Morning peeps! I’ve been up for quite a while so I expect to crash pretty soon. I had breakfast at TDH with Pam, which I usually miss coz:
1. I don’t really eat breakfast.
2. I don’t wake up that early on weekends
I’m glad I went today though, coz I ended up sitting in there for 5 hours (!) talking to Pam. She has this really cool tattoo that goes “Carpe Diem”.
Seize the day indeed, something that everyone needs reminding of once in a while.
Anyway, Leanne was in town for the weekend from Australia. I had dinner with her at Jalan Alor and got some interesting insights from her. It’s truly inspirational how she travels while juggling all her responsibilities.
Pam, Jess and Konstandinos joined us for drinks later at Changkat Bukit Bintang. We had originally wanted to go to a gay bar for something different (thanks for the recommendation Lynn) but the place didn’t serve food so we went to another watering hole.
I ended up drinking diet Coke and singing in a jarringly off-tune key to classics from the 90’s – it seems that a couple of us has the same tastes in music. The DJ was constantly inundated with requests by us and the bar was dominated by our playlist of punk, rock and metal classics. Heh.
Anyway, today is a date of some importance to me. I think. I won’t be sure yet for another 28 days but if all the stars align I’ll get a tattoo that says 22/7/2012.
Have you heard of Express Christmas? No? Well, it’s when you can’t celebrate it on the day itself, so you wing it, gather a bunch of friends and celebrate it in advance.
…and that’s just what I did at Sid’s, TTDI.
You can’t have a proper Christmas party without some beer…
Buckets of Heineken to spread the festive cheer. I figured Heineken would do the trick nicely – it’s a cool and refreshing beer perfect for our climate. It doesn’t exactly snow here so mulled wine and warm eggnog doesn’t provide the same satisfaction.
There’s this trick where you try to blow a distorted cap into the bottle. It can be done, just like that balance-the-coin-on-the-lemon-suspended-in-liquid tipping jar. It’s just close to impossible.
Samantha tried it.
Kim tried it. Both to no avail.
Oh, speaking of which, say hello to the newly-weds. :)
Lainey had this reindeer thing on her head. That’s me with the Santa hat…drinking on the job. Rudolph go! :D
Heineken Jenga. I built this slightly (actually very) unwieldy contraption with a bit of help from everyone.
Rules: Everyone pulls one bottle and the person who makes it fall drinks. Kids, do not try this at home or at all. ;)
You wanna come sit on Santa’s lap? ;) I can’t grant you a wish but I do have…er, lollipops to give out.
Kim also pulled this trick on me. It’s really funny, ask her to show you.
Christmas is all about good company. I’ll be in Bali for Christmas so I’m glad I got the chance to celebrate my own Express Christmas with my closest friends. :)
The closest thing to English cuisine is probably the food you get in pubs. Pub grub comprises of dishes ranging from bangers and mash to more elaborate Sunday roasts.
I once asked a resident what the best food locals eat in London is and he quickly answered, in all seriousness, I might add – Chinese and Indian food. He went on to explain the cultural melting pot made curries and such a staple of modern gastronomy.
Pub food is probably the last bastion against the influence of globalization (not that I’m against it, it’s just that I want to eat proper English food, whatever that may mean, while I’m there). It’s best served with a pint (or three) of one of their local draft beers, which is nowhere near as carbonated as other beers – it’s pulled manually and comes up with a proper head.
One interesting thing I noticed about the pubs is that you can ask for an extra pull if you feel that the foam is too much. More beer. w00t.
I hereby present a selection of the pub grub that I’ve had during my vacation there:
Scampi and chips
This is a variant of the popular fish and chips – substituting scampi instead of fish. It’s served with slab cut potatoes and green peas. I also had a pickled egg on the side. It’s an acquired taste, pickled eggs. I love pickled eggs with my fish and chips when I was in Melbourne.
Traditional full English breakfast
It has the works – bacon, portobello mushroom, grilled tomato and toast.
This chicken pie is rather unorthodox as the filling isn’t INSIDE the pie. Instead, the chicken filling is served on the side and the pie crust is empty. The boiled potatoes fulfills the carb intake and is best eaten with butter. Delicious!
This can differ according to which pub you go to but it’s basically a choice of meat with gravy and some sides to fill you up.
