Can you kick a football faster than 100 km/h?

fuleco kia

I tried!

whats your speed

I didn’t do so well. Haha! I was at the World Cup ROCKS with KIA roadshow @ Suria KLCC. The interesting bit is how I got there…

World Cup ROCKS with KIA

I first went to Menara Naza and checked out the all-new KIA Picanto. I’m too late for the free entry with a test drive promo (where you can win a trip to Brazil to watch the world cup) but I could still enjoy the roadshow, and of course, the drive there.

kia picanto

The first thing I did was to hook my smartphone up to the car. I was surprised that a car priced at this range has this feature, and it was easy to use too! I just needed to go to the dashboard and pair my smartphone…

car pair phone

…and vice versa.

smartphone kia

That’s all you need to do! I can now drive safer by using the Answer or Decline buttons on the steering wheel. There’s a toggle to browse through the call list though, which I thought was a nice feature – it’s better to have that as a toggle instead of a button since you can navigate faster and get tactile feedback.

steering toggle

There’s also volume control and music features on the steering wheel. I like the decision to make the volume control as a toggle instead of a button too! Mute as a button is fine since you only need to press that once. For things you need to press multiple times (volume and call list browsing comes to mind), having a toggle is much more comfortable.

suria klcc

I drove the KIA Picanto to Suria KLCC and back to Menara Naza after the event. I also took the chance to drive around town to get a feel for the car’s features. I like the compact size of the all-new KIA Picanto as I was navigating the carpark. It makes the turns and ramps all the easier to tackle with it’s small footprint and turning radius.

picanto me

I can see why cars like this size is so popular in the market nowadays. It’s very easy to park in cramped parking lots too and you can squeeze through traffic better. I didn’t feel dangerously close to other cars during peak hour city driving, unlike my current full-sized sedan.

driving picanto

It’s a very nice change to be able to cruise through tight spots and park in small spaces.

picanto parking

Anyway, back to the roadshow, they had all models of KIA vehicles out for display as well as World Cup merchandise.

KIA Fuleco

You can also pose with Fuleco the Armadillo!

speed kicker

Fuleco is the 2014 FIFA World Cup mascot, if you didn’t know already. It’s a species of armadillo which is native to Brazil.

optima

Interesting fact: The name is a concatenation of the worlds Futebol (football) and Ecologia (ecology).

fuleco me

There’s a life-sized Fuleco at the World Cup ROCKS with KIA roadshows going around so if you’re a football fan, go and take a picture with him! Strike a pose and share the photo via Instagram.

experience

There’s also Experience booths at the World Cup ROCKS with KIA roadshow where you can sit down and talk to the various sales representatives about the cars there. It’s aptly shaped like a football with chairs around, I thought that was cute!

kia world cup merchandise

There’s also various 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil official merchandise for sale! There’s shirts, mugs, keychains, and even the Fuleco plush toy!

registration

Or, you can try and win some merchandise by in the Speed Kicker game! :)

2014 world cup balls

I couldn’t kick fast enough but maybe YOU can so check out the World Cup ROCKS with KIA roadshow when it comes to a place near you! For more info, please log on to KIA Malaysia website at www.kia.com or go to their FB page at www.facebook.com/kiamalaysia.

BISON Savanna Launch – Drive Beyond Borders

lion dance

Every good launch needs a lion dance.

Check out the awesome lion dance video above! I filmed that at the flagship showroom opening and official launch of BISON Savanna. I arrived quite early and caught sight of the lion dance troupe preparing to do their thing so I followed them into the garage.

bison lion dance

This is the new flagship showroom of BISON and the lion dance troupe was at the back – doing a private ceremonial dance before the event started.

ribbon cutting

BISON Savanna was officially launched at the Angka-Tan Motor Sdn Bhd flagship showroom at Jalan 225, Petaling Jaya on the 11th September 2013. The showroom itself is the first dedicated BISON showroom in Malaysia and has a layout of 12,000 square feet.

bison showroom

The BISON Savanna is quite an interesting pickup – it’s manufactured by the Beiqi Foton Motor Co. Ltd. – which is one of the largest commercial vehicle manufacturers in China (which usually means the world as well). The China market for commercial vehicles is huge!

bison atm gift exchange

The collaboration between Beiqi Foton Motor Co. Ltd. and ATM brings the world’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer to Malaysia (ATM is a subsidiary of Warisan TC Holdings Berhad) and Angka-Tan Motor Sdn Bhd will be the sole distributor of their vehicles.

bison savanna launch

Official BISON Savanna unveiling in Malaysia!

drive beyond borders

The BISON Savanna in particular is a highly anticipated vehicle in the powerful pickup truck segment. It’s packed with well-known and proven components so don’t let the Made in China label fool you.

bison

There’s a robust ISF 2.8 diesel engine designed by Cummins Engine Co. Ltd (US) and manufactured by Foton Cummins, 5-speed manual GETRAG transmission, DANA USA rear axles and BorgWarner USA 4WD transfer case with a BOSCH common rail system fuel system inside the BISON Savanna.

