Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry X'mas

Wishing everyone a very Merry X'mas and a Happy New Year! Happy holidays !!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Gastro Cafe – Nice Food, Reasonable Price. Good to Go

Discovered a nice eating place over the weekend and would like to share this place with readers ofthis blog.

Gastro Cafe is situated at SS15/4B of Subang Jaya. It’s just a short drive from the colleges like Taylor’s, INTI & ELS Language Centre. Those the signboard looks a bit old, don’t be deceived by it. The interior is tastefully furnished (at least, to my taste :-)  ) It occupies 2 shoplots and and next to Ipoh Chicken Rice Restaurant. The 4 Chinese words on the signboard indicates that this restaurant serves Hainanese cooking.

We choose a table at the air-conditioned area which is also next to the non-airconditioned area. Service is fast, perhaps it’s a Sunday. I bet if you’re at this place during weekday, getting a parking place will be a challenge too. The cafe uses a wireless system to buzz for waiter/waitress if you need to be served.



Gastro Cafe – No. 4 Jalan SS 15/4B

 We ordered the Hainanese chicken chop and Nasi Lemak with Chicken. For drinks, we had the Ice Lemon Tea, Herbal Tea and Barley. Topping it up, dessert were Cendol and ABC.


Malaysians’ All Time Favourite – Nasi Lemak

 We waited for around 10 minutes for our orders to arrive. Since Nasi Lemak is usually a pre-cooked dish, it arrived to our table first. We found slices of ginger in the rice. It adds a nice aroma to the steamed rice. Standard condiments and side dishes came as one would expect from a Nasi Lemak. Gastro Cafe’s Nasi Lemak comes with a half soft boiled egg, some sambal, anchovies, peanuts and a few pieces of chicken. Mum like the Nasi Lemak. To me, most importantly, the anchovies should be fried crispy and not those left overnight with soft texture. Even though I didn’t taste the Nasi Lemak but from the feedback I got from both Mum and my Wife is that the Nasi Lemak is tasty.


Hainanese Chicken Chop – Yummy!! Must Try! 

 Next came my highly anticipated Hainanese Chicken Chop. I love Chicken Chop and Gastro Cafe’s Hainanese Chicken Chop is done in an authentic Hainanese style. The gravy comes in a generous serving and the chicken piece gets to be soaked in the gravy instead of having some miserable scoop of the gravy on the chicken piece. The gravy comes with peas, onions and slices of carrot. What surprises me is that Gastro Cafe serves its Chicken Chop with a slice of Hainanese steam bread. This is for the diner to dip the steam bread into the gravy and entranced with another gastronomic experience. Very thoughtful of Gastro Cafe. I have not come across another cafe that serves Hainanese Chicken Chop to offer a slice of steam bread to go along with the Chicken Chop. Even Mum commented that the Hainanese Chicken Chop tasted nice, like an original Hainanese Chicken Chop. ( You see, we’re Hainanese and Mum can really whip up a good Hainanese Chicken Chop! ) To get a credit from her on someone else’s Hainanese Chicken Chop is really a great compliment. Personally, I really enjoyed this Hainanese Chicken Chop myself. Love the gravy lots!!
















ABC with finely shaved ice

My drink were a letdown though. My Herbal Tea tasted so bland that even my Sis didn’t finish hers. The Ice Lemon Tea was better, along with the Barley. I didn’t take any photo of the drinks as these are very standard servings in every cafe. After our main course, we asked for our desserts to be served. I ordered ABC. It comes with some basic serving without those overly coloured syrup, which is good for me. The ice is finely shaved and this makes the ABC taste good. My only grouse is that adding some gula melaka would enhance the taste of the ABC.


Gastro Cafe’s Cendol

The Cendol and ABC are basically the same thing except that in ABC, it’s topped with sweet corn while in Cendol, you guess it – Cendol strips, duh!

The price of the food serve in Gastro Cafe are reasonable considering that this place is of high catchment area that serves both college students as well as office workers. Will definitely re-visit this place for another round of Hainanese cooking……

Friday, December 21, 2012

Bukit Merah Laketown Resort

Went to Bukit Merah Laketown Resort last weekend for a family gathering. It was easy to find along the North South Expressway. Directional signboards aplenty and the resort is just nearby, after exiting from Bukit Merah/Selama toll after Taiping.

