Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Lost And Found

An affordable place to eat in SS17....

The Lunch

[ BEGIN EDIT ]
(as at Jan 2007)
I'm so sad...
Just came back from Food Foundry and not only have they revamped the entire menu (taking out many of my favourite dishes) but the prices seem to have gone up a bit!
:(
Didn't bring my camera at the time so I can't show you the new dishes they had but well, I wasn't impressed.
(Dammit - just when I thought I had finally found a affordable, nice and convenient place to eat!)
(Oh, they still have their yummy Mille Crepe though so it's not so bad....)

I'm not going to take down my old review just yet (although it's not really relevant anymore) but I promise I will put up an updated review as soon as I can.....
Have a good weekend!

[ END EDIT ]

Food Foundry is a new restaurant in the SS17 area that has been getting quite a bit of attention lately (from bloggers anyway). They serve a pretty wide range of very affordably priced Western as well as Asian food (most of the starters, tapas and desserts go for about RM7, the mains are about RM12 to RM20).
(Oh, and I must say: They have a wonderful website! - it's clean, informative, modern and they are so refreshingly transparent about themselves and their menu)

Ambience-wise, Food Foundry has a simple, cosy and comfortable environment:
Food Foundry Interior

It is however, located in a rather unsophisticated location, specifically at the base of a low cost apartment block. This is probably why they can keep their prices so low... So, good for them and us consumers too *yay* :
Food Foundry Exterior

That day we started off with the Sauted Mushrooms, Lamb Meatballs and the Caeser Salad:


Top to bottom: Caeser Salad, Sauted Mushrooms and Lamb Meatballs

The Caeser Salad was nice, very worth it for RM6.90++. The Mushrooms, sauted with butter and garlic, were also pretty good - possibly a little undercooked but overall ok for RM5.90++.
The Lamb Meatballs (RM6.90++) though were a bit of a letdown. The texture of the meatball was nice - crunchy outer layer with moist meat inside - but it (and the accompanying sauce) was waaaaaay too salty.

For the mains, we tried the Aglio Beef with Mushrooms, the Pan Fried Dory with Pepper Marmalade and the Chicken Cordon Bleu:


Top to bottom: The Pan Fried Dory, Aglio Beef and Chicken Cordon Bleu

The fish was nice, served with a side of salad and creamy pasta.
(The serving of fish was kinda small though - but ok for the price of RM12.90++... and the accompanying pasta was pretty tasty and filled me up)

The Aglio Beef with mushrooms (RM12.90++) was not bad... It had an Asian taste to it - not quite like the classic Aglio, which is nice but for me it was a bit too "wet". Lastly, the chicken (RM12.90++) was also ok - tender and flavorful.

For dessert, we tried the house specialty, the Original Mille Crepe (RM7.90++) as well as a Brown Brownie (RM6.90++):
The Mille Crepe and the Brown Brownie

The Mille Crepe with its many layer of crepe and cream was nice - simple, refreshing and not too sweet.
(Definately something I would try again)
What about the Brown Brownie? Well, I didn't like it at all, but it's personal - I don't like cinnamon in my desserts. My friend V (who likes cinnamon) seems to think it tastes fine though.

So, it's: Affordable dining, comfortable environment BUT hits and misses on the menu and nothing much else really - it's not perfect but at those prices, I wouldn't complain

You can find a map HERE on their website.
:)


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Food Foundry @ Section 17, PJ

Taste: 6
Ambience : 6
Service : 6
Price** : RM25/++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-7955 3885
Opening Hours: 11:30am-10:00pm

NO PORK SERVED




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Monday, October 30, 2006

Of Flesh and Bits and Pieces

Love and gore at the KLPAC.....

On Sunday, I went to watch the new Gavin Yap play, Frankenstein In Love at the KLPAC.

It is an adaptation of Clive Barker's updated interpretation of Mary Shelley's classic Frankenstein - set in the midst of a revolution with love, gore, hate and politics all rolled into a 2 hour play.

