Acer Predator 15 Gaming Laptop Review

Acer Predator Launch

I have a problem which I’m sure a lot of other games share. I own a relatively new notebook (bought it earlier this year) since I need a portable device to use for work when I’m out and about. However, I believe that notebooks should be dual purpose and it must be able to handle the games I play when I’m home too.

Buy Games

Unfortunately, that isn’t a reality for the majority of us with regular notebooks. I can’t play a lot of the new games for this very reason. I didn’t buy even buy Starcraft II: Legacy of the Void until two weeks ago coz I knew my (relatively new) notebook can’t handle the graphics on the highest settings and I *want* to play it on the highest settings.

Predator

Hell, I’ll even go so far to say that I deserve to.

Hearthstone

However, you can’t expect that in a normal notebook. There simply isn’t enough processing and graphics card power in a notebook format. Thus, I mostly play Hearthstone, a relatively non-intensive game. Anything remotely related to FPS (first person shooter) and MOBA (multiplayer online battle arena) genres are out of the question. Games like Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. Alien Isolation, Heroes of the Storm just doesn’t run well on work notebooks.

Acer Predator Box

Enter the Acer Predator laptop. It’s a notebook that’s built to gamer friendly specifications. I was amazed when I scrolled though the technical details. The Acer Predator laptop all run the latest and most powerful NVIDIA GeForce notebook GPUs! The new NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M and 980M has been rated to run at up to 70% of their desktop counterparts.

Acer Predator Unboxing

That’s a huge figure if you know anything about notebook gaming. Previous notebook GPUs can only achieve less than 40% parity with their desktop counterparts. Finally, we have a gaming laptop solution which is almost equal to the most powerful desktop gaming machines (and definitely more powerful than most mid-tier gaming desktops).

Acer Predator 15

You can at last run the latest and greatest games like Call of Duty: Black Ops III on a notebook and get better performance than all but the highest end desktop machines, courtesy of the Acer Predator laptop series. I was lucky enough to get an Acer Predator 15 for review. This laptop is equipped with:

  • Windows 10 Home 64-bit
  • Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • Full HD 1920 x 1080 15.6″ display
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM
  • 128 GB SSD drive + 1 TB SATA HDD

This unit retails for RM 6,999. You can also get 24 GB DDR4 RAM and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980M with 4GB GDDR5 VRAM and a 256GB SSD drive for RM 8,999. I can tell you that the graphics card alone is easily a third of the cost when you buy it from stores, this is not as expensive as you think, gamers spend this amount for GPUs all the time.

Acer Predator Gaming Series

I say this coz I heard a lot of people commenting about the price during the launch of the Acer Predator. I silently thought to myself “These people have never played a single game in their lives, much less know about GPUs and the price of the latest NVIDIA GeForce graphics card”. I didn’t say it out loud coz I didn’t want to appear to be condescending but that’s the point of the Acer Predator laptop series.

Acer Predator

It’s for GAMERS.

FrostCore Acer

There’s Predator FrostCore, the swappable fan design which injects this powerful gaming rig with extra cold to keep heat down and performance up. It’s additional cooling, the notebook is already cooled, but if you don’t need the DVD drive, you can swap out the bay easily by a switch via the back.

Predator FrostCore

Pop in the Predator FrostCore and you’ll see a noticeable change in your performance.

Watch Dogs

I found out that putting the Predator FrostCore in for games like Watch Dogs gives a 5-10 fps (frames per second) increase. This is on the highest quality settings with all the bells and whistles (4xSSAA anti-aliasing etc).

FPS

I also liked the Killer DoubleShot Pro technology. It basically uses BOTH your WiFi and Ethernet to combine and optimize bandwidth. You can use this by selecting the fastest one (which can differ according to circumstances) to dedicate to your game or select one to use for your game and the other for streaming.

Steam

This is perfect for Twitch streamers. You don’t need a lot for your games but NVIDIA ShadowPlay takes a lot of bandwidth so you can use the faster one (be it Ethernet or WiFi) for uploading ShadowPlay recordings to Twitch or YouTube Gaming.

