Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Cellar Door British Pub Food New Menu : Fan Review

Thanks to Double Tree by Hilton, Kuala Lumpur, a selected few fans are given the first opportunity for a food review for Cellar Door's new British Pub Food Menu. We were greeted by Double Tree's Facebook Page admins Nisa and Cindy and were seated with a welcome drink. Chef Andy Blundy, who is spearheading the new menu, gave us the opening speech and welcomed us to the introductory menu by the Cellar Door. Good ol' British Pub food are hard to find in Kuala Lumpur, and lucky for us now, we don't have to search too far already.

Each guests were given a review card, in which we were supposed to rate the dishes from 1 to 5 stars, 5 being the most satisfactory rating. Among the guests were Julien and Sara Wilkinson, expats, Mabelle, Victor, and Yee Pee (Facebook friends) and another familiar face I met during my previous event with Marina Mahathir, Vanthini. We were also joined by Cindy and Nisa for the dinner.

Mabelle and I with the review cards. Image courtesy of DoubleTree by Hilton.
First up, appetizers! The appetizers that were served included the Deviled Whitebait with Thai Ketchup and Tartar Sauce and Pint of Prawns with Lemon, Chipotle Mayonnaise, Brown Bread and Butter. Whitebait is basically a collective term for the immature fry of fish. The deviled whitebait is crisp, and seasoned well, and almost tasted like an Indian cuisine due to the spices used. The pint of prawns, fresh and light, another great way to get your palettes started. Dipping the prawns in the chipotle mayonnaise is optional, but highly recommended.

Top: Pint of Prawns with Lemon, Chipotle Mayonnaise, Brown Bread and Butter.
Bottom :
Deviled Whitebait with Thai Ketchup and Tartar Sauce
Chef Blundy, being an excellent host entertaining the Wilkinsons

The main course never failed to impress, highlighting the best and most iconic British dish - Fish and Chips with homemade Tartar sauce and Pea Puree. The batter was seasoned and fried to perfection. The fish inside remained moist and tender, reminiscing the fish and chips I had in London 2 years back. It was served with classic favourites, the mushy peas (pureed) and tartar sauce (an absolute complement to the fish and chips). Also, we were given vinegar to accompany the fish and chips, another classic way of having them (kind of tried that the first time in London as well).

We were also served with the Homemade Sausage and Mash with Onion Gravy. The sausage is made from a medley of lamb and chicken to mimic the texture of pork, but being a Halal restaurant (Chef Blundy admitted, he almost gotten himself into trouble when the manager specifically mentioned that no pork can be used), the medley would be the next best thing. I personally would like more gravy with my bangers, but that's just me :)

Chef Blundy giving explanations on the dishes along the way.
The next few dishes lined up were Chicken Kiev with Roasted Garlic Butter served with triple cooked chips and salad, and the chef favourite, The Cottage Pie. The Chicken Kiev, as written on the comment card was supposed to be oozing with the roasted garlic butter but it came out too dry, kiev is generally a very hard dish to tackle, I've yet to try a great kiev as of yet. I did not sample the cottage pie since the main protein used in this dish is beef, but the vegetable servings aside it taste alright for me. Sara joked that Julien will gladly help with my serving because he is that thoughtful, :)

The Tikka Masala was ordered as a special request (off the review menu) since it has built its reputation as a true British national dish, despite its unknown origin. The tikka masala is rich and creamy, but I would prefer it to be spicier. I can understand the mild spiciness though, it's not supposed to shock anyone's palette that way, rather it was meant to savour the aromatic spice blend in the masala dish. The Rarebit was a throw off for me, thinking that it actually contained 'rabbits'. I obliviously asked the Chef what rabbit was used. Rarebits are actually made with a savoury sauce of melted cheese (and various other ingredients), served hot, after being poured over slices (or other pieces) of toasted bread. This dish is said to originate from the 18th Century Great Britain, qualifying it to be another classic British dish. Well, there is something new to learn everyday, no? :)

Clockwise from Top Left : Cottage Pie, Chicken Kiev with Roasted Garlic Butter served with triple cooked chips and salad, Chicken Tikka Masala, Rarebits
No full course dinner is complete without desserts. The served desserts included Black Forest Gateaux with Morello Cherries and Kirsch, Warm Apple Crumble Pie with Vanilla Sauce, Sticky Toffee Pudding with Caramel Sauce and my personal favorite, the Treacle tart. The Gateaux, albeit not exactly British per se, is a decent looking cake, garnished with the cherries around it. The toffee pudding didn't really blow my socks, but the apple crumble pie and treacle tart were superstar for me. I love apple crumble pie. I find it hard to get a good, warm, slice of apple pie around. The treacle tart, gives a very Ikea-cookie-inspired flavour, cinnamon and ginger gave a prominent whiff to it. Thumbs up for the tart! Dessert Queen, Vanthini (not self proclaimed, I gave her that title since she loves baking), approved the tart and the pie as well!