Chose a wrong day to go there and the place was jam-packed to the maximum. Didn’t enjoy the trip a bit at all. Car park area was horendous. There are simply not enough of proper parking lots to cater for a big weekend / school holiday crowd. The resort operator should re-look into improving the parking area. Having an un-tarred, sharp rocks and dusty alternative parking area is giving the place a very bad impression even before entering the resort area.

The guest houses ie. the chalets, the service apartments are badly maintained. The 2 toilets in our Suria apartment unit are leaking water. One of our air con remote control is missing the cover at the battery compartment.

Buffet breakfast is also very disappointing. You have the local semi-“nasi lemak”. I named it this way as it has the rice cooked with the fragrant pandan leaves but what’s missing from the nasi lemak are the side dishes that make up a nasi lemak ie the fried anchovies, the peanuts, the cucumbers and the soft boiled eggs. Even the sambal with onions is missing. It only comes with a chicken curry where the chicken is as good as a rubber piece. It tasted like some badly cooked overnight chicken pieces. For those who like some western breakfast choices, brace yourself for toast bread, cereals and ham. No sausages even. I’m totally disappointed with the buffet line at Suria Apartment.

For a proper dinner, I would suggest that you venture outside. At least the road stalls outside the resort that serves tomyam and some local Malay cuisines look more appetising than the food in the resort.

I wouldn’t recommend this place for a family holiday.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hotel Royal Penang


Any visit to Penang spells fun to me irregardless whether it’s for business or leisure. No wonder Penang is also known as the Pearl of the Orient for its beauty and one of the more enchanting state in Malaysia. I had the opportunity to drop by Penang again last week for an overnight business trip.

Making a room reservation through booking.com is so easy that I managed to book 2 superior rooms with Hotel Royal Penang in a breeze. What’s more is that I am able to learn a fair bit of the hotel from booking.com’s website. Some of the deals in this website is quite attractive and allow you to cancel your booking within 3 days prior to the check-in date.

Though I’m not very much familiar with the roads in Penang, having a GPS comes in handy even though Penang is not that big and you always have the Komtar building as your “compass” or reference point.

Hotel Royal Penang is situated in the heart of Georgetown, Penang. It is about 20km from the Penang International Airport and from the Penang bridge, it takes you about 10-15 minutes to reach the hotel.

Checking into the hotel is made easy with the friendly receptionist manning the front desk. I managed to check into my hotel room and also for my colleague within minutes. While you’re waiting for check in, you may also log into web with the free wifi available at the lobby area of Hotel Royal Penang. The wireless broadband connection speed is pretty decent too during evening.

After being presented with the hotel keycard, I moved to the 10th floor of the hotel. There are 4 lifts taking the guests up to the respective floors, so you don’t have to wait that long.

Our rooms are the superior double which cost RM188.00 nett or about USD60/night. Pretty decent considering that it’s situated at a convenient location and not too far away from Gurney Drive. Upon entering the room, I did not detect any smoke smell or odour coming from the room. I stay in a non-smoking floor though.


Double bed with 4 pillows of various sizes


Wired LAN for the convenience of the hotel guest while in the room

After putting down my luggage bag, I surveyed the room for the facililties that it offered. Below are what I have discovered:-

1. Internet – wired LAN cable that provide FOC internet service. ( I didn’t use the LAN  though as I didn’t bring my laptop with me for this overnight trip ).

2. Safe deposit box – previous guest mishandled the safe and an error message came out. I managed to get the front desk to resolve this for me and they came to my room within my desired time frame.

3. Mini fridge – a disappointment as it was empty.

4. Iron – Iron and iron board were in wardrobe compartment for the guest’s usage.

I do find the cable TV a letdown as the channels are all out of tune. I can’t tune in to a channel without those “snowy” effects, hindering a decent view of the TV programme.


Cable TV – a letdown

The bathroom comes with a speaker for those who enjoy some music or TV sound while soaking in the bathtub. However, you’re not able to tune the volume to your liking Sad smile.