Scrumpy Pork Hock
Now this is one juicy and remarkable piece of work. A huge chunk of pork is served with mash and green beans. The pork is tender – it’s the cut near the leg, also known as pork knuckle. It has a lot of tendons in addition to the meat and fat, which makes it all the more palatable. The gravy is made of apple and cider sauce. Mmm…
Bangers and mash with black pudding
Bangers and mash is traditional pub grub – it’s sausages with mashed potatoes and gravy. I also ordered some blood pudding to go with it.
Blood pudding or black pudding is a type of sausage made with pigs blood and it’s as tasty as it comes. Definitely a must try in England. :)
The Queen Lounge & Café was officially launched on Friday night with an invite-only guest list comprising mostly of friends and regulars of Café Café (who is owned by the same people).
The interior design of The Queen Lounge & Café can be summed up in a single word – absolutely fabulous. Oh wait, that’s two words. You know what I mean though. The ambiance is great, and I can imagine this being the next new hot spot to hang out in town – the place to see and be seen and all that.
The Queen Lounge and Café is co-owned by Peter, who is an old schoolmate of mine. He just has this magic touch for setting up nice cafes with the warm ambiance that draws in the crowds. I remember hanging out as teenagers during weekends at Country Café (the place to be about 10 years ago) and his dreams about opening up a similar place in the future.
Well, he did, and kudos to him for that. The success of Café Café is a testament to his will and resolve, and I respect him for that. Oh, and I’m not just saying that coz I got complimentary martinis the entire night. ;) No, seriously.
The proprietors of Queen’s Lounge and Café also own Café Café, a hugely popular café in town – the current place to be. They also have an interior design place called Mari Mari. I’m not sure about the obsession with double affirmatives but at least Queen’s is a departure from tradition – I’m just glad they didn’t name it Queen’s Queen’s. ;)
The Queen Lounge & Café was serving complimentary Lychee Martinis to the guests the entire night as well as snacks on the house.
It’s made from Kwai Fei lychee, Absolut Raspberry, Cranberry and Pineapple juice with a menu price of RM 22. Queen’s has an impressive cocktail menu with a long list of martinis, shooters and wines.
It’s quite nice, but I’m a bit of a monster when it comes to drinking so I was asking Peter for a special, customized Rendezvous Lychee Martini – just Absolut Raspberry neat, with a lychee inside. ;)
Snacks were also served to the guests from the Queen’s Lounge and Café menu. There were Madurerse Chicken Satay (menu price RM 8)…
I bumped into a lot of people at The Queen’s – this is Ita Ting, an old friend of mine from way back in high school.
Peter and Ah Tung, the two co-owners of the place.
Grace Chan. OMG, I look fat in the photo.
The beautiful people I’ve been bumping into in clubs around Sibu.
Jimbo and some other buddies I hang out with on weekends.
Datina Ting! I haven’t seen her since Chinese New Year and she’s getting married later this year. Congrats! :)
The proprietors spared no expense in the launch of The Queen Lounge & Café – there were two troupes of dancers with two different sets of routines.
The first dance is a very Chinese traditional dance, transporting you back to the glory of Shanghai, post-Japanese occupation.
I liked the way they dominated the floor with grace and elegance, garbed in traditional Chinese costumes and armed with fans.
The second set features svelte female figures draped in white and performing a martial arts inspired dance.
It’s a very lively performance, extremely full on and unique.
It was a great premiere for The Queen Lounge & Café and I have exhausted my repertoire of superlatives to describe the opening of the establishment. It’s going to be a great place to hang out at – the next big thing.
Congrats to Peter, Michelle and Ah Tung and all the best in the new lounge! :)
I went to Island after dinner at Shiki with Kim and Mark for a couple of drinks. We were planning to head over to a Middle Eastern joint for shisha but the place was closed so we ended up at Island Country Club while waiting for Darren to join us.
It turns out the Island is comprised of two isles (?) – one is the more upscale Island Country Club where we were and the other is the more chilled out Island Pub & Lounge (also called Island Wine & Cocktail) where Darren was.
The interior of Island Country Club is more upmarket with a small bar seating area and more comfortable tables and chairs.
There is also an al fresco seating area running the entire length of the two Island clubs.
The drinks menu is similar in the two Island clubs – the drinks are made at the larger bar at Island Pub & Lounge and sent over through a slot in the wall to Island Country Club.
The prices are the same too, so it’s a matter of preference as to the ambiance of the two different watering holes.
There is a pool table at Island Country Club, while Island Pub & Lounge has more TV sets playing sports channels.
