Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Thai Express @ The Pavillion, KL


2 weeks ago, I accepted an invitation to attend the premier special of “The Storm Warrior II”. It was courtesy of Astrolife. I will be writing another blog on me and my wife attending the movie premier.

After we have gotten our tickets for the movie, I passed by Thai Express Restaurant inside The Pavillion. As I remembered that I have a discount voucher for Thai Express courtesy of American Express credit card, I suggested that we should try out this restaurant for dinner while waiting for the movie to start at 9.30pm. We gotten ourselves a nice U-shape couch facing the feature wall of the restaurant. The tables are spaciously placed and the ambience is cosy and suitable for a small group of 3-5 person per table.


The feature wall of Thai Express, The Pavillion


The RM10 discount voucher from American Express


The Festive Promotion menu

While we were running through the menu, we saw this Festive Promotion menu on the table. After spending some time running through the menu, we decided to order set A which comprise :-

1. Fried Egg with Diced Vege & Minced Chicken

2. Special Stir Fried Fish with Dry Chilli & Onion

3. Minced Chicken & Vege Soup

4. 2 plates of rice

Since my wife is a huge fan of soft shell crab, we ordered a plate of the deep fried soft shell crab. The waiter who served us was very courteous, who I am not very sure whether he’s a Thai or from other nationality. He’s definitely not Malaysian in my opinion.

The dishes took around 15 minutes to arrive. There were not many tables of customers when we were there. If not mistaken, there were 3 tables of customers excluding the both of us.

When the first dish of the fried egg came, I was utterly disappointed by the presentation of the dish. Just look at the photo below ! Splatter some diced potatoes and chicken breast with a taste that resemble a canned baked beans on top of 2 fried egg and you call that a dish from a Thai Restaurant ?? For a while, I thought I was in an army boot camp, lining up to get my ration of daily kitchen food which you either eat it or leave it. It just tasted like how I described it tasted like.


Fried Egg with Diced Vege & Minced Chicken

Next came the equally unappetising stir fried fish. I guess the name Special Stir Fried Fish came from the “special” appearance that you would not expect it to come from a Thai restaurant. From the look of the dish, you would think that it came from a road side stall. Maybe a road side stall would come with better presentation. I just don’t know whether the cook was having a bad day or I just made a very bad mistake of choosing this restaurant for dinner. Another plate of dish that will put you off the moment you see this plate of “thing” being served on your table.


Special Stir Fried Fish with Dried Chilli & Onion

By the time the soup arrived, I didn’t even bother to want to take a photo of it. It was equally bad or should I say heavily “ajinomoto-flavoured” bowl of soup. Just throw in some oversized chicken meat ball and chop some Chinese white cabbage into small pieces and whoala, you have a bowl of soup.

The only grace saving dish I would say is the ala-carte deep fried soft shell crab that we ordered. But, I don’t know what’s the special sauce I see that came along with the crab. I remember that the menu says special mango sauce or some sort but all I see is those Thai chilli sauce which you can easily get from your neighbourhood grocery shop or hypermarket.

The total bill came to about RM60++ after the RM10 discount voucher, service charge & govt tax added in. I was so disappointed with the meal that I don’t think I will make another visit to this restaurant chain.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Clarisse turns 1


Last Sunday, Clarisse turns 1 year old. We had a simple celebration the day before, Saturday.

It was solely a family affair with my aunties and uncles and a few Dad’s close friends making up the numbers. We had a dinner at a nearby Chinese restaurant which our family always frequent whenever we don’t  know what to eat or where to eat. A dinner minus all the elegant and elaborated Chinese dishes. No big huhhah, no special dishes as a matter of fact, Clarisse is still a young toddler. She wouldn’t know what’s all the fuss about. She will just sit through the dinner wanting to eat everything that she sees us adults eating.

After the dinner, we went back to Grandma’s house for the cake-cutting. I like the cake very much. Dad ordered it from his friend’s cakehouse. Though I was kinda disappointed that the cake was not baked in the design on a letter “1”, it was a very nice looking cake afterall. Don’t believe me ?? Judge it for yourself from the photos below.


