Heineken UEFA Champions League – Be Prepared!

great-together

Heineken is running an online contest on the UEFA Champions League. However, this is not your standard run-off-the-mill contest where you fill in your particulars and tick a few easy to answer questions. Heineken Be Prepared is actually a fully interactive online Flash game!

beer-delivery

The Heineken Be Prepared game has three stages/games – I’ve just completed the first game (Beer Delivery) and found out that I need two other players to complete the remaining stages. I must applaud Heineken for this campaign – it’s very interactive and social, the next wave of online content. The game even has a nice ending video clip to reward you!

video

The Be Prepared games are not about football (soccer) so you don’t need to be a football fan to enjoy it. There are three games – Beer Delivery, Mexican Wave and Beer Slide, which are all arcade style games. I played Beer Delivery, which required me to memorize a map and then guide a Heineken beer truck to the supermarket.

I’m not good with memorizing stuff so I need someone who can do that as a team partner. Heineken Be Prepared requires three (3) people to play so I need two more players.

finish

The second game is described as Mexican Wave, where someone who is good in DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) type games would come in handy here.

I will be playing the third stage/game – Beer Slide, since it requires a steady hand and fast reflexes, both qualities that I possess (though not at the same time ;)).

I need two others players to complete the games. The fastest combined time wins and the prize is three (3 – so all of us gets to go) tickets to Heineken Star Final, an exclusive UEFA Champions League final viewing experience on an exotic tropical island (!).

All right, in order to do this, the first two comments (please leave a valid email address in the comment itself) will get a chance to play the game with me for the prize. Please leave your email address in the comment and an indication that you want to (seriously!) join the sixthseal.com team for this endeavor.

I’m very keen on winning the grand prize. I mean, just look at it – three (3 – so all of us get to go) tickets to the UEFA Champions League Final viewing party on an exotic tropical island!

heineken

Please, refrain from drinking while playing the game, since we do need the fastest time to win.

Three friends. Three games. One Prize.

friends

Off to the exotic tropical island! =D

Palacio Restaurant @ Asian Heritage Row

palacio

Palacio Restaurant & Lounge is located at the prestigious Asian Heritage Row district in Jalan Doraisamy. Palacio means Palace in Latin and the establishment serves a fusion of Southern French and Spanish cuisine. I went there with my girlfriend to celebrate her (very substantial) salary increase. I promised to buy her dinner with just the two of us, which was a bit tricky to arrange since I had meet-ups with a lot of people during the short trip there.

asian heritage row

Asian Heritage Row is a quaint lane that somehow organized itself into a place renowned for its fine dining, nightlife and entertainment. The history behind the establishment of the dilapidated shop houses along Jalan Doraisamy into a one of the trendiest strips in KL is very interesting transformation that I was fortunately privy to, having worked in KL when it was first proposed and built.

palacio interior

Palacio is divided into three (3) distinct dining experiences – there is an al fresco area in the Palacio front garden, a laid-back cozy arrangement on the ground floor and a fine dining area on the first floor. I wanted to go up to the first floor, but the air-conditioning has not brought the temperature down to a comfortable level yet so we settled with the ground floor ambiance.

palacio tables

The seating arrangements at the ground floor is warm and inviting, with lots of wood fittings. There is a lounge at the side for a more relaxed social gathering. The place serves beer at very reasonable prices – it’s RM 35 per jug for local draft beef during Happy Hour. The service is impeccable too – the waiters are very attentive and attuned to your every whim and fancy.

palacio ambience

There is a wall motif running along the length of the Palacio that is almost holographic, due to the ingenious placement of lighting fixtures. The length of the ground floor is bordered by a long couch with regular chairs on the opposite side of the tables. The effective use of mirrors increase the spatial perception of the size of the restaurant – it’s a common interior design technique to make a place “look” bigger.

palacio fois gras

Foie Gras (RM 48)
This is served with tempura asparagus, caramelized onions and mango chutney on a toasted baguette slice. Palacio is a French and Spanish cuisine establishment and this is one of the specialties of the house. It has multi-cultural influences, and this dish turned out to be a great fusion of unique flavors.

