July 27, 2011

Movie Preview: I Love Wing Chun... Laughing in Cinemas July 28th, 2011

I snagged an invitation just over the weekend to catch the first preview of ‘I Love Wing Chun’, a Hong Kong martial arts comedy movie filmed in Malaysia with our very own Malaysian stars and sceneries!

The movie, I Love Wing Chun, merges some of the best Hong Kong production crews, comedy talents and martial arts with China’s sport athlete-turn-actor and our very own Malaysian stars and celebrities!

Catch Hong Kong artist Yuen Wah, Yuen Qiu, Nat Chan Pak Cheung with China artist, Tian Liang and a huge number of Malaysian artist like Pensonic Friends, Alan Yun. Amber Chia, Kelly Jagan, award-winning actress Lai Ming, MyFM Djs like Gan Mei Yan, Jeff Chin, Royce Tan, Angel Wong Chui Ling and more… psst… apparently there was even a special appearance by Obama!! J

Synopsis: A martial arts comedy about 3 good friends – a wealthy businessman, a kung fu master and a swindler. The swindler on the verge of dying, begs the kung fu master to take care and protect his son and the wealthy businessman to support his son financially. When his son turns 18, the secret cache to his years of swindling will be revealed then. However, mistaken identities, misunderstanding and unexpected incidents lead everyone to a hilarious, martial arts (Wing Chun style) journey!

Every Kung Fu movies need a Kung Fu pose!

Check out the stars present for the launch at Cathay Cineleisure at eCurve... Yuen Wah, Yuen Qiu, Choi Lik (Director), Alan Yun, Emily Lim, Jeff Chin, Kelly Jagan, Calvin余凯纹, Pensonic Director.

The media had a photography session followed by an official launch before the movie. Three lucky fans won some electronic appliances sponsored by Pensonic, the main sponsor for the movie. There was also a champagne popping session!

Check out I Love Wing Chun Trailer:

The movie had me laughing in stitches… and I was really proud to see the film being shot in several locations in Malaysia. Loads of special guests appearance and you may want to catch Alan Yun in a playboy role and a hot looking Amber Chia in a nurse outfit… va va voom!! Don’t try to make much sense but instead just enjoy the movie comics and stars…

Laughing in cinemas in China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Singapore this July 28th, 2011!!

* Thanks to Pensonic & BBO for the movie preview and popcorn!! J

July 26, 2011

Nong & Jimmy Thai Seafood Barbeque: Crustacean Indulgence… The Thai Way!

Nong & Jimmy needed no introduction to me... again another heavily blogged and well known seafood place infamous for Thai influenced grill dishes! Of course, I have been dying to visit N&J but never could find the right time and the right crowd for this crustacean house, which unfortunately, is located at one of the most horrifying traffic-crazy-jam-to-the-pack-everyday-area in the city.

Oh well, the time came and I gathered that traffic should not be that bad during Sunday evening but then again… I was so wrong… sigh! As I slowly inched my way through Jalan Ampang all the way to Taman Cahaya, I withheld my patience, consoling myself that it would be worth the crawl. Arriving almost an hour late, my family of eight greeted me with supreme happiness indicating that the holy-moly crustacean meal could now begin its ritual… hahaha!

Barely at 6pm in the evening, N&J is packed to its max! Talk about hungry humans, there were people everywhere and cars honking at the parking lots with inpatient drivers either leaving or arriving. Sun was setting with its bright glare shooting into the fairly large restaurant with zing roof, causing squinting eyes and temperature to rise. Although the place was packed with fans, the al fresco dining restaurant was humid and hot as I could feel the trickling of sweat in me. Fear not, us humans have more restraint than we know when it comes to food as huge crowds of customers continue their galore of picking and sucking freshly grilled crustaceans whether standing up or sitting down despite the ambience!! (The picture above purposely blurred out else I would be shot for posting faces of hungry humans tearing up the crustaceans in a cavemen manner!)

Let’s cut my crap and head down to marine business.

