Avengers: Age of Ultron

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The thought of waiting for the The Avengers sequel for 2 years was exhausting even though Marvel's Cinematic Universe (MCU) has already planned a line-up of comic movie release each year. When it's finally shown in theatres, did it live up to the anticipation? Yes & no. Here's why.

If you've been following the MCU, Age of Ultron picks up from where Captain America: The Winter Soldier left off when SHIELD was destroyed but another Hydra team led by Baron Wolfgang von Strucker secured Loki's scepter & is seen experimenting on the Maximoff twins. The experiment gave the twins extraordinary powers - Pietro Maximoff with superhuman speed while his younger sister Wanda Maximoff can manipulate minds & project energy.

The Avengers raided the Hydra base & recovered the scepter. Tony Stark & Bruce Banner discovered an artificial intelligence inside the gem on the scepter & secretly use it to complete Stark's "Ultron" defense program. Things turned awry when Ultron became self-aware & turned against the Avengers, stealing the scepter. Ultron is set on course for world domination & annihilation. It's up to the superheroes to save the human race from extinction. The movie was progressing well but the complication began Joss Whedon tried to inject many subplots into the already crowded movie.

It was still an enjoyable movie with no less of the slapstick humour we've gotten used to in the prequel. Age of Ultron is more intense than before & sets the precedence for the upcoming Marvel movies scheduled for next year. There is no post-credit scene this time as reported because Whedon felt not even his new idea could top the shawarma scene back in The Avengers. I shall not reveal more as it's always more exciting to unveil the MCU connection yourself.

Pic courtesy of MoviePosterDB.com

Nosh Up @ Jaya Shopping Centre, PJ

Saturday, April 25, 2015

WL & I bought early bird tickets to Avengers: Age of Ultron at TGV Jaya Shopping Centre. We had to make sure we are well fed before sitting through the movie for more than 2 hours. I was craving for egg benedict while he didn't have any idea. So he agreed when I suggested to try out Nosh Up which is situated on LG floor.

Stepping into the restaurant gives a comforting feeling; the kind of of place that the owner welcomes you with arms wide open. The decor is whimsical & charming combined with some artistic strokes adorning one side of the wall.

And I was impressed with the mantra on the other side of the wall. A true statement of how to live life! Me likey...

WL & I ordered egg benedict - grilled chicken for him, smoked salmon for me. The food truly didn't disappoint. So scrumptious & flavourful. At RM15+, the portion is huge & so worth it.

Did I say the hash brown is awesome? You can taste every bit of mashed potato, unlike the store-bought or processed type filled with lots of starch. Absolutely fantastic! If we had more time, I would've stayed longer to try out other mains. Would definitely return the next round. Rating: 4.7 out of 5.

Lot LG-26, Jaya Shopping Centre
Jalan Semangat
46100 Petaling Jaya

03-7931 8988

Opening Hours:
Mondays to Sundays 10:00am - 10:00pm

Enorme | The Delle Coffee & Tea @ Centrestage, PJ

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Friday finally came when I needed a hangout session with friends to wind down after a long work week. WL suggested to try out a new restaurant at PJ Centrestage, Section 13. Then, head to a nearby cafe for our caffeine fix. Read below to find out our gastronomic journey.


Enorme is a newly opened restaurant which serves non-halal Italian cuisine & wood fired pizza.

WL & I were already starving when we arrived at the restaurant, what's more to wait for the rest to join in. We ordered portobello for starters. It's actually a deep-fried battered duo portobello served with sauteed chicken strips & sliced onions in au jus. This is the first time I've ever seen such huge portobello mushroom & I thought the texture would be rubbery. I was wrong. It tasted fantastic!

We ordered a single serving of zuppa di funghi - rich mushroom soup with a scent of truffle oil. It was indeed rich & flavourful with the right texture & consistency.

The main highlight of the night is the pizza we ordered, hence the name Enorme for their signature enormous pizza. We picked 2 flavours to combine - tonna mornay & carbonara. And when I meant enormous, it was no joke.

The pizza tasted awesome, only if you have enough company to help finish it. Otherwise, the pizza gets cold quickly & the crust becomes dry & hard. What's more, the leftover tuna part started to turn stale & slightly fish. Not something you want to put in your mouth when it's no longer warm.

Overall, dinner at Enorme was quite an enjoyable feat even though the flavours gravitated towards saltier taste. Price can be slightly steep after GST has been implemented. Nevertheless, the restaurant is worth to be added to your to-visit restaurant list. Rating 4.4 out of 5.

