Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Movie Review: The Hundred-Foot Journey

Food is memories.

"It's a 100 foot, we measured!"
Image source: http://queermeup.com

Hello people! Surprise surprise with a midnight review (my mother will not be pleased to see this!) but I really cannot shut up about the movie I just caught at the Churpremiere by Churp Churp. So if you didn't know, I absolutely love food. And when it comes to such fine culinary, I love watching it being prepared just as much as eating it which is why the invites to catch The Hundred-Foot Journey was pretty important to me. I needed to get fat watch it!

And I got vouchers to a cooking demo by Le Cordon Bleu!

Based on a novel by Richard C. Morais, The Hundred-Foot Journey captures the essence of the Kadam family as they shift from Mumbai to London before setting off to Europe in search of a better place for living. As a family who once owned a restaurant before it was burned down by mobs where they lost their mother (and Papa's wife), it seemed only natural for the Kadam's to re-open a restaurant where they saw fit and as the brakes would see it, the place had to be in France; the land of good food. Nothing of course, comes easy when the spot that Papa sets his eyes on is directly opposite a renowned French restaurant with a single Michelin star and a little war ensues in this East meets West matter.

The verdict of this 2 hour movie? I loved it. I loved every moment of it right from the beginning till the very end. It was hilarious, it was delicious and it was down right heart warming. There were so much food, so much music and so much laughter to go with the entire movie, I would actually pay to re-watch this when it comes out on the 28th of August on the big screens. Yes, if you didn't realize by now, Churpremiere is a premiere screening so I caught all this action beforehand and I'm here to tell you that you absolutely HAVE to watch this.

"He looks like a bloody terrorist," -Papa Kadam

Before anyone thinks I am racist, that's a line from the movie. Manish Dayal plays Hassan Kadam, the young chef with a palate fit to cook for a king and is torn between keeping up to his roots of Indian cuisine or venture into the classy dishing of fine French food. Not surprisingly, this is my first time watching Dayal on-screen but I thought he played Hassan Kadam just fine. His innocent looks and determined expression with a tinge of softness alongside pangs of guilt and reminiscence falls perfectly in place whenever needed and I don't quite think anyone could do a better job as Hassan Kadam than Dayal already did. On the plus side, he is also kind of cute.

"Têtu comme un bœuf; stubborn as an ox."

I could have sworn to recognize Madam Mallory's voice throughout the entire movie and I was right because Helen Mirren was also Dean Hardscrabble from Monsters University! Portraying the cold, calm and collected Madam Mallory, Mirren absolutely puts a different kind of class to her act and I would actually say the only other few actresses who can do the same is Julie Andrews and possibly Dame Maggie Smith. I loved how she was first just distant but warmed up all the same to the Kadam family, displaying a true spirit of how a classy woman can be even if she had to go out of her own way to deal with the extraordinary. Overall, not too bad!

"War it is."

You want to know who made this entire movie a success? Om Puri as Papa Kadam, that's who. I've never watched Om Puri act and that's no shocker because he has mostly been in the Indian movie scene but in The Hundred-Foot Journey, he was just perfect. Injecting hilarious moments and momentary sadness, Puri as Papa Kadam is probably the best pick with no one else doing it as well as he can. His short conversations in Tamil makes you remember that even if you're abroad, there is nothing wrong with going back to your roots where you began and no shame should be felt over it. Seriously, I loved watching Papa Kadam just as much as I enjoyed seeing Hassan cook. Three Michelin stars for Om Puri!

"You must find them in your heart. Then, bring them to your pots."

May I just say that Charlotte Le Bon has one of the prettiest pair of eyes, ever? Seriously, they are big and round in such a way that it just compliments her smile and every other gesture. Playing Marguerite, a sous chef in the restaurant run by Madam Mallory, she appears to be one of the kindest and most helpful ladies around. I wouldn't have done half of what she has done and her natural display of jealousy towards Hassan felt so real, I almost wanted to scream as the movie went on. I was desperate to tell her that she's good but someone else may just be better but that just means she's done a great job at her act, right? And man, those eyes!