Subwoofer

The Predator SoundPound 4.2 boasts four speakers with two powerful subwoofers and Dolby Audio surround sound. I was quite surprised at the fidelity of treble notes and the intensity of bass in a laptop. The Acer Predator 15 I had was LOUD!

PredatorSense ProZone

The PredatorSense intelligent gaming keyboard control and customization options lets you set up keyboard macros (essential for anyone who plays World of Warcraft and similar games). It’s quite useful for RTS (real time strategy) games like Starcraft II also. The Predator ProZone keyboard is insanely accurate and has four (4) customizable backlight zones and programmable macro profiles you can share. The backlight is very useful if you’re gaming in the dark and you can set the intensity as you wish – notice how the W, A, S, D keys are brighter than the surrounding ones.

You can use up to three (3) monitors including one NVIDIA G-SYNC monitor with the Acer Predator gaming laptop too so you can setup the most immersive gaming experience at your home. The features above are standard in all Acer Predator laptop series.

StarcraftII

The Acer Predator series is not for the average Joe who fiddles around with Microsoft Word and uses Excel once in a while to do their taxes. It’s not for the casual gamer who thinks Angry Birds or Bejeweled is the pinnacle of gaming. It’s for gamers like us who plays AAA titles like Call of Duty. It’s for the competitive gamers who participate in DOTA tournaments. It’s for Twitch streamers who wants to play Counter Strike: Global Offensive and have enough processing power to do it in the highest resolution and quality settings while rebroadcasting it to their fans.

Acer Gaming

The gaming industry has grown exponentially over the past decade and games are now the biggest budget titles and earners instead of Hollywood films. This trend will continue and for those of us who enjoys playing games, you’ll want to have a high end notebook, especially if you’re someone like me who only wants one (1) device to do it all – both work and games.

Find out more at the Acer Predator website.

Roti Canai Goreng in Kapit

Roti Canai Goreng

I first heard about this wonderful creation a couple of months back. Fried roti canai is a staple in Kapit and one of those quirky inventions that can only take hold in a small town. I decided then and there that I must personally investigate this dish and planned to go on a trip downriver. Kapit is a small town that’s only reachable by boat – you can’t drive or fly there.

Roti Canai Goreng Kapit

The journey to Kapit takes 3 hours via express boat from Sibu and I went down with my bro Eddy for a night. It’s not just to eat roti canai goreng, but that certainly was a highlight (at least for me). Haha. The stalls in question are located at Gelanggang Kenyalang (loosely translated as Kenyalang Court). It’s an assortment of stalls under one roof, an indoor food court of sorts.

Gerai Makanan Islam Sri Suria

There is one stall that’s famous for their roti canai goreng but everyone essentially does it the same way nowadays. I went to Stall #25 Gerai Makanan Islam Sri Suria and the kind lady manning the frying pan told me about how the roti canai goreng is made. I was quite surprised to find out that it’s not grilled first – the raw dough of the roti canai is slipped into boiling hot oil and fried straight away.

Roti Goreng Kapit

The same treatment is done for the roti canai telur goreng (fried roti canai with egg). The egg is folded into the dough and deep fried till crispy. It’s served Sarawakian style with curry chicken and a sweet sambal sauce. The latter is truly local, I’ve never had this saccharine sambal anywhere else except at home.

Roti Canai Kapit

The roti canai goreng costs RM 2 and it’s plain roti canai that’s been deep fried. The dough is cooked through, with a crispy exterior. You can taste the sweetness of the dough by picking up the sliced pieces and munching on them. It’s very satisfying!

Roti Telur Goreng

Roti canai telur goreng comes in at RM 4 and it tastes totally different with an egg. I was surprised at how distinctive the two are! This one has a pockmarked surface (from the hot oil) and it tastes a lot more savory than the previous one.

Roti Canai Goreng Inside

Here’s a look at the inside. The egg is perfectly cooked from the heat of the cooking oil. The funny thing about the two roti canai variants is that the egg version is rectangle in shape while the plain is round and circular.

Roti Goreng

Roti canai goreng has a distinctive texture that’s very moreish. I could eat several of them, although it’s probably not wise to do so as it’s quite oily and I feel that excessive consumption would probably be bad for your cholesterol.