The extra roll of toilet paper comes in convenient for the guests to use but I do find the quality of the toilet paper a bit of a letdown, too thin and have a “cheapo” feeling.


Decent bathroom but toilet paper a bit “cheapo” feeling

The sofa seat by the side of the window is my favourite spot. Together with the stand lamp, it provides the best ambient for reading and relaxation. A good spot to wind down after a hard day’s work. However, I didn’t stay in my hotel room much for that night since we went food hunting after we finished work in the evening. In total, I spent less than 5 wake up hours in my hotel room to fully soak in to comfort the room has to provide.

One thing that I have to complain is that the tuner for the bedside lamp is spoilt when I wanted to adjust the lighting by the bedside. The knob came off when I turn to adjust the brightness of the lamp. Housekeeping should have detected the spoilt knob earlier as I don’t think the damage was recent.


Warm lighting illuminates the room


The view outside the hotel room is quite nice. Since I stayed at an end unit, I managed to have an uninhibited  view from my room. Lots of greens surrounding the hotel room makes one don’t think of being in a concrete jungle. You can clearly see the tall and short buildings lining the roads around the hotel.



A view across the hotel room

Since this trip was not for sight-seeing, I didn’t bother to check the nearby tourist attractions but a quick check on the hotel’s website reveals the following nearby attractions:-

  • Fort Cornwallis – 5 km    
  • UNESCO Heritage Cultural Site – 5 km
  • Botanical Garden – 10 km
  • Batu Feringgi Beach – 15 km
  • Snake Temple – 20 km

For those who plan to make a trip to Penang, I would think Hotel Royal Penang is a decent place to stay and within the budget of most travellers who wanted a decent room without much fanfair. The other thing that disappointed me is that the gym is only available from 8am-8pm. The hotel should consider its guests who wake up early and wanted to start off the day with some exercise. Opening the gym only at 8am does not do justice to those early riser like me. Even the swimming pool was not available when I passed by before 7am. I do hope that the Management would consider making the gym available at an earlier time.

Before I sign off this post, I would like to share with you a picture of the “old” and “new” – where history and progress can co-habit at the same time at the Pearl of the Orient.

Cheers !!



Penang – Pearl of the Orient


Hotel Royal Penang
No 3, Jalan Larut, 10050
Georgetown, Penang

Friday, November 23, 2012

ELS 22nd Anniversary Scholarships for Malaysians | ELS Language Centres, Malaysia

ELS 22nd Anniversary Scholarships for Malaysians | ELS Language Centres, Malaysia

Attention all Malaysians age between 17-22 years old ! My Company is offering a special scholarship award worth RM2,200 for 1 month FREE Certified Intensive English Programme. Intake is in Dec'12 or Jan'13. For more information on this EXCLUSIVE 22nd Anniversary Scholarship, pls click on the above link.

See you in ELS !!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Back To Nature–Gopeng Rainforest


Went to a great getaway last week and if you are someone who loves to spend time at a quiet, back-to-nature kinda retreat, read on. Gopeng is a lesser known nature getaway compare to places like Taman Negara or any rainforest reserve. Located about 1.5hours drive away from Kuala Lumpur and south of Ipoh, Gopeng is a pretty laid back town away from rapid development.

In this blog, I would like to introduce you readers to Gopeng Rainforest Resort is situated about 15 minutes drive from Gopeng town. Visible directional signboards are placed along the road leading to Gopeng Rainforest Resort. One can easily find the way to the resort without needing much help from a GPS. One word of warning though is that since this place is not commercialised yet, the road leading up to the resorts is pretty narrow and windy. The road is just wide enough for 1 vehicle and it serves both direction. So, make sure your vehicle’s horn is working as you need to honk at every blind turn to ensure that you alert any car/lorry/motorbike coming from the opposite direction of your presence. Often, either party has to move his vehicle to the side of the road or reverse to a broader path for the other vehicle to pass through. 


 Gopeng Rainforest Resort’s signboard with its contact detail

 As the name suggest, this resort is built with the intention of giving its visitors the experience of being close to nature. The resort is managed by a Chinese couple with the help of some locals. By the way, the owner’s name is Mr. David Poon. Thanks for the great hospitality you had given us David!

