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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bali Hai Seafood Restaurant @ Penang

Introducing a nice seafood restaurant in Penang this time, named Bali Hai Restaurant located just right along the Gurney Drive. There are lots of seafood restaurant along the famous eatery road, and I think Bali Hai topped the list without any doubt. It's highly recommended by a friend of mine and we will see if it live up to expectations. Another important point is that, this place is pork free, good news for muslim friends.

A view of the restaurant along the Gurney Drive, and you won't miss it with its big neon lighted signboard. They have a slogan, called "IF IT SWIMS, WE HAVE IT". True, I couldn't find anything that they don't have from the display, maybe I've not eaten enough =P

A good view of the fresh seafood available, it's surprising tidy with good label of names & price.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Running Kit Collection at e@Curve for Energizer Night Race 2011

Last weekend the running kit collection date for the Energizer Night Race 2011 started, indicating the race is just a month away. Excited, so I made my way down to e@Curve for collection, but I'm disappointed. I forgotten to bring my registration slip, luckily the staff there manage to recognize me through my IC number. Noticed my IC is wrong in the system, so we corrected it. I thought I did an online registration and I'm sure I entered the correct number, why there is a mistake? Clueless. They quickly grab the pack for me and ask me to verify the tag for running at the next counter.

Immediately I felt something wrong, but waited for the whole thing to finish. I double checked my details and the guy "dut" my tag and asked me to proceed to the counter beside The Laundry for a free power gel. Ok, but where is my running kit? They only handed me the running shirt and the running tag only. Where are the Energizer headlight, and all those goody? They told me to collect from the Sepang! What the ... The main reason I wanted to collect from e@Curve because I didn't want to waste my time there, now I still got to line up in Sepang, it's going to be crowded! Not sure why the arrangement is like that, bad.

Friday, March 25, 2011

McDonald's Big Breakfast

Alright, as everyone know, McDonald's is giving out their best promotion now with free two big breakfast for every RM5 spent in a single receipt? If you don't know, then you better start printing the voucher at the bottom of this post and grabbing it because it's only valid till 31st March 2011. Reason being McDonald's won the Gold Putra Brand Award for the 2nd consecutive year and they are thanking us, the main consumers in supporting them. I do eat a lot in McDonald's so I should take reward also =)

Alright, hard to believe so I wake up early with my wife and visited the nearest McDonald's that serve breakfast. We ordered up a cup of Milo and a Hash Brown, my most favourite. The bill ended up RM7 with tax and we got two big breakfast shown above! It's true and we munched our ways! Since the photos is up, a little review then. I basically love McDonald's breakfast, mainly because their quality is consistent. You will expect exactly the same breakfast every corner in Malaysia. The eggs are well mixed & cooked, buns and soft and buttered, meat patty is tasty enough. No surprises and I eat it either separately or putting everything togethet as a burger and munch away. Both is giving different satisfaction, but it's nice!

For info, a big breakfast easily cost RM10 above each, so go figure. Point to note is the the free big breakfast does not come with any drinks, it's ala carte plate only. They expect you to buy drinks, therefore the RM5 minimum payment. Reasonable enough.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Fatty Crab Restaurant @ PJ

This time around, I'm back to PJ for food hunting and I'm including the already famous Fatty Crab into the list for my records. It's kind of impossible for anyone living in KL that haven't try the Fatty Crab, because it's famous and its food is really living up to expectations. Their 2nd branch is located near The Mines, too far to write about it anyway. Let's take a closer look.

Fatty Crab located in the Taman Megah in PJ. It's located just right at the corner and it's quite impossible to miss it. Simple white sign board all around and red crab logo. They have two floors, plenty of tables & seats but still the waiting time is a little scary. Prepare to wait if you fancy a taste of their crabs in the weekend.

We are those crazy bunch that crave for a taste of the fatty crabs on the weekend, and this is what waiting us. Look at the people outside the shop! Crazy, yea, we too =) What you need to do is go inform the waitress and they will remember you, then find a place and wait. However, make sure the waitress can see you, or else you might risk them forgetting you. So far they never miss us.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ole Ole Bali Balinese Specialties @ Empire Subang

Late last year my parents came down to KL for a visit and as usual, big family gathering for a big special food feast that's not available in the tiny city of Ipoh. Eventhough Ipoh is known as food heaven, but KL possessed more variety of cuisine that my parents haven't tried before. Our choice this time is the Balinese cuisine named Ole Ole Bali located in the new Empire Shopping Gallery.

The grand entrance of the Ole Ole Bali that's located at the Lower Ground floor of the Empire Shopping Gallery in Subang Jaya. A special climb up altar at the front door for those that love to be spotted when having dinner in the posh dining restaurant. It's a little inappropriate with the leg that guy is showing though, not really a pose that you want to get spotted with, my bad.

The working kitchen along the corridor with a good number of organised staff in uniforms. Witnessing the working kitchen with good hygienic is always a plus point for a good dining experience in any place. Hardworking & hygienic bunch of chef pouring out plates after plates of food for us diners, making you think the money is well spent. That's what eating out suppose to mean anyway.

