Naughty Nuri’s Ribs Master Challenge 2019

Cute-Esther

It should come as no surprise to anyone that I love food. I relish scarfing down obscene quantities of grub at blazing speed. I have dabbled in the profane arts of competitive eating but I didn’t like how I couldn’t enjoy the taste if I had to stuff it down methodically. However, I do enjoy participating in food related competitions to see how I stack up against others. I’m a very fast eater.

HB-Eat

I also don’t mind eating for an audience, as my many Facebook live mukbangs will attest to. I revel in the interactive experience and pigging out in front of people doesn’t bother me. I will smack my lips and gobble my food with no shame. Thus, when I heard about the Ribs Master Challenge 2019, I knew I had to compete. You’re timed on how fast you can devour Naughty Nuri’s Balinese Style Pork Ribs and the fastest one in their outlet gets it for free!

Contestants

I went at it with several other bloggers and I’m proud to report that I’m the fastest one that night. I clocked in at a respectable 2 minutes 15 seconds. The fastest in the outlet was 1 minute 3 seconds and I needed to be under 1 minute 37 seconds to get into the Top 5 and the scoreboard. I’m quite sure I can do it. I was eating at a slower speed since I wanted to savor the ribs and let the delicious sauce dance on my tongue. I can be a lot faster if I just focus on getting the meat down.

TV

Naughty Nuri’s Balinese Style Pork Ribs are the most delicious ribs I’ve had in Malaysia. No joke. They’re so tender it falls of the bone with the slightest touch. I think it might even slide off if you look at it hard enough. The sauce is sweet and yummy too! It’s the reason I wanted to appreciate the flavors during my ribs challenge instead of smashing it at top speed.

Signature-Roast-Pork-Salad

We also had a few other dishes that night like Signature Roast Pork Salad.

Naughty-Nuri-Pork-Ribs

Naughty Nuri’s Signature Pork Ribs.

Indonesian-Nasi-Goreng

Indonesian Style Nasi Goreng.

Naughty-Nuri-Satay-Lilit

Naughty Nuri’s BBQ Satay Lilit.

Sizzling-Bacon-Chocolate-Cake

Mt. Buleleng Inspired Sizzling Bacon Cake.

Ribs-Master

…but nothing beats the ribs at Naughty Nuri’s. They’re delectable! My mouth is watering just thinking about them now. I’m really tempted by the Ribs Master Challenge prize of 1 year of free ribs. You can participate in any of the Naughty Nuri’s outlets at Atria, SS15 Courtyard, Life Center and Desa Sri Hartamas. The fastest person at each outlet will get their ribs free and the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th will get 50% off. There will be a showdown after the 1st September to 30th November 2018 challenge period where the fastest in each outlet battle for 1 year of free ribs.

Bloggers

I’ll definitely go and try again.

Somersby x Morganfield’s cider food pairing

HB-Somersby

It is a testament to my growing age and irrelevance that I found myself in the middle of a sea of similar looking cookie-cutter unfamiliar faces. I hear they’re all influencers and they’re invariably young, beautiful and dressed in all-white. That was the dress code of the event but as a rebel, I came in grey. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those old bloggers who bemoan the invasion of attractive Instagrammers and YouTubers. Far from it – as a red-blooded, meat-eating member of the male species with strong heterosexual appetites, I do enjoy looking at pretty girls.

HB-Influencer

I even got one of those newfangled Instagram influencers to pose with me. It almost made me feel young again. I must admit, I have taken inspiration from some of the photos these IG folks posted. I did a similar one with my own twist and I’m proud to report that the picture gained a lot of traction on Facebook. I’m even more gratified that my solo shot got more likes than the one I took with the appealing influencer. That is not usually the case, so thank you all!

Cookie-Cutter

This event is a Somersby x Morganfield’s collaboration that celebrates and pairs Somersby’s new Elderflower Lime with a few select Morganfield’s menu items. I like alcohol and I love food. Da Men is just 7 minutes away from my condo, so I thought I’ll make an appearance.

Somersby-Singer

Morganfield’s at Da Men, USJ is home to the first ever beautifully decorated Somersby Garden in Malaysia. There’s a swing where you can take photos as well as garden themed furniture and tables. They have freshly tapped Somersby on draught too.

Somersby-Swing

There’s also a promotion on the baby back ribs they import from Spain in various alcohol marinades. Jim Beam BBQ Baby Back, Citrus Mojito Baby Back and Jack Daniel’s Glazed Baby Back are all priced at RM 69.90. You can get Somersby Elderflower Lime at RM 9.90 per bottle before 8 pm and RM 39.90 for a bucket of 4 bottles all day long with any purchase of baby back ribs.