HB Eddy Kapit

This is definitely worth a try. I’ll come again just to eat this! You can only find it in Kapit, so if you’re ever in Sarawak and looking for something different, take a boat here and eat their famous roti canai goreng! :)

5 fun things we did for our Christmas Eve celebrations!

Christmas Family Photo 2015

Christmas is just around the corner! The kids have been asking me about our annual turkey since our Melaka trip so I decided to celebrate Christmas early this year. Here’s what we did for the festive season:

1. Christmas shopping

Glenfiddich Mince Pies

Yup, this is one of the highlights of my year. I went out with my better half to look at what we’ll be getting for our Christmas celebrations. I saw this really cool Glenfiddich mince pies. It’s made with their 12 year old expression of single malt Scotch whiskey.

Glenfiddich Whisky Cake

They even have a Glenfiddich Whisky Cake!

2. Christmas turkey

Christmas Halal Turkey

This is a mainstay of our Christmas celebrations each year. The kids like to eat it and I like to roast it. It’s fun and it’s one of the things we look forward to.

Halal Turkey

Excuse the Islamic script, the turkey I bought is not haram this year. It’s called Midamar Turkey and despite coming from Iowa in the United States, it’s certified halal.

Brining Turkey

The turkey costs RM 348 and weighs 5.8 kg.

Roast Chestnut Cranberry Apple Stuffing

I used a roast chestnut, cranberry and apple stuffing for the turkey.

Jellied Cranberry Sauce

I stuffed our Christmas turkey and popped it into the oven…

Roasted Turkey

…and we all ate it with slices of bread and jellied cranberry sauce.

Turkey Christmas

Delicious!

3. Pistachio panettone

Flamigni Gran Pistacchio

My dear chose our annual panettone. It was a choice between panettone filled with mascarpone cream, chocolate covered and filled, a pandoro, or a pistachio crumb covered panettone with pistachio cream filling. She chose the last one, it’s RM 132.50 for a 1 kg cake.

Pistachio Panettone

This is made by the good people at Flamigni, the individual panettone is actually made by hand in Italy before being filled with pistachio cream and topped with crushed pistachios. It’s described as “Panettone con Crema al Pistacchio ricoperto di Chocolato Bianco e Granella di Pistacchi” which translates to panettone with pistachio cream covered with white chocolate and chopped pistachios.

Panettone with Pistachio Cream

The kids loved it! The white chocolate topping holding the crushed nuts was sweet and the cream even more so. I was very happy with our panettone this year, it’s absolutely fabulous! I can eat it all year!

4. Christmas crackers

Kids Christmas Crackers

This is another one of our Christmas traditions. I’ll go with my dear and buy some crackers for the kids. If you’re not familiar with Christmas crackers, they’re meant to be pulled by two people after Christmas dinner and (traditionally) the person with the largest half gets to keep the party favor or gift inside. It makes a snap / bang when you pull it.

Playing Christmas Crackers

The kids really liked them when I first got it for Christmas so I thought I’ll get them every year. We always give the kids two crackers each and we’ll each have one.

Happy-Clapper

I got a Happy Clapper from my cracker. Haha.

5. Family Christmas photo

Christmas Dinner

This is something we’ll do each year, take a photo together after we’ve eaten our turkey dinner and opened our Christmas crackers.

Christmas Crackers

The novelty paper hats are actually from the crackers. My better half printed the selfie props. This idea came from the stuff that came in last year’s Christmas crackers and we thought it’ll be fun to incorporate it into our annual festive photo. This year’s family Christmas picture has a “White Christmas” theme (coz we’re all wearing white).

Christmas Family Photo 2015

We make it a point to celebrate Christmas with the kids every year. It has become “our” tradition with a turkey, Christmas crackers, panettone and a group photo. This is our 2015 family Christmas photo. Merry Christmas everyone! :)

Yih Wen & Kian Mun’s 8-course Wedding Dinner

Yih Wen Kian Mun Wedding

I’m back in Sibu for the weekend to attend my cousin’s wedding reception. Yih Wen is one of my closest cousins on my dad’s side. I used to hang out with her while waiting to go to school at my grandma’s place when I was younger. She just got married and we had the wedding dinner at Tanahmas Hotel in Sibu.

