Saturday, December 29, 2012

My Lecka-Lecka Gelato Invention

I love watching The Apprentice, the regular ones before they changed the format and made it to celebrity version. The tasks are inspiring and they helped me to get different insights on working creatively on any given tasks. One of which, was to design new ice cream flavours, and have the most sales from it. Read about the tasks here.

Lecka-Lecka organized a rather similar contest not too long ago, with the sales aspect absent of course. 3 flavours was chosen by them and I was lucky enough to get my flavour chosen among the top 3. :D You can get the taste sample from eCurve or Wangsa Walk Lecka-Lecka branch, on the 29th and 30th of December 2012.

The winning flavours are - Ribena Lychee, Bubble Tea Craze, and Snowball Fudge in descending orders.

Came in 2nd. Bubble Tea Craze
My take on the task was simple, I wanted to choose a flavour that is susceptible to most Malaysians, thus ultimately choosing the Bubble Tea flavour. Had it been the Year of the Donuts, I would've gone with Donut flavour (The winning flavour of the said Apprentice episode, lol) but this year has been very much influenced by bubble tea, thus that direction.

Of course, none of the winners are involved in the actual food tasting process until the results are out, and each of us received 0.5 kg of the winning flavours.

1st Prize - Ribena Lychee
The verdict? I am a sucker for the brownies in the Snowball Fudge flavour but the vanilla based gelato is kinda odd for my liking. The bubble tea gelato works, however as predicted by some the tapioca pearl has been rendered kind of inedible due to its harden/frozen state. The Ribena Lychee should've been a slam dunk, but it resulted to be a bit too sweet.

2nd Runner Up - Snowball Fudge
That's just my humble (food taster/focus group/picky eater) opinion. The public may think differently, hopefully towards our favours. But none the less, it has been a delightful experience to be a gelato designer for once, this could be very well a stepping stone for any of us to hit into the food industry (dreaming it over/dare to dream).

My humble creation - Could've been better :)
And of course, that doesn't hinder me from feeling like....

... I am an Ice Cream man now.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Les Misérables - The Murphy Law Day

Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong - Murphy's Law

That was exactly what happened last Friday, where everything I expected to go wrong actually went wrong.
Woke up late to shower up for an event. With great stink, I attended a finale where I stood a 1/175 chance to win a Hyundai Elantra. Sounds good, no? Murphy's Law struck again, I was eliminated in the 1st preliminary round.

Later that evening I was supposed to attend a preview screening of Les Misérables, courtesy of Nuffnang. I managed to secure another pair that day, just in case one fell short of the other. I gave the other pair away, and was expecting that the contact person would redeemed the pair for me, even if he/she watches the movie. I personally don't care if that person watches the movie or not, I do care however that the ticket is collected because I gave my word/RSVP for it.

The night before, fearing that contact person might forget about the screening, I decided to send a private message. True enough, contact person totally forgotten about it. And Murphy's Law struck once again, on the day it self, contact person forgot about the magazine cutting, thus making it hard to redeem the tickets and it gets better, contact person decided to let me know that he/she actually got a pair from Nuffnang.

Frustrated, but decided not to argue, I went to collect both pairs and decided to burn a pair. Murphy Law struck once again, the screening for Les Misérables in the Nuffnang hall was halted due to technical difficulties.

But no matter how much Murphy's Law decided to bring me down, the day do have its silver linings.
I didn't win the car, but I won some consolation prizes, so I was not empty handed.

And it was due to contact person FFK-ing, that I actually switched hall to watch the premiere anyway (I found out after that the screening did not happen at Nuffnang's hall afterall and was replaced with another day). It was one of those rare occasion that I am glad that people FFK me. LOL.

Les Misérables, directed by Tom Hooper (who directed the Academy Award winning movie, The King's Speech) and starred by Wolverine, Gladiator Maximus, Princess Diaries, that Mamma Mia girl, Mrs.Tim Burton and AliG-Borat-Bruno.

It's a full 160 minutes of musical cum film, telling the story of Jean Valjean, being chased by an obsessed police inspector Javert, met a prostitute Fantine, and kept her daughter Cosette after she died. I know, the summary is complete trash, but seriously, the movie brought broadway to the silver screen, in a good way. Never knew Hugh Jackman was such a performer, Anne Hathaway gave me goosebumps from her solo number, Amanda Seyfried is amazing to watch as usual.

While we can't exactly avoid Murphy's Law from happening, everything that happened/bound to happen is for a reason, it might be just for the better. Just hold on to that if you feel like you're having a crappy day!

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Child's Love

Sam walked into the room smiling like a Cheshire cat,
Up to something mischievous again, I can guarantee that,
Briskly reached to the nearest color pencil and fleeted off the room,
Absolutely curious, I can only now guess and assume,
Nonetheless, I laid down the hammer and nail I was holding,
Guess I'll hang the frame later, Sam is a mystery now worth solving.

