What's better than chocolate? Godiva chocolate of course, Yes, that brand of chocolate that I can never afford. But is so goddamn awesome. Mmmm, chocolate. Yummy yummy chocolate.
Anyway, last week I got an invite to the Godiva Cafe in Pavilion to try out their new menu, which as far as I could tell, consists of some new cakes. Hey don't blame me, I was too busy chomping down chocolates to notice. heh heh.
Yeah, they were giving out chocolates throughout the entire event, and I don't think I've eaten so much chocolate in a VERY LONG TIME.
Funny thing is, I'm actually not THAT keen on chocolates (I'm not a fan of really sweet stuff in the first place), but when it came to THESE chocs, I jsut could not stop eating them, especially the dark chocolates....
I'm a real sucker for dark chocolate especially, and the ones they were giving out were AWESOME. Just leave it in your mouth, and as the outer layer of dark chocolate melts, the gooey center of liquid dark chocolate oozes out.... ish, now I want more!
They've got some Valentines Day stuff out as well:
Including one that comes with a bottle of Moet champagne!
Anyway, during the event, we were given aprons and divided into groups to decorate the plates of cake to win prizes. (Actually, we didn't have to decorate the cakes, just the plates. Heh heh).
Anyway, Kimberlycun was there in her new super-cute short hair cut!
Mama Shaolintiger was also there, and she was on my group! Here she is busy decorating one of our group's ca.. er plates.
Anyway, what happened was she and the other female reporter from a Malay daily did the decorating, while I stood around and took pictures (You DO NOT want me near any cake decorating activities, trust me).
Ok, I did A BIT of work, basically arranging the final presentation into this er... mess:
Funny thing is, Mama Shaolintiger later said that she did not know this was a competition, or she would have tried harder. But what she did was already great!
Sad to say, we didn't win the top prizes, but we still got a nice little bag of chocolates (which I finished off the next day in one sitting), AND we got to eat the cakes! My favorite was the Dark Chocolate Cake, which was SO RICH AND SO AWESOMELY CHOCOLATELY.
Actually, all the FIVE types of cakes they let us try were so rich and chocolately that we really could not finish them all, even between the three of us. Serves me right for stuffing my gob with so much chocolates before that I guess...
Anyway, I'd put up pictures, but by the time I thought of taking pictures we'd already tore into most of them, leaving a rather un-picturesque mess on the plates. Oops.
But here's a picture of the Dark Chocolate Cheesecake, just for kicks.
And here's a picture of the tiramisu (which sadly we did not get to try. :-( )
Suffice to say, I was on a sugar-high (and caffeine-high) for almost the entire day, which was a good high to be in. And thanks to the little bags they gave us on the way out, I got to be on ANOTHER chocolate high the next day... Oh dear. Now I have a craving for more chocolates. GAH!
Back in 2008, in the wake of Amy Winehouse's sensational rise and subsequent fall, two young female artistes stepped into the void she left behind - Duffy and Adele.
Duffy's debut - Rockferry - was one of my favorite albums that year, and though her nasal vocal style took some getting used to, I loved that album, and even went for her concert in Singapore later that year. In contrast, I thought Adele's album 19 was a little tame compared to Duffy's, though she really caught my ear with songs like Chasing Pavements and Hometown Glory. Still loved that album though.
Fast forward 3 years, and both girls have new albums again, and this time around, Adele is the one who has the better album. Duffy's Endlessly was not bad, but if you hated her voice on Rockferry, you'd REALLY hate it on Endlessly. The nasal-ness of her voice is really more pronounced this time, and it was partly why I couldn't really listen to it for too long.
Adele's new album 21 however, is WAY better. At first, album opener Rolling In The Deep actually reminded me of something from Florence And the Machine; and I thought Adele was going all Florence on us. But the song does pregress into something a lot more than just a Florence rip-off. Rumour Has It is another foot-stomping rollicker, but it's the later songs that really stand out for me.
The ballads Turning Tables, One And Only and Lovesong (a cover of The Cure), are great, but for the album's most emotional, most moving and most emo moment, check out the album closer Someone Like You. Now THAT is an epic ballad, just some rolling piano, some very sad, sad lyrics, and Adele's voice at her most yearning and melancholic yet.
The other highlight of the album for me is Set Fire To The Rain. It's probably the most dramatic moment on the entire album. As moving and soulful as her voice is one Someone Like You, it's the complete opposite here. Here, her voice is soaring, powerful and hits all the most dramatic notes perfectly.
