I’ve been down with the flu for the past few days and just woke up totally ravished after not eating for almost 24 hours. I rummaged about in my severely diminished pantry and decided to go with something very salty which doesn’t require much preparation as I’m still a bit sluggish.
Enter the tube of Smogaskaviar I got a few days ago. It’s not real caviar (cod roe, salthe roe, pacific cod roe for 51% of the total contents) but it is extremely salty. Heh.
It comes in a tube that I’ll rather call fish roe spread and I squeezed it all over a bag of wholemeal crisp rolls. I wanted to break the salty monotony (and monopoly) after the fifth one so I decided to top it off with a piece of dark chocolate.
It’s surprisingly good, but would taste better if I had melted the chocolate.
It ain’t chicken soup for the soul but it sure is another one for the continuing bread story.
This is one of the most awesome chocolates I’ve ever had – it’s made of over 80% cocoa, very dark and bittersweet, with a dusting to finish it.
I think a whole bunch of us in Singapore had way too much of these. I know I certainly did, totally ruined my appetite for dinner.
This is pretty good too – it’s a layered chocolate cake and almost impossible to dissect but let me attempt to describe it – it contains layer after layer of moist and fluffy pastry covered with chocolate. I was impressed, it was so light it felt like I was eating mostly air.
Lobster shooters. I liked this one too – awesomely concocted pieces of lobsters with the accompanying sauces and garnishes in one ready-to-drink (eat?) shot.
This were the chocolates that had liquor in it – it’s infused with Bailey’s Irish Cream. I preferred the original high cocoa content chocolate cubes instead but a lot of others liked these. :)
The United States Declaration of Independence has an oft quoted line – Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. It’s misunderstood by a lot of people. Your happiness is not guaranteed…the sentence is supposed to give you the basic unalienable human rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (emphasis mine).
What is happiness? Well, it depends on the individual but it is your right to seek your own happiness. To me, happiness is a state of mind where you’re content with everything in your life.
Happiness is something money cannot buy. A lot of people are unhappy about their financial situation but I believe that’s an unnecessary worry. The Chinese has a proverb that goes “Money is something that you can always earn back when you lose it”. There’s another phrase that goes “There will be water if God wills it” but that comes from the less reputable and more modern Dark Tower series of books by Stephen King. ;)
Happiness is a state of mind that I always try to strive for. I’m happy when I’m doing the things I like such as travelling. It enriches me and makes me a more understanding and better person when I meet new people and learn about new cultures. I’m even happier when I’m spending quality time with loved ones – friends, family, my girlfriend.
It’s all too easy to get caught up in the rat race and forget about the simple things in life that lifts your mood:
Finding a parking space as soon as you enter a full car park
The smell of freshly cut grass
Laughing at corny jokes
Having a baby smile at you
A fellow commuter stopping to let you drive out of a particularly busy exit
Waking up and realizing it’s the weekend so you can sleep in
Watching a sweet TVC that makes you smile
These are all little things which makes yout day just that little bit brighter. It has a cumulative effect and happiness is highly contagious – it’s like laughter. It’s meant to be shared. :)
I watched the Cadbury TVC and repeated it twice coz it was just so sweet. I found it adorable – the simple sweet joy (pun not intended) that permeates the entire commercial. It has all the elements done right – the humor, the camaraderie of neighborhood love, and a dash of romance.
I took it upon myself to make a video similar to that. I was in Miri, Sarawak at that time to help my girlfriend move her stuff to KL. We spent a weekend in the Marriott Resort and Spa in Miri. It’s located right on the beach by the South China Sea and we booked a chalet facing the pool and sea.
You just need to open the sliding glass door to get out. There’s a balcony which is less than 10 meters from the pool – it’s almost like having a pool right at your doorstep!
I thought up the idea of having a series of unfortunate events much like the original TVC. The entire video was shot over a period of 2 days. I didn’t have a professional videographer so I had to think of how to get the scenes right.
I also wanted a “happy” vibe so everything is shot in daylight – it’s bright and sunny with no indoor scenes except the initial phone call. I’ll go through the more interesting bits to give you a behind-the-scenes peek at the making of the video. :)
The first mishap you see (the one where I exit the house just to get splashed by a wayward neighbor’s dirty mop water) is done using a tripod. The one holding the bucket is…*drumroll*…Jeanie herself. The bucket was too heavy for her and we had to do two takes. I ended up changing coz the first splash totally failed – she went into the scene, propelled by the momentum and weight of the bucket of water.