Visitors are not allowed to drive the car up to the resort. There’s a parking area at the foot of the resort which can accommodate about 20 cars. From there, you have to walk up to the resort.


View of the resort from the parking area

Next to the parking ground is the camping area. Guests of Gopeng Rainforest Resort can opt to stay in the kampung style cabins or camp at the foothill of the resort.


Parking and camping ground

As out group is for a company’s staff family day, we form the bulk of the guests of the resort. The 60 of us are housed in about 10 cabins which houses from 3-6 people each. These log cabins are mainly built from wood and natural materials found in the surrounding area. Trees are aplenty surrounding the resort.


Cabins and dining area. Our room was the middle unit on the right of the above photo.

The rooms we stayed are pretty basic as you can see from the photo below. You have mattresses and thin blankets to cover you up at night. No bed. There’s a ceiling fan and power sockets for you to use your electrical appliances. One thing to note is that you will not get much phone reception here. Most of the time there is no signal on the phone. A real hideout if you don’t want to be disturbed by phone calls. Also, keep you broadband away. There’s no wifi signal here too.


The mattress and blanket

The rooms are pretty airy as its surrounded by trees, lots of trees. As it was rainy season, Gopeng also gets a fair share of rain during our visit. I was greeted by a heavenly sight the next morning as cool mist enveloped the surrounding mountains. It was really a sight to behold and makes you cherish Mother Nature more.


Cool mist greets you in the morning..…heavenly


Private cabins


Lots of kampung influence in the design of the cabins

By the way, did I also tell you that surrounding Gopeng Rainforest Resort are durian trees? I was being informed by a durian orchard operator here, Mr. Leong that there are about 5000 durian trees which produces about 300 varieties of flavours. Each of the trees are natural on its own and no cross breeding of species. Since I love kampung durians compared to designer breeds like D24, red prawn, Musang king etc., this place is definitely in my good book.


Durian tree bearing fruits outside our room

Besides durians, there are also a few pulasan trees planted by David. Pulasan is actually a cousin of rambutan with thicker skin but juicier flesh inside. The outer skin is thick.


Pulasan, a distant cousin of rambutan

Gopeng is famous for its white water rafting activity. The river actually has its source from Cameron Highlands. If you do not like rafting, you can also consider wet absailing or go caving. There are also Rafflesia flowers in Gopeng’s forest.


Riverbug, the operator for white water rafting

Many people would opt for rafting as the past-time activity in Gopeng and the rivers certainly present a great challenge especially after the rain where the water come gushing down from upstream like a steamroller, taking on everything that comes its way.


The river wild

According to David, there is also a trail that can get hikers from Gopeng to Cameron Highlands. If you’re up for a walk, this journey takes a day and a half. I’ll give it a pass Smile.


Clear, cold water gushing down the river

As I didn’t go for the water rafting activity, David was kind enough to take us for a ride, exploring the surrounding area of Gopeng in his 10-seaters van. We toured the rivers that ran through Gopeng. According to David, the British settlers came to Gopeng in the late 1800 and started tin mining here. Gopeng was also known to be a communist area during the British as well as the Japanese occupation in Malaysia. The tarred road around the hills of Gopeng were only made available around 6 years ago. Before that, they were all gravel paths. Jeeps and 4WD vehicles are more suitable as a mode of transportation here. The locals are mostly on motorbikes.

After tin mining was exhausted here, agricultural activities took over with rubber trees and oil palms form most of the greens here besides the durian trees. Gopeng also hold the natives or locally known as orang asli. The orang asli form settlements around the higher grounds. They are the natives of the forest and expert of the jungle. In an effort to bring better lilving condition to them, the Government has provided each household with solar panel that enable them to generate some electricity for their daily necessity. I was told that each day of solar charges can provide the natives with around 1.5 hours of electricity.


Orang asli’s settlement


Solar panel providing some electricity for each household

David also took us to visit the oil palm estates and showed us fungus that grew out from decaying oil palm’s husk. It certainly was an interesting sight to see how one plant thrive on other.



Fungus mushrooming from oil palms’ husks

Nearby, we also saw a mini hot spring. The hot spring was just a small patch in the middle of an oil palm estate. It’s about 3 feet x 3 feet wide.


