. There's a lot to think about and digest. It's been a challenging year when often times people and circumstances around have made me question my beliefs. Disappointments crept in to cast doubts over my own judgments. Yet, although it's difficult to see what's beyond the terrible and annoying situations which are beyond my own control, perhaps it's very well that I finally see the hidden side of people and start to embrace and appreciate what's real.


10. Some things in 2015 ended in a sombre mood and there the feeling of regret still lingers while I write this down. I wish I done this. I wished I said it better. I wished I took the chance. But more than anything, I look forward to 2016, to new beginnings. The hardest thing is to find peace with yourself and I resolve in my heart that certain things happens, and those things are just beyond my control. I pray that as I continue to journey this life, I continue to learn to be at rest and trust in the amazing Father I have.


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Review: Cow Sense for Young People by Lydia Teh

I buy dozens of books every year but I'm guilty because I probably only read half of them most of the time. Although I love reading, I've never written a book review. So here's my first attempt, and this is for Lydia Teh's latest book, 'Cow Sense for Young People'.



Image source: MPHOnline.com

'Cow Sense for Young People' is the author's 9th book, a compilation of articles first published in The Sun. The book is structured in a series of frequently asked questions (FAQ) format. 

Frankly, I personally feel that humor is always a hit and miss thing but one thing's for sure, Lydia Teh is one witty writer. The book is perfect for light reading, and the style of writing (plus the usage of Manglish) makes this book not just relatable but also enjoyable and easy to read. Though it is difficult for me to say that it's the kind of book that I will pack inside a bag and bring with for an adventure, I do see myself picking up the book and re-reading it over and over again for leisure.

On surface, people may quickly dismiss it as a book under the 'Funny' genre, but really it's a self-development book that offers nuggets of wisdom and plenty useful advice for youngsters. I can foresee that some may not completely agree with the author on certain points, but I believe they are great food for thought.

On another note, I am pleased to find lots of reference to pop icons such as Adele, Simon Cowell and even Youtube personality, Ryan Higa. These names should resonate with the ordinary youth and young adult. 

Perhaps I'm nitpicking but I think it's crucial to mention the following since the book is targeted at young people (though it's also obvious that adults may also enjoy this book). There's a reference in the book to Finding Nemo's Dory but the name was referenced as 'Dora'. So yes, the popular fish is Dory, not Dora (The Explorer). I do think that young people would have spotted this mistake since Finding Nemo is extremely popular - one of the highest grossing animated film of all time and is the best selling DVD of all time. And personal pet peeve, Nicol David was spelled as Nicole David.

Favourite line from the book: Once you’ve decided that happiness is a choice, it is easier to align your attitude to make happiness a reality.

In essence, 'Cow Sense for Young People' appears to be a book of answers to questions that I may not have even thought about before, and it's a great read. There's nothing really controversial except perhaps (it's arguable) that the author often offers a conventional worldview of things which the modern youth may cease to agree. 

Finally, sit back and relax as you read on as Lydia Teh is going to give you an entertaining look at the world of young people who wonders about the practicalities of life.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Food: BWB Flaming On Table, Desa Sri Hartamas


If you fancy watching someone cook in front of you, perhaps you'll be intrigued with how BWB Flaming On Table (formerly known as BWB Yakitori) serves its signature dishes.

For the signature flaming series dishes, be prepared to whip out your camera and spam your shutter to take the nicest picture as the staff 'set your dish on fire'. Be quick as this will only last for seconds. Then, smirk at your beautiful picture you've captured and post on Instagram or Facebook. Anyway, that's exactly what I did:



There's a few dish available for the flaming series, here's some of it:

1. Ocean On Fire - Ocean trout, scallop and prawn



2. Angry bird - chicken drumstick



3. Oink-oink on burning - Sakura pork rib


As you can see, the flaming series dishes looks really nice. Besides the great food presentation, they also taste really good. Also I have to mention this: all their poached eggs are on point!

Aside from the signature dishes, BWB F.O.T. has a wide range of dishes from wagyu beef all the way to the humble traditional spaghetti.


Fragyu - pan fried wagyu top with foie gras. The wagyu is not of the best cut but it's still good - after all it's a wagyu beef meat we are talking about!



Salmon Carpaccio - raw ocean trout served with carpaccio sauce and salad. I really love this. Salmon was really fresh and the carpaccio sauce complements the salmon.



Truffle butter toast - mini french toast served with truffles butter and caviar topping. One of the favourite dish from the night. Simple and perfect combination.

More food:


Cup noodle - pan fried bacon chips, dry chilli, aglio and thyme. It was alright for me. A little dry for my liking.



Grilled squid.



Salted shrimp - fried shrimp with assorted chilli spices. Most people were commenting that it was a little too salty for them.




Seafood Pasta - prawn, mussel, trout and scallop served with tomato sauce and herbs. Can't go wrong with this.




Chicken bun chicken pulled with cucumber, cabbage, onion ring. Nothing too spectacular about this.



Beef Macaroni - home cook beef brisket served with egg and green peas. Love the beef brisket, they were tender.



Chicken drumstick from Angry Bird (Flaming On Table flaming dish series).



Petai Toast - toast served with sambal petai and egg. I personally feel that the sambal petai is actually underwhelming so I'm guessing those who don't take petai may actually consider having this.



Bolognese Toast - toast served with minced pork and egg. Again, this is one of those dish that isn't there to impress but my, look at that egg!