foton bison engine

That’s an impressive list of proven and reliable systems.

bison savanna interior

I took a look under the hood and inside the car and there’s also anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD), dual air bags, and electronic tire pressure monitoring system – the last of which is usually only available in premium brands.

ride

The pickup truck has changed a lot since the last several decades and has a lot of features you’ll expect in a car like air bags and EBD/ABS. I see a lot of people from Sarawak (where I come from) using pickups as a primary vehicle instead of a car. This is from the evolution of the pickup from bare bones practicality to luxury and comfort sedan-like interiors.

lion dance orange

There’s on-board audio entertainment systems with USB, AUX, CD player and 4 speakers, power windows, overhead lighting and storage and a sporty and adjustable three-spoke steering wheel like you’ll see in a car.

Bonus video: Watch the lion dance troupe pass an orange during the BISON Savanna launch!

bison savanna dual cab

I can see why a lot of people from my hometown uses pickups like this as a primary family vehicle. I would too, considering it has sedan features in a 4WD and double cab format with 210 mm of ground clearance!

bison savanna

Beiqi Foton Motor Co. Ltd is less known here but they’re actually one of the most successful commercial vehicle brands in the largest market right now – China. They also got into an international joint venture last year that created Beijing Foton Daimler Automotive Co. Ltd.

bison showroom opening

I really liked the BISON Savanna. The ISF 2.8 diesel engine is turbocharged and it’s very competitively priced at RM 71,888 for the 4×2 Double Cab and RM 79,888 for the 4×4 Double Cab variant (prices are OTR). The best news for people in East Malaysia is that since this is from ATM, there will be 27 designated locations nationwide under the Tan Chong Express Auto Service (TCEAS) network so you’ll have 24-hour break-down service.

Get more details!

5 myths and facts about diesel

1. Diesels cars are sluggish

bosch

No one can be right all the time – not even the inventor of the diesel engine.

This is one of the most common preconceptions and I must admit, I had the same thoughts myself not too long ago. You see, all the vehicles you associate with diesel – commercial trucks, lorries and such typically comes with an image of a loud automobile spewing lots of smoke and getting in your way.

I was enlightened when I saw diesel cars in Australia, Singapore and Europe performing much better than their gasoline counterparts. In fact, during my trip to Germany, I realized that a lot of people actually preferred diesel cars!

mega tower carpark

The torque generated from a modern diesel engine is quite impressive, due to the intrinsic nature of diesel. It accelerates faster than petrol cars – you can feel this when you start from a red light or step on the accelerator to overtake. The power is greater than normal petrol (gasoline) cars, as I found to my delight during a BMW diesel car drive. A diesel engine generates about 50% more torque than a comparable gasoline engine

2. Diesels vehicles are expensive to run

This is not really true, especially when you take in all the factors. It’s especially not true in Malaysia! :)

Diesel: RM 1.80 / liter
RON 95 gasoline: RM 1.90 / liter

The government subsidizes diesel here so it actually costs lower when you compare it to RON 95 gasoline. That’s even truer when you acknowledge the fact that diesel engines are much more efficient than gasoline engines.

A diesel engine requires 30% less fuel than a comparable gasoline engine!

Combined with the savings per litre, this will translate to *truly amazing mileage* when you drive a diesel car – just ask anyone driving one! You’ll get better fuel economy by a more efficient engine.

3. Diesel cars are slow

The winners of the oldest and most well known sports car endurance racing event will beg to differ. Clean Diesel cars (equipped with Bosch diesel injection technology) have been the winners of 24 Hours of Le Mans for several consecutive years. Another diesel car won the 2008 Dakar Rally for the first time. Clean Diesel excels under the high demands of motor sports.

autobahn germany

Most German manufacturers have to voluntarily limit vehicles to 250 km/h though, which makes a lot of sense. You don’t want anyone to get carried away and drive in speeds in excess of that while feeling the powerful torque of a diesel engine.

4. Diesel cars are loud and smelly

This used to be true in old lorries and tug boats, which are a familiar scene in Malaysia. However, that has not been true for a long time. A modern diesel engines actually emit very little smoke. I was surprised to see how little when I drove a diesel BMW 3 series a couple of years ago.

dresden

It produces less smoke than a regular gasoline car!

In fact, the wind noise of the Audi R15 TDI is often louder than the diesel engine so it’s almost impossible to hear the change of gear by ear, like they used to.

The new environmental standards of Euro 4 and higher diesel has some surprising figures – a two-liter diesel engine would have to idle for 100 minutes before it generates as much fine particulates as one cigarette!

5. Diesel damages the environment

The new Euro 4 and even higher rated Euro 5 standards in diesel make this statement totally untrue. Of course, combustion engines of both the gasoline and diesel variety isn’t exactly compatible with the environment.

Bosch Clean Diesels emit about 25% less carbon dioxide (CO2) than a comparable gasoline engine.

