Of Food & the Sri Supremas...

KL Weekend Break of 7th November - 9th November 2008.

Last weekend I went back to KL for my regular monthly trip (haven’t gone back for more than a month already) and it’s sooooo good to experience KL life again. The trip was only 3 days (only 3 days L sad sad sad, all because of work work work. I’ll have my revenge Mr. Bossssssssss!!!) but as usual it was an exhausting 3 days full of makan-makan, movies, football, yamca, shopping and abit of a Karaoke session thrown in for good measure. Yup, not bad a schedule for 3 days.

On the first day, I managed to meet up with D for lunch at 1U’s ‘Delicious’. We whiled away the time updating each other like yapping ladies about what’s happening to who, where and how. So much so it was nearly dinner time after we finished & later I got a date with SL as well as a certain Mr. Bond at KLCC. Drove from Damansara to KLCC (luckily no jam PHEWWW) and just after parking in Avenue K (it’s easier there and a lot cheaper parking than KLCC) SL called. It was almost dinner time and we headed to an old eating joint of ours called ‘Bongsen’. It offers Vietnamese-French infused cuisine, but after eating at that place a few times, I don’t see the French influence anywhere. Maybe I’m French-dumb but to me it’s all Vietnamese food. Blimey. But the highlight of the day was really our date with Mr. Bond. SL bought the ‘Quantum of Solace’ tickets days ago and we had the best seat in the house, right smack in the center of a THX cinema. Lovely. So was the movie any good? Read my full review below this blog, but to sum it up, it’s not as good as ‘Casino Royale’. It’s still ok, but not great…

The next day, it was THE big day. No, I’m not getting married. It was Arsenal Vs. Manchester United. Yes, I’m a footie fan and the Red Devils are my team. The Devils are finally shifting nicely into gear with a few wins lately, while Arsenal was still living in a world of disillusionment that they can still win the league with a bunch of kids. And after suffering a defeat at lowly Stoke just prior to this big match, they were ripe for a devilish picking. I heard that ‘Tiger FC’ was having those huge outdoor events whereby they show the match ‘live’ on a gigantic screen, and this time it was at Sunway Pyramid’s ‘Bar Republic’. I just have to go. Called up TK and we got a front row seat and ordered some beer. The place was filled to the brim with footie fans. The stage was set. My adredeline was pumping. The match began. It was being played at a frantic pace. Both teams were going for it. It was perfect, both teams created chances to score. Until Arsenal scored. And scored again. And Man United never scored back. F**K. It ended Man Utd losing 2-0 to FC Kindergarten. Double the F**K. I didn’t even finish the beer. That’s coz I felt like having something stronger. A double shot of pure Vodka perhaps. That will do for a start…

On the third day, I had to release some of the disappointment away. I had to let it all out. I wanted to SCREAM. So what perfect way to scream than Karaoke? From noon until late evenings, it was Happy Hour at ‘Red Box’ Karaoke, meaning it was only RM25 per person, inclusive of 1 drink and 1 meal, or you can substitute the meal for another drink. But don’t be fooled. The tidbits are COMPULSORY. The tidbits, consisting of some prawn crackers and kacang putih that could easily cots RM1 at a nearby mamak store, charges people RM8 each. And they will give you 3 packets the size of your palm for your ‘total enjoyment’. Don’t be shocked as this gimmick as it is not new and not exclusive to ‘Red Box’. This gimmick is rampant in the karaoke industry, and we the customer will just have to live with it. Me, TK, Maj, AN and SL paid a total of RM35 each for a 5 hour session of speaker shattering and ear piercing live performances. For me, everyone was OK EXCEPT for Uncle. Not only does his singing do not follow the timing of the lyrics, but his antics in the darkened room is…peculiar, at best. And somehow, I got dragged into his peculiar behavior too. Damn you Maj, damn you. I was innocent. I got framed, I told youuuu, fraaammmmeeddddd……

he Speggeti Cabonara @ Delicious, 1U: Not the best Cabonara around, but still satisfactory nonetheless. It could be more creamier though. But I like things creamy...juicy...yummy...