Gavin Yap rocks!
The man has abs of steel....
(Unfortunately he was only directing this time and did not spend any time walking around without his shirt on *sigh*)
... and he was a wickedly dark sense of humour - which is so refreshing to watch!
(Or maybe I'm just a wee bit disturbed!)
The Frankenstein In Love Poster

Anyway, if you haven't figured it out already, I really enjoyed the whole experience. Why?: Well, because politics + love + death = elements of a good play! It was dark, without being too deep or boring... and funny, without being too over the top or corny.

Good acting is of course absolutely essential to bring all the elements together to produce a successful play, and I think that the cast did a good job here!
A (Fuzzy) Peek At The Play

Of course, no one is perfect - there were one or two actors who seemed to swallow their words here and there... especially when they began speaking a bit faster in their foreign accents (leaving me to guess what the hell it was that they were saying) but for the most part, it was good.

I won't spoil it by revealing too much.... but I'll sum it up as:
A fun, dark and witty play set in a revolution with the classic undertones of a boy meets girl love story (AND flesh eating zombies!!)
(It's only running for a few more days so you gotta be quick if you wanna watch it)

Summary Info:
Name of Play - Frankenstein In Love
Venue - The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center (KLPAC)
Dates - Oct 27 till Nov 3, 2006
Price - RM50 (adults) / RM30 (students, seniors, disabled)
Bookings - Online or Phone 2094 9400/ 4047 9000
Note - They have a blog too! O_o??


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Sunday, October 29, 2006

Sharing The Pain

I think I'm growing up to be bitchier, day by day.

I love my boyfriend. I really do.
He is a really nice person - kind, loving and generous.
He was someone that I "clicked" with immediately and there have (amazingly) never been any awkward silences between us, right from the start.

... but the situation that we are in is really beginning to eat into me.
I am juat so frustrated sometimes:
Do I ask my mum to Shut The F**k Up? Or do I tell my wonderful bf to get with the program (and at least just get engaged so that my mum will STFU)??

What do I usually do instead?
I lash out at him,
I ask him to buy me things....
(Which he refuses to anyway - he's a smart man, too smart maybe *sigh*)
... and sometimes I even purposely say hurtful things to him.

Does this make me a bad person?
I don't know.
I guess so.

I suppose chocoholics were never made to be angels.
Especially me.


(Yes, I am in a terrible mood. And yes, I realise it's 4am now but well,... I can't sleep)

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Back To The Drawing Board

*sigh*
Ok.
My new template's coding was a disaster.

So, I shall be reverting to my old template for a bit while I reconstruct the damned thing.
(Wow, look at me mum, I'm a Finance grad trying to learn a funky programming language thingy! It's just all fun, fun and more fun!)

:)

Hope you're all having a good weekend!

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Saturday, October 28, 2006

Don't Feed The Fashion Victims

Just this morning, while flipping though a local gossip/ fashion mag...
(They're my guilty pleasure)
... I chanced upon this piece of "fashion":
O_o ??

Of course the first thought that popped into my mind was, "WTF??".
*lol*
It's really amazing what some people will pay for.
I mean, it looks like they found a Yeti, lopped off its feet and made them into a pair of boots!
(And seeing as it's from a designer label, they probably cost a bomb too)

Hmmm, I wonder if somewhere in the world, there's some young starlet or wannabe (like Paris "Oh, I'm So Multi-talented" Hilton) wearing those boots right now and thinking that she looks SO hot in them.
(They say that one man's meat is another man's poison, so in all likeliness, there probably is....)

(Hooray! It's another good day for Mr. Designer Label: sipping on champagne in his billion dollar mansion and churning out high fashion designs while high on alcohol)

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Standing Through The Test Of Time

A popular Nyonya restaurant in the SS2, PJ area.....

[ BEGIN EDIT ]
(19 August 2007)

Hey everyone, was passing by Nyonya restaurant today and noticed that it's closed. Don't worry though - it's not closed for good....

(According to the sign they hung up)
They are closed for renovations till next month with the promise that they'll be back with a new look but the same great taste.