Before our order came, I ‘kay poh’ around with my camera as the kitchen area is viewable to the public eye. Basically, there are two main sections of the kitchen. First section is the barbeque grilling station. We have a table displaying fresh marine options with another table for grilling while a smaller stall was used for cutting up the grilled items. Second section is responsible for the other non grilled items like soup, fried rice and other stir fries. Fairly large numbers of chefs and wait staff were all scurrying like a speeding bullet to accommodate the orders of the patrons.

A big barbeque pit lined up with delectable crabs being grilled was certainly a sight to behold for my eyes! The crabs were lined up ever so neatly like a platoon of army folks performing line duty… hehehe! Flashing amber flames constantly shoot up among the crabs turning them a bright orange red while hot coals beneath cooked the crabs till their juices run from its shells.

Prawns were given the same grilled treatment and brushed with house marinade constantly to boost up its flavors.

This basket loaded with cockles caught my eye as it was depleting fast due to the hungry customers ordering this bivalve by the baskets. The cockles were also grilled on the hot coals.

I spied a small little table selling cute size pieces of piping hot cruellers or ‘Yau Cha Kwai’. The shapes were bite size compared to the usual long twin sticks. Guess what they are eaten with?

Green Pandan Kaya! I was told that the kaya or egg custard is homemade. These are ready pack as customers tend to buy them after snacking on them here at N&J.

The ‘Yau Cha Kwai’ with Kaya (RM6 per plate) faired average only in my books. Although it was fairly crunchy, the overall taste was ok as it was sweet from the custard without the eggy flavors.

We were served lots of small plates of the house chili sauce with two flavors. One had crushed peanuts in it while the other was the basic Thai chili sauce. Love both flavors as it had a good balance of sourness and sweetness and I definitely enjoyed the addition of crushed peanuts.

We ordered three baskets of the BBQ Cockles (RM5 per basket). Slight smokiness, the cockles were cooked till just right without the usual bloody mess. Dipped these little babies into their house sauce and you will end up ordering more baskets of this bivalve just like us! We packed in our iron quota for the whole week at just one meal that night… J

Mango Salad with Crispy CuttleFish (RM9 per portion) was amazing with its burst of sourness and crunch. The mango shreds mixed with peanuts and garlicky spicy and sour dressing was definitely one of the better salads for me and I also love the fact that the crispy cuttlefish gave the whole salad a good run of flavors and textures. Thumbs up for this salad as we polished two plates of this salad!!

See this ordinary looking Fried Rice (RM5 per person)? Don’t let it fool you as its one the best fried rice I’ve had in a while. The ‘wok hei’ was so distinctively present and the rice was fluffy with an eggy edge. Small fresh prawns hid beneath the mountain of carbs. I think this dish took all of us by surprise as we finished off nine person portions of fried rice as it was so delicious!! How to reduce carb consumption ah… I got no will power when carbs like these are so addictive… sigh…

Ok… time for our lovely sea of delights. Claypot Tom Yam Prawns (RM22 large portion) is a must as we saw this on every table. Despite the heat, we slurp the bold spicy soup which had a good aroma of lemongrass and kaffir leaves. The red sour soup was well balanced and had a good kick of spiciness level with sourness which I like. Fresh big prawns added the sweetness to the overall but I would have downed this soup alone without the prawns anyway… muahaha!

I saw mixed reviews about the Grilled Squid (RM16 per portion) at N&J. Some said it was tender and juicy while others described it as rubbery. Lucky for us, our grilled squid was deliciously tender and juicy. The cook must be having a good day that day! Anyway, we also polished off two servings of the succulent squids with slight salty flavors which I suspect it was from fish sauce. Did I tell you the fact that I also loved that they served grilled squid tentacles while other places only serve the body? Yummy grilled squids in my books that night. Just order and pray the cook don’t overkill the squids… J

Grilled Prawns (RM40) had similar flavors with the grilled squids but lean towards a bit more sweetness probably due to the prawns. This was only mediocre although it was juicy.

