Sarawak Laksa @ Madam Tang's Cafe, Kuching

madam tangs

You know how I always say I prefer Asam Laksa to Sarawak Laksa? Well, I don’t know if it was the rather intense workout this morning but I just had lunch with the Project Alpha Season 1 bloggers at Madam Tang’s Cafe in Petanak and it was fucking good.

madam tang interior

The Sarawak Laksa Special (RM 10.80) comes with a lot of huge, juicy prawns. It is as good as the one in Golden Arch Garden Laksa which was a favorite haunt of mine when I was working in Kuching due to the proximity to my office back then.

sarawak laksa

Sarawak Laksa is a bit different from the other santan (coconut milk) laced concoctions and it was refreshing (not sure if this is the correct adjective but it feels right to me) to get reacquainted with this superb specialty from my hometown again.

A squeeze of lime into the belacan paste mixed into the Sarawak laksa is a ritual I haven’t done in a long time. Heavenly.

beef noodles

The Beef Noodle Special is pretty awesome too! We had a taste of it and ended up ordering a bowl to share.

I also managed to meet up with a lot of Kuching bloggers and good friends today – that was another highlight of the trip! :)

sarawak laksa special

Next up is dinner at Topspot @ Permata Carpark which is really famous for their seafood. I’m still full from lunch though so I’m not sure if I can handle a lot of that tonight. >.<

Meow!

kuching

Hello Kuching! It’s been a while since I was here, and a lot of things have changed – new malls Spring-ing up (haha bad pun), new hotels, and generally a lot more vertically inclined buildings scattered around the city. I daresay it’s about as developed as Penang now.

It’s a full day of shooting for us Project Alpha Season 1 bloggers and I only slept 4 hours last night so today is gonna be a long day! I’m quite excited though coz things look so new and different now.

We’re staying at 360 Hotel if anyone wants to drop by. It’s a pretty good boutique hotel.

Most of the people are here for the first time, and as a Sarawakian, I had to put up with a lot of “Oh, Kuching also got Shell/7-Eleven/(insert common franchise)”.

 >.<

My Dream in the Year of the Tiger

jestina

Jestina sent me a photo she took from her BB last Saturday and it made me smile the entire day. I sat there, pondering on why I felt so happy when the proverbial light bulb came on. *cue That’s Amore song* 

bbm

My dream in the Year of the Tiger is, in no uncertain terms, get into a relationship with Jestina Goon. My calculator tells me that I’m hitting 29 in a little more than two months so that means I’ll be pushing 30 next year. The Lunar New Year and Valentine’s Day falls on the very same day this year so this would be the perfect opportunity! =D

I remember singing Ai De Lu Shang Zhi You Wo He Ni (Just the two of us walking down the road of love) over the phone a couple of months ago to her. It’s not as good as Richie Ren’s version, far from it, but it’s the thought that matters right?

I also sent her a rather cheesy email some time ago: 

love-letter

However, with the slow progress, I’m thinking maybe she just doesn’t like the player type. Jestina is a really nice girl so I shall do it By The Book (TM) (1920 edition, went out of print 1950 due to changing times but my dad has a First Cover Edition). ;)

Dad: Be a good boy, old skool is gold school, treat her well.

Okay dad. 

melaka chalet

I should take a page from The Egg Yolks‘ book and pursue her properly. He’s getting married soon so he’s gotta be doing something right. Now here’s where the RM 8,888 comes in.

According to the Gentleman’s Playbook (circa 1920) the obligatory procedure is the classic flowers, dinner and date.

a bouquet for you 

However, a small aside on the entry mentions that all these can be skipped if you already know the lady. Thus, I’m going to use it all for a romantic vacation to seal the deal! ;)

What is the first thing that comes into mind when you think of romance? Venice

venice

I’ve got this free unlimited flights thing going on (the Year of the Tiger has been good to me) so we’ll only need to pay for one person which comes up to RM 4603 for a return trip.

That leaves RM 4285.

Il-Palazzo

The majority of that will go into accommodation – Il Palazzo is the place to be! It overlooks the Grand Canal and has a personal concierge service. The suites at Bauer Il Palazzo is considered to be the most luxurious in Venice – perfect for a romantic getaway. The suites don’t come cheap at 750 Euros (which works out to RM 3,600) so that leaves me with:

RM 685 

venice-italy

We’ll be doing the gondola thing, visiting all the art museums and dine in romantic hole-in-the-wall restaurants so I really hope I win the Grand Prize which comes with extra RM 1,888 cash to fund the trip.