Treacle Tart. Image courtesy of Double Tree by Hilton.
From left : Black Forest Gateaux with Morello Cherries and Kirsch, Warm Apple Crumble Pie with Vanilla Sauce, Sticky Toffee Pudding with Caramel Sauce
After the desserts, we were tasked to draw our favourite dish and name our favourite dish. Chef Blundy selected 3 of his favourite entries, and the winners were rewarded with an additional gift to the goodie bag that each guests were given. Of course, each of us went home with the delicious, famous Double Tree Cookie as well!  

I would like to extend my gratitude once again to Double Tree and Cellar Door for the amazing dinner, my official pilot food review and the company of great new friends, great hosts Nisa and Cindy on behalf of Double Tree and the excellent Chef Andy Blundy. Rest assured, I'll be back for more, especially for the Fish and Chips :) Check out more photos from the Double Tree Facebook page, like the page if you haven't!
Happy faces after the dinner

Friday, January 18, 2013

Listen, Listen, Let Me Speak Parodies

These are some of my favorite parodies of Kak Listen circulating around the web so far :D

#1 : Dance Remix: Listen! Listen! When I Speak, Listen! by yuriwongmusic

#2 : Hitler Rants About Sharifah and Animal Problems by GajenComedy

#3 : Miscellaneous Meme by Miscellaneous People

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Listen, Listen, Respect is Earned.

Days where respect is earned, not given,
Alternate world we're living in, lost in translation,
Manners and eloquence, voided in some individual,
No sense of respect, not even an ounce of residual.
Young or old, simple manners must be practiced,
Or else, we're no different than barbarians,
Upholding your integrity, that will never suffice,
Silently respected by others, never dull to oblivion.
Please listen, listen, listen to me,
Respect me. Can I speak? Can I speak?
Insulting & condescending - a modus operandi?
Truly an individual defect, to suppress the weak.
Zealous voices that shines that truth,
Erroneous response, that stoops to the low route,
Rational absent, hey, animals have problems too.
+ sharks, cows, goats, invalid argument, I have no clue.
Fighting these suppressors, is not one person's battle,
It's a war, a social responsibility, where our voice matters!
Bless our country, for we're united in one way another,
Realizing that one common idiot, bringing us closer together,
Enliven ourselves, for our sanity, and a brighter, respectful future.

Friday, January 11, 2013


Didn't I promise you the shooting stars?
Or the exhilarating ride of the chasing cars?
Made the promises, I have solemnly kept,
Ever true to myself, as much I can accept,
Can you see that I'd do anything for you,
Anything to make your dreams come true,
Felt so good, felt so right, felt so liberated,
Ever more, for you, I am dedicated.

Albeit the sacrifices, you chose to see it differently,
Reality bites in, you felt that I can't commit thoroughly
Surreal bitterness, that's how it felt for me,
Every day's gloomy, rain and darkness shrouded, entirely
How I wonder, how my life would turn out to be,
Of you being absent to my life, perhaps the right destiny,
Letting you go, is hard, but necessary.
Emancipation I seek, without you, I can finally break free!

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Missing Piece

Feeling lost, I can't ignore that void in my heart,
Understanding the missing piece, is a work of art,
Carelessly wander to find that one piece,
Keep searching till my feeling is at ease.

Yearning for that escape from the state of solitude,
Of desires and cravings at the highest magnitude,
Uphill self battle of strength and fortitude.

Bring the light, help me find the missing piece,
Reaching the tunnel's end, desperation released,
One piece that completes me,
Should I find it, the world's perfect, as it should be!