Compared with a typical diesel engine from the 1990′s – Clean Diesel’s emissions are more than 96% lower! It can meet the most stringent emission legislation worldwide, including in European countries like Germany!

clean diesel

Bosch Clean Diesel has a really good chart that shows the total carbon footprint for a diesel car is actually on the same carbon footprint level as an electric vehicle. This is coz there’s a lot of factors to consider when calculating carbon footprint e.g. the production of electricity.

ecological footprint

A lot of people have understandable misconceptions about the diesel engine due to the lorries and trucks still operating from 20 years ago. However, a lot has changed since then. Malaysia is planning to switch to Euro 4 diesel (it is currently Euro 2) and with the free trade agreement kicking into place in 2015, it would be to Malaysia’s best interest to do it before then.

Singapore will have Euro 5 by then and Thailand will have already adopted Euro 4 and with Malaysia sandwiched in the middle, changing to the more environmentally friendly Euro 4 for compliance by then would seem very likely.

dresden serene

Interesting fact: More than 50% of new cars sold in Europe are diesel cars!

berlin germany

For the end consumer, like you and me, getting a diesel vehicle is actually a pretty good choice due to the advantages it has over the gasoline engine. With electric vehicles realistically several decades away for all the infrastructure to make it possible to operate, the diesel engine is a pretty good bet. Find out more and get fun & interesting facts about Clean Diesel at the Bosch Malaysia Facebook page!

What is Project C? The Kia Cerato Malaysian launch!

cilantro

There was a lot of videos a while back where people guessed at what Project C is. I was thinking coffee or cilantro (the herb known as coriander). It’s quite an interesting shrub as all parts of the plant is edible. That’s innovation in nature!

project c

Interesting fact: 61,000 people visited the “What is Project C” website! 1 person won and walked away with a brand new Kia Cerato.

cerato launch malaysia

The Kia Cerato was just recently launched in Malaysia. It also shares some of the features – everything is innovative (was surprised at some of the nifty features of the car myself) except you can’t eat it. That’s what Project C is about. It’s the launch of the latest and greatest new car from Naza Kia Malaysia! A new benchmark for a sedan in Malaysia.

The Cerato was unveiled to the public with two variants – a 1.6 and 2.0 model (the latter comes with a sunroof and a 4.2-inch full-color TFT-LCD, amongst other features). Motor-driven power steering comes as standard with three settings – Comfort, Normal and Sport with audio and hands-free functionality.

kia cerato

On the aesthetics side, the Kia Cerato looks really awesome – there’s a “Tiger Nose” radiator grill that makes the front looks very aggressive. The projection-type lenses and LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL) makes for optimal visibility and also adds to the “cool factor”. The Smart Welcoming Light feature senses when you’re near the car (from the Smart Key) and automatically lights it up with puddle lamps and pocket lights on the door handle!

There’s also Push Start ignition, Bluetooth connectivity, a 4.3” touch screen TFT-LCD with rear camera display and a smooth 10-way power driver seat with memory functionality so you can adjust the seat to exactly the comfort settings that you want! :)

kia cerato features

Dual-zone auto air-conditioning with built in cluster ionizer, rear air vent, glove box cooling (so you can keep drinks and chocolate bars cool inside), front and rear parking assist system and an auto-defog capability that is automatically initiated when sensors detect misty conditions rounds up the standard package. That’s an awesome default package!

On the engineering side, the Kia Gamma 1.6 MPI D-CVVT engine produces 130 PS and 157 Nm of torque while the Kia 2.0 NuD-CVVT engine produces 161 PS and 194 Nm of torque, all mated to a six-speed automatic transmission with a sporty A/T knob. The fuel consumption of the Cerato on a combined cycle is just 14.7 km per liter with an environmentally friendly CO2 emission of 160g per kilometer!

I’ll show you two of the features that impressed me the most: A highly feature-packed sedan!

Air-ventilated driver’s seat

air con seats

Yup, I’m not kidding! The driver’s seat is actually ventilated so you won’t have your shirt sticking to your back on hot, sunny days. I find this a nice, innovative touch. It’s all about the little things that adds to comfort. Air-conditioned seats!

I figured the driver ought to have this since he/she is doing the hard work. ;)

Smart Welcoming Light

puddle lights

The Puddle Lamp is part of the Smart Welcoming Light feature. It automatically detects when you’re near the car via the Smart Key and activates the light. It’s not only a security feature but a practical one as well. Having the floor near your car well light and the door handle illuminated makes for a feature that’s not just innovative, but cool!

The Cerato has five-star ratings in safety for NHTSA safety tests in the United States and it was chosen as the Top Safety Picks of 2013 by IIHS.

kia cerato launch

This is truly an innovative car. The Kia Cerato 1.6 is priced (OTR) at RM 99,888 while the Cerato 2.0 goes for RM 118,888. That’s not only auspiciously priced, but very reasonable considering the features that it has. It also comes with a five-year unlimited mileage warranty!