We filled it with less water in the second take. I didn’t want to use up the rapidly dwindling backpack of attire I brought along. :x
The car not being able to start
You’ll see the same car in the next scene so I did an extreme close up so you won’t see the make, model or color of the car. :)
The accident scene
This one wasn’t too hard to do. It only required the two of us to pull it off. I filmed Jeanie driving towards me. I told her to put her foot on the gas and not worry about hitting me.
After that part was filmed, I passed the camera to her and she filmed me being caught like a deer in the headlights as the car (apparently) came barreling down on me.
The next scene was me twitching on the car bonnet after being “hit”. It took some video transitions to make it look comically realistic (without actually hitting me with the car).
It was originally longer but I thought the bit where I ended up wandering about dazed after being hit was a little too much so I cut it from the editing board. You can watch the full original scene here:
I spent a lot of time editing the videos – it’s a good learning process but it took me the better part of 3 days of almost continuous tweaking to get the timing and synchronization right. I’m a newbie in video production, thus the learning curve.
This is one of the scenes that I took out of the video as I thought it won’t contribute much to it. The beach walk also had to be sped up 4x so it won’t drag on.
The underwater scene
This is a bit of a retrofit. It was meant to be all fluff – a cool video taken underwater. I have a waterproof digicam and I figured it would be nifty to take a video underwater. I knew it won’t make much sense since I appear with my shirt on in the next scene…until I saw someone being escorted out by security.
The Marriott has a strict policy – only guests are allowed to use the resort facilities and The Proverbial Light Bulb (TM) came on. It shall be the scene where I evade the guards!
I put that in the caption (used the Confucius angle), and the rest, as they say, is history.
The end scene
After all those trials and tribulations, we finally shot the last scene beside the pool. There’s this comfy sofa and we enlisted the help of a kind lady from France who was more than obliged to help us film this scene. The inter-cuts you see at the end is filmed by us – I did her and she did me.
I swear this was the hardest part of the video – we went to several different shops in Miri but none of them had Cadbury Dairy Milk. They have others – the ones with nuts, Old Gold, and others…but not the original. It took us 2 hours before we stumbled upon a shop that sells it. I bought 5 x 75 gram bars.
I then realized that it was the old packaging when I chanced upon a shop with the new packaging. I bought more of it and re-shot some of the scenes again. I have a lot of chocolate now but I love Cadbury Dairy Milk so it’s all good. :D
We actually did share it – there were a couple of kids running around in the resort and I passed them several bars. I thought their parents would balk – candy from strangers and all that, but they thanked us for it and one even bought us drinks from the poolside bar.
The kids loved it. One of them came up to me and she showed me her toy – a launcher she was playing with beside the pool that launches a baby dinosaur up into the air by pumping air into the tube. That was the highlight of doing the video – sharing the Cadbury chocolate and seeing the little ones enjoying it by the pool during their holiday. :)
theobroma CHOCOLATE Lounge is a dessert establishment specializing in everything chocolate. It’s an international franchise with outlets in Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia. The first chocolate lounge in Malaysia that I recall was the popular chocz in Suria KLCC.
Theobroma is located right in the middle of 1 Utama shopping mall’s passageway, much like it’s predecessor chocz. The setting doesn’t deter chocolate lovers from the lounge though, mainly due to the ample partitions and leather tub chairs, which is well insulated from the throngs of shoppers.
Theobroma also sells a wide range of chocolate and cakes – it’s the place to be for people with a sweet tooth.
I ordered the Fair Lady (RM 12.90) that came in a mug and warmer. It’s one of their specialties made with Belgian milk chocolate. The melted chocolate on the rim of the mug is not the result of carelessness, but the signature finish of theobroma. It’s rich and creamy, with the warmer keeping the drink hot throughout the experience.
The Fair Lady comes with Belgian milk chocolate shavings down the middle of the frothy drink – a very nice touch. It melts as you consume it, due to the temperature of the beverage. It’s sinfully delicious, and comes highly recommended from me.