Grilled Stingray (RM12) was my only let down among all the dishes that night. The cook really over killed this dish as the fish was dry, and the texture was rather chewy and stringy. I felt the stingray was not as fresh and the flavors were just not there. We didn’t finish this dish albeit the small portion. I did however saw better reviews on this in some other blogs… guess the dishes really depends on the cook’s skills to ensure consistency in the cooking time.

All is forgiven when our Grilled Crabs (RM124 for 4 large crabs) came! Ah….. let me drool first at the sight of the gorgeous bright red crabs…

Peel them open and a whiff of salty sea aroma enthralled us with excitement. Check out the lovely mustard yellow rich creamy roes which we all fight for. The crab was really fresh and baked just enough to spellbound our taste buds. Baked in all its natural glory, I can now understand why I saw customers manhandling these crustaceans like cannibals… hahaha. I have to admit, I joined the manhandling in the end to savor the true epitome of eating crabs!!

Who says size isn’t important? Size does matter here… J

Oh… do order Fresh Coconut (about RM5 plus each) to complete the meal to cool down the heat with the ambience and food. Drinks are paid separately from food and be warned that coconuts here are quite pricey compared to norm.

What’s my verdict? Pretty good for seafood if you can stand the traffic, the sweat and the rustic dishes here!! Go for the Fried Rice, Cockles, Mango Salad and Crab. Others faired decent except for stingray. I saw chicken feet salad and huge pieces of fish cake on the next table. If I make it back through the traffic, I will definitely try other dishes as they looked really good. Great Thai sauces and don’t snack too much of the “Yau Cha Kwai’ with kaya to save room for the crustaceans!

Service faired decent taking into account the hungry customers swarming this place. Do put in your order fast and do not be afraid to remind the staff if your dishes don’t come. Other than that, Nong & Jimmy seems to have the whole ordering system and timing managed quite well.

Total damaged for nine gluttons:
RM 312 (seafood) + RM60 (drinks) + RM6 (snack) = RM378

Ten tips to enjoy Nong & Jimmy:

1)      Make it here EARLY. The night crowd is horrendous especially on  weekends!
2)      Patience is required in HUGE doses when dining here when it comes to  traffic, parking, and waiting time for table/food.
3)      Wear minimal and comfortable clothing to combat the heat & humidity.
4)      Washing hair or shower before a meal here is a waste of effort as you will need to do it all over again after the meal. :P
5)      Come in big groups as big groups = more dishes to sample.
6)      Don’t bring pets… I guess some do, hence the sign!
7)      Reservations allowed but only one day before the actual dining date.
8)      Bring Cash… plenty if you love seafood!
9)      If you are worried about cholesterol & hygiene, don’t come here!
10)  Dive right in and forget the politeness to enjoy the full epitome of the meal!!

Nong & Jimmy Thai Seafood BBQ
Lot 27363, Jalan Cahaya 1,
Taman Cahaya,
68000 Ampang, Selangor
Contact: 019 261 1345 / 012 273 8069

Business Hours: 6pm to 11pm
Closed on Mondays

P/S: Maybe, it’s a good thing after all that this area is always suffocated with traffic… else I would be visiting this quite often!! (wink!)

Big thks to my dearest niece & hubby who footed the bill!

July 25, 2011

T@ste6, Swiss-Garden Hotel & Residences Kuala Lumpur: Sneak Peek at the Newest Restaurant in the City!

In the hustle bustle of Kuala Lumpur, fine living Swiss-Garden Residences have been secretly planning its newest restaurant, T@ste6. Pronounced as Taste@6, the upcoming new restaurant is set to create a holistic dining experience in the urban resort setting of lush greeneries and a gorgeous view of the city’s skyline.

Here’s a peek at T@ste6 located on the 6th Floor of the Residences…

Modern and sleek décor dressed the whole restaurant in wood, steel, marble with glass panels and a magnificent backdrop of exotic greeneries.

T@ste6 has an open kitchen concept showing off the stainless steel kitchen right in the middle of the dining room!

Private dining room was shield against a glass panel showing their wine collections. 

Brilliant colored cocktails glow beautifully to welcome its guest!

Pea Soups in shooters were simply buttery and velvety… I took a few shots of this lovely soup… J

Amuse-Bouche of the evening showcased Salmon with Salsa and a creamy Chicken with Puff Pastry.