This is innovation!

The first headphones-only event in Malaysia

french house kl

I was at Maison Francaise a couple of days ago for a launch. The restaurant, literally translated, means “French House”. It’s located on Embassy Row and serves pretty decent Black Angus Carpaccio – thin slices of marbled beef topped with slivers of cheese and finely diced tomatoes.

black angus carpaccio

Oh, and they had really good organic pumpkin juice too but that was not the reason I was there.

headphones

The MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST Media Launch in Malaysia was the first to incorporate the use of headphones for the entire event. I was quite puzzled when I walked into the dark room and was handed a pair of noise-cancelling headsets with blinking LEDs.

headphones only

I was given a short primer on how to turn it on and adjust the volume and set down for the presentation.

michelin primacy media launch

The headphones are meant to illustrate the “ST” bit of MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST – the Silence Tuned part. These new types has a unique tread pattern that makes it run much more silently than all its competitors and the headphones used for the entire duration of the launch is a great idea to showcase this.

headphones wearing crowd

It was such a great idea that when I recorded a video of the interviews done with limo drivers who had gotten an advance set of these tyres, I didn’t realize that I could hear it coz I was on headphones but the rest of the room is silent.

I present to you this video I took. Haha! Apart from the occasional coughs and clearing of throats, the entire room was silent – coz everyone was on headphones. I was on them too and though it was recording as usual, not realizing that there isn’t any sound from the room at all. No worries though, it has subtitles coz the people were speaking dialects like Hokkien. ;)

headphones only event

The MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST tyres have several advanced features that provides you with silence, comfort and safety:

EvenPeak Technology
Gives you a ride 8% quieter than average of competitors with a greater variation in the size and position of the tread blocks, the noise power is spread across a wider frequency range, making no peaks of noise power.

CushionGuard Technology
Keeps the ride smooth, steady and comfortable. Cushion vibrations when the tread blocks contact the road surface using supple FlexMax compounds and absorbs bumps in the road using shock absorbent sidewalls.

michelin media launch

FlexMax Technology
With FlexMax technology, the tread adapts to the irregularities of the road surface for better connection and grip. FlexMax chamfer prevents the tread block from distorting and losing contact pressure under the centre of tread blocks, ensuring maximum rubber contact with the road when needed most.

StabiliGrip Technology
StabiliGrip technology uses self-locking bands inside the small grooves to minimise tread block deformation, improving handling and cut through water in the wet.

michelin primacy3 launch

MICHELIN Total Performance
At MICHELIN, we don’t just improve tyre performance one aspect at a time, but deliver all performance factors together. This means that you’ll experience the silence, comfort and safety of MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST tyres, whilst also enjoying 25% better longevity.

Yup, all the new performance enhancements comes with no degradation of longevity – in fact, it provides 25% longer lasting tyres when compared to the previous iterations. These are not tests done somewhere in Europe, which can cast doubts on their functionality here, but actually done on drives inside Malaysia!

michelin primacy 3 st

The Stabiligrip and FlexMax technology combines to achieve a 1.6 meter shorter braking distance in wet conditions compared to its predecessor and a staggering 2.9 meters compared to the average of leading competitors!

As drivers, I’m sure you all can fully understand the significance of even a single meter – it is a very practical and useful feature which you might thank the heavens for someday.

michelin primacy 3

On to less morbid topics, the new MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST is available in 16” to 19” sizes in Malaysia and distributed at all TYREPLUS and Michelin authorized dealers nationwide. It’s priced from RM 480 onwards.

maison francaise

Surf on over to the MICHELIN Primacy 3 ST site for more videos on how their technology works or Like the MICHELIN Facebook page and see photos from the unique launch event! :)

Buying a new car or just thinking about it?

bugatti veyron

I’m part of the latter. I’ve driven my faithful Vios for 7 years now and I’ve found myself browsing around to see the latest car news and what car to buy. A lot of people gravitate to heavy news sites but I think the success of a car site is that it’s accessible to people who don’t know a lot about cars (or newbies rather) but yet is still fulfilling enough for the hardcore crowd who wants all the juicy, technical stuff.

live live drive

It needs to capture both sides of the market and I’ve found LIVE LIFE DRIVE to be one of the sites that I browse just about daily nowadays.

It has just about everything you’ll think of, from the latest news to a widget on the side with the most researched cars with immediate star ratings and a link to the review in question,

research cars

I found that feature most useful when buying a dSLR and loved the sites that has it – it shows what cameras (or cars in this case) are popular now – they’re popular for a reason, and shows you a quick rating with a review hyperlink. It’s perfect for those who’re strapped for time or just wants to see what the popular options are.

The other awesome feature which I first found useful when shopping for a dSLR (which come to think of it is a lot like a car) is this:

livelifedrive

You can browse News, New Cars, or Buy a Car by the manufacturer! This is very useful if you’re only interested in, say, Euro cars or have always bought from a Japanese brand like Honda.