Doris opted for the Princess of Iceland (RM 10.90) – a cold chocolate concoction with beautiful swirls adorning the sides. This Belgian iced chocolate beverage is made with dark and milk chocolate and comes with a scoop of premium chocolate ice cream on top. It’s thirst quenching, but I prefer my Fair Lady for pure, unadulterated chocolate pleasure. :)
We also ordered the signature Chocolate Affair (RM 25.90) – a chocolate fondue with four seasonal fruits for two people. Ours came with bananas, oranges, kiwi fruit…
…and strawberries hidden at the back. A strawberry dipped in chocolate is a sweet and tangy contrast that has to be experienced at least once. The melted chocolate inside the warmer can also be consumed straight for a sugar rush or dipped with the marshmallows that come with the platter.
There is something not quite right about me feeding my girlfriend a banana and her reciprocating with a strawberry but I assure you that any innuendo is unintended. ;)
…even the Splash Damage (TM) that occurred when she accidentally dropped her strawberry down my pants.
theobroma CHOCOLATE Lounge is a great place for people with a sweet tooth. It’s a perfect destination for post lunch or dinner desserts and celebrates all things chocolate – which I’m told is better than sex.
This is a face off between two premium Swiss dark chocolate (Chocolat Swiss Noir) – Swiss Delice Supreme Noir Authentique 78% Cacao vs. LINDT Chocolat Cree a Berne. I wanted it to be a straight Swiss dark chocolate comparison so…
…the Cote d’Or Belgian extra high quality dark chocolate is out of this post’s scope
(and also coz I noticed that the Cote d’Or only contains 56% cocoa
solids – a very low figure compared to the two Swiss brands I’m
The Swiss Delice Supreme Noir Authentique 78% Cacao is an extra dark bittersweet chocolate with a high cocoa solid content – the highest amongst the two, weighing in at 78% cacao.
It retails for RM 9.90 each and comes in a thin cardboard package
containing just 100 grams of chocolate. Weight for weight, it’s more
expensive than the Cote d’Or brand (which I wouldn’t be mentioning
except it was brought up :p) with its 2 x 200 g (400 g) packaging
priced at RM 27.90.
The back of the package lists the contents of the chocolate and also
has text that goes “Swiss Delice invites connoisseurs from all over the
world to take part in a culinary journey throughout Switzerland. The
delightful specialties are carefully created using traditional recipes
and only the finest ingredients. Take a real taste of Switzerland home
The packaging of Swiss Delice Supreme Noir Authentique 78%
is impeccable – the slim cardboard packaging has a side that parts to
reveal a thin block of dark chocolate wrapped in foil (which is the
best wrapping for our climate – unlike the paper wrappings in
Australia, our heat does not allow anything except foil for long term
The Swiss Delice Supreme Noir 78% cacao breaks
apart easily at the perforations and produces neat imprinted dark
chocolate in bite sized pieces. It’s about the size of the ubiquitous After 8 thin dark chocolate dinner mints for a better mind size comparison.
I ate (nearly) the entire block of Swiss Delice Supreme Noir Authentique 78%
(which isn’t much considering it’s only 100 g – the size of a large
Mars bar) while waiting for my flight (which was delayed). There was
someone sitting beside me, traveling alone too (Swinburne student -
Hello Alice!), and I offered her a slice, which she accepted. She
pronounced it good, as do I.
Swiss Delice Supreme Noir Authentique 78% Cacao is
smooth high cocoa solid content chocolate – it has a melt in your mouth
quality and its bittersweet nature is great. This is real dark
chocolate – the product does not disappoint.
LINDT Chocolat Cree A Berne is also another Swiss
dark chocolate product which caught my eye due to its retro packaging.
It looks like a product from the 1940′s – the candy wrapping is
minimalist and heavily text oriented. It certainly has novelty value.
I sampled the LINDT Chocolat Cree A Berne the next
day (and an important note here is that I wasn’t fully in withdrawal
hell as I planned to stop my opiate consumption on Friday night and I
was still VERY MUCH under the influence of Oxycontin bliss during the
time of this review) at home.
LINDT Chocolat Cree A Berne also comes in a slim 100 g package. Unfortunately, it weighs in at a (relatively) dismal 49% cocoa solids content. LINDT Chocolat Cree A Berne retails at RM 8.90 (all chocolates is this review is from the Choc Stop franchise at the airport).
The LINDT Chocolat Cree A Berne chocolate bar is also wrapped in foil and comes in smaller perforated chunks. I personally prefer an After 8
sized slice, much like the format of the previously featured Swiss
Delice Supreme Noir Authentique 78% Cacao instead of this smaller chunk.
