Monday, November 30, 2009

It's ALIVE!!

Remember the previous post about my dying chili plant? It seems that it was not quite ready to go yet.

Shortly before that post, I had actually just transferred it from a pot to the ground. After the move, things were still not looking up so I thought it was not working. But a few weeks later, lo and behold, the yellowish leaves have been replaced with fresh, healthy green leaves!

Before & After

It seems that a little care goes a long way after all :)

On another note, it seems that our yard has a penchant to grow things on it's own. For example, these lovely curry leaves inexplicably appeared in our yard a few months ago and have since grew to become a prominent resident. Needless to say, we are more than delighted with it.

Curry leaves. Named after the dish. Or vice versa.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Vacancy - Neighbour needed

First of all, I feel I owe my readers an apology for the lack of updates on this blog. Work life always catch up with me when I am having fun, and when it does it is often relentless. In any case, I promise I will try my best to post something new at least twice or thrice a week.

I just read about Chatterbox's nosy neighbour from her blog post and it reminded me about the owner of the piece of land next to my house. At first, we learnt that our supposed new neighbour makes dumpling for a living. He was thinking of tearing down the dilapidated wooden house that was occupying the land and build a new one. Later, rumors has it that he was not doing well financially and health-wise, and thought that the piece of land and the house is cursed. Last we heard, he was looking for a new buyer.

Even though his affairs are none of our business, the abandonment of this plot of land next to ours brought us a lot of problems. Unchecked, the grass were growing out of control and became breeding grounds for rats and snakes. Especially troublesome were the rats who would pay our house a visit every night. As a result, we can't put the food around the house like we used to, not even our dog biscuits. All foodstuffs have to be placed inside a container or a locked cupboard. We even have to install another layer of netting around Rabbit's cage to keep the rats out. Mouse traps were set around the house but it looks like they are getting smarter and not that easy to bait now.

I suppose one of the neighbours contacted him about the problem and every now and then he would send someone to have a look and cut the grass. The situation has improved somewhat, but it is still an eyesore in our neighbourhood.

Monday, November 16, 2009

2012 - Possible spoilers!

A few weeks ago we won a couple of tickets to an opening weekend private screening of Roland Emmerich's apocalyptic film 2012. Even if you are not familiar with Emmerich, you probably have seen or heard about his work, namely Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow. Claiming that this would be his last disaster movie, Emmerich decides to throw everything in: Where he put half of the US in ice age in his previous movie, he went ahead and sunk the whole country in this one.

In a nutshell, 2012 is about the world coming to an end due to a catastrophic calamity caused, in part, by our sun. Much of the story follows the journey of Jackson Curtis (portrayed by John Cusack) and his family in their bid to survive the event. On the other hand, there is also the unfolding White House drama, complete with the villainous politician and heroic scientist.

2012 is pretty much the formulaic disaster movie one would come to expect: over the top destruction sequences, inappropriately comedic moments, impossible odds and the corny speech that inspires everyone in the movie but the audience.

Without a doubt, the visual effects are astounding, but that's about the only merit I'm willing to give the film. Gone are the human dramas that actually intrigue us nor any sense of impending doom because we all know that the main characters will always come out on top despite incredible odds. But going into an Emmerich film, one would be foolish to expect anything else. I have come to consider it an impressive 158 minutes long visual effects showreel.

If you're looking for mindless fun and loud thrills, 2012 is for you. Just remember to check your brain at the ticket counter.

View trailer below:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Long absence

It's been almost a week now since I last updated this blog. My laptop was so sick that it refused to wake up when I tried to turn it on. So, I had no choice but to send it to the ICU for a few days. Luckily, almost all of the important files can be recovered. I was informed that the computer was diagnosed with a "corruption" of some sort.

Glad to be back after a few days of clearing the backlogs of work!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Beef Noodles

Beef Noodles with the works.

There was a comment from Chris Hoke in my Wonton Noodles post that gave me the idea of introducing a local beef noodles restaurant that I frequent. This particular shop is situated in Taynton View Garden, Cheras.

There are two specialty eateries that sell this dish in Taynton View Garden, one of which is called 3U Beef Noodles. 3U was featured on a TV food programme (Ho Chiak on 8TV) so this was also the first shop that we tried.

The second time, we went to another shop in which was located just off the main road, called Lai Foong Restaurant. In contrast to 3U, it was never featured in any TV show nor any (food) blogs / websites. Nonetheless, we were pleasantly surprise to find that their variety of beef noodles came in more generous portions in terms of meat and actually tastes better.

There are several choices on how you would like your meal served: from the different types of noodles to the different types of bovine parts, including the stomach, intestines, beef, tendons and meatballs. One of the differences between the two restaurants was that Lai Foong restaurant actually put in chunks of the tendons, as oppose to 3U which only sprinkled tiny shreds of it. Yet, 3U is more pricey than Lai Foong restaurant.

