Friday, March 30, 2007

Thanks Giving Day

Thank God it's Friday!
My week at work has been psycho: Preparing reports, running financial simulations, performance analysis, meetings with customers, going for training, etc.

It's been difficult to even schedule in daily neccessities such as sleep and food....
*sigh*
Still, I'm strangely happy with my job.
(Or maybe I'm just a sado-masochist)

I have to keep reminding myself that I haven't done my tax submission yet though.

I really hate this time of year - filling in that dastardly form and making sure all the attachments are in order so the nice tax man/ woman from IRB doesn't come with the police to arrest me for tax evasion.
:)

Well, I hope you will all have a great weekend ahead.
(Do savour the 48 hours - it flies by so quickly!)


Hugs,
J

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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count The Ways!

Warning!: Sugary sweet lovey-dovey post ahead - proceed with caution....

My boyfriend is so cute:
I bought him a money plant some time back to brighten up his bachelor pad.

Months later, the money plant started shedding excessive amounts of leaves.
(We found out later that he should have taken more care to ensure that not that much water touches its leaves)

When I pointed this out (he didn't notice before), he said:
"Aiyoh, how lah? It's not a good sign, right??"
*prods plant gently*
"Aaah! So many leaves are falling!!"
*whimper*
"Next time don't buy me money plants anymore!"

It may be a little strange, I suppose, but these are the little things that make me love him more...
:)
I mean, most of the time he's really macho (in a good way) but it's nice to find out his little eccentricities/ soft side.
(Like excessive superstitious-ness, for example)

To my darling P:
I LOVE YOU, HONEY....!

(Oh, I hope that you are all having good weeks so far)


Hugs,
J

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Friday, March 23, 2007

When The World Seems To Shine

... like you've had too much wine, that's amore!

The Dinner

Jo-Lyn had always been raving about this great little wine place in Damansara Heights but somehow I was always unlucky:
- missed out on 2 outings where we were supposed to meet there, and
- went there on my own on Sunday only to find that it was closed.
:)

Anyway, I eventually succeeded in going to Vintry's and wow, I was pretty impressed! They really do have an excellent selection of wines:
Spoilt for choice!: Rows and rows of wine to choose from.....

You have a wide range of wines to choose from: reds/whites/rose, merlot/cab sauv/chardonnay/etc, from USA/Europe/Australia/Chile/etc... and starting at really affordable prices.
(It's as low as RM60 for a decent wine!)
(Of course there are the bottles that cost hundreds of ringgit but those are really nice wines)

As for the interior of Vintry, it's a little small (2 levels) but is cosy and comfortable:
The interior of Vintry's, upstairs and downstairs.....

It does get a little too noisy during peak hours (weekends especially) as the area is small and people who are drunk on wine tend to laugh/ speak/ etc very loudly... I suppose if you're drunk enough yourself, you won't notice too much.
Ah, a glass of vino.....

As for the food, Vintry's has an interesting concept: They have the menus from all the surrounding restaurants (eg. The Rib Shop, La Risata, Ka Soh, etc) and you can order whatever you want. The food will then be delivered to you at Vintry (but you have to pay immediately, upon receiving the food).

Vintry also has an extensive range of their own food too.
Here are some of the starters we tried:

Clockwise from top left: The Seafood Platter, Sauteed Button Mushrooms, Tom Yam Spare Ribs and Caremelised Pork.....

Overall, everything was ok:
- I liked the Mushrooms as they were fragrant and not too oily,
- The Seafood Platter was ok... nothing fantastic but it tasted freshly made (and not like something straight out of a supermarket brand pre-prepared frozen food packet),
- I didn't enjoy the Tom Yam Spare Ribs (tough & salty) and Caramelised Pork (oily & not crispy) but Pat and Jo-Lyn say that these are usually much nicer.
(They are supposed to be the specialties anyway)

As for the mains, we tried the Blue Cheese Pork burger and the Pork Chop:
The Pork Chop and the Blue Cheese Pork Burger .....