Wedding Reception

I’ve actually met Kian Mun (the groom) during my previous trip back to Sibu. We went out for dinner together with Yih Wen’s family, a pre-wedding get-together so to speak. I find him to be a nice guy, his family is from Ipoh.

Grandma HB

Here’s my grandma! She’s the matriarch of the family, pictured here with me and my dad.

Calvin Noble HB

The wedding dinner was held last night on the 19th of December. I was seated with my cousin Calvin and Noble.

Marzipan Wedding Cake

This is the wedding cake. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it had the proper marzipan covering instead of the usual icing. I believe this is the first time I’ve seen this in Sibu. It tasted good too.

Four Seasons Combination Platter

Four Seasons Combination Platter
This is the first course. It has six (6) items instead of the usual four. I rather enjoyed the prawn cocktail in the middle. I have a weakness for sweet mayo covered shrimp. The pickled jellyfish was nice too.

Sharks Fin Soup

Shark’s Fin Soup
A traditional soup course that’s eaten with vinegar. The server didn’t pour the vinegar into the soup though (coz not everyone likes it) so we helped ourselves.

Baked Fish Head with Cheese

Baked Fish Head with Cheese
I believe the fish was battered and deep fried first before being put into a salamander and grilled to melt the cheese. This is my favorite dish of the night – I find that I like fish more and more as I get older. This wasn’t the case in the past, actually I don’t think I’ve eaten fish willingly before my mid-20’s (except for stuff like smoked salmon). The fish goes well with the cheese, the latter imparts a pleasant umami component.

Duck Two Ways

Duck Two Ways
The right side is a classic Chinese roast duck and the left side is a braised duck. I thought the duck should have been rendered a bit more but the plum sauce was good.

Braised Sea Cucumber

Braised Sea Cucumber
This medley contains sea cucumber, Pacific clams and razor clams arranged over fu chuk (tofu skin) and broccoli bordering the side. It’s another established dish in the Chinese wedding dinner repertoire. I’m quite fond of stuff like this – anything from the sea would catch my fancy nowadays.

Deep Fried Prawns

Deep Fried Prawns
This is a huge prawn but unfortunately I was quite full at this point so I only had one. I was very impressed with the size of the jumbo shrimp.

Red Bean Pastries Two Ways

Red Bean Pastries Two Ways
I thought this was a very clever implementation – both the desserts are made using red beans but one of them is deep fried into thin pancakes and the other has a mung bean filling and is stuffed into a mochi-type casing. The former is a traditional Chinese festive dessert.

resh Fruits Platter

Fresh Fruits Platter
Oh, how I’ve missed eating plum powder! Haha. This is the stuff we used to get with sliced guava and it always seemed to be in short supply when I was a kid. It’s very more-ish and goes very well with all sorts of fruits.

Yih Wen Kian Mun Dad HB

I managed to take a photo with my dad and the bride and groom after the dinner. Thanks for having us Yih Wen and Kian Mun! :)

Listen to music forever with Yonder

NOFX

I came to the music app bandwagon pretty late. I have heard of a lot of brands that provide such services but never really bothered since I have very fixed tastes in music. I mostly listen to the music I played growing up, the great punk rock bands of OC County circa 1994 – NOFX, Green Day, Offspring, Rancid.

Yonder Beta

However, this all changed when I started to fiddle around with Yonder Music App. I was quite surprised (and impressed) when all the NOFX albums came out when I searched for them. I usually have little faith in most mainstream apps since the bands I like are never in there. Imagine my delight when I saw everything from the classic “Punk in Drublic” to “Heavy Petting Zoo”.

Deep Yonder

Yonder Music App is a new service available to all users of Celcom. It’s not so much a streaming music service but a way of life. Their slogan is “Hear Forever” which is very apt considering Yonder Music App not only streams the songs you play but the songs they think you’ll like. I have to say that it’s spot on in their analysis.