The Speggetti Mushroom Mascarpone @ Delicious, 1U: I feel that this is one of their signature dishes. It looks simple, but once bitten, its bursting with aroma. You can't go wrong with this one. Other main dishes I tried that I found to be good are the Duck Confetti, Marsala Lambshank, Mascarpone Pesto Chicken & the Chargrilled Grain Fed Sirloin Steak. It's delicious at 'Delicious'. Honestly!!

The Black Forest Dessert Served In A Glass @ Delicious, 1U: The desserts here are just yummilious. Some people go to 'Starbucks' or 'Coffee Bean' for chitchat sessions, I go to 'Delicious' and order some desserts and I can chat for the whole day. People go shopping, but I stay at 'Delicious' for desserts. People run for safety in case of emergencies, I stay at 'Delicious' for desserts. Application for permanent address at 'Delicious' in the process.

Prawn Rice Paper Roll Appetizer @ Bongsen, KLCC: They are having a promotion now (or is it been running for ages already? I'm not sure) whereby for RM28 per person, it will include an appetizer, main dish and drink. It's quite worth it as the choices are many and the dishes provided are kinda exotic. Don't know what to order at 'Bongsen'? Just simply whack this set lah.

'Pho' Beef @ Bongsen, KLCC: I think this is every Vietnamese cuisine's signature dish. As for the name, 'pho' basically means noodles in Vietnamese. But depending on your level of English, some people pronounce it as 'Foo', but for me, I call it 'Poo'. 'Coz it got balls of stuff floating in a bowl of brownish water...Ooh Nevermind...

Having A Blast! @ Bongsen, KLCC: This dish is really called 'Having a Blast!'. We were feeling peckish so we ordered some stuff from the snacks menu, and decided on 'Having A Blast'. Why? Simply because of the name. What's so blasty what this dish? Absolutely nothing haha. It's just all fried stuff. The serving looks alot doesn't it? Actually, on the menu it said RM14 for this dish, and after seeing the serving, I thought DAMN, it looks blardy worth it. But when the bill came, they charged us TWICE, meaning its for TWO PERSONS. RM28 for this? Abit hard to swallow. Having a Blast indeed...

Having a Blast! @ Bongsen, KLCC: If you like fried onion rings, you are gonna love this dish. Perfect for being peckish, but not so perfect during dates with your loved ones. Close proximity with a tender loved one is a strict no-no, unless your loved one got a thing for onion breath...

The 'Tiger FC' Big Away Game at Repulic Bar, Sunway Pyramid: Huge fans of Arse-anal & Man Utd gathered outside of the Republic Bar for one of the biggest matches in English Football so far. I LOVE to watch football matches in such environments. The screaming crowd just gives that extra ‘uummpphh’ in excitement during a match. The ‘OOoooHHh’s and ‘AAaaHHHhhhhhh’s are something that no one can feel at home except in an open environment like this one….

…but when the opposition side scores against my team, sometimes I wish the ground would open up and swallow me in it. The Arse-anal fans go ballistic here when they score the 2nd goal to win the match 2-0. Cheh. You guys were lucky. Okaylah, you guys played well. But we simply let you win it to make the League more competitive mah right, Man Utd fansss?? Hmmpphh…

The 'Tiger FC' Big Away Game @ Republic Bar, Sunway Pyramid: Jien and Selena C (from Mix FM) was there to pump up the crowd. The games that they played? Pick people from the crowd and ask them to take their shirts off. Seriouslyy!!! Just see beloww...

The ‘Tiger FC’ Big Away Game @ Republic Bar, Sunway Pyamid: This poor kid had to take his shirt off so that he can get some cheapo jersey in return. As though that's not enough, Serena C was making fun of his body by asking why there's so little 'bulu' on him. And that's in front of so many people. PAISEHHHH!!!! If that's me, I'll return the cheapo jersey to them and retain by pride thank you...See how happy is Jien on the left there? I wonder why he is so happy leh...?

