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Food.Arts.Travel (F.A.T)



Updated: 2017-10-14T18:09:20.154+08:00

 



Travel Post - Hoi An, Vietnam - Part One

2017-07-17T08:48:49.762+08:00

I shall not give up! Here I am back again with another post ...still on Hoi An.  Yes, I'm still not done with it yet.  As mentioned before when I first started blogging on Hoi An, it is one of my fave places that I have visited (apart from Spain and of course...San Francisco).  Yes, so much so, that I just wanted to start blogging again just so that I can upload the travel pics taken (it would be such a waste to keep them only on a hard disk!).

Okay...after more than 6 months, I'm back with a quick post of the national noodles of Hoi An; Cao Lau! Having been not too impressed with the bowl we had earlier, TT did some internet research and we made it a point to have Cao Lau at  Thanh Cao Lầu.  Thank goodness for TT's impeccable sense of direction, we walked and found the place (we actually walked to wherever during our stay in Hoi An).  It is a rather inconspicuous looking place, we actually walked passed it and doubled back and finally saw the signage (which is an old looking one and isn't lit.. Look at the pic!). The place seems more like either a house or an auto workshop and had several tables placed on the front porch. The stall takes up a small area for food preparation.




Malaysia's New HTC Flagship Device, Launch of HTC One M9+

2016-04-08T10:10:38.975+08:00

#HTCOneM9PlusThere are many things I look forward as each new year begins.  One of them will be the annual unveiling of HTC's flagship device and this year; Malaysia launched the HTC One M9+ .  The event took place recently at ROOTZ Club KL on 28 April, 2015.Starting us off, Cheong Wah Tong (Country manager, HTC Malaysia) gave the opening speech.Faisal Siddiqui (President, HTC South Asia) then took to the stage and delivered the keynote of the launch event.The phone was then officially launched by the HTC team with the unveiling of the HTC One M9+ and also the dual sim HTC Desire 826 being showcased on eyecatching HTC lit alphabets.Wayne Tang (Product Marketing Manager, HTC South Asia) then took us through the key features of the HTC One M9+.  When asked what was his favourite feature of the phone, he said that it's the sheer beauty of the HTC One M9+ all metal unibody design with the dual tone silver and rose gold finish! I would have to agree!Presenting the all new HTC One M9+, a beauty that is sure to cause phone envy!  If you have been wanting to get your hands on a premium high end Android phone, this is one beauty that you simply must possess!The HTC One M9+ comes with 3GB RAM and 32GB on board storage version with an expandable memory up to 2TB via microSD storage.  It is now in stores and available in Gold on Silver and Gunmetal Gray while the Gold on Gold variant will be available later this year.  The recommended retail price for the HTC One M9+ is RM2,599 (inclusive of GST).  Check out the specifications below and click HERE to find out more.Size150.99 x 71.99 x 9.61 mmCPU SpeedMediaTek helio™ X10, octa core8 x 2.2 GHzNetwork12G/2.5G - GSM/GPRS/EDGE:850/900/1800/1900 MHz3G UMTS:850/900/1900/2100 MHz3G TD-SCDMA:1900/2000 MHz4G LTE:FDD: Bands 1,3,5,7,8,28TDD: Bands 38, 39, 40, 41SensorsAmbient light sensorProximity sensorAccelerometerCompass sensorGyro sensorMagnetic sensorSensor HubFingerprint sensorCameraMain camera: 20MP Duo Camera with sapphire cover lens, auto-focus , BSI sensor, f/2.2, 27.8mm lens, 4K video recordingFront camera: HTC UltraPixel™, BSI sensor, f/2.0, 26.8mm lens, 1080p video recordingWeight168gPlatform AndroidAndroid™ with HTC Sense™Memory2ROM: 32GB / RAM: 3GBExtended memory: microSD™ up to 2TBConnectivityNFCBluetooth® 4.1Wi-Fi®: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 & 5 GHz)DLNA®HDMI MHL 2.0CIR3.5 mm stereo audio jackmicro-USB 2.0 (5-pin) portMultimediaAudio supported formats:Playback: .aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma, .flac, ac3, ec3, eac3Recording: .aacVideo supported formats:Playback: .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv, .avi, .mkvRecording: .mp4Display5.2 inch, WQHD (1440 x 2560)SIM Card Typenano SIMGPSInternal GPS antenna + GLONASS + BeidouSoundHTC BoomSound™ with Dolby Audio™Battery3Capacity: 2840 mAhTalk time: Up to 23 hours for 2G/ 13 hours for 3GStandby time: Up to 598 hours for 2G/ 626 hours for 3GNetwork bands in regions may be different, depending on the mobile operator and your location. 4G LTE only available in select countries. Upload and download speeds also depend on the mobile provider.Available storage is less due to phone software. Approximately 21 GB storage available for user content. Available storage is subject to change based on phone software updates and apps usage.Battery times (talk time, standby time and more) are subject to network and phone usage.A Standby time specification ("specification") is an industry standard that is only intended to allow comparison of different mobile devices under the same circumstances. Power consumption in a standby state is strongly dependent on factors including but not limited to network, settings, location, movement, signal strength and mobile traffic. Comparisons of different mobile devices using such a specification can therefore only be done in a controlled laboratory environment. When using any mobile device in real life circumstances for which the mobile device is intended, the standby time could be considerably lower and will be strongly [...]