A mini hot spring in the middle of an oil palm estate

The water from the hot spring certainly contain minerals as it attracts Raja Brooke’s butterflies to the stream that flow from the hot spring. We were surprised to see this species of butterflies as it certainly is a unique species. To find them in a well hidden area certainly adds more element of happiness and awe to be able to see these butterflies in their natural habitat. The butterflies were seen happily sapping up the minerals that came from the hot spring.


Raja Brooke’s butterflies congregating at a small stream

This 2 days 1 night experience in an eco-resort was really a memorable trip thanks to the generosity of David who brought us to a journey of discovery in his van which was not part of the retreat’s package. Also, getting to know Mr. Leong who runs a durian orchard here certainly add more interest to the trip. Mr. Leong also told us that in future, we can make a detour to Gopeng’s town if we want to order his durian kampung. We don’t have to drive up the narrow road to the hill to buy his durians. Hmm… I will certainly call him for my next trip north since a detour to Gopeng town only take abour 10 minutes from the North-South Expressway. Mr. Leong also brought us to see his 120 years’ old durian tree. He also told us that come next month, December, there will be more durians as the durian season in Gopeng will be at its peak. The fruit from the 120 years tree will also ripe by then. I am quite certain I will call Mr. Leong next month since I’m making at least a journey up north next month Winking smile!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Pin Xiang Restaurant – A “Thumb’s Up” Gastronomic Experience



Bright signboard and located at a T-junction makes Pin Xiang easy to locate
 A recent dinner brought us to a new oriental dining restaurant situated at Aman Suria, Petaling Jaya. Thought it was raining cats and dogs, the hungry stomachs won the day. We decided to carry on with our reservation and reached Pin Xiang restaurant slightly over 6:30pm for our dinner. Pin Xiang is a restaurant that serves oriental dishes ie seafood & noodle. The restaurant is just facing the T-junction behind the corner Nasi Kandar in Aman Suria. Pin Xiang is also next to the Lotus Curry House and same row as the Guardian Pharmacy in Aman Suria. Occupying 2 shoplots and a extended corner, Pin Xiang caters to diners who can opt for air-conditioned sitting or open air dining.
Once seated, we were attended to promptly. Dishes were decided ahead before we reached the restaurant. We decided to have the Marmite Crab, Crispy Long Beans, Signature Tofu, Butter Chicken, Special Spare Ribs and Deep-Fried Tilapia as part of our gastronomic experience with Pin Xiang. 6 dishes althogether.
As we have pre-ordered our dishes, they arrived in a short period of time, no more than 10 minutes. First came the Signature Tofu. Since we ordered a large plate, the portion came deservingly for 8 person. The topping is something new to me as usually, in most Chinese restaurants, they usually top the tofu with minced meat, salted fish and spring onions. Pin Xiang topped it with fried, sweet preserved vegetables which I find blends quite well with the tofu.


From top left: Special Spare Ribs, Butter Chicken, Crispy Long Beans and Signature Tofu

The crispy long beans was everyone’s favourite, even Mum wanted to try this style of cooking the long beans in the future. The long beans were coated with flour and salted egg yolk before frying. Hence, you will feel the crunchiness as well as the saltiness of the egg yolk before you get to taste the long beans. As the dish was served right after they came up from the frying wok, you will still find the long beans hot and crispy. Do order this dish if you happen to be in Pin Xiang.


Signature Tofu

A self-profess meat eater will hardly go for a meal without meat. Here, we have the Special Spare Ribs to give us a different flavour to wet our appetite. The Special Spare Ribs came in a sweet and sour sauce. The special homemade sauce tasted like plum sauce in it. Pin Xiang uses a bigger cut of the pork ribs so that the diners can taste more of the pork instead. Pin Xiang also gave its diners a generous cut of the pork ribs as I can see each slice of it is about an inch thick. This dish also receive a thumbs up from me. Every piece of the pork ribs are evenly coated with the sauce that leaves you wanting to have another piece.