The ‘Tiger FC’ Big Away Game @ Republic Bar, Sunway Pyamid: Oh, and some lucky fan won a signed Arse-anal jersey or something. If I've won that thing I'll use it to wipe the toilet bowl that I use which doesn't really flushes properly sometimes. Oh wait, I already done that to a Chelsea jersey. My bad.

The ‘Tiger FC’ Big Away Game @ Republic Bar, Sunway Pyamid: If only I can drown my dissappointment with this bad-ass bottle of badness.

Karaoke @ Red Box, Pyramid: Warming up for our World Tour. See the guy on my right, he is so happy about it until it got him giggling like a little school girl.

Karaoke @ Reb Box, Pyramid: It's all fun and games here at Red Box. Whichever ladies that dares to grab this mic from TK's...er, groin area wins a non-stop 2 hour session with this groin-ster himself. Whatever you wanna do within that 2 hours is entirely up to you. Lovely.

Karaoke @ Reb Box, Pyramid: The fun and games continues. Whoever dares to sing to my mic here wins the actual real thing. Yeah baby. TK shows a disturbing sign of great interest. Curb your enthusiasm there fella.

Karaoke @ Reb Box, Pyramid: After much persuasion, 'The Sri Supremas' finally performs live to an audience of...two. From left to right are Uncle TFK (from the TK fame), Ray-Ray Choybecca & the Maj Mahal.

Karaoke @ Red Box, Pyramid: So much soul, so much spunk, a great show can be virtually guaranteed. For immediate bookings, kindly call our Manager Uncle TFK at 019-6969696. Thank you.

Yamca @ Old Taste Kopitiam, SS15: Our 'Sri Supremas' financial controller shows to our manager our earnings for the past month: RM10 bucks. "That's not enough to even buy ONE hair extension!!!" Our future is doomed before it even began.

Yamca @ Old Taste, SS15: Disgrunted, our Manager TFK ponders our next big hit: "If Christina Aguilera can make a hit out of a genie in a bottle, I can make a hit from kopi in a cup!!" Truly inspirational, he gathers his great ideas from anywhere and everywhere. But I'll be pondering: "God help us all".

That's it for my short KL trip last week. Until next time friends and family!!!! THE SRI SUPREMAs ROXXXXXs!!!

Review: Quantum of Solace

We Malaysians are a privileged lot. No, it got nothing to do with the decreasing petrol prices, but we Malaysians got to witness the latest Bond adventure a full whole week in advance compared to the Americans. See, they are not really Umero Uno in everything. In a twist of marketing fate, we get to witness the highly anticipated follow-up to the excellent ‘Casino Royale’, in my most humble opinion was one the greatest, if not THE greatest, James Bond film that ever graced my lifetime. ‘Quantum of Solace’ promises so much more of the sophistication and elegance from the first installment in this quantum of Bond cinematic rebirths. I was so hoping this follow-up was better, if not at par, to its predecessor.

‘Quantum of Solace’ being the only true sequel ever to be produced in the history of all Bond films, it continues directly from the conclusion of ‘Casino Royale’. In a sweeping opening sequence of a car chase set in the exceptionally beautiful Siena, Bond escapes from the clutches of his enemies in his latest edition of the Aston Martin DBS (which they crashed for a complete total of 6 cars while shooting this film. Well done cost cutting) with the nemesis Mr. White locked up in the car. Upon witnessing this opening first 15 minutes of frantic electric action, immediately it is clear that the tone and stylishness that ‘Casino Royale’ played so well with is a thing of the past. In comes new helmer Marc Forster of the ‘Finding Neverland’ fame and his assistants Richard Pearson and Dan Bradley which were involved in the Bourne films, an immediate sensation hits the viewer right smack in the face: it’s Jason Bourne all over again. Rapid-fire editing and in-your-face functionality that just wants to push the movie on to the next action sequence rather than relishing the moments in between is the obvious, if not disappointing, departure from the more traditional Bond motive. The look and tempo is much higher octane as the camera zooms in and out from place to place, shattering the elegance that Martin Campbell, the director of ‘Casino Royale’ built so beautifully in the first installment. Even the music by David Arnold pushes the cadence to a higher state of adreline, making the whole rhythm of the film a wee bit too pulsating to be a Bond film. The Bond Ultimatum anyone?
Much to my disappointment, this disillusionment did not end there. While the action sequences are satisfactory (that is if you like the Bourne film’s style – tightly welded and claustrophobic), in between them are moments that leaves a gapping black hole. Gone are the mischievous one-liner’s that served such a distinctive signature to the character of Bond. Gone also are the charisma that those Bond girls usually provide, but most importantly, gone are the distinctiveness that Ian Fleming’s character provided that distinguished itself so well from the rest of the other action heroes. In ‘Quantum’, Bond seems to have suffered a personality bypass but Daniel Craig still manages to portray the cool Bond character that is always in control (but notably less muscular and less flesh bearing). Stripped of all humor and warmth, Bond is a sulking and dry character this time around (if not more from ‘Casino’) which is a challenge to provide any sort of emotional attachment or care.