Piggy Burger - sakura mince meat, oat, onion served with sunny bun. Felt that the patty was just OK - bordering a little too dry for my liking.


Even more food (I didn't manage to try the food from this point onwards):


Piccante Mussels - mussels in spicy tomato sauce.



Ebi Niniku (shrimp), Bacon Cheese Asparagus, and Sazae Niniku (escargot).



Calamari salsa  - fried baby baby calamari with salsa sauce.



Sizzling seafood - prawn, salmon, squid, oyster and mussel with sizzling spicy sauce.



Secco Seppia - grill marinated sun fried pulled cuttlefish.



Yellow Bomb - lobster salad with caviar cucumber and mango.



Traditional Spaghetti - tomato, minced pork, carrot, onion and herb.



Beef roll- slice beef wrapped with golden mushrooms.



Clockwise from top: seasalt, truffle bacon, matcha green tea, passion fruit and XO cherry (middle). Fancy flavours. Although I didn't get to try them, everyone who did were praising how good the ice creams were and I could tell that all of them wanted more.

So, there. BWB F.O.T. really has an extensive menu boasting about 100 different dishes (at the point of visit) so really everyone can find something they love to eat here. As this was a tasting event, I didn't get to try all the food in this post (as mentioned).

Also, I forgot to take a picture (oh no!) but I need to mention this: BWB served lemongrass drinks and I absolutely love it and it was such a refreshing drink.







Based on my personal observation, the restaurant was understaffed and the kitchen area was quite slow in dishing out orders. However for a pub-restaurant, I was really impressed with the wide selection of food on the menu.

Price wise, keeping in mind that the location is in Desa Sri Hartamas (popularly known as a more 'atas' area) I feel divided about the value as some dish are reasonably priced while others are slightly more than what I would pay for. That being said, BWB does offer a brunch menu which offers some really deal.

As usual, parking could be a problem at Desa Sri Hartamas but there's an open air carpark right outside BWB F.O.T. but of course it comes with a (high) price. Even on a weekend, the carpark was relatively empty, so I figure many of us don't really want to pay but for convenience and rather than going rounds finding for a spot, the money you pay may be just worth it.

Rating:
Food: 6/10 (Try the signature flaming series dishes)
Service: 5/10
Value: 6/10
Atmosphere: 5/10 (Place is quite noisy but it's quite normal for a pub setting)

BWB Flaming On Table
8, Jalan 27/70A,
Desa Sri Hartamas,
Kuala Lumpur.
FB: BWB Flaming On Table


Monday, November 23, 2015

Food: BBQ Town, Mid Valley Megamall (Pork-Free)

Thinking of having a BBQ session? Someone from your family wants shabu shabu instead? Cannot decide? So why not get the best of both worlds at BBQ Town, Mid Valley Megamall?






BBQ Town has been around for quite some time now at Mid Valley Megamall. Here, you can enjoy Thai BBQ and Japanese shabu shabu, buffet style.



At BBQ Town, patrons can choose from having beef, lamb or chicken. If you like, you don't even have to choose at all and get all three. The meat are all from Australia. Best of all, it's free flow!



Most places use pork fat for grilling and also to prevent the blackening (carbonized bits) on the grill. Here at BBQ Town, the beef fat is provided instead because this place is in fact a pork-free restaurant and no alcohol is served here. If you don't take beef, no worries, you can let the waiters know and you'll be given sesame oil instead.

For shabu shabu, patrons can opt for the two types of broth offered here, namely Konbu chicken soup and spicy miso soup. I got to try both and honestly I cannot decide which one I like better because I actually love both! However, the spicy miso soup is actually not spicy at all, and for the record - I don't really take spicy stuff.  









All the meat are sliced into perfection, thin enough to make your BBQ experience better so that you don't have to take a long time to grill your meat. 



You can make your own sauce at BBQ town.



Healthy vegetable spread available at the counter, while you can request the helpful waiters around to get refill for your meat. Before I forget, there's also some beefball, squid and scallop at the counter.



There's also sushi available at BBQ Town with no extra charges. 



Took a few piece of sushi to try. It's not too bad, just average but decent enough. I'll actually however skip the sushi (because rice makes me full) and focus on devouring the lamb and beef. 




BBQ Town also offers limited ala-carte dishes including the popular ebi tempura, agedashi tofu, gyoza age, garlic fried rice just to name a few.



Crispy fried chicken wings was really good. Well marinated and super crispy. Delicious :)



Thai Papaya salad was flavorful, a good appetizer. 







Last but not least, end your meal with the unlimited green tea or chocolate soft serve ice cream with toppings.

Admittedly, the buffet spread is rather limited but I'm thinking that people like myself will come back to BBQ Town for its fresh meat. I also really love two choices of broths available and enjoy the shabu shabu more than the BBQ actually. It's really a fun and hearty meal to enjoy with family and friends. What's even better is the value because BBQ Town is reasonably priced at RM32.80++ for lunch and RM39.80++ for dinner (additional RM2 for weekend and public holidays) for an adult. 

Rating:
Food: 6.5/10 (Limited choice but excellent meat and broth)
Service: 7/10
Value: 7.5/10
Atmosphere: 6/10 (No exhaust to prevent me from smelling like smoke when I left)

BBQ Town,
S025-026,
2nd Floor, North Court,
Mid Valley Megamall.
59200 Kuala Lumpur.