The interesting thing about LIVE LIFE DRIVE is that it’s actually a print magazine. That’s where it’s origins are from but all the news and articles are also available online.

I found the Price List feature to be very useful too!

installement

It lists all new cars and shows the full price as well as the average installment price per month so you can quickly browse through and see what you can (or cannot) afford. smirk

That’s the research part of buying a car, or just browsing for news if you’re interested in automotives. There’s also a site where you can actually purchase a new or used car!

carlistmy

It’s called Carlist.my and the best feature of it is that it hooks you up with used car sellers. You can browse by various search parameters or just by price.

You can also choose whether to buy direct from a seller, dealership or sales agent. It’s very useful for when you want to make that step to purchase a new car. :)

carlist

There’s more than 119,000 cars for sale on Carlist.my and for those kiasu ones amongst us (hell, who isn’t?) there’s a feature to compare prices of the car you intend to buy too!

lamborghini miura

It’s a great sister site to LIVE LIFE DRIVE and the place you go when you reach the point where you stop thinking about buying a car and actually do something about it! ;)

Restaurant Peranakan, Aunty Koh Cendol, and the Melaka road trip

peranakan restaurant melaka

Restaurant Peranakan is the aptly named place known for it’s Peranakan cuisine. It’s often been cited as the #1 place to go for Nyonya food in Melaka. Peranakan (or Straits Chinese) is a distinctive racial group in Melaka – it comes from Chinese settlers marrying locals and is an entire culture unto itself, the hotbed of which lies in Melaka.

peranakan restaurant

Nyonya food is conglomeration of Chinese and Malay food, but there are some really unique dishes they call their own. I had lunch here while on a road trip to Melaka.

restaurant peranakan

Peranakan Restaurant has a really nice décor which reflects the heydays of the Baba Nyonya clan.

Ayam Buah Keluak

ayam buah keluak

This is perhaps the most well known Nyonya dish. It’s chicken cooked with kepayang tree nuts. Buah keluak is actually poisonous before being prepared for cooking. It prompted a lot of Googling when I mentioned that coz someone ate the inside of the nut.

buah-keluak

I like this dish – it’s a very rich and flavorful one due to the buah keluak. I ate some of the insides of the nuts too – it’s sourish and contributes to the flavor of the chicken. Peranakan Restaurant makes the best ayam buah keluak I’ve had.

Ayam Pongteh

ayam pongteh

I’ve had this at Donald & Lily’s Authentic Nyonya Food too but that pales in comparison with Peranakan Restaurant’s version.

Ikan Tenggiri Asam Pedas

ikan tenggiri asam pedas

This is a really good and spicy fish dish that I found worthy of mention – it’s cooked with brinjals, tomatos, and ladyfingers and has a sweet, spicy and sour (more towards the latter) gravy that goes very well with rice.

Udang Lemak Nanas

vivid prawns

This is a very rich dish of shrimp cooked with pineapples and lots of oil. I set the camera to Vivid and it almost hurts my eye to look at it.

udang lemak nanas

Here’s one that’s easier on the ocular devices. ;) It’s also one of the dishes I’ll recommend at Peranakan Restaurant.

Nyonya Chap Choy

nyonya chap choy

It’s mixed vegetables, nothing special here.

Kangkung Belacan

kangkung belacan

This dish has strayed into mainstream Chinese cooking that a lot of people forget it’s Nyonya origins. If you want the most authentic version, I guess here’s where you go.

Taufo Peranakan

taufo peranakan

I’m not a huge fan of tofu but it disappeared pretty quickly so I’ll hazard a guess and say it’s pretty good if you like the stuff. ;)

Fo Yong Tan

fo yong tan

I think this is the egg omelet unless I’ve completely messed up my bearings. Forgettable.

Sambal Bendih

sambal bendih

Okra with a splash of sambal on top. Simple, but good.

peranakan restaurant food

I spent the whole time piling my plate with all the different stuff so I could take a photo. Their flagship dishes are really good, while some are mediocre, but IMHO, Peranakan Restaurant is the place to go for authentic Nyonya food if you’re in Melaka.

nissan almera

I was there on a the Eat, Play, Drive road trip with a bunch of other bloggers. We drove down on several Nissan Alameras. I had the opportunity to drive the IMPUL tuned one (which is my main ride, with a very auspicious plate too – WXN 6330). Simon, Joshua and Kelly (another group) was kind enough to let me drive the stock Nissan Alamara for a stretch.

nissan almera eat play drive

I prefered the Nissan Alamera tuned by IMPUL that was issued to my group – there’s keyless ignition and the specs are pretty decent. I found the acceleration to be a bit lacking, but as they say, it’s not a sports car, but a sedan that’s surprisingly affordable for its class. I was quite impressed by the price of the car for it’s specs.

nissan almera impul

Thanks for the invite Hui Ping! :)

auntie koh cendol

This was also where I had the famous Klebang Original Coconut Shake and while we were driving there, we also stopped by Aunty Koh’s Cendol. This place churns out really good cendol – perfect for a hot day!