Crap, that sounds like a something out of a player’s handbook after all. Haha! Oh well.

Anyway, if all goes well you’re all invited to our wedding. ;) 

wedding

Tiger Beer is the official beer for the Year of the Tiger. Do you have a wish you want Tiger Beer to fulfill in the Year of the Tiger? Just write a blog post like this in order to stand a chance to participate in Nuffnangers Run to Win towards the Year of the Tiger. If you snag the first prize, you’ll get your RM 8,888 wish fulfilled in addition to RM 1,888 in cash.

The first male and female runner ups will also have their RM 8,888 dreams granted by Tiger Beer. 88 bloggers will be selected for the run and one of the tasks is to post something on the Tiger Beer Facebook fan page, so if you want to be fast, you’ll have to be a fan of it first!

Just send in your entry to fulfillmywish.tiger@nuffnang.com with your full name and blog post permalink. This very auspicious run will be happening on the 6th of February at 4:30 pm at Bar Madrid, Jaya One! 

jestina-goon

Jestina, I will run like a stampeding bull is behind me with full intention of goring my gonads in its blind fury during the Nuffnang-Tiger run!!!!11111

Fatt Fatt Fatt Fatt Fatt

mister potato

CNY is just around the corner. As with such Chinese celebrations, auspicious numbers are highly sought after. You know that song that goes “Long ma zing shen, zing yuen mang tang” (roughly translated as “healthy as a horse, with GOLD and silver everywhere”?

gold-bars

Now how would you feel if you have RM 88,888 worth of gold bars in front of you? 

Antarctica ship

Personally, I would go on a trip to Antarctica. 2010 is probably the last year you can do this due to legislations preventing large cruise ships from entering the continent. 

antarctica-emperor-penguin

Contrary to popular belief, Antarctica is a fun place to visit. It’s often dubbed the “last great wilderness” and you get bragging rights. I mean, how many people do you know that have been to Antarctica? None? ;) 

antarctica dusk

It’ll be fun to go on a cruise down down under (down under is Australia, so I took the liberty of adding in another down) and watch the majestic ice caps – a sight to behold indeed. Of course, you’ll also be freezing your ass off, but hey, all in the name of travel eh?

Antarctica is freaking expensive though, so I’ll need that RM 88,888 to go on the trip.

Since I do not have that kind of money in my savings account (it currently stands at RM 1,412.20) I’ll need some assistance to make this happen. 

antarctica-cruise

Enter Mister Potato. They have this SMS contest where you guess the combined weight of Mister Potato, Ortega, the three Mariachis (Uno, Dos, Tres) and the sack of 100 potatoes.

characters

Get to know the characters before you guess! The clues are all in the website. I’m guessing it weighs around 488 kg. That is, of course, a figure I pulled out from where the sun don’t shine.

I need math wizards to help me through this one. 

prizes

Get a 160 gram or 75 gram contest edition pack of Mister Potato and get the unique SMS code inside. I’ve already sent in my entry (488 kgs). You can send in as many entries as you want but each code is valid for 1 SMS. 

clues

There will be clues related to all the weight of the characters so I expect to fine tune my calculations as the alerts is given out. It’s all about inference and extrapolation as you can see from the clue above. You’ll be able to give a (reasonably) educated guess from it. It’s multilingual to boot! 

antarctica-continent

What say you? RM 88,888 is enough for two people go to Antarctica. Tell me what you think it weighs and if you get it right, I’ll share the trip with you!

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball, Melaka

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Balls

I just came back from a Melaka trip with 11 other people. It was great fun and just before we came back, a detour to eat chicken rice balls in Jonker Street was made. The most established chicken rice ball shop in Melaka is Chung Wah. I was there last year and it was good.

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball

This time we headed to a different outlet – Hoe Kee Chicken Rice. We were there for lunch just now and the unique selling point of this chicken rice ball establishment is their Asam Fish Head.

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball stall

The aroma of the Asam Fish Head wafted out to Jonker Street and it was pleasing to my olfactory senses.

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball Asam Fish Head scoop

Wah, got accolades from Astro AEC some more:

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball Astro

Anyway, like most other chicken rice ball establishments in Melaka, they have a disclaimer saying that loose chicken rice will be served together with rice balls on weekends and public holidays due to demand exceeding supply.

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball interior

However, one amazing thing about this outlet is the sheer speed at which they process your order. We had a room to ourselves due to our large party of 12. We initially ordered 1 whole chicken and 1 Asam Fish Head with two big plates of loose chicken rice and two of chicken rice balls (we added on another plate of chicken rice and 1/2 a chicken after that).