palacio fois gras liver

The foie gras (duck/goose liver) is tender and comes in a single, intact portion. This French delicacy literally bursts with juicy goodness with every bite. Highly recommended, despite the price and small serving size. I could eat the entire thing in a single mouthful!

palacio cinnamon cod

Cinnamon Black Cod (RM 40)
The Cinnamon Black Cod is served with sides of sweet mashed potato, mango mojo, citrus cabbage and red capsicum sauce. The “mango mojo” is the sauce and goes surprisingly well with the cinnamon marinated cod. The black cod was excellent, maintaining the natural moisture of the aquatic creature inside. It certainly hasn’t lost its mojo. ;)

palacio cinnamon black cod

The portion is a little on the small side though, but I guess “fine dining” is synonymous with tiny portions for the more refined diners amongst us. Doris thought it was just right, but she doesn’t eat much and cannot be used as an accurate gauge for the appetites of regular diners.

palacio braised lamb shank

Braised Lamb Shank (RM 40)
I had the more reasonably portioned braised lamb shank for the main dish. It’s served with tomato and grape chutney, mashed potatoes and rosemary sauce. The serving is indeed quite large (even for my standards) – a full lamb shank smack dab in the middle of your plate with rosemary sauce and tiny mushrooms.

palacio lamb shank

The braised lamb shank is delicious and the meat turned out so tender, it practically falls apart from the bone with the slightest gesture of the fork. ;)

Palacio Restaurant and Lounge also serves beer-based drinks I dubbed “beertails”. Beertails instead of cocktails. I was elated at the fit of inspiration where I thought I had coined the term, but a quick Google search revealed that the word has been around for quite a while. :(

palacio beertails

Palacio Beer (RM 20) is the green beer which is a cocktail (beertail) of Midori, Malibu and beer. The Bloody Beer (RM 15) is a beertail made with watermelon liquor and a shot of Absolut Raspberri. It tastes good, but it’s definitely not a drink for beer aficionados and purists from the Holy Trinity of Hop, Malt and Barley Church.

palacio mud pie

We finished off with a dessert of Palacio’s Mississippi Mud Pie (RM 15) – a sinful concoction of chocolate cake, cream and ice cream. The Mississippi Mud Pie came piping hot and the contrast with the cold ice cream is a match made in heaven!

palacio us src="http://www.sixthseal.com/images/palacio%20us.jpg" class="mt-image-none" style="" height="375" width="500" />

Palacio is a great place for a casual dinner at the Asian Heritage Row. The foie gras was memorable, the beertails interesting, and the service impeccable. The bill came up to a total of RM 244.95 which is not very expensive for the occasional indulgence. The Palace is located at:

Palacio Restaurant & Lounge
Asian Heritage Row
Jalan Doraisamy,
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

WANTED! The Super SMS Duck & The Super FnF Duck – REWARD Duck or Alive!

The FBI (Farm Bureau of Investigation) is using sixthseal.com to send out an APB to all readers – there are two fugitives wanted for crimes against duck-kind. You can help bring these criminals to justice. There will be rewards for finding the two outlaw ducks. Calling all duck hunters!

wanted

The two mug shots above show what the ducks look like. This APB (All Points Bulletin) is meant for all vigilante readers. Keep an eye out for the Super SMS and Super FnF Ducks.

The Super FnF Duck

fnf-duck

Height: 9 cm
Weight: 0.2 kg
Skin Color: Yellow
Identifying marks: Tattoo on rear right flank – “FnF” in a brown circle.
Behavioral traits: Incessant quacking.
Known accomplices: The Super SMS Duck
Crime: Talking cock.
Last known address: The Super FnF Duck has recently been sighted together with the Super SMS Duck in various blogs on the net.

The Super SMS Duck

sms-duck

Height: 9 cm
Weight: 0.8 kg (with cell phone)
Skin Color: Yellow
Identifying marks: None
Behavioral traits: Constantly texting on a cell phone. Frequently seen with a glass receptacle with the label “SMS” on right wing flap.
Known accomplices: The Super FnF Duck
Crime: Excessive texting.
Last known address: The Super SMS Duck has recently been sighted together with the Super FnF Duck in various blogs on the net.