Top view of the birthday cake


Hello Kitty, Sailor Moon and a few other cartoon characters greeting the birthday girl

It’s a chocolate sponge cake with cream. This cake is not so creamy as compared to the one which we had for Grandma’s birthday. The one we ordered for Grandma was too  over-generous with the cream. It was like eating a loaf of cream rather than eating a cake.


The birthday girl, Clarisse and the parents

Photo-session with Clarisse was a real challenge. She was too eager to look everywhere except to where the camera is. The flame on the candle was a constant attraction to her and her curiosity got the better of her. Kept on wanting to approach the candle. In the end, we didn’t manage to get many good photo shots. Just  a couple that will keep us in remembrance of her 1st birthday with us !



Friday, December 4, 2009

Spoilt for Choice

Choosing aand deciding a new techware can be such a daunting task. Sometimes, would you feel that you would gladly want to be in a world with lesser choices and you can make decision either with not so many options in front of you ?

I have been planning to get a Netbook for quite some time. I find my current Laptop – Lenovo Y410 a tad too heavy for my liking especially I when I need to travel for business trip. I like my current laptop for its splendid Dolby sound but the slot-in DVD writer is not something I’m happy with. The cranking sound it made when you insert a disc into it can be somehow annoying. Carrying a 2.4kg laptop over your shoulder can be quite soar over some time.

So, I have been thinking of getting a Netbook. As I mainly use my laptop for MS Office application, Internet and occasionally games when I’m bored, Netbook should be able to serve my purpose fine. I have been reading some reviews on Netbook and have shortlisted a few Netbook which I like :

1. Toshiba NB200

I find Toshiba NB200 Mini Notebook’s range of colour : Snow White, Indigo Blue, Silky Pink & Satin Brown very attractive. It’s ergonomic full-sized tiled keyboard has the Sony Viao’s feel. It’s comes with a hard-disk protection with built-in 3 accelerometer. The Satin Brown colour piece looks super high class !

2. Lenovo IdeaPad S10-2

This Netbook comes with a 6-cell Li-ion battery which is great if you are always on the go and finding power plug can be a challenge for you. However, it tends to raise the Netbook up. From the display unit I saw at Sec14’s Digital Mall, it comes with Dolby sound system as well

3. HP Mini 311 / HP Mini 110

HP has always being my favourite brand for its desktop. However, I have not been able to check out the Mini yet. Don’t know how well it feels on the fingers.

Most of the Netbooks in town now are still on XP Home or Vista Basic. I am hoping to get a Netbook which comes with Windows 7. Maybe I should wait a bit longer until at least all the Netbooks are pre-installed with Windows 7 first before I make a final decision of which Netbook is the best buy to suit my taste and needs.

Initally, I have a buyer who’s keen to buy over my Lenovo Y410 but since I have delayed my interest in buying a Netbook, the potential buyer’s interest has also cooled off. I think my Lenovo Y410 would be a catch for whomever is keen to buy over as I have upgraded it to 2MB Ram and added  years International Warranty at the point of purchase and I have just used it for less than 1.5 years.

Well, I am not in a hurry anyway. There’s still time to scout around  >.<

Friday, November 27, 2009

Big Bad Wolf Book Sales at Amcorp Mall


Big Bad Wolf’s book sales is back !!!

I leaped with excitement when I saw this newspaper advertisement in “The Star” newspaper yesterday. Or if you miss the newspaper ads, you can get more details from its homepage - Big Bad Wolf Books.

I have missed its earlier warehouse sales but I am definitely going to make it this round. Getting there is not hard. It’s at Amcorp Mall where the Kelana Jaya line of Putra Lrt can get you there. Just get off from the Taman Jaya station and Amcorp Mall is staring at your face already. For those who prefer driving to Amcorp Mall for this book sales, if you can’t find parking at Amcorp Mall itself, consider parking at the A&W Restaurant opposite Amcorp Mall itself. You can help yourself with the famous A&W Root Beer before you shop for your books Wink

The book sales is located at the 3rd floor of Amcorp Mall and it’s running from 26 Nov – 2 Dec at 10am-9pm. So, that’s 11 hours of book browsing and careful selecting before you buy your favourite books.