Partially a spy now, I tippy-toed right to where Sam was found,
About to catch her off guard when it was the other way around,
Reading what he wrote on a sincere, scribbled card broke my heart
A flower decorated, birthday card to my wife of 25 years who had passed on,
"Daddy take my picture for mummy" he gleefully asked to photographed his art,
Extremely touched, I wiped my tears and said "Sure thing son"

Such a young, pure hearted child I have so dear to me,
Undeniable love he has for his mother, despite being apart already,
Caring for him is all I have now, and will always be,
Kindred to cherish, I gave him a huge hug, tightly
Sam hugged me back with words so endeared, "I love you daddy".

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Marina Mahathir's Book Launch - Telling it Straight

A respected and passionate activist of her caliber,
Speaks her mind, upholding what she believes beyond borders,
She paves the road for citizens to voice out, a true inspiration, 
A powerful woman, daughter and truly Malaysian!

Courtesy of Starbucks Malaysia, a bunch of us were given the fast lane opportunity to meet this remarkable lady in Starbucks Borders, The Gardens. A social and political activist, she is among the many Malaysian who dares to Tell It Straight, you want it, you got it!

I must admit I did not follow all her articles (23 years since her first posting in the Star), but non the less, the issues she takes on, and how she represent Malaysians via her other articles I've read is commendable.

Her new book, Telling It Straight is 264-pages, covering topics like Youth & Education, Democracy & Politics, Faith & Religion, HIV, Speech Freedom, Gender Issues & Social Values.

The book retails at $12.95 (the actual price printed above its ISBN number), you can get yours from Borders *winks*

On top of that, I managed to greet the wife of former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and mother of Marina Mahathir, Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah binti Haji Mohamad Ali, another remarkable lady who advocates cause and welfare of rural women, aiding youths who are victim of drug abuse, among her many contributions to the country. She is down to earth and poise, and pleasant to talk to. Regardless of my political beliefs, I was hoping that Tun Dr. M would be there as well, but he wasn't there due to other commitments. 

It was a great Saturday evening to sum it all. I'll continue reading the book once I've published this blog post :)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Truly Malaysian - UNESCO World Heritage revisited

If one has heard of Malaysia, he/she can associate Her with its diverse culture and ethnicity blending together, and an enriched history that goes along with it. Old cultural buildings are preserved for future generations with it values. Malaysia is also bestowed with its natural resources, marine wonders and lush rainforests, adventures and discovery awaits to those who would want to venture them. Topping the list of what Malaysia has to offer, are the variety of food that is available here.

It was not my intention to visit UNESCO world heritage locations in Malaysia because they are world heritage, but rather a hungry, gastronomical journey (particularly Malacca and Penang) and I've yearned to visit Sabah since my university years in UNIMAS, Sarawak. This year, I managed to visit 2/4 of the suggested World Heritage in Malaysia, pretty happy about it.

Malacca and Penang, the two gems of Malaysia, rich with its historical values situated along the Straits of Malacca are known for its trading and cultural crossroads between both worlds from the East and West, dating as far as half a millennium ago.

The Dutch and Portuguese architectural influence in Malacca is prominently seen in the government buildings, churches, squares and fortifications in Malacca, whereas British colonial influence can be seen in Georgetown, Penang. Both towns portrays a succession of historical and cultural influences arising from their former function as trading ports linking East and West, alongside with their multi-cultural living heritage originating from the trade routes from Great Britain and Europe through the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and the Malay Archipelago to China. Of course, as what Malaysia is all about, the culture, landscape and architecture from its three major races - Malay, Chinese and Indian blended in these historical towns.

Notable buildings that you may want to visit (or revisit) are Stadthuys, A Famosa Fort and St.Paul's Hill in Malacca. In Penang however, feast your eyes on the artistic graffiti in Armenian Street and Cheong Fatt Tze's Mansion.

One of Malaysia's nature heritage includes the Kinabalu Park, rich with floras and faunas. The range of habitats available here is exceptional, from rich tropical lowland and hill rainforest to tropical mountain forest, sub-alpine forest and scrub on the higher elevations. Development of new species are made possible here from the ideal conditions provided by the altitude and climatic gradient from tropical forest to alpine conditions combine with precipitous topography, diverse geology and frequent climate oscillations.

Out of the 14 states of Malaysia, I've yet to step on Perlis, Terengganu, and Johore. But when I do, rest assured that there is always something new to discover everyday, and those states are not exceptional.

A Night of Eroticism

While this is unlike what Sumptuous Erotica has to offer, I would like to warn before hand that this blog post contains suggestive and mild nudity contents, if you are easily offended or unable to view such materials, click  HERE to leave this post now, or support the turtles HERE.

My travel mates, Larry, Christa and Johan were wrapping the day up after a day trip in Paris city and the Versailles. Strolling through the street of Pigalle, we were constantly persuaded to enter and watch certain 'live shows' along the way. We declined, not sure why but that was what we did. 