auntie koh

It’s primarily manned by a single woman – the aforementioned Aunty Koh. Cendol is a shaved ice dessert with squiggly green jelly and kidney beans (we use red beans in Sarawak).

aunty koh cendol

Gula Melaka (caramelized palm sugar) gives it that distinctive sugary sweet taste, which is tempered by santan (coconut milk).

melaka cendol

You’ll be amazed by how many people come here for the RM 3.50 (large) cendol.

aunty koh

I was tempted to have two (and I think I did have two) but I also heard that this place is famous for it’s taibak (RM 1.50) – which is a very simple shaved ice dessert made with red and white flour squiggles. I found the taste very similar to something we have in Sibu called “wu wei tang” (5 taste soup) which is another shaved ice dessert that has dried apples and other misc ingredients among it.

taibak

It’s simple but refreshing.

cendol melaka

However, I still prefered the cendol at Aunty Koh Cendol. They claim to be Melaka’s best cendol and I’m inclined to agree. I’ve had cendol in lots of places from Penang to Kuantan (click on the tag cendol) and this is among the top ones I’ve had the pleasure of eating. :D

A drive around town and food discoveries in Lorong Bandar

town graffiti

I’ve never actually walked around this part of KL. I’ve driven through it often enough but never stopped and checked out the food. Joyce was telling me that she saw a lot of stalls there a while back with Shin.

This area is where the really old pre-war shoplots are at. I’ve had a steak dinner around the area at Ril’s Steakhouse at Jalan H.S. Lee but this time we’re out to investigate the little lanes around the area – essentially playing tourist, which is kinda fun.

mixing yam cake

I came across this auntie exerting herself mixing a batch of gooey stuff at Lorong Bandar 4 and asked her if I could have some of that.

I was quite taken aback when she said NO!

yam cake dough

It turns out that this is a batch of yam cake (oh kueh) that’s still uncooked. She said it’s for tomorrow and promptly put it into the a home rigged steamer with a wok. I ordered a portion of the (cooked) yam cake for just RM 2.

yam cake

It’s quite good when eaten with the (optional) chilli and sweet sauce. It’s a good find (also found a better unnamed shop) and goes to show that driving around and just stopping somewhere unfamiliar for an afternoon can be quite a fun afternoon in itself.

yam cake address

…and speaking of driving around town, here’s a short mention about the new Rio and an awesome contest where you can actually win the car by solving word puzzles!
___________________________________________________________________________

The all new Kia Rio is a 1.4 cc compact 5-door hatchback that comes in two variants. It’s an award winning design that has a sporty profile from the low roofline combined with a special ratio of metal and glass. It’s a great looking car with a distinctive wedge that you’ll recognize instantly.

all new rio

Do you fancy yourself a word smith? Good with puzzles and all that? Always the winner in Scrabble? You can win yourself a Kia Rio by solving word puzzles in the Runabout contest on Facebook!

It’s a lot of fun!

(plus you can win a car!)

Do you do this in your car?

smoking car

I do it all the time. It’s quite paradoxical since I imposed a strict no-smoking rule in my studio apartment – I step out to the balcony if I feel like I need a nicotine infusion instead. However, I do smoke in my car and I usually have to leave the window down while driving to make the smell dissipate.

This creates more problems in itself since the haze and pollution in KL, combined with the emission from other vehicle exhausts enters your car.

Well you know how bad it can be but first let me tell you about this interesting workshop I attended.

It had me smelling ammonia voluntarily.

ammonia

Haha. Read on.

It was the Sharp Plasmacluster Beauty Care event held at A Cut Above. The academy actually has a very interesting project by its students. Check it out:

art

It’s completely fictional of course, and it’s not Photoshopped – everything is done on set and photographed. I thought it was quite intriguing.

spraying ammonia

Back to the Sharp Plasmacluster Beauty Care range, they have six new products from the huge Plasmacluster Ion Generator to progressively more portable devices which you can fit on your desk, car and even your own body (Mobile Ion Generator) which you can hang on your neck via a lanyard.

plasmacutter range

Left to right:
Plasmacluster Ion Generator – perfect for coverage up to 10m2 and you can tilt it and put it anywhere you want.
Bedside Ion Generator – get quality sleep with 25,000 ions/cc. It also helps retain skin and hair moisture! It’s the tall device beside the black Plasmacluster Ion Generator.
Desktop Ion Generator with Humidifying Function – this one comes with a water tank so it’ll release additional moisture. It can use a USB or AC adapter – well suited to your office or home desk I reckon.
Ion Generator for Cars – this is what I’m using! It connects to the cigarette lighter socket in your car and deodorizes 30% faster when you boost it to Turbo mode. No more lingering tobacco smell!
Mobile Ion Generator – this baby is small but powerful. It uses AC, USB or even a lithium ion battery and works for 4 hours!
Hair Conditioning Dryer – moisturizes hair and removes static electricity. It also keeps moisture in and split ends out. Some discerning customers bring their own to hair salons!

plasma ion hairdryer

The basics behind all this is explained to us by Mr Chew, which I found rather interesting. The bit that really caught my attention is the fact that people are naturally attracted to high ion concentration places in nature like waterfalls coz they induce serotonin production!