I saw the news on Internet that the very morning of the book sales already saw about 5,000 visitors eagerly waiting to get the best grabs available. It’s no kidding. When I reached the faithful place, this is what greets me ..



Big crowds making their way into the Big Bad Wolf Book Sales


Guards and assistants are around to help you around

The books are segmented into areas like general books, romance, children, cookbook etc. Paperboxes are available for you to carry your chosen titles around while you still shop for more books.

The books are a real steal at RM5, 8 or 10 and these are new books! I am disappointed not to find many novels of popular fiction writers like Jeffrey Archer, Michael Crichton, John Grisham, Sidney Sheldon ( they are my favourite authors btw ). But, but, but, but….. I managed to grab some very good business reads! I am surprised to see books by gurus of Leadership & Business ie John Maxwell & Napolean Hill going for RM10 ! Yes! Can you believe it ?? I just bought 2 of John Maxwell’s books like 1 month ago for RM40 each and now, it’s only 1/4 of the price I paid for. My heart sanked ! The best part is that I have not even started reading it.  You can also find the Jason Bourne’s series here ie The  Bourne Betrayal , The Bourne Ultimatum.

Lately, I have buying so many fiction novels and personal development/business books they have been stacking more than 8 inches high next to my bed, on my bed side table. I must really spend more time reading at night nowadays before sleeping. And below, here’s my damage for the day from the Big Bad Wolf book sales .. (drum roll) – presenting the 6 books of my choice


My purchases – 6 books total RM54 or about USD15

Checking out after you have completed your purchases is easy. There are clear signs to bring you to the Cash Only counters or Cash/Credit Cards counters. You will be guided by the assistants once a cashier is available. So, despite the long queue, everything is orderly and proper. For OCBC credit card holders, you’re entitled to an additional 10% discount too. So, bring along your OCBC credit card if you have one. You get further savings on top of the already GREAT BARGAIN !! Oh, 1 more thing, you get the below freebie too. A cute book mark of the Big Bad Wolf himself. The wall on top of where Mr Wolf is standing reminds me of Humprey Dumprey instead ~.~


A freebie for your purchases – Big Bad Wolf bookmark

If you don’t have any plans for this weekend or plan to get something to read, this is the right place to go. By the way, there’s also another 2nd hand bookstore having sales a few doors away. Don’t mistaken it for the Big Bad Wolf book sales.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sheraton Langkawi Beach Resort


This year my company had its Annual Managers’ Conference at Sheraton Langkawi Beach Resort. Langkawi is a beautiful island in the state of Kedah.

This 5 stars hotel is certainly a beautiful resort and very suitable for a relaxing breakaway but what to do, I’m here to attend a conference ma… so, it’s not really a getaway holiday per say.

I arrived at this resort hotel after flying into Langkawi via Fireflyz plane which I find rather an enjoyable ride. For sure, the seats feels better than AirAsia’s plane.

Upon arriving at the Registration desk, I’m being welcomed by courteous front desk officer. Service was good and I am being served fruit juice while waiting for my room registration to be processed. While I was sitting at the Lobby area, I just realized that I forgot to check my Olympus digital camera’s battery before coming over here. I quickly snapped a photo of the Lobby to check on my camera.


Lobby area of Sheraton Langkawi Beach Resort

My assigned room number was 1527. Since this is a resort style hotel, it is built to blend with the nature and every lot is being built into 4 rooms unit. I lucky that my room has the sea view.

11558_168894159134_589784134_2963932_2039351_n  Staircase down to my room


2 beds unit – very cozy looking room right ??


Sharp Aquos LCD TV – my favourite brand of LCD TV

The interior of the room is certainly a very cozy lot. It is tastefully furnished and I particularly like the wall deco. Some hotels just give you some lousy deco which do not blend much with the concept of the hotel. But this place is certainly living up to my expectations.