We hunted for souvenirs and one particular museum caught our attention. Now this is scarce or non-existent in Malaysia, but this Erotic Museum we saw looks tempting (pun unintended).

I can't exactly recall how much we paid for the entrance, I think it was around € 5 or so. There's NO live models/dancers/performers here but what you can expect are contemporary arts that depicts eroticism. From sculptures to paintings, just keep an open perspective and you will find them less offensive and appreciate its arts value.

There's about 4-5 floors, the arts are generally not categorized here, so do take your time to slowly explore the museum. We went there quite late, so we briskly walk and managed to view all the floors here though. 

Alight at the Pigalle Paris Métro station, where you can see the famous Moulin Rouge, walk along the street and you would be able to find the museum, along side with other performances or adult genre entertainment you might be interested in.  

It's quite an eye opener, you may or may not skip this but we sorta enjoyed the museum 'tour'. :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Paris Day 3 : La Folie de Marie-Antoinette et Versailles

25th August 2011, Thursday

Approximately 20km from Paris is the suburb known as Versailles, which we were privileged to go visit on a Thursday morning. Alighting at Versailles Rive Gauche, we walked for about 10 minutes or so to the château.

The magnificent court of Versailles symbolized the center of political prowess in France from 1682 until the French Revolution in 1789. A UNESCO heritage, this attraction was once a significant absolute monarchy symbol of the Ancient Regime.

Spare half a day if you are only going around the palace and the beautiful garden at the palace vicinity. However, do allocate a day trip if you're actually planning to enter the palace itself, you'll spend quite some time lining up  for entrance.

We managed to return to the city by noon. Our first stop then was  Musée d'Orsay (formerly Gare d'Orsay, an impressive Beaux-Arts railway station built between 1898 and 1900). The museum houses French arts ranging from paintings, sculptures, furniture to photography, mostly dating from 1848 to 1915.

Another notable attractions that we landed ourselves to was the Arc de Triomphe and the Avenue des Champs-Élysées - The street where bankruptcy from shopping made possible. I spent quite some time here not for shopping, but to look for a Longchamp bag for my mummy dearest, which was eventually found at Galeries Lafayette at Boulevard Haussmann.

By dawn, we made our way to Hard Rock Cafe, Paris. Not disappointing in any way, this branch is as happening as any of the other western HRC I've been to. After that, we had a light dinner before heading back to Pigalle to drop Christa and Johan. 

We also walked to the 'red light district', which I'll cover a bit in the future blog post I hope HERE :)

Tickets, more tickets
Overall, we did enjoyed Paris, from all the walking to the sight seeings, Paris is surely one of the cities that I don't exactly mind visiting again. Heads up, living up to their reputations, Parisians (most of them), can be less friendly at times, just act 'atas' when you're at the 'atas' areas with them. Blend in, they say :)

Friday, September 28, 2012

My McDonald's Samurai Burger Story

Well, it is not so much about my experience eating the burger, I can't (due to religious reason) and I won't.
Earlier today, I responded to McDonald's Malaysia's post in Facebook, a post regarding on their Samurai Burger.

Succulent looking burger, no? Too bad, I can't take beef and this was my simple response, along with other comments on that particular post.

The comment I made did not contain any racial slurs, derogatory statements, political sensitive items isn't it? I did not direct this statement to anyone, look, no names mentioned right? McDonald's Malaysia Facebook did a good job explaining their reasoning behind just promoting the beef burger.

Then this occurred in the afternoon via my Facebook messaging.

Before I could respond any further, the fella conveniently blocked me. Well, if I could continue though, this would be my response.

Disregarding your 1st and rather incomplete question, I think I have answered your second question with the shortest comprehensible way possible (note that you're a stranger to me, and I don't have any obligations to answer you whatsoever). And if you have been reading the comments on the Facebook post, you would've probably seen that I am not the only one who has been querying or responding to why there's no chicken Samurai Burger. 

Not to patronize your education level or upbringings whatsoever, but I am pretty sure that you know that there are myriad of races in Malaysia, each of them with their particular religious restriction(s). The Hindus particularly do not take beef and certain Chinese  don't take beef either.

So when you decided to irritate me further with your smart alec respond, 

"Y can't? Y won't? Just eat it n stop complaining!" 

I can't help but to respond sarcastically. Before you go on judging on how insensitive I am on what I typed, do note that respect goes both ways. If I am not getting an ounce of respect from you, don't even think of getting any from me. I am perfectly aware of what I typed, I know that pork and alcohol is haram for Muslims. as a humble Malaysian myself. I was about to 'return' the "Y can't? Y won't? Just eat it n stop complaining!"  statement just for you to taste the same medicine. Y U NO LET ME FURTHER RESPOND AND CONTINUE COMPLAINING? The world does not revolves around you and that sucks isn't it?


That's just my two cents. I have no problem respecting anyone as long as the respect is reciprocated. 
And feel free to have a McDonald's lunch with me in the near future, just get  me a Spicy McDeluxe would do :)