Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Workaholic Chocoholic

I am NOT!
*pout*
Not by choice anyway.....

I do wonder sometimes though, is it normal to work up to 14 hours a day?
(give or take about 30 minutes for a quick lunch and another 30 minutes for various toilet breaks)

And it absolutely sucks to have worked so hard and long during the week that when I do get to the weekend, I have usually fallen sick or end up comatose for 80% of Saturday and Sunday.
My body has this amazing way of getting well just in time for Monday though.
=_=

bleh.
Not that I technically have any time to be sick during weekdays ANYWAY.

On another note: YAY.... I am like, SO happy to be the modern woman.... juggling career, love and life and a tonne of expectations. I am REALLY looking forward to when I have kids and I like, totally miss out on their childhood because I am too busy trying to make a name for myself in the corporate world OR conversely having people at work think that I am a total flake because I refuse to work late so that I can spend more time with my kids.

BLEH.

Signing off,
Gripey Grumpy J

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Monday, February 27, 2006

@}~~ Everlasting Spring ~~{@

[ BEGIN EDIT ]
(March 08)

Is it too much to ask for decent service???
*growl*
(Sorry lah... enough is enough)

First of all, let me be clear: I am definately not saying that anyone should boycott this restaurant. What I will say though is that the service in Spring Hatsuhana has been dying a slow painful death over the years and I've personally had enough.

Ok, I will not go into the gory details but no one should have to wait THAT long for food and get stupid excuses like:
1) "Oh, *nervous laugh* sorry but we are short staffed" when ask why many other tables that came later than us got their food first, and
2) "Haha.. oh, sorry ah. We just don't do that" when asked how come they don't even have the decency to volunteer something small like a 10% discount or a free drink due to the unacceptably long wait.

Service rating in the Restaurant Review Summary has been downgraded accordingly.
(Food still tastes decent for the price though)

[ END EDIT ]


The Dinner Lunch:

Once again, me and mein family ventured to Bangsar Shopping Center (BSC) to dine at Spring Hatsuhana. This restaurant started by the Hatsuhana Group has been around for over 10 years and is popular with the people who live in the area.

Ambience wise, it is simple and cosy with dark wood and clean lines but there are clear signs of wear and tear since the last renovation.

What about the food, you ask?
Well, there is an extensive menu with a large array of different sets/ bentos to choose from, as well as a lot of different ala-carte selections.

First of all, the Unagi Set was pretty good...
For about RM27, you get a rather generous serving of tasty eel in the delicious "kabayaki" style, served with the usual rice, miso soup, pickled veg and a small side-dish....

Hey, baby.... Wanna have a taste of my eel? *wink-wink*
If you are feeling glutton-ous, you can opt for the Teppanyaki + Mixed Tempura set. There is a choice of either Chicken, Beef or Seafood Teppanyaki ... served with Mixed Tempura and a salad to help you fool yourself that you are eating healthily...

Why bother picking just one? Eat it all!
Thankfully, the Mixed Tempura comes with 2 juicy prawns and a variety of veg fried in a crispy and light tempura batter. I have seen many an aneroxic tempura prawn, and must say that the serving size here is very worth it...
The teppanyaki? Well... *shrugs*... it was alright.
(I'm not a fan of teppanyaki lah Sorry!... My mum liked it though, so I suppose it's ok)

For me, my favourite is the simple yet tasty Saba (that's mackeral to you and me) Steak set.

Mmm-hmmm, we always hurt the ones we love...
The fish is fresh, tender and lightly grilled with many yummy onions in a sweet soy sauce....
(Also served with the usual things on the side)

If you want something much heavier, then you should go for one of the Bento sets... Pictured below is the Sashimi Bento set:

Glutton's delight....
This Bento comes served with a a variety of fresh fish slices (sashimi) as well as a salad and 3 other side dishes. The side dishes are always changing, so you'll always have a little variety whenever you order this set.

Overall, it's not a place with food that will knock your socks off, but it is definately a nice place for a simple and quiet meal that is tasty, affordable and most importantly, consistent.
(I've been eating here on and off for almost 10 years and I have never had to complain about the food yet)

Well,... it's USUALLY quiet anyways....
The day that I went there, we had the misfortune of having an obnoxiously loud woman who was wheeling and dealing Multi-Level Marketing stuff over her mobile phone.
Honestly, her voice can rival a team of rabid football fans.