But part of this different feel I guess is simply due to the film’s short duration: At 105 minutes, it is the shortest Bond film of all time, four minutes shorter than ‘Dr. No’ and a whopping 45 minutes shorter that its predecessor, ‘Casino Royale’. This diminutive length is immediately evident: hitting just at the 40 minute mark of this film, Bond goes from a car chase scene into an interrogation shoot-up and then efficiently jumps into a roof-top man hunt, this relentless action is crumbling the very foundation that ‘Casino Royale’ tried so hard to build: that he is no Vin Diesel in ‘xXx’, he is Bond, James Bond. The old-school stylishness that Bond revered in ‘Casino Royale’ is thrown out the window, and what is left is the plot of ‘Quantum’ (which I will not reveal, as always). But even the plot is simply rudimentary and cheesy, more in line to the Roger Moore days of Bond in the 70’s and 80’s.

The Bond mis-Identity (HA!) does not end there. Even when we do find Bond and the newest Bond girl Kurylenko (playing the role of Camile) together, there is no spark whatsoever and does not even generate the slightest ignition of onscreen heat. At times I wondered if she had wandered into the wrong movie set, ‘xXx 3’ on Stage 2 perhaps, Kurylenko? There is only a brief glimpse of hope from Gemma Arterton’s extended cameo as a field agent with orders to take Bond home (playing the creatively named ‘Strawberry Fields' – which we get to know her full name only at the end when the credits are rolling - a refreshing throwback rendition of perky Bond women of the 60’s) but surely, is this that is all that can be provided from a distinction like a Bond girl? Whatever happened to the Ursula Andresses, Halle Berrys or even the Eva Greens?
The rest of the characters are played fairly well but not outstanding. Mathieu Amalric portrays the bad guy satisfactorily in this film, a mildly physical proportioned man but with flourishes of evil glistering of hardness in the eyes. We get to see Jeffrey Wright return as CIA agent Felix Leiter, but he holds nothing more than just a bit role in this film. However, Judi Dench gets much more screen time this time around, appearing in most unlikely of places and confronting/engaging Bond in the most of situations. But I think this increase in screen allowance actually demised the quality of the character that is M, who is supposed to be this mysterious individual that is only wants to be seen at the most necessary of times.

All in all, being the shortest of all Bond films but most action-dense with lesser humor, ‘Quantum of Solace’ plays with a cold, mechanical efficiency perfect for a Bourne film, without any emotional hooks to engage the viewer. ‘Quantum’ will find solace in the rapid-fire thrills that is fitting for the action style that is so prominent today, but I honestly think it will not occupy a royal spot in the hearts of any die-hard Bond fans out there. Nor will it garner any new fans either...

And here’s a tip: Refreshing your mind with the events and characters from ‘Casino Royale’ would be a good idea to avoid total confusion in this direct sequel that continues approximately 1 hour after ‘Casino’ ends.

Oh, and do look out for a naked dead woman lying 'artfully' on Bond’s bed. A commendable testimonial perhaps to the gold-plated Shirley Eaton from 1964’s ‘Goldfinger’…

Verdict: 7 / 10

Reviewed by: Raymond Choy

KK Town Weekend Hop-Over (Take 2!!)