The Pork Chop serving was huge for the price (about RM22 if I recall) but overall only ok - the meat was reasonably flavourful and the sprinkling of deep fried potato bits (although probably horribly unhealthy, tasted good) but the meat wasn't very tender and it was drenched in an overly salty brown sauce.

As for the Burger, it was GOOD!
The combination of the tender meat patty and the blue cheese sauce was delicious.
(Please avoid it like the plague if you are totally turned off by the smell of blue cheese though....)

Somehow, at the end of the night we still managed to find space for dessert:
The Pan-Fried Bananas with Ice Cream and the Tiramisu....

The Pan Fried Bananas were a little pricey considering how small the serving is but yummy nonetheless... My fave between the two though would definately be the Tiramisu though.
YUMS.
So good....
So creamy...
(So SINFUL!)

I didn't note down the exact prices of each item but the food there is pretty affordable: Starters from around RM6 to RM15, mains from RM18 to RM40 and desserts around RM9 to RM18.
(Roughly lah........)

[ BEGIN EDIT ]
1) (June 2007)

Vintry is getting too popular for it's own good and is constantly packed on most nights, especially Fridays and Saturdays. So, please take heed: You MUST book at least a few days ahead or risk disappointment.
(There's no such thing as getting a table if you're a walk-in customer any more, unless you are EXTREMELY lucky)

Oh, and they've just added some new items to their menu - some of which aren't that nice so be careful of what you order (I didn't take photos but the Fried Noodles & Cuban Sandwich, which are not new but I'd never ordered them before, are also not that nice).

2) (Jan 2008)
Guess what?
Vintry's new and much bigger outlet in Jaya 33 shopping centre is now open!
Guess what (again)?
IT'S HALAL.
Don't ask me why. There was already a hint of exasperation in my voice when I asked the waiter what sort of angle their going for: "A Halal Restaurant which specialises in Wine"?

Oh well. I guess I was just being grumpy because I had been really really looking forward to having the sinfully delicious deep fried pork strips....

Anyway, now you know: New Vintry outlet = Halal, Old Vintry outlet = Still Non-Halal.

[ END EDIT ]

So, it's: EXCELLENT range of wines, cosy ambience, decent food for good prices, friendly waiters BUT sometimes service levels drop because they are just too busy.

Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

Vintry @ Bukit Damansara Heights
(Behind Victoria Station's row in Damansara Heights)


Taste: 6
Ambience : 6
Service : 6
Price** : RM45++ per person
Parking: Very limited and generally painful

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks
Telephone No.: 03-2094 8262 (Damansara Heights outlet)
Opening Hours: 11am - 12midnight (Closed on Sundays)

NOT HALAL



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Monday, March 19, 2007

Old Slant On Things

aka. J the Chocoholic's trip to Italy Part 3 - Pisa! (Note: Very photo heavy post)

Here's another dose of desktop escapism for you all...
:)

Third stop - PISA!

The Campo dei Miracoli (Square of Miracles):
A view of the most famous landmark in Pisa.....

The row of shops next to the Square, mostly selling souveniers.....

The Torre pendente di Pisa (Leaning Tower of Pisa):
Yikes! it really looks like it might fall anytime.....


The Duomo di Pisa (Cathedral of Pisa):
A look at the beautiful detail inside the Cathedral.....

Wow.....

Awe-inspiring stained glassed and paintings all around.....


I hope that you've all started off your Mondays well!
(Remember: It's only 5 more days till the weekend!)

Hugs,
J

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Friday, March 16, 2007

Fava Beans. Yum.

Last night, I had a really really weird dream/ nightmare.....

It went a little something like this:
I was on a holiday with some friends in some exotic location. We walked around happily, exploring the lush jungles and the serene desert.

