Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Amante Charity Fair on the 7th of September

Hello peeps! I know I've been popping in and out the blog and it's probably getting a little annoying but give me props for trying. I mean, wouldn't it feel good to do something good? Which is why I'm going to tell you about the Amante Charity Fair happening on the 7th of September 2014 from 10 AM till 6 PM at Amante Kota Damansara!

But before you get the juicy details, here's an insight on the organizers and the event. Amante Nail Spa is a superlative spa for women, housing popular beauty and wellness needs. The proceeds from this fair will be donated to GOOD SAMARITAN HOME - Home for Children in Malaysia for education. These funds will give a good leap in making learning possible for students of all ages; be it from pre-school to graduate schools, providing basic education to those who need it the most.


Now considering it is a fair after all, what fun would it be without booklets and such? Come on, that's the true spirit of fairs, right? And that is why you should get the Amante Charity booklet for just RM 35, consisting of 7 x RM 5 cash vouchers for you to purchase treatments, activities, food and enjoy games plus a BONUS "Thank you Hot Stone Massage treatment" worth RM 88! Hello, doing good to feel good anyone?

So yes, it's time for you to get those Amante Charity Voucher booklets! But how?

1. You can grab it from the nearest Amante outlet. Do check out www.amante.my for a list of locations near you.
2. If you don't quite have the time to head out to any of the nearest Amante outlets, you can also secure your booklet by transferring or banking in to Amante Beauty Care Sdn Bhd (MAYBANK ACCOUNT NUMBER - 512491131743) and send the note or bank-in slip to amantecharity@gmail.com. Remember to leave your name, e-mail address and mobile number or they won't know who you are! Your booklet will be ready for collection at the Amante Charity Fair!

Now set these details in your phone, because they're really important or else you'll miss out on the Amante Charity Fair!

7th of September 2014
10 AM - 6 PM 
Amante Kota Damansara

Okay bye.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Birch Plaza @ Times Square Penang, Georgetown

It's the weekends again and I am still on a Penang recovery state! Gosh I would have never imagined that I would enjoy Penang so much, especially now that I no longer frequent it yearly. I guess this is how people are; we tend to only appreciate something when we don't get it anymore. Urgh, lesson learned!

So if you've remembered from my previous blog post, I was in Penang over the weekends and we stayed at the Birch Plaza that's just above Times Square Penang in Georgetown. Location wise, it's the best place ever besides the Heritage zone (Armenian Street and such) because it only takes you 5 minutes to walk down to Komtar and you'll get to Penang Road in about 10 minutes. All this, just by walking!

 You'll need an access card to get into the lifts to go to the units. Good security!

 Lights of Penang at night! Gosh I miss looking out to this!

And then this is my morning view! How can you not love this place?

I was actually pretty shocked to see a view like this one, probably because we stayed on the 11th floor. It was quite the sight to wake up to seeing the pool and a jacuzzi...which we didn't quite go to. Still a very pleasing factor if you're staying longer than just over the weekends because you know this is the kind of amenity you will get after a long day out in Penang.

Our units consisted of 2 bedrooms, 1 attached bathroom and a common bathroom, a huge living space, a kitchen and a laundry room. Yes, you read that one right. They actually provided us with a clothes rack and a washing machine, possibly for those who are going to be there for a longer time.

The master bedroom consists of a king sized bed and 3 REALLY comfortable pillows. Bed was also at the right size to fit 3 girls.

Closet space and a plug point modified for me to charge my phone instead of powering the light.

The boys' room. Clearly I didn't bother with presentation. It's fitted with one single bed and a single bed.

And bright lights from the big window on the side along with a cupboard.

The bathrooms were actually of a decent size, quite a shocker for me because I was expecting minuscule bathrooms since my grandparents' place didn't have that big a bathroom. We even had to fight whenever we went back for Chinese New Year so this was really surprising for me.

Master bathroom. It's sized decently if someone has to actually use the toilet and someone else takes a shower. But uhm...who does that now?

A bathtub in the master bathroom! I used this for a bubble bath on Sunday morning!

 The share bath on the outside that's decently sized for shower and "businesses" per say.

The most surprising factor of the entire unit however has got to be the size of the place. It was huge!

We had a proper dining table, clearly full of our stuff.

 Lots of roomy space! Television, sofa set, coffee table and extra space for everything!