"Three is only for the Gods."
Image source: http://www.film.com

And where does that leave us? Ah yes, my final say. Book your tickets, bring some food and enjoy the movie. It's way better than whatever you could possibly think of watching (Especially if you're thinking of watching Lucy, please for the love of God, don't do it.) and is going to be worth your every cent. Hunger as you exit the cinema is at your own risk. On a personal scale, I'm propelling it to a whooping 9/10 for its hilarious measures, saliva worthy food shots and the warm message that you should go ahead to discover by yourself in the movie. After all, cooking is a passionate affair when you discover that life's greatest journey begins with the first step!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Movie Review: Lucy

I am everywhere.

Image source: http://moviepilot.com

A movie review! It feels like it's been forever since my last premiere screening (Actually it's probably just been 8 months because I stopped going when I began to work full time) and Lucy felt like the right movie to start off with. But I was wrong.

The movie starts off with...animals. Seriously, it's so apt when I say the movie is all about monkey business! What seemed like the most simple job in the world turned sour for Lucy when she's suddenly caught in a deal of drug trafficking and life turns topsy turvy for her. And what you see in the trailers is just about what you get on excitement. There's nothing more. And I didn't like the movie any more than I like durians. If you're wondering...I hate durians.


I'll smirk, because I have access to my brain that you don't.
Image source: http://www.hypable.com

For someone with such a pretty face and a figure to die for, Scartlett Johansson plays Lucy in the movie...uhm...Lucy. The sad thing however is that she is so monotonous in this movie, I thought the character would have been better off played by Kristen Stewart. The only times that Johansson had any forms of facial expressions is when she seemed scared and for that too, I was extremely disturbed with the close ups that the director wanted. It was so intriguingly disgusting, I don't even know what to really say about it.


  Hello? What? You mean I'm not spared from this bad movie?
Image source: http://moviepilot.com

Even "God" is not spared in Lucy, with a mediocre act that certainly did not impress me at all. If anything, I think this is one of the few movies that I have seen of Freeman that I am completely not liking. In fact, there were so many close up shots of Freeman in the movie that I couldn't stop counting his pores and moles. [Edit: Tania told me that it is a skin condition that Freeman has called DPN] 

So my final verdict on Lucy? I'll say it only marks off 2/10 on my personal scale but of course that's just because I am not someone who has a good looking for these kind of movies. Seriously, you need so much brains to watch it that 100% of its capacity isn't even enough. If you're someone who enjoys a little sci-fi to top with some action and Scarlett Johansson hotness, you could make your way to the cinemas but it just isn't my kind of show.


Kristen Stewart, just because I think she she would have been a better Lucy. Naturally.

Thanks for the tickets to the Churpremiere to Lucy however, Churp Churp. You have re-opened my involvement in premiere screenings and I'm hoping to be there a little more than before.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Earth Care Soaps & Scrubs

Backing away from my momentary sadness from losing a job I quite enjoyed, the arrival of Earth Care's soap and scrub that I won from Isabel's giveaway got to me at an extremely apt time.

Imagine when you come home to this on your last day of work!

And very well packaged.

I trust Samantha from Earth Care was worried that the post people wouldn't give much bother about the parcel so the package came in layers of bubble wraps, perfect for popping fun after opening it up! Just a little background on Earth Care before I proceed. Earth Care sells organic skincare products that are 90% to 100% vegan using only quality ingredients derived from plant-based materials. What's meant by a little less than 100% vegan could be that they include ingredients such as beeswax, honey, milk from cows or goats, and yogurts. Earth Care products are strictly against animal testing and do nor use lard or tallow.


Organic handmade bodyscrub and bodysoap for the win!

Personally, I've never put much thought into organic items, much less bodyscrubs and bodysoaps. While I swore to vigorously apply lotion after showers, that died down after a little bit so I am now making a mental note to fall in love with bodyscrubs and organic handmade bodysoaps just so my skin is less dry from now onwards. Fingers crossed that I won't abandon this dream midway.

Carrot & Turmeric mix.

And a really adorable carving to boot.