SUDDENLY (and without much reason, as usually happens in dreams) we were trapped in a beautiful mansion: A mansion, that we later discovered, was owned by a cannibal!

*GASP*
We were so afraid - searching desperately for a way to escape...
... but there were none.
:(

*THUD*
We heard a sound!
In a fervent panic we ran and ran and split up accidentally.... so I found myself alone in a lavish room, filled with ornate glass ornaments.

To my despair, I had been spotted by the cannibal!

I shivered in fear, considering my fate at the hands of the horrible monster.
Steeling my nerves, I looked up - deciding that I would try to die with some little bit of dignity.

*dum-dum-DUUUUUUM*

In shock, I discovered that the horrible ugly scary monster I had been expecting was instead a man - a man of unearthly beauty, with chiseled features and a perfect physique that could rival a Greek God.

I feared that my friends had been eaten but Beautiful Cannibal Dream Man said: "No - do not worry, I would not eat you or your friends..."
(Why? Dunno - he never said)

Phew.
I was so relieved.
So, the Beautiful Cannibal Dream Man took us out of his mansion and on a tour of the town, happily pointing out all the interesting tourist attractions. Whenever we stopped for a meal though, he would leave us alone at the restaurant and go look for his own food.
(Yes, food = humans)
..
..
..
Anyway, we all lived happily ever after.
(... although the cannibal never stopped eating humans)

I suspect it may be work stress, an overactive imagination or just general dementia that's fuelling such an over the top weird dream....

Oh well.
Hope you all have a great day and weekend ahead!
;)


Hugs,
J

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Eagle Has Landed

Begone evil restaurant review hiatus!....

The Dinner

After a long break from trying out new restaurants, I decided to check out the Eagle's Nest in Damansara Perdana. Pat had eaten here before and said that it was nice, so I thought it'd be worth a try...

Overall, I found the restaurant very comfortable - nothing lavish - but it was cosy and welcoming (music was a bit iffy though - they were playing a strange mix of songs: classic/ country music one moment and then chill/ jazzy tunes the next):
The Interior of Eagle's Nest.....

Looking at the menu though, there were only a few types of appetizers: escargot, a few salads and 2 soups. Nothing really caught my eye though, so I jumped straight to one of the specialties, the Steak Americano:
The Steak Americano.....

The Steak Americano was pretty good - reasonably juicy and tasty - served with a creamy bearnaisse sauce (ok only - very mild tasting), a few grilled mushrooms, vegetables and a crispy slice of garlic bread (yummy!). It was priced at about RM46++ though, so it wasn't cheap.

Here are some of the other steaks we sampled that night, the Surf and Turf Steak (RM53++) and the Ribeye Steak with Herb Butter (about RM40++):
The Ribeye Steak and the Surf and Turf Steak.....

Overall, both steaks were ok too - the Ribeye came with with a choice of Herb Butter (Ok only - also very mild tasting) or Garlic Butter where else the Surf and Turf came with a Red Wine Sauce (Not bad - it had a nice tart taste to it).

The selection of desserts there is really REALLY limited though. You basically have a choice between plain ice cream or ice cream with strawberry sauce:
The Plain Ice Cream - Chocolate.....

Erm,... nothing much to say about the ice cream - it was normal. Still, it's not too pricey though so I suppose it's a simple way to cap off your meal

All in all, I wouldn't say that my experience at Eagle's Nest was bad.... Well, the steaks are ok (not cheap but definately ok considering the portion size and taste) but the selection of appetizers and desserts were dismal. If you are looking for a quiet place with decent steaks, friendly service and (relatively) easy to find parking then the Eagle's Nest would be a good choice though.

So, it's: Quiet, cosy and simple ambience with friendly service and ok steaks BUT limited menu (other food - eg. pasta - starters and desserts).