I completely forgot to take pictures of the kitchen and laundry room though because I was overly excited over everything there is! But trust me on this because it was really a joy to be staying at Birch Plaza @ Times Square Penang.

Our stay costed RM 350 odd a night and when we split amongst ourselves, we each only had to pay RM 100! We were in the heart of town, the amenities were great and it's affordable. And the caretaker of the place, Victor was also a whole lot of help over the entire trip. We corresponded on e-mails, phone calls and he was really nice when we met him on the morning that we checked out.

If you're drooling over renting the unit already, you can get to Victor at 019-470 0141. He's promised to hook us up to good deals in the future so maybe if you're lucky, you will too!

P/S: The only down side to the unit is the horrendous levels you have to drive to get to the parking lots but they're really safe and you don't really need to take your car out all the time when you're in Penang. Experience it the Penangite way with bicycles and walking!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Penang In A Day

Cue the blog abandonment, sorry not sorry kind of message. Truth is, I find it so difficult to sit in front of my laptop after work nowadays because I've been looking at the work laptop all day long. I shouldn't however use that as my excuse so I guess I really am a little apologetic on my 10 day strike. Oh but here's a photo heavy kind of post about life over the past weekend!

Midnight road tripping!

Following an entire month's worth of planning along with back and forth decisions, the QWERTY trip to Penang finally materialized and I shot off to Penang with the lot of friends right after work last Friday! The ride took us just a little over 3 hours which was a shock considering how it's a long weekend after all. We met up after a go-around in the island and got into our apartment unit at Birch Plaza, Penang Times Square.

It's in the heart of downtown, a 5 minute walk from Komtar and this is our view from the hall!

I insisted that we stay a little closer to town because that's where everything is; food, fun and everything awesome. Birch Plaza was a find from Becky and Kat's epic find and in all honesty, it's perfect. But I'll really just talk about that in a separate post. Today it's all about the eats and the company!

Char Koay Kark @ McCalister Road.

We started our Saturday morning with the food trail as planned and went for char koay kark (Fried carrot cake) that costs RM 3 a plate. I guess I can't say it's expensive since it's priced around RM 5 in KL but the taste of the koay kark really didn't justify its price. While the egg was flavourful and the bean sprouts were crunchy, the koay kark was completely bland. I didn't even know what I was biting into and that should just say something because it means the stall needs to be labelled as fail. Funny enough though because a LOT of people seem to go there for this even when it's not tasty at all. Tourist spot much?

Penang Road Cendol.

Drowned away that part of a morning disappointment with the famous Penang Road Cendol that now costs RM 2.40. I remember when it was RM 1.60 at a point in time. I guess that's how long my family has frequented this place because the man even owns a shop for his customers to enjoy cendol in right now.

And half of Edward in the picture. Becky took this, she's totally half American right now and needs to record down places she has been in Malaysia!

The touristy photo we took. 
"We're technically tourists now" -Becky

The entire day was made to be impromptu and we decided the next touristy thing to do was to take photos at the Ernest Zacharevic murals around the Heritage Zone of Penang. I mean, it's the fad in Penang nowadays after all so why not just go with it? We did put a twist into the trip however as we decided that the coolest thing we could do is to rent bicycles and go around the area. 

Katrina found her cycling muse.

I cycled also, okay?

Well I lied. I can't cycle to save my life but the extremely nice uncle found a tricycle for me...which was passed on to Edward a little later because it was much more comfortable to hitch a ride with Jian! And this is why I am fat. I mean, come on! It was freaking hot that day!

And bike off!

Each bicycle was rented to us for RM 10 while the tricycle costs RM 12 and there were no time limits to how long we could ride it for. A map was included in every bicycle and locks were also given so we could keep them safe when we stopped at places and abandoned the bicycles. It's good idea for tourists actually seeing as that it's a good way to experience Penang.

Us in an alley because it's the only place free from cars.

Apparently it would have been much better if it was a Sunday because then the authorities would cordon away designated roads for a pure cycling day in the area so everyone cycles without worries of cars or motorbikes. We did have to scurry our way through cars and be really careful with motorbikes simply because it was a Saturday but they're seemingly nice to us anyway.

Us in front of the famous siblings on a bicycle picture.
From L > R: Jian Haw, myself, Wei Kin, Edward, Steven, Katrina and Rebecca

We have a thing for group pictures in front of sibling arts.

New favourite artsy shot.