I'll probably pop by sometime next month to see whether to the food is still good or whether this whole renovation thing is a precluder in a sly change in management.

Ciao,
J the Chocoholic

[ END EDIT ]

The Dinner

This restaurant, serving traditional Nyonya cuisine is very simply called Nyonya Restaurant and has been around for as long as I can remember.
(I think I've been eating here off and on since I was 6 years old)
Nyonya Restaurant Exterior and Interior

It's been through about 3 changes in management and 2 renovations but the wonderful thing about Nyonya is that it has somehow managed to maintain a consistent quality in its food.

That night, we went for some of my favourites.... the Belacan Kacang Botol, Gulai Tumis Fish, Beef Rendang, Kerabu Ladies Fingers as well as a new-ish dish, the Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab:


Clockwise from top left: The Belacan Kacang Botol, Gulai Tumis Fish,
Kerabu Ladies Fingers, Beef Rendang and Deep Fried Soft Shelled Crab

The Kacang Botol (Four Angle Beans) fried with Belacan and (a few) prawns was yummy as usual - fresh and crunchy with that fragrant Belacan taste, without being too oily. The Kerabu Ladies Fingers was also good - the deliciously tart sour taste of the "Kerabu" sauce went very well with the texture of the Ladies Fingers, onions and egg.

Two dishes that I must always have are the Beef Rendang and the Gulai Tumis Fish. Sadly, the Beef Rendang can be a bit "if-fy": one day it can be gloriously, melt-in-your-mouth tender but on others, it can be a bit tough.... The fish though, with its spicy and sour sauce and bits of mint and pineapple is consistently good.
(Yum!)

The Deep Fried Soft Shelled Crab has also quickly grown into a favourite for my family as its crispy texture is really addictive.
(Definately worth a try for crab lovers)
(P said that he finds the taste a little too "crab-by" on some days, but I think that for the most part, they're ok)

Other food that I would recommend would be the "Inchi Kaebin" (Nyonya styled fried chicken) and the "Otak-Otak" (Spicy Fish Cake).
(The "Otak-Otak" here is very popular and tends to run out on weekends. The "Perut Ikan", literally translated as Fish Stomach, is also very popular... but I've never tried it)

For dessert, I chose the simple but refreshing Sago Gula Melaka:
Yummy Sago

Perfect!
They do their sago really well - the texture is silky and "tender" without any starchy taste and it's also not too sweet, with just the right amount of gula melaka.
(I just HAVE to have it every time, no matter how full I am)
:)

The Ice Kacang and various Nyonya kuih here are also good and worth a try.
(Most people don't seem to like the cendol though, for one reason or another... )

So, it's: Consistent food quality, unpretentious environment, reasonable (still, not exactly cheap) prices BUT some hits & misses on the menu and servings are a bit small.

(Need pointers on how to get there? Well, it's on Jalan SS2/24 - somewhere opposite the SS2 Esso Station in the same shoplot area as Eng Seng Heng, Sri Siam and Lobsterman. Specifically, it is about 5 doors away from Sri Siam...Still blur? Ok lah, here's the map)



Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Nyonya Restaurant @ SS2, Petaling Jaya

Taste: 7
Ambience : 6
Service : 6
Price** : RM 25/++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - Chinese style meal (with dessert), excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-7875 9709
Opening Hours: 11am - 3.00pm, 5.30pm - 9.30pm

NO PORK SERVED



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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Apologies For My Lack Of Skillz

Okies...
So the feedback so far is that my new template looks really bad on Firefox....
(I suck!)
*Waiiiiil*
:(

(Thanks for the feedback though, Cely! *hugs*)

I shall try to fix it asap. It really isn't supposed to just be a blob of white with some words on it - there's supposed to be a cute banner with a chocolate bunny on it, among other things...