The variant that I got was the carrot & turmeric organic handmade bodysoap that helps to boost the skin's glow that's especially useful for dry and dull skins. It was almost like someone from Earth Care was stalking me beforehand because that's exactly what I'm experiencing. In fact, there's been little marks on my hands and fingers of which I believe are pigmentation marks right now so that should just about explain how my skin is. The blend of smells from this soap is amazing. It wasn't overly strong and lathered just right with the correct amount of water mixed to it.

From what Isabel suggested, I cut off a little piece off the bar so the rest of it does not get wet and can be kept for longer use. This could well replace my anti-bacterial shower gel now because I really love how the skin feels comfortably refreshed and the scent that the soap itself gives out. This 100g bar sells for RM 18 and comes in a really nice looking bag asides to the intricate carving on the bar itself.

Wake me up bodyscrub!

Infused with pink Himalayan sea salt, citrus & oatmeal.

For someone who hardly uses bodyscrubs because I've never quite believed in things like this, I've fallen completely head over heels for this. A twist of the cap gives you that refreshing citrus scent and the blend with oatmeal makes it actually smell like cake batter. I am not kidding. It actually smells like the batter for any lemon cakes that you would make so if you're a lover of these yummy treats, you will LOVE this bodyscrub.

I thoroughly enjoyed using the bodyscrub every 2 days in a week's time and I found myself fairly refreshed after each scrub. It was almost like telling my skin that it's time to get pampered and that was exactly how I felt. While I also thought I may dislike the feeling after if it did give me that oily touch but to my surprise, there was no oily feeling after my shower even when the ingredients does say it uses coconut oil, sweet almond oil and grape seed oil. What a bliss. This 150g organic handmade scrub goes at RM 24 per jar and should be kept dry at all times. In fact, you can even put it in the refrigerator to keep up to 3 months!

 EARTH CARE SOAPS

For someone who isn't a believer of these things, Earth Care soaps have someone given me a different perspective to such relaxingly good feels. You should also be checking out their lip scrubs, lip balms and various other goodies that they offer because they're all organic and all homemade. Nothing like knowing the products you're using is safe for yourself and the environment, right?

Earth Care Soaps website: http://www.earthcaresoaps.blogspot.com/

Saturday, August 16, 2014

What It's Like

As much as I despise blog posts that are depressing and horrifically mood killing, I guess this one had to come. If you would have noticed while being on my social media, I have been a little under the weather over a little matter; that is that I have once again joined the unemployment line. It wasn't that I quit nor did the company truly kick me out on bad terms, but they did hit a little turbulence and had to let some of us off. It was unexpected. It had to be done. And nobody should be blamed for it.

So what's it like to be unemployed again after going on a freelance basis for 4 months and full timing over 8 months? Boring. I swear, the peer pressure CAN get to you as you see everyone talking about work or pursuing respective degrees and masters. For a moment, you will feel like the most insignificant being around while attempting to pick up pieces of what feels like a broken world. You will speak about your office and the people in it as though you still belong and even worse than that, you will have a moment where you wake up thinking you're late to work.

So long, farewell.

On the flip side however, there are also days when you will tell yourself a better day is coming. Surely the feeling sucks in having to fight with just about 1974824 more fresh graduates out there for a job that you have set your eyes on, but it doesn't mean you should let your guard down. Plus, there is more time for things like friends and family for the time being. The amount of time you suddenly have in your hands for random things like swimming or sitting around to blog while sipping on a cup of earl grey tea is actually very relaxing.

Bliss.

It's been an entire week since the news broke to my family, friends and I so I suppose things are still a little chaotic. From sorting out what I should do next to wondering where I should be, it's all a blur. But that's alright. Because after a storm comes the rainbow...or something like that. I'll find my pot of gold by the end, I'm sure.

In the mean time, I am now open for freelance copywriting again so if you know of someone who needs anything written for them, you know where to get me!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

May The Force Be With LEGOLAND

Before you scroll down to read what this is all about, I advise you to leave this video playing so you get the entire feel to it.

Dun, dun, dun dun, dun dun dun, dun dun dun...