Celcom Yonder

Okay, let me elaborate about what I just said. Yonder has:

  • No subscription fee
  • No download charges
  • No commercials
  • Unlimited access to millions of tracks

Song Stream

That’s coz the licensing is done by the commercial partner Celcom, not you. Revenue is distributed to the artists according to what you play so you don’t need to pay. It not only offers on-demand streaming like other music apps but goes one step further by downloading the songs you played (plus the ones they think you like) so it’s Always On.

Yonder Android

This means that even if you’ve gone offline, you’ll still be able to able to hear related music. This ultimately reduces bandwidth usage and provides your life with a soundtrack. This feature is aptly called the Magic Library coz presumably you get music even though you’re disconnected. Awesome stuff.

Search Yonder

Yonder is also filled with social features. The app stores and syncs users’ playlists, followers and social activity automatically and with their algorithms deliver something they call Social Discovery. What this means is that you get recommendations and continuous play based on what you like and favorite and who you follow.

Playlist

Yup, you can also follow other users, called Heavy Hitters and subscribe to their playlists.

Xpax Yonder

The Leaderboard feature is pretty sweet too. Every track and artist has its own Leaderboard of the Heavy Hitters (which as I’ve said are users like you and me) that they’re most associated with. One of my favorite songs is Dying Degree by NOFX and if you pop in Yonder you’ll see my name on the Leaderboard. This allows everyone to create active communities and build influence with every song you play.

Yonder

I highly recommend this. Celcom is running a contest where you’ll get to see Bruno Mars Live in Vegas just by downloading Yonder Music App. The app is only available for Celcom First and Xpax users and it’s free for now so get your music on now! I wouldn’t be exaggerating to say that it’s changed my life. I’ve enjoyed Yonder Music App so much that I’m even bringing it into the shower to listen to while I sing along, much to the chagrin of my better half.

Yonder Me

My smartphone is waterproof btw, I do not recommend you try this unless yours is too. Meanwhile, if you want to listen to some really cool music, just download Yonder Music App and I’ll see you inside. Try following me if you like a different spin on music, something less commercial and radio friendly. Discover something new, I’ve curated a few playlists (another epic feature of Yonder Music App) so come find me and share my music!

Yonder Play

P/S – Those of you who want a chance to win a free trip to Las Vegas to catch Bruno Mars live, click over to Yonder Music website to get more details on how to win by just downloading Yonder Music App.

22 photos from Yih Wen and Kian Mun’s wedding

Wedding Vows

Yih Wen and Kian Mun had their wedding vows done yesterday morning.

Lighting Firecrackers

I was there to help set off the firecrackers. Haha. These are the large 39,999 Chinese firecrackers roll.

Dad Wen HB

I went with my dad early in the morning and took a photo with the bride. Yih Wen is my cousin, my uncle’s daughter.

Mee Sua

I had the traditional mee sua (longevity noodles) with chicken soup.

Firecrackers

I was told to light it up just before the groom’s delegation came.

Groom Delegation

Here there are!

Wedding Gatekeepers

These are all my cousins. They are the gatekeepers keeping the groom out until ang pows (red packets) has been distributed and questions answered in a satisfactory manner.

Bride Dad

My uncle, the bride’s dad, led Yih Wen down from her room…

On Bended Knee

…and the groom went down on bended knee to present the bride with flowers.

Exchange Rings

There was the exchange of rings…

Ring Bride

…for both parties.

Kiss

The bride and groom then attempted to kiss for a full minute.

Tea Service

The customary tea service was done by Noble.

Bride Parents

The bride and groom basically bow three times to people in their lives (these are the parents of the bride) while serving them tea.

Chinese Tea Ceremony

It’s a Chinese custom.

Dad

My dad, being the brother of the father is pictured here.

Group Photo

We all took a group photo together…

Bride Leaves

…and the bride left for the groom’s place.

Bride Leaving

Since the groom is from Ipoh, there’s no house to go to – they went to his hotel room instead.

Driving Off

It’s a symbolic gesture to mean the daughter has officially left the care of the parents.

Car Ceremony

The car is backed out and in three (3) times…

Yih Wen Kian Mun

…and they’re off! Congrats Yih Wen and Kian Mun! :)

Restaurant Ole Sayang, Melaka

Melaka Kids

I was in Melaka over the long weekend with my better half and the kids.