Sigh.
If only she would use her powers for good.


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Spring Hatsuhana @ BSC

Taste: 6
Ambience : 5.5
Service : 6 3*
Price** : RM 25/++ per person
Parking: OK but Quite Pricey (It's BSC lah)

* FAIL!
** Approximation - 1 hearty bento/ set meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 603 - 2093 0808
Opening Hours: 11am - 11pm

NO PORK SERVED


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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

oOGA bOOGA


MORE PHOTO-SPACE-FILLERS!
This time, photos of my favouritest thing in the world....

So many choices... so little time..... *drooool*

Hmmmmm,.... if only it had zero calories too.... then it would be perfect.... *siiiiiigh*


Yes, yes... tis definately not a "proper" post but don't hold it against me, ok?
:)

Ciao....

Signing off,
J the Incurable Chocoholic

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Happy Moan-day!!

*Looks at photos of self from 3 years ago VS. 2 years ago VS. 1 year ago VS. now*

*waiiiiiiiiiil*

I am slowly expanding sideways!

:(

Arrrgh.
Such are the unavoidable results of : slowing metabolism +ever increasingly sedentary lifestyle + being a chocoholic + no self control.
:(

Anyone want to volunteer to be my personal trainer?
:D

Anyway, Happy Monday ppl!
I promise I will post up a restaurant review sometime this week when time permits.
*mumbles "I think I can, I think I can"*

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Friday, February 17, 2006

Photo-Space-Filler

*yawn*

Yup, still in JB now.
Facing insane deadlines (as usual), so I'm resorting to some hand-picked photos to fill up some space for my entry today...

Here are some scenes from my recent trip to China, courtesy of my trusty Canon:

~////~////~////~\\\\~\\\\~\\\\~




~\\\\~\\\\~\\\\~////~////~////~


*glances dreamily at the photos*

Lijiang+Dali+Kunming were really nice... especially since it was spring.
Cool breeze with warm sunlight, nice food, beautiful natural landscapes....
(dunno about the shopping tho... it was Chinese New Year so most of the shops were closed)
... it'd be nice to go back there sometime....

Hmmmmmm.....

Back to work, for now.


Signing off,
Minion #99999999999

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Save Me

Me is busy with work.
Very busy.
Argh.
Anyway, Happy Friday everyone!
Here are some amusing videos (office safe, don't worry!):

Life in JB is ok so far.
This week has been filled with work+work+work, with a little time to inhale and exhale and consume food....
*yay*
And there's 3 more weeks to look forward to!
*YAY*

*sound of J's spirit shattering in the background*

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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Apologies

I did say I was going to update everyday, right?

Well,.... looks like I LIED!!
muaahahahahaha.
MUAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA.

*cough-cough*

*sigh*

Actually,.. sorry people.
I've been busy, ...... really busy.

Am still alive and will update properly soon.

Hugs,
J

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

~ Weird Key Word Of The Month ~

"Dirty Bangsar Girls"

*blink-blink*

WTF?
AND I'm the 3rd result out of 1,657??

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Happy V-Day!

HAPPY OVERPRICED FLOWERS DAY!





In the vein of Valentine's Day, I present to thee:
In Ring No. 1: A cute Nokia mobile phone ad....
*Awwwwwwwwww*
So sweet.....

And, in Ring No. 2: A talking dog!
*gasp*


Anyway, I hope you are all having a great V-Day....

To the couples out there:
Cherish today, but remember that everyday you have together should be a continual celebration of the love you have for each other. It is so hard to find "the One" in this world, so if you think you have found him/ her.... you'd better damn well appreciate it!

To the singles:
What the heck is wrong with being single anyway?
Don't let anyone tell you that there is anything at all wrong with you.
It is much better to wait for the one who is really right for you than to just settle for less.


What about me?
Oh, don't you worry your pretty little head about it!
I get to spend a romantic V-day in JB with my colleagues, away from all my friends and family.

:D
It's great!

Hugs,
J


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Monday, February 13, 2006

(: V-Day Eve :)

Good Monday to you, my friends!
(erm... Good+Monday? Oxymoron or not, I wonder? Hmmmm)

Me in JB....

:(

... for work....

:~(

Away from all friends and family.

Oh well.
I do hope that the rest of you out there have started your weeks off well.