Magnum Presents : The Best Of Belgian Indulgence, Celebrate Pleasure!

2015-03-25T13:21:55.278+08:00

A word of thanks to Salina & Associates PR Sdn Bhd for the invite to the delightful Magnum event, "Magnum Presents : The Best Of Belgian Indulgence" at Magnum Cafe, Mid Valley Megamall.  Arriving at venue slightly early, I kept myself busy with my camera; taking photos of the place.The upper area of Magnum Cafe was specially closed off for the event.  The Topping Bar with a wide variety for one to customized their own Magnum ice cream.There has been a constant line of people, queuing up to have a taste of the Magnum ice cream varieties but more so for the opportunity to customize their own Magnum ice cream.  We were given the chance to customize our own Magnum after the lunch event. One can choose from a Vanilla or Chocolate Brownie Magnum with a coating and drizzle of either Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate or White Chocolate and 3 toppings from the many varieties to choose from (there are some non standard toppings to choose from like chilli flakes, rock salt, goji berries!), Back to the main event....From far just a stick of Magnum ice cream, we were treated to a four course sit down lunch created by Magnum's Group Executive Chef, Chef Steven Chin; who has 13 years of culinary experience. Before lunch was served, Chef Steven Chin briefly described how he came about with the creation of his chocolate inspired dishes.Chef Steven ChinStarters , Spice Butternut Squash Velout; Butternut pumpkin soup scent with cinnamon, topped with shaved bitter dark chocolate.  I enjoyed the soup albeit I am not a fan cinnamon :o).  The bitter dark chocolate taste lingered after a spoonful, and gave balance to the sweetness. Appetizer : Marinated Capellini pasta with ulam-ulaman, served with crisp unagi beignet, salted choc emulsion, soy reduction and crispy ginger. This was surprisingly enjoyable! Each item had a unique taste of its own and formed an ensemble that teased the palate.Main Course : Pan seared butterfish fillet served with sauteed baby spinach and white chocolate "beurre blanc" sauce.  Not being a fan of fish, I approached this with caution.  I ate the seared part of the fish; delighted by the accompanying "beurre blanc" white chocolate sauce.  The creamy sauce was sweet and rich but also tangy from the apple cider vinegar.  It complemented the butterfish very well.Dessert : Death by ChocolateBaked to order warm chocolate molten lava cake, magnum chocolate brownies ice cream and chocolate crunch pearls.  With lots of ice plain water in hand, we attacked the sweet dessert. Definitely something that is meant to be shared, the richness and sweetness could be a tad too much for some! Hahaha.... and as if they thought that we might have lived through Death by Chocolate, we were given more desserts that we available on the current Magnum Cafe menu to indulge in.Magnum Trifle; meringue with mascarpone cream with a white chocolate dipped vanilla Magnum with strawberries and dried raspberries.Magnum Red Velvet; Vanilla Magnum, dipped with dark chocolate and a slice of red velvet. Magnum ice cream is as good as it gets, however I felt that the red velvet lack the premium taste and was mediocre, hence subtracting a couple of points from this otherwise work of art.Magnum will be launching a "Celebrating Chocolate Pleasures" campaign in April 2015 with concourse events, digital contests and in-store promotions.  Do visit Magnum Malaysia HERE for more information.Magnum Cafe3rd Floor, South CourtMid Valley MegamallLingkaran Syed Putra59200 Kuala Lumpur[...]