Somersby-Garden

Somersby Elderflower Lime is a refreshing cider with 4.5% ABV. There’s a pleasant floral note and an invigorating lime aftertaste which makes this very thirst-quenching. It’s perfect served over ice. This is a very suitable drink for our muggy weather, if you’re not adverse to consuming a bit of sugar. I like it but I prefer the Somersby Orchard Selection Sparkling Rose. I like dry ciders.

Morganfields-Somersby

I tried the Jack Daniel’s Baby Back Ribs and it was delicious! This is not the type of ribs that disintegrates and falls off the bone as soon as you touch it. There’s a bit of bite to it but it’s super flavorful. I also like their Sticky Wings. The Pork Sausage Platter with Spicy Devil, Smoky Bandit, Herby Hog and Cheesy Cheese was a huge hit at my table. There’s also a snack platter called Fourplay with Bacon Wrapped Meatballs, Onion Rings & Chilli Con Carne Dip, Corn Tortilla Chips and Sticky Wings that I enjoyed too. I particularly liked how the hot, crispy onion rings go with the baby back ribs.

Check it out at Morganfield’s Da Men!

Limited release festival beer Tiger Amber Lager @ The Great Brew Fest 2018

Tiger-Amber-Lager

I was chuffed to get an invite to the launch of The Great Brew Fest. I have not been active in the blogging scene for years and I half thought the summon was sent out in error. I’ve heard whisperings of a limited-release exclusive festival beer this year, and I was keen to try it. The Great Brew Fest is Heineken Malaysia’s ode to Oktoberfest and it’ll be a month-long celebration of the amber fluid.

HB

The event to kick things off was held at Souled Out. Heineken Malaysia’s portfolio of brews were on free flow and I indulged in a few I don’t usually drink like Strongbow Original Dry, which is a wonderfully dry cider. The ultra sweet ciders in the Malaysian market are not my favorite so this really hit the spot. I’m usually more of a Guinness type of person but I enjoy partaking in different brews.

Informative-Wall

There were a lot of fun activations like this informative interactive wall display which explains how beer is brewed.

Quiz

Promoter girls went around for an impromptu quiz session where you can win coupons for a complimentary pint or bottle.

Ee-Laine

The limited-release festival beer is Tiger Amber Lager. This is the first ever locally brewed amber lager and Heineken Malaysia came out with this for The Great Brew Fest. It’s 5% alcohol and it tastes very flavorful.

Heineken-Malaysia

I enjoyed the fruity notes, malty sweetness and deep flavors. Some people didn’t like it but I loved it. It’s not as refreshing as lager, but it’s way tastier. It’s a cross between Paulaner/Kilkenny and Tiger White.

Wings

It’s perfect with food! People like to pair Tiger beer with Asian food and while there’s nothing wrong with that, I feel it washes out the flavors of food instead of complementing it. I’m a bit of a food geek and it is my nerdy opinion that Tiger Amber Lager would go better with certain food. The fruity malt notes would be a smashing companion to most ingredients.

Tiger-Amber

Heineken Malaysia even set up a bus for people to pop in and get a free sampler of Tiger Amber Lager.

Selfie

This is a semi-related selfie that I took because I found this promoter girl arrestingly beautiful.

Brewfest-Mugs

Moving on, another highlight of the night was the introduction of The Great Brew Fest 2018 limited edition designer mugs. There are five (5) in total – one each for Apple Fox, Tiger, Guinness, Paulaner and Kirin Ichiban. Each mug is done by one designer, from CLOAKWORK (who is a graffiti artist) to Lynda of Pink Tattoos. I’ve heard a lot about her and one of my colleagues even has a tattoo by her.

Apple-Fox

I got the red Apple Fox x CLOAKWORK one. Pretty cool! You can get one by visiting one of the participating outlets. There’s also a MugShot Contest where you can win a bucket of beer! More details and list of outlets at The Great Brew Fest Facebook page.

Exclusive-Brewfest-Mugs

Tiger Amber Lager is only going to be available for a limited time so check it out at participating outlets during The Great Brew Fest. I personally enjoyed it a lot and will be redeeming the two complimentary coupons I won for Tiger Amber Lager. Part of my enthusiasm is undoubtedly due to my affinity for limited runs but it really tastes good too!

Eli Ayase’s birthday with Love Livers

Eli Ayase Birthday

I know, it’s early. Elichika’s birthday is actually on the 21st of October but the Malaysian Love Livers celebrated it early last Sunday at Alpacasso Cafe @ AEON, Midvalley. I’ve always seen people on reddit celebrating various waifu birthdays and I thought it sounded like a lot of fun. I’ve just never seen any locally until I met Anson via the COSFAIR event where I filmed the MilkyWay girls. It might sound strange to celebrate a 2D anime character’s birthday but it’s actually a lot of fun to hang out with like-minded people and share something we’re all interested in. I think the fellowship comes first, the character’s birthday is just the pretext of meeting up. That’s the best way I can explain it to someone who doesn’t understand why people do this.

