Remembering Air Asia QZ8501

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Enough said. My heartfelt condolences to the victims' families of Air Asia QZ8501. Hope the bodies will be recovered soon so that they will have closure & peace of mind.

To read this article, click here.

Coffee Ink, Bandar Botanic

Monday, December 29, 2014

Lots of artisanal cafes are mostly found in KL & PJ but Klang is catching up fast with a several cafes mushrooming around Bandar Botanic. WL went to Coffee Ink with his friend & thought of it as a cool hangout place for us after I moved in with him in the near future.

We ordered for a slice of mille crepe while waiting for our coffees to be brewed. The layers were not as thin as I hoped for but the pastry cream is made up for it with just the right level of sweetness. The staff squirted some caramel sauce over the cake probably for aesthetics reasons but definitely spoilt the entire taste. Way too sweet!

Our coffees came soon after - latte for WL, mocha for me. My cuppa was a little too sweet (I'm not exactly a sweet tooth) but I'd must say their coffee art is pretty impressive. The barista made my cuppa a puppy face. WL isn't really coffee drinker so he couldn't tell whether his latte is good for him.

One of the more interesting snacks in Coffee Ink is the bacon roll which consist of bacon slices wrapped in popiah sheets then deep-fried to golden brown. The natural juice from the bacon oozing out of the rolls screams heavenly & cholesterol at the same time. Haha. It was pretty good but I would only indulge this once in a blue moon. I'm so not approving this snack for WL.

I'm scoring 3.8 out of 5 for Coffee Ink for their coffee art variety & the awesome, fatty bacon rolls. A nice hangout place with great taste for music.

19-1, Jalan Remia 3
Bandar Botanic
41200 Klang

03-3319 3519

Opening Hours:
Tuesdays to Sundays 11:00am - 11:00pm
Closed on Mondays

Another missing plane before the year end: Air Asia QZ8501

Sunday, December 28, 2014

I read with eyes wide in horror that our nation is stricken with yet another airline tragedy. Air Asia QZ 8501 enroute from Surabaya to Singapore was reportedly missing from radar at 7.24am (GMT+8). It was scheduled to arrive Changi Airport at 8.30am (GMT+8).

Speculations ran rife that the aircraft may have crashed nearby Belitung Island, as some fishermen claimed to have heard a loud explosion. The flight with 162 people on board comprised Indonesians, a British, Singaporean & Malaysian.

Although the survival chance is bleak, I'm praying hard that the wreckage can be found immediately so that the cause of the incident can be resolved.


The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Will you follow me, #OneLastTime?
Those were the words that resonate throughout the trailer for the final instalment & probably the last Middle-Earth movie, The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies.

I had many mixed feelings after watching the trailer. First, I was excited because there'll be an epic movie to look forward to during Christmas. Second, I felt a slight tinge of sadness that this movie will probably be the last movie related to Middle Earth by Peter Jackson. Lastly, but not surprising, I was apprehensive about how good this movie will be. After all, The Battle of The Five Armies is only a couple of pages long chapter in the book. One wonders how on earth the plot would stretch up to more than 2 hours.

But Peter Jackson did it again & I must applaud him for his effort. True as my instincts tell me, I was deflated by how this defining chapter ended. The film was a little empty & somehow detracted from the main focus - the hobbit. Poor Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) had minimal onscreen time which is almost forgettable.

Jackson decided to put the battle scenes as the forefront of the plot which befits the movie title but not exactly the most compelling storytelling. Take off the battle scenes & there's nothing much to talk about for a 2-hour movie. So the rest of film mostly consist of filler plot which is non-existent in the book. I welcome the additional scenes with the casts from previous movies to establish the connection leading up to the Lord of The Rings. Good for those who didn't watch the past trilogy.

Most tacky scene I came across is Galadriel carrying the wounded Gandalf while Elrond & Saruman fought with the Nazgul. It looked so fake as if Gandalf is tied to an invisible rope & being hoisted mid-air while Galadriel pretends to carry him. Weird...

Visual effects are stunning without doubt but the battle scenes can be quite a bore after watching it for about 40 minutes. At least the pivotal scene when Thorin died from serious injury was worth the wait. Richard Armitage's brilliant acting made me tear up & wished that the story didn't have to turn out this way.