HTC One E8 Launch - Here's To GrE8-ness

2014-09-15T08:10:00.136+08:00

I had the opportunity to attend yet another launch event, this time for the HTC One E8.  The event took place at The Centre for Asian Photographers, Level 1, The School in Jaya One on August 13. I guess you would know by now that I am a HTC fan as I have always love their smartphone designs. The premium HTC One launched back in April 2013 set the path for future improved designs like the HTC BoomSound dual front facing speakers, making HTC One The Phone Of The Year.  Fast forward a year later, we have had the HTC One Max and the even more premium HTC One M8 (love love love the duo camera lens!).S K Wong (Country Manager, HTC Malaysia) proudly welcoming the latest addition to the HTC family, the HTC One E8Happy Moments - Delighted by the GRE8-NESS of the HTC One E8, S K Wong and Shane ChiangThere I was standing before gre8-ness with the HTC One E8. The first in the HTC family to pack a rear 13MP camera feature, it takes photo taking and display up a notch on the 5" screen display. Apart from the already iconic dual frontal facing speakers, the E8 has a dual curve design with tapered sides for a comfortable fit in the hand. It also has the same Motion Launch which was introduced on the HTC One M8 that I have come to really love. Double tapping to wake the screen instead of pressing down the power button gives a longer life to the buttons on the phone in my opinion.  Even picking up a call is so much easier, there isn't a need to swipe/tap the Answer button, all I need to do is just bring the phone up to my ear and the call is automatically answered!(Left to Right) Wayne Tang, SK Wong, Raymond Tan (COO of Brighstar Malaysia), Shane Chiang (Head of Corporate & Consumer PR, HTC South Asia) Wayne Tang, Product Marketing Manager of HTC South Asia going through the features on the HTC One E8 to the guests and media.The HTC One E8 and the paparazzi Well, read more about the new HTC One E8 and its specifications here. Come fall in love with HTC like I did :o). Below is the press release for the product.HTC EXTENDS THE BEST SMARTPHONE FAMILY WITH THE HTC ONE (E8) Make a fashion statement with the vibrant and curvaceous HTC One (E8), packed with the latest HTC Sense™ 6 experienceMalaysia, 13 August 2014 – HTC, a global leader in innovation and design, today unveiled the HTC One (E8), a gorgeous, lightweight device, designed to attract the fashion pack. A vibrant twist on HTC’s iconic flagship design, The HTC One (E8) introduces new materials and bold, stylish colours to the award-winning One family. Complete with Motion Launch™, HTC BoomSound™, and incredible imaging capabilities, thanks to the 5MP front-facing and 13MP rear-facing cameras, the HTC One (E8) exudes originality without compromise.Jack Yang, President, HTC South Asia said: “The HTC One (M8) sets a new smartphone standard and now we’re taking it in another exciting direction. Combining style and substance, the HTC One (E8) represents the incredible experience people expect from a HTC One device with a look and feel that’s unlike anything else out there today. If you’re looking for the best flagship smartphone experience, but want to stand out from the crowd, this is the phone for you.” Break the mold with a fashion-forward smartphoneThe HTC One (E8)'s distinctive design aesthetic makes it the perfect companion for the fashion-conscious, with an elegant dual curve design that looks great and sits perfectly in your palm no matter how you hold it. The beautiful 5-inch device features a full HD, borderless display for a cleaner viewing experience. Encased in a light yet robust polycarbonate unibody, the HTC One (E8) comes in a vibrant range of colours and finishes for those looking for a trend-setting smartphone.                             Elegant design, inside and outThe new HTC One (E8) takes the entire smar[...]