I thought this was a good use of our bicycle too and Jian got a good gist of it.
 
 Becky and Edward in front of the mural on the walls of the Ming Xiang Tai pastry shop.

Most of us got a sunburn from the heat after a few hours and cycling and we decided to just forget about the hunt for all the murals around 2 PM; a time when we thought food would be a good idea. No surprise for those who would have guessed but I took them to the famous "mee goreng" shop at Bangkok Lane in Pulau Tikus.

Steven ordered a monster sized rojak for 7. This set us off RM 20 with tons of squid and too-die-for rojak sauce.

Super delicious mee goreng. The uncle is still as friendly; I saw him taking a photo with a girl as we arrived. Celebrity chef status maybe...

By this time we were fairly drenched because of how tired we felt from the cycling and sweating. I mean, it does get very uncomfortable to be sticky and sweaty after all. I had hoped for assam laksa from the coffee shop opposite the police station along that road too but they were sold out by the time we went ahead to order. I was truly disappointed that I didn't have any good assam laksa this entire trip. In fact the one Steven got on the same night for dinner was horrible but I'll get to that.

What we managed for the remaining of the day was to visit Batu Ferringhi all the way for the sake of the feeling of sand by our feet and to look out for the sunset by the beach. It sounded feasible considering how tired we were and it was too late to tour over to Air Itam for amazing assam laksa anyway. Again, still very disappointed.

One of those cliche feet on the sand shots.

No beach trips are complete without selfies, I suppose.

And none like a girly picture by the sunset, just for the fun of it.

We buried Steven too, just for the fun of it.

Granted there's tons more pictures of us and the beach but if I had them all here, you'll probably just stop reading my blog forever. So here's ONE of the gazillion sunsets I took that day.

Sunsets are pretty, okay? Don't judge.

We left soonest as the sun was gone and went back to our apartment unit for showers and prepared for dinner after because it was close enough to 7 PM anyway. While our initial plan was to go to Air Itam for o chien (Fried oysters with eggs) and pork satay, everyone was just too tired to move around and settled for dinner from a coffee shop along McCalister Road instead.

Feeding monsters.

I lost track of whatever we bought but the o chien, assam laksa and pork satay was actually quite horrendous. Plus the drinks from that place was horrible too so I guess it wasn't a very good end to the food trip. I wish we had more time for more food too but that's all we could manage as we fitted everything into a single day.

I suppose even when the food was terrible except for the mee goreng and cendol trip, it was the company that really counted. We had tons of laughs and made much more inside jokes that only we will now know because that's what friends are for right? We harass each other with stupid things then patch on horrors with good talks.
 
I had longed for a vacation, an escape that wasn't too expensive from the city life and hustles or work and I totally got it over this trip. It costed me not more than RM 250 for the entire weekend inclusive of accommodation and travel splits! 
 
I could do more weekends like these but until then...goodbye Penang.

More than anything, this trip taught me the value of friendship, of getting fat and of how much a retreat from a regular life brings. Next stop is probably Ipoh with Callie over another weekend. Maybe, just maybe...

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Movie Review: Transformers: The Age of Extinction

It's been a while since my last movie review, mainly because I got a full time job and I stopped going for screenings with Nuffnang and Churp Churp so by the time I watch something, people would have already seen it and there isn't quite a point for reviews anymore. On this post however, I just thought to heck with is, I should really speak up for what I've just been through. And here goes.

Cool robots, running people and the normal cliche poster stuff.

Thing is, I have never seen any of the movies from the entire Transformers franchise, rendering myself as a totally clueless person who merely stepped into the cinema to expect something that will blow my mind. I mean, it's a really huge franchise now with tons of fans and little kids hoping to someday ride a Transformer or something. When it did come out however, about 70% of the people I know began to complain about it.

Product placements, fake explosions and overdone graphics that were ridiculous...all in a day's work for director Michael Bay. And trust me when I say this because I hardly pick movies based on directors so I have no idea who this Michael Bay person is. Call me shallow, I don't mind. Another handful said it was decently acceptable and it really wasn't as bad as people said it was. At this point, I had my moments of doubts on who to believe because there were more complains than good words being put in for this movie. "That's 3 hours of my life that I won't be getting back, thanks Michael Bay. It sucked." was one of the best reviews I've read but I've forgotten who shared it on my Facebook timeline. 