Sea shell deco piece in the bath room


Deco piece next to the TV

Stepping out from the room, I am impressed as well by the furniture set-up in the verandah. A nice round marble table and 2 chairs for leisure conversation or you can even work with your laptop here. There’s a fan and ceiling light as well for those who prefer more wind besides those from the sea and prefer to work in a well litted area.


The verandah area with a nice marble table to hang out and get some good breeze

This bath tub is a heaven and providing a very relaxing as well as romantic getaway for honeymoooners. You can have a very nice view, overlooking the sea, enjoying a nice bubble bath and a glass of champagne.


 View from the bath tub looking out

Being an early riser, I managed to snap a photo or 2 of the sunrise from the verandah of my room. I would strongly recommend Sheraton Langkawi to those who is seeking for an ideal relaxing holidays in Langkawi. By the way, another thing which really, really impress me is that the resort’s telephone help desk has never fail to address me by my name. It really make you feel special when the guests are greeted by their names whenever they call the help desk for shuttle service.


Sunrise views from the verandah

So, remember to add Sheraton Langkawi Beach Resort to your list if you plan to make a trip to Langkawi !!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Leaving with a Heavy Heart

I dreaded the Sundays where I am back in Seremban, my hometown, where I have to drive back home without my daughter Clarisse. I am sure many parents whom their kids are not staying with them will feel the same.

Many of us are working parents. If your old folks are not with you, you will either :

A. Leave your kid with your parents to take care

B. Send your kid to a day-care centre

C. Have a maid at home to take care of your kid

Mine is Option A. My daughter Clarisse is like a travelling nomad. Her home is either at my parents’ place in Seremban or in my house at PJ. She’s currently alternating between these 2 homes as my parents sometimes come up to PJ to stay with us. So, it’s more like 1 week they all stay in PJ, then come Saturday morning, they all move back to Seremban. Me and my wife will come back to PJ on Sunday afternoon/evening and next week when both of us go back to Seremban, my folks and Clarisse will follow us back to PJ again. It’s almost a weekly routine now. With all these weekly travelling, I am contributing more to Shell (feeding my car with petrol) & Highway concessionaires (paying the blood-sucking fellows for toll charges).

It’s really a joy to watch a young baby grow up. It can be a very hectic job ( if you can call it a job ) to look after a young toddler. Currently, she can’t walk properly yet. Hence, she crawls most of the time and you have to chase after her. She likes to put things in her mouth too. One minute she’s playing with a bunch of keys and the next minute she would want to know how keys taste like. You take it out from her mouth, she will put it back in again. She also like to play with papers as well ( more like ransacking job ). Pulling out a nicely stacked of magazines or tearing leaflets count amongst her hobbies ! It’s fun to see how a young life learn different things in the early stage of life. Everything is new and curious to them. They want to explore everything and can be dare-devils too trying out different things.

When you’re time is filled with joy looking at a kid developing his/her instincts, learning new things and exploring his/her surroundings, you feel like the rest of the world is irrelevant to you. You would feel that your job and challenges you have in your daily work life are burried deep, deep away when you spend every moment you can with your kid.

For this reason, I always hate the Sundays when Clarisse is to stay in Seremban and both of us come back to PJ. I just can’t wait for the week to get by and I’m travelling back to Seremban again to see my daughter….


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Good Hope Hotel - Penang

Note : This is another blog which I have procrastinated for some time. It just shows that I’m not a disciplined blogger.

I travelled to Penang Island back in Augt 09 for an overnight trip of business meeting with my Director, GM & Marketing colleague.

I have been to Penang for quite some time and frankly, I’m not familiar with Penang. Hence, I can only offer to drive along the North-South Highway. Once in Penang, better for someone who’s familiar with Penang to take over the wheels. It was a pleasant drive as we left PJ around 8.45am and reached Penang around 12 noon. We have earlier booked into an economical budget hotel since this is only an overnight trip.