Restaurant Review
Summary Sheet:

The Eagle's Nest @ Damansara Perdana, KL

Taste: 6
Ambience : 6
Service : 7
Price** : RM 60/++ per person
Parking: OK

** Approximation - 3 course meal, excluding drinks

Telephone No.: 03-7726 1220
Opening Hours:
Open for lunch and dinner: 12noon - 2.30pm, 6pm - 11pm,

NO PORK SERVED



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Monday, March 12, 2007

A Glimpse of Florence

aka. J the Chocoholic's trip to Italy Part 2 - Florence! (Note: Very photo heavy post)

Second stop - FLORENCE!
The Piazzale Michaelangelo (Michaelangelo Square):
At the scenic Michaelangelo Square, just outside the main Florence city area.....

The view of Florence city from Michaelangelo Square.....


The Duomo Santa Maria del Fiore (Basilica of Saint Mary of the Flower):
Third biggest cathedral in the world.....


The Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace):
Narrow alleys on the way to the Palazzo and the Main Palazzo Area.....


The Ponte Vecchio (Old Bridge):
The historic Old Bridge, by day and night.....

On the Old Bridge, checking out the famed goldsmith/ jewellery shops.....


The Galleria degli Uffizi (Uffizi Gallery):
The Uffizi Gallery (which used to be a palace) by day and night.....


There you have it!
A mini desktop escape to a faraway land.
(I hope that helped with your Monday blues somewhat)
:)

Hugs,
J

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Friday, March 09, 2007

I Aren't Dead

Really, I'm not!
So, why no new food/ restaurant reviews?
One word sums it all up: WORK!

I really have been eaten whole by my day job since I got back from Italy....
*sigh*
It's like I have to pay back for the week that I was away!

Haha.
Oh well.
If I had any doubts before that I wasn't earning my keep here in my department, those doubts are now completely quelled.

What have I been eating lately though?
1) Nescafe Coffee aka. BREAKFAST:

Viva le caffeine.....

2) Maggi Tom Yam Cup Noodles aka. LUNCH:

Fast to cook, good to eat.....!

3) Domino's Thin Crust Extravaganza Pizza aka DINNER:


Yummy crispy beefy goodness.....


Erm...
I suppose that doesn't add up to a well balanced diet, does it?
:)

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Thursday, March 08, 2007

I'm Late, I'm Late

I've been tagged by Miss Mei Yen and Mr Donkey.... One's supposed to be on 5 Things Most People Don't Know About Me and the other's on 6 Weird Things About Me so I'm gonna be lazy and merge them into one meme:
:)

Here it goes....
*drum roll*
The 6 Weird Things Most People (Online) Don't Know About Me Meme:

1) I am a typical "banana".
I'm 100% Chinese but totally cannot read/ write Chinese or speak more than 3 very painfully patched together sentences in Mandarin or any given dialect.

2) I love Penang Assam Laksa.
Ah......, that glorious smelly fishy soupy noodle dish of Penang!
YUM.

3) I was probably really close to becoming an alcoholic once.
*sigh*
I'm not proud of it but there was a time that I could finish a 750ml bottle of vodka by myself in much less than 7 days.

4) My (previous) taste in men was pretty questionable.
Many years ago, I was very much in love with Kurt Cobain.... and many years before that, it was a certain member of New Kids On The Block instead who was the object of my undying affection.
(Oh, the shame!)

5) I am horribly moody in real life...
.... but only towards my parents and darling bf.
(I'm working to improve this - they really shouldn't have to put up with my sh1t)

6) Lastly, I'm still very young at heart.
I still love reading comics/ manga and watching cartoons/ anime.
(Stuff by Naoki Urasawa, Neil Gaiman or Mizayaki Hayao are my faves)

Otherwise, I am quite normal... I think.
:)

I choose not to pass on the joy of this MeMe to 6 victims though....
(So, the fun'll stop here... until I change my mind, that is)

Anyway,... I hope that you are all fine.
(Note: I am alive.... but still super crazy busy at work)

Hugs,
J

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