I'm Not A Chef, Kota Damansara

2014-09-01T12:28:09.887+08:00

I'm Not A Chef  (INAC) is one of those places that I frequent as I drop by now and then when I wanna wind down for the night. You might even find me helping out there, hehehe.... That is because INAC is run by two people; Nat and Stef.  It's an incredible task that Nat (the one who is a chef but yet not a chef!) and Stef (does everything else except the cooking!) go through daily from 10 a.m. till 9 p.m. except their rest day which is on Sundays.Regulars would end up lending a hand or just wait patiently (during peak lunch hour) for their food to arrive. With reasonably priced and tasty Western/local food, it's a routine that the regulars willingly go through. This place is a favourite with students since it's within the vicinity of Segi University.  Actually, this is good and bad for INAC.  Good in the sense that there's a steady flow of diners. Bad in the sense that some of these student diners take advantage of the free wifi.  e.g. They come in a group of five and would only put in an order for two drinks and then they spend the next three to four hours or more on the internet! So, with this explanation, do note that there is a sign that states that each customer is required to have at least a minimum one drink order.You can hardly catch a glimpse of Nat during lunch hour (she will be cooking at a furious pace in the kitchen!) and a busy Stef who is almost too pre-occupied to even breathe as she deals with the maddening lunch crowd order and demands. However, come non-peak period, you can find Nat and Stef chatting with the regulars.  For the rest of us who are at INAC for the food primarily, it's a cozy place where one can chill. Seriously,we make ourselves at home! To get a gist of what I mean, drop by INAC :o)Here are pics of my favourite food from I'm Not A Chef ... Oh, I must mention that Nat does the desserts herself too!My favourite snack, Onion Rings!Sesame Chicken Rice.  Oh, that drink that looks like a beer with all that foam? It's actually their special  Ice Lemon Tea concoction (it's really nice but I do find it sweet, so I would ask for a lot of ice or add water to it)Nat's Kolok Mee with Minced Chicken, mushroom and half braised egg.  The Chilli Pan Mee is pretty good too.Chicken and Mushroom Pie...I enjoy the pie crustChiaki Chicken Apple Slices & Sauce with potatoes and salad.  Named after a friend who taught Nat this recipe.  The Chicken is marinated in some secret sauce and fried, giving it a dark brown colour and a nice crisp.  Dipped into the Apple Sauce that is served on the side, it's so Michael Jackson bad that it's GOOD! Hahaha...Nat's Carrot Cake is really full of good stuff. Try it!Bread Butter Pudding....a dessert that hits the spot for sure!Lots more on the menu that I have yet to explore.  By the way, do check out the cute hand drawn illustration on the menu and everywhere else where you can spot a drawing.  Like these stools below ...All the art that you see around INAC are drawn by Stef.  At the moment, check out the little wall gallery near the cashier's counter where you can buy hand drawn cards on display (drawn by Stef and her other talented friends) at RM5 per piece.  Proceeds will go towards National Cancer Society Malaysia ... a cause close to Stef's heart as her mum passed away early this year due to cancer.  You can also donate more ... look out for the collection tin hanging at the side of the wall gallery.If you can, try dropping by INAC during non peak hours to fully appreciate this place.  INAC is running on limited resources but it's a place where you can find food and "heart", they do their best ... Yes, I "heart" INAC indeed!I'm Not A Chef (Facebook Page)B6-2-5, Jalan Teknologi 2/1ESignature Park,Kota Damansara47810 Petaling Jaya, SelangorTel : 03-61437440 (Best call to check)Mon-Sat : 10 a.m - 9 p.m[...]