My only complaint is that there was not much thought put behind about adding in a scene of Thorin's funeral. I know it's not in the book at all but Thorin deserved to be honoured for fighting gallantly to his last breath. The farewell scenes between Bilbo & the remaining surviving dwarves was touching but seemed something amiss & rushed too.

Anyhow, the film is still an entertaining piece & I'm truly grateful to be part of this 14 year journey. This last chapter ties all the loose ends of one of the best literary work ever written. Although Tolkien fans may detest the film's lack of loyalty to the book but I personally felt it serves the movie-going audience well who may not fancy digging the books. If only Warner Bros wasn't too money minded from the beginning & allowed Jackson to keep The Hobbit to 2 movies only.

GO Noodle House, The School Jaya One

Friday, December 26, 2014

I hardly spoke about before but my company has an unusual perk for its staffs - free lunches on Fridays. It was Boxing Day & the bosses decided to try out something different from the Chinese stir-fry restaurants. And so we headed to GO Noodle House at The School Jaya One because it's the nearest to our office.

As a matter of fact, it wasn't my first time dining at this restaurant & the last I tried was the pork ball noodle which they're famous for. This time, I made up my mind to order another dish in hopes that it's as tasty as its popular noodles. I picked dry pan mee while most of my colleagues opted the pork ball noodles.

Luckily, my pan mee arrived first & I couldn't wait to dig in with my chopsticks & spoon. the noodles was supposed to be pan mee, the chewy & springy texture that we all know too well. But this version of the noodles tasted more like a springy wantan noodle with dark sauce. No hint of pan mee texture at all. Moreover, the noodles & sauce were incredibly salty.

The soup was so salty & laden with MSG that I can't imagine scooping it onto the noodles. Adding on anchovies & minced meat as toppings could turn the entire dish into disaster. Oh my...I should've stuck to the regular pork ball noodles instead of trying to be experimental.

Overall, I'm giving a score of 3.5 out of 5. It wasn't because this pan mee spoilt my overall experience. The pork ball noodles I ate the last round was okay but not fantastic. Nevertheless, GO Noodle House is still a decent place for lunch, considering the premise can be quite crowded during noon.

61-P1, The School Jaya One
No. 72A, Jalan Universiti
46200 Petaling Jaya

03-7499 1126

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday 10:00am - 9:00pm

Christmas Dinner @ Verona Trattoria, Section 17 PJ

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The last time I went to Verona Trattoria, Section 17 was on WL's birthday. It became one of my favourite haunts for good pasta besides WIP at Bangsar Shopping Centre.

We have decided to celebrate Christmas at this restaurant, since going downtown KL or most Bangsar spots will be fully booked. It's a known fact that specially curated Christmas menu is priced dearly, we opted for dishes from the standard menu. To start off the night, the waiter served mushroom soup with truffle oil.

Oh, so appetizing!

The soup is not too thick; just the right consistency I like that doesn't fill my stomach too quickly. The dash of truffle oil really brought out the flavour of the soup. The next dish seafood marinara which consist of mussels, shrimps, squid & fish coupled with spaghetti. One of my favourites in my must-have pasta dish. Spaghetti was cooked al dente. Yums!

As usual,WL didn't want to miss out pork from the list. He called for a platter of roasted pork with salad. A scrumptious one, indeed.

We left a little bit of space for our tummy to indulge in the chef's recommended, tiramisu. One spoonful of the dessert made all the difference. Love the Bailey's & rum soaked sponge fingers paired with silky, smooth mascarpone.

I would truly recommend this place to anyone who loves a warm, cozy Italian ambient. Some might find the interior a little old & simple but I believe it exudes a more authentic & rustic Italian charm. Food averages around RM11 - RM20 or slightly higher depending on your orders. I wouldn't hesitate at all if being invited to dine at this neighbourhood restaurant. Rating: 4.8 out of 5

No. 8, Jalan 17/54
Section 17
46400 Petaling Jaya

03-7960 2890

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sundays 12:00pm - 02:30pm (Lunch)
Mondays to Sundays 18:00pm - 10:00pm (Dinner)

The Morning After, Jaya One

Sunday, December 21, 2014

I took a day off on Friday just to get some rest & clear off my mind from all the mess happening in the office. Being a filial granddaughter, I took Grandma out for lunch instead of the usual hawker food takeout at the nearby coffee shop. We headed to The Morning After which is situated at Jaya One, right opposite of The School.