Weekend of 25th October to 27th October, 2008.

God, it’s so hard to find time to update my blog nowadays. Work is sucking my time right out from my life like an industrial vacuum cleaner on full throttle. There’s so much I would like to blog about but…Sigh. Anyway, 2 weekends ago SL dropped by to Labuan and just like her previous visit, we headed off to Kota Kinabalu for the weekend. Why? ‘Cause basically, there isn’t much to do here in Labuan even if you damn hard try to find something to do. Well, you wouldn’t die from boredom here but...it just ain’t KL or KK, y’know?

This weekend the KK trip was abit unusual. I’ve been saying to SL for so many times but SL still couldn’t accept it. Every time SL comes to Labuan, or anywhere near East Malaysia in fact, SL tends to drag the rain clouds over!!! I mean, the exact moment SL steps onto East Malaysian shores, the sky opens up like a burst water balloon and causes a watery commotion that puts all plans into a shambolic quagmire. Remember the last trip to Labuan? It rained so hard until we couldn’t visit any islands & worst still, both of us were sniffing from a cold. Remember KK a few years ago when we climbed Mount KK? Up and down the mountain it was raining so much, the path was so wet and damp it made the climb so challenging until it was like climbing Mount Everest. And remember every time I came back to KL for those short visits and I really wanted to go that pasar malam? What happened? Yup, it rained. I think you are the Aquatic God of Rain in your previous life or something!!! But…I guess rain or shine, we still have fun together. We still managed to climb Mount KK, right? No beach? No problems, there’s always '1 Borneo' haha. Got the cold? Well at least it’s not the fever, right? ;)

Anyway, this time around the rain was REALLY bad. I heard from a friend that flights to Labuan from KL on Saturday the 25th October had to divert BACK to KL because the plane could not land!!! The pilot couldn’t see the runway or something like that and the passengers had to spend another 2 and a half hours on the same plane back to where they came from!!! If I was one of the passengers I’ll most probably end up hijacking the plane and force land it or something. I’ll go crazy. I have a slight case of ‘air rage’ you know. Take a note to NOT fly with me. Another case I heard was from my office friend’s brother that had to wait almost 6 hours in the airport in KK for his 'AirAsia' flight to Labuan (remember 'AirAsia' planes don’t load/offload passengers during rain). All this rain, storms and stuff, and how did I travel to KK during this wet weekend? We took the ferry. Yup, we took a middle-sized ferry that traveled for a full 3 hours over stormy weather to get to KK. Shit, who knew the weather was so terrible?! Was it smooth sailing? HELL NO. For the full 3 hours, the ferry was tilting from side to side, up and down and basically gyrating to obscene directions as though it was doing its best impression of Michael Jackson. Who was the ferry trying to impress?!! And did we throw up? Heck no. But I did feel REALLY glad my feet touched ground after that 3 hours though. SL was ok too. In fact SL said something of being hungry right after hitting KK. HHmmmm.

After gathering ourselves for a full half hour or so, we headed off to lunch (chicken rice that served pyramid-shaped rice. Weird but nice haha) and checked in to our 'Tune Hotel' room. By evening it was still raining like tears from a little girl that had just lost her darling pet and my worst fears slowly had sunk in. All plans for the beach and stuff will have to be cancelled. AGAIN. Sighhhh. In the end, this trip ended up as the '1Borneo trip' (and abit of the town area) because that is where we spent most of our time. Well, at least '1Borneo' had Starbucks, Big Apple Donuts, GSC Cinema, Secret Recipe, Sushi King and all that. It was not a TOTAL bore…the new plan? To stuff ourselves silly with food, food and food. And a bit of shopping haha. Well, I am going to shut up now and will just let you glance at some pictures I’ve downloaded to give you a glimpse of what had transpired over the trip. Enjoy!! :

Pyramid Chicken Rice!!! Well it looks interesting before eating it, but looks the same after you have destroyed it with the spoon hahha. It's from 'Restaurant Viya' in the town area. Sounds like an Indian place but its not. The taiko there is a chinese guy...WEIRD.