Special Spare Ribs 


Deep Fried Tilapia

Right before the final dish came the deep-fried tilapia fish. I know the photo above doesn’t do much justice to the fish but it was actually quite tasty too albeit some minor complain. I do like the fish deep fried and I don’t recall eating anywhere else having the fish topped with chopped garlic, chillies and lime juice. In fact, I initially mistaken the chopped garlic for cubes of cucumbers, sort of like a Thai style cooking. For a person who loves garlic, I somehow find that there were too much garlic on the fish instead. Hence, the strong aroma of the garlic overwhelmed the fish when you savour the fish.

The finale – Marmite Crabs

For a seafood fan, I’m not big-time on crabs. Like many people, I find it a challenge eating crabs. I’m totally hopeless in getting into the finer parts of a crab. This dish is more for my wife and my sis. We had a serving of 3 regular-sized crabs in the plate. As the name goes, the crabs were coated in a thick marmite paste. I do like the salty taste of marmite coated seafood. Marmite prawns would be a better option for me instead of crabs.

We topped the hearty meal with a glass of barley and bean curd drink. A nice sweet drink to go with a “thumb’s up” meal. The bill came up regularly to RM253 including taxes. Below’s the price breakdown of each dish:-

1. Marmite crabs (3 pieces) – RM99

2. Crispy long beans (large) – RM20

3. Butter chicken (large) – RM26

4. Signature tofu (large) – RM20

5. Special spare ribs (large-8 pieces) – RM40

6. Deep fried tilapia – RM24


Here’s the location of the outlet and my rating for the place.

Address: Lot H-18-G, Jalan PJU 1/45, Aman Suria, 47301 Petaling Jaya.

Location: 4/5 ( easy to find, just look for the Nasi Kandar restaurant and Lotus Curry House )

Ambient: 5/5 ( spacious seating with both air-conditioned and open-air dining available)

Food Quality: 4/5

Food Price: 4/5 ( for a large portion and in Petaling Jaya area, I think the dishes are fairly priced )

Service: 4/5 ( prompt service despite an almost full house on a Sunday evening)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Chatterbox @ 1Utama Shopping Centre



My first comment about this eating place is the chinese words of this eating outlet loosely translates into Gossiping instead of Chatterbox. Chatterbox is located near the Rainforest section of 1 Utama’s new wing. It’s a very relaxing corner, facing the man-made rainforest and a walking distance to the Aviary. When I got there at 12 noon, the place is fully occupied but I managed to get my family of 6 person to sit outside the restaurant.

Once we’re seated, we got into business by ordering our dishes as fast as we can. Deciding what to eat is normally not an easy task for me but having your family around makes thing easier as each of us can choose a dish that we like. With the help of a courteous waitress, we managed to put our order of dishes in no time.


Slice Fish Fillet with Garlic & Ginger

First up was the slice fish fillet with garlic & ginger. The dish came in about 20 minutes after our order was placed in. Considering that it was nearly full house during lunch peak period, the waiting time is somewhat reasonable. The fish slices were warm when it reached out table. The garlic and ginger were crispy and no hint of overnight oil smell on both items. Since I am a big fan of garlic, I picked up most of the slices. However, I do find the gravy a bit salty for my liking. In the time where people are more health conscious, I think the chef should take this into consideration.


 Stir Fried Hong Kong Kailan with Oyster Sauce

Next came the stir fried Hong Kong kailan with oyster sauce. Kailan is one of my favourite veggie and I like them stir fried too :-)

This leafy green when blanched for the right amount of time, can have a really nice texture when you bite into it. Chatterbox hit the right note with the texture of the kailan. However, the length of the veggie poses a challenge to the person eating it. The chef should have cut the veggie shorter for easy eating.


Deep Fried Chicken with Onion Ring in Special Sauce

After the kailan, the deep fried chicken with onion ring in special sauce was presented to our table. I looked at it with much enthusiasm as the chicken doesn’t look too soggy. You know, sometimes, in some restaurants, they can get too carried away with the sauce that the chicken pieces looked like some wet bathing suits, dripping in water. Both the chicken and the onion rings were crispy and up to our liking. Even my daughter liked the onion rings. For a picky eater, that’s something encouraging. The sauce was a blend of sweet and salty but not too salty like the previous 2 dishes.