The price is generally affordable, averaging around RM12 per dish. I ordered mocha & shrimp aglio olio because they couldn't prepare eggs benedict as their turkey ham ran out of stock.

The hot mocha didn't look too impressive when the waiter placed the cup on the table. The coffee art was definitely not impressive. Upon taking a sip, I was further disappointed by the mild coffee taste. My drink kind of tasted like diluted dark chocolate drink instead.

For starters, I called for wild mushroom soup with a splash of truffle oil. Not thick enough but then again, it's not cream of mushroom so I guess it's okay. The truffle oil provided an appetizing start & compensated the lack of thick consistency of the soup.

My shrimp aglio olio came soaking wet in olive oil. Although the taste seemed okay, I didn't enjoy the experience of putting strands of spaghetti drenched in grease into my mouth. It's gross! I'm miffed that many restaurants take pasta cooking for granted just because it's supposedly the easiest dish to cook.

I picked grilled chicken & mashed potatoes for Grandma because the rest of the dishes didn't suit her rather picky taste. It turned out pretty okay, I guess. The one complain I had to agree with Grandma was that the plate kept on spinning each time she sliced a piece of the chicken. Not an enjoyable experience.

I called for the bill after gulping the last bit of my coffee. When the bill came, I didn't bother to check on the details & just slip the credit card to the waitress. She came back with the transaction slip for me to sign; it was then I realised they undercharge our meals. I could've been nasty but I decided against it. I kindly told the waitress that my entree was pasta & the drink wasn't latte (eggs benedict & latte cheaper were obviously cheaper).

They tried cancelling the transaction but to no avail as the credit card company already approved the transaction. Then, another staff came to me to apologise for their mistake & the actual bill was only RM8 difference. He waived the RM8 so we didn't have to pay extra. Although I wasn't satisfied with their food, I was very pleased with how the staff handled this matter. I'm certainly eager to return for a 2nd visit, even if it's just for a drink.

L4-G-2, Palm Square
Jaya One
No. 72A, Jalan Universiti
46200 Petaling Jaya


Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday 8:00am - 12:00am

Xiao Bar Wang, 1 Utama | Quartet, TTDI

Thursday, December 11, 2014

It was public holiday today, a perfect day for WL & I to shop for Christmas presents in conjunction with our upcoming gifts exchange party with our ex-colleagues. 1 Utama was packed with mostly window shoppers, a typical crowd during a public off-day. Moreover, it was the peak of the school holiday season as even exam candidates were done with their papers.

Xiao Bar Wang, 1 Utama
Literally all the restaurants were crowded & we had no idea on what to have for lunch. And so we settled for something really simple - Xiao Bar Wang which serves self-claimed authentic Taiwanese street snacks. Self-claimed? Yes, you read it right. Most of the time, I never believed in the word "authentic" when the restaurant is operated by foreign labour. Also, how often does franchise in Malaysia remain consistent in their food quality after 6 months?

Anyways, the price ain't too steep, averaging about RM15 if you order the set which includes a complimentary drink. I ordered the standard braised pork rice because it's the staple Taiwanese dish & shouldn't go wrong.

It tasted okay & normal - not particularly tasty but not inedible either. Good enough to satisfy meagre eater like me. However, the amount of rice stuffed into the cardboard tray is too much that it was difficult to scoop out without littering the table with bits of minced pork. But then again, this is a Taiwanese street snack restaurant. I shouldn't be complaining.

WL's order came in a nicely compartmentalized tray ala bento style. It's pork chop rice set, his favourite. Or should I say, any pork chop is his favourite.