You know how much I love talking about serotonin. Heh.

plasmacutter ion technology

Anyway, the principles behind Sharp’s Plasmacluster Ion Generators has been refined since 2000 to the device they have today which is capable of producing 25,000 ions/cc!

This is important as research has shown that cities like KL and other urban areas has only about 300 positively charged ions/cc and 100 negatively charged ions/cc while the nature which our healthier ancestors lived in has 4,000 positive and negative charged ions/cc. This is still evident in places like forests nowadays but we all know that’s a dwindling commodity.

cheesie
Cheesie’s hair being violated. Demonstration of Cheesie’s hair after the hairdryer treatment.

The entire range of Sharp’s Plasmacluster Ion Generators is meant to restore that balance…and improve on it! Plasmacluster Ion Technology releases the very same ions that occurs in nature, which is then bonded with water molecules and delivered all over the place. Thus it not only produces massive amounts of ions, but also hydrates the skin and hair!

plasmacutter

The ions turns into hydroxide when it comes into contact with contaminants, which effectively destroys it. It also removed bacteria, viruses, allergens, mold, odors and other pollutants and contaminants. It’s been tested and proven by various institutions around the world – from the US to Japan.

This is a perfect example which I luckily managed to film. Mr Chew demonstrated the effectiveness of Sharp’s Plasmacluster Ion Technology by soaking a tissue with pure ammonia and asking if anyone wants to smell it.

volunteer

I naturally volunteered! :D

I smelled the tissue soaked with ammonia tentatively…

It smelled like a very popular public toilet frequented by renal failure patients that hasn’t been cleaned for a DECADE.

I was polite enough to say it smelled like hair bleach though. HAHAHA

ion treatment

The ammonia appears blue in color when exposed to the tissue. He then put it under the Plasmacluster Ion Generator for just a few seconds and the blue color turned into orange – thus removing the ammonia, and not only that, the odor disappeared as well!

mold

Check it out! The process of the ammonia turning from blue to orange (clean). I know coz I smelled it after it was treated. Heh! :)

treatment

It’s magical! The smell of pure concentrated ammonia magically disappears after a few seconds under the ionizer.

That’s the wonderful odor busting properties it has, in addition to the moisturizing effects. It looks orange but that’s not coz of the ammonia – the ammonia stains it blue, and the blue has been removed by just a few seconds of the ion treatment. Awesome right?

wipe

I would even use it to wipe my face….IF I didn’t know it had been soaked in ammonia before the ionizer treatment. ;)

car ion generator

I figured that the best product for me is the Plasmacluster Ion Generator for Cars. I smoke in my car so I figured that I’ll take it for a test drive (no pun intended).

turbo

It’s very easy to use, just connect the device to the cigarette lighter socket in your car, and it’s ready to go.

You can set power levels too – from low to a mode called Turbo, which I immediately went for.

ions

It actually emits moisturized air and ions – I was smelling it straight and got a good dose of nice clean ionized air.

I have put it in my car for several days now – it’s particularly nice at night since the illuminated LEDs allows you to see what the settings are and you can change the mode and levels if you want, just via a simple press of a button.

interface

Did it work? I was already convinced when I watched and filmed that demonstration in the Sharp workshop but I wanted to try it out for myself.

I also have a bad tendency of eating in my car, and that emits odors as well. I did just that and smoked while driving back home with the Plasmacluster Ion Generator for Cars on Turbo mode.

There was no smell at all after 1 minute with the windows rolled up!

smoking

It’s not just for smokers too, the Sharp Plasmacluster technology purifies the air by:

  • Suppressing the effects of airborne viruses
  • Breaking down and removing airborne mold
  • Breaking down and removing allergens
  • Removing odors

…which creates fresh clean air and lock-in skin moisture! It’s something that every car needs so you won’t have to jump in fright when someone else sneezes just in case another outbreak of H1N1 occurs. It also makes your car environment a healthier place.

connect

The design is awesome too – the Plasmacluster Ion Generator for Cars is shaped like a pint glass so you can put it in the drinks holder of your car. It’s aesthetically pleasing as as mentioned the illuminated LEDs are very useful at night.