I’ve never quite gotten into Eli Ayase (the character) but I do like the seiyuu (voice actress). Nanjou is one of my two “best girls” (an anime term denoting your favorite) – the other being Pile (voicing Maki). I even started listening to fripside lately, the songs for A Certain Scientific Railgun are pretty good.

I just finished editing and putting together subtitles for the video of Eli’s birthday celebrations with the Malaysian Love Livers. I know my Chinese isn’t very good, and some of you might be surprised to learn that Mandarin is in fact my first language – I just can’t read or write. I also can’t speak it very well especially when people start using harder words so the subtitles might not be 100% accurate. I’m a little puzzled why I don’t understand the harder words too since I spoke Mandarin until I went to New Zealand to do high school at 15. 15 years is a long time to pick up a language! I think it’s mostly coz I never immersed myself in Chinese culture – I don’t listen to Chinese songs etc so I never had any reason to go beyond simple conversational use.

I still wanted to do the narration in Chinese though coz I like the idea of bilingual videos. However, I encourage you to turn on CC for English subtitles since they’re probably more accurate and conveys what I mean better. I wrote the text in English first before attempting to translate it verbally into spoken Mandarin and needless to say, it took a lot of takes.

Someone even brought a Kit Kat + M&M custom made cake for Eli’s birthday! We were the ones to eat it though. Haha.

Love Live Cosplay Documentary feat. MilkyWay

MilkyWay

Yes, I’m calling it a documentary coz I’m being pretentious and I spent 12 hours editing it. I was actually quite lucky coz I never read my emails (sorry guys but it’s true). It just so happened that I couldn’t sleep (see previous post) so I was going through all my stuff and I found a flyer about a cosplay event by Evolve Mall. I went to the event page and came across a promo video featuring the MilkyWay girls.

I thought it was really good. I’ve been watching a lot of cosplay dance covers by Love Live groups coz I want to make my own and also to improve my video editing skills. I creeped on the MilkyWay posts and found a girl called Vicky, who turned out to be one of the leaders. I messaged her the night before (yesterday) and asked if I could tag along and film them, not just their performance, but also shadow them and eat with them and interview them.

I gave her my number and she said she’ll discuss it with the other group members and got back to me 20 minutes later saying it was okay with everyone. Thus, I went there this morning to film them. They actually had two performances but I only managed to get the first one since I had to leave at 3 pm. It was a really fun experience since I’m a huge fan of Love Live and it’s always nice to see a local group do so well.

MilkyWay Love Live

I have been trying to make more YouTube videos lately – this is my second one specifically for this purpose. My better half and a LLSIF friend told me the first one was ultra shaky and barely watchable and I took that feedback to heart. This time, I spent 12 times the amount of post-production work on the video. Well, it probably won’t take so long for a pro but I just installed Adobe Premiere CC a few days ago!

I did learn a lot of things about video editing too, and I found out that I really like doing it. I like talking to people and getting good video and I like arranging the sequences to make a cohesive film. The music sequences in this one isn’t as good as I want coz I didn’t have a tripod with those swing/tilt/stabilize things. I’ll need to get one so next time I do something like this, I’ll have one static camera pointing at the stage (like how the music video is) on tripod while I actually hold the second camera.

I did have a second one today but I couldn’t operate both. The idea is the static one is for wide screen whole stage shots while the one you’re holding (with stabilizer) goes for close ups. Thus, I can focus on the trio who’s currently singing and this will allow me to cut from the full stage shot to a close up. Also, in the interview segment I had a lot of trouble deciphering the words.

That’s completely my fault coz I didn’t wire everyone up. I also didn’t have 9 microphone units but they’re actually quite cheap so I’ll definitely get some if I want to explore more on doing videos like this. When you record something with external sound, it gives you a lot of flexibility especially with B footage and the voice overs can even go on unrelated stuff, which I wish I did for editing ease.

Also, my Chinese isn’t very good. I can understand conversational Mandarin but once you get to difficult words, I’ll be totally lost. I went to New Zealand at quite a young age to study and I didn’t learn Chinese in Malaysia anyway. I had to puzzle out the meaning via context (very useful) and a bit of guesswork so I hope the translations are somewhat accurate.