While I am no huge Star Wars fan, there is simply something that you can get from "The Imperial March" that absolutely gives you goosebumps each time you hear it. But hear ye if you're a huge fan of the force because something is coming up at LEGOLAND Malaysia on the 6th of September! If you're guessing there's a little Star Wars coming around then you're right on the target! 

Are you feeling it? Are you?

That's right, LEGOLAND Malaysia will be launching the LEGO Star Wars Miniland Model Display in conjunction with the resort's second anniversary. Nobody will be left in the sweltering heat however as a standalone complex that is fully air-conditioned has been built to house the 2,000 LEGO models recreated based on the popular film series on a 1:20 scale with over 1.5 million bricks used. Inside this octagonal building is where all force lovers will find seven of the most famous scenes in the film series - six from the Star Wars film franchise and one from the animated series, Star Wars: The Clone Wars.

Are you ready to step into the Galactic Empire?

Set with a specially designed pre-screening area for the LEGO Star Wars movie along with a walk down the Star Wars memory lane, fans of the force will find themselves staring at planets Christophsis, Hoth and Naboo just to name a few before going on a picture frenzy at the Hall of Fame with main characters such as Chewbacca, Darth Vader, Princess Leia and Yoda that stand on raised platforms and stand 85 cms high! Take selfies, you must. And if that itself doesn't seem to be enough, life-sized LEGO models of C-3PO, Darth Vader and R2-D2 made of over 80,000 LEGO bricks are also set to greet visitors as they step into the model display area.

Beep beep!

With models built in several locations around the world such as Malaysia, Germany and Czech Republic, each display will be featured with sounds, actions and lighting effects too so you actually get that realistic touch to an unforgettable experience especially if you're a Star Wars fan. I can almost hear the shrieks of Star Wars lovers now. Be prepared to put up a savings tub now because there's also a retail store in the complex where you can feed your inner Star Wars geek with endless LEGO Star Wars merchandises. 

 Tell me you don't want to see Darth Vader in his LEGO form. Tell me.

Costing over RM 6 million to build, the LEGO Star Wars Miniland Model Display is LEGOLAND's biggest development of the year and activities will be set throughout the entire September which includes free entries for children dressed as Star Wars characters and Annual Pass holders getting special previews from the 1st to 5th September 2014 as long as you sign up online and tell them you'll kill (not literally) to be there for the sneak peek before anyone else!

If at any rate you think I'm not even giving you good enough information about this amazing attraction, you can always check out www.LEGOLAND.my or call them at +607-597 8888 to know a little more than just this. I mean, I know where I'll be going in September at least.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Fresh Starts

If you're not one for looking at my face repetitively, I suggest you skip on this post because there's nothing but me in it. It's a post plastered with vanity, shamelessness and everything is just about me. Talk about being self-centered.

Hello!

So if you're wondering why I called this post "Fresh Starts", it's because I took a haircut and something big in life happened about a week into this new 12-year old look kind of do. But a little more on that...soon. I've got something up my sleeves for that. Now if you didn't already know, I have a knack for yearly haircuts and I never fail to only go to one person. In fact I've talked about him before but just in case you didn't catch last year's vanity affair, here's a little reminder.

A collection from the past. Sort of.

Back in 2010, I decided to give my tomboy self a huge opportunity and went off with short, boy-like hair to get into National Service. Possibly the best 3 months I've had with my hair because it used minimal shampoo, needed almost no combing and dried off in less than 5 minutes of vigorous towel rubbing. I thought it was heaven. When I came out, my parents decided they much preferred a son and a daughter as opposed to 2 sons so I grew my hair out come year 2011 and 2012 only to find myself with a bob-like cut in 2013. 

Several friends asked if it was because of the break up with my ex-boyfriend but let me just say it is a ridiculous decision if you are to cut your hair because of a break up. No, I just cut my hair every year and it does not mean I switch boyfriends every year, thank you very much. Our relationship lasted through good and bad hair days and what not so please ladies, do not ever take a break up as an excuse for a haircut. It's stupid.

Pre-hair snip.

The time came again last week as my aunt decided she wanted to cut her hair (Yes, we make aunt-niece-mother-daughter dates for haircuts together) and guess who jumped in to get a snip too?