Melaka HB Ling

Her parents were also with us and so we decided to have a nice Nyonya dinner at Restaurant Ole Sayang in Melaka.

Restaurant Ole Sayang

This local restaurant actually serves wonderfully delicious food but has often been disparaged due to their bad service. This is primarily due to the fact that the place is constantly packed to the brim with people.

Reservations

The reservation was listed down as “Elaine”. smirk We got rather good service coz the owner’s wife came to attend to us. I believe the staff might be a tad overworked, which is why the comments come in as such but if one of the proprietors serve you, you’ll be alright. She actually told me not to order the large portion of their otak-otak in a warm, friendly and confidential tone. Haha.

Pandan Rice

That’s just a bit of a harmless confidence trick though since she’s actually a very good businesswoman. They even bring their delicious keropok over to each table to see if they want any to take away after your meal. That doesn’t detract from the excellent food though. It may not be for everyone since it’s noisy at times and crowded but if you’re looking for awesome Nyonya chow, you can’t go wrong.

Ayam Ponteh

Ayam Ponteh (RM 26)
This is the classic Peranakan dish of chicken cooked Nyonya style. They do it very well in Restaurant Ole Sayang, it was very hearty and delicious. I ate three (3) plates of rice from the gravy alone! It’s a famous local Malaccan recipe and we all loved it.

Asam Pedas Fish Head

Asam Pedas Fish Head (RM 75)
The fish is a species called kurau locally and the spicy broth goes very well with it. I was hesitant about ordering it in the classic style since it can be a bit hot but everyone seemed to like it so that was good.

Itik Tim

Itik Tim (RM 35)
This is half a duck simmered with savory pickled vegetables for a sour and appetizing soup course. It did its job well, which was to open up our appetites. The duck meat and bones isn’t edible (well, technically it is, but it’s not palatable) since all the moisture and goodness has been sucked out to be in the broth but it’s not meant to be eaten anyway.

Otak-otak

Otak-otak (RM 11.50)
This was the only thing which wasn’t up to par. The otak-otak seemed to be a bit off that day. The ratio of santan (coconut cream) to fish paste seem wrong, there was too much of the former so you could only taste coconut milk. Maybe that’s why the owner told me a small portion would do. *shrugs*

Sambal Udang Petai

Sambal Udang Petai (RM 28)
I love petai and I love shrimps. There’s nothing better than combining the two together! It makes for a spicy dish with a oeuvre of “smelly bean” (which is what petai is called in Chinese). It goes very nicely with the pandan scented rice.

Cincaluk Omelet

Cincaluk Omelet (RM 14)
The omelet went down very well with the kids. I liked it too but mostly left it for the kids coz they didn’t eat much from the other dishes. They can be a bit picky with food, kinda like me when I was young. You tend to grow out of these things (personally didn’t touch vegetables until my late 20’s) so it’s all good.

Chap Chai

Chap Chai (RM 22)
This is the Peranakan style preparation of vegetables and our last order from the Greatest Hits (TM) of Nyonya cuisine. There’s transparent rice vermicelli lining the bottom of the dish – I thought that was a very nice way to absorb the flavors of the gravy.

Huge Cendol

Huge Cendol (RM 30)
This is calculated according to the number of people. It’s RM 3 per serving (you can also get individual ones) so if you have 10 pax like us, you can opt for a huge mound for everyone. This was liberally doused with the awesome gula Melaka (palm sugar) and even though the kids made a collective spur-of-the-moment group decision not to have any (eh?) the adults all finished it. I myself had 5-6 servings.

Restaurant Ole Sayang Melaka

I had thought I had over ordered for everyone since we had 10 pax (but 4 of them were kids, so it’s 6 adults) but we managed to finish everything, even the gigantic portion of cendol. There was nary a scrap of meat left (except for the duck carcass in Itik Tim) and the plates looked licked clean. I’ll go again for the food alone. You’ll love this place if you don’t mind a bit of ambience (noise) and you’re looking for traditional Nyonya fare.