I wanted translations and closed captions for YouTube coz the video is almost entirely in Chinese. YouTube is a very English-centric medium, unlike Nico Nico Douga or Youku so English subs are necessary. I want it when I watch the Love Live Sunshine radio dramas and skits anyway, wouldn’t be able to understand otherwise. Turn on CC if you want to read the English subs, I also spent a few hours writing them.

I’m getting a lot better in many ways and even though I’m very frustrated at not being able to sleep (the insomnia is killing me) at least I’m learning new skills and doing stuff that I love. Thanks to Vicky and the rest of the MilkyWay cosplay group for letting me hang out with them today! It was a really interesting experience and I’ll see you all at the next event.

I’ll be concentrating more on YouTube videos now so let me know what you think – feedback and criticism is always welcome. Cheers!

Huawei P9 smartphone

Huawei P9

I got a chance to play around with the new Huawei P9. It’s co-engineered with Leica and meant to reinvent smartphone photography. The thing that jumps out the most is the dual-lens at the back of the phone. That’s right, this smartphone has TWO lenses instead of the usual one at the rear. It also has 2 sensors so you can capture more light. I took it out to snap photos during the weekend.

Huawei

Nowadays, smartphones are primarily used to take photos of weekends, food and miscellaneous daily happenings to post to Instagram, Facebook, blogs. That’s what I use mine for anyway, and the image quality so good that I don’t feel the need to carry a regular digicam or dSLR anymore. It’s still not as good as a dSLR, of course, but the Huawei P9 is really close, close enough that I’ll choose the portable smartphone any day.

Professional Mode

The Huawei P9 has dual 12 MP cameras with a professional mode! This allows you to control all the aperture, shutter and ISO settings and save photos in RAW so it feels like a dSLR.

Tokyo Secret

The technologies packed into the smartphone camera is quite impressive too – there are now built-in dual-core ISP (image signal processors), professional DSP, and depth-measurement ISP for improved image focusing, speeds and processing. This allows you to take action shots of fast moving objects in low light conditions.

HDR

There are several presets you can use to take good photos well, like the HDR mode.

Document

The P9 has a feature which automatically takes documents too! I found that quite useful.

Chateraise

The lens are co-developed with Leica so the image quality is really good.

Honey Wings

I love how bright and vibrant the colors are.

Pocky Brazilian Orange

I got this new Pocky Brazilian Orange just to show off the intense color production of the camera. I can’t go back to using faded looking smartphone cameras after this beautiful shot. Oh, and the Pocky is pretty good too, it’s a Japan import to celebrate the Rio Olympics and it tastes intensely orange-y.

Panoramic

This is the Panoramic mode.

Photos

The camera will also auto-detect faces and focus on them.

Flash

There’s also a 8 MP front facing camera for selfies too! This was taken in pure darkness and the built-in flash went off, illuminating my face well enough to temporarily blind me. It also colored my face pretty decently, when you keep in mind that this was taken with zero other lighting, it’s really impressive. I remember when 8 MP was a lot for a rear facing camera in a smartphone and now even the front-facing ones are 8 MP. Amazing!

Beauty Mode

The Huawei P9 also has a dial for “Beauty” which can go from 0-10. You remember those third-party apps that some teenagers use to artificially enlarge and add shine to their eyes and add a BB cream smooth sheen to their skin? It’s all built-in now – no need for 3rd party apps.

Beauty

I took one as a demonstration. This is ultra boosted up to a 10 so it looks mildly ridiculous. I personally don’t approve of apps like this coz I don’t like how it looks. I don’t use them myself but that may be due to the fact that I already have nice eyes genetically (thanks mom). I can see that a lot of people like them though, so to each his/her own.

P9 Home

The smartphone also does everything well. I like the automatic step counter and the vivid 5.2” FHD display. The 3,000 mAh battery is pretty useful too. I don’t need to recharge every few hours and it works for up to 24 hours at full capacity in my daily tasks. There’s a fingerprint sensor and a virtual triple antenna with WiFi+ 2.0 which switches automatically between HSDPA+ and WiFi networks. I love the feel of the aerospace-class unibody aluminum and 2.5D glass. The Huawei has all the functions of a modern smartphone you’ll expect and more.

HuaweiP9

I actually saw the Huawei P9 advertisement in the cinema and thought it looked like a brilliant smartphone. As the smartphone market matures, non-camera technical specifications have increased so much that it makes little difference even in the most graphics intensive games. As such, it falls to other things to differentiate one smartphone from another and I like the direction the Huawei P9 is taking with the camera. It’s the most useful thing on a smartphone for most people and I appreciate how the superior camera and lenses allows me to capture high quality photos in such a small and sleek handset.