Moi.

No surprises there because a year was nearly up with the previous cut being in September 2013 so this is just a month ahead. I probably didn't need it as much but if I am going to keep up on looking acceptable without being too much of a hobo, this was probably a good idea. As usual, Thomas worked his fantastic magic in turning me younger; in this case probably 10 years off my actual age.

Current favourite picture of myself.

Cue the self love because my mum took this picture when we went for coffee after the haircut and the surrounding seemed nice enough for a haircut. Fair enough a reason for a picture?

I promise I'll stop here.

Seriously, however Thomas does it is just freaking magical. It actually feels like he takes my horrific looking hair and sprinkles magic dust over it to make it look good. And then I have the honor of wrecking it for a year, giving him a headache when I return again. So, fresh starts anyone?

HAIR CHANNEL
Lot S121, Bangsar Shopping Centre,
No. 285, Jalan Ma'arof, Bukit Bandaraya,
59000 Kuala Lumpur.
03 - 2094 1866
Thomas is off on Tuesdays!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Little Bites: Three Little Birds Coffee

Hello, peeps! The weekends have come again! *Flails arms excitedly* Days seem to fly by nowadays and it felt like just last Saturday when I woke up at 7 AM to meet Tania, Senri and Isabel at 8 AM for a breakfast session at the Three Little Birds Coffee in the eco-like building called D7 in Sentul. But wait...it WAS last week that we did that. It does sound like we went a little crazy but sometimes crazily intelligent plans eventually turns out fine okay?

Three Little Birds Coffee, another project from the folks of Artisan Roast and Awesome Canteen.

The drive from Senri's home to Sentul took us little over 20 minutes but that was because we got a little lost trying to hunt down D7 and its parking so my suggestion is that you look up for Three Little Birds Coffee on Waze but keep your eyes peeled for D7 when you arrive Sentul. The parking in the area is also a little on the unsafe side with little lights and absolutely no guards so be sure you're either prepared with pepper spray or friends as your bodyguards.

Widely spacious on the inside.

It wasn't so much a task to spot Three Little Birds Coffee however because they seemed to be the only shop at D7 to be open at 8:30 AM. Inside, the cafe is spacious and well lit with a long table set in the center, possibly for big crowds or kind souls who care to share.
 
 Bars and stools if that's your forte.
 
Each table seats 4...or more if you don't mind cramming.

People who opt for a little more private space for secret gossips and personal chats could also take up these seats set by the wall of Three Little Birds Coffee right as they enter the cafe itself. Bear in mind though that there are only so many of these scandalous spots. If you're with a tiny group of girlfriends who needs good sunlight for selfies, there's also those window spots for good natural lighting.

Where the magic all begins.

Stools are also set for those who prefer to stare as the staff prepares coffee, cakes and everything charming right in front of their eyes so if you're one of those people, go ahead and grab a seat. But seriously, the barista isn't going to spit in your coffee so don't just stare as though they've done something wrong. Orders are also taken at this bar with a blackboard drink menu and little stands on their food fare.

Cakes on display. 

The selection of cakes on a Saturday morning appears to be a little empty but I trust there should be more on other days or it's just that we were overly early.

The wet cement floor.

Buttons for access.

A huge rave about Three Little Birds Coffee was the apparent "wet cement floor" look that the ground had but the lot of us felt like it was nothing to really look at. I mean, you see floors like these at any old style houses and the only thing special about this one is probably the fact that it's shinier than the ones from old homes. The glass doors don't open and close by themselves with sensors and instead activates only with the press of the button, possibly to avoid having the door open and the air-conditioning run out whenever someone simply passes by.

Outdoor seating in its own flair.

An inside joke but this was taken with my phone on the table and through the gap of the wooden tables so I thought I'd just have it here anyway.

For those who don't quite mind some heat in exchange for an amazing environment could snag seats outside and because we were really early, we actually got them with nobody else to fight with. I cannot stress anymore how early we were. But really, the environment of D7 is undeniably pretty albeit its dodgy parking and sneaky entrance.

Dark chocolate mocha and dulcey mocha.