Optimus Prime on what they call a Grimlock? 
Pic credits: http://fansided.com

And my take on the movie? Avoid it at all costs. Hours before my movie, Wai Kin warned me that it was going to be full of product placements and nothing but and I thought he was kidding but kidding he was not. Honestly, every single pan of the camera showed a product placement so bad, you just KNOW it's happening. Hello, Bud Light and Victoria's Secret anyone? It's truly one thing to show it with subtlety but this was just plain right-in-your-face advertising. And they're not even sorry.

Graphics wise, I would say it was decent but it didn't make sense. As Yen Wern pointed out at the end of the movie, (SPOILER, I'M SORRY!) how did the bots made of Transformium initially get back together after being hit by the autobots yet break upon being attacked by Optimus Prime and the Grimlock? Seriously. Oh and another thing I noticed is that for everything they touch, that item is sure to burst into flames, blown away and ruined to oblivion. At the slightest touch even. It would seem as though making things explode is a Michael Bay thing. Don't get me talking about the green screen parts that were really obvious, please.

That's right, run. RUN.

If you haven't already heard, Mark Wahlberg takes the spot in the limelight this time around instead of Shia LaBeouf making it a little different from the other Transformers franchises I suppose. Acting wise, Wahlberg doesn't get off too far from his other characters really. The Ted actor breaks into his over protective yet failed father figure rather comfortably actually, just enough to inject humour and seriousness into his act properly. And his biceps are scary huge by the way, rendering him to actually look good. Good going, Mark Wahlberg.

I need to know the brand of her eyeliners. SO LASTING.

Prior to this movie, I have never known Nicola Peltz so having to comment on her act here is difficult since I have nothing to compare it to. I mean, she's decent as a rebellious teen who goes against her father and dates someone behind his back anyway but on the other hand also looks too old to actually be a teenager. She definitely nailed the part of which she had to cry but was otherwise simply mediocre if not to say the least in playing the part as a lead actress. Oh and I really want to know the brand of the eyeliner she was using in the movie since it didn't quite smudge even as she sweated, cried and bled. Gosh, new advertisement idea!

Eye candy!

Oh I have to admit that I also had no idea the movie would feature an eye candy like Jack Reynor! I guess that was the bonus of me sitting through a 3 hour horror after all because he was really cute in the movie. While I did think he was a decent in the movie, it still felt like he lacked the certain charisma you would need to pull off as someone in an action packed (Michael Bay styled explosive stunts) movie. He did perform well in the scenes of which he was alone with Mark Wahlberg however, providing decent laughs at appropriate times in this horror film. Totally labelled it as such right now.

Now, to watch or not to watch? My word is that if you're a huge fan of Transformers and you don't want to ruin the image of the franchise in your mind, don't do it. It really isn't worth the RM 14 you would have to fork out to the cinema and sitting through 3 hours of mindless explosions that absolutely makes no sense. If you're still tapping for tickets to the movie, I wish you all the best and please remember to bring water and potato chips. You will need it.

Hiding from the movie, I suppose.

To end, I suppose I should be giving the benefit of the doubt to the movie but for someone who has not seen the other franchises to find it so horrible, I truly cannot imagine the feelings of those who are die hard fans. It probably clocks a 3/10 on my personal scale for movies just because of Mark Wahlberg and Jack Reynor plus a little of the effects but it's something I won't recommend unless your life depends on whether or not you watch it. Maybe this time the autobots should truly roll out...and never return. But oh don't you worry, Transformers. You have still not beaten Prisoners in being the worst movie I've ever seen. Now that...is another story all together.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Fat Diaries: Acme Bar & Coffee, The Troika

Calling all hungry people, it's time to get fat! This time around, it's a visit to Acme Bar & Coffee at The Troika, Jalan Binjai in KL. Granted that I have a deep hatred in driving to the city centre, I did it anyway today just because Sue Yin's came back for a holiday. Plus it's the first day of Ramadhan and traffic is usually less congested every year as the first and second days come along.

Acme Bar & Coffee or also known as ABC.

Sue Yin raved about their sizzling brownies with Oreo ice cream and chocolate sauce months back before she even got back, tagging me and her mother on cafe posts she had come across on random sites. Being the good sister from another mother that I am, (Coughs) I thought it would be fun to venture into the city centre with her today. 

A flowery greet by the waiting area.