I lost my digital camera that very same night and I remembered going there again with Faye, LV and her husband just to get photos of the very same drinks we ordered that day. I know, it’s being obsessive, but I just couldn’t get over losing the photos. :p
This is Licking Dirty Pussy (RM 15) – a shooter that I had the first night with Kim, Mark and Darren that I had before lounging with a Margarita and then nursing a Kilkenny.
I did the exact same thing the last night, but without the Kilkenny coz Darren already got a photo of me with that. ;)
I had the Island Margarita Deluxe (RM 18) – the strongest Margarita on their menu. It seems that the Margarita is the signature drink of Island Club – it was what the waitress recommended and they have three featured versions of the frozen concoction.
I insisted that Faye ordered the Island Blue Curacao Margarita (RM 18) that Kim had the first night. I wanted to take a photo of the drink for consistency. :)
LV went with the Island Mango Margarita (RM 18). The margaritas at Island are all of the frozen variety.
This is from the second time I patronized Island. The first time was with Kim, Mark and Darren during the Miri bloggers meet and the very night I lost my digicam. This reenactment is brought to you by my new Sony T70 instead of my missing Sony T2.
This is me with Kim on the first night I came to Miri.
We hooked up with Darren too, which is a really cool guy in real life.
This is another shot of me and the gorgeous Kim – she’s just so photogenic that I have to put up her photos. :)
It was great to meet up with Kim and everyone else in Miri.
Check out the posts of Kimberley and Darren of the night. It was fun hanging out with them. Thanks for the excellent hospitality, guys! :)
I went clubbing in Miri three (3) nights in a row and ended up spending two days to recover from it all. There is a central clubbing district (CCD?) of sorts at Cheerie Berries, which sounds like a euphemism for MDMA (berries that makes you cheery?). Balcony, Island and numerous other clubs are concentrated in that area.
I was at Balcony all three nights. The place was absolutely packed on Saturday night with no standing room, much less elbow space. It’s a popular club with the college students and the 20 somethings but people in their late 30’s might find themselves a little bit out of place here.
Balcony has a glass aquarium feature above the bar area where there is a real life shark swimming inside. You can catch a glimpse of our finned friend in the video here:
I don’t remember much of Balcony the first day due to excessive consumption of a certain NMDA antagonist but the place actually does have a balcony as well as a pretty good dance floor.
The DJ at Balcony mostly plays commercial trance music as well as popular dance hits. I spent most of my nights here hanging out with friends.
I also went to Rex Box Karaoke MV which…er, pays homage to the popular Red Box KTV franchise in KL and the private rooms upstairs.
Red Box, I mean Rex Box, is meant as a more legitimate KTV lounge with private rooms.
There is a staircase going up decorated with a cabinet full of…empty bottles of distilled spirits.
The two joints are owned by the same proprietor and the “private club” upstairs is called De-Luxe Karaoke and has rooms named after cities in China e.g. Shanghai, Hainan, Xiamen etc.
You get an idea of the clientele that patronizes this joint from the interior decor. I was there with a group of 30 other…er, gentlemen of less-than-stellar repute under the same…union, shall we say.
May kindly gave me an RM 1 note coz I was thirsty and wanted to get a bottle of mineral water. It was soiled with some kind of powder which I blew off. Unfortunately, I inhaled instead of exhaled. Bummer.
There were a lot of China girls inside and things going on involving various substances. It was all very open since this was apparently their stomping grounds. It’s a rather dodgy place and completely dark with only the large projection TV for illumination and loud bass music flooding the room. The place stays open until 7 am in the morning!
The other joint I went to was V-Gas Pub and Lounge where May wanted to hang out after hours. It was still open at 3:30 am but the lights were not lit on the signage.
It’s not really a lounge per se but rather a disco of sorts with a bar seating area.
V-Gas plays a lot of hard trance and some people can be seen doing the Miri Shuffle.
The Miri Clubbing Photos:
May, Huai Bin (me) and Faye doing two NMDA antagonists (alcohol is an NMDA antagonist too).
Damned bitch had me on a leash. ;)
Faye, LV and myself drinking at Balcony.
There was a little bit of girl on girl action going on…
…and I figured I should make it FFM. ;)
I have no caption for this one. Huddle puddle? Cringe inducing term.