Breakfast at 8.30 AM on a Saturday? I'm game.

With reviews stating that the mocha at Three Little Birds Coffee being "divine", it seemed like a must-order. Was I disappointed? Yes. To be honest, it wasn't that bad but it wasn't on the level of being "divine" and I felt like I had just been conned into ordering it. The dark chocolate in the mocha gave it that hint of a bitter taste while the dulcey mocha (Of which I presume is normal chocolate) that Isabel ordered was just sweet and a little flat. I could taste neither chocolate nor coffee in it so if you absolutely have to have mocha, I would suggest you pick the dark chocolate variant.

The egg mayo croissant wasn't that shabby in the end but I felt like they were a little skimpy on how much of egg mayo was in it. Again, it felt like advertising had gone wrong because the egg mayo croissant in their Instagram photos made it seem like eggs and mayonnaise were free and they would just slap on everything into the fluffy croissant for you. At RM 13 a piece, it's a hefty price to pay.

Red latte or otherwise known as overpriced Teh Tarik.

Smoked salmon croissant.

Tania picked out the red latte; a mix of red tea and milk instead of coffee and milk like regular lattes and the taste was purely odd. We dubbed it the overpriced "teh tarik" that lacked almost everything it needed to taste good. I couldn't put my mind into what to make of it as I tasted it and it's probably the last time I would ever try anything that's called a red latte even if I am to visit other cafes. It just isn't my cup of tea...no pun intended.

Isabel also picked out the smoked salmon croissant although she said she absolutely would not settle for croissants during breakfast but it seemed like the only thing Three Little Birds Coffee was offering at that time. It was only when we left that we found out they had pastas but her order really wasn't that bad. The smoked salmon had a good twist to it and the mayonnaise for some odd reason tasted even better than it did when mixed with my egg mayo croissant.

Cheesy cheesecake.

Affogato and...pao.

You cannot look anymore ugly when having affogato!

Senri had the weird order of affogato and "pao" that appeared to have a weird kind of filling inside. Some thinks it's Nutella while others are rumouring for it to be coffee sauce with a chocolate mix so we're just calling it the pao with chocolate. The affogato tasted of coconut with coffee and I didn't quite like it, maybe because coconuts and I aren't exactly the best of friends. I like the water from it but not the "santan" or whatever else. We also interpreted that holding up the affogato to enjoy makes it look like you're having "tau foo fah" by the roadside and I obliged in modelling for it. Results as above.

The cheesy cheesecake is as its name suggests actually, it's very cheesy but the blend of dark chocolate and digestives crust is really good; with a contrast of bitterness from the dark chocolate and sweetness from the cheese and digestives. Something to consider if you're looking to satisfy some cheesecake cravings.

Chocolate bites feature grasshopper on the left and kaffa on the right.

Seen here with ladybug and caramel respectively.

They truly tried hard in playing with the names of these chocolate bites with the likes of "grasshopper" and "ladybug" in what I believe is an attempt to blend in with the environment of D7's serene and green look. But here's what they really are. The grasshopper piece is actually mint with chocolate that is a must-have if you're visiting Three Little Birds Coffee while the kaffa piece is a mix of orange with chocolate, a common pairing in taste. Ladybug features raspberry flavours that is a little on the sweet side while the stiffer and stickier caramel had a touch of coconut in the blend, making it my least favourite of the four.

A cliche picture of friendly feet.

A common scene of eating with bloggers.

In the end, the breakfast was fairly enjoyable and while it had its hits and misses, the company I picked eventually took the cake in being worth it. Including waking up at 7 AM on a Saturday when I could have well been in bed until 11 AM.

Plus, bloggers take good modelling shots.

Even if the "behind-the-scenes" shot is less glamourous.

With the jokes and memories we've made, it's not that hard to name the ones I know will have my back as I fall or burn out. That's what friends are for right? Even if they're a little on the crazy side.

And the OOTD for that crazy morning.

Excuse my moment of vanity, I particularly liked how I could make my brother's preloved plaid shirt into mine that day; even putting it to style in 2 ways. You could go crazy with your "boyfriend shirt" fashion now. You're most welcome.