The chocolate perforates nicely to reveal chocolate chunks with the Lindt
signature on each of the chunks. I’m still harping about the size of
the chunk – IMHO, I feel that premium chocolate should come in the
larger format instead of this Cadbury/Hershey’s (tick according to your
country) style chunk which is associated with mass produced chocolate.
The LINDT Chocolat Cree A Berne breaks nicely and
takes well to biting smaller chunks off it. It tastes great, with a
bittersweet symphony that indulges the senses. However, I still prefer
the Swiss Delice Supreme Noir Authentique 78% Cacao as it has that elusive mouth-feel from the higher cacao content.
Swiss Delice Supreme Noir Authentique 78% Cacao is
the better of the two. It’s definitely a must try, with its high cocoa
solid content – which is what chocolate is all about. :)
Hershey’s Symphony is a milk chocolate candy bar
made by the largest chocolate manufacturer in the United States. I
picked it up at ChocShop at the airport during my flight back earlier
Hershey’s Symphony retails for RM 14.90 and is made by Hershey Foods
Corporation in the US. The bar looks rather retro with its linear lines
and beige background superimposed with the stylized text “Symphony” in
The chocolate bar weighs 1/2 a pound, a fact that is proudly
declared on the lower left side of the wrapping. This contributes much
to the retro look as does the scheme – it’s meant to look like sheet
music (as in music sheets, not shitty music).
The 1/2 pound milk chocolate bar opens up to reveal blocks of
chocolate with the Hershey’s logo on it. I had forgotten about it ever
since I left it on the office table when I came back to Kuching until
just now. I had it for lunch.
Hershey’s Symphony tastes like mid-range milk chocolate – with potential, but never quite achieving greatness. It was a good lunch nonetheless.
Hershey’s Swoops is a relatively new product which is the epitome of chocolate research and psychological studies. Okay, maybe it’s not that
groundbreaking, but I still think it’s the greatest thing since sliced
bread! The official description goes “Hershey’s Swoops are curvy, solid
chocolate slices delivering an indulgent, mouth-melting experience”.
Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Swoops retails for RM
12.90 and comes in cardboard canisters containing three snack-pack
cups, each containing six Swoops slices for a total of 18 slices of
chocolate. Slices of chocolate. You heard me right. Hershey’s Swoops is
chocolate slices shaped and molded in the vein of potato chips
The back of Hershey’s Swoops has a photo of the delicious slices of
chocolate in actual size. The text goes “Hershey’s Swoops are the
essence of your favorite chocolate candy. The unique shape envelops
your mouth in chocolate bliss. Take a moment to experience
The cardboard box of Hershey’s Swoops opens up to reveal three
individually sealed cups containing 6 slices (slices!) of chocolate. I
like the snack-packs design although I feel it’s redundant since you
can’t just eat one!!!11oneone (as Lay’s would put it…damn the person
who invented potato chips / crisps).
This is what the Hershey’s Swoops looks like. It looks like potato
chip (crisps) shaped chocolate…and it’s the same size as an average
tongue so putting the chocolate slice in your mouth and letting it melt
covers the entire mouth with chocolate.
It’s an experience to behold…if you haven’t had Hershey’s Swoops
yet, you haven’t experienced the amazing difference the shape can do to
the taste and sheer texture. It’s like methamphetamine…you think
insufflating (snorting) it is great, but wait till you smoke it! You
think smoking meth is great, but wait till you bang (IV injection) it!
Hershey’s Swoops is the IV method of eating chocolate in the analogy
above. You put the tongue shaped chocolate slices into you mouth, close
it, taste the rich, milky chocolate enveloping your entire senses
and…chocolate rush! OMG!
Hershey’s Swoops is really an experience to
behold…it’s amazing that a commercial chocolate manufacturer can come
out with chocolate that would revolutionize the chocolate industry. The
chocolate slices produces a totally different experience to eating
Disclaimer: sixthseal.com does not condone the use
of Hershey’s Swoops. It should be noted that eating Hershey’s Swoops
can be addictive to people with a history of drug and alcohol
dependency. Please do not share Hershey’s Swoops…it would be consumed
faster than you can imagine. ;)
Nestle came out with a limited edition variant of their Kit Kat product line – it’s called Kit Kat Dark Luxury and it’s made with dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate.