Forget all your Britneys, Swifts and Biebers. If you want REAL female pop music, one that isn't autotuned to death and consists of REAL singing, check out Adele's 21.
Er wait, THAT'S the new Thundercats? IS this Thundercats or Thunderkittehs? Why does Lion-O look like he just stepped out from a Robotech anime? (Oh wait, it's animated by a Japanese company.) Why does Panthro look like he's from the Planet Of The Apes? Why does Cheetara look like a punk rock chick rather than a cheetah? Why Does Tygra... er never mind him, never liked him anyway. And where is Wilykit and Wilykat? And Snarf??? Actually, never mind. The less Snarf, the better IMHO.
The Green Hornet. Not a review. Ok first things first: The movie was not as bad as I thought it would be. In fact it was quite entertaining. But Seth Rogen pretty much spoiled it for me.
Damn that Seth Rogen is annoying. Is it just me, or is he like damn NOT funny? He's just bloody annoying here. Annoying and mean-spirited. That's supposed to be FUNNY?
He's gotta be the most unlikable SUPERHERO EVER. Then again he ain't really a superhero. Not like he got any powers anyway. Kato's always the one who does the dirty work anyway. Heck, everyone remembers Bruce Lee. But who actually remembers the actor who played The Green Hornet?
Thank god for Jay Chou though. (Damn, I never though I'd be saying that). He may not say much, And his pronunciation is a little suspect, But at least he kicks-ass. And he's got some cool facial expressions too. He practically saved the movie all by himself. Him and the car, of course.
Oooh, the CAR. The BLACK BEAUTY. That is one awesome car. Damn now I want machine guns on my car. Hey wait, didn't I want that last time after Death Race? Hmmm, machine guns. On my car. But who am I gonna shoot?
Yeah, I guess it's worth watching in cinema. As long as you can stand Rogen's schtick. Me, I wanted him to shut up about 10 minutes into the movie. Everytime he opened his mouth I wanted to slap him. Someone give Kato a spinoff, pronto! (And make sure he keeps the damn car!)
Not convinced? Here's a look at her... er, catty potential:
Hubba hubba. Look out, Batman, your little Dark Knight is definitely gonna rise.
Oh, and Tom Hardy's gonna be Bane. Judging from how scrawny he looks in Inception, he's DEFINITELY gonna need to beef up a little.
Oh, and while we're at it, here's a first look at the First Class... the X-Men: First Class, I mean, courtesy of Empire Online, who got it from MSN in the first place:
Goodbye black leather, hello yellow spandex.
The two in front are Magneto and Professor X, BTW. As for the rest.. I can recognize Mystique, Beast, Emma Frost... but that's it. Apparently Azazel and Havokare there as well, and Angel's a chick now. Hmm.
I have to say though, for a gal named Emma FROST, that girl sure is HOT. And in January too. Hur hur hur.
Here's another look at the White Queen, along with the Black King of the Hellfire Club, Sebastian Shaw (played by Kevin Bacon!):
For more pictures of the X-Men in plainclothes, go HERE.
So, the first image for the upcoming NEW Spider-man movie/reboot is out, featuring Andrew Garfield in the lead role:
Why so serious. Spidey? Judging from this still, it looks like Spidey is gonna go all dark and moody on us, which would be the complete opposite of Sam Raimi's sunnier and more pastel-colored movies.
Would that be a good thing for Spidey though? Going darker and real-world-esque worked for Batman because Ol' Batty worked mostly at night, wore black all the time, and used FEAR to combat crime.
With Spidey, you have a hero who wears bright-red colors, tight spandex (with a 'package' holder), and in the comics, was always ready with a wisecrack even when he was going up against super-villains. I'm not sure how 'real' and 'dark' a hero like that can get.
Still, I'm looking forward to this reboot. I loved Raimi's movies, but it always felt a little too frivolous to me (yes I'm aware that it's a superhero comic character after all); and that feeling grew too much to bear in the third movie (PLEASE don't dance in the new movie, Andrew). Hopefully this movie can make Spidey fun but not as frivolous, serious but not TOO moody. Is that too much to ask for?
So... I decided to jump on the bandwagon and do The Shoe Post Meme as well! (what d'ya mean it wasn't a meme?)
First up, the prerequisite picture of my shoe cabinet!
Yeah, most of my shoes can't really fit into the shoe cabinet, because it's full of mostly LL's shoes. Sigh. Oh well. On to my shoes then!