Love The New HTC One M8 : Review

2014-06-17T01:19:35.167+08:00

I received a HTC One M8 unit from HTC to review as part of a testing program.  It was great to have a chance to test out this 2014 HTC’s flagship model  with the much anticipated HTC Sense 6 and Android Kit Kat 4.4.  The design of the phone itself is gorgeous - 90% metal unibody (weighing in at 160 grams)  and soft curves along the edges (as compared to the 2013 HTC One model), it looks and feels solid in the hands like a premium smartphone should, especially the clarity of the stunning 5-inch, full 1080p HD display.  The gorgeous HTC One M8 metal unibody with the Duo Camera lens featureHere are some of the features that I truly love about the new HTC One M8 :-·       DUO CAMERA with Ultrapixel and a dual colour flash.  I really love taking photos with the HTC One M8.  With the Duo Camera adding a depth sensor, I can make my images more professional looking with effects like Ufocus which allows me to choose the focus area of my image after I take my shots.   There’s also the Foregrounder that allows me to choose from four variants; Sketch, Zoom Blur, Cartoon and Colorize.  These are the two most frequent effects I use amongst the many others like Seasons, 3D Dimension Plus, Sticker, Copy & Paste and Touch Up. The 5 MP wide angle front facing camera is a great feature too as its clarity is the best I’ve seen so far for taking “selfie” or “wefie”  photos.  The Ultrapixel also works best in low light conditions.  It gets the job done and done well.  Of course, we are not talking about enlarging images to poster size. Here's a pic I took and one which I used the Foregrounder "Sketch" to edit the pic.  Cute!Here's a shot I took in a rather dim place but with lights surrounding this cafe counter. The words on the blackboard are still relatively clear; this is the Ultrapixel at work.·       MOTION LAUNCH - Along with the HTC Sense 6, the HTC One M8 has this new feature which I love.  A double tap on the screen is all you need to do to see the time.  It turns the lock screen off and on! I love that I can prolong the life of the power button! A swipe downwards while phone is in sleep mode) activates the device that prompts you to say the name of the person you would like to call.  There’s also Auto Answer which allows me to answer a call when I put the phone to my ear, done without touching the screen.  Another great feature for those who have their hands dirty from eating some tasty buffalo wings or wet from washing dishes! Hahaha...·       HTC BoomSound – There is an improvement over the previous HTC One.  The HTC One M8 is louder and delivers a richer tone through the dual frontal speakers as it has a new amplifier and speaker chambers.I customised my BlinkFeed to get me straight to my favourite news and articles on Food! Hahaha....Of course the micro SD card slot is a welcome feature here (up to 128GB!).  I personally use a 64GB and find that there is more than enough space for an avid photographer like me.  The battery performance has also been quite phenomenal, lasting me up to two days.  I use the phone for taking lots of photographs, editing work, internet, music and light calls and texting.  I guess it’s dependent on what sort of user one is.  I would dare say that it would last more than two days for a light user for sure.  Coupled with the availability of an Extreme Power Saving mode for those who are on the move and can’t quite get to charging the phone,  the HTC One M8 performs exceptionally well and much longer! Of course, the BlinkFeed is still here, consolidating all my favourite news from different customize sources. With the latest HTC One M8  (the above is gunmetal gray, my fave colour),  it[...]



Curry Leaf, Damansara Utama

2014-06-09T18:37:14.491+08:00

In a dilemma...I write this post.  I feel that more folks should be dining here but yet would like to keep this place to myself. But good things must be shared, so share I must!  I am a fan of nasi briyani and when bro took me here sometime back, I had wondered why I had not made a visit to Curry Leaf before when it was so near to me all this time.  You know what they say...sometimes the very thing that you are looking for is the one thing you can't see! That's how I felt about Curry Leaf.  Just before this, I was telling my brother about the mediocre nasi briyani I had from a shop in Bangsar, where one was charged at a higher price if you were to sit in the air-conditioned section! The Nasi Briyani with Honey Chicken was about RM12.50 and yes, it was mediocre...yet people throng that place daily.And here I was again, on a Sunday ... having my Briyani Mutton rice in the quiet Curry Leaf. A simple looking restaurant but with great food. This is a branch from the original restaurant located in Seremban and I'm glad they came to Damansara Uptown.  I only wished I knew about Curry Leaf sooner, I could have had more and better briyani rice!  Hahaha.... Anyway, there were about six tables taken but there were still ample empty tables.  I really can't understand why there weren't more customers.  My bro had his banana leaf rice while I gave my usual order.  I like to usually order a small plate of my vegetables - cabbage to go with my rice.I love the aromatic spices they put in to stir fry the cabbage.  A great accompaniment for the briyani rice!The lovely briyani rice comes in a little metal pot.  But don't scoff at that little pot as it holds a big serving actually. If one is really hungry, it will be no problem to finish it off but those with small appetite can probably share one, though I figure the best would be for 3 pax to share two pots of these.  There are several briyani variants; you have plain, egg, chicken, mutton, squid... It is served with some yogurt raita on the side.  Each rice grain is flavourful and the mutton is tender and cooked spot on! All this at a reasonable price of RM9! No more briyani elsewhere (for now...until I find one better!)! People oh people? Where are you oh people on a Sunday afternoon like this? Oooh, the pics here are taken with my new HTC One M8 by the way, I'm loving it!The rice is filled with generous pieces of mutton meat, a truly satisfying meal for sure.  I need to go try the Kashmiri Naan...the pic displayed on the glass window of Curry Leaf sure has me piqued. A naan with dried fruits and slices of mango on it, for RM5!  Actually, there are a lot of other dishes I would like to try but I only have one stomach! :o(  By the way, the Lassi here is pretty good too and also reasonably priced at RM3.80!People! People! Listen! Try out Curry Leaf and you will be go back for more! Okay, lunch time here on a weekday might be tricky unless you work around this area and can make your way there on foot but it's relatively easier to find a parking space during dinner time and the weekends.Curry Leaf (near to Haji Samuri Kajang Satay)Ground Floor, No. 75, Jalan SS21/37Damansara Utama (Uptown)47400 Petaling Jaya, SelangorTel : +603 7726 5880Open Daily 7.30 am - 10.30 pm[...]