WL obviously enjoyed his lunch set judging by the clean, empty tray left. Well, for me, I left a small portion of the rice because I was quite stuffed & I didn't want to consume too much carbs. I've been gaining weight lately due to daily carb diet & the lack of exercise for 1 year. In summary, the food is edible if you want a quick bite & too lazy to think about your meal. Otherwise, there are better choice elsewhere. Rating: 3 out of 5

Lot LG 118, 1 Utama Shopping Centre
1, Lebuh Bandar Utama
Bandar Utama
47800 Petaling Jaya

03-7722 2950

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday 10:00am - 10:00pm

Quartet, TTDI
After shopping, WL had a date with his ex-college buddies for a drink. By stroke of coincidence, we ended up at Quartet, TTDI because the other cafe we planned to go was closed. I opted for my usual hot mocha & stayed away from desserts or pastry as I could feel the lunch in my gut.

Mocha was okay but on a slightly sweet tone. In fact, my tongue tasted more of the cocoa powder instead of the coffee which I found common in most of the cafes I have visited so far. The cocoa powder was bittersweet, not the bitter type I normally use in baking.

WL picked a slice of cake from the display chiller to try. I couldn't recall which cake it was but upon the first bite, the sweetness enveloped my mouth followed by a hint of the weirdest taste I was simply clueless about its ingredient. Not too good, in my opinion.

The interior is a cosy one with rustic, earthy hues as the main theme. However, coffee & cake wasn't my cup of tea (pun intended). Perhaps the brunch & salad are better. Rating: 3.5 out of 5

No. 21, Lorong Datuk Sulaiman 7
Taman Tun Dr Ismail
60000 Kuala Lumpur

03-2857 6041

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday 8:00am - 12:00am

Nyonya Kitchen, Klang

Sunday, December 07, 2014

WL had a sudden craving for nyonya food last night & decided to take me to one restaurant he discovered recently, not too far from his crib. Namely Nyonya Kitchen, the restaurant showcases a humble interior which resembles more of a clean, modern mamak store.

We ordered the usual nyonya staples - kapitan chicken, egg omelette, kangkung belacan & a bowl of salted vegetable soup.

This version of the egg omelette surprisingly did not have cincaluk, which is a standard condiment in a typical nyonya dish. It tasted alright but just lacked the authentic taste that I was expecting. The chicken, kangkung & soup were not too bad either. In fact, almost anything tastes good when you're hungry.

My only reservation is that the food had more Malay touch than its intended nyonya style. I craved for authenticity but this restaurant didn't exactly hit the jackpot. Nevertheless, it was a hearty meal & probably a good place for a nyonya fix if you're residing in Klang. Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

220 - 222, Jalan Batu Unjur 7
Taman Bayu Perdana
41200 Klang

03-3324 1151 / 1190

Opening Hours:
Monday to Sunday 11:00am - 10:00pm

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

I wasn't particularly ecstatic about The Hunger Games last instalment to be split into 2 parts. I personally think it's merely a marketing gimmick by the movie studios to generate more cash from fans. Not to mention the plot is forcefully stretched thinly, leaving many plot gaps to fill in. This is exactly the case for The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1.

This 3rd sequel continues after Quarter Quell Games was abruptly ended when Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) shot an electrocuted arrow into the sky, hence destroying the arena dome. Katniss was rescued together with other victors Beetee & Finnick Odair (Sam Claflin), then taken to District 13. Unfortunately, Peeta Mellark & Johanna Mason failed to escape & were captured by the Capitol.

The intial scenes of Katniss' emotional turmoil was heartrending & played very well by Lawrence. However, the magic sizzled off too quickly because for the most part, the film mainly focused on Katniss' close-up shots sulking & hating the world. Capitol's psychological warfare tactic of using Peeta to destroy Katniss deep inside is a brilliant idea. But we don't need to be reminded how incredibly heartbroken & confused Katniss is for almost the entire movie.

Action scenes were so limited that it took effort for me to stay awake. As dark as the film is trying to portray itself, I'd must say the film turned disappointingly dull. Mockingjay Part 1 gave a vibe that the filmmakers didn't seem to know which direction to lead this film to. I reckon there isn't enough source material to fall back & utilise it in filling the gaps in between the already thin plot.

I'm glad that I held back from reading the book. Else, I could've exited the cinema hall feeling like a deflated balloon. Why, oh why is the finale split into 2 parts?? The story is building up so strong since Catching Fire.

Pic courtesy of