All things considered, I would definitely recommend Lai Foong restaurant over 3U. It's a shame that Lai Foong's location is somewhat sequestered in the residential area and not that easy to be discovered.

Despite it's somewhat "regular" facade, the interior is actually pretty cool and comfy.

If you live near or in the Cheras area and would like to give it a try, the exact location of Lai Foong restaurant is 3.088195,101.735613 on Google Maps.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Top 5 Treat List

Nuffnang Malaysia is holding a contest to give away a few Dell laptops. To participate in the contest, all I have to do is share 5 things that I would like to treat myself to (Of course, the laptop would have to be in the list as well). I thought this would be an interesting topic and since I could do with a new laptop, so what the heck.

Here goes:

Number 1 - Durians, lots of durians!

If you follow this blog, you'd know I have a deep affection for durians. I would love to treat myself to a truckload of durians and indulge every-single-day, even if that means I will spontaneously combust (durians are known for their heat).

Fill a truck with this and I'm golden.

Number 2 - A nice bicycle.

My main mode of transportation is a car, so why a bicycle? First of all, a bicycle is slow so I can actually smell the roses as I go. Secondly, I have no patience to walk or jog, so a bicycle is a perfect compromise between sweat and speed.

I'd prefer something more chic, though.

Number 3 - Sushi in Japan.

I'm no stranger to the Malaysian variety of sushi. But after being told by a friend who came back from Japan that the food there, especially sushi, is extraordinarily scrumptious, I have made it a personal life goal to go to Osaka and consume all their sushi. MMmmmmm....Salmon....

I can finish this platter all by myself.
(Image credit Sushi Chef Francis Daniel)

Number 4 - Vacation in New Zealand.

Why New Zealand? Because it has been deeply indoctrinated in my brain since childhood, after countless reruns of the Dutch Lady milk TV advertisements, that I must go to New Zealand. You know, like a mindless zombie....who wants to go to New Zealand...and tip their cows.

Somewhere in the picture, hides a cow.
(Image credit

Number 5 - A Dell Inspiron 13.

Lastly, the obligatory item to be eligible for this contest. As a matter of fact, I do need a new laptop. I am currently blogging using a brick of a laptop, so with a new, lighter laptop I can carry it around and blog whenever and where ever, like New Zealand and Osaka :P. Dell's laptop got my attention because of the lollipop TV ad and I would love to win a pink one!

As part of the promotion, Malaysian customers can receive an instant cash redemption of RM 100 if you purchase a Dell Inspiron 13 (S510701MY) from their website or call them at 1800-88-0301. Simply provide the following coupon code 7ZQVQF2RLZRKW3 during your purchase. This promotion lasts until 10 November 2009.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fatty Friday

I went to Kajang for a meeting last Friday. Food lovers in Klang Valley should be familiar with Kajang's most famous delicacy, the Kajang Satay. Even though I have been to Kajang countless times for work purposes, this is, embarassingly, the first time I'm trying out this dish (I've ate Satay before, just not Kajang Satay).

A Satay is basically marinated grilled meat on a bamboo skewer. The meat can be either chicken, beef, mutton or fish. Usually the dish is served with sliced cucumbers, onions and a special peanut sauce for dipping.

Chicken and beef satays with sliced cucumbers.

Along with the special peanut sauce.

Peanut sauce for dipping.

As far as I can tell, there wasn't much difference between Kajang's Satays and the regular Satays you can buy elsewhere in KL. I have never, however, tasted fish Satay before so I might give it a spin next time I stop by the place. If there is anything different about Kajang Satay, I'd say it's the slightly more expensive price.

After having Kajang Satay for lunch, we decided we shouldn't stop there. So, for dinner we drove another hour and a half through heavy rain to Klang, the birthplace of the Bak Kut Teh.

Bak Kut Teh, literally translated as "meat bones soup" in Hokkien, is a popular dish among the Malaysian Chinese. It is a distintively Chinese fare that found its fame in Malaysia. It consists of fatty pork, spare ribs and pig internal organs eg. intestines and stomach linings, in thick, rich herbal soup.

Again, Bak Kut Teh stalls and restaurants can be found all over KL, but they are quite different from those found in Klang. For starters, most Bak Kut Teh in KL have more variety of ingredients, including mushrooms, vegetables, fried tofu and so on, whereas the Klang "originals" consists of only meat, organs and nothing else. The soup is also much thicker in the Klang version. You can also order vegetables as side dishes.

My main peeve with this food trip is that I had to pay more for less, after having suffered a difficult trip and spending a good half hour looking for the particular shop where we wanted to dine in.

meat, meat and more meat. Then there are the organs.

After another ardous trip back to KL, we returned to our trusty mamak stall to enjoy nasi lemak for supper.