15 Best Stalls from Bazaar Ramadan in Klang Valley 2016 (KL & PJ)

Bazaar-Ramadan

I’ve always looked forward to Ramadan. It’s the time when families and individuals have the chance to showcase their food to the public. These are people who don’t have restaurants, cafes or stalls – just regular folks cooking and selling their food at Ramadan bazaars across the country. I like the idea of trying out random people’s cooking and I’ve been eating at Bazaar Ramadan almost every day. Here are my favorites:

Bubur Lambuk

Bubur Lambuk

This is a classic Ramadan specialty. It’s usually given away to the poor in mosques, but obviously this is a more premium version. The porridge is full of root vegetables like yam and the shredded chicken and fried anchovies they put on top is awesome. It’s RM 4 for a small tub at Bubur Lambuk Subang at the Subang 2 Ramadan Bazaar.

Putu Piring Zainab Gula Melaka

Crowd

This is one of my favorite putu pirings around. Check out the massive queue which forms up around it!

Putu Piring

The putu piring is a steamed confection made on the spot. It’s RM 0.60 per piece and it’s really good.

Nasi Kerabu

Blue Rice

The distinctively blue rice in nasi kerabu comes from butterfly pea flowers. This stall in Subang serves it with a relatively large fried fish and superbly hot chilli sauce. The amount of chillies they put in here would shock most people. The woman who runs it is from Kelantan and has a suitably authentic level of spiciness in her chilli paste.

Nasi Kerabu

I like her crunchy ulam (raw vegetables and herbs) too.

Pak Ya Popia Power

Popia Power

This is the famous stall at the Bazaar Ramadan in TTDI. They have three (3) kinds of popiah – popia basah, popia goreng and popia sira madu. It’s RM 5 for 5 pieces. I like their popia basah (wet popia) and popia sira madu (honey glazed popia). The first one is made with regular popiah skin and the latter is fried and drizzled with a honey glaze. The popia goreng (fried popia) is decent too but these two are the best.

Murtabak Maggi

Murtabak Maggi

I first had this in 2008 when I came to KL to work the second time. This is from Bazaar Ramadan Kelana Jaya, where my first office used to be. They make the murtabak with Maggi instant noodles and stuff lots of meat and vegetables inside. It’s just RM 3 for a heart shaped piece.

Maggi

It best eaten when hot, these things taste horrible when they’re cold.

Maggi Murtabak

They give you a generous pack of chilli sauce to put on top too.

Puding Karamel Original

Puding Karamel

This is a creme caramel from the SS6 bazaar. It’s RM 3 per slice or RM 5 for two. The quality varies wildly – sometimes it’s delicious and other days the pudding is overcooked and egg-like while the caramel tastes burnt.

Creme Caramel

I guess that’s one of the things about home cooks. When it’s good, it’s great.

Lompang Labu

Lompang Labu

This unusual dessert is made from pumpkins. There are 10 pieces in a pack for RM 5, together with some desiccated coconut. I found it at TTDI. It’s surprisingly good!

Nasi Briyani Johor

Briyani

There is a well known nasi briyani gam stall in TTDI that used to be good. However, I feel that their quality has dropped in the past few years and the other two competitors have surpassed the original. Rahimah Catering serves a pretty good version of lamb biryani for RM 13 at the very end of the TTDI bazaar Ramadan. There’s one in the middle that serves up awesome bone-in lamb shank biryani for RM 20 – RM 22 (depending on size) too.

Lai Chee Kang

Lai Chee Kang

It’s RM 5 for a small container or RM 10 for a big bag. The TTDI Lai Chee Kang stall says it has 28 ingredients. I was dubious. I thought it’ll be 20 different types and colors of jelly. I was mistaken.

Laici Kang

This is legit. I dug and ate dates. Saw some barley. Cincau. Peanuts. Snow fungus. The best thing inside was nutmeg, they had lots of that too! Truly epic.

Nasi Tomato

Nasi Tomato

My favorite one is at the Kota Damansara Bazaar Ramadan. It’s only RM 5 for the Nasi Tomato Ayam Merah (tomato rice with red chicken). The owner of the stall is the wife of a police officer that lives in the low cost flats opposite AEON BIG in Sunway Giza. The first time I had it, I thought she had accidentally dropped a whole fucking bowl of salt into the chicken.

Salty Chicken

I told my better half about this amazingly salty chicken I had and promptly had diarrhea the next day. Haha. I’m sure it’s unrelated though as I’ve had it many times since without incident. I asked the lady about the shockingly salty chicken and she told me she does it on purpose coz her husband likes it that way. That’s why she only gives you a small amount of gravy coz the amount of sodium in there is enough to kill a small horse. It’s the saltiest thing I’ve ever had…and the best! smirk

Ikan Bakar Special

Ikan Bakar Special

There are many smoked/grilled fish stalls in bazaar Ramadan all over the country and most of them sell pretty much the same thing. The one in TTDI just has a wider selection than most and you’ll spot it by the epic lines which form up to buy a catfish or a skate. The prices vary according to what you get but it’s quite competitive.