For the meantime though, dear Firefox users, please be patient with me.
(A thousand apologies for any irritation or confusion caused by any disappearing banners/ alignment errors/ etc... )


Cheers,
J

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Back To Work

How quickly the 2 days has passed by....
*yawn*

Now it's back to the daily grind again (at least for 2 more days anyway)...
The office is so so so quiet today though, as many people are still on leave...
(Hmmm,.. is that a good thing or bad thing? Hopefully more good than bad lah - I dunno how irritating it'll be if I need some work done urgently but the key people are not around today)

Anyway, the short break has been fun (albeit a little too short).
It was a whirlwind of:
1) Shopping
Gah!
I thought that the shopping centers would be empty-ish due to everyone going back to their home towns but there were so many people around!
(Curses!)

2) Watching DVDs
Erm....
Legal ones, of course.
... and none of those XXX kind either, so don't go there.
*glare*

3) Catching up with friends
Booze + Foosball Table + Friends = Fun!
:)

4) Sleeping In!
Ah, glorious rest.....
It's so nice to be able to roll out of bed at 10am instead of the usual 6.30am.
(I know it's very slothful.... but it's just so wonderfully rare and precious ever since I started working)


So how were your Raya breaks?
(Or are you all still on you Raya breaks now?)


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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Brand Spanking New Blog Template

A slightly late post on the changes made....Sorry!

Well, I've finally taken the time during the Raya break to do some major changes to my blog template.
(Changes that I've been meaning to do since like, 6 months ago!)
(Yeah - I know I have "Suuuuuure, I'll do it tomorrow...." syndrome)

Here's the important question though:
What do you think?
:)

Thanks to those who have already commented. I'm sorry this post came a little late - I spent so much time tidying up my template at one of those coffee places yesterday....
(Yay for free WiFi!)

I managed to load up the new template but when I hit the "Publish Post" button for this update my laptop ran out of batterieeesss....*sigh*
(And then I had to go to my friend's open house already so... erm... Sorry lah, better late then never though, right?)

(Psssst - I've tried my very best but I'm really not very good at coding so if anyone spots any bugs, just drop a comment and I'll try to fix it)

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Raya Shout Out

To all my dahling friends,

SELAMAT HARI RAYA!
*huuuuuuuuuuuuugssssss*

Hope you're all having fun with family and friends whether you're celebrating in your kampungs or right here in KL/ PJ.

May you be generously bestowed with much Duit Raya and yummy kuih-muih.
(Oh, and to all my married friends: I hope you don't get too broke giving out Duit Raya - haha... Just remember that sharing is caring)


Love,
J

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Not So Blue Monday

Aaaaah....
*stretch*
I am in the office today, but somehow it doesn't seem so bad...
(On half day today)

Driving to work today was also an absolute dream!
(Ten minutes.... only TEN minutes!)

*yawn*
I dunno why I'm feeling so sleeeepy though.
Slept pretty early last night....

Anyway, I have no "kampung" to return to, so most festive seasons, I'll just stay in KL/PJ and enjoy the distinct lack of crazy drivers on the road.
*waves to crazy drivers*
Please take your time!
Don't rush back, ok?
:)

(In fact, if you decide to stay in your home towns and never return, that'll be great too!)


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Grape Expectations

Wining and dining at a highly recommended winery restaurant in the Matakana region, New Zealand........

The Ascension Winery is situated in the Matakana region was started by the 5th generation of winegrowers in the Soljan family. The Matakana region, about 1 and a half hours north of Auckland, is a popular wine region in the North Island.

Ascension has only been opened for a few years but already has several awards under its belt and comes pretty highly recommended both for its wine and its food.
(So, I just HAD to try it out while I was in New Zealand)
:)

This winery/ reataurant is situated on the main Matakana road, in a rustic styled building surrounded by grape vines:

The Ascension Winery and Restaurant

The restaurant inside (in the section next to the cellar door aka. wine tasting/ shop area) was simple and cosy, with a choice of either indoor or "outdoor" seating (in cold weather they block off the cold air with some large plastic sheets):
Ascension Interior

One thing I liked is that they take the care to recommend a particular wine to "pair" with every dish (starters, mains and desserts). It is just a suggestion though, so whether or not you actually order the recommended wine is optional......