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball chicken

As soon as we ordered, I was about to walk out of the room when the dishes started coming in – all at once! It’s as if they’ve already read your mind and prepared the food before you step into the restaurant. Jesus, if McDonald’s/KFC/Burger King is considered fast service restaurants, I don’t know what to call this.

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball Asam Fish Head

The chicken wasn’t anything to write home about. I’ve noticed something about Melaka chicken rice ball outlets – it’s not their chicken that’s good but the glutinous chicken rice balls that makes everything taste awesome. However, it is pretty decent, it’s just that the chicken is a bit anorexic (with a thin layer of skin) compared to the hormone boosted chicken-on-steroids I’m used to having here.

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball hit

However, the Asam Fish Head really takes the cake. Everyone loved it and we even considered ordering a second helping. The gravy is thick and flavorful, without being overtly spicy, and the hints of spices tempered with the okra is a lesson in perfection. The fish does not have any pesky bones and is tender and juicy. The sauce was a big hit!

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball eat

I would recommend Chung Wah if you want an authentic taste of one of the oldest chicken rice ball shops in Melaka but if you’re looking for something beyond the ordinary, check out Hoe Kee Chicken Rice – it has that zing/oomph/whatever-you-call-it factor due to their house specialty – the Asam Fish Head.

Hoe Kee Chicken Rice Ball Asam Fish Head dish

Hoe Kee Hainam Chicken Rice is located at Jonker Street in Melaka. Lunch for 12 of us, inclusive of drinks, came up to RM 151.50, which is pretty reasonable.

Hakka Loh Mee @ Bukit Jalil

hakka mee start

One dark and stormy night…

hakka loh mee

Okay, it wasn’t stormy but it was late at night. Most of the places were closing down but I saw this coffee shop which was still open and drove in.

hakka mee 

We decided to share the Hakka Loh Mee since Caydence is of Hakka descent and would be able to gauge the authenticity of the dish. I was wrong on both counts since she doesn’t eat anything – apparently she was the inspiration for Matthew when he wrote “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God“.

hakka mee caydence

However, she does know how to cool down a piping hot bowl of Hakka Yee Mee (they ran out of Loh Mee) quickly. Don’t be fooled, she wasn’t getting a portion for herself, I did that already and she doesn’t want to eat. She’s just reducing the temperature of the Hakka noodle dish.

hakka mee macro

I wouldn’t heap accolades on the Hakka Loh Mee – it wasn’t anything special even after hefty seasoning with vinegar and pepper. It was starchy and eggy and by all accounts looks palatable but if I had one word to describe it, it would be mediocre.

hakka mee us

This place is located Somewhere in Bukit Jalil (TM) near her apartment but I’ll be damned if I can find it again since I didn’t turn on the GPS. Well, considering the quality of the food, it’s not like I want to anyway. ;)

Ah Wah Hokkien Fried Mee

ah wah hokkien mee wok hei

No, this is not the famous Ahwa in Petaling Jaya. The Ahwa (without the h) is practically a legend in PJ, famed for their Hokkien mee topped with crunchy deep fried pork lard. It was a regular stomping ground of mine back when I was living in Kelana Jaya.

ah wah hokkien mee noodles

I wanted to go to Ahwa after reading cumidanciki and Christine‘s posts a couple of days back, but only 2 months after moving to a KL postcode, I completely lost my way and ended up spending almost 1 1/2 hours on the road before my friend told me that the Ah Wah she knows is at a different location – Restoran Millennium Eighty Six.

ah wah location

Look for the signage at upper right. Now, I must admit that I haven’t heard of this particular Ah Wah Hokkien Fried Mee (I know, it’s confusing, just think of one with a h and one without) before but my friend swears by the Hokkien mee – it is her family’s favorite haunt. Thus we decided to give it a try instead of compounding all the wasted time on the road.

ah wah hokkien mee cook

I must say that this one rivals Ah Wa in pure awesomeness. The Hokkien mee is cooked to perfection in a wok that imparts that elusive “wok hei” (literally “heat from the wok”) which caramelizes the sauce.

Ignition! They call it an obsession, but I think it’s kinda bitchin’, I think it’s kinda neat!

ah wah hokkien mee eat

Eating Hokkien mee is messy business. It’s not supposed to be healthy for you too, with all the strong flavored deep fried pork lard. However, that’s what makes it good – the robust aftertaste and squirt of oil when you bite into the deep fried pork lard is very agreeable to the palate if you like all things that goes oink.

ah wah hokkien mee

The Hokkien mee at Ah Wah is also filled with succulent pieces of prawn and meat and it tastes slightly sweet with the indescribable contrast of the soft noodles and the crunchy pork lard fusing together into a dish of pure gratification.