Check out the Sharp Plasmacluster Beauty Care range for something that suits you – there’s even a model for your bedside so you can sleep in peace:

Facebook:
https://www.facebook.com/SharpPlasmaclusterMalaysia
Website:
http://www.sharp-pci.com/my/

ion car generator

My Plasmacluster Ion Generator for Cars really works in quickly reducing odors – forget about car fragrances, those only mask the smell of tobacco, it doesn’t actually remove it. I love it! It’s perfect for my lifestyle. :)

The Icon Is Back!

disguise

Greetings! How do you like my disguise? Heh. It’s a pair of oversized sunnies, a huge bright red bulb of a nose and a fake mustache.

the beetle

I was at the Volkswagen Das Auto Show 2012 during the weekend – it’s a two day free event that’s open to the public and all the slots were snapped up really quickly. The Icon Is Back is the theme of this year’s show and it features the new Beetle prominently.

disassembled beetle

There’s even a fully disassembled classic Beetle in the foyer!

photo kiosk

I was at the Volkswagen Das Auto Show 2011 and I have to say, this year’s show surpasses the previous one by leaps and bounds. There are a lot of interactive displays and fun stuff to do that I spent nearly 4 hours there to play around and experience everything.

facebook connect

There are kiosks that use Facebook Connect which you can interact with…

qr registration

…and you get issued a QR code wristband when you register.

beetle booth

I was there early and went for the strategically placed photo booth outside to snap a photo.

photo booth

There are no lack of things to do while waiting for the show to start.

icon is back

The Icon Is Back kicked off with a cinematic experience that is simply mind blowing. There was a countdown and the huge darkened hall exploded with a symphony of images and sound.

It started out by featuring a couple of classic Beetle commercials from back in the day…

testimonial

…and has personalities like Patrick Teoh, Melinda Ooi, JJ (from Hitz FM) and others reminiscing about owning and driving the original Beetle.

The screen is over 180 degrees and you have to crane your neck to see everything that’s going on. I really liked that – it provides a good kind of sensory overload. :)

light dance

The show continued on with a launch gimmick that has choreographed dancers with light and shadows before The Beetle was driven on stage.

It’s one of the hallmarks of Volkswagen events – everything is a wonder to behold and just when you thought that it was over, another feature starts that tops the previous one.

The auditorium was packed with people and the first area where The Icon Is Back cinematic experience is held was the best part for me. It was just amazing, the way they pulled off the entire thing.

new beetle

Next up is the area where you can see all the Volkswagen cars in addition to the much anticipated new Beetle. Now, this isn’t a standard static display but a highly interactive one.

like booth

There are stations located throughout that allow you to scan the QR code on your wristband to Like it and as an added bonus…

map

There’s a passport that’s handed to you when you enter – it’s a map of the entire showroom and not only does it provide you with clear signs on where is where, the “passport” also has places for stamps which you can only get once you’ve visited the area!

I think that is a brilliant idea! You get a gift if you get all the stamps from the hostess, I spent a lot of time inside until the batch I was with was nearly gone and the showroom empty. Heh.

think blue

The Think Blue initiative area is one of the highlights with interactive displays which shows how we can reduce our carbon footprint.

little bugsters

There’s also a place for kids to play with…

vw cafe

…and a cafe of sorts where you can have a drink of water and some candy after walking around – all complimentary, of course.

stage performance

The stage has constant shows merging people and cars in a unique performance.

…and of course the star of the Volkswagen Das Auto 2012 Show – The Beetle! :)

black beetle

There are two variants for The Beetle – the 1.2L TSI and the 2.0L TSI.

It’s the centerpiece of the show and everyone flocked to check out the interior and features. The 1.2L Beetle features a 105PS turbocharged 4-cylinder engine while the 2.0L version has a power output almost twice that, topping out at 200PS with a 7-speed direct shift gearbox (DSG) while the former is equipped with a 6-speed DSG.

das auto show

There are a lot of different colors too, I suspect the Tornado Red and Saturn Yellow would be popular but I personally like the Deep Black with Pearl Effect. There’s also a Pearl White version if you like that color.

ipad games

I would allocate a lot of time to this place – there are a lot of fun things to do, like the various iPad games which you can play. Note that it’s connected to the screen and what you do is reflected so even while you wait your turn, you’ll be entertained with people playing badly. Heh.

There are photo booths scattered throughout the space, the Beetle Photo Booth being the most popular one. I met Tung Ai while queuing up, he introduced himself as a reader of my blog and we chatted for a bit.

tung ai

This is the photo we were queuing up for – look at how interactive the screen was, that’s the two of them posing behind the screen. Thanks for saying hello! :)

pov

This is what the photo looks like from POV – you can see where you are in relation to the background that you choose so I saw a lot of creative poses.

beetle photo booth

This is mine. Heh. I wanted to wave out but settled on putting my arm on the window and pointing ahead instead.

photo download

There’s also a QR code at the back of the instantly printed photo where you can download a high resolution digital copy of! You can also Share it on Facebook and Twitter! Nifty.

screenshot

I managed to get all the stamps for my passport and got free gifts at the end, and also a tattoo. Temporary of course.

volkswagen passport

Here’s one of us posing with it, hello Penny!

penny hb

It was a lot of fun, I didn’t realize how much time I spent inside until I realized that people were slowly filtering out. I can’t wait for the next Volkswagen Das Auto Show! I really fb like the social media interactive integration of the show this year. By the way things are going, it looks like it’s only going to get better! :)

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