Oh, and I also love the cute little messages they have on each table! (as pictured above). The one on my table cleverly said:
" Drink wine and you will sleep well.
Sleep and you will not sin.
Avoid sin and you shall be saved.... "
That's absolute genius!
*lol*

Anyway, we started the meal with the Ascension Taste Plate – A selection of 2 sets of 4 flavoursome, freshly prepared morsels that change daily (NZ$14.50).
(I love restaurants with good websites - then I can easily get the exact price and description of the food)
:)
The Ascension Taste Plate

That day we were served 2 x 4 cute little pieces of roast beef, smoked salmon with wasabi mayonnaise, olive paste and tomato bruschetta, all arranged in their own pastry/ biscuit base. Mmmmm,... they were all great!
(... except the beef - it was only ok)
Simple yet tasty, with a good mix of different tastes and textures - it was the perfect way to start a meal.
(Oh, and they served it super fast too!)

For the mains, we had the Slow cooked Moroccan-style lamb tagine of neck fillet - set on a chickpea falafel and Ascension preserved lemons (NZ$24.50) and the Braised beef osso bucco bourguignon - set on soft truffle scented potato mash and a rich malbec jus, finished with slow roasted, glazed baby onions (NZ$25.50):
Left to right: The Beef and the Lamb

Mmmm-mmm.
Both of them were yummy.
I liked the Lamb more though, as it had a more exotic flavour.
The beef was ok - also tender but the brown sauce was a bit too "ching" (erm... it means clear/ uncomplicated taste) for my tastebuds.

We ended the meal with a simple but sinful Chocolate Cake (NZ$9.00)
The Chocolate Cake!

The cake was a nice way to end the meal.
It was a heavy and moist, served with a generous dollop of cream.
Good... but not great (by my standards, it was a little "flour-y")

All in all, it was a good meal - decent prices (by NZ standards), good taste and good wine. It was also nice that everyone who dines at the restaurant gets to have a free wine tasting session at the cellar door (although this only saves you about NZ$8 per person, it's a nice gesture).


Summary Information:
Ascension Winery and Restaurant
Cellar Door & Wine Tasting: 10am to 5pm
Restaurant: Weekdays - 11am to 4 pm, Weekends - 11am to 5 pm
Phone: +64 9 4229601
Fax: +64 9 4229602
Address: 480 Matakana Road, Matakana Coast, P.O. Box 64, Matakana


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Saturday, October 21, 2006

With Love....

Just a short shout out to all my friends out there who are celebrating Deepavali:

May you and your families have a glorious, happy celebration on this day (and the rest of the year).....
*hugs*

Happy Deepavali!


Over and out,
J

Friday, October 20, 2006

[ Insert Witty Title Here ]

I really need more hours in a day.

My biological clock has started to normalize now, so I'm NOT waking up at 5.30am automatically anymore but that has actually turned out to be a bad thing.
(It's so good to sorta "get" 1 or 2 extra hours everyday)

Oh, and... *waves fist at phantom nuisance driver*... there is not point putting on a signal light when you are already half way into the lane! - it is supposed to indicate your intent to cut into the lane!
*sigh*
At least you put it on at all, I suppose... which is more than I can say for a lot of people.

Over and out,
J


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Thursday, October 19, 2006

I Thot I Saw A Puddy Cat..

A visit to a beautiful (and fun!) animal sanctuary in Rotorua, New Zealand....

One of the last tourist-y stops I made in New Zealand was to the Paradise Springs Valley Trout and Wildlife Park in Rotorua.... It was a nice drive in, roughly 15 minutes away from the main town area.
The main entrance.....

(FYI: It costs NZ$23.00 for adults and NZ$11.50 for kids)

We were expecting to see just local animals there but surprisingly they had a rather large pride of lions there too:

*Snooooore* "Rowr..."