Nasi Ganja Omak Den

Nasi Ganja

The guys who runs this stall offers free drinks with your meal. They only sell one dish – nasi ganja omak den, and they do it well. The chicken is fried on the spot and you can choose the cut you want. The rice is spiced and they serve an Indian style gravy to go with it. I love the heavily spiced chicken and it’s good value for just RM 6.50 inclusive of the drink of the day (usually air sirih or air somboi).

Spiced Chicken

The word “ganja” is the local term for cannabis. There’s none in here of course and the etymology of the name is somewhat stupid, it’s meant as a testament to it’s “addictiveness”, never mind that THC/CBD isn’t physically addictive.

Nasi Ambeng

Nasi Ambeng

Nasi ambeng is a dish of white rice topped with fried coconut flesh so it tastes like coconut rice. They also put fried bee hoon, salted fish, and vegetables as sides. The main protein is usually chicken cooked in soy sauce. I was home late one day and chanced across this dodgy stall at Kota Damansara with two young boys manning a small booth with about 10 servings to sell. I took a chance and ordered one and it was delicious!

Sup Gearbox

Cow Offal

This stall in TTDI serves only cow offal. There are plenty of offcuts for sale – tongue, tripe, heart, lungs etc. You can have it with rice, in kueh tiaw or in a soup. I prefer it in a soup. It’s one of the best sup gearbox I’ve had. You’re supposed to suck the marrow out of the large bone.

Nasi Burung Puyuh

Quail

I love quail. I usually get it at Shah Alam but the one at TTDI is decent too (and a lot nearer to me). It’s RM 5 per quail or RM 7 if you want rice to go with it. I recommend the rice pack, their chicken rice is delicious!

Nasi Burung Puyuh

The lady will give you a tasty broth to go with the rice too, nicely packed in a plastic bag to go.

Bazaar Ramadan 2016

The biggest Bazaar Ramadan in Klang Valley is probably the bazaar in Shah Alam Stadium but TTDI and Kelana Jaya is pretty big too. I would say TTDI has more choice than SS6 but even the small ones in Subang 2 and Kota Damansara has something to offer. The stalls are all about bringing home cooked food from families as a purchasable option before Hari Raya and that’s the part I love the most about this month. It sure was good eating, too bad we only have a couple more days before it ends!

Sarawak State Elections 2016: Voting at N54 Pelawan, Sibu

Sibu Voting

I don’t know what you’re saying but I agree with everything.

I’m back in Sibu for the Sarawak state elections! I just bought my ticket a couple of days ago. To be honest, I didn’t feel like flying back to vote. There’s been a lot of talk of “political fatigue” and I think that’s the general feeling among the masses. The people aren’t swarming the polling centers like the “Chinese tsunami” last election to protest against the government and the love affair with the Opposition might have plateaued.

Sibu Elections 2016

Whatever the reason, a lot of people aren’t making the effort and spending the money to come back to vote. I felt the same but at the last minute decided to shell out the cash for a plane ticket to exercise my right to vote.

Sibu Kampua

I am privy to a rather interesting political Whatsapp group and despite not contributing much, I read every single post. These are a bunch of diverse people from traditional media journalists to ex-political party members from SUPP, a BN offshoot in Sarawak.

I heard someone mention that this Sarawak state election is a referendum for Najib. I was quite surprised since I have never thought of it that way. I think a lot of people like me don’t see it that way. Instead, we see it as a referendum for Chief Minister Adenan. These are two very different people.

Sarawak State Elections 2016

I’m an Opposition supporter. I vote DAP (Democratic Action Party) every single time. I come from a middle class Christian Chinese family in Sibu, Sarawak. To make parallels with the political scene in the United States, I would be considered as a WASP – a rather conservative voting bloc. I go to the BERSIH rallies. I told my better half that I come from a Chinese majority town and even she was surprised when I showed her the official government census data from my area.

I vote in a constituency known as N54 Pelawan and out of the eligible voters, a staggering 91.2% is Chinese. The distant second is Malay AND Melanau combined for just 4.9%. This is often refered to as the “Muslim” voting bloc but that isn’t entirely correct coz a lot of Melanaus are Christian. Ibans constitute another 3.1% and the dreaded term Others come in at 0.8%. These figures aren’t representative of Malaysia as a whole but it’s fairly accurate for Sibu.