Grill station, always my favourite way of healthy cooking style. A good kitchen set-up in showing the customers the preparation but also same time controlling the oily smoke from reaching the customers. Nice, how many open grill you see in a shopping mall?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Delicious

It's been a while and I'm sure people staying in PJ or KL is well aware of the new casual dining outlet named The Delicious. I've heard of the name long time before I actually see one with my own eyes. Are they really good? We are going to find out now. Within a short frame of time, they have already expanded to five outlets concentrating in KL & Damansara area.

The Delicious, we took our choice at the outlet in Midvalley Megamall and this setting is their very original setting throughout all their outlets. A simple word of Delicious in light blue, comfortable waiting sofa with lots of pillow. In fact, those pillows are available throughout the entire dining hall, just grab one if you love to hug it, while waiting for your food. A smily attendant at the front desk ready to serve us. She gives us a good smile before we make our way into the hall. These kind of small details is making my dining experience.

This is the general layout of the dining place in The Delivious, clean wooden floor, wooden tables, wooden chairs, comfortable cushion and lots of sofa around the edge. Airy and simple decocation like the bird cage with lightings are great. It's casual dining, the lights are enough, open area and you will hear lots of chatting, comfortable for a long chat.

Monday, March 14, 2011

T.G.I. Friday's Restaurant & Bar

Alright, this is a really old post dated back 30th October 2010 and we are visiting the T.G.I. Friday's at Sri Hartamas Shopping Complex. For those that don't know, T.G.I. Friday's full name is Thank Goodness It's Friday. Some call them TGI, and some call them Friday's. Anyway you see fit.

T.G.I. Fridays open up its franchise door in Malaysia since 1994 and they have thousands of outlets around the world serving Western casual dinner cuisine. It's used to expensive dining experience for me, but not anymore when there are more fine dining around the town.

As we get into the shop, only we realised the next day is Halloween Day, explaining the decoration around the shop. Sorry for the bad quality shooting, not in mood to do much setting that day.

The Real Cost of Car Ownership

It's funny how people mind works where they will tell you in order for you to get rich, you musn't spend too much on a car. Never buy anything more than a Vios / City, best if you stick to Proton. People look at the expenses equivalent to a car value or misconception that certain brand car will have a huge lost of depreciation, but most of the time, they will have no idea on the actual cost involved in a car ownership. I'm in support in savings money for the better future but also at the same time I'm huge supporter in getting best enjoyment with the smallest amount of money spent. As said, money paper is useless until you exchange it for something you want.

Living on penny doesn't make you rich, living smart is more important. Which is smarter? Buying a brand new RM89,000 Honday City, or buying a used Alfa Romeo at RM70,000? The answer lies on how much is the real cost of car ownership, as most people will tell you that Alfa Romeo is expensive to maintain and depreciate a lot. I'm sure none of them drove an Alfa Romeo before, I don't talk nonsense but only facts & figures. Let's look at the number.

I'm going to do a calculation comparison for both brand new Honda City and an used 2006 Alfa Romeo 147 2.0SS. In these calculations, I will consider a yearly mileage of 20,000km, current petrol price of RM1.92, 7 years in loan repayment at 2.8% interest and I have downpayment cash of RM15,000 on hand.

Honda City 2011 valued at RM89,000
Depreciation = RM5,800 per year (a search in newspaper will show you)

Maintenance = RM1,000 per year (based on maintenance booklet from Honda, will cost more later)
Petrol = RM3,000 per year (consider 13km/liter)
Road Tax = RM90 per year
Insurance = RM1152 (1st year based on RM89,000 insurance coverage with 55% NCP)
Tolls & Parking = RM600 per year
Loan Interest = RM1,480 per year (equally divided for loan interest over 7 years)

Total expenses per year = RM13,048 for a brand new Honda City.Not exactly cheap isn't it?

Now, let's move to a year 2006 Alfa Romeo 2.0SS worth RM70,000 at current time. I'm sure you can find something cheaper than the price I indicated.

Depreciation = RM6,000 per year (so low?? do a search, you will find out)
Maintenance = RM2,400 per year (a real figure that I spent, it's more than enough if you bought a good bella, not hard though)
Petrol = RM3,500 per year (consider 11km/liter, standard for a 2.0CC car)
Road Tax = RM379 per year
Insurance = RM932 per year (1st year based on RM70,000 insurance coverage with 55% NCP)
Tolls & Parking = RM600 per year
Loan Interest = RM1,091 per year

Total expenses per year = RM14,902 for a used 2006 Alfa Romeo 147.
Surprise? It's real, I owned one, and this is the cost I'm spending.

It's still RM1,900 per year more expensive that a spanky brand new Honda City, but it's a different class of car! I'm talking about 2.0CC Twinspark, 6 airbags, sunroof, 8 Bose speakers + amplified subwoofer, italian superior handling car. It's not a fair comparison, why don't we bring in a comparable class this time, the Honda Civic? Not too comparable, but you get the idea.