First up, my running shoes! I have a very fond history with running shoes. I used to be very very active in sports, and used to wear out my shoes REALLY REALLY fast, so I know something about buying sports/running shoes.
And needless to say, THIS particular pair wasnt a very good choice:
Everlast konon. Barely lasted me two months. Lucky it was only RM50 at a warehouse sale...
BTW, I hope you weren't eating your lunch when you looked at that pair of very dirty shoes. I went paintballing with it er.. 2 years ago and never washed it since hehe.
Anyway, after that particular pair started coming apart (literally), I went and bought myself a REAL pair of running shoes. A brand new pair of ASICS shoes!
As far as sports shoes are concerned, I ONLY buy ASICS shoes (this is not an ad). From personal experience, they last longer under wear and tear (compared to Nikes, which only LOOK good but are pretty crap when you use it for heavy duty athletics training day in and day out).
That extends to my badminton shoes as well!
Yup, ASICS also! These shoes can typically last me about a a year and a half, which is 150% longer than the Dragonfly Made In China badminton shoes I used to wear at school Y'know, the ones with green soles)
Can you tell the difference between running shoes and badminton shoes?
Anyway, on to my normal everyday-use shoes.
I bought this pair of Hush Puppies on sale for about RM80 last year, and they're REALLY REALLY comfy.
Best part is, I can wear them EVERYWHERE. To the office, to dinners, to parties, and even when I'm traveling. I can wear these shoes ALL DAY, and they even match my clothes! (which is mostly T-shirts and jeans anyway. Color matching? Huh?)
If I feel slightly more formal, I can always wear this pair of Timberland shoes:
You know how hard it is to find a nice pair of formal shoes you REALLY like? I almost NEVER get a pair I like, because I either hate the sole, or hate the design, or if the design is great, the color will be all wrong or they'll have ONE UGLY STRIP of stupid patterns that spoil the entire shoe.
Not this pair. Why? Well, I designed it myself! Timberland has this Design your Own Shoe booth in the Pavilion store, and I was asked to try it out last year. You could choose what sole, what color, what style, even what kind of laces you want the shoe to have.
My criteria was simple - everything black, with a LITTLE BIT of color around the sole. That's it. Perfect shoe! Can go with any T-shirt & jeans combo!
Don't play play, it even says 'Designed by MC' inside the shoe, ok!
I love that pair of shoes. I even wore it during my WEDDING, fer gods sake. Heck, I'm even considering making another par EXACTLY like it so I don't have to go through the hassle of looking for a new pair when this one gets worn out...
But all the shoes above pale in comparison with my FAVORITE PAIR OF SHOES EVER. It's the pair I wear the most, to everywhere and anywhere, it's long-lasting, durable, and it wasn't THAT expensive in the first place.
BEHOLD... THE GREATEST PAIR OF SHOES EVER MADE!
Look at the sleek elegance of the shoes! Look at the aerodynamics of its design! Look at how comfortable they are! ?And don't get me started on the wonderfully circulation of air your feet get when you wear them!
This particular pair of Tevas has lasted me two years, gone jungle trekking (in FRIM), shopping malls, around the world and back again, and can be worn on virtually occasion as long as your skin is thick enough!
If that doesn't make a great pair of shoes, I don't know WHAT will! Eh? What? those are sandals, not shoes? Ah phooey.
Last month, me, LL, Lance, Mel, and my mom went up to Penang for a pure makan trip. Meaning we just went up there for the sole purpose of eating, eating, and oh, more eating.
Sure, we did a bit of sightseeing at Suffolk House and the Blue Mansion as well (both of which were very impressive, BTW), but really, we would have been happy just eating the entire weekend away.
Anyway, a typical makan-ing day in Penang for us usually starts here:
That's a makan shop near the Pulau Tikus market, just opposite the road from the police station. And it serves one of the best goddamn Hokkien mee (prawn mee to all you KL people) EVER. Well, that's what WE think anyway.
How do you know when something is REALLY good? When you actually finish EVERY SINGLE DROP of soup, EVERY SINGLE STRAND of noodles, EVERY SINGLE PIECE of taugeh and anything else in the bowl. That's what I always do when I eat the Hokkien mee here. It's THAT good.
Be warned though, we usually go there around 7-8am, to be safe. If you go around 8:30am, don't be surprised to see THIS:
Yup, the Hokkien mee at this stall runs out REALLY early (they only make one pot of soup a day), and by 8:30am, they'll be literally scraping the bottom of the pot.