My name is Legion

tranquil

I was at Belum Rainforest Resort a couple of weeks ago and the tranquility of the place is a nice change of pace from my usual chaotic lifestyle. Just like yin needs a yang, recharging at a place with lots of foliage and Zen-inducing soft, running water is revitalizing.

chaos-in-its-purest-form

Ultimately though, I thrive on bedlam, anarchy, and pandemonium. It’s like that verse “My name is Legion, for we are many (demons)“. I like art which has an element of madness in it – this is why my tattoos are heavily inspired by inner turmoil.

steph_celtic_cross_tattoo

Just a like tattoo, which is in effect customizing your own body, there is a new trend in personalizing your personal effects. You’ve seen self-customized phones and dSLRs by people adding some bling to it, usually via beads and such. However, you can now truly customize your own notebook and MAKE IT YOURS.

flames

One thing about notebooks – you want to feel proud toting it around town. You probably use it while out and about e.g. surfing at your local Starbucks. You don’t want to be discreetly opening your notebook and face the wall coz you feel embarrassed about the dull and drab colors right?

dell-design

Dell just came up with their Studio product range which includes allows you to choose from a wide range of artwork and colors for your notebook. I like the Mike Ming’s Sea Sky design on the Studio 15 coz of the art reminds me of late van Gogh paintings. I’ll want the model with the new Intel Core i7 coz it has a fast processor, a healthy graphics card (512 MB ATI Radeon HD 4570) and a large 500GB hard disk drive.

make-it-yours

They’re also running a contest to celebrate your individuality by self-expression. You create your own design and submit it online! I decided to do one based on my phoenix tattoo with a psychedelic twist to it.

phoenix design

I started by taking a photo of my tattoo and tracing it out before adding in the other elements.

This is the design I submitted!
 

Dell Make It Yours Design

The closing date of the contest is on the 5th of February. The prize is a Studio 15 laptop featuring your very own design and a RM 5,000 cash voucher.

Nifty, eh?  It’ll be magnificent to have a notebook that’s one-of-a-kind coz it’s your own design. You can join the contest here.

MAKE IT YOURS!

(and vote for my design here)

Astro B.yond Bloggers Night

astro byond me toilet

O hai! I iz here terrorizing your female toilet! 

astro byond modestos

The Astro B.yond Bloggers Night was held at Modesto’s, Desa Sri Hartamas last Wednesday. It was a blast – Nuffnangers packed the place to the rafters despite it being a working weekday. 

astro byond murder in the details clues

I went to the venue early in the afternoon. Besides helping Caydence stick up stuff in the toilets, I was slated to be the MC for the on-ground game so I had to be there for the dry run. 

astro byond caydece toilet

You know how much sheer effort goes into organizing an event like this? 

astro byond setup

I used a calculator to work the figures out and it damn near exploded on me. Suffice to say it takes A Whole Goddamn Lot (TM) of effort to make it happen. 

astro byond desa park city

There was a HD New Year Resolution video shoot at Desa Park City a couple of weeks ago to debut at the Astro B.yond Bloggers Night. 

astro byond new year resolution

I was one of the bloggers in that video. 

astro byond hdtv kim

It took the better part of the afternoon under the hot sun to wrap up the shoot. Desa Park City is a nice location but apparently the management does not believe in foliage which provides shade. ;) 

astro byond hdtv camera

The blogger’s NY resolution video was sent off to a studio for post-production and shown in full HD glory during the night. 

astro byond studio

I brought a change of clothes to Modesto’s so I can wear a t-shirt inside the venue. We stuck up all the clues and rehearsed for the re-enactment with Fresh. 

astro byond me caydence start

My car reeks of ethanol so I chucked my shirt into Caydence’s car (coz her car smells nice) before we changed at about 6 pm. 

astro byond shirt

Insider account: 

astro byond board

The Murder in the Details game is a Facebook application that we organized an on-ground activation for (damn big words right? England powderful) and it involves sourcing around for an acceptable murder weapon. I wanted it to be realistic – as in a real knife – but apparently there were apprehensions about having that on stage so I borrowed one from Modesto’s.