P-G-20, Podium PJ Centrestage
No. 1, Jalan 13/1
Seksyen 13
46200 Petaling Jaya

03-7661 0651

Opening Hours:
Mondays to Sundays 10:00am - 11:00pm

The Delle Coffee & Tea

There's a saying that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. So is The Delle Coffee & Tea. You'll be pleasantly surprised how similar their logo is compared to The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. But rest assure, the decor is nothing like the latter. it's a modern place adorned with black painted walls & funky posters.

I ordered mocha from the barista & was served with in mint-coloured cup & saucer. How outstanding. A nice brew it was - aromatic with a just the right level of sweetness. It was unfortunate the cafe was rather warm because one of the air cond broke down.

The Delle Coffee & Tea is a cosy place to hangout with your friends if you are around PJ. Ain't it fun to add another cafe to your coffee haunts?

C-06-17, Menara C
PJ Centrestage
No. 1, Jalan 13/1
Seksyen 13
46200 Petaling Jaya

03-7611 0307

Opening Hours:
Mondays to Sundays 9:00am - 10:00pm

Fast & Furious 7

Monday, April 13, 2015

Many wonder how the filmmakers will wrap up the partially completed Fast & Furious 7 when news broke out about Paul Walker's untimely death. Production was put on hold & the script had to be rewritten to retire Walker's character, Brian O'Conner without forgetting his legacy as one of the protagonists in the Fast & Furious franchise.

I almost thought they'll never be able to complete so soon but here they are proving me wrong. The theatrical poster was published in black & white, resembling a tribute in memory of Paul.

The plot picks up from Fast 6 mid-credits scene, a snippet of a man calling Dominic Toretto while Han Seoul-Oh (Sung Kang) was seen in the background stucked in his crushed car from a crash earlier. The mystery man identified himself as Deckard Shaw (Jason Statham), an older brother of Owen Shaw (Luke Evans), threatens to break Dom's team apart to avenge his comatose younger brother.

In typical Fast & Furious style, Dominic's remaining crews team up with a covert ops team led by Mr Nobody (Kurt Russel) to stop terrorist Mose Jakande (Djimon Hounsou) from obtaining a computer program in return for a favour to hunt down Deckard.

Now, the rest of the plot is predictable - no less of high adrenaline, vehicle chase & testosterone-filled fighting scenes. The previous two Fast & Furious sequels had iconic action such as dragging a huge vault around town & Dom flying airborne over a bridge to catch hold of Letty falling off from an explosion. Furious 7 is even more death-defying than you could ever imagine. You'll see cars skydiving off a plane & a supercar crashing through 3 blocks of skyscraper.

What sets Furious 7 apart from its previous instalments is the poignant tribute scene towards the end of the movie. We all know that some of the scenes were not Paul himself; it was merely a CG version of his face & voice with his brothers, Caleb & Cody as stand-ins. Although Paul may not be those award-winning actors, it was still heart-wrenching to see that he's no longer part of the team. The filmmakers' decision to retire him nicely was smart move to give Paul a proper closure to his legacy as an actor & philanthropist.

They say this movie can make even the toughest man cry. For me, I felt the pain & loss even though I didn't shed a tear. The ending was beautiful, more so with such a beautiful tribute song by Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth. RIP Paul...

Pic courtesy of MoviePosterDB.com

Good Food & Co, Jaya Shopping Centre

Sunday, April 12, 2015

WL & I were rushing to get a quick bite before our movie starts in an hour's time. He knew that I've been wanting to try Good Food & Co since the last round we passed by before heading to TGV. We went in, took a seat & called for waitress to take our order.

WL was feeling rather stuffed from his late brunch while I wanted to fill up my stomach with some food because our movie will be in between lunch time. Tortilla wrap with tuna was new on their menu & that caught my attention. Seemed like an ideal dish & not too heavy.

When the tortilla wrap arrived, I was a little disappointed that it looked plain. One bite at the wrap kind of changed my mind. The tortilla was thin & crispy; the sauce that complemented the tuna was fabulous. Too bad the tuna offering was stingy for me. So whole wrap seemed a little empty, hence lacked the mouthfeel.

I read in other blogs that Good Food & Co is also famous for shakshouka, also known as baked eggs. We ordered it but it was unfortunate that we had to cancel it as 20 mins cooking time was required. If we weren't rushing for a movie, I wouldn't miss the chance to try it.

This review is purely based on my own opinion on one dish. It doesn't represent other dishes served by the cafe. Furthermore, I was satisfied with their friendly service & their concept of not charging service charge - good service should be free. I shall save the rating for their signature dish in my next visit. If you happen to be at Jaya Shopping Centre for a movie, you'll not miss this quaint little cafe.