So if you wanna eat it, you need to be there REALLY early.
If you miss that, you could always eat the 'famous' wantan mee, which really is pretty good:
But seriously, I seldom eat it, because c'mon, it's WANTAN MEE. KL pun berlambak lar, why waste stomach space? :D
Or stick around and have some fluffy, delicious apam (no, it's not a typo. It's not Spam, it's Apam)
Made by this Indian dude. It's damn interesting watching him make the apam, so if you have time, watch him at work!
After the Hokkien mee, we immedietely headed to the next makan place (stopping by at another stall for a packet of Siamese mee kerabu, another favorite of ours), also near Pulau Tikus, to have one of my personal favorites, koay chap!
Mmm, duck meat, pork bits, and all sorts of unidentified meaty goodness in herbal soup. AWESOME.
My sister calls koay chiap 'guai zai mee', or 'good boy noodles'. Why? Because it's so easy to eat, it just sits nicely in the spoon like a good boy! :D
That was our morning itiniery. Next, it was lunch time, and it was time for some asam laksa!
Now, our favorite Penang laksa stall is actually in Balik Pulau, which has easily THE BEST asam and siam laksa ever, but because we didn't have time to go there this time, we had to settle for the one at Penang Road, which was STILL pretty good:
This is still one of the few asam laksas in the entire MALAYSIA that I can actually finish the entire bowl down to the last onion/drop of soup. Most of the ones in KL, I can barely finish the noodles, let alone the soup.
And of course, we had to have the cendol also lar:
One thing about these old food stalls in Penang though - don't keep asking them when your food's arriving. If you've ordered, just wait patiently for it to arrive. Question the stall owners' memory, and you'll be snapped at, like the little old lady behind the laksa stall:
From one cranky aunty to another, we next went to Lorong Selamat for the infamous Lorong Selamat char koay teow (yup, the one people are calling for a boycott over). After hearing so much about it, I just had to try it out, by hook or by crook. As expected, we had to wait for an entire HOUR for the CKT to get here.
At least the hou jien (oyster and egg) and the yam kueh we had while waiting for the CKT was pretty good though:
And right on the dot, exactly an hour after we got there, our char koay teow finally arrived.
After finally trying the char koay teow, I can see why it's so popular. It really IS good, and the prawns are HUGE. One plate definitely isn't enough, especially after you've waited so long for it.
And there lies the biggest problem I have with the place. Sure, the char koay teow is awesome, but frankly speaking, for RM6 (RM9 if you order extra prawns) AND a waiting time of an hour for each plate of char koay teow, it just isn't worth it. It's got nothing to do with the aunty's attitude - her rudeness is average hawker standards at best - but everything to do with the fact that there are cheaper and equally as good CKT in Penang, AND you don't have to wait so long for it.
So, after finally seeing what the fuss is all about, it's safe to say I probably won't be going back there again (unless like KY says, I go before 11am when its less crowded... then again, there are OTHER more awesome things to eat in the morning).
On Sunday, it was time to go home. But not before waking up early (well, early-ish) to go and have some kick-ass koay teow thng at a small lorong just off Burma Road (I can't remember what road it is now...).
Anyway, this is easily one of the best koay teow thngs I've ever had, and I should know because I LOVE my koay teow thngs. The meat is juicy, the pork bits are crunchy, the koay teow is smooth, and the soup is just HEAVENLY. Yup, I finished the whole bowl, down to the last drop of soup. Wanted to order another, but the old uncle said it was all sold out. At 9AM.
The stall's been there for DECADES - the only reason we knew about it was when my mother said she used to go there when she was a STUDENT. And the same little old man has been manning the stall all this while:
It's pretty sad that the old uncle is the only one manning the stall though. No younger generation to take over, nobody to help him. Watching him hunched over his stall, lovingly making each bowl of koay teow thng two at a time (like the Lorong Selamat Aunty, he'll also snap at you if you ask him why your food is taking so long), it makes you sad that once he is gone, the recipe for the koay teow thng goes with him. Never mind old buildings, people like this old man are the LIVING Heritage of Penang.
Anyway, back to the food. The items mentioned here are not the only things we eat in Penang, of course. I haven't even mentioned the Balik Pulau laksa, the bowls of braised chicken feet at New Lane that we DEVOUR on evevery single trip to Penang, the old school nasi kandar at the Butterworth jetty... dammit. now I'm hungry. Road trip, anyone?