The FBI first noticed the Super FnF Duck dialed *112*1# and further investigations revealed that the Super FnF Duck has been talking a lot of cock at only 15 sen / minute to 15 friends on ALL networks.

This led to the discovery of the Super SMS Duck odd dialing pattern to *112*2# at the same time. Additional surveillance discovered that the Super SMS Duck has been texting so excessively due to free unlimited SMS with just RM 0.50 usage!

You can register as an official Duck Hunter at the DiGi Wanted Ducks website and start by getting a hint to decipher the first clue to track down the renegade ducks. The ducks are suspected to be hiding in various blogs on the net and you can bring them to justice by clicking on the ducks you see in the blog and pasting the code into the contest form.

There was a mass prison break at the farm so you’ll have to do a headcount of the ducks left on the farm after bringing the ducks in. The Top 10 Duck Hunters will be rewarded by the FBI (Farm Bureau of Investigation) each week for your efforts:

Week 1 – 10 x Sony Ericsson W880i
Week 2 – 10 x iPod Nano
Week 3 – 10 x Sony PSP
Week 4 – 10 x iPod Touch
Week 5 – 10 x Sony Ericsson W850i
Bonus Week – 5 x Sony PS3

Come back to http://www.wantedducks.com.my to check out the winners list. The winners will also receive an e-mail and a phone call.

Please play your role in bringing the fugitive ducks to justice! The FBI is counting on YOU!

Absolut Akimbo!

absolut akimbo

Absolut Akimbo! I managed to get two (2) 1 liter bottles of duty-free vodka goodness from my sister and her husband traveling back from NZ. I wanted Absolut New Orleans and Absolut Los Angeles (the two new city themed Absolut vodka flavors) but my sister couldn’t find it…or couldn’t be bothered to look for it, I’ll never be sure. ;)

absolut ruby red

She couldn’t find Absolut Pears (to complete my Absolut-ly Fabulous liquor collection) either, so I settled with Absolut Ruby Red, which I already have and thus have earned the right (in my twisted rhetoric) to drink…

absolut mango

…and Absolut Mango, launched earlier this year for my collection.

absolut madness

I’ve been trying to find the elusive Absolut 100 (2007) in the black bottles that weighs in at a respectable 50% alcohol but it’s apparently not available at our fine KLIA duty free retail experience. Oh well…

Happy monthsary, dear. :)

TuneHotels.com KL review

tune hotel display

I first heard of Tune Hotels when I saw their functional display at the LCCT terminal at KLIA. It sounded like a great concept – a clean budget hotel with the basics and prices starting from just RM 9.99. It’s operated by the AirAsia conglomerate and I decided to book a room to experience the concept hotel.

tune hotel

The hotel is located near the Medan Tuanku Monorail Station and the interesting thing about the hotel is that it’s not called Tune Hotel. It’s called TuneHotels.com. It’s like 1997 all over again, with the dot com craze. The other thing that impressed itself upon me was the vast amount of advertising that’s plastered around the facade. It’s like the hotel is one gigantic billboard!

tune reception

The price of the hotel rooms fluctuates according to demand, much like AirAsia tickets. I got our double room for RM 48.99. The price is for the room only, and everything extra is charged. Towels and soap goes for RM 15, air conditioning is charged at RM 6.83 for 5 hours and RM 13.49 for 12 hours, and WiFi is available for RM 12 for 24 hours.

tune anchor

TuneHotels.com also implements the interesting concept of “anchor franchise tenants” – there is a 7Eleven, a Subway and another franchise eating establishment at the lobby. TuneHotels.com has a very stringent check-in policy. The check-in time is at 2 pm and no one gets to check in before the designated time. Thus, there’s a huge queue of people waiting at the lobby, which usually ends up patronizing the franchise tenants. Amazing marketing…

tune hotels exterior

The check-out time is at 10 am – 2 hours before the regular 12 pm check-out time for hotels, which is something to watch out for. I didn’t remember and was awakened from my blissful ethanol induced slumber at 11 am by housekeeping to politely remind me that the check-out time is at 10 pm. They don’t charge you for overstaying though, so it’s still alright.