Good Hope Inn was where we spent a night. This budget accommodation was recommended by another colleague who has stayed here before. Good Hope Inn is just walking distance from Gurney Drive. Other famous hotel nearby Good Hope Inn is the famous G Hotel. Back to Good Hope Inn, I like this hotel for its simple yet homely feel. It’s a decent 3 star accommodation which cost me around RM80 for a night stay. The room comes with water heater, TV with some Astro channels throw in, fan and air-con. Wifi is available at the hotel but you will need to pay around RM10-15 (which comes to roughly USD3 to use). I find the Inn to be surprisingly very clean. I have stayed in some overseas 3 stars hotel which fare even worse than this place. Probably, it’s because this place was opened for business less than a year ago.

A nice comfy bed after a hard day’s work

Just a right sized table as my working space

The bathroom

This place can certainly compete with Tune Hotel. Actually, I much prefer this place to Tune Hotel in the sense that it comes with air con and water heater while for almost the same price in Tune Hotel you only get a fan. Value for money wise, Good Hope Inn is a better choice. Just across the road where Good Hope Inn is at, you can find some nice eating places as well, including local food and even a Starbucks cafe. If you opt not to pay for Internet service in Good Hope Inn, you can bring your laptop to Starbucks for free wifi but for me that will be a hassle to work in Starbucks if you have some serious assignments to work on. Concentration will be your biggest challenge with so many people going about you in a Starbucks cafe.

For those of you who is looking for a budget accommodation, especially those on backpacking holidays, I would strongly recommend this place to stay. I will certainly come back again to this place next time around and probably give the other type of rooms a try. For this trip, I stayed in the Single Bed Room. Maybe, I will treat myself with a bigger bed next time Winking

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Claypot Station Restaurant - Kota Damansara

I had to confess. I didn't know Kota Damansara has so many eating places and I mean MANY x5 !! It was really an eye-opener for me when I had my first dining experience at Kota Damansara on the 2nd day of Hari Raya, 22nd Sept 09. My family was invited for dinner at Claypot Station Restaurant at Kota Damansara.

Front of the restaurant

Specialties with NO MSG

Daughter and wife posing in front of the restaurant

More posing by my models
I couldn't snap photos of the food on my table as there were more than 10 of us and look darn dorky/wierd to be snapping photos of food here and there in the middle of all these hungry people. Before the photos are snapped, I am sure those super big-eaters around me would have wiped the plates/claypots clean and leaves the high and dry. Hence, instinct got the better of me. No pictures of food this time around. Only the exterior of the place. Maybe next time when I do happen to go back to this place again, I will snap photos and update this post.

I tried the pig stomach with pepper soup, fa tiu chicken, vinegar pork trottle, satay chicken and a few other dishes that I can't remember the name. Poor memory, getting old :-) I find that most of the dishes we ordered were just "pass" only. Nothing much special about the food. The vinegar pork trottle were just bones and fats. Nothing much to eat. The pig stomach with pepper soup was super hot, too much pepper and coupled with I am not a fan of this soup anyway. The satay chicken is the only dish I am giving 2 thumbs up of all the dishes we ordered. Nice crispy, juicy bits with aromatic 'pandan' leaves and 'serai' smell. Love this dish !

Service : 3 ( be prepare to wait at least 20 mins for your food )
Value for money : No idea, I didn't pay for the food
Ambience : 4
Food quality : 3 ( except for the satay chicken which deserves a 5 )
Overall : 3

Address :
No 23-1, Jalan PJU 5/12,
Dataran Sunway,
Kota Damansara,
47810 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan.

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dinner at La La Chong Restaurant

This year, my birthday is celebrated with 2 special meaning.

First, the date : 20 09 2009, 20th Sept 2009. The date is kinda special right ? Right ??

Second : Status upgraded to being a Daddy. So, we have 2 daddies on the dinner table.

It was a choice of either the new food stall near my house or La La Chong Seafood Restaurant which is now at Kayu Ara, Damansara. Previously, it was opposite Terminal 3 at Subang Airport. Heard that rental there is getting too expensive. Though the location of the previous shop at Terminal 3 is easy to find, parking may be a problem for late comers. This place is usually packed to its fullest by 7pm. I like the new place at Kayu Ara. Firstly, it's near my house and secondly, ample parking. It's certainly competing with Pantai Seafood Restaurant for business as these 2 restaurants are now within walking distance from each other.