With a lot of praying and the help of Waze, we finally got to ABC around 1 PM only to be greeted by a string of people lining up by the entrance and we thought about how we were in trouble. Luckily though, we got our seat in about 10 minutes even without a reservation but I believe it is much more recommended if you do get one. 

The bar area. I'm sorry it isn't brighter, my seat wasn't too well lit.

A different seating section where it is brighter.

Oh and also outdoor seating!

While we knew for sure that we wanted the brownies, we didn't know what else to go for and threw on random orders that sounded decent. It's funny because we were just set to eat brownies and nothing else but realized that we haven't even had our breakfast, much less to shoot for desserts.

Acme Bar & Coffee's Farmers Breakfast Hash @ RM 23

This was my call, a decent fair of potatoes, turkey ham, eggs and pepper with sweet onions. I had initially really expected hash browns as stated on the menu but when it came out, I was shocked to see it rosti-style. For someone who doesn't quite like peppers and onion, I thought the Farmers Breakfast Hash was really good. It didn't have the smell of peppers and onions that I hate although it was clearly there and the eggs were done decently with a mix of a runny yolk that weren't overly cooked. Oh and if you're wondering where's the promised turkey ham? Check out that dollop of fried crispy goodness because that's what it is! Deliciously deep fried in thin slices, Sue Yin literally cleaned it off my plate. Seriously it might as well had been the star of this dish instead of the potatoes!

Sue Yin's order: Rigatoni Puttanesca @ RM 29

Balancing between her liking for smoked duck and turkey breast, Sue Yin finally picked the Rigatoni Puttanesca, a pasta dish of tossed tomato coulis, olives, anchovies, capers, fresh oregano and smoked turkey breast. Our verdict is that it's a little disappointing because the rigatoni (It's the pasta type!) felt a little undercooked and chewy while the smoked turkey breast came in minuscule portions. It was literally a treasure hunt for Sue Yin to find the smoked turkey breast meat, okay? While it was pretty good to taste, I felt that the RM 29 price tag was a little steep for what we had to take in.

Star of the day: Sizzling Brownie with Oreo Ice-cream and Chocolate Sauce @ RM 19

We were hit with the scent of amazing brownies from the moment we sat down and we saw sizzles coming out from other tables, making us extra excited for dessert time. When it finally arrived at our table, I made sure the waitress gave me time to prepare and I took an InstaVideo. True to its name, the brownie was served on a hot plate and the chocolate sauce made its sizzles through as it was poured over the Oreo ice-cream and slice of strawberry to drench the brownie in chocolaty goodness. The brownie had just the right amount of nuts all over it and the slight burnt scent it had by the bottom of the plate was heavenly to eat. Take note however that you may want to shy away from this if you're not one for sweet things as it is SLIGHTLY on the sweet side of the food scale. Definitely a must order if you have a sweet tooth when you're at Acme Bar & Coffee. It's no wonder everyone is raving about it.

Light As Air Pavlova @ RM 15

Bearing comparisons to Alexis and the most disappointing pavlova at Delicious ever, this one definitely takes the...cream. It has a tinge of sourness with the passionfruit sauce over the slices of sweet strawberries and the light cream over the pavlova piece is really good. Trust me on this because I am one for everything desserts, okay? It does live up to its name on being light-as-air and isn't on the diabetic scale, making it a perfect balance if you order it with the sizzling brownies because then you get a lighter, more bland and cool balance to the hot brownies in all its sweet glory. 

I told her I was putting this on the blog. She thought I was joking. I wasn't.

I think that aside to having good food, having good company did account for everything. From trusting me (And Waze hahahaha!) to take her all the way to the city centre to listening to my rants of every day lives and telling me stories from UK, I truly enjoyed my Sunday with this donkey. Now to balance off with nicer looking photos...

Oh hello, people!

Thanks for being the sister I never had, Low Sue Yin.

Today's lunch set me off pretty far on the budget list but it was definitely worth it. I suppose food isn't fantastic at Acme Bar & Coffee but the brownies are a must have but to drive all the way through the traffic for brownies? I...might just do it again anyway. 

Acme Bar & Coffee
The Troika, Jalan Binjai
50450 Kuala Lumpur

Open Mondays to Thursdays from 11 AM - 12 AM
Open Fridays from 11 AM - 1 AM
Open Saturdays from 9.30 AM - 1 AM
Open Sundays from 9.30 AM - 12 AM
03 - 2162 2288

And one last ugly photo for the road...

Sue Yin is going to kill me.