tune rooms

The rooms at TuneHotels.com are as small as everyone says. There’s hardly enough space for two people to pass through the corridor! It looks a little like a love hotel too, as my girlfriend commented – there are pink neon lighting surrounding huge mirrors (probably for increase spatial perception) and the luminosity from a lot of the fixings are neon in nature. The bathroom is a little small and cramped, but I can’t complain for the price – and it’s very clean to boot.

tune room ads

One thing you may have noticed from the photos is that there are a lot of advertisements even in the room. I could count a McDonald’s ad, a CIMB Bank ad, a Visa card ad, and a Maggi instant noodles ad vying for eyeballs in the bedroom itself! It’s staggering!

tune floor ads

An advertiser sponsors each and every floor at TuneHotels.com too, much like the KL Monorail…

tune fav

…this is my personal favorite. ;)

tune danger

The architect of TuneHotels.com is a proponent of the minimum space, maximum occupancy philosophy and this leads to the height of the rooms being extra low. I nearly hit my face on the ceiling fan (when it was on full blast!) while standing up on the bed. Granted, there are signs warning you against the perils of the low hung ceiling fan causing unfortunate incidents, but still…

tune anna

You get to meet a lot of people at TuneHotels.com too, the backpacker types – this is Anna from Gold Coast, Australia who kindly pulled up a chair for me when I went down for a smoke at 2 am in the morning (which was why I look half asleep). She’s here on a modeling assignment.

tune end

I’m impressed with Datuk Tony Fernandez’s business acumen. Sponsored floors! Advertising in the elevators! Franchise tenants! The commercialization of the TuneHotels.com operation is staggering. Personally, I don’t mind as long as the savings are passed down to the guests. :)

Shanghai 10 @ Sungai Wang Plaza

shanghai10

Shanghai 10 is a Hong Kong style eating establishment located at Sungai Wang Plaza. There was a promoter passing out 10% discount vouchers at the escalators so we decided to check the place out. The full color brochure is printed with tantalizing photos of the dishes, some of which were quite unique.

shanghai10 interior

Shanghai10 is a direct English translation of the Chinese name, which actually means “Shanghai Sky”. 10 and “tien” (sky) is phonetically similar. The interior of the place is plastered with ancient Chinese scrolls and paintings – all in a contiguous length covering the perimeter of the enclosure, which is pretty impressive.

shanghai10 drinks

The place is packed with patrons having brunch and we got ourselves a seat and decided to binge a little since we were famished from not having breakfast. My girlfriend went for the Iced Honey Lemon Jasmine Tea (RM 3.20) and I ordered Guinness Stout (RM 10.80) that still came in the old skool cans containing the proper 8% alcohol. ;)

shanghai10 shark fin

Double Boiled Seafood Soup Dumplings with Shark Fin (RM 12)
This is one of the signature soups of the place. It’s served with a rather generous portion of shark fin on top of the soup, which contains fish maw, crab sticks and several huge peeled prawns. The broth is hearty and delicious, especially with a dash of pepper after the shark fin has been consumed.

shanghai10 montage

Shanghai Special Fried Bean Sheet (RM 7.80)
This tasted really good, with generous portions of seafood. I love the fried bean sheet and was enthusing about it to my girlfriend. We don’t get that over here in Sarawak. The texture and size of the bean sheet is really nice.
Kei Chi Fried Rice (RM 5.80)
Kei Chi is the red bead thing that always goes into double boiled chicken soup. I don’t know what it’s called in English but its supposed help you with your eyesight. *shrugs* I didn’t find this dish particularly interesting.
Shanghai Double Boiled Soup Dumplings (RM 6.90)
This is the famous “xiao long pau” (small dragon buns) which is made with the chicken broth still inside the paper-thin wrap. Shanghai 10 does a good version of this. It’s topped with fish roe – a very nice touch.
Shanghai 10 Jade Shrimp Dumplings (RM 4.20)
This is the Shanghai 10 signature version of the popular dim sum. The har kaw comes with a huge, succulent prawn inside and it’s juicy and tender. Nice!