The 6 of us excluding baby Clarisse wanted to dine alfresco but a few droplets of rain changed our minds and we moved in to the air con area. It was also the 1st day of Hari Raya and a Sunday. So, the place was doubly packed.

We started the 'makan' session with an order of satay from the Malay lady which has a stall outside the restaurant. The satay was nicely grilled with succulent pieces of chicken meat nicely tucked into the stick. From the irregular size of the stick, you can tell that the satay is not those from industrial mass-produced. The thickness of the sticks are not all standard. You have some of the sticks fatter and some thinner.

Entree : Good old satay

As there were only 6 adults, we ordered 5 dishes. We ordered the stir fry 'kangkung', yamcake with cuttlefish and dried chilli, lemon chicken, hot plate tofu and deed fried mantis prawns with dried chilli. Though the restaurant was packed to the fullest, our dishes came quite fast. We waited for about 15 minutes for the dishes to arrive.

Stir fry 'kangkung'

You have to forgive me for the quality of the photos as I'm still learning how to snap photos of different things using a digital camera with multiple scenes selections. Some photos were taken half way through the eating session as hungry stomach is more important than taking photos :-)
The str-fry 'kangkung' taste fine. I find it cooked right to my liking, not too soft or undercooked.

Yamcake with stir fry cuttlefish and dried chilli

The tofu would have looked better if came with the hot plate and wooden base. My parents liked the yamcake with cuttlefish though. The only downside of this dish is that the gravy was too little, making the dish a bit dry. If only the chef had put in more gravy, this dish would have win hands down.

Lemon Chicken

The lemon chicken was the forth dish that came to our table. I like the chicken crispy to the right degree. You can feel the crunchy bits in your mouth when you bite them. We find that for this dish the lemon sauce was too much. The plate was practically flooded by the lemon sauce. It would have been nicer to have a thicker and lesser sauce so that the presentation of this dish is not like a plate of fried chicken in flooded lemon sauce.

The fifth and also the last dish we ordered was the fried mantis prawns with dried chilli. The mantis prawns were kinda letdown. Seemed like a lot of flour was mixed with the prawns. You end up eating like lumps of flour instead of mantis prawns.

In the end, the bill came up to around RM113. It was a decent amount for 6 of us. Anyway, it was on my birthday and it's nice to have my family together for a dinner.

Overall, here's my rating for the dinner ( 5=excellent, 1=poor ) :
Service : 4
Value for Money : 3
Ambience : 3
Food Quality : 3
Overall : 3

La La Chong Seafood Restaurant (Next to Pantai Seafood @ Kayu Ara)
Lot 13556, Jalan Cempaka,Kayu Ara Damansara, 47400 Petaling Jaya.
Tel : 03-77281906

Friday, September 18, 2009

Malaysian F1 Team

A Malaysian F1 Team ? Huh ?? Yup, that was my initial reaction when I first read the news in the newspaper. Maybe there are others who have already seen this coming from the day Malaysia started to build the Sepang F1 circuit. And this was followed by our very own F1 driver, Alex Yoong.

But, to build an F1 circuit is already a big, fat white elephant whereby most of the time the circuit is left empty. How many racing events do you organise in a year in 1 country ? You have the A1 race, the Super GTT, Superbike race and a couple more cars or bike races. Surely, all these races will only add up to about 30 days in a year while you have to maintain the circuit for a whole long year!

And now, our Country has decided to have a F1 team. How much would it cost to run a F1 team? In these days where major car companies like BMW and Honda are pulling the plug from F1 races, Malaysia is putting both legs into the global automobile racing which is currently battling scandals, credit crunch, teams dissatisfied with the organiser etc ? To quote from today's The Sun newspaper, "
Ferrari, for instance, has a team of close to 800 people, including 200 frontline crew involved in pit and technical aspects of the race" We're probably looking at spending about RM200-300 million a year! Wouldn't it be better to spend that kind of money to improve the livehood of Malaysians ? I think we should stick back to the original idea of having 1Malaysia, not F1 Malaysia.