I also caught a glimpse of Swiss-Garden Residences’s outstanding garden roof top .The night view was amazing against a backdrop of deep bright blue skies against an infinity pool. I wish I could just dive right into the pool that night!

T@ste6 is set to open soon and will be offering an array of authentic Mediterranean set dinner for the whole month of August at only Rm88++. Patrons can choose between Moroccan Roast Chicken with Orange Couscous salad, Braised Beef Short Ribs with creamy mashed potatoes and buttered beans as well as Braised Lamb with Root Vegetables, French Beans and gravy as their main course. An array of starters and desserts awaits as well as Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Fresh Cream taking center stage! A must try indeed! There will also be entertainment every night by a DJ who will be playing contemporary Moroccan music. T@ste6 is definitely the perfect setting to dine & unwind the whole month of August!
The official launch is happening soon… check out more to come!

Swiss-Garden Hotel & Residences Kuala Lumpur
117, Jalan Pudu
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2141 3333 ext 1271

July 23, 2011

Flavors, Swiss-Garden Hotel & Residences KL: Exquisite Break Fast Buffet Dinner!

Talk about choices in buffets, I was in awed at the over 150 items spread throughout the whole floor of Flavors Restaurant from the moment I walked in! From freshly prepared ulams, salads, soups to authentic main courses and local with international spread of desserts, the ‘Buka Puasa’ buffet dinner spread was mind-boggling… J

Break fast this holy month of Ramadhan with family and friends at Flavors Restaurant, Swiss-Garden Hotel & Residences Kuala Lumpur. Placing diners in mind, Executive Chef Manimaran welcomes guest with traditional kampung-styled dishes with a contemporary flair to suite the modern palate.

I will let the plethora of dishes speaks for themselves in this post as its going to be a super long post filled with delicious pictures. (Warning, I am not responsible for hunger pangs after reading this post…hehehe!)

The culinary team of Swiss-Garden Hotel & Residences KL certainly outdo themselves with the number of ulams, sambals, salads & kerabus to the grilled stations filled with satays, seafoods and the gorgeous soups like Sup Tulang Rawan, Bubur Lambuk, Sup Kambing and many more. Stalls of Roasted and Steamed Chicken Rice, Kuay Teow Soup, Laksa Johor, Popiah Basah and their famous Roasted Whole Lamb Arabian style is guaranteed to satiate everyone yearning for variety. Not to forget, Flavors also serves traditional Serundings, Lemang, Sambal Petai Prawns, Ayam Percik, Daging Masak Lemak Cili and ever so much more…

Finished off the sumptuous buffet with Buah Kurma, Kerepeks, Kuih Muih and a glorious array of international desserts. There is even freshly Fried Durian Tempura for durian lovers and Tapai Ubi for the brave. Lovely thirst-quenching beverages like Air Bandung, Longan, Ice Lemon Tea and more are also part of the buffet. Ais Kacang and Fried Potong Ice-Cream round up the affair with a cool sensation!

Highly notable in my books are the lamb, soups, sambals and Serundings with Lemang! There is something for everyone and the spread alone is already worthy of the price. One can certainly dine with great satisfaction at this restaurant in comfort with family and friends this coming Ramadhan. At Flavors, I certainly felt spoilt for choice!

The Break Fast Buffet Dinner is priced at RM78++ per adult and RM39++ per child/senior citizen will be available daily from 6.30pm to 10.00pm starting 1st August to 30th August 2011. For large groups of 20 persons and above, the brand new Grand Hibiscus Ballroom and Grand Lotus Room are the perfect venues for entertaining corporate clients or for large family gatherings this Ramadhan.

Psst… Buy Early at RM78++ per adult with a special Buy 5 Free 1 deal!! What are you waiting? J

Flavors Restaurant
Swiss-Garden Hotel & Residences Kuala Lumpur
117, Jalan Pudu
55100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: +603 2141 3333 ext 1271

*Thanks to Swiss-Garden Hotel & Residences KL and BBO for the food preview!