It’s a butter knife so it’s not going to kill anyone. Hey, I’m the one being stabbed so no worries on that. :p 

astro byond henry tan

The Astro B.yond Bloggers Night started with a speech from Mr. Henry Tan, the COO of Astro, segueing nicely into the HD video shoot of the bloggers. 

astro byond tvc

I nearly jizzed in my pants when the Astro B.yond HD TVC came on. It’s a very nicely done commercial, and we’re the first to see it! I particularly liked the scene where the football player catches the ball while falling into a swimming pool with another one passing by him. 

astro byond staff

Dinner was served, along with free flow of drinks. I was running around the entire night so mine consists of a few bites of pasta I nicked from Li Yen and Eileen.

astro byond saxophone 

My saxophone tastes funny. 

astro byond asian percussion

The Asian Percussion group came in to do their thing right before the Murder in the Details game. I remember them from the Astro B.yond media launch and was impressed by their performance.

Catch them in action here! This is not HD quality I’m afraid, don’t have such equipment in my arsenal. 

astro byond mc

I was up on stage after that to attend to the Murder in the Details game.

 astro byond playing game

There are four (4) clues which you need to get right by using a magnifying glass to analyze the A4 laminated pieces of paper scattered throughout the area in order to qualify for an (educated?) guess.

The fifth and final clue is the deal-breaker – it’ll be obvious who the murderer is if you spot that so I took the liberty of pasting it UNDER the tables. ;) 

astro byond nuffies

The response from the crowd was fantastic! Kudos to all the people who dragged the Nuffies on stage and identified them as the “murderer” – there were a lot of red herrings (no pun intended) coz every Nuffie was wearing red and we all had Band Aids. Heh! 

astro byond jestina

Jestina was one of the people who were identified as the murderer. How can? She’s like the nicest person I know okay? :p

The murderer is Fresh of Nuffnang. She’s a very nice (ran out of adjectives and F7 in Word is not helping much) person as well, except when she stabbed me. T_T

The re-enacment of the story involved me, Fresh and Robb – basically the story goes like this: 

astro byond dead

Fresh (my wife) walked in on me during an intimate moment with another man (Robb). She got agitated and in a fit of jealousy, stabbed me with a knife. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. >.<

Appalled that her temporary insanity caused the fatality of her husband (so this is what they mean when they say “Till death do us part“) she fled the scene and cut her hand on a piece of glass. Robb, after taking all of 3 seconds to mourn my death, also fled the scene using the same route. 

astro byond fresh

Now it’s down to the winning team to answer questions related to Astro B.yond to snag the grand prize of an Astro B.yond set, a 32″ LG HDTV plus a one year subscription to Astro B.yond until December 2010.

The winner walked home with exactly that – but fret not, Astro has 2 more prizes to give away! You all stand a chance to win the prizes stated above if you write an event coverage blog post. The two best post-event coverage posts will win the Astro B.yond set + 32″ LG HDTV + subscription so let’s see what you have to offer.

murder in the details fb game

While you’re at it, join the Astro Facebook fan page for the Murder in the Details application. There are 10 Astro B.yond sets up for grabs!

If you want to get hooked up with Astro B.yond just surf over to their site or call their hotline at 1300-82-3838 to subscribe.

Hit the Nuffnang blog post if you need further details on how to win the 2 post-event coverage posts. Good luck! 

goodie bags

I left the event at about 1:30 am with Caydence and had a hard time getting my brain to function properly the next day, but I can say with all honesty and enthusiasm – it was a damn good event. I enjoyed myself to the max.

Oi! Don’t look at me liddat k? I’m not being hard sell, it just feels good to pull off an event like this and watch everyone enjoy themselves. 

astro byond me caydence end

It was a lot of fun and I had a great time being the MC. The free flow of the amber fluid helped loads too!

This contraption saves lives

water bidet

This innocent looking water bidet has been (and still is) a source of much convenience for me this weekend. I’m down with the flu and it came with one hell of a stomach flu to boot. I started falling really sick on Friday and had to leave halfway during an event on Saturday to go to the doctor.

I’m feeling better now but everything I eat comes out double time on the other side. Hell, even a fucking sip of water makes me run to the toilet after 5 minutes. I also pooped in my pants while taking a piss last night. >.<

I contemplated using TP but the frequency of my toilet sessions would make even the softest and most environmentally unfriendly 3-ply toilet paper akin to sandpaper, slowly pulverizing  my anus until I’m JC (coz I don’t have an asshole so I’ll be the nicest guy on earth, geddit?).

A water bidet comes in very handy (pardon the pun) at times like this.

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