Sibu Church

What surprises a lot of first time visitors is how many churches we have here. We don’t have a lot of mosques – they’re all tucked away in kampungs and such, but there are many churches in town. Sibu is an overwhelming Chinese majority town and a sizable portion of the Chinese are Christians. This unusual quirk is due to the person who first came to Sarawak (he was a Christian evangelical) but that’s history, what is interesting is our demographics now.

Anyway, as I was saying, I (and I bet a lot of others) see this election as a referendum for CM Adenan and to be fair, he seems like a great guy. I can’t deny that he has done a lot for Sarawakians. He has also stemmed the worrying trend of Islamic extremism by keeping a ban list of extremist preachers and passed a controversial law which allows Muslim converts to revert back to Christianity (in the landmark case of Roneey Anak Rebit).

This has endeared him to the local Christian Chinese community and he was also the first to open the civil service to UEC holders (a Chinese examination). The latter doesn’t really affect me since I’ve studied in New Zealand ever since I was 15 and graduated from Australia (this blog started in Melbourne), but it’s nice to know he’s looking out for everyone. He has also pushed for greater Sarawak autonomy and rights. By most accounts, he’s doing a stellar job.

I certainly think so.

(Please don’t lynch me, fellow Opposition supporters)

Sibu Voting Center

However, I was also talking to some older people today and they all saw it as a referendum for not Adenan but for Najib. That makes it an entirely different issue altogether but the problem is, not many people see it that way. I certainly didn’t, and I think that’s one of the greatest successes of the PBB political machine. They have pushed the man Adenan so much that a lot of people (myself included) have divorced the national issues with Najib from the Sarawak state election.

…and that’s dangerous coz if BN does well here, they’ll have the confidence to call the general elections sooner.

Vote

Despite what I personally think about CM Adenan, I feel like it’s healthy to have a strong Opposition and that’s why I will always vote for DAP. It’s not coz they have a realistic chance of winning – it’s about not giving the current government such free and unchecked reign.

DAP

I voted for David Wong Kee Woan (DAP).

My Partner’s Birthday: Hakuto Jelly, Japanese Snacks and Valrhona Feuilletine Cake!

Happy Birthday

My better half just celebrated her birthday yesterday on the 13th of April. I got her a huge box of presents and we had sushi and birthday cake before going out shopping for Japanese snacks. She told me she wanted to get Japan imports for her birthday and we spent a few hundred dollars on that alone. However, I also packed her a gift using back the box she gave me on my birthday (which I originally gave to her).

Birthday Yee Ling

Happy birthday dear!

Birthday Card

I found a hilarious birthday card that goes “Old Already Lor“. smirk

Typo

It was from Typo in KLCC. I always get her serious cards so I thought I’ll go the funny route this time.

Liquid Soap

I also got her liquid hand soap since she has been using the same one for over a year.

Bath Body Works

I got two different ones from Bath & Body Works.

Handmade Soap

There was a booth outside selling fancy handmade soap and I thought they smelled really nice. The promoter told me you can also hang the soap-on-a-rope in a car so it acts like an air freshener so I got one sliced like a mango for her. She likes things like these.

Hakuto Jelly Shop

I also went to Isetan to get Hakuto jelly (白桃ゼリー). This is a dessert they make with hakuto peaches from Okayama and the mineral rich spring water there. We’ve seen this before but my better half didn’t want to get it coz it was quite expensive. Hakuto jelly is costly due to the price of the peaches which are used to make it.

Hakuto Peach Jelly

The smallest box of two goes for RM 85 while a box of 4 goes for RM 170. You can also get a 3 piece box for RM 127.50.

Sakura Mochi

I also managed to get sakura mocha. Haha! We ate this exact same thing in Hokkaido and it was very good. The ones here are imported from Japan and made using sakura cherry blossom flowers and leaves too but my dear didn’t like them as much. She much preferred the ones we had in Sapporo.

Shopping Basket

Oh, I got so many things that I took the shopping basket from Isetan to my car. I didn’t even realize I inadvertently took it out until I almost got to my car. Oops!

Birthday Present

I got home and packed all the birthday gifts into the box – the mason jar she likes, a jar of Reese’s peanut butter and chocolate spread, matcha chooclates etc.

Birthday Gift

The box!

Birthday Candles

I had gotten a row of candles that goes “Happy Birthday” for RM 13 too. I thought it’ll go well with the cake.

Bisque Cake

The cake is from Bisque. I had ordered it a week before and this one is called The Michelangelo. The base price is RM 218 but you can customize it as you wish and the final bill will be sent to you. I added a lot of fondant writing.