 Deep Fried Squid in Curry Leaves

The deep fried squids in curry leaves made its entrance after the chicken. This is one of my wife’s preferred dish. I like this dish too. Chatterbox has also cooked it well with enough of curry leaves to give out the aromatic smell of the curry leaves. The flour batter is also mixed with butter to give it some salty flavour.20121007_123805

Braised Broccoli and Tofu in Pumpkin Sauce

The last dish that we ordered; braised broccoli and tofu in pumpkin sauce, looked vibrant in the seas of “orange”. I love broccoli a lot. And tofu too. Mum wanted to try out this combination as well as having pumpkin puree as the sauce. We feel adventurous for the day in trying out new flavour. That’s what our gastronomic sense is asking us to do. The broccoli again was blanched right. The tofu is an egg tofu. I like that. However, the pumpkin sauce isn’t working its magic in this dish. Someone, something just didn’t work right with the combination. Even Mum agreed that the combination doesn’t taste up to her expectation. The mixture of green, white and orange

Working our stomachs to 5 dishes were good enough for the 6 of us who are small eaters. We enjoyed the atmosphere, the location of the restaurant, the good customer service and most of the dishes we ordered. You guessed it. The only letdown we had was the braised broccoli and tofu in pumpkin sauce. I do like this place though for lunch or dinner. The dishes are reasonably priced for a family shopping mall like 1 Utama.

Here’s the location of the outlet and my rating for the place.

Address: LG338 Lower Ground Floor, 1Utama Shopping Centre

Location: 4/5 ( easy to find with 1 Utama having the self-help interactive directory situated by the side of the escalator at every floor )

Ambient: 5/5 ( next to the artificial rainforest, what more can you ask for )

Food Quality: 4/5

Food Price: 4/5

Service: 4/5

Monday, July 30, 2012

To Bring or Not To Bring


The recent announcement by the Education Ministry to allow students to carry hadnphones to schools starting next year had caused much of a hoohah in the papers. Many have expressed their disagreement to the idea.

Personally, I disagree to the idea too. Here’s my rundown of why we should not allow our primary/secondary students bring their phones to school:-

1. Classroom distraction

How are the teachers to ensure that every student switch their phones to “Silent mode” when in school? Easy right? Put up a civic message all over the classrooms? Did we not do that in cinemas and you still have some recalcitrant who will not silent their phones and even answer calls in the cinema.

2. Games, games, games

Handphones come with games and applications installed in them. While the teachers are writing on the blackboard, I am sure there will also be students trying to play handphone games behind the teacher’s back.


3. Video recording

Almost all handphones now has at least 1 camera in it. This will be posing another problem. By allowing them to bring the handphones to classes, some mischivious students may secretly record their teachers, their classmates’ antics in schools. We have had a few incidents of students bullying in schools and these videos were uploaded into YouTube. By allowing handphones to be in school, are we opening the floodgate to more recordings? What if the students go a step further into becoming peeping tom and record their female schoolmates in any stage of undress?


4. Mine is better than yours

Phones are getting more and more advanced. Parents nowadays are also getting the latest model of phones ie iphone, Samsung Galaxy S3 etc for their children. I am sure the children will have the tendency to bring their latest high tech phones to school and show their schoolmates. Are we indirectly introducing peer pressure in school? Am sure those with the older models will feel inferior compared to their classmates who are “blessed” with the latest phones and will start to pester their parents to buy the same phone too.


5. Safekeeping

Next comes the question of where to safekeep the phone? In school, students are to take on non-classroom activities like physical education on the field, attend extra-curricular bodies ie. Boy Scout etc. Is the school going to provide lockers for the students to keep their valuables which in this case is the phone? How about during recess time? When the phone gets stolen or misplaced, the school is going to be facing unnecessary headache of attending to students whose handphones are stolen. Worse still will be overzealous parents who are going to confront the school on their children’s missing phones – blaming the school of not ensuring their children’s properties are taken care of. I am sure we can all see this coming….



Given more time, I can name even more reasons why the politicians and Ministries should put mroe thoughts into this idea before opening their mouths. Sigh!! We all know nowadays it’s the mouth that perform faster than the brain….especially when it comes from politicians.