We took shelter from the rain and cold with a good ol' cuppa Mocha Latte with whipped cream of course. ALWAYS with whipped cream. Notice the blue band on my left arm? It's a 'Wall*E' limited edition watch!! Yayy!!

OooOooOOhhh, Big Apple...So big and juicy....So creamy....After months of 'Big Apple Donuts' D-tox, this is what happens. All of you be warned...

You have heard of Tune Hotels, Tune Money...and now Tune Store!!! I wonder what's next...Tune Toilets? Tune Toll Booths? Tune Coffee? The potential is endless!!!

This drink is called 'Macau Coffee'. Sounds tempting enough, and what does it taste like? Just like any other coffee hahahaha!!! It's all in the name I guess!!! From 'Hong Kong Cafe Xin Wang'.

Have you seen such a big French Toast Bun??!! Go to 'Kim Gary' or 'Wong Kok' and you will only get maybe just HALF of this baby!!! I have to admit it's kinda dry at the center of the bun but overall it's still yummy. 'Coz of the size, you can ask them to add more honey and butter for extra yummy-ness!!! Cost me only RM3.50 for this. A bargain!!!

French Toasts for breakfast!!! It's gonna fill-up the most hungry of eaters, trust me!!!

The queue for the free shuttle bus tickets to town. I remember last time we don't need to queue for this. Now there's even a waiting list, people giving each other 'the look' for jumping queue, etc etc etc. Feels just like home in KL haha. I heard they are gonna start charging from next year onwards tho...

Dinner time!!! The best dinner we had there was a restaurant called 'New York New York' a.k.a. 'We Do Not Serve Pork & Lard'. It's based on the same concept like 'TGI Friday's' & 'Chillies' (although unfortunately not as grand or 'happenning'). Their tagline: "Real food for Real People with Real Appetites!!" or something like that...See below for what they really mean.

The reason: the food here comes in super-big sizes, just like in America!!! I saw one Chicken Burger going to the table next to me, and it can feed a family of 4 people!!! WAHLAO WEHHHH!!!! Me & SL were so tempted to order that burger but we counldn't possibly finish that so we ordered this 'New York New York Massive Beef Ribs for 2' instead. For RM38.90, although abit pricey and doesn't look all that delicious, it is fact very tastey and worth your money. It's HUGE and have LOADS of meat. It comes with a delicious BBQ sauce too...perfect partner to this chunky goodness ;)

After more than 1 hour of carnivorious carnage, this is what's left...We cleaned it up so well, it's actually kinda freaky haha...

As for the drinks: Hot Choco with Mashmellows!!! It's so hard to get hot Choco with mashmellow drinks nowadays. Richly yummy especially from the rainy cold!!!

FINALLY the rain stopped!!! But it stopped only on the final day of our trip :( So, no island hopping. Sad sad. But I bet its too cold for a swim anyway haha. With the sun finally peaking out from the forlorn clouds, it's picture time!!! Snap snap snapping along the KK Waterfront ;)

Dolphins at KK??!! I wish. But it's a good companion for pictures tho!!! Snap snap snap!!!

Oh, I just bought the shades at '1Borneo' for RM65. Nice ar? I'll be going to Langkawi in December so, it'll be put to good use don't worry!! ;)

See, I told you this is the '1Borneo trip' hahhahaha. No islands, no mountains, no nature whatsoever. In fact, half way through this trip I was actually confused whether I was in KL or in KK!!! Anyway, it was fun nonetheless. Oh, I also finally bought my 'Microsoft' wireless keyboard and mouse, total package RM135. Now my quest to be a TOTAL lazy bum is finally complete. And SL bought a bottle of 'Chivas' (12 years old) back to KL for RM65, and I'll be bringing a 'Johnnie Walker Swing' back to KL next weekend for RM80. Cheap eh? See you in KL next weekend!!!

From the Corner - A Musical Companion

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