Seremban Baked Crabs @ Kedai Makanan Seremban

Seremban Baked Crabs

We took a route that brought us through Seremban over the long weekend and decided to eat the famous baked crabs here. These delicious morsels of crustaceans are grilled (so maybe it should be called grilled crabs) with nothing more than a simple dressing, making it the perfect food for all seafood lovers.

Seremban Crabs

The best place to have the baked crabs is apparently Seremban Seafood Village (Kedai Makanan Seremban). It looks like an unassuming stall that’s located by the roadside until you actually step in. The interior is surprisingly huge! There’s a set of stairs that you’ll have to walk down and it’s almost a cavern inside. There are lots of pictures of crabs so visitors wouldn’t miss what they’re all about.

Soup Lala

Soup Lala (RM 15)
This is the clams people in Peninsula Malaysia love. It’s done in a “soup” (technically a light broth) so the molluscs can shine. I like how Seremban Seafood Village do the catch justice by applying light and easy cooking methods so as not to overpower the natural taste.

Salted Egg Fried Sotong

Salted Egg Fried Sotong (RM 25)
This is Chinese style calamari – the batter is mixed with salted egg so there’s a natural seasoning. We got this for the kids. I thought the batter didn’t stick very well to the squid but then this place is more known for their crabs.

Season Pea

Season Pea (RM 15)
I think a hungry person started grabbing at the shoots before my better half could take a photo. smirk This is the obligatory vegetable dish.

Fried Soo Hoon

Fried Soo Hoon (RM 15)
This is the carbohydrate to fill everyone up coz some people didn’t want to have rice. We had this in the late evening for an early dinner after lunch in Melaka and tea at Klebang Original Coconut Shake so we were still quite full.

Baked Crabs

Baked Crabs (RM 210)
This is the famous Seremban baked crabs! It costs RM 70/kg and we had 3 kilograms. This plate holds 2 kilograms alone. We started picking at the crabs and decided we wanted more so we ordered another 1 kg. Our hands were all sticky then so we didn’t take a photo of the second batch. You should always order smaller batches and add-on since it’s a lot nicer when it’s hot and turnaround is fast. The nice thing is that they try to serve the crabs looking like how they should – it’s just quartered and assembled back. The black stuff sticking to the crab is caramelized soy sauce and it goes very well with the fresh crabs.

Seremban Seafood Village

The whole meal cost RM 330.10. I was a little surprised by the amount coz I didn’t have much cash on me but luckily it was enough to pay for the meal. The place also charges for incidentals like wet towels and “tidbits” (deep fried wonton skins served before the meal) but the actual price for the crabs is quite reasonable considering big head prawns are RM 200 per kg in some places. It’s good, I’ll go again for the baked crabs if I’m in Seremban.

Metal Box Restaurant and Café, Empire Damansara

Metal Box

Metal Box Café has been generating a lot of buzz lately. Word is, the chef came from The Red Beanbag, the popular and perennially packed eating establishment in Publika. We popped over for breakfast and we were very happy with the food here. It’s a lot more vibrant compared to the (admittedly) bland stuff from The Red Beanbag.

Metal Box Cafe Restaurant

The interior of Metal Box is made to look exactly like the namesake – full of shipping containers. The industrial chic look is accented by the steel girders, faux metal container and pictures of a loading dock. Service here is prompt and friendly. We stayed for a while to chat while eating our dessert and didn’t feel pressured to leave despite the place being full.

Incredible Waffle

Incredible Waffle (RM 23.90)
My better half chose one of their new dishes. This is a crispy liege waffle served with guacamole, choice of beef bacon or turkey ham paired with garden greens and 68 degree egg (slightly higher than a 63 degree egg). I loved the texture of the waffle, it goes very well with the 68°C egg and everything is seasoned well. This place doesn’t serve pork but strangely has a lot of red wine and Guinness infused items/sauces on the menu.

Metal-Box Baked Egg

Metal-Box Baked Egg (RM 19.90)
I was craving for baked eggs and opted to have this. There are 2 soft baked free-range eggs in a pot with sliced smoked chicken breast, diced chicken sausage, potato & eggplant, homemade cannellini beans in tomato coulis baked to perfection. This is topped with freshly grated Gruyère cheese and freshly baked French sour dough on the side. I really liked the zesty flavors in this dish – the abundance of premium homemade ingredients really shines though too.