shanghai10 dragon

The Shanghai Double Boiled Soup Dumplings is supposed to be pierced first to let the chicken broth drain out before consuming. The ritual has a pragmatic rationale – the soup is scalding hot, as Doris found out when she accidentally scalded her tongue on it. Probably ruined her taste buds for the day, that. ;)

shanghai10 avocado

This is the house specialty dessert – Avocado with Kataifi (RM 5.20). It’s a Greek dessert originating from the Middle East, where it is known as Kanafeh. The crispy exterior of the Kataifi in Shanghai 10 goes well with the avocado paste inside. It’s a bit too oily for our tastes though.

shanghai10 durian

The other dessert we ordered is the Durian Pancake (RM 4.80). This dessert is served cold and comes in a durian skin wrap and a filling made of fresh durians. It’s absolutely fabulous! The sinfully delicious dessert is creamy and rich, and it comes highly recommended from me. :)

shanghai10 end

Shanghai 10 is an agreeable dining experience for shopping mall standards. The bill came up to RM 62.80 for the two of us, after the 10% discount voucher that was passed to us at the elevator. I highly recommend it for the durian pancake. It’s heavenly!

(pun not intended)

Frontera Bar & Grill @ Jaya One

frontera

Frontera Bar & Grill is located at Jaya One and serves authentic Tex-Mex fare. I was invited by Larry to sample his repertoire of culinary delights and went there for lunch with my girlfriend in tow. Frontera Bar & Grill is open from 12 pm till late and serves premium tequila with Patron being the flagship brand of the place.

interior

The interior of Frontera Bar & Grill has a distinct Mexican theme with agave plants, pictures of person(s) of Latin American descent, and sarapes hanging from the ceiling. The colorful pieces of fabric adds a lot of ambiance to the place, as does the Mexican gangsta rap music emanating from the speakers as we walked into the eating establishment. ;)

chips salsa

The friendly waiter informed us that Larry was on his way and served us some Chips & Salsa while we were waiting. The salsa is homemade with fresh Jalapenos and serves as a great dip for the chips. I love scooping up the salsa with the nachos, it makes for a fun snack and we were famished from not eating the entire day (due to waking up a scant hour before, nursing a hangover).

horny margarita

It is said that the best cure for a hangover is more alcohol and thus, we had the Horny Margarita. It’s made with Sauza tequila (100% agave tequila) and derives its name from the Hornitos label. Larry arrived soon after that and settled down once the introductions have been made. It was great to meet up with him again. I’ve known him for ages and I’m glad that he’s finally made it to the big leagues.

taquitos

This is the Taquitos de Pollo. It’s an appetizer made with Frontera chicken wrapped in corn tortillas and served with salsa verde (green sauce) and sour cream. The Frontera chicken is submersed in their special chili marinade before baking and it came out juicy and creamy. The contrast between the tender chicken and the crispy tortilla skin creates an interesting texture in the mouth. The salsa verde and sour cream sauce also serves as a good antidote for the Habanero chili challenge I took on. ;)

enchiladas

I had the Beef Enchiladas, which Larry recommended. It’s made with New Mexico Red chili sauce and topped with cheese. The beef is specially ordered with just the right amount of lean meat vs fat ratio and it’s so tender it almost melts in the mouth. The chili used in the dish had to be imported in as well. I love this dish. I rate this the best of the Frontera menu.

chimichanga

Doris had the Chicken Chimichanga which is a huge wrap of chicken served with a side of frijoles refritos (Refried beans) and Mexican rice. The Chicken Chimichanga is topped with melted cheese and the refried beans and Mexican rice on the side makes it a very filling dish. Frontera doesn’t skimp on the chicken too, the wrap is chock full of chicken pieces.

cheeseburger

We also got a chance to sample the new menu, affectionately dubbed “Gringo Fare” by Larry. This is the Frontera Cheese Burger which is served with fries sprinkled with Frontera’s chili peppers. The cheese burger is huge and comes with a lot of cheese – a perfect cheeseburger. It still maintains the Tex-Mex influence from the flavored fries and the beef patty is juicy and delicious.

chicken sandwich

The next item in the yet-to-be-released new “Gringo Fare” menu is the Frontera Chicken Sandwich with Jalapeno Coleslaw. I reckon it shouldn’t be called a chicken sandwich – the lean chicken cut inside the bun is so enormous, it should be a main dish in its own right! My girlfriend really liked this one, the chicken is tender and juicy and the Jalapeno coleslaw stays true to Frontera’s Tex-Mex roots.

agave margarita

The huge meal was washed down with Frontera’s Agave Margarita, which is made with agave syrup instead of sugar syrup. The difference between a pure agave margarita made with agave syrup is surprisingly distinctive from one made with sugar syrup. It doesn’t really hit you until after a while too, and Frontera serves their margaritas with a full US shot (as in 45 ml) instead of the UK definition of a “shot” (25 ml) which most pubs use.