HTC One M8 Malaysia Launch, HTC Keeps Getting Better

2014-05-28T08:01:00.409+08:00

It was with much excitement that I looked forward to May 8th where the HTC One M8 was officially launched in Malaysia.  This time round the venue was at DPAC (Damansara Performing Arts Centre).  The HTC One M8 is the 2014 flagship smartphone for HTC and was launched internationally in London earlier on March 25th.HTC One M8, ready to be unveiled in timeOtterbox for HTC One M8 available that night, along with other cases on display. No Dot View Case in sight though.  I am so tempted to get a Dot View Case!Some of the beautiful photos on display, taken by Kid Chan, with the HTC One M8.  Love the pics! Watching Robert Downey Jr on screen, extolling the greatness of the HTC One M8Top To Bottom (Clockwise) : S K Wong (Country Manager of HTC Malaysia, Sirpa Ikola (Senior Marketing Director of HTC South Asia, Justin Zhang, Head of Product Portfolio of HTC South Asia HTC team with business partners, Kid Chan telling us the joy of using the HTC One M8 for some of his photography projects.The veil is finally lifted! The HTC One M8 is truly a sight to behold.  Made up of 90% metal, it looks and feels solid like a premium phone should.One of the new features of the HTC One M8 is the duo camera lens that enables a better depth reading, producing a better overall photography experience.Here are the specs of the latest HTC One M8.  It is now available in telco stores near you. Check out the plans under Digi and Maxis Stay tuned for more on the HTC One M8 ..... to be continued[...]



Juan Valdez Cafe Origins, Intermark Mall

2014-04-10T18:16:43.276+08:00

On April 1st, Juan Valdez Cafe Origins opened its first cafe in South East Asia, right here in the heart of Kuala Lumpur at Lot G-22, Ground Floor, Intermark Mall.The ribbon cutting ceremony was graced by the Charge D'Affaires of the Embassy of Colombia in Malaysia, Mr Camilo Salazar and President of Procafecol, Hernan Mendez. The cute highlight of the ceremony was not only the appearance of Mr Juan Valdez himself but of him together with Juan Valdez's mascot donkey!The delegates and invited guest were treated to samplings from the menu designed especially by the renowned Chef Nathalie Arbefeuille in addition to the ice blend and brewed Juan Valdez coffee that we got to try. The cafe has a nice ambiance; an upmarket alternative but with comparative pricing to hipster cafes that have been mushrooming within the Klang Valley. Good for business meetings, this cafe should also do well with its current location within the Golden Triangle.  Check it out!************************************************************Here is the Press Release issued by Salina & Associates PR Sdn Bhd :-Juan Valdez® Café Comes to MalaysiaThe iconic coffee brand opens its first store in Kuala LumpurKuala Lumpur, Malaysia, In what represents an important step in its international expansion strategy, Juan Valdez® Café has opened its first café in South East Asia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The store is the first of six in the company’s plans to open in this country. The café is located on Jalan Ampang and Jalan Tun Razak , The Intermark, in the exclusive Golden Triangle. Many turned out to celebrate the opening of the 220m2 store including Procafecol's President Hernán Méndez, Colombian Ambassador, local dignitaries and even Juan Valdez himself.  "We are very optimistic about our presence in this new region," said Méndez during the opening of the first Juan Valdez coffee shop in the region. “We have prepared intensely for this new phase, even bringing in Colombian experts to train local staff. We also have very committed partners that will help ensure our success.”This new store is of the successful Origins flagship format (recently launched last December in Bogotá, the Colombian capital city), which aims at offering a different experience of Colombian regional origins and specialty coffees ways of brewing. It is the first flagship Origins coffee shop out of the country. For the opening of the coffee shop, three Colombian experts at brewing and hospitality from the Juan Valdez® headqurters team and the domestic training team traveled to Malaysia, all this to bring the Colombian premium coffee culture!The portfolio of products to be offered by the store includes roasted and packed coffee from different Colombian regions, hot and cold drinks brewed from Colombian premium coffee, a great variety of premium pastries developed by a recognized chef and products for coffee brewing and consumption. Juan Valdez Arrives in one of the World’s attractive Region Malaysia’s dynamic economy has caught the attention of the investor community, and Juan Valdez decided it could not miss out on this opportunity. This country's steady growth —about 4% in the last years— the government’s stated goal to become a high-income country by 2020, plus growth in the coffee category of 6% per year, were powerful reasons that prompted Procafecol to disembark in this country.Malaysia is an increasingly demanding coffee market, with young consumers featuring a very educated palate and great appreciation of premium-type products, such as those marketed by Juan Valdez® Café. Connoisseurs believe that a coffee brand such as Juan Valdez® Café has huge room for growth throughout the country.With the opening of the first store in Malaysia, Juan Valdez® Café already has 267 coffee shops worldwide, of which 187 are in Colombia and 80 [...]