Ciao,
J

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(XoX) Haven of Un-Halal Food (XoX)

The Dinner:

[ Begin Edit ]
(Feb 07)
I've gone back to dine at El Cerdo recently at their new location, which is just around the corner from their old location
(Effectively, they're about 4 doors away from where they used to be)
(Now, they are on the same row as Frangipani instead of Sao Nam)

The food's still good but the restaurant's acoustics are terrible.
:(
What do I mean?
Well, there are too many hard surfaces so all the sound (voices, music, etc) is trapped within the restaurant. Also adding to the racket is the new dish there, the suckling pig I think, which is incredibly popular: The interesting thing about this dish is that it's tender enough to be cut with a plate and you are allowed to break the plate into a bucket after the waiter finishes cutting it.
(I was attacked by flying plate bits twice that night)

Also, it really doesn't help that the tables are placed much closer to each other than in the old location - it feels a little claustrophobic.
(I have downgraded the ambience rating accordingly in the summary sheet)

I tried to take some photos of the new interior to update my review but they turned out badly because of the very dim lighting.
(So no new photos - sorry!)
[ End Edit ]


First of all, let's have a look at the restaurant:
1) From the outside....
... you will be greeted by a simple, understated entrance just off the main Tengkat Tong Shin area...

2) Inside the restaurant....
.... you will find a cozy, warm interior.


I do find their general theme slightly disturbing tho (but amusing nonetheless).
No, no... do not misunderstand: I like their ambience and colour scheme very much - the vibrant yellow and orange goes very well with their wooden furnishing...

It's the fact that there are a multitude of cute piggies, in different shapes and sizes, looking down at me as I bite into a yummy piece of pork that unsettles me ever so slightly...
(FYI: the restaurant name, El Cerdo, literally translates as "The Pig")


"I want THAT little piggy! ~ medium to well done please..."
Haha.
Still,... what's important is the food, right?

Righty-O then.

The great thing about El Cerdo (aside from the food - I'll get to that soon) is the very personal touch when it comes to service. The chef here is very, very hands on. He will gladly recommend dishes off the menu if you have any trouble deciding, even variating the serving sizes to accomodate the size of your party.

That night, we started off with a delicious complimentary serving of Cream of Potato and Bacon.
Really Yummy Soup

Mmmm....
It was really rich and full of flavour, with bits of bacon in it for that added texture - a great way to start the meal.

Then, we had a selection of starters: Pate', cold cuts and erm... various other piggy parts prepared in a variety of ways....which comes with a variety of interesting sauces which compliment the items very well.
The El-Cerdo Starters Sampler Platter & Close-up of "Head Cheese"

My favorite of the array was the pate'....
I usually don't like liver of any kind (mashed up or otherwise), but this was smooth and flavorful without being overwhelming (it tasted beautiful when eaten with the teeny pieces of bread served with the platter).

My least favourite?
Call me an uneducated philistine/ horrible person who does not appreciate high-class cuisine, but I just can't get used to the "head cheese"....
What is it?
It is all the parts of the piggy - ears/ snout and all - cut up and set in some sort of jiggly meat jelly.

O_o

Pattar loved it though.
(Mind you, he's French/Chinese so there ain't nothing he don't eat)

Moving on to the mains, the wonderful chef (kudos to you, Werner!) arranged for us to sample a little of everything:

The Pork Shoulder Steak & The Salmon Spaghetti

The Sausage and Meats, served with Sauerkraut

The Specialty: Crispy Pork Knuckles, served with Potatoes and Gravy

My recommendation, out of the above?
Well, if I had to choose only one dish, it would definately be the Pork Shoulder Steak.
*drooooool*

On it's own, it's tender and well, OK-lah but when you eat it with a dollop of sauce and a sprinkling of the fried leek strips.... something magical happens....
I can't explain it but it just tasted SO good......!
(Anyway, just try it and you'll see)

Other very worthy mentions would be the Crispy Pork Knuckles and the Sausages.
(What about the spaghetti, you ask? Hmmmm... it was ok only)

After all that, we still managed to find some space in our bulging bellies for dessert...
(looking back, I think it was just pure, unadulterated GREED on our parts)
The sinful Chocolate Cake & delicious Pancakes
The Berries with Wine Jelly & moist Mango Tiramisu
and Pistachio Ice Cream ...................................

The Mango Tiramisu was interesting with the sweetness of the mangoes paired with the bitterness of the coffee.

The Berries with Wine Jelly was nice too with the tartness of the Jelly going very well with the sweetness of the ice cream.