Salted Egg Chocolate Lava

Salted Egg Chocolate Lava (RM 19.90)
This golden centered lava cake is paired with mixed berries and vanilla bean ice cream. It’s wonderful! It tastes like lau sar pao (Chinese dim sum dessert bun made with salted eggs) meets West. The salted egg is ingenious – people often add sea salt, salted caramel or something else to make the flavors pop but this is the first time I’ve seen salted egg used.

Salted Egg Dessert

It goes perfectly, flavor wise and the quality vanilla bean ice cream (you can even see the small dots) is delicious. I would go again just for this.

Metal Box Empire Damansara

Metal Box Café and Restaurant is located at Empire Damansara and it looks like the most popular F&B outlet there. It can be very packed during weekends and if you want the best seats in the house, go for the al fresco tables at the back. There are green shrubs and flowing water to make your morning even more chill and relaxing. I highly recommend it, it’s the right combination of great food and awesome ambience.

B & Best Seafood Noodles, PJ SS4

Seafood

I discovered this haven for fresh fish connoisseurs way back in 2008. B & Best Seafood Noodles has a lot of different types of fish on ice and it’s one of the best places to eat a steaming hot bowl of fresh fish noodles. I was with my better half and her mom over the weekend and we decided to pop in here for a slightly luxurious breakfast.

B Best Restaurant

There is a wide range of premium seafood options for the taking – everything from grouper to huge prawns and scallops in the middle. The huge board above the stall lists down prices for every type of fish and ranges from RM 13 for Senangin to RM 26 for Estuary Grouper.

Red Grouper Fish Noodles

Red Grouper Fish Noodles (RM 15)
This is what my dear’s mom went for. You can opt for noodles or rice vermicelli or a mixture of the two. I personally think rice vermicelli goes better with all types of seafood due to the delicate nature of the meat but it’s personal preference. The fish didn’t disappoint, it was tender and the broth carried enough flavor while allowing the natural fish taste to shine though.

Queensland Grouper Fish Head Noodles

Queensland Grouper Fish Head Noodles (RM 26)
My better half had this one. It’s the special of the day. Queensland Grouper is just another name for Estuary Grouper. There’s only one fish head per fish so stocks are understandably limited. The fish head meat comes pre-sliced and it tastes better than regular body meat, at least for people who like fish. The texture of the flesh from a grouper’s face is a lot more pleasing – plenty of cartilage and collagen, I would highly recommend it over the regular cuts.

Napoleon Fish Noodles

Napoleon Fish Noodles (RM 26)
I had the humphead wrasse/so mei/蘇眉 with noodles. The fish is supple and yielding with a clean aftertaste. I liked it, but I exchanged a lot of my fish slices with my dear since I preferred the meat from a fish head. This place has a smorgasbord of fishes to suit all budgets from the humble mackerel (RM 13) to the midrange mullet fish (RM 20) right up to the Pearl Grouper (RM 26).

Whole Scallops

Whole Scallops (RM 18)
I also ordered a bowl of scallops to share. You can have this with noodles too, all the options are available with add-on noodles. The fat and juicy scallops are quite good, and fresh too. I chose this over the abalone since the latter comes in packs while the scallops are the real deal. They also have oysters, escargots, clams, and fish maw.

You’ll love this place if you enjoy a bowl of steaming fresh fish noodles. They have a range of species to fit every budget and you can even opt for the dry version (soup with seafood served separately) if you prefer. The prices are slightly higher than other dedicated estuary grouper fish noodle stalls like Ah Po Estuary Grouper and Min Yee Estuary Grouper but they have a wider selection of seafood here. The bill for the three of us came up to RM 84.50 but the fish portions are larger than it looks from the shock of green vegetables floating on top.

B Best Seafood Noodles

You’ll need to go early though. I made a Google Maps destination in my previous post, which I used to get there yesterday morning – I forgot how to go and the GPS marker is confirmed correct. :)

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