Cooling Down @ Baba Low's, Bangsar

2014-03-12T22:26:10.165+08:00

The weather has been a killer of late...I have been seeking reprieve in the malls, cinemas, hypermarkets, restaurants but the best way has to be the full enjoyment of having an icy cold dessert.  Though Baba Low's isn't air-conditioned, there's always one thing that draws me back time and time again.  While the food fares pretty well too, it's the Cendol that gets me going! This is a place where I will usually eat dessert first, then the mains and sometimes once in awhile...dessert again! Hahaha.... allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="800" mozallowfullscreen="" msallowfullscreen="" oallowfullscreen="" src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ugwug/12858261894/player/49bbc75401" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="453"> Ahhh...Cendol, the current love of my life! I love the fragrant gula melaka. Combined with the coconut milk and the shaved ice, it's one satisfying concoction, spot on sweetness with a tad of saltiness that makes it good. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="640" mozallowfullscreen="" msallowfullscreen="" oallowfullscreen="" src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ugwug/12857838525/player/77f40d3c14" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="362"> Then there is this Popiah Peranakan, one won't know what to make of it on the first bite. The popiah skin is akin to a soft crepe texture as you can see from the photo. I decided that I do like this popiah peranakan; turnip, fried shallots, coriander, egg strips, cucumber, bean sprouts with a dash of Gula Melaka.  Try it and decide for yourself :o)  Oh, no pics of the Pie Tee that can be seen in the background? I personally thought it was just okay.    allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="640" mozallowfullscreen="" msallowfullscreen="" oallowfullscreen="" src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ugwug/12858259274/player/382914cbab" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="362">This I do like! Nyonya Laksa...With a fragrant soup that was just right, thick enough and not too rich that would please the palate of most. Lovely! allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="640" mozallowfullscreen="" msallowfullscreen="" oallowfullscreen="" src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ugwug/12858260984/player/a86e6c28f0" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="483"> I love Mee Siam but the Mee Siam here was average to me.  It scored extra points for the tasty chilli sambal (not spicy enough though) that accompanied it.  Generous serving of julienned cucumber and egg strips ? +1 allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="640" mozallowfullscreen="" msallowfullscreen="" oallowfullscreen="" src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ugwug/12857842205/player/6e63047f2b" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="362">Hmm...we ordered this as the name intrigued us.  Mee Goreng Sejuk! After eating it, we were still intrigued as we couldn't decide what to make of it. No, the noodles weren't served cold but warm (not hot, but warm).  It was a simple serving of noodles with a sunny side up egg on top and julienne cucumbers on the side.  We found it on the salty side, not sure whether it's suppose to be salty or the cook was a tad generous with the salt that day. If you have tried this, what do you think of it?For me, I'll order the Nyonya Laksa and at the end of the meal...All's good with a Cendol (again!) ;o) Baba Low's 48611, Lorong Kurau,59100 BangsarKuala LumpurOpens Daily from 7 a.m till 10 p.mTel : 603-2284 8486[...]