Our favourites of the four though, would be the Pancakes and the Chocolate Cake.
The pancake - fluffly on the inside and ever so slightly crispy on the outside - when eaten with the vanilla ice cream was so deliciously simple... but a great way to end a dinner filled with complex flavours and textures.

The chocolate cake was a more complicated choice but really good too - rich and oh so moist, it melts in your mouth in the most sinfully delightful way...
*yum*

:)

And to cap it off, a picture of us from that night:
Everyone say:"That'll do, Babe... That'll Do"!

And thus ends the long overdue review... presented to you ever so early on a beautiful Monday morning.
:)

Note:
Parking, as usual, is a pain in the Jalan Alor/ Tengkat Tong Shin area. The solution if you want to dine at El Cerdo is to park at the Radius Hotel, which is just a few doors away. We were informed that you can get your parking fee waived by validating your ticket at El Cerdo (I'm not sure if this is a seasonal promo so do call El Cerdo first to check, ok? - I don't want to be responsible for you getting an expensive parking ticket from the hotel)



Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

El Cerdo @ Tengkat Tong Shin, KL

Taste: 8
Ambience : 7 5
Service : 8
Price** : RM 55/++ per person
Parking: OK
** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks

Telephone No.: 603 - 2145 0511
Opening Hours:
Tues to Sun: 12noon - 2.30pm, 6.30pm - 10.30pm
Mon: Open for dinner only if falls on Public Holiday and Eve of Public Holiday.
(Mondays also open for private function, lunch or dinner)

MOST DEFINATELY NOT HALAL



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Friday, February 10, 2006

V-Day Gift Ideas From A Helpful Chocoholic

The perfect gift for your overworked buddies at the office:
1) Abusive Stamps
£4.99

Erm,... of course it's officially issued by the Company...


What about your demanding girlfriend? Here's an idea:
2) Diamond Ring Paperweight
£12.99

Wow, tis oh so classy!


Don't forget your parents! Show them your filial love with this:
3) Instant Fancy Title
· A single gift containing one title pack - £30
· A single gift containing two title packs - £55

Status +5


Want something sweet but quirky for your beloved boyfriend with a sweet tooth? Look no further:
4) Gummy Hearts
$4.95


Mmmm, I bet that tastes good with Fava beans...

Hope this helps!

If not, there's always the age ol' classics of:
a) overpriced roses and fattening chocolates for her, and
b) sexy frilly lingerie for him
(well,.... to be worn by her of course... unless you're feeling kinky, in which case I say: "Hey man, whatever rings your bell...")

:P


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Malaysian TV Ads Don't Suck (That Much)!

It's a Malaysian TV commercial AND it's actually funny?
*gasp*
(shock! horror!)

Could it be?

--> Exhibit 1: Petronas' Bling Bling
--> Exhibit 2: Hotlink

Ok, ok... so Exhibit 2 is not like, THAT great... but it's abso-fricking FANTASTIC as compared to the MAA Assurance TV ads that came out a while ago...
(Anyone remember those atrocities? - the badly CGIed talking fish/ baby/ moon/ etc)

I thanked the gods above and below when they were taken off the air...
However, to my horror, when I was in Penang I discovered that they are still using it on some cable TV channels.
(Hey, to the people who wrote/ produced/ approved/ paid for those ads, just FYI: I have developed SEVERE negative associations with your brand)

*shudder*

Anyway, Exhibit 1, is a great festive commercial done by Petronas for Deepavali....
Petronas usually comes up with great commercials for most of the major religious festivals, like Hari Raya, Chinese New Year and Deepavali, but they are almost always way too saccharine sweet and overly sappy...
... this one however rocks!
(Hope you enjoyed it)

Malaysia Boleh!


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Thursday, February 09, 2006

t -5.....

*drum roll*

5 more days till Valentine's Day....

:)

Have you gotten a present for YOUR special someone for this over-commercialised celebration as a material symbol of your undying love yet?

(The clock's a-ticking!)


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I'm HOME!! :)

Me back in Malaysia.

Am very happy to be home after a tiring trip to China with the parents.
( I swear, these tour group schedule are gruelling! I think I need a holiday to recover from my holiday...)

How do I feel about being back in the office though, you ask?

:(


Signing off,
J

ps/ I promise I will update properly soon, I know I owe you all a few restaurant reviews. I just have to catch up with things at the office first, k? :)

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