5.02, Level 5
Jaya Shopping Centre
Jalan Semangat
46100 Petaling Jaya

03-7631 5156

Opening Hours:
Mondays to Saturdays 11:30am - 9:00pm
Sundays 12:00pm - 9:00pm

Shokudo Japanese Curry Rice, Taman Paramount | Coffee Me Darling, SS2

Saturday, April 11, 2015

It was another girl's night out again on a Friday night after work. There were more people this time although some of us couldn't make it. The plan was to have dinner then only head of for after-meal coffee.

Shokudo Japanese Curry Rice, Taman Paramount

Our friend recommended to try out this restaurant which just opened at the neighbourhood. They serve a variety of Japanese curry rice using different meats. If curry rice doesn't tickle your fancy, they also have a choice of udon or other appetizers for snacking. Obviously it's a must to try their main selling dish, the Japanese curry rice. I picked the pork option & here's how it looks like.

I personally don't fancy Japanese curry rice in general because it lacks the spice & hotness that we Malaysians are accustomed to. Hence, this pork curry rice was no surprise. It wouldn't be fair to judge that Shokudo's cooking is bad, perhaps other patrons may find it tasty. Price is affordable so I'm not complaining. I shall try the udon soup on my next visit. Rating: 3.7 out of 5.

No. 9, Jalan 20/13
Taman Paramount
46300 Petaling Jaya

03-7863 0922

Opening Hours:
Tuesdays to Sundays 12:00pm - 10:00pm

Coffee Me Darling, SS2

We decided to move to another place since Shokudo wasn't a good place for chit-chat as it was too noisy. The same friend recommended Coffee Me Darling at SS2 which is 10 mins drive away. A perfect quiet coffee spot tucked away in between a row of shops. It was almost 10pm but I still couldn't shy away from my usual mocha addiction.

When my cuppa was served, the coffee art was the prettiest I've ever seen. It resembles an angel, or so I thought it was. Nevertheless, the mocha was okay. Cocoa flavour was present but it was a pity the coffee aroma was slightly mellowed.

Well, that didn't mean the caffeine wasn't strong either. I couldn't fall asleep that night when the caffeine effect kicked in. Although the shop has a tight space, it's still a nice & quiet hangout place because voices from other patrons don't echo around the walls. Rating: 4 out of 5.

153. Jalan SS2/24
47300 Petaling Jaya

017-377 6101

Opening Hours:
Tuesdays to Sundays 11:00am - 12:00am

Life after April 1

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The much dreaded GST is finally here & somehow I sensed the guidelines were still unclear albeit many print media's efforts to published info from the government as comprehensive as possible. The Star rolled out a very simple graphic to paint the lives of Malaysian after GST to remind its readers which goods or services are standard rated or zero rated.

One look at the shopping list released by the government & compared to the graphic above, the reality is not that simple. I found out not all essential goods are exempted. Cooking oil is zero-rated but do not blinded by the general categorization because it only covers cooking oil derived from palm based. Any cooking oil besides palm oil ie olive oil & canola oil is taxable.

The confusion doesn't end there. Sugar is also an essential item which is zero-rated but it is only for granulated sugar. Processed sugar which includes castor sugar, icing sugar & brown sugar is subjected to GST. I'm not surprised that the list gets even more complicated when for flour products. Price of baked goods is bound to soar at the expense of GST. Dessert & pastry lovers, you might feel the pinch & need to think twice before indulging in extra piece.

As I scrutinized the list to sea produce, I couldn't believe my eyes. Only selected fish are not taxed while most shellfish products are in no way escaping GST. And guess what? Lobster is ZERO RATED. Yes, you read that right. Of all things, we don't need to pay tax for such premium seafood. I don't know whether I should celebrate this. There are many other important items that deserved to be on the zero-rated list. How double standard can the list get?

I noticed that quite a number of hawker stalls took advantage of GST as an excuse to increase price. First of all, why should they even pass on the 6% tax to consumers when the ingredients they buy are not taxed? Secondly, most of them have not reached the annual revenue threshold of RM500,000 to be legally required as GST-compliant retailer. Unless most of them didn't declare their true earnings before GST, the 6% GST is not applicable to these petty traders.

In short, I have been a responsible taxpayer ever since I entered the employment market. I certainly wouldn't mind paying a bit more tax to fuel the economy & fund infrastructural development. But so far I failed to see how the taxpayers' money have been put to good use, none other than paying off national debts caused by a few selfish, corrupt officials who unashamedly spend lavishly for personal satisfaction. I love my country very much & I don't wish it to go down the drain far too soon.

Image credits to The Star