Behind the Scenes

dried chilis

Dried Chili
Ancho
New Mexico Red
Guajillo
Chili de Arbol
Pasilla
Chipotle Morita

fresh chilis

Fresh Chili
Habanero
Jalapeno

Interesting fact: Frontera means border or frontier in Spanish.

jaya one

Frontera Bar & Grill
No. 18-8-2 Block L,
Palm Square, Jaya One
Jalan University, Petaling Jaya.
T +603 7958 8515
F +603 7958 8125

The Matriarch

grandma photo

The Matriarch of the Poh clan celebrated her 78th birthday last night at Swansea Restaurant. The dishes on the table are the obligatory deep fried boiled egg (each person eats one) surrounding fried longevity noodles and of course, ginseng chicken soup.

grandma fish

I also like this candid photo of my sister peering at the fish (also another essential dish in Chinese dinners).

grandma group

My grandmother is an inspiration to me – she got married at the tender age of 16 (!) and fathered my dad when she was a scant 19 years old. It was an arranged marriage (as was the custom in those days) and she has more than fulfilled her duties as a loyal wife to my deceased grandfather, sticking by him through thick and thin, until he died of lung cancer 15 years ago.

It’s truly amazing to see the sheer perseverance and unquestioning diligence that she exudes, taking the cards life has dealt her without so much as a grumble, and still maintaining a cheerful disposition everyday.

I take my hat off to her, she’s much stronger than me.

I bet she’s stronger than much of the current “Where’s my slice? I want more than equal rights” generation too.

Happy Birthday, popo!

Me Against The World Challenge energized by 100PLUS

100PLUS start

I used to mountain bike, and would always challenge myself to do something cool. It’s been some years but then, I came across a very interesting challenge called Me Against The World energized by 100PLUS. Now I can prove myself to the world how good I used to be!

Thus, I packed my trusty old mountain bike and went to a local park renowned for its steep and unforgiving concrete steps in order to film myself riding down the incline. I went for the hardest trail coz great swords are always forged by fire, and he who dares wins.

I’m not a very good mountain biker but I did it with sheer determination and perseverance.

Life has no limits, and there are bound to be spills (and thrills) but if you push on and never give up, and just keep on going, then you’re in a position to challenge yourself, and challenge the world.

The online challenge is going on from the 15th of October 2008 to the 15th of February 2009. Upload a video of yourself doing something challenging within these four categories:

Sports (e.g. football freestyle, cool basketball tricks etc.)
Dance / Music (e.g. breakdance, drum solo etc.)
Extreme Sports (e.g. skateboarding, surfing etc.)
Lifestyle (e.g. skipping rope tricks, cheerleading, handstands etc.)

…and get people to vote for you to win fantastic monthly prizes. The top 12 ranked videos (3 per category) will win:

Month 1 – Nike vouchers worth RM 300 each
Month 2 – Sony products worth RM 299 each
Month 3 – Topshop vouchers worth RM 300 each
Month 4 – Nike vouchers worth RM 300 each

The Top 12 ranked videos at the end of the campaign period will be selected to perform LIVE at the Challenge Finale where the top three prize winners will take in a combined RM 12,000 in prizes from Sony, Nike, Topshop and 100PLUS.

Alternatively, choose to just register as a voter, and win monthly lucky draw prizes. The 5 lucky winners every month will win Nike vouchers worth RM 50 each.

100PLUS end

I’m a novice mountain biker and I can do this challenge in one morning. Do you have what it takes to challenge me? Take a video of yourself doing something challenging in one of the four categories and post it on the site and prove to the world you’ve got what it takes.

Life has no limits!

Your moment of truth awaits you. Strut your stuff and discover your capabilities at the Me Against The World Challenge energized by 100PLUS!

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