Depreciation = RM8,000 per year (again, go check on newspaper)
Maintenance = RM1,200 per year (based on Honda booklet, will get more expensive later)
Petrol = RM3,500 per year (consider 11km/liter)
Road Tax = RM379 per year
Insurance = RM1,634 per year
Tolls & Parking = RM600 per year
Loan Interest = RM2,300 per year

Total expenses per year = RM17,613 for a brand new Honda Civic.
It's RM2,711 per year more expensive than the Alfa Romeo and the only advantage of the new Civic is the room space and of course, spanky brand new model. Forget about the additional stuff Alfa Romeo is giving, but Civic still has nothing comparable in driving enjoyment and handling with Alfa Romeo.

This is what I call minimum money with maximum enjoyment. The rules changed as the number change, it's all numbers in the datasheet, work it out. Another example is that if you want to drive a BMW, never buy an used unit. Car like BMW has constant depreciation over years, and there is no different in depreciation value either new or used. The real cost of BMW is the maintenance cost. Take up a new unit and make sure the 3 years free maintenance is included, I'm sure the interest & insurance cost will be covered up easily.

And if you are really interested in Civic, again this car got constant depreciation, no different in new or used. Take up a short loan, change it every 2 or 4 years for a brand new spanky headache-less Civic. You do the math, then tell me.

Work hard, play smart. That's how I live mine. It's just a simple plan =)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Loh Mee, Old Green House @ Penang

Lots of food post holding up because of my busy schedule, pouring out remaining food review in Penang. The next upcoming food is Loh Mee in the famous Old Green House, Penang. Those Penangites night walkers will definitely know this place as the stall only open after late night.

The good Loh Mee is located in the famous Old Green House along the Burma road. The place is easily recognise from the road as you will notice it's crowded with night crawlers and lots of motorcycle stopping for a quick bite. It's silent in the morning, and come bustling at midnight.

Lots of food in Old Green House, but forget about the rest and find this particular store. Burma Road Famous Prawn Mee & Loh Mee. I didn't have the chance to try the Prawn Mee, and my friends insisted on the Loh Mee instead, which they claimed it's really good. We came to this place after a wedding dinner, imagine the food in our stomach when we got here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

My Next Dream Car

Discover a very interesting video of my dream car, the Mini Cooper S in taking up challenge in Touge FF Champion! Overtaking the King of FF, Civic Type R... It's a long video, watch only if you are interested with cars =)


This video assured me that Mini Cooper S is the right choice, can't wait to realise my dream ...

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Best Fried Oyster, Lam Ah Coffee Shop @ Penang

My food crave continues and I think I didn't mention that I love oyster very much. Particularly the chinese style fried oyster is my favourite, but nowadays, it's hard to find a good place to really enjoy a plate that's real nice. The search for best fried oyster ended in my recent trip to Penang. Let's go.

Introducing the Lam Ah Coffee Shop located at the crossroad of Lebuh Chulia and Lebuh Pantai in Penang. This place is also known as the coffee shop opposite the Fire Station. Penang folks should know. Penang really got lots of hidden gem, a small place like this is serving the best fried oyster I've ever eaten. Let's get closer.

This is the uncle that's serving us. A small simple store, operated single handedly, and you don't even look at it when you pass by. But the fried oyster that he serve is really really very good.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Half Marathon Training

As the Energizer Night Race 2011 is pushing nearer, I'm training harder now. My recent trip to the TTDI park give me a better result. I'm recording an average speed of 6.52min/km and completed a full 7km in 48mins only. My recent hard training is punishing my body to the extent that I'm fatigue most of the time.

I think I over-train and I'm slowing down for this week to recover my energy and pace. I'm increasing my training to 6km per day, if I can afford. Hopefully my body can pace with the punishment, if not I wouldnt be able to complete my aim of 42km full marathon by end of this year. Cheers.

Lorong Selamat Char Kuey Teow @ Penang

Alright, continuing my journey on the land of food heaven, we reached the 2nd stall of recommended Char Kuey Teow in Penang, the famous Lorong Selamat Char Kuey Teow. Some people tend to call it Sister Char Kuey Teow, that's a mistake. Most of the mistaken idea come from the same rules of the shop that don't allow outside drinks or charge you if you dont order any drink from the shop. I got it mixed up initially.

The Char Kuey Teow stall at the Lorong Selamat in Kafe Heng Huat. It's so visible from the road side, and easily recognise with the chef always wearing yellow and a red chef hat. She also wear the yellow industry goggle last time but I missed it this time, not sure why.

A look into the shop, it's always pack from morning till evening. Main highlight of the kafe of course its the Char Kuey Teow. You will need to wait approximately 30-45 minutes for a plate, I've warned you. There go the rules of each person must order one drink, or be ready to be charge for 50 cents. It's not that bad, because of the long waiting time, you might as well get an ice kacang to kill time. There are other stalls nearby that serve food into Heng Huat as well, so if you are hungry, go ahead and order it.

Now here is a close shot of the chef. She is quite famous for your notorius temper. There is story that some of her customers were so angry that they throw bricks to her stall. Do a quick search and you will get something. She is getting better after than incident, but the waiting time is still the same. Go over, make your order and make sure she heard you, then leave, sit and wait patiently. She treats me alright =)