Blatant efforts to that voyage of searching,
Of  challenges, tidal waves with no warning,
The loot at the end, is a rewarding one,
Trust in myself, for this journey's considered done,
Leaving to fate, to the outcome that will succumb,
Endless find, of what it will become!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Tips and Tricks - AJ Hackett Kawarau Bridge Bungy Jump

The Kawarau Bridge Bungy (or bungee) is THE pioneering site for bungy jumping. Founded in 1988 by Bungy pioneers AJ Hackett and Henry van Asch, they launched both themselves and an international phenomenon, marking one of the many adrenaline rush activities to do in Queenstown, Otago.

Few things you'll need to know before you make the eventual jump:

  1. You must be minimum 10 years of age (Children 14 and under need to be accompanied by an adult) Max 110 years (Immortals are strictly forbidden for the jump)
  2. Weighing range of 35kg to 235kg.
  3. For tandem jumps: Total weight difference must NOT be more than 30kgs.
  4. There's no clothing requirements, in fact as suggested by the Bungy NZ page, completely naked is quite a popular option. (I *might* try this *one day* but no documentation will be recorded *koff*)
  5. Medical Considerations and safety (Click to find out what are they). PS: AJ Hackett is 100% confident of their safety measures but ultimately it is up to you to adhere to any rules available to ensure that safe jump.
My trip last year to New Zealand consisted of the bungy jump at the Kawarau Bridge. My travel buddies and I chose this location because it's not too far away from Queenstown central, and we were itching for at least one extreme activity. Located on SH6 in the Gibbson Valley just 20 minutes from Queenstown and 30min from Cromwell. From where we stayed, it took us approximately 30 minutes to reach to the bridge itself. Give yourself an hour prior to your scheduled jump for traveling there. Self drive is a very popular choice in the South Island.

The price may not be cheap, but I didn't necessary put a price on that awesome experience I had! It costed us NZ $180 (Around RM454) for the jump and another NZ $80 (RM202)  for the souvenir photo and video (NZ $45 for either one of them). You may bring your own camera to record your own jump, but of course if you're jumping with it, it's at your risk :)

We're jumping from WHERE?
My personal preference is booking any necessary activities and/or proceed with the payment in advance. That is, a little sense of security to actually do the activity given the schedule that you have.The day itself, we chose the earliest slot! That is, at around 9am (GMT +1300). We registered ourselves accordingly and they took our pre registration slip and weighed us. 

Registration and waiting area
After which, we were brought to the bridge where we were given numbers to jump. This is where most of us will freak out, unless you've balls of steel.

Just below the 235 kg weight quota :D
As for me, I did not 100% freak out per se.... until they started strapping my legs with the harness. That was when I started to think, CRAP, what on heaven heck have I gotten myself into. Oh, and they did give us an option whether to dip (heads down) into the river or just dry jumping :) After a split second of camwhoring (for that picture perfect moment before jumping), I finally jumped.

No motivational push whatsoever, I just followed my instinct and impulsively leaped the bridge.
Jumping is freestyle, but bear in mind the asserted force from the harness pull may injure you, so just feel natural and not to freak out too much.

Of course, to mitigate the fear, they say don't look down. But where's the fun of that. Go YOLO mode and just jump AND look down. Scream, pray, curse, scream-pray-curse when you're halfway floating in the air as much as you want!

The feeling of the jump? Well, you MUST experience this yourself. As for me, once I leaped off the bridge, I felt a sense of liberation (I always wanted to feel what jumpers feel without dying in the end). Of course, within seconds the freedom feeling quickly translated to WTF when there's no pause button or brake to the jump.

Faith! The rope did suspend the fall and I was back heads up momentarily before being spun around in the air. 
Saved by the rafters
The rafters then approached the inverted yours truly and took me down. Of course, looking back up to the bridge platform from the raft, dayyum, I wish I could do it again! That's just my first bungy experience. Aside from bungy, you could try their Swings and Climbs activities in Nevis and Auckland. Call me crazy, but I might, just might, try the jump in Macau by AJ Hackett after this. Who knows? :)

Proof of Jumping :D Picture courtesy of Lemuel Ong
Just in case you're curious to what they actually recorded, help yourself with the video taken by them:

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Love Sometimes

Love sometimes, can't be said with words,
Expressed by seeing, aside from being heard,
Love sometimes, is that silent, cherished moment,
Of having telepathic thoughts, with your significant other,
Sharing emotional bonds and commitment,
Love always, Cherished, Endured, Together