The Dark Luxury Kit Kat bars retail in the standard Kit Kat size but
instead of a wrapper, it comes in a nicely packaged box with a
perforation on one end and the text “Limited Edition” emblazoned beside
The Kit Kat Dark Luxury cardboard box opens up to reveal individually wrapped 2-finger wafers.
Kit Kat Dark Luxury tastes like standard Kit Kat made with dark
chocolate instead of milk chocolate. I didn’t find it exceptional as I
do not like the Kit Kat bars over here.
I’ll be flying to KL on a business trip tomorrow morning for a 4 pm
meeting and I’ll be coming back again on Saturday. I won’t spend the
weekend since I have obligations in Kuching but I’ll probably head out
Friday night. See ya!
I saw some chocolate coated coffee beans at the local import
specialty shop and decided to get some, since I’m working to meet a
deadline before I go back to work on Monday. It’s called Coffee Shots and there’s a variety of different beans available – I got the espresso ones, which goes for RM 6.95 for a 50 g pack.
The literature goes “Coffee Shots give a lift to your day with a
delicious chocolate coated coffee crunch – ready to eat – anywhere,
anytime. We start with the finest Arabica beans from the South Eastern
regions of Brazil which we carefully sort for color, size and
quantity”. It also adds that “Just like the best espresso (short black)
from Europe, our Espresso Coffee Shots have a vibrant strong taste
giving you just the right pick me up when you need it”.
The 50 g packs have a small amount of the “European style chocolate coated coffee beans” in a bag inside the cardboard wrap.
I also got a larger pack of the Espresso Coffee Shots for RM 9.80.
The Coffee Shots have a coffee bean inside the chocolate, which
gives it some measure of caffeine content. I’ve been drinking coffee
while munching on these Espresso Coffee Shots the whole day in an
effort to finish up my work before the deadline. Its times like this
that I wish I hadn’t quit methamphetamine. ;)
Excuse me, I’m going back to work – I’ll update again tomorrow.
The most interesting about the TV Mix blue tins of chocolate from
Newman’s is the solid and well made build quality. The experience I’ve
always had with (suffix/prefix) TV snacks have always been slightly
disappointing with regarding to the aesthetics. Case in point: Arnott’s
TV Snacks with cardboard boxes. It shouldn’t need a fancy container,
really, coz it’s likely to be consumed while watching that episode of
The Sopranos, but still…
Newman’s, now, they went at it in a whole new approach. The Milk
Chocolate covered assorted TV Mix chocolates is housed in an impressive
Colonial style (actually I don’t know what art/masonry influence period
it came from, I just pulled that out of my ass) metal housing, complete
with a fully functional gold latching system that looks archaic, but
pleasing, at the same time.
The latching gold piece with a hinge goes around the circumference
of the Newman’s milk chocolate TV Mix metal box and functions to secure
the container when it’s not supposed to be ajar. The latch piece and
cool metal box of these chocolate TV Snacks makes it a pleasure to just
put it on my lap for easy access whenever I wanted one of the chocolate
The push down and flip up double action golden latch piece is
intuitive to use and did not cause any accessibility problems with the
chocolate. The solid feeling latch opens with a satisfying click and
flipped shut using the same mechanism too. The gold latch manages to
stay shut every time with no degradation in terms of wear and tear
despite the much higher than average times it was flipped open, just to
feel the latch and hear it go “Click!” ;)
The other thing which stands out in the Newman’s Milk Chocolate TV
Mix casing is the felt lined blue and red recessed top, seemingly to
isolate the ambient moisture from affecting the chocolate produce. It
looks normal on the outside, but the red and blue interior lid
poly/foam adapter goes flush against the four sides of the metal
container and the latch circumference when the lip is in a closed
The Newman’s Milk Chocolate TV Mix opens up to reveal a wrapped
package of chocolate covered candy. Newman’s, in addition to making
precision custom containers, also makes chocolate, in case it slipped
anyone’s mind. Confectionary is their primary line of business.
Newman’s is an Australian brand, operating from Victoria; which
happened to be the same state I was staying in before I started
working, so I’m familiar with their product line. It tastes like
chocolate should…rich, creamy and (cloyingly) sweet. ;)
I love the variety that the Newman’s TV Mix offers too – there are
several types of nuts (hazelnuts, almonds, etc.) covered with chocolate
and a few (I counted three) surprise non-nut item to add variety. It’s
one of the things you either love or hate.