Valrhona Birthday Cake

The cake is really good! It’s made with feuilletine, Valrhona Jivara chocolate and hazelnut paste as the base so there’s a crunchy textural element. The top is vanilla bean cake with chocolate pearls and there’s also Valrhona Dulcey blonde mousse mixed into the layers. I like how they put gold leaf together with the chocolate pearls.

Feuilletine Cake

It tastes like Ferrero Rocher as the base, with the same texture sensation. The fluffy and light vanilla bean cake is a nice pairing since the base is really sweet. The blonde chocolate mousse makes it very rich and easy to eat. It’s one of the nicest birthday cakes I’ve had and we all enjoyed it, including the kids. I even had some for supper.

Hakuto Jelly

She unwrapped the presents (the Shimizu Hakuto Jelly was wrapped really nicely) and we headed out to Okashi World with the kids to buy Japanese snacks. They have a promotion where you can buy up to RM 200 on your birthday and get 50% discount so we took advantage of that. I ended up spending RM 380+ there but it was worth it coz she really liked the Japanese imports and the kids loved the candy too.

Japanese Snacks

It was a great birthday that we spent together with the kids at home. Happy birthday dear! I look forward to making more great memories with you. Love you always! <3

Horlicks NutriQuest Roadshow @ Orange Concourse, Sunway Pyramid

Horlicks NutriQuest Game

I was at the Horlicks NutriQuest event over the weekend. It took up one of the concourses of Sunway Pyramid and the Horlicks NutriQuest roadshow is open to the public. However, on the event day, media and bloggers were invited to join the exclusive campaign launch session. The roadshow was meant to introduce a new game for iOS and Android which is incorporated with the story elements of being Tall, Strong and Sharp in the mobile game play. The story elements are coincidentally also what Horlicks is all about. Horlicks wants to engage kids of all ages through fun adventures available online and on ground by being Tall, Strong and Sharp!

Horlicks MidValley

Dr Greedy is the key character in the game. He is an evil scientist and the mastermind of the robbery in the Horlicks Factory because he does not want our kids to benefit from the nutrition provided by Horlicks. I also met him in person over the weekend. Haha. He (and his Metaloids) destroyed all Horlicks caches to prevent kids from growing Tall, Strong and Sharp. You’re one of the adventurers that steps up to stop him. This was reflected in the booths too – in addition to the one which had demos of the game running, there were three (3) activity booths.

Horlicks Tall

Tall is a Horlicks NutriQuest booth set up according to your height. Thus, this goes up if you’re higher and down if you’re lower. It’s all about giving a fair chance to kids, so it’s set to your relative height. You’re supposed to catch the Horlicks star. Are you tall enough to defeat Dr Greedy?

Horlicks Strong

Strong is where they set up a Bop Bag. This is a HUGE plastic Dr Greedy which has been bottom stabilized so it never topples over. You try and punch it as hard as you can to earn a stamp on your card. This is meant for kids but I tried punching the Bop Bag as hard as I could. It actually went over but didn’t topple, just as it was designed to do. Nifty.

Horlicks Sharp

Sharp is where they had a wild west rogue’s gallery of Dr Greedy and his henchmen. You’re armed with a semi-automatic Nerf gun full of foam darts. Your aim is to take out the entire board with just one bullet each. It was quite a challenge since Nerf guns don’t always shoot straight. I had fun at this booth, as did most older kids.

Nerf Gun

Stacy Wallace, the General Manager of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) Consumer Healthcare Malaysia launched the Horlicks NutriQuest Campaign and the mobile game app with the media after that. We also had lunch at Delicious courtesy of GSK. I have two kids and there was one (1) watch in the media kit so I asked her if it was possible to get another one. Thanks to her, I managed to get another one so the kids won’t fight. :)

Horlicks NutriQuest

Plus, she’s a mom too so she knows how it’s like having two kids. You either don’t give it to them at all (since you only have one) or you get another one and she was kind enough to procure another watch for me. What’s this watch, you say? Well, it’s an item from Horlicks which you can redeem too!

Horlicks Fun

Each Horlicks pack will have Horlicks NutriCoins inside within the duration of this campaign and the Horlicks NutriCoins can be redeemed for both in-game levels *and* exclusive prizes through online redemption.

Horlicks Event

I’ll showcase more about the Horlicks NutriQuest interactive adventure game in a separate post. Horlicks also offers 23 vital nutrients which are essential for growth and children development and I though it’s a great idea for the NutriCoins to be redeemable for awesome merchandise like watches in addition to in-game levels such as to unlock exclusive levels in the 4th Dimension world.

Dr Greedy

No, I’m not acting cool. I’m defeating Dr Greedy in-game and IRL at the same time! The game is very we-well-polished and fun, go download it for either iOS or Android now!

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