Lioness 2: "Hey, pssst... wake up, sleepyhead! Look there... lunch has arrived!"
Lioness 1: "Hrrrrm?.... *sleepy glance*... Oh ok. I'll pick it up..."



Lioness 1:"Nothing like getting a bite after a long nap.... "


Lioness 1:"ROWR! *pounces at J*
J: "Aieeeeeeee..... Run away!"

Haha.
Just kidding.
(I am so lame)

Anyway, there's really nothing to worry about - it was actually all very safe as there is a solid electric fence between the lion enclosure and the walkway:

*zap-zap*

The reason why they have lions there is pretty sweet actually.... According to one of the park rangers, they are (or are descendents of) abandoned circus lions that the park owners adopted in the 1980's.

The original adoptees reproduced, rather prolifically in fact, and with that (and a few exhanges between other reserves and zoos) the lion family of Paradise Valley grew happily and healthily.

There are even a pair of lion cubs here, Asha and Aslan. Hearing the word "cubs" of course, I was expecting cute little lions the size of large house cats....

... but good Lord! - At the age of only 9 months, they were huge!:
*puuuuuurrrrr* (Awww, so manja!)


They were really cute though.
Like a pair of overgrown kittens....
:)
"Rowr...."
"... I'm-a..."
"... gonna..... "
"... get you!" *triumphant roar*


You can even pet them,... if you dare!
(Those claws and teeth look mighty sharp....)
Me so brave.... :)

(Daily lion cubs viewing times: 10.30am-12.00pm, 1.00pm-2.20pm, 3.00pm-4.30pm)

Overall, it was a great experience...
I had a fun time looking at all the animals,... it kinda made me feel like a kid again actually.
:)

Summary Information:
Paradise Springs Valley Trout and Wildlife Park

Admission price: NZ$23 (Adults) and NZ$12 (Kids)
(Babies/ infants enter free!)
Park Opening Hours: 8am to 6pm
(Last ticket sale at 5pm).
Daily lion cubs viewing times: 10.30am-12.00pm, 1.00pm-2.20pm, 3.00pm-4.30pm.

Address: 467 Paradise Valley Road, Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand
Phone No.: +64 7 348 0366
Location map: CLICK HERE


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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Love At First Bite

A good place for sinfully delicious duck in the Auckland CBD....

One night, while walking back from a nearby supermarket to our hotel, me and P chanced accross this delightful Hong Kong style Chinese restaurant that is amusingly named Love A Duck:
(Actually, it's really hard to miss it as it is on a major intersection near one end of Queen Street, at the base of the Scene 2 Building)
Restaurant Exterior

They serve a variety of the usual (NOT HALAL!) Chinese dishes - multiple types of fried rice, noodles and meat/ veg dishes. It is obvious that this restaurant is pretty popular as there were quite a number of people eating there, even at that late hour:
Restaurant Interior

Of course, being the gluttons that we are (and seeing as there weren't many other restaurants open at 11pm, we went in to sample the roast duck that they claimed as their specialty as well as a bit of the crispy pork ("siew yoke"):
"I Miss You Darling...", says J

*drooool*
Oh man.
I would give my arm to have that duck again.
It was so so sinful: Crispy skin, a thin layer of fat and tender meat underneath, all exploding in oily goodness when you bite into it.
(This must do horrors for the health of your heart... but once in a while is ok, right?)

The crispy pork was also pretty good.
I found it a bit too salty but I suppose if I were eating it with rice then it would be ok.
(FYI: This serving of duck + pork was priced at NZ$15 and the Chinese tea served was free)

Seeing as this was just a "snack", we didn't indulge in the heavier dishes but hey, if everything is half as good as the duck, this restaurant is definately worth a try if you're in Auckland and craving for some good Chinese food.
(Apparently this outlet in the CBD is open for dining from 6am till 3am the next day!)
:)

Summary Information:
Love A Duck
Opening Hours: 6am to 3am.
Address: 16 Beach Rd, Auckland CBD, Scene 2, New Zealand
Phone No.: +64 9 309 3827

NOT HALAL


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