Caffebene Is Here in Malaysia @ Sunway Pyramid

2014-03-03T02:48:18.690+08:00

An impromptu outing with Coffee Kaki  (CK) led me to Caffebene (which means Good Cafe) on a busy Sunday afternoon. This international Korean coffee chain finally hit our shores with the first outlet in Sunway Pyramid.  Thankfully, finding a parking bay was easy if that meant parking on the roof ... at 1.20pm, ample bays up on the roof. For easy access to Caffebene...enter car park through the Sunway Convention Centre and head up to CP7 (Level 7), unless you manage to find empty bays available on the lower floors.  Taking the escalator to the mall all the way down till you hit the shopping mall floor where TGIF and Padini Concept Store is located.  Caffebene is just a floor below.  Once you are there, try to control yourself from over ordering with all the goodies in store (for those unfamiliar with Caffebene, check out their menu HERE and you will see what I mean!).Anyway, CK went to get a table while I stood in line to order.  They will give you a device that flashes and vibrates when your order is ready.  However, when CK went to pick up the order, CK came back with a staff who carried the order to our table instead.  One of their signature items is Bingsu.  Bingsu (shaved ice with toppings) is a popular dessert found everywhere in Korea.  Well, Caffebene's has a wide range of Bingsu (green tea, strawberry, cookies & cream, coffee - to name a few) and they are truly a feast for the eyes as well as your tummy.  With the current hot weather in Malaysia, surely this was as easy choice for me (no hot coffee for now!). allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="800" mozallowfullscreen="" msallowfullscreen="" oallowfullscreen="" src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ugwug/12882302474/player/eebe6c69c3" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="452"> See what I mean? Isn't it lovely looking? This is a Coffee Bingsu (Single RM10.80/USD3). It looks heavenly and it taste nice too, though CK found it a tad sweet. It was generously "smothered" with toppings! allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="640" mozallowfullscreen="" msallowfullscreen="" oallowfullscreen="" src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ugwug/12882298624/player/b8f53e8385" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="495"> I thoroughly enjoyed my Strawberry Bingsu....The Strawberry ice cream sweetness level was just nice, sitting on a bed of generous red bean.  There were quite a lot of strawberries on and in the shaved ice.  They looked like a type of strawberry variety as they were all rather tiny and of the same size (I had even thought that they could be raspberries) and on the sour side.  This was okay as it went well with the sweetness of the shaved ice dessert.  The Bingsu is rather huge, it seemed almost bottomless at one point but on a hot day, I manage to finish it on my own.  Otherwise, I think it's a good size for 2 to share.  Would definitely come back for this! allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="640" mozallowfullscreen="" msallowfullscreen="" oallowfullscreen="" src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ugwug/12881874105/player/caf8c08b8d" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="402">Speaking of sharing, I ordered the Garlic and Cheese Honey Bread (RM16/USD5) for us to share.  It can be a meal for one but it will be quite a full meal indeed. allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="283" mozallowfullscreen="" msallowfullscreen="" oallowfullscreen="" src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ugwug/12882300884/player/e81b1c2bbb" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="500"> The Honey Bread has a nice texture, a crisp outer layer and soft insides.  This was really tasty and something one should try at Caffebene.  Something I would order once in awhile for RM16 can get me 1.5 of a Bingsu which I definitely enjoyed more than this.Ca[...]



HTC BoomBass Review

2014-02-10T00:40:18.582+08:00

Continuing from my previous post, the second and last part of the review is on the HTC BoomBass speaker accessory. I was sent an HTC BoomBass to test out together with a HTC One Max.  On it’s own, the HTC One Max is already quite an entertainment powerhouse.  The large 5.9” display and the HTC BoomSound dual front facing speakers can stand alone in delivering both high quality video and audio in the smartphones category.  Using the HTC BoomBass (which is also compatible with the HTC Butterfly S  and HTC One0 was easy straight out of the box which is what I like most about it.  It connects wirelessly to the HTC One Max with just a simple NFC (Near Field Communication) tap on the cute 64 x 64 mm (2.5 x 2.5 ")speaker cube  and it disconnects the same way too.

It also works as a reclining stand as the base slides out for one to position the phone in place, making it easy to watch videos and movies. The built-in-battery has lasted me quite a while, I have lost count of how long I have been using it on a one time charge.  So no worries about battery unless we ourselves forget to recharge it! :o)

Here's the HTC One, reclining on the HTC Boom Bass (that's Once Upon A Time, if you're wondering what show that is...)

The HTC BoomBass does not increase the audio volume but enhances audio the way a sub woofer does, adding bass (hence the name) for  a richer and deeper tone.  This is clearly notable when I am watching movies, the HTC BoomBass gives me a more enjoyable mini-cinema experience especially when I am watching on the HTC One Max.  For music, it depends on the original quality of the audio files firstly.  I find that it works better for ballads, classical and instrumental music whereas it seemed a tad “overworked”  and strained for trance tracks.  Check out the full specifications HERE

Overall though, it’s a great accessory to have around especially for on-the-go sharing video/movie viewing and music experience with family and friends.