I took off my clothes at some point – and I have no recollection of that until I went through the photos. Interesting…
I kinda regretted doing the clubbing thing three (3) nights in a row coz it got really tiring after the second night. I wished I had gone to Mulu for a proper nature retreat but the flights were all fully booked. Nevertheless, I see this as an insight into the Miri nightlife that I have now experienced. There’s a lot of people who Party Hearty (TM) over there. :)
Rest & Relax is better known as RR and is located above 3 Degrees Celsius (the club). It’s managed by the same proprietors and the place does not have any of the popular neon signboards other clubs and pubs display.
There is an RR signage on the top which is not lit and there’s no indication of the 3C club downstairs except for the massive throng of teenagers hanging around the place and the bass emanating from the vicinity.
RR (as it is commonly known) also has a live band and is a chill out place with bar seating areas as well as other more private seating arrangements compared to the all out bass music of the 3C club downstairs.
We’ve just watched Kung Fu Panda and haven’t had anything to eat yet so we ordered a plate of fried noodles (RM 6). It’s a pretty large serving…
…so I shared it with Faye.
We also had their lamb cube (RM 15) which is one of the more popular finger foods. It’s pieces of grilled lamb served with chilli sauce.
I also remembered having several jugs (pitchers) of High High – it’s a local cocktail concoction which consists of Guinness Stout, Heineken beer, wine cooler and vodka. It tastes surprisingly good and is very popular at pubs and bars here and usually goes for RM 48 – 50.
This is the delectable Susie Ting, which is unfortunately taken. ;)
This is a group photo of us at RR – that’s me and Faye standing and Susie and Annie seated.
The head pat heard around the world referenced in the next paragraph.
I remember taking a group photo where I patted Susie’s head and Faye insisted I pose in a similar manner…this time with HER patting my head. Pfffffttt…
I lost my Sony Ericsson W580i cell phone AND my Sony T2 digital camera on Saturday night at Balcony, Miri. Balcony is a club that opens till late and is very popular with the Mirians. I arrived in Miri at around 8 pm and met up with Kim and Mark at Shiki – the Japanese restaurant for dinner.
We went to Island Club (a pub) after that for drinks and Darren joined us there. I took a total of 111 photos that Saturday but didn’t have time to upload them to my notebook due to excessive social commitments. I had to meet up with some other friends straight after that at Balcony so I went there after Island Club.
SWIM was given a complimentary RM 1 dollar note, folded in a rather peculiar manner as a gift. I was a little taken aback by the RM 1 folded note offering – it’s not everyday someone gives you an RM 1 dollar note. I took the keta…er, I mean currency and opened it up.
The content inside the folded RM 1 note was rather unusual – it consisted of a white powder, which I assumed was sugar. *cough* This photo was taken the next day – I lost my digital camera that very day so it couldn’t have been from the original batch. The original gift had MUCH MORE powdered sugar than from this batch.
I went to take photos and videos of the Balcony club and decided that a sugar rush would do me some good since I was pretty tired from the drive. I locked myself inside the toilet and partook in the saccharine particles. Perhaps I was a little bit too drunk and I accidentally insufflated (snorted) the entire contents of the sugar inside the toilet instead of consuming it for the sugar energy.
This was a mistake since I don’t think the stuff was sugar at all. ;) I immediately felt the characteristics of a certain NMDA antagonist come over me the moment the entire batch was snorted. I looked up into the ceiling and saw several layers of ceilings (?) and felt my entire perspective altered. I was looking at the RM 50 dollar rolled up bill that I used to insufflate the powder and thought…Oh, fuck!
I wanted to call my friend (who were all looking for me – apparently I was inside for the better part of an hour) but I couldn’t manage to move so I was kinda stuck inside the toilet coz I was so fucked up I didn’t even know where I was. I was told the next day that the staff of Balcony unlocked the toilet door and helped me to my feet (and I couldn’t even walk straight even with two people holding me up).
The two staff members went from table to table to ask which group I was with. I think I sat down with an unknown group of people and talked to them (at least to the extent to which you can talk on that particular NMDA antagonist) before my worried friends found me. They took me home and I realized I lost my cell phone AND my digicam. One of my friends went back to search for it but it wasn’t there anymore – I don’t know where I left it.
Much thanks to KJ and Faye for taking care of me that night! I lost RM 700 from my wallet and my Public Bank credit card and Faye canceled my cell phone service and credit card that very night in case someone stole it and used it.
I went to the Sony center at Boulevard to get a new digital camera the very next day since I really needed one for blogging. Faye gave me her spare cell phone and her backup SIM card so I still could use a phone. I was meeting up with Kim the next day for lunch so I really needed to replace all the photos that were taken that day. I was undecided about whether to get a Sony T70 or T300 but settled for the former since I seem to have a penchant for losing things when I’m less than sober.
It cost me RM 1178 for the T70 plus a 2 GB MS Pro Duo memory card and a Sony leather case. The T300 would have set me back RM 1599 which is not a lot more considering it has a 3.5 inch LCD (versus 3 inch for the T70) and it’s a 10.1 MP digicam (versus the 8.1 T70) but the decision to go for the T70 (besides me always losing things) is that that the 3.5 inch LCD on the T300 makes it hard to put it inside my pants pocket and I want a compact digicam for me to bring around.
The worst thing about The Balcony Incident wasn’t the loss of the money, credit card, cell phone or digital camera. It’s the 111 photos INSIDE the digicam that I took earlier during the road trip and in Miri. That cannot be replaced while the others can. Oh well, at least I’ve learnt a lesson – reduce my sugar intake. I’m switching to Pal Sweet. There’s a lot less calories in the latter to boot. ;)
Workshop is one of the more private drinking establishments in town
with a regular crowd of patrons. Eddy had his birthday last Saturday night
there with a group of close friends.
I had quite a lot of events going on
Saturday so it was a little hectic for me. I went with Faye to Condom Collection late evening to get Eddy a birthday present. It’s the only adult
entertainment shop in Sibu and I wanted to get Eddy something other than
the usual de facto necktie gift.
I settled for a pair of edible undies (RM 24.90) and a stress ball made in the shape of a nude female torso (RM 19.90).
The Edible Undies is…well, edible and contains the following disclaimer:
Edible Undies is sold as a novelty item only, and has no nutritional value. Garment will dissolve in water or excessive moisture.
The Stress Reliever Key Chain is perfect for work related stress. I’m a big fan of stress
balls as well, but I figured popping Xanax would look less conspicuous.
Better living through chemistry…for every problem, a chemical solution!
It has the tagline: Let go of all your anger, tension and frustration with the STRESS RELIEVER K.C.
Faye told me that wrapping presents
has fallen out of vogue and suggested we put the items in a store
purchased but handmade self sealing paper bag. I agreed since I’m not a
big fan of wrapping stuff myself, so I wrote a birthday message on the
paper bag and we passed it to Eddy.
Workshop is designed to look like a
car workshop. There are neon illuminated wheel hubs on the walls and even
the tables are propped up with hubcaps from discarded tyres.
wine was on free flow courtesy of Eddy and I consumed quite a lot of the
red stuff. I remember belting out a particularly heartfelt rendition of
Creep (Radiohead) after a couple of hours there.
played pool with Faye and as usual, she kicked my ass, not because she’s
better at it (or so I’ll like to think) but because I’m usually more
inebriated than her every time we play.
Ipanema is one of the latest watering holes in Kuching. It’s located at Padungan Road (beside SOHO) at the place that used to be Tom’s. Irene and David has been hanging out here as of late and I went to check the place out on Saturday night.
Ipanema is named after the beach in Brazil and the place is pretty chill – it attracts a more sophisticated crowd compared to the surrounding nightspots.
The place even has Kilkenny on draught. I (heart) Kilkenny! =D
Ipanema has an extensive selection of cocktails as well. I tend to judge a bar/pub by the quality and variety of the cocktails they have. It’s important to have a bartender who can mix a good cocktail.
Phoenix had a Pina Colada (RM 22) which is made with Malibu (the coconut liqueur), pineapple juice, fresh cream and crushed ice. It tasted pretty good. I love a place with good cocktails.
I went for a pint of Kilkenny (RM 28). Ipanema has the popular Irish beer on draught (!) which I fell in love with ever since I first got a taste of the creamy ale back in Australia.
There are girls selling Dunhill premium brand cigarettes like Dunhill 360 and Dunhill Top Leaf (also available at your local 7-11) inside. I don’t know if they’re promoters going through the Saturday night crowd at the nightspot but I took the opportunity for a photo op anyway.
I think we hit the ethanol products a little too hard that Saturday night coz we nearly missed the shuttle to Batang Ai Hilton Longhouse Resort due to an alcohol induced coma.
P/S – My apologies…the bartender must have had a case of the shakes while taking our group photo coz there’s a motion blur effect on Phoenix (my travel companion). It didn’t affect the rest of the frame though, strangely enough. ;)